This is the direct sequel to
At the time, I assumed she was being attacked by people who were against her being an atheist and/or hated her sex positive stand. I later learned that she was being attacked by transgendered people and others because she had used the word “tranny” which they considered offensive. Continue reading →
The structure of the United Nations (UN) reflects the political realities shortly after World War II. Since that war ended nearly three generations ago, it’s time for a change in the UN, starting with its Security Council. Until such reforms are made, it will only be a laughingstock for decades to come.
There are five permanent members of that Council: The United States, Russia, France, Great Britain, and China. These have veto power over all Council decisions. I would recommend that the veto power within the Council be done away with; it only makes paralysis of the Council more likely than not. I would also recommend that Germany, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Brazil be made permanent members of the Council, with at least 20 others subject to election. The number of nations on the Security Council must always be a prime number to prevent tie votes. Only the UN Secretary-General could veto a UN resolution, but his veto could still be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote of the Security Council. In any case, no single nation should have the power to veto a resolution, because as the chart above shows, the Soviet Union abused that power more than any other nation in the early years of the UN. One wonders how many innocent people died in wars or armed uprisings of one kind or another because of this.
- Reforming the UN Security Council? ¡Ay Dios Mio! (diplomaticscrutiny.com)
- Russia to veto Western-backed SC resolution on Syria (laaska.wordpress.com)
This story, and variations of it, are all over the web now:
Japanese turn sex doll into dental-training robotTokyo university reveals realistic synthi-patient, claims “root canal” gags play no part in its appealBy Mark Hiratsuka 1 July, 2011
Tokyo frequently presents a story that’s borderline fiction — sex dolls for cavity-filling practice, puhlease — but the pedigree of the new Hanako Showa 2 dental training robot tells us this is no product of a fevered imagination.
We previously saw big sister, plain Jane Hanako Showa, in early 2010, noting that the synthetic patient was being used in the Showa University dental school for more than simple caries-evacuation practice on her plumbed-in dentures.
That model even incorporated the concept of being female simply so junior dentists could learn not to accidentally fondle her breasts. We kid you not.
So, a year and a half later, little sis makes her bow sheathed not in her sibling’s PVC skin, but lifelike silicone, and sporting a host of internal modifications besides.
Hanako 2 genuinely is based on a Dutch Wife-style love doll from Orient Industry in Tokyo’s Taito Ward — trust us, you don’t want to click that link at work — giving her a head start in the “realistic” stakes.
Aside from the human-feel skin on her face, mouth and tongue, she also contains robotics that allow her to mimic a range of motions, including sneezing and gagging when clumsy trainees dip their instruments too far into her gullet.
Talkative, ain’t she?
Hanako 2 also has the gift of the gab and can chat with her human companions about how she’s feeling, what ails her and, probably, how she can manage to speak with all that medical metal in her face.
Japan being Japan, there’s clearly no scope for the tried-and-trusted medical school technique of pulling passersby in off the street for a free “checkup.”
Rather, Tokyo’s finest would-be dentists get to grapple with a chimera created originally for self-gratification, but packed instead with cutting-edge robotics and put to work in the name of a nation’s oral health. It’s a beautiful thing.
My first reaction to this was, “Wow, here’s another example of Japanese technical wizardry being put to a good use! It’s certain better to train dentists with dolls that can react like real patients than with real patients that might be injured or infected due to a mistake.” Continue reading →
Read this story:
Texan declared innocent after 30 years in prison
In 1975, a movie was made depicting the Hindenburg disaster. It was directed by Robert Wise and starred George C Scott. With such talent, it should have been a masterpiece. Instead, it became known as a farce.
Too much of the movie was fictional and even inaccurate, including the unsupported claim that a crew member planted a bomb on the airship. The crew member was given a different name (Karl Boerth) but in the book the movie was loosely based on, the crew member is identified as Eric Spehl, who was actually at the nose of the Hindenburg and was burned to death.
One of the more ironic features about the internet is that is allows people with hateful beliefs to find each other, link up, and strengthen their sense of community. To my shock I found Neo-Nazis have infiltrated YouTube!
Look at this video:
The comments below it include:
It would be infinitely better than what we have now, that’s for sure.
