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Date: 2008/08/22 15:51:21, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I wanted to quickly throw out a word of thanks and support for this thread.  Not only is it great that you are going back to college, but I love hearing about it.

I received my BS in Wildlife Biology 7 years ago but am not yet in my field; heck, I'm not even in biology right now.  I've got a simple state job that pays the bills, but it leaves me missing science to no end.  For the past few months, I've been lurking here, PT, and many other places (when our internet filters let them through) to try to get a fix when I can.  I'm still applying for jobs, volunteering at a zoo, and trying to remember that I'm still young and that there is no maximum age to begin an entry level position.  Still, I get discouraged sometimes and it seems like a cubicle farm is all I'll ever see.

You posting about the classes kind of helps me to re-energize.  Coming here in general does that, but to see your excitement about learning is kind of contagious.  I feel like I haven't used much of my knowledge in the past few years and reading over this thread is a great mental exercise.  How much do I remember?  Did I ever learn that?  It helps me to gain a bit more confidence to get up, dust off, and keep trying.

But I digress.  I wish you the best of luck on the entire endeavor and thanks again for posting about it!

(This post ended up longer than planned...I've been meaning to de-lurk for sometime...guess I waited too long  :D )

Date: 2008/09/09 13:47:53, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Disclaimer: Within my group of friends, one of us is a non-voter; with the reason that both parties are to blame.  On the rare occasions when the group talks politics, he trots out the old "neither is good so I don't vote but I'll criticize without providing a better option".  I've been thinking about what to say or how if this seems directed at Erasmus, it's not, per se.  Some of the ideas apply, but it is more directed towards my group and, to be honest, is raw and unrefined.  Nonetheless, I think has some relevance to this discussion.

Both parties suck.  I won't argue that.  They both have corrupt, selfish members that care only for themselves and their family, and play up their supposed credentials to get elected.  They know what people want to hear and how to play the victim/crusader/outraged everyman as needed.  Both parties also have well-meaning, honest people that want to do well for the country and the people they represent.  They want to work with others and base their decisions on evidence and what will be best for the population, not what will be best for their next campaign.  The frustrating thing is that those people often seem to be powerless and/or outnumbered, if they can even get elected at all.  Without a doubt, our system polarizes just about any issue and throws balance of power to the winds.  It either does not work as intended or is not capable of handling the situation in the US as it exists today.

So what now?  Two main options that lead to a cascade of others: participate in the current but flawed system or abstain.  If you abstain you can a) offer no suggestions and simply complain that all politicians are a waste or b) you can push for change.  Change such as more viable parties, removal or empowerment of the electoral college, even a new type of government or any number of other ideas about whatever it is that you think is wrong.  Let's say that we despise the system, refuse to participate in it, and want it changed.  Short of armed revolution, how else will you change the system?  Despite the poor phrasing, this is not rhetorical but an honest question.  The only thing I can think of is a 'change the culture' mentality, which I do support.  But a change in the culture does not mean that the system is changed by default.  To me, once the culture is changed you are still left with changing the system from within (by participating) or removing the offending system.

Now what about participating?  Is voting in the current system something of a tacit approval of the broken politics?  Unfortunately yes, but no less than not voting is tacit approval of the status quo.  Once you participate in the system, does that mean that you can't push for change?  Should we just give up trying and submit to a broken system?  Unequivocally, no.  You can work with a broken system by putting into power people that are willing to make changes to fix it.  A legitimate concern is that once any party is in power, nothing more would be done; no party would give up power willingly.  However such a fatalistic attitude assumes that you could not being to lay the groundwork that would make changing the system possible.  Without a doubt, it would be resisted every step of the way but such changes would need to be incremental, and some politicians would be more accommodating than others.  It would not be quick and it would frustrating and full of set-backs, but at least it would be movement towards a better system.  Sometimes, you do have to work within the system to get the system to improve.  I know it is trite and whatnot, but that alone doesn't make it untrue.  In my opinion, if you avoid the system because of disgust, what is important to you may be sacrificed because the system moves on, with or without you.  And the thing is, it drags you along whether you like it or not.

The teaching of evolution is a perfect example.  While no president will be able to settle the issue once and for all, their decisions affect the Department of Education and their veto power can decide laws and funding.  Obama has stated his support for evolution pretty clearly (although it would be nice to see if he could match comments by Clinton*).  Biden has called Intelligent Design 'malarkey', although I can't find specific support of evolution.  McCain seems to have hedged his bet, saying he believes in evolution and that creationism should not be taught in classrooms, but that '...Americans should be exposed to every point of view' and specifically delivered the 2007 keynote address for the Discovery Institute.  Palin also seems to skirt the line as much as she can and supports teaching both and the "don't be afraid of debate" type-scam.

So, here's the play: I think we can all agree, for better or worse, that one of the two major parties will win this election.  It's not a matter of should they, are they the best, etc. but that there is no practical chance that anyone other than a Republican or a Democrat will win this election.  So the option comes down to the pro-evolution/anti-intelligent design ticket and the teach the controversy/teach both ticket.  By not voting, you are letting someone else make the decision on this topic which may have significant impact on the status of teaching evolution.  Your vote is a chance to at least register your opinion, discussions of the electoral college not withstanding.

Voting doesn't mean you have to commit heart and soul to that least offensive party or that you can't ever move beyond them.  But if you do want to have meaningful change, IMO, start by getting the most helpful of two options in and slowly work to get other options in.  It won't be fast and it won't be easy, but small chance is better than no chance.

*  Clinton's words were nice, but she is a politician and words mean little without action.  This alone wouldn't be enough to believe someone, but it at least lets me see what they are willing to say and what they are afraid of saying.

Date: 2008/09/09 14:09:07, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 30 2008,21:09)

I think that your understanding of the basic material may be better than some of my students.  Here is an email, rec'd tonight, from a student in my intro bio class. The name is withheld to protect the innocent...
I was reading the textbook and I am now confused.

On page 4, it defines Atoms as "...the fundamental building blocks of all substances, living and non-living."
Then on page 22, it goes on to say that ... "Atoms differ in the number of subatomic particles, but all have a nucleus..."
--- Back on page 8, it told me that bacteria & archaea are single-celled organisms, but that they are prokaryotic, meaning that they have no nucleus..
..Farther back still, on page four, it says in short : atoms join together to make molecules, and molecules (become organized into?) make cells...

So as I said I am confused.  Is the textbook saying that some molecules are formed without atoms?  If so, what are they made of?

..Or is page 22 incorrect about all atoms having nuclei or is there something else ?

Thanks for clearing this up

You know, it's funny, I never really thought of the ambiguity about 'nucleus'.  They were just two different concepts with two different words, in my mind at least.

I mean, I know that it's the same word, but...I don't know, it was just different.  Probably partially due to the fact that I am inclined to biology more than chemistry, so cells come to mind more often than atoms, but still.

On one hand, at least the student paid enough attention when reading to even notice that it was the same word used.  That's at least somewhat observant.

On the other hand...that should never have left middle school, let alone high school.  Maybe even elementary school.

Scary, funny, and strange all at once.

Date: 2008/09/09 14:24:10, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 08 2008,16:04)
Oh, almost forgot.

We turned in our lab reports for the termite lab today, in the first part of lab.... to each other.

Each person in each group turned over their lab report to someone from a different group. We're peer reviewing before final drafting.

So next Monday, each group gets their copies of the lab report back from the various reviewers, and then we take the critiques and redraft our papers for final turn-in the following week.

That's pretty cool.

Forgot to add, I really enjoyed reading about the termites.  Something I didn't know and another fascinating about nature.  Cool!

How sad of a nerd am I that the development of a hypothesis was nearly as much fun as the termites themselves?  I know it's very School House Rock!, but learning is awesome!

Date: 2008/09/09 14:41:51, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 09 2008,15:09)
It either does not work as intended or is not capable of handling the situation in the US as it exists today.

I think that could be said in any period of history.

It does, however, work as well or better than evolution. I'm not aware of many instances where complex systems worked exactly as planned, or were capable of adjusting for and compensating for unexpected contingencies.

People wring their hands because politics is not rational, but the fact is that life does not hand us problems with tidy, deterministic solutions.

Midwifetoad, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that if it isn't perfect, it's crap.  I don't expect a perfect system.  My rambling comments were more directed at those that complain about the system and avoid being a part of it.  They often don't see that they enforce the very status quo that they hate by not pushing the system one way or the other.

I think the US election system has some serious flaws (balance of the electoral college vs popular vote, redistricting, two-party pigeonholing, etc) that could be fixed, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't work at all.  I'm just not sure our electoral system is optimal for the situation as it is today.  Perhaps it was when it was created, but I don't think it is now.  Yeah, it works but that doesn't mean it could be better.

Date: 2008/09/10 12:36:05, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Erasmus, I don't mean this to be offensive, but at times I find your post to be...mere rhetoric.  You accused Lou of word salad a while back but I have trouble seeing how some of your responses wouldn't qualify for the same.  Perhaps I'm just not used to your way of speaking and perhaps it is just over my head, but IMO the best way to get ideas across is to make sure you are understood.  So, if in my response I miss your point, it's not out of purposeful avoidance, but an inability to understand; my ignorance and/or your writing the cause.

So, what are 'options'?  What if the best answer is 'not an option'? Options may be contextually determined, the in principle best solution is critique is not based on a better way to run a nation the size of the united states within the confines of the system currently employed.  if that means it is 'not an option' then the point is far over your head.

Notice that you ask me what the options are.  My point is not that he has to pick from a list of approved options, it was that he criticizes and offers NOTHING.  Sure, you can criticize all you like, but if you have nothing to offer, even if it is what is considered an outlandish idea, then why not just go babble on the street corner?  If he gave the suggestion to dissolve the US, that's fine.  It might not be a realistic option at this point in time but at least he would be giving a suggestion of which way to go.

How do you separate these two groups?  My my it sounds like the Not A True Christian argument.  When I hear such arguments I know there is a fallacy at root.  I think I've found one of them.

What two groups would that be Erasmus?  Do you mean the difference between the lying group and the honest?  Well, mainly you look at it by actions.  Do their actions reflect their words and facts or not.  I don't mean this to come across as condescending, but I feel like you are purposefully crossing signals.  People throw the No True Scotsman fallacy around way too easily.  Definition is the problem obviously, but some definitions really can't be refined.  An apple is an apple and an orange isn't.  A person who has told an intentional false statement has lied.  They are a lair.  (I feel like such a 3rd grader saying it like that).

Here's the other thing, I didn't even say that people who go against what I believe are selfish and those that agree with me are honest.  I said that there are well intentioned people that are trying to do what they think is best.  Whether what they think actually is the best is another conversation.

What I was trying to say in that paragraph was that neither group is pure good or pure evil.  As bitter and jaded to the politics as I am, I at least have enough sense of reality to realize that not every single person in politics is out only to help themselves.  I can understand where that frustration comes from but, well I guess I have a bit more faith in humanity.  Which I think would break the irony meters of my friends.

If you abstain you can a) offer no suggestions and simply complain that all politicians are a waste or b) you can push for change.

Or you can do both.  Offering burnt offerings to the gods suggestions to the system is a lot like pouring piss down a rat hole.  The merit of an argument is irrelevant to the degree which it is implemented, unless by merit you mean how much $ do you make and who do you have to pay off.

How can you do both?  Honestly, not rhetorical but a serious question.  You say that you can do both but give no example.  How is it possible to just complain and push for change?  If you are pushing for change, then you are not just complaining.  If you are not pushing for change (ANY CHANGE) then you are simply complaining.  I'm seriously confused by what you mean here.

And you are mixing things ups...I said you can abstain and push for change.  What does that have to do with offering suggestions to the system?  My point was that if you choose not to participate in the system because of your disgust with it (my words, not speaking for you), these were some of the options that I saw.  I didn't say that was the only thing, but a simple list.  And they weren't suggestions TO the system but ABOUT the system.  What is it that you want to see done about the problems that bother you?  I did list changes to the current system, but if you notice I also listed a new government or other ideas.  I didn't limit options to what is possible now.

Let's say that we despise the system, refuse to participate in it, and want it changed.  Short of armed revolution, how else will you change the system?

change it to what?

The question of what it changes to was not the question I asked.  I was trying to understand HOW to change a system that we wanted changed if we preclude physical violence and participating in the system.  I didn't say it was impossible either...I want to hear ideas, suggestions, anecdotes, examples, anything.  I mentioned changing the culture of the nation but that alone wouldn't change the system.

