July 31, 2003

Late Night Reading

Bum's Rush takes a look at whether there were any WMDs left after Desert Fox and suggests a devious reason behind Clinton's recent apparent supportive words.

The Information Economy is still coming
says Brad DeLong.

Pejman would be happy to sign up for this course.

Bitter has been reading 50 Things Every Guy Should Know

Jonathon Wild, Catallarchy, analyzes the drug reimportation issue and reads about marginal costs.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2003

Impersonating and Desecrating

attorney general ashcroft may be guilty of impersonating an officer and bush disrespects the flag. Is this a pattern of behaviour by the administration?

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2003

Australia invades the Solomon Islands

This has been going on for a bit and I missed the headlines in US papers and haven't been as diligent as I should be reading blogs from down under (up to them). July 22:

The first contingent of the biggest Australian force deployed in the Pacific since World War II left yesterday for a dangerous and uncertain mission in the Solomon Islands.
I'll be the first to say that I don't understand all the issues. Here is a bit of background:
The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society.���
It does, though, look like the Australian govm't has been taking lessons from the bushies and learning them well. First, from Rob Schap on preemption:
It's all there then. The raising of the possibility of terrorist bases later as justification for invasion now, and the implication that those brownish people just can't be trusted to look after themselves.
Rob's post provides some background on the invasion of the Solomon's.

Second, lets get rid of their weapons:

Past firearms amnesties have had very limited success, but there are hopes the planned dispatch in mid-August of about 100 additional police will persuade more people to surrender weapons.

Ben McDevitt, a senior Australian Federal Police officer, said the extra officers would have special training and technical back-up to track down weapons.

Let's see if midnight raids and body searches become part of the repertoire as well.

They have a lesson for the bushies as well: Why worry about a 'coalition of the willing' just do it.

Another consideration: perhaps the Australians have a mutual defence treaty with the dolphins and are coming to their defense:

The arrival of the force will complicate another issue which has been generating rising tensions - the export of dolphins from the Solomons to Mexico.

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2003

poindexter to resign

Read it here. This should be considered good news...both for the bushies (eleminate knee jerk responses whenever poindexters name is mentioned) and the rest of us (they could, of course, find someone worse.

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2003

Getting the Truth

bush channels answers to reporter's questions.

Via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AP Photo.

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2003

July 30, 2003

late Night Reading

Cowboy Kahlil is thankful for many member of his gene pool! The rest of us should remember to thank those that are on our list.

And, lest I forget, if you still need more to read there's many night's worth over at Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics where the 45th Carnival of the Vanities was held today.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 30, 2003


In June The Economist reviewed the book The Iron Triangle on the Carlyle Group:

You need not be a conspiracy theorist, though, to be concerned about what lies behind Carlyle's success. Can a firm that is so deeply embedded in the iron triangle where industry, government and the military converge be good for democracy? Carlyle arguably takes to a new level the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower feared might �endanger our liberties or democratic process�. What red-blooded capitalist can truly admire a firm built, to a significant degree, on cronyism; surely, this sort of access capitalism is for ghastly places like Russia, China or Africa, not the land of the free market?
It looks like an interesting and instructive read.

Posted by Steve on July 30, 2003

Bobblehead Jack

In an unusual juxtaposition of sports and literature Jack Kerouac will make an appearance as a bobblehead doll:

The first 1,000 fans at the Aug. 21 game between the Lowell Spinners and Williamsport Crosscutters of the Class A New York-Penn League will receive bobbing likenesses of Jack Kerouac.
That's On the Road he's standing on. Full article here.

Posted by Steve on July 30, 2003

July 29, 2003

Late Night Reading

If you are wondering whether the NY Times talks more about Michael Moore or Ann Coulter then head over to Virginia Postrel's place to find out.

Arnold Kling, EconLog, asks 'What is a safe investment nowadays?"

Have you done the boogaloo! Languagethat talks about the boogaloo and punctuation.

Short Hope Unfiltered takes a look at Larry Sabato's current predictions for the 2004 Presidential election.

If you've been out of touch the the seminal issues of the day for a while head over to Busy Busy Busy where you can get the 'Cliff Note' version. Begin with the Shorter William Rasberry and work down the page.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 29, 2003

Legal Double Bind

Situation: You are a defense attorney whose client is charged with possessing pornography. As part of preparing your defense you have copies of the alleged pornographic material. Should you be charged with the same crime? One prosecuter thinks so. See Talkleft for the full story. It sure seems to me that you ought to be able to do your job without being subject to this kind of catch-22.

Posted by Steve on July 29, 2003

FCC and Your Listening Choices

Inspired by a particularly gross talk show episode the FCC is looking to envigorate their efforts "to crackdown on indecency in broadcasting":

The agency not only warned Infinity that it might lose its license if it does not clean up its act, but announced that any broadcaster who runs afoul of the vague indecency standard will face "strong enforcement actions, including the potential initiation of revocation proceedings."
Given apparent ongoing congressional intent to oversee our reading and listening habits I suspect we will not be able to look to congress to properly slap the FCC as it has done regarding the media ownership issue. So this FCC behaviour is likely to end up in the courts hopefully it will be tossed out with the trash.

Posted by Steve on July 29, 2003

July 28, 2003

Late Night Reading

Radley Balko fisks Tom Tomorrow.

Both the Whiskey Bar and The Voice Unheard are serving fried rice.

At Armed and Dangerous, Eric Raymond, slices and dices Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Robert at Conundrum defines democracy at its best as nearly anarchy. Hmmmm....

Silver Rights is skeptical about the new segregated school opening in New York City.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2003

Investing in the Future?

James Joyner, Outside the Beltway, thinks this "may be the strangest story of the year":

The Pentagon is setting up a stock-market style system in which investors would bet on terror attacks, assassinations and other events in the Middle East. Defense officials hope to gain intelligence and useful predictions while investors who guessed right would win profits.
Maybe not so strange when you consider the folks behind this. Just imagine the opportunities to line the pockets of selected investors. Of course, the current administration would never consider something like that.

Hmmmm, how much would someone need to bet invest before they were incented to hire lobbyists; make campaign contributions; or perhaps hire a hit squad? Just imagine the possibilities....

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2003 | Comments (1)

ET, call Iraq?

