Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Only Common Sense



The Associated Press has reported that the White House says a common-sense test shows that the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack last month, and it demands a U.S. military response.

Yes. that's right -- White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough asserted that a common-sense test dictates that the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack that Obama says demands a US response.

Hm; I seem to remember . . . Many years ago, The Reader's Digest defined 'common sense' as being the faculty that proves the Earth is flat.

Rush Limbaugh is reporting that radical leftists are claiming the current unrest in Syria was brought about by drought, and that this drought was caused by global warming.

It's only common sense.

The best definition for common sense I have ever read (at RationalWiki.org) or heard is:

Common sense is something which you think you know to be true but that may not actually be true. It is a way of reasoning based on immediate knowledge gathered about the world, and basic rationality applied to that knowledge. However, the danger with common sense is that the scope of knowledge can be quite wrong, and the basic rationality can simply not be deep enough for an attempt at finding truth.

Why Global Warming Might Be A Good Thing

If the average temperature of the Earth eventually rises, even to an overall average of five degrees, the arid areas of the planet (such as parts of the Sahara Desert, Death Valley, etc.) will not be made more uninhabitable, while the temperate or even tropical regions will remain temperate or tropical.

On the other hand, the colder climes will have some warmth added, perhaps making such areas more comfortable or at least suitable for living.

Doesn't that seem right?

It's only common sense.

The homeowners of the home where I am house-sitting and dog-sitting have satellite TV and I have been catching up on some of the movies I missed when they first came out.

Here is a partial list of those movies I have seen in the last couple of days, and a one word review of each:

Life Of Pi - amusing
Zero Dark 30 - intense
Behind The Candlabra - trivial
Contagion - predictable
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - emotionless

Some of them I enjoyed more than others, but I'm glad I watched each and every one  of them.

Except, possibly, the last one. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was disappointing, to me. And I am a long-standing, big fan of Judi Dench.

I suppose the movie's impact was too subtle for such a crass and insensitive an oaf as me.

(And yes, I'm serious about that)


Encyclopaedia Britannica, the first English-language encyclopedia, was published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1771.


On this day, September 10 in 1897, a 25-year-old London taxi driver named George Smith becomes the first person ever
arrested for drunk driving after slamming his cab into a building. Smith later plead guilty and was fined 25 shillings.

In the United States, the first laws against operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol went into effect in New York in 1910.

In 1936, Dr. Rolla Harger, a professor of biochemistry and toxicology, patented the Drunkometer, a balloon-like device into which people would breathe to determine whether they were inebriated. In 1953, Robert Borkenstein, a former Indiana state police captain and university professor who had collaborated with Harger on the Drunkometer, invented the Breathalyzer. Easier-to-use and more accurate than the Drunkometer, the Breathalyzer was the first practical device and scientific test available to police officers to establish whether someone had too much to drink. A person would blow into the Breathalyzer and it would gauge the proportion of alcohol vapors in the exhaled breath, which reflected the level of alcohol in the blood.

Despite the stiff penalties and public awareness campaigns, drunk driving remains a serious problem in the United States. In 2005, 16,885 people died in alcohol-related crashes and almost 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.



make (someone) drunk; intoxicate.



William James "Bill" O'Reilly, Jr.
(born September 10, 1949)
Bill O'Reilly is an American television host, author, syndicated columnist and political commentator. He is the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is the most watched cable news television program on American television.

O'Reilly is widely considered a conservative commentator, though some of his positions diverge from conservative orthodoxy. O'Reilly is a registered "Independent" and characterizes himself as a "traditionalist". O'Reilly is the author of ten books.

Katherine "Kate" Burton
(born September 10, 1957)
Kate Burton is a Welsh-American actress and the daughter of actor Richard Burton.

Early films of Burton's include Alice in Wonderland, Anne of the Thousand Days, Big Trouble in Little China, The First Wives Club, Life with Mikey and The Ice Storm. Burton has made many appearances in the late 1980s and 1990s on episodic television, including appearances on Spenser: For Hire, All My Children, and Brooklyn Bridge. In 1996, Burton won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a mother dying of breast cancer in the ABC Afterschool Special, 'Notes For My
Daughter'. More recently, she made guest appearances as recurring characters on Law & Order, The Practice, The West Wing, Judging Amy and Medium. She also appeared on the HBO miniseries Empire Falls.

On the FX cable network's Rescue Me, she played the role of Rose. Also, in perhaps her most visible and well-known role to date as the mother of Dr. Meredith Grey on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Burton played Dr. Ellis Grey. She now portrays Vice President Sally Langston in the ABC hit show Scandal.

Arnold Daniel Palmer
(born September 10, 1929)
Arnold Palmer is an American professional golfer, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men's professional golf. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955. Nicknamed "The King," he is one of golf's most popular stars and its most important trailblazer, because he was the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s.

Amy Davis Irving
(born September 10, 1953)
 Amy Irving is an American actress, who appeared in the films Crossing Delancey, The Fury, Carrie, and Yentl as well as on Broadway and Off-Broadway. She was married to director Steven Spielberg; they divorced in 1989 after four years of marriage, with Irving receiving a settlement of $100 million.


Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.
--Isaac Asimov


This Is Who I Am

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