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SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens
January 1997

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independance.

-- C.A. Beard


Steve Langer
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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,

"  It's common practice to raise children in America on several 
myths (ie Santa Claus). Eventually, though, the child will either
discover the truth on their own, or the parents will have to break it
to them. The destruction of such childhood fantasies may be crucial
to growing up, however it occurs at the cost of the child coming to
believe they cannot trust everything their parents tell them. In 
other words, is maturity necessarily bought at the price of
skepticism, and ultimately cynicism? Perhaps so. For those of
you who are parents, or are on the path to be, how would you
handle the "childhood myth?"


As usual, my timing for this question couldn't have been better. This past Sunday I actually found myself in Church. I participated in Communion. The person I was with said, "You hypocrite, you don't believe, yet you participate in the Sacriment." To that person and others I say, "Then you better still believe in Santa Claus, cuz if you ever gave a present to a kid labelled "From Santa Claus" and don't believe - you are also a hypocrite."

Isn't it a bitch when logic comes home to roost?

Someone once said, "Consistency is the hobgloblin of little minds." I say, the 'truth' may depend on your point of view. In some ways, traditional religion is like the last fairy tale. As our children mature, we (or their classmates) disabuse them of every last childhood myth - except religion. Claus? A 17'th century drunk monk. Easter Bunny? Tooth Fairy? Off they go.

But religion maintains a special grace. Its the last holdout for those who believe in something that's magical and bigger than themselves, probably because it attempts to answer 2 big questions: why do I exist and, will I exist after I'm dead? Besides religion, only philosophy attempts to grapple with both of those topics (although physics is beginning to answer the first one), but unlike philosophy or science, religion (by definition) is not subject to rigorous tests of logic or reason. In the words of Douglas Adams, "Proof denies faith and without faith religion is nothing." Personally, I believe Jesus probably did exist. I also believe that Moses, Mohammid, Bhudda, Krishna and others existed. But does this prove that there is a God in Heaven anymore than the existance of Kris Kringle proves there is a North Pole work shop? Certainly, anyone who thinks that their faith is the One Truth is culturally blind and treading on very thin ice. I find things of value in all faiths and for those who believe, are comforted and find within their faith keys to a higher moral standard, I say what's the harm? But to those who believe I also say, be aware of the inherent contradictions in your own lives. As someone once said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Guest Editorial:

Since I'm having a tough time getting submissions from you all, I'm including the following letter that I sent to Rush Limbaugh on Feb. 3. [This has the added advantage of having witnesses to the fact that I wrote this, in case Rush upstages me again without giving due credit. Long time readers may recall "The Clintstones" ripoff on Rush's program, which Chuck Scripter and I wrote in the Peanut Barrel in E. Lansing before Clinton was inaugurated in 1993.]

Subject: Rush is wrong. Taxes are good.

