Merck Using Government to Subsidize Vaccine

01/30/2007: Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the cervical cancer vaccine. It will save many lives in the future, with an immediate impact. Effectively, we are seeing the prospect of medically banishing cervical cancer to extinction.

However, Merck is demonstrating exactly why we should trust neither Big Government nor Big Business.

On this very blog, I supported the premise that the government should recommend the cervical cancer vaccine, but not mandate it. This is because I believe–as a libertarian–that it is not the place of government to force any medical treatment on any citizen.

I cannot help but express cynicism regarding any apperance of altruism on the part of Merck or the state or federal government agencies in this.

I say this because Merck stands to gain significantly with states requiring–even subsidizing–the costly vaccine.

Government also stands to gain in that their agencies will gain more control over the lives of citizens all under the guise of “concern for public health”.

Meanwhile, your freedoms are increasingly getting the royal flush.

Another NXT Robot

01/29/2007: Drawing off the example robot design in the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit, I decided to do a little ad hoc work of my own.

In this example, I used two servomotors instead of three, and–in the rear–decided to let it slide instead of use the small wheels that were part of the LEGO example. This is because, using the rear wheels caused the bot to tilt forward. I didn’t like that at all.

For the sensors, I added the contact sensor, the ultrasonic sensor, and the sound sensor.

For operational programming, I used three different loops to test the sensors. Here are the pics of the robot and the program:

Three in Philly Had 1 Million Pics of Kiddie Porn

01/27/2007: A man and two women in Philadelphia desperately need to be removed from the gene pool, and Pilgrim and I are just the ones to do it.

John Worman, Dorothy Prawdzik, and Concetta Jackson worked in concert to sexually exploit children as young as three months old. Authorities found over a million kiddie porn images on Worman’s computer.

According to U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, “This was a long-term, planned and horrific exploitation of young children.” I think “horrific” sums it up.

At any rate, Pilgrim and I would be happy to take care of these lowlifes. We could save the taxpayers millions of dollars, and we would also use their remains to contribute to the nourishment of the soil of Kentucky.

The Principal is your PAL (NOT!)

01/26/2007: And if you believe that, then you are behind the times.

When I was growing up, the principals were ok. I had one–Dr. Carruthers–who was excellent (he retired last year), but the rest were ok. My coaches and teachers weren’t bad, either. Some were better than others, but I can’t say that any of them were working against my best interests.

Today, you cannot trust teachers, coaches, or even principals. The sex scandals among educators and students are as bad–or worse–than the Vatican sex scandals. WorldNetDaily has done a good job chronicling the teacher sex scandals.

Now, in South Carolina, we are witnessing a scandal that involves a cheerleading coach, a principal, and a National Guard recruiter. Nothing like a little hands-on sex education…

This is but one more reason to embrace private schools, or home schools.

The Future of the Church in America…

01/26/2007: The very country whose Christians paved the way for slavery abolition–and handed us some of the finest preachers in the last 200 years–is paving new ground in molding the Church into an extension of the state.

The UK is forcing the Church to comply with the Equality Act–which is directed toward normalizing gay adoptions–and is refusing an exemption for religious groups. Even the Muslims are supportive of the Church on this matter.

In this battle over Separation of Church and State (SCS), Christians must take special care in the way they define the issues.

Typically, when someone on the Left invokes SCS, it is usually a code that means abortion is a sacrament/sodomy is a family value/sex education is more important than algebra/Darwinism is undisputable/Christians are neanderthals.

Christians are right to contest the bigotry of our governmental apparatus, but there is a fine line between demanding that government legislate Christianity (which would be a very bad idea) and demanding that government quit undermining Christian values (a very good idea).

As it stands now, churches are faced with a dilemma that will challenge their very foundation in America.

Most churches–like many religious groups–receive tax-exempt status. This status is contingent upon their compliance with federal regulations, which, thus far, are relatively benign.

However, as demonstrated in the UK, when you receive benefits from the State–and the Church is official in the UK–then you are subject to the State.

The day is coming when churches will have to choose between following Christ and becoming an Americanized version of the state churches in China.

At that point, there will be very few remaining differences between the United States and China.

