Archive for July, 2009

Study Finds Women Getting More Attractive, Guys Not So Much

Posted in breaking news, scientific studies with tags , , , , on July 30, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

There’s an interesting series of studies just released that found women are evolving to look more attractive. But that’s not the only interesting thing they found.

The studies conducted by the University of Helsinki focused on reproductive success and physical attractiveness. It’s worth noting that these studies took place in the U.S. following 1,244 women and 997 men over the course of 40 years.

Similar results have been found in studies done by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics as well as the U.S. government’s Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Attractive Women on the Rise

All this isn’t so surprising to me since I originally majored in anthropology – which of course makes me an expert on evolution. Procreating and spreading your seed is one of our strongest primal instincts. And just like many breeds of male birds, women are evolving to attract the opposite sex with a display of beautiful plumage.

Also not surprising is the finding that attractive women have more children than plain Janes. Kind of goes hand in hand with why women are are getting better looking.  However, there was one finding that was quite surprising.

Attractive women, attractive couples really, are more likely to have females than males. No true 50/50 shot here. Additionally, these females in turn are more likely to carry the attractive genes than their male counterparts. It’s fairly significant considering good looking people are 26% less likely to have boys. Here’s how Kanazawa put it:

“Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.

“If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.”

Yeah, Guys Aren’t Getting Any More Attractive

Does this evolutionary divide mean women have lower standards when it comes to looks? In some cases yes, but as a whole it just means that we value other attributes above attractiveness unlike men. Research suggests women value a man who’s a good provider – real shocker there, huh.

It seems attractive women and successful men go hand-in-hand. Something we’ve been witnessing and taking note of for years without needing a formal 40 study to point it out.

What Does This Say About Us as a Society?

Remember these studies were analyzing Americans. Though it’s great ladies are looking better and better, it does put a spotlight on ideology that some say have been holding women back for generations. Namely, that women are valued more for their looks than their brains.

Case in point – Sarah Palin

Now it’s been scientifically proven. However, considering the great strides that women have made in recent years after gaining near equality, it will be interesting to see if the evolutionary trend continues. Now that more women are becoming the bread winners in their families will men start looking better?

More importantly, does this mean smart, attractive women are the epitome of evolution?

Want Evidence “Birthers” – Here It Is

Posted in obama with tags , , , on July 26, 2009 by crysdawn

Lou Dobbs is an idiot. The citizens of Delaware are idiots, at least a few good dozen of them. And, shocker, Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. The conspiracy surrounding the birth place of President Obama is the most ludicrous weapon in the arsenal of the ignorant, the detached, the “I’ll do anything to get that socialist demon out of office.”

Why are we even still talking about this? How much more evidence is needed to prove that President Obama is a legal citizen of the United States than the fact that the Supreme Court allowed him to become president? Are they in on the conspiracy too? Need I remind you that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a conservative who was appointed by George W. Bush. What could possibly motivate him to lie?

If the Supreme Court’s clearance isn’t enough here’s the proof that the “birther” morons keep crying for. BTW birther’s it’s easy to find if you actually look for it. A copy of Obama’s birth certificate can be found on his website and all over the Internet.

If this really is a mass conspiracy, it reaches many branches of government – from the state of Hawaii to the Supreme Court. It would involve people of different ideologies, with different political goals, different political ties and people who did not support Barack Obama for president. Yet birthers really think they lied about his origin of birth?

I am as sure of his citizenship as I am that “birthers” are complete morons, or worse delusional, non-partiotic naysayers who just love the Bush era of America so much they’re willing to sacrifice the country to get that type of leadership back. These are the same people that don’t understand how the common man (the birthers themselves) were screwed by their beloved Bush.

Here’s a hint for you all – Obama has already done more in 6 months to protect the people of America than Bush did in 8 years. For that fact alone his birth place shouldn’t matter bit. Not to mention OBAMA’S MOTHER IS A U.S. CITIZEN!

Want more proof he’s a U.S. citizen birthers? His birth was also noted in 2 Honolulu newspapers.

You really need no more proof than this video from CNN’s Rick Sanchez.

I know how it feels to have a president you don’t like. I spent eight years wishing George W. would screw up enough that we could impeach his ass and get him out of office. But, at least we used valid reasons to attack the man. Instead of playing up this ludicrous theory, you should be focusing on things like his healthcare policies, or his bailout efforts.

Good luck finding fault in Obama’s policy making compared to his predecessor.

Obama Cambridge Police “Acted Stupidly” Comment Is Not News People

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on July 24, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

You want to know why? Because cops sometimes do act stupid. Some cops don’t always use the best judgement. In the Henry Louis Gates case there are good arguments on both sides about whether James M. Crowley, the cop, was right or wrong for arresting Gates.

