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    • The Lack of Belief In Good
      Are humans good, bad or neutral? It’s an old philosophical debate, and not just in the West. Confucius thought they were born neutral, for example, while the later Confucian Mencius felt they were good, noting that everyone who saw a child fall into a well would be horrified. Others, including many Confucians and the Christian church, with original sin, have […]
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Thursday Morning News Break

The news about CCSVI is slowly leaking out: Preliminary results have been released from the Buffalo study on CCSVI:

Brain blood vessels clue to MS
More than 55% of multiple sclerosis patients have been found to have constricted blood vessels in their brains, a US study says.

The preliminary results are from the first 500 patients enrolled in a trial at the University of Buffalo.

The abnormality was found in 56.4% of MS patients and also in 22.4% of healthy controls.

But, (Thank God!) the MS Society is standing up for patients:

Dr Doug Brown, Biomedical Research Manager at the MS Society, said: “These results are intriguing but it is important to remember that although people with MS may show evidence of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in screening studies, there’s no proof as yet that this phenomenon is a cause of MS, nor that treating it would have an effect on MS.

Seriously?  He seems to be saying that we wouldn’t want to rush into fixing jugular veins (willy-nilly) just to give people adequate blood flow.  That we should decide whether this is going to cure MS before testing and treating patients!


Sweet-toothed children ‘may have depression’

The US team report in the journal Addiction that certain children are especially drawn to very sweet tastes.

These were children who had a close relative with an alcohol problem or who themselves had symptoms of depression.

But it is unclear if the preference for the very sweet is down to genuine chemical differences or upbringing.


Looking for love in all the wrong places? ::

Analysis of hair DNA reveals ancient human’s face

A study, published in the journal Nature, says the individual’s genome is the oldest to have been sequenced from a modern human.

The researchers say the man, who lived 4,000 years ago, had brown eyes and thick dark hair, although he would have been prone to baldness.


(shaking my head) Because OF COURSE global warming means that the whole world becomes some sort of equatorial desert . . .

Climate Fight Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze

Skeptics of global warming are using the record-setting snows to mock those who warn of dangerous human-driven climate change — this looks more like global cooling, they taunt.

Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.

But some independent climate experts say the blizzards in the Northeast no more prove that the planet is cooling than the lack of snow in Vancouver or the downpours in Southern California prove that it is warming.

As an illustration of their point of view, the family of Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading climate skeptic in Congress, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and put a cardboard sign on top that read “Al Gore’s New Home.”


And the Free Music debate rages on ::

Warner retreats from free music streaming

Record label Warner Music has said it will stop licensing its songs to free music streaming services.

Companies like Spotify, We7 and Last.fm give free, legal and instant access to millions of songs, funded by adverts.

Warner, one of the four major labels, whose artists include REM and Michael Buble, said such services were “clearly not positive for the industry”.

That raises questions over the future of free streaming, which is popular with fans but not lucrative for labels.


And finally, these photos brought tears to my eyes (and it still enrages me that our emotions about the attack have been so cynically brutalized from the very day it happend ’till now) . . .

Chilling aerial photos of 9/11 attack released

The images were taken from a police helicopter — the only photographers allowed in the airspace near the skyscrapers on Sept. 11, 2001. They were obtained by ABC after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency that investigated the collapse.

Look at the photos here

45 Responses

  1. Those photos…stupefying to see the thick blanket of debris covering so much of downtown. It’s still surreal.

  2. Good morning KB. How are your goals going? I am with you. It’s an absolutely brilliant beautiful 70 degree day here in CA and I have no excuse not to be out there hiking and sucking up the fresh air.

    Thanks for the posts and have a great day.

    • Hi Jangles – so far today my goals are going pretty well. I’m working on my main post at Eat4Today now but, I’ve posted a couple of things there since yesterday morning.

      I went mall-walking yesterday because our sidewalks are still covered in snow/ice. And I’ll be going back in just a little while.

      I love those 70 degree California days…. (now THERE’s a goal!)

  3. The renewed climate debate:

    What is troubling about this to me is that when people see the flailing, false promises and flat out F$#ups in our public policies today, they look at climate science and think—oh sure, the academic class has another winner for us, not. This is that subtle downside to everything we are experiencing—credibility of scientists and academics gets undermined. Just as we were recovering from the anti-science era of the Bushies, we get the Obots giving the intellectual class a bad name.

    Makes my head hurt.

