Friday, March 31, 2006

Prayer Study: Humans Fail to Manipulate God

ScrappleFace:More wit and sarcasm from my perennial favorite, Scrappleface.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 :: Columns :: Rethinking the drug war by John Stossel - Mar 29, 2006 :: Columns :: Rethinking the drug war by John Stossel - Mar 29, 2006:
"Government's declaring drugs illegal doesn't mean people can't get them. It just creates a black market, where even nastier things happen. That's why I have come to think that although drug addiction is bad, the drug war is worse."
Repeat this over and over until it sinks in ... drugs are easily obtainable today basically everywhere in the country -- so what benefits do we get from fighting the drug war? Why not legalize it, save the 40 BILLION dollars annually and spend that money educating the public and treating addicts? Heck we'd probably make tons of money in simply taxing the stuff. Again -- the drugs are already easily available! Making it legal wouldn't make them any more available than they already are.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the horror
: "The role of government is to provide good health care for our seniors. We made that commitment, interestingly enough, when Lyndon Baines Johnson was the President.

President George W. Bush
15 March 2006"
Why, oh why did people ever buy into this crap?!? I can see the founding fathers rolling over in their graves -- the role of government is what!?! Here's a crazy idea -- the role of government is to enforce the rule of law, protect the basic human rights of citizens, and defend the country from foreign adversaries. I'll take care of my own health-care plan, thanks.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Programmable Liquid Container

EngadgetYes, its true -- soon I may have access to vanilla coke again! Follow the link to see the high fruits of modern engineering.

Monday, March 20, 2006

This Essay Breaks the Law

New York Times:
"• The Earth revolves around the Sun.

• The speed of light is a constant.

• Apples fall to earth because of gravity.

• Elevated blood sugar is linked to diabetes.

• Elevated uric acid is linked to gout.

• Elevated homocysteine is linked to heart disease.

• Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.

ACTUALLY, I can't make that last statement. A corporation has patented that fact, and demands a royalty for its use. Anyone who makes the fact public and encourages doctors to test for the condition and treat it can be sued for royalty fees. Any doctor who reads a patient's test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent.

All this may sound absurd, but it is the heart of a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday."
Read the whole thing. The root problem is that our laws have accepted the absurd notion that ideas are property, that people can own things like numbers or words. Disgusting.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Powazek: Just a Thought:
"And then I remembered all those awful anti-piracy trailers they make us watch before the movies we paid to see, the total unabashed lie of their 'we just wanna protect artists' line, and the way they want to make us pay over and over for the same content in multiple formats, and all my sympathy for the MPAA evaporated."
I just love to hate the MPAA ;) I wish I could have been at the conference cited by Powazek in the link above, it would be nice to be able to vent directly to our shared adversary. Long live the copyfight!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

WinXP on MacIntosh box

XP on MacTel is official: Engadget:
"Chalk up another victory for the invisible hand of capitalism- it's amazing how fast $13,000 can get folks to code."
Good news for all the suckers who overpaid by 50% for a mac -- now it can run windows and open the doors to all of that windows-only software out there.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Becker-Posner onDubai Ports Deal

The Becker:
"It is doubtful that any information provided to headquarters of the company by American dockworkers, or even by any of the very few Muslim managers of the company, would be of greater value to terrorists than information about port security that can be picked up from media reports, surveillance, and the internet. Furthermore, the major terrorist attacks in recent years, such as 9/11 and those in other countries, did not (as far as I know) depend on information passed to the terrorists by sympathetic companies operating trains, ports, airports, airlines, or other vital sectors."
My feelings exactly, though I believe Posner makes some good points too. Must-read if you're interested in the ports-deal fiasco.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Reason: SCOTUS Tries To Get a Little Bit Pregnant: Why the broader abortion ban is the one that's constitutional

From Reason:
"The government obviously needs to draw a line after which it is no longer OK to do away with one's offspring. My own view (apparently shared by most Americans, which does not necessarily mean it's correct) is that conception is too early and birth is too late."
This is exactly my take on abortion, a point I've made many times but one that bears repeating ... too often the media tries to cut the baby in two when I imagine most people see this controversy in shades of grey.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

DRM: the insanity continues ...

Boing Boing:
"none of those slides says this: 'If you subtract value from your products by adding our crippleware, we might reward you by bankrupting you when the inevitable breach occurs.' It would also be nice to see this slide: 'All of the 'premium content' crippled with DRM can also be downloaded for free from the Internet without any of these locks."
The whole intellectual property/ digital rights management (DRM) thing is becoming farcical. The monumental stupidity of (Hollywood/RIAA/INTEL/M$FT) "the man" boggles my mind. What would I, the consumer, buy intentionally crippled software/hardware when the easy-to-use, fully copyable, it-just-works, versions are available for free via bittorrent? If you want to make a horserace out of this, at least let me buy an uncrippled version, geez...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dubai or Not Dubai

Reason:: "Conservatives and progressives may disagree on lots of things, but the untrustworthiness of Arabs and Muslims doesn't appear to be one of them."
Read it if you want my take on the dubai port fiasco. Apparently reason has been reading my mind on this topic.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Doomsday is doomed

by Alan Reynolds - May 12, 2005:
"Whenever the wrong political party controls the White House and Congress, the mainstream media feel compelled to predict some looming economic disaster, and to keep doing so shamelessly and erroneously year after year. The 'business news' thus careens between warning of a hard landing, deflation or stagflation -- any imaginable conjecture that depends on strong words, weak logic and no facts.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman thus flip-flopped adroitly from warning about deflation and a 'Japanese-style quagmire' in May 2003 to warning about a 'whiff of stagflation' in April 2005. Why? What changed between those dates?"
Hat tip to the Skeptical Optimist for cueing me in to this column.

testing deepest sender

Testing a new firefox extension called "Deepest Sender". Hopefully, an easy way to add blog posts right from firefox.

RIAA collects fines, doesn't pay artists

RIAA collects fines, doesn't pay artists:
"WE'RE ALWAYS UP FOR A GOOD ARGUMENT against the multi-national Big Media corporations that buy legislation and hurl lawsuits around indiscriminantly to extend survival of their monopoly-based business model of artificial scarcity..."
Yes, another article explaining that copyright infringement is not stealing, however much the owners of intellectual property have paid their PR firms to make you believe so.