Friday, September 26, 2003

the conspiracy to keep you poor and stupid

Thursday, September 25, 2003

tiny mix tapes

SI blogger who went to school in Chicago & was an arch student

Soviet Canuckistan article from The Stranger, the Seattle arts weekly.

ephedra vs. canadian imports

around for thousands of years and is dispensed as "servings" rather than doses, if the drug has been known for decades to cause increased blood pressure, increased pulse rate, and an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias? For dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids[1], the answer is yes, it has made a difference.

Because of dangers and abuse potential, in 1983 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) banned all over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that included both synthetic ephedrine and caffeine, the combination used most in dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids, and the agency is now finalizing the ban on OTC drugs that contain ephedrine alone. At a recent U.S. Senate Hearing on ephedra alkaloids, acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford conceded that if these products were drugs, not dietary supplements, they would be off the market. But he also stated that unreasonable risk of harm at the recommended doses, is sufficient for withdrawal under the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which allows marketing of naturally occurring products without requirements for safety or efficacy studies and is the legal standard for FDA withdrawal[2].

In a review of 140 cases of adverse reactions to ephedra reported to the FDA by early 1999, hypertension was the most frequently named, followed by palpitations, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), stroke, and seizures. The adverse effects included 10 deaths, and 13 instances of permanent disability[3]. Even one standard "serving" of a typical ephedra alkaloid-containing dietary supplement can be dangerous: The average increase in systolic blood pressure was 14 mmHg, 90 minutes after subjects took two capsules with a total of 20 mg of ephedra and 200 mg of caffeine. Three of the eight people studied had evidence of "mild clinical hypertension"[4].

Despite convincing evidence of heart attacks, arrhythmias, strokes, and more than 100 reports to the FDA of death[5], these products are still marketed in the United States. Notwithstanding FDA's reluctance to take action, Army and Air Force commissaries and post exchanges recently voluntarily removed all ephedra-containing dietary supplements from their shelves[6]. The FDA has received documentation of about 30 deaths in active duty personnel who were using these supplements, although no direct cause-and-effect relation has been established[7]. The National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association had previously banned ephedra[8]. In June 2001, the Canadian government warned Canadians not to use these products, and in January 2002, it announced a recall of "ephedra/ephedrine products with labelled or implied claims for appetite suppression, weight loss promotion, metabolic enhancement, increased exercise tolerance, body-building effects, euphoria, increased energy or wakefulness, or other stimulant effects"[9].

pro ephedra site

More Than 30 Army Deaths Attributed To Ephedra ( - 12/06/02 - The U.S. Army has reported that more than 30 active duty service personnel have died while taking ephedra products thus prompting a recent military warning saying "Ephedra may cause severe medical problems, even death".

ABC News Ephedra story - To justify limiting ephedra's sales, the magazine cited the FDA's recent study of adverse events associated with ephedra products that concluded 87 that were "definitely," "probably," or "possibly" caused by ephedra. Of these, there were 17 cases of strokes and seizures, 13 cases of permanent impairment and 10 deaths.

Countering the magazine's claim, Hathcock says a stimulant, like ephedra, might have led to these bad reactions, but added that something else might also have been responsible.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ephedra, an herb found in weight-loss and bodybuilding supplements, is unsafe even when taken in recommended doses and should be restricted, according to doctors who studied reports of bad reactions to the herb.

U.S. poison control centers reported 1,178 adverse reactions to ephedra dietary supplements in 2001, said the study, which was to be posted on the Annals of Internal Medicine's Web site Tuesday and published in the journal next month.

CBS news story

Roll Call website.

Clark for Prez blog

Monday, September 22, 2003

Is this for real? It is very possible but I still have trouble getting my head around it.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

U.S. rushed post-Saddam planning

A secret report for the Joint Chiefs of Staff lays the blame for setbacks in Iraq on a flawed and rushed war-planning process that "limited the focus" for preparing for post-Saddam Hussein operations.

The report, prepared last month, said the search for weapons of mass destruction was planned so late in the game that it was impossible for U.S. Central Command to carry out the mission effectively. "Insufficient U.S. government assets existed to accomplish the mission," the classified briefing said.

The report is titled "Operation Iraqi Freedom Strategic Lessons Learned" and is stamped "secret." A copy was obtained by The Washington Times.

The report also shows that President Bush approved the overall war strategy for Iraq in August last year. That was eight months before the first bomb was dropped and six months before he asked the U.N. Security Council for a war mandate that he never received.

article on Iranian Coup staged by Ike. One could say that 9/11 happened as an indirect and unintended consequence from this very action.

What Fires You Up? Blog.

Panoply of the Absurd - "Were the attacks on New York and Washington the biggest act of terrorism in history - or just an enormous secret service conspiracy?"

This international phenomenon has bothered me as well, the whole industry's worth of conspiracy mongers with completely fucked up and ridiculous half baked theories. They decide what they believe first, then use evidense that support those theories and ignore conflicting evidense. From the article;

Conspiracy theorists are filling bestsellers with their supposed evidence, and they already have one-fifth of all Germans convinced of their half-truths.

The Real Empire -
From the September 1 / September 8, 2003 issue: The once and future China. by Gary Schmitt, 09/01/2003, Volume 008, Issue 48

Apparently this conservative author, while definitely accurate in his criticism of China, seems to forget that China's biggest enabler is us, the United States! What a dumbass! All those rich business people that read the Weekly Standard probably have major investments tied up in China. The reason we don't say shit to the Chineses is because all those who profit from their economy are huge contributors to the Bush administration. Granted plenty of those people did the same when Clinton was in office. But those who took potshots at Slick Willy when he was in office now have no one to blame but themselves.

