July 11, 2013

The Wall Street Journal as a mouthpiece

Today I was looking at science stories on Google News and noticed an interesting item.  It was a link to a story at the Wall Street Journal titled "Networks Do 92 Climate Change Stories; Fail to Mention 'Lull' in Warming."

Interested, I took a look at the story (I don't think it deserves to be called an article) and read through it.  It is quite obviously written from a climate change denialist point of view, and the conclusions are flawed regarding global temperature changes over the last 15 years (see here for an actual scientific explanation).  It is very easy to do a little fact-checking and find how the story's premise (that there is a 'lull' in global temperature increases) is simply wrong.

I then noticed the byline:

Media Research Center?  What is that exactly?

I Googled it and found that it is a far-right conservative "watchdog" organization (although they only play watchdog to 'liberal' media, apparently).

How does the WSJ end up being a mouthpiece for this loony group?

I don't get it.

June 23, 2009


Michael Shermer and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science have produced a "Balony Detection Kit" video (inspired, of course, by Carl Sagan's concept).  It's a nice, short, accessible explanation of how the scientific method, peer review, and critical thinking work.



As the healthcare debate rages on, I thought I'd post this little gem about how private insurance companies (that's right - free market, people) retroactively revoke polices to avoid paying for expensive conditions.  

Despicable.  The only reason I have health insurance is for catastrophic care.  I eat well, excercise, have never smoked, never ingested ANY illegal substances, and as long as my allergies are kept in check (with a $14.99 / year over-the-counter medication), I don't have need to seek medical attention.

If I were then to get cancer or suffer some sort of trauma due to an accident, my insurer can cancel my policy because I didn't remember knee pain I had when I was 14 years old?

For a potentially life-threatening disease, isn't that the same as a death sentence; meted out by our 'sacred' private industry?

Here's a quote that demonstrates the crux of the story:

"Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who chaired the hearing, asked all three [Insurance Industry] CEOs if they would agree to stop rescinding policies except in cases of fraud. 

All three said no. 

If they don't do something to stop it, said Barton of Texas, Congress will."

I think I'll take my chances with a government bureaucrat.


April 28, 2009


I was reading a blog post here about that awful A&E show Paranormal State and it occurred to me:

Why do the EVP voices always say 'scary' ghosty things? How come they never say "Man, I could go for beer right about now!" or "I miss Twinkies!"?

Of course, considering how auditory pareidolia works, they're probably just mis-hearing what those crazy EVP spirits are really saying and in fact thay are saying things like "Could somebody please play the new Dylan CD?".

More HuffPo... *SIGH*

Arlen Specter

For some time now, I have held Arlen Specter up as an example of a Republican for whom I have some respect.

Now who will I use?

NPR story here

April 27, 2009

This is why we vaccinate

Anti-vaxers need to go back to school and get a refresher course in general science and biology.

Warning: This video from Australia's current affairs show "Sunday Night" is difficult to watch. Actually, it's excruciating. But watch it anyway, especially if you think there is any merit at all to the claims made by the likes of Jenny McCarthy.

Direct link to video here.