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July 08, 2006

JOE LIEBERMAN'S unforgivable sin.

IF IT'S WORTH DOING, IT'S WORTH OVERDOING: I want one. It can't be worse than wakeboarding with my brother at the controls. Or slaloming with one of my colleagues, which netted me 12 weeks of physical therapy a few years back. . . .

THE MIRACLE OF SALT WATER: Dean Barnett of SoxBlog has Cystic Fibrosis, and has experienced tremendous results with a new treatment that isn't exactly high-tech. It involves inhaling aerosolized salt water. He writes:

For years good people, the world’s best, have been pouring their hearts, souls and money into finding effective treatments for CF and generally coming up with very little. And all of a sudden, a super-promising new treatment comes along. And it’s salt water!

There’s also the additional minor miracle that being just salt water, the treatment didn’t have to spend the better part of a decade navigating the FDA approval maze before reaching the general CF public that so desperately needs it. If a similarly effective treatment had been a medicine hatched in the labs of Genzyme, the FDA would have kept it out of the hands of the seriously ill people (who would eagerly roll the dice on an experimental treatment) until those seriously ill people had become seriously dead.

As an additional benefit, because it’s just salt water and thus cheap to make, no one will make much money off of it which means the CF community will be spared the ghastly sight of our nation’s Ted Kennedy types demonizing the pharmaceuticals who just pioneered a life-saving treatment for being profit oriented.

In other words, everyone wins!

Read the whole thing, in which he also notes the strange emotional impact of realizing that he might live longer than he had expected.

ED DRISCOLL interviews Chris Anderson for TCS Daily's podcast series.

VARIOUS LEFTY EMAILERS are taunting me to say something about Ann Coulter's alleged plagiarism.

Okay, I'll say it: I agree with Kos! Happy now?

(Via Steve Smith via Mickey Kaus). My thoughts on plagiarism generally can be found here. Read this, too.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN'S SITE seems to be back online now.

THIS IS COOL:

In an unprecedented industry move, Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN-TV announced tonight that it would begin paying local bloggers for approved video stories they submit and running those stories on its Website and in its newscasts. WKRN president and general manager Mike Sechrist told a "meet-up" of local bloggers that he could envision the day when a daily program would be made up entirely of material submitted by the community. . . .

Sechrist told the group of bloggers that they had already had a significant influence on the news programs the station produces, simply by doing what they do. The station has pursued stories first raised in the blogging community and has used local bloggers as a sounding board at various times.

It's a real Army of Davids approach!

GAY MARRIAGE UPDATE: "Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton has disappointed the New York gay community by specifically leaving out any pledges on gay marriage in her call for equality for gay people."

Michael Petrelis is critical. "Speak up on gay marriage, Senator Clinton, if only because it is never acceptable for public officials to remain silent on important civil rights issues."

UPDATE: The Boston Globe is ordering gay employees to get married or lose their benefits.

THE EVER-WIDENING GAP: A look at the financial fortunes of The New York Times.

MARY KATHARINE HAM finds a Porkbusting sports columnist.

FUN WITH defibrillators.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN'S SITE is still under DOS attack. Background is here.

I encourage people not to be too positive about the perpetrator's identity until there's some sort of outside confirmation.

UPDATE: Here's a blog post with an apology. The domain shows as registered to the right person, in Tucson Arizona. Nonetheless, on the Internet you can't be entirely sure about identities, something that's worth remembering.

ANOTHER UPDATE: But apparently she's got some blog-stalking history with Bainbridge.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's more on the DOS attacks.

MORE: And here's a message from Jeff Goldstein. Plus, thoughts from Matoko Kusanagi on why Goldstein is so hated by the left. They do seem to dislike him, don't they?

STILL MORE: Michelle Malkin emails that she has confirmed Deb Frisch's identity, and her resignation, with the University of Arizona. (LATER: She's posted the email here).

Eric Scheie observes: "Of all the various forms of viciousness I've seen in the years I've been blogging, this one takes the cake."

And The Anchoress writes: "And to those who are supporting her or trying to keep her words from being read: 'Have you no decency. Finally, have you no decency?' And, her idea that ideological differences has rendered the man and his child “not human,” that is something that should concern all of us."

Sadly, Gateway Pundit reports that threats against children are nothing new.

More thoughts here: "The blogger on blog reader war concerns me. I've seen the blogosphere do wonderful things. Some of the investigative reporting that's been done has been Grade A. But when blogs attack other blogs, or get attacked by blog readers, I become distressed at how quickly the voyeurs give in to the instinct to engage in school playground behavior. The pile-on, hand wringing and 'ah-ha' -ism becomes childish pretty quickly. Personally, I'd like to read less of this. So let's close the book on all this Frisch-ing, and get back to the important things - Iraq, Immigration reform, and those crazy North Koreans."

THINGS THAT DON'T SUCK: The charger that came with my Sony digital camera isn't its best feature. It takes quite a while to charge batteries, and they often don't seem to be fully charged even when it says it's done. At the beach, my sister had this Duracell 30 minute charger for NiMH batteries, and it seemed to work better. I ordered one myself, and am very happy. With it -- I'm a little less happy with Sony, which seems to have cut a corner.

ANN ALTHOUSE DEBATES 9/11 DENIAL on Wisconsin Public Radio.

LARRY KUDLOW:

Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, America has increased the size of its entire economy by 20 percent? In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy, and much larger than the total economic size of nations like India, Mexico, Ireland, and Belgium.

It's news to me.

UPDATE: Reader Daniel Amerman says that Kudlow didn't include inflation, and that if you include inflation, the U.S. economic expansion was "only" 11.4 %. As Amerman says, "11.4% over 11 quarters is quite respectable in real terms, there is no need for misrepresentation and hyperbole." Click "read more" for his entire email.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A response from Prof. Aron Spencer -- click "read more" and scroll down.

And be sure you read this.

MORE: Captain Ed has much more, and says Kudlow overplayed a winning hand. "The numbers, adjusted for inflation, are already compelling."

Read More ?


RUDY FOR PRESIDENT: Robert Novak says he's running.

UPDATE: More thoughts on a Giuliani candidacy from Roger Simon.

