Monday, February 28, 2005

Hip Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you fresh off an incredibly focused EP "Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives", by whom else but Aesop Rock:
Just a lit fuse in the back of the pews
watching a thousand flavors of the same God feud.
I figure that ultimate peace is a common theme,
so it's a no-brainer peace when the blood hits the screen.
I got a basic good and evil sensibility born.
Good neighbor know a halo won't fit over horns.
I'm more science than faith, I'm more karma than bread and booze.
I'm not an asshole, I'm just a little confused.

Today Was a Good Day

Before I hit with some nasty news later I just want to say that I had a really good day today. Which was nice after my incredably shitty week I had last week. How did it start? Well I went to my mail box before work and what was waiting for me? A fat stack of CD's from Hip Hop Site. I got the following for only $38:

1)"Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives" by Aesop Rock which includes a book of his lyrics from 5 Albums.
2)"Build Your Own Bazooka Tooth"- Aesop Rock instrumentals and accapellas (a freebe with Fast Cars.. from Hip Hop Site)
3)"Vintage" by All Natural
4)A CD of "Vintage" instrumentals by All Natural (a freebe from Hip Hop Site)
5)A signed poster by the two dudes in All Natural
6)A 2 CD Preemptive Hype Vol 6, it's a mix CD that Hip Hop Site makes every month and packages in free with any purchace to highlight new artists and upcoming releases-quality motherfucker, quality.

I Love Hip Hop Site, they are always giving shit away. And not worthless shit either. They give away signed posters, exclusive mixes and cuts made only for Hip Hop Site, all sorts of cool shit. You really get your money's worth.

Anyway, I'll be posting several CD reviews over the next few days as I take them apart and examine them.

But apart from the box of funk I got this morning I finally got to finish up some of the experiments I ran last week. And in short, the shit worked! I was sweatin' it 'cuz one prep I did last week took me 3 days of fucking it up before I could get it to act right. Damn I was estatic!!

But the shit don't stop there. Tonight I'm getting a copy of "The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib" so expect some comments on it as I plow through it.

I'll come back later tonight with some more commentary on the improtance of the NIH and supporting the troops by supporting science. It's not happy suff and I'm really pissed of about what are injured troops are dealing with. Peace!

Remixing the Remix

I know I've been commenting mostly on Hip Hop lately but I want to say one more thing about remixes. Remixes are not simply putting the same lyrics over a new beat. That's remixing at it's most basic level. A true remix master can take a song and make you look at it in an entirely different light. A song might normally makes the world look bright, the remix can make you feel like the apocalypse is breathing down your back. It adds color to a rainy day or uses a defibrillator to bring an old track to life. A real remix is the difference between the Prefuse 73 remix of Push Button Object's "360" and what ever crap P-Diddy manages to pinch off.

Fuck Football

I want to comment on this post over at Daily Kos. The author is opining on what it takes to win back moderate southern voters. The problem I have with this post is the same problem I have with posts like this and this one right here. Overall, we as Democrats are still looking to the past to help us win future elections.

Everything changed in politics after 2000 when Bush took office. Trying to figure out WWCD (what would Clinton do) is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go about winning the next election. Trying to figure out how to get "value voters" is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go about winning the next election. Man, "value voters" are so November 2004; the Republican couldn't get a flying fuck about them now.

To continue with the football analogy, the Republicans got good at the game. They know that even though a face mask pull may cost you 15 yards it's to their advantage to do it anyway. They rough the kicker and lead with the helmet. When one of their players gets sidelined for drug abuse, they just send in the next douche bag to take up the slack. Why? Because even though they get down 45 yards where the Dems can punt the field goal they know we will choke. We'll choke because everyone of us is scared of catching a Republican stiff arm that'll make our adam's apple and spine touch.

