Posted on March 30, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
Please read this posting by PZ Myers about the suspension of the James Randi Educational Foundation’s Youtube account, pass it on and do what you can to make sure the suspension is reversed.
UPDATE: please read this notice by Phil Plait, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation..
Filed under: education, science | Tagged: james randi, jref, youtube | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
Phil Plait reports that the creationist loonies trying to sabotage the science curriculum in Texas have only managed to scrape a 7-7 tie on a vote to incorporate a bogus “strengths and weaknesses” clause into the State’s science teaching standards. Without a vote to carry the amendment, it fails.
Science has scored the narrowest of victories over the most blatant ignorance and stupidity.
They always lose, but they never give up. The battle against this avoidable and self-inflicted damage goes on.
Filed under: education, politics, science | Tagged: creationism, phil plait, texas, texas freedom network | Comments Off
Posted on March 24, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
Statement by Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico on signing into law an Act repealing the death penalty and substituting life imprisonment without parole for capital offenses:
“Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime. If the State is going to undertake this awesome responsibility, the system to impose this ultimate penalty must be perfect and can never be wrong. But the reality is the system is not perfect — far from it. The system is inherently defective. DNA testing has proved that. Innocent people have been put on death row all across the country. Even with advances in DNA and other forensic evidence technologies, we can’t be 100-per cent sure that only the truly guilty are convicted of capital crimes. Evidence, including DNA evidence, can be manipulated. Prosecutors can still abuse their powers. We cannot ensure competent defense counsel for all defendants”
Bill Richardson, a former advocate of capital punishment, was later interviewed at length by Rachel Maddow, and you can see the interview here. New Mexico is the first state to repeal the death penalty since New Jersey in 2007.
These are great days..
Filed under: civil liberties, law, politics | Tagged: abolitionism, bill richardson, capital punishment, death penalty, msnbc, new mexico, rachel maddow | Comments Off
Posted on March 15, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
I, Tony Sidaway, didn’t write this piece. I’ve put it up because it was removed from the New Scientist site. It seems quite harmless to me, and useful.
Sat, 28 Feb 2009 22:35 UTC
As a book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda. As creationists in the US continue to lose court battles over attempts to have intelligent design taught as science in federally funded schools, their strategy has been forced to… well, evolve. That means ensuring that references to pseudoscientific concepts like ID are more heavily veiled. So I thought I’d share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science’s clothing.
Filed under: religion, science | Tagged: new scientist, pharyngula | 14 Comments »
Posted on March 14, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
I want to say a word about the more extreme conservative American broadcasters and writers like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. I think they have done their country a disservice.
Filed under: politics | Tagged: ann coulter, bill o'reilly, Jim David Adkisson, knoxville, michael savage, rush limbaugh, sean hannity, tennessee | 12 Comments »
Posted on March 8, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
Okay, I wouldn’t normally say anything about an ad, particularly a very stupid ad made by a company that doesn’t even sell into my country, but this is getting very annoying.
Most weekdays I pick up the Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow shows from MSNBC’s website. They’re running on what is known in the trade as interstitial ads, so if you want to watch a segment first you have to watch a 30-second ad. Fine.
For a week or so now, however, the Rachel Maddow show has been intrusively interspersed with a particularly obnoxious ad.
The premise is “What if delivery people ran the world?” Well obviously the world would be horrible if that were the case, but what the ad actually shows is people who look like rather dense PE teachers running around shouting into telephones and annoying the children.
It’s annoying enough to watch once–the stupid, brutal, mindless yelling idiot with the telephone, his slack-jawed henchmen and women importing an unwanted and very disturbing air of somnambulence and automatism to teaching.
But this is the problem: the stupid thing is 30 seconds long and is broadcast between every single segment of Rachel Maddow’s show.
Please, MSNBC, stop. Find an advertiser prepared to make ads that don’t make people want to stab their own eyes out with pencils.
Filed under: television | Tagged: blackberry, msnbc, rachel maddow | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 7, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
Welcome news from Reuters: the White House has announced that the US President is to sign an executive order on Monday on the subject of stem cell research.
In view of Mr Obama’s stated opinions on the matter, most sources are speculating that he is to lift the federal ban on funding of embryonic stem cell research on new lines, which was imposed by President George W. Bush.
On this assumption, Bloomberg reports that scientists and health advocates are excited and predicting that the action will accelerate the pace of essential medical research.
I’d prefer to wait until Monday before I start celebrating, but the ban on funding is an international disgrace and it is imperative that it be lifted, and obviously the Obama administration is painfully aware of the years wasted by the previous science-hating administration.
Filed under: medicine, politics, science | Tagged: barack obama, bloomberg, embryonic stem cells, executive orders, reuters | Comments Off
Posted on March 2, 2009 by Tony Sidaway
I’m going to take a great big punt on “Conservative” Republican ambitions:
- go hell for leather on opposition to abortion
- pretend that spending won’t end the depression
- deny, deny, deny again, global warming
It isn’t going to work. An administration promised good times for eight year and delivered ashes. Global warming is now universally recognised as a problem and only die-hards deny it. Abortion is about the contents of your womb, not the opinion of some godbotherer.
The Republicans must find new ambitions. These ones got old and died
Filed under: politics, religion, science | Tagged: cpac, republican party | 9 Comments »