masthead-highres

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Daly Thoughts Blog's Top 40

Daly Thoughts ranks his top 40 favorite blogs.

Thanks, Gerry -- your blog easily makes my Top 40, too!

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:39 PM

Sleeping Through the Night

In hindsight I can see that regardless of nasal congestion getting the boogers sucked out of your nose with an aspirator while you were already upset wouldn't do much to improve your disposition.

-Kevin at Wizbang
If you have babies/little kids who don't always sleep through the night, read Kevin's post.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:38 AM

Go Steelers!

This is fun. This blog is the top Google search result for the term "nfl dynasty."

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:22 AM

Go Fred!

Fred Singer, as of 12:15 AM Eastern, is pulling ahead.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:16 AM

United Nations Wants to Rule Internet

Captain Ed hits the nail on the head with a post that begins:
Just when we thought that the United Nations had enough problems trying to keep its peacekeepers and mission management off of prepubescent girls in Africa and its hands off of aid money intended for the starving and oppressed, we find out that Turtle Bay wants to take on a whole new mission. Now the U.N., which brought you the Oil-For-Food scandal and the rape of the Congo, wants to take over the Internet...
The U.N. wants everything, but deserves nothing.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:06 AM

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bush's Classic Conservatism

Ed Haislmaier is recommending this essay about President Bush's foreign policy style in the March 29 International Herald Tribune.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:14 AM

Happens to Be Black

I haven't been following the Michael Jackson trial very much, but I did just notice that Jackson is playing the race card, saying of the charges against him
"... this has kind of been a pattern among black luminaries in this country."
I'm sitting here trying to think of any other adult luminaries who live in theme parks and party with children.

Maybe it is just that the one luminary who does that happens to be black.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:59 AM

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Stewards of Gay Washington

The Washington Post has a page one story Monday about a unit of the DC Metropolitan Police that covers the beat of "gay Washington."

Based on the article, the unit covers such responsibilities as domestic violence calls to same-sex couples and is kind enough not to toss an arrested fellow wearing a dress into a cell amid the general prison population.

I read the entire article and still didn't get why the unit is necessary (shouldn't all police officers be trained in dealing with all segments of the community?), but then, I don't know much about police work.

I did, however, learn this from the Post piece:
Gender is [a] divider; lesbians tend to socialize separately from gay men.
Who'd a thunk it?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:31 PM

Republican Voices

I received an e-mail from a young man who says he is 12 years old and the editor of this website.

Very nice website for a 12-year-old.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:08 PM

Those Funky, Edgy Kids Got Rather

Spotted this haughty prose in the "Inside Washington" column of the March 26 National Journal (subscription required):
The Office of National Drug Control Policy claims it has become the first Cabinet-level agency to launch a Web log -- or 'blog' as the kids call them -- one of those funky, edgy Internet sites consisting of the random observances of a citizen diarist."
The column carries no byline.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:28 PM

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Vote for Fred Singer

Physicist Dr. Fred Singer is actively campaigning for the Flat Earth Award.

I already voted for him on the merits -- as worthy as the other nominees truly are. If you appreciate the work of scientists such as Fred Singer, who have been willing to endure the vilification of the environmental left as they continue sharing what they truly believe about global warming, take two seconds and vote for him on the right side of this page.

(I wrote about the award last month here. To read some of Fred's thoughts on global warming and other issues, go here.)

Addendum 3/27: The college students who are sponsoring the Flat Earth Award think Tony Blair -- yes, the British Labor Party's Tony Blair -- is "a respected conservative politician." (Say the students: "...note the wondefully [sic] amusing recent comments from 'supporters' of Fred Singer on our website. I hope that these folks are letting Tony Blair, James Baker III, John McCain and Chuck Hagel know about this VAST GREENIE CONSPIRACY known as global warming. After all, as our entries show below, each of these respected conservative politicians agrees: the climate crisis is real, and we have the know-how to create a new clean energy future.")

Calling Tony Blair a "conservative" tells us something about the students' politics, or their level of knowledge. I'm guessing the latter.

Would it be cruel to suggest a C-Span debate between the students and even one of the climate change skeptics they mock on their website? Probably.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:13 AM

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Shoes for Iraqi Kids

I have been receiving e-mails from people who say they saw me on TV, where I made an appeal for people to donate gently used and new children's shoes for the children of Iraq.

Funny thing is, I haven't been on TV talking about that. (Another Amy Ridenour, perhaps?) But I did blog about it some time ago, and I have shipped over some of my kids' used shoes, so I'm all for the idea.

