Don’t miss this!

March 24, 2011

Back in November, there was a fascinating workshop on subjects pertaining to he origins of life.  Some of the talks dealt with structural and evolutionary aspects of ribosomes.  Next week, there will be a two-day symposium that follows up, in a sense, on this workshop.  The symposium is entitled “The Ribosome: Structure, Function & Evolution”.  The really great thing is that, like the workshop in November, this symposium can be “attended” over the internet.  So you have no excuses for missing this event.

And it promises to be a good one.  Here is the list of speakers, taken from the program here:


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If I may be permitted to offer an amendment

March 4, 2011

One of Kentucky’s senators, Rand Paul, recently offered a resolution hat would require a full reading of a bill.  As Paul’s web site states:

“Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) today introduced a resolution to change Senate rules to provide sufficient time for legislation to be read before being considered by the U.S. Senate. The waiting period point of order would require all bills, amendments, and conference reports to be filed for one day for every 20 pages before it can be considered.”

I would add an amendment to this.  The change would require that a senator or representative prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that (s)he actually understands what (s)he is talking about when it comes to proposed legislation.  For example, as a taxpayer (and, thus, Paul’s boss), I would ask that Paul actually understand what the National Institute of Food and Agriculture really is.

According to Paul (see, for example, this link):

National Institute of Food and Agriculture is the parent agency to the Agriculture Research Service. NIFA is essentially the communications arm to spread ARS information to the public.

I’m sorry, but that goes beyond wrong.  It’s actually embarrassing that a US Senator could be so badly misinformed.  I’ts even worse that he is willing to act on this foolish disinformation.

For those who are interested, NIFA is the USDA unit that funds extramural competitive grants that address issues of importance to food and agriculture.  It’s a granting agency, not a PR firm.

I propose that an elected official be required, in full public view, to take and pass tests that deal with subject matter in legislation that they are proposing.  To give the measure some power, I would further propose that legislators that fail said tests be required to forfeit some percentage of their own personal fortunes.  This would bring some personal accountability to the legislative process.

Just my own opinion.  From one who sometimes cannot believe the pranks being played on the public by the people in Washington.