Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Would Woody Do?

What Would Woody Do?

Simply amazing political events in Wisconsin this week (a few samples: 1, 2, 3).

I have been recalling the words of a wise man - a business professor and amazingly good teacher - and I recall them as:
Unions are bad, but if your company has a union, they probably deserve it.
It's not too hard to see how unions might cause inefficiency, and if business and workers all played fair with each other, everyone would be better off. It's not too hard to see the track record of businesses, and see that unions are sometimes the only recourse workers have to gain fair treatment - or even to punish businesses for bad behavior.

I don't have any easy answers, but I'm pretty sure that Governor Walker's move to take away collective bargaining rights for State workers is only asking for worse trouble. The union might be bad, but you deserve it. Deal with it. Negotiate with it. Be fair, and treat it with respect. Don't try to legislate it away, or it might be replaced by something even worse.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Political Cheese Fondue

There are extraordinary events in Wisconsin politics this week. Our new Governor's anti-union legislation has ignited an amazing response, turning normally placid Cheeseheads into a melting pot of political turmoil.  Here is a sampling:

Daily Kos: Scott Walker's Pants Spontaneously Combust!

The Political Environment: Republicans in Madison are Flailing Fleeing, Failing

Brew City BrawlerPackers, Catholic Church denounce Walker union busting

Live Twitter updates from the Capitol Rotunda, via @RecallWakerNow

Illusory Tennant: Scott Walker receives 8,000 emails

The Corner TavernWisconsin’s Diabolical Plot to Make Me Support the Packers

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Darwin Day!

Something a little different for Darwin Day (Charles Darwin's 202th Birthday!); I'd like to introduce my new co-blogger, Darwin the Cockatiel.

Darwin likes to assist me by landing on the keyboard while I am typing and supervising my fingers. This supervision consists of nipping at my fingers if he feels are not moving in an appropriate manner. By his definition, "appropriate" means they ought to be scritching his head instead of pecking at the keys.

Darwin came to us as as a "found" bird while we were searching for our own escaped bird. Some other people contacted us about a bird they found. It wasn't our bird, but we agreed to take care of him and help look for the original owner - which we did, but no takers. He's a delightful creature though and we are happy to keep him. Despite considerable effort we never did find our own bird, but for a short time we were fostering two Cockatiels. Apparently finding a bird that belongs to someone else is much easier than finding a bird that belongs to you. Maybe there are a lot of bird owners that don't want to be bird owners. No matter, we thing Darwin is a keeper!

The name was suggested by my wife, because we both admire Charles Darwin's contribution to science,  and when the bird puffs up the feathers around his beak, there is a striking resemblance.
Image found here, source unknown
Darwin can be contacted at Darwin dot The dot Cockatiel at Gmail dot Com

Friday, February 11, 2011

Science Fail #4

Fail #4 refers to an editorial published in the Idaho Press-Tribune. It is copyrighted, so you will need to follow the link to the article, or you can just take my word that it is some amazingly stupid stuff. Much of it refers to old arguments that even Creationist are embarrassed to have even supported.

[Via Greg Laden's Blog]

Bonus Section:

The award for the most unexpectedly non-sequitur comment in response to a a science article goes to ...
Morp: I observed an inverse reaction .When pigs call loudly for food you can silence them instantly and for a while by blowing a trumpet   [Found on SCIAM]
Um ... OK ... I don't doubt it ... but ... you play the trumpet to pigs???