Thursday, August 10, 2017

Only science can predict an eclipse

On August 21, many in the United States will experience a partial or total solar eclipse. This forecast is brought to you purely by science and math. There is nothing in the Holy Bible, in Christianity or any other religion that has any power or ability to predict when an eclipse will happen.

If you're a science denier, I respectfully request that you not make any preparations for the eclipse and watch it as it happens. To do otherwise is a concession on your part that science does exist and plays a part in your life.

To those who like to pick and choose which science they follow and which they ignore: It doesn't work that way. Sure, science is messy and subject to politics but, ultimately, you have to accept the whole package or none of it.

Stupid headline of the day — July 27, 2017

And the stupid headline of the day goes to Gizmodo for this doozy: "Astronomers Capture Wild Intergalactic Gamma Ray Burst As It Happens."

Anyone who knows science knows that things that show up here on Earth didn't just happen. In this case, the event happened nine billion years ago. Think about that for a second and reread "As It Happens."

Second, you would expect that this observation occurred today, maybe yesterday. No, it happened over a year ago, on June 25, 2016. The thing that happened today is that Gizmodo found out about it and wet their pants over it.

Finally, and I'm grasping at straws here, it took them three minutes into the event to start recording it. What did they miss? They can only guess. They did get some exciting data four minutes into the event.

The story is a great story. It's the click-bait headline I object to. But the headline worked; enough people clicked on it that it showed up in my Google News Feed. Sadly, this is what journalism has become: It's all about how many clicks you get, some from real people and some from bots!

In writing this post, I spent some time on Gizmodo and it does have some good stories.

(I originally posted this on Facebook on July 27.)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Extraordinary rendition of Fethullan Gülen! Isn't that un-American as well as illegal?

Former CIA Director James Woolsey is claiming that Michael Flynn discussed the idea with Turkish officials of illegally kidnapping Fethullan Gülen and sending him to Turkey. Gülen holds a Green Card and the possibility of his extraordinary rendition to certain death in Turkey by our government appalls me.

A Flynn spokesperson said that Woolsey's claims were "false" and that "no such discussion occurred."

This was before Flynn was National Security Adviser and he was an undisclosed foreign agent of Turkey, who paid his company $530,000 in fees. Fortunately, Flynn no longer has a direct connection with the Trump Administration.

Are people legally in this country going to suddenly disappear with no trace? I certainly hope not!

Here are a three articles with more information.

● The Wall Street Journal (original article; subscription may be required): Ex-CIA Director: Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe From U.S.

● The Christian Science Monitor: Could the Trump administration send Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey?

● The Chicago Tribune: Ex-CIA Chief: Michael Flynn's firm discussed removing Turkish cleric from U.S.


Note: This post was also posted on my Facebook page.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fathers can take care of kids, too

On Facebook, Sonya S. asks: "Wondering again this morning whose genius idea it was to make Mothers have to work full time while trying to manage children and all the issues, illnesses, and injuries that come with them."

There are dads at the playgrounds, too, these days. My wife and I discussed which one of us would stay home with the kid. In our case, my wife stayed home but it could have been the other way around. I determined to be fully involved with my son's upbringing and changed his first diaper. We took turns staying home with him when he was sick.

What I found, in running the numbers, is that, due to the marriage penalty, the second family income is taxed at a much higher rate. By the time you add up extra taxes, clothes, day care and transportation, it can actually reduce the family's income more when both parents work than it does for one to stay home. Although I understand that it has been reduced, the marriage penalty is worst if both parents earn above average salaries. In fact, we filed separately in some years to save tax (We paid less Federal tax but more Ohio tax. The net effect was in our favor by several hundred dollars.).

The comments above are based on two-parent families. I don't know if Sonya is married or not. Obviously, if there is just one parent, having one parent working and the other managing the kids isn't an option.

Edited March 26 to fix editing.