Friday, March 28, 2003

Rationality on the cloning front. The three laws of cloning.
1. A human clone is a human being no less unique in his or her personhood than an identical twin.
2. A human clone has all the rights and privileges that accompany this legal and moral status.
3. A human clone is to be accorded the dignity and respect due any member of our species.
By looking for patterns in email traffic, a new technique can quickly identify online communities and the key people in them. The approach could mean terrorists or criminal gangs give themselves away, even if they are communicating in code or only discussing the weather.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

David Greenberg makes the case that the anti-war movement strengthens our country.
If the doves were give in to their critics and shut up, then we would all have to trust the Bush administration completely to decide whether to continue, escalate, or end the war. The government would have a free hand to do as it likes. Far from showing their patriotism, critics who muzzle themselves in wartime are abdicating a democratic responsibility.
This is cool.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

What's that hanging off Ted Koppel's helmet? It looks like a snorkel for skin diving. If he has a good filter it might make a decent breathing apparatus in the dust.
You know. You would think these guys would be just a little less transparent
Unfortunately, there is a real Muslim enemy out there. The followers of Qutb are so antithetical to Western ideals that it appears that no coexistence is possible. The fundamental Muslims can only survive by seeking the elimination of Western ideas. Since we can not allow that we must either encourage them to accept a reasonable coexistence or they must be eliminated. Sad, but true. Current and future generations should brace themselves and react appropriately.
So. Not only do they abysmally mismanage the diplomatic strategy, they have done a fairly bad job with the military strategy. Now where did I put those articles of impeachment?
The downside of cavalier disregard for legal niceties. The way we have handled "unlawful combatants" (Rumsfeld-speak) gives the Iraqis a model for how they might handle prisoners they may take. And it's not a good model.

Update: Via Unmedia. It happened.

Monday, March 24, 2003

I've been slow to post given the events of the past few days. All the actors have been playing out their roles. Rumsfeld's hypocrisy. Bush's cluelessness. What else can a person say. Others are sifting and posting with greater detail than I possibly could. There are too many events to track.

Our military strategies are being tested. I hope to God that we can adapt quicker than the opposition can change.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Someone in the current regime is competent. The fix to North Korea is to have its neighbors deal with it. If the US hangs tough long enough the neighbors will handle it. They just don't want to tip off NorK until they are ready.
Howard Dean stands fast for the troops but in opposition to regime. The more he says, the more I like him.
Figures, I'm a
Democrat - You believe that there should be a free
market which is reigned in by a modest state
beaurocracy. You think that capitalism has
some good things, but that those it helps
should be obliged to help out their fellow man
a little. Your historical role model is
Franklin Rosevelt.

Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
The Washington Post has the word for today. Bush clings to dubious accusations. Duh.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I wonder if this can quell the stench coming from the White House and the Republican Congress.

Friday, March 14, 2003

The New Republic Online: Truth Be Told Absent some convincing explanation by the White House, the most plausible theory is that key officials in the Bush administration knew--or at least suspected--they were making false claims. And they made them anyway.

By the time you read this column, the Bush administration may well have lost its bid for U.N. authorization for the war. If so, American officials and commentators will no doubt chalk up the defeat to anti-American suspicion among countries motivated by timidity, resentment, and pique. And they'll be partly correct. But it's worth noting that the suspicion isn't entirely irrational, given what Security Council members have witnessed over the past several months. If the Bush administration wanted to win the world's trust, it should have started by telling the truth.
Meanwhile, in the background, the Bush regime dismantles women's protections against domestic violence. We had better hope tthat the states protect women because the Feds don't care.
Krugman's up!
We all hope that the war with Iraq is a swift victory, with a minimum of civilian casualties. But more and more people now realize that even if all goes well at first, it will have been the wrong war, fought for the wrong reasons -- and there will be a heavy price to pay.

Alas, the epiphanies of the pundits have almost surely come too late. The odds are that by the time you read my next column, the war will already have started.
Recap of why career diplomats are bailing out of this administration.

The attacks of 9/11 left the United States stronger, not weaker, says Kiesling. More than ever before, the world was ready to team up to fight terrorism in a systematic way. But Washington's disregard for the community of nations has destroyed all that.

The Bush administration appears to be on a mission to pursue world domination, he says. That's not the sort of thing that spills easily from the lips of a diplomat.

Now where are those articles of impeachment?

Thursday, March 13, 2003

In a nutrition study of baboons it was found that exercise had more to do with obesity than caloric intake. It was also found that some were much more susceptible to obesity than others even with the same amount of exercise and the same amount of calories.

