Archive for April, 2011

All Time Low Concert – Chicago IL

Posted in Personal Stories on April 30th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Friday at 1:17 PM I picked my daughter up from school and we started our drive to the Congress Theater in Chicago to see All Time Low.  This was one of many stops on the Dirty Work Tour.  The tour also features:  Yellowcard, Hey Monday and The Summer Set.  In preparation for this show, I made a special trip to the store and bought some nice ear plugs.

The drive went well until the 90/94/55 merge on the south side of the city.  The last five miles took almost an hour.  As concert prep, I jammed to the entire American Idiot album by Green Day for those last few miles.  We parked, found a KFC with a bathroom and stood in line to get in the theater.  After another hour of waiting we started moving to the door.  As we approached the entrance, I realized the ear plug were still in the car!  I decided to go in without them.   This show was general admission and I’m sure my daughter won’t want to go up front and get crushed.

We ran upstairs and got great seats.  We could see everything from there and we were sitting – WIN!  When the first band (The Summer Set) finished, she decided that upstairs was too boring and she wanted to down on the main floor.  She had never been to a concert like this and she wanted to experience it all.  As her guide and protector, we worked through the crowd and slowly got closer and closer during Hey Monday’s performance.  We were now stage center and only 100 feet from the front.

This is also where the mosh pit formed.  I have not been in one of those for awhile.  We were on the edge getting smacked hard.  I wanted to jump in – for old times’ sake but, I was there to take care of my daughter.  We started to move stage left – away from the body slamming.  We kept working forward and by the end of Yellowcard we were about 5 feet from the wall that kept the crowd away from the stage.

It was HOT, sweaty and loud.  It was also very tight.  Think of those videos where they shove people into subway cars – it was like that.  When the crowd shifted – you shifted.  You could not resist its will.  At times it became difficult to breath.  The best way out, was up.  People that could not take the crush were lifted up and surfed to the front where security would catch them and pull them down into the moat (space between the crowd and stage).  You could not fall – there was no room for that.

We spent an hour there being crushed and sharing sweat with our new friends.  We decide to move out and each got a Gatorade that was chugged in about 30 seconds.  I think I lost 5 lbs of water weight.  Now past 10pm and we decided to call it a night.  All I had to do was stay awake for the 3 hour drive home.  We got home at 1:00AM and I just got up (10AM) – my ears are still ringing.

Yellowcard

All Time Low

Dr. Novella Invites Dr. Oz To Be On Skeptics Guide To The Universe

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

Via Neurologica Blog.

In follow up to my recent appearance on the Dr. Oz show, I am extending an open invitation to Dr. Oz to continue our conversation. He can either engage in a written exchange on science-based medicine, or he can appear as a guest on my podcast, the SGU.

You can read about my appearance on Dr. Oz where we discussed so called “alternative medicine,” here at NeuroLogica, and also Orac wrote a nice analysis as well. As you can see, while I was given a chance to make some points, Dr. Oz made many more points to which I was not given an opportunity to respond. He was able to frame and control the discussion in a way favorable to his point of view. And further there was far too little time to address the many issues that were raised.

If Dr. Oz is serious about addressing these issues, then let us continue the conversation in a longer and more balanced format.

Dr. Oz Is A Quack

Posted in woo on April 29th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Dr. Oz is pushing bad medicine and people can get hurt.  For a change he has a real science based doctor on his show.  Dr. Novella is part of a team that does the Skeptics Guide To The Universe Podcast.  You should give it a listen.

Click the link below to watch Dr. Steven Novella on the Dr. Oz show.  How does he not just jump up and smack Dr. Oz.

Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Pt 1.

I Get Mail – Abortion Edition!

Posted in religion on April 28th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – 23 Comments

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of trying to have a rational discussion with some abortion protesters.  The awful arguments floored me, so I made a post of it.  I never thought I would find a topic where more bad arguments are employed then in the discussion of religion.  I guess I still have much to learn.  I am now getting e-mail from anti-choice nutters.  Below is one of these tortured e-mails and my evisceration of a few points.  I have left plenty of red meat for you to play with.  Pick a stupid argument and help our new friend understand why there points are so pathetic.  I’m sure that in a day or two more people will flock here to spam the blog and I will have to block more people – so don’t wait, comments will likely close soon.

FYI… If you are new to reading my blogs you must know that any e-mail sent to me can be used any way I want to.  Up to and including the publication of the ISP and full identifying information.  This time I have taken the courtesy of not printing this info…

Hi there,
I just read your blog post regarding your conversation with 4 nice ladies outside of PP. First of all, I think it is so cool that you were openminded enough to respectfully talk with these women. You have my respect right there.

I wanted to counter a couple of the arguments these ladies could not. 1)Many pro-lifers have thought through the question of whether to prosecute women should abortion become illegal. The mainstream concensus is that your average woman should  not be prosecuted for this crime. The abortion Dr. is the one performing the murder and profitting from the suffering of the woman. The historic view in this country and the one I think we should return to is that the woman is a second victim in the crime of the Dr. (Theis part is conjecture, based on personal conversation and stats.)Most women historically and today do not feel free to really choose the fate they would prefer for their baby. They make the painful decision to abort their child because they feel pressured by poverty, partners, parents or circumstances like education. These are the factors that need to be addressed prevent abortion, not putting women behind bars. Also, if these are orthodox Catholic women, they don’t believe in the death penalty for anyone.
2)The blastocyst or zygote differ from cells such as the egg, sperm, or skin cells because it is a complete organism in itself with distinct and unique DNA.It is not a part of the woman’s body, it is a separate life living temporarily within her womb. That is the difference.

