The Death of Charm
2 hours ago
One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.The interesting thing to note in the above is not that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers, but the AA explanation: those abstainers used to be drinkers. To err is human, but so is to make data conform to your own prejudices. AA is no more guilty than Christians are in this respect.
But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.
Will Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson make a back door move to ban lead bullets the day before the November 2 elections? Several environmentalist groups ... are petitioning the EPA to ban lead bullets and shot (as well as lead sinkers for fishing) ...They can't help it. They really can't. Modern Democrats are the Ouroboros Party, the snake that consumes itself, and this is just another tail-chomping example. But Weekly Standard misses the issue - or at least how the issue will be presented. This is not going to be fought as some kind of a back door tax on gun owners, "effectively" or otherwise.
You might say that even considering enacting what is effectively a new tax on hunters and gun owners--seemingly the only non-liberal group the Obama administration hasn't yet intentionally provoked--is less-than-perfect timing for the already beleaguered Democrats as the midterm elections approach.
UNALASKA, Alaska—On Tuesday*, in her home state, Sarah Palin's** favorite will probably get trounced. Joe Miller is widely expected to lose by a large margin to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary—an embarrassing defeat for the former governor, who has endorsed Miller, but also to Miller's other major backer, the Tea Party Express.Yeah, well, how'd that turn out, former Senator Murkowski?
"I don't think the Tea Party movement has much currency in Alaska," says Ivan Moore, an independent pollster based in Anchorage. Moore's poll in July showed Miller down by 32 points, and other polls have come up with similar numbers.
Not surprisingly, Steve Wackowski, a campaign spokesman for Murkowski, agrees that backing from Palin and the Tea Party Express is more of a liability for Miller than anything else.
Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai told me it's too late for Murkowski to file to have her name appear on the ballot as an independent, so that would need to be a write-in effort. There is a Libertarian candidate in the race, Frederick Haase, who could choose to step down. The Libertarian Party could then select a replacement for him on the ballot.While it's legally an option I suppose, I'd bet that the Libertarians of Alaska are having a good giggle over it. There's no way they would want to lose an election with Murkowski as their candidate. And even less chance they'd wish to win with her.
When you begin a career as a Financial Advisor, you might want to work for a financial or insurance company or a bank... Once you get experience, you can become self-employed. About a third of all Financial Advisors are self-employed...It would be uncharitable to say that your financial advisor thinks you ought to have debt because that's in the best interest of his immediate employer. But it's probably not inaccurate to say that those who trained him - whether bank or financial company - trained him to see the world the way they want to see it. That world is not full of financially independent people. It's full of people with big houses and bigger mortgages, telling each other that paying interest is the road to happiness.
Poll Shows One in Five Americans Wrongly Believes Obama Is Muslim... nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believes that President Obama is a Muslim... people wrongly believe the president is a Muslim... The poll found that 18 percent of those surveyed wrongly identified Obama as Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009... The misinformation continues to exist despite the president's own declarations of his Christian faith and the statements of his spiritual advisers.Now the funny thing* about this story is not that the press cannot seem to address Americans' opinions about their leader without editorial adverbs, but the seeming confusion and borderline panic on the part of the press concerning that particular opinion. "Look," they seem to be saying, "haven't we told you*** that he's not a Muslim? What will it take before you believe us?"
With tens of thousands of projects funded and millions of Americans on the job today, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been 16 months since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And with so many jobs saved and created already, you might think that the Recovery Act’s greatest impact is behind us.If we are right in the middle of the Rockin' O-Force Summer of Recovery Tour, then someone needs to tell the lying Bureau of Labor, which reported this morning the "surprise" jump of jobless claims to just over half a million for the week, its worst measurement this year.
But it’s not.
As the summer heats up, it is becoming clear that it could quite possibly be the most active season yet when it comes to recovering our economy. There are Recovery Act-funded projects breaking ground across the country that are creating quality jobs for Americans and economic growth for businesses, large and small.
This summer is sure to be a Summer of Economic Recovery.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Home-builder sentiment unexpectedly fell for a third straight month in August to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years, according to a survey on Monday that pointed to a weak housing market...
PHILADELPHIA (Bloomberg) - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index unexpectedly fell to minus 7.7 from a positive July reading of 5.1. Economists projected the measure would rise to 7...