Phone users in Baghdad had a brief interlude of phone service until corporate America's managers realized that it might reduce the value of the monopolies they planned to create:

The U.S.-led authority in Iraq -- which wants to hold a tender for three regional mobile phone licences -- asked Batelco to shut down. A renegade service provider could throw a spanner into its plans for a tender for the licences, among the most potentially lucrative contracts to be offered in Iraq.

Iraq was frozen out of a global boom in personal portable phones by Saddam's secret state. But mobile phones sprang unexpectedly to life a week ago, delighting cellphone users who could make and receive calls around the world.

Hmmm, also the military may want to maintain the 'secret state' for a while more.

Via David Marston at Catallarchy.

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2003

Job Opening in California?

What person in their right mind would want to be governor of California given the current mess there? Well, maybe a Republican who would like to have a short tenure in office. As this San Diego Union-Tribune article reports there will be no free ride for someone who might replace Gray Davis:

A new Republican governor would face monumental challenges, ranging from the need to organize a government at warp speed to dealing with a hostile Legislature dominated by Democrats.
Sure, the upside of success could be the White House. More then likely, though, any Republican replacement will be a short timer and simply set the stage for another Democrat.

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2003

July 27, 2003

Late Night Reading

I'm going to take a brief look around tonight and then head off to finish the latest J. A. Jance novel: Exit Wounds.

Jim Henley finds one meaning of the good life.

Looking to meet a single Mom? If you are going to be in Jerusalem Allison Kaplon Sommer has a pointer for you.

For those of you looking for God, Walter at Idols of the Marketplace relays the information that there is a new one in Equitorial Guinea.

To the Barricade's Stephen reached onto the bookshelf and pulled down some Khalil Gibran and finds that 'it's still good stuff.'

Off to read and Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 27, 2003

July 26, 2003

Late Night Reading

Jen at Circadian Shift let's us know that the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style is here and links to some advice from Gene Wolf on becoming a writer.

Over at Wampum, deep into the Blogathon, we are asked "When does it become a quagmire."

Mark Kleiman is working at length on the Valerie Plame outing.

Halley is planning to be silent all day Sunday. And she has had fun commenting on the 100 Ways to Live Longer from Men's Health Magazine.

A little shorter version. Just back from Pirates of the Carribean which was a lot of fun.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 26, 2003

Are They or Aren't They?

The Talking Dog read Pravda today and has wandered down an interesting conspiratorial path. You need to go there to read the good stuff. He raises interesting questions and I hope the Dog's ending bark is the real one:

Let me just say that I hope American forces actually did get Q and U-- if for no other reason, so that Iraqis need no longer live in fear of the Tikriti dynasty beyond the aging Saddam himself (even if supposedly 80% of Iraqis believe the photos are fake). Please, let's not have fucked this one up too...

Posted by Steve on July 26, 2003 | Comments (1)

July 25, 2003

Late Night Reading

TBOGG looks at the posting habits of Andrew Sullivan. Too bad the link Sullivan originally commented on appears to have been "redacted."

Seeing the Forest links to this Dean campaign speach delivered 3 days ago in Des Moines, Iowa. Hmmm, Kucinich last night, Dean tonight...will there be more in upcoming Late Night Reading?

ob Schap discusses Australia and the Solomon Islands.

Blah3 has been reading Mark Morford. So should you. Depending on your persuasion you'll either laugh and say 'right on' or scream in rage as your blood pressure blows through 200.

Gregory Harris celebrated his 36,000th hit and links us to these Japanese Flash animations.

And in a reprise appearance Daniel Drezner, this time at the Volokh Conspiracy follows up on yesterday's Marshall-Den Beste discussion on the roots of the Iraq war. Interestingly Drezner finds Marshall lacking on the ethical question side and spot on regarding the practical side of the Iraq problem. Again go read the discussions.

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2003

Flea Wars

Does your pet have fleas? Yep, they can be hard to eliminate. You can do it though. With diligence, focus, hard work and esprit de corp.

Serenity will take you through basic training with a real life case study!

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2003

Management Shakeup in Iraq?

The Washington Post reports that the bushies want to bring James Baker in to help clean up the mess:

The White House hopes to persuade former secretary of state James A. Baker III to take charge of the physical and economic reconstruction of Iraq as part of a broad restructuring of post-war efforts, administration sources said today.

Under the plan, L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, would focus on rebuilding the country's political system.

It is clear that Baker will bring a uniquely informed perspective to this job if he takes it. He may though prefer to continue his current work:
A $1 trillion lawsuit on behalf of the victims of September 11 was filed in August 2002 against more than seventy defendants, including three Saudi princes, several Saudi banks and Islamic institutions, the Sudanese government and the Saudi Bin Laden Group, a construction firm run by Osama Bin Laden's family. Here's a report on who's representing the defendants, from MSNBC:

Baker & Botts, Sultan's [Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi defense minister] law firm, for example, still boasts former secretary of State James Baker as one of its senior partners. Its recent alumni include Robert Jordan, the former personal lawyer for President Bush who is now US ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

As usual Bilmon has a unique take on the bushies need to involve Jim Baker in post war Iraq:
But a drowning man will clutch at straws, so they say, and a Bush in trouble will clutch at ... a retired secretary of state. Personally, I think sending another conservative Texas asshole to the Middle East is overkill, given that Tom DeLay is heading that way already. But you know, God does talk to Shrub, and Baker is a very powerful ... being.

Maybe he can walk on water.

Do read the rest.

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2003 | Comments (1)

Preparing for the Election Results Vote

Just up:

Computer-science researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Rice University are heaping criticism on electronic voting machines built by Diebold Election Systems, based on software code for the machine said to have been posted publicly to the Internet by an activist.
I'm feeling just peachy about the next national election...really, I am....

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2003

Florida Voting Rights

Good news from Florida:

Florida agreed to help restore voting rights to nearly 125,000 convicted felons who didn't get enough advice on how to regain their rights when they walked free, officials said Thursday.


Florida is one of eight states that deny ex-felons the right to vote unless they take steps to have their civil rights restored by the state.

The Department of Corrections had acknowledged that offenders released between 1992 and 2001 did not get proper help on having their rights restored.

The system drew international attention during the bitter dispute over the 2000 presidential election, when some Florida voters claimed they weren't allowed to cast ballots because they were mistaken for convicted felons.

Since Florida appears to have a long history of abusing the civil rights of ex felons this will have to be closely monitored to assure that Florida officials do not find another way to continue their historic practices.

