Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm a follower

Can't help myself... must resist peer pressure...

Oh, what the heck, I will link this extremely important scientific study. And so will YOU, if you have a blog. It's about testing the speed of memes, and you must participate. For science. And stuff.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Divided we stand?

I posted this over in a comment at The Atheist Experience blog, but I think it bears repeating.

There is an argument I keep hearing from well-meaning Libertarian atheists after the show. The argument goes: This has been a bad administration only because one party is controlling everything. If Democrats were controlling all three branches, they would be just as bad. Divided government is always best, because a government that accomplishes things will always be bad, and the only way we can be successful is to always have gridlock and prevent anyone from doing anything. Frankly, I think that is a vacuous argument with no evidence to back it up.

I don't want a government that is incapable of getting anything done; I want a government that is interested in doing the right things. The horrifically bad response to Hurricane Katrina last year really should highlight exactly what the consequences are of a government that can't get anything done.

Yes, a Republican administration with a Republican-controlled house and Senate has been pretty much an unmitigated disaster. That doesn't in any way support the notion that every party would be an unmitigated disaster; that's a hasty generalization fallacy. The simple fact is, Republicans have a lot of really bad ideas.

Does that mean I think Democrats are perfect? Of course not; there are bad Democrats and there are good Republicans. But if you believe that proves that both sides are equally bad, then you are falling for the same fallacy that many creationists do. You know -- "We collected 500 signatures of scientists who support creationism, so what we have here is a genuine scientific controversy." No we don't. We have a tiny, tiny anomaly among scientists.

The point being, just because there are two sides to an issue doesn't mean that the sides have equal merit and equal credibility. By and large, it isn't Democrats who are in the pockets of the religious right. It isn't Democrats who pushed this stupid, stupid war. The Republican controlled legislative branch hasn't merely been conventionally corrupt, in the ways people say that all politicians are corrupt. By many accounts they have been the most corrupt Congress in history.

I don't mindlessly vote a straight party ticket, IF there are worthy individuals from other parties who are running. However, I do to a very large extent favor Democrats over Libertarians and Libertarians over Republicans. I really don't buy this argument that just because there are two types of candidates available, they should be installed in government in equal amounts. If, for example there are "Christian nation" fundamentalists running, I will vote against them every single time. I do not believe there need to be a certain number of fundamentalists in Congress to keep a check on the non-fundamentalists.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld flip-flop

LMAO at seeing these two stories side by side.

Reuters, 10:50 AM:

Democrats' win alone won't drive Rumsfeld out

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the face of U.S. war policy and a lightning rod for critics worldwide, will not be forced out just because he faces a tougher time from resurgent Democrats.

"He's not resigning," said one of those officials. "He's best when he's criticized."

Bloomberg, 1:02 PM:

Rumsfeld Resigns as Defense Secretary, Official Says

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Intelligent Design point/counterpoint

For those who love reading intelligent design news, Red State Rabble gloats over what he perceives as the demise of ID.

PZ Myers disagrees -- it's just a flesh wound!

Both are well worth reading.