Vote for Greer and Michels (Wisconsin only)

by Harry on September 13, 2004

If you are a Democrat living in Wisconsin I’d like to encourage you to vote, tomorrow, for Tim Michels in the US Senate primary, and, if you live in the Second District, for Ron Greer in the Congressional primary. The Democratic candidates in the general election are Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin respectively. At present Russ Darrow seems the Republican most likely to cause trouble for Feingold; Michels is not (quite) as wealthy, has worse name recognition, and is more immoderate: I think Feingold would find it easier to beat Michels, so I’d like to see him win the primary. Greer makes Alan Keyes look like a raving pinko (in both senses of pinko). His opponent, Dave Magnum, seems fine in many ways (‘fine’ here being a relative term, in a world in which pretty much everyone is pretty awful), and is much more likely to give Baldwin a real fight. If you care about Kerry winning, by the way, a Greer candidacy is more likely to trigger lefty voter turnout in this district than Tammy alone or than Kerry himself (unless he turns out to be the Manchurian candidate).

All registered voters are allowed to vote in the Republican primaries; it’s just that in doing so you disqualify yourself from voting in the Democratic primary. In several Wisconsin congressional districts nothing is at stake in the Dem primaries, so there is no opportunity cost.

Of course, in a better electoral system parties would not allow their opponents to participate in candidate selection. But between them the Republican and Democratic Parties and the State of Wisconsin have given you this power, so I am encouraging you to use it.

My ears

by Ted on September 13, 2004

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend. This campaign mudmeter is especially interesting. (I know it’s true because it’s on the internet.)

Public Health Press

by Ted on September 13, 2004

Ross Silverman, formerly known as the Bloviator, has moved his excellent medical policy blog to a new site, the Public Health Press. And he has managed to choke me up with only seventeen syllables.

On the subject of public health, and while I have Ross’s attention, there was some brief discussion here the other day about the scope of the role of the federal government (specifically, the National Institutes of Health) in pharmaceutical research.

I’ve done enough work with pharmaceuticals to know how much I don’t know. It’s a complicated subject, and difficult to summarize. But Derek Lowe makes a genuine contribution here. He’s a research scientist at a pharmaceutical company, and he shares his perspective on what the NIH does and doesn’t do.

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I’ve been researching an article about the morality of human cloning, prompted almost entirely by Brian’s article co-written with Sarah McGrath, which is a defense of the permissibility of cloning. Prior to reading McGrath and Weatherson’s paper (or more precisely, Brian’s multiple postings here when they were writing it) I had no real intuitions about the issue, but their defense prompted me to think about what might count as good reasons to prohibit cloning. I share their dismay at the weakness of the arguments most commonly presented.

But this post isn’t directly about why cloning might be prohibited.

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Warbloggers and Fallujah

by Henry on September 13, 2004

Atrios “says today”:http://atrios.blogspot.com/2004_09_12_atrios_archive.html#109507803280168769:

bq. So, it’s pretty much the case that we went into Fallujah because some warbloggers got excited about the video of the desecration of the dead civilian contractors.

This seems to me to be either (a) paranoid nonsense, or (b) stupid trash-talk. If there’s a third possibility, I’d like to hear it. Either Atrios is seriously claiming that warbloggers set US military policy, or he’s casting a dumb slur. Claiming that the disaster of Fallujah proves that the warbloggers were badly, horribly, wrong, is fine; it’s probably even correct. Claiming without any evidence that they were the main people responsible for the policy disaster is either tinfoil hat stuff, or Glenn Reynolds calibre scuzzy innuendo.

Election notes from Oz

by John Quiggin on September 13, 2004

After a week or so of largely phoney campaigning[1] and a pause following the Jakarta bomb atrocity, the Australian election campaign kicked off in earnest on Sunday night with a debate between Liberal (=conservative) PM John Howard and Labor Opposition Leader Mark Latham. The conventional wisdom was that the bomb attack had just about finished Labor’s chances and that Latham’s only chance was to avoid the issue and stick to Labor’s strong suits, health and education.

Instead, Latham pushed a strong line against Australian involvement in the Iraq war, arguing that it had diverted resources and attention from the real dangers in our own region. Howard had been undermined earlier in the day by his own deputy, John Anderson, who conceded the fairly obvious fact that our involvement in the Iraq war might have increased, rather than reduced, the risk of terrorist attacks on Australia.

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Human Development and Capability Association

by Chris Bertram on September 13, 2004

One interesting recent strand of research on justice and human well-being has been that inspired by Amartya Sen’s “capability” approach. There’s now an association dedicated to this, with Sen as its first President and Martha Nussbaum as President-elect. Details “here”:http://www.hd-ca.org/about.php .

Some Reflections on September 11

by Belle Waring on September 13, 2004

I lived in New York City for four years, and visited several times a year for many year before and after. I never went into the World Trade Center. The Stock Exchange? Yes. Century 21’s downtown location, to fight over discontinued Helmut Lang skirts? Yes. I never went to Windows on the World and bought a drink. I could have afforded one drink. As in many skyscrapers, there were different elevators that went to different floors, local and express, like a vertical IRT. I never rode in them.

Perhaps it’s because I am afraid of heights? Some people are afraid of heights because they worry that they might fall. I am afraid of heights because I worry that I might jump. Some uncontrolled impulse might leap from my subconscious, fully formed, and send me vaulting over the railing before I realize what I’m doing. I’m sure there was a big barrier up there, though, on the roof. It would have been all right. I’ll never see it now, tourists with cameras, everything riffling in the wind, the city below like a horripliated skin shaken out onto the water, bristling with towers and water tanks.

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Ocean’s What?

by Kieran Healy on September 13, 2004

Leaving aside the question of whether a sequel is a good idea in the first place, if anyone can give me a plausible argument why “Ocean’s Twelve”:http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/oceans_12/ is a better title than _Ocean’s Dozen_ then I’d like to hear it.

Synergistic Annoyance Convergence

by Kieran Healy on September 13, 2004

I recently got a new cell phone after being out of the U.S. for a year, and now I routinely have a problem with telemarketers. The odd part, though, is that the people who call me, whoever they are,[1] seem to have fused the two most irritating aspects of dealing with companies on the phone. Telemarketers are annoying because they phone you up unannounced and try to sell you stuff. Customer service departments are annoying because when _you_ phone _them_ up you get put on hold right away. The guys bugging me at the moment call me up and, when I answer, immediately say “All of our agents are currently busy serving other customers” or “For quality purposes this call may be monitored.” I don’t know what they say next, because I hang up. Which marketing genius dreamed up this approach, I wonder? Is it a common phenomenon? Is it a ruse to get me to stay on the phone for some reason? And how can I make them stop?

fn1. Nine times out of ten they have strong Indian accents.