Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flying Lessons

Many, many years ago, back in the days of high school and college, I worked as a ramp rat at a small airport.

We were the guys that directed planes when they were parking. We tied them down, fueled them, and washed them. I was basically a gas station atendent for Cesnas. It was a great job, different, fun, and it beat the heck out of flipping burgers.

The pay was what you would expect for any job labeled ramp rat, poor, but it did have nice benefits, I got to fly.

I was able to pay for a few lessons, and got to fly a lot more simply because I was there. One of the key points that every pilot I flew with stressed was the danger of overcorrection. A pilot needs to think a step or two ahead, and move the plane gently, the closer to the edge you were, the greater the risk of any abrupt change.

For some reason I suspect the Ben Bernanke and the rest of Federal Reserve are not pilots, or have forgotten this lesson.

Fed stays aggressive


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Florida Has Voted

Rudy's run is done. His time to dance on the media stage is thankfully coming to an end. He will endorse McCain and then (hopefully) float off into the sunset.

McCain won Florida with a third of the vote. Mitt again underperformed if you consider just how much he has spent to date and Huckebee did great with the Bible beating fried squirrel crowd and was ignored by the rest of the state.

This puts the man most of the conservatives love to hate clearly in the lead. It is almost worth listening to Rush today to see how he takes this.

On the Democratic side Hillary again did well in a state where the candidates had agreed to not campaign (like Michigan). This bodes well for her on Super Tuesday, where personal politicking of the Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina style is not an option.

She gets no delegates, but this should mask some of the stink of failure that lingers from the disastrous results in South Carolina.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Didn't Miss A Thing

For the first time in 15 years I did not hear one second of the state of the union address and judging from media reports, I missed nothing.

Just more lies and distortions from our President.

If I wanted to consider the real state of the nation, I don't need to listen to Bush, but to the people of the nation who are trying to spread the truth.

Since 2001, American median income is down by more than $1,000 a year
The number of Americans in poverty is up 5 millon people to 36 million

The amount of consumer credit has almost doubled in the past 7 years

The foreclosure rate on single family homes is 68 percent higher than it was in 2001

There are 3 million fewer manufacturing jobs now than in 2000

Between 1992-2000 there were an average of 1.76 million new private sector jobs created each year; between 2001-2008 that average was down to 369,000

And there is much more.

I suspect that these details were not motioned last night


Monday, January 28, 2008


I have not paid much attention to the S.C. Bar Exam scandal. To me it simply sounded like business as usual in our small state; A couple of well connected people worked the system to benefit their family or friends.

It has seen noteworthy focus at Not Very Bright (use the search feature to find the articles), and every major paper has at least mentioned it.

The crux of the story is, due to a scoring error on one section of the test, 1 person passed the test who should not have. To correct this error the supreme court justices decided to toss that section of the test and as a result, 20 more people passed.

Two of those who has failed but due to this action have now passed the bar just happened to be children of well connected and powerful members of our political/legal system. To make matters worse, it is rather apparent from post seen on facebook pages (or similar social interaction networks) that the students who failed where aware that efforts were being made to 'fix' the situation.

To me this is depressing, disgusting, but nothing new.

What I find interesting is the reasoning provided to try to explain this away.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said the court was faced with three “pretty unpalatable choices” — one of which almost certainly would have brought a lawsuit the court wanted to avoid.

“You might have made this decision differently,” Toal told about 300 attorneys and guests at the S.C. Bar’s annual convention. “But one thing of which you can be absolutely sure is this: Your Supreme Court made this decision with the sole motivation of trying to be fair.


How is this fair?

What of all the other lawyers who did pass? Passing the bar is suppose to indicate that a standard has been achieved. Now we have twenty lawyers who are clearly deficient, but approved.

What about the people of the state? We place our trust in a system that is suppose to assure that those taking pay for their services are qualified. Now we have at least 20 who should have an asterisk by their names. How often are these games played, and how many lawyers have not actually passed the bar? It is now a legitimate question.

I work in a profession where certifications are vital. The integrity of the system is upheld above all else. Without strictly upheld standards, the certifications become useless. What is The Supreme Court telling us about the lawyers in our state?

