Intoxicant Double-Standards

A report is getting some play in the press that marijuana is getting more potent and more kids are having problems with it.

First of all, I don’t think kids should drink and do drugs. I did it, you did it, but no one in their right mind recommends it, just like we don’t recommend a lot of other stupid shit we all did. Parents need to exert their influence and make sure their children make good choices.

But what strikes me funny is how people treat marijuana so much differently than alcohol. You can drink beverages with low alcohol content, such as beer and wine, or you can drink beverages with high alcohol content, such as hard liquor. No journalist in their right minds would write an article about hard liquor having more alcohol than beer. It’s obvious, known by all and not newsworthy in the slightest.

So what if pot is stronger now? It may very well mean that people smoke less of it, consume less tar as a result and it may thus have an overall health benefit. Instead of smoking a joint or doing bong hits they use a one-hitter. (Not that I know anything about this stuff.)

Reports like this are good information, but my fear is it will lead people to think that prohibition is a good thing, and it’s not. No one, ever, anywhere is talking about the prohibition of alcohol again. Why? Because it was ineffective and was the genesis of organized crime in America. It put huge dollars into the black market and it did not stop people from drinking.

The same is true of marijuana. The only rational, life-saving, crime-preventing, money-saving strategy is to legalize, or at the very least decriminalize marijuana.

Intoxicant Double-Standards

Faith — A Virtue?

bsherwood said:

Faith is an absolute virtue. You have faith in what you believe. I have faith in what I believe. David Koresh (sp?) had faith in what he believed……Faith is a virtue…what you have faith in may not be virtuous (sp? again…)

I’m wondering what is so virtuous about faith. Let’s use an example. I do have “faith” in science because obviously I can’t personally recreate every experiment ever done. But my faith is based on the idea that I could if I wanted to. For example, in one of my physics labs we redid a lot of famous experiments. Here is my lab report on measuring the charge of the electron. I don’t need to have “faith” on the charge of the electron, I did it myself. Thus, my faith in science is faith in the process and the people and it is underwritten, if you will, with the knowledge that I could personally verify the experiments (even though doing so is impractical).

So what is faith? If we ask the dictionary it is “confidence or trust in a person or thing” or “belief that is not based on proof“.

My faith is science is based on the former: I trust scientists and the scientific process. Your faith in God is based on the latter: in spite of the lack of evidence, you believe it anyway.

I’m not necessarily convinced either of these is a “virtue” (moral excellence; goodness; righteousness).

Faith — A Virtue?

Robert Mugabe: Fucktard Extraordinaire

Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, should be an outstanding leader. He has 8 degrees and “several honorary degrees and doctorates from various international Universities“.

But, unfortunately, he is a complete and utter failure, and a prick to boot. He has utterly destroyed Zimbabwe. It used to export food, now it is on the brink of famine. It’s economy has collapsed and it has rampant inflation.

I’m not expert on Zimbabwe but I do agree, in principle, that white ownership of all of the arable land is untenable. Like South Africa, the transition to a more representative government and some redistribution of wealth was probably necessary. But what Mugabe has done has obviously not worked and he has hurt all of the people of Zimbabwe in the process.

I think he has been absolutely corrupted by power and/or is completely insane or perhaps both. I wonder when the people of Zimbabwe are going to take their country back…

Robert Mugabe: Fucktard Extraordinaire

Creation Science

I had a fairly long email exchange with someone who was adamantly a “creation science” person. He believes the Earth and the universe are only thousands of years old. He believes in Intelligent Design (ID), of course and thinks evolution is nonsense.

A few things struck me about our debate. First of all, the guy isn’t dumb and he is not just spouting dogma. He has thought about it, read about it and feels he is extremely informed on all sides of these issues. He thinks science is intentionally blind to the influence of design. Here is a quote:

Actually I was once in that place and was emotionally revolted by the idea, but after about a year of letting it settle I started looking and was astounded at the way I had been brainwashed. It took several years more before I could actually see the case for a young earth, but it is indeed there. Because mainstream science is so inbred, incestuous in fact, it SEEMS to all fit together. What has happened it that anomalous evidence is ignored.

So here is a religious conservative with radical scientific views, rejecting entire disciplines of science as quakery. And here I am, a social and political liberal who always sides with the establishment when it comes to science.

I, of course, think this dude is batshit crazy. These folks start with a conclusion, that God is involved in our every day lives, and project it on everything. Anything that contradicts the Bible is wrong. Scientists are atheists who “MUST believe in evolution because they would otherwise lose intellectual respectability. Therefore they are not open to the evidence for creation.”

