Saturday, October 27, 2007

Applause for Bill Clinton & the definition of "poor"

If Gina Cobb's blog is not on your daily read list, you might want to pay a visit, particularly to read two recent posts.
First is a rare but well-deserved accolade for former President Bill Clinton, as he stood up to a "9/11 truther" nutjob.
The second is the beginning of a lengthy essay on a defense of capitalism and a argument against how the left defines poverty.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Onward to the weekend

Little posting of late, I've been tweaking the site.

As my little gift to you, here's a little earworm:

That was cruel.
Here's some ear bleach:

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breaking the Presidential Race Embargo

I have avoided sullying this blog with commentary on the 2008 Presidential race. First, IT'S TOO DAMNED EARLY. And secondly, what passes for debate has been anything but.
However, Betsy's Page offers one of the best one-liners I've heard in awhile. One funny line that says so much.

I'm not sold on John McCain as our next President (although we could do worse, much worse;) however, his heroic service in Vietnam requires that we listen to and seriously consider what he has to say.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Under the weather

I've been fighting a standoff battle against some insidious microscopic critters. I'm going back to bed to rest up for the Steelers versus Broncos later tonight.
Meanwhile, some musically appropriate entertainment for you:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How does one top the Nobel Peace Prize?

Now that the wise and wonderful Norwegians have bestowed upon Al Gore a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in establishing the Church of Global Warming and the First National Bank of Carbon Credits, what new challenges lay ahead for the former Vice President?

I think I have found a cause worthy of Mr. Gore's keen, analytical mind. It is an environmental menace that each year takes as many American lives as have been lost in Iraq. We cannot escape the presence of DHMO. Why? Major corporations and even government agencies are involved in a cabal to control the use and distribution of DHMO. They do not want you to know how dangerous this substance can be.

Only Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet and Savior of our Planet possesses the charisma and truthiness to bring to light the menace posed by DHMO, also known as Dihydrogen Monoxide, which has been implicated as a factor in Global Warming! A watchdog group, has tried to sound the clarion call.

Here are but a few of the dangers this group has scientifically proven are related to DHMO in our environment:

  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.


It has also come to my attention that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney re users of DHMO; that they literally bathe in huge quantities of it.

So please, Gentle Readers, do your part and spread the word, we must draft Al Gore to assume the lead role in battling this environment disaster in the making.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What WMDs? Oh, you mean those WMDs?

Hidden in plain sight, subcontracted to other terror wannabe nations, and stashed at the neighbor's – Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction programs were real, and according to Gina Cobb's fine reporting, the U.S. east coast faced the potential for something far more dangerous than an airliner packed with aviation fuel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Car Tech: Is the glass half empty or half full?

We're still waiting for those flying cars they promised back when I was a kid. (Oh, come on now, it wasn't THAT long ago.) While our cars remain rooted (and routed) to the ground, technological advances ARE beginning to give autos a Jetsons-like feel. Paper road maps: passé. Now many of us use Web and GPS enabled computerized navigation systems. (DISCLAIMER: As a male of the species, I cannot admit to ever needing directions, the nav systems are there because they're cool!)

At the Tokyo Auto Show this week, Asian car makers showed off a number of futuristic concepts, including cars that take the challenge out of parallel parking. Motor Trend Magazine's blog offers up a nice summary.

A post in Ars Technica caught my eye. It concerns a new service OnStar may offer beginning in 2009: the ability to stop vehicles with just a call to the OnStar Operations Center. The article focuses on the ethics of handing this new power to police. The service is intended to stop car thieves, but the author seems concerned more about how this could be abused by authorities. I wonder if they might one day offer parents the option of using the system to limit the top speed when their teenagers take the family car out for a drive?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Microsoft’s HealthVault: Will it mean a broken HIPAA?

Microsoft is entering the arena of electronic patient records with a new online medical records site it calls "HealthVault."

It's always easy to bash the rogues from Redmond, a la
Slashdot; however, I think this is a topic far larger than Microsoft. Much is made of our right to keep our medical records private; that privacy is the purported reason behind the Clinton-era Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA.) Yet, most Americans (the 255,000,000 or so of us with health insurance) waive that right to privacy to our insurers, and in many cases to our employers.

At the same time, many of us are using an increasing array of medical services. After all, it takes quite a bit of ongoing maintenance for us baby boomers to remain eternally "not old. " J That is the rationale behind Microsoft's entry into the electronic medical records business. Between my wife and I, there are at least seven physicians managing a variety of health issues. Our family doc's office does a commendable job of managing all that information, but getting to our own records is not a particularly convenient process. Under the Microsoft model, we would have unlimited access to our entire medical records, and make it easier to make them available if and when we come into the care of out of town specialists. You can read more about HealthVault here, here, and here.

