Happy Festivus!

Today is Festivus, the holiday made famous by a 1997 episode of Seinfeld. Festivus actually goes back to 1966 when the father of a writer on Seinfeld started the holiday in frustration over the commercialism and pressure surrounding the Christmas/Hanukkah season.

So for those that celebrate, enjoy the “Festivus for the rest of us” and may the “Feats of Strength” begin.

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Chuck Norris Has A New Profession, Selling BS

Playing an action hero is no longer paying the bills nor apparently is being a Mike Huckabee supporter so Chuck Norris seems to have decided on his next profession, being a voice for the Religious Right. His latest screed feeds the fearmongering that is the SOP for the wingnut right.

What if Mother Mary Had Obamacare?

The purpose of the Norris post is obviously to play on the faithful’s fears by telling us that if “Obamacare” had existed when the unwed Mary had been pregnant, taxpayer funds could have paid for the abortion of the Christian Messiah.

What would have happened if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Imagine all the great souls who could have been erased from history and the influence of mankind if their parents had been as progressive as Washington’s wise men and women! Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?

Of course putting aside the fact that the supposed homeland of Jesus already has government funded health care much more socilalized than anything proposed here including abortions in some cases, and since Norris doesn’t seem to have any problems playing around with what ifs…

What if “Obamacarehad been around when Mary was pregnant? Would she have been forced to give birth in a filthy stable without benefit of a doctor or any prenatal care? And considering the high infant mortality rate in pre-Obamacare biblical times, how many potentially great individuals actually did die from the lack of availability to proper health care? (inadequate as it was back then)

All in all I would think it is quite fortunate that he he made it to adulthood at all.

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Even Google Hates South Dakota

Readers here are aware of my rants on the lack of choices South Dakotans have when it come to cell phone technology. My thoughts on the subject especially when discussing my frustration over the Apple/AT&T exclusivity deal for the iPhone have been posted here on a regular basis. With that in mind, rumors of a mysterious Google phone that had been swirling around for awhile now gave me hope that a revolutionary smart phone might be just around the corner to compete with Apple and that it might actually be available for those of us that are geographically challenged.

The Motorola Droid was an opening act, being the latest and greatest built on Google’s Android operating system and taking advantage of Verizon’s excellent network. I was so impressed by the initial hype I went out and purchased one but despite many great features and excellent first impressions, a month later it has me wishing for more. (more on that in a future post)

So imagine my excitement when stories began emerging over the weekend on a real honest to goodness Google phone. The Nexus One as it has been officially named, is real and could possibly be available as soon as next month.

As the weekend progressed, more and more details began emerging further increasing my excitement including Google’s willingness to sell the phone directly to consumers meaning that it would be unlocked and available to use without having to sell your soul to a wireless provider for multiple years.


To this point we had an open source smart phone with the clout of Google behind it being sold unlocked to anyone who wanted it. Sounds pretty good right? Well this is South Dakota after all so there has to be a catch in there somewhere and this is no exception, and it is a big one.

The Nexus One will be GSM only. For those unaware of what that means, you will have the choice of exactly 2 major cell phone providers, AT&T and T-Mobile.

That’s right, the next big thing in the cell phone business will at least initially only work on providers that do not provide service in South Dakota! (AT&T has purchased AllTel’s assets here as part of the Verizon merger agreement but what that means is still anyones guess)

To make matters worse, Google supposedly initially approached Verizon with a proposal that would have had them partnering on this phone. If Verizon would have agreed it would have meant that not only would the phone still have been sold unlocked by Google as it will be now, it would have likely been CDMA based making it available for use on most every carrier in South Dakota including Verizon and Sprint.

Of course, like they did with the iPhone, Verizon said no and Google instead went to T-Mobile meaning the phone will be GSM and South Dakotans will remain in the semi-dark ages using a network that severely limits our phone choices.

Oh well, I guess there will always be the next big thing…

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Stem Cells Used In Promising HIV Treatment

Very few issues cause the far right wingers’ blood pressure to rise more than gays and abortion. So the news that researchers have made strides in fighting HIV using stem cells and human fetal tissue must have many of them reaching for their blood pressure meds.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, made a stunning announcement Monday: Stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV.

The results, published Monday in the online journal PLoS ONE, demonstrate that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.

The rest of us will applaud the progress to date and hope that the research continues to show promising results.

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