Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sanity from the Catholic Church

Sometimes, I'm ashamed, and other times...I'm impressed. I couldn't agree more. Emphasis mine.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.
"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is what I mean...

when I say the 'assault on science' from the Bush Administration.

A congressional audit released Monday cited "unusual" steps in the FDA's initial rejection of over-the-counter emergency contraception, including conflicting accounts of whether top officials made the decision even before scientists finished reviewing the evidence.

Whether you like it or not, this administration, in many instances, has put hard science on the back burner to appease their religious base (or industry base for that matter). You might not be part of that base and that might anger you, but you cannot deny it.

They have allowed industry lobbyists to edit scientific reports to the point of changing conclusions. They have refused to come out against the insertion of 'intelligent design' in science class. And now, more than likely, at some level, they have instructed their appointees to stall this approval from the FDA.

Just a reminder, the FDA scientific advisory panel approved over the counter sales in December of 2003.

We can not legislate values. We can not legislate tradition. We can not legislate morality. Why does the religious right in this country try so hard to do these things? Why does this administration go along with them more often than not?

Important things everyone should be thinking about

So many ridiculously important things going on in the news lately, its hard to just do a blog post on all of them...but we should all be aware of their existence and should at least be following them closely.

First, the Graham Amendment concerning suspending habeas corpus rights for detainees. Here's a good link with explanations on the latest. If I'm reading this right (please correct me if I'm wrong) this amendment will end any challenges these detainees can make to US courts concerning their imprisonment. I don't like this amendment and it goes back to my whole argument concerning the US and torture. The US should be at the forefront of human rights, justice and the law. I don't care what other countries do, it means absolutely zero to what the US should do. If we are holding people as prisoners, detainees, enemy combatants, whatever...we should have reason for holding them. We should be giving them SOME due process. We shouldn't be torturing them. We shouldn't have 'black sites' where we can do whatever we want without anyone finding out?? Do these things actually need to be said? We should be treating them with the same treatment we expect Americans to be given, no matter their status. We should hold OURSELVES to a higher standard and we need to win the war of ideals.

Alito and abortion. Lately, I almost wish the SCOTUS would overturn Roe v. Wade, so the women in this country could go apeshit and level of protest that would ensue would shut things down. If you don't believe Roe v. Wade was decidely correctly, thats fine. But are you honestly saying that the document that defines my rights as a citizen, as a human being in this country, DOESN'T allow me to make decisions about what happens to my own body? You want me to put those decisions in the hands of voters? I have a couple of words for anyone who thinks that...F*^K OFF! Its my body and I'll make my own decisions. I realize this issue crosses some ethical boundaries...rights of fathers, rights of the unborn. I'm also in favor of a ban on late term abortions and the like. However, voters don't get to decide what I do with my own body. Thats my freedom, my pursuit of happiness, my liberty.
I know it makes me sound like a man-hating feminist, but I don't care. This would NEVER be a question if men were the ones who got pregnant. Think about that for one second and realize the truth in that. And that my friends, is what most pro-choice women believe.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I can't take it anymore

There are days when I feel as though I have it all under control. Where my hatred and anger is supressed enough for me to be a functioning member of society. And then, something like this happens:

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton', whose Bentley was damaged in a videotaped crash that spawned an Internet sensation and a police investigation, was the "only victim" of the incident, her spokesman said on Thursday.
"At the end of the day what seems to be going on here is that Paris is the only victim," Hilton publicist Elliot Mintz told Reuters. "She's going to be stuck with the tab of repairing that car."

Often, when I indiscriminantly get into my own car, allow someone who is clearly drunk to drive, get into a fender bender (on tape) and get let off by the police based solely on being 'me' and then proceed to get back into the car with said drunk driver, I like to call myself victim as well.

Really, no one knows what I go through.

It reminds me of that line from 'As Good As It Gets':
"Do you have any control over how creepy you allow yourself to get". Exchange creepy for moronic and I think Paris Hilton's answer would be the same as Jack Nicholson's....No.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Quick hits from around the Internet

Just some quick hit posts...longer thoughts to come.

Maybe it was an intelligent designer who forced the icebergs to break away?

The breakup of giant icebergs may have forced minor evolutionary changes in penguins over the past 6,000 years, a new study suggests.

Speaking of intelligent design, those voters in Dover, PA sure let the school board know exactly where they stood...namely, on the side of science. Every single board member who supported the introduction of intelligent design into the science classroom was voted off the board.

Texas passed the measure for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, even though voters already passed legilation banning it. Apparently, there were afraid of those 'activist judges' again. Reason #5, 674 to hate Texas.

Not surpisingly, Corzine won the governorship here in NJ. Democrat Kaine won in Virginia. Mayor Bloomberg won a landslide in NYC. File these under 'results that should suprise no one'.

