August 31, 2003

Terrorists or Patriots?

Ted Rall argues that the Iraqi resistance members are patriots.

Posted by Steve on August 31, 2003

August 30, 2003

Light Activity Through Monday

Due to family activities including lots of good music and work on a special project you can expect light activity here through Monday (Sunday may see a few posts). Nothing more today.

Posted by Steve on August 30, 2003

August 29, 2003

Statistics of the world

I just learned about a new site called Nation Master and since I was talking about rapes two posts ago I used it to compare world wide per capita rape rates. The US rate was the 9th highest of the 65 countries reported (I'm sure under reporting is an issue world wide and more so in many than in the US).

Nation Master is making the rounds and I found out about it via Radley Balko.

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2003

Blackout Humor

Some of you may not yet have noticed that Madeleine Kane made a guest appearance with a number of other luminaries in USA Today. Way to go!

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2003

Future Leaders?

This story does not tell us how many perps are involved or whether charges were filed in these cases and without seeing the questions we can't evaluate bias within the survery itself. Nevertheless this is not good:

the questionnaire administered this year showed that 109 of the 579 female cadets surveyed, or 18.8 percent, said they had been sexually assaulted in their time at the academy. Sexual assault was defined as anything from unwanted touching to rape.

In 89 percent of the cases, the alleged assailant was identified as another cadet.

The survey also said that 11 percent of senior female cadets and 3 percent of freshman female cadets reported having been the victim of rape or attempted rape since enrolling at the academy.

Shouldn't the selection process filter out most of the perp types? But perhaps it does just the opposite. How many past perps are still in uniform and does that make you feel more or less secure?

Just to show how easily riffing on a single article can lead you far astray I'm going to leave my original words (above) about the Acadamy selection process just as I wrote them. Here is how I would have written it if I had the information from Dave Cullen's work at Conclusive Evidence (linked below):

Things could be much worse at the Acadamy but their selection process has apparently weeded out some of the potential perps. If this were a public university the Department of Justice believes the incidence of rape would be as high as 20%.

For more see Talkleft and Conclusive Evidence.

Via South Knox Bubba.

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2003

Taking on ashcroft's campaign

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights filets an August 19th ashcroft speech.

ashcroft also announced a Patiot Act propaganda site: preserving life & liberty. blargblog took some issue with the campaign:

Angered by the ACLU's lawsuit against what they consider the PATRIOT Act's "radical expansion" of surveillance powers, the Ashcroftians have targeted three main ACLU claims as myths: 1) the suppression of political dissent through intimidation, 2) the surveillance of library usage and 3) the "sneek and peek" provision delaying notification of surveillance skirts the Fourth Ammendment. Go read it for yourself to see if you can spot gaping holes in the DOJ's collective memory or some fine legal points it deliberately elides.
The Angry Bear found Dave Ross' defense of the patriot act wanting.

For a view supporting the patriot act from a philosophical perspective take a look at at David Veksler's posts here and here.

Via beSpacific.

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2003

August 28, 2003

Late Night Reading

Dwight Meredith talks about tort reform and likes a proposal made by Charles Kuffner. This all seems much better then the approach favored by the bushies. Dwight does not have a search feature but a little diligent looking around will find a wealth of discussion on tort reform.

Spadehammer takes a close look at President Rote's repititious recitations.

Having given a raise to his supporters bush whacks his employees.

Brian Weatherson is preparing to teach Brown freshmen about time travel and reminds me of this recent Scientific American article: Parallel Universes.

Good Night!

Well, one more: head over to Talkleft to read about ashcroft slipping.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003


Christopher Hitchens on the 10 commandments:

But we may ask ourselves why any sect, however primitive, would want to base itself on such vague pre-Christian desert morality (assuming Moses to be pre-Christian).
Via idols of the marketplace.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003

Scoutwalkers at Play

Scoutwalker doing, well take your pick, warming up or winding down. From the Scoutwalker Kama Sutra.

Via The Gamer's Nook.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003

Tired of high gas prices?

Looking for better gas prices? Take a look at Gas Buddy. I quickly found a reasonably convenient station at $.20/gallon less then my local station.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003

The Way of Castenada

I have read all or part of each of Carlos Castenada's books and still reach for one from time to time when I need to refresh the way I look at the world, when my vision has stagnated. Castenada himself was always a mystery and early on I decided that while I'd be happiest if the narratives could be verified through peer review (I don't think this has happened) that they might be fiction did not really take away from their transformative power.

Amy Wallace has released a new book, SORCEROR'S APPRENTICE: My Life with Carlos Castaneda, which Castenada aficionados may want to read.

A review by Brian Doherty, Reason associate editor, appeared recently in the Washington Post and Doherty does not seem impressed with what he reads about Wallace's relationship with Castenada:

As the absurdities and lies of the sorcerer's world pile up, the skeptical reader can't help but lose sympathy with Wallace for not doing her own vanishing act.
While he calls the book a "compelling page-turner" Doherty clearly does not think much of hte Castenada it portrays.

Sometimes it is best not to know too much about the authors you read. Nevertheless I'll watch for the book to show up at the library and give it a read.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003

On the Dole

You and I are subsidizing the builder and the folks who are going to live on this new hillside scar. According to the Seattle Times:

About one-fifth of the funding for the nearly $178million interchange and road, and much of the drive, came from Port Blakely Communities, the company building a 3,250-home "urban village" called the Issaquah Highlands on the south end of the Plateau.
The rest came from taxpayers to the tune of about $43,815 per home (assuming 80%).

There is a lot of glowing talk in the article about future tax benefits to the state and local communities and improvements in traffic flow. But there were other solutions to the traffic problem that did not involve lining a corporate pocket book with tax payer's money (cf, bush and the Texas Rangers). Look at these projected tax revenues on a net instead of gross basis they won't glow quite so brightly and, of course, they do little or nothing to compensate the out of area taxpayers who contributed significant federal dollars to the project.

Let's send Port Blakely an additional bill.

Posted by Steve on August 28, 2003

August 27, 2003

Late Night Reading

Robert Musil explores the question: Is California a high tax state? The answer is not as simple as we might think at first glance.

Body and Soul links to Allen Brill's discussion of bush's faith: here and here.

bush does some math at Dohiyi Mir.

