My Archives: March 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Take a humor break with: RJ Matson's cartoon "Living will special request"; three articles from Andy Borowitz's latest Borowitz Report "BEARISH SIGN, GREENSPAN RUNS OUT ON CHECK AT SIZZLER", "WHITE HOUSE REPORTER TURNS OUT TO BE CHENEY" and - my personal favorite - "BUSH OFFERS RETIREES OPTION OF SERVING IN IRAQ"; Mark Fiore's latest animation "Knuckles"; and Ted Rall's "Most Loyal Voters. Enjoy!

Posted by mac @ 08:36 PM EST [Link]

When opposite ends of the political spectrum begin to say the same things, I start to take notice.

A few weeks ago our friends the Millers sent us this item. The author, Michael Ruppert, appears to be of the left/environmentalist persuasion, so I was astonished to see him devote attention to the housing bubble and the U.S. debt crisis, which I usually see raised by Austrians and libertarians. I disagree with Ruppert's dismissal of the effects of higher oil prices on both production and consumption, but he's echoing what I'm reading elsewhere about world resource demands. (I also enjoyed his description of the problems inherent in putting the Pentagon in charge of intelligence gathering.)

Today I followed a recommendation from Gary North on the site, to this interesting blog, The Watchful Investor. I suspect that the author, Jim Waddell, is at least influenced by Austrian economics (I base that suspicion on North's referral and Waddell's inclusion of the Mises institute in his links.) So I was intrigued to see him mention the "Peak Oil" theory that Ruppert dwells so heavily upon. Waddell even includes a link to a Peak Oil web page.

I need to read more about "Peak Oil", but other news stories I've read indicate that production is not keeping up with consumption. The upshot: oil and gasoline prices are going up soon. The US dollar is going down, either slowly or abruptly. Ditto housing prices, at least in the "boom" areas of the U.S.

As for me, I'm trying to figure out how to cut our gasoline consumption in half. —brad

Posted by brad @ 11:31 AM EST [Link]

Thanks to Brian C. who passes along the following interview with Mark Cuban with the the comment, "I particularly like the part where he accuses Orrin Hatch of pimping for the studios." The interview, entitled Mark Cuban on Grokster, is self-described as "A Q&A with the Internet billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner about the Supreme Court online-piracy case, movie studios' reaction to his public opposition to them, and the future of digital content."

Posted by mac @ 11:08 AM EST [Link]

thanks to Lee K. who passes along the following article with the comment "I agree with this, although I don't always agree with Krugman on economics." The article is reprinted here in full as the New York Times requires registration. [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:03 AM EST [Link]

Terri Schiavo is dead. Rumors that her parents are appealing her death to the Supreme Court are unconfirmed.

Posted by mac @ 10:54 AM EST [Link]

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

This item comes courtesy of Gordon P. "Spike TV" is airing "The Biggest Hoax In TV History" beginning tonight: "Invasion: Iowa," in which the entire small town of Riverside, IO is hoodwinked into believing that Bill Shatner and a television crew are in town to film a faux Sci-Fi movie preparatory to it becoming the self-proclaimed "Future Birthplace of Capt. Kirk"...The four-day miniseries begins tonight at 9 PM EST, culminating in a 2-hr finale on April Fool's day...BTW, the tagline for the miniseries is "Shat Happens"... :-/

Posted by mac @ 11:49 AM EST [Link]

I have not been following the convoluted and ever-changing tho' ever-the-same Occupation of Iraq simply because it is too disheartening to do so. As Col. David Hackworthy writes in today's WorldNetDaily, "We're [the U.S. troops] approaching 1,600 dead plus approximately 15,000 battle-wounded, along with thousands upon thousands of non-battle casualties -- a deeply guarded Pentagon secret -- from accidents, sickness or stress disorders." What are the figures on Iraqi dead and injured? Who knows. I have no doubt that the ultimate outcome will be U.S. withdrawal, the rise of regional authorities that oppose American policy (and probably each other), and post-game analysis that views the entire adventure as a mistake cmparable to Vietnam. But that ultimate conclusion may well take years and years. In the interim, the ultra-hawk philosophy of the U.S. will prevail. For example, "The U.S. State Dept. has just established an 'Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization' to 'coordinate planning for nation-building' [other people's nations, of course] and has drawn up a classified 'watch list' of 25 countries where 'instability might precipitate US intervention'." As things get worse, the best that freedom-loving folks can do is to stand firm politically (so that voices of sanity persist and can heal the damage somewhere down the road) and to survive personally.