We have to stop playing catch up with the Republicans, one step behind is still second place. If we talk about "value voters" in the next election the Republican's will dismantle us because they have been there and done that. In short we need to stop playing football. I'm not saying to run off the field and pout home to mommy. I'm saying change the game. Football is for pussies. We need to start a real game. We're always labeled as the fringe, out of touch with the mainstream, so let's play like it goddammit!

We need to let the Republicans think we're lining up for another football match for the next election. But fuck it, we need to play rugby. We need to learn that shit backwards and forwards. We need to start learning how to make fouls work to our advantage. We need to have total dominance, keep the Republicans guessing as to what we will do next. We need to leave them bruised and battered, wondering what the fuck just happened. We need to let them know that this is our house and our game so that in 2008 we look like this guy, warriors drinking form the chalice of victory.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Google Target: Sean Hannity

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yahoo! News - In Afghanistan, comedians joke their way to civic renewal

When reading this story it makes we wonder what the people in Afghanistan will think when confronted with The One Who Should Have Overdosed.

Hip Hop Remixes

It takes a special touch to do a proper remix. That being said, there is one remix album that really stands out, probably the most talked about remix album of recent years, DJ Danger Mouse's "The grey Album". Some people dismissed it as a publicity stunt to get Danger Mouse some coverage. Well there is more to the story than that.

I had the pleasure to meet Danger Mouse when my sister was tutoring him, true story. He had been up all night watching the Sopranos on DVD. DM was really cool, he takes his craft seriously and had been playing the local DJ circuit for a several years with a devoted following.

DM loves music. He loves the Beatles as well as hip hop. In fact, he produced a local mix CD called "The White Album" after the Beatles' "White Album". This guy is retarded when it comes to production, his EP "26 inch" is an orgy of amazing beats and cuts. Well, Jay-Z released a cappella versions of his songs from his "Black Album" for people to fuck around with. DM picked that shit up and mixed it with one of his other favorite groups, The Beatles. He named the mix "The Gray Album", the obvious combination of "The White Album" and "The Black Album". Needless to say DM was served with a cease-and-desist notice from EMI, the gate keepers for "The White Album" master.

The damage was done though and DM's "The Grey Album" was already a smash hit, he was in magazines and the buzz mill was spinning. Before you could say "99 problems" the album had torn though the underground creating an incredible stir.

"The Grey Album" is not a publicity stunt, it's an amazing tribute. DM would have made this album even without all the exposure it brought him, he would have produced it in his bed room experimenting with his wheels of steel until the tracks scream with perfection, each beat flawlessly mixed and begging to jump into the nearest ear-drum. "The Grey Album" simply must exist. The fact that it is alive makes me happy that a DJ like DM walks the earth experimenting with music. It's is a labor of love that holds two unlikely groups in such high esteem that it elevates the music of either to a level that will be unmatched for years to come.

Hip Hop Lyric of the Moment

I bought "Deep Water Slang" by Zion-I last night and I spent most of the day listening to it while doing my experiments. In all it's a solid CD. Zion's lyrical delivery is scary even, rapped with a surgical precision that never fails over the entire album. So here's some lyrics from one of my favorite tracks on the album "Finger Paint":
Finger paint you can hold the weight
When the mind is great, then the soul create
I evaporate like I'm water when I change my state
Mindscape to the next levitate

Google Target: Fox News

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hip Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by Five Deez:
Now you know the way I wanna be
You see the direction, create the cross sections
Movin' me to places to soak up the lessons

Slow Blogging

Work has been a bitch lately. It's been so draining that my outrage has given out for a bit. I'm going to leave with a Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment above and return this weekend once I can be pissed off about something other than work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More Oil for Food Scandals

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow, we find out that the latest outrage over the oil-for-food program is that there were scandals outside the oil-for-food program in another program called the oil-for-money program.
The Treasury Department provided assurances that the United States would not obstruct two companies' plans to import millions of barrels of oil from Iraq in March 2003 in violation of U.N. sanctions, according to an e-mail from one of the companies.
Diplomats and oil brokers have recently said that the United States had long turned a blind eye to illicit shipments of Iraqi oil by its allies Jordan and Turkey. The United States acknowledged this week that it had acquiesced in the trade to ensure that crucial allies would not suffer economic hardships....

