Recruitment of Military Physicians Falling

In normal times many medical students finance their education by joining the military. The military pays their way through school, including a $1,300 per month stipend on top of school expenses, in return for a commitment to serve one year for each year they receive assistance. American Medical News reports that Iraq has had an effect on recruitment of physicians. While the Air Force continues to meet its goals (which are lower than the other branches), the Army and Navy are having difficulties in recruitment of docotrs. In 2003 the Army awarded scholarships to 111% of their goal. This was mildly low at 98% in 2004, and had fallen to 77% in 2005. The Navy met 99% of their goal in 2003, 88% in 2004, and only 56% in 2005.

Posted in Health Care, Iraq. Tags: . No Comments »

Pope To Announce Return to Dark Ages

The Vatican must see the dark ages as their golden years. The Guardian reports that the Pope is preparing to embrace intelligent design:

There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of “intelligent design” taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.

A prominent anti-evolutionist and Roman Catholic scientist, Dominique Tassot, told the US National Catholic Reporter that this week’s meeting was “to give a broader extension to the debate. Even if [the Pope] knows where he wants to go, and I believe he does, it will take time. Most Catholic intellectuals today are convinced that evolution is obviously true because most scientists say so.” In 1996, in what was seen as a capitulation to scientific orthodoxy, John Paul II said Darwin’s theories were “more than a hypothesis”.

There is no “debate” here. Evolution is established science. Evolution provides an explanation of how higher organisms evolved form simpler life forms. When primitive men could not explain events like changes in weather or earth quakes, they turned to religion to attribute these events to the gods. Once science provided explanations, these religious views were no longer necessary. It makes no more sense to use religious dogma to explain the development of life than it would to blame Katrina on the gods (as opposed to global warming and the incompetence of the Bush Administration).

This development comes as no surprise following the recent firing of Father George Coyne for his support of evolution. Conservatives who want to replace science and reason with superstition will see this as a good thing. Supporters of teaching creationism (a.k.a. Cretins) might resume their attempts to suppress science education in the schools. However, tor those that think, this is yet another step backwards for civilization.

Why We Don’t Believe Conservative Criticism of the News, Or Conservative News

Townhall has an article entitled Why We Don’t Believe You which gives the conservative case for not believing the news. No need to read it all. The real reason is not that the media makes mistakes from time to time, but that conservatives don’t believe those who don’t accept their fictitious world view. They include the so-called Reuter-gate affair in which a freelancer photographer was fired by Reuters for photoshopping photos. Biased report, and the photographer was fired–hardly an argument to never trust the news media.

While liberals are also critical of the mainstream media, there is a major difference. Liberals criticize the media because we want it to do a better job of getting out the truth. Conservatives attack the media in an attempt to prevent them from revealing the truth.

I’m speaking of the real news media here–not the fake news outlets used by the right wing noise machine to spread their propaganda. Pravda wannabees like Fox News are not news outlets. We could go on much longer as to why we don’t believe them. For starters I’ve reprinted some posts below the fold, including some of their slips showing whose side Fox is really on. As this is a topic I’ve written on numerous times, to keep this at a readable number of posts I limited this to previous posts at Light Up the Darkness from 2005.

A True Nightmare Which Goes On and On

After all the media hype, Karr won’t be charged in the JonBonet Ramsey murder. While visiting our friends over at Democracy Cell Project I saw this comment: What a nightmare it was listening to all the “breaking news” on this garbage for the past two weeks.

I had to disagree. This was obnoxious. Here is an example of “breaking news” that is a real nightmare:

“George Bush wins Florida.”–Fox News, 2:16 a.m. November 8, 2000.

Posted in George Bush, In The News. Tags: . 1 Comment »

The Award For Best Nipple Slip Goes To. . .

It looks like the NBC censors missed this nipple slip at the Emmys last night, with Mindy Kaling receiving this “award.” How high are those fines if CBS does turn them in? Does it matter that you can’t see a thing without watching in slow motion–as is done (over and over) in the clip linked to above?

Update (Blatant Blog Whoring Department): This post has sure brought in a lot of new readers. I hope you aren’t too disappointed that you have to go to anther site to see the actual nipple slip (which really does not show hardly anything). I hate to have you all leave disappointed. There are far hotter pictures than the nipple slip here. For example, check out this picture of Heidi and Jenna from Survivor, or the nude covers by Britney Spears and Demi Moore (scroll down past Snow White).

Katherine Harris Tries, But Fails, To Clarify Views

Last week Katherine Harris was involved in her most controversial moment since helping to steal the 2000 election for George Bush:

Katherine Harris says that if voters do not elect “tried and true” Christians, the voters and those elected are going to “legislate sin.”

In an interview with Florida Baptist Witness, a weekly magazine of the Baptist State Convention, Harris said the constitutional separation of church and state is a “lie” that has led people to think they should avoid politics.

“That is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers,” Harris said.

”If people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected, then we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly not what God intended.”

She has now clarified her comments, but perhaps should have claimed the right to remain silent:

Harris’ campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been “speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government.”

The comments reflected “her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values,” the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.

So she was speaking to a Christian audience. If she was speaking to a non-Christian audience would she then agree with separation of church and state? If the answer to this is yes, she’s a dishonest politician who just says what she thinks her audience wants to hear. If her answer remains no, we’re still at her position from last week.

