ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Essential
Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Data
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage

 

Friday, July 30, 2004

Smile 

Okay, fine. So I'm too stupid to run a computer. So go here. And scroll down to the item entitled "Four minutes that will win more converts than all of Fahrenheit 9/11." And then click on the hyperlink at the beginning. It's funny. I promise.

-Matt  11:44 EST | |

Anybody following this Ghailani thing? 

Surprise! Pakistan captured a high profile terror suspect yesterday!

story: MSN reuters CNN

The unfortunate, but kind of satisfying in an I-told-you-so kind of way thing about it is that in May, Josh Marshall broke with:
There is chatter in Pakistani intelligence circles that the US has let the Pakistanis know that the optimal time for bagging 'high value' al Qaida suspects in the untamed Afghan-Pakistani border lands is the last ten days of July, 2004
And just a couple of weeks ago, TNR had pretty much the same thing

The part that makes me want to cry is that
This is just the latest, but perhaps the most blatant, example of how this administration has placed politics and, really, political dirty tricks above national security itself, and along the way persisted in defining political deviance down until tactics we used to associate with banana republics start to seem commonplace here.
Where are the major news outlets with that piece of the story? My guess is that this little tidbit will get buried in the "well that's interesting, but we aren't going to make it news because if we do, the Bush administration will deny us access" column.

Sad

P.S.: I guess I could have just linked to the TPM posts on this, but it was more satisfying my way.

-Ben  00:21 EST | |

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The best they can do 

The Weekly Standard, the august pinnacle of conservative punditry for so many misguided Americans, is firing blanks. So two years ago Kerry told a reporter that he wouldn't use footage he shot in Vietnam for campaigning and now he changed his mind. That damn flip-flopper. He's must be unfit to govern.

The funniest part is when Hayes says:
But for me, the bottom line is this: John Kerry served his country and deserves credit for doing so. So I woke up this morning intending to write a piece making that point.

Like the Weekly Standard was going to publish something praising JFK, but decided not to when this "scandal" came to light.

Are you happy Paul?

-Daddy Brooklyn  18:22 EST | |

What's up with the Weird-Ass Music? 

Weirdass music is the one newsworthy aspect of this convention. The music has been obtuse at best jarringly surreal at worst. For example, the music that Edwards went out with last night was an old Stevie Wonder song about sex, NOT achievement. (I'm struggle a little to recall the precise words but they were like "I can be with you" if you have comcast cable, you can watch the speech on demand. Do it. It's really inappropriate.)

Jimmy Carter was forced to direct a dirty look off-stage as he was introduced with this jamband style jazz/funk that just kept playing. For our readers who don't follow politics, Jimmy Carter is not really known as a "dirty looks giver".

I vaguely recall other speakers reacting adversely. My recollections are vague, because I have watched an unholy amount of coverage and convention since this has begun.

E.S. From Pandagon, an awesome name for Ann Coulter: Horseface Killah.



-paul  17:29 EST | |

What's the deal?  

Why hasn't anyone been blogging? We won't make WaPo's Best Blogs List with feckless posting. So POST!! We could have a world-class blog, and then grow fat off the ads and prestige.

-paul  17:22 EST | |

Monday, July 26, 2004

Who the fuck is Barack Obama? 

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Heritage Foundation too liberal? I report, You decide 

I recently watched "Outfoxed" and since having done so, am for some reason watching more Fox News. It has taken on a "where's waldo" like quality, as I try to spot various things (try my Fox News drinking game: take a drink if they say "some people say...",  "9/11" or "war on terrorism").

Tonight, Neil Covuto dressed down a senior fellow of the Heritage foundation for advising americans not to be afraid of a trope of circumstance. Neil was set on making sure people were trying to connect the Miami jet fuel theft and the firings at Los Alamos and the warning from Homeland Security about "increased chatter" (No Shit). The Heritage guy was trying to say "there's no connection. let's not be idiots. That's leting the terrorists win." (paraphrase) Neil went on to a bristoling rebuke about how people should be afraid.