MORE: Lots more on a Giuliani run over at GayPatriot.

WINDS OF CHANGE on Mexico:

It's "deja vu all over again". Apparently the ideological tie that afflicted the US Presidential Election six years ago, and the deadlock that Thomas Mann has been writing about for a number of years, isn't just an American thing. . . . At precisely the time in history when we need to be decisive, we're afflicted with paralysis. We've got two approximately equal sides, equally convinced that they're right, and in diametric opposition to one another about critical issues.

It is kind of odd.

ALPHECCA NOTES a victory for human rights at the U.N.

July 07, 2006

MICHELLE MALKIN: "Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is over Joe Biden's remark about Indian-Americans operating 7-11 and Dunkin' Donut stores in Delaware."

I'M SORRY: "The Instalanche on the jobs post this morning took the site down to a crawl, and then totally down for a while."

It's kind of Heisenbergian.

HIGHER SPEEDS, MORE SAFETY:

We now have 10 years of evidence proving that the only "assault" was on the sanctity of the truth. The nearby table shows that the death, injury and crash rates have fallen sharply since 1995. Per mile traveled, there were about 5,000 fewer deaths and almost one million fewer injuries in 2005 than in the mid-1990s. This is all the more remarkable given that a dozen years ago Americans lacked today's distraction of driving while also talking on their cell phones.

Of the 31 states that have raised their speed limits to more than 70 mph, 29 saw a decline in the death and injury rate and only two--the Dakotas--have seen fatalities increase. Two studies, by the National Motorists Association and by the Cato Institute, have compared crash data in states that raised their speed limits with those that didn't and found no increase in deaths in the higher speed states. . . .

We are often told, by nanny-state advocates, that such public goods as safety require a loss of liberty. In the case of speed limits and traffic deaths, that just isn't so.

Indeed.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN ENCOUNTERS the tolerant left. (Note, however, that the identity of the perpetrator is still unconfirmed.) Also, Goldstein was subject to a DOS attack earlier today. In case Glenn Greenwald remains confused, let me be clear that I regard this behavior as not merely a breach of manners, but as actually thuggish.

UPDATE: Still waiting to hear from the Toddler-threatening Community.

DAVE KOPEL: "As of 6 p.m. eastern time, the word from the United Nations small arms conference is that the conference is concluding with NO final document, and NO plans for any follow-up conference. . . . Today's victory is extremely important, but it should not be mistaken for a final victory in the international arena." That's because there's no such thing.

The Glenn and Helen Show: Austin Bay and Jim Dunnigan on North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War in General

baydunnigan.jpgIt's another podcast -- this one featuring blogger and author Austin Bay and StrategyPage publisher, and author of many books, Jim Dunnigan.

Austin and Jim talk about North Korean missiles, the diplomatic strains between North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, and the United States, the extent of cooperation between North Korea and Iran, and more. They also talk about terrorist plots in the United States, events in Iraq, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

You can listen directly by clicking right here (no iPod needed) or you can get it via iTunes here. There's a lo-fi version for dialup here, and an archive of all our podcasts is available at GlennandHelenShow.com.

As always, my lovely and talented cohost is taking comments and suggestions.

THE HOTLINE BLOG COMMENTS:

We’re not in the business of judging winners and losers; there are plenty of well-informed Nutmeg State voters who can make up their own minds. But putting aside the (curiously ironic) blogger charge that Sen. Joe Lieberman's strong performance in last night's debate was marred by his rudeness, many Connecticut and nat'l Dems likely got up this morning asking themselves if they really want to stake their hopes with Ned Lamont.

Beyond his obvious deficiencies in stagecraft and presentation (more than excusable for a first-time statewide candidate running against a three-term incumbent Senator who has run twice in nat'l elections), Lamont handed at least three issues to Lieberman on a silver platter.

Plus, Biden talks too much, again.

UPDATE: More on Lieberman / Lamont here:

The debate, in the minds of many political analysts, was pretty one-sided. And it should be -- a veteran pol who's debated as a VP candidate versus a neophyte businessman? But bloggers took the spanking poorly, and those supporting Lamont all note the incumbent's perceived rudeness. In fact, one, in the course of pointing out his rudeness, used a seven-letter word that we felt compelled to edit. Can the blogosphere grow a thicker skin? Can they win a race against an incumbent? Or will they blow their '06 momentum on a seat that, almost no matter the outcome, will remain a Dem seat, instead of spending their energy on seats they might actually pick up for Dems? Is Ned Lamont the throne that begins the hut's collapse?

I just wish people would distinguish between the left blogosphere and the blogosphere as a whole, here.

UPDATE: Charles Austin emails:

Maybe the Netroots crowd has decided that it is too hard to beat Republicans. Instead, they’ve decided to go after what they perceive as a vulnerable Democrat, because, you know, they are all about winning. Not governing or building a caucus to advance their agenda, but winning.

Well, a win's a win, I guess. But it seems to me that if you're after winning a majority in the House and Senate, you wouldn't be so quick to go after someone in your own party, even if they disagree with you on some major issues. The Republicans have people with similar sentiments, of course, though they're not as powerful. And it's not necessarily wrong to want to discipline members of your own party to stick with the party platform. But this targeting of Lieberman seems quite unwise to me. Then again, I don't pretend to be a political consultant or strategist.

DEMOCRATS vs. the peace movement?

THE NEW PAJAMAS MEDIA Blog Week in Review podcast is up, featuring Austin Bay, Eric Umansky, Tammy Bruce, and me. Enjoy!

IS THE L.A. TIMES PLANNING TO GO AFTER BLOGGERS?

A GROWING BATTLE over jobs numbers.

IN THE MAIL: Jed Rubenfeld's new book, The Interpretation of Murder. Haven't read it yet, but the cover is very cool.

GAY MARRIAGE IN NEW YORK: A blueprint for victory, from Ryan Sager.

THE THREE PERCENT SOLUTION: Donald Sensing looks skeptically at alternative energy proposals, with an assist from Steven Den Beste.

