Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Of course, the FDA has also turned a blind eye to other Aspartame related problems over the years. I have heard an estimate that some 10% of the population is neurologicially sensistive to the stuff, and that sounds reasonable from my experiences. I know one person who claims that it caused him to black out while flying. Luckily he wasn't alone, and his passenger knew enough to keep the plane in the air until he woke up. But he is one who never drank diet drinks before or during flying or driving again.
The problem is that this big increase in immigration isn't supported by the American People, who, when surveyed: 40 percent favored a decrease; 37 percent would hold it steady; and 17 percent wanted an increase.
I think that Iain Murray at the Corner called it right when he said:
Translation: I am rich enough to benefit from executive jets and Lincolns because I pay my indulgences. All you proles have to give up your cars, flights and air conditioning.
The new aristocracy; there's no other way to describe it.
But the problem with this is that this gives the Democrats a pass on their claim that the Republicans have fostered a Culture of Corruption. Never mind that more Democrats are being caught at being corrupt - including today, Senate Minority Leader Reid being caught accepting free ringside seats at boxing matches, and then pushing a national boxing commission for his Nevada constituants.
Wm. Jefferson is the most visibly corrupt person in Congress today, thanks to the video tapes of him accepting $100k in bribes, and then finding $90k of that in marked bills carefully wrapped in foil in his freezer to look like left overs. To add insult to injury, he tried to hide evidence right in front of the FBI when they searched his house. He would be a great poster boy to trott out whenever the Democrats cry "Culture of Corruption" - except that the Republican House Leadership has thrown this away on the grounds of Separation of Powers.
On the better side, I also got a new 10/100 5 port hub. I plugged it into my router, and, after getting all the cables plugged in right, it works just fine, I think. I will have to run with it for a bit since about 1/4 of the pages I initially loaded in Mozilla didn't complete loading. But they don't always do this anyway, so it may be a normal Mozilla problem.
In any case, the reason for the hub is that I am getting two new printers. The photo-printer is USB, so it plugs into a USB hub somewhere, when I find room for it. But the high speed ink jet printer (HP 2300) plugs in a parallel port (or, I can get an ethernet adaptor), and I figure to use a print server I have lying around, which has an ethernet adaptor. I will probably ultimatley move my laser printer there too (currently, it is hooked to my router). Plus, I am adding a fifth/new computer (#H).
The router has 4 slots (before today for systems #D, #E, #F, #G). The hub has 4 slots plus an uplink. This gives me a combined total of ((4-1)+(5-1)) = 7 ethernet connections. Five will be used for computers, and one for the print server, leaving one spare. Currently, I have the four computers (including the one that is not running) connected to the hub, but will probably move the server to the hub, as well as the print server, since they are both 10mbs, and set the hub to straight 100mbs - since one of the hoped for advantages of the hub is slightly faster computer-computer transfers.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
This decision potentially long term ramifications. An appeals court in the biggest state in the Union has acknowledged that web publishers are essentially journalists.
Labels: Cyber/IP Law
"This is my second visit to Cannes," he said. "The first was when I was fifteen years old and came here for the summer to study the existentialists — Sartre, Camus... We were not allowed to speak anything but French!" Which may explain his pitch-perfect French accent.There apparently turn out to be a couple problems with this, notably that earlier we had been led to believe that he had spent that summer learning to be a farmer. Also, there is a question how he continued to get Cs in French even after this fateful summer.
In any case, the progression so far is: Waiting For Gore, There He Goes Again, Gore Fan Nerves, Gore & Farming, and Al & Me.
Gore is, of course, in Cannes to premiere his new environmental wacko movie. But, besides its falacies, there is the added question of whether or not he drove or walked the 500 yards from the hotel to the screening. In Al Gore Burns up the Atmosphere, but this was later corrected in Gore Says He Walked in Cannes. Apparently though, according to Reuters, it is common practice to drive to these events, so that you can be seen leaving your limo (or, in this case, five limo caravan), and Gore actually walked from another hotel somewhere. Of course, all of this is apparently "carbon neutral". I don't know what that means, but possibly that they had bought enough carbon emission reductions to compensate for driving those cars that 500 feet. But that may not be a viable option for all those who are struggling to pay for gas right now.