...According to investigators, Iraq received more revenue from those exports than from the alleged oil-for-food kickbacks.
Emphasis mine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Destroying Scientific Advancement as an Obsession

Donald R. May, one of the Knuckle Draggers brings us an article called Embryonic Stem Cell Research as an Obsession. He starts off with giving G-Dub the usual pat on the back for limiting embryonic stem cell (ESC) research:
President Bush was correct to address the embryonic stem cell controversy and to provide money to fund it with appropriate limitations and safeguards. His courage to address problems quickly and definitively, and not defer them to future administrations, may well be his greatest legacy.
Emphasis mine, because it seems like every fucking thing that GWB does is some sort of Goddamn great legacy.

Now here comes the most incredible conservative argument for not perusing ESC research:
With all this scientific success and with more than 15,000 patients benefiting from SCR each year, why are some people apoplectic? The answer is both simple and perplexing. The scientific breakthroughs and the medical therapies have all come from adult stem cells and none as yet have come from embryonic stem cells. Rather than welcoming the results and pursuing support for what works, there are paradoxically increasing demands for the recognition and funding of embryonic SCR.
That's awesome because it totally disregards how long it takes to develop medical therapies. We have been working with adult stem cells for 40 years, so you'd expect that there would be some advancement. How long have we worked with ESCs? Well according to the NIH stem cell information FAQs list, we find the following under the frequently asked question "Have human embryonic stem cells been used successfully to treat any human diseases yet"?:
Scientists have only been able to do experiments with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) since 1998, when a group led by Dr. James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin developed a technique to isolate and grow the cells. Moreover, federal funds to support hESC research have only been available since August 9, 2001, when President Bush announced his decision on federal funding for hESC research. Because many academic researchers rely on federal funds to support their laboratories, they are just beginning to learn how to grow and use the cells. Thus, although hESC are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases, research using them is still in its early stages.
So let's see, scientists have only been able to culture ESCs for 7 years. And scientists have only received federal funding, a major source of scientific research funding, for ESC research for 4 years. Not a whole lot of time to develop treatments to pass FDA standards, especially when treatments must undergo 4 clinical trial phases.
A dangerous combination of political and social ideology is determined to make embryonic SCR succeed. The problem is an apparent obsession with destroying human life to provide medical therapies. Looking from the outside, one might imagine that embryonic SCR supporters are advocating a pagan ritual of human sacrifice to treat disease?
I guess you could liken it to pagan sacrifice, just as you can liken communion to ritualized cannibalism , straw-man, I know.
It appears there is also a need to prove President Bush wrong. Do they believe that if embryonic SCR were to produce useful results, President Bush and his supporters would somehow be discredited?
That's generally how things work. If someone makes a claim that's proven wrong, then they are discredited...pretty simple really.
Embryonic SCR supporters have resorted to political action to force its funding. As it has not been successful, and private funding is drying up, public subsidies from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources appear to be the only way to keep embryonic SCR viable.
That's not entirely true either, research money for stem cells is doing well in California where they allocated 3 billion dollars for stem cell research. Yes, they have had some problems but what is interesting is that other states are considering doing the same thing:
California's experiment is being watched closely by other states. Maryland this month became the most recent state, joining Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin, to allocate or consider allocating their own money to stem cell research.