And Armed Liberal replies with a way to save 3% from our national energy budget and observes: "It's a small thing, but the error I think that Sensing (and others) are making is that they are looking for One Big solution when in reality there are a hundred small ones." Yes, I think it's a mistake to just look for silver bullets.

IS NANO THE NEW "TURBO?" Some related thoughts here.

MATOKO KUSANAGI has thoughts on The Friendliness Problem.

That's a theme of Nick Sagan's new book, though the solution -- a tailored virus that makes people more altruistic -- may be a bit drastic.

UPDATE: Phil Bowermaster says we're already doing better than we think. Without tailored viruses!

ANOTHER REPORT OF A FOILED TERROR PLOT:

The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned.

The terrorists sought to drown the Financial District as New Orleans was by Hurricane Katrina, sources said. They also wanted to attack subways and other tunnels.

Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.

Doesn't that mean they're not exactly lone wolves?

ONE YEAR AFTER THE LONDON BOMBINGS: A roundup at Pajamas Media.

July 06, 2006

TO THE STARS: A new foundation aimed at promoting faster-than-light travel. Give generously, especially if you're really rich.

JEEZ: "Hamsher replied to Althouse's post about civility in public discourse by calling her an idiot and portraying her as a baboon."

It's like seventh grade, in some parts of the blogosphere. Related item here.

UPDATE: The BullMoose observes: "Over and over again, the lefty bloggers contend that their major objective is not an ideological one but rather a partisan one. They claim that they want to win. Badly. The Moose begs to differ. It is not the goal of the left to prevail, but rather to purify."

Indeed. Otherwise they'd be more concerned with making friends than with, er, influencing people. And this is certainly true: "All of this is grand news for the Republicans. One would think that the big political story would be the GOP holding onto power for dear life. Instead, the new narrative that is emerging is about the national Deaniac left telling Democratic hawks to beat it. The lefties' goal is a McGovernite party without the Scoop wing."

That'll work.

MORE: Roger Simon writes:

What interests me most in this is not so much the issue as the intensity of the rage directed at Lieberman. . . . Firedoglake has a right to feel frustrated. But if she wants to win, she should wise up.

Indeed.

HE WAS PAID BY IT before he was against it.

MORE ON GAY MARRIAGE -- and marriage generally -- over at GlennReynolds.com. There's more at GayPatriot.

I'M CONFUSED: "Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called the rationale used in a decision by the New York appeals court reaffirming a ban on gay marriage 'bigoted and outdated.'"

How do we square that with this? "Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean has contradicted his party's platform and infuriated gay rights advocates by saying the party's platform states 'marriage is between a man and a woman.'"

Am I missing something? I realize, of course, that a "bigoted" rationale could conceivably produce an un-bigoted result -- marriage only between a man and a woman, which Dean apparently favors -- but that's more nuance than I usually expect from Dean. Something like that certainly calls for more explanation.

UPDATE: Hmm. Kerry's sounding "anti-gay," too. . . .

MORE: And now, charges of racist remarks from Joe Biden.

And "rape gurney Joe" is carrying the anti-Lieberman sentiment just a bit far, isn't it?

It's a Kerfuffle-a-thon, and Taranto's on vacation!

MORE STILL: No, I don't really think that Biden's racist. It's just his usual talk-without-engaging-brain problem. But it's more evidence that "The only thing standing between Joe Biden and the presidency is his mouth."

Here, meanwhile, is Dean's full statement, which doesn't seem that enlightening. And Eugene Volokh has thoughts on Dean's statement here and here.

A POLL ON PORK, done with the Sunlight Foundation:




























You can only vote once.




I SEEM TO REMEMBER a lot of people downplaying any Al Qaeda connection to the London bombings last summer. But this new video would seem to make the case for such a connection pretty strong:

Pakistani government sources tell ABC News two key operatives in last year's London bombings, Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Saddique Khan, personally met with Ayman al-Zawahiri in the tribal areas sometime in January 2005.

Both appeared in the same video with Ayman al-Zawahiri, which was broadcast in two parts: the first part featuring Khan, posted in the Internet on Sept. 1, 2005, the second part with Tanweer, posted today.

The same sources say that both Khan and Tanweer were led to South Waziristan via Quetta several weeks after their arrival in Karachi in November 2004 and spent at least three full days with Zawahiri in the tribal areas.

Sounds like a connection to me.

FORMER INSTAPUNDIT AFGHANISTAN PHOTO CORRESPONDENT MAJOR JOHN TAMMES, recommends the excellent photoblogging from Afghanistan at this site. In particular, check out this post and this one. Tammes writes: "They make almost everything I sent you pale in comparison."

He's being too modest, but the site is excellent.

JOHN KERRY CHARGED WITH SEX DISCRIMINATION:

Much as I respect military service, I think status as a veteran is a ridiculous single issue basis for deciding between candidates. Among other things, it has a discriminatory impact on women. And what about individuals who oppose the war, like Kerry himself? Presumably, they wouldn't enlist. Presumably, he wouldn't enlist. What is this posturing about?

He just wants to remind people that he's a veteran himself, because, you know, he made the mistake of not making it a theme of his campaign . . . .

IN THE MAIL: Mark Herrmann's The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law, which may be particularly useful for recent law school graduates.

IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT THERE, CAN YOU MAKE IT ANYWHERE? Er, besides Massachussetts, maybe. The New York Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, has declined to find a right to gay marriage. The opinion is here.

Anklebiting Pundits has a roundup. The Georgia Supreme Court (which, it should be noted, overturned Georgia's sodomy law on state constitutional grounds before Lawrence v. Texas was decided) has also issued a similar ruling today according to Howard Bashman.

As I've said before, gay marriage is more likely to come about through the action of time and politics than through judicial end-runs. As with Bowers v. Hardwick -- and for that matter, Kelo -- this should be a spur to political action. I hope that New York, and other states, will recognize gay marriage legislatively.

UPDATE: Here's more on the Georgia opinion.

AUSTIN BAY has much more on North Korea.

"SHE WAS WORKING, I thought I was on a date:" A Slashdot journalist fact-checks a story from The New Republic on conservative dating sites -- as he says he was one of those who was, um, dated.

UPDATE: Ack, bad link before. Fixed now. Sorry!