Remember when I noted the Climategate issue? I first mentioned Isaac Newton and how some of his ideas and actions were highly questionable, but since the ideas he got right proved useful enough, his wrongdoings were overlooked. No one today screams “WHITEWASH!” over that.
It was the e-mail hacker who committed a crime, remember?
Thus we have now seen the depths the denialists will go to attack their targets; most of them are willing to commit crimes and/or condone those crimes committed by others to advance their cause. Yet they have the gall to demand that, on the basis of the stolen e-mails, the writers of the e-mails should by charged with fraud and imprisoned. That is sheer hypocrisy.
And as far as I know, no serious effort has been made to track down and jail whoever pulled that stunt.
Meanwhile, the scientists who were targeted have had to endure hearings on the issue. Their work has been scruntinized and their motives questioned. And the results have been as follows:
So a few stolen e-mails were dissected last year, some statements within them were taken out of context and their meanings distorted and this was supposed to be the big scandal that would bring down the movement against global warming? Such cherry picking is typical of denialists, but that is not the way science should ever be run. In the end, the climatologists have been let off the hook and allowed to resume their work. Hopefully, reforms will be made to make the process of sharing data more open and transparent, but that must be through legal means.
Climategate is a dead issue now. Let’s bury it and move on!
Carl Sagan died in 1996, yet he still lives in the hearts of those who knew him, whether personally or as the public celebrity he became.
Now the time has come for science to move on and find a new superhero, someone who can command both the public respect that Sagan did and challenge society for the better. Although Sagan was an agnostic who championed skepticism, he did not come across as openly hostile towards all religion, as Richard Dawkins does. Such hostility, even if justified, can turn gentle souls away from science. So who can possibly succeed Carl Sagan? Who can be the champion of reason, rationality, and tolerance for all?
I will. And so can you. And you, you, you, you and you, if only you just care to be as dedicated to science and to the welfare to humanity as Sagan was. I have championed the philosophy of Honorable Skepticism as my tribute to Sagan. But the best way to honor him is not merely to keep playing his COSMOS series and talking about what he did, but to make our own contributions to science, to EXCEED Sagan’s work, to become superheros of science ourselves. We are not expected merely to blindly follow what Sagan taught, for he was by no means infallible. Because he was human as we, we can carry his vision forward, and we will do it by eliminating the concept of “sacred cows” and seeking change to improve our societies, regardless of what short-term and localized interests get stepped on. They deserve it! And we cannot afford to appease those interests anymore. Having a global and long-term perspective is what will save us, not any religion or political ideology.
Did Bush Jr really think he’d get away with demanding a $700 billion bailout to the banks of America, the same institutions that have been screwing with the American people for decades?! Well, he didn’t! The bill FAILED in Congress and now I can only hope that simular such bailouts never are allowed to be even considered.
Can someone explain to me why we should not give that $700 billion to the American people instead? I have calculated that every man, woman and child would get about $2,300. The last time we got money back from the federal government it was about $600 for every taxpayer. So this begs the obvious question, how could Bush Jr be more generous to the banks that get so much money in interest from credit card debts? How could they still be failing, then???
Let’s not forget that Bush Jr scammed us once before with his false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Are we going to let us be scammed again, especially with Bush’s last term almost up?
OK, let me get this straight
First the Bush Adminstration attempts to define the prisoners at Gitmo as neither criminal suspects nor as POWs. It should be noted that the former class are forbidden to be tortured under the Bill of Rights, while the second class are prohibited from being tortured under the Geneva Conventions. Then to cover their @$$es further, the Bush Adminstration attempts to reclassify waterboarding, excluding it as a form of torture.
What is one supposed to conclude from that? You join the points together and thus conclude that waterboarding, and other forms of torture, are probably being done at Gitmo. And do you not think that’s why those prisoners were sent to Gitmo in the first place, to try to prevent the public from seeing what was about to take place there? Even German or Japanese POWs during World War II were never sent to Gitmo.
If such nonsense was ever done to American citizens by any other government, we’d all be howling in protest about it. But we are Americans who were so hurt by 9-11, so we can do whatever we want to anyone we please. We are special! We are better than all other peoples! We can’t trust THEM to live their own lives out without us looking constantly over their shoulders to make sure they do things OUR way. All because a few extremists nuts rammed a few planes into a few buildings, we go ballistic and throw due process out the window and put ourselves in a perpetual state of “war”. Remember, war is good for business too.
