Monday, June 30, 2008

Bottled water

The environmental costs of using bottled water seems to be coming into focus for many. A good transitional product (from soda); it is time to get back into tap water if possible.

The PC Right

Those homosexuals sure are fast!

HT: Andrew Sullivan

Loony French Leftists

When not burning cars because slackers aren't guarenteed jobs, apparently they take their time up writing political party planks which are so full of buzzwords they don't even make sense.

MILF House?

Single mom in Florida, 42, selling house and herself.

Trabosh, a Barbie-esque blonde who teeters around the nearly 2,000 square-foot house in patent leather heels...

I see I've just lost half my readers...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gas stations starting to go cash-only

Can't say I blame them, even if it is an inconvenience to carry around a lot of cash to fill the tank. The truth is that gas stations don't make very much money at all, and with bank fees rising higher and higher (without any additional benefits, just the same "convenience" that bank card companies tout) I can certainly see their point.

I'm under the impression that debit cards are cheaper for the merchant, but I don't see any information on them in this article on the gas stations. Maybe even a lowered fee structure for debit cards is too much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stuff found in books

A great post here, about the stuff people find in used books.

Can't say I've found more than a couple of pictures, or some newspaper clippings. I was surprised to find author autographs in a couple, though.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How ISPs are handling child pornography

Well, it isn't so much how they are handling the actual pornography, but how many companies are being manipulated into acting with overbroad policies, like banning Usenet.

A good post there by Daniel Radosh.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More gas tax holiday hooey

Factcheck.org takes McCain to task for saying that the poor drive more than the wealthy.

As an excuse for his "gas tax holiday" McCain has been relying on inside-the-beltway anectdotes instead of the facts, it appears.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If you teach a monkey to fish...

Monkey who fishes found in Indonesia.

Dealing with a stick in the mud

A reader at Andrew Sullivan makes interesting points regarding how to engage people who use skepticism to keep things the same instead of a reason for more debate or research:

I think you are wrong when you insist that greens have to engage the dissenters and convince them of their errors. It is one thing to express scepticism as a result of sincere doubt; it is another thing entirely to use scepticism as a way to avoid changing your behaviour. One is capable of being convinced through providing evidence and coherent argument; the other is simply using that doubt as a socially acceptable way to continue on with 'business as usual' without paying the social penalty of blatant selfishness. The result is already locked in stone in the dissenters' minds; the arguments are merely the way to create that result, rather than sifting evidence to come to a conclusion that was not pre-determined.

You say that it is 'not a good sign when greens seem eager to discredit dissent rather than engage it', but what do you do when the 'dissent' is the public domain version of a filibuster - not meant to achieve anything on its own, but instead cause paralysis so that the status quo can continue unchecked? There is nothing there to engage - there is no possibility of changing minds or convincing those people otherwise. All that is left is to show how bankrupt their arguments are so that others will not follow along. That is why discrediting and debunking is the focus, not engagement.

A peek into the underbelly

hilzoy does some digging through the muck.

Monday, June 09, 2008

How bottled water is unsafe for the environment

One of those things that you think you are doing well by drinking water. Just water, right? Think again.

Lots of oil went into the bottle, then more to get it to you. And even if you recycle it, this only saves a little bit of carbon since there is still all that energy that will go into making it usable again.

Use a recycled bottle, then use tap water. Save you big bucks, and it is better for the environment. And since many of those bottled waters use tap water anyway, you're just as well off in the end health-wise.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary Clinton - Iconic path, or infamous one?

The first time I cast a vote in a presidential election as an informed voter was in 1992, when, as a 22 year old college senior in Massachusetts, I voted for Bill Clinton. Yes, four years earlier, in my very first presidential election, I voted for George Bush the Elder. But, I was 18, had grown up in Texas, was going to college in Texas, and, as a result, I did what any Texan does – I went with the home team.