I want you to become a werewolf and rip this book to shreds. I want you to find and discuss 5 different items with problems or deficiencies or outright errors you can find in this book. First, identify the item, and then tell me what’s wrong with it... Approach this assignment as if you are the meanest, nitpickingist, angriest person you can imagine. Give no quarter...See, this is why I love Dr. Schick's classes*. In what other place do you get permission to tell the teacher that you know more than your textbook? But it's also why I'm generally unimpressed not only with credentialism, but with the peer review process as well. My first quick skim through the book I found a lot more than five errors, and not just little ones. The Holy Family is not Mary, Jesus, and Anne. The Iroquois creation legend does not parallel the Immaculate Conception. Adam was not created alone on the sixth day. Isidore's T-O map does not reflect the Trinity** any more than it reflects the tripartite nature of Irish clover. Dr. Schick is correct, the book *is* an embarrassment.
Intimidated? She’s a professor at Harvard, writes for the New Yorker, has published books, and you’re a beginning M.A. student. This is published by a reputable press, not some vanity press. What could possibly be wrong? That attitude. Just because Lepore is well known and Oxford University Press is a recognized academic press doesn’t mean there can’t be errors. Well, you say to yourself, maybe very tiny ones, hardly detectible by someone just starting advanced study. You’d be wrong about that. Very wrong. There are many problems with this. It’s an embarrassment. Don’t be intimidated. You can do this.
Obama’s comments placed him squarely in the middle of the controversy over a Muslim group’s plans for a mosque near the site of the 2001 attack – and in turn, transformed an emotion-laden local dispute in New York into a nationwide debate overnight...While others have answered the question better than I could*, I would note that all this time I thought it was going to be Biden who continually set off these kinds of unnecessary firestorms. To my amazement, he's actually been very good** for quite a while - or at least his gaffes have been manageable. With all the talk recently that Obama would seek out a new running mate for 2012, I'm wondering if Jumpin' Joe might be thinking the same thing...
And Democrats – at least the ones willing to comment at all — could barely contain their frustration over Obama’s remarks, saying he had potentially placed every one of their candidates into the middle of the debate by giving GOP candidates a chance to ask them point-blank: Do you agree with Obama on the mosque, or not?
El-Erian said the central bank can only do so much to foster growth and avoid deflation. The Fed has spent the past three years on a route of aggressive rate cuts and purchases of trillions in various securities but is running out of measures it can take...The beauty of that statement is that, right up until the Fed failed, it was assumed by El-Erian and his ilk that the Fed had all the tools it needed to "foster growth and avoid deflation." After all, if the Fed couldn't do those very things, why does it even exist?** But now, after three years of doing what everyone believed would avoid exactly what we ended up with, what's a Central Bank to do?
"Fed policy is not enough. You need to do more than that to get off that road," he said.
Asked what needs to be done, he said, "First, selling a vision, a long-term vision as to what the policy response is to restore growth and employment. And second, to fill it out with proper structural policies."So if trillions of dollars' and three years of rate cuts didn't work, the Fed needs to a) sell a vision of doing even harder exactly the sorts of things that have already failed, and b) push investors to take more risks.
The Tuesday Fed meeting is likely to end with the central bank assuring markets it will use "all viable instruments" to prop up the economy, El-Erian said.
However, it is less certain "the extent to which the Fed will push banks to lend and will push investors to take more risks."
"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, ok? Need I say more?"Only that if he had his way, that would not even be allowed.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback stopped Thursday in Colby to propose greater investment in crop genetics research and development of secondary markets for agricultural produce...
"This must be done in public-private partnership," he said.
The Progressive Era was a period in American history in which improving working conditions, exposing corruption, improving the way of life, expanding democracy, and making reforms were the objectives at hand... Democracy flourished during the Progressive Era. Many new plans were constructed to help the American People. This was the true goal of all Progressives, to help the American society.Democracy** flourishes under progressivism with one caveat: your vote had better not and will not be allowed to change anything. It sounds like a harsh condemnation, especially in light of many changes wrought in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that promoted "direct" democracy, like the election of senators by the voters, female suffrage, direct party primaries, or initiative and referendum. The problem is that while the voter's hand was following the shell, the ball was removed from the game completely.
Commissioner Plan: Cities hired experts in different fields to run a single aspect of city government. For example, the sanitation commissioner would be in charge of garbage and sewage removal.
City Manager Plan: A professional city manager is hired to run each department of the city and report directly to the city council.The idea of re-forming city councils with at-large districts and mayors who were members of the councils was to bust up the city machines and the bosses who ran urban ethnic politics, replacing them with credentialed professionals. The idea was that professionals could and should run government, and this is what is taught.
When the Supreme Court takes up Perry v. Schwarzenegger--perhaps under the name Brown v. Perry or Whitman v. Perry--the justices will rule 5-4, in a decision written by Justice Kennedy, that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.I'm inclined to think he's exactly correct. Yet very few people, I think, are talking about the really important issue that is at play here, and it's not whether men can legally marry men, it is whether a government in which a single unelected justice has the power to overturn not only state and federal law, but millennia of western culture, will continue to be perceived as legitimate.
