Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Modulator has moved to here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Site Changes
Blogging is pretty much on hold for a while as I move off Blogspot to a new host and migrate from Blogger to Movable Type. This is taking me longer than it might for someone with more time available and/or more experience installing applications in a Linux/Apache environment. I still have a bit I need to finish:
Move all posts to new site Compete rev 1 of my new tempate Experiement with some of the Movable Type configuration options
When I get this done (maybe by this weekend) I'll leave a pointer here to the new site.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Hegemony Cricket!
In case you missed this when Spade Hammer posted it back in February here is George II's view of the world. There is more interesting artwork by Dave Cohen here.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

What are we Fighting For?
Eric Alterman points us toward this NY Times article (free registration) which reports on Justice Scalia receiving the Citadel of Free Speach award in Cleveland. You will love the headline. But the Justice's views on individual rights scare me:
He talked mostly about the constitutional protection of religions, but also said that government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution. ``The Constitution just sets minimums,'' Scalia said. ``Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires.''
And I thought that the rights I enjoy were clearly stated in the US Constitution. I wonder if he has been reading a draft of something new being prepared by Ashcroft's minions.
Repeating History?
This historical review by Thom Hartman is posted at The Smirking Chimp. It is not comforting reading.
Read Tim Dunlop's take on what it means to be part of the coalition of the willing.
The administration can mouth it a 1000 times (they will), they can add names and numbers to a meaningless list (they will), they'll find countries to help clean up the mess, and this will still be the coalition of George and Tony.
And, one blog earlier Tim links to this dialogue on the casus belli.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Iraq Afterwards
Josh Marshall suggests in this article that it may not be quite as easy as some think to transform Iraq into a democratic pro western government:
a low death toll is key to convincing Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world that we are liberators, not conquerors or destroyers. In short, it’s key to making our invasion seem like a good thing. But that’s the catch. Occupying armies will always keep things under control in the short-term. But the sort of transformation we engineered in the former Axis powers required a far greater pliancy, one which allowed us not only to disarm these countries but rewrite their textbooks, reorient their politics, and do much more. Doing that in a foreign country may require a mauling of the civilian population that we are rightly unwilling to undertake.

Monday, March 17, 2003

US Vetoes
Estimated Prophet suggests that we might want to think about US Security Council vetoes. You can find additional information on these and other vetoes here.
How to Drag the People to War
You should all read this quote that was originally posted by Karen and linked to by Crazy Tracy.
Lightbulb Jokes
Go here to read Ted Barlow's lightbulb jokes. There are enough of them to last many visits!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Constitutional Consistency
Steve Verdon questions the consistency of folks who allege that the Bush administration is, in many actions, ignoring the constitution while these same people support many other federal activities that would also appear to ignore the constitution. You can read his argument here.
What Steve does not tell us is whether he thinks the Bush folk are indeed requesting legislation and implementing regulations and administrative policies that ignore the constitution.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Water Wars
A late night thought from Emma suggests that water not oil may be the more interesting issue in the middle east. I wonder just how the Bush mob will keep things settled in post war Iraq while Turkey first begins selling 50,000,000 cubic meters/year to...Israel and then reduces the flows in the Tigres and Euphrates by 80% by irrigating land in Anatolia? Go read the story at Emma's she has links to the stats.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Seeing Clearly
A lot of folks seem to be having trouble seeing clear answers on many issues. This should help you as well as those whose vision is crystal clear. Use your cursor to find the way. Requires Flash Player.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Who We Are
Thanks to Mike Silverman at Red Letter Day for the link to Michael Totten's blog on Our Common Humanity.
IRAQ and More
the talking dog is in an educational mode today. Jump over there to find links to a handfull of articles that may make you a little uncomfortable with the current US direction.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Sean LaFreniere quotes at length from year old testimony by William Kristol and then says that:
Bush looks like a strange apple for a Conservative Republican.
Now I couldn't find anything in the Kristol testimony to that would lead me to this conclusion. The paragraph that follows, though, is delightful to read and would make Molly Ivins proud. It begins:
I dont think that GW was a mature human being before 9-11.
And continues with a great brief history of Bush but then closes with:
Today he threatens the world's dictators with serious military consequences and pushes a new vision of the world that shows itself as rather Progressive and based upon Liberal ideals. I wonder how his old political friends, the Conservative Republicans and the Christian Right, feel about "their president" now?.
The latest versions of the Iraq goals probably are progressive and liberal in the context of Saddam. But it is pretty difficult to find anything progressive and liberal on the domestic front. And, what do conservative republicans and the christian right feel about their president now? Probably pretty gleeful at the prospect of a global christian theocracy instead of the domestic one they thought they were going to get.
The Talking Dog Thanks to Seth Farber at The Talking Dog for the review and TD Designation: Mudi. Leap right over to Seth's to find a wealth of reviewed blogs interspersed with well written commentary on world happenings.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