I never thought I would end up being a liberal, but now that the heritage foundation is liberal, I feel a little bit better.  

-paul  01:21 EST | |

Friday, July 23, 2004

Slate to be sold 

I love Slate.  No other blog or website that's independent from a media company has the reach (or the talent) that Slate does.   I think it's the best thing on the Internet (of things that exist exclusively on the Internet), so naturally I'm a little concerned that it might be sold to another media company.  The potential suitors named are The New York Time and the WaPo, both of whom are regularly criticized in TP, and have been savaged in other features in Slate. 

Right now Slate is owned by Microsoft and they've been critical of Microsoft in the past, so maybe they could get away with criticizing their new owners, but I'm still worried about the future of Slate and its independence.


-Daddy Brooklyn  17:38 EST | |

Thursday, July 22, 2004

If you need to be reminded. 

I did.  I'm suffering from outrage fatigue.  The Administration and Congress have done so many appalling things over the last (nearly) four years that when someone asks me for specific objections I'm liable to stammer and foam at the mouth as some of the bad memories start flooding my brain.  I always forget a few.  That's why it's nice to be reminded of the circumstances that the drug bill was passed under.  It's hard to believe this ever happened:
The legislative linchpin of the president's reelection effort, a bill to add prescription-drug coverage to Medicare, lacked the votes in Congress, where conservative Republicans were chafing at the expense. GOP leaders finally secured a bare majority by consenting to the demands of 13 Republican House members, who agreed to vote yes if the cost would not exceed $400 billion over ten years. But that created another problem: The administration knew the bill would cost considerably more--$534 billion, to be exact. 

The only non-loyalist who seems to have known the real number was Richard Foster, a 31-year veteran of the bureaucracy who was serving as chief actuary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The job of putting a lid on Foster fell to his boss, Thomas Scully, appointed by Bush to run Medicare. Scully instructed Foster not to reveal the number, or even to answer queries from Democrats, without his approval. Foster later said he understood Scully to be operating at the White House's direction. In one e-mail obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Foster asked Scully for permission to answer congressional queries that "strike me as straightforward requests for technical information." No, replied Scully's assistant, who then warned, "The consequences for insubordination are extremely severe." (Scully, by the way, later admitted to having negotiated a job with lobbying firms while he helped craft the bill, in which they had a massive interest.) 

The Medicare bill was therefore widely understood to cost $400 billion when, at three o'clock in the morning on November 23, the House of Representatives assembled to vote on it. Surprisingly, a majority voted no. In response, the GOP leadership violated the customary time limit on votes, holding the vote open for nearly three hours and twisting enough arms to reverse the result shortly before dawn. (A hint as to their methods of persuasion came from retiring Republican Representative Nick Smith, who offhandedly revealed a few days later that certain "members and groups" had offered to contribute $100,000 to the congressional campaign of his son Brad, who was running for Smith's seat, if he voted yes.) When Democrats controlled Congress, they had extended a vote once, in 1987, for 15 minutes, after a member inadvertently caused a budget bill's defeat and then left town--provoking spasms of indignation from Republicans. The three-hour Medicare vote, congressional scholar Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute later wrote, was "the ugliest and most outrageous breach of standards in the modern history of the House." 

But it did. In TNR this week there's a Jonathan Chait article on just how undemocratic this adminsistration has been (part of a series of articles that make a case against Bush for those of you who need convincing).  It's worth reading.  There's also a back and forth debate with an NRO writer here.  

-Daddy Brooklyn  13:15 EST | |

Note to Bush: write a new joke 

Dear Pres. Bush,

Your quip about your opponent John Kerry was funny at first, I must admit. "John Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides of just about every issue". However, you tell this joke every time you mention Kerry. You've also been quoted as fucking it up a bunch of times, which does add a kind of improv freshness, but that too is running thin. I would ask that you write a new joke, but that is clearly not your forte.

