Friday, December 19, 2014

John Winthrop, America's first astronomer

My American Vignettes series continues with a look at John Winthrop -- the scientist, not the lawyer who helped found Massachusetts -- on the 300th anniversary of his birth. Besides being the nation's first astronomer, he helped found the science of seismology.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tweet of the day

Why should men pay child support then?

Molly Redden of Mother Jones had an interesting essay on the efforts of a Republican lawmaker in Missouri to give men the same reproductive rights that women enjoy:
A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first — unless she was the victim of "legitimate rape."
OK, I get that as long as it is legal, a woman should be allowed to make that choice. But if a man cannot have a say on whether a woman has a baby, then why should a man be responsible for child support for a child born out of wedlock? The answer is interesting.

New York returns to the 19th century

New York state will make its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing permanent as it continues its pagan superstition that drilling into the ground for oil and natural gas will upset the underground gods and cause evil spirits to rise.

I fully expect Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow through on this by banning all use of oil and natural gas as a means of keeping the evil spirits from rising elsewhere.

Comment of the day

From Steven Wilson:
OK, I've posted this variously and in a few places where I hoped it would make some reflexively progressive heads explode.
Some of the earliest beneficiaries of loosening the travel restrictions will be members of NAMBLA and other sexual tourists who will see reduced airfares as they won't have to leave the US to fly to Cuba.

Breaking News: Madonna is Narcissistic

Somebody leaked part of Madonna's next album and this, understandably, upset her. Madonna -- the Jeb Bush of rock 'n' roll -- went on Twitter to call the leak "artistic rape" and "a form of terrorism." I am pretty sure the girls captured by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the people in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, would have preferred to have their albums leaked instead.

Vermont gives up on socialized medicine

Sticker shock has forced Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont to cancel plans for having the state run health care in his state -- under a "single-payer plan," which is actually an "everyone pays plan" because there ain't no Santa Claus picking up the bill.

Harold Eliot Varmus, the hippie who grew up

My American Vignettes on exceptional Americans continues with a look at Nobel laureate Dr. Harold Eliot Varmus on the 75th anniversary of his birth. Harvard Medical School turned him down.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tweet of the day

Che Obama

President Obama wants to befriend communist Cuba, telling reporters today: "Isolation has not worked. It's time for a new approach."

But isolationism worked -- for the United States. Our nation continued to grow and flourish. We had other sources for sugar, and those Tampa cigars ain't so bad.

Isolationism did not work for Cuba. It went from being the richest Latino nation to being one of its poorest.

The only logical conclusion is Obama...

Black liberals versus white liberals

I skipped Matt Drudge's orgy of Sony news, which followed after hackers broke into the entertainment giant's computers, and released embarrassing details about the stars and the executives. But a story in the London Daily Mail grabbed my attention:
Reverend Al Sharpton has blasted Sony executive Amy Pascal over racially charged comments that were made public in her hacked emails -- and says it's part of an overwhelming problem of lack of diversity in Hollywood.
'Right now, Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains. The higher up it goes, the whiter it looks,' he quipped to TMZ.
What did she say? That president Obama may like comedian Kevin Hart!

Break out the premium popcorn made with real butter, Mama. The show has begun.

AP's one-sided attack on Citizens United

The Center for Public Integrity, which pushes for government financed (and hence, government controlled) political campaigns, issued another attack on the Citizens United ruling (and hence, free speech) with a report: "Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections."

Naturally, the report centered on how a group succeeded in ousting a Democratic state office holder.

The Associated Press picked up on the story: "Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released Wednesday."

"I've been mistaken for a president"

People magazine interviews the Obamas and discovers people misidentified them when they were unknown. Shocking!

44 officers killed in the line of duty since Ferguson

The Officer Down Memorial Page of law enforcement officers who die in the line of duty has added 44 officers since Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in self-defense in August.

17 were by gunfire. Two on October 24, 2014.

Richard Jewell: The innocent man who regained respect

My American Vignettes series on exceptional Americans continues with a look at Richard Jewell, a hero falsely accused by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN, the New York Post and NBC of trying to bomb the 1996 Olympics. Today is the 52nd anniversary of his birth.

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