On the latter point... [more]

Posted by mac @ 10:36 AM EST [Link]

I am fast becoming a fan of the cartoonist Don Asmussen, the BAD REPORTER who exposes "the lies behind the truth, and the truth behind those lies that are behind that truth." His cartoon today on the woman who found part of a finger in her bowl of chili at Wendy's (and is, of course, suing) is brilliant.

Posted by mac @ 10:07 AM EST [Link]

Tho' I am writer, I also solidly oppose intellectual property 'rights' -- copyright and patent -- that are derived from government rather than from free market mechanisms, such as contract. [For a discussion of this issue set in historial context, please see my essay "Copyright and Patent in Liberty".] Thanks to Steve C. for sending me the following 'heads-up' on the patenting of medical information, which could deleteriously impact the advice we receive from doctors.... [more]

Posted by mac @ 09:50 AM EST [Link]

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cartoons: Matt Davies' "Old Job/New Job" [referring to Wolfowitz's appointment to the World Bank]; David Horsey's "Death with Dignity" and Tony Auth "Coming Attractions" [both on Terry Schiavo]; Tell Rall's ".86 Cent Gas"; Wiley Miller's "Government Knows Best"; and, Briscoe's "What is...".

Posted by mac @ 04:46 PM EST [Link]

Thanks for Brian C. for bringing this excellent piece, "Let the truth be told…MGM vs Grokster", to my attention. Mark Cuban spells out the implications of the current Grokster case... [For background on the case, read the Electronic Frontier Foundation's report.] [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:51 AM EST [Link]

Friday, March 25, 2005

Bad news for bloggers in Utah who must now comply with new regulations that include a compulsory rating system. For full story click here or read on.... [more]

Posted by mac @ 04:46 PM EST [Link]

Plaudits to the Wonkette for this image of boobs at the UN. [Look at the computer screen.] Comparing this zoom-in with the photo offered by Al-Jazeera -- named as the source -- leaves me confused, however. Has Al-J swapped in another photo in the wake of controversy or has the screen image been doctored? Even I find it difficult to believe that a UN rep would be so openly insensitive and sexist, especially during a session meant to discuss the rape of women in Darfur. It is the "openly" part that is unbelievable. Behind closed doors, I have no problem believing the worst of UN reps.

Posted by mac @ 12:29 PM EST [Link]

A strange case of inconclusive DNA testing...over and over and over again. Question: if this were not a paternity case involving a Bush brother and if the tests weren't being conducted in Texas, would the results become suddenly conclusive? Story from New York Post as follows.... [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:50 AM EST [Link]

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I don't know what to think of this one and, so, I will simply pass along without comment an email alert I received from a correspondent. GM is going to lay off 25,000 people soon and this has not been made public as goes the auto industry so goes America...someone said once... Obviously in response to a question from a person on his lengthy distribution list, the emailer sent a follow-up, Our guy at GM heard this during a close door meeting this week it is not public yet.... Like I said, no comment.

Posted by mac @ 01:27 PM EST [Link]

Cartoons: Chuck Asay's "Moral of the Story"; Ted Ralls' "A Texas Man's Fight" and his "America United"; Ben Sargent "Time to Worry"; and, Mark Fiore's excellent "Georgie's Angels".

Posted by mac @ 12:08 PM EST [Link]

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cartoons: Clay Bennett's "Biology"; Stuart Carlson's "Stone Rockdale Reporting"; Tom Toles' "Dan Rather Was Weird?"; Matt Davies' "The Culture of Life"; Dick Locher's "Too Good to Be True"; and, Glenn McCoy's "Too Bulky". Enjoy!

Posted by mac @ 12:56 PM EST [Link]

At last! An MP3 audio link to Queen Silver's wonderful speech "Morality Versus Religion" has been posted. It has been a goal of mine to scan all of Queen Silver's Magazines and post them online as well as to post audio files of all existing speeches. Remember! -- I am currently selling past issues of Queen Silver's Magazine. These items are so rare that the Library Congress does not have them and I know of no other source (than me) from which they can be obtained. Check out the ebay auction before it ends by clicking here and, then, clicking on the "View Sellers Other Auctions" option on the right hand side. (for a list of all issues offered).