But four years later I had grown, and learned, and really explored my options this time, and what Bill Clinton promised seemed alright for me, and, at least in part because of my vote, the majority of my 20s were spent with Clinton as my president, and damned if the world didn’t seem like a good place.

Bill, his wife Hillary, and their daughter Chelsea, were MY first family. I had put them in the White House, I felt that the Clintons were doing a fantastic job running the country, and I thought the way they were not afraid to defend themselves with extreme vigor against the dolts who would try to bring them down, was balls out super.

And now, it’s 2008. Twenty years since my first presidential ballot, and 16 years since I put Clinton in the White House. A year ago, I was excited at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidential run. The Clintons were great the first time around, and heck, another run of eight good years might be just the swift kick in the pants this country needs after eight years of George Bush the Lesser and his minions of hate and murder.

The Clintons are icons to me. Legends, if you will. Heroes of the people, and, have a real chance to earn mythical status, much like the Kennedys and other important political families of the last 50 years.

But then Barack Obama happened. It happened quickly, and suddenly, and it was as if a series of light bulbs went off over the heads of under 45, left-leaning Americans everywhere.

Suddenly, Hillary Clinton didn’t seem like a great idea. After eight contentious Bush years, another eight years with a president that clearly brings the bile from her enemies, had the potential to divide this country even further than Bush and his supporters had already done.

I switched over to being an Obama supporter early. Most of the people I know that lean left have also come over. My parents – in their 60s – are still ardent Clinton supporters. My step-mother was overjoyed at the prospect of a woman in the White House, something she probably didn’t imagine possible growing up in 1950s and 1960s.

It has pained me a bit to see those dreams of hers deferred, but that’s all it is. Clinton’s campaign opened so many doors that had been previously thought shut, and in another time and another place, she would have been our President. Instead, she has blazed a trail for other women, and I feel confident that in my lifetime, I will see a woman president.

But right now, I fear that Hillary Clinton is destroying her legacy, and the Clinton legacy in general. Instead of gaining mythical status, her hubris, and seeming lack of respect for the Democrat Party, may doom her to a legacy of broken dreams, crushed hearts, and a terrible taste for all things Clinton.

When the odds against her becoming the Democratic nominee for President became long and nearly impossible, she refused to back down. While frustrating to those who want to see the Dems stop tearing each other apart, there is also a bit of respect for her tenacity.

Last night, however, Obama finally clinched the nod, gaining enough delegates. But instead of conceding to him and graciously accepting defeat, Clinton refused to do so, and now appears to be more than willing to divide the Democratic party and risk losing the presidential election to Republicans, in an effort to at least angle for a Vice President position, which is something that would excite her supporters, but leave a sour taste for many Obama supporters, myself included.

The way Clinton is speaking to, and about, her supporters, the risk is great that they will defect and not vote for Obama because of anger, if he does not pick her as VP. That’s VERY dangerous ground, and it makes my sour taste for her even more so.

Her supporters appear to be rabidly angry about her not being the Presidential nominee. I can only imagine how much more anger they’ll have if Obama doesn’t pick her to the be the VP nominee, because it will appear as if he once again, “stole” something that she and her supporters believe are naturally hers.

For the sake of the Democratic party, and the chances of having a Democrat in the White House, Hillary Clinton must not only graciously concede, but also tone down her rhetoric, and must let Obama’s search for a VP take on a natural course, not a forced one that could send her supporters away from voting for a Dem in November.

The choice is hers. Hillary Clinton can earn her spot in history as an icon of mythical proportions, or she can go down in infamy as the person responsible for fracturing the Democratic Party, perhaps irreparably.

Monday, June 02, 2008

SCOTUS declines to take on MLB stats case

Their action leaves stand the rights of the public to use statistics without the need to obtain permission. In particular, fantasy game producers need not pay fees to MBL or the MLBPA to use baseball statistics in their games.

Finally a victory for the public in a copyright case.