THE NEWSLETTER

Today’s Note From a Madman

Wednesday, October 6, 2005

 

 

McClellan Ducks

 

"We're focusing on what the American people care most about, and that is winning the war on terrorism, succeeding in Iraq, addressing high energy prices -- which the President will be talking about here shortly -- and helping the people in the Gulf Coast region recover and rebuild,"

-Scott McClellan, answering a question about the "anxiety" in the White House relating to "Traitor-Gate

 

Anything... and I mean anything to divert attention away from their crimes, misdeeds and lies... that's what these Bushies will do. Let's face it, the Main Stream Media that was, as a whole, ignoring the outing of a CIA operative now smells blood, and even their advertisers can't make them let it go.

 

But just for the fun of it, take a look at these poll numbers relating to what REAL AMERICANS view as PRIORITIES:

What Should Be America's Priorities (in order or cited as most important)

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll

CBS News Poll

Associated Press/Ipsos poll

Average

Job creation and economic growth/ Budget Deficit

32

16

16

21.3

Rebuilding the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina

13

Not Asked

29

21.0

The war in Iraq

14

18

19

17.0

The cost and the supply of energy

10

5

14

9.7

Illegal immigration

8

Not Asked

Not Asked

8.0

Terrorism

10

4

6

6.7

Social Security

9

Not Asked

4

6.5

Health care

Not Asked

Not Asked

5

5.0

Unsure

1

7

1

3.0

Education

Not Asked

Not Asked

3

1.0

 

A few things stand out like a sore thumb here. The one that smacks me in the face is that only the AP/ Ipsos poll even thought to ask Americans about health care, and then, only five percent considered it a priority! (Obviously, they didn't ask me.)

 

Now take a look at how Americans feel about the "War on Terrorism". Notice how the pollsters separated "Terrorism" from "Iraq." So now, I guess it's official that they really are two separate issues. But we all know that if the Bush administration would have taken this poll, the question would have put "Iraq" and "Terrorism" together.

 

"G"lobal "W"arming Bush and his cronies keep touting their "economic gains," but these polls clearly show that Americans are still not getting the benefit of the "Bush economy." That's still reserved for the richest one percent of Americans, or what Georgie-Boy calls "his base."

 

Americans worry about their house, home, children and family first, as most of US do. They worry about the present before the future. They worry about feeding their children. They want to take a vacation. They want to be healthy.

 

I just think regular Americans want that piece of the American Dream they were sold on in the first place.

 

Unfortunately, these polls were taken before the "Rove" hit the fan this week. It will be interesting to see what happens when the indictments are handed down.

 

-Noah Greenberg


Frist "Raises the Bar"

(Or "How Low Is That Bar?)

 

"absolutely confident in the outcome"
"acted properly at every point"
-Senate Majority leader and former HCA stockholder Bill Frist, in regard to the investigation by the SEC regarding his "good timing" in selling his family's company's stock before it hit the skids.


WOW. How fortuitous for the senate majority leader. What good fortune!

Sounds like Tom DeLay to me.

Two watchdog organizations -- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights -- filed complaints with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics this year charging Frist with having a conflict of interest and questioning why he sold his shares after a decade of saying he did not need to.

"I put this into a blind trust, so as far as I know, I own no HCA stock."
The trust was "totally blind. I have no control."
-Frist

A LIE because, according to the rules and standard senatorial practices, although "under the terms of his 'qualified' trust agreements set up in 2000, Frist is barred from contacting the managers except under specific circumstances. The managers, however, are required to contact him when the funds they control undergo certain changes -- an arrangement similar to those of several other senators." (The New York Times)

You'd think the sale of his family stock would fall under those circumstances.

Since 2001, Frist had been contacted 15 times regarding his assets in his blind trusts. Letters received from trustees told Frist of HCA shares bought adding $500,000 to $1 million in 2001 and $750,000 to $1.5 million in 2002 to his portfolio. Now he's trying to tell US that he had no contact or knowledge of the sale of his family business? C'mon now Bill.

"Did he say that? What was he thinking of? How did he know to tell the trustee to sell it [his HCA stake] if he didn't know that he had it in the first place?"
-Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis

Frist was told by the trustees in November 2002 that 14,781 HCA shares were sold. But, somehow, he wasn't informed that all of his HCA shares had been "disposed of" until this past summer, right after he had ordered his trustees to sell them, according to documents.

How fortuitous. What a coincidence! So much for "totally blind," I guess.