Posted by mac @ 10:05 AM EST [Link] has initiated a Stephen Schwartz Lawsuit Watch and this is Week 119. Matt Barganier writes [Please click on preceding link for his embedded URLs], "With apologies to Slate, I now inaugurate's Stephen Schwartz Lawsuit Watch. As you probably already know, Schwartz threatened to sue us last week for hyperlinking to a photograph of him on The Atlantic Web site.... [more]

Posted by mac @ 09:20 AM EST [Link]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another reason NOT to fly...A disturbing story. FOX News reports, "Prosecutors are investigating the death of a man who was subdued by several fellow airline passengers after he became disruptive on a New York-bound flight, a spokesman said Sunday." More details... [more]

Posted by mac @ 01:53 PM EST [Link]

Hilarious! Will Durst has an article entitled Slogans 'r' us on the Working For Change site, which opens "President Bush tapped Karen Hughes this week to be his extra special super secret advisor whose mission, should she choose to accept it, is to repair the image of the US overseas, particularly in the Arab world. What are they code naming this mission: Sisyphus?" Durst proceeds to offer "30 tag lines to help Karen Hughes repair the image of the United States."

Posted by mac @ 12:19 PM EST [Link]

Gordon P. writes, Was flipping through channels tonight wasting time until something else started, and caught a piece of the _Comedy Central_ roast for Jeff Foxworthy. One of the "guests" on the roast was a remarkably convincing Geedubya impersonator, who among his other schtick said that "many have approached me with "deep concerns about the mounting deficit." He said that "I understand these concerns; and therefore, I have put before Congress, a proposal to sell Canada..." Of course, the frightening thing is that, with this particular President, that might very well not be a joke... :-( Gordon -- whose quest in life is to keep Brad and I amused (a DIRTY job but SOMEONE has to do it) -- adds, It might amuse both of you to learn that _Cartoon Network_ now has an openly Canadian heroine: "Atomic Betty," who appears to be a high-school student hailing from rural Ontario just west of James Bay, and who lives on "Maple Street" --- but is frequently called upon by the "Galactic Guardians" to best the evil genius of "Supreme Emperor Maximus IQ of Lynxia" (a giant siamese cat)... Wow! A superheroine in our neck of the woods. And I do literally mean "woods."

Posted by mac @ 12:00 PM EST [Link]

Issues of an extremely rare atheist/freethought magazine are for sale. Queen Silver's Magazine (1923-1932) is so rare that the Library of Congress does not have a run. Indeed, I know of no other place issues can be obtained except through me. I have finished scanning the contents, which I will be editing and placing online as time permits, and so the issues are currently being offered for sale on ebay. Clicking here will take you to one of the auctions and clicking on the "View seller's other items" option on the right hand side will take you to the others. For information on Queen Silver -- a child prodigy and one the most important figures within 20th century atheism -- please visit the Queen Silver homepage which I maintain. For images of each issue's cover art, click here. All proceeds go toward maintaining Queen's site. Thank you.

Posted by mac @ 11:55 AM EST [Link]

Monday, March 21, 2005

In a strange parallel to the Stephen Schwartz flap -- and may I suggest that the phrase "scrofulous barrator" be linked to his photo? -- I see that Agence France Presse is now suing Google, demanding that Google no longer link to AFP's web content. (Most outfits claw and connive to get listed in Google. Well, there's no accounting for management.)

Guys, the rules of the web are fairly simple. If you make an article or photo freely available on the web, that's publication. I can't copy the image and put it on my own server -- that's a republication, and a violation of copyright law. But I can link to the image you have published -- that's a citation, as Eric Garris has pointed out. And of course Google can quote a short extract of an AFP article under the "fair use" rule.

To AFP: if you don't want your web-published content to be accessible, hire a high-school student to write some code to limit access to it. It's not that hard. Else go back to the Daugerreotype.     —brad

Posted by brad @ 08:34 AM EST [Link]

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Thanks for Gordon P. for his "heads up" on the upcoming airing of faux documentaries -- just another aspect of faux journalism/media, I suppose. Gordon writes, [more]

Posted by mac @ 03:23 PM EST [Link]

I received the following note from Matt Barganier of -- one of my all-time favortie sites. Friends, Stephen Schwartz has threatened to sue over hyperlinks before. Now he's at it again. While this is the sort of thing one might laugh off in a saner time and place, current realities demand that we nip this in the bud. Please help us spread the word about Schwartz's ridiculous legal thuggery: click here and here. Thanks to Clark Stooksbury and anyone else who has already addressed this. Here's some tidbits that my snooping about has revealed... [more]

Posted by mac @ 02:14 PM EST [Link]

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm still contemplating how to function in a world without email forwarding. I don't see how to do it with fewer than six email accounts...probably eight. [more]

Posted by brad @ 11:25 AM EST [Link]

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A correspondent sends the following alert: Doctors More Dangerous Than Guns!!... [more]

Posted by mac @ 03:28 PM EST [Link]

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cartoons: Mark Fiore's "Travels with George"; Tom Toles' "Negotiation"; Stuart Carlson's "Hypocrisy"; Ben Sargent's "Ten Commandments": and, Chuck Asay's "Your Grandchildren.