So, no, money is coming into the research, it just isn't federal funds exactly. May then brings out a researcher that has had her grant refused 3 times Dr. Kathy Mitchell. Apparently Dr. Mitchell has had her grant refused because she thinks that people are getting preferential treatment for research on embryonic stem cells.
It is of concern that government funding is apparently being directed preferentially to research based on embryonic SCR. Researchers such as Dr. Kathy Mitchell of the University of Kansas have reported that their grant applications to the National Institutes of Health are being turned down specifically because her stem cells are adult stem cells harvested from umbilical cords. Dr. MitchellÂ’s research is directed at repairing kidney damage resulting from diseases such as leukemia and diabetes.
Her research does sound really exciting, especially that they can get stem cells from umbilical cords to become neurons. I have not read her grant so I cannot comment on it specifically, however, I think that her being refused money might be more complicated that some sort of liberal bias to embryonic stem cells. It might, you know, have something to do with the quality of her research.
California voters, some led by ideology and others by emotion and guilt, passed Proposition 71. It will provide $3 billion in embryonic SCR funding over the next 10 years and take $6 billion in taxpayer money to pay off the bonds issued for its support. Going into debt to subsidize political ideology is of serious concern. Other state governments are pushing to enact similar publicly funded mandates for embryonic SCR. It appears the logic is similar to that of fighting poverty or supporting failing schools -- provide more money and eventually it might work.
Going into debt to subsidize political ideology is of serious concern, unless that political ideology is the war on terror.
Politics, science, religion, morals, and ethics all meet head on in embryonic SCR. Adult stem cell research has shown significant success. As it is not politically correct research, it does not receive the credit and the funding that it deserves. As a result, future productive research will be slowed, and people will suffer and die from diseases that might have otherwise been treated earlier. The positive results from adult SCR are minimized and even disparaged. We have seen little news of the South Korean woman who was paraplegic for 20 years and is now starting to walk, or the leukemia patients who have survived, after adult stem cell therapy.
Ya know, this attitude comes form the same people who control the federal government and cut NIH funding. MAYBE if we had an administration that valued research, the number of new research project grants awarded by the NIH could have gone up and thus given more scientists what they need to pursue their treatments. Maybe then Kathy would have her money.
The supporters of embryonic SCR are apparently not as concerned about meaningful scientific results as they are about political and ideological success. They do not give the impression of being interested in curing illness or saving lives unless it is the result of embryonic stem cell therapy. Ignoring research that is working and supporting research that is not working plays into the hands of those who oppose scientific thought and factual evidence.
I am interested in curing illness and disease, that's why I didn't vote for Bush, because I knew his administration would stand in the way of scientific progress. The attitudes of people like May were epitomized in Regan's death. Nancy called for a push on ESC research and was denied. It wasn't so much the denial that got to me, given the evangelical base it is pretty standard. What pissed me off was there was no other push to support any other research. We land a rover on Mars and all of a sudden Bush is tripping over himself to get us to send a man to a barren wasteland of a planet. A former president dies from a horrible neurological disease, and nothing, nada. There was no push for any Alzheimer's research in the wake of Regan's death, ECS or otherwise. If jackholes like May are serious about alleviating the human suffering from disease, then put your money where your mouth is. Support research and give scientists money so they can get the job done.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Oliver Willis on TV

