If you’re American, you just paid taxes, right?
Well, here is what you paid for.
Dividing 5-4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave a sweeping — and only barely qualified — victory to the federal government and to other opponents of abortion, upholding the 2003 law that banned what are often called “partial-birth abortions.” The majority insisted it was following its abortion precedents, so none of those was expressly overruled. The dissenters strenuously disputed that the ruling was faithful to those precedents, saying the majority had not concealed its “hostility” to those decisions.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the first-ever decision by the Court to uphold a total ban on a specific abortion procedure — prompting the dissenters to argue that the Court was walking away from the defense of abortion rights that it had made since the original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 recognized a constitutional right to end pregnancy medically. Roe v. Wade was not overturned by the new ruling, as some filings before the Court had urged.
The Court said that it was upholding the law as written — that is, its facial language. It said that the lawsuits challenging the law faciallly should not have been allowed in court “in the first instance.” The proper way to make a challenge, if an abortion ban is claimed to harm a woman’s right to abortion, is through an as-applied claim, Kennedy wrote. His opinion said that courts could consider such claims “in discrete and well-defined instances” where “a condition has or is likely to occur in which the procedure prohibited by the Act must be used.”
Cynthia Gorney’s Gambling With Abortion remains, I think, the best piece of writing on this topic, not least for it’s description of the legal arguments and PR strategies on both sides, but also on the consequences.
The aim of this law was, in essence, to shut down abortion providers by placing them in situations where a procedure could become illegal. From Gorney’s article:
But knowing he might face this sort of criminal inquiry, I said, would make our hypothetical doctor unlikely to undertake any procedure at all.
Johnson smiled. Then he chuckled. He spread his hands, palms up. “He’s a licensed professional,” Johnson said. “I’m sure he’ll make every effort to comply with the law.”
This is what’s problematic about Kennedy’s argument about ‘as-applied challenge.’ The intention driving this law was to shut down providers, whether by rising liability insurance premiums or by the fear of incrimination through normal medical practice. Not having abortion providers within a 500-mile radius diminishes the possibility of an as-applied challenge.
Perhaps there’s a doctor willing to put his license and livelihood on the line in Scopes fashion. Or a woman prepared to suffer the consequences. We’ll see. But the promoters of this bullshit law took all this into account from the very beginning. Their aim was to intimidate medical practitioners by forcing them to practice with the law hovering over them, or not practice at all.
In short: Kennedy is somewhere between disingenuous and cowardly. At least his four compadres are just ideologues.
Talk about judicial activism — a one-two punch of using the law to slowly bully women into sexual compliance, and to eliminate healthcare options.
First, they came for the spinach.
I remember the day last September. The supermarket had a new kind of salad dressing, one that looked like it would taste good with spinach. I went to the produce section to buy a bag. But they all had been recalled. Three people had died from E. coli contamination from eating spinach. I decided I could live without the spinach.
Next they came for the peanut butter, and I didn’t pay much attention. I don’t much like peanut butter.
Then, they came for the pet food.
Let’s start connecting the dots.
The Associated Press studied the records and found that between 2003 and 2006 the Food and Drug Administration conducted 47 percent fewer safety inspections. FDA field offices have 12 percent fewer employees. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have gone down by three quarters—have almost ground to a halt—in the previous year alone.
What does that mean, in practical terms? Consider the peanut butter.
Factories producing the foods most susceptible to contamination, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are supposed to be inspected every year. (That’s cold comfort to those who ate this year’s bad batches of spinach, lettuce, cantaloupes and tomatoes.) Since the last known outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter was in Australia in the 1990s, that puts it in the “low-risk” category; peanut butter factories are inspected only every two to three years.
People started getting sick in February. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control traced the illnesses back to a single plant in Sylvester, Ga. The next day, the FDA arrived for a post hoc inspection (by then 425 people in 44 states had been sickened). Then they covered their own back: “What you saw with the spinach and certainly what you saw with the spinach and certainly what you saw with the peanut butter, is when we see those signals, we’re going to act to protect the public health,” a spokesman promised.
