Friday, January 27, 2006

Sign of the Apocalypse #29

One of the many things that annoy me is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find U-NO candy bars. So I finally decided to go online and see whether it's possible to order a box. And in doing so, I discovered they've discontinued Mint U-NOs! Aaaarghh! Damn! Beelzebub in a BOX! We're on a road to nowhere! (come on inside) ... >sob< ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The threat on your end table

Are you worried about Microsoft taking over the world? Or perhaps, to dial it back a bit, Google taking over the Internet? Think closer to home: Very soon, your phone company might decide which Internet sites you get to first... or even which ones you're allowed to get to at all.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bush fights boobs with boobs

As often, Adam Felber says it best regarding the Google subpoena (emphasis mine): "So the Supreme Court struck this law down in 1998. But that was two appointments ago. The new court will have two fewer post-pubescent female breasts. And two more boobs. So the Bush administration definitely has a shot here. [...] I guess the least-interesting and most-important thing here is that the government wants to view information about our online habits, and they’re not even trying to prosecute a crime. They just want to shore up their case for re-passing that bill that the Supreme Court already called, ironically, a violation of privacy."

Friday, January 20, 2006

De-Borking the process

At least one legal expert thinks that the way we run Supreme Court nominations through Congress needs to be fixed. And this isn't just because he is an Alito supporter; he has criticisms for everyone involved.

out-Nixoning Nixon

Wow. The Justice Dept. is claiming that Bush can wiretap Americans without a warrant: "The report argued that a 1978 law regulating intelligence-gathering in the United States did not close the door on surveillance that had not been approved by a special court created by that law." But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, amended several times after 1978 and specifically in 1995, requires warrants both for physical searches and for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes... and in those amendments, several times during legislative discussions and in the law itself, Congress specifically said that the executive was still required to come inform Congress about such programs.

Bush did not get warrants and did not inform Congress. Item #4,269 as to why you should be feeling a great deal of 1973 deja vu.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

True, too true...

I received many wonderful birthday greetings today. But the most enjoyable was an e-mail message that simply said this:

"What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!"

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wal-Mart doesn't care, so we have to make it care

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm not eager for government to require businesses like Wal-Mart to provide medical insurance; but if we're not going to get public funding for health care soon, at least this bill is a lesser evil than letting thousands of people go uninsured.

(Posting has been slow due to the holidays and then Macworld... but I think I'll be back now!)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Scope(s) creep

Jack Gordon asserts that Christians should fight against the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools, to avoid the inevitable: scientific examination of the hypothesis that there's an intelligent designer.

Science doesn't tell us that evidence indicates that the Earth revolves round the sun, not vice versa, and then shut up. Science is always obliged to ask the next question: How far is the Earth from the sun? What is its trajectory? What keeps the planet from spinning away into space? [...] They must know that if the scientific method walks us to the doorstep of an intelligent designer, then science must open the door. They can't really expect that science will just ring the bell and then run away giggling. Can they?

Pretending to treat the origin of everything as science means asking science to rank their God with Pan Gu, Brahma, Môt, Nanahuatzin, and all the rest. What will they do if Jehovah gets cut off by Occam's razor?