Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amazing Timelapse Video from the VTL in Chile


ALL IMAGES: (eso.org) taken on location by Stephane Guisard and Jose Francisco Salgado.
ESO/S. Guisard (http://www.eso.org/~sguisard)
ESO/José Francisco Salgado (http://www.josefrancisco.org)
MUSIC SCORE: "We Happy Few" - The Calm Blue Sea (2008)
EDITION: Nicolas Bustos

More Posts -- Google Shared Articles

I realize that I haven't been posting nearly as much since I moved my site to Google's service.  I'm still working out the kinks in the theme I'm using.  But if you are interested in seeing what articles I find interesting in daily reading...please check out my Google Reader Shared Items just to the right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Torture Did Not Lead Us To Bin Laden

Sen. John McCain sets the record straight on the Senate floor:

Rachael Maddow and Michael Isikoff have some good commentary on this:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heaven and Hell Debate between Rob Bell and Adrian Warnock

I'm right in the middle of Rob Bell's newest book titled "Love Wins", and so far as yet, it appears to me that most of the people who are creating negative press for the book suggest essentially one thing:  He is a 'universalist'...meaning that he thinks that all people go to heaven.

Personally, I have a hard time believing that most of these critics got past page 2, when Rob just merely asks the question how someone else can know for certain whether Gandhi is in hell or not.  Their problem started on that page, and from the criticisms it sounds like they put the book down at that point too.

The book asks some very thought provoking questions, which I think was the point, and I don't believe that those who make it past page 2 would believe that Rob thinks that everyone makes it heaven.  Though again...the point isn't that, but the question of the here and now...since God desires that everyone would be saved.

So, read the book, but in the meantime check out this interesting interview/debate:

See this video and hear other radio interviews on "Unbelievable?" Premiere Radio.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Google Chromebook

Looks like the Google Chromebook will be available June 15.  Acer will make a 11.6-inch screen model with a 6.5-hour battery for $349.  Samsung will offer one wiht a 12-inch screen and an 8.5-hour battery life for $429, and additionally another model with 3G for $499.

This is a pretty attractive option for a laptop.  What I'm most after in a laptop is just Internet connectivity quickly.  I don't want all the other apps or graphically-intensive gaming.  And at that price point, it seems reasonable to me.

The Homer Simpson Doctine of John Boehner

It is funny to me that once Republicans finally convinced Democrats that they actually have to address spending why the Republicans take everything substantial off the table. Oh, but there is a method to this, of course. The Republicans are not really interested in cutting spending. They are only interested in cutting social and entitlement programs. Put a tax cut for wealthy people on the chopping block, and they quickly remove it.

Here is a graph from Ezra Klein of the Washington Post showing deficit numbers with an without various factors, like the wars in the Middle East, various economic considerations, TARP funds, other recovery giveaways, and the Bush tax-cuts.

It should be clear very quickly that all the recovery giveaways, including TARP, are not bankrupting the U.S. as the Republicans once claimed.  And economic considerations are pretty much plateaued as well.  What is of concern that really could be dealt with easily would be tax-cuts to the wealthy.  And $1.3-Trillion isn't a small number.

Here is an analysis of the Bush tax-cuts.

Again Republicans argue that letting the Bush tax-cuts expire would strangle small businesses and kill job-creation. I don't know that I buy that argument, as job growth didn't have any problem occurring during the Clinton administration.  Also, job growth is fundamentally tied to demand for goods and services, and probably shouldn't be incentivized artificially by tax-cuts in the first place.

What does this have to do with Homer Simpson?  Ezra Klein wrote the following on his blog:

John Boehner's new line on the deficit negotiations is that raising taxes -- by which he appears to also mean closing tax expenditures -- "is off the table. But everything else is on the table." This is a bit like telling your doctor, who's worried that you've gained weight and are out-of-shape, that exercise is off the table, but everything else is on the table. Well, it's nice that you're prepared to diet, but you need to exercise, too. Otherwise, you're not going to get where you need to go.

Homer Simpson quote from a recent Simpsons episode:  "As long as it doesn't require losing weight or changing my pants."  Of course he was talking about luxuriously washing and styling his wife's hair, but that is beside the point.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why is healthcare so expensive?

Sorry for the very long post, but these infographics are very helpful in explaining essential details of the healthcare narrative in America.

Part 1: Comparison of the United States to other wealthy nations

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part One
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Part 2: Myths and Truths

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part Two
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Monday, May 09, 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

Celebrate Bin Laden's Death?

It is alright for people to find closure in Osama Bin Laden's death.  He had been involved in some of recent history's worst terrorist plots.  It is alright for people to be comforted that he can no longer fund terrorism or hurt any more people.

But it is disturbing that people are celebrating his being killed.  He was a truly evil man from what we knew of him and his actions.  And in turn he suffered what could be considered 'natural consequences' of his actions in society for committing the crimes he did.  However, it is good to celebrate the killing of another person?  Even if he was a murderer?  What does such a celebration say about us as a society?

Even further though...I was even more disturbed by Mike Huckabee's statement when he stated that "people have reason to cheer" now that Bin Laden has been killed.  Huckabee, who is a previously a Baptist pastor, had this message for Osama Bin Laden: "Welcome to hell." 

What kind of people are we that we celebrate killing, even if it was one who was an evil person?  Much more, what kind of people are we when we revel in the notion that someone would be tormented in a place like Hell?  Are people like Mike Huckabee demonstrating what a vengeful and calloused people we presently are?  

Certainly we can be relieved that Bin Laden is no longer going to hurt anyone else.  But I simply don't think killing should be celebrated. And certainly someone's eternity of possibly being in Hell should not be celebrated.

Switching to Blogger

I'm switching from WordPress on my own hosting over to Google's Blogger system. Please be patient with my lack of graphics on the site, and some of the formatting being messed up. I'm working on it! :-)