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May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

Post-travel cleanup

Susan BoyleContrary to expectations, I ended up not skipping any of my twice-weekly column appearances as a result of my recent visit to Toronto (gotta occasionally put in face time with that gay/Zionist/abortion-loving mainstream-media mafia, you know). In fact, I'm not quite sure in retrospect how I failed to miss one. I have the uneasy sense that I've been the victim of some shell game by my editors. At any rate, let's run down what you might have missed. One week ago I commented on monobrowed Scots cherub Susan Boyle; in Tuesday's paper I contributed to our comment series celebrating the virtues of print (though the attentive will note that wood pulp plays no necessary role in my vision of the newspaper, as outlined therein); and in today's paper I look at the latest new piece of significant research into ADHD drugs and note the increasing cognitive dissonance surrounding them.

(A point I would have liked to have had space to make about the Berkeley ADHD study: the p-value for the observed effect on math scores in medicated children was a barely bar-clearing .04. Which means that even accepting all the assumptions in the model, and ignoring the possible existence of non-published studies that led to null findings, such a result could be due to chance—if there were no real effect—one time in 25. The gains on the reading side were much more significant, but I have to think a researcher who puts such a core result in a study destined to be hyped must still have to take a very deep breath first.)

Oh, and

Not by me, but obviously relevant, is this Thursday piece by my National Post colleague Kevin Libin, who became curious/skeptical about my observations on the recent northern Alberta ecstasy deaths and decided to retrace my steps to see if his beat-pounding feet took him in the same direction. Meanwhile, the local papers continue to struggle with the concept of not reporting what they cannot possibly know: an early version of this brief Friday morning Journal story once again used the phrase "ecstasy overdose" to describe the Paul Band deaths (I can't find a cached version but my memory of having Froot Loops and milk fly out my nose is very distinct), but the text has since, gratifyingly, been changed.

(Not to sound like a broken record—and I know it's many weeks too late—but if those girls did die of what can be described as an "overdose", there seems to be no earthly way a charge of criminal negligence causing death can be sustained against their dealer.)

May 2, 2009

That shot of Jägermeister is unsocial, comrade

New at Full Comment: watching Eric Crampton kick some ass.

May 6, 2009

Maybe there's some other place named 'Canada'?

A quote from Paul Ryan, minority leader on the U.S. House of Representatives budget committee:

[Peter Orszag] believes you need to set up this über-bureaucracy—the institute of comparative effectiveness—which we’ll put smart people in, and they will design the metrics and the processes on how medicine is to be practiced. And then the federal government will impose and enforce those processes... It is precisely what they employ in England. It’s precisely what they employ in Canada.

So, Congressman Ryan, I'm guessing you haven't spent a lot of time here in our pleasant Dominion?

May 16, 2009

Quisling show

I love that there are journalists in Alberta who apparently think that human-rights law should apply fully to journalists (and bloggers and Twitter-ers) in their work, but not teachers in theirs. I mean, is there a single noun in English that combines treacherousness with stupidity? I don't like the leftist tendency to immediately accuse writers and editors of being on the take when they express an "inappropriate" opinion (this happens to me, I don't know, 50 times more often than merely being accused of ineptitude), but if I were blowing and sucking the teacher trust while totally ignoring or opposing the interests of my own guild, I think I would at least want a few sizable cheques. But when it comes to public schools and the incorruptible saints who staff them, the typical journalist emerged from the womb bought and paid for.

Tour de force!

I've been unhappy with most of my columns lately (and flu-ey, to boot, this week), but I was pretty pleased with Thursday's about Craigslist. OK, it suffers from a slight case of fish/barrel syndrome; but on the other hand, who else is going to write this stuff (in a newspaper) these days?

May 18, 2009

Fortunately, all my own friends are inside my head

Best take on Maureen Dowd's sticky wicket comes from Brad DeLong. He is quite right: her "explanation" is actually a lot more damning than admitting to one act of semi-intentional plagiarism would be. We are all frail, lazy creatures, but I have yet to ever hear an "explanation" for any act of plagiarism that made much sense (to me, as a columnist with a very heavy workload by industry standards). Just once I'd like to hear someone say "Sorry, I just completely blew the fuck up; it was a cry for help."

May 24, 2009

Latest Coshery

As I prepare to try pulling this Tuesday's column out of my top hat, let's catch up with last week's work: on Tuesday I wrote about how the death throes of the liberal churches are visible in the bitumen-rich area around Ft. McMurray, and on Friday I offered vague thoughts on the unique position—perhaps better described as "unique since ballplayers started trickling back from the Second World War"—of the hated Michael Vick.

May 26, 2009

Since I went to the trouble of finding it dep't

Here's the formal "questions presented" document [PDF] for U.S. Supreme Court case 08-876, (Conrad) Black et al. v. United States.

Reform it with fire

My Tuesday Post column: still-dumb Canada attempts to "reform" one of its dumbest government programs. Isn't it odd that we look at the fact that so many workers have never been covered by EI and take that as a sign that it needs to be "reformed"—instead of a sign that self-insurance is not all that difficult? (It would be considerably easier, of course, if income and payroll taxes weren't so damned high.)

May 29, 2009

Bleeding George Washington

Steve Paikin does a neat little get-to-know interview with David Sackett, Canada's pioneer of clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine.

May 30, 2009

The Hellu say

Friday's Post column is about the deep tripartite mystery of the first, fruitless contact between Europe and America. Our Virgil—and could there be a better choice?—is Jorge Luis Borges, that mighty miniaturist of the New World.

About May 2009

This page contains all entries posted to ColbyCosh.com in May 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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