HATING Lee Greenwood.

MEXICAN ELECTION UPDATE: Calderon has pulled back into the lead. Here's a roundup of coverage.

THE SILVER-BULLET FALLACY: My TCS Daily column is up.

July 05, 2006

THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING: "President Bush gave strong backing Wednesday to ex-Soviet state Georgia's desire to join NATO in a comment that may annoy Moscow ahead of next week's Group of Eight summit."

FEELING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF, with someone else's money. Wow, what a deal!

JORDAN VS. the Muslim Brotherhood.

CHANNELING THE FRAMERS: The Justice Stevens Way.

DANIEL DREZNER: Should you panic over North Korea, or not?

Given the "catastrophic failure" of this week's launches, maybe the answer is no, at least for now.

AMANDA SCHAFFER writes that social conservatives are losing the condom wars.

GRANDPA TUMBLEBUG and the EPA.

MONEY WELL SPENT: "The Blogometer can't remember the last time we read anything positive about Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on DailyKos but barely two weeks into blog outreach director Peter Daou's tenure and already HRC is being praised as a model Dem."

HERE'S SOME INFO on Jeff Bezos' private space company, Blue Origin:

Blue Origin proposes to launch its reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) on suborbital, ballistic trajectories to altitudes in excess of 325,000 feet (99,060 meters) from a privately-owned space launch site in Culberson County, Texas.

As outlined in the EA, the Blue Origin launch site would be approximately 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) north of Van Horn, Texas. It lies within a larger, privately-owned property known as the Corn Ranch. Access to the proposed launch site is from Texas Highway 54, which is approximately five miles (8 kilometers) west of the proposed project's center of operations. . . .

As detailed in the EA, the New Shepard RLV system would be comprised of a propulsion module and a crew capsule capable of carrying three or more space flight participants on roundtrip treks from the ground to the edge of space. The crew capsule is perched on top of the propulsion module. The stacked vehicle would have a roughly nose cone shape with a base diameter of approximately 22 feet (7 meters) and a height of approximately 50 feet (15 meters).

The propulsion module would be fully reusable, would carry its own avionics, and would operate autonomously under the control of on-board computers. The propulsion module would use 90 percent concentration hydrogen peroxide, called high test peroxide (HTP) and rocket propellant (RP) grade kerosene as the propellants.

I'm hoping it works.

INCOHERENCE ON PRIVACY: Dave Weigel thinks that the New York Times did nothing wrong in publishing the GPS coordinates of Cheney and Rumsfeld's vacation homes, because anybody can find that stuff in this Internet age. But in the same post he writes:

As so often happens with these things, angry bloggers have struck back and posted the addresses and phone numbers of the Times' photogs. (No link.)

No link? Why not? By Weigel's standards, a link wouldn't contribute to invasion of privacy. Anybody can find that stuff, right?

And if anybody can find that stuff, why's he so upset about publishing office phone numbers of public officials?

More coherent thoughts on the subject can be found here.

UPDATE: As usual, Glenn Greenwald is clueless, accusing me of being a major promoter of StopTheACLU.com when in fact I was the target of a targeted mass-delinking at their behest. Glenn -- read the Online Integrity principles linked above if you want to know what I think about privacy. Jeez.

And why is your publishing of my email different, exactly, from the "thuggish" tactics you condemn? Grow up.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Patrick Kelly emails:

In order to avoid work, I looked at Greenwald’s post on your “promoting” “Stop the ACLU.” I even clicked through the links. Greenwald’s links don’t come close to his descriptions. Your post “approvingly citing” the STACLU is a link to a Sacramento Bee story noting a guilty verdict in the Hayat (Lodi) terror case (via STACLU, hardly approving of its mission). The “often” link references the Solomon act decision, and says “John Stephenson is gloating.” Hmmm, that’ a clear endorsement if I ever saw one. The “promoting” link refers to a link that goes to a blogger asking for financial help (again, via John Stephenson, and again, hardly support for his contention).

But the bottom line is, how can anyone read your site and conclude that you are firmly opposed to the ACLU? You are either with the Left in all things, or they don’t want you for anything. Take that Joe Lieberman.

Greenwald's readers, as previously discussed, don't seem to follow the links. His descriptions often diverge rather sharply from the linked items. And I link lots of people I don't "approve of" -- like Greenwald!

But reading blogs to avoid work? Say it ain't so!

MORE: Reader Jeff Kimmel emails:

If posting someone's email address is just as thuggish as posting that person's home address, why do you post your email address on your site and not your home address?

I don't think it is thuggish. But Greenwald seems to think that posting a public official's office phone number is thuggish, and those two things don't seem very different. When Greenwald posts my email, though, he doesn't even bother to spamproof it, as I do on my site, meaning that not only do I get lots of abusive and illiterate emails from readers of his site who don't even bother to follow the link and read what I actually wrote, I also get emails offering to refinance my mortgage and introduce me to sexy Russian women. Which, it's true, are often politer and better-written than the ones from Greenwald's readers, but which are nonetheless undesirable. That's not thuggish, just thoughtless.

Anyway, I think that the privacy guidelines at the Integrity site are pretty good ones, and the blogosphere would do well to follow them.

MORE: And, yes, I do have my email address on the site -- but it's got some sort of nifty javascript antispam that Stacy Tabb put on it. It's generally good manners to post emails in the form "pundit -at- instapundit.com" or some such so that spam harvesters don't catch them. That's what I usually do. My other problem with Greenwald is that his readers seem to email based on his, often inaccurate, descriptions rather than following the link and reading things for themselves.

MORE STILL: People unclear on the concept. . . Reader D.G. Fisher writes:

I agree with you that publishing your email address and publishing your home address are EXACTLY the same thing.

So please, let's have at it and publish your home address on your weblog so we can now see where you live and I can drop by and knock on your door and hand-deliver my messages to you personally instead of having to do this impersonal arms-length email thing.

C'mon Glenn, you owe us that much. Email addy/ home address -- there's no difference, nuh-uh, not as far as any sensible person can see. Get to it already and publish your home address. Your home phone number would be pretty cool too.

