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2007 May 01 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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A Modest Proposal

Responding to a thread over at Fallenmonk I realized there was a reasonable compromise that would be supported by Congress, and would enable the passage of a “clean” funding bill for the escalation in Iraq.

If the Shrubbery and Darth Cheney resign, I see no reason not to provide the funds to the Defense Department.

May 1, 2007   4 Comments

Behind the Curve

The latest report on any of the big media sites on the melamine problem is the AP report on MSNBC: FDA: Tainted feed a ‘minimal’ threat to humans. They aren’t saying anything about the import ban.

I’ve been getting information from Christie Keith at Pet Connection, Spoko at Spoko’s Brain, Goldy at Horsesass.org, Howl 911, and LitBrit at Shakesville. LitBrit has been my starting point, but these guys are all on the trail.

It’s looking like the melamine problem affects just about all of the food imports from China, either directly in the gluten, or indirectly from animals who have eaten feed containing the gluten. The import ban is probably the only way to make the Chinese government to take the problem seriously.

I don’t think we can assume that the melamine is the only problem with Chinese food imports. We need to start analyzing the food we import to find out what’s really in it.

May 1, 2007   2 Comments

RIP Tom Poston 1921-2007

Tom Poston died April 30th, and while most people will remember him from his association with Bob Newhart, some of his funniest stuff was on the old Steve Allen show in New York with Louis Nye and Don Knotts as men in the street.

He was a USAAF pilot in World War II, dropping paratroops over Normandy on D-Day. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Pleshette, who is best remembered playing Bob Newhart’s wife on multiple shows. He was a funny guy with an extensive filmography.

May 1, 2007   Comments Off on RIP Tom Poston 1921-2007

Friday FDA Dump

Via LitBrit: FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs IMPORT ALERT #99-29 – 4/27/07:


TYPE OF ALERT: Detention Without Physical Examination (Countrywide)

(Note: This import alert represents the Agency’s current guidance to FDA field personnel regarding the manufacturer(s) and/or products(s) at issue. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person, and does not operate to bind FDA or the public).


  • Wheat Gluten
  • Rice Gluten
  • Rice Protein
  • Rice Protein Concentrate
  • Corn Gluten
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Corn By-Products
  • Soy Protein
  • Soy Gluten
  • Proteins (includes amino acids and protein hydrosylates)
  • Mung Bean Protein

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May 1, 2007   4 Comments

Just The Facts

Two approaches to the same story, the resignation of the chief executive of British Petroleum.

Associated Press first paragraph:

LONDON – BP PLC’s chief executive, John Browne, resigned Tuesday only hours after a judge cleared the way for a newspaper to publish details of his private life.

BBC first paragraph:

The chief executive of oil giant BP, Lord Browne of Madingley, has resigned from his post with immediate effect.

Not hard to tell which is American and which is British, but the problem is the bit that the Associated Press doesn’t mention. The AP implies that the shocking revelations coming out in a newspaper are the reason for the resignation, rather than this from the BBC article:

The outgoing boss said that he had initially lied to the court about the circumstances in which he had met Mr Chevalier, because of “embarrassment and shock” at the revelations.

High Court judge, Lord Justice Eady said that he was not allowed to make allowances for the “white lie” told by Lord Browne.

Lying under oath in court is a bit more important to the story than the scandal mongering of the Mail. AP readers are going to think he resigned because he was gay and about to be outed in the press. Lord Browne’s sexual orientation is not the issue, it was perjury.

May 1, 2007   Comments Off on Just The Facts

Dell Taps Ubuntu’s Flavor of Linux

The BBC is reporting that Dell will use Ubuntu on Linux PCs.

London-based firm Canonical, the lead sponsor of the Ubuntu project, will ensure the software works on Dell PCs.

Ubuntu includes software like office programs, e-mail, a browser, instant messaging software and a media player.

Michael Dell, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Dell, is himself an Ubuntu user. He has the operating system installed on a high-end Dell Precision M90 laptop he uses at home.


Dell has not yet confirmed which computers it will sell with Ubuntu pre-installed, only to say that it would offer Ubuntu 7.04 as an option on select consumer models in the United States in the coming weeks

Reports on internet bulletin boards suggest that Dell will offer Ubuntu on an e-series Dimension desktop, a high-performance XPS desktop, and an e-series Inspiron laptop.

The Ubuntu distribution has most of what you need for applications bundled. Badtux runs Ubuntu and the Yellow Doggerel Democrat is looking for a place to load the copy he just picked up.

May 1, 2007   5 Comments

May Day

The May Day association with labor is all American, and just as controversial as everything of any consequence in history. The day is tied to a strike for the eight-hour day and the so-called “Haymarket Riot” of 1886. When it comes to “riots” and the Chicago police are involved, you are not going to find a single truth.

As May 1st falls at the mid point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice it marks the beginning of summer for many people and is celebrated by Teutonic cultures [on the eve] as Walpurgisnacht [in German], and among the Gaelic peoples as Beltane.

The dynamic duo that mucked up the Pledge of Allegiance, Dwight Eisenhower and his Republican Congress, made May 1st both Law Day and Loyalty Day so those Commie working people wouldn’t get any ideas about having rights.

The real significance was that it is unlikely there was going to be another freeze and it is probably safe to start planting crops, so a fertility festival is in order. This is to ensure a good crop, not to get together and have a good time before getting to the backbreaking work of farming, really.

This is the fourth anniversary of Mission Accomplished, the Shrubbery’s prance across the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, one of the most expensive photo ops in American political history, and 2052 days since he said that Osama was “Wanted: Dead or Alive”.

This year Congress will celebrate by giving the Shrubbery the supplemental funding bill that he has threaten to veto. If he vetos it, Congress should just move on to other work, making it clear that the bill he vetoed is the only bill that will get a majority vote in Congress.

May 1, 2007   8 Comments