commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for November, 2004

We’d do well with an Austrian, eh?

CNN reports that there’s now a Silicon Valley-based movement to amend the US Constitution so that Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger can run for president. You know, the guy who thinks he’s so brilliant referring to opponents to his policies as “girly men”, and who calls himself a man of the people while sucking up to big business.

So maybe we’d do well in the US with an imported Austrian running things? After all, Germany once had an Austrian running things, and look where it got them!

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Smorgasbord for voracious readers

I just subscribed today to KeepMedia, a for-profit aggregator of magazine content. This service includes (so far) over 200 periodicals, including Newsweek, US News and World Report, Business Week, Variety, Reason, Mother Jones, and The New Republic. There are also some newspapers, such as USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Yum.

The catch is, the current issue of any given periodical is not available. This way, the magazine doesn’t wind up (hopefully) going out of business. On the other hand, you get oodles of back issues, full search, and you don’t have these cluttering up your home.

On the yearly plan, they charge just under US$50/yr for the service – less than the cost of two magazines for a year, and in some cases, less than the cost of one magazine for a year.

(Boy, am I going to be a pain on some of the lists I read now, with all this material to back me up…)

Maybe we need bank software in the election machines

Bank of America has a new ad campaign where they claim an error rate processing checks of less than one in a million. Imagine if we had that sort of software processing elections – with approximately 100 million votes cast nationwide, an error of only 100 votes either way.

Sure beats those vote errors in Ohio and Florida…

Texas Board of Education takes steps to increase number of abortions

In its bid to maintain its second place ranking for total number of abortions, and to improve its third place ranking for number of abortions in children under fifteen, the Texas State Board of Education approved a selection of health textbooks that – among the four of them – make only one reference to contraceptives.

As textbook manufacturers often sell Texas-approved books to many other states, Texas may have a tough time maintaining their place overall – but at least they’ll likely have a head start.