You’re putting who in charge of science?

Further evidence that the American political system is broken: Ted Cruz has been made chair of the committee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness (one of the things in that list of three does not belong…and why is “Space”, a small subset of science’s compass, given such a prominent spot?). Marco Rubio is chair of the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard (another hodge-podge!). This is as insane as putting James Inhofe in charge of environmental policy.

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Satire is not the problem

Joe Sacco has drawn a genuinely excellent, thoughtful cartoon about the Charlie Hebdo attacks. It made me stop and think, so I think it was a very effective use of the medium, and I recommend you all go look at it now.

But it has one problem: it did make me think, and think about the attacks, and the outrage of the people who committed them, and the cartoonist who was commenting on them. And I didn’t find myself entirely in agreement with Sacco.

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And here you were all panicky about mere Ebola…

If only we weren’t all so innumerate, we’d be able to respond appropriately to genuine threats to our lives. You’d never get into a car drunk, and even when sober, you’d do your best to drive cautiously, because car accidents are a major cause of death in the US. Oh, but wait…could it be there’s something even more dangerous than hurtling down the road at 60 miles per hour in a metal box? Why, yes there is.

According to data gathered by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), deaths caused by cars in America are in long-term decline. Improved technology, tougher laws and less driving by young people have all led to safer streets and highways. Deaths by guns, though—the great majority suicides, accidents or domestic violence—have been trending slightly upwards. This year, if the trend continues, they will overtake deaths on the roads.

The Centre for American Progress first spotted last February that the lines would intersect. Now, on its reading, new data to the end of 2012 support the view that guns will surpass cars this year as the leading killer of under 25s. Bloomberg Government has gone further. Its compilation of the CDC data in December concluded that guns would be deadlier for all age groups.

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Obama does something right

I think this is exactly what the federal government ought to be doing: building the national infrastructure and setting priorities. So I’m completely behind Obama’s proposal to make community college free for everybody for the first two years, a project that will lead to an expansion of our educational system, more employment for educators, and more opportunities for young people. It’s estimated to cost $34 billion — scrap a few defense contracts, we can cover that.

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I get email: Comma writes back!

I guess he noticed my previous mention of the wacky Terry Dean, Nemmers.

freethoughtblogs Monitor:

Would you please explain to me why UMM Prof Paul “Logical Fallacy” Myers is inciting his less-than-intelligent cult following to harass me? I have received a harassing email and my youtube channel at ArrestAJudgeKit is being flooded with wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated assertions that I am supposedly a “Sovereign Citizen.” Myers is using his bully pulpit to call my sanity into question with wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated assertions. Has Myers deluded himself into thinking that his Ph.d. is somehow a state-issued license to diagnose? Maybe Myers should review the Mn laws on criminal defamation and harassment before taking such irresponsible actions?

My reasonable suspicion is that this is Myers’ retaliation for my lawful data request for public data related to Myers’ inciting UMM students to censor and criminally damage UMM sanctioned material, isn’t it? It shocks the conscience that Myers would incite UMM students to censor and criminally damage UMM sanctioned material, doesn’t it? Now shame-filled and guilt-ridden Myers feels the need to intimidate me, a UMM graduate, into silence? I will not be bullied by UMM Prof Paul “Logical Fallacy” Myers nor his less-than-intelligent cult of personality followers, will I?

Terry Dean, Nemmers

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