"The implication for humans is some people can get away with indiscretions such as not exercising and will gain a little weight without suffering these serious health consequences. Other people are going to balloon out and get sick with less provocation,"

If you have the genetic tendency to be obese you need to pay much more attention to exercise than others without that tendency.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

So why aren't you happy?

Lord (Richard) Layard, the LSE's director of the centre for economic performance, has this week delivered three startling lectures which question the supremacy of economics. It doesn't work. Economies grow, GDP swells, but once above abject poverty, it makes no difference to citizens' well-being. What is all this extra money for if it is now proved beyond doubt not to deliver greater happiness, nationally or individually? Happiness has not risen in western nations in the last 50 years, despite massive increases in wealth.
Optimists - or progressives like Layard, will see in this research a far better road map to happiness, which lies in the common good. Happiness is easier to find in collective things than in the short-lived pleasures of shopping. Here is affirmed what the left always knew.

This opens up a whole new way of looking at things. It says socialism may very well be more healthy. If only it could be productive as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Get today's Krugman.
Investors still can't believe that the leaders of the United States are acting like the rulers of a banana republic. But I've done the math, and reached my own conclusions -- and I've locked in my rate.
An MIT Study shows that hydrogen vehicles will be no better than current internal combustion hybrids in terms of pollution if the hydrogen is derived from fossil fuel sources. I wonder how much that would change if hydrogen were produced by more environmental-friendly nuclear sources.

Friday, March 07, 2003

More Diplomacy by bullying.
Fred Kaplan on our quality foreign policy.
the man who campaigned on a foreign policy of earning respect through strength and humility is widely seen, feared, even loathed as a bully who doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks of him or his country. And this impression is weakening America, not strengthening it.

The deeper he takes us into this pit the longer it may take to get out of it. Maybe the next president will get 2 terms to clean up this mess.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Link via Hesiod. Popular president?

"This month, we find that an unnamed Democrat would edge out President Bush. The political winds are hard to read this early in the game, but we do know that war and a bad economy are not good for anyone -- especially sitting presidents," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Good reference link: Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science
This had to happen eventually. We have been able to effectively reverse evolution by turning two species into one. Another nail in the creationist coffin.
All the more reason to go slow on Alaskan oil and gas development

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Fallout from the conclusion of the America's Cup Regatta. Team New Zealand was beaten by the best New Zealanders money can buy. While TNZ pouts and accuses the expatriates of disloyalty, the real disloyalty was shown back at the start of the campaign. The TNZ money people balked at compensating their star players what they were worth after two winning campaigns. That left them as free agents and Bertarelli knew how to buy the best. There is a disgrace to be borne here and that disgrace belongs to the TNZ management. They are the ones who failed their nation, not Coutts and Butterworth.
What happens to society and in the end to a species when it takes control of its own evolution? Linton Weeks starts the discussion in the Washington Post.
Bose-Einstein Condensates may lead to pet neutron stars on the desktop. Stranger than fiction.
When good science gets ignored. No human study, even those with very high PCB doses, has shown that PCB's caues cancer in humans. Buth the EPA is forcing GE to spend $500 million to clean PCBs from the Hudson river.

...while the EPA is busy protecting us from cancer risks that don't exist, attorney Johnnie Cochran is busy at work in Anniston, Ala., claiming "the lives of just about all the families living (in this small town) have been ripped apart" by Monsanto's release of PCBs years ago.
These obstacles must be addressed and overcome because the consequences of the silence of the scientific community (interpreted as assent) are profound. The assault on science not only distorts health risks, but it threatens innovation, jobs — and our country's enviable high standard of living. Only scientists can effectively counter scientific misinformation. May the barking begin.
Line of sight wireless without a license.
One of the technology's key benefits is the amount of data that can be transmitted over short distances: The Merrill Lynch link transmitted data at a rate of 1 Gbps, nearly 1,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection. The lack of bureaucracy is another plus -- there are no spectrum licenses to buy. There are also no cables to lay, making installation cheap and simple relative to the potential connection speeds.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

via DeLong: More from Henry Aaron
The revenue sacrificed by the tax cuts that the Administration has proposed since coming to office is more than sufficient to eliminate the entire projected deficits of the Social Security system and Medicare Hospital Insurance, with enough left over to double federal aid to higher education and bio-medical research and to support a major initiative to improve life chances for America's children.
Here are some ideas about reducing medical costs by improving the quality of care.
Washington State Republican legislators show what passes for tolerance on their end of the hall.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Lookout, a big corporate tax loophole ahead. If corporations don't pay their share of taxes, guess who will be taking up the slack?