For the South Carolina Supreme Court and as a result the S.C. Bar, it appears certification is not about competency or integrity, but fairness. And not fairness for the people of the state, or those who have followed the rules, but for the 21 students who did not have what it takes to pass the test without outside intervention.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina, Primary Day V1.2


Last Saturday the Republicans in South Carolina voted in their, today is the Democrats turn. Last Saturday the weather was foul, today's weather is not much better.

Like last week, as the day progresses, I will post any updates of note.


I had the chance to visit 4 of the same precincts that I check out last week, 3 of which are notably more active today. 2 of these precincts are strongly Republican, 1 split and 1 democratic. The democratic poll was, of course, much busier that last week, as was both the split poll and one of the traditionally republican precincts.

The weather is now much nicer that last weekend, that excuse for not voting has evaporated throughout most of South Carolina.


I Went into a more Republican area and looks at 3 more polling centers. One was fairly busy, but the other two were very quiet. Weather has turned wonderful and is clearly not an inhibiting factor in today's election.


More anecdotal evidence of heavy turnout


Obama is the projected winner, not a surprise at all.


Obama, Clinton, Edwards. The polls held this time. The big questions now are a matter of scale. What was the overall turnout? How close was Clinton to Obama, Did Edwards close the gap any?

These we can look at Sunday.


Someone on Fox news mentioned that there is a chance that Democratic turnout in South Carolina could be greater that the GOP turnout last week. If this is true, it is a huge story and the most important result in race.


Friday, January 25, 2008

An Endorsement

It seems that everyone is making a public choice (at least the papers are making their choices public), so why not join in.

The top four in the Democratic field (Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Richardson) are all excellent options. Each has a wide array of strengths that would serve the president of our land well. Each have flaws that will be attacked hard by the Republicans, once they figure out who they favor. I would be quite happy with any of the Democrats listed.

Despite my satisfaction with our options, none have captured my imagination to the point that I felt I had a single player to support or promote. A number of bloggers who I do respect have been able to make this step, but I never fell in love with any one to the point that I felt I was ready to dismiss the rest (at least until the primaries were settled). Maybe the choices were just to good (key lime pie, hot fudge sundae, or New York Cheese Cake), maybe not distinctive enough to force my hand (oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat).

My list has been, since mid fall; Richardson, Edwards, Obama, Clinton and it has not changed. Since Richardson is now out, Saturday I will vote for Edwards. I know that his race is all but officially over but he is still officially running and he his my current favorite.

I have been asked how did my list evolve?

We need competent leadership, a technocrat who knows how the government should work, and is able to make it function (Richardson's strength). We have had 8 years of governance by a groups who's primary goal is the destruction of government, and the effect is obvious. Edwards makes noises like a trust buster, something our nations needs. We are captured in an governmental and economic system where the needs corporations far outweigh the needs of the population, this needs to be balanced. Edwards appears to understand this and wants this change. Both Obama and Clinton have vision for finding a new path. It is clear the one we are on is not working.

All could serve the nation well, so while I will vote for Edwards, I can, at this time, endorse them all and encourage everyone to Vote Saturday. And once the primary season is over, I do hope we can all rally behind the eventual winner and get effective and wise leadership into the White house.

We are blessed to have excelent choices but after the last 7 years I have to admit that a partially house trained spider monkey would be a step up from where we are.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

They Remembered

What a great post

January 23, 2008

Republicans and Economies

Ladies and gentlemen, there was a REASON that Americans were loath to elect a Republican into the government for an entire generation after the Great Depression: They remembered.

Brief, Simple, True


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

A week ago I mentioned the, what appears deeply flawed, unification law that was passed in Iraq.

It has only taken the US media a week to notice the concerns many have with this law. But, I have to give them credit, at least the noticed.

"This is a bomb on the road of reconciliation," said Kareem, a former director general in the ministry. "This law does not bring anything new. This does not serve national reconciliation that all Iraqis are hoping for. On the contrary, it envisions hostility, hatred, discrimination and sectarian strife."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but how can something that is so vital and a key issue in both our efforts to secure Iraq and in our presidential race, take a week to be noticed by media pros. In the medical or legal profession this level of indifference could be considered malpractice, in the media, with issues not involving movie stars or missing blond teen aged girls, it seems to be the norm.

