Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Rape and Pillage Agenda

I just cannot understand why any real news organization would defend Fox Noise for two tenths of a second. They are no more a legitimate news organization than The Weekly World News or Mad Magazine and nobody's worried whether or not they get interviews from the White House.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Vaccination "Debate"

Let's ignore the hundreds of thousands of doctors and scientists who have analyzed millions of pieces of actual data and pay attention to the blathering of paranoid contrarians instead.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Hate Apple Software

I don't use iTunes but once in a blue moon if I need to buy something. I don't use it to play music on my computer, I don't use it to organize music on my computer, I don't use it at all. I don't play Quicktime videos more than once every two or three months. I don't want Quicktime to play videos in my browser (it's particularly crappy for that purpose but apparently the designers think it's so great it automatically forces itself into the position of default in-browser player and you can't change it ever), I don't want Quicktime to play anything, ever, but of course Apple being the assholes they are won't let any other player handle their formats.

Now I don't mind installing a program that I rarely use if it will sit there quietly waiting for me to use it. The shitbags at Apple have insured their software has a hidden updating software that won't leave me the fuck alone and cannot be removed! On top of that they regularly try to sneak in new shit I will never use (like iPhone software or the Safari browser). If I could just find the update program and kill it that would be fine but this shit runs in the background and doesn't appear anywhere in the start-up menu. I actually use my computer for more than putzing around with an iPod and I don't want any program running that I didn't start, especially when I'm getting ready to work on a big recording session. Having a goddamned pop-up window appear telling me iTunes and Quicktime (neither program has been opened in well over two months) have an update ever is bad enough but randomly and daily is infuriating. Tell me when and if I use the program, don't hide an update notification program on my computer that I can't control, you assholes.

As soon as I uninstall iTunes and Quicktime I'll need one or the other of them and apparently you can't get one without the other. They won't sit there quietly until I need them (when I do need them I don't mind updating, but today, for instance, I don't need them, I'm not going to use them, and I don't want them to tell me they've got a motherfucking update ready!!!) and if I uninstall them I'm going to run into a .m4a file I want to watch or I'll hear some album that's only available as an iTunes download.

I'd just like to say to Apple software designers, "Fuck every last one of you shitbags in the ass with a sand coated pine cone." Any software designer that believes their programs are the most important thing users will have on their computer is a fucking douchebag. Fuck you, Apple. Just because you can design "modern" looking crap for pedestrians doesn't mean everyone needs or wants your shit. Open your formats so I can view Quicktime movies and .m4a files with Winamp and make the iTunes site for purchasing music browser based instead of its own obnoxious program. They won't which is why I hate Apple. You're worse than Microsoft you pricks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Republicans Support Rape

If, to protect Haliburton, you have to side against rape victims, you might want to rethink your allegiances. - John Stewart

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
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Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Friday, October 16, 2009

Swine Flu Danger v. Vaccine Danger

Anti-Abortion Stupidity

Dan Savage cuts loose about a Mormon couple who used fertility treatments to get pregnant but then refused to reduce the number of fetuses from six because of their stupid religious beliefs:

...What? If you were gonna let God do what He's going to do, you shouldn't have sought out fertility treatments. Here's what God was gonna do: God was gonna make you infertile. God did that, actually, and then you thwarted God's plan for you—that you be infertile—and availed yourselves of the latest medical technologies and sought the help fertility specialists. Then you ignored the advice of your doctors and refused to reduce the number of fetuses you were carrying and now four premature infants have died in great pain and two more will very likely die—but, hey, you'll get another smug, self-satisfied, just-letting-God-do-what-he's-gonna-do photo op out of it, so it's not a total loss. And it's all material for the blog you're writing about "your journey," and there'll probably be a book deal in it for you when it's all over ("Thom & Amanda Minus 6")... read it all

Thursday, October 15, 2009

About the Flu Vaccine

Open Letter to Bill Maher

Dear Bill Maher,

Let me start with a little brown nosing: I almost always agree with you, politically and socially, and even when your teleprompter reading is at its most obvious and awkward you make me laugh, and I was one of those that was totally behind you after 9/11. Had to get that out of the way so you know I’m not just some random lunatic hater and thus will go on to read this lengthy diatribe.

You have been a very bad atheist of late. You are making decisions and statements based on your beliefs and not science. I am, of course, referring to your irrational opposition to the flu vaccines. You are listening to your gut, and not the facts. You are also completely misunderstanding the way the immune system works and you then use your beliefs to convince you you are right about it.

