October 2015 Newsletter

Topic for discussion FF


Don’t forget to check out Tom the Dancing Bug by Reuben Bolling at the very end of this month’s newsletter!

I’m again posting TWO TtDB cartoons this month just because I can.

In September, Fox and National Geographic merged in a deal that was worth $750,000,000 to Nat Geo’s endowment.  Fox will own 73% of Nat Geo properties such as the National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Magazine, maps, books, etc. Cartoonist Ruben Bolling imagines what the cover of the newly re-tooled National Geographic Magazine might look like.

Also a glimpse behind the scenes of God as cartoonist!


merchants of doubt bookclub announcement ff

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FOLLOW-UPS! TRACKING SOME ISSUES RAISED IN EARLIER NEWSLETTERS OR AT MEETINGS!

FOLLOW UP #1:

Ten Commandments monument removed from Oklahoma Capital grounds

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/06/us-usa-oklahoma-monument-idUSKCN0S01TO20151006

A Ten Commandants monument is seen in a fenced-off section of Oklahoma State Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz
A Ten Commandants monument is seen in a fenced-off section of Oklahoma State Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz

Last June, OK Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. On October 6 it was removed from the state capitol grounds. Governor Mary Fallin (R) vows to find a way to return it to the capitol.

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Follow Up #2

Gluten Free/Casein Free Diets Not Effective Against Autism

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/4412/gfcf-diets-found-to-be-ineffective-for-children-with-autism.aspx

CELIAC FFSeveral months ago, Marc Masor hosted a member talk about celiac disease and the advisability of maintaining a gluten-free diet for those who do NOT have the disease. REMINDER: Such a diet is not recommended for anyone who is NOT suffering from this specific disease. Now Marc notifies us of a new study, just released last month. “Gluten-free, casein-free diets have become popular complementary treatments for children with autism spectrum disorder, but a rigorous study at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) found that eliminating these foods had no effect on a child’s behavior, sleep, or bowel patterns.Results of the study, which was the most tightly-controlled research on dietary intervention and autism to date, were published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders earlier this month.

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Follow Up #3

Where Are All the ‘Good’ Muslims’?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/more-than-1000-indian-muslim-clerics-sign-fatwa-against-isis_55f06f6ae4b002d5c0779b9e   

Indian Muslim cleric Mohammed Manzar Hasan Ashrafi Misbahi, right speaks with Islamic students at the Ajmeri Masjid in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. More than 1,000 Muslim clerics in India have ratified a religious ruling that condemns the Islamic State and calls the extremist group's actions "un-Islamic, Misbahi said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Indian Muslim cleric Mohammed Manzar Hasan Ashrafi Misbahi, right speaks with Islamic students at the Ajmeri Masjid in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. More than 1,000 Muslim clerics in India have ratified a religious ruling that condemns the Islamic State and calls the extremist group’s actions “un-Islamic, Misbahi said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

NEW DELHI (AP) — More than 1,000 Muslim clerics in India have ratified a religious ruling that condemns the Islamic State and calls the extremist group’s actions “un-Islamic.”

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Follow Up #4

Kim Davis and the Principle of Religious Freedom

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-r-stone/kim-davis-and-the-freedom_b_8101334.html 

This is an interesting essay by a law professor at U of Chicago which explores the nuances of what is and what is not a violation of a person’s ‘freedom of religion’. “Davis is the moral equivalent of the elevator operator in a government building who, for her own religious reasons, refuses to let gays and lesbians ride in “her” elevator, which is the only one in the building. This, quite simply, she cannot do.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office’s refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

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Follow Up #5

Vaccines. Vaccines. Vaccines. Vaccines

(Contributed by Marc Masor)

Vaccination

A NEW STUDY   In a recent trial involving flu and pneumococcal vaccines, no increase in febrile seizures in children were found to result from vaccination whether the vaccines were administered together or on separate days. Here is the link:   http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/136/4/e848.abstract 

 

CAN VACCINES PREVENT STROKES IN CHILDREN?      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/30/us-health-stroke-child-infections-idUSKCN0RU2O320150930  Based on 700 children across nine countries, researchers linked having had a recent illness like bronchitis, ear infection or “strep throat” to a six-fold rise in stroke risk. Having few or none of the routine childhood vaccinations was tied to a seven-fold rise in risk.

