Monday Open Thread 02-16-15

Happy Preznit's Day 99percenters! (eyeroll)
Some news and Duke Robillard.

“I can hardly stand the excitement”: How Presidents’ Day became Shopping Weekend
It’s Presidents’ Day, which means ... let's go shopping? Here's who's really behind this fake holiday -- and why

So here’s the first thing you need to know about Presidents’ Day: There’s no national holiday of that name. Under federal law, it’s still known as Washington’s Birthday.

But it’s not celebrated on Feb. 22, the day our first president was born. And that’s all because of the Benjamins.

Not Benjamin Harrison, one of our least distinguished presidents. And not Benjamin Franklin, who wasn’t president at all. No, Presidents’ Day now exists to promote … shopping.

George Washington’s birthday—and, later, Abraham Lincoln’s—were once important public holidays, designed to reconnect Americans with their civic ideals. Today, they simply remind us how principal—that is, the Almighty Dollar—has become the principle in our national life.

How Science Died at the World Trade Center

Science has been misused for political purposes many times in history. However, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience—that employed by U.S. government scientists to explain the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC)—continues to be ignored by many scientists. As we pass the 10th anniversary of the introduction of that account, it is useful to review historic examples of fake science used for political purposes and the pattern that defines that abuse.

An early example of pseudoscience used to promote a political agenda was the concerted Soviet effort to contradict evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance. For nearly 45 years, the Soviet government used propaganda to foster unproven theories of agriculture promoted by its minister of agriculture, Trofim Lysenko. Scientists seeking favor with the Soviet hierarchy produced fake experimental data in support of Lysenko’s false claims. Scientific evidence from the fields of biology and genetics was banned in favor of educational programs that taught only Lysenkoism and many biologists and geneticists were executed or sent to labor camps. This propaganda-fueled program of anti-science continued for over forty years, until 1964, and spread to other countries including China.

In the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe several other examples of the misuse of science, spanning from the 1950s to the present. They show how widely respected scientists participated in clearly non-scientific efforts to promote the agendas of big business and big government. Examples include the tobacco industry’s misuse of science to obfuscate the links between smoking and cancer, the military industrial complex’s use of scientists to support the scientifically indefensible Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and several abuses of environmental science.

As Oreskes and Conway made clear, science is about evidence. “It is about claims that can be, and have been, tested through scientific research—experiment, experience, and observation—research that is then subject to critical review by a jury of scientific peers.” In science, if experiments performed do not support a hypothesis, that hypothesis must be rejected. If conclusions fail to pass peer-review due to a lack of supportive evidence or the discovery of evidence that directly contradicts them, those conclusions must be rejected.

Duke Robillard - Never Let You Go

Duke Robillard Patrol Wagon Blues

Jimmie Vaughan & Duke Robillard - Cookin

THE DUKE ROBILLARD BAND - BLUES BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY

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mimi's picture

I just wanted to say that when I try to log in from the main page caucus99percent.com, I can't log in. When I use the caucus99percent.com/blog/drupal page, it works. Don't know what that means. Just saying.
Have a good day.

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caucus99percent.com is the forum site that's no longer used, as of later today both caucus99percent.com and caucus99percent.com/blog/drupal will point to this website and the official address of this site will be caucus99percent.com. We're having it moved, but it wont matter which address you use, they'll both take you here, that should help with any confusion about the two sites.

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dkmich's picture

Good morning. It is actually -11 degrees in SE MI at 9 am. The UP was -23 last night. If it wasn't for Mr., I sure as hell wouldn't be spending my winters in Michigan.

I hope all the critters are nestled in some place warm and that all my grown kidlets have their ears and fingers covered.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

it's a balmy 10 degrees here (n. Illinois) right now. Wedesday the high will be 7 degrees during the day and down to -6 below at night, more of the same Thursday, so prepare yourself for more winter fun.

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Tammany Tiger's picture

People would line up to get a crack at one of the three TVs on sale at the insanely low price of $29.99. Black-and-white TVs. With the rabbit ears.

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NCTim's picture

Sheets and linens were on sale.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Cordelia Lear's picture

filled with a cherry and some extra sweet syrup.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

a general question. Is the avatar picture too large. i use a 24" monitor with 1920x1080 resolution and the avatar looks good when i view it with Firefox browser, but I switched to Internet Explorer yesterday doing some troubleshooting and it appeared rather large. How does it appear to everyone else, is it too large, too small, just right? There are so many computer devices that i can't possibly know how they all view so I need your input.

Preznit's Day? Yeah, right. Boredom

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dkmich's picture

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cordelia Lear's picture

using both Safari and Firefox. The comments end up with a lot of white space.

My iPad resizes to a better look.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

Or too small?

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Cordelia Lear's picture

but there are a few avatars that took a bigger visual bite than others. I think it depends on how there were resized (not our autoresize, I mean the tool the reader used to do the resizing before they uploaded it.).

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

formatted everything as the same square size, this one allows for different dimensions thus the rectangular shapes on some. I'm going to try a couple of different options but I think this one is the smallest. There are only 4 settings for avatar size.

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is the smallest.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

a 'resizing' tool for the avatar?

The temporary avatar of 'the B' is fine as a rectangle, but I'm working on my blog logo now, which I planned to upload in its place.

It will have the name of the blog (words--like in Al's avatar), and I'm afraid that the very narrow avatar won't be readable.

