Health Care And Justice

I know we live in a depraved country that has been nearly completely destroyed by sick-fuck right-wing “I got mine, so FUCK YOU!” conservatism. But there was a time when fairness, equity, and justice were considered intrinsically valuable.

This depravity is playing itself out in the health care “debate”. Obama and the rest of the Dems are basically arguing in favor of health care “reform” by trying to convince people who already have what they consider to be acceptable health care that the “reforms” on the table might directly help them if they lose their jobs or suffer catastrophe or whatthefuckever.

I have yet to hear anyone firmly make the argument to the mainstream that it is decent and right and just that all Americans have access to health care, and that it is despicable and wrong and unjust to allow Americans to unduly suffer and die for lack of reasonable access to health care. How pathetic is it that we have become a nation where the notion of collective decisionmaking that benefits the collective but not necessarily every single individual considered separately is considered completely out of the realm of political possibility?

I Am An American Conservative Shitheel

This shit is too fucking brilliant not to post (h/t I can’t fucking remember):

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

C’mon PZ, You Know Better

PZ Myers just posted approvingly about an ABC News report on the visit of him and a bunch of other non-deranged people to some Creationism Museum or some such shit:

Our visit to the Creation “Museum” is being reported on ABC News now — not a bad report by a reporter who was actually there.

No, the article sucks motherfucking shit, and is evidence for the complete utter degeneracy of “journalism” in the United States.

A real journalist assesses the claims made by two parties to a dispute or controversy and attempts to determine who is right, and who is wrong. This is the role explicitly envisioned for the Press by the Founders of the United States. It was considered an absolutely essential element of a functional constitutional republic.

This article, conversely, is typical “while some say…, others say…” lazy, craven, corporatist, infortainment bullshit churned out by motherfucking asskissing douchebags who care about nothing other than pleasing their corporate masters and sucking up to celebrities, politicians, and other sources of power.

A real journalist would have investigated the respective claims of the dumbfuck museum and PZ’s band of skeptics and DRAWN A CONCLUSION ABOUT WHO HAS THE BETTER CLAIM! That is what journalists are supposed to motherfucking do!

It is because of their complete total abdication of their professional ethics that the press of the United States bear major responsibility for horrible bad shit like the Iraq war, the Bush/Cheney near-dictatorial power grab, the destruction of health care reform, and a fuckton of other horrible corporate/fascist shit that is going on in this country. Fucking scumbags.

Yeah, it’s nice that the reporter didn’t characterize you and your compatriots as “evil vicious shrill hateful angry puppy-torturing kitten-braising atheist berserkers”, but c’mon PZ.

“Diversity” In White Institutions

Jaded Hippy linked to a fascinating guest post at Stuff White People Do by The Witty Mulatto, who blogs at Madness to the Method, concerning the meaning of the term “diversity” as employed by members of white institutions, such as the overwhelmingly vast majority of universities. The whole thing is well worth reading, but I just want to quote one part:

White organizations everywhere create entire commissions and councils surrounding diversity. Their mission statements usually say things like, “We believe the University environment is greatly enriched by the presence of people with diverse backgrounds and cultural perspectives.” They have a lot of pretty words. But what they really mean is, “How can we reach out to people of color and make them want to join our organization?”

The question that logically comes next but is rarely asked is, “Why would people of color WANT to join our organization?”

If you asked THAT question, things would get interesting.

As a member of a white organization, I can say from personal experience that this is, indeed, exactly what “diversity” ends up meaning for us, and how we strategize about it.

I have participated in many discussions concerning “How can we reach out to people of color and make them want to join our organization?” as well as “What can we do to improve the prospects of people of color succeeding within our organization?” I have never had a single discussion concerning “Why would people of color WANT to join our organization?”

Chest Waxing For Charity Goes BANG!

As you may recall, fellow ScienceBlogger Ethan Siegel of Starts With A Bang agreed to wax his chest in exchange for $1000 combined charitable donation from Isis the Scientist and Comrade PhysioProf to Kiva, the micro-loan outfit.