Alito confirms his respect for precedent. I still haven't seen anything worthy of a filibuster. I think a lot of Democrats will vote against him, but I think a filibuster is highly unlikely. Unlike most, I think this is because most Democrats realize there isn't much uber-extreme to Alito.

And todays most ridiculous use of politics:

Regulators may need months to review public comments on Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s application to sell the Plan B "morning-after" contraceptive without a prescription, a Food and Drug Administration official said on Tuesday.
The FDA received thousands of comments after it indefinitely postponed a ruling on Plan B in August and asked for public input, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs, said.
"It could take months to go through those comments," Gottlieb said at the Reuters Health Summit, held in New York.

Months? Hmmm...I wonder why the public gets to comment on something that has already been decided by a scientific advisory council:

An FDA advisory panel recommended allowing over-the-counter sales in December 2003.

Thats right...two years ago, it was recommended for over the counter sales. TWO YEARS.
Some background on Lester Crawford, the man, who until recently, was responsible for the holdup, here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Venting needed...rant ahead

Its never enough for Michelle Malkin. I read her everday to my own detriment and she is by the far the biggest whiner on the internet. It is NEVER enough. She demands apologies, she recieves them, they are never enough for her. She then demands apologies from parties that had nothing to do with things. She is a complete and utter hypocrite and a worthless addition to punditry. She has nothing original to say and prides herself on the latest 'coining' of a scandal.

Earlier this week, it was this:

After readers informed the clueless Messner that Krauthammer has been a paraplegic since 1972, Messner substituted Krauthammer's name with George Will's. Messner added a footnote:

"My sincerest apologies for the Krauthammer touchdown dance remark. It was unintentionally insensitive -- I had no idea he was disabled."

On the one hand, as Mark at Marked Up
points out, it is a good thing that Messner "had no idea" about Krauthammer's physical condition. On the other hand, she's a Washington Post politics writer, for God's sake.
And imagine the uproar if a conservative writer had made the touchdown remark about Max Cleland or the late Christopher Reeve...

Yes, imagine the uproar. Michelle, you were pretty upset when they accused Max Cleland of being a traitor and causing his own injuries in Vietnam weren't you? I mean, as long as you are sticking up for the disabled and all. Once again, the apology doesn't satisy Michelle, the keeper of integrity within the MSM.

Today its this highlighting of the Steve Gilliard debacle here:

Will top Democrats apologize for the vicious "Sambo" smear leveled at GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is running for Senate in my home state of Maryland?
The New York Post's Deborah Orin reports today that Steele is seeking an apology from Sen. Chuck Schumer, head of the DSCC, for the racist slam by a liberal blogger who doctored a photo of Steele with minstrel makeup.

I commented as well on the 'simple sambo' post by Gilliard. Someone tell me again what the hell it has to do with Chuck Schumer. Top Democrats should apologize for what a lefty blogger does on his website? If that were the way things were run, Republicans and Democrats would be apologizing all day for blogs. As Michelle likes to put it: GIVE. ME. A. BREAK.

Michelle also demanded an apology from him regarding the theft of his personal information by some of his staffers, who promptly resigned. At least that time it had something to do with him.

Michelle, here's a free bit of advice. Get over yourself.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Dangerous Precedent

Is this what it has come down to in today's USA?

The judge in Rep. Tom DeLay's conspiracy case was removed at the congressman's request Tuesday because of his donations to Democratic candidates and causes.
A new judge will be appointed to preside over the case, a judge who came out of retirement to hear the dispute ruled.
The ruling came after a hearing in which attorneys for the former House Republican leader argued that state District Judge Bob Perkins' political donations called his impartiality into question. Perkins, a Democrat, has contributed to candidates such as
John Kerry and the liberal advocacy group
"The public perception of Judge Perkins' activities shows him to be on opposite sides of the political fence than Tom DeLay," defense attorney Dick DeGuerin told Judge C.W. Duncan, who was called out of retirement to decide the matter.
Perkins had declined to withdraw from the case, and prosecutor Rick Reed argued at the hearing that DeLay must prove that a member of the public would have a "reasonable doubt that the judge is impartial" before Perkins could be removed.
"Judges are presumed to be impartial," Reed said.
Judges are elected in Texas and are free to contribute to candidates and political parties. DeGuerin said no one contends Perkins did anything wrong, but "to protect the integrity" of the judicial system, he should not preside over a trial for someone to whom he is opposed politically.

Is this where we are in the partisanship wars? Does this mean that any politician should never have to face a judge who isn't in ideological agreement with them?

To go even further, should any citizen?

Lets go further. Judges shouldn't preside over cases in which they don't agree with things defendants agree with. For instance, judges presiding over murder cases should recuse themselves if they find murder abhorrent.

This is complete ridiculousness. I would think so if it was done within the opposite ideological realm as well. What are we saying as a country. Now even partisanship trumps the right to a fair trial?

Someone help me out and explain the reasoning behind this.

Find an Attorney