Vice President of US endorses torture, denies having brain
U.S. vice president Dick Cheney claimed Americans may torture suspected enemies because the President has the Constitutional right to do whatever he wants, if he says it is to fight the War On Terror. The Miami Herald reported on Cheney's interview on a right-wing radio talk show. Cheny also remarked "...no brainer for me...," apparently referring to his intellectual capacity.
Cheney doesn't consider the torture technique of waterboarding to actually be torture, anyway--it's merely a "dunk in water" to his way of thinking. White House Minister of Propaganda Tony Snow (transcript at Crooks and Liars) did his best to obfuscate, mitigate, and redefine Cheney's professed point of view, but it looks like people are beginning to see that this Administration's short hairs are not really covered by any magical clothing.
Bill O'Reilly is an asshole (But you knew that...)
Bill O'Reilly said he would like to murder bloggers because he agrees with political strategist Larry Sabato that the blogs are filled with vitriol (see video clip and transcript at Think Progress). Has he never heard the saying, "Grenades and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me?" Also laughable is O'Reilly's comment that he "knows for a fact" that Bush is unaware of" what's going on in the internet" because he has "asked around." The last time I heard O'Reilly talking about "facts" was when he was explaining why evolution is not science: "There's 24 hours in a day--that's science." O'Reilly has been just plain wrong so many times that he retains no credibility whatsoever.
Now, when the Big O stated that he would go "into" the internet with a hand grenade, perhaps he meant that he did not wish to murder bloggers, but only to eliminate their voices. Eh? I thought this guy was supposed to be a conservative, and I thought conservatives respected the constitution. (Just kidding--I know the modern-day conservative has a strong dislike for the constitution, especially the Bill of Rights and any claims of freedom to do things that conservatives don't like.)
(I learned of this further example of O'Reilly lunacy from Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)
Another opportunity for Intelligent Design
Okay, Intelligent Design fans, here's another opportunity to demonstrate how one can detect design. In the 22 September 2006 issue of Science, there's an article about archaeology in Bosnia and how the once-impressive archaeology effort there is being sidetracked by non-professional diggings.
The problem lies with a large mound plus several smaller, nearby mounds that some people think are pyramids, constructed 12,000 years ago. Stjepan Coric, a geologist from Bosnia currently at the University of Vienna, is cited in the article saying stone slabs thought to be part of the pyramid's base are naturally- fractured rock, pieces of an upthrust lakebed, and tunnels in the pyramid, if of human origin, represent old mines.
So here is an opportunity to apply Dembski's "explanatory filter" to something to determine whether it is of natural or supernatural...er, designed, origin.
Some help for Intelligent Design research?
We've heard about the problems that proponents of Intelligent Design are having developing a research program (here). Well, here's an opportunity for them to get a little assistance, as part of this year's celebration of Earth Science Week.
Learn about fossils, age of the Earth, plate tectonics, and all sorts of things that have some bearing on the development of the diversity of life we see today, by engaging in some of these activities.
Select research topics from these suggested activities based on National Science Education Standards.
Or, get involved in a real research project.
Earth Science Week October 8-14, 2006
Celebrate the diverse studies of Earth Science next week--see here for information on events, classroom activities, and more.
Earth Science Week is sponsored by the American Geological Institute to encourage people to learn about the Earth and to encourage geoscientists to share their knowledge with the public. In the last few years we've seen not merely ignorance about the processes occuring on our planet, but actual hostility to those who try to explain them. From evolution to global warming, geologists study subjects that can be of great importance to human well-being, or simply fascinating. This year's theme, "Be a citizen scientist," is meant to bring citizens into the process of using (or at least appreciating the role of) geoscience in understanding and living in the world about us.
When the Messiah commands...
Fox network tries to shift Foley shame to Democrats
Bill O'Reilly and friends came up with a sneaky way to lay the shame of ex-Congressman Mark Foley at the door of the Democratic party--just label Foley as a Democrat. (spotted at Crooks and Liars)