Well, the motherfucker actually did it! Here is his chest in it’s pre-wax hairy glory:

And here is a Youtube video of the waxing process:

Ouch! As promised Isis the Scientist and I have made our donations to Kiva. Isis is directing her ScienceBlogs proceeds to Kiva going forward until they reach $500, and I have just directly donated my portion to Kiva’s operating budget.

Anyone who is impressed by Ethan’s courageous chest-waxing escapade is hereby encouraged to go over to Kiva and make a loan or donation.

Since Ethan has caught the waxing and shaving for charity bug, the comments of this post are an open auction for charitable donations in exchange for Ethan to remove MORE HAIR FROM HIS BODY! We will not stop until Ethan is COMPLETELY HAIRLESS!!!!111!!!11!! ELEVENty!111!

John Bolton Wants America To Fail

John Bolton–never-confirmed right-wing nutjob Bush-appointed ambassador to the UN–is concerned with Bill Clinton’s visit to Pyongyang to try to secure the release of two Americans being held by the North Koreans:

While the United States is properly concerned whenever its citizens are abused or held hostage, efforts to protect them should not create potentially greater risks for other Americans in the future. Yet that is exactly the consequence of visits by former presidents or other dignitaries as a form of political ransom to obtain their release. [h/t Sadly, No!]

Criticizing a former president while he is on foreign soil EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY and ENDANGERS THE TROOPS! Why does Bolton HATE AMERICA?

Pete Rose

I see no reason why Pete Rose should not be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame. What Rose did is far less bad for the game of baseball than what dopers have been doing for decades. Yeah, Rose is an obnoxious dickhead, instead of a falsely contrite greedy PR-flack-managed pantywaist.

So what? Selig should lift his lifetime ban.

Osso Motherfucking Bucco (UPDATED WITH RECIPE)

P1020260

UPDATE: Here’s the motherfucking recipe:

three 2 inch thick osso bucos (veal shank)
salt
pepper
olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
6 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup unpasteurized sake
1 16 ounce can of Muir Glen chopped tomatoes
some aromatic fresh herbs, like sage, thyme, oregano, etc

(1) Salt and pepper the shanks and brown them in oilve oil over medium-high flame in a La Creuset dutch oven. The temperature should be modulated so that the residue left in the pan becomes brown, but not black. Remove shanks from dutch oven and put on plate.

(2) Throw celery, carrots, and onions into the dutch oven, and sautee over medium-high heat until they are starting to caramelize. Then throw in the garlic and continue to sautee until the you can smell that the garlic is cooking, but do *not* brown the garlic.

(3) Turn the heat to maximum, add the wine and sake, and deglaze the pan. The add the broth, tomatoes, and aromatics, allow to come to a boil, and then turn the heat down to minimum, put in the shanks (with what was the long axis of the bone pointing vertically), baste them with the liquid, and then cover the dutch oven.

(4) Simmer at minimum heat for one hour, and then turn the shanks over, always keeping the long axis of the bone pointing vertically.

(5) Simmer for another hour, and then turn the shanks again.

(6) Now that the shanks have been simmering for a total of two hours, this where some judgment comes in to play. They will surely need to cook for at least another half hour (for a total of 2.5 hours), but they could need another hour (for a total of 3 hours). Better a little overcooked, than a little undercooked. The consequence of the former is that the meat will be a little dry–but you are going to put plenty of nice sauce on it; the consequence of the latter is that the meat will be tough and gelatinous–blecch. Remove the finished shanks from the dutch oven, and place on a plate, and spoon some of the braising liquid on them to keep them moist.

(7) Turn the heat up to maximum and reduce the sauce down until it is nice and thick. A good way to tell when it is thick enough is that when you draw your wooden spoon across the bottom of the dutch oven, there will be a dry streak that takes a couple seconds to fill back in with liquid.

(8) Salt and pepper to taste, and remove as much of the aromatic herb pieces as you can find. You can puree in a blender (or with an immersion blender), or leave the pieces of diced vegetable intact. I prefer the latter.

(9) Pour the sauce on the shanks, and eat the motherfuckers!