Monday, January 31, 2022

Bill Maher Officially Obliterated Himself With Democrats Friday Night


The cocky comic who thinks he knows more about Covid than experts.

Omicron, the highly contagious coronavirus variant sweeping across the country, is driving the daily American death toll higher than during last fall’s delta wave, with deaths likely to keep rising for days or even weeks.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been climbing since mid-November, reaching 2,267 on Thursday and surpassing a September peak of 2,100 when delta was the dominant variant....Omicron will push us over a million deaths,” said Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California-Irvine. “That will cause a lot of soul searching. There will be a lot of discussion about what we could have done differently, how many of the deaths were preventable.”.-  From Denver Post (AP) lead story ('Omicron Drives Deaths Higher') Saturday, Jan. 28

But Maher riffed at length in his 'New Rules' segment on Real Time last night, going all ape shit against Dems and the Left and blabbering:

 "Let’s get this straight, It’s not me who’s changed, it’s the left. A large contingent has gone mental, and I’m willing to call them out!"  

No, you sullen punk libertarian turkey, you changed - trying to make your show more appealing to Trumpers and the Right, especially with your gigabytes of Covid misinformation almost weekly.  It is no secret that it doesn't take a Mensa-level IQ - or shouldn't - to grasp that all his fomenting about "free speech" and excessive regulations, i.e. spouting: 

"Democrats no longer possess the common sense to know that not every problem can be fixed with a regulation,"

 Is actually designed as rhetorical cover and specious justification for his railing against vaccine mandates and mask policies in a deadly pandemic that has killed nearly 880,000 Americans.

The truth is, when one dispels all the flatulence Maher has been pumping out the past two weeks - indeed - past half year- he:  "is not the jester speaking truth to power. He is a hypocrite pushing misinformation. If he wants Democrats to win as badly as he claims, he should either get his facts straight or cancel himself."   That according to a Washington Monthly piece not long ago.  Further elaborating:

"Let’s recognize how ridiculous it is for Maher to condemn snobbery. He has been the epitome of the condescending coastal liberal sneering at Middle America through much of his career.

He also vies with FOX's Tucker Carlson for the sheer volume of misinformation expelled about Covid and vaccinations. Again Friday night, bringing the topic up with his guests Matt Welch and Fiona Hill about getting beyond all the restrictions (especially for masks), and "just living life" - despite over 2,000 deaths a day and hospital ER staff on the verge of breakdown.  I have also already written a post on how Maher has essentially become nearly unwatchable, e.g.

Brane Space: Has Bill Maher's 'Real Time' Become Unwatchable? For All Practical Purposes, Yes (

What Maher really needs to do is check the information and revelations about the libertarians in these posts,

by Alex Henderson | August 25, 2021 - 7:44am | permalink


by John Stoehr | August 26, 2021 - 7:40am | permalink

— from Alternet


The people Stockton and King interview, including the white men literally dying in hospital beds, do not fear losing their freedoms. That it is a put-on. They're hiding what they truly fear, which is humiliation. Authoritarian-minded people — which is to say, those who determine politics in southern states — live in daily fear of being humiliated. By what? You name it. Living in a diverse, democratic and capitalist republic offers opportunities aplenty to be humiliated for those who identify strongly with top-down social control. Anything threatening that threatens them. Since the pandemic started as "a hoax," it is a hoax. Buh Gawd, they'll die before being wrong. And they do.

Where Maher was at his most deplorable was when he enlisted the help of interview guest Ira Glasser - former ACLU Director - to help him bolster his misinformation as "free speech" trope, even complaining about the power of Twitter, i.e. to ban  slime ball like Trump from spreading his lies.  At times it appeared Glasser was a willing accomplice to Maher's theory that spouting lies also qualifies as "free speech" and ought to be protected. A canard I shot down in an earlier post.  E.g.  

Brane Space: Twitter Troll Trump Merits NO Special 1st Amendment Protections From Critics - Especially After His Recent Racist Rampage (

 Up to now the sad reality is that Bill Maher broke with the Left when he deemed lies and misinformation - especially about Covid and vaccines - more important than presenting facts.  That includes having guests like medical quack David Katz and fascist-lover Ben Shapiro on his show Real Time.  

