Saturday, January 31

End in sight

NYT:
BAGHDAD — Iraqis across the country voted Saturday in provincial elections that will help shape their future, but regardless of the outcome it is clear that the Americans are already drifting offstage — and that most Iraqis are ready to see them go.

The signs of mutual disengagement are everywhere. In the days leading up to the elections, it was possible to drive safely from near the Turkish border in the north to Baghdad and on south to Basra, just a few miles from the Persian Gulf — without seeing an American convoy. In the Green Zone — once host to the American occupation government, and now the seat of the Iraqi government — the primary PX is set to close, and the Americans have retreated to their vast, garrisoned new embassy compound. Iraqi soldiers now handle all Green Zone checkpoints.

American helicopters and drones may be in the sky, but Iraqi boots are on the ground. The Americans are already worried about securing the road to Kuwait because soon they will have to start hauling out much of the infrastructure they have built on bases across Iraq.

(more)

Street fighting

It's even the meaning of life



But could there be such a thing as too much bacon and sausage? Heresy, I know.

MMMM.

Too subtle?

I just spoke with a reader who hadn't realized this "complaint" was machine-generated at pakin.org

Hey that looks fun

Five bighorn sheep slung from a helicopter and being transplanted to Desolation Canyon. Photo taken 1-15-09 by Brad Crompton, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Maybe this'll help end prohibition?

Al Jazeera: Obama's half brother is arrested for pot possession.

Why oh why must we waste vast resources on victimless crimes?

Waterspout

Zoagli, Italy:

President Obama: a realist interventionist?

Through @TAC, I see Leon Hadar of the Cato Institute has a PDF article, which I reproduce below for convenience:

Figuring out the direction President Barack Obama’s foreign policy will take has become a full-time job for pundits and foreign diplomats in Washington. And a key question on everyone’s mind is how exactly Obama will seek to exert influence as the American Empire shrinks.

A clear consensus among Washington cognoscenti on the direction of “Obadiplomacy” has yet to emerge, despite nearly two years of presidential campaigning and a full slate of Cabinet nominees. This points to two possibilities. First, that Obama has a coherent foreign policy vision and a strategy to implement it, but that he and his aides are keeping it top secret—a great skill for those who want to win victories in the games that nations play.

Or that Obama does not have a grand diplomatic strategy à la Cold War containment or the “war on terror.” If such is the case, the evolution of foreign policy under Obama could be a process of trial and error, a cost-effective diplomatic approach in which major decisions are made in response to political and economic pressures at home and abroad.

If the second possibility eventually comes to define the Obama presidency, we can be certain of one thing—the Washington foreign policy elite will not be sated. Whether they are on the right or the left, hawks or doves, liberal internationalists or neoconservatives, foreign policy “professionals” tend to gravitate to grand strategies that reflect their favorite intellectual fads or narratives—like Fukuyama’s End of History, Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, Kaplan’s Coming Global Anarchy, or the neocon’s Islamofascism threat. Intellectuals are drawn to global crusades to promote a collective good that tends to be transfused with a sense of adventure and romance.

But after eight years of foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy choices should be welcomed, even by those who will be disappointed if the new president’s choices fall short of our high expectations.

READ MORE...

Which side is more hostile to science, the right or the left?

John Derbyshire:

Following my having said (previous post) that any political position will find some human-science results obnoxious, a reader asked me, off-line, to identify a finding — not a practice, like embryo-destructive stem cell research, but a finding — that is obnoxious to conservatives.

I think the leading candidate here is the work on child development showing that parenting styles don’t matter much, perhaps not at all above a certain very low level (locking the kids in the basement and feeding them cat food). The canonical statement was given by Judith Rich Harris in The Nurture Assumption:  “Group socialization theory makes this prediction: that children would develop into the same sort of adults if we left their lives outside the home unchanged — left them in their schools and their neighborhoods — but switched all the parents around.” That’s got to be painful for a family-values conservative to read, yet it seems to be the current consensus.

For the Left, pretty much anything to do with heritability of human characteristics, other than undeniable visible ones, is obnoxious because such things violate the “psychic unity of mankind” (in its modern reading, which seems to me not precisely congruent with Bastian’s). Most obnoxious of all to the Left is the idea that homo sap., like any other widely-distributed species, exhibits regional variations between its big, old, settled, mostly-inbred populations.

It’s an interesting question whether the Right or the Left is more science-hostile, net-net. I insist that ideologues on both sides are science-hostile; but which kind of politics is more of an obstacle to the advance of our understanding, is arguable. Since science is mostly carried out in places where Right CreationistsGeocentrists, etc.  have no influence, but blank-slate Left “culturists” and po-mo words-have-no-meaning deconstructionists have tremendous influence, I’d guess the Left has the potential to do more damage, at least in the human sciences. I’d defer to Mr. Hume on this, though, as he’s better acquainted with the situation on the ground, in actual labs and institutes.