Here is a clip of Oliver Willis on C-Span. Everyone on the show does a pretty good job. Although they manage to each get some talking points in they manage to stick to the subjects for the most part.

One caller does ask about Blogger credentials and why is it we feel qualified to do this sort of thing. Well my qualification is that I bothered to take 2 minutes and sign up for a blogspot account. Other than that what credentials do I need? Most blogs are just opinions anyway, does the average Joe need credentials to have opinions? Blogs are, to me, places where folks can write their opinions and have dialog with others about them. Some people do go for the big scoop and try to get info out before the mainstream media. And really what's wrong with that? If the MSM won't do their job then why can't a blogger?

1000 Bars

This blog has to be one of the best project I've ever seen, he wants to do 1000 Bars in one year.

A Giant Departs Our World

Hunter S. Thompson took his own life. It's sad to think that such a talented individual no longer walks on the earth, he will be missed.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

My Sorry Ass HTML Skillz

I finally got a new computer so I don't have to blog at the library anymore. We only can use IE at the library; as such, I just found out that my page is screwed up for some reason when viewed with Firefox. It's mailnly the links section that is messed up but it works ok with Internet Explorer. I'm going to try to figure it out at some point, just not right now because I'm going to go watch The Ladykillers, hopefully it will be better than Constantine.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hip Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today' HHLM is brought to you by Ugly Duckling. These guys are great, fun beats and sharp lyrics. Plus, DJ Young Einstein has a dookie gold rope, how can you not like that? Here's the cut from the album Journey to Anywhere:
We take a beat in a rap
And then delete it to track
Then keep repeating it back
'Till it's completed intact
So that the people react
Out of they seat and they clap
From the petite to the fat
On every street on the map
So when my brother laughed and my dad said it was a fad
I went into my room with a pen and a pad
And wrote a little rap about my fat cat
Now I'm the cat with the fat rap
And I did it like that

MSNBC - Monkey thinks robotic arm into action

Now this is some pretty hot stuff! With an administration hostile to the idea of stem cell research, I think that these robotic appendages are something that needs to be pushed hard.

Sneak Peak

I got a sneak peak at a steaming pile of shit last night. The movie wasn't even bad because of Keanu, if you can believe it. The poor script and horrible directing kept you distracted from Reeve's wooden acting. It was sad really, because HellBlazer, the comic that John Constantine comes from, is actually awesome and this movie will scare people from a really intriguing story line.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Confused Motherfuckers

Look asshole, the only people stupid enough to confuse liberalism and socialism are the soul-less Eunuchs so blinded by their own ideology that they can't even open a dictionary and read the difference between the two.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Iraqi Election Results

Thanks to the Liberal Avenger we have a link to a pretty cool map. I'll comment more on this later.

Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by a freaking lyrical and musical master. His first album was completely produced on his own, he wrote all the lyrics, created all the instrumentals, and did all the scratching. This self proclaimed one man aresnal is none other than Edan:
Mathematics have an addict catchin static to learn
Information inflammation formulatin the birds
Heard that kids burn a bit in the arm when life harms ya
For makin negative music and talkin 'bout karma
Mangle methodology through tangled technicalities
Grounding gravity within my range of fresh realities
I rearrange a fallacy to format fruit
God's path is made of math and I explore that boot
He has a new album dropping on March 28th, 2005...you bet your sweet ass that'll be on my preorder list ASAP!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Support Our Troops

Yeah, I'm bothered by this story.
The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The rationale: Today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money.
Apparently they need the money to increase their ties with Iran, but that's neither here nor there.
Many of the pilots were tortured in the same Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib, where American soldiers abused Iraqis 15 months ago. Those Iraqi victims, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said, deserve compensation from the United States.

But the American victims of Iraqi torturers are not entitled to similar payments from Iraq, the U.S. government says.
I can't even begin to understand this rationale. I do think that the Iraqi prisoners who were tortured by the US deserve compensation; however, the Soldiers who were tortured in the first gulf war should get it first! I'm glad that the White House tool Scott McClellan is here to explain why the soldiers are not getting compensated for the crimes that were committed against them:
"No amount of money can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of this very brutal regime and at the hands of Saddam Hussein," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters when asked about the case in November 2003.
That means that no money will be coming to them.
"It seems so strange to have our own country fighting us on this," said retired Air Force Col. David W. Eberly, the senior officer among the former POWs.
Col. Eberly, with all due respect, it isn't your country fighting you on this, it's the Bush Administration. I'm willing to bet that the Clinton Administration would have allowed you to sue for the money. In fact, Clinton was in office when
Congress opened the door to such claims in 1996, when it lifted the shield of sovereign immunity which basically prohibits lawsuits against foreign governments for any nation that supports terrorism. At that time, Iraq was one of seven nations identified by the State Department as sponsoring terrorist activity. The 17 Gulf War POWs looked to have a very strong case when they first filed suit in 2002. They had been undeniably tortured by a tyrannical regime, one that had $1.7 billion of its assets frozen by the U.S. government.
The kicker is that the Bush Administration is already setting up to smack down the Supreme Court decision on this case eventhough it's review by the Supreme Court is still pending:
The administration also succeeding in killing a congressional resolution supporting the POWs' suit. "U.S. courts no longer have jurisdiction to hear cases such as those filed by the Gulf War POWs," then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in a letter to lawmakers.
Not only are they killing the chances of the POWs seeking compensation in US courts but also they may set a precedent that US courts can be blocked from reviewing cases on US law. Fan-fucking-tastic. Oh yeah, and Bush supports the troops how again?