In any case, the reason that Gore is so popular right now, above and beyond the natural hype that goes with opening any new movie, is that he is seen as the Great White Hope for stopping Hillary. This is the guy, of course, who "invented" the Internet. I will admit that a Gore presidency would be interesting from a reality perspective. You will never quite know what happened last month, until you get the latest Gore reality brief. And we all thought that the past was set as history. Not if Al Gore is elected president.
Labels: Global Warming
My view for quite awhile is that Libby's attorneys are outlawyering the SP Fitzgerald. I think that we are seeing the vice tighten a little more here. Libby got access to Cooper's notes, etc. because the judge found inconsistencies in them that the defense can presumably use to impeach Cooper during the trial - and counts 3 and 5 are based almost entirely on his testimony. Miller's notes were not provided (because they were consistent) - yet, but may well be after she testifies.
Labels: Plame Game
There are so many great quotes in it. For example, about Jefferson:
Jefferson, 59, has been under investigation since March 2005 for allegations that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for using his congressional influence to promote business ventures in Africa. Two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him, including Brett Pfeffer, one of his former aides, who was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison by a federal judge in Alexandria.I love that: he has denied any wrongdoing. Then, about the politics of the whole thing:
An FBI affidavit released this week alleged that Jefferson was videotaped taking $100,000 in bribe money and that a search of his Washington apartment turned up $90,000 of that money wrapped in foil inside his freezer. Jefferson, who has not been charged, has denied any wrongdoing.
Bush aides were also worried about a war with the Republican House if the president did not act.
"If you tell the House to stick it where the sun don't shine, you're talking about a fundamentally corrosive relationship between two branches of government," the senior administration official said. "They could zero out funding; they could say, 'Okay, you can do subpoenas, so can we.'"
So, the President is really between a rock and a hard place here. The Speaker of the House is going berserk over this, trying to get the evidence back, while his top three DoJ officials are threatening to resign if he does - all in his own party.
Memorial Day and the Vietnam War
I attribute this change, this catharsis, to two primary factors. First, we are at war again, with troops in harm's way, doing their duty, and they come back and are dishonored. But this time, many of us aren't standing for it. And, second, John Kerry ran for president almost two years ago. He was a strategic blunder for the Democrats, not because he served honorably in Vietnam, but because of what he did when he came back from the war. He lost, in part, because a lot of Vietnam vets, who really starting voting Democratic in 1972, couldn't stomach a vote for the guy who stood up before Congress and told them, under oath, that all his brothers in arms were routinely committing atrocities in Vietnam.
So, along with our vets from Afganistan and Iraq, we are now truly honoring our Vietnam vets. And it feels good to do so. Reagan played a song about the 173rd Airborne last night, and for the first time in a long time, I think a lot of people were moved by it.
Friday, May 26, 2006
This sort of conviction is going to go a lot further than Sorbanes-Oxley in helping to prevent white collar crime, esp. at the level that we saw early in this decade.
Not surprisingly, I take the opposite side here.
See my previous posts on this topic here (#2) and here (#1).
Hoekstra interrupted a witness to tell those at the hearing to remain in the room and said doors must be closed.Don't you love modern technology?
"It's a little unsettling to get a Blackberry message put in front of you that says there's gunfire in the building," he said.
WARRANTS: Not good enough for us, too good for you.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I can just see the Congressional Hearings on the FBI search and seizure pursuant to a warrant of Representative Wm. Jefferson's offices:
R1: I protest this action by the FBI.
R2: I strongly protest this action!
R3: I even more strongly protest this unconstitutional usurptation of our powers!!
R4: I strenously protest!!!!
R5: I adamently protest!!!!
R6: Point of order, is strenously protesting or admanently protesting stronger?
R7: I move to impeach the Attorney General!
R8: He can be reappointed, I move to impeach the President!!
You get the idea.
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information - ...The disclosure of the existance of the NSA international surveilance program by the NYT would seem to fall right into this statute.
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or...(Emphasis added)
Also see my previous post.
Barone asks if the legal theory of latches applies, since newspapers have never been prosecuted for this sort of leaking. Johnson answers this indirectly by citing New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971; otherwise known as the Pentagon Papers case), where a concurring opinion specifically referred to the statute under which the NYT could be prosecuted (18 U.S.C. 798) as one under which papers could be prosecuted - after the fact, but not preemptively as was litigated in that case.
