Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Republicans Release Their Own Health Plan

Story here. I like this part:

The GOP bill would take on medical malpractice, limiting jury awards for pain and suffering and creating new health courts in which a specially trained judge would hear and decide cases involving medical negligence.

The bill was authored by Senator Tom Price from Georgia. Note his Wikipedia bio:

Price was born in Lansing, Michigan. He grew up in Dearborn, Michigan attending Adams Jr. High and Dearborn High School, and graduated with an M.D. from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta and decided to stay there afterward. He ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta for 20 years before returning to Emory as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. Price also was the director of the orthopedic clinic at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital.

Looks like they hired the right guy for the job.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Antodote For Melissa Manchester

Read the post below first. Get it out of the way. Now for something cheery.


Fisking The Jukebox 4

Today's selection is Melissa Manchester's Don't Cry Out Loud, that how-not-to guide for grief counselors.

Here's the start of the refrain:

Don't cry out loud
Just keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings

Burying one's sorrow completely is just as bad as the opposite extreme of prolonging the pain into chronic bitterness.

The third line seems out of place:

Fly high and proud

Nowhere in the two verses does Manchester give any recipe for flying high - finding joy in the wake of broken dreams.

The last line of the refrain is one of the most heartless things you can say to anyone experiencing tragedy:

And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

Saying that to a grieving individual doesn't encourage one to stifle feelings. It provokes a nervous breakdown - or a punch in the face. Or both.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Newt Gingrich's Health Care Reform

The former Congressman has a plan. Read the whole thing.

Item 2 - migrating health care documentation from paper to electronic - raises the issue of electromagnetic pulse defense. Perhaps every new submission to the health care documentation pipeline should be simultaneously backing up to the local provider's optical disk.


Bush's Africa Legacy

FrontPage Magazine has the story.


Friday, July 24, 2009

How Hillary Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

MSNBC reports:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed Monday that as president she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if it were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.

It's nice to know there is at least one person in the Obama administration that's willing to get tough with Iran.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Holdren Revisited

Accuracy in Media fact-checks Zombietime's analysis of Ecoscience, the book that Holdren coauthored with the Ehrlichs, which I originally cited here. Holdren is far from exonerated, but AIM says Zombietime takes certain passages out of context. Read the whole thing.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Unintentional Humor Du Jour

Headline: Obama promises: I won’t sign any health-care bill that adds to the deficit

Yeah, and I've got some Nevada swampland I'd like to sell.


Monday, July 20, 2009

One Giant Leap For Mankind

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." - Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969, 8:17PM GMT (3:17PM EST)

This video shows highlights of the live television coverage of the Apollo 11 mission.

Checking with a U. S. Naval Observatory site on Sun and Moon data (hat tip to Chicago Boyz contributor Jay Manifold), it appears that the moon was visible in all the lower 48 states at the time of the landing. Somebody with enough foresight could have pulled off the ultimate photo-op - a photo of someone's living room with the moon visible through a window, with the TV turned on at the time of the landing.

[UPDATE: If the moon was just rising over California, that means it was setting, or close to it, over the Baikonur Cosmodrome. How's that for timing?]

John Derbyshire posted the opinion of a "long-time correspondent" - a former Soviet citizen - on Apollo 11's impact on the Cold War:

The space race, however, provided a clear-cut competition. And the Moon was the Big Enchilada, since poorly educated people are not much impressed by low Earth orbital stuff, but even African tribesmen are well aware of the Moon, can easily grasp the concept of walking on it and intuitively understand that it's not an easy feat.

The simple fact that the Americans walked on the Moon and the Soviets did not made both the elites and the populations question Soviet claims of their superiority and boastful promises of the inevitable victory in the Cold War.

One cultural legacy of the 1960s space program was the Major Matt Mason astronaut toys. I owned two action figures and Mattel's concept of a lunar rover - the red tractor-like Space Hauler and accompanying Space Bubble, visible at the top left on this page.

The History Place's Apollo 11 page is a worthwhile visit. For those of y'all with lots of reading time, this site has transcripts of all the Apollo 11 communications. The Air-to-Ground Voice Transmission transcript should generate the most interest.

Following are reprints of my 2003 post on this historic moment, and the images from the following year's 35th anniversary commemoration.


July 20, 1969. The Apollo 11 mission was the first live news coverage of an event I remember watching on TV. I was eight years old and living in Gulf Breeze, a town on the southern edge of Escambia Bay across from Pensacola, Florida. My mom still has a 1969 issue of (either Life or Time, I think) featuring this image on the cover. (Other images available here.) Jay Manifold has some musings here.

