Friday, April 29, 2005

The New York Times > Business > Study Aside, Fat-Fighting Industry Continues Mission

Substitute any cause for "obesity" and its related terms, and you arrive at my belief that "advocate" is a four-letter word.

courant.com | State May Limit Phone Use In Cars

Maybe passing a law that would force car manufacturers to restrict a driver's behavior to driving-only would be better? Something like a cockpit in a fighter plane.

Anti-cell phone use is transference of road rage.

courant.com | House Votes To Increase Minimum Wage In '06

"Among an estimated 39,000 workers receiving the minimum wage, 85 percent are adults and two-thirds are women, lawmakers said. That represents about 2.1 percent of the state's total workforce of 1.79 million and 4.4 percent of hourly employees, according to the legislature's nonpartisan research office."

How did the advoates of the raise define "adult"? Does it encompass teenagers (defintion: workers whose age is between 13 and 19, inclusive.)?

WSJ.com - Science Journal

Proof that there are too many social "scientists" in the world.

Evolutionary psychology - use today's population to guess what happened 10s of 1,000s of years ago.

And we needed a book to refute this? And that presupposes the existence of academics who propound that claptrap!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The New York Times > Health > Group of Scientists Drafts Rules on Ethics for Stem Cell Research

A few thoughts.

The guidelines really had to address chimeric animals - mixing of human baby and animal cells.

The guidelines banned mixing of ape and monkey cells with human ones. A fear of the Planet of the Apes, I suppose.

3rd, when the excess embryos in fertilization clinics are used, where will the new ones come from? it is here that I believe the Secularists have exposed themsleves.

Abu Ghraib (sic)

Abu Ghraib was shoved down the public's throat for two reasons.

First, in an election year, the Democrats and their MSM allies wanted to defeat Bush.

And second, the "torture" was homosexual by nature, and the Democrats and their MSM allies were outraged that behavior they consider sacrosanct is considered a tool of torture by the vast majority of people.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Jonah Goldberg on Cookie Monster on National Review Online

First off, if there is an obesity epidemic amongst children, then watching Sesame Street is a contributor to it, as there is no other way to watch it than sitting on one's expanding duff.

Second, changing the indelibly marked memories of the parents who turn on SS to recapture the good feelings of childhood will only hurt the program. Why should I put SS on when one of my favorite characters has been whacked about by Road Pavers whose believe in their influence far exceeds their actual influence on my child?

What this will accomplish is a greater concentration of liberal viewers as the moderate and conservative turn away from the program. As the viewership becomes more liberal, the show will become more influenced by this increasing extreme viewership. As the more extreme notions of society take hold, SS will become even less attractive to moderates and conservatives. Eventually, the show will be destroyed by the Road Pavers, but they will only know it when they find themselves reading that the next exit on Good Intentions Parkway is Hell.

Good or bad, children are most influenced by their parents. Watching Mostly Cookies Monster eat a scrumptiously delicious stalk of celery isn't going to make your child ask for celery when Mom or Dad is eating a Krispy Kreme.

Raising kids is tough, but it is the parents of the child, and not the village, that exercises the most influence.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The New York Times > International > International Special > Pope May Color Debate in U.S. Over 'Life' Issues Like Abortion

Doesn't the Pope always color to debate on abortion?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The New York Times > Health > Some Extra Heft May Be Helpful, New Study Says

Faith in statistics is always a risky matter.

"The new study comes just 13 months after different researchers from the disease control centers published a paper warning that obesity and overweight were causing an extra 400,000 deaths a year and were poised to overtake smoking as the nation's leading preventable cause of premature death.

That conclusion caused an uproar, and scientists, particularly those who examine the consequences of smoking, questioned the study's methods. In January, the agency's researchers corrected calculation errors and published a revised estimate of 365,000 deaths.

Now the new study says that obesity and extreme obesity are causing about 112,000 extra deaths but that overweight is preventing about 86,000, leaving a net toll of some 26,000 deaths in all three categories combined, compared with the 34.000 extra deaths found in those who are underweight."

Certainly, the public is cautioned to accept any scientists and/or experts statistical assertions with a degree of skepticism directly related to the amount of confidence expressed by such scientists/experts.

Or to put it statistically, there is a strong positive linear relationship between the amount of confidence expressed by an expert/scientist and the amount of skepticism the public should show towards such confidence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What Liberals Want

I do believe the elite of the Left do know that only repressive State action can insure their goal of "positive" rights.

A real-life example is the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (Props to George Orwell). Here a NYC judge determined that the state-funded education was not "basic and sound". Therefore, the state of New York must come-up with $5 billion more per year in spending.

In times of budget deficits, where will this court-directed expenditure get its funds? From higher taxes.

