Results tagged “Germany” from onegoodmove

Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday

  • Are you kidding me? News Chopper Down
    Two news choppers crashed into each other on Sunday while covering a police car chase in Phoenix. The local authorities say the fleeing suspect might be charged with the deaths of the four people who went down in the helicopters. If you're in a car chase with the cops and someone happens to die, are you liable for murder?
  • Onion on the Chopper Crash
    Wally Thompson, Boom Mic Operator "I certainly hope the television reporters on the ground were asked how the grisly deaths of their colleagues made them feel."
  • Do you trust CNN's Sanjay Gupta?
  • Does Europe Have Higher-Tech Health Care Than the U.S.?
    They say you get what you pay for, but in U.S. you get less for more.
    You hear it over and over again, in casual conversation and in serious debates among experts: If we create universal health insurance here in the U.S., then we'll end up with less responsive, less advanced medical care. Few arguments have done as much political damage to the cause of universal health care. And, as wonks like me have been arguing in recent months, few arguments fall apart more quickly under scrutiny.

    After all, if universal health insurance means long queues for treatments, then why aren't patients in Paris or Hamburg waiting months for routine services--while patients in Boston and Los Angeles are?

    If it means getting rushed, impersonal treatment, then why do France and Germany give new mothers more than four days to recover in the hospital, while insurance companies in the U.S. push new mothers out before two?

    If it means making do with less advanced technology, then why does Japan have more CT and MRI scanners per person than we do?

    And if it means worse health care overall, then why do so many studies show the U.S. scoring so poorly on international comparisons, including those examining "mortality amenable to health care"--a statistic devised specifically to test the quality of different health care systems across the globe?
  • CBC Television - Doctor Who Do we have any Doctor Who fans at onegoodmove?
  • Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere
  • Chinese Exports — The Real Poop
  • That Dropped Doughnut: How Soon, and How Often, Will It Come Back Up?
    Everything you ever wanted to know about the five-second rule.
    Few of us can expect that a search for ancestors will bring us an inheritance, a title, or a coat of arms: the rewards of genealogy are mostly psychological. As Winfrey put it, "Knowing your family history is knowing your worth." The sentiment, though, is dubious--not just on moral grounds but on biological ones. A closer look at the human drive to know one's family tree uncovers a number of tensions between our intuitions of kinship and the facts of kinship. Some of those facts show that the findings of the new genealogy should not have been surprising at all. And others, tacitly appreciated for millennia, have recently been neglected to our peril.

Links With Your Coffee - Saturday

  • Major Spoiler Ahead
    Everybody is talking about the mysterious and awesome trailer for the new film from J. J. Abrams that is set to debut on January 18, 2008. Code-named Cloverfield, the materials posted and hidden online have generated a ton of speculation about the subject of the movie.
    (tip to Ray)
  • President Cheney Sickens Planet
  • Not-So-Elementary Bee Mystery
    The disappearance of large numbers of U.S. honeybees is so odd that it's attracted Ian Lipkin. Since last fall, beekeepers in at least 35 states have reported colonies that shrank rapidly for no apparent reason. Adult bees just go missing, leaving behind young bees in need of tending. This colony-collapse disorder (CCD), as it's now called, has got bee researchers coast to coast stirred up and looking for causes and remedies.

    Beekeepers in the United States tend some 2.4 million honeybee colonies, which obligingly haul pollen for many of the nation's commercial crops. Researchers are urgently seeking to understand why bees vanished last winter in large numbers, leading to the collapse of countless hives.

    Lipkin, however, had never studied a bee disease until now. He works in the epidemiology department of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health—human health, that is. He's solved mysteries, though, and he says that his methods are yielding results this time too.

    Lipkin is the pathogen hunter who in 1999 figured out that a cluster of people with encephalitis in New York had caught a then-obscure virus called West Nile. . .
  • A Gut Feeling about Coffee
    Earlier this year, Spanish researchers unveiled coffee as a notable source of soluble fiber. Now, a team in Germany confirms the finding and shows that beneficial gut microbes can easily digest the coffee-bean fiber left in brewed liquid and extract its energy for their growth. Because the waste products of that digestion—also called fermentation—can repel some disease-causing bacteria, the new data suggest that coffee drinking might represent more of a benefit than a vice.

