Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, September 30, 2005

Dr. Rice

made a major policy address at Princeton. Go read it. HT tigerhawk via instapundit

New Acting FDA head

According to this story, the new acting FDA head, Andrew von Eschenbach, wants the agency to speed up the timelines for introducing new technologies to patients. This is good news, sort of, as long as they don't bury/whitewash negative impacts of treatments. HT Dave Meleney


Read this about our border problems.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Peggy Noonan

has a must read column on responsibility and authority. HT betsyspage


Spain is building a security fence, like Israel.


Democratic governor doesn't even like his own party.


should have to pay for this. HT anchoress. She gets royally fisked. HT americanfuture


Looks like there might be a lot more oil than is currently thought. HT vodkapundit

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ghandi was wrong

says neo-neocon, in a must read post on Pacifism. Also, read her series titled A mind is a difficult thing to change, becasue libertarianism is all about changing minds. It's on the right, scroll down a bit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Pork

Dr. Demarche is proposing $37 billion in savings.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

History lesson

Neo-neocon quotes some really interesting stuff about how Hitler came to power. Makes me even more leery about proportional representation and other power sharing schemes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Well, Duh!

In helping Katrina victims, Wal-mart did a better job than the government. It's not rocket science, folks. HT instapundit

Jabbar Gibson

should get a medal. He's a resident of New Orleans who, when confronted by the hurricane, stole a bus and transported quite a few people to safety in Houston. He showed a lot of initiative and did the right thing to save a lot of people. So go sign the petition! HT Richard Combs

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Spending Money

RedState makes the case that big government is good, the right kind of big government, that is. Definitely worth reading. HT anchoress

Terrorist targets

The middle class. HT vodkapundit

Watching the MSM

Second Draft is a new site which "is devoted to exploring some of the problems and issues that plague modern journalism". HT neo-neocon

Cloak and Dagger

Here's real life espionage that really worked. HT wienerville

Monday, September 19, 2005


The 1st Congressional District share is, more or less, $63,270,000. Pretty much all of it goes to RTD, so to give "credit" to Rep. Diana DeGette (D) may be a bit of a stretch. But, hey, any opportunity to blame a congresscritter shouldn't be passed up! Here's a summary. HT vodkapundit

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sen. Robert Byrd (Kleagle)

gets his comeuppance.


Check out this John Roberts cartoon. HT betsyspage

Katrina: Few died, here's why

First responders. Read about the rescue effort that nobody noticed. HT betsyspage

Inspiring Education Story

Here. Read it. HT Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred

Wretched Refuse indeed

Read this and this on why Europe hates us. HT anchoress

Donald Rumsfeld

should read this.


There have been lots of people commenting on the lack of government performance, federal, state, and local, in response to hurricane Katrina. What very few, if any, have commented on, is the lack of response from the residents of New Orleans. Not those who left, or were disabled or ill before the hurricane hit, but those who were/are able-bodied, but did not respond.

They just sat there.

Maybe it’s a culture thing. Maybe it’s, yes, the welfare culture thing. Have these people gotten so dependent on government handouts that they won’t even lift a finger to save their own lives? If that’s the case, whatever government does to put New Orleans back together is useless. It won’t fix that problem. I hope that those who stayed, and are now in some other place beginning to put their lives together again, will take advantage of the new opportunities they have to make a fresh start and become a productive and useful member of society.

UPDATE: It looks like some of them are. HT neo-neocon

Friday, September 16, 2005

Pictures are back!

Alvaro's Gallery is back! Go see this great slide show in New Orleans during Katrina. HT Richard Combs

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Word Count

Well, the results are in, and the windbags win. The bloviating senators at John Roberts' confirmation hearing did most of the talking. Guess they didn't have anything important to ask. HT michellemalkin

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Suggestions needed

Dr. Demarche is looking for suggestions to focus the foreign policy budget on. Remember, they're going to get this money. How should they spend it to advance liberty?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Getting ahead

It's the peer groups, says Jane Galt.

