Thursday August 13th 2009


Quote:  "We are all... in agitation, even in our peaceful country. For in peace as well as in war, the mind must be kept in motion." -- Thomas Jefferson
Hour One -  How do we stop the sociopathic CEO's from killing us? w/ "Mad as Hell Doctor"Dr. Paul Hochfeld (w/Adam Klugman)
Hour Two -  When are we seriously going to start putting the American Economy together?
Hour Three - Rendition...under Obama? Scott Horton
Plus "Geeky Science Rocks" Can plant give you night vision?????


Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


You are such a lovely, compassionate person. Thanks for your friendship!

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


I'm starting to think that you are Google Images.

That is certainly a well armed ant, but is it a match for the insurgent fungi. Now ant invaders have ever been able to defeat the fungi in all of recorded history. And by the way, some people think that I'm a fungi. I guess they get my sense of humor.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

B Roll,

Oh, I thought you were referring to the parasitic corporations as fungus.

I know you enjoy a quirky, off-beat sense of humor. I would never refer to you as a fungus, though. There must be a better metaphor (unless, like a parasite, you "leech" off your friends alot. That, however, I would never know.)

And yes, I AM Google Images! (I even THINK in pictures!)

Susanne (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

At a recent town hall meeting with our Representative (Eric Massa, NY 29th District) the comment that all other industrial nations have universal health care for their citizens was greeted with derisive comments like "yeah, but it doesn't work there!"
Not so. I grew up in Germany with universal health care - but not a single payer system.
Everybody below a certain income level must be insured, above that it's up to the individual. The insurance is a public plan, administered by each state but available in all. Because everybody is covered and pays in - old and young, healthy and sick - it is easily affordable. Half the premium is paid by the individual, the other half by the employer (by law). It provides complete coverage, but people who want extras like a private room in the hospital can buy additional insurance.
When I still lived there, I lost my job. Part of my unemployment services was that I got free health care coverage. Good thing, too, since I found out I was pregnant. I never saw a bill for my pre-natal care, delivery or any of the well-baby visits in the two years I lived there after my son was born.
Last year my sister in Germany, now age 72, had a cornea transplant. Everything was covered, and nobody told her that because she was old she didn't qualify for the transplant.
My mother received complete care until she died at age 94. If anything, she was persuaded to have more care than she would have chosen if her mind had not been slightly impaired by age and illness.
I don't know what there is that doesn't work. Could it be that those who claimed that didn't have a clue?

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


Think in homonyms not pictures

fungi - fun guy

By the way, I'm also very visual.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


Re: "Could it be that those who claimed that didn’t have a clue?"

More likely, those who start these lies profit by keeping the healthcare corporations in control. Then, their sad syncophants believe them.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

B Roll,

Wow, you had a fun pun and I missed it! Sometimes I get a little too literal.

Well, now I don't know what to do with this:

(I'm really enjoying The Mighty Boosh lately.)

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Here's a link to one person's opinion of the Brits NHS.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


I don't understand that cartoon; maybe if I recognized the face. And I'd never heard of "The Mighty Bush" until you mentioned i/them/whatever. However, it reminded me of my motto earlier in this decade.

"Ferme le Bush"

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

I actually watched the first part of the YouTube video about Chris Langan, “the smartest man in the world” that Making Progress recommended and linked to, even though my first thought was the idea of “the smartest man in the world” is among the stupidest things I’d ever heard of.

Here’s the first thing you should know about “the smartest man in the world” (though not from this segment of the video). He’s a promoter of Intelligent Design, being a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID). His view seems to be that evolution is a tool that God worked through. Some of his view seem to be similar to Thom’s, but those are ideas I disagree with Thom about.

Then there’s the fact that in this video, he talks about things that I doubt he could possibly remember, no matter how smart he might be. He says that at the age of 6 or 7 months (gee, I wonder why he isn’t sure which) he began pointing at objects and correctly naming them. There was a pair of red patent leather shoes with buckles that he “loved” and he “thought buckle was a beautiful word” so he pointed to the shoes and said “buckle”. He says a few months later he began speaking in sentences, saying he “seemed to have an understanding of syntax”. Then he said that he heard his mother “talking about this little girl, Becky, who already knew how to read. I thought, well I’m certainly not going to be beaten by her.”

This video is an MGM (the movie studio) release and is obviously meant for entertainment; with high production values. So I guess we can’t expect things like verification or documentation of his claims. But for my part, I can’t put much faith in someone who describes memories (including feelings and thoughts) that go back to the first 6 months to a year of his life.

The fact is that he gave no verification for any of the claims he made in this part of the film. It was all his word. That doesn’t mean his theories, analysis and interpretations aren’t valid. I just don’t have a lot of faith in people who make incredible unsubstantiated claims.

By the way, his claim to being “the smartest man in the world” is based on an I.Q. test he took in a magazine. He supposedly set a record for the highest score. He apparently was also tested for the TV show 20/20. In the clip I saw, he compared his I.Q. which is supposed to be 195 – 210 to Einstein’s “estimated” to be 180 – 190 and Darwin’s which he described as “in the toilet” at 135. (Were their I.Q.’s tested or are these just estimates?)

Intelligence is good. I like it and I wish I had more of it. I used to listen to a gardening show on a local NPR station because the host seemed so knowledgeable, even though I lived in an apartment and had little interest. But I value a good heart over a great mind, and with the few exceptions of people who for whatever reason I find fascinating, I’m not impressed with intelligence that isn’t put to work for the betterment of humanity. In the little reading I did about Langan, I don’t see that he’s made any major contributions to the world and the impression I got from the clip was that he’s arrogant.

Like I said earlier, I don’t find his childhood memories credible. You know, sometimes details make your stories real and sometimes they expose you for a fake. The details included in his stories that are supposed to be from when his age was calculated in months make me doubt those stories.

The thing that really got me to write this is an issue that has bothered me for a long time. How and why we believe what we believe and trust the intellectual authority of who we trust.

Making Progress obviously is very impressed with Langan, so I guess he/she (?) believes his stories. I listen to Langan talking about experiences from such a young age and I don’t believe him. I mean, he’s talking about red shoes with buckles and thinking that the word “buckle” was beautiful when he was 6 to 7 months old. No one could have told him what he was thinking so that’s something he would have to remember. Research shows that our childhood thoughts are lost during adolescence in a process called synaptic pruning. So it’s unlikely that such a memory could endure (if it ever existed). The same goes for the story of Becky, the little girl who he says could read before he could. Not only does he say that remember hearing his mother talking about Becky and that she could read, he remember deciding that he wasn’t going to let her beat him and that he didn’t think she was particularly intelligent and he knew he could “out-accelerate her”. So he’s not only claiming highly unlikely memories, he’s also claiming pretty sophisticated thinking at an extremely young age

I’m just not buying this guys story. My instinct tells me he’s a con artist of some kind. He’s obviously very intelligent, but aside from that, I don’t know what he’s accomplished. According to the Wikipedia article on him, in 2001, Popular Science reported he was writing a book called “Design for the Universe”. lists no books by him, although there are a few books either about him or that discuss him. And Wikipedia doesn’t mention anything important that he’s accomplished.

I did find a few online articles about disputes he’s had with organizations he’s been involved in.

I hear and read so many things from progressive sources that make me ask, “What ever happened to critical thinking?” Maybe this guy is important, but it seems like there are questions about him that have to be answered before we should look at him as an important person. That’s my concern, what happened to critical thinking?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 25 weeks ago

B Roll,

I think critical thinking was outlawed by the Reagan administration. It made life too "messy."

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