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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.
Stayin' Alive 10/27/2019 10:55
Well, sky trip actually. I'm going to San Diego for the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare. I'll be busy, giving a presentation of my own, moderating three panels, and doing some meetings. This is always exhausting, especially because my first scheduled meeting is for tonight, just after I get to the hotel, which should be around 9:00 pm Pacific time, meaning my body will think it's midnight. I'm getting too old for this shit. Anyway if I learn anything good I'll let you know. People are always very interested in issues pertaining to communicating with health care providers. I should write more about my specialty here but let's face it, there's a lot of distraction right now. But I'll try to get back to the knitting in
Stayin' Alive 10/27/2019 08:17
Yep, this is still tedious and absurd. Now God fancies himself an exhibitor in Paris Fashion Week, but I have to say these designs are a bit over the top. Some of the vocabulary is obscure. Nobody knows exactly what the Urim and Thummim were. In Samuel they are used for divination, so that is presumed to be the idea all along. It isn't specified here as "divination," but it does say "for making decisions." At some point use of these priestly garments was abandoned, obviously, and as far as I know there haven't been any archaeological finds that could illuminate their nature. Of course the cloth would decay and the jewelry would have been looted. The real point of all this frou frou obviously is not to glorify God, but to glorify the priesth.
Stayin' Alive 10/26/2019 10:17
Benjamin Wittes is basically a buttoned down establishmentarian -- he is famous for saying that Bill Barr is a straight shooter and deserved a chance to demonstrate his incorruptibility as Attorney General. Also centrist. But as such, and principled, his present commitment is to find some way to get Orange Julius out of office. He quotes Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65:. The prosecution of [impeachments], for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influences, and interests on one side or on the other;
Stayin' Alive 10/23/2019 11:10
There seems to be some continuing question as to whether Michael Mann was ordered to pay Tim Ball's legal fees. The answer is still no, at least not in substantial part. He was ordered to pay what the BC courts call "court costs," which is essentially automatic. . Allowable costs are based on what's called a "tariff," which is a set amount of money for various activities associated with litigation. This is assumed to include legal fees but the amount is much less than the actual legal fees Ball incurred. , in case you are interested. This seems a distinction of no importance in the overall scheme of this matter. The case was dismissed not because the court found any validity whatsoever in Ball's claims about Mann, but because a) Ball was si.
Stayin' Alive 10/21/2019 14:05
Bizarrely, the continual torrent of outrages from the Resident drowns each individual atrocity in the flood. The corporate media barely have time to report one before they go chasing after the next, and nothing ever lingers in the collective consciousness long enough to seem important. . As they put the problem:. In the corrosive and dangerous Trump presidency, the outrages fly so fast and the chaos mounts so thoroughly that it’s easy to pass off the entire unsettling phenomenon as one more made-for-TV-and-Twitter unreality show. New outrages drive the previous ones from our minds. It's worth reading to gain a sense of the depth and breadth of the calamity that has befallen the nation and the planet. It's reminiscent of the , and it seems li.
Stayin' Alive 10/20/2019 07:48
I've done a little bit of reading to see if people have thoughts about why a book that presents some of its key events in a few verses goes on ad nauseum about the precise details of the tabernacle. (And soon to come the priestly vestments and various ritual requirements.) Well, for one thing, the text existed; it was available. Somebody saw this thing at some point and described it. Obviously it wasn't in the historical context described here, which fictitious, but the details get projected back to this time of lawgiving. And it was important in a way that the story of Cain and Abel and other events that get much shorter shrift were not. Maintaining the tabernacle and the priestly rituals were the most essential religious duty. It is a gen.
Stayin' Alive 10/18/2019 10:02
I'm not going to link to a video sent in by a reader mostly because the comments are so stupid, but point taken. Blocking public transit as a protest against government inaction on climate change seems symbolically and tactically illogical. So when and why is civil disobedience morally justifiable? The question is inextricable from the practical utility of civil disobedience actions. Moral justification doesn't work for ineffective actions. As a youth I worked for an organization that emphasized what we called direct action tactics, which were often though not necessarily technically illegal. So there are some important definitional distinctions. "Direct action" means political action that bypasses the official mechanisms of political parti.
Stayin' Alive 10/16/2019 13:39
. He isn't new to the case -- he' been crying the alarm for decades. But now he realizes that writing, and agitating, and voting aren't working. People are taking to the streets, and in Britain they're trying to pack the jail cells. Nowhere on Earth does match the scale of the catastrophes we face. Part of the reason is the remarkably low level of public discussion and information on this crisis. Another is that the political risks of action are higher than the perceived rewards – a balance the protesters want to redress. But perhaps the most important factor is the brute power of the pollutocrats driving this disaster. As the Guardian’s shows, the big fossil fuel companies have used , intense lobbying and to overwhelm environmental protect.
Stayin' Alive 10/14/2019 08:23
If there is one holiday that definitely needs to be repurposed, it's today's annual celebration of . (Visit link for a five minute Adam Ruins Everything.) The idea of the celebration was initially promoted by Italian Americans who craved recognition in a country that had been dominated by people from northwest Europe. Italians didn't originally have full "white" status. The idea seems to have been that drawing attention to the idea that an Italian had opened the way for European settlement of the Americas would validate their presence here, or something like that. Of course this required that he be glamorized. Children were told the tale that he alone had the profound insight that the earth is spherical and that it would be possible to sale.
Stayin' Alive 10/13/2019 08:13
As I warned y'all last week, we are now in the most boring part of the Bible. We've seen God do all kinds of weird and psychopathic shit up till now -- making false promises, arbitrarily picking favorites, committing mass murder, that sort of thing -- but now he's become an obsessive architect and interior designer. It's one thing I suppose for the faithful to decide to erect an expensive, super-luxe monument to the being they worship, but for said being to drag a guy up to a mountaintop and make him write down these meticulous instructions just so he can be properly worshipped seems pretty wack. Anyway, there really isn't much more I can say about it. Obviously this is a one-off. As far as I know this is a one-off. Nobody has made an attem.
Stayin' Alive 10/11/2019 09:05
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been closely following events in Iraq since shortly after the U.S. invasion, as I first contributed to, then took ownership of the blog Today in Iraq. We have a reader who thought that changing the subject from the Residents recent abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011 would place the blame for the rise of Islamic State on Barack Obama. In fact the so-called that required U.S. forces to leave Iraq by the end of 2011 was signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. The Obama administration attempted to negotiate a new agreement that would allow a small contingent of military advisers to remain, but the Iraqi parliament would not agree to it. U.S. forces there.
Stayin' Alive 10/08/2019 10:44
As my 2 1/2 long time readers know, for many years I maintained a blog called Today in Iraq and Afghanistan (originally Today in Iraq). During the height of U.S. involvement in Iraq we had thousands of visitors every day, and we were listed in the blogroll at Eschaton and other prominent sites. But Americans lost interest in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and even the fight against the Islamic State didn't garner much attention. I finally stopped blogging there a few months ago when the situation in both countries had turned into stagnation and the daily routine of generally low-level violence just didn't seem worth documenting. Anyway, the result is that I know quite a lot about the situation that, rather astonishingly, has finally gotte.

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