U.S. Rejects Diluting Iraqi Occupation Authority

In Wal-Mart's America.

Confessions of a Terrorist - Author Gerald Posner claims an al-Qaeda leader made explosive allegations while under interrogation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Seattle voters nix 10-cent espresso tax - Sept. 17, 2003 | SEATTLE (AP) -- After voters in this caffeine capital rejected a proposed 10-cent tax on espresso drinks, cafe owners celebrated with beer, wine and -- what else? -- lattes.

As much of a Liberal that I am, I suspect that whenever a stereotypical Conservative cites stupid, foolish, wasteful or irrelevant ideas from Democrats to raise revenue (While I could be wrong, I think it's safe to assume this is most probably a Demcrat's idea) this would be a prime and quinessential example. I'm in favor of trying to raise revenue to pay for education, but where's the logic between taxes drinking beverages for the Seattle school system? Fees and taxes on a specific activity that in of itself has no real detrimental cost to the city are flat out silly. I couldn't blame a conservative if they lost their top over this proposal.

Disparity in tax revenue distribution from state to state from Calpundit. I tried to swipe the map he put up on his blog, but I cant get the source code for some reason.

Disparity in tax revenue distribution from state to state from Brad Delong

The Tax Foundation's analysis in the disparity in tax revenue distribution. It has the same map that Calpundit showed, plus lots of more info about the issue.

Indy Media Conference in Madison Wisconsin. Looks like I'm going.

Hotels in Madison that allow dogs. Since the significant other and I adopted a 3 year old collie.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Centrist Coalition

Tacitus website

I posted here, to which someone responded like this. There's a lot of posts, so you have to swim thru a lot of stuff to get to where you want to be.

So, all you have to do is print money and assess taxes? How...novel. So, your entire point is that if the Indians had printed money and assessed taxes, they'd be in much better shape now? If only they'd known...paper money in lieu of wampum would've saved their asses. Oh, and taxes. We mustn't forget the wealth-generating power of taxes.

Silly me. I'd been under the impression that it was things like growing food, making clothing, assembly of consumer goods, innovation in manufacturing, and stuff like that there. Guess I need to crack another history book or two.

My comment about the Indians was meant to be a bit playful as well as highlight an example of a society without any taxes, laws etc. It didn't help that they did not have the technology to produce guns. But that's another story. I didn't think I'd have to go into a full blown explanation about Native Americans or really any society with a government or taxes. But if being snarky makes the guy feel better so be it.

However the arrogance in which you cite standard mantra of the free market believed is still highy flawed. The financial institutions to which so much of the wealth can be attributed to and the wealthy benefit so much from are supported by tax dollars.

Ummm...Moe, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Taxes redistrubute wealth. The wealth had to be there (created by individuals) in the first place in order for tax rates to yield nonzero taxes.

The wealth you're taking about has either been created by government (as in currency), protected by government (as in the law, the military, and courts that maintain that your car/house/property is yours) or at the very least has been facilitated by government (education, roads, etc etc.) Without government all that wealth in your bank account is nothin but paper.

Xanga post

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Whopper of the Week - Christie Whitman: The perils of premature assurance.
By Timothy Noah, Posted Friday, September 5, 2003, at 12:34 PM PT

David Stockman Working-Class Hero William Greider reclassifies Reaganomics' onetime poster child.

The 7 Fastest Growing Occupations
Here's the breakdown:
1 - Computer software engineers, applications
2 - Computer support specialists
3 - Computer software engineers, software systems
4 - Network and computer systems administrators
5 - Network systems and data communications analysts
6 - Desktop publishers
7 - Database administrators

Insiders are bailing on home-builder stocks - The long-term forecast for new homes might be good, but right now, rising mortgage rates make investors -- and company officers, apparently -- nervous.

Rumors of Bin Laden’s Lair
- Some believe life on the run has made it impossible for Osama bin Laden to control and lead Al Qaeda. In Afghanistan’s Kunar province, people tell a different story


Thursday, September 04, 2003

Report blasts American infrastructure
. Sept. 4, 2003;
WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's infrastructure is full of cracks, leaks and holes and is getting worse, according to an analysis by civil engineers that gives the nation's transportation, water and energy systems an overall grade of D-plus.

Insiders are bailing on home-builder stocks
- The long-term forecast for new homes might be good, but right now, rising mortgage rates make investors -- and company officers, apparently -- nervous.

Rumors of Bin Laden’s Lair
- Some believe life on the run has made it impossible for Osama bin Laden to control and lead Al Qaeda. In Afghanistan’s Kunar province, people tell a different story

The blogrolling list for OSP.

The site for Pessimist of To the Barricades!

All Facts and Opinions - "fair and balanced" progressive news & commentary from the armchair.

I hope everyone mentions this on your blogs.

a blog of interest.

how cell phones work from the site How Stuff Works.

Prometheus 6's new site on Moveable Type. The URL will be

Degenerating Situation - Why blackouts and gas shortages are very modern inventions.

What kind of 60's preson are you?

A blog of the Chicago Trib that linked BMA.

In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Laura Stetser of who is a very busy blogger in Boston.