The Angry Economist suggests that NASA is already providing too much safety for their astronauts.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

fuzzy words drive fuzzy policy

When looking for the answer to a complex problem it is often the simplest that provides the most clarity. Eugene Oregon, responding to a Postrel post, provides a pretty simple answer to why the US invaded Iraq:

Thus, the simplest explanation for why we started this war is because the neo-cons wanted to. And September 11th just gave them a convenient excuse to do so.
While he is probably correct about why we started the war Eugene does not really address the question that Postrel
But Bush's vagueness is maddening to people who are paying attention and confusing to people who aren't.
and Josh Marshall are talking about:
But the White House is being run by men and women who've already made a lot of really stupid mistakes that are going to cost a lot of American lives, money and credibility. And now they're trying to hide from accountability in their own idiot abstractions.
Not only can they hide from accountability but they can also forge ahead with their agenda for as long as they are able to fool enough people with fuzziness. If there is no tangible enemy there does not have to be a tangible end to the fight and this may be exactly what the bushies want.

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

Watching the governments

Blogs are now a little more visible to the govenment tech folks. See this article:

Some of the best sources for information on the California recall election are not newspapers, not television stations and not radio shows.

They are blogs.

Via beSpacific.

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

supporting the troops

the antic muse has been listening to Rush on our behalf again:

Rush Limbaugh spotlights the heartwarming (and ass-cooling) story of how voluntary donations are our military's real secret weapon
and comes to this conclusion:
Aside from bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, "all volunteer army," Rush seems to suggest that the next time a soldier runs low on something the armed forces should have "totally covered," mom should send him a new one: "Dear Mike, I've enclosed your little sister's new class picture, the latest Limp Biskit CD, some of those brownies you like, and, oh yes, a brand new automatic assault rifle. Kill the bastards, sweetie!"

I don't know about you, but this perspective on military readiness frankly scares the shit out of me.

But it is about what one expect's from rush and the bushies. Oh, and given the plentiful electricity in Iraq just what power source will they be using for the AC?

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

Jobs or Just Numbers

Plywood does not comprise the total cost of a house. However, this is not good news for job growth:

Vancouver � Reports that the U.S. government has made plywood purchases to support the war effort in Iraq have sent prices soaring to near record highs, a move that analysts say is already having ripple effects in the Canadian timber market.
South Knox Bubba relates anecdotal evidence that builder prices have gone from $6.50 to $17.00/sheet since February. If bush really cares about jobs (see previous post) then he might want to be paying attention to these real life impacts of his policies...

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

Numbers, Shmumbers

How could the IMF possibly reproach the US administration:

The U.S. budget deficit is hitting "record" levels and even the International Monetary Fund is making a fuss. ...

The international bank is set to reproach the U.S. for being too optimistic in its assumptions on government spending and revenue, and lacking a coherent budget plan, according to Reuters.

when the administration is clearly following the plan of that master of public budgets Arnold Schwarzenegger who tells us:
"Let me tell you something. The public doesn't care about figures. What the people want to hear is, are you willing to make the changes, are you tough enough to go in there and provide leadership."
and if by chance they do care bush tells them not to:
``I am more concerned about somebody finding a job than about numbers on paper,'' Bush told reporters Friday.
Yep, I think I'll try out these ideas on to my mortgage holder when the next payment comes due.

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2003

August 26, 2003


The recently very busy Nurse Ratched has posted a fine picture of Dumpling's butt.

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

Interrogation and Rights

From a recent Newsweek article:

The United States figures it can get plenty out of the newly captured Chemical Ali. But how? And are these �interrogation� techniques being readied for American citizens?
Apparently they are already being used on Americans. Read the whole article and then think again about the closing paragraph:
If the courts buy this line of argument, then we Americans can kiss our sweet rights goodbye. And reading the admiral�s brief, you have to ask yourself if that isn�t really the goal: to give the president and his people the power to treat all Americans like Jos� Padilla, unless and until we give the answers expected of us.

Via Perverse Action Memory.

Posted by Steve on August 26, 2003

Letters to a New Blogger

Tim Dunlop, who is taking some time off, resurrected his Letters to a New Blogger post which is worth both a first read if it is new to you and another read if you've read it before.

Posted by Steve on August 26, 2003

Pirate Blog at The Rhetorica Network

The students in Andrew Cline's EN105 class have joined the blogosphere. Say hello to them at Pirate Blog.

Posted by Steve on August 26, 2003


Load up your Quicktime player and go spend a couple hours with these panoramas. You might want to start with this one...awesome. Yea, I know it already has quite a blog story but I missed it the first time around and you may have as well.

Posted by Steve on August 26, 2003

August 25, 2003

Late Night Reading

Jen got 14 right on this 80's Album Cover Quiz. Me, '80s music is not my strength...8 right.

Bigwig on Desktop Blogging.

Tim Lynch has some questions for Ashcroft.

Good Night!

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

Let's eat a little...

Well, go see for yourself.

Via Riba Rambles.

Posted by Steve on August 25, 2003

For Hobbit Lovers

Check this out:

For those with serious Hobbit habits longing to venture into Middle Earth for more than a few hours, New Line plans to screen all three films back-to-back-to-back on December 16 in a daylong marathon that will carry over with The Return of the King's global release on December 17.
Via Diana Hsieh.

Posted by Steve on August 25, 2003

Minimum Wage Anyone

Discussion of the minimum wage will be alive and well during the next election year. Give yourself some time to read and think about the minimum wage and Earned Income Tax Credits. Here is your assigned reading (make sure to read the comment threads as well):

Illinois Raises Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
Why Minimum Wage Beats EITC
Popularity of Raising Min Wage to $8/hr
You'll probably want to read some of this a second time and then do a little more research before you make up your mind and load your pen.

Posted by Steve on August 25, 2003

Heat, Death and Government

Last week a French health official resigned:

Lucien Abenhaim, France's director general of health, stepped down Monday amid calls for the resignation of his boss, Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei, who said the death toll from the heat could be as high as 5,000.
The large number of deaths is startling to an American but I am a little puzzled as to what he or any other government functionary might have done differently:
1. Turned down the regions thermostat sooner?
2. Imported ice from the Arctic?
3. Quickly sent ambulances collect everyone who might die and transport them...where?
4. Installed new airconditioning systems the day before the heatwave?
5. Told everyone that its not as hot as it seems.
Steve Verdon indirectly suggests that the deaths are the result of long term policy and that the current government probably could have done little to help beyond, perhaps, beginning the debate to change policy.

i don't, though, completely accept his argument that the US does not experience the same problem because cheap power has lead to wholesale air conditioning installations. Sure, cheap power has facilitated installations especially in areas with regular seasonal high heat. However, there are many areas of the US where air conditioning is the exception even though power has been cheap historically.