Dear Rush;
 Hopefully the subject line grabbed you.
 I was listening this Sunday (Feb. 2, 6 pm Pacific time) to a
local radio station (KIRO). It was carrying a radio talk show
from NY City which is apparently only on during the weekend.
I do not recall the host's name, but he kept bragging about how
he was broadcasting in VistaVision, if that helps identify
 Anyway, after listening to the host and his callers berate
Gingrich, Guilianni and Haly Barber, then pine for the good old
days under Dinkins and moan about how a permanent sales tax cut
in the city would be payed for, host and callers alike
complimented themselves on how open minded and non-partisan
they were.
 To the point.
 One caller called in to say that he had the proof that raising
the mimimum wage (MW), "... far from boosting unemployment, inflation and
slowing growth as the Rotund One and Dick Army would have us believe ..."
had done no such thing. The caller went on to say that 4'th quarter
economic stats showed 4.7% growth, a net increase of (I think he said)
70,000 jobs and no effect on inflation. The caller concluded by
saying that if anything, the minimum wage boost had "grown" the
  Of course, economically educated people know that this is
nonsense, and as you have said, no country has ever taxed itself into
prosperity. But how do you respond to the argument that the hike in
the MW has had "no measureable effect"?
  The classical reasoning is that the employer who relies on
MW workers can do two things (if the MW is increased) to maintain
the profit margin: cut employees or, boost his product price.
  Cutting employees would increase unemployment, reduce private
sector spending and slow growth. Upping product prices would increase
inflation. If neither of these occured in 4'th quarter 1996 (and
for argument's sake I'll agree that is true), then aren't all
conservative economic ideas wrong?
  MW employers have a 3'rd option we have not mentioned. They
can reduce the cost of labor by hiring at sub fulltime positions,
thereby avoiding paying benefits and employee health care.
 Now what was it that the CLinton's said while they were trying to
pass their health care plan, something about how the number of
working uninsured are at an alltime high?
  I don't have the resources or time myself to do this, but I
would be willing to wager $100 against that talk show host that
the MW increase has resulted in an increase of partime jobs
as a percentage of the total work force. That is how employers
are cutting labor costs and maintaining profits. And that strategy
will not show up in unemployment figures, or boost inflation.
However, it would boost the number of uninsured working.
 If you and the EIB network, with your Lexus/Nexus and other
search tools could verify this theory, we could stuff this argument
back down the throats of those who spread this drivel about
taxing the economy into prosperity.
  As you said last week on your show, conservatives need to
do a better job marketing their ideas, otherwise we just sound
like heartless and cruel naysayers. I submit this is a good as
place to start as any.
Steve Langer

                 Steve Langer, PhD
 |  | \    /     Assistant Professor of Radiology and Bioengineering
 |__|  \/\/
Dept. of Radiology / Box 357115 / University of Washington
1959 NE Pacific St. / Seattle, WA  98195-7115
E-mail / Phone 206.616.9166 / Fax 206.543.3495


1. Joe Nottoli points out my shortcomings, identifies God as the true source of morality, and proceeds to castigate me for not excercising logic. If he had his ire up before, wait until he finishes my rebuttal! [ To facillitate my reply, I number Joe's paragraphs.
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 1997 00:18:42 -0500
From: Joe Nottoli 
(Excerpts and my responses, as I attempt to REALLY define morality!)
(On a woman being hit - causing the death of her unborn child):
"You know that we have a serious problem in this nation when we can no
longer define unambiguously what murder is."

*RESPONSE: How true - I can't say it any better than that
"...The United States was founded upon the principle of individual rights
and private property . Today these principles are all but forgotten."
*RESPONSE: Perhaps a sentence based on rhetorical device. However, if many
of our rights aren't dead, they are feeling quite sick.

"...Rather, rights are assigned according to group memebership. If you are
black, hispanic or a female, you get automatic extra rights under the
rubric of Affirmative Action. If you have AIDS, you are entitled to extra
health care and job security benefits. If you're in a gay unmarried
relationship, you're entitled to the legal standing that straights have to
get married for. The reason for the usurpation of group rights over
individual rights is easy enough to understand. It's easy to pander to a
few single issue special interest groups. It's a bitch to have to pander to
millions of individual voters."
*RESPONSE: This seems a pointed, yet fair commentary. Again an excellent
"The way out? Oh yes. It's pretty simple. Ready?"
"People own themselves and the fruit of their labor. Such a simple truth,
yet it has been lost. Yet, if one remembers it, many socalled legal
conundrums are readily dealt with. For instance;
"A mother owns her own body, and hence the fetus within. If someone injures
her and kills the fetus against her wishes, they are violating her rights
to control her own body. Similarly, when someone chooses to ingest drugs,
either for a high or to
end their life, that too is their right. Taxes are theft, unless those who
are taxed voluntarily enter into a contract with their govt. to surrender a
portion of their labor in exchange for certain well defined services. When
the govt. exceeds the contract,they are acting immorally."
*RESPONSE: All right, here comes the heat of the 'flame' - for all of you
who have read this far. There are errors of logic, morality and law here.