Of course, none of this has an impact on the 2000 election.....

Via Daily Legal News Wire.

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2003 | Comments (1)

July 24, 2003

Late Night Reading

The Mad Prophet quotes an entire Kucinich letter to Nader voters and the Greens.

Kevin Moore at blargblog is looking for a candidate. But there aren't any anarcho-syndicalists around.

xlrq has posted google bait.

Daniel Drezner points out that Josh Marshall and Steven den Beste agree on the underlying causes of the Iraq war. Now it is not often you see those two snuggling in the same basket so go read Drezner and see where they differ.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 24, 2003 | Comments (1)

Are There Great American Women?

Here is a discussion you should all read and think about. Right Wing News polled some mainly conservative bloggers to create a list of The Twenty Greatest Figures in American History. Meryl Yourish one of the voters took exception to the results and venom started flowing(a must read) with Meryl weighing in again.

Thanks to Ampersand for the pointer to the discussion.

Posted by Steve on July 24, 2003

More Impeachment, or Maybe Not

There is growing grass roots support* for impeachment and some of the Democratic contenders are hinting at it:

On the stump in New Hampshire last week, Democratic presidential contender and former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham said that if George W. Bush made false statements that led the nation into war, there were grounds to impeach him.
James Ridgeway, in this Village Voice piece argues that it is unlikely that Bush will be impeached.

His main argument is the obvious one that in this time of lockstep partisanship it is unlikely that the house will pass a bill of impeachment even though only a simple majority is needed:

Gerald Ford called it right when he said after Nixon's ouster, "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."
There would have to be visible blood on bush's hands before a 2/3 majority of the senate would vote to impeach.

Ridgeway also suggests that any congress critters considering a move toward impeachment might want look in the mirror:
Speaking of "civil officers" besides the president: During the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, Congress made no effort to investigate and showed little interest in obtaining independent information; instead, it meekly endorsed the resolution to go to war. If there are high crimes and misdemeanors involved, Congress is complicit in them.
Being a polite guy Ridgeway holds the mirror for Graham:
Graham was chair of the intelligence committee and if he thought there was a cover-up under way, everyone else on those committees surely knew what was going onand none of them did anything.
Maybe we can change out a bunch of these folks, including bush, in 2004.

*Oakland, CA

Posted by Steve on July 24, 2003

Product Marketing

Hmmmm, for the conspiracy theory set Pirates 'rule the high seas:

Violent acts of piracy at sea have hit an all-time high,.....

The number of reported ship attacks soared 37% to 234 in the first six months of 2003, compared with 171 in the corresponding 2002 period.

Good marketing suggests that this activity should be increasing as a buildup to this.

Posted by Steve on July 24, 2003

July 23, 2003

Late Night Reading

This will undoubtably be all over the blogosphere for days to come and Josh Marshall and The Apostopher are already talking about tomorrows release of the joint congressional inquiry into 9/11. The snippets these two preview suggest that it will not look pretty for the bushies.

Emma tells us about the importance of libraries, recommends a book and is off on vacation for a few weeks.

Dwight Meredith has more on frivolous lawsuits. But this time not by consumers.

Mike Silverman, Red Letter Day, takes on the California recall petition and the initiative process.

Danial at Trivial Pursuits has transported out of the blogosphere. Have a safe journey.

David Neiwert reminds us that the "anthrax guy" still has not been caught and notes that columnist Dan Thomasson is keeping an eye on the FBI's fine performance on this case.

Digby sees competing factions manipulating bush.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2003

7000 Adds

Bookmark or add this site to your resource roll:

The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.
A lot of these would not pass muster today and the site has this disclaimer:
This site includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes or language reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record.
Via Jane Galt at Asymetrical Information.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2003

Post Liberation

Is this the goal of liberating Iraq:

Iraqi gypsy children play near their former school, amid rubble that was once their homes, in the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, July 12, 2003. The piles of dusty rubble, stretching across a couple of square kilometers on the western fringes of Baghdad, suggest the aftermath of a particularly devastating bombing raid in the Iraq (news - web sites) war. But people from surrounding areas proudly declare they demolished this Gypsy neighborhood with just sledgehammers, shovels and their bare hands after the war was over. (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters)
Emphasis added. Via Yahoo.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2003 | Comments (1)

White House Mail

MadKane has good news for us about the new Whitehouse mail system:

But though it's certainly annoying, the one we almost got was quite a bit worse. Had relatively sane minds not prevailed, would-be emailers would have had to contend with this:
Go read it.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2003 | Comments (1)

Copyright and Fair Use

What you need to know and probably way more then you want to know at the Stanford Libray Copyright and Fair Use website.

Via beSpacific.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2003

July 22, 2003

Late Night Reading

Steven at Poliblog excerpts material from an interview with the first President Bush and recommends that we read the interview as well.

Woundwort of Silflay Hraka digests a report that lithuania has offered 43 personnel (unconfirmed) to assist in Iraq. True story or not the anlaysis is humorous.

Dave Johnson, Seeing the Forest, has been reading this report that claims that the California energy crisis was part of a "set-up to provide a pretext for war with Iraq." You read, you decide.

The Hamster reports on Gephardt's "stinging attack against the bush administration".

The Angry Bear has started a condoleezza watch.

Lawrence Solum has the goods on the Second Amendment.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on July 22, 2003


From the Washington Post:

Uday and Qusay Hussein, the two sons of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, were killed today by U.S. troops in a firefight in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez announced this afternoon in a news conference in Baghdad.......

The resistance was reportedly stiff when the U.S. troops arrived at the villa in Mosul this morning. Sanchez said the "suspects barricaded themselves in the house" and "died in a fierce gun battle."

Four bodies were taken from the villa, but Sanchez said they have not yet confirmed the identities of the other two people. Four soldiers also were injured in the battle.

The dead did not include Saddam Hussein,

Hmmmmm....fierce gun battle and stiff resistance? Maybe these guys had 8 arms each or something. Wouldn't it have been much more useful to have uday and qusay alive? You know, questions and answers??

Via Talkleft.

Posted by Steve on July 22, 2003 | Comments (5)

Domino Theory Redux

Charles Dodgson asks why the bushies might have a list (see Moving to Canada two posts down):

Needless to say, the Iraq war has put something of a strain on things, particularly since the Syrians regarded it as ill-advised to start with, and cooperation isn't nearly now what it was. But the reckless American border attack seems intended to gin up tensions further, perhaps to provoke yet another war.