I hesitate to draw this connection, but part of the Civil Rights movement was a cultural change that pushed a change of the system.  And yes, the system was resistant and it wasn't easy but the cultural change helped to bring about a change of the system.  It didn't work in a vacuum though.  There was violence, there were people trying to change the culture, and there were people that worked in the system to try to fix it.  Now, I'm not saying we have totally conquered that hill...racial problems are still obvious.  My point is that if you removed the violence and the people participating in the system, how would the situation have changed?  Seriously, I don't meant to be dense, but I don't see how things would have changed in any appreciable time.  Sure, if you changed the culture, the mentality it would just happen…but how long would that take and what happens in the mean time?  And that assumes that everyone would have eventually agreed, and we can see even now, that isn’t the case.

you dont think any threat to existing power structures will go unchallenged by armed means, just because it makes more sense?  nope.  people die in conflict.

When did I EVER say that a challenge to the existing power structure would go unchallenged?  In fact, I specifically stated that it would be resisted every step of the way.

i've been trying to stress that people die as a result of your vote:  if you are going to argue that people would die if you didn't vote then I think we can use some algebra to get at the question of how valuable this vote is.

People die whether I vote or not, it's true but what does that mean?  If you are trying to say that our government has engaged in wars regardless of political leadership, I agree.  Never said otherwise.  However, I think it can be very persuasively argued that the number of people that die, how they die, and why they die can change depending upon how I vote.

anyway i think it is common for folks to lose their personal ontology in a group identity.  the question, my friends, is not "What are we going to do" it is "How can I keep all these brain dead bastards out of my vegetable garden when the S.H.F."  I am a lot more concerned about repelling the starving zombie hordes than I am about making sure that everybody is as free as Jesus made them.  i'd rather eat squirrels than rats but right now there is not enough to go around for everybody.

Who said anything about group identity?  This whole section confuses me because it feels like a non sequitur.  Unless this is something about being a citizen of the US and the good of the nation.  If so, I somewhat agree.  Whenever someone says 'good of the nation' in a serious tone, I become wary.  What do they mean?

Now, I have seen that you have no interest in society (Arden's sig) and that's fine by me.  Honestly, I have no objection to people that wish to live without society.  But the problem is that others do wish to live that way and what they do with that society affects the world.  Because I can be a part of this society and can try to have some effect, I can try to give it the best direction I can and work to make it better.  It's not perfect and bad things will happen.  But without trying to tame it in some directions, even more bad things will probably happen.

Also the "I'm looking out for me, screw society" is a rather selfish mentality, IMO.  Which the only difference I see between that and the selfish politician above, is that the politician exploits society to get what he wants and doesn't care what happens to others.  The "I'm looking out for me" doesn't care about other people at all.

Is voting in the current system something of a tacit approval of the broken politics?  Unfortunately yes, but no less than not voting is tacit approval of the status quo.

This is more creationist logic.  All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  What, you don't believe in God?  Why you are still a sinner.  Again be skeptical of such arguments.

Huh?  I know you keep trying to connect me with creationist stuff but I feel you are barking up an empty tree.  If you have the power to object to something but don't, this is often seen as tacit approval.  Think of racism.  If you are on a bus and a racist person starts yelling out about how horrible Race A is and no one says anything otherwise, anyone of Race A on that bus shouldn't be faulted for thinking the other passengers agree.  Maybe they are just too scared to speak up or maybe they agree.  Either way, the other passengers did not challenge what was going on.

You can work with a broken system by putting into power people that are willing to make changes to fix it.

really?  name one.  substituting a soap opera personality passion play for whatever it is that the political system is supposed to represent has always been the name of the game.  If the whole thing is premised on incorrect assumptions it doesn't matter how much you monkey with the business nested within it.

How about most politicians?  They are elected because people believe that they will be able to make the changes that they want for the government.  Now, I myself am not a supporter, however Ron Paul will work as a good example.  If part of what you saw as a broken system is federal income tax and you wished it were abolished, then it would behoove you to try to get Ron Paul elected.  He has consistently pushed for the elimination of federal income tax and would work to make it go away.  Would electing him simply make it disappear? No, and no one is saying that.  But, he would be able to start the ball rolling by, say, limiting who can be taxed.  When his term ends and more needs to be done, you elect another, like minded individual that can take that further.

Now, I’m not saying this example is a good idea or a bad idea, but the point is that not every politician wants to keep things the same.  Some want to change things and are trying to get elected to do just that.  And yes, they are being denied because they are too far outside the ‘mainstream’, so you have to work to get them accepted and move from there.  Again, not easy, but that’s life.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but something that you seem to be saying is that government & society in general is a bad idea and doesn’t work.  Okay, works for me.  Then how do you go about getting rid of them?  You refusing to take part in it won’t make it go away.  Even if a majority doesn’t want to take part in them, they won’t just go away.  As long as there are enough people that want a government and want a society, then they will exist.  Yes, perhaps you can change the culture and it can be that people don’t want to live like that, but it’s not going to just happen and while you are working towards that, what do you do in the mean time?

You reference The Story of B in a later post, and perhaps you think this is a good option.  You never actually say, so I’m inferring and so my apologies if I’m wrong.  If what you prefer is a return to a hunter/gather life rather than agriculture; we all know that most people don’t want this.  Nothing exciting here.  Obviously, if anyone tried to force this one people and dissolve the country, there would be revolt.  People don’t want to give up what they have.  They are happy, they are content, they see no need to ‘go back’.  So, in order to bring about the change you want, you will have to change their worldview.  You’ll need to educate them and convince them; and you seem to doing that in your post, suggesting that I grow my own food.  Awesome, but this will obviously take time.  In the meantime, life continues much as it has: pollution increases, as does deforestation and extinction.  Land use degrades natural habitat beyond recovery within human lifetime.  Assuming you could convince people to change, by the time that change happens, irreparable harm has probably happened.

We have still been outside the system this entire time.  Now, let’s add to your efforts, a person that agrees with you but is willing to work within the system.  While you are trying to change minds and habits, this person helps to make stronger environmental laws that slow damage.  She works to restrict oil and natural resource exploration to save habitable lands.  She pushes energy conservation and recycling.  So, when you have finally changed enough minds there is more benefit to be had.

Yes, the above is a bit of a fairy tale but I’m trying to stress that things don’t happen in a vacuum.  One thing I am not saying is, ‘don’t try, just follow the rules’.  I’ve never said that and do not think that.  I am trying to get you to recognize that governments, society, culture are going to continue to exist and that perhaps the best thing to do is to make them responsible until they can be dismantled, assuming that might be desirable to you.  And my apologies if I read too much into your comments, but I hope you still understand what I was trying to get at.

However such a fatalistic attitude assumes that you could not being to lay the groundwork that would make changing the system possible.

you can start by growing your own beans and taters.  food is the key to revolution.

Awesome, a suggestion!  Seriously, I'm happy about this and sorry if that comes across badly.  (I hate the internet to mask/obscure emotions)  But it's only part of the step...great, I grow my own food.  Now what?  I'm all for hearing about a full revolution, but I do want to hear about it.  How is the revolution going to grow and what happens to those people who don't want to be a part of it?  This is at least more than I'm getting from my friend but it still doesn't answer how that supplants or changes anything in the grand scheme of things.

Your comments regarding the teaching of anti-evolution are spot on of  course.  I would suggest that you consider that a politician will do anything that gets him elected.  the democrat leaders wish they had the drooling fundie nutcase block, if they had a shot at it you would see this behavior supposedly celebrating the teaching of real science nipped in the bud immediately.  i support this by my own truism, "Anyone who deserved the job would never want it".

Again, I think you are trying to connect the No True Scotsman with me.  But never, throughout my post, do I say that one group will always do one thing and the other would never do it.  Yes, there are pandering democrats just like there are pandering republicans...a fact which I mentioned right at the top of all this.  I spoke about people.  Individual people and what their positions were and if those positions were something worth supporting or not.  That is why people need to get informed about who they vote for and really dig into what the person has said and done.  It's not easy and it can be exhausting, but voting party line is not much better than voting for a person because "they're like me".

Here’s the thing about the truism…while I like it, it perhaps goes the wrong way.  Someone who deserves the job, should want it.  They should want to get in there and try to change what bothers them.  Society/culture/government might not be able to be controlled in a way you like, but they can be limited and guided to do the least damage.

Date: 2008/09/10 13:01:31, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 10 2008,11:43)
Politics is a game, and intentions don't equal accomplishment. Changing the rules, as in reforming or restructuring voting and representation, will be followed by adaptations, just a surely as bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics.

Of course adapatations will happen and people in power will try to figure out how to stay in power.  But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't make the effort.

It is just like evolution; one species does not just give up because another is just going to change.  They both keep changing and one hopes to overcome the other.  (This make evolution sound aware and intentional, which I don't mean to do.)  And if species A does eventually dominate, it wasn't because species B gave up but because they got out competed (or other factors).

Whatever the case, saying 'don't try to improve things because they'll just change too' doesn't seem different than 'don't try to make new anitbiotics because they'll just adapt'.  Maybe the changes will help, and maybe they won't but the Red Queen shouldn't be a reason to avoid trying.

The only useful test of a political system is whether -- in fact, not theory -- it produces alternations of control among the competing tribes.

I don't think I fully agree with this but I do generally agree that the juggling over power is good.  Keeping power from being too concentrated makes it harder to abuse.  Not impossible, but harder.

Date: 2008/09/10 13:22:08, Link
Author: Spottedwind
This pig-lipstick thing kills me.  I really find it hard to believe that people honestly think Obama was taking a dig at Palin.

I don't remember anyone in Hilary's camp getting riled up when McCain used it.  I didn't even know McCain said it until today.  If Hilary's group did get offended, it was as stupid a tatic then as it is now.  But, if they did, and if the supposedly liberal media does hate anything Republician, then why wasn't this news?  Would have been great attack stuff.  Why?  Because it's a common phrase!  So many people have said it and use it just blows my mind.

It reminds me of the Texas commissioner that was offended by the use of the word 'black hole' when describing an office that often lost paperwork.  Perhaps I'm a bit off, but to me, black hole is as much of a pop-culture word as it is a science term.  It's is referenced so often in TV and movies I'd be surprised to find people that didn't know what a black hole was.

I can kind of chalk the Texas situation to miscommunication, maybe...but Palin's crew knows better.  They saw an opportunity and are playing it, their base, and the media.

Date: 2008/09/10 13:32:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 10 2008,13:57)
Oh and is it just me or is rhythmic gymnastics just paedophilia with ribbons?


I'm unclear here if this is a complaint or an endorsement.

(Too soon to jump on the bash-Louis bandwangon?  Or perhaps I should have gone for the gay/welsh options)

Date: 2008/09/10 13:45:02, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I think we are actually in the same chapter, if not the same page, midwifetoad.

I'm not someone who think that the next 4 years will bring about epic change, no matter who is elected.  And I do also agree that federal changes are slow and smaller areas may be a better way to test new ideas.  

That doesn't mean we can't start talking about the possible solution for problems that do exist and national politics aren't quite the same as state and below.  But still, ideas do need to prove themselves before they are implemented.  If only that concept applied to other areas.

Date: 2008/09/11 06:28:31, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 10 2008,16:11)
Quote (Spottedwind @ Sep. 10 2008,19:32)
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 10 2008,13:57)
Oh and is it just me or is rhythmic gymnastics just paedophilia with ribbons?


I'm unclear here if this is a complaint or an endorsement.

(Too soon to jump on the bash-Louis bandwangon?  Or perhaps I should have gone for the gay/welsh options)

It's never too soon...apparently! ;-)

Oh and the above is neither endorsement or complaint, merely dispassionate observation. Now if you were talking to Chatfield (who, I have it on good authority*, was "home from work" the days the rhythmic gymnastics was showing) you might get a more impassioned response.


* I was rolling off his wife when she mentioned it. I'm not saying she's fat but I burned my arse on the lightbulb on my way over.

