Georgia Republican says military rapes caused by Mother Nature

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) on Tuesday suggested that the “hormone level created by nature” was to blame for rapes in the military and that all pregnant servicewomen should be investigated to make sure their condition was the result of consensual sex.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assaults within the military, Chambliss opined that the Pentagon’s decision to allow women in combat roles was only going to make the problem worse.

The Georgia Republican recalled that “several years ago when we had the first females go out on an aircraft carrier, when they returned to port, a significant percentage of those females were pregnant…”

Chambliss noted that Democratic proposals to modify the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and take sexual assault reporting outside of the victim’s chain of command might not work because young servicemen were being driven by their “nature.”

“The young folks coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23,” he pointed out. “Gee-whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So, we’ve got to be very careful on our side.”

Another case of dumb and dumber. Dumb being this fool representing Georgia voters who are even dumber for electing and reelecting him. It doesn’t take more than a high school education to be apprised that rape is a crime of violence – not a felony committed under the influence of hormone intoxication.

Yes, I realize he’s mostly fiddling around for rationales to excuse the incompetence of what passes for American military justice. Puerile ideas like this may have been acceptable decades ago; but, even the average Republican – in the Senate, anyway – should be able to come with something better than crap junk science.

What an embarrassment to government, Georgia and Confederate education.

Even stitched together, graphene remains the strongest material

A study conducted at Columbia University has revealed that even when stitched together from much smaller fragments, large sheets of graphene still retain much of their mechanical properties. The discovery may be a crucial step forward in the mass-production of carbon nanotubes that could be used to manufacture flexible electronics, ultra-light and strong materials, and perhaps even the first space elevator.

In its purest form, graphene is quite remarkable: it is the strongest material known to man, a great conductor of heat and electricity, and is both very stiff and very ductile. Graphene is also exquisitely light: at a mere 0.77 mg per square meter, a giant sheet covering the whole of the Unites States would weigh less than four space shuttles at launch…

Researchers see in graphene a promising avenue to flexible electronics technology, leading to smart clothing, Harry Potter-style newspapers that can play videos on demand, and smartphones that unfold into full-sized tablets, to name a few. Graphene could also create high-performance composites to replace carbon fiber or, some researchers speculate, even a space elevator that could tether an artificial satellite to Earth (carbon nanotubes, which are rolled-up sheets of graphene, are the only known material with a strength-to-weight ratio high enough to pull off such a feat…)

The researchers will now focus on studying other two-dimensional materials and how they are affected by the presence of grains. “Our work shows that grain boundaries in 2D materials can be much more sensitive to processing than in 3D materials,” says Kisar. “This is because all the atoms in graphene are surface atoms, so surface damage can completely destroy the strength of these materials. However with appropriate processing that avoids surface damage, grain boundaries in 2D materials can be nearly as strong as the perfect, defect-free structure.”

I want graphene hiking shoes.

Paul Krugman says – The geezers are all right

Last month the Congressional Budget Office released its much-anticipated projections for debt and deficits, and there were cries of lamentation from the deficit scolds who have had so much influence on our policy discourse. The problem, you see, was that the budget office numbers looked, well, O.K.: deficits are falling fast, and the ratio of debt to gross domestic product is projected to remain roughly stable over the next decade. Obviously it would be nice, eventually, to actually reduce debt. But if you’ve built your career around proclamations of imminent fiscal doom, this definitely wasn’t the report you wanted to see.

Still, we can always count on the baby boomers to deliver disaster, can’t we? Doesn’t the rising tide of retirees mean that Social Security and Medicare are doomed unless we radically change those programs now now now?

Maybe not…

…The numbers aren’t nearly as overwhelming as you might have imagined, given the usual rhetoric. And if you look under the hood, the data suggest that we can, if we choose, maintain social insurance as we know it with only modest adjustments.

Start with Social Security. The retirement program’s trustees do foresee rising spending as the population ages, with total payments rising from 5.1 percent of G.D.P. now to 6.2 percent in 2035, at which point they stabilize. This means, by the way, that all the talk of Social Security going “bankrupt” is nonsense; even if nothing at all is done, the system will be able to pay most of its scheduled benefits as far as the eye can see.

Still, it does look as if there will eventually be a shortfall, and the usual suspects insist that we must move right now to reduce scheduled benefits. But I’ve never understood the logic of this demand. The risk is that we might, at some point in the future, have to cut benefits; to avoid this risk of future benefit cuts, we are supposed to act pre-emptively by…cutting future benefits. What problem, exactly, are we solving here?

Solutions offered BTW by politicians who in no way will ever have to rely on Social Security.

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