September 2004 Archives

(didn’t know I was) unamerican

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(didn’t know I was) unamerican

Check it out. It is a really good video with good music about current politics.

To TA or not TA?

We got this from the graduate coodinator today.

Hi folks. The university has asked me to remind you that it is not allowed for TAs to date students in the courses that they are TAing.

So dating is off, but casual sex is still okay!

Yea …

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This is great new for civil liberties and family rights.

Florida court strikes down ‘Terri’s Law’

In a unanimous ruling, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law quickly passed to keep a brain-damaged woman on a feeding tube despite her husband’s opposition.

The high court upheld a lower ruling that said “Terri’s Law,” named after Terri Schiavo, was unconstitutional. Thursday’s decision said the law violated the fundamental separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

The governor of Flordia is an idiot.

“I’m disappointed for the moral reasons of the taking of innocent life without having, I don’t think, a full hearing on the facts of what her intents were,” the governor said, adding that his “thoughts and prayers go to Terri’s family.”

They already had that full hearing. Florida courts have already ruled what Terri Schiavo’s intents were. She didn’t want to live as a vegitable. Her parents are living in denial.

Fundy Logic?

This appeared in today’s local paper.

Coach’s persecution shows intolerance is alive and well

Dan Gilbert’s 1924 book, “Crucifying Christ on Our College Campuses,” reported the tangible effects higher education had on students misled by professors who were anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Bible and anti-moral. They were guilty of proselytizing moral relativism and evolutionary processes, which denied nature has a God and man has a soul.

The application of Darwinian evolution throughout curricula continues today in education. It emphasizes the constant change or evolving of people, circumstances and situations. Nothing can ever be true or absolute. British evolutionist Julian Huxley called this belief “Evolutionary Humanism” and described it as the religious invention of science. It is taught as the gospel truth in our public institutions of learning today. Its followers believe it is exempt from any critical examination by anyone, and they are zealous for its dominance. It has become the “gospel of intolerance”.

University of Georgia cheerleading coach Marilou Braswell is the recent casualty of this gospel. Those who profess academic freedom, diversity and tolerance to teach their cherished doctrines have denied her the same freedom.

It is impossible for Christians to expect our constitutional liberties to be spared by a government which supports evolution in its legislation and schools. Both communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes were steeped in evolutionary humanism, which bred their eventual atheism and horrific persecutions of Jews.

We should be warned that this religious invention of science is actively pursuing converts through public education daily. If you read and study the polls, you will observe its devastating effects as more people embrace its commandments. The evangelistic zeal and legal terror practiced by the likes of the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League are counting on more casualties and humanism’s eventual victory. The evolutionary captivity of our culture in the goal.

Priscilla Carroll

For those of you who don’t know, UGA’s cheerleader coach was fired for insubordination after she retaliated against a Jewish student who complained about her running the squad as a “Christian” program. As is usual, the fundies are falling over themselves cry persecution.

This is not the first stupid Carroll letter on evolution. The last one went like this:

Forum: Banish religion of evolution from schools

By Priscilla Carroll

With all the controversy surrounding state superintendent Kathy Cox and her attempt to “monkey” with the term evolution in the state curriculum, we can observe what happens when you challenge Darwinian orthodoxy.

The long knives of persecution are brandished. However, this nomenclature issue has not touched the astonishing amount of misinformation about evolution itself and its veracity that has come into question by those within the Intelligent Design movement. Evolutionists have erected their own god, and his name is Charles Darwin. Worship services are held through the week in our institutions of education.

The desire of evolutionists is to explain the origin of everything without a creator. Evolutionism is thus intrinsically an atheistic religion. And atheism, no less than theism, is a religion. Some may prefer to call it humanism, New Age pantheism, philosophical materialism or naturalism, but they all amount to the same thing. The purpose is to eliminate a personal God from any active role in the origin of the universe and all its components, including man.

The atheistic nature of evolution is not only admitted and insisted upon by most of the leaders of evolutionary thought. It is well known in the scientific world today that such influential evolutionists as Stephen Jay Gould, Edward Wilson, Richard Dawkins, William Provine and numerous other evolutionary spokesmen are dogmatic atheists.