Where will the "progressive" consensus get its funding? (Drink horsey! Drink!)

(I also note the the state of New York constitution makes state employees' pensions a "right". This means that a select group of NY citizens (former employees of the state of New York) hold a constitutional lien upon the money of other NY citizens (non-former employees of the state of New York).)

Full text of the Hindraker article is in the comments.

New York Post Online Edition: Government to Unveil New Food Pyramid By JOHN PODHORETZ

Maybe but I wouldn't discount the fact that the MSM is liberal.

Does anyone believe the discussion will not center on the "nuclear option" and not the obstruction?

I cannot see the NYT doing anything but lambasting Republicans.

I say gum everything up though. Less opportunity for politicans to pass bills that are a waste of time.

Monday, April 18, 2005

WSJ.com - Newspapers Now Push 'Readership'

Why do I have the uneasy feeling that "readership" will be nothing more than an amorphous metric that says nothing?

(My immediate thought was about "page views" and "eyeballs" and variuous other made-up metrics that internet firms used to redistribute shareholder money from investors to its VCs.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Rich Lowry on Therapy Culture on National Review Online

And this on the tail of the recent NYT article on NYC docotrs administering a 8-question test to discover depressives.

(Full NYT article in comments. This link I know will expire shortly.)

New York Daily News - Baseball - A-Rod saves Boston boy's life

And the NY press will find some way to make him look bad.

ARod must accept that the press does not like him. And more importantly, he must accept that the press knows how hard he works and still choses to dislike him.

WSJ.com - Class-War Revelation

Using governement to snare 21 people has created a monster.

Let this be a lesson for all lawmakers - if a few handfuls of people are doing something, do not change laws to catch them.

(The full editorial is in the Comments as the link will expire even if it is subscriber only.)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Circ Drops at 'The Boston Globe,' Some Gains at 'NY Times' and McClatchy

The NYT New York circ is dropping because it is losing its politcally & culturally moderate and conservative readers.

This will, naturally, lead the NYT to become more concentrated in its socialist/secular content as it panders to those subscribers who remain.

As long as it runs Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman, it cannot shed its increasingly moronic image.

FactCheck.org A Rigged "Calculator"

No surprise the Democrats are lying about Social Security.

What has to be asked is why?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

GM as Proxy for Entitlements

The kicker:

"GM's boss should be the media's darling, running his company to provide job security and health care for its workers first, second and third. Wonder why GM invests just enough in new product to keep the game going, not enough to make its cars really sought after? Because the extra capital that would have to be invested goes instead to doling out gold-plated health care -- no copays, no deductibles -- to workers and to plumping up their pension fund..."

Crowding out in other words. This is exactly what will occur to government services.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Rangel Attacks Social Security Plan - April 12, 2005 - The New York Sun

What are the implications of this statement?

"Neither Mr. Barron nor Mr. Rangel detailed at the meeting why the president's proposals were harmful to the black community. When asked for specifics by The New York Sun after the event, Mr. Rangel said, "The progressive nature of being able to get returns means that lower-income people benefit more than higher-income people" from the Social Security system. Since members of minority groups disproportionately constitute the lower income brackets, the congressman said, they stand to lose the most from Mr. Bush's efforts..."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Non-fake but Inaccurate! - Schiavo memo mystery seemingly resolved. By Mickey Kaus

Well put explanation of Schiavo memo flap.

Also see Powerline blog.

Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo (washingtonpost.com)

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I guess Florida Sen. Martinez (R) just learned not to trust any Democrat, even one he professes to be working with - Iowa Sen. Harkin (D).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A House Divided, and Strong

Money quote:
"People join up because they think that movement's views about human nature and society are true."

Here is what I said a couple weeks ago:
"What also needs to be recognized is the fact that when it comes to basic human understanding, they have been greiviously wrong. Communism/Socialism/Collectivism are not congruent with free will. The Democrats side with Castro, USSR, the despots of the Middle East. Any party that does this begins with the flawed view of the world, and ultimately, will always fail."

The New York Times > Business > Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions

They are here illegally. Tough cookies.

Why don't the Dums realize that they can tax illegals even more as the 7.55% taken from them for SS and Medicare is not enough of a disincentive to stymy the flow of illegal immigration?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Asymmetrical Information: A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other

I recommend this as highly as anything I've read since Moneyball.

(In the event the link disappears, I have copy-and-pasted it into the comments.)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

April 3, 2005
Pope John Paul II, Keeper of the Flock for a Quarter of a Century

he death of Pope John Paul II came at a time when Americans have been engaged in an unusual moment of national reflection about mortality. The long, bitter fight over the unknowing Terri Schiavo was a stark contrast to the passing of this pontiff, whose own mind was keenly aware of the gradual failure of his body. The pope would certainly never have wanted his own end to be a lesson in the transcendent importance of allowing humans to choose their own manner of death. But to some of us, that was the exact message of his dignified departure.

