Friday, November 10, 2006
You probably noticed that there was an election this week. The
outcome won't make it easier for the Administration to block a
federal magistrate's ruling, issued Monday, allowing the Center
for Reproductive Rights to subpoena White House emails and other
documents related to FDA's decision to deny over-the-counter
access to the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, to women under 18,
(WN 25 Aug 06). Under-18 is
the demographic group for whom conception is most likely to be an
emergency. The Center for Reproductive Medicine is seeking to
learn whether the White House interfered with the decision-making
process of the FDA.
Donald Rumsfeld was voted out of office anyway. Having replaced
"stay the course" with "necessary adjustments," President Bush
replaced Rumsfeld with Robert Gates. As CIA Director, Gates was
renowned for his uncanny ability to produce intelligence that
supported whatever position the administration had already taken.
Wasn't it that sort of "intelligence" that got us into Iraq?
There is still a confirmation process to be gotten through, and
that may not be easy. Wednesday, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), one half
of the PhD physicist block in Congress, described the Gates
nomination as "deeply troubling." He called for a "thorough and
probing confirmation hearing" for Gates.
Well, here we are again. Yesterday they rolled Discovery to the
launching pad to prepare for a 12-day mission in December. NASA
insists the hurry is to be certain it's not in space when the
calendar changes to 2007; it might cause a computer glitch.
Sound familiar? Same thing happened seven years ago with the
dreaded Y2K problem. They wound up shortening the mission by two
days to get it back before 1 Jan 00. You mean NASA can't solve a
simple computer problem in seven years? Maybe there's some other
problem. You get the cost-per-launch by dividing the annual
shuttle budget by the number of launches, but the budget is by
fiscal year. For FY07 the shuttle budget is $4.6B.
Diet desperation led to the practice of stomach stapling. It's a
Disgusting idea, but I have no reason to doubt its effectiveness.
However, in Florida the state Board of Acupuncture banned "ear
stapling," not because it's not effective, but because of
"complications." Ear stapling is supposed to be a sort of long-
lasting acupuncture, and I can assure readers that it's every bit
as effective as traditional acupuncture. If you staple your
dog's ear instead, it will have the same effect on your weight.