Personally, it appears that a concerned neighbor who saw Gates jerry rigging his way into his house might have been racial profiling maybe, but I don’t think Crowley really was. However, I believe he was wrong in arresting Gates.

I think Crowley acted more on his human emotions than his ethics as a man there to protect the people. He let the heat of the moment affect his judgment and he abused his power. Because some people wanted to immediately shout ‘its got to be a racial thing’ the serious problem of racial profiling in this country was brought to the forefront, but in the wrong way.

Now Obama is apologizing because he sounds like a cop hater when he explicitly said: “Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.” And the acted stupidly comment in full text:

“Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

THANK YOU!

I knew the moment he said it he shouldn’t have because two wrong words took away so much from the rest of what was said. Crowley did act stupidly, and if there was more than one cop who took part in the arrest then I guuuuess it could slide that he did include the whole police department in that statement rather than just Crowley.

I’m sure Crowley would have to admit he probably had the chance to walk away from the situation, and that if he was asked for his name and badge number he should have just done so because it is a citizen’s right to ask for them. I’m sure a number of people, regardless of skin color, would ask a police officer who came into their home for their identification, I know I would.

Final Point: Obama shouldn’t have been all inclusive in his “acted stupidly” statement but he wasn’t wrong for saying the arresting officer acted stupidly. Because based on what he was called out there for in the first place he did act stupidly like people sometimes do. Gates probably didn’t have his finest hour during the incident either.

But really, what shouldn’t happen is two hot heads causing a nation news sensation that distracts from much more serious issues, and the one serious issue it does address is done so in a way that reinforces the divide.

New Race to the Moon

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on July 22, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

Yes, the U.S. again has plans to visit the moon (and hopefully they won’t erase footage of the missions this time). But there are some new players in the current race to our only orbiting body. India and China now have plans to send manned spacecraft to the moon as well.moon

India and China have both had space programs for quite some time. India’s began back in the heyday of space exploration, the 1960’s and China began moving forward with its manned space program in 1967. Though both have dappled with unmanned missions to the moon, both now have their sights set on a lunar landing even if there is opposition to the idea.

So what’s with all this new interest in the moon?

If you haven’t been stuck in a coma for the last 5 years or so, its become rather apparent that we’re sucking our planet dry due to our addiction to energy – India, China and the U.S. being some of the biggest junkies. Now that we’ve started listening to scientists again, we’re actually perusing alternative resources and sources of energy. Unbeknownst to many of us down here on earth, our moon harbors a plethora of valuable minerals – including Helium-3.

A Lesson in Science – Helium-3 or H3

What is Helium-3? Helium-3 is an isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron.  Helium-3 is the holy grail for creating nuclear fusion power here on Earth. Still not sure why countries want to go all the way to the moon to get Helium?  Helium, the regular kind, is already running thin on our planet, however Helium-3 rarely exists on earth because our atmosphere sloughs most of it off before it can get through to the planet below and our magnetic poles also push the precious H-3 away.

The moon doesn’t have an atmosphere and therefore has a stock pile of Helium-3 that’s reported to be in the millions of tons. To put that in perspective 25 tons could power the U.S. and Europe for a year. Not to mention that the moon also contains other valuable minerals.

Mission to the Moon – Take 2

So now we know why countries are interested in going all the way to the moon again. But what exactly do they plan to do while there and what affects will it have on Earth?

As you may have already guessed the new interest in the moon is mining it for H-3 and other minerals. Some scientists believe that nuclear fusion can power the future and there’s certainly enough H-3 to keep us going for a while. But is this really feasible and would it even be worth it?

I say no. For one thing mining the H-3 is still more than a decade away as is the technology for creating nuclear fusion once we have the H-3. By that time we could have very well increased the power producing potential of solar, wind and tidal wave energy generators.

Not to mention nuclear fusion is highly dangerous. Facilities that currently experiment with nuclear fusion creation are on serious lock down, more so than nuclear power plants. It would be just one more thing for terrorists to get their hands on and ruin for the rest of us.

Just as importantly, we don’t know what affect this mining would have on the moon. But considering the fact that we are willing to go to the moon because we’ve depleted our resources on Earth altering it negatively in the process, chances are we’d do the same to the moon. And any one who’s taken 8th grade science knows that the moon plays a significant role in the delicate balance of Earth and its ability to support life.

So Who’s Likely to Win the Race?

The U.S. plans to send people back to the moon by 2020

China has no date set for landing on the moon but experts suggest they may not make it until we’re already into the third decade of the century.

India as well hasn’t named a date, but have already said they have intentions of sending an Indian to the moon.

