Rosemary has kindly asked me to share with you this case study in revisionist blogging. I apologize in advance for the lengthy quotes. Some of what was written is no longer there and some of what is there was not in the original.
The Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy recently announced the results of its phone survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and over. It was a long survey and some questions had overwhelmingly one-sided responses. For example, 95% of those asked agreed strongly or somewhat strongly that dependence on oil from the Middle East is a serious problem (71% Very serious, 24% Somewhat serious).
If you follow that link, you'll see that they chose to emphasize questions more directly related to the environment. (And why not, being who they are?) But the last statistic in the paragraph plays the most important role in this little drama, so allow me to quote:
Most dramatically, the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide shows that 63 percent of Americans agree that the United States "is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists."
Act 2 -
James Taranto notices the Mims piece and makes it part of his Best of the Web Today for Wednesday, March 28. Taranto follows the friendly advice of Mims and actually reads the survey, prompting this observation:
Well, if 63% of the American public says it, it must be true, right? That's how science works!
There's more to the quote but since it figures later in the story, I'll spare you the repetition.
Act 3 -
Russell Seitz at ADAMANT doesn't appreciate James Taranto's tone. In "Which Way Would Pascal Bet?", he quotes the second half of Taranto's observation. But first he attributes without linking a Taranto quote which, if valid, should have been taken in the self-depracating light in which it appears to have been uttered:
Invoking the power of intuition, he confesses himself to ' lack the time, the inclination and possibly the intellect to delve deeply into the science."[SNIP]
Proceeding from a magazine's reference to a survey described in a blog , he yesterday chose only one of the survey's hundred -odd questions, which happened to address religion , and cited the opinion of the sum of those answering that multiple choice question two ways out of four as a metric of scientific authority in the Climate Wars, concluding :
" 58% agree that "as the Bible says, the world was literally created in six days." So according to Scientific American, the biblical story of creation has only slightly less scientific merit than global warming. And if you think the people in the survey are unqualified to weigh in on such matters, they beg to differ: 71% of them agreed with the statement "I consider myself an intellectual,"... We'll bet a high proportion of them read Scientific American."
OK, James : How much do you want to bet ? I'll lay:
100 to 1 That that proportion is smaller than 10% ,
1,000 to 1 That among them WSJ subscribers outnumber those subscribing to Scientific American &
1,000,000 to 1 That fewer still subscribe to any of the top ten peer reviewed primary scientific journals, starting with Science and Nature.
[bold emphasis mine - MTR
Maybe it's because I just got finished reading "Texas Hold'em Odds and Probabilities" by Matthew Hilger. Maybe I didn't like the condescension in this piece. OK, it was both. I commented that I would take the odds because it would cost Dr. Seitz more than $3 of his time to demonstate that he won the bet. I also commented that I hire other people to mow my lawn, making the subtle point that if my time is too valuable for gardening duties, surely Dr. Seitz has more on his plate than would make this a winning proposition for him.
Here's where I have to quote at length because his response to my next comment was to delete most of it, including the part that makes him look foolish. Quotes around sentences 1 and 3 are mine since Seitz' comments are interspersed with my responses. For some reason only he understands, he responds to comments within them, so if you haven't been following the thread all along it appears as though the commenter is having a conversation with himself:
"What do you think about other than the cost of mowing your lawn ?"
It would cost more than $3.00 of my time to answer this.
"The due diligence behind the odds is already a done deal."
Then you've already overspent on this wager, right?
Smart-assery aside, I find it difficult to understand what you intended by adding the reference to the Seed article after my first comment.
I was going to go point by point but after having read the survey myself, I'd like you to explain just ONE thing:
Why is it OK for The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and everyone on the "Green" side of the "Climate Wars", to say:
"Most dramatically, the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide shows that 63 percent of Americans agree that the United States 'is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists.' "
Why is that "scientific" when, to get to that figure, they had to count people answering, as you said, "two ways out of four"? (39% mostly agreed, 24% agreed somewhat.) Why is James Taranto a fair target of your ridicule for doing the same thing to come up with the 58% who believe that God created the world in six days? (42%[!!] mostly agreed, 16% somewhat agreed)
Facts are out there to be found. Don't snark at Taranto for cherry-picking when everyone else, including YOU, did the same thing to further their own agendas.