I "apply the highest ethical standards I possibly could. I thought, why not raise the bar, why not do a good deed . . . and avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest."
-Frist

Frist must be a rat to fit under a bar that low. His ethical standards stink and so does his ensuing mess.

-Noah Greenberg


 

In response to, "I have to agree, but would add that the Theory of Evolution not be taught as hard science either. It is based on the premise that new species can be created from a genetic mutation," Robert Scardapane writes:

There is considerable evidence for the Theory of Evolution. According to the theory, evolution occurs because of mutation or simply the survival of the best suited. There is little doubt that even micro-organisms evolve - resistance to drugs is one example.

However, as I was taught in the Philosophy of Science, there is a big difference between scientific theory and law. I would consider evolution to be more of a theory than law. Keeping that distinction in mind, it is perfectly legitimate to teach the Theory of Evolution in school. Intelligent design is based on supernatural premises which excludes it from the realm of science. However, it is a legitimate topic for discussion in philosophy and theology classes. I think it would fit real well with Thomas Aquinas's proves for the existence of
God (which are unfortunately all tautologies but that's another story).


 

Oh, my goodness--is science now being SO poorly taught that an intelligent person like Rhian can pick up such weirded-out ideas as these?  Everything that has been stated here is wrong!

 

In response to "Intelligent design should not be taught in science classes," Rhian writes:

I have to agree, but would add that the Theory of Evolution not be taught as hard science either.

WRONG.  The Theory of Evolution is as close to being solidly proven as any scientific premise ever developed--it's firmer than Quantum Theory.  It is NOT a mere "hypothesis."  It was guessed as far back as the 9th century by Irish theologian John Scotus Eriugena, and you can find parts of the hypothesis in Lucretius (1st C ad).  Darwin's own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, even guessed the details but the only proof he had was from artificial selection.  Walt Whitman, before Darwin published, put numerous evolutionary insights into "Song of Myself".  It was an old hypothesis waiting for a scientist to come along and examine it rigorously.

 

What Darwin did was furnish solid proof of evolution and a mechanism to explain it, natural selection.  Natural selection is a simple concept:  "Survival of the Fittest"--which only means that species, including new ones, that reproduce the most successfully will fill ecological niches and last longer over time.  The individuals of these species can use competition, cooperation, or anything else to survive.

 

A hundred fifty years of evidence from countless sources--observations like Darwin's in the Galapagos Islands, the entire science of genetics, the discovery of DNA, breaking the genetic codes of species, everyday lab experiments--back up the conclusions of Darwin and his successors.  Since Darwin's day the only modification (which Darwin himself anticipated) has added to gradualist natural selection the idea of "punctuated equilibrium", rare but occasional rapid extinction and speciation caused by violent episodes like comet crashes, argued so eloquently by the late Stephen Jay Gould.  NO REPUTABLE SCIENTIST would ever state that the theory of evolution is NOT "hard science."  I've heard physicists wish that physical science had such an overwhelming volume of proof.  That's the exciting part of science--always searching, always coming up with new ideas, which will either call a theory into question--or, as in evolution, solidify the proof of a theory!

 

It is based on the premise that new species can be created from a genetic mutation.

WRONG. Spontaneous mutation of RNA or DNA--caused by radiation, chemical agents, viruses, etc.--is one possible trigger for creating new species.  Others are sexual selection (choosing mates for observable desirable traits), domestication (artificial selection created by people), isolation, competition for resources, and environmental change.  Examples are all around us--plants and animals adapted to the tropics, or the arctic, or temperate woodlands, etc.  All of these plants and animals have speciated to fit every possible ecological niche that's available.

 

Not only is that not possible once, but even more not possible the billions of times it would take to create mankind from a primordial sea of single celled organisms.

WRONG. Not possible??!!  Spontaneous mutations happen all the time!  Trillions of cosmic rays pour through the planet every second, and many of them "hit" the DNA of living creatures and cause continual mutations.  Gamma radiation, chemical agents, etc. cause DNA changes, usually dangerous ones.  The cells that produce offspring and embryonic cells seem to be especially sensitive to mutations.  If these cells are mutated, there will be one or more differences in the offspring, differences not inherited from either parent.  Usually these are harmful, and some kill the embryo or the living progeny, but other mutations are almost unnoticeable, or are inconsequential, or are useful.  The useful mutations are the basis of natural selection--and also of the commonplace artificial selection used by animal and plant breeders. 

