Daily Archives: October 15, 2007

Weight watchers: a magazine of food ads

I was in the library and as I walked past the magazine rack I noticed that there is a WeightWatchers magazine. Who knew? Now, as I have a certain professional and personal interest in the subject of overeating/under exercising, I grabbed it for a quick peek. Well, don’tcha know, it really has a lot of ads, and most of them are for processed “foods”, things you can buy and eat. For example, on page 6: Honey Nut Shredded Wheat. Now, I hadn’t really put that one on my “approved for losing weight” list.

I’m not so sure I’ll read through the articles in this magazine; I’m not so sure they’re real serious about helping people. I could be wrong.

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The excrable Malkin does a pratfall

It takes a lot to get a rightwinger busted by the Wall Street Journal editorial page. And when it happens, bad things probably lie ahead. Witness the stumbling of the truly disgusting Michele Malkin. Billy O’Reilly is a clown, and Ann Coulter just talks. But Michelle Malkin, well….

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Filed under Michelle Malkin's latest brain fart

Jesus action figures, $19.95, in time for Christmas

I see in the Sunday NY Times Mag that the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company is going to be marketing biblical action figures, including Jesus. These will be high class items with “18  points of articulation.” I hope that no kids put their new Jesus action figures near their George Bush action figures, because I think Jesus might miraculously beat the shit out of Bush.

Hard for me to think of a man who acts less Christian than George Bush. Can you? I mean, I know Christ’s teachings pretty well, and I don’t think of anyone who acts less Christian day in and day out than Bush.

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Filed under gadgets, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, religion, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

Medtronic confesses that defibrillator wires are failing, while FDA smiles and goes back to sleep

A fairly good article is here.

the article in the Wall St. Journal is pretty cagey about what is going on. It seems that five patients have died as a result of the failed wires, although we may never know what criteria were used to determine which patients (of the thousands whose wires broke) died as a result of the event. What we do know, from the WSJ article, is that the FDA boasts of having a ‘much more cooperative relationship with the company…” Somehow, that makes me nervous. Because if you do the math, it seems that 2.3 % of these wires failed: If roughly 250,000 were implanted, then something like 5500-6000 of these wires broke before the company, let alone the slumbering FDA, seemed to notice.

The company said it has learned through 30-month performance data that the [wiresl] had begun to fail at a greater rate than [another type of wire].

These broken wires cannot be removed, according to the article. So we have over 200,000 people with these time bombs ticking, 5 already dead, and 5500 broken wires; and the FDA is happy.

Peachy.

The linked article makes it clear that this has been a concern for months. Exactly how many more people got these wires put in them in the meantime is not yet clear. I certainly hope we find out.  I’m sure Medtronic is not going to give them any refunds.

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Filed under gadgets, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare

Thomas Friedman on George Bush and Al Gore

link to a must-read:

Seeing Al Gore so deservedly share the Nobel Peace Prize, it is impossible not to note the contrast in his leadership and that of George W. Bush.

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Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment

The illegal wiretapping and surveillance of Americans

Glenn Greenwald’s very important post today on the political prosecution of Quest CEO Joseph Nacchio:

The cooperation between the various military/intelligence branches of the Federal Government — particularly the Pentagon and the NSA — and the private telecommunications corporations is extraordinary and endless. They really are, in every respect, virtually indistinguishable. The Federal Government has its hands dug deeply into the entire ostensibly “private” telecommunications infrastructure and, in return, the nation’s telecoms are recipients of enormous amounts of revenues by virtue of turning themselves into branches of the Federal Government. There simply is no separation between these corporations and the military and intelligence agencies of the Federal Government.

….

It is a never-ending carousel of multi-billion dollar transactions — pursuant to which enormous sums of taxpayer money are transferred to these telecoms in exchange for the telecoms serving as obedient divisions of the Government, giving them unfettered access to all of the data and content of the communications of American citizens.

That is what is so extraordinary — and so absolutely appalling — about the casual advocacy on the part of our nation’s “journalists” for Congressional amnesty for telecoms. The amnesty they advocate would result in the complete and permanent dismissal of all of the pending lawsuits arising out of this joint telecom-government lawbreaking, which would, in turn, ensure that this lawbreaking remains concealed.

….

Merely to describe this behavior is to demonstrate its profound corruption and threat to the very concept of an open democratic government operating under the “rule of law.”

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Filed under Alberto Gonzales:boob or simpleton-you decide, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Congress, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, James Comey, Politics, public corruption, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him

More distortions of what Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth

Media Matters

The Big Oil mouthpieces and the anti-science Republicans are somehow allowed to spew their lies and get more air time than the Nobel Prize Committee and the worldwide consensus of scientists about the advance of global warming and its consquences.

Gore did not claim that a twenty foot rise in sea level would occur this century. The fact is that sea levels are rising now, and willl continue to do so. The pace of the melting of large ice sheets is proceeding faster than was expected. A rapid collapse of the Greenland ice dome or the Antarctic ice sheets would greatly accelerate this rise and cause rises of 20-80 feet; we do not know when it will occur.

The overwhelming fact is that we are approaching a tipping point where we cannot reverse, cannot stop the “snowballing” effects. And that tipping point will happen long before it gets too hot, for example, to live in Alabama. Prof. John Robinson of the University of British Columbia:

He said serious moves to cut emissions must be taken now to have an impact 10 or 15 years from now. “We have to bend the curve. The path we are on right now is taking us into a world of ever-increasing emissions.”

Meanwhile, George Bush does nothing but start wars.

The British judge’s mistakes are documented here. 

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Filed under Al Gore, global warming/environment