Another Smackdown: Derbyshire Puts Ben Stein in Short Pants

Greg Swann quoted the best part. I’ll take on the second best. And now here is Ben Stein, sneering and scoffing at Darwin, a man who spent decades observing and pondering the natural world — that world Stein glimpses through the window of his automobile now and then, when he’s not chattering into his cell phone. Stein claims to be doing it in the name of an alternative theory of the origin of species: Yet no such alternative theory has ever been presented, nor is one presented in the movie, nor even hinted at. There is only a gaggle of fools and fraudsters, gaping and pointing like Apaches on seeing their first locomotive: “Look! It moves! There must be a ghost inside making it move!” The “intelligent design” hoax is not merely non-science, nor even merely anti-science; it is anti-civilization. It is an appeal to barbarism, to the sensibilities of those Apaches, made by people who lack the imaginative power to know the horrors of true barbarism. (A thing that cannot be said of Darwin. See Chapter X of Voyage of the Beagle.) And yes: When our greatest achievements are blamed for our greatest moral failures, that is a blood…

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Smackdown

This is just too good to quote any of it. You’ll just have to go read the whole thing, as Peter — the very smart UK veterinarian — ridicules the “calories in / calories out” oversimplification. Stephan has commentary, and Mark, looking great at 54, has prescient insights into exactly what Peter is talking about. Read it all. Then, consider being of some help to your family and friends who’ve suffered too long under the Diet Delusion. You very well might save their life.

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AI

Well, David Cook made it through, which is good, because I think he’s got the most edge and talent. I could definitely get along with he and Syesha in the final, but it’ll probably be Archuleta and one of the other two. David A. has a great voice and all, but he seems to have only one game, and I really dislike the phony coy humility. I’m much more a solemn nod kinda guy, like Cook gives off. My main reason for blogging this, however, was that one of my two favorites across all the series is Bo Bice, and he turned in a pretty good guest performance last night. Played electric guitar, too. My other favorite was Daughtry. Here’s an example of why I dig Bice, from very early on in season 4, Whipping Post:

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Neglect

I’ve been neglecting email. For two, I’ve got Adam, my cousin, and Ronny over in Japan (Ronny: I lived in Hayma in Honshu for five years; ’84-’89). They both want to know about the working-out aspect of EvFit. The truth is, I’m not the person to ask. This is the one aspect of the thing I’ve surrendered. By happenstance, I’ve got a trainer who knew short, intermittent, variable, and intense. I see him twice a week, and seriously: I’m ‘yessir’ all the way; literally, to the point I enjoy saying “yes sir” (I’ve had it said enough to me: my turn). He barks orders; I submit and obey. I wouldn’t have it any other way, in spite of the reality that it’s normally me in command of all that’s around me. I read the stuff about various exercises, and I’m immediately at a loss because I don’t even know the names or descriptions of the stuff I do, which is various and at different times and different days, random. It’s my trainer’s job; you get it? Here’s what I’ll advise, because I’m certainly not qualified to advise on weight training regimes: follow Chris’ blog, Conditioning Research. He is very good…

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The Vote is In

And apparently, nobody is buying shares in the Republican Party. And in a closed-door session at the Capitol, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told members that the NRCC doesn’t have enough cash to “save them” in November if they don’t raise enough money or run strong campaigns themselves. On a plain practical level, I can’t understand why a person in the world would give a hoot about the Republicans, when they can simply get The Real Thing™ from the Democrats. It’s far and long from the time and place where there was any difference between Coke & Pepsi worth caring about, if there ever really was. (Via a link from Billy)

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Backpeddle

Wanna know how stupid they think you are? “Global warming may ‘stop’, scientists predict” Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a “lull” for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Yeah, uh-huh. Until 2015. Right. Got it. This is how it begins, folks. They’re never going to just come out and admit to being the self-serving-at-your-expense con men they all are, with the thief and liar Al Gore at their helm. Instead, they’re going to bank on how dreadfully illiterate and stupid most of the world’s population is. Setting the ethics of it aside, it’s a damn good bet. Even when temperatures begin to decline, who do you think will be taking credit, and how many will extend it? (link: McPhillips, who also links to a interview of Roy Spencer, author of Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor. That interview (“H3: Obama’s Judgment”) begins about 10 minutes in and you can just…

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Voluntary Transparency

My company, Provanta, begins releasing it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly results for its clients. Not often mentioned, but a hearty round of applause for the major credit card banks who recognized financial hardship, and voluntarily agreed to these settlement agreements in lieu of more forceful options at their disposal. Later: Monthly results for April are now posted.

