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Outrage in Illinois

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Buy your kid some decongestant, go to jail.
"(I was) made to feel like a criminal -- Made to feel low, dirty. Just totally degraded," recalled Tim Naveau, who says he'll never forget the hours he spent in Rock Island County Jail -- he says all because of his allergies.

"They searched me, made me take my shirt off, my shoes off," he recounted.

Tim takes one 24-hour Claritin-D tablet just about every day. That puts him just under the legal limit of 75-hundred milligrams of pseudo ephedrine a month. The limit is part of a new law that Quad Cities authorities are beginning to strictly enforce.
. . .
The only problem is, Tim has a teenaged son who also suffers from allergies. And minors are not allowed to buy pseudo ephedrine.

"I bought some for my boy because he was going away to church camp and he needed it," he said.

That decision put Tim over the legal limit. Two months later, there was a warrant for his arrest.
Do I even have to comment on how utterly ridiculous this is?

Via Reason Hit & Run.

How hard can YOU roll your eyes?

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Time Magazine has chosen as its ""Man" of the Year" . . .


Only, not really you, you. Not folks who get up, shower, grab a bite of breakfast, hurry along to work, put in a good day, then come home to a beer and whatever's on ABC or Fox that night. Them. Like, you know, those wacky Facebookers. OpinionJournal approaches Time Magazine's selection thus:

And yet, there is something uniquely demented about this year's choice. It claims to celebrate You, the reader, the YouTuber, the amateur, the activist. Editor Stengel goes so far as to compare You to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. So then what does Time choose to highlight as examples of greatness in action?

Leila is a 20-year-old single Muslim woman who lives in Maryland and posts diary videos on YouTube: "She says um and ah a lot. She has been known to drink and blog. Sometimes she doesn't speak at all, just runs words across the screen while melancholy singer-songwriter stuff plays in the background."

Megan Gill is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Portland who just broke up with her boyfriend and changed her status from "dating" to "single" on her Facebook page. She has 708 registered "friends" who check back for regular updates on her site, such as "Megan is so over first semester," "Megan is bummed about the election results," "Megan is tired of letting people down."
I have seen the present, and it is vapid.

The Iraq Study Group

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I downloaded the ISG report, and intend to read it in depth real soon now. But I suspect my reaction will be much like Mark Steyn's. And he's a much better writer than I am. So:

So there you have it: an Iraq "Support Group" that brings together the Arab League, the European Union, Iran, Russia, China and the U.N. And with support like that who needs lack of support? It worked in Darfur, where the international community reached unanimous agreement on the urgent need to rent a zeppelin to fly over the beleaguered region trailing a big banner emblazoned "YOU'RE SCREWED." For Dar4.1, they can just divert it to Baghdad.

Oh, but lest you think there are no minimum admission criteria to James Baker's "Support Group," relax, it's a very restricted membership: Arabs, Persians, Chinese commies, French obstructionists, Russian assassination squads. But no Jews. Even though Israel is the only country to be required to make specific concessions -- return the Golan Heights, etc. Indeed, insofar as this document has any novelty value, it's in the Frankenstein-meets-the-Wolfman sense of a boffo convergence of hit franchises: a Vietnam bug-out, but with the Jews as the designated fall guys. Wow. That's what Hollywood would call "high concept."

So, from what I've read, the solution to the Iraq problem is to hand Israel to the Palestinians. I guess there's a reason why I don't understand "foreign policy." I'm insufficiently nuanced to understand that surrender is victory.

The Itch

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Snookums and I have been on vacation.  Well, two vacations--to the Bahamas, then to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Bahamas weren't so bad, bug-wise, but St. Thomas had mosquitos.  And no-see-ums.  They took to Snookums immediately (must be the sweetness) but they took a while longer to find me.  But when they did, they certainly made up for lost time.  My right ankle has a ring of welts all the way around it.  And, they itch.

So, I read the article Giving in to the urge to scratch:  Researchers find not all itches created equal at Science Daily with some interest:
While there are extensive commonalties between allergen- and histamine-induced itch, perceptions about the intensity and the parts of the brain that are activated by allergens differ when compared to histamine. As a result, mothers who admonish their children to stop itching may now be rightly told "I can't." For mold and grass-related itches, it appears that science is on their side.

So far, I've avoided the urge to pop a couple of Benedryls.  So far.

Saudi Arabia antes in

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Saudi Arabia says it'll intervene in Iraq if the U.S. pulls out:
(Saudi security advisor) Nawaf Obaid, writing in The Washington Post, said the Saudi leadership was preparing to revise its Iraq policy to deal with the aftermath of a possible U.S. pullout, and is considering options including flooding the oil market to crash prices and thus limit Iran's ability to finance Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

"To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks -- it could spark a regional war. So be it: The consequences of inaction are far worse," Obaid said.
Too bad the majority of Americans didn't think through the results of your actions when we voted in the Surrender Party.

Happy Holidays!

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Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means that Christmas is right around the corner.

So what if the Democrats are in power (and, predictably, melting down almost instantly--thank you, Nancy Pelosi!).  So what if the Syrians keep assassinating Lebanese leaders?  So what if Iraq still isn't a civil war.

Hey, college basketball has started, which means the fall/winter college basketball travel season is in full force.

Life is good.

RIP Milton Friedman

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One of history's great voices for individual freedom and liberty is silenced.  Economist Milton Friedman just passed away.

OpinionJournal remembers:
For all of his academic accomplishments, Professor Friedmanís role as a popularizer of free-market principles was arguably more important. He wrote a column in Newsweek for 18 years starting in 1966, preaching the importance of economic freedom to a generation that had never heard such things in school. His 1980 book, "Free to Choose," was a best seller, and the videos that accompanied it were smuggled behind the Iron Curtain like seeds of revolution.

He was among the first to point to Hong Kong as a model of free-market success, a lesson that even today is remaking Communist China. And he first suggested educational vouchers to rescue failing public schools as long ago as 1955; in recent years, he established a foundation to support this idea that continues to advance despite ferocious opposition from unions and other entrenched interests.

Got heal pain? Try this stretch exercise

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I, along with a number of my siblings, have plantar fascitis, which is basically heal pain.

From Science Daily comes this report of a new stretch exercise which is reported to help:
The stretch requires patients to sit with one leg crossed over the other, and stretch the arch of the foot by taking one hand and pulling the toes back toward the shin for a count of 10. The exercise must be repeated 10 times, and performed at least three times a day, including before taking the first step in the morning and before standing after a prolonged period of sitting. More than 90 percent of the patients were totally satisfied or satisfied with minor reservations, and noted distinct decrease in pain and activity limitations. The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes, is strained, causing weakness, inflammation and irritation. Common in middle-aged people as well as younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers, people with plantar fasciitis experience extreme pain when they stand or walk. Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating experience, as the chronic cycle of reinjury and pain can last for up to one year. DiGiovanni likens it to pulling a hamstring, and continuing to run without proper stretching. "Walking without stretching those foot tissues is just re-injuring yourself," he said.