We are self-deterministic as free individuals - to a point. I must point
out that we DO NOT own our own bodies! Has any human EVER created
THEMSELVES? Of course not. One can only 'own' that they rightfully
purchase, think of or create. God owns us. Incidentally, your parents DO
NOT own you either. You mother may have borne you, but neither she nor your
father created your soul and the genetic material that makes up your unique
Since this 'body' is not truly 'yours', you do not have the right to
'control' it in ANY circumstance. To think otherwise is the height of
selfishness, and if I dare say it... the root of Liberalism. The
Constitution, which Libratarians so often quote verbatum, concurs. It is
implicit in the Document itself, the Supreme Court's  history of decisions,
and the intent of the Founders, that one's rights stop when they impenge on
To use the abortion issue as one example: No one has the right to unjustly
kill another (self-defense and 'just' war excepted). Period. I don't know
of any cases of self-defense against unborn infants. And I have heard of
'children's crusades,' but this is ridiculous!
Most unborn infants WILL be born (statistically speaking). As such, they
are CITIZENS of the UNITED STATES. As such, they are entitled to defense
under our CONSTITUTION! I am speaking to a group largely made up of
scientists, doctors, accademians and other thinkers. Then wake up! Think!
apply the scientific/clinical knowledge you possess. Apply your logic! To
kill for convenience is the most henious act I can imagine. Hitler did it.
Be glad that your parents did NOT abort you - whether they acted upon their
phantom 'rights' or not...
There. I probably have everyone's ire up. I know mine is. Continuing...

On illegal drugs: Governments DO have the right to prohibit those things
which are patently dangerous and have NO redeeming value. Another pifall
that so many people fall into when pursuing their rights without
responsibilities is that every person and their actions exist in a vacuum.
They do not. If I choose to ingest illicit drugs for my 'high,' etc., I do
not just affect myself. I affect my wife, family, the people I share the
roads with, hospitals; and often taxpayers (like it or not, our socialistic
government WILL make society pay if I choose to be an irresponsible drug
addict, without insurance, in a coma!). YOU will pay for my
irresponsibility! the actions of each of us ripple out in widening
concentric circles, affecting everyone! This is why individual 'rights'
without responsibility is tearing down our society - the same breakdown you
bemoan in this publication and in the rest of your private lives. Do not
foster further social breakdown via your beliefs - albiet unwittingly.

Everyone should constantly examine and test their beliefs. If one wants to
follow the Constitution as their main model of political and social
structure (the EXCELLENT model it is...), than it is incumbant upon them to
know and follow ALL of it.
There. It was long. I'm finished. Who is left standing that would like to
borrow the soapbox next?
- Joe Nottoli

Ed: To respond to paragraph 12, I believe I'm still standing. Joe, as a fairly recent reader of the Rag, you are probably unaware of how deeply me and the others have analyzed these questions. I assure you, we are awake (P. 8). There is an old saying, "Dems want to regulate the boardroom, Reps. the bedroom" and you certainly lend credence to the latter. I am amazed at how little tolerence there is among Rep. for altering points of view, but then I guess those Perot voters had to come from somewhere. You and I would agree on about 95% plus of the issues, yet because we differ on religion, you would have me cast among those who are destroying the country. To address your points;

P. 4
"There are errors of logic, morality and law here."
In that case, you might like to point them out. In reverse order, you name no law that I've abused. For my "moral" errors, you point to religion as "truth", a dangerous doctrine indeed and one that even the Founders preferred to not base the Constitution on. Perhaps we should ask a Bhuddist in an overcrowded country if it's moral to practice abortion. As for my logic errors, see the following:

P. 5
"God owns us."
Ahh, the crux of the matter. You may not be aware of this, but much of the readership is composed of at least agnostics (myself included) if not outright atheists. If the Universe was annihilated this instant, the Big Bang would occur again within a millisecond (due to the inflation of the false vacuum) and the whole thing would start all over. That's part of the problem with being a physicist, once you know a little about how the Universe works, there is less and less room for appealing (in ignorance) to some magical force called God. Many physicists, including Richard Feynman, are atheists. Of course some like Roger Penrose have an ingenous dodge on this point. Penrose believes that God is the ultimate high energy physicist, he created the rules that govern the Universe and sits back and takes measurements. But in doing this Penrose is violating Occam's Razor (the principle which guides all science, which says that the simplest explanation that fits the facts is the truth). Put simply, why postulate the existance of something when it adds nothing to the theory?