It’s amazing to me that someone can look around this amazing world that science has created for us and still call scientists frauds who purposefully ignore evidence to support their idealogical beliefs.

But only, of course, in those areas addressed by scripture. For some odd reason they don’t quibble with electromagnetism or chemistry. No, it’s just geology, astronomy, cosmology, paleontology and biology they have a problem with, thanks to the insane young Earth theory and ID.

But, their minds are made up and no amount of direct evidence or scientific consensus will ever convince them. The Book was written and that is the end of the story.

WTF.

Creation Science

Old Dogs, Old Tricks

Democrats’ Plans Help Al-Qaida, Cheney Says

Barf.

What a fucking deranged, bitter old fuck Cheney is. They have proven, beyond all doubt, that what they think is right does not work. Yet he still comes out with this same old tired bullshit.

They know that the only tool Congress has at this point to affect this fucked up situation is their power with the purse strings. That is what Cheney is fighting. They want an endless supply of our children’s children’s children’s money to fight this dumb war with their old boy’s club partners.

Fuck them.

Old Dogs, Old Tricks

Global Climate Change and Mars

I’m assuming Phil “The Bad Astronomer” Plait won’t mind me posting this here. Hell, I’ll even ask him. After the fact, of course.

I said:

I have a guy on my site claiming that the polar caps on Mars are melting for the same reason that we see global warming on Earth.

He said:

“I don’t think anyone has yet to explain to me the simultaneous melting of the Martian polar icecaps. Seems like a pretty weird coincidence. If the ice caps on Mars are melting because the Martian climate is getting warmer, doesn’t it make sense that the Earth would be warming too as a result of the same root cause?”

I.E. NOT human causes.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
M.

Phil’s reply:

Hi Michael-

I just heard about this myself. The claim is that warming is seen on Mars, Jupiter, a moon of Neptune, and Pluto. GW deniers are saying it’s due to the Sun warming up.

The thing is, the warming on Jupiter is local, not global (as far as I can tell); the warming on Triton is seasonal, and expected; Pluto is too far away to see a warming like this due to increased sunlight; and — oh yeah– there has been no measured increase in solar flux. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not sure what’s going on with Mars. If real, it may be that it is simply coming out of an “ice age”. What I find interesting is that these people talk about four objects out of 100 in the solar system. What’s happening on the other planets, the other moons? I don’t know, but it’s clear we can’t start making claims until we have a real statsitical sample.

-P

* * * * * The Bad Astronomer * * * *

Phil Plait
The Bad Astronomy Web Page: http://www.badastronomy.com

The key point, which I had mentioned in the past, is that we are not seeing increased solar luminosity (that I’m aware of). We have the SOHO satellite sitting out there watching it 24 hours per day. We also have solar observatories, like Kitt Peak, that have been operating for decades.

Good question, but I don’t think it is related to the global climate change debate.

Global Climate Change and Mars

Ann Coulter and Climate Change

I guess Ann Coulter is a genius if you take into account the fact that she continues to fleece the Right of millions of dollars every year with her absolutely juvenile and inane drivel. On an objective basis, of course, she is a complete fucking moron with not an ounce of logic, rationale or sound judgment.

Take for example her recent essay entitled LET THEM EAT TOFU!. (Note, the previous link goes to her home page so won’t point to the correct article after a while. Apparently she is not smart enough to figure out permalinks.)

What is clear from this article is that she has not a single piece of evidence, fact or rational basis for anything she says. One can paraphrase her article quite easily: Liberals hate America, hate human beings and want us all to live like cave men eating bugs.

Here is an example:

But global warming is the most insane, psychotic idea liberals have ever concocted to kill off “useless eaters.” If we have to live in a pure “natural” environment like the Indians, then our entire transcontinental nation can only support about 1 million human beings. Sorry, fellas รขโ‚ฌโ€ 299 million of you are going to have to go.

Hmmm. Her logic seems to be, global climate change can’t be true because we don’t want it to be true. That is the entirety of her argument. We depend on industry therefore there is absolutely no risk of human causes to global climate change.

Do any of you buy that rationale? Anyone? Compare and contrast with experts who have intensely rigorous data, methods and models whose results are verified by other researchers around the globe. You are going to believe this bitter, retarded cunt from hell over thousands of climate scientists?

No, we all know, if Ann Coulter believes it then it is certainly not true.

Ann Coulter and Climate Change