    • Sure, just as soon as you apologize to his wife …..

      what is wrong with these women. They don’t give a damn about screwing around with another woman’s husband but they think they are the harmed party when it goes wrong?

  4. It is snowing here in northeast TX today, but I’m not investing in any Inhof igloo.

  5. About that climate change. We have such a narrow view. In Rio, Brazil, they are cooking. Temps have been in over 100 degrees for days (think Summer Olympics there). People are sleeping on the beach at night for relief.
    In Al Gore’s presentations, he talks about the “engine” of the gulf stream and how as ice melts in Greenland (the top of the Gulf Stream) fresh water mixes with the salt water and results in the shutting down of the Gulf Stream engine that keeps temps moderate in the North. The halting of the Gulf Stream mechanism resulting in a mini Ice Age for the North.
    Why nobody is pointing this out is beyond me. I worry about the coming summer here in South Florida.

  6. !! I got my new post done at Eat4Today, Thursday, and I don’t really care about my weight

    Shocking, isn’t it?

  7. My take on the whole climategate thing is that it is similar to what the stupid Dems have done with HCR: overreach by seeing it not as a practical problem, but a vehicle for gaining power and trading favors, and poison the well with politics.

    There has been little coverage (other than the loonies) here, but Europe has been covering the whole kerfluffle extensively, and guess what? The IPCC was grossly incompetent, negligent, and outright deceptive. There’s just no denying it now. The lure of the political power, the geopolitical favors, and the MONEY involved in Cap and Trade led them to be more concerned with drumming up support for the political advantages that AGW would give certain groups than with the science itself.

    Because it became so politicized, genuine scientists who cautioned restraint, who cautioned more strenuous study, who said that A+B might equal C, but did not necessarily equal Z (yet) were lumped in with partisan crazy deniers (and those do exist) and bullied and silenced right along with the loonies.

    I hate the politicizing of science. And I hate it equally whether the right does it or the left does it. The battle became not a serious discussion of AGW, but a battle for political power by both sides. Which tainted and ruined the process of research.

    Fecking idiots.

    • I love your comments, WMCB. You are absolutely right. There is so much money to be made with Cap and Trade (which, maybe I’m old fashioned, but wouldn’t Cap and Tax make more sense?) and other money-making schemes that the entire discussion has become suspect. It’s hard to sort out the legitimate science from the tainted claims.

      • I second this accolade WMCB. With regard to cap and trade, it is very important to remember where the political and economic nexus is located—that windy city on the plains.

        • Yup. And the minute that Cap and Trade, and aid to developing countries, and the money and influence to be garnered by those things became the desired goal, things went downhill from there.

          Global Warming became not the focus, but merely the handy vehicle for a political agenda. The climate itself became utterly secondary.

  8. No We Can’t
    Obama had millions of followers eager to fight for his agenda. But the president muzzled them – and he’s paying the price
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31961846/no_we_cant/2

    I’m so glad they blew this! Having grassroots Obots all over the place pushing his legislation, whether good or bad, had me worried. I thought that was how he would do an end run around critics.

    Interesting paragraph:
    The only true accomplishment from OFA’s first year, they say, is the work it’s done to build a national infrastructure for the president’s 2012 re-election campaign. To reproduce the organizational structure developed by Obama for America in 2008, OFA has quietly deployed paid staff to all 50 states, building a network from state directors all the way down to a corps of supervolunteers, trained in organizing, who recruit an army of neighborhood team leaders. “There’s a skeleton of a re-election campaign already set up — beyond a skeleton,” says Figueroa, the campaign’s former field director. “There’s already meat to the bone in every state in the union. Three years away from the next election, that army is already being continually fed. If you’re Barack Obama and his political operation, revving the engine, how is that not a good thing?”

    I don’t think this “army” can make any difference when his policies suck.

    • I read that article a week ago. That paragraph you quoted was one of the two excerpts that stuck out in my mind. The other was this:

      “There were two ways for Barack Obama to twist arms on Capitol Hill,” says Trippi. “You can get the best arm-bender in town to be your chief of staff — and I don’t think there’d be many people who would deny that Rahm is a pretty good pick. Or the American people can be your arm-bender. What I don’t understand is why the White House looked at it as an either/or proposition. You could have had both.”

      Trippi should think about that real hard until he gets the “why.”

      The answer has been staring the left right in the face for over two years, but they persist in this delusion that Obama is their favorite character on tv and suddenly after November the showrunner/writers started writing him out of character. What with Obama playing president on tv, it’s confusing times for the guillible people who wanted to b-e-l-i-e-v-e the lie.