You are acting like a True Believer, Bill. Even the evangelical Bill Frist who has faith he can diagnose a woman’s mental condition by watching a video told you that it’s what you believe but it’s not true. Your conviction that eating a pure diet and exercise will keep you safer than getting a flu shot and that, in fact, the shot itself is dangerous is belief. It is not logical nor rational. I’ll come back to this repeatedly. You are a man that spits at the idea of the “True Believer” but here you are behaving like one.

Here’s how the immune system works. Something invades the body, the immune system wakes up and detects it, attacks it and attacks and attacks until it figures out the antibody it needs to make to get rid of the attacker, body wins, and we feel better. What makes a completely new type of virus dangerous to us is that our immune system has none of the building blocks it needs for creating antibodies because our immune system has never seen anything like it. I don’t care how pure your food and lifestyle, when your body is attacked by a virulent, completely new type of virus you are going to be sick as runny shit. And that’s what makes the swine flu so dangerous, the immune systems of the healthy and young launch such a vicious attack against this totally new invader that it backfires and kills them. So far it appears a healthy older person might have been exposed to something similar in the 70’s so we may be fine. But nothing you eat, no amount of exercise or pure spring water colonics you, uh, enjoy as it were will prevent you from getting the flu if you haven’t already been exposed to that virus. You’re fucking screwed, basically, if you’ve never had something close to this year’s flu. The danger is in believing that getting any kind of flu isn’t really fucking awful.

A vaccine gives your immune system the information it needs to fight these viruses. That’s a fact, not a belief. Scientists (hundreds of thousands of them) have been creating, administering, and testing vaccines for over a century. They’re really good at it and only getting better. What you believe is being told to you by a few dozen blowhards and True Believers who are convinced by coincidence that vaccines are bad. It’s insulting to scientists everywhere to believe like you do. If there were some huge cover-up and sinister aspect to the vaccination programs, do you really think all those scientists are so corrupt they’ll kill people to stick with the program? Do you believe all the scientists and doctors working with vaccines are just making up the published numbers? That’s just fucked up, man. Those are far better people than fucking performers and politicians, don’t you think? And they’re especially better people than those that come up with these conspiracy theories.

And you should know about conspiracy theorists, Bill, considering how they regularly heckle you during your show. You’re acting just like them. You are acting on your beliefs and not the facts. Just as Fox News believers are convinced that the “balanced” perspective they are fed has a bearing on reality, you are getting your information from a very small group of very loud people and not listening to an incredibly large group of scientists and doctors that work on these vaccines around the world. You are not using logic, you are using belief.

The risk of side effects from the flu vaccines is vanishingly small. So small, in fact, that on the scale these vaccines are delivered, the correlative, non-causative events far outweigh actual problems. For instance, some guy dies right after getting vaccinated, but he would have had a heart attack that day regardless. That kind of event happens far more often than someone getting sick from the vaccine itself, which almost never happens, and in many years it doesn’t. People that continue to believe these correlative but non-causative events were caused by the vaccine rather than occurred coincidentally with it (causation, not correlation, remember that from your first science class?) are ignoring the facts and following their feelings and beliefs.

There is a risk to the vaccine. By any rational, logical process of thought and learning you should only come to the conclusion that the risks to you from getting the flu is much higher than any risks from the vaccine. Why would you think otherwise? Because of belief. If you haven’t had the flu in the last few years you’re lucky. If you had the flu a lot when you were younger your body may not be seeing anything really new. You may very well have had the sniffles a few times and didn’t realize you had a very mild flu because you were sick as holy shit fifteen years ago and this flu was very similar. But the H1N1 virus is completely new to most people and if you didn’t have the swine flu during Carter’s days then your souped up immune system may not be able to see this invader until you’re a sick, sorry mother fucker. I really think you’re putting many people in jeopardy of missing ten days of work because they didn’t get the vaccine. Try to imagine the loss of ten days of work for someone who is barely able to make ends meet and has no cushion or savings. It’s hard when you’re making millions to remember that the one in one billion chance of getting hurt by a vaccine has no comparison to the damage of getting sick and missing a week of work.

So anyway, get with being logical. This batshit conspiracy crap is for the birds. And don’t forget, it is the conservative mind that can not change.


Alan Miller

[full address and phone number removed]