Eminent scientific philosopher and ardent Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse has even acknowledged evolution is their religion! He admits it is a full-fledged alternative to Judeo-Christian beliefs with its own meaning and morality. Richard Dawkins asserted Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

Sir Julian Huxley, primary architect of modern neo-Darwinism, called evolution a “religion without revelation” and wrote a book with that title. In a later book, he described evolution as the most powerful and comprehensive idea that has ever arisen on Earth. He argued passionately that we must change our pattern of religious thought from a God-centered to an evolution-centered pattern. He went on to say that the God hypothesis is becoming an intellectual and moral burden on our thought and something must be constructed to take its place. The new construct is the religion of Darwinian evolutionary humanism, which is firmly entrenched in our educational system. Some evolutionists have confessed that evolutionism is not real science but religious faith in atheism that attempts to invent its own creation story.

Masquerading behind the “mask of science,” Richard Lewontin of Harvard stated frankly that since evolution is not a laboratory science, there is no way to test its validity, so all sorts of “just-so stories” are contrived to adorn the textbooks.

Evolution should be exposed for what it is: A creation story for the culture made up by men whose god is Charles Darwin. It is tyrannical for government to sanction it and spread it by the missionaries of media and public education supported by our taxes.

I was one of several letter writers taking her to task for her stupidity. I really liked the letter I wrote and will reproduce it below.

Attack on evolution shows old propaganda is alive and well

Priscilla Carroll’s Forum (Feb. 13) is high on rhetoric and low on facts. I am amused when people who object to modern biology try to turn it into a religion of “evolutionism.” Court losses in the 1970s and 1980s squelched their deceptive claims that biblical creation was a science. So now the tune has changed: “Modern biology is a religion.” Toss in some false facts, straw-men, misquotes and fallacious appeals to authority, and the propaganda machine is in full swing. Too bad it is just as empty now as it was decades ago.

Evolution is the grand, unifying explanation of modern biology. It is well tested, well supported and well documented. Decades of pseudo-scientific denial has not challenged that. The people of Georgia deserve a world-class educational and economic future. They cannot have this without evolution.

Reed A. Cartwright Doctoral student in genetics

Looks like I’m going to have to write another letter . …

Republican Logic?

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Another letter in my local paper. I won’t even comment on this one. I’ll let my readers spot the logical flaw.

Don’t believe Dems’ twisted data, economy is flourishing

I don’t know what the Democrats in Athens have been smoking, but the economy actually is better than it was under President Clinton.

First, we haven’t lost any jobs during the Bush presidency. Anybody who believes otherwise has been looking at the numbers from the establishment survey. The problem with this survey is it polls businesses about the number of people they have hired and fired in the last year. Unfortunately, the list of businesses polled isn’t updated very often, so when new companies hire people who were fired from other companies they may not be counted.

A more accurate count is the household survey, which reports the working status of household members. This produces much more reliable results. On Sept. 3, the establishment survey reported 131.5 million employed, while the household survey reported 138.7 million employed. That’s a difference of 8.2 million. People are saying we lost 900,000 jobs. If you subtract those 900,000 from 8.2 million, you come up with a positive number. We have gained a lot of jobs, not lost them. This is why the unemployment rate is at 5.4 percent - a number lower than during the Clinton administration.

Collin Woodard

From the Late Show the David Letterman:

10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.

9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.

8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.

7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.

6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.

5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.

4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.

3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.

2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it “nuclear” instead of “nucular.”

1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

Back Online

Okay, I have my entries back online. I’ve spent this weekend upgrading my Kwickcode formatting plugin to take atvantage of the new MT plugin archetecture. Because I didn’t have it operating properly, I delayed putting my entries on the new server. Inline equations are still messed up. Apparantly, the new version of Image::Magick I am using broke some of my code. I need to figure out the problem…

I’m Back.

Well, I’m back from my trip to Berkeley and Oakland. I got to go up into the Berkeley hills Sunday night, and I have some beautiful pictures of the sun setting over Marin County.

While I was in CA one person asked me about Zell Miller. I explained to him that “Zig Zag” Zell has always been a populist politician, changing his politics as the electorate changed theirs. Not long after he accused civil rights politicians from the south as being traitors of the south, he was handing out fliers for Jon Lewis in downtown Atlanta. He would change clothes at conventions to fit in with whatever movement was going to carry it. (Suits for urban buisnessmen, overalls for farmers.) The one thing I was sure of is that there is a method to Zell’s madness. He has always made political choices calculated to benefit him and the Georgia Democratic Party.