Monday, May 22, 2006
My best guess right now is either the power supply and/or the CPU fan is the problem, so I went out looking for replacements. Best prices, by far, were on eBay, and so bought both there. But I also realized that I needed memory for the computer that I was now using primarily (#D), and probably could use more on the dead system (#F). The "Pay for it Now" prices were a bit high, so, I started actually bidding on memories, and usually, I would lose. I would have a high bid for awhile, but then get an email telling me that I had been outbid. And, then, I stumbled into to some higher speed memory in the wrong category (it was 1 gb PC3300 or something, in the 512 mb PC2100 category), and got 1 gb at a steal - at less than the price of the slower speed memory of half the size it was competing against, and it was from a dealer.
That got me off and running. Awhile back, I figured I could use a high speed inkjet printer, because they are so much cheaper to run (four times the ink, for 1 1/2 the price), if I could get one for a decent price. I bid on one (HP 1200) with the requisite ink cartridges, but then looked around at others. I quickly found one the next step up (HP 2300), retailing starting at $500, and there were a lot of them for sale. You could pick up a refurbrished one (without cartridges) for $.01 plus about $70 in shipping, but I found some new ones for $35 in shipping, and put in some bids there. I ended up winning one for a total cost about equal to the shipping cost of the refurbrished ones. But the pictures of these printers didn't show an easy way to print labels and envelopes, part of the original justification for getting a new inkjet printer (I am currently using my fax/scanner/copier for such). So, I looked at other inkjet printers, and found a new mid-grade HP photo quality printer with no bids. I put in a $5 bid, and won it for $0.01, plus $30 in shipping.
So, I now notice that two color printers have been shipped to me, and I am still the high bid on a third one.
Of course, things didn't stop there. The new high speed printer has USB and parallel interfaces built in, but you can buy an Ethernet interface from the vendor for about $100. eBay is running half that (including shipping), so I bid on a couple of those. But then, I figured, I had a spare print server lying around, so, I could use that. But I have maxed out my ethernet router. So, the logical solution is an Ethernet hub. Picked a new one of those up, that actually comes from the same vendor as the router, for about $10, including shipping. That too has been shipped.
Then, my next brother is a ski fanatic. We raced together in high school and college, but he has kept it up, and is one of the best racers in his age group in CO. This is the time of year he buys his equipment, and so was telling me about the new boots he bought (just for the liners), etc. Didn't find the pair of AT boots I want at a good price, but did bid on some alpine boots and skis. Luckily, I was outbid.
So, now, I am going to stay away from eBay, at least until I see if the power supply or CPU fan solves my problem. My next step would probably be the processor, though I might decide on a new motherboard next instead. And, while there, I might just check to see if those Ethernet adaptors for the new high speed inkjet printer have gone down in price...
So, imagine his surprise when he was deluged over that weekend by some 35 reporters about the "news" that Rove would be indicted shortly, had given notice to the President, and was getting his affairs in order. Last time Luskin ever schedules a vet visit on a Friday, at least while he has Rove as a client.
While there are many Iraqis who want us to leave, there are also a lot of them who do appreciate what we have done for their country, and, I suspect, will think of us highly for years to come.
Post is via Gateway Pundit, and apparently, there is a video of it available at Slapstick Politics.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
"Enron" has become a totemic word, a stand-in for corporate greed, deception and malfeasance. The verdicts now being considered by a jury against the company's two former CEOs, Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, won't change that.I think that the answer is several-fold. First, as they note, it was one of the first. Secondly, as one of the commenters pointed out, it ended up costing CA a lot of money. But the other reason is probably the biggeest - the company was closely identified with the Administration, and identifying corporate scandals with Enron was designed by the MSM to tie it to the present Administration (see Culture of Corruption below).
Also, they, and a lot of others moan about the demise of Arthur Anderson. I am not. It got to be the biggest by cheating. Feeling sorry about those who benefitted from that doesn't make sense.
I like it and will use a modified version.yojimbo:
If I decide to knock off work early and go home, when busted, I’ll just say “I erred in getting too far out in front of the work-cycle”.
I really don’t consider this a disservice to their readers anyway.richard mcenroe:
Their site should probably change the name to:
So reporting things that haven’t actually happened is ‘getting ahead of the news cycle.’ That’s not what the nuns used to call it in second grade...JorgXMcKie:
Well, give them a break. Jason Leopold’s only been wrong in his prediction of Rove getting indicted, what, about 15 times? It’s not like you can expect him to get it right every time, can you?