I'm a devout Catholic and I have to tell you, that 58% figure is the scariest thing in this survey and it took Taranto to dig it out. His point is made, the survey is worthless.
The Greens, the Left, the Gores can't mock peoples' religious beliefs and discount their opinions one day and use their opinions to influence public policy when it suits their needs on another day.
One thing I can't prove, since I wasn't aware of Seitz M.O. when this thread started, was that he added the last two paragraphs of his post after my first comment. These additions send the post lurching off in an entirely different direction as if he is trying to say, "I'm not giving ridiculous rhetorical odds to Taranto to demonstrate my contempt for him. I just want everyone to know that we really need to do something about Science Education in America.
This post revision, without the courtesy of an "UPDATE:" flag of some kind, made me wary. So when I posted the comment quoted above, I saved a screen shot.
Imagine my surprise when the next time I check the thread, I see this:
"What do you think about other than the cost of mowing your lawn ?"
It would cost more than $3.00 of my time to answer this.
"The due diligence behind the odds is already a done deal."
Then you've already overspent on this wager, right?
Smart-assery aside, I find it difficult to understand what you intended by adding the reference to .......................
Boring comment continues interminably as they often do .
References are not provided for the readers convenience.
They must trouble themselves to read the damned things.
The sad thing is, Seitz generally has as little time, if not less, for the media hype spewed on the Gore side of the equation. Just today he posted on the subject and I don't think James Taranto would have had anything bad to say about it.
One amusing note: He stopped deleting stuff after I told him I was keeping screen shots. As I told Rosemary, Mark and Tim would have eaten me alive if I had pulled something like this when I was blogging here. And they would have been right.
I've gotten several emails from people asking me if I am/was Ray Buckland's wife. Buckland is known as the "The Father of American Wicca".
I've only been married once and I'm still married to that same guy.
Buckland was born in London on 31 August 1934. He was raised in the Anglican Church and developed an interest in spiritualism and the occult at about age 12.
He was educated at King's College in London and later Brantridge Forest College in Sussex. He earned a doctorate in anthropology at Brantridge. From 1957 to 1959, he served in the Royal Air Force. He and wife Rosemary immigrated to the United States in 1962, and moved to Long Island, NY.
I wasn't even born until 1968. Case closed.
I may be evil but calling me a witch is a bit much...
I'm talking about the CPL Pat Tillman incident. How is it that so many high ranking officers responsible for critical military plans and solving complex engagement scenarios thought that they could hide the truth of those tragic events? I've got two easy to understand theories and one that I don't even want to consider.
Theory 1: Protocol initial received inaccurate information about what happened, ran with it, and when the truth came out, they said "oh shit! What the hell are we going to do now!?!" They decided to go with the lie out of fear.
Theory 2: They knew the truth, but wanted the spare the family the reality of what happened and concocted a hero's story. A big part of me would want my family to think that I died a hero saving others, and I'm not sure I'd want the truth to be told if I was killed by friendly fire. Still, on general principle, truth outweighs myth. I don't think it would be good as a nation to allow our military and government to constantly lie about situations like this.
Theory 3 (the cynical one): The Army knew the truth all along, but they wanted to rewrite recent history to boost their own propaganda. Look, he's a hero. Be inspired by his sacrifice! Join the military! Hooah!!
Honestly, I think the truth can be found in all three theories, but in the end we are left with a dead Soldier, a dead American, and the least we can do for him is honor is sacrifice and tell the truth and punish the liars.
One of my favorite comics died on March 10, 2007 of an apparent suicide. Jeni kept me going during my early postpartum days after I gave birth to Draco. On many a middle of the night feedings, I watched Richard Jeni's A Big Steaming Pile of Me on OnDemand.
I know I'm behind today but I couldn't do anything until I heard about Anna Nicole's autopsy. That news trumped everything. I swear I thought Iran had some British soldiers in captivity. Maybe I'll get to hear about that after everyone digests the big Anna news.
Tim (on my son Draco): "Yes, he is definately Dean's son. He was overheard on the playground as drawing a line the sand (literally, since he WAS in the sandbox at the time) stating that he would not tolerate other toddlers who believed that bed-wetting was incompatible with democracy."
I almost spewed Diet Coke on the screen when I read that.
