Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

July 21, 2005

House Vote on Iraq and Guantánamo

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:59 pm

Quoted verbatim from Instapundit:

THE HOUSE VOTED TO oppose withdrawal from Iraq and support operations at Guantanamo. I’m sure that will be the lead story on tonight’s news.

Lester Crawford confirmed as FDA Commissioner

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:57 pm

The Senate has confirmed the President’s nomination of Lester Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D. to be the new FDA Commissioner. Dr. Crawford has been acting commissioner since March 2004, when then-commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Dr. Crawford is known as a food safety expert; he is also a veterinarian with a Ph.D. in pharmacology. Dr. McClellan is a respected health economist; he is a physician with a Ph.D. in economics. I doubt somehow that this will put to rest accusations that the Bush administration is a bunch of uneducated idiots, but it should.

(Trivia: Mark McClellan is a brother of White House spokesman Scott McClellan, and both are sons of Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who was also the first woman mayor of Austin and is now running for governor. There’s a fascinating story about her here.)

Microsoft Sues Google

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:52 pm

This lawsuit could be just what it seems — an issue of someone switching employers and possibly revealing proprietary information of the first employer to the second — or it could be part of a larger strategy by Microsof to keep Google from infringing on its territory as the most important and most financially successful company in the computer industry.

Daylight Savings Time May Be Extended

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:21 am

Congress may add two months to Daylight Savings Time:

Congressional leaders of both parties have signed off on a proposal, being considered in Washington this week, to start Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in March and end on the last Sunday of November. They say it would save energy.

If the president signs the bill, the new law would take effect immediately, extending Daylight Saving Time by one month this fall. Currently, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ends at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.

“The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the measure with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Ummm….. does Ed Markey really believe that there will be “more daylight” if Congress passes this law? Is this going to slow the rotation of the earth during the day and speed it up at night?

“Daylight Savings Time” doesn’t create more daylight, it just moves it around. More precisely, it moves our clocks around, making everyone do everything one hour earlier relative to the sun’s position in the sky. It’s really just a cultural shift, because people have gotten in the habit of, say, opening the stores when the clock says “10:00 am” regardless of how long it’s been since sunrise.

This seems to me like Congress is trying to get something for nothing. I mean really — if Daylight Savings Time is really such a great idea in terms of saving energy, why not use it all year? Is there some reason why Ed Markey and Fred Upton think we should be wasting energy in December, January, and February?

(Hat tip: Slashdot, where one commenter suggests we call the rest of the year “Daylight Wasting Time.”)

Another Argument Against Gun Control

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:40 am

Just when I thought I’d heard all the arguments on this issue…

Those opposed to gun control often argue that restrictions on gun ownership by definition disarm only law-abiding people. When laws restricting gun possession are passed, law-abiding people obey them and don’t buy or get rid of their guns. Criminals — who by definition do not obey the law — ignore laws against guns the same way they ignroe the laws against robbery, auto theft, murder, rape, and so on. After all, if someone is willing to violate the law against murder, what makes anyone think that person will obey a law against having the gun used to commit the murder?

So, the argument goes, gun control disarms law-abiding people and emboldens criminals, who know their intended victims are less likely to be armed. Since the victims are less likely to be armed, the “cost” of attempting a crime — in terms of probability of being injured or arrested — is lower. Thus, crime is more likely to pay, so criminals commit more crimes.

This all old hat, and has been extensively documented by John Lott.

But now, Capital Freedom has yet another argument, which is so obvious we all should have thought of it years ago. Because taking guns away from the law-abiding makes crime more profitable, and because it’s easier to commit certain crimes with guns, gun control increases the benefit to a criminal of having a gun. Since crime more “profitable,” a gun is more likely to be a profitable investment for a criminal. So criminals acquire not the same number of guns, but more of them.

In other words, gun control not only disarms the law-abiding, but actually encourages the criminals to obtain and use guns.

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