Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for September, 2009

Whenever drug legalization is raised, the anti-legalization side always raises the specter of increased addiction. That is, the argument is framed as a choice between legalization and the harm due to increased addiction. But this ignores a key factor–the death toll due to the ‘War’ on (Some People Who Use) Drugs:

And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Leon Wieseltier has an excellent response to the NY Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati who described the magazine’s ideology as: Call it Urban Modern. That is, I think it reflects not a left-or-right POLITICAL ideology but a geographical one, the mentality of the place it is created:…

…you should go out of business. I’ve meant to get to this, so in Internet years, this news is like a gajillion years ago. Anyway, one of the galling things about the bank bailout is that, even though in many cases the taxpayers basically own the banks, nothing is being done about various forms of…

Programming Note (and Gut Yontif)

I’ll be on the road for the High Holidays (and a much needed vacation). But the blog will keep rolling on. Gut Yontif to all.

TEH SWINEY FLOO! Gets a Good Rap

Bestest public service announcement EVAH!: Seriously though, www.flu.gov has some good information. And someone at HHS was being very clever when he or she thought of soliciting videos for a public service announcement.

This might seem a ludicrous statement of the obvious, but defining aging as a risk from an insurance standpoint is absurd. First, this summary of the premiums for the Baucus plan: Key relevant provisions of Baucus’ bill [pdf] are called “Rating Rules for the Individual Market” (pages 1-2). These rules apply to people who would…

Well done, Max: People in Massaschusetts are by and large satisfied with the Connector. It’s toughest on the fairly small number of families earning just over 300% of FPL (of which there aren’t that many), and on the larger number of young individuals who make just over 300% of FPL (which is $32,320 for an…

I Believe I Mentioned Something About….

This is not good public hygiene …WASHING YOUR DAMN HANDS! From the NY Times:

Don’t Worry, Sen. Ben Nelson Is Still an Idiot

Warren Buffet, the world’s second richest man, met with some senators and told them that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes: “He said rich people are not paying enough taxes,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “It was interesting to see someone who is such an aggressive capitalist, who believes so much in our…

My colleagues have all heard of the Mad Biologist’s Rule of Base Ten Numbers: when you see too many numbers that end with zero, become skeptical. That’s because only one in ten numbers should do should end in zero. So, if you read news reports that routinely say, “Today, American forces blew the crap out…