I learned about the program from the Keystone Soldiers website. It is a great website to visit if you support our men and women overseas -- even if you don't have any gently used children's shoes.

Meantime, if you happen to see an Amy Ridenour on TV talking about shoes for Iraqi kids, she's not me -- unless she's young and witty and beautiful, that is.

Yep, that's the ticket.

Addendum 3/26/05: The mystery may be solved, thanks to the following e-mail I received:
Re: your post on shoes

http://addiecollins.blogspot.com

It was Addie, and she was on Dennis Miller. She's young and beautiful. Hey what the heck, go with the flow!

A fan of you blog, keep up the good work,

Dayna Hydrick
San Diego

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:35 PM

Funny Story

Glenn Reynolds has a funny story about former Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth -- or about Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. (He's not sure which).

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:19 PM

Michelle Malkin: Press Conference on Ward Churchill

Michelle Malkin has the goods on Ward Churchill.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:13 PM

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Social Security Trustees Report Quick Recap

Feel like you should read the new Social Security Trustees Report (released today), but don't have the energy?

Then read this 350-word summary, and get the gist of the message quickly and succinctly.

My conclusion: Don't wait for Congress to approve personal accounts. If you aren't already (unless you are elderly), start putting money away now. Keep control of your future in your own hands -- no one cares about your future more than you do.

And, yes, support personal accounts, too.

P.S. Yes, hubby David and I do follow our own advice. We haven't taken a vacation since 1999, but there is not a month since we married that we have not made a deposit into our retirement savings. Even small deposits add up over time, if you stick with a plan.

P.P.S. Mary Katherine Ham of Insider Online has a list of links on the Trustees Report (thanks for the plug, Mary Katherine!).

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:08 PM

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Answering the Myths About Social Security

If you are interested in the Social Security debate, I urge you to visit the website of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

This evening, for example, it has a new two-page paper by Dr. Thomas R. Saving which succinctly demolishes these four myths about Social Security:
Myth 1: The Trust Funds can help pay benefits.
Myth 2: The financial problems of Social Security and Medicare are in the distant future.
Myth 3: The funding problem is minor.
Myth 4: Personal Retirement Accounts won't help.
Download the entire paper, "Answering the Myths About Social Security," here.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:01 AM

Monday, March 21, 2005

Backcountry Conservative: Popping the Question

Congratulations to Jeff at Backcountry Conservative and his fiancee, Jenn, upon their engagement.

May you have very many happy years together.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:01 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Everything I Know Is Wrong: Groundbreaking Mercury Restrictions From Bush EPA

I appreciate this post on the Bush Administration's mercury regulations by Sean at the Everything I Know Is Wrong blog.

A note on Sean's observations in this post on the new autism study: Because so little is truly known about the cause of autism, yet (mercifully) research levels are increasing, we're going to see many announcements of exciting new leads into the cause of autism. It may be inevitable that some of these new leads will be exploited by environmental alarmists in support of whatever they may be lobbying for at that particular moment, but very many of these researchers are nonpolitical. We just have to evaluate every study on its merits -- the hard way.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:25 PM

Government-Run Medicine: Care Promised, But Not Necessarily Delivered

A chilling report on the state of government health care in Canada...
Toronto - A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer- generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."

The patient wasn't dead... But many Canadians claim the long wait for the test and the frigid formality of the letter are indicative of a health system badly in need of emergency care.

U.S. residents who flock to Canada for cheap flu shots often come away impressed at the free and first-class medical care... But tell that to hospital administrators constantly having to cut staff for lack of funds, or to the mother whose teenager was advised she would have to wait up to three years for surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.

"It's like somebody's telling you that you can buy this car, and you've paid for the car, but you can't have it right now," said Jane Pelton. Rather than leave daughter Emily in pain and a knee brace, the Ottawa family opted to pay $3,300 for arthroscopic surgery at a private clinic in Vancouver, with no help from the government.

The average Canadian family pays about 48 percent of its income in taxes each year, partly to fund the health-care system...
Yet another warning about the dangers of socialized medicine by a right-wing think-tank?

No. This report comes from the Associated Press.

Read it all here.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:19 PM

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Social Security: The Galveston Option

If you have heard of the Galveston, Texas alternative to Social Security and wondered what it was about, here's a very succinct summary from USA Today, written by the man who oversaw its adoption. It begins:
The current debate about reforming Social Security reminds me of the discussions that occurred in Galveston County, Texas, in 1980, when our county workers were offered a different, and better, retirement alternative to Social Security: They reacted with keen interest and some knee-jerk fear of the unknown. But after 24 years, folks here can say unequivocally that when Galveston County pulled out of the Social Security system in 1981, we were on the road to providing our workers with a better deal than Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal...
24 years ago, I was just leaving college. I probably should have moved to Galveston.