For instance, in the Seattle area many live just fine without air conditioning in normal conditions and below a certain price point (maybe in the $350-400 range new houses are not built with AC in this area. Like in France normally it just doesn'tget that hot for very long. But if the Seattle area experience a heat wave similar to France00 there would be quite a few folks having trouble coping and maybe dieing while in eastern Washington people routinely live in 100+ weather.

Posted by Steve on August 25, 2003

Lawyers Doing Deals

This is basic stuff for lawyers but not a lawyer folk might wonder: what's a transactional lawyer? Victor Fleischer at A Taxing Blog tells us a bit about transactional lawyers here and also teaches a course:

The goal of the course is to talk about what transactional lawyers do. (Unlike most law school courses, which teach you what appellate litigators do.)

In the first part of the course, we look at the lawyer's role in identifying and managing business risks, or what Prof Ron Gilson calls "Transaction Cost Engineering."

Every deal has information problems and behavior problems, and deal lawyers spend most of their time identifying these risks and allocating them (often, but not always, to the most efficient risk bearer) through private, contractual solutions.

Posted by Steve on August 25, 2003

August 24, 2003

Late Night Reading

Dave Neiwart analyzes the 'Clinton hater' and the 'bush hater' memes.

Kevin Drum updates his thoughts on the Hutton inquiry.

Electolite leads us to the world of education critic John Taylor Gatto who has some interesting thoughts on the purpose of the American educational system.

How much military spending is enough? Ezra Klein reminds the democratic candidates that this is the 3rd leg of American politics and that wiser spending and reform are better approaches then random cutting.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 24, 2003

From Voluntary to Mandatory

bush, long an advocate (in words) of voluntary industry compliance now thinks some things should be mandatory

I don't know if you know this or not, but for many years the reliability of electricity in America depended on companies observing voluntary standards to prevent blackouts. I don't think those standards ought to be voluntary, I think they ought to be mandatory. And if there's not reliability back up for electricity, there ought to be a serious consequence for somebody who misuses the public trust. And Congress needs to have that in the law.
This kind of talk won't make his some of his conservative or libertarian supporters very happy (though many businesses like being absolved of responsibility by regulation). Anyway, by the time he's done (next year.:) he'll have everyone wanting him out of office.

Via uggabugga.

Posted by Steve on August 24, 2003

August 23, 2003

Lying to the People

The Talking Dog is angry again and I don't blame him:

This is how the fucking Soviet Union did things. It is, therefore, by definition, un-American. Forget the 16 words, ladies and gentlemen. If the New York Congressional delegation had any balls, this would be the subject of endless harpings until a full Congressional investigation of this was held. If this shit really did start in the Oval Office (i.e., Karl or Dick's idea), then articles of impeachment aren't good enough (though they would be a good start.)
I was nauseated this morning when I read in today's Seattle Times that the White House directed the EPA to lie to the citizens of New York City. That this could possibly be justified by national security is ridiculous.

Update 8/24: The Mahablog
has a long piece on this today and suggests that New Yorkers may not be welcoming the liers with open armswhen they show up for their convention. (Still can't find permalinks on this blog so look to the 8/24 entries)

Posted by Steve on August 23, 2003

Can Dean Live up to his Promises?

Howard Dean has an ambitious agenda:

I will begin by repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and using the revenues that result from the repeal to address the needs of the average American, invest in the nation's infrastructure and, through tax reform, put money in the hands of those most likely to spend it.
For the moment let's assume Dean wins. Barring some dramatic changes on the landscape this win will probably not be by a large margin and is unlikely to bring with it democratic majorities in the house. Perhaps Dean thinks that with the bush cabal gone he will get some moderate republicans to join with the democrats in either tossing out the tax cuts or at least dramatically changing their structure. It is just as likely, though, that the republican house majority leader will just say no.

As we move closer to the election I'd like to hear from the democratic candidates some detail on just how they expect to accomplish grand goals if the republicans controll one or both houses of congress.

Via RealClear Politics.

Posted by Steve on August 23, 2003

When Killing Isn't

I'm with Julian Sanchez on this:

The problem is that the law has no problem with letting a patient die, that is, with removing a feeding tube and letting her starve, but it does object to euthanasia by way of, say, a relatively quick and painless lethal injection.
He makes a case that any distinction between the two does not exist.

Posted by Steve on August 23, 2003

August 22, 2003

Late Night Reading

Beldar and Danial Drezner ponder the appearance of the Olsen Twins on the Cover of Rolling Stone.

Dave Johnson and Brad Delong tackle the good and the bad of free trade.

I did not know that there were border militias in Arizona. Head on over to Orcinus where David Neiwert comments on them.

Emma confesses and feels better. I feel better for having read her confession.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 22, 2003

Fair and Balanced Profit

Bilmon says it all:

Franken can laugh all the way to the bank about this one. You literally couldn't buy book publicity like this.
as Fox loses the first and hopefully the last round of their lawsuit. Then again, Franken probably hopes they appeal.

Update: Mad Kane has some more thoughts on this and reminds us that it is not quite over.

Posted by Steve on August 22, 2003

Ashcroft Tour

Pejman argues that John Conyers' recent criticism of Ashcroft's Patriot Act tour is too much:

I understand and respect those who disagree with the USA Patriot Act, but this goes beyond a mere difference of opinion. Conyers is stating that Ashcroft can't even talk about the measure in speeches across the country. This is just ridiculous, and Conyers's position is not saved by claiming that Ashcroft is "lobbying." How can the activity qualify as lobbying when the Patriot Act was passed nearly two years ago?
I do not know if there is legislation that supports Conyers position but if there is I do not like it any more than similar laws (or regulations) that, for example, prohibit recipients of federal funds from providing information on, say condom use, to sexually active clients.

We thrive on a free flow of information and opinions, even information and opinions that we disagree with. Ashcroft should get to talk and he should make a choice to talk to the larger community not just law enforcement folks in closed or semi-closed sessions.

Is Ashcroft lobbying and does Pejman's argument that the Patriot Act was passed two years ago so it can't be lobbying hold up? Maybe not. I think that Ashcroft is concerned that congress may move to make changes he does not want. Why else does he, for example, make stops in the home district of the only GOP congressman who voted against it?

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is coming to Boise on Monday to talk up the Patriot Act in the home district of the only GOP congressman who spoke against it.

Ashcroft kicked off a monthlong speaking tour of more than a dozen cities this week to deflect growing opposition to parts of the Patriot Act.