That is what Draco spells when I offer him food. When I tell him to go, he spells "G" "O". I have no idea where it came from but I suspect Sesame Street, since that is the only show the kid will watch.
2 years of absolutely no talking now the kid can freakin' spell.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Rodent poison has been found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Agriculture and Markets said Friday.
Spokeswoman Jessica Chittenden would not identify the chemical or its source beyond saying it was a rodent poison.
State agriculture officials scheduled a news conference Friday afternoon to release laboratory findings from tests on the pet food conducted this week.
The deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. There have been reports of kidney failure, some fatal, in pets that ate the recalled brands. The company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.
Menu Foods last week recalled "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food. The recall sparked concern among pet owners across North America. It includes food sold under store brands carried by Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and other large retailers, as well as private labels such as Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.
What sick tards would poison pets? Well, I am glad that I don't use the canned variety. I actually feed my pets a combo of a good quality dry and wet food that I prepare myself. (Thanks Tim)
"The biopsy showed the cancer had returned, It was malignant, so the net result of all the tests is that her cancer is back, it is largely confined in bone, which is a good thing," Edwards said from their hometown of Chapel Hill, N.C.
I wish her the best and I find the way they are handling this to be very brave.
I don't normally do AI posts but this week is special. This week I laughed, I cried and I threw up in my mouth a little. All of that because of one "singer".
I knew I was in trouble when Sanjaya said he was gonna sing "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks. The reality was more horrifying. It was so disturbing that I couldn't look away. Sanjaya singing the Kinks was like fresh carnage from a deadly traffic accident. I thought surely that this was finally going to be the straw that broke America's back.
Not yet three months into their first congressional majority since 1994, the Democrats are acting like the Republicans they condemned for fiscal freewheeling.
In the House, lawmakers are considering the Democrats' $124 billion war funding bill that not only includes $21 billion for political pet projects, but also establishes an ill-advised Aug. 31, 2008, deadline for bringing the troops home from Iraq.
The legislation, swollen with $3.7 billion in farm subsidies, is expected to be voted on Thursday. It also includes $500 million for wildfire suppression, $283 million in milk subsidies, $100 million for citrus growers, $75 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers and $15 million for rice farmers. . . .We clearly remember Democrats during last fall's campaign thundering righteously against Republicans' special-interest spending, as if they had a record of frugality. That drumbeat, as well as the GOP's inability to counter the charges, was in large part responsible for the Democrats' return to power.
Back in power, however, and the Democrats revert to their free-spending ways.
It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. In Congress, only talk is cheap.
Tim wrote on March 14th that AG Gonzales had less than a month before he quit "to spend more time with his family" [wink, wink], I think he will survive. Deputy AG Paul McNulty, on the other hand, may be the one "Scootered" for the Administration.
McNulty, it appears, is the one who did the dirty work. Hey, in most places, employers have the right to fire for any reason they want, unless there is a contract in place. Most people take firing in stride unless they feel like they were screwed or their reputation was tarnished. When you tell someone they are getting shit canned for poor performance, they are gonna want some proof. For example:
Among the e-mails released Monday was one McNulty received on Feb. 1 from Margaret Chiara, the U.S. attorney in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"Why have I been asked to resign?" she asked.
Early this month, she wrote McNulty again, saying that "I respectfully request that you reconsider the rationale of poor performance as the basis for my dismissal. It is in our mutual interest to retract this erroneous explanation."
She added: "Politics may not be a pleasant reason but the truth is compelling."
In one uncomfortable exchange with Chiara, McNulty aide Mike Elston said, "our only choice is to continue to be truthful about this entire matter."
"The word performance obviously has not set well with you and your colleagues," Elston wrote. "By that word we only meant to convey that there were issues about policy, priorities and management/leadership that we felt were important to the Department's effectiveness."
Performance means "that there were issues about policy, priorities and management/leadership that we felt were important to the Department's effectiveness"?
Color me confused. I thought a Prosecutor's performance would have had something more to do with prosecuting stuff. Bad performance=bad prosecuting.
Hey Rove! Haven't you learned not to fuck with lawyers yet?
Politics is one of my favorite sports. Absofuckinglutely!
I'm having one of those days. I don't have any ideas, any initiative or any desire to do anything but stay in bed with my head under the covers. I'm not sick just feel empty and kinda blah. You know what I mean?