He was saying: The system worked. In a sense, he was right. This was the system working as it is presently designed. Barn door: closed. Cow: already long gone. That, basically, is as good as it gets in the modern FDA.
As Dr. Phil would say: How’s that working out for you?
classic article “Why the Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics” was written for 9/11, but it deserves repeating now, in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings:
Of course the Virginia Tech shootings are a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. However, we must also consider if this is not also a lesson to us all; a lesson that my political views are correct. Although what is done can never be undone, the fact remains that if the world were organised according to my political views, this tragedy would never have happened.
Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.
Not only are my political views vindicated by this terrible tragedy, but also the status of my profession. Furthermore, it is only in the context of a national and international tragedy like this that we are reminded of the very special status of my hobby, and its particular claim to legislative protection. My religious and spiritual views also have much to teach us about the appropriate reaction to these truly terrible events.
Countries which I like seem to never suffer such tragedies, while countries which, for one reason or another, I dislike, suffer them all the time. The one common factor which seems to explain this has to do with my political views, and it suggests that my political views should be implemented as a matter of urgency, even though they are, as a matter of fact, not implemented in the countries which I like.
Of course the World Trade Center attacks are a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. But we must also not lose sight of the fact that I am right on every significant moral and political issue, and everybody ought to agree with me. Please, I ask you as fellow human beings, vote for the political party which I support, and ask your legislators to support policies endorsed by me, as a matter of urgency.
It would be a fitting memorial.
The Justice Department weighed political activism and membership in a conservative law group in evaluating the nation’s federal prosecutors, documents released in the probe of fired U.S. attorneys show.
The political credentials were listed on a chart of 124 U.S. attorneys nominated since 2001, a document that could bolster Democrats’ claims that the traditionally independent Justice Department has become more partisan during the Bush administration.
The chart was included in documents released Friday by the department to congressional panels investigating whether the firings last year of the U.S. attorneys were politically motivated — an inquiry that has Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fighting for his own job.
Wasn’t there another superpower one day where Party Membership was important to get ahead in society?
The signs of the influence of the United States on Central America are everywhere: McDonald’s and KFC, movies and sportswear. Less easy to spot is one export which has a devastating effect on the region: gang culture.
Six years ago, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act was introduced in the US, which allowed the “expedited removal” of immigrants who had committed crimes.
This has led to the deportations to Central America of thousands of gang members, mainly from the Los Angeles region, who arrived in the US as children with their parents. Back in Central America they are retaining their structures. Gang “franchises” have taken hold in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
The influence of US gang culture is evident in poor neighbourhoods or barrios across Central America. There are local variations on a dress code of baggy clothes, baseball caps and chains, a defined taste in music (much of it Latino rap and hip-hop), a semiology in tattoos, graffiti and hand signs, and a slang peppered with imported words like broderes (brothers) and “homies”. Most damaging is a fashion for extreme violence that has found an easy home in countries with violent histories.
In El Salvador, with a population of 6 million, a survey put gang membership at 20,000. Gang members are thought to be responsible for 10% of El Salvador’s annual murder rate of 120 killings for every 100,000 people. The economic impact is huge: a study commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank found that 12% of GNP is spent on dealing with violence and its consequences.
In Guatemala, with a population of 13 million, the police calculate that there are more than 300 gangs with a total membership of 200,000. In Honduras, with a population of 6 million, there are said to be 60,000 gang members.
Bill Moyers has put together an amazing 90-minute video documenting the lies that the Bush administration told to sell the Iraq War to the American public, with a special focus on how the media led the charge. I’ve watched an advance copy and read a transcript, and the most important thing I can say about it is: Watch PBS from 9 to 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Spending that 90 minutes on this will actually save you time, because you’ll never watch television news again – not even on PBS, which comes in for its share of criticism.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has joined with Google in an unprecedented online mapping initiative. Crisis in Darfur enables more than 200 million Google Earth users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur, Sudan. The Museum has assembled content—photographs, data, and eyewitness testimony—from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth.