Trying to deflect growing opposition may not be lobbying but it does walk just a little bit like it.

The other thing Ashcroft is undoubtably trying to do is build support for the pending Victory Act. Ashcroft is lobbying just as bush is currently on the campaign trail (is his re-election committee paying for this?). They are doing what public officials have done for ever and should continue to do even if we disagree with them: make their cases to the people.

Posted by Steve on August 22, 2003

August 21, 2003

Retired Thugs

Amy, at The Fifty Minute Hour, asks why thugs like Idi Amin live out a cush life instead of spending it spread out on a hill of fire ants(my words, not hers):

The current theory among many Ugandans is that there's a Muslim conspiracy to protect dictators afoot:
"Why no extradition and trial? One Ugandan theory argues that the Saudis simply will not let an African Muslim potentate be toppled, tried and convicted by a predominantly Christian African state. That's an argument loaded with religious and ethnic explosives, too hot and politically incorrect to touch. However, East Africans I know believe it. Post 9-11, it may not seem so outlandish."
The argument, true or not, raises an obvious question. Why is the international community willing to bow to the will of Saudi Arabia on the issue of human rights in Africa? The Saudis certainly have an opinion as to what should happen to dictators like Amin, but why does their view prevail?
Read her interesting answers here. Andrew Case, in the comment thread, suggests what I think may often be the answer: the unbothered retirement was the payoff for the thug(s) to step down.

Posted by Steve on August 21, 2003

ID Cards and Drinking

Matthew Yglesias supports a new "smart card" drivers license if drinking age limitations are removed:

In a rational country we would let teenagers drink and then I'd be cracking down on fake IDs in good conscience,...
I agree 100% with this position but I don't support a tradeoff with new federally mandated drivers licenses.

The text of the 2002 bill, HR 4633, which NDOL says will be reintroduced is here. Its purpose:

... to establish standards for State programs for the issuance of drivers� licenses and identification cards, and for other purposes.
I don't understand how congress gets to set state standards for this (it's late, so help me out here) or how the $300 million bribe included in the bill to help the states implement the new smart cards would be near enough to entice the states to give up their authority to the feds.

There are other aspects of the proposed legislation that bother me much more.

Some examples,

(6) Identification card technologies that can accommodate other government and private applications will provide the best return on the investment in the new cards.
What other goverment and private applications might these folks be thinking of? Perhaps a tracking device that any level of gendarme can use to locate you? Let your imagination run wild with this.

And this:

(iii) contain encryption and security software or hardware (or both) that prevents access to data stored on the chip without the express consent of the individual to whom the data applies, other than access by a Federal, State, or local agency (including a court or law enforcement agency) in carrying out its functions, or by a private entity acting on behalf of a Federal, State, or local agency in carrying out its functions;
Reads like the feds want full access to your chip anytime anywhere.

And this:

A State shall obtain biometric data for the identification of each individual to whom the State issues a new or renewed drivers license or identification card and shall maintain such data.
You will be required to give up whatever biometric data the feds select for use. Today this could only happen with consent or a search warrant.

If it is ever implemented the draft legislation has a couple of possible safeguards:

[implement] requirements to ensure that such biometric data will be used only for matching the license or cardto the presenter and will not be stored in a central database.
This implies that the biometric data would have to be secured and inserted into the card at the point of issuance. For us to be comfortable that the issuers aren't secretely filing the biometric data the collecting and inserting device would have to be completely disconnected from any network.

A variant of this last one should be its own standalone federal law:

does not make use of the license or card holders Social Security number.
You are right, I'm paranoid and I don't trust'm. Get rid of drinking laws, crack down on fake IDs but, please: feds stay out of the mandatory national ID business.

Posted by Steve on August 21, 2003 | Comments (2)

August 20, 2003

Read Sisyphus Shrugged

This is a good day to go over and read Sisyphus Shrugged. Yea, I know, every day is a good day over there but today is a really good day. I'm only going to link the current most recent post of the day but you'll want to read them all.

She has been busy discussing plans by the bushies to use a banned substance to fumigate incoming cargo containers, the FBI, the Hornstine faux valedictorian, the dem's 'responsibility' for the recent blackout, and Ashcroft's victory act.

And why stop at today. If you haven't been there for a while read some of the back stuff too, for instance yesterday's post on Mel Gibson's The Passion.

Posted by Steve on August 20, 2003

Foreign Media Reaction Site

The Department of State has an interesting and potentially useful site called Foreiegn Media Reaction:

Each business day, the U.S. Department of State's Office of Research produces an Issue Focus of foreign media commentary on a major foreign policy issue or related event. These reports provide a global round-up of editorials and op-ed commentary from major newspapers, magazines and broadcast media around the world. Following a one-page analysis of the commentary, readers will find block quotes sorted by geographic region and country.
Each report has 3 sections: Key Findings, Major Themes and Editorial Excerpts and not unexpectedly seems to have an administration bias (sample size is 2).

The most recent report is titled MIDDLE EAST: IRAQ SIGNALS NEED FOR 'DEMOCRATIC REFORMS and has these key findings:

** Kuwaiti and non-Arab writers assailed the Arab League for rejecting the Iraq Governing Council, a "body that is the most representative Iraq has ever known."

** Other Arab papers declared they are "eagerly awaiting a legitimate government" in Baghdad.

** The American occupation could result in "possible geopolitical changes" in the Arab world.

** Critics dismissed U.S. attempts at "open infiltration of the Arab media."

The bad news is that there are no links in the Editorial Excerpts section though I assume that a lot of this material has been translated.

Thanks to Brett Marston for the pointer.

Posted by Steve on August 20, 2003

Slave Trade

Usually I don't start reading the new National Geographic until it has properly aged. Oh, I quickly skim the pictures, glance at the table of contents and then it gets put on the coffee table to acclimate itself. In a few weeks it has become comfortable and then I gather it in like an old friend and read it over the course of the next couple weeks. But not this time.

It hadn't even made it to the coffee table before Tegan suggested that we all read the first article in the current issue:

[The} Latest National Geographic (it has Zebras on the cover) has a haunting article that you should read. It's about slavery. Modern slavery. According to the contents page: "There are more slaves today then were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade." And don't think that it's happening only in third-world countries: "According to Kevin Bales, there are between 100,000 and 150,000 slaves in the U.S. today." Read it, and maybe wonder how people can do this to one another.
You should all get this out and read the article. If dubya wants some terrorism to fight it sounds like there is plenty right here in his backyard.