In any case, for $100 I will write you 10 hillarious one-liners about Kerry. I'll even thrown in an obsecene one for ol' D.C. While I can't say I support your campaign, like Lloyd Banks said "I'm a guerilla for skrilla".

-paul  12:50 EST | |

Dividing or Uniting: you decide 

So the White House isn't as firm a believer in tax cuts as we all thought. They are only in favor of tax cuts that Democrats oppose. Not only craven, but--me hopes--stupid too.

Via Crooked Timber by way of Michael Froomkin.

-Ziggy Stardust  12:19 EST | |

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

From the New Yorker 

How long until this is happening all over the country? Wake up America!

[thought I'd just put it up here -ed./ben]

-Daddy Brooklyn  00:09 EST | |

Monday, July 19, 2004

If you have this kind of difficulty understanding public discourse... 

In the generally venerable NYT today, a glaring interpretive error:
 
The "girlie men" remark was a play on a "Saturday Night Live" skit with the fictional bodybuilders Hans and Franz, who parodied Mr. Schwarzenegger's physique and accent, an aide to the governor said. But the comment resonated because of accusations that Mr. Schwarzenegger had repeatedly groped women during his Hollywood career and because of his occasionally demeaning remarks about women during his campaign for governor last fall, when his predecessor, Gray Davis, was recalled.(italics added)
 
Clearly, the remark did not resonate with the crowd the Terminator was speaking to because they where reminded of accusations of groping. Its a law of physics that when someone says "gurr lee mon" with an Austrian accent, it is hilarious! It's also a solemn reminder that we must never forget SNL was once funny.
 
Now, if he had said "I'm going to pump.... You! Up!" while groping somebody, then yes, I would think the above passage applied.

-paul  10:42 EST | |

Oh yeah? I'm related to some one who once owned a hardware store 

Cementing my fear that a gang of incestuous WASPs runs America, this family tree showing Kerry and Bush as distant cousins.

-paul  10:29 EST | |

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The deal, yo. 

I messed up the old template, so I copied someone else's three column template and modified it for our blog.

I know, the colors are terrible. What should they be?

-Daddy Brooklyn  18:58 EST | |

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Test 

This is only a test.
 
Please do not attempt to adjust your computer.  We are now in control.  Stay calm and a team will arrive at your home momentarialy to escort you to a FEMA death camp.

-Ben  11:45 EST | |

The first rule of book club is, you do not talk about book club. 

I'm gonna break the first rule. So Ziggy and I and some others now have a little club where we read about things and then talk about them while eating tasty food and drinking moderately priced wine. Sometimes the readings are in book form and sometimes they aren't, so it's arguably closer to a drinking club than a book club. Here are the readings Sean compiled on direct democracy. This list is re-printed without Sean's permission.

Okay, so readings...As agreed, i tried to find freely-available stuff on the Internet dealing with the practice of direct democracy in California, especially the ballot initiative process. I wasn't able to find as much good, thinky stuff as I'd hoped, but I have a few things.

First of all, we can reread (or in my case read) the last few chapters of _The Future of Freedom_ that deal with the U.S.

To complement that, read stuff from this list:The Sacramento Bee has a multi-part series on the initiative process, available athttp://www.sacbee.com/static/archive/news/projects/initiatives/initiatives.html

The Economist's recent survey of California is athttp://www.economist.com/surveys/showsurvey.cfm?issue=20040501

The Public Policy Institute of California has a number of research papers on the initiative process, all of which are linked to in the sidebar on this page:http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=144

There are a number of good pro-initiative pieces in the "articles and editorials" section of this site:http://www.initiativefortexas.org/

Here are a few good anti-initiative articles:http://www.realdemocracy.com/bole.htm
http://www.digitas.harvard.edu/~perspy/old/issues/1994/nov/prop187.html

Finally, this is an interesting article about direct and representative democracy that echoes many of Zakaria's points
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/congress/starkcf.htm

I've also attached a point-counterpoint session on initiatives featuring David Broder, who wrote a book on direct democracy in California.

