Wednesday, August 17, 2005

VDH on Cindy Sheehan

Victor David Hanson has the best written article I have seen on this insanely overcovered story. I agree with the sentiment, the presentation of fact and the conclusion. In other words, what he said goes for me too.

The press interviews real people in fly-over

RantingProfs posted this article on NBC going to the Midwest to interview folks there about the war. I cracked up when I read this:
On the one hand, it is nice to see that sort of fly over country, small town, Red state America given a voice, since the media will never settle for polls alone to represent the American voter. But there is really a touch of self-congragulation to this piece, of patting themselves on the back for their intrepid reporting as they go off to cover what almost amounts to a foreign country.

Look! We found people who still support the war!

"what almost amounts to a foreign country" is a great description. I grew up in Indiana and now live in Colorado. I lived in the San Jose, CA area for 11 years and I definitely felt like I was in a foreign country. I feel the same when I visit NY or Boston....

Timing is Everything

That's the title of this very funny piece on RantingProfs about the latest egg on Bill Clinton's face/legacy. It does seem that every time he comes out with some new spin on why his administration should be remembered well somebody shows up to prove that his premise is false. He really might be better off just disappearing and hoping people forget.


Female Genital Mutilation (also mis-known as female circumcision) is a barbaric and evil practice. LGF writes about it:
More than 60% of Kurdish women interviewed in Iraq have been subjected to the horror of female circumcision. (Thanks, Alouette.)

NY Post finds proof of error of "wall of separation"

The Post ran found memos pointing out that members of the intelligence community pointed out that we had to remove Jamie Gorelick's wall to effectively combat terrorism at home. Couple this with the very specific cases sited and their outcome and I think you can safely conclude that was failed policy that at least attributed to the 9/11 disaster. Powerline has the reference, the salient paragraphs and interesting comments.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rabbit Saves Woman's life

We have all heard stories about people's dogs being credited with saving human life. I suspect the pet bunny of this Illinois couple has no worries about being in a stew pot any time soon.

Monday, August 15, 2005

RU 486 question from Hugh

Hugh asks (and by the way I don't like his permalink-for-the-week "feature" on his new blog):
Ru-486 is strongly implicated in four deaths, and the pill is still on the market, unaccompanied by at least a warning? Is that pro-choice politics or good science? And have trial lawyers filed their first class action suit on behalf of the 460,000 who have taken the pill since its approval in the U.S. in 2000?

I would appreciate from scientists and attonreys with experience some specific FDA actions under similar circumstances.

I am not a doctor or a biochemist but I do know the following having followed the initial FDA process on a tip from a friend who is a biochemist.

1. RU-486 is actually 2 drugs. You take the first and then the second a proscribed time later.

2. The company that makes the second drug warns all doctors that their drug has never been tested by them for this purpose and the recommend against using it for that purpose.

3. In almost every other country where RU-486 is legal the woman must return to the doctor for the second drug and remain under observation for a period of time due to the significant possibility of heavy bleeding.

So the answer to Hugh's question is that it is politics, bad science and bad medicine. #2 above can be explained two different ways. I am also not a lawyer but I suspect the drug company's very public warnings worldwide virtually eliminates them being sued when people die. So either the company is perfectly happy to take the money while using this legal trick to lower their costs -OR- they know that this is bad medicine and will cause death or severe injury in a significant number of cases and they feel they HAVE to warn against it.

#3 above has only one explanation. It is bad medicine and bad politics. The pro-abortion-on-demand crowd wants to make sure that a minor girl can take the drugs to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge. To achieve that goal they are putting the very lives of every woman or girl who takes this drug at risk.

Airline Security Changes Planned

This Washington Post article (HT: Rantingprofs) is somewhat heartening and somewhat frightening.
The staff's first set of recommendations, detailed in an Aug. 5 document, includes proposals to lift the ban on various carry-on items such as scissors, razor blades and knives less than five inches long. It also proposes that passengers no longer routinely be required to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.

This is part of the heartening bit. I hate not being able to take my little pocket knife and more importantly a small Leatherman's Tool when I fly light. I have always thought that this part of the post-911 rules were overkill.
The proposal also would allow ice picks, throwing stars and bows and arrows on flights. Allowing those items was suggested after a risk evaluation was conducted about which items posed the most danger.

SCARY! Ice picks I could go either way on, especially since that means I can again carry a small wine opener and not have to buy one on each trip that we decide to sit around at night in the lobby sharing some vino.

But throwing stars and bows and arrows? I was never really good with throwing stars. It was required to learn to throw them as part of my martial arts training but I quit playing with them as soon as I got passable. I have seen people who can consistently put them in a 2 inch circle from 20 feet with considerable velocity. While harder than point an pull the trigger somebody who really knows what they are doing can kill a bunch of people in a very short period of time, at a distance, with a stack of them. I do not want them allowed on the plane. There is NO reason they should be in carry on or on one's person. We don't license ninja in this country. If you must travel with them, check them under. And bows and arrows? Give me a break. I feel for competitive archers and hunters so I could see letting them carry their bows on but please check the arrows under.

The TSA memo proposes to minimize the number of passengers who must be patted down at checkpoints. It also recommends that certain categories of passengers be exempt from airport security screening, such as members of Congress, airline pilots, Cabinet members, state governors, federal judges, high-ranking military officers and people with top-secret security clearances.

This is just stupid. What percentage of the people going through US airports on a given day fit this description? My guess is less than half of one percent. The idea isn't so bad but how about making the list something other than the very people who have a prayer of influencing TSA policy? If congress, governors, and federal judges aren't going to be subject to the law then it really won't matter how stupid the law is you will not see it fixed. I highly suspect that is why the suggestion is made and we should all be smart enough to notice. The press certainly should notice especially since they are not on the list.

Sex Scandal Teach Make Plea Bargain

That's the title of this post at Wizbang.
Pamela Rogers, previously featured in this Wizbang contest/story, was looking at some serious time (up to 16 years) for having an affair with a 13-year-old student. Instead she got off with nine months in jail, eight years probation, a media blackout, and a registered sex offender tag.

Nine months in jail for 28 counts of statutory rape of a 13 year old? Are these people serious?

Wizbang leans toward the "yes there is a double standard and the woman is a babe and he will be bragging about it the rest of his life" position. I do not. I agree there is a double standard but that doesn't make it right. I agree that at 13 I would have happily hopped in the sack with an adult female that good looking given the opportunity. That is why it is STATUTORY rape. He is not considered old enough to consent no matter how much he wants to. On top of that she is a school teacher. It is considered inappropriate by most teaching professionals to have sexual relationships with students even when those students are over 21. Many schools will fire you as a college professor of 28 if you sleep with one of your grad students who is your age.

If a man were given this sentence for multiple counts of statutory rape with a 13 year old it would be the ONLY story on the news. This is sad. This boy was no less molested than the boys who were molested by Roman Catholic Priests. He may not feel that way now and he will probably not have the same level of long term effects but he was molested and she should spend a good long time in real prison bunking with Bertha the 200 pound lesbian biker chick.