Loose change found in a sticky note on a wall

Loose change found in a sticky note on a wall
JISHOU, HUNAN — Last month I reported I had found “loose change” in a hard drive backup, but regretted losing the password to free some of it from captivity. I found the password today, and in the nick of time, too. What I had found in a backup were the wallet files for two cryptocurrencies I had bought in 2014, then eventually forgot about. One of the files held about $2.50 of Namecoin, while the other (at the time) held about $8 of PeerCoin. Trouble was, the PeerCoin wallet was encrypted with a passphrase I had long since forgotten. After wracking my brain for a few days and trying different possible passphrases, I gave up on the project, assuming those $8 would be forever out of my reach. Then today I learned PeerCoin’s value had shot up from 80 cents to $2, making my tiny holding worth $20. Once again, I attempted to guess the long lost passphrase, to no avail. Just before I had classes this afternoon, I went over to my desk to fetch something and noticed one of the sticky notes on the wall behind my computer screen had curled up enough to hide the note written ...

This week in Republican scientific ignorance

This week in Republican scientific ignorance
Stupid or ignorant? You be the judge. On Monday, a state senator in Idaho, Rep. Vito Barbieri (above, left) showed some confusion about human anatomy. He asked if doctors could send a small camera into a woman’s stomach to conduct a remote gynecological examination. The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine. Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina. “Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter. Link. A few days later, Nevada assemblywoman Michele Fiore — also a Republican — declared on a radio program that cancer is a fungus, and can be flushed out of the body with intravenous injections of salt and baking soda. “If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus,” she began, citing a widely debunked theory that the American Cancer Society warns about, “and we can put a pic line into your body and we’re flushing with, say, salt ...

This week in America’s drive for excellence: Oklahoma to defund AP US History

This week in America's drive for excellence: Oklahoma to defund AP US History
Once again, the College Board AP program is under attack, this time in Oklahoma. Legislators there think the AP US History program is just like the Common Core — a pernicious influence on tender young American minds who will not learn that America is The Greatest Nation of All Time. So, state Rep. Dan Fisher (R-Nutjob) wants to defund the AP US History program. It’s another great step in making American exceptional, but in the wrong way. The Tulsa World has this report of a committee hearing about education funding: During discussion and debate, however, it was suggested that AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be construed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools. It was also suggested that AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core, with state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, saying she has asked the state Attorney General’s Office for a ruling on the matter. That legislation gives sole control of curriculum and assessment to the state, although it was not immediately clear whether the requirement applies to all courses or only to required courses. Last year, conservative educators in Colorado also attacked ...

And in other news

I’ve contributed a few pieces to a new website called If You Only News, on the invitation of a former student working there. This one is about the Gilbert, AZ, school board who cut out pages referring to contraception from a honors biology textbook. If you go here and read it, my page hits go up and so does my pay. Thanks very much. The rest of the site is not bad, either.

Bringing cluelessness to new levels, housewife demolishes evolution

So, I just caught this viral video on YouTube. In it, an Illinois housewife, Megan Fox, gives us a creationist’s total takedown of the Field Museum in Chicago. It just begs for fisking, but Wonkette beat me to it, so read Doktor Zoom’s takedown of the takedown, and marvel at Ms Fox’s complete failure to understand science, biology, evolution and even museums. I pity her kids.

In which Chuck C. Johnson discovers my “tweet-sourced dossier” on him

JISHOU, HUNAN — Some explanation is needed here, if you’re to understand the following exchange. Charles C. “Chuck” Johnson is a self-described “award-winning journalist,” who has been burning up Twitter and his own “news” website (gotnews.com) recently with ebola hysteria. He has published the home addresses of American ebola victims — and their relatives — and waged a one-man smear campaign against nurses Nina Pham and Kaci Hickox. Over at Little Green Footballs, which is run by another Charles Johnson (absolutely no relation!), Chuck C. Johnson is alternately a subject of horror and ridicule. Since CCJ’s self-referential tweets are so amusing, I took it upon myself to use them to compile a “tweet-sourced dossier” on the prolific blogger. You can view it by clicking the preceding link, or finding in my Pages index at right. Anyway, Chuck found the dossier and tweeted about it yesterday. I’ve captured the exchange using Storify. [View the story “Obsessed and wrong? You be the judge.” on ] At this point, the conversation ended. [NOTE: It’s quite long. If you just see a handful of tweets, you’ll need to visit the Storify link.

Right-wing culture warriors attack new AP US History plan

JISHOU, HUNAN — America’s culture warriors have found a new battlefield: the new College Board Advanced Placement US History framework. Most of us would just yawn, and say, so the College Board revised the course, what’s the big deal? But to those people who fear any change is a threat to Life As We Know It, the new framework to AP US is a liberal, anti-American plot to indoctrinate high school students in liberal, anti-American ideas. Conservatives are so alarmed that they persuaded the Republican National Committee (RNC) to issue a resolution opposing the changes, and have also succeeded in getting Republican-controlled state assemblies to do the same thing. The wording is nearly the same in each case. Their reactionary approach to the “new” APUSH alarmed Jefferson County, Colorado, students and teachers so much that they staged a sick out late last month. National Review columnist Stanley Kurtz spent more than two-thirds of a rather breathless column tracing, a la Glenn Beck, the invidious anti-American influence of one liberal historian on the new AP US curriculum. The origins of the new AP U.S. History framework are closely tied to a movement of left-leaning historians that aims to “internationalize” the teaching ...