It's an Emergency

The Waiting Game by Paul Krugman
Being without health insurance is no big deal. Just ask President Bush. “I mean, people have access to health care in America,” he said last week. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
"What is your emergency?" she said.

"I'm here for my annual checkup," he replied. "Everyone knows you can get all the care you need at the emergency room, the president said it so it must be true."

"I'm sorry, the president misspoke," she said. "

You mean lied " he said.

"You could say that" she said.

"How about a hip replacement, can I schedule that today?" he said.

"Listen sir, if you don't leave I'll have to call security, we have emergencies to take care of here."

When will George ever stop lying to us?
A recent article in Business Week put it bluntly: “In reality, both data and anecdotes show that the American people are already waiting as long or longer than patients living with universal health-care systems.”

A cross-national survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund found that America ranks near the bottom among advanced countries in terms of how hard it is to get medical attention on short notice (although Canada was slightly worse), and that America is the worst place in the advanced world if you need care after hours or on a weekend.

We look better when it comes to seeing a specialist or receiving elective surgery. But Germany outperforms us even on those measures — and I suspect that France, which wasn’t included in the study, matches Germany’s performance.
Oh my this is good for a laugh or two.
it’s true that Americans get hip replacements faster than Canadians. But there’s a funny thing about that example, which is used constantly as an argument for the superiority of private health insurance over a government-run system: the large majority of hip replacements in the United States are paid for by, um, Medicare. That’s right: the hip-replacement gap is actually a comparison of two government health insurance systems. American Medicare has shorter waits than Canadian Medicare (yes, that’s what they call their system) because it has more lavish funding — end of story. The alleged virtues of private insurance have nothing to do with it.
Okay Paul give us the bottom line:
The bottom line is that the opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments. All they have left are fantasies: horror fiction about health care in other countries, and fairy tales about health care here in America.

Lazy Thinking

Chris Matthews calls the smarmy Jack Kingston, (R) Georgia, on his bullshit. Matthews wouldn't let him go until he backed down. Kingston's sin, he used the bullshit comparison of Germany after the Second World War as analogous to Iraq.

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Harball w/Chris Matthews

links for 2007-02-02

links for 2006-12-03

links for 2006-11-15

The Key Word is Thinking

"Social issues and the Gospel are inseparable,"said the Pope otherwise I'd be out of job and that would definitely crimp my hat budget.


Faith fading in rich world, alive in poor

Western societies are losing their souls to scientific rationality and frightening believers in the developing world who still fear God, Pope Benedict told an open-air mass in Germany on Sunday.

Benedict, on the second day of a visit to his native Bavaria, said that spreading the word of Jesus Christ was more important than all the emergency and development aid that rich churches like those in Germany gave to poor countries. . .

"Social issues and the Gospel are inseparable," said the Pope. "When we bring people only knowledge, ability, technical competence and tools, we bring them too little," he said, hammering away at his central concern that secularisation and materialism have replaced faith in Western thinking.

Links With Your Coffee - Friday

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If you leave a comment please follow the rules. Criticize ideas. Do not criticize people. This means do not substitute criticism of the person for criticism of the idea. Do not make off-topic comments. Repeated abuse of the rules will result in your commenting privileges being revoked or your comments being deleted.

"All truth is simple." Is that not doubly a lie?—Nietzsche

Man of the Year trailer
Robin Williams plays a Jon Stewart like character running for president as a publicity stunt and wins. Looks like fun. (tip to GRD)

Judge RulesBush's Surveillance Program Unconstitutional

Oh no Mr. Bush, how will we catch the terrorists now. What's that? Use warrants, what a good idea.

Axis of Minor Annoyances

White Noise the Musical

Onegoodmove reader TS on the Gunter Grass revelations and life as an ex-pat in Germany.

