Wednesday, November 19

Jacob Sullum has a nice post about one Circuit Court that tries to keep perspective and limit the power of the Federal Government, as the Constitution intended.
The now famous, reasonable and correct decision in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this week is sending conservatives into hissy fits trying to explain their opposition to it. If conservatives want the government out of people's personal lives (a noble claim), then they'd either have to be against state sponsored marriage completely or want it for everybody. They'd also have to applaud the US Supreme Court's ruling on sodomy that got the government out of the bedroom. But conservatives' tortured "logic" (here's one example) makes their lies plain.

Tuesday, November 18

More on the placelessness of the cellular world (this one via metafilter). A previously posted article on the same subject from the excellent Hermenaut.
Wal-Mart, babies, and hate. In an arrangement you might not expect.

Friday, November 14

Some ideas on states and their budget crises through Parkinson and his laws.
1. "Expenditure rises to meet income." Pork barrel supreme!
2. "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." NYS Legislature anyone?
3. "The matters most debated in a deliberative body tend to be the minor ones where everybody understands the issues."

Wednesday, November 12

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Richter got kicked out of school Monday morning for a stick-figure drawing that another student thought was a violent threat.
Schools like this (which are all over the country) - part of why I am glad to no longer be a teen.

Monday, November 10

More on the " schools into prisions" trend - cops raid a South Carolina school with guns drawn, looking for drugs and force the kids to the floor.
Oh, no drugs were found. (site also has a link to video footage)

Thursday, November 6

A Flordia man will be going to prison for refusing to keep his yard tidy enough. Yep.

Wednesday, November 5

In September 2002, I was with my wife and children, and her family, vacationing in Tunis.
I got an e-mail from the MathWorks saying that they might need me soon to assess a potential consulting work for one of their customers.
I said goodbye to my wife and family, and headed back home to prepare for work.
I was using my air-miles to travel, and the best flight I could get went from Tunis, to Zurich, to New York, to Montreal.
My flight arrived in New York at 2 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2002. I had a few hours to wait until my connecting flight to Montreal.
This is when my nightmare began.

Tuesday, November 4

Pain is good, treating it is bad--the DEA has been prosecuting medical doctors for their prescription habits:

"'They're unable to take down the real drug lords, so they're coming after doctors using the same tactics,' one pain physician tells the Voice. For an agency keen to justify its massive budget, doctors provide an easy target."
Ah, here we go--the FDA is thinking about forcing restaurants to add nutritional labels to their menus. While it sounds like a nice option--dieters armed with their latest get slim guidebook can check-off unsuitable entrees--shouldn't it be a voluntary choice for the restaurant? You can't blame the producer of a product that's perfectly safe when the consumer misuses it.

And think about this--how much freedom of the chef are we taking away here? What if an unusual, fresh but rare element becomes available at the last minute--will the chef be unable to make a new dish to delight her costumers with because no government-approved nutritional information was available? Will the chefs have to start weighing out their portions to conform to the menu rather than for taste? A fine way to ruin what could have been a fine meal at a fine restaurant.

Seriously, nobody becomes obese by accident; nobody becomes obese from one meal. Take some responsibility for yourselves, you so called adults.
Global Warming--whether you believe it is happening, or just distant threat, this NY Times article explains the need for developing a course of action now. The technological challenge and financial challenges for creating a new energy economy require immediate investment--even if we set a 50 year goal for the end of the carbon-energy system. (NYTimes; login: opensewer; password: iswatching.)