Wife Rescues Husband from Mountain Lion Attack

01/26/2007: Because California residents are limited in their rights to carry arms, hikers are often at increased risk of mountain lion attacks.

Jim and Nell Hamm found out the hard way.

A mountain lion savagely attacked Jim, and Nell was forced to fight off the cat using a piece of a log. (A couple rounds of .45ACP would have made for a more decisive end.)

Jim is now recovering from lacerations to his head.

I love cats, but mountain lions are nothing with which to play.

Shock Jocks Should be Prosecuted!

01/25/2007: 28-year-old Jennifer Strange died competing in an event that was senseless and reckless.

Any serious distance runner knows of the dangers of hyponatremia, a potentially fatal swelling of the brain cells caused by over-hydration. Every year, a couple distance runners die from it.

While I do not expect a DJ–a group whose intelligence ranks slightly higher than pigs–to understand what hyponatremia is, I do expect them to perform due diligence with their station before engaging in such contests.

At any rate, if someone with knowledge warns them, they need to take it seriously.

Unfortunately, when a caller informed the DJs that participants–who were competing to see who could drink the most water without urinating–were risking their lives, they made light of it.

Drinking such high amounts of water is almost as dangerous as playing Russian Roulette with a semiautomatic.

As for the DJs, I’d like to have them work as target holders at the gun range.

In all seriousness, I hope they get jail time for this.

Rodreick–the 29-year-old 7th Grader–Had Videotaped Child Sex

01/25/2007: Neil Havens Rodreick II, the 29-year-old who enrolled at an elementary school–and attended over 50 days before being kicked out–apparently had a videotape showing him having sex with a child.

He–and one of the partners with whom he was living–had prior convictions for sex offenses with a child. In 1996, he was convicted of lewd and indecent proposal to a minor.

While one can make the assertion that his conviction in 1996 was not strong enough to merit a long prison sentence, it is my hope that our justice system sees the light on this one.

Rodreick should not be allowed to see the light of day as a free person. If he gets anything less than a life term this time, then shame on us.

McNabb Needs to Mature as a PASSER!

01/24/2007: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is an otherwise good citizen. He works hard, he’s active in his community, he’s typically very good with reporters. He does everything one can expect from a model NFL player. Plus, he’s a decent quarterback.

But the past couple years have exposed McNabb’s weaknesses as a player. He has been known to suffer serious injuries that shorten his seasons. This year and last year, his knee injuries have forced him to miss substantial numbers of games. Last year, that cost the Eagles a chance at the playoffs; this year, the Eagles relied on backup Jeff Garcia–a fine quarterback from the San Francisco 49ers–to lead them to the playoffs.

Garcia delivered in ways that made people notice: where McNabb–like Michael Vick–is a scrambling quarterback who can run well but whose passing skills are mediocre, Garcia is a traditional quarterback whose passing skills are above-average.

If McNabb expects to become a championship-caliber quarterback, then he–like Vick–must decide, once and for all, to be a very good passer who can run, rather than a very good runner who can pass.

Otherwise, he–like Vick–will decline fast. That is because defenses catch onto scrambling quarterbacks. They bolster their defensive line in order to maintain containment, ensure that linebackers stay home and play off the quarterback, and–next thing you know–the scrambler is getting dropped for losses, or is throwing interceptions.

That is what has happened to Vick, and is happening to McNabb.

This season, Vick became the first QB to rush for 1,000 yards. His Atlanta Falcons ended up watching the playoffs. Similarly, McNabb struggled before going down with a torn knee ligament–the Eagles were in danger of not making the playoffs. Jeff Garcia salvaged the season for Philadelphia.

Now, many Eagles fans–rightfully–want Garcia as the starting QB. And, to his credit, Garcia has earned it. But at 36, Garcia might have a season or two left, and–at his age–injuries happen.

The smart money says McNabb won’t be riding the oak for long.

With that in mind, McNabb needs to avoid the Saul dynamic, in which Saul poisoned his kingdom with his response to the people who sung, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Envy and resentment will get him nowhere.

Instead, he should emrbrace the Jonathan approach: take his situation like a model citizen, accept the fact that Garcia earned the right to be a starter, be supportive of Garcia, and be prepared to take the lead at any given time.

If he does so, he will see his chances for success drastically improve.