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My Wonderful Sweet Land of Liberty

…Where self-sufficient entrepreneurs serving a market of mutually-voluntary trade now find it necessary to kill themselves rather take in all that American can be. Well, I guess if you did the “crime,” but can’t do the time…right folks, you freedom-loving people, you?

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Religion Masquerading as “Science”

Here’s an email out to a friend, who thinks he’s not religious. I beg to differ. J: In reference to our discussion of religion yesterday… In the Telegraph UK: In view of what is now at stake, such quasi-religious incantations masquerading as science are something we can no longer afford. We should get back to proper science before it is too late. [emphasis added] … Climate Audit, by Steve McIntyre, the guy who in 2006/7 got NASA to admit to a Y2K bug in their climate model, which had established 2006 as the warmest year on record (i.e., the last year for which complete data existed). Once the error was corrected — which I doubt you heard even a whisper about in the mainstream media — 2006 falls to number 4, with 1934 being the warmest ever recorded, followed by 1998 in second, and 1921 in third. … Anyway, on the Antarctic ice pack, from yesterday, just a few hours after our conversation: Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years. Levels are the third highest (for…

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Can Cosmic Carlos Save Us?

How to begin? Mi Latina, Beatrice, loves Cinco de Mayo. It’s rooted in family and memories — nothing else. She shopped (we have Patron, for tomorrow; entertaining, again). On the heals of a great dinner last night in the Oakland hills, in a house rebuilt after the fire (the only thing left was the big iron thingy of a piano on which strings are mounted), and a fabulous brunch this morning for eight close friends, she’s got Carlos Santana permeating the loft on the stereo, whilst I’m sitting up here YouTubing and such. Here was my first hit, and it’s good enough. The question is tongue in cheek, of course, but then there’s the political overtones. Barack and Michelle Obama can go fuck right off. Get Carlos together with any number of white guys, black guys, and “homies,” and you’ll get some harmony. Here’s what I’ve always thought: Carlos is the only guy in the world with the legitimate right to use that “people of color” smear (’cause it wouldn’t be about genes). He can rock it (or groove it, funk it, rhythm it, soul it…) any way you want it. Later: Groovin’ with a white guy. More Later: He…

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Word

Karen De Coster contrasts the ‘Andy Taylors’ of yesterday with the Pigs of today. …many years ago, a cop was a guy who strolled the neighborhood on his “beat,” chatted up folks at the barber shop, and was thought of as a friend by many of the locals. Generally speaking, cops used to be guys who really did want to do some good for the community, and bring peace through a little neighborhood security. Good guys – for the most part – used to become cops. Confident, strong men used to become cops so they could hold a respected position in the community and provide leadership. Now, the bad, the bullies, the insecure, and the ugly become cops so that they can control, intimidate, militarize, and rule.

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Let’s Get a Move On

The fun begins. In minutes, we make our way to dinner at a friend’s house (significant other of one of my favorite relatives — “Big George”) in the Oakland Hills above Berkeley. The view will be spectacular. I’ve shopped…this afternoon, and tomorrow at 10 a.m. we’ll have Sunday Brunch for about 8 of our dearest neighbors in the 350 N. 2nd Lofts. Frittatas shall prevail; along with fried potatoes, a fruit salad of berries and melons, pork breakfast sausages, and a green salad. We’ll get buzzed beforehand on mimosas.

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Note to Robert Lawrence

Just received in email, forwarded from a “Robert Lawrence,” along with a linked graphic. Dear Friends: Texas has declared the ICR Graduate School Science Education program unsuitable for Higher Education in the state! The following ad will be distributed through Texas newspapers on Sunday, May 4. Please pray with us that many will “see” and understand the significance of this action in “The Long War Against God.” Thank you. Dr. Henry M. Morris III, CEO On general principles, anytime I get a communique from a stranger that has “friend” in the salutation, I instinctively want to reach for my wallet, my mind, and my gun — all at the same time. My reply: Get the hell out of my email with your imaginary friend fantasies, you primitive moron. But since I bothered to blog this, allow me to be charitable and offer a word of advice: when you go begging to the state (the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in this case) for your “Certificate of Authority,” you deserve everything you get. Dipshits.

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Punctuation Bleg

I was fortunate to learn very early on (maybe first year HS or even before) the rule that but for a single exception, all punctuation always goes inside quotation marks — that sole exception being a question mark, when the sentence as a whole is a question but the quoted material is not, in itself. I see this — “This is an example”. — all the time and it drives me crazy. Please, people.

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