Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Airborne settles class action lawsuit


Airborne Agrees to Pay $23.3 Million to Settle Lawsuit Over False Advertising of its "Miracle Cold Buster" ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI

Lying scum.

If you are taking Airborne, try Obecalp instead. It works a lot better.

And if you take three per day, as suggested on the box, you are in danger of overdosing on Vitamin A.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

1917 Bare-Breasted Lady Liberty Coin Shunned by Puritanical Americans

Recently learned about this on History Detectives. More evidence of the kind of crap we have to deal with because of the mixing of religion and politics and our puritanical heritage...

The 1916 Lady Liberty coin featured a design of Lady Liberty exposing one breast.  There was outrage of this being "obscene" and in 1917 the breast was covered in a coat of mail.  I wonder if John Ashcroft's relatives were involved with this controversy?

The 1916-1917 Standing Liberty Quarters - Lady Liberty Exposed - The Bare-Breasted Liberty Coin - Standing Liberty Naked Coin

Monday, March 3, 2008

Crackpot science: EMF crank Dr. George Carlo

I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the radio when I heard this. I took a voice note that I'm now transcribing for your blogreading pleasure. Here is a transcription of my notes:
5:44pm sat oct 20th 2007

On am1090 radio, some guy claiming that "information carrying" radio waves (which we have never seen or experienced before
(in nature) as humans) actually cause cells to treat the waves as a foreign invader (in blood or
elsewhere).  He said that they actually close down the cell membrane so the cells don't get nutrients.

His name is Dr. George Carlo

He was in one of the cell phone safety studies from 1993.

As someone with an Electrical Engineering undergrad degree and a very skeptical mindset, I was floored to hear something as ridiculous as the claim that "information carrying" radio waves are somehow more dangerous than those naturally-occurring radio waves before humans. The information is encoded on the radio waves as a modulation of frequency, phase, amplitude or some already-existent property of the radio waves. It would not make a radio wave go from being benign to dangerous.

And to claim that they actually close down the cell membranes?? Ludicrous!

But Dr. Carlo came across as really knowledgeable and spouting out "facts" so he would probably be a difficult debate target.

Of course a search for Dr. George Carlo turns up loads of credulous cruft (as is typical with pseudoscience and fringe claims on the Internet)

Dr. Steven Novella from the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast has a posting on his Neurologica Blog about Wireless Technology and Autism where he discusses some "research" done by Dr. Carlo that was published in an obscure journal -- not a mainstream journal. This guy seems to be poking at the fringes of science to push his agenda.

One critical review is a rebuttal to a supposed email from Dr. Carlo on a skeptical blog:
Dr George Carlo responds to Andrew Goldacre via Bad Science blog.

Email factcheck.org with dubious political claims

Very timely after my Obama open letter...

 Dear Subscriber:

We want your help.

 In the weeks to come, many of you may be receiving dubious political
mailers, chain e-mails, phone calls or other political communications
attacking or supporting a presidential candidate.

 Please consider forwarding these "under the radar" political messages
to us for evaluation.

 Please be alert for anything like the false e-mail attack on Obama
that we debunked Jan. 10, or the misleading postcard attacking Romney
that we took on Jan. 15.

 We would also be interested to get recordings of any dubious claims
made in phone calls or left on answering machines, whether they come
from live callers working from scripts, or are automated "robo-calls."
These might be in the form of phony public-opinion polls in which the
caller asks something like, "Would you change your vote if you learned
that Candidate X didn't pay her income taxes last year?"

 These kinds of messages are often aimed at voters in specific
geographic areas, or at specific demographic groups, and FactCheck.org
is seldom on the list. But with your help we will do our best to keep
distortions and falsehoods from spreading by these means.

 -Brooks Jackson

 If you can scan hard copies into your computer, or make digital audio
files, please e-mail to:
 Editor@FactCheck.org
Make the subject: Attn: Brooks Jackson

Otherwise, please send hard copies or physical recordings to:
Brooks Jackson
FactCheck.org
320 National Press Building
Washington DC 20045



Notable quote: on change

"The chief cause of problems is solutions."  Eric Sevareid, 1970


Global Warming deniers rebuttal

This is an excellent post to the SGU forum you can hand to any global warming denier.

