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Stayin' Alive 12/10/2019 10:17
Some of my 2 1/2 long-time followers know that I maintained the Today in Iraq and Afghanistan blog for many years. I've set it aside for a while, out of a general feeling of despair. But now I do want to say something about the . SIGAR reports frequently featured in Today in Iraq and Afghanistan. IG Sopko has been speaking truth to power for many years, mostly exposing the utter failure of development projects. But now he has done a comprehensive assessment of the goals and accomplishments of the United States' longest war. The answer is none of the above. Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul
Stayin' Alive 12/08/2019 08:27
What happens in Exodus 34 is very strange indeed. You may remember that Moses broke the tablets with the Ten Commandments because he was pissed off about the golden calf and all that. So God calls him back up the mountain to get a new set. Only -- they're completely different. 34. The. Lord. said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.”4 So Moses cut tw.
Stayin' Alive 12/05/2019 10:56
You've probably heard that the Residential Administration is which will result in loss of benefits for an estimated 700,000 people. In a nutshell, the rule will make it more difficult for states to waive the work requirement, which is that "nondisabled" adults have to work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible. The ostensible rationale is that a lot of people who could be working are lazing around and that if they lose their SNAP benefits they'll get off the couch and get a job. This is actually bullshit. The people we are talking about may not be certified as disabled but they are generally economically very marginal, maybe lacking a high school diploma; having undiagnosed disabilities, or mental or physical limitations short of getting
Stayin' Alive 12/01/2019 08:01
Exodus is, as we have seen, tedious and turgid. It's full of repetition, and also slightly different versions of similar constructs. Clearly it's an amalgamation of various source materials. But it is clear that the concept of God is still very limited compared with the modern version. He is not ubiquitous: he has a finite, physical body, in the shape of a human, and he exists in a specific location. He is definitely not universal; his only relationship is with the Hebrews. (The apparent flirtation with the Midianites was more or less forced because they adopted Moses and gave him a wife.) And he continues to make promises he doesn't keep. 33. Then the. Lord. said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and.
Stayin' Alive 11/30/2019 11:23
I actually find it pretty easy to understand why many people reject science that conflicts with their religious beliefs. One obvious reason is that membership in most religious communities requires accepting, or at least pretending to accept, certain factual propositions. Community membership is valuable to people, emotionally and in many situations for practical and material reasons. It's hard, and for many people impossible, to walk away from kith and kin. But there is also a deeper reason. The universe discovered by physicists and the sub-discipline of cosmology is grant, wonderful and astonishing but also very cold and lonely. It makes of humanity a trivial accident. We don't mean shit to anybody but ourselves. That we can make meaning
Stayin' Alive 11/27/2019 09:53
This is not new news, but it's strong confirmation of earlier observations that have been somewhat controversial, and also bad news that the trend is continuing. I'm not linking to the full report in JAMA because it's incredibly wonky and behind a paywall anyway, but rather to the associated editorial, which tells you what you need to know. Before we get into the substance of this, let me explain the concept of life expectancy. I'll try to put this simply, but some people find it confusing. It's really a fictitious, though useful, construct. It isn't really a prediction of the future, but it tells us something about the present. Below is a portion of what's called a "life table." It shows the proportion of people in the U.S. who died in eac.
Stayin' Alive 11/25/2019 13:39
Stephens, as you probably know, is a conservative columnist, formerly for the Wall Street Journal and now for the New York Times. He is almost unfailingly obnoxious. He is probably best known for writing a column because Karpf tweeted a mild joke comparing Stephens to a bedbug. Donald Trump ought to be and removed from office. This two months ago, when the impeachment inquiry began. I argued that the evidence fell short of the standards of . I also feared might ultimately help politically, . That second worry might still prove true. But if the congressional testimonies of Marie Yovanovitch, Bill Taylor, Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman and especially Fiona Hill make anything clear, it’s that the president’s highest crime isn’t what he tri.
Stayin' Alive 11/24/2019 08:03
Okay, now we get back to some action for a while. (Don't get too excited. There's plenty of lawgiving left.) This is a story that most people are vaguely aware of but I doubt many know the details, which are weird and disturbing. Keep in mind a few things about the character of God at this point. He still have a physical body, severe psychopathology, and his great power is finite. 32. When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods [] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wear.
Stayin' Alive 11/22/2019 10:40
A group of deep thinkers has a piece in BMJ about. For reasons that have never been entirely clear to me, anti-vax propaganda has been around since the invention of vaccination by Jenner. But these folks have a sociological premise that new communication technology and social media have undermined traditional expertise, which they discuss in the language of "power.". Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and powerful people have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader driven. It downloads, and it captures. New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like wat.
Stayin' Alive 11/20/2019 08:53
First, to be clear, elite colleges and universities do admit disproportionately many students from high income families. There is all sorts of affirmative action for affluent white kids -- legacy preference, preference for kids who play preppy sports like squash and rowing, test prep courses, you name it. However, for low income students who are admitted, the cost of tuition is not a barrier.Admission policy is a separate issue. The real problem with college costs nowadays is twofold. First, states have been cutting back drastically on funding for their state higher education systems, meaning students have been confronted with steep tuition costs for what used to be the most affordable higher education option for middle income families. Sec.