Posted by Steve on August 20, 2003

August 19, 2003

Late Night Reading

Not quite sure what to make of this list of Texas last meal requests. Via Ampersand.

The football themed Carnival of the Vanities #48 is up at Outside the Beltway.

On the other side of the tracks Wizbang has the Bonfire of the Vanities #7.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 19, 2003

Sing a Fair and Balanced Song

Mad Kane is back from vacation and feeling very fair and balanced. So much so that she has written a fine fair and balanced tune :

Fair and balanced,
Fair and balanced.
Empty slogans, rabid views, and shrill rants.
Fox calls critics liars.
O'Reilly's filled with angst and ire.
Go sing the rest.

And, being so excited to have missed the blackout, she created a special dubya blackout cartoon but The Village Voice thinks maybe Pataki should be blamed.

Posted by Steve on August 19, 2003

Brain Food

Modulator has recently featured pictures of various bands and makeovers. Today, go take a tour of the human brain. This site is very cool whether you are into plain ol' neural anatomy, want to check out what that adenal carcinoma looks like, or are just browsing on a rainy day.

Via Hellblazer.

Posted by Steve on August 19, 2003

bush's Payback, or Influence Peddling Inflation

As reported here bush has doubled the cost of support in the last 4 years:

His stop at a $2,000-per-head fund-raiser in the Hunts Point home of Craig McCaw will be his second visit to the billionaire cell-phone magnate's home. In July 1999, Bush attended a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser there.
So far 600 folks have signed up to hear bush say things like:
I look forward to signing the economic recovery bill soon. The principle of the bill is pretty simple, that we believe the more money people have in their pockets, the more likely it is somebody is going to be able to find work in America. In other words, the more money somebody has, it means somebody is more likely to demand a good or a service, which means somebody will produce a good or a service, which means somebody is likely to find work. , Washington, D.C., May 22, 2003
It seems clear that the type of service bush expects these folks to buy has a lot to do with his campaign and the bush jobs program.

Posted by Steve on August 19, 2003

Cheney on Trial?

From the Connecticut Law Tribune via Today's Legal News

Vice President Richard Cheney may be added to the list of defendants in Dallas accounting fraud cases, if Colchester, Conn.-based Scott & Scott prevails in its federal court bid to overturn a pending $6 million settlement....

During that period, both Cheney and his successor CEO David Lesar shared responsibility, but only Lesar was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Neil Rothstein, a Pennsylvania-based partner in Scott & Scott, said Richard Schiffrin did not name Cheney as a defendant, despite liability exposure, because it would be "inappropriate" to do so during the war on Iraq.

Somebody please help me understand why this was inappropriate.

Posted by Steve on August 19, 2003

August 18, 2003

Late Night Reading

Mark Kleiman takes a look at Ariana Huffington and California's Proposition 187.

Get a preview of bush's Oregon vacation and the surrounding issues at Pacific Views.

Brett Marston has a long and interesting piece on Tom Delay and the constituion (and, no, that is not a complete oxymoron).

FDR fans might not want to read David Bernstein's discussion of FDR's 'inexplicable popularity'. Links to plenty more reading material.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003

If Blair Falls can bush Stand

Bilmon doesn't think the US has the stuff anymore to take out a president:

Here in land of the fairly free and the not-so-brave, that wouldn't make much difference, I suppose, since we seem to have lost our taste for White House scandal -- not to White House accountability -- once Bill Clinton put his slick willy back in his pants. But the British appear to still take these things fairly seriously.
But if Blair really does fall can you imagine the new set of lies and misdirection we will be subject to as the Republican controlled House and Senate dodge their responsibility.

And then again, the bushies may have laid the groundwork for trying to pull their fat out of the fire:

Senior officials in the Bush administration believe Kay's weapons discoveries should have been revealed as they were made. However, a decision, approved by President Bush, was made to wait until more was discovered and then announce it -- probably in September.

See The Left Coaster for more details on Blair's travails.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003

Politics of Fear

Here's the next to last paragraph from William Pitt's editorial at

Understand that the difference between these two groups - the Bush crew, and the men and women of the VFP - is the difference between what America is, and what America should be. Consider the experiences, the motivations, the actions, the sacrifices. Decide whether you want to spend your life afraid, or whether you will overcome that fear to reach the greatest victory of your life. Decide where you stand.
Read the whole thing, think about the bushies, think about Kennedy, think about the VFP folks and Brian Wilson then, as Jerome, Badattitudes, suggests take a look at this picture.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003 | Comments (1)

Pictures of the Band(s)

Check out these photos of many weird and not so weird musical groups. Philippe Carly, the photographer, says:

You will find here my entire collection of concert and candid photos of popular and not so popular "rock", "new wave" and "punk" groups from the 70s, 80s and 00s
As of today he has 10,214 photos up.

Via Jen at Circadian Shift.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003 | Comments (1)

California Reading

Want to keep track of the California recall election? Find news stories, polling results and good links at RealClear Politics.

Via Virginia Postrel.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003

Taking Out Journalists

Taking out the Journalists

It is dangerous in Iraq and mistakes are made:

Reuters news agency is calling for a "comprehensive investigation" after one of its award-winning cameramen was shot and killed by U.S. troops near Baghdad.

Coalition officials say soldiers mistook Mazen Dana's camera for a shoulder-launched weapon and have described the incident as a "tragic mistake."

The shooting took place in daylight Sunday afternoon outside the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, scene of an attack Saturday night that killed six Iraqis and wounded nearly 60 others.

U.S. military officials say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

"They thought he was aiming an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) at them and they engaged him," a senior Pentagon official told CNN.

We do not know the exact context so it would be wrong to jump to final conclusions but a TV Camera does look a bit different then a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

NB: I'll bet a few folks would get excited if they got the model with the launcher in their sites.

Update: 8/19 Please go to Body and Soul where Jeanne has has more details on this killing. Via Talkleft.

Update (8/19): A commentor provides this link which provides a much different perspective on the differences between a TV Camera and an RPG. The ones shown do look more like cameras then the one SH is holding in picture I link to above.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003 | Comments (1)

GOP may Support Dem in California

Seems the grand old party wants the second tier candidates to pull out* of the contest:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon (search), under considerable pressure by the party to withdraw from the recall election and endorse front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger (search), wouldn't rule out that option on Sunday.
It is hard to tell just where Arnold fits in. He has named both a democrat and a republican as top advisors and at least one of his democratic opponents (a minor one) calls him a Bush republican:
With President Bush arriving in California for a two-day visit, Huffington branded Schwarzenegger a "Bush Republican through and through."
The further right you go the more he is considered if not a democrat at best a moderate republican.