Some conservatives have claimed that 9/11 is what caused Zell to become a GOP supporter. Don’t believe it. The event that changed Zell’s Washington politics were the 2002 elections, which were disastrous for the Georgia Democratic Party. The GADEMs were well defeated in the elections, and saw their grip on the state failing. In response to this, Zell has crafted a strategy to convince the overwhelming number of Bush-voting Georgians that it is alright to vote for Georgia Democrats. As Bill Shipp puts it:

Has Zell Miller scammed the Republican Party and helped embattled Southern Democrats hang on to their positions of power?

The answer is yes, if you believe a theory currently making the rounds in state Democratic circles. The idea seems to make sense once you sort out what the senator has said and done over the past several months. While Republicans cheered and egged him on at their national convention, Miller’s firebrand speech made it OK for white Southerners to continue to run and vote as state and local Democrats. Former President Jimmy Carter, once Miller’s mentor and benefactor, helped the Georgia senator pull off what may turn out to be a gigantic con.

No wonder that formerly glum Democrats across rural Georgia are suddenly jubilant and confident again. Miller and Carter have come to their rescue.

Oakland, Ho

Well I’m off to Oakland/Berkeley for the weekend. See you Tuesday.

Computer Polls

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So I’m working on my own computer poll for the College Football season. I’ve developed a simulated annealing algorithm that works well from a simple premise: maximize the correlation between the rank distance of teams and the relative margin of the game.

  • Let be the rank of team t.
  • Let be a game in which team i beat team j.
  • Let be the rank distance of game .
  • Let be the margin of victory for , where and are the scores of teams i and j from the game.
  • Find the rankings that maximize the correlation between and .

I am using a simple simulated annealing algorithm to maximize the correlation. Even with a very simple algorithm, it shows a lot of promise in sorting out teams with harder schedules from teams with weaker schedules. The dataset I am using includes teams from Div I-A to Div III, and the simple algorithm does a good job at sorting them as we’d expect. I am looking to improve the algorithm using adaptive simulated annealing which should provide me with a better search.

I’ll probably publish my results for this season, towards the middle of October after enough games have been played.

Football is Here

Today is Georgia’s first game of the season. It’s versus I-AA powerhose, Georgia Southern. I usually don’t like it when top I-A teams play I-AA schools, but I make exceptions for instate opponents, or else we’d never play the North Avenue Trade School.

Athough, I have a ton of things that need to get done–two papers, three articles for PT, a trip to prepare for, etc.–I’m still going to spend tomorrow watching the first full day of college football.

Kansas

I’ve heard about this case before. Under Kansas law, an 18 year-old man received 17 years in prison for having gay sex with an 14 year-old teenager. If the teenager had been female he would have only received one year. The suprising part is not that the legislature of a conservative state passed such a homophobic law, but that judges have agreed with them.

WTF?

Need I remind these people of Amendment XIV, section 1 of the US constitution?

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The state of Kansas is defending its law by claiming that they have a rational reason for it: “promoting traditional values.” The only problem with this position is that punishing homosexual intercourse is not a traditional value. Only in recent decades have such laws become popular in America, in response to the openly gay movement. This was one of the standard critcisms applied to the Bowers v. Hardwick decision by legal scholars.

If the state of Kansas really was interested in promoting traditional values they’d be punishing hetrosexual couples who fornicate more than homosexual couples.

Interesting

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Gay activists are reporting that they have tapes of the second most conservative representative, Ed Schrock of Virgina, solicitating some male bonding, including the line “You must be very discreet. I cannot overemphasize that.” The activists are accusing Schrock of being a hypocrite by opposing gay rights and being a “pro-family” republican while cheating on his wife by solicitating hot man love.

After these allegations surfaced earlier in the week, Schrock retired in the middle of his campaign while leaving the Republicans in his district looking for a replacement.

I’m still looking for conservative responses to this news, but haven’t found any.

Hehe

I’m not much of an Major League Baseball fan, but I do know that the Yankees suck. This made me smile.

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