Funny, but I don't think I said that. In fact -- remember how we started out? -- it was Dave Weigel, way at the beginning of this post, who seemed to say that publishing not just the address, but the GPS coordinates of Rumsfeld and Cheney's houses is okay, because people can find it anyway, but that publishing the office phone number of a university chancellor was something awful. And I was the one who suggested that this didn't make much sense.

As I noted above, I think the Online Integrity principles make more sense. And I guess, once the sarcasm is gone, that D.G. Fisher thinks the same thing.

So where does he get the idea that I feel otherwise? Where else than from Glenn Greenwald, who once again misrepresents my position in order to make his point: "Listing someone's email address and their home address are, argues Reynolds, indistinguishable and equally 'thuggish.'"

Except that I don't argue that. Greenwald is arguing with himself. I think he's got his Glenns confused. And for those who don't follow links, here are the Online Integrity principles on this stuff:

Private persons are entitled to respect for their privacy regardless of their activities online. This includes respect for the non-public nature of their personal contact information, the inviolability of their homes, and the safety of their families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted. The separateness of private persons’ professional lives should also be respected as much as is reasonable.

Public figures are entitled to respect for the non-public nature of their personal, non-professional contact information, and their privacy with regard to their homes and families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted.

Clear? I think so.

IN THE MAIL: For the Insta-Daughter, I ordered Mercedes Lackey's The Fairy Godmother, a rather different retelling of the Cinderella story.

SECRET / NOT SECRET? The Times is encountering more skepticism about its ever-changing stories.

FREEMAN HUNT:

Note to Hollywood: A "relay" or "rolling hunger strike" is not a hunger strike at all. It is a single day without food.

How about a rolling labor strike? One guy will picket outside for one day while everyone else works. He'll go back to work the next day, and another guy will come out and picket for a day. Then that guy will trade off with someone else and so on.

Lame and unserious.

But of course.

JACKIE DANICKI: "In what bizarre universe is this guy ‘liberal’ while someone like me - who is strongly pro-gay marriage, pro-easy availability of pornography, against the stupid drug war, and stridently anti-authoritarian - is often described as ‘conservative’? If he’s a liberal, I’m a Prada handbag."

(Via Samizdata).

AUSTIN BAY ON THE MISSILES BEHIND THE ELVIS SUMMIT:

The six North Korean missiles on Tuesday are big news, but they aren't the strategic shocker. The shocker occurred in August 1998, when Pyongyang tested a long-range ballistic missile. That launch revitalized the United States-Japanese alliance and blew away any legitimate arguments that the United States could wait to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses.

Pyongyang's 1998 test shot demonstrated that Japan and the United States -- and for that matter, Europe -- are vulnerable to rogue missile attack, and it's utterly false to argue otherwise. It meant U.S. diplomacy and the world economy are potential hostages to missile blackmail by regional tinpots.

Japan got North Korea's message. The Japanese also observed China's steady military modernization and concluded the logical, most impressive and most reliable "strategic balance" to China is the United States. . . .

In May, the Honolulu Bulletin reported that the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie successfully intercepted a target missile using an improved U.S. Navy Standard-2 interceptor missile. The Lake Erie also test-fired an advanced Standard-3 anti-missile missile. Japan has destroyers with the Aegis radar system, which can detect and track ballistic missiles. The Japanese destroyers would operate as electronic eyes for a regional ABM system.

The United States and Japan are also exploring ways to more effectively integrate U.S. and Japanese ground forces. The Japanese military has participated in overseas operations and gained experience. For two years, Japan deployed 5,500 troops in Iraq, and they served quite effectively with other coalition forces.

This seems like another reason -- besides those stolen trains -- for the Chinese to be unhappy with North Korea.

THIS SOUNDS PROMISING:

While it has long been known that bone marrow cells have the ability to clear the dead tissue after a heart attack, what has not been known until now is the critically important role of bone marrow adult stem cells in repairing a damaged heart, restoring its function and enhancing the growth of new blood vessels.

"These cells act like generals in a battlefield, explained Dr. Shafie Fazel, cardiac surgery resident at TGH, University of Toronto surgeon/scientist program fellow and lead author of the study entitled, "Cardioprotective c-kit+ cells are from the bone marrow and regulate the myocardial balance of angiogenic cytokines," published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. "When damaged heart tissue sends out an 'SOS' distress signal, this subset of bone marrow cells mobilizes quickly and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the heart. This is the first step in repairing the heart and in preventing the vicious downward spiral of heart failure in which the heart progressively thins and dilates, eventually causing death."

Let's hope this leads to new treatments. (Via Slashdot).

ANTI-AMERICAN, MUCH? The BBC has apologized for remarks that President Bush can "rot in Hell."

Irish blog Slugger O'Toole calls it "anti Americanism gone mad," and Biased BBC observes "the mask slips."

It wasn't much of a mask anyway.

If only they talked about mass murderers like Robert Mugabe, or would-be mass murders like Ahmadinejad, the same way.

UPDATE: Ouch.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Dan Riehl and Rogers Cadenhead continue to look at the Netroots' finances, though it still seems to me that what they're finding is just politics as usual. (Via Kaus). And, like Allison Hayward, I don't get the loan point.

HILLARY CLINTON:

"I've known Joe Lieberman for more than 30 years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for reelection, and hope that he is our party's nominee," the former first lady said in a statement issued by aides.

But she'll support the Democratic nominee, even if it isn't Lieberman.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt comments: "Joe Lieberman was the Democratic Party's standard bearer only six years ago, but now he’s the object of a political purge because of his centrist politics."

Or maybe it's just payback.

KEN LAY IS DEAD. Heart attack.

ROGER SIMON bows to the inevitable.

FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1950, no tornadoes in Kansas/Nebraska. Reader Matt Crandall emails: "Hey, isn't it obvious that this must be the result of Global Warming?"

No. Global warming only causes bad weather.

UPDATE: See?

TEACHING 9/11 DENIAL at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

WHAT'S SO GREAT about America?

FIVE LESSONS from avian flu.