No new species has ever been created and flourished on the planet from a random mutation in any other group of species.

WRONG. Good heavens, HUMAN BEINGS have created new species ever since agriculture began!  That's called artificial selection--and it's the basis of crop and livestock domestication.   Not all differences are separated by speciation; dogs, from Chihuahuas to great Danes, are all one species (they can interbreed).  If they could be kept isolated, dogs would speciate, however.  A sleepy, clumsy, stupid, but very woolly and meaty modern sheep is an entirely different species from a lively, relatively clever, and less hairy wild sheep.  That's because farmers thousands of years ago herded wild sheep into pens, kept them isolated, and over time were able to breed mutant sheep to others with similar desirable traits to obtain docility and thick hair.  Using the same artificial selection, biologists have mated animals and re-created extinct species like the European aurochs--although DNA deteriorates over time, so there's no likelihood of a Jurassic Park any time soon.  Natural selection works the same way but is caused by the natural agents, isolation, sexual selection, etc. discussed above.

 

SUGGESTION--READ SOME REPUTABLE BOOKS!  Then read some more!  Here are some good ones for starters:

 

Larry Gonick, THE CARTOON GUIDE TO GENETICS, a painless way to learn about genetics, mutation, DNA and selection.

Stephen Jay Gould, anything, but Chapter 7 in DINOSAUR IN A HAYSTACK is a great way to start.  Once you're hooked on Gould, you can't stop!

ColinTudge, THE TIME BEFORE HISTORY, from the beginning to the evolutionary origins of humanity and possible futures, by an ecologist.

Carl Zimmer, EVOLUTION: THE TRIUMPH OF AN IDEA.  Introduction by Stephen Jay Gould.   A popular general book, very well illustrated, on  all aspects of evolution.

 

HAVE FUN!  I'm sorry you missed out on science in school, Rhian.  Science--including evolution--is the most wonderful and awe-inspiring subject anyone could ever study!


 

Dividing US, The Bush Way

 

There is no time to waste. Iran's intentions are clear. The longer we wait, the stronger they become. We have already waited too long as it is. Israel has gotten nothing in return for its' concessions but renewed threats and additional suicide attacks. As long as we have a presence in Iraq, we may as well capitalize upon it as a staging area from which to invade Iran after softening them up with an aerial assault. The wisdom of the Iraq invasion becomes more clear every day. It is evident that the greatest threat the world faces is militant Islamic extremism. It is time to put an end to this movement and the nations that support it. It is also evident that the anti-war movement in the US is a direct threat to Israel. Opposition to the war in Iraq = support for Islamic terrorism.
-Michael Patmas

Do you really want me to print this? Personally? I think Bush’s lack of action, and his continuous, meaningless, toothless rhetoric are the worse threat to middle east. It’s Bush's Wrong War in Iraq that lets Iran get the “chutzpah” to challenge US like this. It's you and your ilk that divide US. It's you and your ilk that follow bad leaders blindly.
-Noah Greenberg



Anniversary Madman

I have learned a lot from Madman and been provoked to think about things I might not have otherwise.  Congratulations on your commitment to create and energize Madman.  You can be proud of your contribution for no other reason than to contribute!
-Casey Sweet

 

Thanks Casey. It's Madman's contributors and readers that make this worthwhile. -NG



Loose Cannon Bush Plays the "Blame Game"

"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about. Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share."
-A White House Insider, according the
New York Daily News

"Bush is so dismayed that 'the only person escaping blame is the President himself,' said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration 'illogical.'"
-The New York Daily News

I am not at all surprised that Bush is unglued. He was never really wrapped all that tight. Beware of a person with sadistic tendencies that feels trapped. That person could lash out blindly.

-Robert Scardapne



Who Begets Who?

More and more and more of them get caught . . .! The House of Dubya comes tumblin' down, thanks to "Jailbird Jack" Abramoff! Hoo-boy, do these NeoCon nut-cases hold eternal grudges--this time evidently against McCain, a fellow Republican.

Reed, you'll recall, is a founder of the criminal conspiracy known as the "Christian" Coalition. He's personally a traitor, hater and baiter, a wildly destructive religious fanatic who has egged on murderers and terrorists, and has vowed to destroy the U.S. Constitution. (I have read his declaration on that.) He deserves, at minimum, to be tried for (and convicted of) treason, then locked up for life. Preferably in solitary.

