Thursday, 1 March 2007

All Animals Are Equal

See here.

The Disingenuous Times

Here is a story about the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. The headline is “Poll Shows Majority Back Health Care for All.” But if you read the story, you find this paragraph:

That level of concern helps explain the striking support for substantial change: Nearly two-thirds said the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans. They were then asked, “What if that meant that the cost of your own health insurance would go up?” Forty-eight percent said they would still support it.

Notice the decrease: from “Nearly two-thirds” to 48%. Where did the people who changed their answer think the resources would come from, if not from their own pockets? This is economic ignorance, plain and simple. And isn’t 48% less than a majority? What’s the point of asking people whether they support something that other people are going to have to pay for? The Times seems determined to find a majority in favor of nationalized health care. In fact, the headline should have read, “Fewer than half of Americans are willing to pay for univeral health care.”


This is a message to Steve Walsh. Please send me an e-mail. I may have figured out why your comments aren’t being posted. I’ve been typing in certain words to keep spam comments from appearing on this blog. Perhaps one of the words is keeping your comments from appearing. Once I hear from you, I’ll delete this post.

Addendum: I decided to retain this post, since the solution of the problem is interesting and might be of use to others. WordPress allows me to block spam comments by putting character strings (including actual words) into a box. Whenever I get a spam comment, I choose a character string that appears in the comment but probably wouldn’t appear in a legitimate comment. Yesterday, longtime reader Steve Walsh wrote to me to say that his comments weren’t appearing on my blog. At first, I had no idea what to do. Then it hit me: Perhaps one of the character strings I typed into the WordPress box was excluding him. Sure enough, Steve’s e-mail address contains the string “sg.” When I examined my list, there was “sg.” I never dreamed anyone but a spammer would use that character string! I removed it from the box, so Steve should now be able to entertain and inform us with his comments. Thanks, Steve.


Dr Newton Gingrich simply must run for president. Read this. As my friend Will Nehs pointed out to me, the man has “onions.”

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Your suggested remedies for educational deficiencies in our 12th graders are characterized as “far-reaching structural changes.” They include better standards, higher teacher qualifications and better financing for teacher colleges.

But what if a large part of the problem has nothing to do with teachers? Have you considered distraction and exhaustion?

Here are some trends in today’s youth and education when compared with kids of an earlier, higher-achieving age: less discipline in the classroom; more sexual activity with predictable drama; easy availability of street drugs; exploding increases in communications (cellphones, e-mail, chat rooms, YouTube); lack of free time (overscheduled extracurricular activities, too much homework); reduced family time and influence, along with bad parental example (who has time to read?); and tension from religious, cultural, ethnic and racial differences.

Do any of these play a role in reducing performance? Or will you still blame the teachers?

Lon Nesseler
San Diego, Feb. 27, 2007


I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he asked. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well . . . are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” He said, “Baptist!” I said, “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” He said, “Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum,” and pushed him off the bridge. (attributed to Emo Phillips)

A Year Ago



Betcha my weather is crazier than yours. The average high temperature at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport during February was 60.3º Fahrenheit. Here is the number of days in each 10º gradient:

30s: 4
40s: 3
50s: 6
60s: 4
70s: 8
80s: 3

With such variations, we’re lucky we’re not sick all the time.

Addendum: In a six-day period (15 to 20 February), we had a high temperature in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s—on consecutive days! How’s that for a warming trend?

February Statistics

This past February was my third-best month, in terms of average visits per day. There were 39,919 visits during the month, which is an average of 1,425.6 per day. The best month was January, which had an average of 1,487.6 visits per day. The second-best month was November, which had an average of 1,476.3 visits per day. December, with 1,257.6 visits per day, was low, probably because of the holidays. Thanks for visiting. Please come back. As you know, I earn nothing from this site. In fact, it costs me money. I blog as a labor of love.

Best of the Web Today