STRATEGYPAGE ON NORTH KOREA:

Meanwhile, North Korean officials engage in even more bizarre behavior. For example, food and fuel supplies sent to North Korea have been halted, not to force North Korea to stop missile tests or participate in peace talks, but to return the Chinese trains the aid was carried in on. In the last few weeks, the North Koreans have just kept the trains, sending the Chinese crews back across the border. North Korea just ignores Chinese demands that the trains be returned, and insists that the trains are part of the aid program. It's no secret that North Korean railroad stock is falling apart, after decades of poor maintenance and not much new equipment. Stealing Chinese trains is a typical loony-tune North Korean solution to the problem. If the North Koreans appear to make no sense, that's because they don't. Put simply, when their unworkable economic policies don't work, the North Koreans just conjure up new, and equally unworkable, plans. The Chinese have tried to talk the North Koreans out of these pointless fantasies, and for their trouble they have their trains stolen. How do you negotiate under these conditions? No one knows.

Jeez.

MICKEY KAUS: "Has McCain blown the GOP nomination? Not yet!"

NEWSFLASH -- MARKETS WORK:

Rising gasoline prices this year are blunting demand for trucks, which account for a majority of sales at the three U.S.- based automakers. Fuel concerns are also boosting demand for more fuel-efficient cars, which dominate the product lineup of Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

Imagine that.

POST-MATURE ANTI-FEMINISM, or something like that: "Just six months after quitting the all-male social club to which he belonged for 50 years, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is questioning one of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench about his membership in an all-male dining club."

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR has a followup on the Kentucky blog-ban story.

July 04, 2006

KOREA LAUNCHES: "The reclusive communist state launched the missile at 3:32 a.m., or 2:32 p.m. Tuesday EDT, and it crashed into the Sea of Japan several minutes later, public broadcaster NHK reported."

UPDATE: Peter Weisskopf emails: "Did you ever consider that missile was downed by an american frigate in the Sea of Japan?"

I hope so, but I think we'd be bragging about it if that were the case.

Austin Bay has posted an analysis.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A roundup on the topic, from Pajamas Media.

A SUCCESSFUL SHUTTLE LAUNCH: That's good news. Much more here.

IT'S A BIG FOURTH OF JULY ROUNDUP over at Pajamas Media.

IN HONOR OF INDEPENDENCE DAY, some red white and blue photos.

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More of this kind of stuff can be found here.


BILL KELLER: The Unitary Editor.

ROGERS CADENHEAD: "Times are tough these days for the Anglican Church. Not only are they considering a schism with their American churches to get the gay out, but this Reuters photo indicates that their leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a disembodied head."

I'VE BEEN PLAYING AROUND WITH THIS EDIROL R-09 WAVE/MP3 Recorder, which I'm reviewing for Gizmodo. I don't want to step on the review, but it's pretty cool. I think we'll test it out properly by doing a podcast interview at a local brewery soon.

I'M PRETTY SURE THAT DISCOUNTED SNACK CAKES aren't really the "Spirit of America." But then again, that might explain the whole obesity thing. . . .

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porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Jason DeParle reports:

Exasperated by his party's failure to cut government spending, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, is seeking cyberhelp.

Coburn wants to create a public database, searchable over the Internet, that would list most government contracts and grants - exposing hundreds of billions in annual spending to instant desktop view.

Type in "Halliburton," the military contractor, or "Sierra Club," the environmental group, for example, and a search engine would show all the federal money they receive.

A search for the terms "Alaska" and "bridges" would expose a certain $223 million span to Gravina Island (population 50) that critics call the "Bridge to Nowhere."

While advocating for openness, Coburn is also placing a philosophical bet that the more the public learns about federal spending, the less it will want.

"Sunshine's the best thing we've got to control waste, fraud and abuse," he said. "It's also the best thing we've got to control stupidity. It'll be a force for the government we need."

But Coburn's plan, hailed by conservatives, is also sponsored by a Democrat, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, and applauded by liberal groups that support activist government.

Yes, the anti-pork movement is pretty bipartisan. And why shouldn't it be? Sadly the pro-pork movement is pretty bipartisan, too . . . .

MICKEY KAUS ON THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE: "It's all eerily reminiscent of the welfare debate, in which anti-welfare candidates sincerely bashed welfare and pro-welfare candidates insincerely bashed welfare. We know how that turned out."

Hmm. That was another issue on which Kaus was the driver, too.

TOM KALIL (who I know from my old law firm, though we didn't quite overlap there) has an oped on creating markets for vaccines that's worth your time.

July 03, 2006

IT'S STILL A NEAR-MISS IN ASTRONOMICAL TERMS: "A large asteroid hurtled harmlessly past the Earth early Monday at a distance of about 269,000 miles _ slightly farther away than the moon. . . . Asteroids the size of 2004 XP14 collide with Earth about every 84,000 years. Scientists said it's hard to predict what would happen if such an event occurred because it depends on the object's makeup, its angle and speed, and whether it was headed for the ocean or land. An asteroid similar in size to 2004 XP14 would probably punch through the atmosphere and cause destruction on a regional scale, one expert said. If it smashed into the United States, it would probably destroy several states, but not the entire continent, said Don Yeomans, who heads the Near Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

BILL ROGGIO REPORTS on the deteriorating situation in Somalia.

A RESEARCH FRAUD INVESTIGATION at Yale. Plus, conflicts of interest at Stanford.

A NEW LIEBERMAN SLOGAN? "Annoy the blogosphere, vote Joe." Well, I wouldn't be annoyed. (Via Brendan Loy, who is much amused).

UPDATE: Indeed: " Cursing at Kos. Firedoglake says 'Sore Loserman.' Isn't it strange to see Democrats cursing him with the very wordplay that drove them up the wall in 2000?"

They've never come down from that wall . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: David Corn observes a Hillary problem:

This primary race is--or should be--important to her and other Democrats because it shows how the war can split the party. And that could become the dominant theme of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination. If the war in Iraq remains a mess a year-and-a-half from now, the Democratic presidential primary will be all about what to do in Iraq. Many Democratic primary voters will be looking for an antiwar, pro-withdrawal candidate (Senator Russ Feingold?) and reluctant to vote for any candidate who has supported the war and stood by it (as has Hillary Clinton). Clinton will certainly have the deepest pockets of any of the candidates--and money usually beats all else (though that didn't work for Howard Dean in 2004). But if Hillary Clinton is on the wrong side of the war (as far as most Democratic primary voters are concerned), the race will be a bitter and divisive one.