Friday, May 19, 2006
- While Saddam ruled Iraq, millions of Iraqis fled the country. Since then, some 1.2 million have returned.
- After the 1st Gulf War, religious pilgramages to Shiite shrines in Karbala and Najaf dropped to almost zero. Since Saddam was deposed, these have become the most visited religious locations in all of Islam, surpassing even Mecca and Medina.
- Some 3,000 clerics have returned, and Iraqi Shiite seminaries now have over 15,000 students, up from a handful before our invasion.
It is a good article, reported for a lot of time on the ground throughout Iraq, and not from the Green Zone in Baghdad.
Labels: Plame Game
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
"Freudenschade" means taking malicious joy at the gloom suffered by DUmmies and other Leftists who celebrate prematurely only to have to eat crow later when the event they are celebrating boomerangs in their faces.Apparently, the word was accidently invented by someone prematurely celebrating the indictment of Karl Rove (which, four days later, still hasn't happened).
As a take off on this (without the popups), the following by Dwilkers in a comment thread at JustOneMinute:
I've been imagining the conversation that morning in the VP's office for a while now.
Cheney: Scooter! Get in here and close the door!
Libby: Yes sir.
Cheney: What the f&*% is this?
Libby: (pauses to read) I don't know sir.
Cheney: Who the h%^& is this guy?
Libby: I've never heard of him sir.
Libby: We could ask Tenet sir.
Cheney: Tenet? George Tenet? The Director of the CIA? The one that sent this guy? Pro Bono?
Libby: If that's true, yes sir.
Cheney: (presses intercom) Mary? Get me Tenet on the line please.
Response: Yes sir.
Cheney: So let me get this straight. This guy....Wilson?....yeah. The CIA asks this guy to go to Niger to see if he can get anything on the uranium thing. He's not an employee of the agency and never has been, he spends a week sitting by the %&^$ing pool and now he's calling me a liar in the NYTimes. That about it?
Libby: ....it seems like it may be sir.
Cheney: Is it true his wife works at the agency? Is that correct
Libby: It seems as if I may be hearing that for the first time sir.
Cheney: Is this the way the CIA does things nowadays Scooter? The C %^&king IA of the USA?
Libby: I don't know sir.
Cheney: (sweetly) Well do you think you could find out what's going on here then?
Libby: On it sir.
Labels: Plame Game
Pretty slick technology, if you ask me. It is pretty good computer vision for the system to recognize license plates, figure out the plate numbers from the pictures, match them against a database, and then alert the police if something questionable pops up.
The next step though is going to be interesting. The logical solution is to also automatically determine what the race of the driver of the car is, and then only pull over a fraction of those non-Whites who pop up, with that percentage calculated to result in non-disparate impact on the non-White community.
So, a month or so ago, I filed an answer to their motion denying the legality of the arbitration, of their choice in forum (i.e. venue), and half-heartedly, in personal jurisdiction.
So, there was a hearing set this morning, and the attorney for the other side seemed to have an assembly line going. Nevertheless, when he finally came to me, I launched into my tirade about all of the above, and he offered what I really wanted, which was change of venue back to the mountains where it belonged. In trade, I acknowledged personal jurisdiction for the arbitration enforcement hearings. As he pointed out, he could have served me right then and there, which is why I knew it wasn't worth fighting jurisdiction from the start.
So, I am reasonably happy with the outcome. I got what I wanted, and gave up what I would lose eventually anyway. And he got what he wanted - personal jurisdiction over me. He knew their service on me was highly questionable. Possibly, he also knew that it would look even worse if I could show a pattern of this sort of thing.
Monday, May 15, 2006
The sky is typical Colorado blue - and I think the higher you go, the bluer our skies get. There is one tiny wisp of a cloud coming over from Vail, and that is it. According to the digital thermometer, the temp. is 44, but the analog one shows 50. I expect almost 70 later today. You are already seeing a lot of T-shirts and shorts by mid-day. (Though there are some who wear shorts year round here, including when it is near zero outside).
In other words, another beautiful boring day in paradise. (One woman friend of my mother moved back to MA because our weather was too boringly good for her).
Sunday, May 14, 2006
People wonder why the President's poll numbers have dropped through the floor. It isn't because of the War in Iraq. Those opposing him there mostly voted for Kerry anyway. It is on immigration. No matter what he does there, a lot of those on both sides hate it. I think he is truly caught between a rock and an immovable object in this.
