Saturday, December 30, 2006

Here's a story about cane toads in Australia. The reason I bring it up is this sentence: "Since their introduction cane toads have evolved bigger legs to help them move faster, expanding their territory westward by around 40 km (25 miles) a year." (emphasis mine)

I have a small problem with the sentence: "cane toads have evolved bigger legs" sounds like they were planning it. I can't say that I could write it any better, but it just sounds odd.

The real reason I point this article out is that the Fundies keep saying evolution doesn't exist, that it's a theory. And yet, clearly, Australian cane toads have bigger legs then their Hawaiian ancestors. Are you seriously going to tell me God made their legs bigger? He can't restore amputees' legs, why would he bother with frogs' legs (Sure, they're tasty. . .)? Or is Kirk cameron going to argue that Frog legs are the right shape for us to barbecue so God had to have created it?

Evolution is a fact. The exact process is a theory, which is to say, a way of describing the process. Not a theory in the layman's sense of the word, but a scientific theory. If you're going to make the Bible be 100% factual, remember, Timothy 2 says no woman shall have authority over a man. As soon as you make that 100% true, I'll allow you to make the rest 100% true.


Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm going to let you read the article to see if you read it the same way I do. Go ahead. Click the link and read. I'll wait.

For those of you who are waiting for the BlogMad timer to count down, this parasite, which apparently is sweeping across Australia, causes women to appear to be more attractive to men, more outgoing, friendly and promiscuous. (I thought those were all synonyms.) The same parasite makes men less intelligent a causes a short attention span. (So, by the way, can an attractive, outgoing, friendly and promiscuous woman, but I digress.)

Actually, the parasite seems to increase risky behavior by messing with brain chemistry, but how does that make a woman appear physically more attractive? Does it make them more attractive because they put out? (I find all women who want to sleep with me attractive.) Does this mean if Janet Reno had the parasite we'd all think she was hot?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nine large sharks were spotted off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. And not once in the story did they use the term I created for a group of sharks: law firm.

C'mon, people. We have to work together to get this accepted. Email and let them know what to call this grouping of animals! Tell all your friends!

In related news, San Jose-based law firm of Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc., has a six foot fiberglass shark hanging in their office. Good for them!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fortress Amerika - Day 225

A friendly reminder that beginning January 1, you will need a passport to reenter the country if you are visiting Canada and Mexico. Please note: You do not need a passport to visit these countries. You only need a passport to come home. This law was passed to keep terrorists, undocumented workers and illegal aliens out the glorious Fatherland.

As additional proof of your patriotism, make sure you have a Toby Keith CD with you as well.

I remember when Dear Leader told us to live our lives as normal: otherwise the terrorists win. Well, it looks like they won, folks. Welcome to Amerika. May I see your papers?


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back on December 2, 2003, I wrote this entry in another blog. On January 1, the excise tax on cigarettes in Texas is going from $.41 to $1.41. This magic tax will do three things: Stop everyone from smoking, increase tax revenue, and fund education in the state. Though I still don't see how getting the number of smokers to zero is going to increase tax revenue and fund education (because if no one is smoking no one is paying the tax). Anyway, here's a moldy oldy from the archives:

Why Excise Taxes to Stop Behavior are a Bad Idea

A news story out of Austin reveals that a public policy wonk has decided that raising the excise taxes on cigarettes in Texas to $1.41 per pack (from $.41 per pack) will "reduce smokers, cut health care costs and help finance public schools" by generating $986 million in new revenues.

Bull! It will reduce smokers. Sure there will be a short-term gain in revenues, but if the number of smokers decrease, then the revenues will too.

The Centers for Disease Control released a study that concluded a 10% increase in excise taxes results in a corresponding 10% decrease in consumption.

Meanwhile, the State of Texas has been using its share of the tobacco settlement to fund anti-smoking programs, and these programs have been fairly successful. According to the State of Texas Fiscal Size Up 2002-2003 in 1998 the State collected $623.6 million in excise taxes. In 2003, the expected revenues are $562.6 million. That is a 10% decrease in revenues. A new study by the CDC, trumpets the fact that anti-smoking programs work!

The CDC recommends stiff tax increases, and increased funding for anti-smoking programs.

So here we have a guy that says raising cigarette taxes will reduce public health care costs and fund public schools! Wow! What a great tax!

There is a group called Trust for a Smoke Free Texas who advocate this plan to raise revenue, even though they want this revenue source to dry up! On the page that has a report on this latest tax proposal they show a woman carrying a tray with a bottle of beer and an empty glass. What are they going to go after next, I wonder?

The only way this tax increase will work is if every Texas resident is required to buy a pack of cigarettes every month!


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Today we celebrate the birth of Santa with presents delivered by Jebus and placed in front of the Nativity Tree.

What do you mean I have it backwards? We must be celebrating Santa's birth. He's on every house, in every store, and every can of Coke. Jebus is only in front of churches. If Jebus was the reason for the season, we wouldn't spend ourselves into the poor house buying ipods and ugly sweaters, or gorge ourselves on more food that we normally eat in a week. We'd feed to poor, or provide for the homeless. And aren't we going to church to thank Jebus for all the cool presents?