In the last week, we have had many on the right point to this law as proof that the surge is working. These claims have been loudly repeated by the very same media now noting the issue. Now that the true nature of the law is coming clear, (at least to the main stream media) I have to wonder if their political reporters will follow up with those who pointed to this as proof of victory, and see if they think that spin still applies.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fed Pulls The Trigger

With the Dow futures down over 500 point, the Fed has made an almost unprecedented move of emergency rate cut of 3/4 a point.

When you hear the administration telling you all is well, remember this.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Tuesday On Wall St.

In Asia the markets saw serious losses, the European markets are following the trend. It seems that few are enamored with the stimulus plan that is being considered.

Tuesday's stock market opening in the US could be way to interesting.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Most Interesting Number In The Primary

McCain wins South Carolina, the state that tripped him up in 2000.

John was able to pull in about 150,000 votes.

What I find shocking is in 2000 he was able to pull in 240,000 votes.

90,000 fewer people fewer voted for him this year than eight years ago, but he is a conquering hero today, where in 2000 he was destroyed.

ain't politics grand


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Primary Day, Republican Style

I will place any election day notes in this post.

820 AM - I had to run an early morning errand and in the process had to drive past a Bi-Lo and Food Lion, and 1 polling place. The two grocery stores were busy. With snow in the forecast, the run on milk and bread has begun, but the polling place had a total of 2 cars parked in the lot.

With the weather, I expect a soft turnout. Only the motivated will put schlepping out into the cold rain or snow to vote on their to do list today. The question is, who does it help.

My first instinct is to think that the Huckabee supporters may be the most dedicated but that gain for him may be erased by the fact that the worst weather is expected where the largest evangelical base is located.


Mitt has taken Nevada ,at least the networks are calling it that way. I wonder why McCain did so poorly there, the networks called this on entrance polling, no actual votes are posted. You would think a Senator from the state next door could have put up a bit of a fight.

And in South Carolina another voter turnout report. In 2000, the last contested primary had about 565,000 republican voters. I will interested to see this years turnout.


Is anyone voting. I checked the action at 4 polling places, all were very very very quiet.


Nevada Results Clinton over Obama by 5%, Mitt with over 50% takes the Republicans, Racist Ron Paul leads the pack of 7 Dwarfs with 13%

Fred Thompson peeled away enough votes from Huckabee to allow McCain to claim his second win. Thompson is now done. Another point to note, it appears voter turnout is way way off the 2000 primary, with turnout down by about 25%, ouch. Another clear sign of Republican party malaise and dissatisfaction.

Al-Qaida Did It

Benazir Bhutto is murdered, Al-Qaida did it

Terrorist cell in Spain, link it to Al-Qaida

Resistance groups in Iraq, it's Al-Qaida

Tourist shot, it has to be Al-Qaida

England's Queen under attack, lets blame A-Qaida

Global Warming blame Al-Qaida, Peak Oil blame Al-Qaida, Sub prime Mortgages blame Al-Qaida, Stock Market down blame Al-Qaida, stub your tow, it has to be Al-Qaisa's fault.

Every time anything goes boom, the government spokespersons and their ever complaint and increasingly lazy media shout Al-Qaida. Sometimes it is but often there is no reason to name Al-Qaida. Al-Qaida is now named for almost every incident that occurs in Iraq, bombing, sniper attacks, or combat, despite the fact that historically when the armed forces have been able to firmly ID the attacker, Al-Qaida has been only a small percentage of the total. There is little doubt that Al-Qaida would like to have done these things, but there is no reason to expect that they are responsible for all that is blamed on them.

Even when it is a group claiming to be Al-Qaida no one bothers to point out that the vast majority of these plots are not devised by the Al-Qaida that attacked the US, but by other groups who have independently taken up the banner of Al-Qaida (mostly for the name recognition). Some of the new self proclaimed Al-Qaida cell are inspired by faith and the ideas of Bil Laden but many are simply dissatisfied anti-establishment types looking for any way to upset the status quo.

However, our administration is quite happy with this. It allows them to paint a false picture of some all powerful carefully planned and directed global anti western action, that is for the most part, simply a couple of outsiders trying to make their mark in a deeply silly and amateurish way.