P.S. I am neither gay nor Welsh in reality, nor do I play either on the internet or any other medium. Nor is the abuse real, it is part of the AtBC wallpaper (at least until the politeness police get their way). Don't restrict your attention and bantering to me, Arden has a tiny cock (amongst other more deviant issues), Deadman does things to squirrels, Carlson has a slightly fierce passion for horses of all sexes, Lou is really two ladies, Wesley has.....well let's just say "a beard", Stevestory has a phobia of the words bro^wn and sme^lly and a love of mushrooms and chewing tobacco, J-Dog is a resurrected cave man and all round furry funster, Blipey is a clown and a cause of fear in others (or just Davetard) and Kristine is a witch. And that's just the beginnings. If you want serious and intellectual talk to Reciprocating Bill and Albatrossity2, who also have a very good line in jokes. K.e. is obsessed with penis gourds and BWE is just frankly worrying (I've seen photos), Alan Fox is universally adored, as indeed is J-Fox, and neither last nor by any means least, Henry J is a master of the one liner and the pun cascade (and possibly a new species of banana).

Now I have everyone's weakness!  Bwa hahaha!

wat i do wif it?

Date: 2008/09/11 06:50:00, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dnmlthr @ Sep. 10 2008,18:11)
I assume you've heard of Spore, behold Poe's Law in action.

I'll admit, I think this Poe would have tripped me up.  Other than the odd copulation photo, on first pass it fooled me.  Even on a first reading I wasn't sure you were right.  My Poe detecting skills a quite weak though.

Date: 2008/09/11 07:17:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 10 2008,14:39)
Political tricks are both old and common. I suspect the Republican strategy is simply to extract a price for the attacks on palin. I could have told the democrats that such attacks would backfire.


Attacks on Palin, even if some turn out to be justified, have negative utility for Democrats.

But the thing wasn't an attack.  I'm not saying that they haven't and I agree with the rest of your post.  Just that it bothers me that this is a manufactroversy and it's got legs.

I do think attacks on Palin will be a problem.  But if they want to win, they do need to challenge her.  The catch is how to challenge without attacking and being able to counter smear tatics that label challenges as attacks.

Neither side is clean, and I would have been just as dumbstruck if Clinton had gotten upset over it.  Either side being outraged over stuff like this is just a waste.

Whatever the case, I digress from UD.  Not necessarily a more intelligent subject but at least of a different flavor

Date: 2008/09/22 07:56:52, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 21 2008,08:54)
gpuccio still can't work out that research is not like reading the bible
Well, darwinists, like old timers in science fiction, seem to share an incredible amount of “sense of wonder”. There is almost no new relevant research paper which does not include words like “surprisingly”, “unexpectedly”,and similar.

This, to me, is just...he's takes a "sense of wonder", one of the greatest strengths (short of curiosity) a scientist can have...and turns it into a failing?

I think it's spectacular that new research papers have the terms "surprisingly", "unexpectedly" and the like.  No, not every paper is ground breaking and redefines its field, but small observations can lead to big discoveries or just a greater understanding.

I'm sorry, this just scrambles my brain and makes me type with the bad.  It just doesn't process that these are possibly bad things.

UD makes my brain hurt.

Date: 2008/09/22 08:05:56, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I'm so glad you are continuing these...except that this is the area of biology that I was always weakest. :)  So it's probably actually a good thing to go over these basics again.

I admit, I'm an organism (and above) level person.  I just understand that more and it fascinates me more.  Not that the chemical, cellular, etc level isn't amazing...I just don't follow it as well.

Also, to all those adding in the discussion...thanks to you too.  The extra info and clarification is great.

Date: 2008/09/30 08:06:59, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 29 2008,00:25)
I didn't say that I like her, but you've got to feel some sympathy for a person who gets turned into a national joke by a process they don't really understand.

Oooh, yeah, I'm gonna have to sort of disagree with you there. </Lumburgh>

Two Reasons.  Personal responsibility and competency.  She chose to accept the VP slot and thus all that comes with it.  Yes, McCain is also at fault for asking her in the first place, but she is responsible for her own choices and the outcomes that follow.  We don't feel much pity/sympathy for the UD crowd because they are doing it to themselves...Palin is no exception.

As for competency, you make the point yourself, "...a process they don't really understand."  If you can't even handle the process, how can you handle the responsibility?  Since McCain didn't vet her, it's up to the voters and it's my hope that's what's happening.

I understand that you want to feel sympathy for a person in this situation, and on one level, that's good.  But, seeing as this person will have tremendous sway and influence over so many areas of our lives, isn't it more important to make decisions based on facts rather than emtions?

I'm not trying to say that you were...just that I don't think she deserves sympathy in this situation.  She chose to accept the VP slot.  She keeps making comments that show she's little more than a convention speech.  She avoids tough questions and situations.  Until she puts herself through the process that every other candidate goes through, she will reap what she sows.

We ridicule people that lambaste evolution without understanding it.  We ridicule people that can't move beyond debunked talking points.  We ridicule people that have strange logic, non-sequitors, logical fallacies, hypocritical stances, empty rhetoric and probably know the list better than I.  I guess I just don't see how this situation is different.

Date: 2008/09/30 09:39:58, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 30 2008,09:52)
We also insist on having a civilian as commander in chief of the armed forces. Sometimes someone with no military experience.

Go figure.

Similar but a little different, IMO.  One aspect of having a civilain commander-in-chief is about trying to control the power of a military and avoid it having too much influence on the government.  In theory, such a commander could keep politics out of the military and keep the military out of politics.  And then of course we have reality, but I digress.

On the other hand, I think there is a good point that said commander should have a good understanding of the capabilites and limitation of the armed forces.  I think a good commander-in-chief should give heavy weight to the advice of his military advisors when regarding military actions.  Their advice shouldn't be taken as flawless, but ultima ratio regum is not something to take lightly.

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

Date: 2008/09/30 09:59:29, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I knew that, who said I didn't?

<insert Zoidberg image here>

(I have no excuse midwife, I'm bad at detecting sarcasm on the internet)

Date: 2008/10/03 08:09:11, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2008,23:46)
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 02 2008,22:40)
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2008,22:27)
OMG...Sarah soooooo held her own tonight.  If I may be so bold, I THINK SHE KICKED BIDEN'S ASS!!!  

She must have been premenstrual during the Couric interview...she didn't even look like the same person.  Makes you wonder how that interview was conducted.  

I will say though, that Joe (if I may call him was quite the gentleman, and he didn't talk down to her.

I'M SO WOUND UP THAT I'LL *NEVER* SLEEP TONIGHT!!!1111!!!!  I'll definitely be needin' my Monster drinks tomorrow...

Of course you did.  Any specific moments you'd like to share with us.

Please, I know evidence is a foreign thing for you, but I gotta know.

PLEASE.  PLEASE.  PLEASE.  Tell us one specific question in which she "kicked his ass".

Oh please.

Oh heavens, I can't be bothered with trying to remember every little thing she said!  I'm a creationist don't ya know...short term memory and all.  All I know is she looked good, winked a lot and smiled pretty.  


[/ftk in blipster's twisted mind]

But then you don't go on to contradict him.  To show him that he's wrong in any sort of way.  If someone accuses me of something that I think is patently false about me, I usually like to defend myself.  I know you two have a rather adversarial relationship, but still...if you think it is so untrue, why not have a subtantive post showing otherwise?

(Moving to a different post)

Oh, now blipey, you're just sooooo jealous that we have a hot chick who is not only *hawt*

Ignorning the obvious what-the-hell-does-this-have-to-do-with-compentency question, am I really that alone in not finding her to be hot?  She's not some horrible troll but I really don't see the appeal.  To each their own and whatever, but I just don't see it.  And by the way, just having this conversation makes me feel the dumb.

but obviously knows her stuff and can hold her own with one of the good 'ol boys from Washington.




I...I just can't...

I think her personal touch of telling the public that she *isn't* a Washington pure bred is certainly a plus.

Yes, she has said that she isn't one of the Washington insiders, but just because she's said it doesn't mean anything.  She can tell the public whatever she likes; that alone doesn't make it true.  Nearly all politicians say they aren't one of the Beltway insiders or government fatcats...that's what everyone loves to hear.  So, what does it matter if someone says it?

We're sick of the shit going on at the top.

The top you say?  Which top would that be?  For that matter, what 'shit' is going on, at said top, of which you are sick?  (I know that isn't the clearest sentence but I was just having fun with the wording...long and short, what shit are you talking about?)

I know this is cliche at this point, but I just don't get FtK.  I have avoided commenting in her thread because sharper minds than mine are doing the dirty work and I just don't think I can handle it.  I'll admit, I even hesitated responding to the above because I know the futility and that I'm just furthering that persecution complex.  But, really...I just don't get it.

Date: 2008/10/03 08:53:47, Link
Author: Spottedwind
(Of course this came in as I was typing...always happens that way.  Not at you FtK, but as in Murphy's Law.  Anyway...)

Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 03 2008,08:53)

I like Palin because, of all four candidates

There are only two candidates for president, well major party candidates that is.  Obama and McCain.  They will be the ones that are making the majority of decisions.  The VP is important and the choice should not be overlooked, but putting too much stock in Palin (or Biden) and not enough in the actual Presidental aspirant is focused on the wrong thing.

...she is a breath of fresh air.  She's spunky, and I don't get the feeling that she's afraid to confront the bull shit that goes on on capital hill.  She's not buried in debt to people who have supported her for eons, and she'll speak her mind without worrying about offending some joker who has her in his pocket.

There's not much I can say to this as it seems to be your gut feeling.  And I have no problem with what someone feels about a person...except if it were to contradict facts.  I'm still not clear on what specifically about capital hill bothers you and thus how she'll be different.  From her actions and history, she seems pretty like every other politician, just slightly different flavoring.

To be fair, I don't think Obama is some excessively different politician...I do see some areas that have been different and I like those...but he's not so different in the grand scheme of things.  To me, he's the best option right now, but I don't see him as the model all politicans should be.  He's got some ideas and tatics that, if emulated, might raise the quality of politics some, but he still falls into some of the same old habits.

She's here to represent people like *me*, and that's a welcome change from the pasty, plastic clones on capital hill.  Of all four candidates, I believe *she's* the one who will go out on a limb for the average joe

Which average joe?  I'm sure to some groups, I'm pretty average and she could not be much more my opposite if she tried.  I know everyone loves to think that they are the average and that everyone else is like them...but somehow that just doens't work out.

And why do you think she'll go out on a limb for the 'average joe' more than the others?  Are you one of those people that thinks simply because the others have money they don't remember or comprehend difficulties the middle class has?  I never liked the attacks on McCain because of the multi-house comment; simply because you have wealth does not mean you don't care or comprehend.  It's like when people attack celebrities for voicing an opinion.  Just because they are an actor, it doesn't mean that they are ill-informed.  Yes, some are and yes, some rich people don't really seem to care or understand the struggle of the poor or middle class.  But you can't predict those things one income alone.  Actions, past history, and comments will tell you what you need to know.

My apologies if I put words in your mouth and that's not the just seems to be a common one and a pet peeve I have.  Still, why is it that you see her as willing to do what the others won't?

[Oh, and I don't really think she kicked Biden's ass, but she did *much*, *much* better than I expected.  I was just messin' with you folks because it easy to do so...kinda fun too.  Shame on me.]

Fair enough and well played.  Although, *much*,*much* better than the expected failure isn't necessarily success.  By the way, I'm not saying that you expected her to fail, but most people and commentators did and you are at least implying that you expected so little from her that you were happy with what you got.  Nonetheless, you did a good caricature...of yourself?

It does seem odd though that more than a few of us thought you were serious.  We all based that on evidence of the past...but I guess that's what we get from relying on evidence too much.

Date: 2008/10/03 10:54:56, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Does anyone have access to The Scientist blog?  I'd like to hear about this entry but can't register at work.

From what I can glean, it's a post about who is advising McCain on Science, something I'd like to know.

(I've found Obama's list and I like what I see.)

One of my biggest frustrations with Bush has been interaction with science.  I get so angry and frustrated about how much interference this administration has shown in scientific* areas.  The agendas that they have pushed that went directly in the face of contrary evidence and either had to have that evidence changed, omitted, or just out right ignored.  Hell, that last sentence pretty much describes the decision making process they used at all times.

To be honest, I didn't think McCain would follow the path Bush has played...but he really doesn't seem like the same guy that ran in 2000.  I respected McCain there and felt that Rove really slimed McCain.  I could have even voted for McCain in 2000 I think.  But the McCain of 2008...I really don't trust him and to be honest, I'd kind of disappointed in that.  His secrecy, his makes me feel like he'd keep up the same level of interference and political manipulation that we've seen for the last 8 years.  I have no dobut about Palin doing just that.