In arguing that people of faith should be actively involved in government she is confusing who is involved in government with the type of government action which is acceptable. Separation of church and state does not mean that people of faith should not be involved in government. It does mean that nobody, regardless of their faith, should make laws which impose their religious views on others.

While legislation supporting Israel and recognizing the Holocaust may be admirable, she should also be aware that there are many people with views other than Judeo-Christian views.

I was happy to see that many Republicans disassociated themselves from her views last week, but I can’t help but wonder if they would have done this if they thought she had the slightest for victory.

John Kerry Groups Hits Milestone

Congratulations to the John Kerry group at Democratic Underground. They hit a milestone, surpassing 100,000 posts on Sunday. The record was reached in a thread featuring pictures of John and Teresa Heinz Kerry. The John Kerry group has long been by far the largest candidate support group at Democratic Underground. They are distantly trailed by the Wesley Clark group with 8626 posts.

Kid Bloggers Embarrass Parents

If we want to get the goods on Republican politicians, perhaps we should stop reading each other’s liberal blogs and start reading the blogs from the kids of politicians. The London Times reports on Washington hit by curse of the kid bloggers:

While the Bible warns that the sins of the father may be visited upon their sons, the injunction may need to be revised in the age of the teenage blogger and online social networks. The sins of the sons — not to mention the daughters — are making the titans of Washington and Wall Street nervous as the internet opens public doors to what would once have been private family business.Frist is one of at least half a dozen US politicians — and at least one US Supreme Court judge — whose public images have been dented in recent months by the internet antics of their offspring. Pictures of scantily clad daughters whooping it up have become a staple of internet gossip.

The popularity of teenage networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook is proving a goldmine for political bloggers keen to compare the pious proclamations of candidates running for office with the blogs and picture-sharing websites maintained by their children.

No sooner had Congressman Louie Gohmert, a conservative Republican from Texas, unleashed a tirade against the moral inadequacies of Democrats opposed to the war in Iraq, than someone found internet pictures of his daughter Caroline dancing on a bartop and posing with a man in his underpants.

There was also embarrassment for Justice Samuel Alito, the conservative Supreme Court judge appointed by President George W Bush earlier this year. Alito is opposed to gay marriage, but a Facebook entry by his Georgetown University student daughter Laura declared, apparently tongue in cheek, that her relationship status was “Married to Kate Tice”.

While much of the internet sleuthing has produced largely harmless evidence that teenagers like to party even if their parents are famous, more awkward incidents have been picked up by mainstream media.

Roll Call, the Washington insiders’ newspaper published on Capitol Hill, recently reported that Jonathan Frist’s Facebook entry declared him a member of the “Jonathan Frist appreciation for ‘Waking Up White People’ Group”. It also mentioned a group where there were “No Jews allowed. Just kidding. No seriously”.

Thomas Friedman Interviewed on Israel and Anti-Semitism

The Debate Link has posted the first part of an interview with Thomas Friedman. While they discussed several topics, the most interesting was Friedman’s defense of Israel from recent criticism and comments on anti-Semitism from the left. While the civilian casualties is a legitimate concern, Friedman placed them in perspective:

. . ., you’re dealing with an enemy that has embedded itself in the civilian population (on the Lebanese side). Hezbollah has no bases to retaliate against–in the conventional military sense–and so Israel almost by definition couldn’t retaliate against Hezbollah without hitting civilian targets. And that’s tragic. It’s tragic for me–I hate to see Lebanon be destroyed–but at the same time, it was the only way from the Israeli point of view to exact a price on Hezbollah’s constituency that ultimately Israeli hoped–and I don’t think this was a crazy thing–would deter Hezbollah the next time, with people saying “wait a minute, I don’t want to go through this again.”

So, I don’t think Israel “snapped,” I don’t think it behaved in a particularly irrational manner. It was brutal, but it was an ugly war, and one that Israel didn’t invite.

Friedman was later asked about anti-Semitism from the left and the relationship between Jews and the Democratic Party:


Al Gore Warns Democracy is Under Attack

Al Gore, at the at the Edinburgh International Television Festival to promote An Inconvenient Truth, warned that “democracy is under attack“:

There’s a feeling in the US on the part of many that the way democracy operates today is very different from the system we learned about in school.”

He said that democracy, which he described as a “conversation”, was now “more controlled and centralised”, and that the most important role of the media was to facilitate democracy.

Gore said American politicians were spending their time raising funds at small gatherings and cocktail parties because, “the only thing that matters in American politics now is having enough money to put 30-second commercials on air to persuade the voters to elect or re-elect you.”

Gore criticized media consolidation and argued that citizens should have more influence over television programing. He said there was a connection between control of the media and lack of political action on global warming:

“Questions of fact that are threatening to wealth and power become questions of power,” he said. “And so the scientific evidence on global warming – an inconvenient truth for the largest polluters – becomes a question of power, and so they try to censor the information.”

Gore was asked if he felt George Bush was stupid and responded, “I don’t think he’s unintelligent at all. He’s incurious … there’s a puzzling lack of curiosity.” He indicated no plans to run for office saying, “I don’t have any plans to be a candidate, I don’t expect to be a candidate. I really do not expect ever to be a candidate again.”