Of course, that doesn’t absolutely PROVE that torture and other human rights violations have taken place at Gitmo. But when the police have probable cause that a criminal suspect has committed a crime, even if it wasn’t done openly, they are duty bound to arrest the suspect. Likewise, we Americans are duty bound by our allegiance to the US Constitution to end the detaining of the prisoners at Gitmo and investigate those who detained them. No one should be above the law!
Silly Old Bear, also known as Henric Jensen, is one of my best online friends. He is Jewish, Swedish, married, a transexual, and one of the best human rights activists I’ve ever known. He was also one of the most hated people in Care2. Hated because he was a firm opponent of Israel-bashing, which he saw as anti-Semetic, and was just as eager to defending men’s rights even before angry feminists who seemed to have a grudge against all men. Continue reading →
No child should have to endure this sort of nonsense!
13-yr-old says no to marriage in RajasthanJAISALMER: A 13-year-old girl is revolting against a hoary tradition that has crushed many a childhood in Rajasthan – child marriage.
Refusing to crumble under social pressure, Asu Kunwar from Sedhana village, near Pokhran, stood up to her father who was bent on marrying her off to a 40-year-old for Rs 49,000 and a gold chain.
Bhom Singh now has to return the money to his prospective son-in-law in the face of resistance from Asu, who sought police protection.
Bhom Singh struck the deal with Sawai Singh two years ago, promising to give him his daughter’s hand when she was older. He was forced to send back his prospective son-in-law after Asu put her foot down.
Soon she had won her mother over to her side, but the father, who had already taken the bride price of Rs 49,000 tried to push her into wedlock this April, saying a date had already been fixed and a Rajput had to honour his word.
Confronted by the empowered mother-daughter duo, Sawai Singh, meanwhile, reached out to the larger male-dominated community and village panchayat of Sedhana. He also went to the local police to seek their help, but they refused to intervene.
Petitioned by Sawai Singh, the village panchayat met and decided it was only fair that the man be allowed to marry the 13-year-old. Villagers then gathered around the girl’s house and tried to force her to agree to the wedding.
Seeing the community against her, Asu’s mother went to Indu Chopra, a woman official of the local women and child development department.
That’s when the official organised protection for the mother and child and warned the villagers to back off. A police force, which had till then stood as mute spectators, was then forced to step in and caution Asu’s father about the consequences of violating the ban on child marriage.
Bhom Singh, villagers said, has now borrowed money from various sources to pay back the bride price.
It’s illegal to sell babies in most parts of the world and for women to have sex for money (prostitution). Why is it acceptable in ANY society, tradition bound or not, to take money from an older man and then force your daughter to marry that man when she is still a child?! That father should be locked up, along with the prospective groom, and the girl and her mother should be honored as heros for human rights.
One of my biggest concerns is the blatant inequality of wealth in many societies and how that often translates into total injustice. Those who are raised in wealthy families tend to remain wealthy. And where there is wealth, there is also power. Meanwhile, those who come from poor families tend to remain poor. Because there are a finite range of resources in any society, those who already have wealth also have access to the highest technologies sooner than others, thus enabling them to maintain and even increase their wealth still further at the expense of the impoverished. And I’m not just talking about individuals, but about nations as well. The United States is far, far richer than Afghanistan and will probably always remain so. Thus, while America is on the cutting edge of technology, the people of Afghanistan still live largely like they did a century ago, because they simply cannot afford the latest computers, cars, or private jets.In a capitalist economic system without any restraints, the rich will get richer and the poor remain poor until finally you have a few ultra rich and masses of the poor that will never have a chance to get better. And because cash flow then drops to minimal levels due to the tendency of the rich to hoard their fiances while the poor cannot even spend much money, the capitalist system collapses under its own weight.Karl Marx forsaw this. His mistake was to assume there was no way to prevent this and it was actually a good thing. Wrong! A restrained capitalism in which the government taxes the rich highly to prevent them accumulating too much wealth for themselves and does not tax the poor at all is both just and more productive in the long run. That is why I cringe whenever I heard about President Bush taking credit for his tax cuts for the wealthy helping the economy grow. Such growth will not last forever, of course. I’d rather have economic JUSTICE and STABILITY rather than merely GROWTH.