So that's the best of what I found through various Googlings. If anyone has any other good sources that they know of, please feel free to share them. Also, something I've found in other book clubs I've been part of is that it's often helpful to have a few structuring ideas or questions in mind beforehand, to use if the discussion starts to meander or bogs down. I'll try to come up with a few, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Best,
Sean

Thanks Sean.

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:20 EST | |

Friday, July 16, 2004

Why I'm not a Christian, but I kinda wish more were... 

So that's a great headline, eh?
 
Anyway, I was inspired by this column in the Boston Globe. So read it and then come back.
 
Liberal Christian ethics inspire and move me:

When we take back our faith, we will discover that faith challenges the powers that be to do justice for the poor instead of preaching a "prosperity gospel" and supporting politicians who further enrich the wealthy. We will remember that faith hates violence and tries to reduce it and exerts a fundamental presumption against war instead of justifying it in God's name. We will see that faith creates community from racial, class, and gender divisions, prefers international community over nationalist religion and that "God bless America" is found nowhere in the Bible. And we will be reminded that faith regards matters such as the sacredness of life and family bonds as so important that they should never be used as ideological symbols or mere political pawns in partisan warfare.
I realize that Willis' claims his interpretation shouldn't be beholden to any political party, but his interpretation is one the coincides closely with the aspirations of many of those on the Left (however loosely one prefers to define it). And I agree that liberal Christians shouldn't become merely another interest group vying for power within the Dems (nor should labor, the ACLU, the civil rights movement, or any other ideologically coherent but not comprehensive institution or group).
 
However, the opposite worry--that of not engaging politically*--is also one that Christians who feel compelled by a social gospel interpretation of their faith should be conscious of. Power, and thus the ability to alleviate our most crushing and significant problems, is political; to abstain from politics is to sit idly by while the enemies of the poor and marginalized flout their indifference. Our society would be a better place if we had more liberally-motivated Christians in and outside of government (and the Dems especially) pushing an agenda of liberal Christian ethics.
 
There, I said it. Bring it on.
 
Note: Link via Eric Martin who I discover via his comments at Legal Fiction. God I love blogs. 
 
I'm not claiming that Willis is saying that Christians should engage politically, far from it as I read him. Rather, his piece inspired this post, it isn't a response to him really.




-Ziggy Stardust  22:20 EST | |

How to postpone an election 

An important op-ed in The WaPo explains what terrorism related contingencies we need to think about before the elections. 
 
These elections are just beset with trouble, what with the terrorism worries,  rickety--and even worse, new and unproven--voting technology, and now an attempt in Florida to make a list of and expunge suspected African-American felons from voter rolls while "acknowledging that Hispanic felons were absent from the list."  Coincidently, Hispanics in Florida vote overwhelmingly Republican while blacks do the same for Democrats. 
 
The Onion piece that called for Central American election monitors in the U.S. doesn't seem so satirical anymore.


-Daddy Brooklyn  12:49 EST | |

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I've Had It with these stupid boycott threats!! 


I'm on a school computer right now and I think that you all should know that I was unable to open the blog because "it contains prohibited words or it has exceeded its tolerance of questionable words." Shame on you. (I got around the firewall by opening the message-center instead, but just think of all the poor children who desperately want to read your blog but can't because you can't control your foul language...)Jess Email 07.16.04 - 10:36 am #




Do we need a rating system? I think kids know more and more creative swears than I know. It's bullshit they can't access our blog and tell me new ways to curse. Damn filters. Ben, work on this. I want you to hack this bitch and make it so that filters don't recognize our language (I have a picture of you glancing shiftily from side to side while typing with your thumbs -- HIlarious).Matt Email 07.16.04 - 11:38 am #

-paul  13:44 EST | |

Ben Franklin: Frenchified Enemy of the People 

In these post-9/11 days, more than ever America is caught up debating whether it is better to be free or safe. Ben Franklin has been quoted, mostly by commie ACLU types, that those who would trade freedom for safety deserve neither. Well, let's evaluate that "idea" the only way that makes sense: by looking at Ben Franklin.