More charges of anti-semitism, this time form the right, the charge Lindsay Beyerstein intends to read Gunter Grass' book The Tin Drum Gunter was a member of the SS in his youth, though I expect he'll be remembered for his contribution to literature acknowledged by his Nobel Prize in 1999. False charges of anti-semitism don't help Israel's cause, but don't expect it to stop anytime soon. You can read Lindsay's story here

Monkey Business

Remember when they lied about Bill Clinton (google video)


I think Thom Hartmann has it right, what say the rest of you?

Today's Immigration Battle - Corporatists vs. Racists (and Labor is Left Behind)
by Thom Hartmann

The corporatist Republicans ("amnesty!") are fighting with the racist Republicans ("fence!"), and it provides an opportunity for progressives to step forward with a clear solution to the immigration problem facing America.

Both the corporatists and the racists are fond of the mantra, "There are some jobs Americans won't do." It's a lie.

Americans will do virtually any job if they're paid a decent wage. This isn't about immigration - it's about economics. Industry and agriculture won't collapse without illegal labor, but the middle class is being crushed by it.

The reason why thirty years ago United Farm Workers' Union (UFW) founder Caesar Chávez fought against illegal immigration, and the UFW turned in illegals during his tenure as president, was because Chávez, like progressives since the 1870s, understood the simple reality that labor rises and falls in price as a function of availability.

Continue reading "Immigration" »

Is Religion The Root of All Evil?

What's it been, a day or two since I posted on the subject of religion. Nevertheless, it's Sunday and certainly time for another round. Richard Dawkins is going to do a two part series on British television on the topic Is Religion the Root of All Evil? and it is already generating responses from the religious apologists. Madeline Bunting has written a piece for the Guardian entitled No wonder atheists are angry: they seem ready to believe anything. The article deserves a good fisking and my son Chris provides it.

Bunting begins speaking of Dawkins:
He uses his authority as a scientist to claim certainty where he himself knows, all too well, that there is none; for example, our sense of morality cannot simply be explained as a product of our genetic struggle for evolutionary advantage.

Actually it has and can. I would refer you to Robin Wright's book The Moral Animal, Michael Shermer's The Science of Good and Evil, and most importantly Matt Ridley's the The Origins of Values: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation By the way Ridley was a student of Mr. Dawkins.

There's an underlying anxiety that atheist humanism has failed. Over the 20th century, atheist political regimes racked up an appalling (and unmatched) record for violence.

This is a typical criticism of atheism. First I want to point out that atheism and atheistic humanism are different things. Atheism is not an ideology it is a lack of belief. Atheism is no more an ideology than not-being-a-marxist is an ideology. Second, none of the authoritarian regimes was humanist, not even Marxism. Third, Nazi Germany was not an atheistic state. Bunting claims the holocaust was ethnic racism, not about religion.

Continue reading "Is Religion The Root of All Evil?" »

Pay More, Get Less

For Americans, Getting Sick Has Its Price
Survey Says U.S. Patients Pay More, Get Less Than Those in Other Western Nations
Americans pay more when they get sick than people in other Western nations and get more confused, error-prone treatment, according to the largest survey to compare U.S. health care with other nations.
The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated.

Kurt Vonnegut on Bill Maher

It's a trajedy for me that he's president of my country. You know, my book is called A Man Without a Country,I still have a passport, but if I showed this now in Portugal or Spain or Italy or Germany of France or Denmark or Japan or even communist China, what it would say about me is that I'm not only from the richest country in the world but the dumbest country in the world. Is our President a tragic figure, perhaps, but he doesn't know diddley squat about economics or history or science even how to speak well.

