This is too much. Sarah Palin gave a policy speech today in which she claimed that she wanted more support for children with disabilities, more tools to test for disorders, and while also decrying the expense of scientific research.
Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
I am appalled.
This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.
This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we've got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice.Read the comments on this post...
In one of the single most maddening, ignorant, unfathomably idiotic statements (out of many) I have heard spew through Sarah Palin?s lips, the candidate for the second highest position in the free world uttered a single phrase today that could utterly destroy the progress of medicine and scientific understanding.In her very first policy speech, Palin [...]
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The Research Cooperative is an NPO site and represents a growing community of researchers, editors, translators, illustrators, publishers, and others. All brought together with the aim pf promoting better communication in the realm of research-based writing and publishing.
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There are green roofs (like the moss-speckled roofs throughout the Pacific Northwest) and then there are GREEN roofs like the goat-groomed one atop Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. The goats aren’t green-they’re[...]
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(via Brain Rage)Read the comments on this post...
Oooo, The Big Picture has taken on Enceladus. Awesome.Enceladus is a small moon of Saturn, and Cassini has been sending back totally incredible images of it. The one above I hadn’t seen before, and it’s spectacular! Those little nodules of[...]
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There is a wonderful thrill of fear going through the far right right now — it's a marvel to witness. The latest example is a work of fiction from the Dobsonites, written as a document sent back into our present from a future world in 2012, after an Obama presidency. It's a dark time for the religious right (although they should just hang on—things apparently get better for them by 2112), and the story tells about all the horrible things that come to pass under Obama.
It's a weird read. Everything is about the gays — forget changes in the economy, or foreign affairs, or alternative energy, or labor, or anything that might actually affect most people. The whole story is about the gay conspiracy taking control and locking up the guns while spreading pornography throughout the land.
It makes no sense.
It's absurdly unrealistic, and it isn't even interesting science fiction. But then I realized…it isn't a work of SF at all.
It's a world-building prelude to a work of slash fiction. Future chapters, I'm sure, will include lurid stories of handsome young Christian men being compelled by scantily clothed muscular gay men to watch explicit pornography, followed by more chapters detailing their forcible deflowering by hunky followers of the Obama.
In that context, it makes a lot more sense. Those fellows at Focus on the Patriarchy really do have a lot of repressed issues, I think.Read the comments on this post...
Photographed at High Island and Bolivar, Texas.
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 5 March 2008 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/400s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.
I saw this on her Facebook page but almost missed it. Happy birthday Genie!Genie is one of my heroes, fighting creationism tirelessly at the National Center for Science Education. She is thoughtful, well-spoken, and, well, nice. Show her some live and[...]
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Oh, the pressure. This somewhat tardy edition of the Carnival of the Liberals happens to be the last one before election day, which makes it important to bring up the issues we ought to be considering as we make our decisions about who we're going to vote for…although, if you're liberal, this is a year when the decision is remarkably easy to make. So here we go with an issues-oriented carnival.
Foreign policy: What do you think of the Bush Doctrine, the idea that we should unilaterally and preemptively attack anyone we think might be a threat? Here's a better plan: Let's be the good guys.
Health care: Compare and contrast Obama vs McCain on Healthcare. There are important differences in how they would improve the management of the country's health.
Abortion: To a liberal, abortion is also a health care issue — we care about the health and autonomy of women, something Republican candidates don't seem to comprehend. Consider McCain's Legal Errors at the Debate, and Why They Matter.
Poverty: It's a related issue. How do women break out of the entrapment of pregnancy? It's a question of Poverty & Choice.
Homosexuality: Conservatives want to strip a significant minority of their rights, and in every election cycle someone gets the bright idea of rousing the right-wing vote by throwing anti-gay legislation on the ballot. This year, California has Proposition 8, a proposed law that would once again make whipping boys of the homosexuals. Read a Brief Analysis of the Yes on 8 Side — they're really bringing on the sleaze.
Race: Every American election is about race, deep down. When Republicans rail against crime, or welfare, or immigration, it's all about suppressing minorities further. Greg Laden's Review of the Science Museum of Minnesota's Exhibit on Race and Racism has a lot to say about the cultural effects of racial differences.
The economy: With the economy in its current state of crisis, with lending companies receiving massive bailouts, you might be wondering Are you stupid for paying your mortgage? After all, if Wall Street can be forgiven for errors and mismanagement, why can't you?
Religion: I'm often told that religion is an institution that provides support for the underprivileged — it is a private, charitable source for public assistance. How can that be if, in their ignorance and dogmatic biases, the faithful dismiss important issues in health? There's nothing like the fallacious belief that mental illness is the work of devils to deprive people of good medical care.
Patriotism: To a liberal, patriotism is not an unquestioning faith in the perfection of one's country, but a recognition that a country can always be bettered and its flaws corrected. We have a perfectly horrid example of illiberal, unthinking jingoism right here in my home state, with Michele Bachmann and her Anti-American Paranoia. Let's hope we can get her out of office soon.
In a similar vein, none of our candidates are perfect; there's a lot I personally dislike about Barack Obama, for instance. What we have to do on 4 November, though, is balance our concerns about the issues in the election, and perhaps follow a harm reduction model of politics — let's try to get a candidate in office who at least moves the government in a better direction. I think we all know what that means, and the choice is clear: despite his flaws, we need to put Barack Obama in office. Let's make the country better. Not perfect, but better.
The next edition of the Carnival of the Liberals will be at The Lay Scientist on November 5th. Hey, that's the day after the big election — that's going to be an interesting one.Read the comments on this post...