Friday, January 29, 2010

President Obama's discussion at GOP issues conference

Full conference discussion, including the President's opening remarks and the full Q&A afterward. The Q&A is well worth watching.


Run time: 86 minutes

Full transcript of the President's remarks

The President Holds an Open Discussion Across the Aisle
From The White House Blog. 2010, January 29.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Running barefoot turns out to be better for you

Apparently the modern running-shoe has only existed since the 1970s, but people have been running for the entirety of human existence. This study finds that barefoot running ends up being much better for your body and is not prone to repetitive action injuries. I'll certainly miss buying expensive shoes that only last 3-4 months of running. ;-)



Running barefoot is better, researchers find
Katherine Harmon (2010, January 27). Scientific American.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Supreme Court Decision Gives Power Foreign Companies

This is just a side comment on the whole issue of the Supreme Court legalizing companies to spend any amount of money on advertising and media programming to advocate their own political positions. First...I agree with a friend of mine who recently stated that they don't believe that most people in the United States are even aware of this decision...much less the implications of it.

But one of the things that makes this decision even more crazy is that people need to realize that many companies have foreign arms or heads. For example...Sony USA now has the legal right to give as much money as they choose to advertise a specific political agenda...but Sony USA answers to their company's head in Japan. So, basically now their influence has very direct inroads to the U.S. political system.

Americans need to ask themselves not only if it is a good thing that a non-person corporation have such sweeping influence over politics and people, but if it is good that foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries...like British Petroleum (BP) from the U.K., or Celestica from Canada, Infosys from India, Scitex from Israel, Honda from Japan, SAP from Germany.....or any number of foreign companies operating in the United States, should have the right to advertise their political position to the masses concerning who people choose to elect in a public election of the citizens of the United States of America.

Decision may mean more foreign cash
Josh Gerstein (2010, Jan 21). Politico.

Valuable information in the chaos

Just wanted to take a moment to clarify a couple things, since I spend a lot of time posting social and political commentary that I feel is particularly pointed or ridiculous. In that light I've been posting a lot of the commentary of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. Both of these people are considered extremely liberal by the conservative media. But the reason I post their videos is because those videos happen to accurately depict or comment about a problem or issue with the political or social landscape.

If Rush Limbaugh or Gretchen Carlson or Dick Morris would accurately depict the news in commentary, I would find it just as valid to link to their work. But equally, Maddow and Olbermann do not always represent reality either. For example, recently Keith Olbermann had a number of defamatory comments to say about Scott Brown, the new Senator in Massachusetts...of which I think most of those comments are baseless, regardless of what Brown's background or ability as a Senator may be.

So, the point is that in politics I'm looking for reason, and reasonable explanations for issues, as well as actual straight talk...and not double-standards. So, when certain Republicans talk about free-speech for the middle-class, but then legalize free-speech for a non-person (a corporation)...that is double-speak. It should be obvious that allowing a company to advertise about political issues has nothing to do with a middle-class individual's rights. Or take people who talk about health care legislation and refer to it as "Obamacare", even while Obama has no hand in authoring any of it...I'm less inclined to accept as authoritative much that those people say about health care reform. As a third example, when a politician just simply has his or her facts incorrect, as John McCain recently did talking about the one-way ticket of the "Underpants Bomber"...when in fact the ticket was a round-trip ticket...and gets angry when he is corrected, then I'm less likely to trust him on what he has to say about the situation considering that he is regurgitating inaccurate reporting from a news organization, and not sticking to the facts the the DHS actually has.

So...just looking for reason in the midst of the rhetoric and chaos. I can already hear many of you saying "good luck with that". :-) If my alternatives are to buy into punditry, to just not listen at all, or to listen and seek the truth...I'll pick that last choice.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Exit democracy, enter corporatocracy

Sorry for the three Keith Olbermann videos in a row, but I think that his commentary on the present concern over the issue is right on. The Supreme Court Judges have decided to support the "free speech" of non-persons (corporations), in that they can now spend any amount of money they choose on a campaign, candidate, or any advertising for them or any political issue.

People's complaints about those that govern is very often that they seem to be bought and sold by special interests. To date there have only been a couple-thousand political action committees (PACs). Now, corporations will have no reason to have them, and no oversight concerning how much money is spent promoting their 'special' political interests.

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Here is the website that Rep. Alan Grayson mentions:

http://www.savedemocracy.net/

Further reading:

"When Corporations Rule the World"
David C. Korten (1995).

Supreme Court makes politics even more dishonest

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Count overturned a long-standing limit on how much money a company could contribute for public election campaign advertisements. This is a complete affront to the citizens of the United States and their public elections. Corporations should have more restrictions concerning public elections, not less.

Is it clear yet that this 'incorporation' thing has gotten way out of hand?

US Supreme Court overturns campaign spending limit
BBC News (21 January 2010).

UPDATE:

The Pinocchio Project:
Watching as the Supreme Court turns a corporation into a real live boy.

Dahlia Lithwick (21 January 2010). Slate.


