Assorted Links 6/19/09

James Randi and Steve Novella

  • How to Research and Compile Legislative Histories, June 26, 2009 – with WiFi Classroom
  • Preparing and Delivering Congressional Testimony, July 30, 2009
  • No master of that domain – In California, “a domain name is not something a judgment creditor can have ‘turned over’ as an asset of the debtor”
  • The Neocon Right Swoons for Iran – “I can’t get too pumped about what’s going on in Iran. Perhaps on balance Mousavi would be better for the United States and the Iranian people. It’s hard to say. But lots of angry people in the streets does not mean he’s a great guy with a great plan to support a more liberal and decent regime in Iran. Muqtadr al Sadr used to get the crowds out too. Indeed, so did Khomenei. It’s just as likely, considering the people and history involved, Mousavi would spend much of his energy oppressing his erstwhile oppressors if elected. This is the way politics runs in the Third World.”
  • Unrest In Iran — Why Obama Is Proceeding With Caution – “While the election of Ahmadinejad or his rival and more pragmatic fellow insider, Mir Hossein Mousavi, may ultimately have no effect on Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons or its support for terrorism, the outcome is likely to dramatically affect how Iranians live and conduct their internal affairs.”
  • Trying to Cover the Unenthusiastic Uninsured – “[A]ny government plan would have to confront and overcome a troubling characteristic of the uninsured that rarely gets discussed in reform debates: Many of them, perhaps nearly half of the 47 million Americans without coverage, earn enough to afford insurance, or qualify for existing government health programs, but still remain without coverage. Why do they lack coverage, then? One reason is that some of them have simply decided to spend their money elsewhere. … Designing a health care effort that offers newfangled options for all of these folks won’t mean much unless we actually get them to participate. And to do that we need some honest assessment of why people in this huge group aren’t insured already. You won’t get much of that in a lot of the coverage of America’s health care woes. … Some 45 percent of uninsured adults without children who earn more than three times the poverty level are in their 20s and 30s, and 93 percent of this group report their health as good or excellent.”
  • How to Strategically Cut Your Healthcare Bill – “Rather than paying for an all-inclusive healthcare plan, CNN Money says that now might be a good time to ditch the vision and dental options. The article suggests running a quick calculation to determine if this method would benefit your situation.”
  • The Illinois Admissions Scandal – “Illinois, the state where Senate seats are sometimes sold, has now scandalized higher education with the revelation that hundreds of applicants to the University of Illinois were placed on a special ‘clout’ list, many receiving favorable treatment. According to a series of investigative reports by The Chicago Tribune, state legislators, university trustees, and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich successfully pressured University of Illinois officials to admit less qualified applicants, including a relative of influence peddler Antoin (Tony) Rezko.”
  • The Second Coming of Corn Flakes – “Remember not too long ago, when I was talking about the history of the Protestant churches and how it all started with Henry the VIII and Martin Luther and went downhill from there? I was admonished by some for being ‘too simplistic’, a criticism I fully embrace. My excuse? It’s only a blog. Each denomination could take up several volumes. As time goes on, new denominations spring up like weeds in a vacant lot and their seeds blow in the wind and plant even more denominations.”
  • The Politics of the REAL ID Revival Bill – “But while all the stars aligned for repeal (or continued rigor mortis), one cloud came across the sky: State lobbying groups, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures found in REAL ID an opportunity to gain influence. (Or perhaps it was just the lobbyists within those groups.) If REAL ID were to move forward, and if they could make a plausible case that the federal government would fund it, the state lobbies would cement their role as supplicants in Congress for their ‘clients,’ the governors and legislatures. They would have a permanent job begging Congress for money and managing federal control of state driver licensing policy. … With its huge tax revenues – and willingness to borrow on the credit of future generations – the federal government may put up the tens of billions of dollars it takes to fund the national ID system. The states will get to grow their driver licensing bureaucracies, even though they lose power to decide what their driver licensing bureaus do. NGA and NCSL – the real winners – lock in their lobbying business. This is not the kind of bargain our politicans and government are supposed to produce, though. The distinct roles that the Constitution sets out for the states and federal government are supposed to create conflict among them, not collaboration. When governments get together, the result is not good for liberty. And the national ID system found in the ‘PASS ID Act’ is not good for liberty.”
  • Zotero – “Zotero is a free program for citations management and bibliography generation designed to be competitive with Endnote and similar products. … If you are looking at a paper on JSTOR, for example, you can “one-click import” the citation. One-click import is also available from Amazon, Cite-Seer, ABI-Inform, the Library of Congress, many university library catalogs, Medline, Google books and many others.”
  • The Simple Fitness Rules

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