didn't need the jack, just the iron

Stumbled upon this in eBay: replacement DC jack for my Averatec notebook. Hundreds of them, in fact.

I fixed mine with just some soldering on the existing jack. Replaced nothing.

Review: Ratatouille

We took all the offspring units to the matinee, after Barbaloot heard good things about Pixar's latest, Ratatouille.

I found myself liking it, in spite of my general disdain for all things Mickey.

Three things leapt out at me from this picture, each of which earns the price of admission:

  • animation of hair and fiber. A lightning bolt hits Remy and his brother, singeing their hair. You can see the tiny balls of randomly-fused keratin at the ends of each hair in their coats. In another scene, an army of rats are bathed in a restaurant dishwasher. The wet, clean fur is modeled perfectly.

  • the food critic's writeup. Jaw-dropping in clarity, humility, and wit. Totally unexpected. Go here and find "the work of a critic is easy" in the page. I think a line is missing: "sometimes, the New needs friends."

  • the soundtrack. Stay in the theater after the rest of the crowd has bailed, and listen to the score while the credits roll to the very end. It's rich, layered. It's this guy's work, and it brought tears welling in my eyes and a lump in my throat, just like his score for The Incredibles. Yeah, I do get that way.

Sorry, I don't do stars or thumbs-up.

The chilling effect of state-provided medicine

Rush Limbaugh's program last week, regarding Bush's veto of the SCHIP
program, and his program today covering Lt Gen Sanchez's remarks about
Iraq war reporting, prompt me to observe how the two topics may intersect.

SCHIP is for damn sure a "gateway drug" that could nationalize the entire US
medical industry. Apart from the disaster it would cause to the medical industry
itself (I eschew the term "health care"), what would be the potential
consequences to other institutions, or to seemingly-unrelated civil rights?

Imagine that HillaryCare is implemented across the United States; military
retirees (such as Gen Sanchez) are migrated from TriCare to HillaryCare. It
would be a surprise if such a migration is not being contemplated by single-payer
proponents, or else they couldn't call it "single payer," could they?

There's long-standing precedent that if the Federal Government pays for
something, they can exert great (if not total) control over it. Hell, it isn't just
precedent anymore, it's a governing philosophy among the Left. They count on
getting that control, otherwise they wouldn't bother trying to get the funding
for it, whatever "it" may be.

Then let's say that Gen Sanchez develops a medical problem of some kind---all
manner of manageable-if-treated conditions come with retirement age. These
are now, under HillaryCare, under the control of government payers, auditors,
physicians, review boards, information technology (remember standardized
universal recordkeeping?) etc.

People in these careers will stake their advancement on drinking the single-payer
KoolAid, either because they are true believers in single-payer, or because they
owe their jobs to its existence.

Regardless, a person employed by that system, or responsible for making it work,
might want a critic to shut up. Consciously or subconsciously, they have the
means to do so.

"Hmmm, there's no record of a scheduled bypass surgery here, sir, I'm sorry," or
"There's an error in the database about your medications, sir," or worse yet,
"I'm very sorry, Ma'am, there was an error with the medications prescribed for
your husband, and these two medications combined are very dangerous. They
should never have been prescribed together."

Then a few days later: "No, ma'am, the Medical Cost Containment Amendment
of 2010 prohibits you from suing Federally-funded caregivers for your husband's
death, without permission. You have to apply for permission from the Program
to sue it." The application process will keep the Trial Lawyers well fed, even if
the lawsuits themselves do not. Gotta throw them a bone.

No doubt there are some on the Left who wish this outcome for their critics (but
will never concede that it could happen in a program run by the Left's "our
people"), so as presented, it wouldn't appeal to them. To sell this angle to the
Left, it will have to be cross-dressed a bit.

Since they insist on vilifying President Bush, ask them how much they'd like
their health care---top to bottom, stubbed toe to rehab to final bill, womb to
the tomb---directed by a Bush appointee instead of "our people"?

Forget tax audits: they're chump change compared to arbitrary bureaucratic
power over life and death.

Fair warning: this will get crass. Don't blame me.
The medical is the personal, and the Left wants
to make the
medical political---the polar opposite
of "personal." It can't help but become crass.
End of fair warning.

How safe would Cindy Sheehan feel in openly criticizing the Administration if
her next PAP smear literally depended on it?