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Links With Your Coffee—Monday

Investigative journalism at its best a Karl Rove Secret Memo from MadKane

The Science of Gender and Science Pinker vs. Spelke

Moyers addresses 'liberal' label at the National Conference for Media Reform you can download the mp3 here 27.3MB

"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight - ask questions and be skeptical."—Bill Moyers

P. Z. Meyers on Niobrara (highly recommended)

What do you think of when someone mentions the word �Kansas�? Maybe what leaps to your mind is that it is a farming state that is flat as a pancake, or if you�ve been following current events, the recent kangaroo court/monkey trial, or perhaps it is the drab counterpart to marvelous Oz. It isn�t exactly first on the list of glamourous places. I admit that I tend to read different books than most people, so I have a somewhat skewed perspective on Kansas: the first thing I think of is a magic word.

Blame the Crusades
From swords to suicide bombers, the West's relationship with the Middle East hasn't changed much in the past millennium. That's why the film "Kingdom of Heaven" struck a chord. It's laden with silly inaccuracies to heighten the drama � unnecessary, considering how much more eye-popping the bare truth is � but it rams home the notion that events during the Crusades eerily parallel current world affairs.

What is History Carnival? Does it look interesting well then here is History Carnival # 8

Ms. Wrong Katrina vanden Heuvel responds to Ann Coulter

Virginity or Death! right-wing choices

Creationist's new design an excellent wrap up to the what the hell is wrong with Kansas story. Intelligent Design adds absolutely nothing to our knowledge. It is like all God arguments a space filler for a lack of any evidence, of any descriptive explanation. Hey, just say you don't have a clue, but you can't deal with the feeling there is something you don't know so you're going to substitute a God. Pick a name there are dozens, Allah, Zeus, Barney, Jehovah, or the latest flavor Designer in Chief.

Wal-Mart to Apologize For Ad in Newspaper The dip-shits compared zoning ordinances to book-burning in Nazi Germany

Links With Your Coffee—Monday

Sam Harris skip Scarborough(Laura Ingram and Rex Reed) and O'Reilly not worth your time. The Faith Under Fire in interesting and Hugh Hewitt is an ass. The streaming audio from WBUR is excellent as is the C-SPAN it is the same I provided access to previously but for those that have yet listened to it will enjoy it. (Thanks to Mark for the link)

Backward Christian Soldier Commentary

Robin Williams: But seriously, Mr Williams... Interview

He Could Be the Next Bobby Fischer (Without the Quirks)

Archaeologist finds 'oldest porn statue


In related news Bill Maher on thinking outside the box
Quicktime Video 2.1MB 3'00

From the Mailbag

Reader J.R. of New York writes,

Greetings Norm,

It seems that you are in some sort of search for truth like many of us
with "less dust in our eyes," and there is a lot of writing about
"reason" in your blog, but today the first thing I saw was a Nietzsche
Nietzsche, a philosopher who basically opposed rational thought and
science, is directly responsible for laying the emotional (I refuse to
say "intellectual")ground for the rise of Nazism in Germany, and its
eventual philosophical migration to the New World.
I certainly hope that one day we can see these intellectual impostures
for what they truly are, deranged psycho-babble, and we start catching
on to the abuse and misuse of science by postmodernism.

I (Chris) would resist this "postmodern" reading of Nietzsche. Far from opposing science, I would argue that Nietzsche is a naturalistic philosopher, meaning he wants his views to be continuous with the methods of the best science of his day.

Nietzsche observes how much "useful work to be done" there is in the sciences and adds, "I delight in their [scientists] work" (GM III: 23). He remarks, "the ideal scholar in whom the scientific instinct, after thousands of total semi-failures, for once blossoms and blooms to the end, is certainly of the most precious instruments there are" (BGE: 207). Nietzsche has plenty of praise for science in his work, "The Gay Science." For example, "But it [science] might yet be found to be the great dispenser of pain. And then its counterforce [sic] might be found at the same time: its immense capacity for making new galaxies of joy flare up" (GS: 12). Another example, "It is a profound and fundamental good fortune that scientific discoveries stand up under examination and furnish the basis, again and again, for further discoveries" (GS: 46).

If Nietzsche were opposed to science what are we to make of these comments? He does say things that sound like they are anti-scientific, but if you read them closely I think you will see that he is opposing reductionism only, not science tout court. There are plenty of respectable scientists who oppose reductionism. Ernst Mayr, the late great evolutionary biologist, has long argued for the autonomy of Biology from physics and chemistry.

