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      From the useful Elija Mangnier, 1 – Adherence to Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and everything related to this science at all costs. Nuclear enrichment is a sword Iran can hold in the face of the West, which wants to take it from Tehran. It is Iran’s card to obstruct any US intention of “obliterating” […]
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Autumn Melange.

Happy Fall, everyone!

The best autumn song anywhere is from the infamous John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman album that reviewers described as “aural sex”.

The lyrics are lovely:

Through the trees comes autumn with her serenade.

Melodies the sweetest music ever played.

Autumn kisses we knew are beautiful souvenirs.

As I pause to recall the leaves seem to fall like tears.

Silver stars were clinging to an autumn sky.

Love was ours until October wandered by.

Let the years come and go,

I’ll still feel the glow that time can not fade

When I hear that lovely autumn serenade.

*************************************

Speaking of sex, wonkette has a review of a recent paper by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus that claims that “liberal women are lustier”.

Yeah. So??

Wonkette makes mincemeat out of Rod Dreher’s reaction in The American Conservative:

He thinks this is some incredibly hot stuff, because Regnerus explains that for liberals, politics and sexxytimes have become inextricably intertwined:

“With regard to sex and sexuality in America, being politically liberal tends to mean valuing sexual expression as a good-in-itself, not only as a means to an end or contingent on the context (such as being in a relationship or being married). Talk of “sexual health” is also more common among them and typically takes acts of sexual expression for granted. In this perspective, it is a moral good to express one’s sexuality in actions of one’s own free choosing. Pleasure is reached for and should be. In keeping with this, liberal women are more than twice as likely as conservative women to report past-week and past-day masturbation.”

Gosh, He makes it sound like a *bad* thing.

Wait a sec, back up. What the heck does THIS mean?

“valuing sexual expression as a good-in-itself, not only as a means to an end or contingent on the context (such as being in a relationship or being married).”

What? Is Dreher suggesting that sex is a “good” that can be used as a “means to an end” in some transactional manner to acquire another “good” or “goods”, and that transfer of this good is “contingent” on the receipt of a distinctly identifiable pair bonding arrangement?

Isn’t that perilously close to saying that sex should be withheld until payment has been made in a manner not unlike prostitution? And then what? Because if it is, it completely negates the premise of Dreher’s next argument:

Even worse, liberal women have given up on God, and in fact are unable to even find any meaning in their children, because all they ever think about is sex, and maybe old Sparks songs. Dreher apparently was worried about too much blockquoting in a single brief article (honestly, the thing is virtually all text from Regnerus, plus Dreher exclaiming “I NORITE?”) so this time he photographed the passage he liked:

image: https://img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Regnerus-sanctifying-daily-life.jpg

If you don’t have God in your life, then of course the only substitute is orgasms, and that’s all you find meaning in, you empty, empty husks of people. Oh, sure, you may pretend you love your kids and careers and little kittens and find them fulfilling, but really, you’re just an orgasm addict.

Ultimately, the real reason young women are fucking so much more and enjoying it less is only partially that they’ve been seduced by the wiles of liberalism, but that they’ve lost God, their way, their virginity, and their own sense of special-ness. Really! The numbers can’t possibly lie.

In other words, we are all just empty hedonistic orgasm junkies who cannot transcend our meaningless existences.

Prostitution for attaining some societal/religious approval = good. Sex for love of your partner without transactional expectations = BAAAAD!! Bad, No biscuit for you!!

Stop laughing, these people are serious.

This is not the post to go into a discussion about the merits of valuing and cherishing your existence, and that of your partner for the precious and fleeting things that they are, vs playing by some arbitrary rules in the hopes of making it to some inconclusive afterlife. Anyway, you certainly do not need to believe in god for the former and there is no guarantee of transcendent fulfillment with the latter, just ask your average Mormon housewife. But that is the argument that Dreher is trying to make.

Read the whole thing but don’t bother with the paper. It’s just stating the obvious. Liberal women are hot and conservative women …?

**************************************

Speaking of papers, Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline wrote a post about a paper studying the evolution of molecules. That’s like the missing link of natural selection. How did all those elements form DNA and proteins, Miss Smartypants drug designer, can you answer me that?? No, no, you can’t. Therefore, god did a Samantha Stevens nose twitch and magicked Adam and Eve into existence. See?? You can’t prove ANYTHING!!

I’ve given up trying to explain evolution to the thought stopped.