Personally, for some time I've believed in something I've come to call the field, something that is neither sentient or moral. It just is. In many ways it is similar to what George Lucas calls the force. But for the sake of argument, let's assume a God. If He/She/It/They has given us free will, then even if we don't own ourselves, the landlord doesn't restrict what we do, hence we essentially revert to the self ownership argument. If there is no free will, then I'm probably not allowed to write this heresy anyway.

P. 6
"It is implicit in the Document itself, the Supreme Court's history of decisions, and the intent of the Founders, that one's rights stop when they impenge on another's."
Where have I said otherwise? That is why I said that punching the women's abdomen and killing her baby _against her wishes_ amounted to murder (P. 3). I don't know what "Libratarians" believe.

P. 7
"I don't know of any cases of self-defense against unborn infants."
Ahhh, ever hear of an Ectopic Pregnancy? Ever hear of breech births resulting in massive hemmorhage? Ever see a C-Section delivery? Ever hear of wild animals reabsorbing their young in utero during periods of low food availability?

"Most infants will be born and as such are citizens of the United States."
And you say I'm illogical. Sheesh. Try this one one. "Next year you will likely earn money so I'm going to tax you for it now." [Actually this example, intended to indicate ludicrous thinking, occurs now.] Infants become citizens when they _are_ born on US soil.

P. 10
"Governments DO have the right to prohibit those things which are patently dangerous and have NO redeeming value. "
Really? Guns, porn on the internet, the Anarchists Cookbook? In this country, supposedly, the govt. has only those rights which We the People grant it under this Constitution thingy. Who decides what is a redeeming value? I guess if you ask the right person sitting on a Congressional committee (who would doubtless be of unimpeachable moral character as long as he agrees with you) he would say all of these things are unquestionably dangerous and of dubious value (especially if that person is a member of the ruling party).

You go on to assert that drug abuse tears down more than the individual involved. That can certainly be true. On the other hand, well known social miscreants such as Bertrand Russel, H. David Thourough and yes even Richard Feynman are known to have enjoyed their illicit drugs at home. There are those of us who use more accepted drugs (ie alcohol) at home too. Freedom without responsibility is simply anarchy. And the fact that our govt. makes us pay for the irresponsibilities of others is not something that should be accepted as a permanent condition.

P. 11
"Everyone should constantly examine and test their beliefs. If one wants to follow the Constitution as their main model of political and social structure (the EXCELLENT m.odel it is...), than it is incumbant upon them to know and follow ALL of it."

I admit that I'm glad to get a letter like this. According to NC State Jeff, Texas Tom, and others I'm at best a mindless recording of Rush Limbaugh and at worst, more dictatorial than Attila the Hun. Then I get a message from someone like you who is an unabashed Conservative Christian who says I'm responsible for the moral slide of the nation (P. 10). Geez, could it possibly be I'm a GASP - centrist!

2. Sheryl points out why our fathers had it so good.

From: Sheryl Quimby 
To: Steve Langer 
Subject: my input for the Feb news
In my preparing to become the perfect wife I have been supplied with the
following article.  It is from a 1950's high school home economics textbook.

     Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a
delicious meal - on time.  This is a way of letting him know that you have
been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.  Most men are
hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the
warm welcome needed.
     Prepare yourself.  Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you'll be
refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair
and be fresh looking.  He has just been with a lot of work - weary people.
 Be a little gay and a little more interesting.  His boring day may need a
     Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of
the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys,
paper, etc.  Then run a dust cloth over the tables.  Your husband will feel
he has reached a heaven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
     Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands
and faces if they are small, comb their hair and if necessary, change their
clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing
the part.
     Minimize all noise.  At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of
the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to
be quiet.  Be happy to see him, greet him with a smile and be glad to see
     Some don'ts:  Don't complain if he's late for dinner.  Count this as
minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.  Make him
comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie
down in the bedroom.  have a cool or warm drink ready for him.  Arrange his
pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soft, soothing and
pleasant voice.  Allow him to relax and unwind.
     Listen to him, you may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment
of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first.
     Make the evening his:  Never complain if he does not take you out to
dinner or to other places of entertainment.  Instead, try to understand his
world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
     Your goal:  Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your
husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
3. Rafe Donahue writes;
From: "Rafe Donahue / Med Affrs MDS" 
[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]
For what it's worth, we tell our kids that there is a Santa Claus
just like there is a Winnie the Pooh and a Tigger, too.  They see
Pooh Bear on TV and in books and even have a stuffed version.
Same goes for Santa (sans the stuffed one).  They even met Santa
at the mall.  I guess our goal is to let them know the story of
Santa but not let them be crushed by his "mythness" when they are
old enough to comprehend fact, fiction, and fantasy.
Too bad we can't do the same with Bill Clinton.  Gosh, he sucks.
All me love,
4. And NC State Jeff tries weakly to butress his faith in the superiority of biology.
>From Wed Feb 19 16:39:14 1997
Subject: Jeff's an uncle
My big news is that I am now an uncle.  My sister Michele had
a baby boy "Alexander Thorne Augustynski" on Feb. 12.  I can't
explain why she did not name the boy after me.  Kerry Neef
made the same mistake.  So did Eric Lozada.  When the time comes,
I expect you and Tom Hall will also commit this error.
I think people are nervous about their kids having to follow in my
giant footsteps.
> Particle physics is necessary (as explained in the last issue) in order
>to produce the advances needed in propulsion design which will open
>up the universe. The genome project, as important as it may be to
>health and fitness, is not about to take humanity to the stars.
Being in a good mood due to the appearance of Alex, I'll be gentle.
Basically, you're wrong.  Think of going to the stars as
a bus trip.  Physics is already capable of getting the bus to its destination.
Advances in physics will basically determine the speed of the bus.
It doesn't really matter so much how fast the bus travels.
The important thing is whether the passengers can survive the bus trip.
This is what biology and the genome project will determine.
kisses, Jeff

Ed: Congrats on the nephew. As to the other ...

"It doesn't really matter so much how fast the bus travels. The important thing is whether the passengers can survive the bus trip."

Oh really? The nearest star which may have a habitable planet (or may not, I don't know) is 4 light years away. At current bus speeds of (let's be very generous) 50,000 mph, it would take

  dist = 4*365*24*3600*186,000 mile/s = 2.3 * 10^13 miles

  hours = dist/50,000 = 469255680
  year = hour/(24*365) = 53568
Gee, so it would take 50,000 years to get there. That is about as long as Homo Sapiens have existed, or three Ice Ages. And that's our nearest neighbor! That genome project better work AWFULLY damn well to expand the human lifespan to that level. What's that you say? Cryogenic suspension? Well sure, let's assume a perfect cryo chamber, shielded from the deadly cosmic rays that would kill a person outright or from induced cancers. Of course, no amount of shielding would ever save the person from their own internal isotope load (P32, Str90 and other nasties) so the person would arrive at their new home dead from internally induced cancers. Oh, but naturally the genome project would take care of that by improving the immune system's response to self.

Meanwhile back at mother earth, 50,000 years have passed and civilization has come to an end due to global warming, ozone depletion, 2 Ice Ages, Asteroid impacts and all the other "imminent" enviro-disasters which occured while everyone was waiting for news on whether the explorers had found Earth 2.