In an atmosphere of fear like that in the U.S. and parts of Europe, it is sometimes hard to separate the significant threat from the pipe dream. In a large number of headline-grabbing plots, particularly in America, homegrown terrorists seem to have been long on cataclysmic imagination and short on ability to carry out their plans.

Newspapers screamed with fire and brimstone when arrests were made in an alleged plot to flood lower Manhattan by blowing up underwater commuter tunnels, but the scheme was later revealed to be little more than a fantasy.

But, even when there are no ties to Al-Qaida, we still hear that same fear inducing name used, why?


Friday, January 18, 2008

NPR Is Calling

And would like you to take a quick survey about election 08.

Hop over and tell them how you feel.

Polling South Carolina Style

Compare and contrast.

In our house all we have gotten are push polls, republican vs republican. A classic example of one I got was very similar to this one.

Most are automated, the one I got today was with a real live person. The the breakdown, as far as I can tell at my house has been.

Huckabee bashing McCain, McCain slamming Huckabee (live), Unknown attacking Huckabee, Romney(maybe) denouncing McCain.

nasty, very nasty polling going on in the Republican primary.

My mother has noticed the same thing, but yesterday a new camp was heard from. A live democratic pollster called. She was asked if she was going to vote and what primary. When she said she was a likely Democratic primary voter, she was asked who she favored. She responded that she was undecided and very happy with all three leading candidates. The pollster then asked to who she would lean to if she HAD to vote today.

She replied Edwards, and the caller thank her for her time, advised they were calling from Obama for President and encouraged her to keep considering Obama, and be sure to vote next week, even if ti was for Edwards.

The Democrats have a week to get nasty and it is possible that if she had replied Clinton the script may have called for a push poll attack. That said, she was so surprised by the call she had to call me to relay the details.

Lets hope the Democratic contenders can avoid the blood bath that is going on among the Republicans.

Over at Daily Kos, do we have another creative attack on McCain?


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clueless and Heartless

how can anyone be this detatched from reality

I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We're the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.

She thinks a person having to work two job is a positive sign. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with DC, they are unaware of the harsher realities of our economy. Here is a hint, most people working two jobs are doing this out of desperation.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Republicans Want A Theocracy

This is a oft repeated claim by many on the left. I myself have pointed this out many times. But when you look at the details we were presenting it was clear that most of the time those who are pushing for a God based government were only the wacko's on the fringe of the Republican party. The Dominionism and Christian Reconstructionist that want God to rule the US traditionally have been kept at arms length from the forefront of the republican party, much like a crazy uncle who lives upstairs but is kept away from visitors.

That was until this week the the crazy uncle came downstairs while the media was in the living room. Huckabee opens his mouth and made it instantly clear that there are many Republicans who do want a theocracy and not just the lunatic fringe, but some who have to be considered main stream within the party clearly want this too.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”

This does raise a few very interesting questions about which of 'God's standards' we need to incorporate into the the constitution. Do we start with the ten commandments, if so which version? To move things along lets use these. It is not exactly like any one version, but gets the point across and is the one of the few areas with the laws in the Bible that is fairly clear.

I am the Lord your God you shall have no other gods before me
You shall not make for yourself an idol
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
Honor your Father and Mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or house

We already have civil laws that address murder perjury and theft. We have in some backwaters of the US bluelaws in the effort to 'keep the Sabbath holy' (but I am not sure how preventing people from going shopping is going to force someone to keep something holy, but this is another issue). As to the rest, while you could pass amendments to mandate that there is no other God, there shall be no Idols, honoring your parents, no coveting etc, but how do you enforce them. Do we create an American version of the Mutaween to enforce these new laws.

Most of the 10 commandments are focused of how an individual thinks (honor your parents, do not covet etc) and are basically undeterminable to everyone else. How do you know what is in someones heart. How can you tell if your neighbor holds other Gods before our nations God, unless he tells you? No, working the 10 commandments into the constitution is not his goal.

Huckabee was pushing this for the big three issues of the religious right: abortion, homosexuality and state support of religion. He wants to use his interpretation of the bible to make law on these issues. Unfortunately for him, there is nothing like the 10 commandments that he can rely on to base his opinion on. No where in the bible does it plainly denounce abortion. Homosexuality is denounce in the Old Testament, unfortunate for Huckabee and his followers so are shrimp, oysters and poly cotton blend cloth. Leviticus has a lot more to do with than just homosexuality. outside of this book, just as with abortion, the rest of the bible is far from clear on the issue and subject to varied interpretation.

