Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Lincoln Journal Star's ignorant drivel about Iran sanctions

Fulminating against Republican opposition to Chuck Hagel, the Lincoln Journal Star ranted....
The fact is that Hagel opposed unilateral sanctions, and for a very good reason. They don’t work. But he voted repeatedly for multilateral sanctions -- which do work -- against Iran. It’s a matter of record. You can look it up.
I did look it up. The LJS is full of it. The United State imposes a slew of unilateral sanctions against Iran. These include bans on any company doing business with Iran, a ban on imports from Iran, sanctions against Iranian banks, a ban on exporting aviation parts, and so on...a full listing is here. An appraisal of the effect of the US sanctions by Akbar Torbat in 2005, before they were intensified and before multilateral sanctions were imposed, said that
It is concluded that, overall, the sanctions' economic effect has been significant, while its political effect has been minimal.
The Congressional Research Service have concluded that US sanctions against financial sector companies doing business with Iran have been particularly effective. And, of course, current Obama administration policy includes the use of unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seeing double

The best SOTU joke derives from the split screen they were using on CNN to show the State of the Union speech simultaneously with Chris Dorner's shuffling off this mortal coil.
Q: What's the difference between Barack Obama and Chris Dorner? A: One is a gun-control supporter with a chip on his shoulder who thinks its OK to summarily kill American citizens, and the other's a former cop.
Thanks, and remember to tip your waitress.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Is 'generic' the new 'urban'?

Observers of the language have watched with some amusement how the word 'urban' has become a stand-in, in some places, for 'African American'. Now, it appears, the Lincoln Journal Star has a new formula for suppressing information about crime perpetrators - 'generic description'. Here's a story about a serious, apparently unprovoked assault in downtown Lincoln overnight.
The assailant got out of a black, four-door Honda Accord at 10th and N streets and punched the man shortly after 2 a.m., causing him to fall to the pavement, Lincoln Police Capt. David Beggs said. Police offered only a generic description of the attacker. Beggs said no footage showing the attack was available.
An actual news source, as opposed to a news-suppression organization, gives us some insight as to what 'generic' means.
Police say they're looking for a 1997 or newer black four door Honda Accord. There were two black males, one about 6' 1'' and 190 pounds, possibly wearing a blue long sleeved shirt, and two white females, in the car.
It's truly hilarious the LJS feels it can publish the color of the car, but not of the attackers. And this is surely anything but 'generic'. As perp. descriptions go, it's quite detailed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

UNL still mired in seething h8!

Another vile hate-filled tweet has been unearthed by those intrepid sleuths at UNLhaters!
Oh, merciful God, or Allah, or nearest divine equivalent. Someone commented he was surrounded by people speaking a foreign language! We are only a few short steps from death camps!