What’s Your Favorite Walter Cronkite Moment?

Posted in breaking news, entertainment with tags , , on July 18, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

At 92, Walter Cronkite died yesterday, July 17, 2009 of cerebrovascular disease a result of dementia. A walter cronkite

painful twist of fate for one of the best American news journalists in history.

Growing up in a military family I personally have to say my favorite work of Cronkite’s was in his early days when he elevated his own exposure and credentials while covering WWII.  He got to help bomb the Nazis on their home turf, how awesome is that!? Some of the most touching and eye-opening of news coverage comes from those who put the truth above all else, even personal safety.

The way that Cronkite and his colleagues took to the lines alongside the soldiers on the ground and in the air is just what reporters like Graham Smith and David Gilkey are doing now during the war in Afghanistan.

This war coverage, showing the best and worst of humanity at all once, is the general public’s closest means to understanding exactly what it is our country is involved in – the actual costs and rewards to be gained and the people being directly affected on either sides.

The globalization of war through media has brought it closer to home. Anyone with interest can even see videos from the enemies or read blogs written by Taliban supporters if they want that take on it.

That’s what I think was Mr. Cronkite’s finest moments bringing us the news. But he accomplished quite a bit in his lifetime – he was a college drop out with a career, was the first person to ever be called an anchor man, hosted a game show, and let’s not forget CBS Evening News.

Feel free to add to the list of achievements.

Why Health Insurers Don’t Want You to Know the Truth About Gov’t Run Healthcare

Posted in government, Politics with tags , , , on July 15, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

After being swiftly booted off of my parent’s insurance I gambled with my health for more than a year by forgoing coverage. It was scary and uncertain grounds, but I just couldn’t afford it at the time and didn’t have a job where health insurance was provided.

Luckily, I made it through the no-coverage period and now have private insurance (that I begrudgingly pay for). I say begrudgingly because I’m one of the rare people here in the states that has experienced universal health care that was publicly provided.

An American’s Experience with Universal Health Care

It was in Cost Rica, a third world country. Yes, a third world country had a functioning, extremely helpful and fairly efficient government run health care system, something the U.S. somehow can’t manage. And all I had to do was pay something like $36 for the travel insurance for the entire month I was there. I pay $150 a month for my current plan! On top of co-payments, and a deductible, and for prescriptions.

Repeatedly, to this day, I recall sitting in the emergency room in Costa Rica thinking a couple of my ribs were broken. However, the patient just before me was a boy with the side of his face smashed in where he landed after a bad fall. He looked like he had been playing outside all day, and with the little Spanish I knew and some charades I gathered from him that he had fallen off a roof.

The whole time I couldn’t shake the thought, ‘if this was America and he and I were in the hospital, I would probably be in front of him in line’. Even though he was there before me and had a more serious injury. But there I sat waiting after him, and I was happy to be there. But how many times before then had that happened back home in the U.S. and I just didn’t realize it, or notice it?

I was just 19 at the time and had never missed a day of being on my dad’s health insurance plan that was provided by the federal government.

Government Run Health Care Isn’t Something to Fear and They Work

What really gets me is that it’s obvious that a universal health care system can and does work for many countries. Quoting from Wikipedia:

“Universal health care is health care coverage for all eligible residents of a political region and often covers medical, dental and mental health care. These programs vary in their structure and funding mechanisms. Typically, most costs are met via a single-payer health care system or national health insurance, or else by compulsory regulated pluralist insurance (public, private or mutual) meeting certain regulated standards. Universal health care is implemented in all but one of the wealthy, industrialized countries, with the exception being the United States. It is also provided in many developing countries and is the trend worldwide.”

Health Insurers Interest in Politics

The profits that the health insurance company makes because they are now spending less of every dollar I pay on actual health coverage for me in part goes towards making donations to politicians who then later help them spread fear about their competition (public health care) in order to maintain the status quo that makes the companies boat loads of money.

Final Remark: the Republicans are really making it hard not to hate them the way they parrot what the lobbists for health insurance companies feed them, all the while knowingly misleading the public with misinformation.

Check out the bitch slappingly good Wendell Potter health insurance interview here.

Palin Ethics Charges and Legal Fees Breakdown

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on July 12, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

So, now that the dust has settled and Sarah Palin has settled on one main reason for her resignation as Governor of Alaska, it’s time to keep politics honest with some fact checking. Palin stated the financial cost to Alaska and herself over “frivolous ethics charges” at:

$500,000 personally

And Millions for Alaska

On the Alaska Fund Trust’s website (more on that in a moment) it states the cost to Alaska at over a Million and $500,000 for Sarah Palin.