And why would anyone in the administration want to provoke a war with a strained Arab state which also has a simmering border dispute with Israel, the region's ultimate tinderbox?

Go read his answer. I hope you sleep well tonight.

Posted by Steve on July 22, 2003 | Comments (3)

Can This Candidate Beat Bush?

Tony Blair for president.

Via Samizdata.

Posted by Steve on July 22, 2003

Moving to Canada

From CBC News:

For all they share economically and culturally, Canada and the United States are increasingly at odds on basic social policies - to the point that at least a few discontented Americans are planning to move north and try their neighbours' way of life.
Jaquandor provides this perspective:
Believe me, I occasionally understand the sentiment. Hell, I'd love to live in Toronto for the dim sum alone. But America is my home. It's my country. And as a democracy, it's intended to be a self-correcting mechanism. But the problem with self-correcting mechanisms is this: by definition, a mechanism therefore has to be "incorrect" now and then if it's going to correct itself. That's what is meant by the old saw, "My country, right or wrong: when right, to be kept right; and when wrong, to be put right."

And besides, no matter where you live, there will always be no shortage of stuff that nauseates you, no matter what your political or religious beliefs may be. So, packing up for Canada is just postponing the inevitable. Plus, it will probably annoy the Canadians, and we can't have that, can we?

And just how long will it be before Canada rises to the top of the bushies list?
"We're going to get better over time," promised Lawrence Di Rita, a special assistant to Rumsfeld. "We've always thought of post-hostilities as a phase" distinct from combat, he said. "The future of war is that these things are going to be much more of a continuum

"This is the future for the world we're in at the moment," he said. "We'll get better as we do it more often."

Posted by Steve on July 22, 2003

July 21, 2003

Late Night Reads

White Rose relates that the RCMP in Newfoundland want to tighten the rules on the purchase of cell phones so that their war against drugs might cost less. It might be most economic to just drop the war.

Kim at free pie quotes from this June article titled Death on the Road to Basra.

The Corner says that Hilory want Bush to win in '04. It's just politics you know.

Brett takes a look at term limits. You should too.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

Do Not Interfere!

Spade found this delicious quote from Paul Wolfowitz:

"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq," said Wolfowitz, who is touring the country to meet U.S. troops and Iraqi officials.
'nuff said.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

Sex or War?

An Oakland view of what is impeachable.

Original photo courtesy of David Gans.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003 | Comments (1)

shaking the world

Alex at A List a Day brings us the news that VH1 ranks Oprah the greatest pulp culture icon of all time.


Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

Foreign Policy Economics

I have not seen any statistics on the impact of the many cries to boycot French products we heard during the buildup to the Iraq war and I wonder just how happy the bushies corporate funders will be if current foreign policy has a large negative impact on worldwide sales.

Echoing harvard Professor Business School Professor John Quelch's April warning:

Selling the American dream has paid off handsomely. Eight of the ten most valuable brands in the world, according to the Interbrand consultancy, are American, and each derives more than half its sales from outside the United States. But now a deepening opposition to American foreign policy is threatening the long-term strength of these brands.
Newsweek reports:
Does the rising tide of anti-Americanism hurt American multinationals? The vocal antiwar protesters would like to think so, but there hasn�t been much evidence for a broader consumer turnoff, until now.
Reporting on the same study the Independent headlines:
Americans are used to resentment of their global dominance. Since the war on Iraq, however, this hostility has begun to hit them where it hurts: in corporate balance sheets.
Countering the gloomy reports Nike and Mcdonalds say that their European revenues are respectiviely either up or flat. It will be interesting to watch these figures over the next 6-12 months.

Via Alternet.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

The Iraq Pitch and the Patriot Act

William Rasberry doesn't want us to be blinded by uraniumgate:

The flap over how the falsehood about uranium purchases from Niger made it into the president's State of the Union message should not obscure what for me is the most troubling fact: Key members of the Bush administration, convinced in their hearts that America needed to destroy Saddam Hussein, thought it reasonable to exaggerate the threat and deliberately stretch the facts in order to sell the American people on that necessity.
Read his column to see why he thinks this is a pattern of behaviour.

Via Talkleft.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

The Land of the Free

Ken MacLeod did not want to risk his freedom:

Recently, on being asked if I intended to visit the United States some time soon, I indulged in the admittedly cheap crack that 'I'm staying in the free world until America rejoins it.' Trivial and theoretical though the risk may be, I just didn't fancy being in a country where you can in theory be disappeared, interrogated and executed without any trial other than by a military tribunal. It wasn't something I said lightly, because I really enjoyed all my past visits to America.
But now says:
On the bright side, however, I have no reason for not going to America.
Go read why he changed his mind.

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2003

July 20, 2003

Late Night Reading

Craig Cheslog has a lot to say today about texans, the budget and North Korea.

James Joyner reprises the full text of the 2003 State of the Union speach as part of the ongoing did he or didn't he discussion.

Doc Searls shares his experience with the new whitehouse email system. Via Elizabeth Lawley.

Venomous Kate has a caption contest. That guy is flexible!

Courtney is talking about Salvia divinorum and the war on drugs.

Michael Totten and Oliver Kamm (scroll down to Bush and the Left) discuss bush the leftist. I plan to go back and re-read both of these.

Brad Delong lists three reasons we are worse off without Saddam and a vigorous debate occurs in the comment thread.

Bilmon tries to oneup Craig Cheslog's Texan comparison (1st reading above) with this republican comparison and gives us a look at the real L. Paul Bremer.

Good night!

Posted by Steve on July 20, 2003

If you are so inclined...

Skippy reminds us of the vote to impeach site.

Posted by Steve on July 20, 2003

Themes of Harry Potter 2

The other day I noted various Harry Potter themes that were being discussed. Today, courtesy of NZ Bear's Blogosphere Daily News and Kevin Holtsbury I found this interesting discussion of The Politics and Personalities of Harry Potter 5. Greg, the author, in turn points to a Tony Adragna post in which Tony compares Harry to bush. Tony updates with a note that Glenn Reynolds and Betsy both make similar connections.

Reynolds, in the above linked post, takes Chris Suellentrop to task for this hammering of Harry:

Of course, Suellentrop is wrong......