Recall two years ago The Daily Beast took Katz down noting:

Katz, who consistently flaunts his Yale ties despite the fact that they were severed in 2016, has become something of a right-wing darling after penning a controversial New York Times op-ed on March 20 titled “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?” In it, Katz argues against the self-isolation policies put in place by most of the U.S., instead saying the country should isolate the elderly and infirm, which would thus “allow most of society to return to life as usual and perhaps prevent vast segments of the economy from collapsing.

But even Ira Glasser ought to know that if lies and misinformation qualify as accepted speech then speech loses all meaning and basis because it ceases to recognize an objective reality. (More on this in a post later this week). So all speech becomes merely "relative" and what anyone says becomes on a par with specialists and experts in the particular field. Further, it becomes impossible to isolate from say Hitler screaming or writing:  "All Jews must die" to a parent screaming death to teachers who teach critical race theory Failing to grasp no one has the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, especially as the level of mental stability and critical thinking in the U.S. are now nearly non-existent.  

If Bill Maher is at all serious, as much as he supposedly is about climate change, he needs to attend to the words of Scripps researcher Kristian Andersen who observes (WSJ, March 26, 2020, p. A8):   

"Life is not going to be back to what we consider normal for years to come. We need to figure out how we are going to function as a society for the next three years."

This also conforms with The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists comparison of the pandemic to a "slow-moving nuclear war". Wishing Covid, vaccines, vaccine mandates or masks away like an entitled two-year old brat will not help us get through it. Nor will spreading almost as much misinformation as Tucker Carlson on FOX. Maher in his rush to get Covid behind him, so he can "live free" (sic),  is oblivious to how there are currently 28 million school children- age 5- 11-  who remain unvaccinated. Far less than health experts feared originally, with only 18.8 % full vaccinated. (Denver Post yesterday, p. 1A)  As one expert quoted (Jennifer Kates) put it:

 "It's going to be a long slog to get the kids vaccinated."  

But that delay means more and more teachers will bail, either retiring early or quit to secure jobs in the private sector, not wishing to become infected and ending up in body bags in a hospital morgue.  In respect of private sector jobs we learn from the WSJ:

Classroom instructors are landing sales roles and jobs as instructional coaches, software engineers and behavioral health technicians, according to LinkedIn.

Maher understands none of this teacher resignation or job migration - leaving schools hollow shells with parents, administrators having to fill in-  because he fails to understand the epidemiology of the virus. Nor is he interested in understanding it, only in circulating misinformation about vaccines, masks and Covid.

If Maher is not part of the long term solution, meaning accepting current Covid protocols and not inveighing against them in unhinged comic rants, then he is part of the problem.  And on the issue of free speech (and Twitter controlling, censoring the likes of the lying Trump)  he is definitely off target - in major ways, see e.g.

See Also:

by Ian Reifowitz | January 31, 2022 - 7:23am | permalink


by Thom Hartmann | January 29, 2022 - 8:41am | permalink


The Republican Party has lost all its legitimacy because, in the past few decades, it has become a white supremacist version of what Father of the Constitution James Madison called a “faction.”

Loosely, a “faction“ is a “special interest” group of people who are willing to damage the interests of other people just to gain their own benefit.

And, as Madison warned us, factions destroy democracies.

Here’s how it’s playing out right now, as a Trump-inspired faction continues to consolidate their control over the larger Republican Party, dragging it deeper and deeper into the swamp of racism and misogyny.

Friday, January 28, 2022

"Jailing House Committee Members" ? Why (Again) The GOP Cult Must Not Be Allowed Congressional Power


 The leading paragraph for the AP-sourced article in yesterday's Denver Post was bleak and unforgiving: 

"Republicans’ faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the pandemic, new survey data showsIt’s the largest gap in nearly five decades of polling by the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that has been measuring confidence in institutions since 1972."   

Adding - in a quote from University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd :

"We are living at a time when people would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their body than scientifically vetted vaccines.  That is a clear convergence of fear, lack of critical thinking, confirmation bias and political tribalism.”   

But that isn't the half of it, as toxic politicization widens on every front, from education, to cultural issues to governance itself.  At the root of the increasing chasm - now almost approaching dangerous levels of civil division -  is FOX chief Troll and propagandist Tucker Carlson - now actually suggesting (from a WaPo piece by Greg Sargent) that the U.S. must not defend Ukraine against Russian aggression in any way, shape or form, e.g.

