Monthly Archives: August 2007

Scary quote of the day

From the AJC article Clayton may seek records on all renters

“This is not to say Big Brother is watching,” he insisted. “It says Big Brother is helping.”

It’s not the most intrusive thing that could happen, but bear in mind that in the past 10 years we (the Atlanta Metro Area) have had

  • 1 Mayor in jailed on corruption charges
  • 1 political assassination of a sheriff
  • 1 ex-sheriff convicted of said assassination, along with several deputies
  • 1 police shooting of an 87 year old woman based on a perjured warrant
  • The creation of a “Tupac Shakur Arts Center” funded by the taxpayers
  • Cynthia McKinney’s entire political career

And we should give the government more power?

Meaningless op-eds masquerading as human interest stories

From the article: Muslim women: My headscarf is not a threat after telling a story about rudeness at Walmart while wearing a hijab (which they put in quotation marks for some reason).

Such stories are not altogether uncommon for Muslim Americans.

Wow, not altogether uncommon! I guess it’s not unlike a problem of variable merit. There’s also the annoying use of the term Muslim American (implying ethnicity or nationality) instead of American Muslim.

The rest of the story is of dubious logic and follows the same pattern as all other stories about group identity, which is

  1. An offensive incident
  2. A quote of data after some seemingly arbitrary date
  3. Quote from expert
  4. Further interview with subject, telling everyone that he/she wants to be different while remaining the same. website!

Ever since I went in business for myself (5 years ago now) my largest client has been Nine Rodessa. And we’ve talked about doing a new website since then; happily other projects have taken priority and there has never been enough time to actually build the site. At long last the site has been created and built. It’s a fine mix of high-end design, Flash video and Ajax, all administered via a lovely content administration system. For this type of work I think it’s the finest I’ve ever done.

Check it out.

Your tax dollars at work

In the form of a brazen retirement scam at the Fulton County Clerks office. Basically the old clerk retires and her successor hires her back at $55 an hour.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution learned through open-records requests and interviews that Hicks is working without a contract, that her new job has no written goals or deadlines and has delivered no tangible work product in six months of employment.

All this and the roads aren’t fixed.

Wisdom from the Agitator

From his post on America and Life Expectancy

The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates.

The other factor here is that thanks to our access to medical technology, we’re more likely to try to save premature deliveries that in other countries would result in stillbirths or miscarriages. So every time an infant dies in the U.S. that would never have been born alive (or counted as born alive) in other countries, it registers as a life that died at the age of “zero.” That’s a pretty significant downward-tug on the national life expectancy.

I’d actually like to see where we rank in average life expectancy from, say, the age of 30 or 35 onward. I couldn’t find any such data, but it seems to me that would factor out much of the homicide problem, would negate the problems with how we measure infant mortality, and would probably result in a better showing for the U.S.

All quite true.

A short adage

Julian Sanchez comes up with a new term, the Outsight, defined as the opposite of insight, further defined as an

elementary point that everyone else had taken for granted as a premise of the conversation, and indeed, one too obvious to be worth stating.