There was never a $50M federal grant for an ‘illegal alien resort’

JISHOU, HUNAN — In the aftermath of the last two days’ blog drama about the so-called “luxury resort” for immigrants in Weslaco, Texas, I decided to do some research of my own into the mysterious $50 million federal grant being bandied about on the Internet. In other words, I’m doing what The Gateway Pundit should have done in the first place. They’re the ones who falsely spread the $50 million resort idea all over the Internet this week, effectively killing a project that was costing more like $4 million. As near as I can tell, the $50 million federal grant exists only in the fevered imaginations of people who hate undocumented immigrants from Central America, and President Barack Obama, in no particular order. To recap, a nonprofit agency called Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS), which is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, planned to buy the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites in Weslaco and convert it into a 600-bed shelter for unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border into the USA. The 3-star hotel has been up for sale since at least January 2013, and BCFS was going to purchase it for $3.8 million. It was just before their hearing with ...

Wonkette’s Doktor Zoom cites me — twice!

JISHOU, HUNAN — So, yesterday, I wrote an angry post to follow up on the previous day’s angry post about a right-wing witch hunt that killed a worthwhile children’s facility in Weslaco, Texas. Yesterday’s post was to reply to demands from the witch hunters that people like me, who were calling attention to their lies and deceptions, offer them “serious apologies” and retractions. Little Green Footballs and Wonkette were mentioned by name, while I was lumped in with “others.” Charles Johnson at LGF offered a one-word reply to apologize: No. Doktor Zoom at Wonkette has a longer reply, which to my surprise, mentions me twice. As to the much larger lie in the story, the notion that the facility was going to be a “luxury resort” that would preserve all of the amenities of an operating motel, as listed on its website, Taylor explains that lie away with all the charm and sincerity of a Milo Minderbinder: It is not our fault the currently open Palm Aire Hotel and Suites advertises (with eye-catching photographs) it has large beautiful swimming pools, Jacuzzis, saunas, tennis courts, racquet ball courts and a spacious exercise room with 20 machines and free weights. Well, actually, ...

Thin-skinned Gateway Pundit demands ‘major apologies’ from LGF, others 4

Yesterday, I posted an angry blog about some bad reporting that sunk a worthwhile project in Texas. Today, the writer of the original article, kristinn Taylor, wrote a long blog, demanding that Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, Media Matters and others print apologies and retractions. Herewith is my own response, as posted at Little Green Footballs: An open letter to Jim Hoft (aka The Gateway Pundit) and his loyal sidekick Kristinn Taylor, Dear Messrs Hoft and Taylor, I have read Mr Taylor’s demand for apologies and retractions from those writers who found fault with your reporting abilities regarding the now canceled Weslaco project. I am referring to this blog published today at the thegatewaypundit.com As one of those writers finding fault with your coverage (see which, Wheat-dogg’s World), I am writing this open letter to respond to your demand. Are you seriously demanding an apology for someone calling you out for your sloppy reporting? Professional journalists check and doublecheck their facts. You didn’t. You apparently cribbed from one source, KRGV-TV, and you admit as much in today’s blog. What Johnson fails to report is that I link in my article to a report by KRGV-TV posted July 14 that ...

Hypocrisy in black & white

There’s been conjecture lately about who will run for US President in 2016. I noticed some parallels between one previous candidate, and another who some say might be in the running for 2016. Here’s a little chart I made to simplify things.   Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Had foreign-born father? Y Y Had American-born mother? Y Y Lived outside the USA? Y Y Educated in US college or university? Y Y Attended Harvard Law? Y Y Elected to US Senate? Y Y Party affiliation D R Born in USA? Y N Maybe you’ve already figured out who they are, but to be clear: Candidate 1 is the current president, Barack Hussein Obama. He was born in Hawai’i, but to this day there are people who do not believe he was or is eligible to be President. Candidate 2 is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Yet, his name has been floated as a possible GOP candidate for the 2016 race. The US Constitution states only “natural born” citizens are eligible to be President of the USA. So, why do some people believe Obama isn’t eligible, and Cruz is? Take your time. I’ll wait.

Jim Hoft’s Obama Derangement Syndrome kills worthwhile project

JISHOU, HUNAN — I’m angry. I’m angry about something that happened on the other side of the world, in a city I have never visited. I’m angry at two men whose entire raison d’etre is to promulgate disinformation for political and social reasons, because they HATE the current president, and liberals, and Democrats, and anybody who is not them. With one poorly researched, inflammatory article, Jim Hoft and Kristinn Taylor killed a worthwhile charitable project even before it got off the ground. Within minutes, every right-wing media site picked up the story — which was almost 100% wrong — and the resulting publicity led the project’s organizers to abandon the plan. Weslaco, Texas, could have been home to a facility to take care of immigrant kids coming over the Mexican border. It could have gained a few hundred new jobs. It could have had $50 million added to its local economy. Not now. Because Hoft and Taylor, in their blind hatred, spread lies and misinformation, implying the project was going to be a resort of some kind for illegal aliens, complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, weight rooms, free Wifi and free cable TV. Here is their headline: FEDS TO ...
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