This takes us to what is wrong with Huckabee and his right wing religious foolishness. He has looked at the issue, turned to his faith and made the decision that abortion is wrong, and homosexuality is a sin. That is fine. I have done the same and have come to slightly different answers. The difference is in how we respond to the result. I live my life based on how I answer these questions, and let others live these lives. Huckabee and his followers insist that everyone live their lives based on how he (and his minions) answered these questions.

But I would like to know why are his answers better than mine? Maybe we both could live our lives without imposing our religiously based ideas on others who don't share them.

That would seem to be the American way, a reliance on both reason and liberty. But this view is one that both the republican party and the religious right refuse to accept. They believe that their religiously based world view is the only acceptable view and that it is proper that they have the right to force all Americans to live in a theocracy based on their religious dogma.

And, a person who openly expressed this overtly authoritarian view is a leading candidate to be the Republican parties presidential candidate.

All I can say is, wow.

Who would have thought that a one time fringe element in the Republican party would feel comfortable enough in their position to utter something that is so fundamentally anti-American.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Middle East, Iraq, Honesty And Progress

I have not written much about Iraq lately, simply because there has not been any real change for the last few months. In areas where the US forces can impose their will, they are. In those areas life is better, but only as long as the US can keep that force in place. Some Sunni groups are now being armed and paid by the US to fight against other Sunni groups in an effort to reduce the civil strife. This works but like Afghanistan of the 1980s the law of unintended consequences may apply. Many have pointed out that the end result of arming the Sunni may eventually lead to giving them the resources they need to take on the government currently headed by Shiite groups and result in expanding the conflict, not reducing it.

What has happened recently is a few events that clearly display that the US is not getting the whole story.

First we start with the Iranian Navy's 'attack' on 3 US warships. When the story first came out the US military gave us a video showing the activity, including the communication between the US and Iranian crews. It later is reported that the video feed presented to the media was not as pure as it could have been. It was edited by the military with the audio from one source added to the video from another to produce the media ready product. After a few more days of saber rattling by the Bush administration more news comes out. The voice presented by the US Navy as Iranian crew members may have been a well know nuisance and the behavior of the Iranian Navy and their little speed boats is nothing new.

So why did the US military rush out this damning tape and push it on the press?

The we learn about Arab Jabour. This is an area that recently the US military had claimed was a success of the surge. It was an shining example of who locals working with the US could push the evil doers out. If it was such a success, why did we have to drop over 40,000 pounds of bombs on a number of targets? For those who are interested Badtux has a primer on the effects and side effects of aerial bombardment.

Why did the US military rush out to claim success in an area that obviously was not yet a success?

Now we are hearing claims of political progress in Iraq. This is the crucial point. With political progress the surge in Iraq will be a success, as long as there is no political progress, it is a failure. It appears that the Iraqi government has finally developed a plan to reverse debaathication, a vital step in political reunification. John McCain is claiming his plan has worked and that this is a sure sign of progress. A nice story but if this is true, why are the forces who opposed debaathication the ones who approved this measure and why are those who favored debaathication unhappy with the result.

Could John McCain be lying (again), or does he honestly not understand they dynamics and players involved in this. Since he has shown a reasonable level of understanding of the situation in the past, I am left assuming that he has decided that, in light of the pending elections in Michigan in South Carolina, it is best to claim success, and ignore the truth.

So we the people are left wondering who we can trust to provide us real information. The military clearly is more interested in promoting fantasy that supports the narrative put forward by the administration; Iraq is a success and Iran is evil. And our politicians do what they always do, spin the truth to the point that provides them the greatest amount to leverage, no matter what the real truth may actually indicate.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

My oh My, How The Frontrunners Have Fallen

Two of the early republican favorites (of the media at least) are starting what could be their death spirals.

In South Carolina, Mitt Romney has canceled his advertising.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is pulling his advertising campaign in South Carolina in favor of pouring more resources into Michigan, his campaign confirmed Wednesday.