Nietzsche is not a philosopher who denies there is truth. What he denies is that there is a transcendent truth. Likewise, Nietzsche doesn't oppose the use of reason, he opposes reason construed in a Kantian way. Brian Leiter does an excellent job in arguing against the postmodern reading Mr. Rodriguez is offering for Nietzsche's work, Nietzsche on Morality.

Finally, the Nazi use of Nietzsche's work is a gross misappropriation of his work. If he has any culpability at all in the misuse of his work after he died it would be that his style of writing leaves itself too open to misunderstanding. This might be what Mr. Rodriguez means by making a distinction between the emotion and intellectual ground for Nazism. Nietzsche abhorred nationalism. He was very critical of German culture. He advocated being a "Good European." Most importantly Nietzsche denounced anti-semitism in a number of places. It has been the academic consesus for quite some time now that Nietzsche was not a proto-nazi. This idea of an emotional ground for Nazism is extremely vague and would implicate all kinds of people not generally associated with Nazism.

Links With Your Coffee - Thursday

With a Hush and a Whisper, Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans George Bush unable to make the rules takes his ball and heads for home.

During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?
Christian Charity More evidence that some christians are more concerned about their agenda than helping those in need.

A cancer charity has refused a donation from Jerry Springer - The Opera after a religious group threatened to protest.

Maggie's Centres said Christian Voice's contact prompted it to reject �3,000.

Christian Voice said it had warned the charity that accepting cash from a show full of "filth and blasphemy" would be a public relations disaster.

The show's star, David Soul, accused the religious group of "strong-arm tactics" and blackmail - adding cancer was not just a Christian problem.

What place for God in Europe? Thanks David

The Pope's a Prick Thanks David

The truth about Arnold

Why was it, again, that a coarse, abusive, dim, body builder-movie star was supposed to turn out to be Mr. Smith Goes to Sacramento? Fooled by Karl Rove, shame on Rove--fooled by Arnold, you are an absolute freaking moron— JJ

"A lot of teachers in the room had voted for Schwarzenegger," Shue says. "For some reason, a lot of liberals saw him as approachable. They were shocked and hurt by what he said about teachers. I think they had trusted him and felt betrayed. Now they see that he had a hidden agenda -- a right-wing agenda."

Arnold's numbers slipping Good

Iceland OKs passport for Fischer in Japan

REYKJAVIK, Iceland � Icelandic immigration authorities agreed Tuesday to grant the former American chess champion Bobby Fischer a special passport for foreigners that would allow him to travel to Western Europe.

So It Goes

Germans mark bombing of Dresden

Germany has marked the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, one of the most controversial Allied operations of World War II.

The attacks killed about 35,000 people and ruined the city's heart, as ground forces closed in on the Nazi regime.

The commemorations culminated with 50,000 people lighting candles in an evening rally in memory of victims.
But there were also protests by far-right parties, who say the bombing should be seen as a war crime.

About 5,000 far-right supporters staged a protest march and police scuffled with left-wing protesters trying to disrupt their demonstration.

But the groups, led by the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), have not so far managed to interfere with the official ceremonies.

Germany's chancellor earlier condemned their threats as a bid to rewrite history.

Don't miss Jonathon Delacour's related post on the differences in how German and Japanese cultures have dealt with the aftermath of the war and the fire-bombings of their cities.

And of course no post about Dresden would be complete without a reference to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

What follows is an excerpt from Vonnegut's book from Howard Zinn's voices of a peoples history of The United States

Eight Dresdneners crossed the steel spaghetti of the railroad yard. They were wearing new uniforms. They had been sworn into the army the day before. They were boys and men past middle age, and two veterans who had been shot to pieces in Russia. their assignment was to guard one hundred American prisoners of war who would work as contract labor. A grandfather and his grandson were in the squad. The grandfather was an architect.