Read the entire piece here.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:00 AM

Friday, March 18, 2005

ANWR Victory

Congratulations to Senator Ted Stevens.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:59 PM

College Scholarships for Students

I'm late to noticing this, but Michelle Malkin has rightly applauded a university that is awarding scholarships to students who have lost a parent in U.S. military combat.

State legislatures around the country should consider adopting such a policy for their state colleges and universities. The impact on the budget of any state would be negligible, but the help to these families, immeasurable.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:46 PM

Five-Year-Old Girl Arrested

This seems extremely silly.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:41 PM

Apologies

Sorry about the light-to-nonexistent posting. The Ridenour household has been facing the flu bug, but I think it now has been vanquished.

Too bad the same can't be said for all the laundry that piled up...

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:37 PM

Friday, March 11, 2005

Washington Post: Yushchenko Treated by U.S. Doctors

I'd say this explains the mystery about why, back in December, Ukraine's president (then candidate) Viktor Yushchenko visited a Viennese clinic not known for its expertise in dioxin poisoning.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:44 AM

Not a Fan

I guess this guy isn't a fan...
Ms. Ridenour:

While searching for news articles on US - French relations I stumbled upon your website. I guess I should describe it as your repugnant and ill-informed website.

That you would bash the French so brutally shows you have no conception of who the French really are and how they think. But then, as I read on, I discovered you also believe that global warming is just a big myth. Ah, I get it!

Time machine, take me back to the 1950's please! I suppose you still watch 'Leave it to Beaver' and think that George W. Bush is a great president, too! (And there's an Al Qaeda member behind every corner! Fait attention!)

As an American living in France for the last several years, I have found the French to be a wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent, honest, and realistic people. Which is a lot more than I can say about the millions of American sheep that are being lead to the slaughter unquestioningly. What an ignorant country America is; the average person couldn't tell you where France is, but they can sure tell you exactly what the French are like and why they hate them!

You can disparage the French all you want, and they will just smirk, because they really don't care. And quite frankly, I'd rather side with a people that know the horrors of war and try to avoid it, than with a country that promotes lies to create wars to make money and further a dubious agenda for world domination, aka The New World Order.

So, to use an a shared French and American phrase: Dans ton cul! Because that is where the inane and insipid propaganda you espouse belongs.

Sincerely,

T.A. Cameron

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:39 AM

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Little Foot

What a picture!

From Dr. Jack Wheeler's To the Point website, where Jack is arguing that, given the seriousness of his illness, the importance of the job and the heaviness of the workload at a time of many judicial vacancies, Senator Arlen Specter should take a leave of absence as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee until he recovers from Hodgkin's disease.

Addendum, 3/7/05: I seem to have fallen for a hoax. "Anonymous" has set me straight (he wasn't really anonymous, but I removed his name and professional affiliation -- which was impressive -- at his request before publishing excerpts from two emails I received from him today). The excerpts, and the link, are instructive:
Just thought I'd drop a quick note to you about your posting from Dr. Jack Wheeler and the picture of the baby's footprint through her mother's abdominal wall...

As a board certified Ob/Gyn physician, I have to tell you that there is absolutely no way that this picture is real. It brings home a very real point which is that there is a baby human inside of a pregnant mother. But it is not real.

There are many reasons why it cannot be real:

1) The uterus is a thick muscle. It is at least an inch thick at that point in pregnancy. Try poking a baby's foot through a steak that's an inch thick and see if you can get any definition from an image on the other side. There is such a thing as an abdominal pregnancy where the baby is freely floating within the abdomen in nothing but an amniotic sac protecting it (with the placenta attached to inconvenient places like over the aorta). Even then, see number two.

2) In addition to the thick muscle called the uterus, even the skinniest person has, at a very minimum, at least one to two inches of tissue between the outer layer of skin and the inside of the abdomen. There is the layer of skin and subcutaneous fat, there's the fascial layer (that is the connective tissue that holds the internal organs in place, and then there's the muscles (rectus abdominus, the washboard / 6-pack muscles - though they do thin considerably during pregnancy), and finally the pre-peritoneal layer with fatty tissue (less in skinny people) with its peritoneum.

3) How in the world would they time that picture and get it just right? They would have to have been photographing her stomach for whatever reason and just got lucky? I guess that part is at least plausible, but realistic?