Maybe the fact the he is getting hit from both sides suggests that for him the labels are not very meaningful and that he is a centrist with some outlier positions. At least he does not need to use his potential governorship to get wealthy.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003

Agenda Whores (r rated: Language)

They could habitate any field, e.g., physics, psychology, horse racing, etc., but the politcal ones are easiest to find and study. This piece at meet the g focuses on the species on the political right:

An old social psychology teacher of mine, Professor Alabaster V. Entenswop, used to wax lyrical about his pet hate, Agenda Fuckers � he changed the term to Agenda Whores just before his death by food choking. What�s an Agenda Whore? His definition, cribbed from his red lecture series:

�An agenda fucker. He, or it could be a She these days. They or It decide to center their life and work upon a single political, social or psychological event. They do this without any type of humour or irony, they can change their agenda at a whim
You go read the rest.

Via Ruminate This.

Posted by Steve on August 18, 2003 | Comments (1)

August 17, 2003

Light Blogging Weekend

I've been immersed in a couple of projects all weekend. One I just finished and the other (transforming part of our front yard into river rock beds) will take quite a bit more work.

All this work resulted in little blogging: either reading or writing. I don't think this is a bad thing but hits do go down if you don't post and knowledge does not grow or pass on when you aren't partaking in the conversation.

So, if you won a retirement level lottery how much of your new free time would you devote to blogging?

My answer will show up in a comment sometime this week.

Posted by Steve on August 17, 2003 | Comments (1)

August 16, 2003

California Polls

The results of today's Field Poll show Bustamante ahead of Schwarzenegger 25% to 22% and are a lot more interesting when we look at yesterday's poll. It shows that an increasing number of likely voters will vote to recall: July 51%, August 58%. If DAvis has any hope of staying in office he has to figure out how to get Democrats out to vote and also hope that they aren't among the 22% who voted for him that say they will vote to recall.

Unless a lot of folks drop out there is a high liklihood that the next govn'r of California will be elected by 25-30% of the voters.

The San Francisco Chronicle has some analysis of the poll results and somecandidate comments here.

Posted by Steve on August 16, 2003

Full Name of the Patriot Act

You do remember don't you?

Its full name is the:

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act
Yep, our tax dollars pay for people to dream this stuff up. Read more about efforts both to undo and add to it here.

Posted by Steve on August 16, 2003

August 15, 2003

Fair and Balanced Late Night Reading

The compleat fair and balanced is over at Blah3.

Tom at TBOGG shares with us Lowell Ponte's stupid and , well, stupid report on fair and balanced.

Gerber and Schwarz want to get sued like Al Franken.

The Rittenhouse Review is repetitively fair and balanced.

Jack Balkin quotes bush apparently talking about the fox news fair and balanced lawsuit:

"The unpredictability of our liability system means that even frivolous cases, even what we call junk lawsuits, carry the risk of enormous verdicts." Bush told a crowd in Greensboro, N.C.
and discuss the suit at length in posts preceding and following the above link.

And I wish you a fair and balanced Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 15, 2003

Chewing your Religion

Last week we had the play with dubya toy and this week we have something for the wee ones to chew on:

Think of the impact this could make on a young families life. If this one product will make them think about their relationship with Jesus, then we have done our job.
Other than communion isn't chewing on Jesus sacreligious or something?

NB: perhaps fair and balanced o'reilly should use one of these when he gets stressed out and is tempted to be unfair and biased.

Via Thymewise.

Posted by Steve on August 15, 2003

Fair and Balanced Report

Here is today's fair and balanced report. First, South Knox Bubba has the headlines (do not drink your coffee while reading); second, Neal Pollack provides a fair and balanced report on bill's blackout activities (and now you know why he is trying to divert attention to Hillary, and third, Tegan writes about and links us to the Fox court filing which is full of great quote material such as the Orwellian

15. FNC's balanced approach to reporting the news has become extremely popular...
and o'reilly's fair and balanced version of his own show
17..."The O'Reilly factor" bills itself as a "No-Spin Zone" and the goal of the program is to present the audience with the straight facts while allowing the audience to reach its own conclusions about the news.
And in full bushian mode of saying one thing and doing another:
20. To reflect its unique approach to the reporting of news, FNC adopted the slogan "fair and Balanced", along with the phrase "we Report, You Decide" at the time of the network's inception.
Folks: watch it, read it, you decide.

Posted by Steve on August 15, 2003 | Comments (2)

End of Hegemony?

On the other hand folks with hegemonic aspirations that don't treat their troops well do not last long. Check out this flash animation from Take Back the Media: Army of One.

Via Talkleft.

Posted by Steve on August 15, 2003 | Comments (1)


Go now and read this post by Emma entitled On the Fate of Empires:

Or will we become another empire in a large history of empires, and so shall the greatest experiment of human personal freedom ever undertaken disappear under the weight of power?

Posted by Steve on August 15, 2003

August 14, 2003

Late Night Reading

Lots of stuff on the Jesus Castillo case: here, hereand here for more links. My short take: the law shouldn't be on the books, Castilla should never have been arrested and certainly not convicted.

Wampum is back after a short hiatus.

Walter thinks Clark will run and Walter will supprt him!

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 14, 2003

Court Web Sites

Via beSpacific:

The 2003 winners of the JUSTICE SERVED� Top 10 Court Website Awards are here! The total number of court websites worldwide has grown substantially in the past year. We looked at more than 900 sites this year to choose these well-deserved winners.
Go check'm out. See what services your friends, relatives and lawyers might get if you do wrong.

Posted by Steve on August 14, 2003

Check the Facts

Eugene Volokh gives us this model of blogger fact checking:

1. Blog reader alerts blogger to possible problem.

2. Blogger posts about it, with some tentative speculation.

3. Another blog reader checks the facts (I hadn't known that there was an audio of Justice Moore's remarks available, but the reader did know) and lets blogger know.

4. Blogger rechecks the facts to satisfy himself (and preserve his own credibility, since he's about to say something pretty definitive).

5. Blogger posts the proof of the error.

And all this happened within a couple of hours, starting only hours after the story was posted. Of course, it would be better still if this were followed by (6) the media outlet corrects the error (prompted partly by the blogger's e-mail). We'll see whether that happens, though I'm not holding my breath . . . .

