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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,169

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NDAA-FY13 Funding Levels....


WASHINGTON -- Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee,
announced today that the committee has completed its conference of the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The bill authorizes funding for the
Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy


The President’s budget request for national defense discretionary programs within the
jurisdiction of the Committee on Armed Services for fiscal year 2013 was $631.6 billion and was
in three parts:

$525.3 billion for the base budget of the DOD;

$88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO), which funds the war in Afghanistan; and

$17.8 billion for national security programs in the DOE and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The conference report authorizes $633.3 billion for national defense programs. The
conference report authorizes $2.1 billion more than was requested for the base budget of DOD
and the amount requested ($88.5 billion) for OCO. The conference report authorizes $395.0
million less than the requested level of funding for national security programs of the DOE.




A Popular Quotation Allegedly from Diderot in Its Original Context (and Verse Form)....

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." --Diderot


The original text is available on Google:

pg. 96, “Les Éleuthéromanes



J'en atteste les temps; j'en appelle à tout âge;
Jamais au public avantage
L'homme n'a franchement sacrifié ses droits;
S'il osait de son cœur n'écouter que la voix,
Changeant tout à coup de langage,
Il nous dirait, comme l'hôte des bois:
La nature n'a fait ni serviteur ni maître;
Je ne veux ni donner ni recevoir de lois.
Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre,
Au défaut d'un cordon pour étrangler les rois.



Which in translation with an interlinear gloss is approximately:

J'en atteste les temps; j'en appelle à tout âge;
I of them attest the times; I of them appeal to all age;
I display the times; I appeal to the age

Jamais au public avantage
Never to the public advantages
The public never has the advantage

L'homme n'a franchement sacrifié ses droits;
The man not has clearly sacrificed his rights;
Certainly, mankind has not sacrificed his rights;

S'il osait de son cœur n'écouter que la voix,
If he dared of his heart not to hear but that the voice,
If mankind dared but to listen to the voice of his heart,

Changeant tout à coup de langage,
changing all at a blow of language,
changing suddenly the language,

Il nous dirait, comme l'hôte des bois:
He to us would say, as the host of the woods:
He would say to us, as he would to the animals of the woods:

La nature n'a fait ni serviteur ni maître;
The nature not has made neither servant nor master;
Nature created neither servant nor master;

Je ne veux ni donner ni recevoir de lois.
I not see neither to give nor receive of law.
I seek neither to rule nor to serve.

Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre,
And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest,
And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest,

Au défaut d'un cordon pour étrangler les rois.
To the lack of a cord for to strangle the kings.
For the lack of a cord with which to strangle kings.

Without the original text and the interlinear text, one has as my approximate translation of Diderot:

I display the times; I appeal to the age
The public is never advantaged
Certainly, mankind has not sacrificed his rights;
If mankind dared but to listen to the voice of his heart,
changing suddenly the language,
He would say to us, as he would to the animals of the woods:
Nature created neither servant nor master;
I seek neither to rule nor to serve.
And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest,
For the lack of a cord with which to strangle kings.

A similar sentiment is attributed to Jean Meslier (1664–1729), but, as of yet, I have no citation for it:

"Je voudrais, et ce sera le dernier et le plus ardent de mes souhaits, je voudrais que le dernier des rois fût étranglé avec les boyaux du dernier prêtre."

This latter quotation is not originally from verse, but for the sake of completeness is mentioned here.

Would anyone want to make any suggestions that would improve my approximate translation of the Diderot quotation or would anyone like to attempt to put the quotation in verse form?

The Essential Elements of the Speech Made to Commemorate the Founding of "Syskill" Translated....

My New Band Is Called Syskill

Off-Camera Voice: "Willst Du eine Rede halten?"
("Do you want to make a speech?"
Diver: "...Handtuch...."
Off-Camera Voice: "...Eis hier ueberall...."
(roughly: "There is ice everywhere."
Diver: "Motherfucker, fuck the fucking world and my new band is called Syskill....BWAAAAH....(thud)
....OWAH....AHH...(laughter off camera)...mein Arsch...."
("AHH...(laughter off camera)...my ass...."

Baba Brinkman is Back...