But that hasn’t stopped Derek from giving it a try:

That’s a pretty hard question to answer, since we’re looking at a billion years of evolutionary tinkering, driven by all sorts of random craziness and a willingness to run with anything at all that works. But here’s a new paper from a team at the University of Chicago that tries to address the question empirically. They’d previously worked out a plausible sequence for the ancestral steroid receptor, from whence all the others have descended. It’s selective for the estrogen-response-element in DNA, so that was the original mode of action. Way back when, three particular mutations in the DNA recognition region of the protein sent some of them down the track for selectivity to the steroid-response-element (including androgen response elements and others), which is still the major divide in the mechanistic details of the whole family.

In this paper, the group systematically examines mutations at those three key sites (and one adjacent one that also varies in the superfamily). A library of all 160,000 mutants was prepared, and they used yeast fluorescent reporter assays to figure out the DNA binding and transcriptional competency of the whole shebang. As an aside, I really love modern molecular biology and chemical biology, because you can actually do experiments like this – just make every single one of the mutant proteins, test them all, sequence the ones that you find interesting, and nail down the answer. It’s not easy, and it’s not an afternoon’s work, but I well remember the days when a proposal like this would have been considered dangerously wasteful and stupid.

Actually, he’s preaching to the converted. He gives a pretty good overview of the paper but if you’re so inclined you can read the paper in Nature!

Oh wait, no you can’t. Because it’s behind a pay wall and they aren’t letting you read anything beyond the abstract for less than $199 for the subscription to Nature. It used to be you could read a single paper for some highway robbery price ($33/copy, IIRC). But they’ve gotten even more reclusive and demanding these days.

Of course, you could read the pirated version at some Russian journal aggregation site. You *COULD* but it would be wrong. Not cardinal sin wrong, like watching Pornhub on your phone, but someone might have to say a few Hail Marys to get you out of purgatory.

You have been warned.

**************************************

Pm317 pointed me to a new podcast from Preet Bharara called Stay Tuned! Bharara was the NY Attorney General who was unceremoniously fired by President Dotard Trump for doing his job.

I already subscribed because I am a podcast junkie. {{hanging head in shame}}. I can stop whenever I want.

I just don’t want.

His first episode has just been posted. Let’s give him a listen, shall we?

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Music to Lunch by

It’s another perfect day in Market Square.

Shake your peaches.

Friday: Bushed.

**************************************

The Medicaid Directors of all 50 states issued this statement in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy “healthcare” bill:

So, you know, there’s that…

***************************************

This tweet is from John Fetterman, Mayor of Braddock, PA:

Ever been to Braddock? Fancy a trip there soon?

*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

************************************

BiFF sent this headline today:

Price and DeVos Using Private Flights to Keep Out of the Swamp

More on this topic from Stephen Colbert:

*************************************

BiFF also found this “correction” from the Glorious Democratic Peoples Republic President’s press office in NoKo:

The DPRK would like to apologize for calling the US president a “dotard”. The term was inappropriate and unintentional, resulting from poor performance of US-made Google translate softwares. A corrected statement is issued below:

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US fucktard with fire!

It probably sounded cooler when “Rocket Man” said it in North Korean.

**************************************

The autumnal equinox occurs today at 4:02pm. Summer was a little confused in Pittsburgh. We had a relatively cool August and we’re about to have a heatwave for the next several days where temperatures will be close to 90 or above. Yeah, that’s cold in Arizona but it’s hot here. Fortunately, the humidity will be low so my hair won’t look like I stuck a finger in a light socket.

Time to say farewell to summer for this year:

The summer smiles, the summer knows

And unashamed she sheds her clothes,

The summer smoothes the restless sky

And lovingly she warms the sand

On which you lie

The summer knows, the summer’s wise,

She sees the doubts within your eyes

And so she takes her summertime

Tells the moon to wait and the sun to linger

Twists the world round her summer finger

Lets you see the wonder of it all

And if you’ve learned your lesson well

There’s little more for her to tell

One last caress

It’s time to dress

For Fall.

*************************************

There’s a Harvest Moon event at the Carnegie Museum tonight. Jazz and exhibition ballroom dancing is advertised. Thinking of going. This means I will have to dress in something other than jeans. It’s out of my comfort zone in public these days. I have a pair of dance shoes and a tango skirt with a beaded hem that I haven’t worn in 15 years. It will feel weird. Someone talk me into going. Believe it or not, public events freak me out.