So, why don't we have an open thread. Got anything interesting?
I am currently watching Valerie Plame-Wilson tesify before Congress. She's coming across quite sympathetic. I don't know all the facts yet because they just got started but you know it's bad when I, your quite evil queen, have already called the Bush Administration "fuckers" four times in the last hour.
Mohammed portrayed himself as Al Qaeda's most ambitious operational planner in a confession to a U.S. military tribunal that said he planned and supported a series of terrorist attacks, ranging from the gruesome attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — which killed nearly 3,000 — to a 2002 shooting on an island off Kuwait that killed a U.S. Marine, according to an account released by the Pentagon.
He listed for the Guantanamo tribunal 28 attacks he claimed to have directly planned or carried out, and another three he supported, including trying to kill Pope John Paul II, President Clinton and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
He also said he planned the 2002 bombing of a Kenya beach resort frequented by Israelis, the failed missile attack on an Israeli passenger jet after it took off from Mombasa, Kenya, and the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia that killed more than 200.
Other plots he said he was responsible for included planned attacks against the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building and New York Stock Exchange in New York City, the Panama Canal, and Big Ben and Heathrow Airport in London — none of which happened.
Wow, that's a lot of confessing. I'm not satisfied and I won't be until he confesses to killing Jimmy Hoffa, JFK and Martin Luthor King. The way he's taking credit, it won't be too long...
Our younger son, Draco, just turned 2 in January. I've mentioned before that he doesn't talk. Not a peep. No mama, no dada. Nada. Initially, I was concerned and talked to his pediatrician. The doctor said not to be too worried because often kids develop in different stages. Children that are advanced in motor skills tend to talk a bit later. Draco is definitely advanced in his motor skills. I also got some encouragement from Thomas Sowell.
Dean and I started to think that Drake was just screwing with us. Choosing not to talk or choosing to not let us in on his ability to talk. Why did we think so? Because from an early age, Draco, seemed really intelligent. More than a baby should be. It was in his eyes and it was the way he did things. He was out thinking us constantly. I'd create barriers to keep him contained and he'd figure out an escape route in a matter of minutes. There isn't a childproof device that he hasn't defeated and sometimes in a matter of only seconds.
Up until a week ago, we only heard genuine laughter and nonsensical grunts from that little boy. That changed last Saturday. I was heading to his room with clean laundry to put away when I heard an unfamiliar voice count: one, two, three, four, five, six...
He stopped at six because that's when he noticed I was standing in the doorway, with my mouth hanging open. He looked at me, and then grunted like "Boy" from Tarzan. I smiled and said, nice try but I caught you! I then picked him up and took him to Dean and explained what I heard. He listened and when I finished telling his daddy that not only can he talk but he can count to six. Draco looked into his smiling father's eyes and immediately shook his head no for all he was worth.
Well, he tried to maintain the "I don't talk" persona but gave up when I caught him saying his ABC's. Correctly and without assistance, btw. I now start singing ABC's and pause throughout the song so he can fill in the missing letters. Like musical chairs but with the alphabet. My barely 2 year old son can say and identify all of the alphabet. And the little brat can actually count to ten. I heard that today. I said to him, "you can count to ten?" He just smiled and sang, "abcdefg, hijk, lmnop, qrs, tuv, wxy and z".
Kids are strange little beings but there is nothing more wonderful in this entire world.
Borat - Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
I bought it and I loved it. I've already watched it a couple times and lost my spleen. I almost peed my pants during the naked scene. And "Sexydrownwatch" was totally sick. Did that air in the theater or was that only an extra on the DVD?
Dean still hates it, of course, I think Dean is severely humor impaired...
Matt Sanchez has written a piece for Salon called Porn Free. It details his experience as an outspoken Ivy League student at Columbia and military vet that was outted as an ex-gay porn star by his former friends, the Left.
As I suspected, Conservatives near and far have rallied in support of Matt.
Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me today. Let's face it: Those on the left who now attack me would be defending me if I had espoused liberal causes and spoken out against the Iraq war before I was outed as a pseudo celebrity. They'd be talking about publishing my memoir and putting me on a diversity ticket with Barack Obama. Instead, those who complain about wire-tapping reserve the right to pry into my private life and my past for political brownie points.
