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Archive for September, 2009

Gyroscope Wheel

I don’t care what they say, I still think gyroscopes are powered by the spirits of the dead. They’re way too bizarre to have any other explanation.

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Mitchell & Webb | Scarecrow

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The National Debt Road Trip


Now, I have to admit that “deficits are bad” is one point where I can actually agree with Republicans. But, hopefully, you immediately picked up on some problems with this video. Some of the problems:

– The guy puts deficit spending (dollars) into MPH. The problem here is that deficit spending should be in terms of GDP. Afterall, back in 1900, the US GDP was less than $350 billion. It’s currently $14.264 trillion, a 40x increase. By framing the issue the way he does, he implies that a $5 billion deficit is just as bad for a country with a $1 billion GDP as a country with a $100 billion GDP, which is obviously false. In reality, a deficit of “5 MPH” in 1900 (i.e. 29 billion) in a country with a $350 billion GDP means the deficit is 8.3% of GDP. A deficit of “174 MPH” in a country of $14.264 trillion GDP means a deficit of 7.0% of GDP. By using absolute numbers (5 MPH vs 174 MPH), he makes the situation look a lot worse, when it’s actually better.
USGDP

– His conversion of dollars to MPH is arbitrary (1 MPH = 5.8 billion). He then uses the fact that we all know that 174 MPH is a dangerous speed in a car to imply that the Obama deficit is dangerous spending. Had he chose a different conversion (1 MPH = 20 billion), then Obama would be driving the country at a relatively safe speed of 50 MPH? Or, if his conversion was 1 MPH = 2 billion dollars, would he complain that G.W. Bush was “driving” at dangerous 185 MPH? One has to wonder: if the US GDP grows another 10x in the next few decades, and the deficit-to-GDP ratio stays the same as under G.W.Bush, then would this guy complain that the country is speeding down the road at 640 MPH, even though nothing had really changed?

Oddly enough, the guy who made the video has a website called politicalmath.wordpress.com, yet he fails to actually do decent math.

Deficit spending is something we should be concerned with, but this video needs to be more truthful about the facts.

And, finally, the next chart shows the US deficit as a percentage of US GDP over the last century. It seems to conflict with a lot of what this guy says, since it shows (to his benefit) that the US deficit was apparently lower in 1900 than he claims. But, here it is anyway:
USGDPAsPercent

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[Via EvolvedRational] This should be filed under “women putting on their own chains, thanks to Islamic brainwashing”:

Mali protest against women’s law

Tens of thousands of people in Mali’s capital, Bamako, have been protesting against a new law which gives women equal rights in marriage.

The law, passed earlier this month, also strengthens inheritance rights for women and children born out of wedlock.

The head of a Muslim women’s association says only a minority of Malian women – “the intellectuals” as she put it – supports the law.

One of the most contentious issues in the new legislation is that women are no longer required to obey their husbands.

“It’s a tiny minority of women here that wants this new law – the intellectuals. The poor and illiterate women of this country – the real Muslims – are against it,” she added.
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8216568.stm

So … as women become wealthier and literate, there will be no more Muslim women? Good to know.

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After 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter talks about how insurance companies game the public to support its bottom line. In this video, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are now standing in the way of health care reform. He also talks about how politicians are parroting the talking-points written by insurance companies, and insurance companies (along with Wall Street) are working to drive-up profits by spending less on the people.

And the anti-healthcare protests – deluded into doing the insurance companies’ bidding?

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Quote of the Day, Dave Hunt

I always find it interesting to look through Evangelical Preachers’ old books. It’s amusing to see how bad their predictions and real-world knowledge are. Here are two quotes quickly picked out without much work.

Dave Hunt (Popular Evangelical Christian Author),
From the book “Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust”, 1983

Keep in mind that this was written in 1983:

p.171
“Capitalism will eventually lose its battle with Communism, because moral degradation is undermining capitalist democracies much more rapidly has it is Communist countries.”

Bull’s Eye! The West lost the cold war.

p.156-157
“Moreover, like Hitler’s fascism, Marxism is also a religion with the same Hindu-Buddhist roots as the Antichrist’s coming world religion. Buddhism, like Marxism and Nazism, is atheism. Buddha rejected both Hinduism’s atman (soul) and Hinduism’s gods. Of course, this was only a cosmetic change, for atman (individual soul) is a mere illusion (maya) to be dissolved at last through union (yoga) with Brahman (universal soul). Furthermore, Hinduism itself is atheism, for its millions of gods are fictions representing Brahman, the All – i.e., the universe which itself is maya. Hinduism (pantheism) merely puts into mystical terminology Communism’s scientific materialism, which is identical to capitalism’s secular humanism. Carl Sagan’s worship of the Cosmos as “all there is or ever will be” is merely a sophisticated scientific paganism.”

What did we learn? (1) Nazi Fascism = Communism = Capitalist Secular Humanism = Secular Paganism = Buddhism = Hinduism = Atheism. And they are all aligned together against Christianity. (2) Dave Hunt likes to lump the world into “Christian” and “Non-Christian”. It’s soooo much easier if you can come-up with a BS justification to meld all non-Christian ideas into one big blob.

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Scientology Newspaper

Today, I was walking down the street when I glanced over and saw a picture of L. Ron Hubbard on a little “Clear Body, Clear Mind” newspaper. I had to take a look.

ClearMind2

The little four-page newspaper talked all about the dangers of drugs and toxins, and how Scientology can clear all of it away through their programs and vitamin supplements – lifting depression and moodiness. I especially liked their “How Toxic Are You?” test. You answer “yes” or “no” to ten questions. Then, here’s how they score you:

If you answered yes to 3 or less you could have a level of accumulated toxins affecting your capacity to think clearly.

If you answered yes to 4-7 of the above questions, you could have a detrimental level of accumulated toxins, making you dull, lifeless or “wooden” with lessened ability.

If you answered yes to 8 or more of these questions, you could be experiencing a case of severe body pollution.

Did you notice that there are no good results no matter how you answered the questions? Heads they win, tails you lose.

If you know about L. Ron Hubbard’s psychological problems, it looks an awful lot like he was trying desperately to create his own home-remedy to his mental problems. The paper included the address of the local Scientology center. Just to see if I’ve ever seen the building, I typed the address into google maps, and I discovered that Anonymous got to their google-maps entry – posting pictures, videos, and reviews. (Heh.) Take a look for yourself.

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