Friday, May 23, 2008

Two New Additions To The Blog Roll

When I've had to go searching for a blog a certain number of times, I add it to the "Blogs I Read" roll. Today, Amused Muse, by Kristine Harley, made the list. Here's why:

The Discovery Institute does believe in eugenics after all.

Michael Medved claims that Americans are genetically superior to other human beings.

The radical notion that our national character stems from genetics as well as culture has always inspired angry controversy; many observers scoff at the whole idea of a unifying hereditary component in our multi-racial, multi-cultural society. Aside from the varied immigrants who now make up nearly 15% of the population, the forebears of today’s Americans journeyed to this continent from Asia, Africa, Latin America and every nation of Europe. Our stark differences in appearance, if nothing else, argue against the concept of common DNA connecting contemporary citizens of wildly divergent ancestry.

Gee, I guess different colors of paper also show that it can't all be made from trees. (I suppose that God made the nice colors - pink, blue, yellow - and Satan the colors that I like, like black, red, and hot pink.)


What utter nonsense! I've been to "command and control" Europe several times, and then had the shock of returning here. Europeans are lively - walking everywhere, meeting friends at the cafe instead of watching television, going out at night (without the kids, because they actually leave them with a babysitter or a nanny, whereas American parents drag their little darlings everywhere, even into bars and nightclubs, and then complain about the skimpy dress, raucous behavior, and unchurched language of child-free people like me who think that bars and nightclubs are for adults). I don't know how to put the difference more clearly than this photo:

And I wish this was an exaggeration.

As a consequence, Americans live shorter lives than West Europeans. Their children are more likely to die in infancy: the US ranks twenty-sixth among industrial nations in infant mortality, with a rate double that of Sweden, higher than Slovenia's, and only just ahead of Lithuania's—and this despite spending 15 percent of US gross domestic product on "health care" (much of it siphoned off in the administrative costs of for-profit private networks). Sweden, by contrast, devotes just 8 percent of its GDP to health. The picture in education is very similar. In the aggregate the United States spends much more on education than the nations of Western Europe; and it has by far the best research universities in the world. Yet a recent study suggests that for every dollar the US spends on education it gets worse results than any other industrial nation. American children consistently underperform their European peers in both literacy and numeracy.

Now They Can Quit Pretending

Yep, intelligence, wit, and good taste in photography are the things we prize here at SnS. She'll fit right in with this group.

Also being added is Pharyngula, PZ Myers' blog about science and the lunatics like Medved who like to think they understand it. His take on Medved:

Did someone declare this National Flaming Racist Idiot week, and I just didn't notice until now? You have got to read Michael Medved's latest foray into pseudoscience: he has declared American superiority to be genetic, encoded in our good old American DNA. Because our ancestors were immigrants, who were risk-takers, who were selected for their energy and aggressiveness. Oh, except for those who are descended from slaves.

Michael Medved says something dumb

Demonstrating that Michael Medved is an ass is certainly rhetorical low-hanging fruit, but the man has style as well as some serious scientific chops.

Congrats to both. This ought to net you a couple of extra hits a month - on a good month.

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