Thursday, November 11, 2004

Idiocy Files, entry 1

In other crazy news, this is ridiculous:

For a year, Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control.

"I was shocked," says Lacey, 33, who was not able to get her prescription until the next day and missed taking one of her pills. "Their job is not to regulate what people take or do. It's just to fill the prescription that was ordered by my physician."

Some pharmacists, however, disagree and refuse on moral grounds to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And states from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.


The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.

In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman's prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.

??? Really, if a pharmacy has a policy where they won't fill prescriptions for moral grounds, then they better state it upfront (and for Pete's sake, not giving back the prescription or sending it elsewhere should get that idiot fired and his pharmacy license taken away).. But what it comes down to is, if you have some personal reasons for not dispensing certain drugs, then perhaps pharmacology was the wrong job for you. Not to mention that some people take birth control pills for reasons not related to sex and pregnancy and what happens if there is only one pharmacy in town and the pharmacist has qualms about cancer medicine, or insulin?

Via Radley Balko
The 80's Redux

I am becoming convinced that we are re-living the 80's. You have a re-elected Republican President, you have Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, a big fat deficit, the rise of the new Moral Majority, Opus is back, Duran Duran have a new album out, new Band Aid, creationism in schools, and the Simpsons are still on (they debuted in December of 1989). We live in interesting, if not recognizable, times.

Friday, November 05, 2004


What with articles like this:Christian Conservatives Must Not Compromise I am starting to feel like it's the 80's again. It's the revival of the Moral Majority! Where's Ed Meese (John Ashcroft anyone?)? Where's Schlafly? And for Pete's sake, where are the Dead Kennedys when we really need them???

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Politics off the top of my head

Been thinking all day about what to write about this election. I'm kind of at a loss for words. It's not that Kerry lost, I was only lukewarm to him in the first place. I think it is a combination of things. One, that Bush won so convincingly, despite all the problems in his first term. I mean, we all know he wasn't exactly liked by the left. But he was losing support from many traditional conservatives and libertarians as well. And with all the stuff that went wrong in his first term ( Abu Ghraib (for which nobody has been held accountable), the Plame scandal, the deficit, lying about the cost of his medicare bill, misleading statements about the Iraq war, the many, many statements he made in debates and speeches that have been thoroughly debunked yet he continued to use them just for starters) I find it difficult to believe that so many people said, "Yep, he's my guy." But hey, thems the breaks. Congrats to Bush I guess.

The second thing was the votes for Senate races. Even more of a majority for the Republicans. What bothers me about that is that the Republican party always talks about small government, reducing spending, getting the government off our backs, yet they never follow through with it. The last four years saw the biggest expansion of government since Johnson, and Bush has yet to veto a spending bill. And in spite of this, Kerry gets labeled the big spending liberal. I wonder what they are going to do now that they are basically unopposed and can pass anything they want.

The third and most disturbing thing was the passage of anti-gay marriage laws in 11 states, and by a large number. I am speechless. I feel completely out of touch with what Americans are apparently thinking. I just don't comprehend what all the fuss is about gays getting married. Who cares, except for homosexuals? And even worse is the fact that I read a news item on Yahoo that says conservatives are delighted that a group of people in America are basically being denied rights (it is not special treatment, it is allowing them to be treated like any heterosexual couple who want the benefits of marriage).

Perhaps I have just become some elitist Euro-socialist (I'm not, really) but I just don't get it. Perhaps over the next few days and weeks I'll gain some understanding, but seriously I don't feel in touch with my home country.

I have more to say, but my thoughts aren't well, uh, thought out at the moment. I'll write more on this when I figure out how to say what I want to say.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Notes

So the election is today. For those of you in America who wonder, it is big news here. Top story, mostly, on all the news every day for a couple days now. Two of the national channels here will go live sometime after midnight, one (the national channel I guess equivelant to PBS but they also show Sopranos and Third Watch and movies and stuff so more comparable to the BBC.) will have all their own reporters and the other channel is going live with a combination of their reporters and a feed from CBS. I really can't make a prediction. I voted for Kerry, not because he is my favorite choice but mostly because he has the best shot of getting rid of Bush.

Whatever you say about left and right, whatever your opinion is, I can't figure out what exactly people see in Bush. Seriously. Not only do I think he is a bad president, I think he is a bad Republican president. I never thought I would see the day when I looked back nostalgically at Bush I or even Reagan, but here we are. At least with Reagan, with whom I had some major disagreements, it seemed as though he came at his position from a learned, well read perspective. He, at least before he the end when he was showing some clear signs of his coming alzheimers, appeared knowledgeable and honest about his position and I can respect that. Junior, however, doesn't seem, to me at least, to have any other sources for his beliefs than whatever Cheney and Rove tell him and his "gut" (whatever that means.) People say he is likeable. I just can't see it. Even if he says something I agree with, he still doesn't seem like he arrived at his conclusion by evaluating the facts and logically coming to a conclusion. At the least, Kerry seems intelligent and thoughtful.

But lets get back to what I said about being a bad Republican president. Sure he has lowered taxes. But he has imposed more tarrifs than Clinton, added a massive amount of spending (i.e. aid to our poor, struggling drug companies) to medicare, increased education spending, takes the federalist approach to abortion and gay marriage, increased foreign aid, has spent like the stereotypical liberal (never once vetoing a spending bill), more new federal regulations than any other president, signed the campaign finance law, proposed legalizing illegal immigrants, the Patriot Act, has a Wilsonian foreign policy (activist internationalist). I could go on, but that should be enough to make one wonder what exactly a conservative sees in him.

And speaking of taxes, I have been thinking lately of the old idea that liberals are all about tax-and-spend. What I thought was, which is better: proposing new spending and coming up with a way to fund that spending; or proposing new spending and cutting the funding for that spending? At the least, democrats want to do the responsible thing and fund their programs with taxes, rather than borrow the money. It reminds me of something I read by James Carville, who said that if you personally were in debt, working three jobs to pay for your excess spending, what is the proper response to this? Do you quit one of your jobs and attempt to lower spending (but you only say you are going to cut spending and instead spend the same or even more) at the same time? Or do you do the prudent thing and cut your spending while leaving your jobs alone until you are in a position where you can afford to quit one of those jobs? Tax cuts with no decrease in spending is irresponsible. But somehow, Republicans are seen as better at running the economy (even though the economy has done better under Democratic presidents than Republican ones for most of the post WWII era).

So anyway, I voted for Kerry. More a strategic vote than a conscience vote. And even though I lean more liberal than conservative (I tend to call myself a left-libertarian) I can say that I never voted for Clinton (voted libertarian both times) even though I think he was a much better president than the current one.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Long Time...

Geez, I haven't written here in a while. Haven't had the time. But I have installed the new PR release of Mozilla, got my Blog This! icon in there and I may try to blog from time to time as I am surfing. (I also may have more online time in the coming weeks/months, so we'll see how that goes).

Not that anyone reads this, although sitemeter shows a couple hits a day, mostly from folks at Obsidian Wings, where I very occasionally comment. Anyway, all two of you per day who check in, perhaps there will be something here to read.
I've been blocked
Apparently, there is something I am not supposed to see on I can still see the site of course by using an American proxy, but what the hell?

Friday, July 30, 2004

Political Survey
Survey floating around OD.  I saw it on Zombywoof and Popeyechicken first.
Abortion: Though I have reservations concerning the concept of men's rights, and although I personally have a bit of a distaste for it (but, truth be told, if we were confronted with a pregnancy right now we would consider abortion.  We truly don't want more kids and are taking precautions to stop that, but if it happened anyway...) this issue is between a woman and her doctor.
Age of Consent: Uh, I think a parent is responsible for, well, parenting.  And each individual is different.  However, for legal stuff I think 16 is reasonable.
Animal Testing: If we are talking medical research to cure disease, test away.  If it is to test the latest hairspray, well that is pretty sad.  However, I don't think animals have rights like humans do so I am not exactly for banning it.  But it wouldn't bother me if it was banned for frivilous testing.
Death Penalty: It's murder.  It's no deterrent.  The State shouldn't be murdering people.
Downloading Music/Movies: Read Zombywoof's opinion on intellectual property.  I agree with him.
Drug Decriminalization: Should be legal.  And taxed.
Factory Farming: Fine by me.  Regulate their waste disposal so as not to destroy the environment, but factory farming is fine.
Free Trade: The free-er the better.
Funding of the Arts: Sticky one.  The arts are a worthy cause, it does improve our culture.  I think the arts function better on their own however.  But really, I don't care very much.
Gay Marriage: Fine.  I think marriage should be a religious ceremony and civil unions for everyone.
Gun Control:There has to be some, or your neighbor can get his own ICBM.  This really depends on where you are talking.  We have gun control here in Norway, and since nobody has handguns, there isn't a lot of crime involving guns.  However, I think the US is way beyond the point where gun control will have any effect on crime.
Immigration: Free and open borders.
Hardcore Pornography: I'm for it! 
Human Cloning: Lots of ethical questions here, but that shouldn't stop science from pursuing it.  Leave the science to scientists and ethics to politicians (that was a joke).
Military Draft: No.  It's slavery.  If there is a situation where the country is in grave, mortal danger, then it would seem logical that there would be plenty of volunteers and no need for a draft. 
Minimum Wage Laws: As much as I would like to say that corporations should be allowed, in a free, capitalist society, to set the price of their labor I quite frankly don't trust corporations to act ethically. 
Prostitution: Legal, regulated and taxed.
School Vouchers: No. 
Taxes: Necessary to provide the things that people want from their governent.  As much as a libertarian paradise of everyone paying for services as they use them sounds nice on paper, I believe that there are things that only the government can provide.  We can debate what those things are of course, but we need taxes to pay for them.
United Nations: Has been a wonderful organization for helping the third world.  Not so great as a political body (indecisive and idle threats with no follow through in some cases (and yeah, I know they are at the mercy of the member states so much of the blame for inactivity is the member states fault)).  Good idea in theory, needs some work.
Universal Health Care: Cheaper and more efficient than the American system (You can talk all day long about waiting lists and such, but what it comes down to is that the US spends more than twice as much per person on healthcare and tons of people have non at all.  And US health care is rationed as well: it is rationed on the ability to pay).  I do think, however, that the scale that it would need to be implemented in the US is too large.  Perhaps if it was done by state or region. 
War on Terror: Let's just say it's a nice slogan, but what George Bush is doing is not eliminating terror.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Thought I would add something from my personal journal here.  I don't know what the future of this blog will be, I just don't have enough time to update very often.  Anyway, I am posting this, and probably the only reading this so I am talking to myself, so that this blog doesn't get deleted or anything. 

So this morning I was down taking the trash out at work and I saw something that sparked a memory of someone I am not sure I have mentioned here before.  I saw a heavy nurse eating a hotdog.  At nine in the morning.  Now let me get the disclaimers out of the way before I go on.  I have nothing against heavy people, primarily because I could stand to lose a pound or 30.  And I certainly don't have a problem with anyone being overweight if they like themselves the way they are.  For all I know, this woman is the most centered person in the world, so more power to her.  What this did, though, is remind me of a person I used to work with back in the States.
We called her The Mustache.  It was so descriptive of her, because she did in fact have a yucky black mustache, but also because she carried that ugliness into her personality as well (in fact, I describe her as ugly more because her personality was so offensive, even though she wasn't very physically attractive as well).  She was just the most horrible person to work with.  She never smiled, she always complained, and every conversation with her felt like you were destroying her life with your petty requests for her to, gasp, do her job.

Anyway, she was overweight.  This was at a time where I had been about 40 pounds too heavy and had used a combination of dieting and massive amounts of time spent on my bicycle to get down to a pretty respectable 178 pounds.  She was also trying to lose weight and constantly came over to talk to me about it.  She gave me advice, advice she received from her personal trainer.  Advice I didn't really need because I had lost the weight I wanted to lose and was back to eating sensibly and still exercising like mad (I found that if I rode my bike for 45 minutes a day through the week, I could eat most of what I wanted without gaining anything).  But half the times that she came to me in the morning to waste my time and irritate me, she was eating a donut, or a Butterfinger (Mmmmmm....Butterfinger) or any other really bad for you food. 
And that is what irritated me the most.  I wanted to yell at her, "Hey!  If you are so concerned about losing weight, how about laying off the donuts???"  Basically, if you are going to complain about how heavy you are, and that you want to lose weight, it is hard to fathom why you are always eating fattening food.  Right now, I am overweight again (fat, married and happy as the saying goes), and I eat plenty of bad food.  But I don't complain about being fat.  Well, only in the sense that I want to lose the weight but I haven't chosen to do anything about it yet.  I know that, and thus I don't moan about being overweight.

Now I know that some people have a hard time losing weight and all that.  But eating donuts is not gonna make you thinner, no matter genetics or psychology.  And I know I shouldn't apologize for anything I think or write, but if you are heavy and were offended by any of this, fuck off.  No, that was a joke.  Seriously, I don't mean to offend anyone who is overweight.  Just this woman who irritated me so.  She can be offended all she wants.  (and by the by, her sister also worked for the company, and she was really, really fat combined with really poor hygeine and the same aforementioned toxic personality.  You can be really big and be plenty beautiful, but she wasn't at all.)

And this sort of reminded me of this girl in high school.  She was heavy, and really shy and not very pretty and probably just wanted to be left alone or treated nicely.  And to make matters even worse, once in class, for whatever reason, she peed her pants sitting at her desk.  Of course, this was really amusing to 16 year old boys and she got mocked quite a bit for this (I have to say that I did no mocking to her face, but laughed inside at the same time that I felt really bad for her).  And to make matters even worse, for her, was she had the biggest asshole sitting right behind her.  he would poke her, flick her hair, kick her chair.  It was terrible to watch, and I sat there and did nothing. 

So this asshole is behind her.  One day, he uses most of the class time to tie her shoelaces to the legs of her chair.  She didn't notice until she stood up to leave in a hurry, like she always did, and fell flat on her face.  And god help me, I laughed.  Couldn't help it.  The whole class laughed and I am sure she was absolutely humiliated. 

And now I wonder whatever became of her.  Hopefully she went on to be something really great.  I hope she has a husband and kids, if that is what she wants.  Or a great career.  Either way, if I ever saw her again I would apologize for not doing something about that asshole.  Or at least helping her up.  And for the laughing.  Sorry about that.

God, I hope my kids don't end up on either side of the kind of nasty shit that takes place in high school.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Remember Memo-gate? Particularly the memo about Miguel Estrada and how he was "especially dangerous" because he was Latino. This brought charges from the right of racism on the part of Democrats. I don't want to get into that fight again (suffice to say that the way I read it, the Democrats thought he was "especially dangerous" because the Republicans would use his nomination precisely to force Democrats to oppose him and charge them with racism. Which is why the Democrats thought he was so dangerous; that opposing him would forever be linked to the fact that he was Latino, and not for the extremism of his views, according to them.). The charge was that the Democrats were opposing him because of his race. The Democrats countered that the Republicans were using his race to make him more difficult to oppose because they, the Republicans, would charge that this was based on his race alone.

The Democrats position on this leapt into my brain when I read this post by World O'Crap. It details a "spam" letter she received from NewsMax about supporting Vernon Robinson for Congress in North Carolina. And why should the readers of NewsMax support Mr. Robinson? Well, because he is black!

"Right now you and I have a wonderful opportunity to advance a cause we both believe in - stemming the tide of illegal immigration into this country, and returning our national immigration policy to some semblance of sanity.

"How can we do this? By helping a man named Vernon Robinson get elected to the Congress. Vernon Robinson is a very conservative black City Councilman from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


"Think about it - if the only black Republican in Congress is an insistent supporter of immigration reform, it will become impossible for the Congressional leadership and the White House to keep putting the issue on the back burner. This is the opportunity we've been waiting for!"

So basically, you need to support Vernon Robinson because once a black guy speaks out on illegal immigration, it would become a major topic because why would anyone oppose a black congressman? You know, unless they are racist or something.

But the Republicans would never use race for political advantage, that's only something a Democrat would do.

If only the Democrats could have seen this coming...

Thursday, May 06, 2004

So I start a new blog and then don't update it at all. Mostly, I use it as a launching pad to other blogs while I am at work. But today I will do my lame impression of, i.e. link to a bunch of stuff and basically not comment on it. So here you go.

Gene Healey has a good article on Cato about the Jose Padilla case and the danger of giving the President discretionary power to hold a prisoner essentially forever.

My good friend Popeyechicken writes about the torture in Iraq that everyone and their brother has blogged about (except me). Just insert his view for mine.

Arthur Silber writes a post on the draft that I totally agree with. I don't always agree with Arthur, not being an objectivist/libertarian (at least not totally) but I find him, again and again, to be the most lucid and reasonable objectivist I have ever come across. If you aren't reading him often, you should be.

I just downloaded (gasp!) most of the new album from Ministry, Animositisomina For anyone who was a fan of industrial/punk in the late 80's, this is a welcome back!

Meanwhile, in my personal livejournal, I relate some much needed inventions for infants. Plus, dirty talk.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Unfortunately, living in Norway means I don't have the kind of access to the cable news networks that you have in the States. Sure, we get CNN international and the BBC. And my satellite company recently added FoxNews, although the 6 hour time difference from east coast USA makes for difficulty in viewing the nightly display of propaganda. And hardly anyone get's CNBC (although more people than get MSNBC, which I am pretty sure is not carried anywhere in Norway).

It's too bad, too. I really miss watching the trainwreck that Dennis Miller's career is becoming. I used to really like that guy. Saw him live once, in the late 80's. I even bought his first book of rants. But based on the commentary I saw on Hannity and Milquetoast and from what I have read and seen on the net, he has really lost it. And this isn't a knee-jerk political assessment. He just isn't funny anymore. Limbaugh is funnier, and that is me climbing way out on my political limb, bacause I hate that guy.

Anyway, that all leads me to what South Knox Bubba had to say after watching Miller's "interview" of Eric Alterman. And see it for yourself here. It seems pretty obvious that not only has Dennis lost his funny bone, he is way out of his depth in political commentary and debate.

Too bad, he used to be good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Not that anyone is probably reading this at this point, but, uh, on to the next sentence. The purpose here is to provide a place for basically unedited political rumblings and comments about the news and other blogs. Unedited means off the top of my head, meaning that I am probably full of shit and absolutely wrong. I will correct myself if necessary (I strive to be factually correct, regardless of where that leads me politically).

I am what I like to call a left libertarian. I have definite libertarian leanings but have been a leftist in the past and still retain many of my lefty traits. I do tend to agree with liberals more than conservatives, although I think both have problems.

Posting will be sporadic and totally inconsistent (which are basically the same thing but I like both words). Trained and experienced (but not schooled) in marketing, advertising and computers, I currently live in Norway, where finding a job with no degree and little Norwegian work experience (I speak the language adequately at this point) has necessitated my taking a job as a porter at the hospital here (i.e. wheeling people around in beds, delivering supplies, taking bodies to the morgue, etc...) to feed my wife and two young daughters.

So that's the intro, as it were. Hopefully it will be less than a week before my next post (my job and home life provide less online time than any other period of my life). Links to my diary/journal sites are to your left.

Uh, ok then. See ya later.
Testing, one two.
Opening post. Unfortunately, I have no time right now. More to come.