Crisis in Darfur is the first project of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative that will over time include information on potential genocides allowing citizens, governments, and institutions to access information on atrocities in their nascent stages and respond.
“Educating today’s generation about the atrocities of the past and present can be enhanced by technologies such as Google Earth. When it comes to responding to genocide, the world’s record is terrible. We hope this important initiative with Google will make it that much harder for the world to ignore those who need us the most.”
— Sara J. Bloomfield, Director, USHMM
On May 16th, 2006, I installed the Akismet anti-spam plugin. So, a couple of weeks from now it has been active for a year. I invite you all to take a guess how many spam comments it has caught in that year.
update: I’ll give you some extra info – for most of the year, I’ve kept the number of posts that were “open” to comments limited to the last few hundred or so. Currently I’ve openend just about all because I started harvesting domains for the URIBL blacklist, which is used by spamassassin to filter your mail. I’m currently adding about 750 domains per month to the list.
Prior to the airline hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration’s “no-fly list” contained 11 names.
Soon after the attacks, the Transportation Security Administration was created, and given direct authority over airline security screening and the watch list. The list soon began to expand almost daily, according to government documents. The last credible report on the list put its length at 119,000 names, though the TSA says it has since narrowed it to a smaller number that must remain a secret.
The number must be kept secret because the actual number is zero.
There have been zero arrests because of the list – people who have a name that matches the list have more difficulty getting on their flights, but there are apparently no names on the list that warrant an arrest. So the conclusion is that there are multiple fake lists with real people’s names on them. These people are forbidden from flying, but it’s not because they’re being watched, it’s because they’re on a fake list. A real list would mean a follow-up any time anybody on it was spotted.
It’s not just security theater. You can no longer leave the theater. The on-stage theatrics have become reality.
In further breaking news, the US Government has decided that a new watch list is necessary, containing the name of every single person currently present in the United States.
“If everyone’s on the watch list, then nothing can happen undetected”, explained a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security. “We’ll be focussing our resources across the board and putting targetted surveillance in place on the entire population. Plus, as everyone’s on it, we don’t actually need to distribute any information to law enforcement and security checkpoints. The Paperwork Reduction Act people are going to love us.”
We’ve seen some strange marketing campaigns from automakers before, but this one is just dumb. The folks in charge of marketing over at Volkswagen decided that they needed some hands-on advertising to push their little Polo, so they came up with large magnets that look like car dents to put on other people’s cars. The idea is to show how tough the little Polo is.
Most of us get pissed off when we see a flyer for cheap oil changes on our windshield, so we can’t imagine being too thrilled about someone slapping a magnet on our paint job. Call us crazy, but we probably wouldn’t appreciate the adrenaline rush that comes with “Holy crap what happened to my ca… oh, it’s just a magnet.” Somehow we don’t think that scaring the heck out of a car owner will entice him or her to drop $15k on a VW.
Around midday today, Central Time, two men in Angola Prison in Louisiana will quietly mark the moment, 35 years ago exactly, when the bars of solitary confinement cells closed behind them. They will likely spend the moment in their 6 by 9 concrete cells reading, or writing letters to their hundreds of supporters around the world. And most of America and the rest of the world will still have never heard of them, or that in the United States of America, it is still possible to spend a life sentence in solitary confinement without interruption and without any real means of appeal. Americans shamefully imagine such things happen offshore in places like Guantanamo, or in totalitarian countries half a world away. Not here, though. Certainly not here.
Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox are those men, who along with Robert King, are known as the Angola Three. (King established his innocence and was released in 2001 after almost 30 years in solitary.) Collectively, the three of them have spent 100 years in solitary confinement. Wallace asked this week, “Where is the justice?”
It was also on this day in 1972, that Brent Miller, a young, white, newlywed prison guard, was discovered in a pool of his own blood, stabbed 32 times. Brent Miller was a popular, athletic, handsome local boy who dreamed of leaving Angola with his young wife as soon as he could get a job in the nearby paper mill or up in Oklahoma. He never got a chance.