This accepts the conventional assumption that the court's "liberal" and "conservative" wings will split predictably, 4-4. Yet while Kennedy cannot be pigeonholed in terms of "ideology," on this specific topic, he has been consistent in taking a very broad view of the rights of homosexuals.
As regards to the trial of Paul... Gallio reacts in a manner which Luke considers exemplary for the representative of the state involved in controversy between Jews and Christians. This insight prohibits us from viewing such a trial of Paul as historical.Think about that for a moment. What the author is saying is that if Luke records an outcome that he would see as favorable, we must disbelieve him. That Gallio basically said, "I don't care about your Jewish squabbles****" could not have been recorded because Luke was happy at the outcome or because Gallio truly didn't care whether Jesus was the Jewish messiah, but is taken as conclusive evidence that the trial never occurred.
"...from a redaction-critical perspective the highly tendentious nature of Acts 18 makes probable that its structure as well as key elements within its narrative owe their existence to the creative ability of the author of Acts."In other words, Luke made it up. Never mind that the "tendentious structure" is largely made up of the author ignoring what the text plainly says in favor of what he wants to it say*****. And never mind that this article is almost in toto an attack on the probabilities of other historians, replacing them with his own, less-attested ones. The author's presumptions (in this case, a "redaction-critical perspective") dictate that we can know nothing, or at least that we can know nothing worth knowing. Of course, this is exactly the kind of scholarship that gets quoted in Time magazine as authoritative.
-- Dixon Slingerland ("Acts 18:18, The Gallio Inscription, and Absolute Pauline Chronology," 1991)
Archaeologists in Bulgaria claim they have found remains of John the Baptist while excavating the site of a 5th century monastery on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan...Given that John the Baptist* was six months old when Jesus was born, for him to have prophesied the birth of Christ is quite a feat.
Christians believe John the Baptist prophesied the birth of Christ and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. According to the Gospels, John was put to death by beheading on the orders of the local ruler, Herod Antipas.
It is one of the most recognisable dinosaurs, part of the Holy Trinity of childhood favourites alongside the brontosaurus and the mighty T-Rex.I guess that makes two of the "holy trinity" that never existed, as the brontosaurus also exists only as a plastic toy. It was rather funny the time I tried to explain to a friend that brontosaurus was just an apatosaurus with the head of a camarasaurus stuck on it. She simply refused to believe it - scientists had said 'brontosaurus,' and that was that*. That attitude is sadly prevalent in modern America - and it's no different from the medieval credulity many science bloggers and their sycophants spend so much time mocking.
But now scientists say that the fearsome three-horned triceratops may never have existed.
Instead new research has raised the possibility that the triceratops was just a young version of a different dinosaur known as a torosaurus.
Apatosaurus excelsus (originally Brontosaurus) was named by [Othniel] Marsh in 1879. It is known from six partial skeletons, including part of a skull, which have been found in the United States, in Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Apatosaurus louisae ... is known from one partial skeleton which was found in Colorado in the United States. Apatosaurus parvus was originally known as Elosaurus parvus, but was reclassified as a species of Apatosaurus in 1994.Now I don't know how many skeletons of the dragon formerly known as Elosaurus parvus are floating about, but I do find it interesting that the other two species of apatosaurs are based on a total of seven partial skeltons and part of a single skull**, spread over finds in four western states.
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- The Obama administration's planned drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq is proceeding "as promised" and should lead to an end of America's combat mission there by the end of August, President Barack Obama said Monday.And he'll get the rest when we're the rest of the way out at the end of next year.
The politically charged decisions by veteran Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California to force public trials by the House ethics committee are raising questions about race and whether black lawmakers face more scrutiny over allegations of ethical or criminal wrongdoing than their white colleagues...One explanation for why explaining why voters "see no action" against white lawmakers with ethics problems is that they are more likely than black to quickly resign when caught with their hands too far in the cookie jar. This can be read a couple ways, and spinners gonna spin. In the case of those that resign, they eventually find jobs on Wall Street, K Street, or various boards and are taken care of outside the limelight, until they can receive a future executive branch appointment. Disgraced black lawmakers may find less of a career path there for various reasons only tangentially related to their race*.
“House Democrats are paying a price for OCE’s focus on black lawmakers,” added a Democratic insider close to House leaders. “But that doesn’t change the fact that voters are going to see two African-Americans on trial in the House while they see no action against white members with ethical problems.”
"The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance."
-- Samuel Adams