More abuse of science

It’s a common tactic for anti-gay bigots to distort science. One of their favorites ways to do so is to find studies which are limited in their scope to ‘traditional’ families, but then they take a wrecking ball to the science by pretending that they’re looking at something comparative. I documented one bigot who did just that.

But that isn’t their only tactic. So long as they can distort a scientific study in some way, they will. Take this instance of an anti-gay bigot from the Congressional hearings on the repeal of DADT.

This is common not only of Christians, but much of the conservative movement. So long as a citation is being made, they think they’ve proven their case. Who cares if their source actually contradicts what they have to say?

Al Franken is the likely winner

Great news. Al Franken is going to be declared the winner of the Minnesota Senate race today. That means one less backward-thinking Republican destroying the increasing morality of the U.S.

Now if only Rick Warren could go away.

Media failings

The mainstream media often fails us. It isn’t because it’s THE CRAZY LEFT-WING OMG OMG OMG!!1!!. It’s because it sucks. The people running the media care about superficial things. What’s Britney doing today? Why are Angelina and Jennifer fighting? What in the fuck have we said these people’s name so much that we’re on a first-name basis?

Well, of course, it comes as no surprise that the worst of the news outlets, FOX, is trying to blame a typo on a vast liberal conspiracy.

Who was this ballot cast for?

Ballot

Norm Coleman, right?

No, this is not a trick question. Unless your name is John Lott, Jr., Ph.D. and you just published an analysis at FoxNews.com.

So where did Lott get the idea that the vote had been counted for Franken? Apparently from the Star Tribune’s website, which had it listed it that way. The Star Tribune, keeping an unofficial tally of more than 6,000 challenged ballots, apparently made a boo-boo.

This possibility appears not to have crossed Lott’s mind. Faced with two alternatives…

1. The Canvassing Board somehow determined that this was a Franken ballot;
2. The Star Tribune screwed up.

…Lott took Occam’s Razor and cut himself with it, and concluded that the former must be true, using it as his primary piece of evidence to allege the recount was slanted in Al Franken’s favor. The ballot is now featured prominently on the front page of the FoxNews.com website:

FOX

So, we all expect FOX News to be filled with a bunch of stupid fuck-ups. That’s their thing. But how about EVERYONE else?

This is happening right now, here in the United States. Yesterday, a retaining wall failed, and 500 million gallons of coal ash — the vile grey slime in the video — poured down into the tributaries of the Tennessee River, the water supply for Chattannooga and environs.

We’re looking at a major environmental catastrophe, bigger than any oil spill, and most of the news media are silent about it. I checked CNN, MS-NBC, even Fox News…not a word. The local newspapers have a few articles, and the regional blogs are trying to follow it, but otherwise, I guess we’re going to pretend it didn’t happen.

I just did my own search through Yahoo! News and came up with an astounding 27 results. Except for Scientific American and The Huffington Post, all the results are from local sources. In fact, after the first page of 10 results, there is only one more result which has anything to actually do with this event, bringing the total to 11 sources, 9 of which are local. A search of “Britney” provided 5,190 absolutely ridiculous results. Presumably, a large portion of those go to Britney Spears (4,040 come up when I search her full name).