And based on long-lost evidence uncovered by a new team of attorneys and investigators over the past year and a half, it is clear Miller hasn’t received justice, either. Woodfox and Wallace were placed in solitary and under suspicion of the murder the day it happened, and were later convicted of Miller’s murder following trials highlighted by key testimony by inmate witnesses who were promised items such as cigarettes and the warden’s recommendation of a pardon for their testimony. One of the state’s inmate eyewitness was a legally blind certified sociopath. Another inmate repeatedly confessed to the murder to his fellow inmates and assured them that the prison administration knew he was guilty, but wanted to make examples of Woodfox and Wallace, known activists and Black Panthers.
Google is very near enacting a filtering service that would prevent copyright content from being uploaded to video-sharing site YouTube, CEO Eric Schmidt said Monday.
Schmidt made the comments to about 300 people here at the National Association of Broadcasters conference during a one-on-one interview with John Seigenthaler, a former reporter with NBC’s Nightly News.
The new system, which Schmidt called Claim Your Content, will automatically identify copyright material so that it can be removed, Schmidt said.
“We are very close to turning this on,” Schmidt said.
In other news, Google is very close to turning this whole Youtube thing off.
On March 28, Desre’e Watson, a 6-year-old kindergarten student at Avon Elementary School, had a bad morning. She cried. She wailed. She kicked. She scratched. She hit a teacher. That’s what the police say, anyway.
The police? That’s right. To subdue the unruly kindergartner, school officials phoned Avon Park’s police department (“committed to enhancing the ‘Quality of Life’ of the community“). When the cops arrived, young Desre’e attempted to resist arrest by crawling under a table. But Avon Park’s finest pulled her out, cuffed her, put her in a police cruiser, drove her to the county jail, and charged this 50-pound menace with a felony and two misdemeanors.
The Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma briefly experienced a lockdown this morning after officials received a report of an unidentified Caucasian male of student age carrying a “suspicious object.”
According to a campus-wide email issued at 9:32 a.m., university deans, directors and chairs were ordered to “Immediately take action to keep all individuals within their current buildings into further notice.” A second email was sent by President David L. Boren’s office at 9:50 a.m. to students, faculty and staff. The note stated, “students, faculty and staff should stay in their buildings or dorms until further notice.”
Shortly after 10 a.m. the lockdown was lifted and Boren issued a statement attributing the action to a yoga mat mistaken for a weapon. Later, officials said it was an umbrella.
“The OU Police Department has made a saturated search of the area where a person carrying a suspicious object was spotted,” Boren said. “No person with a weapon has been found. It is now believed that the person was possibly carrying a yoga mat which was mistaken for a weapon. We should therefore proceed with the normal schedule.”
And so it begins.
Inevitably, during a debate on illegal immigration, someone will claim that we need this population because they will do the work that no American will do. President Bush said it Monday in Yuma, Ariz., while pushing his new guest worker program. Temporary workers, he said, are needed so the Border Patrol ”will not have to try to chase people who are coming here to do work Americans are not doing.”
This argument infuriates me. There is no such thing as work that Americans won’t do. (Bush neatly arabesqued around what ”Americans won’t do” by saying what ”Americans are not doing.” Same message.)
Americans will do any kind of work. They dig coal miles underground in dangerous mines; they pick up garbage on the street; they work in sewers; they harvest fruits and vegetables on their own farms; and they fill mind-numbing assembly-line jobs.
Here is what Americans by and large won’t do. They won’t work in physically demanding jobs for a wage that doesn’t support a family. They won’t do grueling work, such as in roofing or construction, that doesn’t offer sick pay or annual vacation time. They won’t work in the blood and bile pits of slaughterhouses without reasonable health and safety standards.
An interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal in January illustrated this point. The article described what happened when a chicken-processing plant in Stillmore, Ga., lost 75 percent of its Hispanic workforce after an immigration raid. Immediately the company, Crider Inc., advertised that it had boosted its wages a dollar an hour, and started to provide free transportation and free dorm rooms. The company went to the state employment office to find low-skilled laborers and ended up with 400 candidates, of whom 200 were hired.