This Modern World...We Still Can't See 2 Feet in Front of Our Faces

I still can't believe that no one in the Bush administration could have even considered this a possibility. If anyone did it probably got drowned out in the "freedom, freedom, democracy, freedom" clusterfuck before the war.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Get Yours

New Aesop Rock EP to drop 2-22-05. Grab ya a copy.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Yahoo! News - Embryo Ruling Could Have Ripple Effect

This is interesting. Seems like another attempt to chip away at Roe v. Wade. I'll try to follow this as I can.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by the ever changin', always amazin', Kool Keith:
I can throw a hundred thousand pound walrus right through the walls
That's right
Mad like five gorillas in the vocal booth [mad like five guerillas]
It's all Turbo
Yo Mom Duke, pass me my helmet
Let me show these kids what to do
That dude cracks me up. Here's a lyric from a song he did back in 1988 with the Ultramagnetic MC's:
I'm continuing! Back and forth
Your brain spins, facing North and
South and West, not East at a angle
But mines dangle, where's your Kangol?
It seems weird, your head is triangle
like a mango, somethin I snack on
A soft duck, somethin I smack on

Rugby Balls

At least you can't say he didn't fulfill his promise.

Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by Eligh:
forges strong in the family tree
roots are stronger than enemy's hate
so relate to me if you can't
pledge your thoughts in a garden with freedom of speech
to each his own, metrinome
childrens grow to know the world
even home with the young mind
looking for answers in the truth

You Will Have Freedom of Speech When We Say You Have It

I love this post from the Rude One.
When the recent study came out saying that more than a third of high school students think that "the First Amendment goes too far," we crossed some kind of line where the actual definition of America is on the line. These students don't understand the meaning of dissent because, really, there's very little means for disseminating dissent (beyond Left Blogsylvania). And when truly radical dissent surfaces, idiot fuckers with big microphones and little minds, like your O'Reillies, your Limbaughs, and your Coulters, do their goddamnedest to punish it and thus demonstrate that to dissent is to be punished, to lose your career if your words offend the power structure.

Medical Research Budget Cuts- An Insult to Our Health and Our Economy

Bush's new budget cuts are coming in and the out-look is not so rosy for biomedical research. Bush is only increasing funding to the NIH, a major source of money for biomedical research by 2.6%. Not bad, it may seem, since this rate of increase is supposed to keep up with inflation. The kicker is that the 2.6% increase keeps up with economic inflation but not with the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index, which projects to 3.3% for FY 2005. The BRDPI reflects the change in NIH funds needed for the NIH to maintain it's purchasing power.

This means that the NIH is actually getting under-funded. Some of the people on the right will bellow that the NIH just finished undergoing a budget doubling enacted during Clinton's term in the White House, so screw it, now that money needs to go elsewhere.

Fully funding the NIH is extremely important. Research helps to improve the health of our people and stimulate the economy. How research improves the health of our people should be self-evident so I will concentrate on the economic impact of biomedical research.

The economic impact of biomedical research is highlighted in this article. Some of the more salient points include the following:
In 1994, Harvard economists initiated a new wave in health economics evaluation. They showed that therapeutics developed through research for just two diseases amounted to a annual health care cost savings of nearly $50 billion in the US (2000 dollars).

