Indignant Nonsense

In the inbox this morning, a link [Link] to an article entitled “US Geological Survey Scientists Must Now Seek Government Approval to Present Their Work.” The journalist takes indignant reflux at the idea that the tyrannical administration is censoring USGS scientists.

What rock has this fellow been sleeping under.

Simply, put, USG scientists are not academics. 

I worked for the Yankee army for 32 years prior to a sorta retirement over decade ago. And every paper I wrote, every presentation I made was reviewed. If I was going to a conference to present some research findings, I had to write everything out and submit it to the “Public Affairs” people. (And no, these were not the people who got in the loop if you had “Public Affairs.” Those were the Criminal Investigation folks.) The PA folks had to make sure that you weren’t giving away national secrets or going to say anything that would embarrass the Yankee government.

This was not a big deal. It was a nuisance because it meant you had to have everything done a month or more before you left for the conference. Because these people were under-resourced and always ran behind.

And generally had no idea what they were reading. All they did was look at the words, not the maths or the graphs, and see if there were any suspicious stuff there. Which there almost never was. 

They would occasionally get upset by some technical term that had a different meaning in Bog usage. Like “Normal.” 

So, getting back to the USGS, the question is whether this review has always existed and some journalist is making much of it to make hay, or the USGS has been remiss in their stewardship. I rather suspect the former.

Incidentally. the intelligent welcome this review. It transfers responsibility from the researcher to the bureaucrat. If something went amiss in the presentation, the folks on the stove were Public Affairs. Unlikely armor.

Also, there was one guy in PA who actually had a degree in Syntax and he would correct your grammar. I appreciated that. Saved me no end of time and effort. 

Friday Feedly

Those few, those valiant, foolish few, who regularly read this blog are aware that I make my hours at the gym less difficult by listening to podcasts. Some months ago the Guardian – a British newspaper – offered me a new service, strangely absent of their usual palm displays, named “Hear Here”.[Link] The purpose of the service, manifested in a weekly email, is to offer me alternative, supposedly good, choices in podcasts. 

In effect, a bit of a podcast gossip column.

I have now received the weekly email for more than ten times and I was, this morning, struck by something: none of the suggested podcasts have gotten beyond the mildly nauseating level. At least one in each offering set is a “run away throwing the nuclear hand grenade over your shoulder” also known as a Monte Python “RUN AWAY!” Or as a young Major who used to work for me would say: “Seen the Bunny Rabbit.”

Of course, all majors are young by definition because only the most inexperienced would ever take the job of being too senior to command a few troops and too junior to command any more. Some do advance beyond by surviving the jobs they are given. Like working for SCP.

Anyway, after realizing the statistics on the Guardian’s offerings, I mused a bit. I regularly – Tuesday mornings – listen to their science podcast. The SCIENCE (magazine) podcast [Link] used to be the best podcast but then they dined with it, cutting its duration in half and lowering the tone down to Bog level and it not only dropped off the rankings charts for science podcasts but out of my MP3 player. Now the Guardian science podcast is ranked best by SCP. 

There are some good American science podcasts. But they are all very not-Bog. Most are not-Geek. And very single channel. Which probably reflects how apathetic the Bogs are to podcasts in general and science in particular. They seem much happier with their mysticism and superstition. And dementia.

Perhaps we can invite the Brits to take the country back? Trade one tyrant for another?


Alabama Election Insights 2

Yesterday I had occasion to talk with a couple of candidates for elected office here in Alibam.

One of the questions I asked was “what is an atheist?” The answers I got can be pretty well consolidated as:

“Anyone who doesn’t belong to my church.”

So now we know what a “Conservative Christian” is.

By extension:

  • Muslims are Atheists;
  • Catholics are Atheists;
  • LDS are Atheists;
  • Most Protestants are Atheists.

Sprague de Camp was right.

Alabama Election Insights

Tomorrow is the start of the voting part of the election so it seemed appropriate to give some thought to the electioneering (and the candidates.)

So far as I can tell every candidate (but one and I shan’t mention her name since that would be an unfair advantage,) has claimed that at least one of his/her opponents are evil, crooked, corrupt, or incompetent.

I am particularly bemused by the accusations that X is a “career politician” since any person elected to any office immediately qualifies as a career politician. (First Mud Slinger can’t win?)

Almost every candidate has toadied to their party, indicating not only a lack of thought but of integrity as well. I have to worry when partei salutes will be introduced, and hob nailed boots.

Almost every candidate has come out for incarcerating furriners, including diplomats and students, in concentration camps. On the other hand no one mentions that building a wall around Amerika will keep it from ruining the rest of the planet.

Every candidate claims to have done great things to bring nasty, toxic, debilitating jobs to the state. There is a good reason Alibam is 47th in quality of employment.

They never mention the need for jobs that will endure long enough for the citizen to retire and have a pension.

No one mentions medical care; Alibam ranks almost worst in the nation for medical care.

No one mentions the number of children in poverty, uncared for by the state’s spociety.

Almost every candidate expresses his/her demented religious convictions that preclude any actual beneficial effort on the candidate’s part. 

Sounds amazingly like the fake elections in Third World tyrannies, doesn’t it?

Alabama Election Humor

Just watched two consecutive political “commercials” on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver of two politicians running for the same office and each proclaiming he is a better minion of the executive than the other.

Then I imagined them doing the exact same thing for the previous executive.

Made rather a rut in the rug with the rolling and shaking. Myrmidons do the most irrational, unbelievable things.