Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lazy linking

Note: All links in this post open in a new window.

I haven't really got anything interesting to say, so I thought I'd link to some interesting news stories and blog posts that I've come across. Some of them seem somewhat relevant to the territories covered by other bloggers, so who knows, maybe some blogposts will result from these?

Wired has a summary of the draft document of an upcoming report by the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Climate Report Warns of Drought, Disease

Also at Wired, a story of how Adobe has made some tools that makes it easier to spot photo-manipulations: Adobe Tackles Photo Forgeries
Make sure to check out their examples of famorous doctored photos: Re-imaging History

Media Tranparency has the story of Neil Bush's visit to Saudi Arabia: Neil Bush of Saudi Arabia

In late February, only a few days after Saudi Arabia beheaded four Sri Lankan robbers and then left their headless bodies on public display in the capital of Riyadh, Neil Bush, for the fourth time in the past six years, showed up for the country's Jeddah Economic Forum. The Guardian reported that Human Rights Watch "said the four men had no lawyers during their trial and sentencing, and were denied other basic legal rights." In an interview with Arab News, the Saudi English language paper, Bush described the country as "a kind of tribal democracy."

Now, I don't hold Neil Bush responsible for the acts of the Saudis, but I think he needs a basic introduction to what democracy is.

tigtog looks at the list of the 50 “Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years”, and applies the Bechdel-Wallace test to them - a simple feminist test.
Setting low bars

Over at Salon, Gleen Greenwald asks: Why would any rational person listen to Robert Kagan?
Gleen ask a good question - as he makes clear, Kagan has been consistently wrong, so why would anyone keep listening to him?

NY Times Magazine has a fairly long (9 pages) article by Jeffrey Rosen on the legal ramifcations of new neuro-research: The Brain on the Stand

Also at NY Times Magazine, and article, Out There, about what it might be that we really see when we look out into the universe.

According to the Guardian, British scientists are leading an effort to bring geological information online:
Geological knowledge to go online

Of course, the data won't be available from day one

The project will be launched next week at a conference in Brighton attended by representatives of 55 countries. One of the first tasks will be to convert the data into a global standard computer language developed specifically for the project. The first data, from the UK, US, Canada, Sweden and France, is expected to be available in 2008.

Even so, I am generally of the opinion that it's a good thing to share data.

And in the health news, the Guardian writes Genome study finds 100 new cancer genes

Mike Dunfort, over at The Questionable Authority, has written several posts about the Walter Reed problems, and US health care for soldiers in general. From the Guardian, it seems that the British have similar problems

Via Lauren, I read this post about the current state of medical privacy in Texas, and how the Christian Right is trying to change it: Medical Privacy? Have an Abortion and Kiss It Good-Bye

Oh, and some meta, so feel free to skip this.

Some time today, we pasted the 500th visitor to my blog since I set up sitemeter 11 days ago, however given that PZ Myers, Orac, Afarensis, and Jill at Feministe all had linked to the blog before then, I think it's fairly reasonably to suspect that the real number of visitors have been quite a bit higher.
The current status is that a non-trivial number of people hit my blog through google searches. It seems that my posts about Kent Hovind and the difference between percentage and percentage points are the most frequently visited through google searches.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have linked to your blog for your Kent Hovind article several times. I know of someone who has been participating with Glen Stoll and Corporation Sole scam companies for years. I had never even knew of this problem with Corporation Soles and Embassy of Heaven people until just recently (due to a personal experience) and I cannot believe that they are actually able to get away with this stuff and that they think that there is nothing at all wrong with what they are doing. It just boggles my mind.

March 11, 2007 9:02 PM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Well, technically speaking, they are not able to get away with it, though it's more often their victims (followers) that are jailed, and not themselves.

I find the whole tax protesting movement fascinating, since it's such an uniquely American phenomenom.
Or rather, so I though, until I ran across something similar while visiting Australia a couple of months ago. The argumentation used was not based upon Christian concepts, but many of the other arguments used were the same.

I really should try to see if I can find out more about the Australian movement.

March 11, 2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What got you interested in Kent Hovind and Glen Stoll? Just curious. As I said, I did not know this crap even existed until my family was victimized by a group of people who were involved with Glen Stoll.

March 11, 2007 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, these followers of Glen Stolls that we met.....I would not consider them victims at all. They are TOTALLY WILLING FOLLOWERS.

March 11, 2007 9:26 PM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

I have been participating in the online evolution-ID/creationism debate for a while now, and had of course heard about Kent Hovind through that.

I've also had an interesting in Christian Identity movement and the Patriot movement for some time now.
When reading about it, it became clear to me how closely related the tax protester movement is to those two movements. Especially when I read David Neiwert's In God's Country - The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (excellent book btw., I would recommend it, if you're interested in the subject).

During the Hovind trial, I found his arguments to be very similar to those used by the tax protester movement, and thought there might be a connection, which lead me to Glenn Stoll.
The rest is pretty much described in the post.

One thing I would really like though, was to connect Stoll to the Christian Identity movement. He has certainly hung around with plenty of people with a connection to it, so it doesn't seem too far-fetched.

March 11, 2007 9:34 PM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Well, they are victims in the sense that they are fooled by people like Stoll and the like to believe that they have some kind of divine right on their side.

I don't know if it is the case with Stoll, but frequently people teaching tax schemes are quite good at making sure that they follow the tax codes to the letter. Given Stoll's past, it's probably not likely in his case though.

March 11, 2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was pulled away from here for a while this afternoon....the people that I know of that are involved with Glen Stoll and Corporation Soles are also self-proclaimed Christians. Is there anyway to continue this conversation in private? I'm really very interested in your knowledge of Glen Stoll, Kent Hovind, Embassy of Heaven, Corporation Soles and I'm actually looking to see if you may have any kind of information on a particular group of people.

March 12, 2007 2:46 AM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Sure, feel free to email me at

If you are interested in the subject, I would suggest looking at the archives of David Neiwert's blog Orcinus. He is pretty much the blogging expert on the right-winged militia movement, which those phenomenoms are connected to.

March 12, 2007 6:56 AM  

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