Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In Memoriam: Gerald R. Ford

By the President of the United States of America a Proclamation

Richard Nixon became the thirty-seventh President of the United States on January 20, 1969 and was reelected in 1972 for a second term by the electors of forty-nine of the fifty states. His term in office continued until his resignation on August 9, 1974.

Pursuant to resolutions of the House of Representatives, its Committee on the Judiciary conducted an inquiry and investigation on the impeachment of the President extending over more than eight months. The hearings of the Committee and its deliberations, which received wide national publicity over television, radio, and in printed media, resulted in votes adverse to Richard Nixon on recommended Articles of Impeachment.

As a result of certain acts or omissions occurring before his resignation from the Office of President, Richard Nixon has become liable to possible indictment and trial for offenses against the United States. Whether or not he shall be so prosecuted depends on findings of the appropriate grand jury and on the discretion of the authorized prosecutor. Should an indictment ensue, the accused shall then be entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury, as guaranteed to every individual by the Constitution.

It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.

Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9,1974.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-ninth.

GERALD R. FORD

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And Now This Message


I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail,

not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.
—Baruch Spinoza

You can make a difference.
Support the Skeptics Society’s donation drive
and support rational skepticism and science education
The Skeptics Society is a member-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, professors and teachers, and anyone curious about controversial or revolutionary ideas, extraordinary claims, and the promotion of science. Our mission is to serve as an educational tool for those seeking clarification and viewpoints on those controversial ideas and claims.

About our work
In 2006 the Skeptics Society made strong inroads into the media as well as educational institutions through dozens of lectures at colleges, universities, and high schools around the country, through hundreds of media interviews on radio and television (most notably on Intelligent Design creationism, 9/11 conspiracy theories, and alternative medicine claims), and through dozens of opinion editorials, reviews, essays, commentaries, and articles published outside of Skeptic magazine, furthering our reach into communities not traditionally steeped in science and skepticism.

Of course, we maintained our usual activities of sponsoring a dozen monthly science lectures at Caltech, hosting our annual conference at Caltech (on The Environmental Wars), publishing Skeptic magazine, eSkeptic newsletter, and Junior Skeptic magazine, maintaining our website, and fulfilling tens of thousands of orders through our catalogue of science- and skepticism-related books and DVDs. We are able to do this, and much more, thanks to your support. And so, on behalf of the Skeptics Society, our staff, volunteers, and members, we thank you for your support in our 2007 donation drive.

Donations make it happen
Your donations support our media appearances and provide millions of TV viewers and radio listeners with a skeptical, scientific viewpoint.

Without your support, we couldn’t send Dr. Shermer around the country to discuss and debate paranormal and science controversies. Without Dr. Shermer’s voice on television and radio, in lecture halls and magazines, your rational point of view would be sorely lacking in public discourse. When you see us presenting the skeptical side of the argument, you are seeing your donation dollars at work.

Many members choose to support the Skeptics Society with financial contributions above and beyond their membership fee — please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us further our goals and accomplishments in 2007.

The rewards
Those of you whose contribution fits a donation category below are eligible to receive the following:

Patron — $5,000 or more
Dinner with Michael Shermer and a world-renowned scientist (to be announced), and a private insider’s tour of the Mt. Wilson 100-inch telescope used by Edwin Hubble to discover the expanding universe, and use of the 60-inch telescope for the evening for a private star-gazing party. In addition, you will also receive the three gifts listed below.

Benefactor — $1,000 or more
Two complimentary tickets to the 2007 Skeptics Society Conference at Caltech on War & Terrorism (NOTE: NEW DATE October 26–28, 2007) plus you will also receive the two gifts listed below.

Sponsor — $500 or more

A three-year subscription to Skeptic magazine for yourself or a friend, plus choose a gift listed below.

Supporter — $100 or more

One free book of your choice:
  • Why Darwin Matters by Michael Shermer
  • The Bible Against Itself by Randel Helms
  • The Root of All Evil? Richard Dawkins’ DVD documentary
  • The Soul of Science a pocket-booklet by Michael Shermer


DONATE to The Skeptics Society



Also of interest…


  • Technorati Tags: , ,

    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    RIP: Dot n Dash

    DashThe last of my original pair of ratties, Dash was put to sleep this morning around 9am.  She had developed three tumors, wheezing when she breathed and was loosing weight fast.

    Dash's sister, Dot died in September.  She developed two tumors and even though I knew what needed to be done I let nature take its course and she died

    Right after Dot passed, I noticed that Dash was showing signs of tumors in front of her left hind leg and behind her left front leg.  I promised myself I would not repeat what happened to Dash.  Last weekend my son found Dash had a third tumor growing on the side of her head I realized that it was time to let Dash go.  On Monday I called the vet and made an appointment for 9am Saturday.  The work week helped to keep the event in the back of my mind as the days went by.  So a little before 9am today, I took a small box down to the cage where Dash and Stella live and opened the cage door.  I put a little of the used bedding in the box to reduce the strangeness.  Dash came out of her den to see what was up and I put her in the box.