Sure, up till now you probably believed the lie the liberal media and the school teachers unions want you to believe. Ben Franklin: American hero. How about the truth? Ben Franklin, frenchified sexual deviant, enemy of America, and NO ONE to criticize the actions of the heroic Bush administration.

Ben Franklin loved the French. LOVED THEM. What are we supposed to think? That cowardice is okay? That the French are Humans? For their vile, yellow part, the French loved this ROTUND PERVERT.

Pervert you say? Ben Franklin was a member of the HellFire Club. This was a society dedicated to satanic orgies. SATANIC ORGIES!!!

Furthermore, Ben Franklin helped grow Big Government bigger with the post office. Guess what? Ben Franklin WAS NEVER PRESIDENT!!!

I think its clear that anything this obese beer-swilling sodomite had to say should be proptly disregard. Right your congressman and tell how you feel about this guy being on our nations currency. Reagan would be a better choice.

I want safety! OVER THE TOP! OVER THE TOP!  


-paul  12:53 EST | |

Stuck in the Middle with No One  

According to this slate test, I am neither Red nor Blue, but "in the middle". Red and Blue make purple which is either regal or gayish, depending on your perspective.

I'm hoping for regal.

-paul  11:25 EST | |

A brave move for our security 

Citing a terrorism threat, White House official took the necessary step of closing a Pentagon daycare center. John Edwards is too compromised by his allegiance to "big children" to ever make such a brave decision. As Fafblog put it:
As a trial lawyer Edwards repeatedly stole money from poor corporations to give to greedy children crippled by their products! Do we really need a vice president who is a lackey of Big Children? Giblets thinks not!

-Daddy Brooklyn  00:19 EST | |

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A note on Bizarro 

Because most of the readers and posters of this blog spent their youth doing things and learning stuff, I am not suprised no one here knows the following.

Bizarro is a kind of evil superman, created by Lex Luthor. Bizarro World (know also as Htrae) is where Bizarro lives. Read everything you need to know about both right here. (You may notice similarities between Bizarro and the President).

In any case, you may be asking yourself, "What the Hell is the Point?"

The point is that when you refer to Bizarro World, you are refering to a mythic place, and as such it should be capitalized and spelled B-I-Z-A-R-R-O NOT B-I-Z-Z-A-R-O.

Me am not even animal!

-paul  11:15 EST | |

On mathematical impossibility  

From one of the brilliant minds at the MPAA:

Mr. Taylor, the association spokesman, said such a system would be impossible. "A single body can't rate everything that comes through the pipeline," he said. "It's logistically unfeasible. With the volume of hours of TV and cable and film and games and music, it becomes a mathematical impossibility."

I'm no mathematician, but here goes:

There are about 500 video games released a year. They take an average of 20 hours to play through entirely.

There are about 500 movies releases a year. They are all about 2 hours long.

There are about 1200 major label albums a year. They are all about 1 hour long.

Figuring how much TV there is is a little more difficult, but I would say that there are about 50-100 new shows a year, with about 6 hours of content a season.

Then, taking in all this content is about 13,400 hours of time. Let's say analyzing this takes another 13,400 hours. So, we have a job that would take 26,800 man hours.

If there are about 2000 manhours a person a year working full time then you would need a staff of 13.4. WAIT!!! You can't have .4 of a person! This is mathematically impossible!!! Boy, do I feel stupid.

-paul  11:03 EST | |

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The wonderful humour of The Economist 

"The 60-year-old Mr Kerry looks like a portrait of himself by Edvard Munch."
--The Economist, July 10th.