I recall someone recently commenting that for the 20 minutes that Michael Collins piloted the command module behind the moon as the LEM was on the surface, he was the most alone that any human had ever been. May there come a day within my lifetime when space travel is far less solitary.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

And That's The Way It Was

Here's a blast from the past - Johnny Carson takes full advantage of Walter Cronkite's 1981 retirement from CBS.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Barack Obama - Our First Japanese President?

Reason Foundation policy analyst Anthony Randazzo sees parallels between Obamanomics and the destructive policies responsible for Japan's Lost Decade.

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Walter Cronkite's Legacy

John Podhoretz muses.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Forty Years Ago Today

Apollo 11 launched.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Randy Barnett Has Sound Advice For Judicial Confirmation Hearings

Ask about the Constitution, not about individual cases:

Supreme Court confirmation hearings do not have to be about either results or nothing. They could be about clauses, not cases. Instead of asking nominees how they would decide particular cases, ask them to explain what they think the various clauses of the Constitution mean. Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right to arms? What was the original meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment? (Hint: It included an individual right to arms.) Does the 14th Amendment "incorporate" the Bill of Rights and, if so, how and why? Does the Ninth Amendment protect judicially enforceable unenumerated rights? Does the Necessary and Proper Clause delegate unlimited discretion to Congress? Where in the text of the Constitution is the so-called Spending Power (by which Congress claims the power to spend tax revenue on anything it wants) and does it have any enforceable limits?

Read the whole thing.

Here's a constitutional query that just popped into my mind: does the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause prohibit the practice of setting different tax rates for different socioeconomic strata? Or (with regard to the 1040 tax tables) for different types of households?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dogs Have Owners, Cats Have Staff

The old saying has been verified by modern science.

Get the t-shirt!


Robot Zombies

Technology advances.


A Car Czar We Can Believe In


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Monday, July 13, 2009

It Just Gets Worse

Obama released five leaders of Iranian-backed terrorism in Iraq - that has targeted and kill US troops.

Update: Welcoem to Lagwolf's Twitter followers! I had sent him the following email, linking this post:

My birthday fell on Election Day in 1968 and 1996, when we got Nixon and Clinton. Somewhere in between we got Carter. It falls on Election Day once again in 2024; somewhere in between we get Obama.

Check out their legacies:

Nixon: operatives of one political party spying on another
Carter: advancing totalitarianism in Nicaragua and Iran, and not regretting it
Clinton: giving the Norks light water reactors, and China missile guidance computers
Obama: releasing ringleaders of terrorist entities that are currently and actively trying to kill US troops

I don't think Obama's a secret Muslim, but I do wonder if there's a Cthulhu shrine tucked away somewhere in the White House.

If the trend continues, our president in 2024 will be Cthulhu :-)


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama's Science Czar

John Holdren belongs in an Edgar Allen Poe tale, not in government office. Zombietime has an alarming find about the man's ideology.

(Link via the Malkinator)


Friday, July 10, 2009

He's Tanned, He's Ready...

Alec Baldwin mulls running for Congress. He hawks his main selling point:

"I'm [Alexis] de Tocqueville compared to Schwarzenegger."

He really is - he supports tax cuts and understands the finance sector meltdown.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Gone With The Wind

T. Boone Pickens' wind farm project is toast:

Pickens said the wind farm project was scuttled partly because of the lack of adequate transmission lines to carry the electricity from remote locations to cities, according to the paper.

The oil tycoon had hoped to build new transmission lines but could not secure financing, the paper said.

Maybe the financiers know somethign about the long-term prospects of such an undertaking than Pickens does.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Obama's Fiscal Policy Report Card

Right here. Lots of vital issues, but the word "inflation" is mentioned nowhere.

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Obama says: "The future does not belong to those who gather armies on a field of battle or bury missiles in the ground."

Breitbart reports, three and a half hours later: "Suspected US missiles, Pakistan jets hit militants."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

The Space Race Just Got More Interesting

Two headlines found via James Taranto:

Uranium Found on the Moon

Better keep an eye on the Iranian space program...

Drink Beer, Win a Trip to Space

But will some frat boy get to the uranium first?


What's My Take On The Palin Resignation?

Same as Rush Limbaugh's - I don't know what in the heck is going on.


False Prophecy Recommendation Du Jour

The Last Democrat. Why Bill Clinton Will Be The Last Democrat Americans Elect President, R. W. Bradford


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Odes To Liberty

Original posted July 4, 2002. Every year a change is made:

2003 Original image of WTC replaced with mini-collage of WTC, Liberty Bell, and the flag raising on Mount Suribachi.
2004 Image of young girl celebrating the liberation Iraq; LOTR quote.
2005 Iraqi girl image replaced by Iraqi voter; Cathy Seipp quote via Samizdata.
2006 Viktor Frankl quote
2007 Oriana Fallaci quote
2008 William F. Buckley quote
2009 YouTube video, scene from "John Adams" miniseries


The scene from "John Adams" shows the meeting of the Second Continental Congress, at which the vote for independence from Great Britain is conducted, and (at 3:07) the public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

 photo UnitedWeStand.jpg Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

Dire Straits, "Brothers in Arms"

"Then I will live in Montana, and I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck, or possibly even a recreational vehicle, and drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?"