WHAT MOTIVATES ANTI-VAXXERS?    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/four-types-non-vaccinators   ” Falling rates of vaccination have opened the door to outbreaks of diseases long eliminated from those parts of the world with strong health systems. However, the reasons people are failing to vaccinate their children vary. A paper published in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences provides a taxonomy of non-vaccinators, along with ideas on the approaches most likely to change the minds of each.”

anti vacc

NO LINK BETWEEN VACCINES AND AUTISM    https://www.upworthy.com/the-results-of-the-latest-study-about-vaccines-and-autism-are-in-and-theyre-not-surprising?c=huf1   The rumors persist linking autism to childhood vaccinations despite being debunked time and again.  A study which began in 2003 seeking to prove that vaccines cause autism came up with a surprising (to anti-vaxxers) conclusion.

VACCINES FF

“The evidence against a vaccines-autism link is so overwhelming that even a study funded specifically to find such a link was unable to find one…. 2013 study in the Journal of Pediatrics  found no evidence supporting a vaccines-autism link. Neither did this 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Nor did this one from 2011. This one also found none.”

Print

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Follow UP #6

Climate Change: LA Times Report on “What Exxon Knew About Earth’s Melting Arctic”

http://graphics.latimes.com/exxon-arctic/

la-exxon-arctic-gallery-20151007-007

Permafrost melt is changing the Arctic landscape.

Documents reveal that the company was making preparations in the early 90’s to position the company to deal effectively with a warming planet even while they publically sought to downplay the certainty of global warming.

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NOSTLAGIA CORNER

Then and Now   

http://www.slideshare.net/RussellJWhite/then-and-now-1955-to-2010-10821744

In 1955, groceries for a family of 4 cost $10/week. In 2010, it cost $150, a 1400% increase.

In 1955, gasoline cost $0.27/gal. In 2010 the average price was $3.23 an increase of 1096%.

In 1955, the average new home cost $15,200. In 2010 it was $213,900, a 1300% increase

AMERICA NOSTALGIA FF

Are You ‘Cultured’ by 1950 standards?  Um, probably not.  

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2015/10/15/quiz_assessing_knowledge_by_1950s_standards.html

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SILLY SEASON ITEMS, AKA ELECTION NEWS

Most Americans Agree With Ben Carson: No Muslim President

https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/09/25/ben-carsons-muslim-comments/     

Carson-Muslim-Remarks-620x435

“The American public remains resistant to the idea of a Muslim president. 57% in total agree with what Carson said about backing a Muslim candidate. The perspective is shared by the vast majority (83%) of Republicans as well as four in ten Democrats.”

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IN POLITICS, IT’S OK TO DISCRIMINATE…AS LONG AS YOU DON’T DISCRIMINATE AGAINST CHRISTIANS

Fair and Unfair to discriminate based on religion

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WHAT REPUBLICANS WANT. (SURPRISE! IT’S THE SAME THING DEMOCRATS WANT!)   

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zephyr-teachout/republican-voters-want-th_b_8210544.html

Supporters of Republican presidential candidates want to see fundamental structural change in how we fund elections as badly as Democrats do!

election funding

A majority of Bush and Trump voters would be happy if they came out and supported a new, opt-in system of citizen funded elections. The poll demonstrates to Republican candidates that a majority of their voters believe the system is rigged, and more importantly, they want politicians to act.

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SPEAKING OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, DID YOU KNOW….