The dangers to this naturally center on whether that data will remain truly secure, and how it might be otherwise used. For example, such a database would be a treasure trove of information for medical researchers. The use of sanitized aggregate data is nothing new in scientific research, but many people become concerned when the researchers are reading electronic data instead of paper records. In my opinion, the process of stripping identifying information from paper records creates a larger risk to an individual since somebody has to physically handle the original record and transcribe the anonymous data. An electronic system can do that without human eyes intervening.

Friday, October 5, 2007


This week our university set aside a day with no classes, but with an opportunity for learning. It's called Day of Reflection. I think it is fair to say that most people are better at speaking/writing than they are at listening.

Although I allowed work to interfere with attending most of the DoR events, work has given me a second chance. I've been editing some audio of a musical/spoken word program that served as the coda for the day. There was an issue with one of the recordings and I asked one of the speakers to visit the studio for a do-over. It was a passage from Thomas of Celano's Vita Prima or "First Life" of Saint Francis of Assisi. It makes me consider that perhaps we might want to look at the War on Terror and at the Islamofacists who seek our forced conversions or deaths from a different perspective.

"Accordingly, in the thirteenth year of his (Francis) conversion he set out for Syria, at a time when great and severe battles were raging daily between the Christians and the pagans; he took with him a companion, and he did not fear to present himself before the sultan of the Saracens. But who can narrate with what steadfastness of mind he stood before him, with what strength of spirit he spoke to him, with what eloquence and confidence he replied to those who insulted the Christian law? For before he gained access to the sultan, though he was captured by the sultan's soldiers, was insulted and beaten, still he was not frightened; he did not fear the threats of torture and, when death was threatened, he did not grow pale. But though he was treated shamefully by many who were quite hostile and hateful toward him, he was nevertheless received very honorably by the sultan. The sultan honored him as much as he was able, and having given him many gifts, he tried to bend Francis' mind toward the riches of the world. But when he saw that Francis most vigorously despised all these things as so much dung, he was filled with the greatest admiration, and he looked upon him as a man different from all others. He was deeply moved by his words and he listened to him very willingly. Still, in all these things the Lord did not fulfill Francis' desire for martyrdom, reserving for him the prerogative of a singular grace."

The problem with applying this tactic today is that while the sultan in Syria appears to have had an open mind (at least in hearing what Francis had to say,) the same cannot be said of the Islamic extremists. It may be that our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan to sow the seeds of freedom and democracy is beginning to have the same impact on the average Fulan 6-pack in Baghdad as Francis' words and actions had on that sultan half a millennium ago.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I have nothing

Since I have nothing original to add to the cacophony of blogger voices, allow me to direct you to some folks who have brains connected to their keyboards.

The Anchoress offers a glimpse at a real American hero, Marco Martinez, Gang Member to Navy Cross winner. She plugs his book, Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero, in which he describes what he saw in Iraq that were then and remain today valid reasons for the war. And she covers other items of interest in posts from the past several days. trust me, you'll be there awhile.

I've just discovered the wit and wisdom of Lemuel Calhoon a/k/a Hillbilly White Trash. He offers up a very interesting perspective on the cultural poison that is moral relativism in a post from earlier in the week.

The good people at Common Folk Using Common Sense are all over the Global Warming Swindle. Which reminds me - if you become engaged in a conversation with one of the true believers of the Church of Gore, it is always amusing to remind them that it was President Richard Nixon who push through and signed into law the Clean Air Act in 1970.

And on the same general topic (the environment), there is a local shouting match in which some NIMBYs are fighting against the construction of windmills in our area. If they would be honest and simply say "hey we think those things are ugly and we don't want to look at them," one could at least respect their opinion. Instead they claim the developers will rape the mountaintops, spoil the way, and grind up birds and bats in the spinning blades. I promise to expound on this topic in a future post.

Back to the blogroll, I've come to know Big White Hat from his frequent comments at Still Stacy (I think he may be an SSS as well!) He offers a pop quiz in math, as well as a brief but inspiring essay on values that's worth a visit.

Speaking of Stacy, our talented Colorado goat wrangler, bicyclist, and supermom has an excellent post about the virtues of liberal columnist Juan Williams.

There's plenty more out there.