al Qaeda Tim Dunlop wonders just how important Khalid Sheikh Mohammed really is.
Health Care There are many factors that drive up the cost of health care. Reuters reports today that cholesterol drugs save 6000 Britons a year. They also report that these drugs cost 91,000 UK pounds per life saved per year and about 547 UK pounds per year for each individual taking the drugs. Somebody has to pay for this. Normally I would argue with myself that using these drugs also reduced the number of heart operations and provided substantial balancing savings. The article does not provide this supporting data. In fact, it says that over the last 3 years heart operations have increased from 40,983 to 53,000. Somebody has to pay for this.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Iraq While I do not agree with Josh Marshall that there is really a case to take out Saddam I do agree with the two points he raises today:
The administration has already done massive damage to our standing in the world. And they've managed to create facts on the ground -- intentionally and unintentionally -- which make pulling back arguably more dangerous than pushing ahead. The question is no longer what the ideal thing to do is. It's more aptly described as which of the really bad alternatives is best to choose given the jam the administration has backed us into.
Yes, there has been massive damage done. And it will take years to undo. And, yes, there is probably an overwhelming perception in the whitehouse that they have committed too much to be able to pull back without firing a shot (of course, we should not forget that they have not stopped firing since the cease fire).
Ok. In these times there is always a moment for something to lighten your day: Teemings - Extras - The Horror of Blimps. Thanks to Theresa at Making Light for this link.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I've been wondering why I am annoyed everytime Bush, Powell, Rice, etc., repeat themselves. I now understand it a little better and thank Wampum for pointing to the explanation.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Yesterday, Josh Marshall notes that Bush did not have any money in the budget for Afghanistan. Probably just about what we can expect from Bush and company in Iraq if they end up mucking up that sandbox.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

IRAQ In today's NY Times Patrick Tyler argues that Bush and advisors want to avoid an open break with the Security Council, etc:
But the concept of open-ended inspections is unacceptable to Mr. Bush and could well lead the United States soon to take the step that the president and his advisers — indeed most Americans — would certainly like to avoid: an open break with the Security Council and the formation of a "coalition of the willing" that would divide not only the United Nations, but also Europe and Asia.
Their behavior, though, strikes me as that of folks who will only play if you are in complete sycophantic agreement with them. And, if not, will take their toys and go play by themselves.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Great Photography Thank you to Sideshow for the pointer to Bill Atkinson's pictures and further thanks to Making Light who was the source for Sideshow. Really great stuff.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Ready to Read? My wife mentioned the other night that 8th graders at her junior high school are using some kind of crib notes to ‘assist’ them in dealing with Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Well, I suppose it can be a hard book for 8th graders. They may not have lived long enough, been touched by life and death deeply enough, to step into that world.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Cost to Provide Insurance It has been written (I'll post the link when I run across it again) that it costs government 2-4% for administration and costs private companies 12-14%. I wonder if this is because government processes are more efficient or simply because government insurance administrators just do less then private administrators? For instance, if the government program is a flat rate, anyone can participate program then it would not need staff to assess risk and underwrite policies. Thus, while it costs less to administer the cost to provide for the average individual is probably much higher then on the private side where, modulo gov't regulation, there is still some small chance that subscribers pay in accordance to their risk.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Blogging Stuff Ok, I have figured out how to do links. And need to do some more work with basic html stuff, blogging from other material and so on. I did do the foxsports link successfully but was surprized when I did not see the the text I had highlited. Oh, and I need to work on permanent links!