Private Katrina Relief

This is from one of my nieces:

Below is an email from my friend Marilyn Sutherland. She and her husband along with Anne and Doug Peterson own the Quality Inn Market Center.
They are the only hotel in Dallas that we know of that has not kicked the victims out. They are able to do this because of the volunteers and donations from folks like us.

I know each of you are doing what you can to help. I just wanted to pass this along because it's a good story, one that's working and I am tired of hearing all the bickering and finger pointing in the media. Also, if you want to help by going down to help, or donate something, or give money she describes how to do just that.

I am going to volunteer 1/2 a week during the work week (they have many people who can work on the weekends), (we) help with food costs and do what I can to help get jobs for those looking.

Thanks for being such good friends and family. I feel great joy sending this to you because you DO make a difference in my life - currently and already.


From: Marilyn Kodish Sutherland
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 03:41:52 -0500

Dear Friends & Family,

Most of you know Chuck and I own a hotel in Dallas Texas. We have had 800 people at the hotel who are survivors of the hurricane since Katrina hit. We've got over 300 this weekend and we're getting a new influx on Monday.

People came to our hotel, expecting to stay for a day or two. When the hurricane hit, they lost their home, their job, everything. The paychecks they were expecting never arrived. Other hotels turned people away when they couldn't pay but we couldn't do that. And when we found out the only meal people were getting was our free breakfast because they had no money, we started feeding them 3 meals a day at no charge to them. It costs about $1500 to provide 3 meals a day.

We have already moved 75 families into apartments (where we arranged 3 months free rent). Each family that has moved into an apartment received a move-in package with household furnishings, linens, etc. put together by local churches. We're getting 75 more move-in packages tomorrow in anticipation of moving the next group out to apartments.

We had our first job fair to help them get work last Wednesday, 2 days after the hurricane hit. Over 50 people have received permanent jobs and the other adults have received temporary jobs (although many are minimum wage which isn't enough to support their families). We have people fill out a universal application which we are sharing with companies who are looking to hire people. Today while I was at the hotel someone from Eatzi's (a gourmet café/store) came to review applications and will be setting up interviews in the next day or two.

Before the hurricane hit, we had one computer for our guests in the lobby. Within a few days of the hurricane, a church donated 5 more which are in use all the time - so people can access services online and find their family members.

We have a warehouse full of donated clothes and shoes in bags and boxes that have to be sorted so that people can find clothes that will fit. We need volunteers right now to do that. We also need volunteers to help people apply for their benefits online, find family members, get prescriptions filled, and listen or whatever else they need.

These people are starting from scratch. It is unimaginable. Many do not know where their family members are. They have no job, no access to money, a future full of uncertainty. They are so grateful for everything we do and are traumatized by what they have been through. And they need their neighbors - that's you and me - now!

A member of Congress - Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson - is coming to our hotel tomorrow to see what we're doing and meet some of the survivors.

Our local CBS affiliate - Channel 11 - reported on our "relief efforts" on Wednesday, saying "the Quality Inn hotel is the best organized relief organization in Dallas". That is an amazing acknowledgement of the hotel staff and community that has combined efforts to service our guests. We are hopeful we can get at least partial reimbusement for the housing portion but haven't figured out how to do that yet!

What can you do?
1) Volunteer! Come to the hotel to sort clothes, help people navigate the system, just listen. We need people every day all day and will continue to need people until they are all settled into jobs and permanent housing.
Everything makes a difference.
2) Donate a $50 gas credit card for people who have cars so they can drive to work (they need gas money the first week or two until they get paid) 3) Donate a gas card (so people have gas money their first week of work until they get paid) and/or a Walmart or Target gift cards (for special needs like adult diapers for their grandmother or extra large clothes that are not donated or special clothes/uniform for their job or for household items as part of the move-in package)
4) Donate money: (without this we can't provide the relief services we are committed to providing)
- Sponsor a family by paying for their housing and food - it costs about $55 night for each family
- Contribute to or sponsor a move-in package for when they move to an apartment (cost is about $500)
- Help us provide relief services like an extra van ($1600) to transport people to the FEMA or Red Cross office, etc.
5) Come up with brilliant ideas for what else is needed by these amazing survivors and take it on to help us provide that!

