Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Katrina: Why did we hear about President Bush "cutting his vacation short" before he actually did so (he actually did today, on Day Three)? And, given he cut it short by two days, who gives a shit? Likewise, how about all the National Guard personnel and other resources in Iraq that could be helping the citizens here? Or, cuts and other lack of emphasis (admittedly not just by the Bush White House ... locals had a laissez faire attitude about a possible natural disaster) of homeland security? Mother Nature can be quite a bitch, huh?
Monday, August 29, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
And Also: John Dean argues that Robertson's comments might very well be an actionable "true threat." I don't buy it. There should be a more direct one on one intent and possibility of harm. It surely can't be legal under the First Amendment to prosecute an opinion that some evil dictator should be "taken out" or the like. I'm not sure where such criminality of opinion would stop. A closer question might be if he had a dissident from Chavez's country on the show (or if he was visiting this country) and said the same thing. Dean might be right that Pat's literal conservative brand of law would stretch things that far. But, that's something else.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
And also: NYT discussed a study that holds that fetal pain is not present until around the 29th week. From my reading, it seems to me that the general consensus was that it might be sometime around viability, though some say earlier. So, it was a bit striking it was so late. Not sure how something like this can be quantified exactly. Still, since at least 99% of abortions occur before the 25th week, the study caught my eye.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Gaza Pull-Out: Few quick thoughts. (1) These few Jewish settlers are being paid something like 300K to be removed from their settlements. (2) A few thousand Jews got prime real estate, while hundred of thousands of Palestinians were squeezed into the rest. (3) This land is probably smaller than one of the medium sized neighborhoods in my city. All the disputed land (including Israel) is but a tiny sliver of real estate. It's amazing really. (4) Why was only one side of the issue focused upon by much of the coverage?
Sunday, August 21, 2005
One More Thing: The NYT has a piece on the Intelligent Design movement today. This came to mind: science is the attempt to understand, as far as it is understandable, God's control of nature. You know, if you believe in God. Biblical farmers knew this and used their knowledge of animal husbandry and so forth. Morality is another class. Facially, this is far from controversial if one is a "believer." To the degree evolution is supposed to be secularist, it just doesn't follow. Unless, as an Onion piece suggests, studying the standard laws of gravity is somehow problematic as well since we don't remind ourselves God controls everything etc. Complications put aside for another day: just a quick thought.
And Also: I heard a bit about this patriotic march thought up by the Bush Administration, including the need to sign up for it in advance. Can't have ordinary riff raff come by, right? The NYT editorial staff added another wrinkle -- it is set for 9/11. You know, the start of football season. Isn't that annoying? No seriously, they are mixing 9/11 with the war with Iraq, honoring our troops on that day. But, hey, anyone who thinks they are implying the two are intimately linked (Saddam and 9/11, wink wink) is imagining things. Since at least a full 1/3 of the nation is against war, why must they combine the two like this? No shame comes to mind.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Update: The NYT (whose editorial comment on the Gaza Strip withdrawal was on point -- a bit on whose land it really is and so forth) piece on this story adds a couple important details. First, given the complexity, the abortion cost $3000 (perhaps ten times more than one might) and the husband had an under 20K salary. Also, the Justice Department was worried about a "slippery slope." I guess anencephalic fetuses can be added to stem cells, while war dead and torture (lite or otherwise) continue to be not an issue.
And also: One thing that stands out in my mind is the misguided sentiments of some that support of President Bush for some singular reason (like the appeal of his alleged forthright nature) should overshadow the fact that he will stock the bureaucracy with those who will act in ways said supporters will oppose. A recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that is troublingly broad in limiting worker fraternalization is just a recent example.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Now That's Just Mean Dept.: After winning in the Kelo eminent domain case, New London is not only offering subpar 2000 market rates for compensation, but threatening to charge (after apparently promising not to) the losing parties back rent. The named defendant, Susette Kelo, who owns a single-family house with her husband, learned she would owe in the ballpark of 57 grand. We can trust localities to play fair, right? Meanwhile, John Roberts is not a big fan of comparative worth, etc.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Update: Mark Kleiman has a good take, while Majikthise provides some good links. Why the likes of Gadflyer insists to supply a single-minded "anti" view therefore is unclear, especially since it criticizes the criticism while doing so. I disagree with Majikthise on the "stay loyal" sentiment a bit -- people like the reality based community since we can have some in-house debate. But, the kneejerk "this is just a 'slimy' move" sentiment is stupid. NARAL pulled the ad (the reference in the comments kinda suggests why), but slight editing would have made it completely aboveboard. And, guess what -- singling out NARAL for hitting below the belt advertising is patently inflicting a double standard. But, hey, what else is new?
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
And Also: Thankfully looking quite healthy in his gigantic glasses, Justice Stevens made some on the point (and pointed) remarks about the death penalty and political gerrymandering (representatives are able to choose their constituents instead of the other way around) at the annual Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Saturday night.
Baseball: Note to announcers -- please stop suggesting the Mets really have a chance to get to the playoffs. Tonight's loss underlines the stupidity of the suggestion until further notice. Not beating a pitcher the Texas Rangers (whose staff includes Kenny Rogers and some other guys) felt a need to release, especially when Pedro starts, is just sad.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Update: Over the years, this has been one of the few posts that has received repeated hits. With this in mind, and given there is now a comment, let me add two new links since the news articles cited are not available via the ones provided below. I'd add, given recent debate, the health insurance matter also is relevant. I'm glad she is still in the minds and hearts of many.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Good if Scary Read: Dangerous Doses by Katherine Eban, discussing a fight in Florida against the illegal sale of prescription drugs. The underregulated industry, helped by two administrations delaying the launch of a federal law that would do something to fight it, encourages the sale of unsafe often on some level black (or "grey") market drugs. High drug prices encourage the practice. Focus on international risks (you know, like Canada) missing the danger at our gates for one far ashore. This is why we require real regulation!