Let's light fires of righteous indignation under a few more Democratic (and honest Republican) fannies--and especially under the voters of America. We need to get ALL these crooks permanently disbarred and behind the other kind of bars! No more light sentences in cushy prisons like Nixon's criminals. I want to know that Reed is sweating all day in the prison laundry.

-Jenny Hanniver



"Compassionate Conservatives" Practice "Responsible Irresponsibility"

"Record debt is washing over the Treasury Department, recently breaching the $8 trillion mark in money owed to foreign governments, private investors and the Social Security retirement fund used to finance deficit-spending. Republicans, who also control the White House, have now presided over an increase in $2 trillion to the national debt over four years or so, despite contending that they are the only U.S. political party that practices fiscal discipline.

"Eight years of Democrat Bill Clinton's presidency resulted in around $1.6 trillion being added to the U.S. debt, but with the possibility of paying it all off by 2015."
-Kos

Now then, what was that obnoxious political hack Dennis Hastert saying about Democrats and the budget deficit ... Hastert deserves the boot.

-Forwarded from and commented by Robert Scardapane



Smokin'

Sometimes, I think I am better off leaving my television off. Of late, when I have it on there is yet another lying Republican talking head spouting off. Darn, I hear lying Dubya in the background spouting Iraq rubbish as I write this note.

Okay, my TV is now off! Back to my story ...

"Smoky" Joe Barton (R-OIL), he doesn't represent people just OIL, was lying about the so called "gas bill". "Smoky" Joe says it will lower prices at the pump and Democrats don't want that because they didn't vote for his bill. Well, I think "Smoky" Joe is full of gas. This bill was yet another gift to oil & gas companies - many based in Texas. There is about a 0% chance that this gift will lower gas prices.

Why should the American taxpayer subsidize new/upgraded refineries for these companies? These companies had record profits this year. I had to laugh when "Smoky" Joe said this gassy bill will make us less dependent on foreign oil. How does increasing refinery capacity at home reduce the amount of oil coming into the country? Excuse me "Smoky" Joe, do you take us for fools!

-Robert Scardapane



In response to, "Cheney's 'retirement' was being bandied about, we heard the name of Condoleezza Rice as the 'obvious choice' as a replacement," Pat Thompson writes:

Here's a scary thought -- even if Bush and Cheney had to resign -- and it happened in 1974 to Nixon and Agnew, we'd be left with the wrestler, Denny Hastert, Speaker of the House, as the President. Ugh! In 1974, we got one of the better Republicans, Gerald Ford, Speaker of the House, who wasn't that bad.



In response to, "Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today" Pat Thompson writes:

From your lips to
God's ears, as the saying goes.... We've all hoped and prayed for something like this, a chink in their armor, a way to begin to chip away at their overwhelming power and control of everything. I still pinch myself, could this really be happening? My new hero is Patrick Fitzgerald, an honorable Irishman. No one on either side says anything bad about him. Maybe he could be appointed to the Supreme Court?



In response to, "Whatever happened to the ZPG (Zero Population Growth)", Pat Thompson writes:

That's been my question too. That was so important to the environmental movement, since humans make the greatest impact on the planet, but it is never mentioned any more. My contention is that by keeping the planet alive and viable, we can all get a turn to be here eventually, (all those Mormon naked souls) but we just can't be here all at once, because we are like viruses on the Earth, and in too great a concentration, we will kill the organism/planet on which we live and depend.



In response to, "Tucker Carlson in the words of Jon Stewart 'you are a dick!'", Pat Thompson writes:

Long live Jon Stewart!! I had a conversation with a locksmith today, a regular kind of guy, small business man -- who voted for Bush in 2000, but gave me a zealous condemnation of Bush, Cheney, Rove, the war, etc. He said he learned it all from watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart! Hey, any way we can get the message across.



Today's Quote

"I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something. But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."
-Yoshi Tsurumi, A "G"lobal "W"arming Bush professor at Harvard Business School, as told to Mary Jacoby in Salon.com

Tsurumi felt no fear in speaking out because he had finally received his "green-card status as a permanent alien." Good thing too. We all know the "wrath of Rove." -NG

"Denying responsibility? Separating oneself from certain behavior? Sounds familiar. Drunk driving. Not completing his National Guard duty. Other irresponsible personal and professional behavior."
-Kos

Bush will stop at nothing to save his Presidency. Keep that in mind if Rove, Libby and others are indicted. Watch Bush very closely - he may try to instigate another crisis.

-Robert Scardapane


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-Noah Greenberg