Good thinking Jeff ;-)

5. Matt writes on the joys of parenthood.

From: Matt Birkholz 
Reply-To: Matt Birkholz 
Subject: lastcall
   Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 11:44:41 -0500 (EST)
     And please include your response to last month's survey.
I hope "last month's survey" is what I found below; otherwise, I have no
idea what you are talking about.  Perhaps I need to try again to find your
     It's common practice to raise children in America on several
   myths (ie Santa Claus). Eventually, though, the child will either
   discover the truth on their own, or the parents will have to break it
   to them. The destruction of such childhood fantasies may be crucial
   to growing up, however it occurs at the cost of the child coming to
   believe they cannot trust everything their parents tell them. In
Erica does not believe anything I say already.  I think she only barely
noticed a fat, red-suited man a few months ago and is not exactly fully
informed as to The Santa Claus Myth.  I estimate Mom's chances of really
making that one stick between null and zero.
If my memory is any guide, she will suspect Mom is full of crap *long*
before anybody blurts out the truth.  Flying reindeer?  Does / does not
give coal to "bad" kids?  Makes all the toys himself?  Manages the whole
job in one night?  Who thinks this stuff up?
   other words, is maturity necessarily bought at the price of
   skepticism, and ultimately cynicism? Perhaps so. For those of
   you who are parents, or are on the path to be, how would you
      handle the "childhood myth?"
   - Never create the fantasy in the first place?
No ghost stories either?
   - Explain the myth in the beginning as a myth?
I can just hear her: "What is Dad nattering on about *now*?  Mom, will you
tell Dad to stop talking to me?"
   - Assert by appeal, as did the famous editorial in the Chicago Sun Times -
   "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", to a conceptual understanding?
Reductio ad vacuousness is not in my repertoire.
Matt Birkholz   Send mail for PGP 2.6.2 public key.

6. And Mike Grimm rejoins the group (after a hiatus) from the sunny environs of Dallas. Say Mike, do you know that another reader is also there? Texas Tom T. Hall, formerly of id (or is that iD, Id, ID) software, now with a new group doing Ion Storm (or is that iON sToRm or ioN storM or ....)

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 22:39:24 -0600
From: Mike Grimm 
Subject: Re: lastcall
So good to be back on the list.  What a rush.
Well, I'm now the Dallas correspondent, you know, the guy on the grassy
knoll.  And speaking of the news in Dallas...
Dateline:  Any month
Location:  The Dallas Independent School District School Board Meeting
In this months meeting, the NAACP and New Black Panthers protested the
racial bias of the board in electing a Hispanic superintendant of
schools. Meanwhile, a student enrolled in a Dallas high school
addresses the board during these shenanigans, asking why everybody
involved can't focus on educational issues.  Silly students, everybody
knows that this is just a power trip.  Why interrupt it by actually
having to be responsible for educaton.
Choose the month.  It's always the same.  Oh, I won't mention that the
orignal Black Panthers are not associated with the New Black Panthers,
and that the original BP's have filed injunctions against the NBP's.
In late-breaking sports news, Jerry Jones has decided to follow the lead
of the Dallas Mavericks, and trade away trouble players.  On the block
include Eric Johnson and Michael Irvin.  Reliable sources indicate that
Chicago is interested in Irvin.  Since William Perry retired from the
Bears at the end of last season, Chicago is looking to replace the
Fridge with the Coke Machine.

All my best,
Mike Grimm

Quotes(s) of the month:

"Man successfully uses condom while under the influence of alcohol in Helena Montana - Believe it or Not!"

-- An AIDS awareness placard on the side of a Seattle Metro bus.

Fix of the month:

"Given that everyone wants lower taxes, but no one wants anything to diminish their place at the Federal tit, how can a politician possibly balance the budget?"



1. Bay Area, 10 Feb: Last Friday's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on California state election practices, which are reminiscent of Chicago politics, except that rather than the dead voting, non-citizens are. After last November's congressional race, R Rep. Bob Dornan cried election fraud. Since that district's race only had 102,000 voters, and the race was decided by 950 votes, the fraud could have easily turned the tide. According to the WSJ;

"When Dornan leveled the charge, the press and the Dems said he had no concrete evidence. Well, Dornan and the state District Attorney have been pouring a lot of concrete since then."