Here is a great new rap from his new digital album, The Infomatic EP:

Naturalizm (Featuring Syqnys)

"Science is more than a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking, a way skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. Where religion gets into trouble, is in those cases that it pretends to know something about science." Carl Sagan

Whenever I debate opponents of naturalism
They act like I viciously attacked their position
And that's when I can get half to actually listen
It's like their minds are trapped, shackled in prison
When I mention evolution, the panic it hit's 'em
Yeah, they act like I'm advocating cannibalism
It's a man-eat-man world, just animals living
In a pointless universe, try like mad to convince 'em
But I can't, without getting' passionate with it
Watch how far naturalists being passive will get 'em
Forget about my radical stance on religion
Watch a naturalist debate a fanatical Christian
On the one side, you have someone with PhDs
On the other, call 'em "freeze" – they have zero degrees
And then we have to sit there and hear from the sleaze
Like it's a real debate, you hearing me? Please!



The Debate Abbreviated and Approximated .... EPIC ROMNEY FAIL / EPIC OBAMA WIN

While Mitt Romney was "playing battleship" "all over the map" with his "horses and bayonets", he received a "call from the 1980's and they requested their foreign policy back." Angered, Romney "prematurely tightened his sanctions" against Iran and "started a trade war" with China. However, strangely enough, Romney then simultaneously "defended Chinese tires" and "planned to create jobs in China." Romney at this point "saw his position among other things" as untenable and decided to start "airbrushing history" by loudly declaring - "I love teachers!"

...of the Romney campaign

All facetious comments aside, President Obama looked great in this debate: he had his usual command of the issues and decisively defeated Mitt Romney. After the debate, the Fox News propaganda collective (Kelly, Baier, Wallace, Hume, et al.) looked like it wanted to cry. It took them several outright lies and misstatements to build their courage back up.

Insurance Status and Trauma Care in Massachusetts as Studied in 1994: Have There Been Changes?

The following paper is a study from 1994. It concludes essentially that uninsured trauma patients obtained less care and died with a greater frequency than those trauma patients who had insurance.

What follows is an excerpt from the paper, the paper's PubMed entry and the links to two criticisms with their respective responses as published in the AJPH Letters to the Editor section:

Acutely Injured Patients with Trauma in Massachusetts: Differences in Care and Mortality, by Insurance Status
Jennifer S. Haas, MD, MSPH, and Lee Goldman, MD, MPH


Trauma is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States(1), and it results in substantial morbidity. The annual cost of traumatic injuries is estimated to be more than $100 billion(2). Some data suggest that 30% of trauma-related deaths may be prevented by appropriate prehospital and in-hospital care(3,4).

Although previous work has demonstrated that the uninsured (5-8) are less likely to receive certain health care services, these studies have usually examined elective procedures or ambulatory services for which differences in rates of use may reflect patients' preferences. In addition, it has been difficult to control for differences in disease severity for chronic medical problems(9). Finally, differences in procedure rates may not be associated with differences in health outcomes. Because of these limitations, no conclusions can be drawn as to the appropriateness of the observed variation.

To address whether lower rates of resource use by uninsured patients are associated with worse health outcomes, we studied patients with acute trauma. Since these patients are acutely injured, the relationship between in-hospital care and mortality may be more direct than for chronic health problems. Also, patients' preferences are less likely to explain differences in the use of procedures. Furthermore, the severity of injury can be measured reliably for patients with traumatic injuries in administrative data sets. The goal of this study was to examine whether resource use and mortality differed by insurance status for patients hospitalized with acute trauma.


AJPH Paper: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.84.10.1605

Am J Public Health. 1994 Oct;84(10):1605-8.
Acutely injured patients with trauma in Massachusetts: differences in care and mortality, by insurance status.
Haas JS, Goldman L.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to determine whether resource use and mortality differed by insurance status for patients with acute trauma.

METHODS: All adults emergently hospitalized in Massachusetts during 1990 with acute trauma (n = 15,008) were examined.

RESULTS: After adjustment for confounders, uninsured patients were as likely to receive care in an intensive care unit as were patients with private insurance (odds ratio [OR] = 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.85, 1.11) but were less likely to undergo an operative procedure (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.63, 0.74) or physical therapy (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.57,0.67) and were more likely to die in a hospital (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.44, 3.19). Compared with patients with private insurance, those with Medicaid were less likely to receive an operative procedure (0.85, 0.75-0.97), were equally likely to receive care in an intensive care unit (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.86, 1.30) or physical therapy (OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.79, 1.02), and were no more likely to die (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.69,2.39).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the uninsured receive less trauma-related care and have a higher mortality rate. The excess mortality in uninsured patients may be avoided if their resource use is increased to that of insured patients.

