Monday, August 30, 2004
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Instead, the President should do the statesmanlike thing and propose that McCain-Feingold be repealed. Let everyone say anything they want in whatever venue they want financed by wantever money they can raise, with the proviso of full and instant disclosure. Sure there is horrible speech out there. But the solution to it is not more court action or more legislation. The solution is more speech.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
We must also cultivate competition: Consumers need to know which doctors or care settings heal patients faster and better. Consumers need relevant information about providers' experiences and outcomes.
We need to create standards of quality measurement so consumers can shop for good health care. More than a decade ago, the state of New York launched a revolutionary program of public reporting on heart bypass surgery. Last year the New York Chamber of Commerce built on this effort by sponsoring the first statewide hospital report card.
Finally, consumers need information about the price of care. They must be able to compare health care pricing -- with information that is readily, publicly available.
A far cry from government bureaucrats determining all of those things. This looks promising, though, it being done by politicians, it also bears constant scrutiny.
KERRY: "Why are all these swift boat guys opposed to me?"
BRANT: "You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there."
[Brant had two men killed in battle.]
KERRY: "When we dedicated swift boat one in '92, I said to all the swift guys that I wasn't talking about the swifties, I was talking about all the rest of the veterans."
Kerry then asked if he could meet Brant ["You were one of the best"] -- man to man -- face to face.
Brant declined the invite, explaining that Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record on exactly what happened during Vietnam and what happened when Kerry came back.
"All the rest of the veterans?" Including Max Cleland, John McCain, and everyone else Kerry has invoked?
Meanwhile, Kerry considers an appearance on one of the Sunday shows to try to put the affair to rest once and for all.
But I think it is too late.
Monday, August 23, 2004
While anything is possible where John Kerry is concerned, I have to remain a bit skeptical. It would help if Kerry were to make a positive statement on the subject. So far all of his public pronouncements have been harshly negative toward space exploration in general and the President's vision in particular.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Bell makes some outlandish arguments about the space race with China based on a whole host of misunderstandings of Chinese culture. Hint: It's a race even if it is a marathon and low key rather than a sprint. The tortoise can win if the hare is sleeping, as Aesop suggested. Also I'm not persuaded that the Chinese space effort is second rate because some of their rockets blow up. Some of ours have blown up as well, a couple with people inside.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Addendum: Michelle Malkin relates the story of her savaging at the hands on Chris Matthews. Matthews needs at the least a good, healthy dose of sensitivity training. MSNBC would have fired anyone to the right of Matthews behaving in such a fashion.
...to view the architecture and art, to sample the food and wine, to gaze at the women, to taste la dolce vita, to … sorry, I digress.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
The benefits of manned space flight have been relatively few compared to the costs. The Washington Post reports that the International Space Station (ISS), if completed, is expected to run $17 billion over budget. While manned shuttles provide some useful scientific information, the major objective of many missions is simply to re-supply the space station. We spent $25.4 billion on the 11 Apollo missions. We are looking at $100 billion for the International Space Station. We spend $3-$4 billion on the shuttle (approximately $6,000 per pound of payload). These projects have provided relatively little scientific discovery compared to cost benefit of unmanned missions.
The problem is that the first sentence in that paragraph is untrue and the Congressman does not even bother to support it with facts. He mentions three manned space programs, two (the space shuttle and space station) which have been troubled by bad management and bad focus, and one (Apollo) that was wildly successfull without making that distinction. Humans are needed, even for the kind of scientific exploration that people generally understand when they think about the space program. Factor in commercial ventures and other things being considered, and humans are needed in the loop even more.
If Congressman Smith would like to start his education, this article would be a good start.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Rowling also said that she's pleased with the films so far and mentioned that there's two questions she's never been asked that she should have been asked. "If you want to speculate on anything, you should speculate on these two things, which will point you in the right direction. The first question that I have never been asked is, 'Why didn't Voldemort die?' Not, 'Why did Harry live?' but, 'Why didn't Voldemort die?' The killing curse rebounded, so he should have died. Why didn't he?... The other question that I am surprised no one has asked me since Phoenix came out is why Dumbledore did not kill or try to kill Voldemort in the scene in the ministry. I know that I am giving a lot away to people who have not read the book. Although Dumbledore gives a kind of reason to Voldemort, it is not the real reason."
The first fallacious premise is that that the extra money freed up by not having a space program, or a vastly smaller one, would make any difference. Dinkin does a good job of knocking down that arguement.
The second fallacious premise, and Dinkin doesn't touch on it very much, is that throwing money at social problems would necessarily address those problems. Charles Murray, in his classic study of government poverty programs, Loosing Ground, suggested that huge welfare programs not only tend not to solve the problems they are designed to solve, but often make them worse. This fact was even recognized in the mid 1990s when a liberal Democrat President signed into law a reform, proposed and passed by a conservative Republican Congress, that ended welfare as an entitlement.
Think about what was wasted in the meantime. The United States bought the argument of the space vrs butter advocates in the 1970s, truncated the Apollo Program, deferred grand ideas like lunar settlements and missions to Mars, and then cheerfully spent hundreds of billions on social programs that Murray argues only made things worse.
And, as Dinkin points out, there are still people--like John Kerry--willing to make that same arguement today.
During his 20 years of suing doctors and hospitals, he pioneered the art of blaming psychiatrists for patients who commit suicide and blaming doctors for delivering babies with cerebral palsy, according to doctors, fellow lawyers and legal observers who followed Mr. Edwards' career in North Carolina.
"The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."
