Saturday, July 10, 2004

This is serious

The Black Hills Pioneer, Newspapers, South Dakota, SD:
Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Thursday that he was very concerned about homeland security issues in the face of what he called the most sobering terror report he had heard recently....Asked if the timing of the terror concerns might be aimed at stealing political thunder from the announcement of John Edwards as the democratic vice presidential candidate, Daschle replied, 'The report is so sobering and so serious that I cannot bring myself to believe anyone in this administration would use this for political purposes.'
Now that's scary. Lately there haven't been many things so heinous that the Dems wouldn't accuse the Republicans of it. Then again, we haven't heard from Michael Moore yet.

But the real question is, is this interesting enough to merit the attention of John Kerry? Or is he too busy talking to bother learning what he's talking about?

Whatever happened to Phil Katz?

I broke down and paid for Textpad today. It's a shareware text editor for Windows and it's pretty handy. It's not as fully featured as, say, MultiEdit, but then it's a lot cheaper too.

The whole shareware thing made me think of Phil Katz. If you've been working on the Windows platform for very long, you're familiar with his work - he created PKArc and the later PKZip. The latter was the de facto standard for compression for much of the pre-Windows PC era and is still around. I used it constantly for years, but I don't recall ever paying him a license fee.

I suppose it's not too late - the company he founded, PKware, is still around. Their compression product is one of the few that works well across multiple platforms.

But Mr. Katz has been gone since April 2000 when he was all of 37 years old. Here's the story.

Chocolate myths and facts

From St. Louis's Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company.

They also offer molded chocolate products such as screws or a horse's behind. Ain't capitalism grand?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

John Edwards: Dan Quayle without the experience

Okay, so John Edwards with a hangover is about ten times smoother than Dan Quayle on his best day. But it's worth noting that before he started putting his foot in his mouth, the knock on Quayle was that he wasn't experienced enough to step into the presidency if needed. Well, Quayle represented Indiana in the Senate from 1981 to January 1989, and he previously had served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

That's six more years in the federal government than Edwards.
Hugh Hewitt summarizes John Edwards' legislative career: "He spent four years in the Senate positioning himself to run for president and two years running."
Tidbits like this and much more can be found on NRO's KerrySpot

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It'll be Evan Bayh

DRUDGE REPORT 2004?: "Kerry's aides reported placards had been printed with three versions of the Democratic ticket: Kerry-Edwards, Kerry-Gephardt and Kerry-Vilsack, though they acknowledged that Kerry could still surprise even them with a different selection...
Kerry will appear at a big morning rally in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh and announce choice at 9 a.m. Tuesday, before flying to Indianapolis.
The running mate's political director would be Linda Moore, who was President Bill Clinton's deputy political director and then Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh's deputy chief of staff... "

UPDATE: Yeah, yeah, he picked Edwards (somebody did, anyway). But I bet he changed his mind at the last minute...

Monday, July 05, 2004

Talking center, but aiming left

I'm nobody's marksman, but shouldn't he be looking in the same direction he's pointing the gun?

So what? - it's all an act anyway. Good grief, he's even saying life begins at conception! That might actually impress someone who hadn't seen Kerry assume all positions on all issues. As for me, well, I'd like to see him work that into a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Does she or doesn't she?

This is what I get for skulking around the Knockturn Alleys of the web this past weekend. And now you get it too!

Once upon a time people would hang their clothes out in the sun to take advantage of natural bleaching action.

Today we have people bleaching where the sun don't shine.

Personally if I found this worthy of esthetic intervention I'd probably start with dogs. Mix the stuff with some "Sphincterine" and then they'd have better breath too.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Beaver scouts

"Young Norwegians can earn a merit badge in sex this summer. The pin, modeled on a popular summer swimming merit badge, is an offer from Swedish-Norwegian sex education group RFSU, also the main producer and importer of condoms to Norway, newspaper VG reports.
The badge, which displays sperm cells swimming in waves, can be won by correctly answering 10 out of 13 questions about sex."

A realistic path to failure

John Kerry was doing so well there for a while, keeping his lip zipped and watching President Bush get flak about Iraq. But as if we needed further proof that Kerry's not really smart, he opened his mouth again.

His latest can be found in the WaPo here.
We know that a chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Eric Shinseki, was right when he argued that more troops would be needed to establish security and win the peace in the weeks and months after Saddam Hussein's fall.
Of course Shinseki's right and the rest of the Army is wrong, irrespective of what is actually happening in Iraq. I'm glad to see that the military has some dissenters because that shows that they have more ideas to consider. But then decisions have to be made and people have to get with the program, and if Shinseki won't get with the program he doesn't belong in the service. (Gosh, why couldn't he just get along with the rest of the generals, like Kerry would have the US kowtow to the UN?)

