Obama Bows to Japanese Robot!

President Obama bowed to a Japanese robot while touring the robot facility! What kind of American president does that?!?!

(I thought I’d feed the right-wing crazies who absorb any and all anti-Obama distortions.)


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More Odd Religious Stuff

Today I was reminded of the devastating effects of religion on the human mind. First the world of politics. There was a ‘debate’ among Republican senate candidates in North Carolina. Each was asked whether they believed in climate change. Not surprisingly, each said ‘No.’ But one added, ‘only God controls the climate.’

Sigh. Mixing religious beliefs with non-scientific thinking may be a sure winner among those who show up in GOP primaries, but we all can dread the possibility that he will sit in the Senate, determining action on complex issues. Will God help him decide?

Then there was a phone call from a friend who lives in the middle of nowhere- a rural county here in northern Ohio. We are the same age with a similar religious history. However, our religious development diverged greatly. During the conversation she made an astonishing statement. “The problem (we earlier discussed) is retribution by God for all of that nudity in California!”

Yes, that is what she believed. Incredible. What does a problem in a family in Ohio have to do with nudity 2000 miles away? Why does God punish us for behavior of others? Where did such a belief come from? Beats me!

What accounts for these odd religious beliefs? And what does it say about hope for the future of our nation? I shudder to imagine it.

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Three Million-Year-Old Landscape Below Greenland Ice Sheet

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything — vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.

The new discovery indicates that even during the warmest periods since the ice sheet formed, the center of Greenland remained stable; “it’s likely that it did not fully melt at any time,” Vermont’s Bierman said. This allowed a tundra landscape to be locked away, unmodified, under ice through millions of years of global warming and cooling.

Many geologists are seeking a long-term view of the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet, including how it moves and has shaped the landscape beneath it — with an eye toward better understanding its future behavior. It’s 656,000 square miles of ice, containing enough water, if fully melted, to raise global sea levels twenty-three feet — “yet we have very little information about what is happening at the bed with regards to erosion and landscape formation,” said Corbett.

What is clear, however, from an abundance of worldwide indicators, is that global temperatures are on a path to be “far warmer than the warmest interglacials in millions of years,” said Bierman. “There is a 2.7-million-year-old soil sitting under Greenland. The ice sheet on top of it has not disappeared in the time in which humans became a species. But if we keep on our current trajectory, the ice sheet will not survive. And once you clear it off, it’s really hard to put it back on.”



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Marriage and Poverty Myths

The Republican Party has formulated a new ” winning strategy” in its efforts to cull the female vote. Marriage. Yes, marriage. And how did they come to this simplistic conclusion? Data. Here it is: Married women voted for GOP candidates more often than non-married women. Did the phrase, ” dumb-ass” come to mind?

On the subject of unmarried women, right-wingers and/or bigots [do I repeat myself?] commonly bemoan that their precious tax dollars are wasted on ‘welfare babies.’ War is fine but not black babies who have no fathers. Yet, I digress.

Other than ‘I heard it on Fox News,’ what does the data say about the problem we face in the United States with childhood poverty? Fox News absorbers might suggest that the reason childhood poverty is so high is that there are too many single mothers, and those kinds of families face higher rates of poverty, thus eating up tax dollars that could have bought another aircraft carrier to defend us from the U.S.S.R.

An analysis of childhood poverty was recently published in Demos.org
that had the following graph. Ignore the European data.


Ah ha! It would appear that the right-wingers are right! Well, not so fast! Although Fox & Associates would stop there, those of us with a more fully developed cerebrum might inquire further, ‘How many children altogether does each bar on the graph represent?’ Good inquiry.

There are more children in ‘married’ families than single, as you have already figured. Thus, more impoverished children in impoverished families.

The article concludes:

“Thus, high child poverty in the US is not caused by some overwhelming crush of single mother parenting. The lowest of the low-poverty countries manage to get along in the world with similar levels of single mother parenting just fine. Morever, relatively high child poverty rates are the rule in every single family type in the US, not just some single mother phenomenon. We plunge more than 1 in 5 of our nation’s children into poverty because we choose to. It would be easy to dramatically cut that figure, but we’d rather not.”



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Huckabee: “I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”

Former Arkansas governor, and current Fox News contributor, Mike Huckabee told a conservative gathering this weekend that he is “beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”

Will the absolute right-wing idiocy ever cease?


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The Republican base has elements that are animated by racism.

(CNN) – Over 50 years after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, the issue of race is back in the political headlines, after comments from Attorney General Eric Holder and events marking the anniversary of the law’s passage renewed the dialogue over race relations in the 21st century.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “not all” of his GOP colleagues are racist but “the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.”


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Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients

Scientists reported the first human recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs. They have described long-term success in four teenage girls who received vaginal organs that were engineered with their own cells.

This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries. In addition, this study is one more example of how regenerative medicine strategies can be applied to a variety of tissues and organs.”




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