The eight were grim as they approached the boxcars containing their wards. They knew what sick and foolish soldiers they themselves appeared to be. One of them actually had an artificial leg, and carried not only a loaded rifle but a cane. Still—they were expected to earn obedience and respect from the tall, cocky murderous american infantrymen who had just come from all the killing at the front.

And then they saw bearded Billy Pilgrim in his blue toga and silver shoes, with his hands in a muff. He looked at least sixty years old. next to Bill was little Paul Lazzaro with a broken arm. He was fizzing with rabies. next to Lazzaro was the poor old high school teacher, Edgar Derby, mournfully pregnant with patriotism and middle age and imaginary wisdom, and so on.

Continue reading "So It Goes" »

Links With Your Coffee - Monday

Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature US flags into piles of dog poo in public parks.

Snappy Comebacks

The Crafty Attacks on Evolution NY Times Editorial on the subject.

If evolution is derided as "only a theory," intelligent design needs to be recognized as "not even a theory" or "not yet a theory." It should not be taught or even described as a scientific alternative to one of the crowning theories of modern science.

Fired reporters challenge Fox TV license via Metro New Network

For what is believed to be the first time ever, two television journalists have challenged the broadcast license of a station on grounds it deliberately broadcast false and distorted news reports.

Support our troops: Bring them home by Howard Zinn

Here is the flawed logic: We are alone in the world in this invasion. The insurgency is growing. There is no visible prospect of success. Therefore, let's send more troops? The definition of fanaticism is that when you discover that you are going in the wrong direction, you redouble your speed.

In all of this, there is an unexamined premise: that military victory would constitute ``success.''

Conceivably, the United States, possessed of enormous weaponry, might finally crush the resistance in Iraq. The cost would be great. Already, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have lost their lives (and we must not differentiate between ''their'' casualties and ''ours'' if we believe that all human beings have an equal right to life.) Would that be a ``success''?

To do list maker via Sandhill Trek

Stem Cell News

Batches of human embryonic stem cells available under the strict policies of the U.S. government are contaminated with an animal molecule and are probably no good for using to treat people, scientists reported on Sunday.

Their finding, published in the journal Nature Medicine, supports arguments that federal government policy is holding back research in the promising but controversial field of stem cell research.

Python Pundit Talks Politics

Python swallows Bush!

Great interview, Salon requires subscription but you can get a day pass, you don't want to miss this.

Monty Python's Terry Jones talks about becoming a political writer, the decline of the British press and how Bush and Blair have erased the line between absurdity and horror.

One of the strange manipulations of language you get into is that the war on terror is a war on an abstract noun.

An abstract noun can't surrender; it can't do anything really. How do you know when you've won? When the noun gets kicked out of the Oxford English Dictionary? But that's a very useful tool for politicians, to declare an unwinnable war. They can keep it going as long as they like. They can decide when it's won.

Now, you could say that we declared war against Fascism in World War II, but that was only a pseudonym for Nazi Germany. In this case, we have no idea who we're fighting. It's the first time, I think, that a major country has gone to war and not known who the enemy was. Who are they? We have no idea.

Looking at it that way it really isn't so far off from the kind of humor you did with Monty Python. And, in a way, neither is observing that no one is wringing their hands over the body count in Iraq the way they are over the tsunami victims.

That's partly because the military is refusing to make counts. They're not only refusing to count how many Iraqis are dying, but before the second invasion of Fallujah, they were actually removing anyone who might be able to make a count -- doctors, ambulance drivers, clerics. They hit the hospitals first to make sure that there was nobody who could perform body counts. It's totally cynical, although, from the military view, probably very sensible.

So the only scientific estimate is the one published from Johns Hopkins University in the Lancet a few weeks ago, and immediately the politicians came up saying, "It's an extrapolation technique." Well, what do they mean by "extrapolation"? That's what any survey is, whether it's a political poll or an advertising survey. That's what you do. They say, "It's not a body count," but the American military is not allowing anyone to do a body count. You can't do it! It's rubbish. And the count estimated by Johns Hopkins doesn't even include Fallujah, which has been totally razed.