Actually, I think it’s a convenient fallacy to suggest that there is a dearth of available unskilled labor and an additional alien workforce is needed. According to Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, 21 percent of the adult population of the U.S. is functionally illiterate. ”We might run out of a lot of things in this country, but unskilled workers are not one,” Mehlman says.
Despite our ostensibly low unemployment rate, thousands of people keep showing up for jobs at Wal-Mart when they open a store. But if we do need more workers, then why not just open our legal immigration process to more people every year? Waiting lists for legal entry are decades long. Why not just let lots more in?
We all know why: Employers don’t really want a bunch of empowered new Americans. They want a ready supply of meek, pliant, exploitable workers.
And the president is trying to oblige.
Apparently the new normal is that victims and near-victims of horrendous crimes can have their perceived bravery level rated by every chickenhawk on the internets.
As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake—one of them reportedly a .22.
At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren’t very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren’t bad.
Yes, yes, I know it’s easy to say these things: but didn’t the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It’s true—none of us knows what he’d do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy.
College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak, and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut. Meanwhile, an old man hurled his body at the shooter to save others.
Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that.
When Kip Kinkle opened fire in Thurston High School a few years back, he was taken down by students, led by one who was already wounded. Why didn’t that happen here?
Like Derb, I don’t know if I would live up to this myself, but I know that I should be heartily ashamed of myself if I didn’t. Am I noble, courageous and self-sacrificing? I don’t know; but I should hope to be so when necessary.
Next up: the “it happened because America is soft on homosexuality” explanation.
The World Bank (or specifically the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and the International Monetary Fund have their origins in the Bretton Woods agreement during WWII. The stated aims are: “The nations should consult and agree on international monetary changes which affect each other. They should outlaw practices which are agreed to be harmful to world prosperity, and they should assist each other to overcome short-term exchange difficulties.”
In practice US dominance of the system means it has been a means of spreading policies of opening up internal markets to foreign (ie US) trade and removing “barriers” to this trade. Countries faced with renegotiating debts would be obliged to follow the latest IMF ideas of how “prosperity” could be increased. Abandoning social policies in favor of selling off national assets became the norm in the Reaganomics/Thatcherite vision.
Particularly in South America, the two became an arm of US foreign policy. Withholding credit could bring down governments. Now all this is being challenged.
While the IMF is a “banker of last resort”, other groupings such as the Inter-American Development Bank stepped in to provide loans with slightly better provisions but still under US control (the IDB has a 30% US shareholding) and with the consequent emphasis on free trade. IMF lending peaked at $81 billion in 2004 to around $11.8 billion today and the largest single borrower, Turkey owes around 75% of that. Lending to Latin America has crashed even faster than that:
IMF lending in the area has fallen to $50 million, or less than 1 percent of its global portfolio, compared with 80 percent in 2005.
So what has happened? In short, Hugo Chavez and oil revenue. He has used this to purchase bonds from other South American countries, thus giving them a cheaper source of loans to improve their own infrastructure and social services. He is also proposing to set up a “Banco del Sud” (not to be confused with the domestic Venezuelan bank of the same name) to challenge the other international lenders currently in the area. This from the Financial Times at the start of March
(W)ith backing from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and possibly Nicaragua and Brazil, traditional multilateral lenders are facing up to the possibility of a competitor.
Venezuela and Argentina have long bridled against what they see as US domination of the western hemisphere’s multilateral lending institutions, and want more control over the region’s development.
“The south needs to take care of its own problems,” said one senior Argentine banker.
Officially both its potential rivals, the Inter-American Development Bank – in which the US has a 30 per cent stake – and the smaller Andean Development Corporation, have welcomed the development, arguing that with plenty of money around and many pressing infrastructure and social needs, there would be plenty of business.
But privately there are concerns. One insider at the IDB said the bank could reinforce regional divisions that have arisen as a result of the radicalisation of Venezuela and the growth of an anti-American camp – backed since last year by elections in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
He says the Bank of the South, especially if Brazil were to join, would represent the biggest threat to the IDB since Latin America suffered a series of debt defaults in the 1980s. “With the money of Venezuela and political will of Argentina and Brazil, this is a bank that could have lots of money and a different political approach. No one will say this publicly but we don’t like it.”