4) I have looked up online at the urban legends website. Here's a link to more discussion on it: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_fetus_footprint.htm

It's my professional opinion that this cannot be real. For what it's worth.

Thanks for the website. I really enjoy it!

"Anonymous"

...Again, I agree with the principle that this is used for (supporting a pro-life position). So in some ways I did not want to de-bunk it only because I don't want it to lose its power. But it can't be a real photo.

That being said, by the same token I HAVE seen and done ultrasounds on hundreds if not thousands of women who are pregnant and can tell you that as early as 8 or 9 weeks you can see movement and limb buds. There is no doubt in my mind that a "fetus" at the end of the first trimester responds to pain and light. During the mid trimester (16-24 weeks) I have done amniocentesis on patients and had the baby roll onto the amnio needle. It's really startling to have them jump (and you feel it through the needle). Don't let anyone tell you that they feel no pain when they are "D&E'd" in the second trimester. It's truly barbaric.
Sorry, folks! And, to close this post, let me add that Jack Wheeler's an old friend and great guy, so I suspect he had no idea the photo is discussed on an urban legends site. And, thanks to "Anonymous" -- it is an honor to have you as a reader of this blog!

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:05 PM

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Which would be worse: Incarceration or being forced to hand over your money against your will to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.?

It is not an academic question in Westchester County, New York, as Walter Olson explains.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:39 AM

Shame on Andrew Greeley, Anti-Democrat, and Anyone Who Shakes His Hand

This March 4 Chicago Sun-Times op-ed by Andrew Greeley disgusts me.

Consider just two sentences:
I am suggesting that for President Bush to come to the edge of Russia (Slovakia) and preach about democracy to Putin is rude, crude and undiplomatic. It is an insult to Putin and to Russia and to the Russian people.
First, Slovakia is a sovereign nation. It is not "the edge of Russia." Would you refer to Canada as "the edge of the United States"?

Second, diplomacy achieves nothing, save perhaps the digestion of canapes.

Third, it is not rude to question Putin's commitment to democracy when Putin's commitment to democracy is questionable.

Fourth, and most important, standing up for the right of the Russian people to govern themselves and enjoy full civil rights is not an insult to the Russian people.

What is an insult to the Russian people is something Greeley says next:
Putin seems by all accounts to be popular with his people. He is the strong leader that Russians have always wanted...
Greeley's bizarre belief in Putin's popularity aside, Greeley is saying the Russian people don't really want full self-government.

Why not spell it out, Andrew? Just call them "untermenschen" -- sub-humans -- people not quite wanting or deserving of the full political and civil rights Americans demand and deserve.

Too harsh? Spot-on, actually. The Nazis coined the term untermenschen not just for Jews, but also for Gypsies and Slavs. The Russians are Slavs.

Coincidence? I think not.

The deliriums of the lectures we received from the pinko left from the Cold War days still echo in my mind: The Russians aren't like us. They don't like freedom the way we do. You are wrong to try to force it on them.

That's what Cold Warriors used to be told -- well, scratch the past tense, since Andrew Greeley's still doing it. Is the world better off now because America and the West won the Cold War?

Based on what he has written here, I very much doubt Andrew Greeley thinks so.

Oh, and by the way, Andrew: You are wrong when you claim conservatives don't believe the Cold War is over. We know it is over.

The reason we can be sure is that we're the ones who won it. Not your sort, Andrew. You lost. Get over it.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:09 AM

Friday, March 04, 2005

Sentence of the Day

"There is no evidence that the modern Court follows election returns, at least not American ones."

- Deacon, writing on Power Line, March 4

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:29 PM

INDC Journal: Fisking Amy

I usually visit INDC Journal a few times a week.

I guess I should make it by there more often, because when I went by last night, I found Bill was in part two of a multi-day, multi-part fisking of one of my recent posts (the one in which I said reports of a pending split in the conservative coalition are overblown and perennial) that began on February 28.

Bill's first fisk is here; his second is here. More to come, apparently.

The comments -- of which there were 137 when I last visited -- have much to recommend them in terms of vigorous and, more often then not, informed debate about the role of government.

I'll respond at some point, but not tonight. Several of the commenters responding to Bill are doing it so well, I'm content to read their thoughts for a while.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:41 AM

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mark Tapscott: Wake Up Conservatives!

Regarding the news going round the blogosphere that the federal government would soon regulate blogs: Mark Tapscott predicted this in 2003.

(I, too, been warning bloggers to expect the heavy hand of government regulation, if I may say so myself.)