Explaining the Supreme Court on Campaign Finance
The Associated Press

God Must Be Angry

With the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti and all the suffering it has caused, people ask what God is angry with those people about. This is the question that Pat Robertson sought to answer with his comments. I think that Robertson's response misrepresents the character of God, and would submit instead that God did not cause the earthquake there and that there is no 'lesson' to learn from the destruction...except for the merit or lack of merit of OUR OWN ACTION for the people of that nation now that the tragedy has occurred.

Greg Boyd from Woodland Hills in St. Paul, MN gives a good sermon about the problem of evil, considering situations like this one in Haiti:

God Must be Angry from WHChurch on Vimeo.


"God Must Be Angry" - Greg Boyd, Woodland Hills Church, 8/22/2009

http://www.whchurch.org/

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Race Garbage

The Senate special election in Massachusetts is ridiculous, from the people running (on both sides) to the way it has been handled (on both sides). This election pretty much sums up how I feel about politics in general though, for the most part. So, enjoy!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
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Martin Luther King Jr.

Perhaps should have posted this yesterday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but his words are applicable every day.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Help Haiti

There is still desperate need in Haiti. No one organization is able to take care of everything. There are not enough aid workers or doctors. Food and water are in short supply, and disease is a huge threat.

Please take a moment to see what things are like there at this moment. Many of the images are very graphic.

Haiti Six Days Later
Alan Taylor (18 January 2010). The Big Picture. The Boston Globe.

Please make a contribution to one of these organizations to help this impoverished nation in their time of need.

You can also give a donation to the American Red Cross via your iTunes Store account, or give $10 on your cell-phone bill by texting "Haiti" to 90999.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Robertson, Haiti, the Devil, and generational curses

Mr. Robertson...oh, how you do wonders for people's opinions of Christians. Perhaps you should shut up, as you misrepresent us.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Republican Trail to Nonsense-land

The pre-show is a few crazy things in national news concerning airports, airlines, and the TSA:

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And on with the show...starting with Obama's press-conference about where the breakdown is letting the "Underpants Bomber" on a plane...software and a misspelling. And then discussion of the response of the GOP:

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Move your money to a community bank or credit union

Put your money back into your community. Remove all your money from banks like Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One, etc. Find a good, local, community bank or credit union:

http://moveyourmoney.info/

Encourage your community's economy and keep your money local.

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Republicans and Conservative News Lie About Obama's Use of the Terms "Terror" and "War"

Perhaps the Republicans have been sleeping during this administration, or like unruly children been too busy yelling out things like "I object" or "You lie", instead of listening when the President was speaking.

Republican and conservative media criticism has been that it is the Obama Administration's policy to not use terms like "terrorist" or "terrorism" or "war" to describe conflict that the United States is engaged in, and how they could not trust a leader that didn't call these conflicts what they actually are.

The Republicans and conservative media are just completely wrong on this issue, as evidenced here:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Keep those vampires out!

This is an issue we can all agree on. We need to keep the vampires out of the town!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Food Rules

My favorite line on this Daily Show clip is where Michael Pollan gives this advice about diet:

Eat food. Avoid edible "food-like" substances.


Enjoy the clip.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Michael Pollan
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
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Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


"Food Rules: An Eater's Manual" by Michael Pollan

One of the big things to avoid is food with high-fructose corn-syrup in your food...and for a number of reasons. For example, much of the high-fructose corn-syrup comes from genetically modified corn...usually corn that is technically classified a pesticide. Another big issue is how your body deals with high-fructose corn-syrup:

Gabe Mirkin, MD writes: "Several recent studies have shown that fructose is processed differently in the body than the far more common sugar, glucose (3,4). Glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin which drives sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Glucose causes fat cells to release leptin that makes you feel full so you eat less. Glucose prevents the stomach from releasing ghrelin that makes you hungry. On the other hand, fructose does not cause fat cells to release leptin and does not suppress ghrelin. This means that fructose increases hunger to make you eat more. Furthermore, the liver converts fructose far more readily to a body fat called triglyceride, than it does with glucose. High triglyceride levels raise blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and lower blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol, which increases heart attack risk." http://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/3021.html


So, follow this Pollan's guideline here again...avoid "food-like" substances: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame (Nutri-Sweet), sucralose (Splenda...which is chlorocarbon, meaning that sucralose is a chlorinated sugar...which is a toxin), artificial colors and dyes in food, hydrogenated oils, etc. I've heard a number of nutritionists say that one can lose weight easily merely by removing these types of substances from their diets and their hidden calories, and then controlling portions.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Future of Food

I found a really interesting documentary about food production and genetic modification of foods. I think that there is a lot to be learned from this film, and a great deal that you will find that you didn't know about genetically modified foods and the practices of the companies that engineer them. I think that you will find that you will want to be more choosy about what foods you eat, and where they come from.

The film is 1 hour 29 minutes long.

Watch this film on Hulu.

Or watch it right in this window:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What if climate change is a hoax?

What if climate change is a hoax?

Holiday attacks...from the GOP

It is a four-video morning. Yeah...it is a lot of video...but they are good. The GOP is using the media, and their warped vision of the past, to score points. And largely it works...hopefully only until facts are presented. Of course even that doesn't work with the crazies. But what is this all really about for the GOP? RE-ELECTION and MONEY.

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