Can this traitor (Trump) -supporting maggot be serious?  Will his insanity finally break his confounding spell over his millions of brain -dead minions? Who - as Chris Hayes noted two nights ago - are all too willing to die from Covid, mostly unattended in ICUs - if it means adhering to Carlson's anti-vaccine codswallop?  Can a political cult that supports such imbecility and outright proclaimed treason even be remotely trusted with power again?  I am talking about the congressional power of investigation and oversight - which would arrive if voters are dumb enough to award the Reeps with midterm victories in House and Senate.  (And btw, I do not subscribe to the trope that the defeat of the majority party in off -year elections is a foregone conclusion. It only becomes one if too many sit on their asses with a "meh" moron  attitude and outlook!) 

Let's fix ideas and focus to note that already former GA Reep Newt Gingrich was just on Maria Bartiromo's FOX show threatening to jail House Select Committee members,  e.g.

Analysis: Newt Gingrich just threatened the members of the January 6 committee with jail time - CNNPolitics

As Select Committee Vice -Chair Liz Cheney pointed out in the wake of Gingrich's incendiary vow:

"A former speaker of the House is threatening  jail time for members of Congress who are investigating the violent January 6th attack on our Capitol and our Constitution. This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels."

This was after Gingrich barked the following utterly antagonistic and egregious nonsense, which btw, every Reep rat from Kevin McCarthy to Matt Gaetz can't wait to pursue - and echo - should they get power:


"The wolves are going to find out that they're now sheep and they're the ones who are in fact, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kinds of laws they're breaking."

This followed a deranged, Nazi-style essay that would have put Josef Goebbels to shame when he tried to gaslight normal Germans about the "threat" from Jews:

"The Wolves Will Become Sheep.

The piece reads like a longer version of his riff with Bartiromo. In one section, Gingrich writing:

"The January 6 Select Committee is in the process of potentially bankrupting scores of Americans who worked for or supported President Trump. They face financial ruin defending themselves against the committee's attack. The legal costs of fighting subpoenas and the further cost of legal counsel if put under oath by a hostile congressional committee creates a real burden. That financial burden is compounded by the psychological stress of being under assault by the House Democrats -- and potentially also the FBI."

"Bankrupting scores of Americans"?  The bloody traitors ought to be thankful they aren't hung!  Facing financial ruin? How about busted necks for their treason? Let's further grasp that this only covers the overt attack, i.e. the rabble defecating and destroying property in the Capitol as they threatened lawmakers with bear spray and bats as well as flag poles. Meanwhile, the covert treason entailed more than a dozen Trump-backing conspirators in 7 states trying to submit falsely certified slates of electors in an effort to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Trump., e.g.

by Lindsay Beyerstein | January 15, 2022 - 8:52am | permalink

This lot also needs to be fully prosecuted, sent away for maybe 10 years each for their dastardly crime.  These so-called alternate electors met Dec. 14, 2020, in seven states that Trump lost and submitted bogus slates of Electoral College votes for him, the committee said. They then sent the false Electoral College certificates to Congress, an action Trump’s allies used to try to justify delaying or blocking the final step in confirming the 2020 election results: a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, to formally count the electoral votes

As for the laws this asshole Gingrich accused the House Select Committee of  breaking, what the fuck are they?   Did  Newt somehow forget that even the Supreme Court (by a 6-3 decision) denied an emergency request from Trump to block the House Select committee from obtaining White House records pertaining to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol? The court’s decision was a brutal, and personally stinging, loss for Trump. And the arguments his own lawyers advanced may have made the defeat worse.

The court's action cleared the way for the National Archives to deliver thousands of pages of documents to the Select Committee.  If Gingrich was the least bit correct about an "abuse of power"  that SC ruling never would have happened,  given the Court is loaded with a 6 to 3 conservative majority!  Is Newt's brain so addled he can't process that?  No, he can, he simply opts to bellow bellicose bile and not so veiled threats to intimidate Committee members, or try to. All of which proves his demented Trump-tainted tribe has no business being handed the keys to power in the midterms.  I mean, it would be national suicide, in the form of endless chaos, bogus investigations, bogus attempts to impeach  Biden and  non -stop obstruction. 

