Saturday, August 5, 2017


We haven't yet learned how to stay human when assembled in masses. -Lewis Thomas, physician and author

The abiding enigma of this tormented era remains: why has the thinking class of America abandoned thinking? The answer is: it’s the reaction to their own failure. Failure to do what? To produce the utopia that Gnostic liberalism promised - a perfect world based on altering human nature.--somebody

Who is.....Tom Freiden?

Empiricism: n: The theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume; empirical method or practice; undue reliance upon experience, as in medicine; quackery. (vs. "rationalism," the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience, as in the philosophies of Descartes and Spinoza)

So rather than admit she has written some indefensible things in her book, MacLean calls on loyal members of her “progressive” tribe to launch a counterattack to save her book and reputation. That’s not the way academics should operate. When their work is challenged, they should squarely face each challenge, not evade it with ad hominem attacks on the motives, operation, or funding of the critics.--Leef

Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain's support for LGBT rights. Everything can be politicized.

Trump's speech in Poland was fascinating; he seemed to refocus on all the notions his acceptance speech seemed to deny. It was pro-West, pro-NATO pro-cooperation. And, of course, it was nationalistic, again. That will probably be what is emphasized by the Press and his enemies. Clearly this is an "International Age," clearly nationalism and borders are passé. I fully expect to see the international community unite in its opposition to the great self-declared threat to the civilized world, North Korea, and oppose it. That will be a great way for nations to rise above their petty individual concerns to show the international movement is sincere. Right?

For the past couple of months, hackers have breached the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power facilities in the US, according to a new report from federal law enforcement officials. 

Former world chess champion turned Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov will come out of retirement to take part in a U.S. competition next month, organizers say. Kasparov, who retired in 2005, has reportedly been given a wild-card entry at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis from Aug. 12 to 14.
Can you imagine drawing him as a wild card?

There was a debate over Sharia Law, which was compared it to Christianity. There seems to be a misunderstanding here apparently based upon intensity. The possibility of intense and violent acts against people, especially women, based upon some translation of Christian belief is real. Witches were dunked and burned. Jews were forcibly converted. But the cruelty of Christian history and current Sharia are insignificant compared to the Sharia anachronism: equality and separation of church and state. That distinction must be understood to understand the last two hundred years in the West and the difficulty of placing Sharia within it.

A lot of talk about overlapping surgery vs. concurrent surgery. Overlapping surgery refers to operations performed by the same primary surgeon such that the start of one surgery overlaps with the end of another. A qualified practitioner finishes noncritical aspects of the first operation while the primary surgeon moves to the next operation. This is distinct from concurrent surgery, in which “critical parts” of operations for which the primary surgeon is responsible occur during the same time. There is general agreement that concurrent surgery is ethically unacceptable and is prohibited for teaching hospitals under the Medicare Conditions of Participation. Overlapping surgery is common, ranging from having trainees open and close incisions to delegating all aspects of the operation except the critical parts. 

Scientists in Canada have used commercially available genetic material to piece together the extinct horsepox virus, a cousin of the smallpox virus that killed as many as a billion human beings before being eradicated. Tom Freiden, former CDC head, said this research should spur improvements in laboratory safety to prevent the accidental release of microbes — something that has happened a number of times in American facilities and others around the world. The broader story here, Frieden said, is that the U.S. and other countries need to be prepared for emerging pathogens, which can and will appear naturally — no laboratory necessary.
The real undercurrent here is the anxiety that there are capable people in the world whose sole aim in life is mayhem and murder.

There was a funny moment when Trump and Melania walked into a group of world leaders and everyone's face lit up and they all moved to greet Melania.

Golden oldie:

Greenland sharks have a lifespan of up to 392 years and people are doing the gene sequencing to see if there is a clue as to why.

Where do the protesters at the G20 claim to get their authority from?

German lawmaker Cem Özdemir of the opposition Greens, recently referred to Messrs. Trump, Putin, and Erdogan as “the new authoritarian axis of testosterone.”

For some reason the G20 politicians have reopened the Paris Accord debate. Anything for a little public righteousness, I guess. The pros and cons of carbon power will continue and the loudest is certainly ant-carbon but an improvement of 2% is not dramatic and might, by the skeptical, be called symbolic. There is, however, a real problem facing the G20 leaders that has an immediate risk to world health and is within their ability to contain: North Korea's nuclear threat which they cheerfully declare is aimed at the U.S. and their allies and their launching which they state is inevitable. So, aside from climate posturing, do these G20 guys have anything else important to say? (Aside from where Trump stands in the picture, I mean.)

This MacLean thing just gets better and better. It is sort of like watching Trump. Here is her Facebook post on the conspiracy that has emerged to defame her world-saving book: Friends, I really, really NEED YOUR HELP. If you trust me based on all that you know about me, please read this, help me as indicated, and share this post with anyone interested the Koch operations and the mayhem they have caused.
This will sound nutty, I know, but it’s actually happening: the Koch operatives and the riders of their academic “gravy train,” as James Buchanan called it, are working very hard to kill DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS –and to destroy my reputation (as they have done to climate change scientists and others bearing inconvenient truth).

AAAAAaaaaannnnnnddddddd.....a bar graph:

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