If you can make donations to the hotel directly, please write a check to the Quality Inn Market Center and trust us to use it to feed and house these people. If you want to make a tax deductible donation, you can write a check to the Bajito Onda Katrina Fund which is a special 501(c)(3) fund created in partnership with a local nonprofit to support our guests who are survivors.

To volunteer, show up!

The attached article is from the Dallas Morning News earlier this week and the end of the article talks a little about our hotel.

Why am I sending you this?
1) So you know what Chuck and I are doing as owners of the Quality Inn
2) So you have some sense of what is needed by these people as they create a new life from scratch in a new city
3) So you know how you and others can make a difference for the survivors and for us in providing relief services

Each of you receiving this is someone who wants to make a difference with others. Thank you for whatever you can do, including sharing this with others. Every conversation, every effort whether at our hotel or in your own community will make a difference.

Marilyn Sutherland
Quality Inn Market Center
1955 Market Center Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75207
hotel: 214-747-9551
My cell: 214-797-9916
My home office: 214-696-6926


If you can afford another check, please do. I did.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

UN Reform

Captain Ed has an interesting post.


from the Al Qaeda Training Manual. HT michellemalkin

Saturday, September 10, 2005

All the good news that's fit to print

Chrenkoff has a compilation of all his Iraq and Afganistan good news posts.

Friday, September 09, 2005


The Anchoress lays it out regarding the mediocre mindset among the bureaucrats.

Iraqi soldiers give a damn

They sent a donation for Katrina relief. HT instapundit

Thursday, September 08, 2005

If Katrina

had happened during Bill Clinton's term. HT betsyspage

Inside New Orleans

A spellbinding picture show. HT dailydemarche

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Prediction New Orleans

New Orleans might become a company town. Business has an incentive to rebuild and right now, no one else does. So we could see private police and fire, private roads, water and sewer. It could be a hardship tour, attractive to single folks willing to work long hours and put up with company housing. Could be an interesting sociological experiment with libertarian connotations.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rebuild New Orleans?

Stratfor says New Orleans must be rebuilt. Read it to understand how important NO is to our nation. HT Bert Weiner

Monday, September 05, 2005

Dr Demarche

is back and speaking sense that libertarians would do well to heed.

I have stated many, many times on this blog that I do not believe that terrorism comes from poverty- but I do believe that some crime does. Illegal immigration comes to mind for starters. Reduce the poverty at home and fewer people will flee. What you might ask, is the simplest of methods to achieve this goal? I am glad you asked. Here is my very simplified answer: free trade and the reduction or elimination of subsidies at home. This is where the Libertarian in me comes out- even more so when I travel in the Third World. I understand that we can not simply fling open our markets any more so than we can simply fling open our borders- but we can and indeed should, spend our aid dollars in such a way that will allow us over time to reduce barriers and tariffs as well as lower or end subsidies at home.

The Libertarian Party has for far too long been trying to sell libertopia to the voters. After 35 years we should learn that it doesn't work. It's unrealistic, and the voters know it's unrealistic.


Captains Quarters is recommending Janice Rogers Brown for the 2nd vacancy on the Supreme Court.

The moonbats sink further

Some idiot at Google has set the search engine so that when you type "failure" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button, you get sent to the biography of President Bush. Just sick. I didn't vote for him, but he deserves respect. I've been using dogpile rather than Google for just this reason. UPDATE: Seth (in comments) tells me this is something called googlebombing and not a result of google actually doing something malicious.

Are you

in the pink tribe or the grey tribe? Read Bill Whittle's Tribes and find out. HT Instapundit

Sunday, September 04, 2005

US, to World

We're taking one year off! HT anchoress


Looks like we passed up a number of opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden. HT Anchoress

Price gouging?

Get your Econ 101 lesson here.