I think we will see number 6 but that it will be an evolutionary process. What may happen sooner is that 'big media' will improve their own fact checking to save regular embarrassment.

Posted by Steve on August 14, 2003

View from the bush

Yep, I feel better now that bush has kind of told us all will be well:

"We're upbeat about the chances for our fellow citizens who are looking for work to be able to find a job," Bush said. "I firmly believe that what we have done was the absolute right course of action in order to help people find a job."
I'm not so sure the folks who held those 2.6 million jobs that have evaporated feel the same. Maybe, though, they can move to India.

Posted by Steve on August 14, 2003

August 13, 2003

Late Night Reading

SK Bubba relates tales of modem woes and possible encounters with MSBlaster.

Over 70 entries in this week's Carnival of the Vanities which is now up at Right We Are. Good for a few nights of reading.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 13, 2003

Google Calculates

Tired of hunting down that Windows calculator to do a quick math problem? Instead enter the problem into the google search box and try out the new Google calculator.

Via beSpacific.

Posted by Steve on August 13, 2003

Full Disclosure

I agree 100% with this guy's request:

"If Howard Dean plans to run on his record in Vermont, he needs to share that record with the public," Vermont Republican Chairman Jim Barnett (search) said. "The American people should not just have to take his word for it."
And, I'm sure he will apply the same requirement to the sitting president.

Posted by Steve on August 13, 2003

Sexiest Female Bloggers

Here is another contest for those interested. Last year's winners are here.

Via Resurrection Song.

NB: The link in the last post, to the digital artist, was courtesy of last year's winner.

Posted by Steve on August 13, 2003 | Comments (1)

Does (s)he or doesn't (s)he?

Only their digital artist knows. Check out these makeovers.

Via Raven Wolf.

Posted by Steve on August 13, 2003 | Comments (2)

August 12, 2003

Late Night Reading

Matthew Yglesias dissects proposals for mandatory medical self-insurance. Check it out.

Wendy McElroy shares the news that filming on the 4th Harry Potter movie will begin before the 3rd is finished.

Chris writes about Politician blogs vs. Political blogs.

Via Whuffie big brother will be watching your students.

Neither soldiers or air marshalls shall talk to the media. Full story through the looking glass.

That last one is the straw....

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 12, 2003

Marketing Peripherals

Eric at the Fireant Gazette is not sold by this Kensington add on the back of the September isse of MacWorld:

The tag line on the ad reads "Suddenly, Jennifer realized she forgot her Kensington Car/Air Adapter." The "snicker, snicker" is implied......

I suppose this ad is appropriate if your demographic target is 13-year-old males, but last time I check Apple's price list (and it's been pretty recently, you know), most of them don't have the kind of folding cash needed for Apple's stuff.

Does anyone know on which airline this is common?

Posted by Steve on August 12, 2003

Lead Poisoning

The aptly named Mercury News reports this bad news about lead poisoning:

Now, however, findings published in April in the New England Journal of Medicine strongly suggest not only that any amount of lead is harmful to a child's brain but also that greater damage seems to occur at levels below 10 micrograms than above that.

In other words, there is no threshold for lead's effects on the brain, and just small amounts seem to have relatively large effects.

Lead based paint is still an issue:
One-quarter of American homes with children younger than 6 contain lead-based paint.
This 1999 report suggests that blood lead levels are declining but also notes that mean blood levels are 1.7-2.3 micrograms for 1-5 years olds which makes the new study even more ominous.

Eliminating lead poisoning would probably do more to improve eductional performance in our schools than all the batteries of tests being engendeer by the all children left behind act. (and, no, I don't know the marginal cost of eliminating the last vestiges of lead poisoning).

A cursory search did not turn up any studies on lead poisoning as a factor in political party selection.

Posted by Steve on August 12, 2003

State of the Economy

Rob Schaap at Blogorrhoea pretty much sums up the latest economic news:

A blogorrhoeaic summary: Shrubya's promised job splurge ain't coming, rather direct investment is down, unemployment is up and wages are all but static in real terms. Excess capacity stalks the manufacturing sector and the information technology is having trouble growing demand - and we must doubt that clever marketers can entice consumers to ignore their mounting debt for much longer.
Go here to read the rest.

Posted by Steve on August 12, 2003

August 11, 2003

Late Night Reading

Idols of the Marketplace links toWhiskeybar and Talkleft on the upcoming ashcroft concert tour.

Scott Wickstein at White Rose has some examples of Big Brother hard at work.

BLAH3 hammers War on the Cheap and supports Al Franken's use of Fair and Balanced. And from the other side Kim takes Fox to task as well.

There is a discussion of Afghani Snow Leopards from a Libertarian perspective at Samizdata and Catallarchy.

Will Wilkinson has some thoughts on the false alternative of a forced choice between intrinsicism and subjectivism.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

Paid to do It

Isn't this carrying the concept of social services just a bit far?

Via American RealPolitik.

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

I Want It Now

And to keep in the bushian theme for one more post I direct you to this bit of satire: I Want It Now...make sure to have your audio on but not too loud.

Via Ruminate This.

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

Raining on the bush parade

Moorish Girl says A Storm is Brewing. Check out this Washington Post article:

The new information indicates a pattern in which President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their subordinates -- in public and behind the scenes -- made allegations depicting Iraq's nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support. On occasion administration advocates withheld evidence that did not conform to their views. The White House seldom corrected misstatements or acknowledged loss of confidence in information upon which it had previously relied:
Yep, I think its brewing and can see the lightning on the horizon.

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

Fiscal Conservative: bush?

Last night I linked to a couple posts on Howard Dean and fiscal conservatism. Today I'll take a quick look at bush. Fresh from the Cato Institute is this:

The new estimates show that, under Bush, total outlays will have risen $408 billion in just three years to $2.272 trillion: an enormous increase in federal spending of 22 percent. ....

But the real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than ten years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively.


in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.

Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency. From farm subsidies to Medicare expansion, purchasing reelection votes has consistently trumped principle. In fact, what we have now is a president who spends like Carter and panders like Clinton.

Republicans really want to reelect this guy? Go figure.

Via Steve Verdon who has more.

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

Taking on the Feds

Talkleft tells us about a group of Californians who are taking on the feds over medical marijuana use:

these advocates argue that their cultivation and use of pot � approved by Santa Cruz police, free of profit motive, unfettered by illegal transport over state lines � is a constitutionally protected right that trumps federal narcotics laws.
It would be nice to see them win and do it in such a way that it drives the states and the feds right out of the business of legislating in these areas where they do not belong.