Pope John Paul II was a man who used the tools of modernity to struggle against the modern world. He traveled more than a half-million miles through 129 countries, waving to crowds from his popemobile. He wrote best sellers and took advantage of every means of communication to spread his message: a cry against what he saw as the contemporary world's decadence, moral degradation and abandonment of human values.

As a Polish cleric in a church that had not had a non-Italian pope since 1523, it's unlikely that John Paul, born Karol Wojtyla, spent much of his early career imagining himself as the eventual pontiff. But it was fitting that a man who had devoted much of his life to opposing the Communist government in his homeland would be leading the church at the moment when the cold war ended and Communism collapsed. It was his experiences in Poland - including time spent working in a quarry and a chemical factory during the Nazi occupation - that most influenced John Paul's papacy during its early and most active years, when he made human rights his central issue.

The pope's concern for human dignity led him to criticize capitalism as strongly as Communism, and he used his pulpit to condemn Western materialism as a "culture of death." He improved the church's relations with Jews and Muslims. At the dawn of the third millennium, he delivered a solemn apology for errors of the church, including religious intolerance and injustice toward women and the poor. Under his direction, the church denounced anti-Semitism, although it did not criticize Pope Pius XII for his equivocal response to the Holocaust.

For non-Catholics around the globe, those are the visions of John Paul that may endure longest - the globe-trotting man of God who traversed the world over and over, speaking about the dignity of life in so many languages. For Catholics, he was a more complicated figure, one who resisted all attempts to liberalize the church's teachings on birth control, abortion, homosexuality, priestly marriage, divorce and the ordination of women. This champion of freedom brooked no dissent, and his travels sought not only to minister to the faithful but also to make the church more disciplined, hierarchical and orthodox. Later, as his health deteriorated, he turned much of the responsibility for church affairs over to subordinates who lacked his authority and moral stature. That problem became painfully obvious during the crisis over sexual-predator priests toward the end of the pope's tenure.

For all his worldwide evangelism, John Paul left behind a church with a dwindling number of priests and nuns and a shrinking percentage of the world's population; Islam has overtaken Catholicism as the globe's most popular religion. The pope always believed that human values, not numbers, were what mattered. His embrace of each person's innate dignity was his touchstone, allowing him to shape our times even as he railed against them.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Pope John Paul II, Keeper of the Flock for a Quarter of a Century

more to come

Friday, April 01, 2005

GOP, Democrats Look for Symbolism in Schiavo Case (washingtonpost.com)

"Democrats, backed by public opinion polls, say the conservatives overreached and that the GOP now appears to be a captive of the religious right."

First, Democrats always say the GOP is a captive of the religious right. Its insertion here is superfluous.

More important is the assertion that Democrats take valaidation from public opinion polls in stating the extent of overreaching committed by the GOP.

I've seen serious issues raised by the questons themsleves. If the questions did not truly capture the zeitgist of Americans, then the Democrats are setting-up for more electoral failure.

Just as the Dems tout that Americans side with them on the issues and proceed to lose elctions, I suspect they will only add right-to-die to their laundry list and continue to lose.

After Terri Schiavo (washingtonpost.com)

I mentioned to my wife the likelihood of assisted suicide being brought into the conversation by the fringes of the right-to-die advocates.

No sooner uttered then I read this morring lead editorial in WaPo:

"...Yet there has to be space in a free society for others to differ: to draw up living wills that specify limits to life-prolonging medical interventions, and perhaps also to opt for assisted suicide."

The New York Times > National > The Hospice: For Those Keeping Vigil, Prayers, Tears and Talk of Transformation

No mention of disability rights advocates in a piece devoted to the protestors.

Surprised, and surprisingly, disappointed.

The New York Times > National > Schiavo Dies, Ending Bitter Case Over Feeding Tube

"The rift between the Schindlers and Mr. Schiavo, which started over a $1 million malpractice settlement he won on his wife's behalf in 1993, deepened after he had two children with Jodi Centonze, his live-in girlfriend since the mid-1990's. Supporters of the Schindlers called him an adulterer who should not retain guardianship of Ms. Schiavo."

Rowing back to revise the immoral defense of Michael Schiavo.

The New York Times > Washington > Schiavo's Case May Reshape American Law

"That shift made for odd bedfellows. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, joined Mr. Smith, the bioethicist, in calling for legal action "to let Terri Schiavo live." Advocates for disability rights prompted Democrats like Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa to take up her cause."

I had expected this to land in the lead editorial, but the rowback may be more subtle than I anticipate(d).

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