* Other areas too but specific to science for this topic.

Date: 2008/10/03 11:37:27, Link
Author: Spottedwind
(I type too much and too slow...this was for Heddle and Albotrossity and started before Louis and Albatrossity responded more clearly and with less rambling.  Oh well, off to lunch)

I think you both have some points, but there are a differences between intelligence, anti-intellectualism, and emotion that perhaps aren't addressed.

Intelligenece does not prevent you from being wrong, from holding unfounded opinions, or reacting solely on your emotions.  I think we can all name very intelligent people, ones that can handle complex concepts and extract new and meaningful insights, that have acted irrationally or against evidence.  An intelligent person may look deeper into an issue than others and weigh the problems more, but that, in and of itself, doesn't mean they'll make a better decision than others.

As to anti-intellectualism, I think albatrossity has something of a point.  I look to most conservative commentators and hear intellectual as a pejorative.  'Ivory tower', 'elite' ivory league', and the like are thrown around on talkshows and the in blogosphere as a way of attack.  I don't work with the smartest people on the planet and although ancedotal, I can say without a doubt that there are people that are happy to not be a 'smart' person as they put it.  People who shun learning after college, or even high shcool.

Al Gore was thought to be too intelligent and that cost him votes.  Obama and Biden, apparently, have had the same complaint about them.  In my eyes, the anti-intellectualism that is the problem is the automatic dismissal of the opinoins and work of anyone more intelligent than yourself.  I think it comes from an insecurity about admitting someone is more intelligent than yourself.  There is an ingrained feeling of self-worth about intelligence that I think is a problem.  People seem to feel like they are less worthy as a person if someone else is smarter.  I, personally, don't believe that, but I understand the emotion.

My point is tied to the last bit, emotion.  Regardless of the intelligence of the person, emotion probably has the last say.  No matter how rational and thoughtful we are, the right situation can overcome our reason and leave us with nothing more than our emotions.  

A person that is intellectual is often seen as distant and smug, even if they have never done anything like that before.  The intimidation that many people seem to feel around intelligent people becomes internalized as a target of frustration and politicians know how to exploit it.  No group is free of this bias and people of all sorts have used it to their advantage.

All in all, you are right that an intelligent person is not inherently a good leader.  But to pretend that many vocal Bush supporters don't harbor or exploit anti-intellectual sentiments might be a bit much.

Date: 2008/10/03 12:33:12, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 03 2008,13:22)
As for those who disliked and didn’t vote for Al Gore, it wasn’t because he was too smart. (Hardly.) Rather, it was because he was perceived as creepy and condescending.

As a quick aside, I didn't say Gore lost soley because of being too intelligent; I said he lost votes.  And the condescending thing is my point.  IMO, that perception of condescension was because he came off as the dreaded intellectual to some people.  If it wasn't that, what was he being condescending about?

Date: 2008/10/03 12:48:29, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 03 2008,13:31)
From my experience [which of course is limited cuz' I'm a friggin' creationist loon who never leaves my church], I've often found that those with very high IQs often lack a great deal of common sense and don't always make the best decisions.  They also seem to have trouble keeping their marriages and family together.  It would be interesting to see some research into this.

I can tell you stories about dumb people making dumb  We both have anecdotes which means practically nothing.  Yes, high IQ people can make terrible decisions and average and low IQ people can make good ones...we haven't established causation or even correlation.

People have marriage problems.  Period.  It doesn't matter your religion, your intelligence, your age, you anything...marriage can be tough.  Life can be tough.

And if you are willing insinuate that most intelligent people have marriage problems because of a few you've seen, try not to get upset next time that someone implies all Christians have marriage troubles when the next megachruch pastor gets caught in extramarital bliss.  It's the same type of "logic".

Date: 2008/10/03 13:39:31, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 03 2008,14:18)
Funny thing is that most democrats used to like McCain because he crossed the isle on several issues.  Shoot, even hard core right winger Ann Coulter didn't want him due to his Democratic views.  The guy might have actually helped with bipartisanship to a degree.  Obama on the other hand is as liberal as they come...that's not helpful in bringing the two sides together.

You miss a key point here FtK...used to like McCain.  Back before he started on this new kick.  I'm not a Democrat but I recognized that he had tried to work with everyone and respected people he diasgreed with.  Actually, I did respect him for standing up for his views, when principaled and informed.  His effort in campaign finance reform was a good start and his standing on tortue was good.  The probelm has become that he's going against so much of what he championed.

Obama is not 'as liberal as they come'.  Too liberal for you?  That I won't argue as that is your opinion, but that hardly means he's the most liberal senator.  Yes, he's being painted that way by the spin machine, but if you take the time to look and listen, you'll see that claim is bogus.

I won't say that Obama has been blameless in esclating the partisan rhetoric.  He started off good but he's begun to pander and seems to be letting his team eye the mud....I'm disappointed but not surprised.  The problem has been that, sadly, this is what our electorate wants.  They like dirty politics.  Oh, they say they don't, but when it comes down to it, it's the negative ads that people remember and make decisions based on.

Date: 2008/10/03 14:04:15, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 03 2008,14:12)
Honest to God, I meant Red states, Arden.  I already knew that...that's why I said midwest Christians.  Then I went on to explain what I think may affect those results.

I'd like to throw out one more thing here.

If Arden had said that the number of Christians that get divorced is higher than other groups, then you could easily say ' well, yes, because there are more of them, duh'.  And you would be right and we could all point and laugh at Arden.

But he asked about rates.  Well that's different and your objections don't really matter.

Look at it this way:

Group A: 5 couples out of 100 get divorced
Divorce rate: 5%

Group B: 500 couples out of 10,000 divorced
Divorce rate: 5%

So if you look at pure numbers, 100 times as many Group B couples got divorced as Group A but they have the same rate.  One group being larger than the other has doesn't directly affect the rate.

Date: 2008/10/08 09:34:28, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Heddle - What is the dog that McCain is equal to?  It looks familiar, but to be honest, I'm not sure what type of dog it is.  Not trying to deconstruct the joke*, just curious about the dog.

* - My personal proclivities aside, I think the guitar and train jokes are funnier because they are clearer and easier to get, IMO.  They also seem a bit more focused on just Palin and, IMO, actually give McCain some respect.  In the guitar at least...he's the acoustic...kind of classic, timeless, and dependable, if less flashy and modern than the others.  The train...well, yeah that's the 'old' thing no matter how you cut it.  But Palin in both cases is just a toy, well out of her league.

** - Yes, I know analyzing a joke is just about the most boring thing possible...and I have no defense for that :)

*** - Because it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Date: 2008/10/08 09:36:38, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (deejay @ Oct. 07 2008,22:07)
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Oct. 07 2008,19:01)
I've definitely missed you.

Why?  Do you prefer your past humiliation to your current irrelevance?

You sir/ma'am give me the happy.

Date: 2008/10/08 09:57:09, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Perhaps I missed it, and my apologies if so, but is there a thread for good science books?  Evolution and associated topics of course, but others as well.

I picked up The Top Ten Myths About Evolution at a small bookstore but haven't found 10 minutes to read it yet.  It looked good and like it might be a good read for non- to semi-science inclined people.

Basically I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about that book and/or any others to pick up.  As to reader level...any and all to be honest.  I want to be able to suggest easy, but accurate, reading at a layman level for friends and family if asked.  I'm not saying a dumbing down of the concept, but something that can make complex ideas and confusing terminology and jargon comprehensible to the average person.  For myself, I think I can handle something a bit more complex and probably could use the challenge, since my current job isn't that kind of mental stimulation.  (Something cometh before the fall but if I could only remember what...)  

Any suggestions appreciated.

Date: 2008/10/08 09:59:23, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 08 2008,10:40)
For McCain I did a google image search on "old German Shepherds" and that was one of the returns.

Thanks...that's what I was thinking but it looked a bit furry to me.

Inconsequential in the grand scheme of things but I was curious.

Date: 2008/10/09 08:09:45, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Jkrebs @ Oct. 09 2008,08:03)
Dave tries to be funny:

Political Humor Contest

The contest is based on the old joke line “What do you get if you cross X with Y?”

Here’s my stab at it.

Q: What do you get when you cross Martin Luther King with John Fitzgerald Kennedy?
A: The person Barack Obama pretends to be.

Q:What do you get when you cross Jeremiah Wright with Bill Ayers?
A: The person Barack Obama really is.

Let me see some others in the same vein.



I didn't know The Tard wrote for ConserFAILpedia.

(Yeah, it's a low hanging fruit but I'm a person of simple pleasures sometimes.)


Date: 2008/10/09 08:45:20, Link
Author: Spottedwind
(Trying to keep to topic...)

I'd love to see this happen but I'm not sure either candidate has it as enough of a priority.

Also, because I think it got lost in some of the noise that followed:

Quote (Spottedwind @ Oct. 03 2008,11:54)
Does anyone have access to The Scientist blog?  I'd like to hear about this entry but can't register at work.

From what I can glean, it's a post about who is advising McCain on Science, something I'd like to know.

(I've found Obama's list and I like what I see.)

One of my biggest frustrations with Bush has been interaction with science.  I get so angry and frustrated about how much interference this administration has shown in scientific* areas.  The agendas that they have pushed that went directly in the face of contrary evidence and either had to have that evidence changed, omitted, or just out right ignored.  Hell, that last sentence pretty much describes the decision making process they used at all times.

* Other areas too but specific to science for this topic.

Date: 2008/10/09 14:17:18, Link
Author: Spottedwind
(  :angry: )


I don’t mean to add my baying to the hounds, but, I feel that you are at least using odd reasoning or justification for liking Palin.  I don’t necessarily care that you like Palin because I don’t really disagree with you that politics is emotional.  I think though that you are trying to make logic fit when perhaps just saying, ‘hey, I like her’ is enough.

The reasons I like Palin are as follows:

1) I think the experience issue is overrated. If not, I would not have first supported Obama.

Being as this is an opinion, I don’t really think I can argue too much.  You feel experience isn’t a vital factor, and to a great extent I agree with you.  I do think there is a question of how important the issue is compared to other characteristics of the candidates, but that’s neither here nor there right now.

2) I think the extemporaneous speaking ability is overrated.

Again, as this is your personal opinion, I can’t really speak to this.  You feel that speaking ability isn’t that important and, again, to some extent I agree.  An inability to communicate good ideas does not mean a person is void of good ideas.  However in politics, a cooperative effort, if you cannot communicate clearly, little will be done succesfully, if at all.  Also, such speaking shows that a person can internalize and understand an issue.  Not that they must make decisions alone, but that they can be a part of the dicussion and decision making process as opposed to the mouthpiece.

3) I don't think Palin is dumb, but at any rate I think the IQ contest is overrated. I think IQ in general is overrated.

Two parts here.  Is Palin dumb or not?  (That sounds so 3rd grade playground)  Well, none of us reallly know.  We all have our opinions drawn from observations of her and experiences with others, but we really don’t know for sure.  As to IQ being overrated; true, too much value is placed on a number.  It’s been mentioned before that intelligence alone does not make a good leader, and I think anyone that would try to argue that would be at a loss.  However, I think it would be easier to argue that a capable leader can often be intelligent, in at least some relevant areas.  A person being dismissed as too smart is the opposite side of the coin of the person being dismissed for not being smart enough.  Perhaps they have other qualities that compenstate and should not be dismissed out of hand based solely on an external judgement of intelligence.

4) Present, detailed knowledge is overrated. People don't run into the President's office and say: "There's a new radical faction uncovered in Uzbekistan. Tell us what to do, right now!"

Now, here’s an area where I think you might be setting up a strawman.  You are right that a President shouldn’t have to know each and every faction of each and every country right on day one.  Even the greatest policy wonks (I’ve been wanting to use that phrase for days now) can’t know all of that to expertise level.  However, I do think that a President or Vice President should be able to discuss which major news outlets they consume and show a mastery of (or at least familiarty with) important topics that drive national and international events.  This shows that the are engaged in the national dialogue and not just living in their own echo chamber.

5) A president that makes people feel good about the country is underrated. Reagan could do that. Kennedy could do that. Clinton could do that. Carter and Bush and Bush could not. Palin, I think, can do that.