  Make no mistake this outrageous threat cannot be just swept under the proverbial rug. It is a shot over the bow of all decent citizens and true patriots - not the scum that soiled and savaged the Capitol-  that if the Repukes gain power again they will engage in unconstitutional lawlessness, trashing governmental norms all while committing the REAL abuses of power.  All this to distract the nation via chaos in what's likely to be a critical time. (The Biden DOJ will prevent any actual GOP efforts to jail House Select Committee members.)   The Select Committee, indeed, had every right to investigate the savage attack on our seat of democracy.  A masterful and unanimous opinion by Judge Patricia A. Millett ripped to shreds every argument Trump made.  Millett wrote:

The Committee has sound reasons for seeking presidential documents in particular as part of its investigation into the causes of the attack on the Capitol.  There is a direct linkage between the former President and the events of the day. So to allow the privilege of a no-longer-sitting President to prevail over Congress’s need to investigate a violent attack on its home and its constitutional operations would ‘gravely impair the basic function of the’ legislature.


So it is pure insanity to turn Judge Millett's and the Supreme Court's ruling around and claim the investigators are the criminal renegades.  This inversion essentially aborts the rule of law, much like Hitler's Reich "laws" aborted the laws governing the Weimar Republic.  Neither is much different than what Trump - Barr puppet John Durham is doing with his "investigate the investigators" bollocks, e.g.

Watch Out for Bill Barr's Flunky John Durham to Fabricate a Report That Would "Absolve" Russia of 2016 Election Interference


The other aspects of rejecting science are equally important given that we still  face a serious pandemic of indeterminate length as well as accelerating climate change. It is absolutely a deal breaker to have a cult dedicated to diluting and misrepresenting science running this nation in terms of controlling  House and Senate.  That is just begging this nation to circle the sewer drain, and likely with no recovery or salvation. 

Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research had this to say about the poll:

It’s certainly plausible that this is a result of how politicized the pandemic became in the months between when it emerged and when the survey ran.  It is definitely a stark change for these particular trends on confidence in scientific leaders and leaders in medicine, to see this degree of polarization.

According to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:

We’ve seen so much criticism (and worse) leveled at medical experts since the beginning of the pandemic from the former president, other Republican leaders and the conservative media, and just the opposite from the current president, Democratic leaders and the mainstream and liberal media,” 

Let's cut to the chase and acknowledge a majority of this medical (vaccine) disinformation has emanated from the sewers of FOX News and specifically Tucker Carlson.  As Chris Hayes has noted, Carlson has almost single-handedly been responsible for more Covid deaths (of the unvaccinated) than even Rupert Murdoch can count, e.g.  

Brane Space: As New Covid Variant Emerges, Tucker Carlson Remains The Worst Covid Terrorist (

How is it that a jacked up  hybrid cockroach - termite  like Tucker Carlson could garner such enormous sway and enough to drive thousands into killing themselves from a deadly virus? (By putting a faux personal liberty over their own protection and that of others near and dear to them.) William Davies, a political economist at the University of London and the author of 'Nervous  States:Democracy and the Decline of Reason', notes that(p. 22), the far Right - not only in the U.S. is using disinformation as well as "anger, intimidation and lies to destabilize institutions without constructing alternatives."

He also observed that the likes of Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannapoulos were  "reframing public debates along the lines of war to intimidate and marginalize opponents".

This is part of what Tucker Carlson is doing as well as trolling the libs.  This is what gets the base off and revs them up, though it's hard to see how Carlson's latest defense of Russia vs. Ukraine would appeal to any base.  Abject traitor garbage, sure.  But patriotic citizens -  meaning true red, white and blue - who rightly despise how the Russkies helped Trump get shoehorned into power in 2016? ?  Hardly!  Speaking of Trump, he has since vowed to pardon all the January 6th traitors. Yet another reason never to put this treason0us scum back in power again!

See Also:

The midterms could be a bloodbath for Democrats


by John Stoehr | January 28, 2022 - 8:35am | permalink

Thursday, January 27, 2022

SAT Changes To 'Easier' Digital Format - But A Perfect 1600 Still Won't Qualify For Mensa Entry

It's regrettable that the SAT is now on the way out, effectively, with over 1, 815 colleges no longer requiring it. Also, College admission tests like the SAT and rival ACT carry less weight today as colleges and universities pay more attention to the sum of student achievements and activities throughout high school.

Amid criticism that the exams favor wealthy, white applicants and disadvantage minority and low-income students, an increasing number of schools have in recent years adopted test-optional policies, which let students decide whether to include scores with their applications. The pandemic accelerated the trend as testing sessions were canceled or inaccessible.

 But hey, at least it's now been made relatively easier - and shorter- in a digital format. We are informed that, unlike those of us who took the SAT in the "olden" days, the new test takers will experience only two hours of torture instead of three (for the standard verbal and quantitative) and the verbal portions will have shorter reading sections. In addition, test takers can now use calculators on the math portion when we weren't even allowed slide rules - in 1963.  

