One Nation, Under God

I was going to write something snarky about Huckabee’s comments on the Constitution, but Archy has already said everything I would have, and better:

Mike Huckabee doesn’t like it when people question him about his religion. He assures us that he won’t try to force his religion on us if he becomes president. He wants us to take his word on that and just shut up about creationism. This is his idea of not forcing his religion on us:

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

Say goodbye to pork, shimp, blended fabrics, and start collecting rocks to deal with all those rebellious children and women taken in adultery. At least he plays the guitar and has a folksy manner, because that’s what’s really important.

Super Sized Guilty Pleasures

I’m watching the film Super Size Me, and they’re talking about the massive drinks you can get from fast food joints and the 7-11. In general I didn’t indulge in such things, primarily because I have a bladder the size of a walnut, but one of my small treasured memories of the US is driving to South Dakota in the summer. It was hot and bright, a day that director’s show with overexposed film and distant horizons. Stopping at a gas station I picked up a vast bucket of diet coke, enough that the cup could hardly hold together, and filled with a positively un-British amount of ice. Well worth the next 3 pitstops.

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Food Regulation

In the UK there is no law controlling the nutritional information shown of packaged foods. There are guidelines that allow at least +/- 20% leeway for each component (so an item with 10g of fat could actually have 8g or 12g), and being guidelines it doesn’t matter if it’s more.

That’s disappointing, of course, but what’s more surprising is that animal feed is tightly regulated; if cows ate Sainsbury’s prepared curry it would have to follow pretty closely what it said on the pack (to protect us, the ultimate consumer of the cow), but if we’re eating the curry, or the cow, it need not.

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Voting Machines and Scary People

Here’s an analysis by a Stanford professor on the recent New Hampshire primary:

Our analysis of all recent primaries in New Hampshire showed that there was always a big primacy effect — big-name, big-vote-getting candidates got 3 percent or more votes more when listed first on the ballot than when listed last.

The initial reaction might be that it’s yet another example of inept election management. And it is. But what’s scarier for me is that people would do this. Remember, this is a primary. There is (as far as I know) no other issue being discussed, so it’s just about the candidate you want. There’s no major moral imperative either – many people feel it’s their civic duty to vote in an election, even if they don’t like any of the candidates, but the same can’t be true to a significant degree in a primary. So presumaby these are motivated, interested people who want to make their voice heard. And they STILL get distracted by something as trivial as word order.

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