PubMed Entry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7943478

AJPH Criticism and Response I: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.85.8_Pt_1.1164
AJPH Criticism and Response II: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.86.3.407-a

The House Committee on Science, Space and Theology...

Given that both Rep. (R-MO) Todd Akin and Rep. (R-GA) Paul Broun, Jr., M.D., are members of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology maybe the committee should consider changing its designation to the House Committee on Science, Space and Theology. The committee would then be more in line with the lunatic ravings of some of its members.

Below is a listing of the committee membership with links to the more notable of their recent ravings. If anyone knows of other scientifically illiterate statements that have been made by members of this committee, please note that below with a link. It might be interesting to see how many of the members are ill-informed and are willing to show it.

Lastly, here is a image of Paul Broun making a fool of himself:

Committee Members, 112th Congress

* indicates the members who are clearly scientifically illiterate.

Republican Members
Ralph M. Hall, Texas
F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
Lamar S. Smith, Texas
Dana Rohrabacher, California
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
Judy Biggert, Illinois
W. Todd Akin, Missouri*
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Michael T. McCaul, Texas
Paul Broun, Georgia*
Sandy Adams, Florida
Benjamin Quayle, Arizona
Charles J. "Chuck" Fleischmann, Tennessee
Scott Rigell, Virginia
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Mo Brooks, Alabama
Andy Harris, M.D., Maryland
Randy Hultgren, Illinois
Chip Cravaack, Minnesota
Larry Bucshon, Indiana
Dan Benishek, Michigan

Democratic Members
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas
Jerry F. Costello, Illinois
Lynn Woolsey, California
Zoe Lofgren, California
Brad Miller, North Carolina
Daniel Lipinski, Illinois
Donna Edwards, Maryland
Ben Ray Lujan, New Mexico
Paul Tonko, New York
Jerry McNerney, California
Terri Sewell, Alabama
Frederica Wilson, Florida
Hansen Clarke, Michigan
Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon


Colbert's Take On Prison Labor, Unicor's (i.e., unicor.gov) "Escape-Proof Guarantee" and ALEC

Here is Colbert's take on the important issue of prison labor in his segment "The Word":

Here is Unicor's guarantee of customer satisfaction - Unicor's unconscious word choice or attempt at dark humor seems inappropriate at best:

Escape Proof Guarantee

We take great pride in teaching inmates a good work ethic and marketable job skills in order to produce high quality goods and services for our customers. We are committed to your complete and continual satisfaction. If, at any time, an item we have provided does not entirely meet your expectations, we will cheerfully and promptly repair or replace it, entirely at our expense.

For information contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 827-3168


Democracy Now has also done a piece on prison labor (August 5, 2011) and ALEC's connection to it. This is linked to in a post on The Nation's website:

How ALEC Turned Prisoners into Corporate America's Cheap Labor Force
Kevin Donohoe

What do breaded chicken patties, office chairs and cruise missiles used in Libya have in common? They are all made by America's 100,000-strong secret workforce: prisoners.

Since the 1990s, the American Legislative Exchange Council has helped states turn prisoners into a source of cheap labor for corporate America. On Democracy Now!, Mike Elk explains the hidden history of ALEC and prison labor, and the group's latest effort to privatize America's parole system. You can read Elk's piece on ALEC's prison policies here.


"Is News Corp Failing Science?" 93% Misleading & 81% Misleading for Fox and the WSJ Opinions., Resp.

Is News Corp. Failing Science?
Representations of Climate Science on Fox News Channel and in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Pages



News Corporation is one of the world’s largest media companies. Under its Global Energy Initiative, the company has publicly committed to engaging its audiences on sustainability issues and the company publicly touts climate change initiatives among its successes.

Despite News Corp.’s public commitment to environmental sustainability, a snapshot analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS) finds that recent portrayals of climate science on Fox News Channel and in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section are overwhelmingly

UCS’s analysis finds that:

• Over a recent six-month period, 93 percent of Fox News Channel’s representations of climate science were misleading (37 out of 40 instances).

• Similarly, over the past year, 81 percent of the representations of climate science in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section were
(39 out of 48 instances).

The entire report is here: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/Is-News-Corp-Failing-Science.pdf

Romney Campaign Offers A Ride With Mitt On The Campaign Jet...

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