Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Cinch Review

240 million people can’t be wrong

A poll out today: 79% Say U.S. Economy Could Collapse.

Most American voters believe it’s possible the nation’s economy could collapse, and majorities don’t think elected officials in Washington have ideas for fixing it.

The latest Fox News poll finds that 79 percent of voters think it’s possible the economy could collapse, including large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (80 percent).

Just 18 percent think the economy is “so big and strong it could never collapse.”

Moreover, 78 percent of voters believe the federal government is “larger and more costly” than it has ever been before, and by nearly three-to-one more voters think the national debt (65 percent) is a greater potential threat to the country’s future than terrorism (23 percent).

The concerns of this large majority of Americans, as reflected in this poll, are precisely on target. It is quite cheering to see that commonsense is alive and well out there, especially in the light of everything else that’s going on.

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Miles Davis on friendship

The following is a passage from Miles: The Autobiography.

Shooting heroin changed my whole personality from being a nice, quiet, honest, caring person into someone who was the complete opposite. It was the drive to get the heroin that made me that way. I’d do anything not to get sick, which meant getting and shooting heroin all the time, all day and all night. Continue reading Miles Davis on friendship

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Specter raises a spectre

Health care is absolutely the greatest political drama of the moment, and the drama of greatest moment, but at the American Spectator Jeffery Lord provides a superb summary-to-date of what is known of the events and facts related to what might well be the first major Obama “gate” scandal (he christens it “Jobsgate” — I think that the singular form, “Jobgate”, is more apt, myself).

I recommend reading his whole article, if you haven’t yet, as its implications are very weighty indeed: Specter Opens Door on White House Felonies.

That title refers to none other than Arlen Specter (and a very good riddance in November to that utterly unprincipled senator from Pennsylvania).

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Healthcare nightmare

From the WSJ:

We have entered a political wonderland, where the rules are whatever Democrats say they are. Mrs. Pelosi and the White House are resorting to these abuses because their bill is so unpopular that a majority even of their own party doesn’t want to vote for it. Fence-sitting Members are being threatened with primary challengers, a withdrawal of union support and of course ostracism. Michigan’s Bart Stupak is being pounded nightly by MSNBC for the high crime of refusing to vote for a bill that he believes will subsidize insurance for abortions. Continue reading Healthcare nightmare

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CO2: The “pollutant” that life requires

In the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby responds to Al Gore’s recent opinion piece in the New York Times, where he continued his warnings of “unimaginable calamity” if we don’t take drastic steps to reduce human-based sources of “global-warming pollution.” (Gore himself happens to have invested enormously in carbon-offset schemes and other “green” ventures that are likely to thrive only with the kinds of government mandates he promotes.) Continue reading CO2: The “pollutant” that life requires

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Study: Vitamin D crucial to fighting all kinds of infection

SardinesWhy does the story of vitamin D interest me so? I swear, I’m not one of those vitamin-popping freaks. I’ve never been a vitamin C zealot, nor a loud advocate of ginseng, royal jelly or even wheat germ. Yet, the continuing story of how vitamin D levels have been massively overlooked by the scientific and medical communities as a vital factor in human health fascinates and compels me because it is a singular example which illuminates a much bigger picture.

Science is wonderful. Medical science has saved so many lives and every day works what would have been considered miracles not very long ago. It is to be greatly valued and scientists and doctors are to be admired and encouraged to continue in the same vein. All of that is true, and yet, it is even more important not to forget one underlying fact: Everything that scientists and doctors think they know could actually be wrong. Everything. Continue reading Study: Vitamin D crucial to fighting all kinds of infection

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A fanatic God

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founder and leader of the terrorist group Hamas. He has recently told his story of both embracing Christianity and serving as a spy for Israel. He now lives in San Diego, California, and has been disowned by his father. He was interviewed for the Wall Street Journal by Matthew Kaminski.

Do you consider your father a fanatic? “He’s not a fanatic,” says Mr. Yousef. “He’s a very moderate, logical person. What matters is not whether my father is a fanatic or not, he’s doing the will of a fanatic God. It doesn’t matter if he’s a terrorist or a traditional Muslim. At the end of the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God. I know this is harsh to say. Most governments avoid this subject. They don’t want to admit this is an ideological war.

“The problem is not in Muslims,” he continues. “The problem is with their God. They need to be liberated from their God. He is their biggest enemy. It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to.”

Yousef has written his story in a book titled Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices.

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Vomiting (in Dogs, Causes and Cures)

How To Raise A Dog In The City and SuburbsFrom the book How to Raise a Dog in the city and in the Suburbsby Dr. James R. Kinney with Ann Honeycutt (illustrated by James Thurber):

Due to their feeble-mindedness about eating anything and everything that comes their way, dogs let themselves in for all kinds of stomach upsets. Many of these upsets are minor. The dog eats something undesirable, the stomach rebels, vomiting follows, and that’s all there is to it. Any dog should be allowed to vomit once or twice with no questions asked. If he continues though, try to diagnose the trouble. Continued vomiting can mean worms or a foreign object in the stomach or throat; it can be a symptom of oncoming distemper, hepatitis, or other diseases, poisoning, constipation, or kidney disorder.

The treatment, of-course, depends upon the cause, but the first step in any case is to take the dog off food for twenty-four hours. Don’t give him water either, just cracked ice occasionally. The next step is to clean out his system and quiet his stomach down. Give him an enema and a dose of milk of magnesia. If he vomits up the milk of magnesia, don’t repeat it — just give the enema. Use warm water for this with bicarbonate of soda, a teaspoonful to a pint. Use any ordinary human rectal syringe or an infant-sized one, depending on the size of the dog. To settle his stomach, give two and half grains each of bismuth subnitrate and cerium oxolate in the white of an egg, or, if you haven’t this, or can’t get it, give rhubarb and soda or plain bismuth in the white of an egg, with a little whisky. This treatment should be given every two hours until the vomiting stops. If it doesn’t stop and the dog seems to be weakening fast, if there is blood in the vomitus, or if the vomitus is black or a dark brownish green, or if there is a temperature, get professional help at once.

Of-course, any book which recommends giving your dog whisky as part of a concoction to settle its stomach must be my favorite book on dog care, and indeed this one is. I was lucky enough to pick up the 1953 edition in a used bookstore and I heartily recommend it if you can get it via Amazonor somewhere else. In particular, I recommend forwarding this extract to anyone you know who needs to be put off the idea of getting a dog in the first place. Continue reading Vomiting (in Dogs, Causes and Cures)

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A House divided against itself

With President Obama and the Democrats willing to use the reconciliation process in an attempt to by-pass their loss of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, the focus is now on the House of Representatives. Despite optimistic stories in the press and Nancy Pelosi’s braggadocio, getting the House to pass the Senate bill in advance of reconciliation is going to be a steep and hopefully impossible mountain to climb. As Jeffrey Anderson writes in the Weekly Standard, nine Democrats who supposedly are considering switching their former “no” votes to “yes” have some awfully good reasons not to do so. And further:

An even bigger problem for the Democrats than somehow turning these members around is the strong likelihood that many other members are salivating at the thought of switching their votes to “no” and saving their careers. Clark Judge writes, “‘Blue Dogs want health care to come up again,'” said a long-time veteran of the House in a closed door briefing last Monday. ‘So they can vote against it.'”