What about Obama?  Do you think he could make people feel good about the country?  Judging from all of coverage of him, positive and negative, I think it’s hard to argue that he does not instil optimisitic motivitaion in many people across party, race, sex, etc. lines.  I’d say to a much greater extent than Palin does.  Now, I’m not saying that’s enough for me, but just pointing out that if you think Palin can do this thing, it seems to me that Obama would be able to do it to a greater extent.  I do agree that having an inspiration leader is important in terms of uniting a country and working towards high-reaching goals.  But, IMO, Palin is divisive and would not be inspiring.  Even if we ignore the people that would be resentful if Obama lost, her attacks and personality have re-ignitied the partisan divide.  She’s a divider, not a uniter.  Hell, has she even tried to be a uniter?  McCain has tried, to varying degrees of success, but I can’t say I’ve seen anything out of her that looks even remotely like reaching across the aisle.

6) Attractiveness--not physical but overall--call it likeability, is also underrated.

Again, I ask you to compare her to Obama.  People seem to find him attractive, physiclaly and otherwise.  Even people that attack him (specifically excluding racists) don’t paint him as an unlikeable character.  The worst I have seen of his personality is that he can come off as cool or not emotional enough.   I think those accuactions are limited to specific events as opposed to his demeanor as a whole.

Also, how important is likeablity when compared with capabilty?

7) I also think that a President having a sense of something bigger than himself, typically religion, but it could be "the people" is underrated. In Obama's case, I have a sense that he does--and in Palin's case as well. Not with McCain or Biden--especially given the latter's propensity to ring his own bell and talk about himself in the third person.

If you have the sense that both Obama and Palin have this sense, shouldn’t this be a wash?  I know you are listing reasons why you like Palin…but they seem more like justifications than specific qualificaitons that you look for in a person.  Perhaps it is just the way that you are presenting it, and if so my apologies for the confusion.  (As a note, I respect that you allow that this sense does not have to be religion.  That you acknowledge that people can be motiviated to do good for reasons other than religion speaks well of you.)

8) I think good leadership is important and also underrated--the ability to get people to do what you want and have them think it's a good idea. In my opinion, of the four, Palin sends the best vibes as a natural leader, and from what I read of her work as governor she has demonstrated that ability.

I generally agree with the first part of this statement; that good leadership is the ability to get people to go along with your ideas.  However, “your” ideas may not always be best and I think another equally good quality of a leader is the ability to know when your advisors are right and you are wrong.  I don’t get that feeling from Palin.  To be fair, my feeling and your feelings are not evidence so we are both starting from nothing but feeling.  It is my feeling that Obama would listen, really listen to contradictory advice and weigh it accordingly.  I don’t get that from Palin.  Just my opinion.

One last note: As I said to FtK, there are only 2 candidates for President.  John McCain and Barak Obama.  While their VP selection should not be ignored, it is one of those two men who will become President.  They are the ones that should be held up to your metrics and then if you are still unsure, perhaps move on to their VPs.

Date: 2008/10/14 12:22:20, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Levity.  we needs it.

(I didn't get to watch it, but this write up alone makes me laugh.  Politics aside, I think it's a funny-clever ad.)

Date: 2008/10/16 11:05:36, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Arden and others have hit on something that’s been bouncing around my head.

The what-if-Obama-lost question.  Now, I’m not talking about something drastically changing people’s opinion of him and there is no question as to why e.g. video where he clubs a baby seal with a burning a flag whilst, and at the same time, proclaiming the superiority of futbol to football.  I mean if there was a combination of the Bradley Effect, swing voters, and whatever else that McCain won.  Even just the suspicion of an election being stolen might have a bigger impact on the country than last time.

One of the biggest impacts Obama has had on this election is the increase of new voters; from the typically apathetic college crowd to the typically distrustful minority voters.  They have been added to both sides but Democrats seem to have the majority.  In general, they seem to have finally been convinced that their vote matters and that they can make a difference.  That being the case, if Obama were to lose, I have been wondering if we’d have a huge backlash against voting for generations.  It might further galvanize people to vote again, but I’m wondering if it wouldn’t turn people off voting for good.  (This may be a reason for Erasmus to vote for McCain ;) )

Then, of course, there is the racial issue.  However we want to discuss it, there will be people voting purely on race this year.  Voting for Obama based only on skin is no less stupid than voting against him for the same reason.  We would be naďve to think it isn’t happening but how much of an impact it will have is anyone’s guess.  But there seems to be a sense of entitlement (another terrible idea in politics) among some black communities, such as Philadelphia (quick note: I’m not saying all, but from what I read and hear about ‘it’s our time’ and being ‘due’ and all similar comments, there seems to be a strong sense of ‘about time!’ beyond excitement.  Some women also had this with Clinton and do with Palin).  I think if Obama were to lose and there was even the smallest of a question of legitimacy, race riots would not surprise me.  There are some people that have placed so much on his candidacy (IMO too much) that if it were taken away, the anger roused would be palpable.

Don’t get me wrong; I think it is a terrible idea to vote for someone out of fear of what might happen in a highly hypothetical situation.  I’m not even sure that it would happen, but just kind of judging the anger that followed the last two elections and adding in a racial element…just wondering what would happen.  I also don’t mean to sound like a Chicken Little, but as far as our country has progressed in race relations, we are very blind to the shortfalls that we still have and how far we have to go.

I, too, can’t wait until this election is over…it bothers me that the majority of my posts have been on this topic.  My own fault but it just kind of dominates.

Date: 2008/10/16 11:55:38, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 16 2008,12:45)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 16 2008,11:40)
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's biggest bookmaker Paddy Power said Thursday it would pay out early more than 1 million euros (782,776 pounds) on bets that Barack Obama will be the next U.S. president, three weeks ahead of the election.

The Dublin-based bookmaker said it made the "unprecedented decision" to pay on bets taken so far, following Wednesday's final campaign debate between Obama and his Republican rival John McCain, which polls judged the Democrat to have won.

"We declare this race well and truly over and congratulate all those who backed Obama," Power said.

I saw that--it makes no sense whatsoever. Suspending betting makes perfect sense--but hold on to the payouts as long as you can and earn some interest. There must be an explanation. Am I missing something obvious?

To be honest, I thought this was odd too.  If for nothing else than the fact that betting houses like to hold on to every cent for as long as they can.

This also reminds me of then they increased the chances that Palin would be dropped from the ticket because of the teenage pregnancy thing.  It's interesting how what is a liability in the politics of one country is nothing (or even an asset) in another.

Date: 2008/10/16 11:58:04, Link
Author: Spottedwind
'then' to 'when' above


Date: 2008/10/16 12:02:54, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 16 2008,12:58)
Simple long-term business sense.  A lot of punters could probably use the money right now.  If Power lets them have their winnings today, which bookie will they go to next time?

Hmm...interesting idea.  I guess it makes sense in that way, but it still seems odd to me.  Oh well.

Date: 2008/10/16 12:10:46, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Obama cautions against overconfidence.

Date: 2008/10/16 13:16:26, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 16 2008,14:06)
So..... then, to take stock:

DaveScot is using Dr. Dembski's Intelligent Design Blog to shill for his political theories, viz, that John McCain's political salvation depends on the investigations of a rabid anti-Semite who is wanted by the state of NY for outstanding warrants.

Ya know, a year or two ago, when we were asking "where will ID go from here?" I don't think any of us predicted that.

The phrase 'rock bottom and started to dig' comes to mind.

Date: 2008/10/22 13:24:26, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 22 2008,13:39)
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 22 2008,12:22)
Will White People Riot if Obama Wins?

Of course, some have promised a race war if Obama loses.

If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!

No fear mongering here. Please move along.

Hey Heddle...why don't you follow up and read her next column?

Her point (inelegently expressed) was not that she was calling for one, but that the anger and frustration that many minorities have over racial and economic injustice will bubble over if Obama were to lose.  That the 'racial harmony' we like to pretend that we have is more fragile than we realize, if existant at all.

I touched on this idea earlier in the thread, specifically talking about how people would react if Obama lost and if there was suspect happenings a la 2000.

It isn't fear mongering but looking at the frustration that is present and trying to guage it.  I said in that post, that people have invested too much in Obama and if he were to lose, I think the crash would be hard.  And one of the possible outcomes (especially people felt that it was stolen) would be anger.  Remember the L.A. riots?  Yes, some of that was just people taking advantage of a situation, but there was anger and frustation and then the spark.

With some minority Obama supporters you get a double dose.  They are angry with the path this country has taken for the past 8 years and they are tired of the racism that is in their lives.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not excusing them or justifying every one of their complaints, but pointing out that under the 'hope' that Obama brings, there is fear, there is anger, there is frustration.  You may not feel it.  You may not see it.  Most people don't.  And hell, it might not even be justifiable, but it's there.  We can ignore how someone feels and be surprised when something happens, or we can try to understand why they feel what they feel, and then decide if anything can be done about it.

Date: 2008/10/22 13:45:06, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I'd also like to add my voice to the 'meh' crowd on the step line issue (full disclosure: haven't seen the link above but aware enough of stepping).


This seems more like a cultural confusion than anything.  Yes, it may look creepy to some, and yes it may seem like it has militaristic overtones...but it's not as simple as that.  Take it at more than face value.

Now, I do understand how the chanting and virtue extolling seems creepy and is right along the path that leads some bad places.  Totally agree.  But if you look to the culture of some black people, and begin to understand it, it's not so odd.  Different from what we might be used to, but not the terrible boogie monster that it seems.

Stepping could be co-opted for other ends, without a doubt, but it is a more complex individual/group dynamic than it first seems. what?  Obama isn't telling people that he plans to do this for all of America or wishes all people is people expressing their joy in a way that they enjoy.  Those aren't Obama's only supporters or even representative of most.

When I can access the video, I may change my opinion, but if it is like what I've seen before it is a non-issue.

Date: 2008/10/22 14:14:09, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 22 2008,14:41)
I did read the follow-up, and  I didn't say she called for it. And I didn't say she was wrong. It was in response to the article that steve s linked to, which presented an opposite view, if I read it correctly. That article claimed that it was a double standard to worry about AAs rioting if Obama loses and not worry about the Mashed Potato crowd rioting if Obama wins. His example of MLK was especially bad--cities were burning after he was assassinated.

I think Fatimah Ali is probably closer to the truth. But that's just a guess. But to play it safe, if McCain pulls off the upset, I’ll tell my autistic son, who rides his bike everyday, to stay home on Wednesday.

(By the way, I've actually been in several race riots. Not fun at all.)

See, I think the author of the Root piece isn't comparing apples to apples.

The reason people question about the black community is that there has been near constant frustration from being a minority and there has been more investment in Obama's candidacy than has been seen before.  In a few decades, when white people are the minority and if they feel as if they are being treated unfairly, then we may see the same question turned around.

Now, I think it's stupid to say all black people as a sweeping gesture, but this question might be worth considering in certain areas where racial tension is already high.  If you read the comments on that website (side note: they lock and delete comment sections that get out of control), and you listen to the people they interview and'll begin to see that, to some, Obama has become the embodiment of the dreams of generations of people.  I think that is a mistake, to place that much on the political destiny of one person, but my opinion doesn't change the fact that more than a few people are overly invested in him.

Generally, it hasn't been a concern to worry about whites because they have been in the power and [i]generally[/] not subjected to racism.  That's not to say that no white people would ever riot if Obama were elected.  But that as a general group that has been in power, they haven't been angry and frustrated enough to do anything.  That's changing though...there is growing resentment towards Mexican immigrants among many typically white communities.  People that would call for the head of someone that used the infamous 'n-word' are be coming less hesitant to denigrate anyone of Mexican descent.

My long-winded point is that the group that is in control will not typically riot because they either A) have other ways of keeping power or B) are too comfy with their life.  Groups that feel oppressed (accurate or not) are more likely to let their anger take over and respond.  (Big note: I'm not saying black or white people are predispoed to either of these actions, but that power will better determine those actions)

Date: 2008/10/22 15:13:12, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 22 2008,15:07)
Stepping/step dancing = perfectly valid cultural expression.

Stepping/step dancing combined with fairly mindless recitation of political tropes in a political context = terrifying.

The the juxtaposition of the two elements that scares me, not one element in isolation.

I wonder how tolerant and culturally relativist we'd be if this was a group of shaven headed, white, French youths supporting a Jean Marie LePenn campaign with step dancing of a more European origin and appropriately positive and innocuous slogans.


Again, I'm not saying that it doesn't seem odd and disturbing at face value.  I'm sure it does.  What I'm saying is that we need to look at it in more than a vacuum.