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/11/us/politics/2016-presidential-election-super-pac-donors.html?_r=1

Just 158 U.S. families are responsible for over ONE HALF of all political campaign contributions! That amounts to $176,000,000 contributed as campaign seed money in the opening phase of the 2016 Presidential season! Although both parties are the beneficiaries of this largesse, Republicans are taking home the lion’s share of the loot.

Election funding Rs vs Ds FF

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HERE’S SOMETHING THAT MOST AMERICANS AGREE UPON

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-28/bloomberg-poll-americans-want-supreme-court-to-turn-off-political-spending-spigot

Americans are (mostly) united in despising the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision that equates ‘money’ to ‘free speech’.

citizens united

citizens-united-cartoon-wasserman-the-boston-globe

“Americans are divided on the justices’ decisions on gay marriage, health care and abortion. BUT, not on campaign finance reform”.

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Backroads and Sights to See

Colorado’s Alpine Loop Scenic Byway….Not

https://www.codot.gov/travel/scenic-byways/southwest/alpine-loop

Alpine Loop map

Carolyn and I have wondered about the ‘Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway’ between Silverton and Lake City for quite some time. Earlier this month, we decided it was time to tackle the notoriously difficult ‘road’. We certainly had the weather for a late-fall drive in the mountains: gorgeous blue skies with a spray of white clouds made it a postcard day. Officially, the 63 mile loop can be accomplished in 4 – 6 hours. But in the real world, where the rubber meets the rocks, it’s a different story!

East of Silverton looking to the westEast of Silverton, looking west

East of Silverton looking to the eastEast of Silverton, looking east

The pavement ends just east of Silverton, turning into a wide, dusty gravel road that winds up the river valley. It gradually narrows to a one-road-with-turnouts that soon turns into a very rough rocky track clinging to the hillsides as we gained altitude through 10,000’. We were two hours (with frequent photo stops, I’ll admit) and made it just 7 miles before we turned out trusty Honda Pilot around and headed back to Silverton. We were making about 3MPH, skirting significant craters in the road, creeping over some intimating rocks as we waited to hear the screech of our oil pan being ripped to pieces. Even the ORVs and Jeeps were crawling along at a walking pace or slower. At that rate, it would have taken nearly 24 hours of constant driving to complete the loop!

Somewhere between Silverton and Animas ForksSomewhere between Silverton and Animas Forks

Near headwaters of Animas RiverNear the headwaters of the Animas River

To do this drive successfully, YOU MUST have a high clearance vehicle or an ATV or some sort. Bring food. Lots of food.

Back at the Silverton Visitor’s Center, I inquired about the advisability of taking on the Alpine Loop in our Pilot, gesturing out the front window to our car in the parking lot. “In THAT?” she laughed disbelievingly. “NO WAY”! According to her, the road has become very much more difficult to drive in the last decade due to rains, rockfall and lack of maintenance. Officially, she advises visitors to buy postcards and save the wear and tear on their vehicles. Unless you have a particularly high clearance vehicle, off-road tires, a large cache of munchies and lots and lots of time, you should probably stick to looking at the photos other brave souls have posted on the web.

Time to turn aroundTurned around and headed back to Silverton. It was too much for the Pilot (or the Pilot’s driver) to maintain headway as the road continued to deteriorate (not pictured, btw). The road continues into the backcountry, climbing the hillside on the center/left of the above photo…

If you have any favorite drives or haunts that you’d be willing to share with the group, please send a description of the drive and a few photos to larrybollinger@comcast.net for inclusion in a future newsletter. Don’t everyone crowd my inbox at once!

Tom the Dancing Bug 1255 national geografox
Tom the Dancing Bug 1255 national geografox
Tom the Dancing Bug 451 god-man - cartooning tips
Tom the Dancing Bug 451 god-man – cartooning tips

Tom the Dancing Bug is reproduced in our monthly Newsletter courtesy of the artist, Ruben Bolling.

Visit the archive of years of TtDB cartoons at http://gocomics.typepad.com/tomthedancingbugblog/

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