Weekend Bits and Pieces

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I thought I’d put together various “stub posts.”  Those are created when I have an idea for a blog posting, but just not the time to, or sometimes interest in, get them fleshed out.

I see a huge amount of interest these days for Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Almost every liberal site I go to has a lot of chatter about her running for President in 2016.  Personally?  I think she’d be an excellent choice, except for one problem.  She’s not running.  She’s made that very clear, repeatedly.  It’s not her being coy, she means it.  No, “drafting her” doesn’t work, unless the entire primary process gets put into the trash can and we go back to the old-style “smoke-filled rooms.”    Rather than waste huge amounts of time and electrons fantasizing about it, it might be better to spend the time looking around at the candidates (besides Hillary) who have expressed an interest.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, there’s been a lot of talk about the “evil” of Islam.   There are others who are taking the opportunity to point at all religions as “evil.”  Yes, one can point at various groups, historical or current actions, and they all have a point.  There are fundamentalist Christian groups who aren’t any different from fundamentalist Muslims.  Strip away the religious trappings, and they have the same ideas.   Atheism is better?  Well, I can point to some pretty horrific things that nominally atheist groups or countries have done, in the recent past.  The problem is not the religion (or lack thereof), it’s the extremism.   Religion (or political system) is the excuse, not the reason.  There are always those who feel they, and they alone, are “right,” and are willing to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them, or at least act like they do.

I find it rather specious to on one hand attack people for not believing in the science, and turning right around and denying the science when it conflicts with your beliefs/fears.  That applies to liberals as well as conservatives.  Yes, climate change is real, and yes, it’s because of humans burning fossil fuels.  There’s overwhelming evidence for it, and any “doubts” are by a very small minority who haven’t come up with evidence to overturn the consensus.  Now here’s the counter thing:  Genetically modified crops are safe.  No, really, they are.  There is no scientific evidence to the contrary, and yes, it has been studied extensively.  Almost all the arguments against it turn out to be based on things that existed long before GMO crops came into being (monoculture, pesticide applications); bogus studies (hint:  Showing cancer in old rats that are known to develop cancer when old is not the way to go);  misrepresenting legal cases; or even outright lying (no, GMO cotton did not cause Indian farmers to commit suicide).   On a related note, vaccines are generally safe and effective, they do not cause autism, they do not overload the immune system, and failing to vaccinate is not only a public health danger, you’re risking yourself and your children.

In my recent post on the importance of saying “Yes,” and a previous one, there were comments about the Democratic Party being “welcoming to activists,” and I was accused of being one of the “unwelcoming” types they’d have to overcome.  Not particularly, but here’s my points:  In my “Politics 101 for the Far Left” post, was point #5.  You have to do it for yourself.  Or, as I said on my other blog, I’m not going to do your job as well as my own.  My experience with most parties and groups is that the door is open, and there’s always a place for those willing to work.  If however, all you’re going to do is to complain that the door isn’t big enough, there’s not huge welcome mat, and that someone else needs to do all the work before you’ll deign to walk in, then don’t expect me (or anyone) to be particularly “welcoming.”

 

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