I don't know where it was that I read this, but I found some merit in the idea that the only solution is to give both sides something. Put up a fence - a really good fence. But in trade for that, give those here illegally a way to get legitimacy. The reason that this might work is, first, the obvious, that it gives both sides something. But also, while the illegals are straining the system in some states, it is not overwhelming. It is just getting there. We could, without too much disruption, assimilate those here already. The problem has always been whether we could assimilate another couple of hundred million Hispanics.
First, we hear that the Iraqis aren't at Level 1 combat ready. That means that they would have their entire logistics tail, plus all the heavy equipment to operate independantly. Level 2 units gather their own intelligence, conduct their own planning and are deemed "in the lead" during combat operations, and Level 3 units require Coallition forces to operate with them.
But significantly the number of Level 2 units has almost doubled since last summer, from 36 battalions to 75 battalions. Yes, we still provide the helicopter gunships, JDAMs, and heavy armor. But there are a lot of Iraqi units that are taking the lead in operations, with only lighyt support. And most of the time, they don't need gunships, JDAMs, and Abrahms tanks.
In other words, this is last year's argument, made without any reference to or acknowledgement of a very changed reality in Iraq. This is, of course, no different from the constant refrain about getting more body armor for our troops - when at least some Marines have asked to not have to wear as much of it as they have been issued. That argument though is from 2-3 years ago, and, again, ignores what has happened in Iraq since then.
Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration
No.Repeal the estate tax repeal
I have a better idea - repeal the estate tax.Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI
Index yes, increase no. Teenagers need jobs, and raising the minimum wage hits them and those living at home, by far, the hardest. This is silly minded, and has a history of being pushed by unions in order to get their own wages up.Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one)
No. Maybe the program being tried by Romney in MA will work, and if it does, then I am willing to reconsider. But what the left means by universal health care usally is socialized medicine, and no thanks to that.Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation
While we are at it, why not sign the Kyoto Treaty? Americans' love of SUVs is fading, and, as a result of that plus high gas taxes, the market is going to do much better with this than will the government.Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise.
We have plenty of choice already. I am opposed to partial birth abortions, most 3rd trimester abortions, and am in favor of parental notification, preferably parental approval at least below 16, and in favor of at least teaching abstinence. In other words, my views are perfectly in line with those of a majority of Americans.Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code
No. Simplify and flatten. Progressivity is class warfare, and those in Congress who push it have pretty well exempted themselvves from such taxes. One big reason that they oppose flat taxes I think is that they would end up paying a more fair share.Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination.
This is a red herring if I have ever seen one. The amount of money going in this direction is de minimis. But I would be more than willing to kill whatever there is, if we could also kill PBS, NPR, NEA, ACLU, Legal Services, etc. funding.Reduce corporate giveaways
Sure, when one industry is targetting through lobbying for tax breaks. But I would want this tied to an overall reduction in the corporate tax rate. After all, corporations don't pay taxes - people do. Corporate taxes are primarily paid through increased prices, passing such to the consumers. But to the extent they are not passed through, they come out of the pockets of the stockholders, who are primarily any more everyone's retirement funds.Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan
I have a better idea - have private enterprise run Medicare. This proposal is the left showing its colors in backing socialized medicine (which is what Medicare is). Of course, the suggestion above ignores that the program doesn't go into affect until tomorrow, and we have no idea how well it is going to work.Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions.
Yes on #1, and no on #2. They already have priority over many creditors - what is left are secured creditors and governments. And removing the priority of secured creditors would kill the lending market. The later proposal also ignores that a big reason that many companies get in trouble in the first place is that they have often been too generous to their employees. The reality is that if pensions came first, many of these companies wouldn't come out of bankruptcy.Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too.
Agreed. But I would also like to see the FDA loosening up on a lot of their drug regulations.Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter.
Fine. Just don't mandate it through legislation. I am all in favor of daycare, but public daycare scares the heck out of me, and privately mandated daycare is a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem that is sure to cause more problems than it solves.Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.
Better idea - eliminate the FICA tax. Removing the cap on wages would go even further towards turning SS from a "retirement program" into a welfare program. It is this link between the two that keeps it politically viable. But, of course, those who are pushing to raise the cap are mostly also in favor of welfare (but don't ask it here, because Welfare Reform worked so well).