-Daddy Brooklyn  19:26 EST | |

Monday, July 12, 2004

an update on moving election day 

Rick Hasen, who maintains an excellent election law blog, has a post arguing that the Administration's planning for a potential terrorist attack on Election Day is not worrisome and actually prudent. But, since the Office of Legal Counsel is the DOJ office that is researching the question we should still be a little skeptical. I mean, the OLC is the very same office that made the rather novel* claim that the President has unchecked power to torture during wartime.

*Using the term "novel" to mean "fucking insane and unconstitutional as well as immoral and against everything this country should stand for."

-Ziggy Stardust  14:52 EST | |

the land of the free  

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Does this freak anyone else out? 

Are we really living in bizzaro world now? How the fuck can this be published and not freak out every citizen in the Republic?

-Ziggy Stardust  23:53 EST | |

A link in fafblog's post 

In Fafblog's post that Mark linked to below contains a link to a thoughtful post by Katherine at Obsidian Wings on the moral imagination and torture. I highly suggest it!

UPDATE: By "Mark" I obviously mean Matt. What else could I mean? (And, honestly, can anyone tell the difference anyway?)

-Ziggy Stardust  19:05 EST | |

Torture 

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Instasmear 

That hardworking Bush campaign, much like the A-Team, is always ready for action. Via Tom Tomorrow, the best working cartoonist today.

The GOP: Ready to smear in any contingency
(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

If you're curious, you can find the RNC's ready-made hit-the-ground-running smear of John Edwards at

www.kerrypicksedwards.com
Thanks to alert reader David, we also learn that you'll get the exact same page by visiting
www.kerrypicksgephardt.com
www.kerrypicksvilsack.com
www.kerrypicksbayh.com
or
www.kerrypicksclark.com
which isn't news, exactly, but it's amusing. The GOP was ready to denounce almost anybody, guns blazing, the second the announcement was made.

Almost anybody.

www.kerrypicksmccain.com
www.kerrypicksgraham.com
and
www.kerrypicksclinton.com
were left unregistered.

-paul  14:36 EST | |

Cheney, privacy, and national security 

While in my expert opinion DC should be treated by a crack team of Christian Scientists, is any one else at all worried about this?

In theory, isn't it a national security risk to have some whacked-out junky responsible for the healthcare of the president, or vice president?

Who gives a fuck about the privacy of some poor, beleaguered doctor, under so much stress, barely scrapping by on $350,000 a year, who nods off during a surgery because he is high on morphine?

He's a solution: execute doctors with substance abuse problems, and require follicle tissue test every 3 months for licensing?

Oh, I forgot, the problem is the trial lawyers who sue incompetent doctors. That's what's wrong. The Lawyers. I mean, doctors are only vastly overpaid humans, with feelings who make mistakes. It hurts their feelings when you sue them for amputating the wrong leg. But these demoniacs called "lawyers", why, they're just bullying these poor doctors. Poor, poor doctors.

Get ready for a virulent diatribe against doctors this afternoon.

-paul  12:32 EST | |

Sucks to be a kid these days 

I don't know about you sophisticates out there who get such sources as the NYT regularly, but this surely didn't and I assume won't get anywhere near the local attention that the Catholic clergy scandal got.

So much for the celibacy problem argument.

-Lucky  10:54 EST | |

Remind me again... 

Why Kerry is running such a timid, passionless campaign? Here on mainstreet USA (Boulder) people are not very excited about Kerry. They only see him as "Not Bush". This is not enough to win on. Who is running Kerry's campaign? The Mondale people? Move America Forward?

Why the hell this wooden fossil was nominated? Maybe I'm looking at things too simplisticly, but I feel like a large burlap sack of onions would be getting farther ahead in the polls. Edwards is likeable on first sight; Kerry looks like a tool. Actually Kerry looks like the child ALGORE and Nader would have together if it spent too much time outdoors. A singularly inauspicious combination.