I think that a lot of the Democratic activist base -- and nearly all of the "netroots" establishment -- will be bitterly antiwar regardless of events on the ground. You can see that in their treatment of Lieberman today. It's pretty clearly subordinating their alleged top goal, regaining control of the House and Senate, to their real goal, striking out at anyone who supports the war regardless of their political affiliations or other positions. Actions speak louder than words. And yes, it's likely to be very damaging for the Democrats. Can you say "McGovern?"

HOW CAN WE TRUST THEIR JUDGMENT ON WHAT TO PUBLISH, when they can't even figure out what side we're on? The NYT writes:

In 1985, The Times reported that a Marine colonel in the White House was overseeing the secret war against the Nicaraguan contras. The newspaper withheld the name of the colonel because the White House said printing it might endanger his life, recalled a former Times reporter, Joel Brinkley.

The Post named Oliver North the next day.

And twenty years later, they still haven't figured out that the war was against the Sandinistas, and that the contras were on our side. Wake up and smell the coffee, guys!

I'LL BE GRILLING STEAKS TONIGHT -- and it turns out, I'll be grilling for victory!

FELIPE CALDERON IS CLAIMING VICTORY in the Mexican election. The Mexican stock market has rallied.

AN OASIS OF INTELLECT AND SOPHISTICATION at the Kandahar Starbucks:

Customers say it is a meeting place for friends to exchange thoughts over a steaming coffee.

"I wait so eagerly for the coffee shop to open every evening so I can meet my friends," said one, Abdullah Shehwar.

"It is so wonderfully quiet and only the educated come here. We can talk to our heart's content." . . .

Saifullah Habibi is a regular customer who has hardly missed a day since the coffee shop opened.

"You have no idea how happy I feel here," he says.

"By late evening, I find myself dreading the moment it will close for the night."

Customers say the coffee shop has spawned its own community of sorts.

"Conflicts and war have robbed us of our thinking. We need a space where we can think about how to deal with the label of terrorism and Talebanisation that has been slapped on us," Mr Habibi says.

It's a great and good place. Bring on the comfy-chair revolution!

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA: More New York Times secret-spilling. Who knew this went back so far?

DID A MEDIA LEAK kill Marines in Beirut 23 years ago?

SOME PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS, over at I'm a Chick, and a Pilot . . .

A CELEBRATION OF FIREWORKS FREEDOM IN TENNESSEE: Henry Reed would be proud.

UPDATE: A fireworks-blogging roundup from Jeremy Lott.

TED STEVENS' UNDERSTANDING OF THE INTERNET: Now illustrated in a PowerPoint presentation by Meryl Yourish.

IN THE ASIA TIMES, a look at primitive authenticity:

Two billion war deaths would have occurred in the 20th century if modern societies suffered the same casualty rate as primitive peoples, according to anthropologist Lawrence H Keeley, who calculates that two-thirds of them were at war continuously, typically losing half of a percent of its population to war each year.

This and other noteworthy prehistoric factoids can be found in Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn, a survey of genetic, linguistic and archeological research on early man. Primitive peoples, it appears, were nasty, brutish, and short, not at all the cuddly children of nature depicted by popular culture and post-colonial academic studies. The author writes on science for the New York
Times and too often wades in where angels fear to tread. [3] A complete evaluation is beyond my capacity, but there is no gainsaying his representation of prehistoric violence.

That raises the question: Why, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, does popular culture portray primitives as peace-loving folk living in harmony with nature, as opposed to rapacious and brutal civilization?

I think it has something to do with the new misanthropy, and with the same kind of voyeuristic idealization that led Marie Antoinette to play peasant.

I haven't read Wade's book, but it sounds interesting enough that I've ordered it.

UPDATE: Here's more on Wade's book, from Arnold Kling.

ANDY KESSLER'S NEW BOOK, The End of Medicine, is out today. You can hear our podcast interview with him, on how new medical technologies will revolutionize things over the next decade, right here.

GEEK ENTERTAINMENT TV reports from RoboGames 2006.

WHEN SUPERMAN SHRUGS: Doug Kern uses a superhero as a start for an essay on the burdens of power. It's not bad, but I actually prefer this piece by Ginny from Chicagoboyz on the same theme.

As for these superheroes, well, I'm not quite sure where they fit in . . . .

July 02, 2006

TED STEVENS EXPLAINS THE INTERNET: God help us all.

MEXICAN ELECTION TOO CLOSE TO CALL so far: Gateway Pundit has a roundup.

And Mark in Mexico is liveblogging from Oaxaca.

UPDATE: A.M. Mora y Leon reports from Tijuana.

TWEAKING JAMES WOLCOTT at Pajamas Media. Ordinarily, I'd say the photo was too cruel. But not in this case.

ANN ALTHOUSE: "What's with Hillary calling herself Mrs. Clinton?"

Meanwhile, her campaign's getting criticism of a different sort from Greg Sargent and Atrios. It's a frequent Atrios theme that the Big Media hold bloggers to higher ethical standards than they adhere to themselves, and I do think he's got a point.

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Okay, these aren't earmarks, exactly, but we're still talking pork:

Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.

Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual "direct payments," because years ago the land was used to grow rice.

Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.

As the Nebraska Guitar Militia put it: Farmin' the Government beats actual, you know, farming: "Reap what you don't sow."

Meanwhile, Stephen Spruiell notes the connection with Doha's collapse.

UPDATE: You can hear "Farmin' the Government" here. It just might be the best song on agricultural subsidies you ever hear!

IAN SCHWARTZ HAS THE VIDEO of John Hinderaker and Jeralyn Merritt talking about the press and secrecy, and Hugh Hewitt debating Eric Lichtblau on the same topic, both on today's Reliable Sources.

UPDATE: The Times is now saying that it didn't give away secrets. Postwatch notes that its claims for the story were less modest before the heat was on.

