[+/-] Prayer doesn't affect heart patients
All I can say is, "Well, duh!":
In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.
Not that the neofascist "christian" loonies will pay any attention. They hate science.
[+/-] Remembering the Iraq war's pollyannas
In April 2003, the radical conservative columnist Cal Thomas declared, "All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent. Otherwise, they will return to us in another situation where their expertise will be acknowledged, or taken for granted, but their credibility will be lacking." Agreed. So here they are! Some samples:
"Well, the hot story of the week is victory.... The Tommy Franks-Don Rumsfeld battle plan, war plan, worked brilliantly, a three-week war with mercifully few American deaths or Iraqi civilian deaths.... There is a lot of work yet to do, but all the naysayers have been humiliated so far.... The final word on this is, hooray." (Fox News Channel's Morton Kondracke, 4/12/03)
"[A]ren't we hypocritical not to acknowledge Bush's superior judgment?... Why can't those of us who thought the war was a bad idea (or, at any rate, a premature one) let it go now and just join in celebrating the victory wrought by our magnificent military forces?" (Washington Post's William Raspberry, 4/14/03)
"Some journalists, in my judgment, just can't stand success, especially a few liberal columnists and newspapers and a few Arab reporters." (CNN's Lou Dobbs, 4/14/03)...
"It won't take weeks. You know that, professor. Our military machine will crush Iraq in a matter of days and there's no question that it will."
(Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 2/10/03)
[+/-] Today's quote: Galileo
"...[N]othing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called into question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages."
~ Galileo Galilei
[+/-] Justice's Ginsburg and O'Connor targeted by death threats
Yahoo! News reports that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have been the targets of death threats from the 'irrational fringe' of society, people apparently spurred by Republican criticism of the high court:
Ginsburg revealed in a speech in South Africa last month that she and O'Connor were threatened a year ago by someone who called on the Internet for the immediate 'patriotic' killing of the justices.
Security concerns among judges have been growing.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice
John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. Over the past few months O'Connor has complained that criticism, mainly by Republicans, has threatened judicial independence to deal with difficult issues like gay marriage.
Worry is not limited to the Supreme Court. Three quarters of the nation's 2,200 federal judges have asked for government-paid home security systems, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said this week.
[+/-] Today's quote: Roddenberry
"I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will--and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain."
~ Gene Roddenberry [1921-1991] Creator of Star Trek
Growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq has driven President Bush's approval rating to a new low of 36 percent, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday:
Only 38 percent said they believe the nearly 3-year-old war was going well for the United States, down from 46 percent in January, while 60 percent said they believed the war was going poorly....
Fifty-seven percent said they believe the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake, near September's record high of 59 percent. That question had a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 points.(Interactive: Poll results)
Bush's approval rating of 36 percent is the lowest mark of his presidency in a Gallup poll....
[+/-] Climate change 'irreversible' as Arctic sea ice fails to re-form
Sea ice in the Arctic has failed to re-form for the second consecutive winter, raising fears that global warming may have tipped the polar regions in to irreversible climate change far sooner than predicted:
Scientists are now convinced that Arctic sea ice is showing signs of both a winter and a summer decline that could indicate a major acceleration in its long-term rate of disappearance. The greatest fear is that an environmental "positive feedback" has kicked in, where global warming melts ice which in itself causes the seas to warm still further as more sunlight is absorbed by a dark ocean rather than being reflected by white ice....
Professor Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, who was the first Briton to monitor Arctic sea ice from nuclear submarines, said: "One of the big changes this winter is that a large area of the Barents Sea has remained ice-free for the first time. This is part of Europe's 'back yard'. Climate models did predict a retreat of sea ice in the Barents Sea but not for a few decades yet, so it is a sign that the changes that were predicted are indeed happening, but much faster than predicted."
[+/-] Abu Ghraib: 279 photographs and 19 videos
For the first time, the full dossier of photographic evidence compiled by the Army in the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse investigation can be seen at Salon.com. 279 photographs and 19 videos from the Army's internal investigation record a harrowing three months of detainee abuse inside the notorious prison -- and make clear that many of those responsible have yet to be held accountable.
[+/-] Appeals court denies stay of legislative prayer ruling
A win for civil rights:
A federal appeals court is refusing to temporarily lift a judge's order banning prayers during Indiana House proceedings from mentioning Jesus Christ or endorsing any particular religion.
The court denied a request by House Speaker Brian Bosma that an injunction be set aside until Bosma's appeal can be heard.
The appeals court said the case involves the internal proceedings of a legislative body and deserves additional review. But the ruling says Bosma didn't meet a legal burden to put the order on hold until the appeal could be heard.
House members have been complying with the order by meeting for informal prayers in the back of their chambers before official business begins.
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