Monday, November 18, 2002

Andy writes:
McCain stops Bush on Homeland Security Bill, apparently. After many here, plus Novak, declared post-election Bush to be unstoppable, tonight McCain just said no. (Novak, in his column today in the NY Post, says post-election Bush is giving orders to Congress and steamrolled Hastert and Lott on the Bill.)

John and Roger assured us that any Republican who stands up to Bush now will get the Bob Smith treatment. OK, let's see what Bush will try to do to the guy who trounced him in most of the open primaries in 2000.

Many conservatives loathe McCain, leaving them without leverage against Bush. I say, let's see what McCain and anyone else has to offer. Bush has to earn our support. Feds took over airports today. Is that something we ever wanted?!

On immigration, here's a simple question. Can you name five immigrants to the U.S. who made significant contributions? I've looked at lists, but don't see as many as five. There is one, however, who did make an awesome contribution. Hint: he immigrated from Scotland. Anyone know?

John replies:
I predict that when the Senate votes on Tuesday, there will be more Democrats supporting Bush than Republicans following McCain.
Here are some possibilities for the Scot:
Alexander Graham Bell
Andrew Carnegie
John Paul Jones
Allan Pinkerton
John Witherspoon

George Will just wrote a column saying that we should let an immigrant be president of the US.

Andy writes:
Senate has confirmed 98 out of 131 of Bush's judicial appointments, according to AP. Has anyone checked these confirmed judges out? The statistic suggests that less than 25% of Bush's appointments are good!

AP tonight: "U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson gave Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had the 5,300-pound granite [Ten Commandments] monument installed in the state building, 30 days to remove it." Let's hope Chief Justice Roy Moore defies the order, including federalism reasons. Maybe we should consider weighing in on his side.

Alexander Graham Bell was the immigrant I had in mind. John's other Scots are not in the same league. Bell's story is a remarkable one. Does anyone here know if anyone else had a similar invention at the same time? There was a bitter patent dispute, which I think was ultimately decided 5-4 by the US Supreme Court.

There were several court disputes. Supposedly someone named Gray
filed a couple of hours later.

Besides the priority dispute, there was a big dispute on the broadness of the claims. Bell had an inferior technique for transmitting voice, but won in court a broad claim covering the rival technology. Bell's company then used the rival technology and had a monopoly. It was probably the most valuable patent ever granted.

Here, NY passed a resolution crediting some Italian-American for
inventing the telephone.

IMO, the truly great inventions are not the ones that were simultaneously invented by 5 other people. Apparently all the ideas were in the air. If Bell hadn't gotten the patent, the public would still have gotten telephones just as quickly from the other inventors.

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