On the other hand, one aspect hasn't changed: The SAT is still regarded by Mensa as an achievement test, not an aptitude test, and hence cannot be used as qualification to enter the high IQ organization.  Dr. Abby F. Salny addressed the reasons in the March, 1994 issue of the Mensa Bulletin, writing:    

Mensa's Constitution says 'IQ test or equivalent'. This means we can accept a test that measures learning aptitude, but not a test that measures exclusively what has been taught in school. The whole purpose of Mensa was not to reward high scholastic achievement but to recognize intellectual giftedness. The two are not synonymous.

--- In short, any test that we have rejected, or that we will reject in the future, has changed content from IQ or equivalent to content mastery. Our Constitution mandates this and we are trying to follow our Constitution.

More recently, in fact from January 1st this year, Mensa directors have made it clear that "the most detailed information Mensa will share with prospective members is whether the scores qualify them for Mensa membership or not."  In other words, test takers will not be told their specific I.Q. scores.  However, they can request "raw scores" - but these will not include percentile ranks or actual I.Q. scores. The reasons for these changes have "been necessitated by revisions to American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines and Texas state laws" (Texas is where Mensa has its headquarters).   

For those who remain curious as to how their prior SAT or GRE scores translate into I.Q. check out the link below for estimations:  

But please do note this "comparison" information (aptitude test score vs. I.Q.)  was assembled independent of Mensa and the website is not affiliated with American Mensa, so we are clear. 

Regarding  prior SAT, GRE etc. test scores,  recall that only a subset have been accepted as proper aptitude tests for Mensa admission.  If you have SATs from 1974 through 1/31/94 you can qualify if your Verbal-Math total is 1250 .  If before 1974, it needs to be 1300.  If you're using the GRE (Graduate Record exam)  prior to May, 1994, the total needs to be 1250. If after that date but before 10/2001 then the verbal, quantitative and analytic total must come to 1875. After 10/2001 it's no go,  because those tests are now deemed content mastery only, not aptitude. (See link given below).  Those wishing to join Mensa still have the option of  either offering an earlier SAT test, or taking the Mensa test.

See Also:

Solutions To Basic Nuclear Physics (2) ( Nuclear Shell Model) Problems

 1(a)Find the ratio of the helium nucleus to the uranium 238 nucleus.


 The ratio of the radii is given by:

 R1/ R2  =  [r o A1 1/3] /  [r o A2  1/3]

 Or:    R1/ R2 = (A1/ A2) 1/3

 Where: A1 = 4  and A2 = 292

 Then:   R1/ R2 = (4 / 292) 1/3  

 =  0.239

(b) Estimate, using any technique you can think of, the ratio of the nuclear densities for part (a).


The expression for the nuclear density, as a function of the Fermi energy is given by:

 r  =  [2M EF /  2/3 p 4/3 ħ2] 3/2

 Then the ratio of densities, would be:

 r 1r 2  =

 [2M1 E1F /  2/3 p 4/3 ħ2] 3/2/  [2M2 E2 2/3 p 4/3 ħ2] 3/2


r 1/r 2   =   [M1 E1/ M2 E2]  


M2  =  238.05078826 u

M1  =   4.002603254 u 

1/2   »  0.017 [E1/ E2]  

Thus, an estimate of the density ratio can be obtained by taking the ratio of the nucleon masses M1 to M2, and multiplying it  by the ratio of the Fermi energies, leaving in symbolic terms of the latter.

2) An element has mass number A = 202 and atomic number Z = 80.

a) Find the diameter of the nucleus and how many times it is greater than that of hydrogen.


 R = r o A 1/3

 Where:  r o  =  1.2 x 10 -15 m, so D = 2 R

Then: D2  =  2 (1.2 x 10 -15 m) (202) 1/3  =  1.4 x 10 -14 m

And the diameter of hydrogen’s nucleus is:

 D1  =  2 (1.2 x 10 -15 m) (1) 1/3  =  1.2 x 10 -15 m

So the ratio (which yields how many times the element’s nucleus is larger) is:

D2/ D1 =  11.6


b) Find the mass defect D M for this nucleus.


 By the regular mass addition formula for nuclei:

 80 (1.008142) + (202 – 80) [1.008982] =  203.747 u


DM = 201. 970* – 203.747 = - 1.77 u