Posted by mac @ 11:40 AM EST [Link]

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cartoons: Cartoons: Clay Bennett's "Not Iran"; Tom Toles' "Charm Offensive"; Chip Bok's "Two for One"; and, Chuck Asay's "Iraq and a Soft Place".

Posted by mac @ 03:14 PM EST [Link]

Gordon P. sends follow-up information on my McCain-Feingold insurrection post of yesterday. Gordon forwards an email he received from Jim , President of which reads... [more]

Posted by mac @ 02:01 PM EST [Link]

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Join the McCain-Feingold Insurrection! The blogosphere is abuzz with news and rumors about the possible regulation of 'political' blogs by the federal government. John Sample explains why (and how) the damage will occur in a Reason article entitled, "Bloggers Beware: Threats to the status quo are always ripe for 'reform'." [more]

Posted by mac @ 07:33 PM EST [Link]

Timothy Noah has a charming review in Slate of the forthcoming book Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullshit by Laura Penny. Noah begins by asking... [more]

Posted by mac @ 06:01 PM EST [Link]

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Cartoons: Tom Toles' "RAS-putin?"; Stuart Carlson's "Press Conference"; Chuck Asay's "Down the Slide"; and, Scott Beiser's "Bad Dog".

Posted by mac @ 01:15 PM EST [Link]

Monday, March 7, 2005

Bloody hell. In spite of the Legal Affairs Committee voting for a restart, in spite of being rejected by the European Parliament, in spite of Denmark (and others) requesting that it be treated as a "B" item (for additional debate), the EU Council has railroaded the odious software patent legislation through. Now it has to go to Parliament for a second reading, but as I understand it, it can no longer be's all or nothing, and this piece may be too small to kill the total package.

Put not your faith in governments.     —brad

Posted by brad @ 07:56 PM EST [Link]

According to WorkingForChange, the Chicago Tribune refused to run these two Boondocks strips referring to Bush's alleged drug use. Click here and here.

Posted by mac @ 05:22 AM EST [Link]

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Cartoons! Check Asay's "Before and After" and "The Good Samaritan Story Revisited; Tom Toles' "The Argument Against Sensible Redistricting"; Ted Rall's "Amateurs"; and, Jack Higgins' "Whose Army?". Enjoy!

Posted by mac @ 03:20 PM EST [Link]

What the heck!? And what better way to finance a personal site devoted to radical individualism and libertarian feminism than to offer porn videos for sale. I've been going through old boxes and I came across some of the video tapes that porn producers sent me to review while I was writing "XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography." (For free online text of the book, click here.) All proceeds will go toward maintaining this website. These are the ones available so far... [more]

Posted by mac @ 01:46 PM EST [Link]

This may be the most delightful and subversive high-school graduation speech I've ever encountered. A pity Paul Graham's invitation to speak was vetoed; do you suppose the administration got wind of the text of the speech?     —brad

Posted by brad @ 12:02 PM EST [Link]

Bad news on the email front. Our local ISP has said that they're going to implement Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to block spam. Unfortunately, this is likely to block a large amount of our legitimate email as well. I'm already devising contingency plans.

SPF will not be as bad as I had feared. I got it wrong last year when I described how SPF will work. Well, I got one thing wrong, anyway, but it's a crucial distinction: the difference between the "From:" header and the "Mail From" address. [more]

Posted by brad @ 09:30 AM EST [Link]

Friday, March 4, 2005

DavidNYC of DailyKos has announced the next target upon which the blogosphere is to be unleashed: Alan Greenspan, that former intimate of the Objectivist circle who headed the Fed for so long. [more]

Posted by mac @ 06:35 PM EST [Link]

For those who hate registering with news sites, try BugMeNot which gives you access without the "price" of personal information.