2)You are very right that Maragret Sanger’s reasons for founding PP are not necessarily reflective of PP mission today. However, it is a well-known fact that M.S. was a eugenecist. Simply google “Margaret Sanger quotes” and you will find many anti-black, anti-poor and anti-mentally and physically handicapped quotes. The American eugenics movement, of which Sanger was a major player actually influenced the Nazi movement greatly. (NOTE: I am not calling you or other modern pro-choice people Nazis, simply stating a historical fact.)Although PP does not espouse racist ideas, they still give out a Margaret Sanger award each year and have done nothing to apologize for or distance themselves from their racist past. What if the KKK decided to become another Lion’s club or Rotary club? Would we all just “be ok” with that?

4.) I’m not Catholic myself, but I was dissapointed that you simply poo-pooed these ladies’ claim that the Catholic priests have an abuse rate on-par with that of public schools and showed no evidence that that claim was invalid. I’m curious to know the answer. Furthermore, there is one difference between the Catholic church and PP– the Catholic church does not recieve Federal Funding. At least, I would say that an organization that covers up rape should not recieve federal funding, especially when half or more of American tax payers do not support its mission. I’m glad  you were able to choose to donate to PP, I only wish I was able to choose not to donate to PP.

Thank you for your kind letter.  Starting with flattery really helped me through the tortured logic that followed.  I thank you for that.  As you may have noticed I did that post a few weeks ago and I grew bored with the repetition of worn out arguments that I have already knocked down and closed the comment section to prevent more of the same.  In a wonderful disregard for my sanity, you have taken the time to thrust your opinion on me via an e-mail.  Therefore, I can only assume that you will warmly welcome my response in such a public forum.

1) Prosecution…. If you think that the destruction of a 4 cell blystocyst is murder – then it is murder and the woman should face the full force of the law for her participation.  To argue the contrary would be like me taking an 8 year old child to a man that will cut him into pieces with a saw and then throw the pieces into a chipper with no loss of my liberty?  By your own argument it is different.  Therefore, I just won.  Thank you for playing.

1b)  “Most women historically and today do not feel free to really choose…”  REALLY???  You are going to outlaw abortion so women can be free to choose?  The inherent flaw in this logic is an automatic forfeit of your position.

2)  You acknowledge that your point is not relevant but you cannot stop your self – you make it anyway.  The rest that follows is a non-sequitor and adds no value.

3) I guess there is no point 3.

4) I “poo-pooed”  Their claim because it is ridiculous.  You missed the whole point.  If I come to your house and find that you beat your kids every day – the correct response is not that your neighbor does it to their child also.  catholics seem to ignore the constant rape and cover up of rape that is systematic within their organization.  I fully explained this in the comments to one of the PP posts. (look about half way down the page for my detailed response)

4b)  Federal Funding.  This in inane.  Every church in the USA gets the following funds from local, state and federal government.  NO sales tax, NO property tax, NO FICA (Social Security) tax on “called” employees, Up to 100% on income made can be used as a housing allowance and therefore all federal income taxes are avoided.  There is also billions given to churches every year by the federal government.  churches do not pay for the roads, police or fire department but feel free to use them.  I can assure you I pay far more to support churches then you do to support PP.  So, don’t ever use the argument that churches don’t get government help – you now know that it is a lie.

If you simply wish to believe that abortion from day one is wrong then don’t get one.  Why must your views be forced upon others by force?

I Love This Man!

Posted in politics on April 28th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Bernie Sanders on Jon Stewart.  Can we put Bernie in charge?

April 27, 2011

If you like this video you can listen to more Bernie on the Diane Rehm show.  It is from March 31, 2011.

How Donald Trump Saved America By Making A Black Man Prove That He Is An American!

Posted in politics on April 28th, 2011 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

Guest post from Robin.  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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President Obama released his long form original birth certificate. Anyone who caught the news this morning was treated to a smack down of the media by the President for given credence to the “carnival barkers.” It was quite lovely. Moments later, Donald Trump was at a podium somewhere in New Hampshire beating his chest like an Alpha male saying how proud he was that it was HIM who got this information out into the public arena so we can focus on more important issues. BLECK!

Maybe the US Constitution test should be a test all Americans have to take periodically and not just in 8th grade. In order to become president, candidates are vetted to make sure they meet the qualifications.  President Obama presented a computer generated, certified short form as proof he was born in the United States. This is the legal form for all Hawaiians. The FEC saw that Obama met the qualification for president and put him on the ballot. The long form that Birthers have been clamoring for is not even considered a certified form. It is a Certificate of Birth, not a Certification of Birth with the state seal impressed upon it.

Obama releasing this form was akin to Rivera opening Capone’s safe. There was no smoking gun, no hidden treasure, and no mention of the “M” word. It was a non-event people, move on! In my opinion, this was nothing more than making the black man with the funny name and the Muslim father jump through another hoop. Again, only my opinion here-Birther is just another way to say racist.

I hate that Donald Trump has the power to force the hand of a properly vetted and elected President to show an unofficial document. It also highlights the weakness of the media to give him a platform from which to shout.  He’s nothing but a pompous, arrogant bully; but apparently he is good for ratings. What happened to real journalism?

So is this the end of all the nonsense? Of course not. Republicans criticized him for not releasing the document and now they are criticizing him for releasing it. It’s a game that won’t go away and one that Obama will be hard pressed to win. Countdown to new distraction in 3…2…