Quick Roundup 108

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bubblehead Roundup

Bo has a nice roundup of blog postings by submariner bloggers, including a few from blogs I am unfamiliar with. The post by Mike Lief discusses one of those cases that makes you wonder why, even in this day and age, we haven't already got tort reform. He quotes from law.com:

A New Jersey jury awarded a local college student $179,001 because the manufacturer of a "loft bed" failed to warn users of the bed that if they fell out of it, they could hurt themselves.

Honest. I won't lie and say I couldn't make that up. I could. But it would require more tequila than I can keep down at my age.

I am presently staring -- incredulously -- at the opinion of the poor three-judge panel that had to confront this verdict. I tell you, people don't have any idea how hard appellate work is. Imagine having to explain all the things wrong with giving someone $179,001 because no one warned him against falling out of bed.

Separated at Birth?

Dan blows my cover. Yes. I am, in fact, a volleyball.
[The logo at Gus Van Horn is] really a simple thing. A background of what appears to be a square of yellow ruled legal pad paper with what I can only describe as a "doodling" of an image - a full frontal face done all in black. A rough drawn ovalish facial outline; black as coal eyes (wearing glasses); a saw-toothed head of black hair; an overbearing black moustache/goatee combination that contains a single-lined, slightly down-turned, slit of a mouth; a make-do semi-u-shaped nose and exactly three strands of black hair emanating from each temple and sticking straight out at about forty-five degrees. After reading his autobiographical material, I can only guess that the logo is a quick self-portrait sketch that veils gus van horn just as his bio does.


I had visited his site on several occasions before it dawned that something about this logo/image haunted me - some link with something else. I wrestled with this for some time before I realized what I was connecting this logo to... it was the vision of Tom Hank's best friend -- the volleyball -- in Cast Away. [link added (warning: movie spoilers)]
Hey! There are worse things than learning that one resembles a volley ball!

The real story behind the logo is at item (3) here. The drawing is actually my wife's handiwork. The media: pen on Post-it note.

And now I need to add Cast Away to the Netflix queue.

Abortion Under Fire at the State Level

South Dakota will vote on whether to outlaw abortion on November 7. If this happens, the legal challenges will begin.

Abortion Under Fire at the Federal Level

This is the goofiest proposal I have seen yet regarding abortion.
In the past two years, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, NARAL Pro-Choice America and many House Democrats who support abortion rights have conceded that abortion is tragic and that its frequency must be reduced. Third Way, a progressive think tank, has pushed hard in this direction. Meanwhile, Democrats for Life of America, which has eight members of Congress on its advisory board and works with 30 others, has devised a plan to reduce the abortion rate by 95 percent "by helping and supporting pregnant women." Rep. Timothy Ryan, D-Ohio, was set to lead the charge.
And yes, by "helping and supporting", they mean for the government to pay for women to complete their unplanned preganacies.

This combines the worst of both ends of the political spectrum on the moral and the practical levels.

Morally, the secularists are failing to stand up for a woman's right to her own body by conceding that the surgical removal of tissue is "tragic". And the religionists get to move the goalposts of the abortion debate from abortion to contraception. (Just read the story and see!)

Practically, we are, per the religious right, to be enslaved to a fetus -- something that is only potentially human. And, per the left, it really is "we": Rather than one woman or one couple facing the consequences of their carelessness with regard to contraception and their own choice to bring an infant into the world anyway, the rest of us will be made to pay the price of bailing them out! I'm sure this will make them inclined to be more careful next time.

This is the first I have heard of this proposal.

Column on Citgo Boycott

I wrote a column yesterday on the boycott of Citgo and efforts to have America boycott oil from the Middle East. My favorite bit?
In other words, we are being called upon to re-live the Carter Era with a twist: In addition to imposing government controls on the economy and wasting tax money on projects already declared profitless by the private sector, we would impose an "Arab Oil Embargo" on ourselves. Perhaps the folks at Terror Free Oil or Set America Free could explain how damaging our economy and continuing to allow the flow of petrodollars into the coffers of hostile regimes will enhance our national security.
You can find the whole thing up over at the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism.

-- CAV


Today: Added link to CAC column


Anonymous said...


I'm a little skeptical of your position (but am keeping an active mind about it), so I have a few questions:

In your opinion, would a boycott of a hostile nation's products ever be justified?

If so, when?

Gus Van Horn said...


Yes. When such a boycott might do some good.

In the case of Venezuela, I am not completely against this boycott, but saying so would have detracted from my broader point -- that the self-inflicted "Arab Oil Embargo" of Terror Free Oil is s foolish idea.

It is conceivable that Chavez has run his economy down to the point that losing our petrodollars quickly could catch him off-balance and result in his being overthrown. For this reason, the Citgo boycott is worthwhile. In a better cultural climate, such a boycott would be a prelude to a war to oust Chavez if it failed, however.

And that is my problem here. The TFO campaign is an attempt to not have to fight a war that is not only unavoidable, but is being fought against us already.


Anonymous said...

Ah. Gotcha.

I just had a problem with Citgo since it is a direct subsidiary. I can't see giving those sharks a dime of my money.

I wouldn't even have any idea how to avoid buying mid-east oil.

But you're definitely right about the larger point: that the proper answer to threatening nations is bombs, not boycotts.

Gus Van Horn said...


I don't buy from Citgo, either.

I'm glad you wrote in, though. There is certainly some merit in the distinction between boycotting a country and boycotting a company. In fact, the failure to make this distinction is what is driving the clowns at Terror Free Oil....