    About half way to the vet the realization of what was happening hit me like a ton of bricks.  I kept it together until Doctor Sam came in to explain how thedot&dash-3 procedure would work: Dash would be put into a deep sleep using an anesthetic.  Once her pain response was gone, he injected her which killer her instantly.  He was really understanding and kind to this blubbering 50-year old man in front with him.

    I was there with Doctor Sam and Dash for the whole procedure.  It went just as he had described and now Dash is at peace.

    I managed to get home with only a couple of sobs, but when I got home and sat on the bed telling my wife how it went, I could finally release all the emotion.

    I was really surprised at the depth of the emotion this triggered.  This was what was best for Dash, but the wrenching sadness was still very intense for a short time.

    Had errands to run this afternoon and a nap this afternoon helped as well.

    So now its Stella in the big cage all by herself, but not for long.  Six month old sisters, Phoebe, Piper and Paige have come into our lives.  They are getting acclimated to our house in the small cage right next to Stella's cage.  We'll have meet and greets this week and there will soon be four ratties in Dash's house.

    >JjV<
    ---------------------------------------------
    When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I've never tried before.
    Mae West

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Recipe: Corn Pudding


    Here's the Corn Pudding recipe I've used twice already this holiday season. Its really more of a spoon bread, and not a souffle.

    Works for me....

    Corn Pudding
    1. 2 Eggs, Beaten
    2. Can of Cream Corn (14.75 oz)
    3. Can of Whole Kernel Corn (15.25 oz)
    4. Jiffy Mix Corn Muffin Mix (8.5 oz box)
    5. 1 Cup Mayonnaise
    6. 1 Cup Sour Cream
    7. 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
    8. 1 Stick Salted Butter, Melted and cooled slightly

    Preheat oven to 350'F. Mix first six items together until uniform. Add shredded cheddar in three increments while mixing gently. Add melted butter and mix until uniform. Bake in either a 3qt Casserole or 9x11 pan. Grease pan with baking spray and add batter. Bake at 350'F for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Variations:
    Served warm topped with Maple syrup or Honey
    Served with Chipolte Seasoning
    Add a can of chopped chilies to the batter before baking.

    More variations can be found in this write up at the Augusta Chronicle newspaper website.

    Technorati Tags: ,

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

    We finally had the requisite Green Bean casserole for dinner this past weekend.  I thought I would blog the official French's French Fried Onion recipe here for posterity.

    Green Bean Casserole
    Prep time: 5min  Cook Time: 35min

    • 3/4 Cup of Milk
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 10 3/4oz Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
    • 2 - 15oz cans of French Cut Green Beans, Drained
    • 1 1/3 Cups of French's French Fried Onions


    Preheat Oven to 350ºF

    1. In a 1½qt casserole dish mix all ingredients except 2/3s of a cup of the Fried Onions
    2. Bake for 30 minutes at 350º.
    3. Sitr; Top with remaining Fried Onions
    4. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
    Variations:
    Change the soup to Golden Mushroom or Cream of Celery,
    Add diced Portabello Mushrooms.
    Replace pepper with Cajun, Chipolte or other spice blend.


    >JjV<
    ---------------------------------------------
    The superior man is distressed by the limitation of his ability;
    he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability he has.

    Confucius


    Technorati Tags: , ,

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Science Editor

    scitech-banner

    I have agreed to be the Science editor for Blogcritics SciTech section. While I've written for BC in the past as an author, the whole editor thing has been an interesting shift in perspective.

    Now I've got to find some science writers to help me fill out this section. Anyone interested in doing some pro bono science writing should email me for more information.

    >JjV<
    ---------------------------------------------
    If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are as they are.
    Gensha, Zen Master


    Technorati Tags: ,

    Labels: ,

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Supreme Court & Global Warming

    The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments about reversing a lower court ruling the the EPA does NOT have the authority to regulate Carbon Dioxide, a greenhouse gas believed to be contributing to Global Warming.


    The Scientists who run the Real Climate climate change blog have provided an Amicus Curiae brief to SCOTUS.



    Below are the three main arguments that the brief makes:

    I.
    The Science of Climate Change Indicates that It Is Virtually Certain that Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Cause Global Climate Changes, Endangering Human Health and Welfare

    II.
    EPA and the Court of Appeals Mischaracterized the Science of Climate Change, Making It Appear More Uncertain Than It Actually Is.

    III.
    EPA Did Not Apply the Standard of Scientific Evidence Set Forth in the Clean Air Act.


    You can find the entire brief online. The publicity this decision will raise (either way it goes) will go a long way to increasing the public's attention on this topic.

    Technorati Tags: , ,

    Labels: , ,


    Support The Commons

    RSS Atom Feed


    follow johniac at http://twitter.com

    Join Johniac's Frappr Map

    johniac's Rapleaf Score