    • The cult of personality lives?!?
      That is what it looks like. Seeing that OFA’s only goal is to keep Obama in power, this acts as a confirmation of the cult of personality.

  9. OT: Michelle O. gushing over Hillary says Lynn Sweet’s article over at Politics Daily. This is the first I’ve heard her say a nice thing about our Hill:

    “Mrs. Obama was practically gushing over Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who she knows very well. The acrimony of the presidential campaign is gone. Anyway, Obama won and Clinton did not. She told King that Clinton would have been “am amazing president.”
    Said Mrs. Obama, “Hillary Clinton is an amazing secretary of state. I mean she would have been an amazing president. She was an amazing attorney. She’s a phenomenal professional. And she’s proven to be a tremendous asset in — in so many ways.”
    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/02/11/what-does-michelle-obama-make-of-sarah-palin/?icid=main|main|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2010%2F02%2F11%2Fwhat-does-michelle-obama-make-of-sarah-palin%2F

    • LOL! So see-through.

    • Um, what? Am I the only one who saw that “I’d have to think long and hard about voting for her in the general” interview she did on morning TV during the primaries? Or has that been scrubbed too?

      • bwah! I was actually going to post that very clip in my reply but then thought nah, not worth it, this is too obvious. The clip is still up on youtube, though.

    • it is patronizing as hell and where does MO get the nerve to try and kiss up to Clinton supporters after her remarks about them during the primary. MO can kiss my a$$

  10. I checked out the article at Rolling Stone, “No We Can’t”. Thanks for that link. I thought the comment thread was pretty amazing. Talk about the disillusioned and the pi$$ed off. An interesting point for me was how many of the commenters noted that they were not Democrats and had not been Democrats but supported 0 has the insurgent candidate who would change politics and the Dem party forever and are really angry that this has not and will not happen. I thought that was such an enormous contrast with most of us here who have a long political history as a Democrat and are really are angry that 0 has destroyed our party. It is strange because in a weird way I think we share some a desire for some of the same political ends. Actually saw some comments supportive of Clinton but CDS still lives like a blind and unyielding hatred.

  11. Yes, so see through and SO over the top that there must be something to it.

  12. My take on the whole climategate thing is that it is similar to what the stupid Dems have done with HCR: overreach by seeing it not as a practical problem, but a vehicle for gaining power and trading favors, and poison the well with politics.
    ***************
    I was thinking exactly the same thing…your are exactly right. Delivery of health care is screw up in the US mostly due to the Insurance Model…solution? Mandate transfer of trillions of $$ more in cash flow to the insurance industry.

    Climate warming, CO2 450ppm..solution?? (there isn’t one) but let the private markets regulate CO2..again transfer of trillions of $$ to Goldman, GE, Exelon “big coal”, etc.

    I told my Obot sister, right after Obama was elected, that he was the most corrupt politician ever to be elected President, she didn’t agree. :>)

  13. It’s a known fact that record label executives are bone stupid. (or just greedy)

    Wouldn’t the fact that record labels heavily used “payola” in the radio days invalidate this current argument?

    Like, what’s the difference in paying for more radio exposure, and getting the exposure for free? (for sites that promote “popular” songs and artists visitors listen to frequently)

    Same difference, except it’s the fans who get to pick what’s “popular” and not the label manufacturing the popularity on their own.

    *I firmly believe labels still use payola, probably not in the same exact manner as in the past*

    • If you spend much time with the older recording artists down here in New Orleans, you can’t miss the stories of how they were screwed out of their own creative work by record labels. The money doesn’t go to the folks that create the music. It goes to the executives that abuse them.

  14. Here’s the Brooks quote I was referencing in the Professor thread:

    Moreover, after the Bush years, Brooks seems relieved to have an intellectual in the White House again. “I divide people into people who talk like us and who don’t talk like us,” he explains. “Of recent presidents, Clinton could sort of talk like us, but Obama is definitely–you could see him as a New Republic writer. He can do the jurisprudence, he can do the political philosophy, and he can do the politics. I think he’s more talented than anyone in my lifetime. I mean, he is pretty dazzling when he walks into a room. So, that’s why it’s important he doesn’t fuck this up.”