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe Forum :: View topic - Global Warming & CO2 cause or effect?

ACLU FISA Fact Check

Good to check out what kind of wool the Bush administration is trying to pull over your eyes on FISA.  And the weanie democrats in the House seem to be following in the (lack of lead) of the Senate democrats and seem likely to give the telecoms retroactive immunity _even though nobody (not even the senators voting) knows what exactly they have done or for how long or under what circumstances_

You'd think they would want to find out what they are granting immunity for first, right?

American Civil Liberties Union : FISA Fact Check: Setting the Record Straight on the White House

More people "unaffiliated" with religion in the U.S.

A completely unscientific mashup of survey data from a couple different surveys for comparison.

 199020012008
Percent Christian86%77%78.4%
Follow no organized religion8%14.1%16.1%

4.7% believe in "other faiths". That means that 20.8% of Americans (about 47 million Americans) have either no faith or a non-Christian faith.

In 2001, Washington State had 25% in the "unaffiliated" with religion category. Surprisingly, our state is much less religious. Funny how many freaking churches there are everywhere though.

4% of the 16.1% say they are atheist or agnostic. So, I'm definitely in the minority. But the overall "unaffiliated" minority is still growing. And, it seems to be growing more among the next generation, which is a good sign "one-in-four [18-29] say they are not currently affiliated with a particular religion."

Survey data from 35000 Americans:
http://pewforum.org/news/rss.php?NewsID=15041
http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/content/news/2008/02_25_2008/ne25022008study.shtml (this link has images of the full survey results)
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm

Open Letter response: Racist Obama email circulating

I had to respond to this email.; It made me so angry that such lies and racist
remarks get passed around so carelessly.  People don't think that forwarding
a simple email could possibly be harmful.  Well, these falsehoods are making
their way to other people and they are changing people's voting plans. 

This is just _one example_ of where people have believed this Internet filth:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/02/ohio-voter-on-60-minutes_n_89476.html

There is _real harm_ from forwarding falsehoods on the Internet.  Stop them before
they destroy anyone else's life or reputation.

And for Allah's sake, do some freaking research before forwarding crap!!!

= My response:

This is one of the most outrageous, racist (against Obama and blacks) and
patently false emails I have seen in a while. It is roundly debunked on
every level. And it only takes a couple seconds to check Snopes and even
Google!

Refuse to be part of any swiftboat-style smear campaign based on lies and
racist propaganda such as this.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/church.asp
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_barack_obama_muslim.htm

"no evidence supports a claim that Obama is currently, or ever has been, a
Muslim (radical or otherwise)"

-Jason

ORIGINAL, DESPICABLE, UNTRUE CHAIN EMAIL:
Obama mentioned his church during his appearance with Oprah. It's the Trinity Church of Christ. I found this interesting.
 
 
 
Obama's church:
 
 
Please read and go to this church's website and read what is written there. I checked the church website and what I found is very alarming.
 
 
Barack Obama is a member of this church and is running for President of the U.S. If you look at the first page of their website, you will learn that this congregation has a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. No where is AMERICA even mentioned. Notice too, what color you will need to be if you should want to join Obama's church... !!! Doesn't look like his choice of religion has improved much over his (former?) Muslim upbringing. Are you aware that Obama's middle name is Hussein? Strip away his nice looks, the big smile and smooth talk and what do you get? Certainly a racist, as plainly defined by the stated position of his church! And possibly a covert worshiper of the Muslim faith, even today. This guy desires to rule overAmerica while his loyalty is totally vested in a Black Africa! I cannot believe this has not been all over the TV and newspapers. This is why it is so important to pass this message along to all of our family & friends. To think that Obama has even the slightest chance in the run for the presidency, is really scary.