Sure, I had my picture taken with Ann Coulter. I don't agree with what she said, but anyone in the military would defend her right to say it. I'm not apologizing for it. I'm also not going to claim I'm sorry for leaving a long-ago summer job off my curriculum vitae. A lot things in my life don't add up, but then I was never good at math. It's just a part of my past, and as anyone who reflects on the past realizes, it contributes to who I am today. No apologies, just recognition. No running away, just moving forward.
By the way, as a political minority on the Columbia campus, people are always asking me, "How can you be a conservative? They're so hateful." That wasn't the feeling I got when I accepted my award. And it's not what I've been hearing from the conservative community since my "outing."
I am embarrassed to admit that was I worried that my fellow conservatives would distance themselves from me when the news about my film career broke. The opposite has happened. I've been asked to give my point of view, invited to speak at various functions, and invited back on television. My peers on the right have gone out of their way to give me a vote of confidence and avoid a rush to judgment.
1) Islam does not represent the forces of Satan or the Anti-Christ bent upon destruction of the Christian world.
2) There is no 1,400 year old "war with the West/Christianity" being waged by "The Muslims" or anyone else.
3) Islam as a religion is no more inherently incompatible with modernity, minority rights, women's rights, or democratic pluralism than most ancient religions.
4) Medieval, anachronistic, obscure terms like "dhimmitude" or "taqiyya" are suitable for intellectual discussion & analysis. They are not and never will be appropriate to slap in the face of everyday Muslims or their friends.
5) Muslims have no more need to prove that they can be good Americans, loyal citizens, decent people, or enemies of terrorism than anyone else does.
A 19-year-old Saudi woman who was kidnapped, beaten and gang raped by seven men who then took photos of their victim and threatened to kill her, was sentenced under the country's Islamic-based law to 90 lashes for the "crime" of being alone with a man not related to her.
Well, most ancient religions are well versed in the ideals of the 21st century. Till, Islam catches up, #3 is a big FUCKING JOKE. I'm also pretty sure that no ancient religion currently hangs gays for being gay, either... coughIrancough.
Seriously, did anyone reporting that actually watch the show? If he had said it or even implied it, I would've been all over it. He did not in any way suggest that he was saddened by Cheney not dying. What he said was that if Cheney did die, others wouldn't be. That was more about the fact that Cheney pushed for Iraq and nobody, not no one can say that people haven't died because of that.
He never once said he was sorry Cheney didn't die. Get the fuck over it, already.
As much as I find funny about Ann Coulter's writing, I also find equally disturbing. I guess most comics get a 50/50 nod from me. Yeah, I know Coulter is not a "comic", well she's funny to me. But she is supposedly a serious conservative poltical writer and that said, I found her use of both "faggot" and "raghead" disgusting at the CPAC conference. There are very few times when racist remarks can be used for a humorous affect, Kevin Smith can do it. Coulter can't.
I know my liberals are gonna pile on and I welcome it. I'd also like you to remember that I do not discriminate in my condemnation. I will slap liberals and conservatives alike. I don't excuse my side, like many liberals do with their own racists, I find all of it sick. What I find equally sick is when racist hypocrites like Steve Gillard, who referred to Lt. Gov Michael Steele as "Sambo"piling on. Steve Gillard calling Ann Coulter a hatemonger is like David Duke calling Fred Phelps a homophobe. Give me a fucking break.
Should "Knick Knacks" be legal? Why or why not? I mean, if you've got 3,000 ceramic angels, poodles, or unicorns sitting on the shelf collecting dust, mold spores, and bacteria you should be dragged off to prison.
Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., on Wednesday revived legislation aimed at forcing the military to eliminate the policy preventing homosexual service members from being open about their orientation. Meehan said he expects the House Armed Services panel to hold hearings on the issue.
"I have worked in Congress to fight this policy because I believe that for more than a decade now it has undermined our national security interests," Meehan said.
He filed a similar measure that failed in the previous Congress, which was controlled by Republicans. That bill had more than 120 co-sponsors, including six Republicans. The new measure has 109 co-sponsors.
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who appeared with Meehan at a Capitol Hill news conference, branded the military's policy on gays and lesbians "foolish and cruel."
I totally agree with this. HoofuckingRah!
It is 2007. I'm pretty sure most people, in the ranks, know who is and isn't gay. It is totally stupid to not allow them to serve openly. Unfair and cruel.