Vasili Borodin (played by Sam Neill), The Hunt for Red October

"'We hold these truths to be self-evident... That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights... That among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men ...'. And this paper that from the French Revolution on the whole West has copied, from which each of us has drawn inspiration, still constitutes the backbone of America. Her vital lymph. Know why? Because it transforms the subjects into citizens. Because it turns the plebes into people. Because it invites, no, it orders the plebes turned into citizens to rebel against tyranny and to govern themselves. To express their individualities, to search for their own happiness. (Something that for the poor, for the plebes, means to get rich). The exact contrary, in short, of what the communists used to do with their practice of forbidding people to govern themselves, to express themselves, to get rich. With their practice of installing His Majesty the State on the throne."

Oriana Fallaci, The Rage and the Pride

"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

Martin Luther King

"There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance."

William F. Buckley

"The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden - that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time."

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 photo IraqiVoter.jpg"Funny that the same people to whom diversity is a holy word so often bemoan diversity of opinion as divisive. But in a democracy, politics are naturally divisive: you vote for this candidate and someone else votes for that one; you vote yes (or no) on a proposition and other citizens disagree. What's not divisive? Saddam and his 99.96% of the vote. That's how it went during the previous Iraqi election -- an illustration of the Latin roots of the word fascism, which actually means a bunch of sticks all tied together in one big unhappy unified bunch, and not (despite what many assume) any variation from p.c. received-wisdom regarding gay rights, affirmative action, bilingual education, etc. This election was different because it was divisive, which means it was better."

Cathy Seipp (Samizdata quote of the day, February 01, 2005)

"It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something...That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."

Sam Gamgee (played by Sean Astin), Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

"[W]e recognize that we are living in the middle of the most overwhelmingly successful experiment in human history. Not perfect. Just the best place in the world to live in, that's all."

Jay Manifold

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered! My life is my own."

Number Six (played by Patrick McGoohan, "The Prisoner" TV series)

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."

Theodore Roosevelt

"So this Jefferson dude was like, 'Look, the reason we left this England place is 'cause it was so bogus. So if we don't get some primo rules ourselves - pronto - then we're just gonna be bogus, too."

Jeff Spiccoli (played by Sean Penn), Fast Times at Ridgemont High

"Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Alexis deTocqueville, Democracy in America Vol. 2

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way"

Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Blast From The Past

I want to highlight Obama's statement at 1:39 (written transcript here):

Under my tax plan, you would be keeping more of your paycheck, you'd be spending lower taxes, which means that you would have saved and gotten to the point where you are faster.

How much would Joe the Plumber get to keep if the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passes the senate?


Fifty Things Wrong With Cap-And-Trade

National Review lists them - and says that these 50 are just a sampling of its horrors.

Has this country ever had a more rapacious government?


Thursday, July 02, 2009

My One Thought About The Supreme Court's Ruling On Ricci

I left this comment at Volokh Conspiracy:

In the wake of the SCOTUS Ricci ruling, I can hardly wait for that moment in the confirmation hearings when some senator asks Sotomayor if she'll adhere to precedent.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Firearms Demotivational Posters

Clayton Cramer has some. I like the second one best.


More About Cap-And-Trade

I finally got around to looking for Limbaugh's source on the bill's effects on home sales. In this article Rush links blogger HockeyDino, whose source is no less than House Republican Leader John Boehner, who has read more of the bill than most of his colleagues. The bill seeks to impose on the entire nation the stringent building codes of California - a state that (ahem) has a disproportionate share of foreclosures. Here's the portion that relates directly to home sellers:

Having a hard time selling your home? Here’s one more hurdle to jump: all homes sales are conditioned upon an energy audit and a new energy rating assessment and energy labeling program for your home that’s outlined in the Democrats’ bill. And if you thought you could improve your property with a fresh coat of paint and some granite counters? Think again! Now your home will be subjected to a new energy rating assessment and energy labeling program that will penalize you for older windows, original fixtures, and dated appliances. So the Democrats’ bill would bring down the value of your home!

Read the whole thing, and follow Boehner's links, including that to the Republican-proposed American Energy Act. Educate yourselves and CALL YOUR SENATORS, especially if you live in a lefty state. (Another reason why I'm glad I live in Texas.) Your livelihoods are at stake.


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