The move might highlight the difficulty Romney faces in winning the Republican Party primary here Jan. 19 after two lackluster finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Romney finished second to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in Iowa and second to Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain in New Hampshire.

Romney has advertised heavily in South Carolina, but spent comparatively little time here so far.

and Rudy Giuliani has asked his senior staff to work without pay.

As Rudy Giuliani makes a do-or-die push to win this state's Republican presidential primary, the former mayor's top campaign aides are foregoing paychecks this month.

Usually, such penny-pinching is a sign of desperation in a campaign, and Giuliani has plenty of reason to worry – he finished at the back of the GOP primary pack in Iowa and New Hampshire and has little to look forward to outside of Florida, polls show.

Both camps have tried to put happy spin on this, but when two of the better funded champaigns start to take such drastic steps this early in the race, it is a sign that their death may be only one primary away.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

So Stupid It Hurts

The State of South Carolina approves a science text book and WLTX News 19 does a story about the parents' reaction (Video Here).

And it was awful on many levels.

WLTX News 19 does a horrible job of presenting the story. They selected two creationist parents to interview about the selection of the textbook (one who opposed the teaching of evolution at all and one that was not totally opposed to teaching evolution) and allowed them to present their positions. The reporter made no effort to verify facts or correct the fallacies that the parents presented.

And that was the stupid that hurt.

The mother that is opposed to teaching evolution in public schools spoke with great confidence and absolutely no understanding of the topic. She is either totally ignorant on the subject or was telling so many lies that there is reason to suspect she may be on the Discovery Institute Payroll. I am sure she is a well intended but grossly undereducated adult (on scientific topics at least).

While I am relatively sure her actions where genuine and honest, I am not so sure about WLTX News 19. Why do this report without addressing the clearly incorrect information? Why present only the creationist point of view? Why not interview parents that approved of the adoption of a science textbook that teaches evolution? Was this an attempt to drive public opinion or just incredibly bad journalism?

I honestly wish that when media outlets come across a topic they don't understand that they would spend a little effort informing themselves before attempting to present it to the public. Maybe then my head would stop hurting from banging it against the wall.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

In A Stunning Development

The State Board of Education did something positive.

Today, in a stunning reversal of votes, the State Board of Education approved the Miller/Levine Biology Textbook that was under scrutiny. The vote went from 9-7 (vote in December) in favor of dropping the Miller/Levine textbook to 10-6 in favor of keeping the textbook on the list.

Now it is time to remove S.C. PIE and Mike Fair's absurd 'teach the controversy' language from our science standards. Science must be taught correctly, without the stupidity that some self professed Christians want thrown in based on their faith.

In Florida a local district decide to take the other path and in the process has shown the world just how poorly educated and ignorant that they are. It is a rare and banner day in South Carolina, we can cheer ourselves for doing something wise and can then sit back watch the leaders in another state do something inane at the same time.

Clinton's Firewall Holds, Mitt's

Firewall fails.

The New Hampshire results are effectively reducing the democratic field to a 2 person contest. John Edwards's race is over unless he is able to produce fantastic results in both Nevada and South Carolina.

On the right the results have done just the reverse, opened up the race further. Mitt Romney has taken a second big hit in the second major primary event. McCain, a media favorite, is now officially back in the game, and no real player was ejected. The next few weeks have potential to be very bloody for the Republicans as the 4 big players try to come out of Super Tuesday as viable.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Working Hard To Keep South Carolina Stupid

That seems to be the goal of S.C. Parents Involved in Education and some of our local school boards. It appears that, despite clear and mounting evidence that abstinence focused sex education doesn't work, Lexington district 3 wants to add this to the foolishness to the class room.

The Batesburg-Leesville area schools could vote tonight to adopt the Worth the Wait program, a Texas-based initiative that is beginning to spread to parts of South Carolina. At least six districts, including Lexington-Richland 5, use the Worth the Wait curriculum, said Sheri Few, president of S.C. Parents Involved in Education.

It is a perfect storm of stupidity; A group co founded by our anti-science, home schooling state board of education president, promoting the potential selection of a failing education style from a company that whose circuilia is deeply flawed.

According to a report recently released by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), the Bush administration is funding three sex education programs that provide misinformation and foster fear and confusion. The three curriculums SIECUS reviewed are "Passion and Principles," "Worth the Wait," and "Navigator."