Is chanting a typical part of the dance? - In some areas, yes.

Are these kids being forced to do this? - To my knowledge no, but I can't be sure and I don't think anyone else is either.

Are they being coerced? - Same answer as above.

Are they inciting hatred? - Haven't seen it but I would assume someone would point it out if they had been.

I think Calsonjok posted something about Jesus Camp, which I had always wanted to see.  I can't speak to the similarities and differences myself but I agree that if the step line routine goes beyond expressing excitement and into behavior modification, that's a problem.  Obama is not a way of life and mindless following would be bad.  That type of group dancing and identity can be used to control people, but is it really beyond the possibility that they are just comfortable expressing themselves in this manner?

To truly determine the scariness factor of people, I think we would need to look at their all of their actions and try their willingness to be questioned and challenged and see how they respond.  If a person holds Obama to be flawless and will follow his every command without question...yup, bad.  I think we can all generally agree with that.  But what about if they are simply excited about Obama and that they are trying to get others excited?

Cultural relativity is a tricky thing.  Just because one group calls it their cultural doesn't mean that it is infallible.  That said, something that appears offensive on the surface, may not be so when further understood and explored.  The reverse is true too.  It's hard when something once good has been used to a bad end; perhaps to the point of being unrecoverable.  Being aware of how something may be perceived is important and perhaps the dancers should have been aware of how it could be seen to outsiders.  But perhaps outsiders should also check their own cultural references when presented with something different.

I may retract my opinion once I can see the video, and perhaps I shouldn't have opened my mouth in the first place (wouldn't be the first time).  But what it looks like is people reacting to a superficial event rather than looking deeper.  Irony perhaps, but so be it.

Date: 2008/10/22 16:09:23, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 22 2008,16:32)
Mouth open = good!

I am looking at it in vastly more than a vacuum. The face value of it isn't an issue. Like I said it's the juxtaposition of the two elements that is disturbing, not merely one or other in isolation.

It's not an issue of mere symbolism (a la swastika), it's the association of techniques appropriate to brainwashing (military, religious or otherwise) with political expressions. Merely singing the praises/enthusiasm for a specific candidate is, again, not an issue (I'd hope people were enthusiastic about politics), it's the combination of the two (I suppose if I'm going to be precise, many) elements. Neither is it an issue of mere difference, it's beyond rare that I react to something merely different with anything other than curiosity.

Take for example the Nuremberg rally. A criticism of what occurred there is hardly a repudiation of outdoor rallies! Rather that criticism is based on the confluence of several elements: the ideology being espoused, the uncritical manner it was designed to be taken in, the cultural/social situation of the period etc. It is explicitly not a face value critique.

I'm not at all worried about the dancing, or how it appears, I'm worried about the combination of a militaristic method of reinforcing certain ideas with a political campaign. Let's be clear: no matter who was doing this, in support of whatever candidate, I would repudiate it.


I have only a moment but I did get to see the video.  I want to make a quick reply now but I don't have time to write long now.  I know you'll all be waiting with bated breath.  Long and short: It isn't the kind of step line that I was thinking/am used to but it still wasn't scary to me.

I did find the recitation of the health plan info strange.  Listing an inspiration is one thing...repeating party platform another.  I think there is more to this but it will have to wait until later tonight.

By the way, I meant I shouldn't have opened my mouth without getting more info first.  In this case, seeing the video.  I was basing my opinion off of what other step line I had seen, not this specific.  I assumed it would be similar, but it wasn't.  Mistake: me.

Date: 2008/10/22 23:02:47, Link
Author: Spottedwind
…and we’re back.  My apologies, I had to dodge and get hit by balls.  On a totally unrelated issue, Arden says hello.  Totally unrelated.

Anyways, I see three issues I want to hit: 1) the videos, 2) how those videos relate to Obama, and 3) the behavior itself.  My own eyes glaze over at the wall of text that follows so we’ve got the short and the long of it.

The short:

1)  Video 1 – didn’t see.  Video 2 – Stupid.  Little kids out of politics please.  Video 3 – Odd and not the type of step line that I was referring to.  The inspiration part isn’t bad but I do find the health plan bit strange.  It also looks to be an isolated incident.

2)  Relation to Obama – unless he, or his campaign, specifically created, encouraged, or approved these videos, irrelevant.  Crazies are ubiquitous but the internet makes them seem more so by being an echo chamber.  If the videos call for violence or the like, Obama should condemn them.  If they are simply obsessed fans, see every fan club in existence.  Famous people have admirers and can’t be held accountable for the actions of their fans, unless the specifically call for it.  Also, those fans do not represent that person and should not be seen as a proxy for said person.

3)  The behavior.  Children out of politics now.  Unthinking, unquestioning is a bad way to be and should be challenged.  While repetition can be used to create unthinking, unquestioning people, that is not always the outcome.  We should be on guard for serious threats but we should not cry wolf at lesser situations.

The long (my condolences to you if you choose to slog through):

1).  The Videos

1st Video Posted from dheddle:
Some more Obama, the son of God Praise and Worship. It will bring you to enraptured tears. May Obama's countenance shine upon thee!

Couldn’t access this video as the site said it no longer existed.  Rather than dig a deeper hole commenting on what I haven’t seen, I pass except to say no one on here feels even close to this way, to my knowledge.  Some people are excited and impressed with him, but that’s the most.  Sure, someone else thinks he is goodness incarnate.  Spectacular.  I think they are an idiot.  But, that doesn’t mean I think Obama is an idiot because he has idiots following him.  Or that I think Palin is now qualified.  Attacking the messenger does not destroy the message.

2nd Video: Little kids singing song.

I made it about a minute into this video before I got annoyed…crappy song, excessive saccharine…on any subject it’s annoying.  But let’s at least address kids singing these songs.  Or kids being involved in politics in general.

I’ve been remarking to people how there are children’s books out about both Obama and McCain and how I think having kids involved in politics is generally a bad idea.  They can’t handle the concepts, the nuance, the animosity, etc.  Some adults can’t for that matter.  Now, that’s not to say that books about Obama and McCain for kids are a bad idea across the board.  Obama is a historic candidate and may make history and inspire generations of kids…minority or no.  There’s plenty of reason for children to look up to him.  McCain has done good and honorable things and his time as a P.O.W. might be a life changing read for a kid.  But, the politics surrounding them are too easy to get caught up in right now.  

Kids are still being dragged in though, just by overhearing their parents.  They are then taking that to school and it’s spreading there.  I know of a 5 year old vehemently supporting McCain and his parents are confused as to where that started.  They say they are undecided and don’t understand why he’s acting this way.  Kids this young follow adults and other groups way too easily to include them in politics.  If Obama’s campaign had anything to do with this, I say boo.  Crappy idea and big thumbs down.

What about if they didn’t?  Shouldn’t they at least express some disapproval of it?  I would hope that they would but, with all of the stupid things some supporters say, they can’t address every idiocy.  There are enough crazies in the world to support everyone and everything and if ANY politician had to object to all the stupid any supporter said nothing would ever get done.  That does not excuse them from ever objecting to anything, but if they don’t know about it, they can’t object to it.  Also, how big is this issue really?  Not a criticism but an honest, how representative is this event outside of this one observation?

The problem of representation is magnified by the internet; it takes one little thing and makes it seem huge by repeating it everywhere.  Look at the Dean Scream or Gore and the internet.  In both those cases, little things became huge things thanks to constant repetition.  Dean had a lot of energy but he also had a microphone that made his audio seem that much stronger that it was.  Gore did exaggerate, as all politicians do, which is bad…but he is credited with his efforts that did aid in the creation of the internet.  He shouldn’t have exaggerated but what he did say has been distorted and has become fact, because of the constant repetition.

The big take home point here is that a politician needs to prioritize his denouncing of idiots because there are usually so many.  To me, Wright is a little above children signing a new age song.  I understand the fear where things can go when indoctrinating children, but I don’t think we are even close to heading that direction yet.  It’s fine to be on the lookout, but don’t miss the bear while looking out for its shadow.

3rd Video:  Step Line dancers

As I mentioned above, this is not the kind of step line I had in mind.  Different form.   Presented as is, it is going an uncomfortable way, but it doesn’t seem to be any official or organized thing.

This is a group of, what 10, young men in some sort of organization.  I know the title is Obama Youth Regiment but is it actually that or it is something different?  Here’s what I found out about the Obama Youth – Junior Fraternity Regiment  From the news so far it was one teacher, not supported by a school, not supported by the campaign.  I tried to go to Urban Community Leadership Academy site but get nothing.   What I don’t see, so far, is any connection to the Obama campaign.  There is no evidence, that I know of, that they had any hand in this and so there is no reason to assume that they did.  Should the Obama campaign denounce this?  I guess, but I again refer you to above, are these 10 kids representative of something more and do they really warrant much attention?

As to the video itself, the first part (entrance to inspiration) isn’t so strange.   There are programs that have to deal with troubled kids and the way they deal with them is very military like.  (Quick note: I’m not saying these kids were troubled, I don’t know.  What I’m saying is that dressing kids in uniforms and making them march and teaching them to live in a group is one way that teachers help those types of kids deal with anti-social issues.  You might see those types of kids dealt with in that manner and it is more about trying to get them out of a destructive mindset.)  To declare what inspires you about someone isn’t a horrible thing, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that part.  They object to the manner and to some extent I agree…but I think it is possible that other situations might have a similar look with a very different intent.   Not the situation here, as far as I know, but it wasn’t something that pinged my RADAR.

I do think the second part with the health plan stuff was strange.  Repeating party talking points in that manner was reminiscent of youth control groups and I agree, dumb move.  It is possible, I guess, that the kids wanted to do this, but I doubt that they would have gotten far without approval of the teacher.  I only mention it as a possibility for academic reasons, but even that to me is a weasel answer.

For the video as a whole, I don’t find it scary because there is no evidence to suggest something like this is common and some evidence to suggest it was a lone event.  As we often tell others, one observation doesn’t make a trend.  It’s not that we should ignore everything below a certain threshold, but rather that reacting to every nut will leave you drained for a real threat.  To me, this seems isolated and singular.  If there is more evidence of youth groups being taught like this, then yes it’s an issue to deal with and something to be on the watch for.  But there is no evidence to assume this is widespread or common and to act like it is draws our attention away from more pressing current concerns.

2.)  Okay, those are my thoughts on the videos…but what do they have to do with Obama?

Well, he is obviously the subject of the videos but does that mean he approves of them?  Does that mean he, or his campaign, encouraged them?   Unless his campaign created these with his approval, they don’t speak for him.  And as I have repeated above, he should denounce what is troubling but don’t expect him to get to every little thing that offends you.  They just don’t have time.  What they prioritize does say something about them, but it should also encourage you to check yourself and see if your own personal gripe is really that big.  I think it is pretty safe to say that there are white power people that are going to be voting for McCain.  Does that mean all of his supporters are that way?  If there is a video of Klansmen extolling the virtues of McCain, does that mean I should discount him?  Essentially, that is what is trying to be said with these videos.  People are putting their own agendas and identities on the candidates or trying to express their support in an inappropriate way.  But that doesn’t mean we should fear Obama will set up mind-washing youth cults any more than McCain will work to eliminate black people.

They should keep themselves away from such things and condemn them if such groups gain any sort of influence, but honestly, all these videos do is show me who Obama shouldn’t add to his cabinet.

3.)  And the last topic, the behavior itself.  I don’t address this to heddle or Louis, but rather a generic “wake/grow the fuck up America”.

I’ve touched on some points above, but first and foremost, get children out of politics.  They don’t get it, they shouldn’t have to get it yet, and it may hurt them.  Teach them about the process and the people (to some extent) but remember that they are children and that their brains just don’t work like adults.  It’s not that they are stupid, but that their world view is easily shaped by adults and their ability to empathize takes time to develop.

Next, be critical of your candidate.  Don’t just assume they are telling the truth.  Yes, you want to believe them but, don’t.  At least, don’t just believe them without checking.   People need to be willing to call out their own candidate no matter what.  The only way you’ll get better government (if you want government Erasmus ;) ) is to truly work out the best.  R, D, or I next to their name, pick the best one.

Which leads somewhat to my next point, they are just people.  Don’t pin all of your life on another person.  They will let you down if you hold them to be perfect.  They will lose, they will fail, they will screw up.  How much so varies, but what they do afterwards matters more.  Do they learn from their mistakes and adjust or just keep doing the same?  Do they make excuses or do they admit responsibility?