What he brings to the table are personal qualities rather than talents. He's loyal, and more importantly he inspires loyalty. And he has a clear vision of what matters. Everyone else is able to forget, or to convince themselves to ignore, the threat posed by Voldemort. Harry, on the other hand, never forgets.

Reynolds attributes these same traits to bush. And a strict reading probably supports this. In making his bush as Harry argument I wonder why he leaves out so many of the other points Suellentrop uses to bash Harry, for example:
...skates through school by taking advantage of his inherited wealth and his establishment connections.

What Harry has achieved on his own, ..., stems mostly from luck and, more often, inheritance.

Harry's other achievements can generally be chalked up to the fact that he regularly plays the role of someone's patsy.

In fact, Harry rarely puts hard work or effort into anything.

Well, in the case of Harry Suellentrop is wrong. Harry is an actor (not in the theatrical sense) rather then an intellectual. Instead of hammering on Harry as does Suellentorp, who apparently thinks Harry's development is at an end, I am eagerly looking ahead to see if Harry will build on his strengths, learn to work with his advisors and actually grow to a level where he might achieve his potential greatness. Oh, and we should note that Harry is never awol when the time comes to enter the fray.

This is one of the wonderful things about books: the story unfolds through the eyes of each individuals world. In contrast with the perspective presented by Tony, Glenn and Betsy how many of you also thought of the bushies as you read the book but as Voldemort and the Death Eaters?

And, since my last writing on this, Kevin Drum comments that he considers Snape the most interesting character in the book. There is interesting Snape discussion in the post's comment thread.

Posted by Steve on July 20, 2003 | Comments (3)

July 19, 2003

For Your Entertainment

The August 2003 issue of Scientific American brings you gems from the US Patent Office:

The holders of the following selection of patents--a continuation of last month's column on out-of-the-ordinary issuances from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office--will probably not have to worry too much about having to mount an aggressive program to protect their intellectual property.

Method of treating chest pain.....This inventor has patented lime juice to replace nitroglycerin as a treatment for chest pain such as angina pectoris.

Process for phase-locking human ovulation/menstrual cycles, patent 6,497,718, assigned to the secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

There are more. Go read the details and be entertained both by what people are spending their time doing and by the output of the patent office.

Posted by Steve on July 19, 2003

Eyes of the Beholder

Walter doesn't think this guy exemplifies the beauty of humanity.

Original photo from the AP via Yahoo News Photos.

Posted by Steve on July 19, 2003

Felons Voting

Once their debt has been paid, once they have spent their time in jail x-felons must be allowed to vote. Talkleft suggests this and an issue that democrats should take up and Raise Your Hands asks:

where are the African American and Hispanic leaders on this issue, considering the skewed disenfranchisment of the poor and minorities.
And I propose going one step more and support no denial of voting rights for any citizen under any circumstances.

Posted by Steve on July 19, 2003 | Comments (19)

Evil Canadian, Bad Soldiers

Jeffrey Kofman wrote this story and on Wednesday Drudge revisited old news identifying Kofman as both gay and canadian which to some, including Kofman, appeared to be new news:

Reached in Baghdad, the Toronto-born Mr. Kofman expressed surprise at being singled out because of his passport.

"I guess my secret is out now," he said.

As they again use ad hominem arguments to protect themselves the bushies steamroll ahead squashing those who spoke out:
"It was the end of the world," said one officer Thursday. "It went all the way up to President Bush and back down again on top of us. At least six of us here will lose our careers."

First lesson for the troops, it seemed: Don't ever talk to the media "on the record" -- that is, with your name attached -- unless you're giving the sort of chin-forward, everything's-great message the Pentagon loves to hear.

This appears pretty consistent with the bushie view that freedom of speech is ok as long as it speaks the bushie line.

Posted by Steve on July 19, 2003

July 18, 2003

When's the next War?

Excuse me, but aren't these folk old enough to be off their training wheels? From today's LA Times:

"They planned on an unrealistic set of assumptions," he [James Dobbins] said. "Clearly, in retrospect, they should have anticipated that when the old regime collapsed, there would be a period of disorder, a vacuum of power They should have anticipated extremist elements would seek to fill this vacuum of power. All of these in one form or another have been replicated in previous such experiences, and it was reasonable to plan for them."

Looking back from the third floor of the Pentagon, Feith dismissed such criticism as "simplistic." Despite initial problems, he said, progress is being made, with order returning to most of the country and a new Iraqi governing council in place.

Still, he and other Pentagon officials said, they are studying the lessons of Iraq closely � to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly.

"We're going to get better over time," promised Lawrence Di Rita, a special assistant to Rumsfeld. "We've always thought of post-hostilities as a phase" distinct from combat, he said. "The future of war is that these things are going to be much more of a continuum

"This is the future for the world we're in at the moment," he said. "We'll get better as we do it more often."

Is this the future you plan to live in?

Via Tristero via Atrios.

Posted by Steve on July 18, 2003

Protecting the Country

Ok. I'm all for the FBI following up on leads regarding potential terrorist activity (you know, like the folks that did 9/11) but should reading an article titled Weapons of Mass Stupidity while sitting in a coffee shop qualify. Read this and decide for yourself.

Posted by Steve on July 18, 2003 | Comments (2)

Email the pres?

Forget it! I gave the new system a try. It took about 4 minutes to get to the second screen and that screen did not seem to be working. Your mileage may vary. This whole process must be part of the bushies desire to return to traditional values or some such thing and they do seem to encourage snail and fax mail:

If you are interested in commenting on other topics, or if your message is sensitive or requires personal attention, please do not use this system. Please write President Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20502 or fax to 202-456-2461.
More details at the NYT. Via Sisyphus Shrugged who does not have a permalink to this post but it follows the one linked below.

You can still email the vicepres the traditional way at vice.president@whitehouse.gov though you may just want to impeach him after reading this from Sisyphus Shrugged.

Posted by Steve on July 18, 2003

July 17, 2003

Educating our Kids?

It is stuff like this that will lead more people to question the credibility of governmental structures:

The hard lesson came from an Albany judge who ruled against Angela's age-discrimination suit challenging the state Education Department's edict that kids have to stay in school until age 16 and can't get general equivalency diplomas until they turn 17....

"It's very demoralizing," said Lipsman, who vowed that he'll "go to prison before my daughter goes to a city high school."

Albany Supreme Court Justice Bernard Malone blamed Lipsman for steering his brainy daughter to college after she completed eighth grade at Public School 187 in Washington Heights.