Others were able to demonstrate annual health care cost savings (2000 dollars) for:
Treatments for nervous and mental diseases, $36 billion.
Prevention, diagnosis and control of hepatitis diseases, $1 billion.
Influenza vaccines, $500 million.
In more recent economic research, economists have demonstrated that for each additional dollar spent on new pharmaceutical treatments, total health care spending is reduced by $6.17. In a study of managed care for Alzheimer's Disease patients, advances in drug therapy reduced the overall costs of care for those patients by one-third.
Emphasis mine. With all the bitching and moaning about the rising cost of health care, here is an awesome way to combat it. We should increase research funding to discover new therapies anyway, the up side to it is that it helps to decrease the total cost of health care.
But there is an even more significant economic impact of medical research advances - and that is measured in the quality of life. The value of medical progress in this instance is measured not in millions or billions of dollars annually, but rather in the trillions of dollars.

In 2000, the Mary Woodard Lasker Charitable Trust published new findings in health valuation economics. The report, Exceptional Returns: The Economic Value of America's Investment in Medical Research found:

- Increases in life expectancy in just the decades of the 1970s and
the 1980s were worth $57 trillion to Americans. The gains
associated with the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular
disease alone totaled $31 trillion.

- Improvements in health account for almost one-half of the actual
gain in American living standards in the past 50 years.
What's cool is that are not only economic gains made in medicine but also in other industries as well:
Products and processes developed through bioscience research are demonstrating significant gains in agriculture. A 2002 report from the National Center for Food & Agricultural Policy found that genetically-modified crops, developed for enhanced pest control, improved yields for a net benefit of $1.5 billion to growers. At the same time, these crops reduced pesticide use by 46 million pounds, reducing the amount of pesticide runoff. The potential benefit of new cultivars for pest control, currently in development, is projected at an additional $1 billion in savings to farmers and an additional reduction of 117 million pounds of pesticides.
In aquaculture, development of a new salmon that can grow to market size in half the time of wild salmon could make fish farming more environmentally sustainable, decrease over-fishing of wild salmon and lower consumer costs.
Yeah, yeah, I know that there is a lot of flack about GM foods, I'm just highlighting how medical research funding extends into other industries.

It is difficult, if not excruciatingly painful, to get some people to realize the importance of biomedical research. Some folks will only listen to the bottom line, how does this translate into economic terms? Well, it translates quite nicely. The return on your investment couldn't be nicer, improve your health and your pocketbook.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bush Explains His Plan...it Needs Some Gigawatts

Why is it when I read something like this, I'm reminded of "Back to the Future" for some reason:
No no no, this sucker's electrical, but it requires a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.
I don't know why, and that seems random, but it's what popped up in the old noggin.

Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by El-P:
Put my brain pattern on fly and I mastered it

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Yahoo! News - Senate OKs Gonzales As Attorney General

It's over. The following Democrats need to be called:

-Baucus (D-MT), Not Voting
-Conrad (D-ND), Not Voting
-Inouye (D-HI), Not Voting
-Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
-Lieberman (D-CT), Yea
-Nelson (D-FL), Yea
-Nelson (D-NE), Yea
-Pryor (D-AR), Yea
-Salazar (D-CO), Yea

First of all, why the fuck didn't you vote?!
Second of all, why did you vote yea?!

Semi-props to the following:
-Burns (R-MT), Not Voting

Hypotheticals

Since Gonzales got confirmed and the wingers are so concerned with the hypothetical nuke that torture is supposed to stop, I have a little hypothetical myself:

Lets suppose the leader of an insurgency is captured, who has a fairly large popular following and several devoted cohorts. This leader is perceived to be very dangerous and must be interrogated to find out if the leader is who everybody claims he is. Now, noting that torture for the wingers is ok as long as it doesn't cause organ failure, then the following is perfectly permissible:

-whipping
-stripping and humiliation (mocking etc)
-beating, but not so severe as to cause organ failure
-food and water deprivation
-forcing to wear costumes designed to humiliate
-forcing to wear clothing designed to cause pain

Some of these tactics were used in Iraq and Gitmo, which Gonzales laid the groundwork for approving. Wingers have apologized for these tactics saying that they are necessary to get the information we need. I think that is disgusting, as those same tactics listed above, the same ones used in Iraq and Gitmo, are the ones listed in the Bible. These tactics specifically were used to beat and humiliate Jesus before he was hung on a cross to die.