EVDO UPDATE: Mark Frauenfelder rounds up reviews of the Kyocera KR-1 router that turns an EVDO card into a wi-fi hotspot. My sister lives out in the boonies, and can't get either cable or DSL, but she's got broadband EVDO coverage. I gave her one of these, and she's been very happy with the results.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Maybe I'm being too "Pollyannaish," but this sounds encouraging:

"Energy is one of the greatest challenges of the century," Claude Canizares, MIT's Bruno Rossi Professor of Physics, told attendees of the conference produced by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME's) Nanotechnology Institute. "We need significant breakthroughs in science and technology. The promise of nanotechnology provides fertile ground for such breakthroughs." . . .

MIT's Vladimir Bulovic said that nanotechnologies such as nanodots and nanorods are potentially "disruptive" technologies in the solar field. That means they could cause a major switch in a primary energy source, potentially proving more efficient than the silicon used in most solar energy devices today. Bulovic is fabricating quantum dot photovoltaics using a microcontact printing process.

On the other hand, this brings things down to earth a bit:

"If 2 percent of the continental United States were covered with photovoltaic systems with a net efficiency of 10 percent, we would be able to supply all the U.S. energy needs," said Bulovic, the KDD Associate Professor of Communications and Technology in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Two percent is a LOT of land. Though we wouldn't have to replace anywhere near the whole U.S. energy budget for it to be worthwhile.

UPDATE: N.Z. Bear does the math. Anybody know how many square miles of rooftop there are in the United States? Not that many, I suspect.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Allen S. Thorpe observes: "don't be surprised if the environmentalists don't turn out to be all that enthusiastic."

WORLD TRADE TALKS / DOHA ROUND IN "COLLAPSE:" This is much worse news than its placement on page A18 suggests. On the other hand, world trade talks often go badly right up until there's a deal, as brinksmanship is common.

THE RESPONSIBLE WAY to publish national security secrets. Related thoughts here.

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Here's a cautionary tale:

Rebuffed on several requests for state and federal financing to help rebuild its crumbling bridge, this small resort town was all but resigned to raising the money by doubling the 50-cent bridge toll, increasing property taxes and issuing bonds.

But in a last-ditch gambit, city officials hired a federal lobbyist who had known the local congressman for four decades. Within weeks, the congressman, Representative C. W. Bill Young, called the mayor to say he had slipped a special $50 million appropriation, known as an earmark, into an omnibus bill.

We need to change the culture so that communities will be as embarrassed by stories like this as by reports of racism or environmental destruction.

BRIAN DUNN WONDERS if we'll be privatizing the war on terror, and isn't overjoyed at the prospect.

AN "UNSTOPPABLE CUBAN SPRING"?

In March 2003 dozens of leaders of Cuba's Varela Project and other human rights defenders were detained, subjected to summary trials, condemned to many years in prison, and confined in the most inhumane and cruel conditions. They were treated like -- and held in cells with -- dangerous common criminals. In this way the regime attempted to suppress the rebirth of the Cuban Spring initiated by thousands of Cubans who overcame a debilitating culture of fear by including their names, addresses and identification numbers in the text of the Varela Project, a document later presented to the National Assembly asking for a referendum on its human rights principles. Despite inhuman treatment and illegal detention, the regime could not stop the rebirth of the Cuban Spring: Many Cubans continue to support the Varela Project even amid repression that includes death threats and physical assault.

I certainly hope that it's unstoppable. (Via James Hudnall).

OKAY, I LIKE THE CARTOON THAT ACCOMPANIES IT, but Reihan Salam's piece in Slate on An Army of Davids is a bit puzzling. At least, Salam doesn't seem to have actually read the book, only Christine Rosen's rather uninformative treatment, which he cites and praises. How else to explain statements like this one:

But Reynolds' weakness isn't that he's a "techno-triumphalist" who sees robotic solutions everywhere. It's that he sees only the robots' upside.

Well, no. Actually, I devote a fair amount of space to the dangers posed by new technologies -- from "horizontal knowledge" like cellphones inspiring riots like those in Nigeria over the Miss World pageant, to genetically engineered bioweapons and lethal nanodevices. And I pointed out that terrorism is an early, not-so-positive example of technology empowering the little guy (there's a whole chapter on terrorism, in fact, so I can hardly be accused of neglecting the subject. Someone else at Slate found the book "frightening.") As I wrote in the conclusion -- in the hope, apparently vain, that even lazy reviewers would read that much:

While a world of hugely and vastly empowered souls may lurk in the future, we're already living in a world in which individuals have far more power than they used to in all sorts of fields. Yesterday's science fiction is todays' reality in many ways that we don't even notice.

That's not always good. With technology bestowing powers on individuals that were once reserved to nation-states, the already-shrinking planet starts to look very small indeed. That's one argument for settling outer space, of course, and many will also see it as an argument for reducing the freedom of individuals on Earth. If those latter arguments carry the day, it could lead to global repression. In its most benign form, we might see something like the A.R.M. of Larry Niven's science fiction future history, a global semisecret police force run by the United Nations that quitely suppresses dangerous scientific knowledge. In less benign forms, we might see harsh global tyranny, justified by the danger of man-made viruses and similar threats. (As I write this, scientists in a lab in Atlanta have resurrected the long-dead 1918 Spanish Flu and published its genome, meaning that people with resources far below those of nation-states will now be able to recreate one of the deadliest disease agents in history.)

Still, I'm apparently a Pollyannaish techno-utopian because I hold a Faulknerian belief that mankind will not only survive, but prevail. Whatever. In truth, actual Pollyannaish techno-utopians are pretty hard to find -- Ray Kurzweil is often charged with Pollyannaism, but his book The Singularity is Near is devoted as much to grim warnings as to rosy scenarios -- but the luddite crowd seems to want them so much that where they do not exist, they are invented. Of course, the pop culture is sufficiently loaded in favor of techno-doom, from Paul Ehrlich to Jeremy Rifkin to Al Gore, that anyone who doesn't run in circles screaming that we're all going to die looks Pollyannaish by comparison.

As for "cybernetic arms," well, here's a start. And here's much more. Oh, and here.

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