Posted by mac @ 05:06 PM EST [Link]

Thanks to Lee K. for this excerpt from the Szasz Blog: In a small but startling preliminary new study, Texas researchers have found that after just three months, every one of a dozen children treated for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with the drug methylphenidate [Ritalin] experienced a threefold increase in levels of chromosome abnormalities-occurrences associated with increased risks of cancer and other adverse health effects.

Posted by mac @ 03:41 PM EST [Link]

An e-correspondent offered this interesting response to yesterday's post on the cooling US-Canada relations. In it, I described the arrogance and (arguably) the stupidity of Paul Cellucci, the now-outgoing US Ambassador to Canada whose statements to the press have embarrassed PM Martin by making him look 1) like a Bush poodle in initially promoting the US/Canada missle shied defense program and, then, 2) (after jettisoning the deal) utterly irrelevant to the US's decision to fire missiles over Canada whenever it wishes. [more]

Posted by mac @ 10:36 AM EST [Link]

Thursday, March 3, 2005

I received a fascinating email from a correspondent in response to my latest FOX News/ column "The UN is the Wrong Forum for Women's Rights" which, BTW, I was pleased to see picked up by Yahoo News. [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:45 AM EST [Link]

As the Wonkette comments, "Hunter Thompson's death has created a small cottage industry for men of a certain age to tell their pilgrimage fable." One person who is unlikely to be spilling his memories, however, is GWB. [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:32 AM EST [Link]

Condi Rice has announced the delay of a planned trip to Canada. The official reason: because of scheduling conflicts; unofficially (and through sources that leak like sieves), Bush is pissed off because Canada refuses to go along with his beloved missile shield defense program that involved -- and, by logical necessity, must involve -- an American presence in Canadian air space. As the title of an Associated Press article declares, "Rice delays Canada trip as relations turn chilly." Up here, the relations have turned hot. [more]

Posted by mac @ 11:19 AM EST [Link]

Cartoons!: Chuck Asay's excellent "Coming Soon to america"; Tom Tomorrow's "Nothing to See Here"; Tom Toles' "Repo Man"; and, Stuart Carlson's "Homeland Security Dollars at Work". Meanwhile, comedian Will Durst says "thank God for squeezebags awards." For example, BEST MAKEOVER: Howard Dean. New head of the National Democratic Party. Risen from the dead to preside over the graveyard.

Posted by mac @ 11:14 AM EST [Link]

From Gordon P. Two British students plan to go on an eight week "crime spree" during which they plan to violate 45 of the stupidest laws in the U.S.A. A few examples of the laws they plan to violate: [more]

Posted by mac @ 09:47 AM EST [Link]

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

And the winner of "Name Coulter's Next Book" is... I reprint the following Washington Post article in full because many people do not wish to commit the act of registration that access otherwise requires. [more]

Posted by mac @ 02:26 PM EST [Link]

This article is just one reason I don't trust polls. Excerpt: "Congressman's Aide Asks for Help Flooding Local Newspaper Poll. In another example of the increasing importance of web polls, a spokesman for Maurice Hinchey, the New York Democratic congressman who recently came under fire for suggesting the Bush reelection campaign was behind Memogate, has been asking supporters to skew an online survey in the congressman's favor." Additional links of interest on the topic of poll manipulation by political activists: from the Democratic Underground, from Terry McAullife to supporters asking them to flood debate polls. a discussion from FreeRepublic.

Posted by mac @ 02:07 PM EST [Link]

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Cartoons: Drew Sheneman's Public Interest"; Glen McCoy's "Exerting Eminent Domain"...(for the news story on which the two preceding cartoons are based see Jeff Jacoby's article "Will Court Curb Eminent Domain?"); Aaron McGruder's "Taking the Edge Off"; Tom Toles' "Gesture of Co-operation"; and, Matt Davies' "Putting Iraq Behind Us". Enjoy!

Posted by mac @ 11:31 AM EST [Link]

Gordon P. offers A fascinating gallery of examples of excellent vs. bad or misleading graphical representations of data.

Posted by mac @ 09:32 AM EST [Link]

The indefatigable Richard Stallman, champion of software libre, is now promoting development of a Free BIOS for personal computers.

The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the software that runs your computer from the time you switch it on to the time your operating system boots. It also describes some of your computer's hardware to the operating system. In the old days this was stored on read-only memory chips, permanently installed on your motherboard...part of the hardware that you couldn't do anything about. But most modern computers use rewritable chips for the BIOS, and have the option of loading a new BIOS. Hence the push for a free and open-source alternative.

Why is this important? [more]

Posted by brad @ 07:27 AM EST [Link]

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