Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

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Today is Kenneth's first birthday. Let me tell you, it has been one long year.


Last month the Wall Street Journal had a story about a marriage in Kansas that was posthumously anulled because it was revealed that the wife had previously been a man. Now, based on the same logic, two lesbians will be able to get married in Texas because one of them is a male-to-female transsexual!

Houston Chronicle: Houston couple plans Texas' first legal lesbian marriage.

"Rep. Glen Maxey, D-Austin, the only openly gay member of the Texas Legislature, said the unusual case in Houston shows exactly why government should not be getting involved in the private lives of its citizens. 'Because government got involved in something they should have never gotten involved with, you have these absurdities and seeming irrationalities,' he said."

And here's Chuck Anderson, the Texas Christian Coalition's executive director, with an opposing opinion:

"It's creepy."


WSJ: The Survival of Falun Dafa Rests on Beepers and Faith.

"Experience quells the temptation to turn on his cell phone. Not only can conversations be monitored, but the phones are dangerous even when they are only switched on. That's because security agents can figure out which transmitter the phone is getting its signal from. In a city like Beijing, where a high density of mobile phones means transmitters are located every few blocks, police could trace Brother Li and follow him through town."

This has been a pretty big story for the last year and a half. A paranoid totalitarian government has turned a new-age fad into an underground resistance movement by imprisoning, torturing and killing ordinary people for meditating!


A political story from yesterday:

Paul Krugman, NYT: What would have happened if Bob Dole had won?

"I've been going back over Mr. Dole's economic program -- which, remember, was centered on huge tax cuts -- and trying to calculate what today's economy would look like if those tax cuts had been enacted. One clear conclusion is that even if the economy had grown as fast as it actually did, the federal budget -- certainly the non-Social-Security budget, and probably the whole shebang -- would still be in deficit....

"Anyway, the economy surely wouldn't have grown as fast as it did....

"Not long ago America faced a choice between sober, sensible fiscal discipline and huge, irresponsible tax cuts. We chose discipline, and were rewarded with growth beyond our wildest dreams. So why would anyone today propose exactly the kind of irresponsibility we were lucky to avoid four years ago?"


Today was my 14th wedding anniversary. No chance to celebrate, but I did pick up dinner on my way home.


New pictures of the kids. Get 'em while they're fresh!


On the subject of lullabies, this item in the Wall Street Journal sounded interesting. I immediately whipped out my Visa card, clicked over to Patti Teel's site and placed my order.


Kid Alert! My son Christopher is featured on this month's Food Allergy News for Kids website.


New York Times:Record Companies Explore Online Music Subscriptions.

This is close to what the record industry should be doing, although the encryption thing is probably a problem. How does their encryption system work? I don't want to have to listen to everything on the computer I used for the download. I want to copy the music to a player and jack it into my car stereo, of course.

But this quote near the end of the article really sends up a red flag:

"One record industry executive said the contractual issues aside, the labels would probably have to make only 5,000 to 10,000 of their 200,000 title libraries available to meet consumer demand, which is concentrated among a few artists."

Man, this guy couldn't have said more clearly, "We suck." This company's entire catalog of music would probably fit on a 2 terabyte disk farm. So, assuming they can figure out a decent search engine and really good broadband access (see, for instance, E*TRADE), there are no inventory and distribution issues. Assuming their precious encryption system really works, there are no pirating issues. And with their subscription system, people could even pay for the music. But instead of making their entire catalog available, they will probably limit the selection to Brittany Spears and the Backsteet Boys because ...


Walter Kessinger

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