And he was well paid for his efforts too, I might add.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
But considering all the testimony and evidence, John Kerry is either Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. As of this moment there is about a 50-50 chance that we will elect, in the person of John Kerry, either a very fine man or a truly despicable man president of the United States.
Of course Kerry's record after Vietnam, starting with his slander of his fellow vets as "war criminals", would tend to lead one to the latter conclusion. Blankley has a challenge for his fellow journalists:
If it is not a pack of lies, the nation needs to know that, too. I would encourage some of the major voices of the non-conservative mainline media — Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Leonard Downie Jr. of The Washington Post — to do as I did. Spend an evening reading the book. If they are not struck by the damning picture it paints of John Kerry and the credibility of the presentation, forget about it. But if they judge it as I did, then let their consciences be their guide.
The Kerry people are confident that will never happen.
The campaign source said that the book was not considered a "serious" problem for the campaign, because, "the media wouldn't have the nerve to come at us with this kind of stuff," says the source. "The senior staff believes the media is committed to seeing us win this thing, and that the convention inoculated us from these kinds of stories. The senior guys really think we don't have a problem here."
Perhaps. But the Blogsphere has not been shy about examining the story in detail. Given that, I cannot imagine that the manstream media can ignore it forever.
And it would be well advised not to. Kerry has based his entire rationale for being President (aside from the volcanic hatred of President Bush by his supporters) on his alleged war time heroics. What if that story of valor turned out to be a lie? Elected such a person would send the signal that lying about war, as well as about sex, is acceptable in a liberal politician. Imagine electing another President with a propensity for lying, with the entire might and majesty of the government and a willing, mainstream media at his call to back up his lies. Further, imagine such a President spending most of his time doing so at the expense of his real duties--such as fighting the War on Terror.
Haven't we gone through that situation before? Do we really want to do it again?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Monday, August 09, 2004
Read the whole article and note the accompaning photo.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
However, irony of ironies, gay marriage may be the key to breaking the Democratic monopoly on black voters in America. If that happens, the consequences are profound and reach far beyond the issue of whether men should marry men and women marry women.
Was he an African American living in the South, circi 1964?
Was he a Jew living in Nazi Germany?
In fact he is a Native Texan, living in present day California.
"How long did you live in Texas?" many potential employers and friends have queried with thinly veiled disgust.
"Where's your gun?" I have heard more than once sans the least hint of irony.
"You don't sound like you're from Texas," is a common refrain among astonished Coasties.
I have been subjected to countless unprovoked diatribes against the Bush clan and the evils of unregulated energy markets. I always smile and refrain from pointing out that California's 47 electoral votes went to Bush, Sr. in 1988, and that energy market deregulation was put into effect by Californians, not the Texas companies that happily exploited it.
I've even had a first date get up and leave the restaurant upon my confession of Texas origins. She said she could not associate with someone from George Bush's home state. The anger in her voice bordered on hissing. I was too shocked to protest. The snickers from surrounding tables were embarrassing. Yes, I paid the check, then I skulked out the door as quickly as possible.
Mitchell, whose politics oddly enough are far more liberal than that of most Californians, suggests that this kind of discrimination has political consequences.
It's funny how prejudice keeps otherwise "open-minded" people from recognizing one of their own. It is a typical "limousine liberal" mindset that favors well-to-do members of the Democratic Party from the two coasts at the expense of the non-union working class in the nation's midsection. The thinking goes: "If you come from the heartland or the South, you are too backward and too ignorant to understand what's best for the country."
Most of the folks in the nation's middle have heard that declaration loud and clear. It's why their states came up red in November 2000 and will most likely do so again in 2004. If the Democratic Party does not purge this elitist mentality from its ranks, it will never be able to make those red states blue.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Friday, August 06, 2004
Take my advice and rent a copy of the first movie.
Addendum: The Boston Globe is standing by its original story, claiming that the quotes from Mr. Elliot are accurate. That and the Kerry Campaign's continued harsh reaction to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad is doing little but draw more attention to questions about Kerry's Vietnam War service.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I wonder, though, if there are people who so hate President Bush that they will either ignore the lies revealed in the ad or else choose to believe the lies and disbelieve the truth. I hope this is not the case.
Addendum: Just to illustrate what I mean, John McCain, who doesn't even hate George Bush ,finds the ad objectionable.
Of course there are some who think there should be no private property in space.
"Outer space is a province of all mankind," says Sylvia Ospina, a member of the board of directors at the International Institute of Space Law. "There is not, and should not be, any privatization of outer space. It is a common thing that should belong to all."
Meaning that it would belong to no one. Or worse, just to governments. I had thought that we had put this kind of nonsense in the graveyard of history when the Moon Treaty was squashed. Apparently not, which is why people like Ospina needed to be watched and, when necessary, opposed.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Sen. John Kerry's bid to become commander in chief of wartime America has opened old wounds among some former Vietnam-era prisoners of war who bristle over the Massachusetts Democrat's anti-war activism.
His activities and statements, pushed out of sight by a campaign that spotlights Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam, were used by the POWs' North Vietnamese captors to sap the morale of prisoners and U.S. troops still in the field in South Vietnam, say former POWs.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Interestingly, Van Allen accidently suggests that the Apollo program was an example of human exploration that yielded a lot of good science.
Few people doubt that the Apollo missions to the Moon as well as the precursory Mercury and Gemini missions not only had a valuable role for the United States in its Cold War with the Soviet Union but also lifted the spirits of humankind. In addition, the returned samples of lunar surface material fueled important scientific discoveries.
That would seem to me to be an argument, in part, in favor of the President's Moon, Mars, and Beyond Initiative.