Why the hell Bush has any serious stake in this election still? Conservative Christians would be well served to spend some time thinking about Gomorrah when they are reading up on Sodom. Why was Gomorrah destroyed? For doing nothing to intervene with the wickedness of Sodom. Where else have we seen institutional gangrape recently? hmmmmm... So, I guess that means if you support Bush despite all the shit, God will punish you for your evil willful blindness and moral sloth.

*B.S.: Blogger's spellcheck suggested I replace "gangrape" with "gingerbread".

-paul  10:45 EST | |

In praise of Organic Food 

I have slightly more scientific knowledge than the average man, circa 1714. This has left me alone in a hostile world of terrifying machinations I do not understand. What I do understand is that organic fruit, particularly bananas as well as eggs taste much better in their organic variety. I do not know what accounts for this (see above) but it is certainly not all in my head.

For a long time, I fought the idea of giving in to anything these foul, dreadlocked anti-WTO roadapples advocate. After a long weekend of shooting eagles, spotted owls and California sap-suckers, I felt vaguely guilty and wondered if maybe I had been too hasty.

After having tried organic bananas, I will never eat an inorganic one again. Conventional bananas taste like a big block of balsa wood in comparison. Note the dark, rich color of the egg yolk in an organic egg; it's almost orange. This is much different from the tepid Kool Aid yellow of inorganic eggs.

In any case, since many of this blogs readers fancy themselves gourmets, I thought I would emphasize what has gone unspoken in this dreadful "frankenfood" debate; Natural foods taste better.*

*Of course, there are many things that naturally taste like [something unpleasant].

-paul  10:34 EST | |

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Priceless 

Good news for poor people 

that is bad news for AIDS, drug companies

What are the two most common arguments against generic combinations of anti-retrovirals? 1) That the effectiveness of once a day regimens has not been proven and 2) that there is no guarantee as to the quality of generic drugs.

This (free reg required) is only a simple study - open label (as opposed to blind) and with only one arm (no control group, no comparison to other therapies) - but it helps put these arguments to rest.

Researchers gave 60 new AIDS patients a cheap ($20/person/month), generic, once a day, three drug antiretroviral combination and found it as effective as the more expensive ($35/person/month), more difficult to maintain (six pills per day), but more conventional treatments -actually, it found them slightly more effective, but the study was too small to say this boldly.

If it is more effective, it is probably because patients in developing nations are more likely to be compliant with a once a day regimen than more complicated therapies.

This is the first study to provide good hard numbers supporting the combination pills. The WHO is the only aid agency to recognize these drugs. Studies like this one could lead others (the UN, PEPFAR - the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief funding) to allow the drugs. Ok, maybe not PEPFAR... I think PhARMA is too powerful a lobby, but I can dream, right?

As to the questionable levels of antiretrovirals in these generics, the study's authors checked seven different generics and "noted that the unit dose of every component...was as claimed"

Daniel Drezner has more here.

-Ben  11:56 EST | |

Friday, July 02, 2004

You can have my bottle rocket when you pry it from my cold dead hand 

Every independence Day, a group of preposterous morons carries on a tradition that is almost a hundred years old and innumerably stupid.

Since 1910, this group has called on congress to ban consumer fireworks at the federal level every 4th of July. Thankfully, we don't live in a Soviet state, and the voice of reason has prevailed. He's a pearl of conservatism for you: if fireworks injure you, it is your just reward for being stupid, or unnecessarily flammable. Either way, up yours.

What about children, you may ask? Same rule is in force: children too stupid to say, successfully conduct a bottle rocket fight with out a horrible injury had it coming.

Supportive Doctors, who as a group are generally two steps behind in the spoken and written word, describe what may happen this weekend as an "epidemic". This is a misuse of the word. The only epidemic is an epidemic of freedom in a world this rabid Dr. Mengele wishes he could destroy.

The holiday is "independence Day", not "the 4th of July". That is the day it happens on. We celebrate our founding fathers, and their ideal of a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They held to these ideals at great personal risk, in defiance of the law.

So on independence Day, light a fire cracker, light a joint, and give King George the finger.

-paul  16:33 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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