He fears the Washington-based multilateral could, in a worst-case scenario, be reduced to an institution backed mainly by the US and its closest regional allies, Mexico and Colombia.
Once BdS is formally set up and starting to make loans, possibly as early as next year, there will be two blocks. One loyal to the US institutions and centered on Mexico and Columbia and the other a broadly left-wing group of countries joining together to reject the Monroe Doctrine and its implied dominance of US policy in the region.
This goes a long way to explain the NeoCons hatred of Chavez. It is not the threat of withholding oil supplies they fear. It is his using the income his country gets from it to free his allies from the dominance of US foreign policy and economic control through IMF and World Bank loans.
Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in this recently released image taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Visible are dark filamentary dust lanes, young clusters of bright blue stars, red emission nebulas of glowing hydrogen gas, a long bright bar of stars across the center, and a bright active nucleus that likely houses a supermassive black hole. Light takes about 60 million years to reach us from NGC 1672, which spans about 75,000 light years across. NGC 1672, which appears toward the constellation of the Swordfish (Dorado), is being studied to find out how a spiral bar contributes to star formation in a galaxy’s central regions.
Liviu Librescu survived the Nazi Holocaust. He died trying to keep a gunman from shooting his students in a killing spree at Virginia Tech — a heroic feat later recounted in e-mails from students to his wife.
Librescu, an aeronautics engineer and teacher at the school for 20 years, saved the lives of several students by using his body to barricade a classroom door before he was gunned down in Monday’s massacre, which coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
His son, Joe Librescu, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his mother received e-mails from students shortly after learning of her husband’s death.
“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”
Since the human-chimp split about 6 million years ago, chimpanzee genes can be said to have evolved more than human genes, a new study suggests.
The results, detailed online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradict the conventional wisdom that humans are the result of a high degree of genetic selection, evidenced by our relatively large brains, cognitive abilities and bi-pedalism.
Changes in DNA that affect the making of proteins are considered functional changes, while “silent” changes do not affect the proteins. “If we see an excess of functional changes (compared to silent changes) the inference is these functional changes occurred because they were positively selected, because they were useful in some way to the organism,” said study team member Margaret Bakewell, also of UM.
Bakewell, Zhang and a colleague found that substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.
The results could be due to the fact that over the long term humans have had a smaller effective population size compared with chimps.
“Although there are now many more humans than chimps, in the past, human populations were much smaller, and may have been fragmented into even smaller groups,” Bakewell told LiveScience. So random events would play a more dominant role than natural selection in humans.
“On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reasons.”
- Douglas Adams
Yesterday one of my regular readers told me he read a quote by Bill Hicks and was surprised to discover the origin of my “if you’re in marketing, kill yourself” category, so as a reminder, here’s the full quote again:
By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself.
Just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root. I don’t know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourself.
Seriously, though. If you are, do. No, really. There’s no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan’s little helpers, okay? Kill yourself. Seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No, this is not a joke, if you’re going: “There’s going to be a joke coming.” There’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked, and you are fucking us. Kill yourself, it’s the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself. Planting seeds.
I know all the marketing people are going: “He’s doing a joke.” There’s no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend – I don’t care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking machinations.
I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too. “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing? He’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.” Oh man. I am not doing that, you fucking evil scumbags! “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing now? He’s going for the righteous indignation dollar. That’s a big dollar. Lot of people are feeling that indignation, we’ve done research. Huge market. He’s doing a good thing.” God damn it, I’m not doing that, you scumbags. Quit putting a goddamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet! “Oh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill’s very bright to do that.” God, I’m just caught in a fucking web. “Oh, the trapped dollar. Big dollar, huge dollar. Good market, look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar …” How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don’t you? “What did you do today, honey?” “Oh, we made arsenic childhood food. Now, good night. Yeah, we just said, you know, is your baby really too loud? You know … yeah, the mums will love it, yeah.” Sleep like fucking children, don’t you? This is your world, isn’t it?