It turns out that a Hispanic social services group (whose official goal is to teach English as a second langauge to arriving aliens), obtained over 500 California state voter registration cards which it distributed to its "clients". Falsifying citizenship in order to vote is a felony. Last year the group recieved over $3.5 Million in federal assistance, and an additional undisclosed amount from tax free donations (good thing they aren't the Speaker of the House.) And yes, as it happens, the 500 voter registrations cards were distributed in Dornan's district.

A computer cross check of the votors ballots also indicates that at least 100 people voted twice. Investigations continue.


1. 19 Feb. NPR : In a town dominated by an air force base (I've forgotten the name) last November's election results are also being contested. Two incumbent hispanic Dem. sheriffs who had thought they'd won reelection, found out otherwise after absentee ballots from the air base were counted. As it happens, the winners were two white Reps. who won on the strength of votes from officers that no longer live in Texas. For many years, military personnel (who move every two-three years) have been allowed to count any place where they were once stationed as a "permanent residence" for voting and tax purposes. Many vets choose Texas since it has no state income tax. But in light of this "unfair" defeat, the local Democratic party wants to rewrite the law so that absent residents will not be able to vote in local elections.

Ed: Note how this validates, yet again, Langer's 3'rd Law. "Liberals define fairness as having the deck stacked in their favor." Does anyone recall the 60 Minutes episode where voting precincts (nation wide) were drawn with snake-like irregularity so as to achieve Black or Hispanic majorities and yield more Dem. victories? Now that was fair. Note also how the coverage of this story demonstrates NPR's fairness. NPR will disregard the Dornan story, where actual laws WERE broken, to cover this tale of a county election where NO law was broken, but evil Reps. benefitted.


1. Feb. 4, Olympia: A bill that would require driver's license applicants to provide a thumb print (which would be encoded on the driver's license) was debated in the State capitol. A woman's testimony may assure its passage. The women's identity was stolen when a female purse snatcher stoler her credit cards and license, claimed the license was lost, and went to a State Licensing office to "renew" it. Thus assuming the identity of the women, the snatcher was able to obtain credit cards and checking accounts that bankrupted the victim.

Washington D.C.

1. Feb. 3: The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose but 0.1 this last month, its lowest increase in 10 months. Rather than being reported as cause for concern, however, it is being touted in the media as "a good thing" because it shows that inflation is under control.

Ed: Tell me that this slant would be used if a Rep. was in the White House.

2. Feb. 3, NPR: Asthma related emergency room calls by urban children have increased 4-5 times in the last 20 years. Many of these children could have avoided the emergency room visit, but their families could not afford health insurance to pay for their inhalers. Since the parents are working in sub fulltime positions, they do not qualify for health insurance at work.

3. Feb 18: Ken Starr, principle independant counsel investigating Whitewater, has shocked onlookers by suddenly accepting a faculty position at Califonia's Pemperdine Univ. What this means for the progress of the investigation is anyone's guess, but the Clinton Admin. is said to be elated at the news. Starr will leave D.C. to take his new full time post in July.

Ed: Can you spell "payoff"? I knew you could.

Net News;

1. Medical Humor.
You're probably in the medical field if:

1. Dicussing disemberment over meals seems normal.

2. You support aerial praying of Prozac.

3. You think "shallow gene pool" is a chargable diagnosis.

4. You think people should have a permit to reproduce.

5. You think chocolate is a food group.

6. You know the unspeakable will occur if anyone says, "It
sure is quiet around here."

7. You complement strangers on the size if their veins.

8. You call death the "Transfer to the eternal care unit."

9. You think a referral to Jack Kavorkain is appropriate for some

10. You agree that "too stupid to live" is a reasonable diagnosis.

11. You think the waiting room should have a Valium salt lick.

12. When you say "vegetable", you're not referring to food. 

13. You're not surprised when the patient says, "I have no idea
how that got in there."

14. Your weekends are marked off and planned a year in advance.

15. You can identify the teeth/tattoo ratio.

16. You've asked patients, "So what change occured after 5 months
to make you come to the ER at 2 am?"

Please note the Steve Langer "Sea Views" is available on the web at: