Your Town. Your Voice.
Stock Summary
S&P 5002108.92-8.77
Opening Arguments

Recent Comments

» Rebecca Mallory : From a Hillary Clinton
Word power
» Frank Keller : This is always good for a
Anti-gun nuts
» Frank Keller : But there should be some kind
Bad idea, round 2
» Lois Marquart : And how much is that going to
» gadfly : Google technology is not
Google dummies
» Andrew J. : Guess they must have been
Google dummies

Can you hear me now?

Do we really want to know if we're not alone in the universe?

Now some SETI researchers are pushing a more aggressive agenda: Instead of just listening, we would transmit messages, targeting newly discovered planets orbiting distant stars. Through “active SETI,” we’d boldly announce our presence and try to get the conversation started.

It's a circus

The "Gotcha!" apologists

Damage control

If Barack Obama is our first "post-American president," does Jeb Bush want to be the second? Both of them are deeply unhappy with America as it exists today, and both want to fundamentally change it. Obama's thoughts about the country's failings have been extensively explored. Bush's, not so much:

Gotcha takedown right here

If you scan through the righty blogosphere (as I do) you can find a lot of bemoaning of the treatment of Scott Walker by the press now that he's the GOP front-runner, especially its habit of asking "Gotcha!" questions that never get thrown at Democrats. (Try this one: "The left made Scott Walker a candidate, the press is turning him into a force.")


The New York Times drags the income inequality crusade down to self-parody: "As Cuba Shifts Toward Capitalism, Inequality Grows More Visible":

As Cuba opens the door wider to private enterprise, the gap between the haves and have-nots — and between whites and blacks — that the revolution sought to diminish is growing more evident.

[. . .]

Not so special

Another case of stolen valor:

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald falsely claimed that he served in a military special forces unit, he admitted to the Huffington Post.

Petard. Her own. Hoist by.

Oops! Chelsea Clinton loved Patricia Arrquette's Oscar speech about equal pay for women. Maybe she should talk to her mother, who, it turns out, had a slight problem in that area:

Guess again

You can find whole lists of bad predictions. I love the tech-related ones in which people pretend they can figure out what innovations will last. There was, for example. IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, who said in 1943, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." And Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of the Digital Equipment Corp., in 1977: "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

Posted in: Web/Tech

Ta-ta, TV

I've mention here a time or two, in reaction to stories about the "death of print" or the "end of newspapers" that the problem is much, much deeper. What we are actually seeing is the demise of the whole mass-marketing phenomenon in which news can ride on the back of advertising. That end is almost upon us:

They call me Mister Morris

Not here, of course. We're all just good buddies, right? But elsewhere in our life, we could do with a little more formality:


Posted in: Current events

A unique life

Oliver Sacks, the neurology professor who has done such a marvelous job of turning scientific jargon into plain English, has learned, at the age of 81, that he has terminal cancer. What he has written about it should be read by all who doubt the value of their lives. The concluding paragraphs:

Got you covered, kitty


Americans are spending more than ever on their pets. The tally for 2014 is an estimated $58.5 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association. After food, the biggest amount—$15.2 billion—went to veterinary care. With MRIs, sonograms, and chemotherapy all on the treatment menu, the health costs for many pets can top what well-insured humans pay for their own health care.


Hey, we haven't screwed with the vets enough yet. Let's pile on some more abuse:

New federal rules that make it harder to get narcotic painkillers are taking an unexpected toll on thousands of veterans who depend on these prescription drugs to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as missing limbs and post-traumatic stress.

Posted in: Current events

No, no, no, no, no


The president tries his hand at writing an op-ed piece:

More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better.

Gun grabbers

No, they're not coming after your guns, but they'll be useless so it doesn't really matter:

A novel approach

I notice a lot of blog traffic today by people upset over the Obama administration's growing disconnect with reality on Islamic terrorism, occasioned by the latest White House reaction to an atrocity. "The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists," said the press secretary.