"Angela was not legally free to skip high school," Malone wrote this week in ruling against Angela.

He noted that Angela could have been declared a home-schooled student and placed in a fast-track program, or she could have attended high school programs that allow students to earn college credits simultaneously.

Trying to put everyone in the same box leads us to the lowest common denominator: great in math and broken in human affairs.

Via Hanah at Quare

Posted by Steve on July 17, 2003

A Hungry Man

I suspect that there is a coverup involved here and that Ozzie is reverting to his old ways.

Posted by Steve on July 17, 2003

The Deficit

The bushies would like to blame the economy. There are some other opininions though. For instance, a detailed analysis by The Angry Bear (via Thinking it Through) suggests:

Of the 80% of the deficit not related to terrorism, roughly 1/3 of the blame goes to increased spending and 2/3 to the Bush tax cuts
Max Sawicky isn't that concerned with the size of the deficit:
Today's deficit number is a yawn for we sad few who take the trouble to follow this. More annoying is what the Bushies are saying.

Quoth new OMB Director and reputed whiz kid Josh Bolten: "Restoring a balanced budget is an important priority for this administration," he said, "but a balanced budget is not a higher priority than winning the global war on terror, protecting the American homeland, or restoring economic growth and job creation."

Only trouble is, the war cost for FY2003 is only $90 billion, and the DoD increase is $80 billion. The rest is due to you know what.

but does think the composition of the deficit should be changed:
The real problem with the deficit for this and next year is composition. Given the opportunity, I wouldn't reduce it a penny. Instead I would redirect the tax cuts to the working class, reserving a nice chunk of change for aid to state and local governments. This sort of tax cut could be designed to limit long-term deficit effects. The latter are the real problem, insofar as there is one. Now is a clear case where the distribution of the tax burden has an urgent macroeconomic policy significance.

Otherwise the Democrats' harping on this has limited, if non-zero, value. Given the podium, I would emphasize the jobs gap, the holes in the Medicare drug benefit, children left behind by the tax cuts, and the potential problems with Medicare financing.

Kevin Drum agrees that the real problem is in the future:
By 2007 the economy should be booming and the government should be planning to run modest surpluses to cool things down a bit. Instead, it's deficits forever, because seemingly nobody in this administration cares a whit about anything beyond the next election.
Good or bad the deficits will be used mercilessly to hammer bush and this along with the administrations repeated fabrication of reality will lead to a change of administration in 2004. History will judge whether this change will be good or bad.

Posted by Steve on July 17, 2003

July 16, 2003

The Blog Rolls

What's the deal with my blog rolls? Read on:

Updated September 3, 2003.

Top Roll:

This is my main roll. On any given day I may read only sites from here. And I'm more likely to read something that has been recently updated (currently set for a 6 hour window) so do ping weblogs.com.

Presented in order of most recently updated.

This roll is maintained on blogrolling.com and is generated using PHP code and should be visible to visiting robots.

Center Roll:
Two sets of sites currently live in this roll:
1) those moving upward from the Base Roll or downward from the Top Roll
2) reciprocals.

Presented in order of most recently updated.

This roll is maintained on blogrolling.com and is generated using PHP code and should be visible to visiting robots.

Base Roll:
I use this to track sites that look interesting and that I might want to include on my permanent rolls.

I don't review these sites near as often as the Center or Top rolls but when I do I perform a triage: a) nah, not really interesting so delete, b) neutral, no change, c) yea, I'm still liking what I see so make another entry for them.

This is a large roll and currently I have 77 random sites shown when Modulator's main page is opened. Sort is random.

This roll is maintained on blogrolling.com and is currently generated using Javascript code. Robots may not read these sites.

Journals and Media:
Just as it says...a selection of electronic journals and other web based media. Just as in the other rolls there are items from multiple colors of the political spectrum. Maintained on blogrolling.com.
Top Referrers Roll:
As of September 03 this is the list of blogger sites that referred 10 or more visits. It does not include service sites like Movable Type, Technorati, blo.gs, etc., though I will mention them in my monthly announcement regarding top referrers.

Presented in random order.

This roll is maintained on blogrolling.com and is generated using PHP code and should be visible to visiting robots.

Open Source Politics
Regular contributors to Open Source Politics.

Presented in order of most recently updated.

This roll is maintained on blogrolling.com and is generated using PHP code and should be visible to visiting robots.

Posted by Steve on July 16, 2003 | Comments (3)

July 15, 2003


To all you IE users that came by while I was on vacation and who were greated by my rebellious right sidebar blotting out a couple posts. A temporary fix is in place.

Thanks to serenity and Nurse Ratched for letting me know about the problem.

Update: This problem turned out to be an extra division statement on my main template.

Posted by Steve on July 15, 2003

July 10, 2003

On the Road Again

Time for another round of summer vacation. No more posts today and Friday through Tuesday will likely be minimal. Back into full action next Wednesday.

Note: I have started some work on the blogrolls and sidebars which may not get completed until I return. Watch for a post on this sometime in the next week.

Posted by Steve on July 10, 2003 | Comments (4)

July 9, 2003

Australian Curfew

Robert Corr does not like curfews:

A youth curfew is an ineffective, racist, stigmatising policy that should never have been introduced by a government that considers itself progressive.
If this story is true the pictured police officers should be fired, their bosses fired, and whatever excuse for a goverment Rob is referring to ought to be ousted. All after a ride in that cage these girls apparently were tossed into.

Posted by Steve on July 9, 2003 | Comments (6)

She Isn't, He IS

Please see TBOGG's Brief History of Virginity. Best if viewed through to end.

Posted by Steve on July 9, 2003

Malkin Challenges the bushies

Michelle Malkin has been, I think, a pretty consistent supporter of the bush administration. Today she closes her latest column with this:

Inslaw deserves to be compensated. More importantly, the American people deserve to know the truth: Did government greed and bureaucratic hubris lead to a wholesale sellout of our national security? The Bush White House's credibility is on the line.
This is a very strong statement coming from Malkin. As described by her, the Inslaw Promis software theft and coverup goes back to 1982 so many administrations may have been aware and involved. Her point appears to be that if this story is true and if the bushies do not support a full and open investigation (please excuse the oxymoron) they will be as guilty as the rest. This might be a shock to Malkin. There are many others though who would see this as business as usual.