As a Christian, you'd hope that Jesus would be the last to suffer such a horrifying and humiliating fate. That the crucifixion of the Son of God, the savior of the world, to forgive us of our sins would be enough to cry out no to torture. Christians should do what they can so that no other human will suffer like that. Let the sacrifice of Jesus be enough to show us a better way of living and treating each other.

If you think torture is appropriate you disgust me. If you think that torture is appropriate and you claim to be a Christian, well...that too sickens me; however, you will have to reconcile that with God yourself.

MSNBC - Sunni cleric group calls Iraq's vote illegitimate

Look you can't ask your people to boycott an election and then declare the election illegitmate because your people didn't participate. That's not how things work.

Yahoo! News - Rare Sexually Transmitted Disease Strikes 2 in N.Y.

Get ready to cue the usual cadre of rightwing nut jobs about this. We will probably hear the following:
-This is a manifestation of God's wrath on the fags.
-This is a sign of the apocolypse, but this time it's real because this new out-break is so near the tsunami.
-We're all gonna die if we don't convert. Turn or Burn!
-This is proof that God is punishing a morally corrupt nation.

etc. etc.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

More Senate Democrats Who Got My Letter

Akaka
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy-revised letter
Kerry
Kohl-revised letter
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy-revised letter
Levin
Lieberman
Lincoln
Mikulski
Murray
Bill Nelson
Ben Nelson
Obama
Pryor
Reed
Reid
Rockefeller
Salazar
Sarbanes
Schumer-revised letter
Stabenow
Wyden

Well that's it. I will be contacting Senate Republicans from my homestate and current state of residence also. I'll post those names above.

Quotable Quotes

From Edmund Burke:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
So fucking do something already!

Hip-Hop Lyric of the Moment

Today's HHLM is brought to you by The Grouch:
Simple abstractions, make what's hard easy
Infractions, reactions to this
They are positive and so I move on cuz I know I got a lot to live for
And that I can't stand for nothing

Political lists to watch | csmonitor.com

Here's something to watch with the elections in Iraq going on. Some of the more salient points include the following:
United Iraqi alliance - List No. 169

This coalition of Shiite parties and individuals, put together under the sponsorship of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is expected to win the most seats in the election. About half of the 220 candidates on the list are thought to come from two major Shiite parties with close ties to Iran, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and the Dawa Party...

Secular Shiites are also present, including Ahmed Chalabi, the former American intelligence ally and one time choice to lead post-Hussein Iraq.
And here's the next list headed by America's favorite:
The Iraqi list - No. 285

This list is headed by appointed interim prime minister and current American favorite Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite doctor and former Baathist. His list has a number of prominent Sunnis as well as Shiites, and what they seem to have in common is a secular style of government and the belief in a strong-man approach to internal security. Many of them are former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who fell out with the regime in the 1980s and 1990s.
Emphasis mine.

Yahoo! News - Helms Pleads to Keep Clinton Out of U.N.

Jesse Helms managed to rear his ugly head today. And I do mean ugly.

For Pete's sake Jesse, Clinton's just working on the Tsunami reconstruction and you're already jumping ahead to him becoming the Secretary-General of the United Nations? And speaking of ethically challenged, how about this guy? It seems like you wouldn't care for Gonzales either because he is one of those volatile people, being latin and all:
"All Latins are volatile people"
Quote from Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More Senators Who Got My Letter

Letter is here.

Byron
Durbin- gets revised letter
Feingold- gets revised letter
Feinstein- gets revised letter
Harkin