If Shinseki is right, then how did we manage to turn over Iraq to the Iraqis? We're not out of town yet, but surely if Shinseki were correct we'd be incurring more casualties than we are.
But if we are to reduce the overwhelming military and financial burden America is bearing and maximize the chances of success, we will need help from others.
Overwhelming? What tasks remain that will require any more troops there than what we already have? And if in the meantime our economy is coming back from the blows of Clinton's presidency, the 9/11 massacre and the war in Afghanistan, how can one meaningfully call the burden "overwhelming"?
We have to move our allies beyond the resentment they feel about the Bush administration's failed diplomacy so they can focus on their interest in fighting terrorism and promoting peace.
Our allies were beside us in the Iraq war. The snippy noncombatants who tried to keep us out to protect their investments in a dictator must learn that we will not tolerate free riders. France in particular has a huge Muslim population and will benefit disproportionately if radical Islam is eradicated.

We would do well to establish the principle that dictators are poor credit risks. Then enablers will think twice about selling them arms, chemical warfare equipment, reactors and other instruments for aggression internally and abroad.
The best way to do that is to vest friends and allies in Iraq's future.
From whose point of view? Certainly not that of the US. And the President of the US is expected to look out for US interests - if John Kerry can't suppress his internationalism and guard US sovereignty he's unfit for the job of President.
On the economic front, that means giving them fair access to the multibillion-dollar reconstruction contracts. It also means letting them be a part of putting Iraq's profitable oil industry back together. In return, they must forgive Hussein's multibillion-dollar debts to their countries and pay their fair share of the reconstruction bill.
No way. It's up to the Iraqis who rebuilds their country of course - they can snub us if they want but they ought to seize the opportunity to steer contracts to American firms as some sort of feeble payback for something they never could have achieved alone.

But the forgiveness of debt is non-negotiable. Most of it was for trade that was illegal, and we don't reward or indemnify criminal behavior. The backstabbers in Paris, Berlin and elsewhere got far more in intangible benefits from the cleaning of the snake pit in Iraq - that they didn't participate in the cleanup is a disgrace, and that they would dare suggest recovery of their losses is chutzpah beyond parallel. Have them negotiate with Dick Cheney - he'll know what to tell them.

Of course things could deteriorate in Iraq, especially if we aren't ready to kick the crap out of Iranian meddlers. No one, surely not John Kerry, knows how things will turn out, if they will turn out well, how long it will take to end our involvement, or if in the final analysis the entire affair will have turned out in the best interests of the US. IMO Bush did the right thing, as well as anyone else would have and a damned sight better than Al Gore would have. And for that and other reasons I'll swallow my dislike of some of his other policies to return him to the White House.

As for John Kerry, I hope he learns to put US interests first. If his self-esteem demands he run the US to meet the approval of Europeans or other outsiders, he's unfit to serve as President.

Musical livers

Susanna digresses into a story about a three-way liver transplant here:
Speaking of organ donations, I watched one of those "amazing medical stories!" types of shows last night. In one segment, a young man learned in his late 20s that he had a liver condition that caused a buildup of proteins in his body and it had reached a life-threatening stage. He had to have a liver transplant or die. However, he was thousands down the list to get one. As it turns out (and I didn't know this until last night), you can actually lose half your liver and it will regenerate, at least to a degree. So they sought a voluntary living donor, and they found one. That's a whole story in itself. Then a third person came into the equation - a woman in her late 30s whose liver was nearly useless because of cancer. It hadn't metastisized, but it wouldn't be long, so she needed a liver transplant right away too. Same situation - way down on the list. However, the liver disease the young man had was a slow one, a condition that takes years to cause a life-threatening condition. His liver was essential okay except for that one malfunction, it was just that the accummulated result of that malfunction had caught up with him. The doctors said it had taken "decades" to get to that point. So, they thought, why not give his liver to this woman, because it would give her at least 15-20 years before causing serious problems, and maybe by then there'd be treatments or greater possibility of another donation?

So they did. In one day, they took half the healthy liver of the donor, transplanted it into the sick young man, then took his liver and put it in the woman with cancer. At the end of the segment, they said that within a month of the surgery, the donor's remaining liver had regenerated to 75% of its previous capacity, the other half had regenerated to the same degree in the formerly sick young man, and the woman with cancer was now cancer free and living a life with a future.
I'd like to see follow-ups on this one.

I'd also like to see what health insurors have to say about this. Would they cover it?

If they wouldn't, then of course the usual suspects would howl about this being some sort of injustice. Possibly. But they'd be more convincing if they put up their own money first to make sure what needed doing got done before they called in the lawyers and lobbyists.