Posted by Steve on July 9, 2003

Beating (one year) or Spit (life)

Bean, over at ALAS A Blog, is rightfully disturbed by the disproportionate sentences available in Oklahoma for the crime of domestic abuse (one year maximum) and the crime of "placing bodily fluid upon a government employee" (life sentence maximum). Go read how a jury gave a domestic abuser a more appropriate sentence than the statutory maximum. Do you have answers to his questions on disporportionality:

Why are government employees so much more important than the general pubic...?

Why are the sentences so disproportional. Do they really think that the possibility of transmitting a deadly disease by spitting is significantly worse than the risk of killing someone by abusing them?

Posted by Steve on July 9, 2003

July 8, 2003

One Thousand Reasons

Bush supporters will not like this site and, to be honest, I'm not particularly happy with any of the so far proposed alternatives. However, the site owner is looking for help completing a list of 1000 reasons to dump bush so if you've got some gripes head on over there, check his lists, and tell him your reason (see bottom left of front page for an email link).

Via Nurse Ratched.

Posted by Steve on July 8, 2003

How Many Pages does it Take to Choke a Country?

I'm afraid we will find out before it gets better. From the Washington Post 2002 Federal Register Is Longest Ever:

The Bush administration, philosophically wedded to the idea of smaller government, issued a record-high number of pages of new federal regulations last year, according to a study to be released today by the Cato Institute.

...Federal Register boasted 75,606 pages of federal regulations in 2002, up from a high of 74,528 pages in 2000, when President Bill Clinton was still in office.

On the other hand:
A total of 4,187 rules were in the federal pipeline in 2002, down from 4,509 rules the previous year and from a 10-year peak of 5,119 in 1994,.....
For a full analysis see the 2003 Cato Institute report: Ten Thousand Commandments, An Annual Report of the Federal Regulatory State.

Via Bespacific.

Posted by Steve on July 8, 2003

The Themes of Harry Potter

Warning: Some of these links lead to spoilers.

While not all encompassing there are a lot of interesting discussions going on about the political/moral implications of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And most of them that I've run across seem to run counter to Jesse Cohen's 2001 Slate piece suggesting an anti-Thatcher pro welfare state view of the Potter series through volume 4:

Aside from being a politically corrected reconstruction of the English public school, Hogwarts is a microcosmic welfare state, stepping in to care for orphan Harry when his nightmarishly bourgeois relatives fail him.
Natalie Solent enumerates libertarian aspects of the book.

Mindles suggests a Randian connection.

Brian at Catallarchy looks at market regulation and money and banking.

Update: Hanah at Quare suggests some non-libertarian themes:
There are definitely some good libertarian themes in the books. But there are also some blatant non-libertarian ones.
The Philosophical Cowboy tells us "there's some great comparisons to be drawn between the events in the book, and Britain under New Labour."

Greg, who has a blog entitled Harry Potter Prognostications tells us (in the comment thread to the above Mindles link)
I thought that HP5 was most similar to George Orwell's 1984 - the overall theme of the book having to do with truth and trust. The ministry installed Umbridge as a functioning Minister of Truth at Hogwarts, suppressing facts that the ministry felt were incompatabile with their agenda.
And this from Julian Sanchez:
While most parents celebrate anything that gets adolescents to put down the remote and pick up a book-a powerful bit of magic in itself-others are concerned that the series celebrates the "dark arts." An Australian school is only the most recent to have banned the bespectacled mage. Perhaps parents and teachers who relish unquestioned obedience are right to be concerned about Harry Potter, but their focus is misplaced. It is not the magic, but the morality of Harry Potter that is truly subversive.
In response to the AS Byatt Op-Ed piece in the NY Times, Jessica Crispen chimes in with this in response:
A. S. Byatt is full of shit. I may not understand the Harry Potter obsession among (most) adults, but I don't go as far as Byatt. I don't think reading a children's book is regressing or a symptom of our society's decay.
Frail and Bedazzled agrees with Crispin and argues:
As for there being no heavy issues or themes presented in the books, well, I think she's wrong, and if she's read PoA, GoF or OotP, she obviously hasn't done so very closely, because the books are teeming with issues, simplistic at first, but still - the issues are there.
I enjoyed the book and am thrilled at the wide variety of discussion that is occurring. I don't remember anything quite like this after book 4...but then I wasn't participating in the blogosphere 2 years ago.

Posted by Steve on July 8, 2003 | Comments (2)

July 7, 2003

Talking Left Walking Right

Or persuading seniors they aren't being screwed....and persuading democrats to step up to the public plate.

Go read this post at Ruminate This:

It's not the first time Bush has insisted that senior citizens deserve no less "choice" than he or our representatatives enjoy.
The problem here for Bush and the majority is that the plan proposed by his side looks nothing like the plans offered Federal employees like Mr. Bush. Seniors will have to pay lots more for less in the way of coverage.
You know, if the Democrats were smart, they'd go to the daily trouble of highlighting the differences between themselves and their right-wing counterparts.
Whether you are a democrat or not you should demand truth in advertising!

Posted by Steve on July 7, 2003

Total Government Information Awareness

This looks like it might grow into an interesting site. Its mission:

To empower citizens by providing a single, comprehensive, easy-to-use repository of information on individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government of the United States of America.

To allow citizens to submit intelligence about government-related issues, while maintaining their anonymity. To allow members of the government a chance to participate in the process.

Via Alex Knapp at Heretical Ideas.

Posted by Steve on July 7, 2003

July 6, 2003

The Coalition of the Misled

As this US Independence day weekend comes to a close the leaders of the coalition of the willing continue their transformation into the Misinformers:

From Australia:

Australian Prime Minister John Howard defended himself against accusations on Monday that he had claimed Iraq was developing nuclear weapons to justify going to war, despite being told by Washington the allegation was dubious.
From Britain>:
he Foreign Affairs Select Committee is set to deliver its verdict on whether Downing Street exaggerated the case for war in Iraq.

The MPs' report is likely to censure Downing Street's director of communications Alastair Campbell.

He was responsible for the second so-called "dodgy dossier" published in January 2003, which included 12-year-old material from the Internet.

However, the committee is expected to clear Mr Campbell of wrongdoing in relation to the first dossier, published in September 2002.