    Anti-intellectualism turns me off bigtime, but it is stuff just like this that has helped me understand where that thread of anti-intellectualism in American politics comes from. It is egomaniacs with inferiority complexes like Brooks who in essence who find some big appeal when matters of importance in public policy and American political life are kept remote and inaccessible to people who “don’t talk like us.” The little people. The hoi polloi. The riffraff. Keep them out! That is what they saw in Obama. That is what so-called intellectuals were embracing. Not intellectualism, but their own self-importance.

    • You just can’t read that without wanting to groan.

    • Brooks problem with Bill was that Bill could indeed “talk like us”. There is no “sort of” about it – that’s a cop out. “Sort of” my ass. Brooks problem was that Bill did not combine his “talking like us” with the requisite sneering at everyone else, so as to make the exclusive club feel all cozy and reinforced and, well…. exclusive.

      Bill’s sin was that he was very much at home in the halls of academia, AND very much at home talking to WV coal miners. He illustrated the pettiness of their carefully guarded “us and them” dichotomy. He showed them up, not by being anti-intellectual, but by being a genuine egalitarian in how he behaved.

      If Bill had been an actual unintelligent “Bubba”, they would not have hated him so. It was the fact that he was “one of us” who did not make their preening “us” the sole bedrock of his worldview that earned their ire. Only one who is in many ways in the club can pull back the curtain and reveal the moral and social poverty of the club.

      They love Obama because he enables them to keep their assumed superiority intact. Obama would never, by any of his actions, reveal the hollowness of the Beautiful People. Nothing he does threatens their view of themselves as the rightful masters of the universe. Bill did, and they’ve never forgiven him.

      • It is precisely because Bill could navigate both worlds that the Washington establishment has been so hostile toward him from the very beginning, so threatened by him. There is a revealing portion of Bill’s My Life. This was from a call Bill Clinton got before he announced he was running for president, from Roger Porter at the WH, who said that because he was the one Dem who had the chance to win, they would have to destroy him if he ran:

        “Here’s how Washington works,” he said. “The press has to have somebody in every election, and we’re going to give them you.” He went on to say the press were elitists who would believe any tales they were told about backwater Arkansas. “We’ll spend whatever we have to spend to get whoever we have to get to say whatever they have to say to take you out. And we’ll do it early.”

    • Clinton did not speak like them because he was not a pretentious prick with his head up his own ass.
      Genuinely smart people who are real intellectuals do not need to go around proving it all the time.
      My father was one of the smartest people alive, his IQ putting him at about the top 1 or 2 percent of people on earth and he was a terrific musician and part time actor in his retirement years. He hated pretentious people and because he was so smart he could mock them with out them really knowing it. I used to think that was funny as hell.
      My father also spoke like the mid-western farm boy he was raised as, at times. The thing about him was that he knew what kind of people he liked and even in the midst of some Opera rehearsal or a dinner for theatrical patrons, he never tried to hide who he was and his friends were generally people who were also smart, but also NOT one of the too educated for all practical purposes types like Brooks.

      You know, sometimes Brooks sounds like a confused dolt more than anything.

      One of the things I like about the Clintons is that they have every reason to be pretentious and they are not.

  15. NYT:

    WASHINGTON — Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security company of defrauding the government for years by filing bogus receipts, double billing for the same services and charging government agencies for strippers and prostitutes, according to court documents unsealed this week.

    […]

    Ms. Davis also asserts that a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan was put on the Blackwater payroll under the “Morale Welfare Recreation” category, and that the company had billed the prostitute’s plane tickets and monthly salary to the government.

    She also said Blackwater management used a subsidiary company, Greystone Ltd., to double bill the government for plane tickets between the United States and Amman, Jordan, which served as a transit point for the company’s employees in Iraq.

  16. BIG DAWG IN HOSPITAL. EMERGENCY STINT OPERATION.

  17. UPDATE: Big Dawg doing ok. Chest discomfort precipitated his trip to the hospital. Clinton “in good spirits”. Hillary headed that way, not at this time canceling her trip to m.e.

  18. On CCSVI — Should we rush to do stenting since about ~ 45 % of people with MS who don’t have these blood vessel anomalies? And then some 20+% of “normal” people (without MS) do have these anomalies?

    Stenting is not without risks. I work in neuro/msk areas, and I agree this new theory is fascinating and deserves lots of research — which it is getting. But the original “liberation/CCSVI” treatment intervention was done on 36 people with relapsing-remitting MS. These folks get better just from their relapses remitting anyhow.

    The MS Society appears to be sponsoring studies rather than holding back from a cursory reading of their website. At any rate, I say yes, don’t bet the farm on this technique, but keep doing research.

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