Yet TV violence is constant. It's taboo to smoke a Kool Menthol, but fine to shoot, beat and stab. To cite just one of many examples, "Hawaii Five-0" had an episode with a graphic splatter-movie depiction of a sobbing young woman strapped to a table being sliced open by a maniac with a power saw. Just don't show the killer smoking a cigarette -- viewers are impressionable! Violence is both hyped on TV, and depicted as having no consequences: good guys get shot at close range and are completely healed minutes later. In the finale of "True Detective," the Matthew McConaughey character was stabbed in the stomach with a huge blade, and seemed to need only a spritz of Bactine to recover. (Real-world stomach wounds cause bleeding that is very hard to stanch.) TV won't glorify drinking or smoking but will glorify violence. What's wrong with this picture?
This Was Believable: Miley Cyrus performed wearing only bra and panties because, she said, she forgot to put on clothes.
Another Reason Sex Should Be Discreet: After kissing, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry argued in public about where each other's tongues had been.
Science Drinks Subsidized Champagne While Art Hunts for Crumbs: Science is essential to human enlightenment. But scientists cry woe-is-me in order to wring more subsidies from the public; mainstream journalists, who as a group are rooting for science to disprove religion, accept the science community's money lobbying without question.
In March, President Barack Obama proposed a fiscal 2015 federal budget with $135 billion for government research funding, which translates to a $600 subsidy per American adult to science. That's a lot, and reflects increased real-dollar funding for most government research agencies. An additional $5.3 billion in science funds came from the latest stimulus plan (not the "second stimulus" as backers like to say, it's the fourth). Adjusting for inflation, nearly all forms of federal science funding have marched steadily upward in the postwar era.
So are scientists happy? Once again they are crying wolf. The American Association for the Advancement of Science complained there were "strings attached" to bonus funding. How dare taxpayers expect a return on an investment! Surely the AAAS doesn't attach strings to salaries for its staff, merely handing them money and telling them to do whatever they please.
After the president's FY2015 budget was released, The New York Times, flagship of establishment opinion, declared on Page 1 that "budget cuts have left the nation's research complex reeling." This is pure bunkum, but conforms to what readers want to be told.
The Times story depicted billionaires -- Bill Gates and Sergey Brin -- giving large sums to scientific projects. Good for them! Let's hope they give more. But the hook of the article was that public support for science had dropped so much, the super-rich were left to take up the slack. All billionaires' donations to science cited in the article equate, combined, to 12 percent of the FY15 federal proposal. And the billionaire donations are one-time events; the federal budget is annual. I roughly estimate that over the past decade, taxpayers have spent $50 on research for every $1 donated by the super-rich. The super-rich are not saving science; average people are.