All in all, if the Obama campaign is encouraging, funding, or requesting these things then they should be criticized and stop.  If however, these are merely some selected supporters being overzealous, stop trying to connect them to the campaign.  Criticize Obama for his politics, plans, experience or whatever…but criticize him, not his supporters.

As an aside, I would like to suggest one thing on why most people probably won’t care about these videos.  Kids don’t care.  What I mean is that often kids do these things because they must and then move on.  The Pledge of Allegiance for example.  How many American children recite that everyday mindlessly…not even listening to the words?  To me they weren’t even words, it was sounds I made.  When I was little it was what I did because that was what you were supposed to do but when I realized what it all meant I said it a lot less often.  I didn’t care about trying to fight not saying the pledge in school as didn’t seem like a worthwhile fight, but if I didn’t have to say it, I wouldn’t.  But as a kid, no one I knew really thought about the words or believed in them.  The words weren’t internalized; they had no meaning.

Talk with some people that go to church and sing hymns.  Ask them what they are about.  Many don’t really know, they just like singing.  Actually, you don’t even need that…most songs that people sing.  Even if they know all the words, sometimes they don’t know the meaning.  People will sing a song for decades and not think about what it means.  That doesn’t, in and of itself, mean that they support what the song means.  It just may be that they are ignorant of it.

So then it doesn’t matter what people repeat mindlessly, as long as they don’t believe it?  No.  What is said does matter, but what I’m trying to get at is that people remember being kids and having to do silly things like that.  And they know that it didn’t mean anything to them.

All of that above being said, yes, we still need to be on guard for someone that tries to exploit such a thing.  We do need to watch that a charismatic leader doesn’t abuse power and bend the will of others.    But I think we just need to balance that with a little bit of realism.  The kids are probably more concerned about singing a good song than what it says.  When they start to rely on the song more than critical thinking, that’s bad.  Where that line starts is a matter of debate and one that perhaps people should have; with themselves and others.

My thanks and congratulations for reading this far.  I don’t know if I could have handled something this long and repetitive.  I’m off to bed and wish you all a fondue.

Date: 2008/10/23 06:36:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 23 2008,00:22)
sheesh spottedlongwind.  you spent a lot of time on what is probably just some incendiary irrelevant shit heddle spouted off during a break between watching Nascar highlights on Youtube and trolling Ed Brayton's blog.  Luv ya heddle, you rascally iconoclast you.  

Anyway, I too noticed that the crap those punks were doing in that video is not step dancing.  I went to Brick U, we had step dancing outside my dorm every day.  Yawn.  Between those jackasses and the urban cowboys roping traffic cones and drinking likker out of dixie cups, it was a multicultural freak show.  

This is more what I was talking about.  Or something.

Hehehe..yeah, I tend to be rather vebrose on teh Interwebs.  It's too easy to be unclear and have a misunderstanding over a typo or just a poorly communicated idea.  I still do both, but I try to limit it.

I'll have to check out the video you linked later today and see if it was more what I had in mind.

Date: 2008/10/23 09:30:03, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Palin in 2012?

I've heard people mention it in passing and I'm curious if it is growing.

Here's another, but sadly I can't access it at work.

And that's enough politics for today.  Focusing on it too much.  Time to go read some science threads.

Date: 2008/10/24 08:46:43, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 24 2008,09:34)
29 user(s) active in the past 15 minutes
20 guests, 8 Public Members and 1 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>stevestory >Venus Mousetrap >Gunthernacus >dheddle >Tom >oldmanintheskydidntdoit >Occam's Aftershave >Jkrebs

Hmm...that last line's apparently going to have to wait for Louis or Arden to wake up.

Aww, steve, come on give them some snuggle time.

Date: 2008/10/24 09:04:38, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 24 2008,06:40)
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 23 2008,12:03)
Still not forgotten! I haven't had any time for anything other than work/family commitments this last week or two. What with various birthdays and outings I am stuck in real life!

Scene from the Louis household.

That lolcat is so damn funny...and it's going to get me in so much trouble.

To Lou, sorry to hear precalc isn't going as well.  It's just a midterm though and plenty of time to recover.  

Yeah, it can be hard to adapt to different profs...I always found it odd that I could start of really not liking a professor but as the class progressed I began to understand them a bit more.  Whether it was a matter of them warming up to the class, or us understanding their quirks, or something else, it sometimes just took a while.  One of my professors that I...well, not hated but had a great deal of dislike for initially eventually I came to really respect and, if not enjoy, apprecaite.  Maybe not what you are talking about but my two Lincolns nonetheless.

Good luck and keep your head up.  You'll do fine.

Date: 2008/10/30 08:07:27, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 30 2008,01:31)
one of the good things about the election is we should know the results fairly quickly, assuming Obama wins. The polls in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania all close by 8 pm EST. If Obama has, say, Virginia, or Florida, and Pennsylvania, then McCain is toast.

I know PA polls and others have Obama up by quite a bit on McCain, but being a Pennsylvanian...I don't know.  I don't see it.  Perhaps it's pessimism, but I wouldn't count PA in Obama's column until you see it.  I think it will be a lot closer than polls are showing here.  Pennsyltucky is more accurate in describing the state than most would like to admit.  There's a robust mix of racism and anti-liberal that isn't seen much because people only ever focus on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The caveat to all of this is that I am often wrong, so perhaps it's a good sign I feel this way.

Date: 2008/10/30 10:26:27, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Both exellecent points, Arden.  And I don't mean to go all Eeyore...just perhaps a bit overcautious and skeptical of polls that show a 12-13 point lead over McCain.

As a point of interest to...well me

Pennsylvania population 2006

State Pop - 12.4 million
Philadelphia County - 1.4 million
Surrouding Counties ~ 2.3 million (most blue, some purple)
Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) - 1.2 million
Not sure of surrounding counties here - I think pretty even split

The breakdowns of race, sex, education, etc are intersting too.  Curious how other posters view their states.

Date: 2008/10/30 10:30:35, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 30 2008,11:25)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 30 2008,08:08)
Run along now, Arden, and remember to hold the pickle.

Your wife holds my pickle just fine.

Oh, I'm sorry, "you're wife". Clearer?

Sew your saying that you're gherkin is green, wrinkled, and shriveled?

(Was going to go the mini dill route but thought I'd try something different)

Date: 2008/10/31 08:59:06, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 31 2008,09:19)
White House tries to bone the country on the way out the door.

Won't these idiots just quietly leave in disgrace? Do they Have to try to cement their reputation?

Ease regulation on financial industry = good results

Ease regulation on environmental controls = only good things can happen!

stevestory, Bush is just remembering what it was to be Republican; limited governement.  His selective memory is that, after years of increasing much of the federal government he remembered he hates big governement and needs to limit it.

I'm thinking the next President will be a one-termer, only because there will be so much shit to repair they'll never make enough progress to impress the public.

I'm actually somewhat serious about this.  I don't mean to say we're at the end of the world, but that people are expecting such monumental change, in so short a time period, that they are bound to be disappointed.

Date: 2008/10/31 09:29:23, Link
Author: Spottedwind
In June, James Porter Moreland, a professor at the Talbot School of Theology near Los Angeles and a Discovery Institute fellow, fanned the flames with Consciousness and the Existence of God. "I've been doing a lot of thinking about consciousness," he writes, "and how it might contribute to evidence for the existence of God in light of metaphysical naturalism's failure to provide a helpful explanation." Non-materialist neuroscience provided him with this helpful explanation: since God "is" consciousness, "the theist has no need to explain how consciousness can come from materials bereft of it. Consciousness is there from the beginning."

What does '...God "is" consciousness...' mean and why can he just state that?

The other thing that gets me about this is how hard they are looking for something in the material realm when

"the theist has no need to explain how consciousness can come from materials bereft of it. Consciousness is there from the beginning."

If consciousness can't come from material things...WHY LOOK FOR IT THERE?

Ahem, pardon.

I know what I'm saying has been said before, but...the intellectual bankrupt way in which they have set up their search...they can't be wrong.

Find an unknown portion of the brain:
Evidence soul exists as this is the source of the soul that we have been looking for.  How do we know it's the source?  Well, no one knows what this section of the brain does and, interestly, we have conciousness.  As we all know, souls are conciousness, ergo, this section is the soul.  Q.E.D.

Find use for previously unknown portion:
The soul exists despite a lack of physical evidence because said soul is non-material and thus a material source won't be found.  Scientists are wasting their time looking for evidence that God hasn't provided.  You can't weigh the soul, you can't measure it.  Constantly searching for evidence of the soul is just a way to try to deny non-materalistic claims and keep Darwinian explinations in power.  But deep down inside, you know you have one.

It just makes my head spin.

Date: 2008/10/31 09:48:50, Link
Author: Spottedwind
It's not specificly UD Tard, but I'd like to submit this as prehaps a fix.  It might go better in the political thread, but I'm trying to help the Tard fix.  I know it's not nice to help addicts, but I'm an enabler.

I submit this for your consideration:

Two choices: American freedom, liberty, and capitalism; or Marxist socialism in America.

Anti-American associations, false birth certificates, voter fraud, socialism/marxism, liberal media bias, and no sick grandmother.  All this meaty paranioa sereved with a heady panic-béarnaise.

Suggested wine: Chianti

Date: 2008/10/31 12:27:02, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 31 2008,13:15)
While you are at it, could you explain why your god actually made E.coli in the first place? It seems to make people ill quite alot. Your god likes misery huh?

silly oldman,

God created E. coli to do good in this world.
Then sin, brought into the world by Adam and Even, caused evolution, which then casued E. coli to make man sick.

Learn more about The Sin Theory of Evolution but make sure to wear your seatbelt.  It's a hell of a ride.

Or perhaps I should say Hell of a ride?

Date: 2008/10/31 12:37:26, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Originally, I was going to let Mel know that there is no god of evolution but realized that it's pointless.  If he thinks that a god that used evolution couldn't possibly have the same compassion and love as a god of creation, then I don't have the energy to try to convince him otherwise.

Bringing up evolution and ethics as if they are related makes me think that Mel is one of those 'is/ought' people.

I wonder if Mel is a drive by or if he stuck around?

Date: 2008/10/31 13:35:55, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 31 2008,14:27)


The Clergy Letter Project is an affront to all Christians (followers of the Lord Jesus Christ).

Over 11,700 Christian clergy signing the letter, and many others besides, are living testimony that Mel is wrong.

I suggest Mel have another read of the Sermon on the Mount, but try to pay attention this time.

Aw, don't be so hard on Mel, Wes.  He just for got to put the "true" in his sentence.  Then it would have been an ironclad statement.

Date: 2008/11/03 14:15:48, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 03 2008,15:10)
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 03 2008,04:56)
What is everyone's Libation / Libation & Food Creation Of Choice to properly celebrate Tuesday Night?

Baked Alaska.


1 Internet...that's how many you win.

Date: 2008/11/04 07:00:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind

Date: 2008/11/04 09:30:51, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (blipey @ Nov. 04 2008,10:17)
 I find it strange that we congratulate supporters of a particular candidate rather than the candidate themselves.  Personally, I feel there is nothing to congratulate at this time--even as a person who voted for Obama.  Congratulations should come after successful policy has been introduced and instituted--no sure thing on either account.

blipey, I don't think it was babbling at all.  I think you are spot on...the election is the start, not the end.  What they actually do in office is what matters...not what they did to get there.

And I agree, people do focus too much on the race and not what happens afterwards.  That's not to say that people shouldn't celebrate or what not...just that it's not the end-all, be-all.

P.S. - 1400 posts for you and 1776 for Erasmus.  In honor of the country and government he loves so much  ;)

P.P.S. - And now Erasmus comes and ruins my joke  :angry:

Date: 2008/11/04 09:56:44, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Congrats on the voting!

Quick question...

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 04 2008,10:39)
Diane looked up somewhere that listed people who had received campaign funding from "animal rights" groups. One of those confirmed our likely choice of the opponent, but two of the people we were otherwise inclined to vote for were tainted by that association. We plan on sending them letters stating our opposition to the radical "animal rights" agenda.

I am bad at detecting sarcasm, but is there a radical "animal rights" agenda in MI?  Something beyond SPCA or Humane Society?