Stayin' Alive 11/19/2019 09:03
Today is the anniversary of the second moon landing, by Apollo 12, in 1969. The mission's commander was Charles "Pete" Conrad. It so happens that Conrad attended Haverford prep school in Pennsylvania and was a classmate of my father. Haverford expelled him after the 11th grade, whereupon he attended and graduated from the Darrow School in New Lebanon New York which happens to be the same school from which I graduated after being expelled from Andover. According to his Wikipedia page, Haverford expelled him because he was dyslexic and flunked his exams. According to my father, however, they expelled him because he stole the chaplain's car and drove it into a pond. (Don't sue me for libel, I acknowledge that is second hand.) Conrad went on to.
Stayin' Alive 11/17/2019 08:39
Exodus 31 completes the lawgiving, anticlimactically. First, for no particular reason, we get the names of two artisans about whom we learn nothing and who never appear again. 31. Then the. Lord. said to Moses,. 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,. 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—. 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,. 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:. 7 the ten.
Stayin' Alive 11/13/2019 11:18
I've discussed logical fallacies before, but it seems the message doesn't get to some people. One of the most common categories of logical fallacy is formally called argumentum ad hominem, or ad hominem for short. There are a couple of recognized forms of this, and a slightly alternative construction called bulverism . Essentially, the ad hominem fallacy is attacking an argument by making some assertion about its source. Trollish commenters on this blog often make the claim that an argument that supports some liberal position is not to be credited because the person making it is a liberal. Really -- I just got not one but two comments making precisely that claim about my quotation from a spokesperson from the Union of Concerned Scientists o.
Stayin' Alive 11/12/2019 12:45
The psychopathy and dishonesty of the current U.S. administration is beneath the deepest depths of evil. that can be used to inform the rulemaking process is a case of mass murder by sophistry. Supposedly it's to improve "transparency." Basically, if scientists don't make all of the raw data underlying their conclusions publicly available, the studies can't be considered. What this really means is that fully established, indisputable scientific truths will be ruled not true. That includes pretty basic stuff, such as, you know, the association of air pollution with premature death. The reason scientists don't always make all of their underlying data publicly available is because it includes personal information about the individuals in the s.
Stayin' Alive 11/10/2019 08:50
Before we get to today's reading, of two books about the Bible. You get one free read per month so even if you don't subscribe you should be able to get access. Christopher Beha writes:. Judaism has a kind of mythological founding moment that bears some resemblance to Mohammed’s recitation—the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai—but the actual text believed to be transmitted there makes up a tiny fraction of the Hebrew Bible, which in its canonical form comprises twenty-four books arranged into three major sections—the Torah (teaching), Nevi’im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings)—giving the collection its acronymic name, Tanakh. It was probably during the Babylonian exile of the sixth century b.c., some seven hundred years after Moses i.
Stayin' Alive 11/06/2019 09:56
I've considered writing about Jeffrey Epstein for a long time, but I kept expecting more information about the sordid case to be forthcoming from the Southern District of New York. So far however we have seen no additional indictments or any investigative report. This surprises many people because there are strong indications that there is ample basis for additional indictments, despite Epstein's death. I'll get to that. I don't have any information to add to what is publicly known, obviously, but many people don't fully understand the story and the mysteries connected with it, so I figured I'd provide a summary as a service. The first oddity in his career is that as an unemployed college dropout with no relevant experience, he was hired by.
Stayin' Alive 11/05/2019 15:05
Not obstructing justice, not holding up military aid to Ukraine to force the country to gin up a smear of the Biden family, not profiting from the office, not condoning the murder of a Saudi journalist, not even inciting racist violence or anything else but this: Denying the reality of anthropogenic climate change and doing everything possible to reverse Obama era action to combat it.
Stayin' Alive 11/03/2019 08:05
Exodus 29 goes from the stage setting of 27 and costuming of 28 to the action of the drama: consecration of the tabernacle and establishment of the priesthood. These instructions are highly elaborate and seem largely arbitrary, but they do have the consistent quality of being very expensive. The temple is built of precious materials, the garments are set with gemstones, and now we have a ritual in which mass quantities of food are destroyed. For pastoral nomads, meeting God's demands must have been quite onerous. Judaism today no longer has this quality. Temples are mostly modest, as are priestly garments, sacrifice has long been abolished, and except for the highly orthodox, ritual is largely restricted to the sabbath. But these chapters o.
Stayin' Alive 11/01/2019 13:55
If you take blood pressure medication (and a lot of people do, or should) , including death. Normally we like to provide information on absolute rather than relative risk, so here it is:. Commenting on the findings, Tim Chico, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, UK, said, “The results are impressive. From the 19 084 people who took part and were randomised to taking their tablets at either bedtime or morning, just over 9% suffered a heart problem over the 6.4 years of the study. Of these, by my calculations, around 1131 patients were taking their tablets in the morning, but only around 623 patients taking their tablets at bedtime suffered the same problems.”That adds up to 6% vs. 3% dying, and comparable red.
Stayin' Alive 10/30/2019 11:50
Much sturm und drang has attached to Elizabeth Warren's reticence about the financing of a so-called Medicare for All program. So I'll tell you up front that the reason is the optical problem of raising taxes. She has said that total expenditures on health care for middle class people will be less, which is likely true or certainly can be. But some of what people are paying now they aren't even aware that they are paying. This takes the form of employer-provided health care, and that portion of state and federal tax revenues that goes to Medicaid and various subsidies for the health care system. The latter wouldn't really be affected, so let's talk for a moment about employment-based insurance. This became a thing during WWII when there wer.

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