Mark also updates the federal shield law story. Mark is far more sympathetic to the notion of journalists having these special rights than I am, but with that caveat, I recommend his blog for this topic.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:43 PM

MMR & Autism: A Conversation

Those interested, dispassionately or otherwise, in the "what causes autism?" mystery will find an interesting conversation in the comments to this post in the Crooked Timber ("Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity, No Straight Thing Was Ever Made") Blog.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:59 PM

Morganatic Marriage

Ed Haislmaier writes to add some scholarship to my post about solving the civil marriage conundrum faced by Prince Charles and Mrs. Parker-Bowles:
...there is a long-standing word for what you are proposing - "morganatic." Here are two definitions listed on dictionary.com:
morganatic adj. Of or being a legal marriage between a person of royal or noble birth and a partner of lower rank, in which it is agreed that no titles or estates of the royal or noble partner are to be shared by the partner of inferior rank nor by any of the offspring of the marriage. [New Latin morganaticus, from Medieval Latin (matrimonium ad) morganaticam, (marriage for the) morning-gift, of Germanic origin.] morga nati cal ly adv.

Source: The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, (c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

morganatic adj: (of marriages) of a marriage between one of royal or noble birth and one of lower rank; valid but with the understanding that the rank of the inferior remains unchanged and offspring do not succeed to titles or property of the superior [syn: left-handed]

Source: WordNet (r) 2.0, (c) 2003 Princeton University
Thus, the effect of your proposed Act of Parliament would be that any (purely) civil marriage entered into by a member of the British royal family would be automatically deemed a morganatic marriage.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:47 AM

Who, Me?

Jeff at Protein Wisdom highlights the words "quite arrogantly" with a link to a post on this blog.

Well, thanks for the link.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:36 AM

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Blog Alliance for Social Security Reform

I've just joined the new Blog Alliance for Social Security Reform.

Drop by the Alliance's blog, which promises to cover all the skirmishes as the battle for true Social Security reform moves forward.

(If you're a blogger who might like to join the Alliance, visit here for more information.)

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:27 AM

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Medicare's Troubling Limitations

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit for a link over the weekend to a post here by Joe Roche (a post which also was published in short form as an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Times).

Speaking of Instapundit, Glenn's regular readers will recall his recent posts about his wife Helen's hospitalization for implantation of an implantable pacemaker/cardioverter.

Said Glenn of the device: "The good news is that those things are available..."

He's right. But for Medicare patients, that good news is nothing to take for granted. Many of them simply haven't been able to get the device.

As our Ed Haislmaier reports for us, Medicare patients haven't had the same access to these devices as Americans with private health insurance have had. Says Ed:
[In]1985, the FDA approved the first implantable defibrillator and by 1989 the first cardioverter-defibrillator that could deliver a multi-stage shock therapy to correct heart rhythms. Since then, device companies have continued to innovate, simultaneously making ICDs more sophisticated and less costly.

But the story involving Medicare isn't so positive. Medicare first agreed to pay for ICDs for a limited number of patients in 1986. But it was not until 1991, and then again in 1999, that Medicare further expanded its definition of 'medical necessity' to cover ICDs for more Medicare beneficiaries.

In the spring of 2002, armed with new clinical trial data from the New England Journal of Medicine, ICD makers asked Medicare to further expand coverage. A year later, Medicare's Coverage Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed the expansion. By that time, private insurers were already paying for ICDs for patients with the same characteristics and the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology had already revised their treatment guidelines.

But not until June of 2003 did Medicare agree to a further coverage expansion, and then only to one-third of the recommended patient population. Only now is Medicare finally agreeing to the full ICD coverage criteria the private sector adopted two and a half years ago.

In announcing plans to expand coverage for IDCs, Medicare touted that it expects 25,000 more patients will receive IDCs in 2005, "potentially saving up to 2,500 lives." Thus, we may infer that Medicare's foot-dragging, bureaucratic coverage process probably resulted in the avoidable deaths of between 5,000 and 10,000 Medicare patients over the past two and a half years.

A big reason for Medicare's foot-dragging on IDCs is cost...

The hard truth is that, like national health systems abroad, Medicare saves money by limiting the availability of life-saving care...
Read Ed's entire piece here.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:10 AM

Power Line Has It Right on Judicial Nominations

Deacon and Hindrocket have it right in their Power Line commentary Monday: Bush should not entertain suggestions for judicial nominations from a bipartisan group of Senators, as suggested by very liberal Senator Charlies Schumer of New York.

For strategic reasons, Bush should show no weaknesses whatsover in the matter of judicial nominations. None.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:03 AM

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