Date: 2008/11/04 09:59:20, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (blipey @ Nov. 04 2008,10:53)
I don't get the 1400 reference, unless it was a segue to the 1776 line.  Please help the historically challenged  :O

blipey - it was nothing more complex than 'ooo...round natural number!'

I'm pretty easily amused most of the time.

Date: 2008/11/04 11:00:26, Link
Author: Spottedwind
The SPCA and the American Humane Association are legitimate animal welfare organizations. I favor animal welfare efforts.

PETA, HSUS, and various other groups are radical animal rights advocates. Their goal is to eliminate all domesticated animals, any used for food, service, or as pets. HSUS is simply sneakier about it than PETA. One of the current wedge issues is passing mandatory spay and neuter laws. The implementation of these impose high burdens on pet owners keeping intact animals, including high annual fees and fines for non-compliance. The intent is to force as many breeders as possible out of business, as well as insuring that individuals breeding the pet animals affected becomes a rarity. The political strategy used by these groups has been unfortunately effective: browbeating and pressure applied to individual lawmakers and their families. I cannot express the contempt I have for these folks.

HSUS came along well after the American Humane Association and created their name with the apparent intent of sowing as much confusion as possible. The AHA was the organization behind the founding and running of many animal shelters around the country, not HSUS. HSUS capitalizes on the ambiguity inherent in their name to undercut charitable giving that would otherwise enrich the legitimate animal welfare organization, the AHA. Please do not confuse the two or perpetuate that confusion in others.

I wasn't trying to confuse them, I just honestly didn't know if there was a specific group that was big in Michigan or if it was something else.

I also referenced the SPCA and HSUS because sometimes people use 'animal rights' and 'animal welfare' interchangeably.  I mostly associate them with shelters, as those are the two main groups in my area that run them.  I'm not sure how much statewide and local Humane Society is associated with national level stuff.  Their local actions surely aren't that extreme, although that may be your point.

Also, being in Pennsylvania, there is a great deal of discussion and debate about puppy breeding vs. puppy mills and what not, so I'm not always sure what people mean by animal rights and animal welfare.  Different groups seem to interpret it differently.

Date: 2008/11/04 12:53:19, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Nov. 04 2008,13:06)

HSUS does not run animal shelters to my knowledge.   Not one. The AHA does.  Are you sure you are not confusing the two ?

And perhaps this is where the confusion comes in.

Looking at PA shelters here many have "humane society" as part of their name.  I'm not sure if all of these are associated with the national group, but I do know that some of them run (or ran) shelters.

In my area, we always referred to the shelters as either the SPCA or the Humane Society, since both ran shelters.  On many of the websites of these places it isn't specifically clear if they are associated with HSUS or the AHA.  They make no statements either way and may not even be associated with either.

So, the HSUS might not run shelters, but we do have groups calling themselves Humane Society that do.  Those groups that I was referring to do not have the radical stances Wes was talking about.

I linked HSUS, thinking they were related, and it seems that is probably an error.  mea culpa.  My interactions with local humane societies have always been positive, and I think my volunteer time post-Katrina was through HSUS, although it might have been SPCA...I can't remember as I applied to both.  Not defending them, just that I had never come across the actions Wes was describing.  But maybe that was because i was dealing with local humane societies or the AHA and not HSUS.

Either way, back to a less contentious subject like politics.

Date: 2008/11/05 06:44:39, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Spottedwind @ Oct. 30 2008,09:07)
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 30 2008,01:31)
one of the good things about the election is we should know the results fairly quickly, assuming Obama wins. The polls in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania all close by 8 pm EST. If Obama has, say, Virginia, or Florida, and Pennsylvania, then McCain is toast.

I know PA polls and others have Obama up by quite a bit on McCain, but being a Pennsylvanian...I don't know.  I don't see it.  Perhaps it's pessimism, but I wouldn't count PA in Obama's column until you see it.  I think it will be a lot closer than polls are showing here.  Pennsyltucky is more accurate in describing the state than most would like to admit.  There's a robust mix of racism and anti-liberal that isn't seen much because people only ever focus on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The caveat to all of this is that I am often wrong, so perhaps it's a good sign I feel this way.

I've never been so happy to be so wrong.

McCain ( R ) 44% 2,584,063
Obama ( D ) 55% 3,184,621

I agree about the concession speech...that's the McCain I had respected.  Where has he been?

Happy with the results, but also happy to be done with this part.

And now...back to science.

Date: 2008/11/26 09:25:53, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 25 2008,16:04)
Just got the phone call I've been waiting on.

...I got the job.

Work has picked up the past few weeks, so I haven't been able to check in (DT left UD?!?!), but this is awesome news to return to.  The exam, the PASS, all of it, congrats!

Now if you could just spread a little of that luck around, that'd be great  ;)

Seriously though, you've earned what you've worked for and I hope that it turns out great.

Date: 2009/01/13 08:26:14, Link
Author: Spottedwind
My work has been extremely busy and so I haven't had time to stop back...but I had to share this with someone.

PETA to rename fish 'sea kittens'

At first I thought it was a joke...or like the Onion or...I just don't know.  I know, I know, it's PETA.  But still...

Rather than learn to appreciate something for what it is, try to make it something it isn't?  I know I shouldn't be surprised but...well, I am.  I understand that they aren't cute to most people (myself included) but they are still interesting and beautiful and you can be amazed by them.

Date: 2009/01/23 07:04:11, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I didn't get a gift for Wes for his birthday, so the best I can offer is Texas (tentatively) voting out "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution language from their science standards.

But like many last minute gifts, it's kind of subpar; new language may be added that will '...require students to evaluate the "sufficiency or insufficiency" of scientific theories about common ancestry of different species.'

Maybe I'll just get a sweater next time.

Date: 2009/02/10 06:47:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Not meaning to resurrect a dead thread, but if you have forgotten evolution's Waterloo! ™, at 9 AM EST Feb 10 there will be a radio interview with Judge Jones and Larui Lebo.  What should make this more interesting is that the show is a call-in show and specifically covers York county, which has the Dover School District.

Looks like they have live streaming and archived shows for anyone interested.

Date: 2009/02/10 07:09:23, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Great post Louis.  Though I have to say that the stand out part for me was:

Quote (Louis @ Feb. 09 2009,16:47)

Also, I have added a few links to Wikipedia etc for your edification. These are simple articles with very simple information in them. I suggest them as a beginning point for your investigation, not as "proof".

Now, I'm not a big Wikipedia fan, but what I like is that you stress that it is the beginning of learning, not the end.  It's not a matter of 'Here, Wikipedia says this, so it is' but a 'teach thyself' offer; which to me is even better.  I'm pretty sure the offer is lost on RFJE but such is life.

Date: 2009/02/10 08:55:46, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 10 2009,09:48)
It seems that Bill Buckingham and Alan Bonsell will get off without perjury charges being pressed. Judge Jones said that he doesn't have knowledge of the prosecutor's office proceedings in the investigation, but given the lapse of time it doesn't seem likely that charges will be issued.

I thought I heard about Wes from the midwest...


Too bad about the perjury but I'm happy that Judge Jones just pointed out that in science a theory is more than 'just a guess'.  Not the only battle, but one we need to keep fighting.

Date: 2009/02/12 07:21:21, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Well, I started off my Darwin celebrations kind of late because I was up late in the service of evolution.  It was a night of the usual supression of evidence: catching dinosaurs, faking DNA, expelling ID scientists; nothing out of the ordinary.  But what made it especially rough was that NASA found the missing day again so we had to sneak into houses and change all of the clocks and whatnot again.  Man, I know those guys don't do anything all day, but they have got to get on the ball.  This conspiracy isn't going to hold if we don't all work together.

What with all of the persecution and daily Atheism, I haven't even had time to steal candy from a baby  :angry:

p.s. KC...nice :)

Date: 2009/02/12 14:00:46, Link
Author: Spottedwind
For ye doubters...rejoice in his image.

Date: 2009/02/23 08:30:55, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Been lovin' the write-ups Carlson, thanks a lot!  I've yet to make it to Abbie's site for her version...I'm not sure I can handle the rough language that M. Luskin says comes from such a bawdy den.  Just thinking about it gives me the vapors.

You do a great job of pointing out the inconsistencies, hypocrisy, and out right lies of these guys.  Thanks to everyone else that added more information too.  I know it shouldn't, but it constantly fascinates me that we could just cut and paste from every other time they parrot these talking points.  Nothing against you (far from it) but just that they can't ever adapt their tactics.  I guess the thing is, their tactics keep working on those that want to believe, so why change?

One other thing I do find interesting is that we all use the same words but we don't speak the same language.  So, Michale Sermer said something to the effect that that science was his savior and rescued him from religion.  To me, without seeing the context, Sermer is simply being wryly poetic.  Now I doubt even West, with his intellectual dishonesty, believes that Sermer worships science in any way similar to a religion, but he does know that his target audience might believe it, or at least use it as an attack that science = religion.

I know we often debate whether they are incompetent, liars, or perhaps incompetent liars, but the cognitive dissonance and selective denial just amaze me at times.  I don't want to be wrong but I'd rather change my mind than struggle against reality like a stubborn 3-year old trying to shout down the wind.

Date: 2009/02/27 07:07:21, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Whoa, missed a bunch of birthdays.  Happy birthday to you Erasmus and if you don't mind me stealing a little of your thread, happy birthday to Bob O'H and Amadan as well.

Try not to scare the neighbors too much with the celebrations.

Date: 2009/03/16 13:02:35, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I don't know what has been better lately...the near-meltdown, the TARD that has been presented, or the poems.

I love this place   :D

And CeilingCat - Ray Comfort + UD?...the TARD there would be toxic even to our most experienced and shielded miners.  I shudder to imagine what their combined efforts would bring...

Date: 2009/03/24 07:09:57, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 23 2009,13:02)
Oops, you're right, it's byte (gaaa). Thank you. As for the formatting, I got that from some professor... Eek. *Blush* Oh well, if one never says anything stupid, one doesn't learn anything. :)

Don't you know how this works Kristine?

You are supposed to deny, deflect, and dissemble about any supposed mistake.  You didn't even lash out.

Tsk, tsk,'ll never make it at UD.  :angry:

Date: 2009/03/25 13:55:12, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Jkrebs @ Mar. 25 2009,14:24)
Ah, John Davison ...

I came here to Uncommon Descent specifically to offer an antidote to the atheist inspired Darwinian mysticism being presented by Allen MacNeill. So what does MacNeill do? He promptly disappears. I will let others interpret his departure as they choose. I ssy he didn’t have the stomach for a confrontation. I will continue my pursuit of Allen MacNeill at his weblog - “The Evolution List” as I recently linked.

I thank Uncommon Descent for giving me the opportunity to evoke this expected reaction.

Why don’t you now invite P.Z. Myers or Richard Dawkins to present their versions of the great mystery of phylogeny? I am itching to take them on as well. Only by inviting them can you have the pleasure of seeing them decline.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

What an addition to UD.



We have a spectacular measure of error; do we have one for ego?  Perhaps in Egnors?  Or does that require more of an ignorance/arrogance balance?

By the way, the first link in a Google search for Egnor.

Date: 2009/03/26 14:02:09, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 26 2009,14:48)
But Agosto seems to have been more interested in hearing from arch-Darwinist Scott...

Man, that arch-Darwinist rank is so far away!

I'm stuck between Neophyte and Daily Atheist ???

Yay for good news!  And now we wait for the next gopher to pop up.

Date: 2009/04/03 07:09:38, Link
Author: Spottedwind
Quote (Amadan @ April 03 2009,06:58)

If someone from UD feeds a few flagella into the Eureka Machine, surely the EF will pop out, rendering scientists obsolete!

Suggested response strategy: Argue that technician who plugs in the Eureka Machine reads Left Behind novels and so has "smuggled in" Tard.

Should work. Other suggestions welcome.

Hey, if they combined that machine with this one, which can "...conduct scientific experiments, automatically generate hypotheses to explain the resulting data, test these hypotheses, and then interpret the results", they won't ever have to do any research of their own!

Oh wait...

Projected response: Computer was designed ergo goddidit.

Date: 2009/09/29 12:53:20, Link
Author: Spottedwind
I have been quite distracted with other things and haven't been able to catch up here in a while, but when I heard of a chance to get rid of help Wes get to Antartica, I quickly tried to get my vote in.

Hope all is well here and I need to find time to get back here and read.  Best of luck Wes and I sorry I didn't get in sooner for the momentum.