From the United States:
An envoy sent by the CIA to Africa to investigate allegations about Iraq's nuclear weapons program contends the Bush administration manipulated his findings, possibly to strengthen the rationale for war.
On the other hand some senators are excited about pending wmd announcements while others are skeptical:
Senators just returned from Iraq differed on whether U.S. officials there had turned up solid evidence of weapons of mass destruction programs.
It will be interesting to see if this is more then another color change in the alert system. Whatever is presented will have to be dramatically stronger then if it had been found and presented prior to or shortly after the fall of Baghdad. Where was the imminent threat?

Posted by Steve on July 6, 2003

The Monkey on My Back

I disconnected yesterday. No, I wasn't in the mountains hiking I was at home, the power was on, the network connection was working (the kids were online). I did not boot up my system at all.

By early afternoon the withdrawal systems were palpable: what happened at Henley; what happened in the Prologue; was anybody reading Modulator (but why, there was no fresh content), was there new email, what were you talking about in the blogosphere? For hours every time I paused from other activities I'd feel the grasping tendrils of the net pulling at me.

I did, though, finish the new Harry Potter, mow the lawn, do some rearranging in my office and by dinner time I did not feel the reach of the net near as strongly. Later in the evening we watched a 1969 cinamatic essay on freedom in the United States: Easy Rider. At the end it was not clear that much has changed.

No withdrawal pangs this morning: a leisure read of today's papers (lots of bloggable stuff, but for another time), household chores, this post, workout, and later maybe we'll go see the new Matrix before it exits the theaters.

Posted by Steve on July 6, 2003

July 4, 2003

Still at War

This, from today's NY Times, speaks for itself:

AGHDAD, Iraq, Friday, July 4 � Two months after President Bush declared the end of major combat, the commander of allied forces in Iraq acknowledged on Thursday that "we're still at war," and the United States announced a reward of up to $25 million for the capture of Saddam Hussein or confirmation of his death.

The statement from the commander, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez of the Army, came on a day in which 20 American soldiers were wounded and one was killed in five separate attacks.

One American soldier was killed and 10 were wounded in two attacks in central Iraq on Thursday night, the American military said today.

Posted by Steve on July 4, 2003

To the people of the United States


Posted by Steve on July 4, 2003

July 3, 2003

Is This Your America?

The other day I recommended this Dinesh D'Souza article.

Today, Leah over at Eschaton takes a dimmer view:

Worried that clueless Americans are getting all the wrong clues from the forces of negativity, both left AND right, (he's nothing if not fair and balanced) Dinesh has prepared sort of a "Patriotism For Dummies"...
And the article is getting thoroughly fact checked in the comment thread.

I still think it is worth reading and thinking about.
  • Are the "10 great things" really great things?
  • Do they match your vision of where you want to live?
  • Do they fit in with ''...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...?
  • For those that you think are great things what actions will be necessary to achieve or enhance them?
  • Does the current US administration behave in a way that supports these "10 great things?"
Leah also points to this site which has a lot of succinct commentary on their answer to this last question.

Posted by Steve on July 3, 2003

July 2, 2003

Supreme Candidates and Lists

From the category "If daddy did it then I'm going to fix it now" we have on a current list of possibles for a supreme Court Appointment: Judge Edith Hollan Jones, 54, 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals:

.... President George H.W. Bush went with David Souter when the two were Supreme Court finalists in 1989. Short of a filibuster-proof GOP Senate, Jones would prompt a battle because of opinions freeing Texas schools from affirmative action, criticizing abortion and sex harassment laws, and rejecting a new trial for a death-row inmate whose lawyer slept through much of the trial.
Thanks to Alex at A List a Day who says:
C'mon everyone loves a good list, don't they? This is the place to find links and commentaries on lists of all sizes and merit.
Via Soundbitten.

Posted by Steve on July 2, 2003

American Revelation

I'm still not sure whether to categorize this one as humor or horror.

These folks find armegeddon in the Don McLean classic: American Pie.

Via Jaquandor who plucked it from MetaFilter.

Posted by Steve on July 2, 2003

July 1, 2003

Pundit Frightens Small Children

�More and more these days, we are seeing small children who have been traumatized by Ann Coulter,� says Dr. Harmon Densmore, chief clinical psychologist at the Chartwell Children�s Institute based at the University of Minnesota.
Read the rest of the story here.
Via Riba Rambles.
Posted by Steve on July 1, 2003

Dealing with Nukes

Are the bushies planning to use these to take out these?

Perhaps some wildfire will clear them out soon and we will get an administration that can clearly articulate why North Korea's nukes are not an equal or larger problem then the non-nukes of Iraq and Iran.

Posted by Steve on July 1, 2003

The Cosmos Talks...

This is a great picture. You decide what it says and to whom.

Via Scott at The Gamer's Nook and The Astronomy Picture of the Day.

For more information on the picture...


This dense cloud of gas and dust is being deleted. Likely, within a few million years, the intense light from bright stars will have boiled it away completely. Stars not yet formed in the molecular cloud's interiorcwill then stop growing.

The cloud has broken off of part of the greater Carina Nebula, a star forming region about 8000 light years away. Newly formed stars are visible nearby, their images reddened by blue light being preferentially scattered by the pervasive dust.

This unusually-colored image spans about two light years and was taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in 1999.

This Carina sub-cloud is particularly striking partly because its clear definition stimulates the human imagination (e.g. it could be perceived as a superhero flying through a cloud, arm up, with a saved person in tow below).

Posted by Steve on July 1, 2003

Green Tongue and Drugs

Talkleft brings us this law-enforcement news:

Police in Wausau, Wisconsin claim they can tell a drugged driver by whether his or her tongue has a green tint to it.
and predicts that "this pseudo-science will never make it into a courtroom."

Apparently it already has made it to judges but not admitted as evidence:
Ultimately, these facts became part of the record of the Pierce County District Court DRE decision in which the district court judges, sitting as a panel, determined that the conclusions of a "Drug Recognition Expert" would not be admitted into evidence because there was an insufficient showing of reliabilty of a DRE officer's opinion regarding the presence of a specific drug or category of drugs. (State v. Floyd, Pierce County District Court No.97800732.)
Does anyone have any anecdotal evidence to support the green tongue theory?

Posted by Steve on July 1, 2003 | Comments (31)

Dean's Dollars

Thanks to Nurse Ratched for providing us a selection of references from the blogosphere on political fundraising activities - primarily related to Howard Dean but also with some discussion of the encumbent and others. Necessary reading for your civics studies.

Posted by Steve on July 1, 2003