Sunday, January 04, 2004


Charles Murtaugh has a fascinating post on the biological role of prions (the probable cause of “mad cow disease” or CJD). Apparently they have very important natural functions in the brain but, like everything else, can go awry sometimes -- a bit like cells going wrong and turning into cancer. So hundreds of unlucky people get CJD spontaneously every year and there is NOTHING that governments can do about it. So the logic is that America’s sole mad cow could have got it spontaneously too.... Hey! That would let those complacent Canadians off the hook! Clayton Cramer has a post suggesting that existing government research into the problem may be misdirected anyhow.

I have always liked the Poles and this article tells what a hero nation Poland is -- and it may even be the world's most pro-American nation. They know the importance of liberty from experience.

The is an amusing NYT article by David Brooks here that says that in the next election the GOP can no longer advocate reducing the size of government (because they don’t reduce it) so will have to advocate change. That proposal is of course meant to be provocative and one hopes that it is. It might help drive out the last remnants of the nonsensical claim that conservatives oppose change. Brooks is right. There is a whole heap of Democrat nonsense enshrined in U.S. law that badly needs changing. Abolishing the entire U.S. public school system and replacing it with vouchers would be one nice change. No alternative school system could be worse than the present one as far as I can see. No doubt it won’t happen but it gives you an idea of the scope for change that exists. And how about legislating for more “diversity” on campus by setting quotas that say the percentage of conservative professors on campus must mirror the percentage of conservatives in the community?

Britain: Shuffling the deckchairs on the "Titanic": "Downing Street advisers are pressing for the Government to take over direct funding of schools, which could spell the end of local education authorities. Two of Tony Blair's senior aides want him to 'nationalise' school spending, channelling money to headteachers and governors through a central agency that would 'cut out the middle man.'"

A little bit of conservatism in a big lot of socialism: "For advocates of consumer-driven health care, the most positive part of the new law has little to do with Medicare. It is the section that expands medical savings accounts, renamed Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Such accounts empower consumers by allowing them and their employers to choose higher-deductible insurance plans, with the savings from lower premiums going into tax-sheltered savings accounts that are the property of the consumer."

An Australian public broadcaster is running a Hanoi government (Communist) news program against the wishes of the local Vietnamese community. So much for their charter...

Australian blogger Esoterica is definitely interested in all the big questions. I like his post about obedience and the Left. I wonder if he knows about the Milgram experiment? Milgram showed that it is not only Germans who are prone to obey authority, no matter what.

The Wicked one has recent posts on the evils of inflation, labor unions and condoms.


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