From “Best of the Web” today, here’s a beaut that stands on its own:
Great Moments in Socialized Medicine
From Mike Hume in London’s Times:
Edward Atkinson, a 75-year-old anti-abortion activist, was jailed recently for 28 days for sending photographs of aborted foetuses to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. That draconian sentence was not deemed punishment enough: the hospital has banned Mr Atkinson from receiving the hip replacement operation he was expecting.
Why do the same people who don’t trust the government to spy on terrorists, lest dissenters get caught up in the web, so often also urge giving government control over our health care?
Indeed. I look forward to seeing whether Sean Vivier and Joe Loy is the first to identify who said the following:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.Ã¢â‚¬?
If there had been any doubt left that California is run by nutcases, it has been removed by the recent decision of the CA legislature to mandate “‘age appropriate’ lessons on the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people”. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, the bill’s lesbian author and Bea’s roommate Camille’s boss (who is, incidentally, a Domer)*, defends her bill by saying, “”All we’re saying is let us also be reflected in history.” The bill was purportedly introduced “on the belief that presenting positive role models could help ease negative feelings and battle high suicide rates among gay and lesbian students.”
Now, I’m all for doing the best we can to increase tolerance of gays and lesbians and lower their suicide rates (though I wonder where they’re getting their data), but isn’t this going a little too far? I mean, should school textbooks note there was a gay rights movement and discuss its goals and accomplishments? Absolutely. But now we should start noting “gay firsts” (”the first gay CEO;,the first lesbian lawmaker, etc.) like we’ve done with African-Americans, religious minorities, and women? To an extent this makes sense, but creating chapters and lessons focused on this topic seems rather ludicrous. Should us short people start clamoring for recognition of short people in history? Napoleon Bonaparte seems to get a lot of publicity, but it’s usually not very positive. In fact, from the connection between Napoleon’s famous height (or lack thereof) and his warmongering exploits we have the derogatory term, “Little Man syndrome”, a syndrome which no doubt exists perhaps, but imagine the outcry if we started talking about “Terrorist Muslim syndrome”….
In any case, passage of the bill into law appears to be almost a fait accompli, so allow me to look for a silver lining. One unintended consequence I am hoping for is a newfound recognition of just how exemplary a historical institution Great Britain’s parliament is, as well as a growing appreciation for the benefits of British colonialism, given that British MPs and Britain’s upper class white men have been historically notorious for being cross-dressers and closeted fagalas. Is that too much to ask, or am I being dreamy?
CORRECTION: Camille’s boss is State Senator Christine Kehoe, not State Senator Sheila Kuehl. Sen. Kehoe is much more moderate, but is also a lesbian. I apologize for the mistake; I apparently confused my lesbian Democratic California senators whose last names begin with K.
Here is an interesting and disturbing article about “a bizarre and mysterious infection” called Morgellons disease, which is supposedly striking people at random in Texas, Florida, California and elsewhere. WARNING: the article’s description of the symptoms may make your skin crawl! The “disease” is actually rather controversial, and is regarded by many doctors and scientists as the result of serious delusions rather than an actual physiological condition; see the Wikipedia page for more.
Frankly, given the reports of “black and tarry…beads of sweat” and “fibers [that] come out of…hands and fingers,” and images like these (warning: they’re gross!), I don’t understand why doctors have been unable to resolve the debate over whether this condition is “real” or not… either the fibers and such exist, or they don’t, right? Anyway, I don’t claim to know the truth, but I do find the whole thing very interesting. And it promises to get a fair amount of attention, now that Drudge is linking to the aforementioned article.
After a whopping 2.33 inches of rain in less than 36 hours, Noah’s Flood turned to Noah’s Drizzle today, with a light-yet-everpresent, annoying rain plaguing Domers as they attempted to move out of their dorms. Walking across campus this afternoon, I noticed one undergrad girl, carrying a large box and trying to stay dry under her flimsy umbrella, while wearing a light, unzipped jacket over a thin, low-cut shirt that was showing a lot of cleavage, and all I could think was,
heh-heh, heh-heh, boobies that’s an awfully impractical outfit to wear while moving out on a rainy day!
Alas, I did not get a picture of said girl — apologies to my lecherous male readers — but I did get pictures of several impressive piles of abandoned furniture and other junk from the dorms: the wretched refuse of another year under the Dome…
How many times were parietals violated on those couches, I wonder? Ah, if those cushions could talk, the sinful stories they’d tell! ResLife would be most interested, I’m sure. :) Anyway, yeah, if you’re looking for a free couch, and you don’t mind it being rather soggy, now would be the time to come visit Notre Dame’s campus…
Meanwhile, although many of the students moving out looked rather miserable in the conditions that they were forced to deal with, the ducks didn’t seem to mind the weather at all:
Here’s an awesome 7-minute “sneak peek” of the new X-Men movie, which comes out two weeks from today. WOOHOO!!! (Hat tip: Andrew Hiller, my #1 source for yummy movie-trailer goodness.)
For those who are avoiding trailers altogether, you may want to avoid the wee bit of arguably slightly spoilerific discussion after the jump.
According to the Seattle Times, you can add Texas, Washington, Memphis, Stanford and Virginia to the list of Gonzaga’s high-profile non-conference opponents next season, along with Duke and potentially such Preseason NIT foes as Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and/or North Carolina. [UPDATE: They’re also playing Georgia, apparently.]