All three of the programs promote abstinence until marriage and exclude any meaningful discussion of safer sex. As SIECUS notes in their report, the curriculums argue against the use of condoms, promote fear and guilt in adolescents, and contain blatant religious messages.

This type of decision making is what assures that the students of South Carolina schools can look to many more years, if not generations, of being ranked at the bottom of the national educational performance. Teaching bad information, promoting false information just assures continued failure, to steal an old computer term, garbage in, garbage out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Adding To The Blog Roll

It is time to try to start a little cleaning up around here, so I have started by adding to the clutter.

3 Sites have been added to the roll.

Real Climate
Respectful Insolence
Snead: Live and Uncut

and a 4th

SC Politics

Sunday, January 06, 2008

McCain Tells A Wopper Of A Lie

He claims that in his 24 years as a member of Congress, I have never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state.

For McCain and his presidential aspirations it is a darn shame that the public record makes this lie so hard to hide.

Are our political leaders really this stupid and shameless?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Groin Shot For Mitt

To fall by about 10 points to a lightly funded, relatively unknown and honestly not very bright ex governor of a small rural state.

A true low blow, I hope he owns a cup.

And he has spent millions of his own dollars for this pleasure.

I Fear Many Of Our Elected Leaders Would Fail

JustSayHi - Science Quiz
Find a Sonography school near you

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Another SC Republican Airs His Ignorance

This time its Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) who apperently needs to take another stab at his high school science classes.

I am a creationist according to the literal account in the book of Genesis, yet insist that the recent debate of critical analysis is not about teaching creationism or evolution but allowing an open debate of all theories in the classroom.

In his full post he makes it clear he doesn't understand how science works, or what a theory is. He argues, rather poorly, "why should we show any topic favorable treatment and bar examination?". What he fails to note is that among the overwhelming majority of scientist versed in this topic, there is no argument. It is only among those who are not students of the discipline that their is any debate.

Using his standard for how our children should be educated, I should be able to go into math classes and argue that 2+2=5, not because it is factual, but because we want to allow 'critical analysis' (the code word for Not-So Intelligent design) into the classrooms. There is no basis in facts for this foolishness. It is a resistance, based in faith, not facts or science, that drives this idiocy.

The Senator even breaks out this lie;

In other words you can question any other scientific fact, law, or theory

I would like to know what he is talking about here. Does he expect us to teach both germ theory (please note, this is also a scientific theory) and miasma (bad air)? Do we add the theory of intelligent falling to the curricula that covers the theory of Gravity?

Science has standards, and prior to teaching our children the very basic information on hyper complex issues, we need to make sure that they arguments they are hearing are viable and intelligent design has as much scientific validity as either miasma or intelligent falling. Sen. Bryant also implies that there is some effort to stop investigation into evolution and those involved in this sector of scientific study refuse to question it. He again clearly display he has no clue about what he is talking about.

If a scientist were ever to discover a more valid model for how life arose on this planet he or she would shout it from the highest mountain tops world wide. Their names would be elevated to the status of Einstein, Newton, and Darwin. Their work would be studied for centuries to come. The reality is, all the science done in this field continues to strengthen the theory of Evolution, and that is what the kids must be taught. It is only those whose faith is threatened by evolution lash out and latch onto to these silly anti-evolution stunts.

For Sen. Bryant, a quick guide to what a scientific theory is, and please note, in science, a theory has profound value.

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome.

One would think that a Pharmacist would know better. It is clear that the students of the South Carolina High School System (like Sen. Bryant) need to spend a lot more time learning and understanding the scientific method.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

How Did I Miss This

Our Governor publicly professes his scientific ignorance,

COLUMBIA, S.C., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he believes intelligent design should be taught in his state's public school classrooms.
College of Charleston physics professor Bob Dukes and biology associate professor Robert Dillon Jr. criticized the governor for his statements. They told the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier there aren't "chinks in the armor of evolution," and Sanford's citation of the second law of thermodynamics was also incorrect.

and I don't notice it for 11 months.

Well, at least I know fully understand why he appointed a home schooling, intelligent design promoting supporter to the South Carolina Board overseeing public education