IOW, I'd like to make the shape--when I upload the blog logo, that is--more of a square like your avatar, since it should make the blog title more readable--not enlarge the avatar, or return it to the original size.

If you could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

(Apologize in advance for typos--bad typing day, and my gigantic monitor died. Never realize how nice large monitors are, until you lose one.)

Thanks.

Mollie

Postscript: I'll be experimenting with images and video in a test diary, but will delete it all, before I leave this evening.

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

was the photo originally a rectangular photo like your avatar shows now?

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

and two are VERY square (on purpose).

One--that shows the banner at the top of one of the blogs--is more of a rectangle.

(I couldn't encompass everything that I wanted, without sacrificing the "shape" of the screenshot.)

If push comes to shove, maybe I can square the third one, even if it means chopping off something. It's not that critical. Wink

Would that be helpful, and/or eliminate the need for a resizing tool?

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

my suggestion. If you take a rectangular photo and resize it to be square it distorts it. Looking at the photo in your avatar, it looks like you could easily use a crop tool to remove some of the top above B's head and just a bit from the bottom and have a nicely squared photo with no distortion. The format we had selected earlier made everyone's avatar square and the same size, the new format represents the photos in their original form. If you want to, email your photo to me and I'll do it for you.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

is see if I can 'crop' the one rectangular screenshot image, after I upload it to my WordPress Library (I'm not sure that I can, but I'll try).

If, for some reason, I'm not able to crop it, I may 'holler at ya' for some assistance with cropping.

BTW, every time that I miss just one day blogging, I find that there are more neat functions--thanks!

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Cordelia Lear's picture

which is too pricey an alternative for you. All the freebees I know about are for Macs.

If you email me the pix I'll try and "Friendly-size" for an avatar.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

Unabashed Liberal's picture

see if I can't do it in my WordPress library (I'm thinking that I may have done this once or twice, but I'm not 'absolutely' certain). And, it could be that I"ll only be able to use the cropped image in WordPress--dunno.

If it doesn't work, I'll nab you or JTC. Appreciate the offer of assistance. Wink

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

I found your full photo that you uploaded to the site library, i cropped it and uploaded it to your avatar settings, if you don't like it I'll replace it with the other one. I'll email the new cropped pic to you.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

'B' says thanks, too.

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Big Al's picture

It's freaking me out. It's freaking the grass and the flowers, the trees and the bushes out too.
Maybe the birds and the bees also.
But I'll have to go outside and enjoy it anyway.

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dkmich's picture

He has been accepted to UO's grad school, and he is going there to check them and their offer out. Michigan State would like him to stay and do his grad work with them. MSU offered him a four year fellowship, and it is a really, really good deal. I don't know yet what UO is offering him, and he is still waiting to hear from University of Colorado, Yale - and Oxford. Oxford was a flukey thing he applied to when he was at UCL in London for the summer. The four US universities are the top four in his field of study.

Needless to say, I have mixed emotions as does he. He graduates from MSU this May, and MSU has been great to him. I hate to see him leave such a highly regarded academic institution and all of the professors who have been such great mentors to him. If he wants to be a tenured prof, and I think he does, I believe MSU has him on a track for that. After all is said is done, I guess I just want him to do what's best for him; and I trust that he will. For someone who just turned 21, he's certainly has made very adult decisions so far.

So don't let your 65 degree weather escape. It will feel like a heat wave to him compared to what Michigan is experiencing.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Big Al's picture

Good for your grandson, those are awesome choices. Sounds like he's got a head on his shoulders such that you don't need to worry.
He'll make the right decision.

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Tammany Tiger's picture

Problem is, it's in the 60s in degrees Kelvin.

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NCTim's picture

Pre-snow frenzy around here. How's the arctic plunge treating you?

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

How much are you supposed to get?

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NCTim's picture

They do not do much except wait for it to go away.

It looks like we will stay below freezing all week, which is really unusual.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

MarilynW's picture

Well I hope we never have a Prime Minister's Day in Canada. I would only honor Lester B. Pearson, peacemaker and Jean Lesage who ushered in Quebec's Quiet Revolution.

I was thinking that we should reactivate "What's Happenin'" or create a new such thing. We could have a different person post it every morning 8 am EST after we draw up a schedule. That person could "make it their own" within the standard format. It's nice to have something in the morning and "What's Happenin'" has been on a long hiatus of over a year. Just a thought.

Besides that I think the avatars are just the right size now. Thanks JtC

au revoir

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I think that's a great idea, just one thing though. When I started doing the morning Open Threads I included 4 news articles and quickly realized that any of those 4 articles could be potential diaries and having them already published could dissuade folks from writing, so I cut it down to 2 articles and am hesitant about that. We need to promote content creation and a large news journal like "What's Happening" could be counter-productive, although I could be wrong about that. I would very much like to share the morning Open Thread (we could rename to anything) with as many folks as possible, if we could work that out as an alternative, maybe limit the number of news articles? Photography, music, recipes, whatever, would all make great subjects. Having someone different each day would be great especially since I'll soon be into the busy part of the year for me and I'll have less time to dedicate. We also have the scheduler now so folks could write their material early and queue it. Any other ideas? I'm open to anything.

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MarilynW's picture

but your idea of having it here is great. My idea was not to have it news oriented, more arts & culture than news. Maybe two or three articles on overnight new events.

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yeah, I like the idea of having it on DK, maybe both?

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MarilynW's picture

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)