The Memphis and Washington games will, I think, be in Spokane; the Virginia game will, I think, be in Charlottesville, and the Stanford game will, I think, be in Palo Alto. (In all four cases, I’m not sure when the games are.) The Texas game is in Phoenix on December 2, part of a doubleheader that also features Arizona vs. Illinois. Arrrgh, if only that were a week earlier (over Thanksgiving Break) or two weeks later (over Christmas Break)!!! As it is, it’s less than a week before exams start, so it would be rather difficult to justify making a special trip (though I’ve make less justifiable trips before :). But I’m still thinking the Duke game in NYC on Dec. 21 is probably my best bet to (finally!) see the Zags in person, whether or not I can convince Becky to come with me…
P.S. Besides, the Zags need me! If this isn’t a challenge…
“We want fans from both schools to come and enjoy our city,” [Eric Gelfand, vice president of public relations for Madison Square Garden] said. “I hope Gonzaga’s fans travel well, because Duke’s do. They’ve played here many times. It’s like their home away from home.”
…I don’t know what is!
Up to 200 people killed in oil pipeline explosion near Nigerian city of Lagos, police official tells CNN. Visit CNN for the latest.
Explosion reported near oil pipeline on outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, the Nigerian Red Cross tells CNN. There are conflicting reports on casualties. Visit CNN for the latest.
In case you’re wondering why South Bend has suddenly become Seattle East over the last few days (no, Ty Willingham isn’t back — I’m talking about the rain), it’s because of a cut-off low-pressure system. Or, as Fark puts it, “Hurricane now forming in the great lakes region.” Heh. Not accurate, obviously, but kinda funny. Anyway, rain is the forecast through Monday.
The Washington Post reports than Eleanor Holmes Norton’s plan to give Washington, D.C. a seat in the House of Representatives is gaining momentum. That’s good news for D.C. residents and opponents of “taxation without representation” everywhere… but the real story for political nerds is the one that Alec Oveis notes: because the plan calls for adding two new House seats (one from D.C. and one from Utah — which would have been “next in line” to gain a seat after the 2000 census), it would make the total number of electors in the Electoral College an odd number, thus eliminating the possibility of a 269-269 tie that would send a presidential election to the House (which would have happened with a shift of 18,776 votes in 3 states in 2004). Under the plan, D.C. would still get 3 electors (that’s enshrined in the Constitution), but the extra elector for Utah would mean a grand total of 539 electors, instead of 538.
Now, here’s a scenario to chew on: imagine that this plan passes, and the Electoral College is adjusted accordingly in time for the 2008 election. And then imagine that the Democrats take back the House in November, and hold onto it in 2008. And then imagine that in 2008, the Republican candidate wins by a margin of 270-269… with the new Utah elector casting the deciding vote. The GOP victory will be Eleanor Holmes Norton’s fault! If not for her plan’s passage, the election would have been 269-269, and the Democratic House would have elected the Democrat! But instead, the Republicans win, thanks to Norton’s gift to Utah! Heh.
P.S. Actually, it’s not quite as simple as “imagine that the Democrats take back the House.” In the event there is no Electoral College majority, the House votes by state delegation, not by member. So the Dems would need to take over a majority of state delegations in order to control the House voting in the event of a E.C. tie. Still, the fact remains that Norton’s plan, while not affecting the balance in the House, does effectively give the GOP a “free” presidential elector, since Utah isn’t going to vote Democratic anytime soon. :) On the other hand, it gives the Dems a +1 edge in House delegations, since D.C. is now a delegation for them, whereas Utah was Republican anyway. So, although the plan would make E.C. ties impossible, in the event of a three-way split in which nobody gets a majority, this could actually help the Dems. But now I’m officially giving this way too much thought. :)
Butter was just, like, clicking in her sleep, while slumbering next to me on the couch. She then woke up with a start, apparently having had some sort of a kitty dream that startled her awake. So cute!
UPDATE: Can this really be comfortable? I guess it must be:
It bears repeating: AWW!! (And that’s a Sabres blanket she’s nuzzling up against. Clearly, a cat with good taste!)
Some of you may have noticed that my website was extremely slow in the immediate aftermath of InstaPundit’s link to my post about the robot menace on Tuesday. Jonny Filmore at WestHost, who is fast becoming my favorite techie ever, sends along a great explanation of why — including a nifty graphic! Seriously, it’s worth clicking the link just to look at the pretty colors. :)
You can put away those brooms. The Buffalo Sabres were unable to sweep the Ottawa Senators, losing 2-1 to send the series back to Ottawa. The Sabres still lead 3 games to 1, but the Sens have some life again. A win Saturday in Game 5 would give them not just life, but momentum, putting major pressure on the Sabres to win at home Monday in Game 6. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that, and Buffalo is able to wrap things up on the road. (They were the best road team in hockey this season, as the OLN announcers have reminded us approximately 4,275 times.) It will doubtless be interesting; all four games in this series have been decided by just one goal, with two going to overtime. Anyway, Bfloblog doesn’t have a game wrap-up yet, nor does Casey (who was there), but I’m sure both will post something soon enough.
Meanwhile, unlike the Sabres, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks were able to wrap up a sweep Thursday night, winning 4-1 over the Colorado Avalanche. The #6-seeded Ducks have now quacked their way to the Western Conference finals, where they’ll face either #5-seeded San Jose or #8-seeded Edmonton. (San Jose leads that series, 2-1.) Back in the Eastern Conference, the Sabres-Senators winner will face either the #2 Hartford Whalers of Raleigh, more commonly known as the Carolina Hurricanes, or the #3 New Jersey Devils. (The
Whalers Hurricanes lead 3-0.)
In other sports news, Barry Bonds is still stuck at 713 home runs. Up next: a three-game home series against the Dodgers, starting tomorrow.