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First they came for the exothermic chemists…

Here’s something that will keep me awake tonight: The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducts SWAT raids. Their target? A seller of chemistry sets for kids. Between fear of terrorist bombings and fear of meth labs, you can get arrested these days for having Pyrex glassware.

HIV/AIDS and the Avian Flu

In a previous post I linked to a short note about the early days of the AIDS epidemic. It’s well-written, but I’d like to address a side issue that rubs me the wrong way. The author touches on it in her opening sentence: At a time when the mere threat of avian flu or SARS […]

Gods, Powers, and Saints of Small Things

Yesterday we went to see the new X-Men movie. The movie was pretty good, but the really amazing part was that we got the closest possible parking space to the theater. The only closer space was handicapped parking. After the movie we went to dinner and this time we got the parking space right in […]

25 Years of HIV

Alexandra Billings has a moving account of the early days of the AIDS pandemic here in America: At a time when the mere threat of avian flu or SARS can set off a coast-to-coast panic–and prompt the federal government to draw up contingency plans and stockpile medicines–it’s hard to imagine that the national response to […]

Am I What They Warned You About?

In my continuing attempts to reach out to our nation’s youth (’cause, you know, they’re the future) I’ve decided to sign up for AOL Instant Messenger, or just AIM as it’s called these days. If I’m signed into AIM right now, and I’m not away from my PC, you should see a message near the […]

Jack’s Long Day Comes to an End

(You know, I can’t believe I didn’t have a Television Department until now. How could I not have realized the importance of having a Television Department?) Spoilers for the 24 season finale after the jump.

My Computer, My Software

Somehow, the Federal Communications Commission thinks it has the authority to tell every American what software they are or are not allowed to run on their computers. According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today’s Internet, “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the […]

Why Your Taxes are Hard to Prepare

Last year, the California government had a really great idea. (No, that’s not the start of a joke.) Many California taxpayers have income only from regular employment and don’t have any unusual deductions. This means that their state income taxes can be calculated entirely from the payroll data already in the state’s tax database. As […]

Mitsuwa Marketplace

My wife has developed a taste for snacking on Edamame (fresh ripe soybeans that have been parboiled and frozen) which we usually get with take-out sushi. She wanted some for tonight, so since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to check out the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights. We found what we came for, […]

Cartelization of the Gasoline Market?

Radley Balko has an article on the FOXNews site about politicians trying to look like they’re doing something about high gas prices. I agree with his basic premise, which is that high has prices are mostly the result of natural market forces and that any attempt to fiddle with them is likely to cause more […]

Hail Blogging

We got hit with a hailstorm late this afternoon. I was too slow to get a picture while it was falling, but this is what the parking lot looked like minutes later. No damage to the car, as far as I can tell, but the alarm went off. Update: And another:

Intelligence Please

Wow. I have got to start reading the Weekly Standard more often. Heather Mac Donald has an editorial there titled “Information Please.” It’s a defense of the NSA collection of phone records, and it is both self-righteous and misinformed at the same time. I thought only us bloggers were supposed to post stuff like that. […]

Why Do They Hate Us?

I’ve slacked off on the blogging over the past couple of months because I’ve been kind of busy, but I’ll try to speed up again. Google Analytics claims that I have about a dozen or so regular readers, so to you folks, I apologize. Unfortunately, the story that the NSA is getting all our call […]

A Letter To ATT

One of the big stories in the news these days is that the National Security Agency (NSA) is apparently collecting information about millions of telephone calls made by Americans since 9/11. They’re apparently trying to get source and destination phone numbers as well as call time and duration for every phone call made in the […]

Indigence Incentives

Ken Lammers is discussing the conflict of interest that exists between a criminal defendant and his court-appointed attorney when there is a cap on the fee for the case. Put simply, once the attorney has worked enough on the case to hit the cap, he’s working for free. That gives him a strong incentive to […]