Posted by Steve on August 11, 2003

August 10, 2003

Late Night Reading

Anna and Jake are at the Ignuazu Falls as they find their way back to the UK. Lots of cool travel pictures on this site.

Just for you bachelors, Oscar Jr has some housekeeping tips beginning here and working back for two posts.

If you are in need of fresh w quotes head on over here.

Larry Phillips on how Dean can help topple bush even if Dean doesn't win. Via Craig Cheslog.

Asymmetrical Information and Outside the Beltway on that fiscal conservative: Howard Dean.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 10, 2003

Doonesbury on Blogging

The Command Post has today's link trolling Doonesbury. This is a must for all of you!

Via Poliblog.

Posted by Steve on August 10, 2003

Selecting the Hraka

Bigwig is looking to drink lots of good macro hraka during the October fishing trip. Head on over and help him select the brew.

Posted by Steve on August 10, 2003

Comment Spam

Jaquandor is annoyed by what may be a new type of spam:

It works like this: a person leaves a one-word entry in a blog's Comments section, something like "Cool!" or "Neat!", but the URL they enter for their homepage is not their own blog but instead where you'd go if you click any of the links in the e-mail Spam messages that clog your inbox. It's a pretty sneaky way to guarantee I'll look, since I wager most bloggers -- except the really big ones -- tend to check out those URLs when a unknown person leaves a comment.
This looks too labor intensive for the folks who like to send out millions of messages at a time but, then, I here there is some pretty cheap offshore labor.

Note: possible bloggered permalinks. Link is to the 3rd entry from the bottom on August 10 at Byzantium Shores.

Posted by Steve on August 10, 2003 | Comments (1)

August 9, 2003

Late Night Reading

Kevin Drum predicts the recall winner.

David Sifrey answers some basic questions about Technorati: Technorati Tutorial, Part 1.

Pagan Prattle found some JIGS on Ebay.

You can find some ergonomic product recommendations over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Katherine Harris continues supporting bush in her own bushian way. See the full story over at Orcinus.

Nurse Ratched does not like Hillary.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 9, 2003

RIP Jerry Garcia 8.1.42-8.9.95

It all rolls into one
and nothing comes for free
There's nothing you can hold
for very long
And when you hear that song
come crying like the wind
it seems like all this life
was just a dream
Stella Blue

Stella Blue, Lyrics by Robert Hunter

Posted by Steve on August 9, 2003 | Comments (1)

Improving Productivity and no Jobs

This is the good news:

On Thursday August 7th, the Bureau of Labour Statistics offered the latest evidence of America�s productivity revival: output per worker soared by 5.7% in the second quarter, at an annualised rate.
And this may be very bad news for Bush reelection prospects if not for the rest of us:
Arthur Okun, an American economist, showed that employment would fall, even if the economy were growing, if an �output gap� opens up between actual output and the economy's long-term �potential� output. Okun�s razor appears to be at work in the American economy today, shaving payrolls in the non-farm sector by 44,000 in July.
After promising to cure all ills with his tax cuts bush's failure to deliver may lead the armies of unemployed to vote for anyone but bush.

Posted by Steve on August 9, 2003

August 8, 2003

Late Night Reading

Henry at Crooked Timber deliberates on whether or not democracy is bogus.

Lessig and comments on the California recall election.

Emma has some interesting concerns about airport security.

Good Night!

Posted by Steve on August 8, 2003

the toy boy

You love bush. You swooned as he walked across the deck of that aircraft carrier. This is for you.

Via Hammerdown.

Posted by Steve on August 8, 2003

Arnold Shows it All

Charles at Laquidara has Arnold's republican and democratic campaign photos. Some of you may be a bit disappointed. This may, though, provide an opportunity for some revisionism.

Posted by Steve on August 8, 2003


Flashing may have a new meaning:

A growing flash mob craze -- when crowds organized by e-mail turn up in unexpected places -- brought a mob late on Thursday to the flagship Times Square store of Toys "R" Us, where a giant dinosaur roars menacingly at customers.
Prediction: at least one of these events will, in the future, include just that: flashing.

This is a phenomena that is aching for a name of its own. We all understand getting Slashdotted and if we are lucky tomorrow we will still understand being flashed.

Who has a unique name for these gatherings?

Posted by Steve on August 8, 2003

Pure Politics

bush speaks for once in his political career as an expert on the subject:

"I say it's pure politics," he said. "And that's just the nature of democracy. Sometimes pure politics enters into the rhetoric."

Posted by Steve on August 8, 2003

August 7, 2003

Late Night Reading

Mahablog does not want bush assasinated. Hey, no martyrs please!
(August 7 entry; I can't find a permalink).

Wizbang points us to Balloon Juice's August blogger awards.

Weblog ethics and editing/deleting posts: should you or shouldn't you? Head over to Wealth Bondage where The Happy Tutor lets us know that Jonathon Delacour is back and he has changed his positon on the question.

Posted by Steve on August 7, 2003

I Hate Thieves

Back from the road and I hate thieves.

Is that correct? Ah, yes, associate your emotion with of the act not the actor. Well, I hate theft and today I hate thieves.

Late last night, 30 minutes from home, returning from a perfectly wonderful few days away (my how the constant caress of near by surf soothes) we get a phone call telling us one of our cars had been burglarized.

I hate thieves.

Deal with the police, deal with insurance, everything takes time and eventually the damage will be fixed and the stolen items replaced. Low deductible helps for part of the loss. But we will be out of pocket several hundred dollars when all is said and done. This is probably triple what the jerk(s) will get when they fence their take. The out of pocket is nothing compared to the psychological loss. It is partially mended by time.

I still hate thieves.

In all their forms, catch them, try them and jail them: the murderers, the rapists, the beaters and abusers, the muggers, the robbers, the vandals. Take something that does not belong to you and pay the price.

And I still hate thieves.

Posted by Steve on August 7, 2003

August 1, 2003

On the Road Again

More summer vacation through 8/6. For sure no posting from now through Sunday evening and after that possible intermittent posting through Wednesday. Modulator will return to a 'normal' posting pattern on 8/7.

Posted by Steve on August 1, 2003 | Comments (1)

Games Future Lawyers Play

Bobby at Heretical Ideas teaches us how to play Gunner Bingo. It sounds like a game that could be played in any too populated classroom. Perhaps if those playing participated more actively in the classes we would all be better off. :)

Posted by Steve on August 1, 2003 | Comments (2)