However, on July 1, just two days before Palin broke the news of her resignation, Alaska’s State Personnel Board stated  ethics complaints against Palin cost them $296,000 – including, $187,797 from the Troopergate scandal which started before she was approached for the vice-presidency and that investigation was requested by Palin herself.

So what really was the cost to Palin and Alaska over the ethics charges? Could the cost to the tax payers of Alaska be great enough to warrant Palin’s leaving office?

Palin’s Personal Expenses vs. Her Assets

As for Palin’s expenses, you can take her at her word or not. But the fact of the matter is she hasn’t produced anything that details those expenses in the slightest. When directly asked about the issue her lawyer wouldn’t give a case by case account and her Spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton hasn’t responded on the issue.

But $500,000 is a plausible number considering that Palin sends out a legal warning to opponent’s any time she feels threatened.

Debate Point: Within a day of announcing her resignation Palin’s attorney released a statement warning that they would take legal action against anyone publishing “defamatory” stories that Palin was under criminal investigation, including bloggers.

Many other political figures have given Palin the sound advice that she should lay low and brush up on her knowledge of legal matters and government policy rather than going after every conflict or issue brought against her. Ultimately it reflects as poorly on her political standing as it does her wallet. But fame does come at a cost when you want to stay in the media spotlight.

Now $500,000 is nothing to sneeze at. But the Palin’s aren’t as hard up for cash as their “regular Joe” attitude may suggest. During the election ABC News covered a story that estimated the Palin’s net worth at least $1.2 million based off of financial records from 2007.

It’s also widely believed that Palin will easily exceed that in the coming months with a book deal already in the works that’s reported worth millions up front and engagements to speak already lined up. Of course, as governor (at the moment) she can’t discuss those matters.

Those who sympathize with Palin over the personal cost of her legal fees need to also consider that she has other means of paying for them.

But Wait: What about the Alaska Fund Trust?

What is the Alaska Fund Trust? It is a legal defense fund started in April 2009 to help Sarah Palin cover the expenses that’s she’s incurred from ethics charges.

Again we have to take Palin at her word on the matter of how much expense she has really taken on from these legal fees. You see the Alaska Fund Trust isn’t regulated by any federal or state entity and there is no oversight at all really.

Consider this: The website Conservatives4Palin.com ran a webathon from June 15-22, 2009 and in that week alone they reported directed $115,585 in donations to the Alaska Fund Trust. We will point out that at that time Palin’s reported debt was approx $600,000. But over $115,000 in one week.

She would have to at least drop the total to around $500,000 since conservatives4Palin.com asked for people to email them the total they donated so they could track it and publicize it.

But what about all those other weeks?  June wasn’t even the most trafficked month for the site. Compete.com estimates the number of visits to thealaskatrustfund.com at:

  • April:  8,230
  • May:  2,712
  • June:  4,929
  • July: No stats to date

BTW – they also accept donations by mail.

Kristan Cole, the fund’s trustee, has said that she plans to release numbers and names of donors quarterly, with the first report coming in August. It’s suspiciously convenient that the limit they want donators to agree to is $150, which is the exact maximum before having to disclose donations as a gift.

Cole says the $150 limit was decided upon because they wanted people of all income levels to feel included.  I don’t know about other people but dropping a $150 is still a nice chunk of change.  I think the Alaska Fund Trust did the smartest thing for them fiscally. They’ve got a good accountant.

Not having to report the donations individually and with little to no oversight we’ll have to trust their math.

What’s the deal with the expenses to Alaska? Are they $300,000 or Millions?

Many people may remember Palin quoting the cost of the ethics charges at millions.  On July 8, her office released an expense report that gave a snapshot view of the cost to Alaska. Let’s break the numbers down.

Expense Report Total: $1.9 Million

Attorneys Review of Public Records Requests: $600,000+

Cost to Personnel Review Board: $560,800 (actual cost reported by Personnel Board on July 1, $296,000)

Office of Governor Expenses (staff time): $425,000+

Department of Law – Ethics: $41,574

These totals (minus the $296,000 stated by the Personnel Board for hiring outside help) represent time spent by state employees handling issues like ethics complaints, public records requests, lawsuits and the “Troopergate” ordeal. In other words these are hours the employees would have been paid for regardless of what they were working on, and for some handling ethics complaints is the job they’ve been hired to perform.

And what about that “Troopergate” mess? Based on the state personnel board’s numbers the “Troopergate” fiasco, which began about a month before Palin was approached to be John McCain’s running mate and was initiated by Palin herself, cost that state $187,797. And she was technically found guilty of it.

That brings the actual cost closer to approx. $445,043

Keep in mind if the governor’s office had reported the costs in more detail some more of those expenses would probably have whittled the actual cost down even further.