A very good start

It’s hard to quibble with this first action by Sen. Paul:

In his first major legislative proposal, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has proposed cutting government spending by $500 billion in a year, including eliminating the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development and most of the Department of Education. Paul, R-Ky., said the plan he rolled out Tuesday would cut almost 40 percent of the country’s projected deficit by abolishing programs that he said are outside the government’s constitutional scope.

Throw in the DEA and I’m sold.

Kristof fails to grok Christianity

I often find it amazing how the various modern perversions of Christianity don’t get it wrong so much as turn it completely on its head:

The National Catholic Reporter newspaper put it best: “Just days before Christians celebrated Christmas, Jesus got evicted.” Yet the person giving Jesus the heave-ho in this case was not a Bethlehem innkeeper. Nor was it an overzealous mayor angering conservatives by pulling down Christmas decorations. Rather, it was a prominent bishop, Thomas Olmsted, stripping St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix of its affiliation with the Roman Catholic diocese.

The hospital’s offense? It had terminated a pregnancy to save the life of the mother. The hospital says the 27-year-old woman, a mother of four children, would almost certainly have died otherwise.

Bishop Olmsted initially excommunicated a nun, Sister Margaret McBride, who had been on the hospital’s ethics committee and had approved of the decision. That seems to have been a failed attempt to bully the hospital into submission, but it refused to cave and continues to employ Sister Margaret. Now the bishop, in effect, is excommunicating the entire hospital — all because it saved a woman’s life.

Unsurprisingly, the New York Times columnist betrays that he has absolutely no understanding of one of the core teachings of Christianity, the very commandment that Jesus gives his disciples. Christianity is not about saving lives, especially not at the expense of others. It is about sacrificing one’s life for others, something that the mother, the nun, and the hospital actually committed murder in order to avoid doing.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

The bishop did right to excommunicate those who killed a child in order to potentially save the life of its mother. And if we lived in a moral society, the state would do right to prosecute them.

Tech update

Needless to say, I was much amused by this patent application in light of all of the Macintossers initially dismissing the multibutton approach and declaring how stylistically horrific it is. Clearly it is much better to imitate the multibutton approach, only to do so in a manner that forces one operate by sight instead of by touch and places the virtual buttons directly under one’s palm, if for no other reason than Apple has blessed the approach.

Speaking of comparing the effectiveness of different interface approaches, we’re going to be releasing the performance results of various mice soon and it looks to be a bit of a scandal. We have compiled strong empirical evidence indicating that in between the switch from mechanical rollers to optical sensors and the advent of the the multibutton interface, there has been essentially no actual performance difference between so-called high performance gaming mice and cheap office mice. Here is a comparison of four mice, two of which have multibutton support and two of which do not. The difference in performance between the two multibutton mice is the result of their different approaches to the interface; there is a reason, after all, that clumsy people are described as being “all thumbs”. That comparison marks the fastest speeds recorded at 1920×1200 resolution, whereas the sustainable speeds that one can reasonably expect to maintain in consistent use are about 15% slower on both the conventional and multibutton interfaces.

Finally, on the practical application side, there is a new video focused on Mozilla Firefox and demonstrating how the default Firefox mode operates for those who might be interested.