Friday, 9 February 2007


I hate this kid. This one, too.


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.

Best of the Web Today



Here is a New Yorker story about the television series 24.

Postmodern War

Here is Charles Krauthammer’s latest column.

The Underrepresented Center

Here is a fascinating book review by Peter Berkowitz, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers.

Maureen L. Condic on Scientific Hubris

The hubris of scientists in the field of embryonic stem cell research who confidently asserted “Give us a few years of unrestricted funding and we will solve these serious scientific problems and deliver miraculous stem cell cures” was evident in 2002, and it is even more evident today. For the past five years, researchers have had completely unrestricted funding to conduct research on animal embryonic stem cells, and yet the serious scientific problems remain. They have had every conceivable tool of modern molecular research available to them for use in animal models, and yet the serious scientific problems remain. Millions of dollars have been consumed, and hundreds of scientific papers published, and yet the problems still remain. The promised miraculous cures have not materialized even for mice, much less for men.

In June 2004, Ron McKay at the National Institutes of Health acknowledged in a Washington Post interview that scientists have not been quick to correct exaggerated claims of the medical potential of embryonic stem cells, yet McKay justified this dishonesty by stating: “To start with, people need a fairy tale. Maybe that’s unfair, but they need a story line that’s relatively simple to understand.” Isn’t it time Americans recognize the promise of obtaining medical miracles from embryonic stem cells for the fairy tale it really is?

(Maureen L. Condic, “What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells,” First Things [January 2007]: 25-9, at 29)

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Crashworthy Motor Vehicles” (editorial, Feb. 3):

Your recommendation that the federal government promote better crash tests, particularly of what happens when vehicles of different sizes collide, is a good one.

Yet the federal government also needs to do more to prevent crashes. For decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has focused on promoting seat belts, air bags and car designs that enable people to survive crashes.

Meanwhile, we have an epidemic of reckless and distracted driving, with excessive speeding, running red lights and yakking on cellphones while driving.

More than 43,000 people in the United States lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2005. Of these, 11 percent were pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should provide financial incentives that encourage states to use camera systems to ticket speeders and red light runners. The technology is available to prevent crashes, and European countries have been using it for decades.

Let’s prevent crashes, rather than simply enabling motorists to drive like jerks and get away with it.

Sally Flocks
Atlanta, Feb. 3, 2007
The writer is president and chief executive of Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety.

A Year Ago