Rockefeller lives?

Nate Silver speculates about how a Democratic governor and president choosing Republicans could help the moderates.

Thursday's geektastic Daily Show interview

Robot book? Check. Jon Stewart trivia? Check. Microsoft software put-downs? Check. Terminator-Skynet references, quasi-sentient robot warriors, coordinating the Obama campaign, Japanese manga references, Czech etymology, Asimov's laws, and a Star Wars planet? Check Check Check Check Check Check Check.

But is there bacon?



President of Israel offers context

Beginning at 39:45, give Peres a listen:

Gaza students back in school


The cards have the name and ages of students who are not with us anymore.

One for the nerds

Scale of energy levels at 100 different orders of magnitude (click to read)

Look, it has an America Land!

"Every day is Memorial Day or Veteran's Day in America Land. God Bless America!"

And another thing...

Four doctors of different nationalities meet in a lounge.

The Japanese doctor pipes up and says: 'Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks.'

The German doctor says: 'That's nothing, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks.'

The British doctor says: 'In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half of a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks.'

Not to be outdone, the Texan says: 'You guys are way behind. We just took a man with half a brain out of Texas, put him in a white house, and now half the country is looking for work!

Friday, January 30

Learn something!

So many video lectures, so little time... I've been watching Intro to Political Philosophy.

Going all in

hilzoy explains the Republican anti-stimulus vote with poker.

My cup runneth over


stop staring!
Because I know you were wondering:
Sheyla Hershey’s massive 38KKK breasts have been declared the world’s biggest boob job.

The 28-year-old American housewife and model has undergone nine ops to get her amazing figure.

And even though medics have warned that her breasts are in danger of exploding, she does not seem to care.

She had to go to Brazil for her last op after US doctors refused to carry out any more surgery.

Her British ex-boyfriend started paying for her plastic surgery, but she left him after he begged her to stop.

She said: “I loved him very much but I had to leave him to follow my dream.”
Yes, she's from Texas....what a country.

Here is a story from last June at 34FFF

Iraq commemorates Bush

Or rather the most famous shoe thrower in the world...





Update AP:
BAGHDAD — The director of an orphanage in Tikrit says she must remove the shoe sculpture set up to honor the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Fatin al-Nassiri says Iraqi police told her the statue had to be removed because government property should not be used for something with a political bias.

She says the statue was taken down on Saturday.

A sofa-sized shoe statue was formally unveiled to the public Thursday in the hometown of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad-based artist Laith al-Amari described his fiberglass-and-copper work in Tikrit as a homage to the pride of the Iraqi people.
Seems they need to find private property for it.

Alert: Google can find your stash!

From the annals of unrequested features, Swiss police locate a pot farm via this map.

It's a brave new world.

Balko summarizes

...what I take to be the libertarian consensus:
Here’s why I preferred Obama to McCain: The GOP gave up all pretense of any limited government principles. They’re no longer trustworthy on the issues where they’re supposed to agree with me. Obama, on the other hand, made some promises about government transparency, hinted at a less bellicose foreign policy, and I like what he said about Guantanamo, torture, and executive power. In other words, he was better on the issues where Democrats are supposed to agree with me. It’s really that simple.

Ok, that's cute



Next up: 4 hours of diaper changes in 2 minutes.

Rebuilding begins now...after a little celebration

Pop the corks, Steele wins!

I'm 2/3 this cycle: Obama over McCain/Clinton, Steele over the other 5 RNC candidates, but Elwyn Tinklenberg fails to overtake Michele "McCarthy" Bachmann 43-47 in MN-06.

Ambers sums things up:
In the United States, in 2009, the head of the Democratic Party and the head of the Republican Party are black.

Granted, one has much more power than the other. (One is titular, the other is de jure.)

And one may have been chosen in reaction to the other.

But -- for a party that was not too longer ago openly dedicated to a strategy of using racial fears to attract white votes, it's something.

In a short stemwinder, Steele promised to broaden the party's geographic base and "stand proud" as the country's conservative party.

"It's time for something completely different," he said, to cheers.

"To my friends in the Northeast, get ready baby, we're going to turn it on. We're going to win in the Northeast. We're going to continue to win in the South... In the West."

"To those who are ready to obstruct," he warned. "[G]et ready to get knocked over."

Did Republicans choose Steele as a token? Some RNC members will think so, as will many skeptical Democrats. But Steele won this thing by himself. The RNC is a fractious, uncooperative bunch. And Steele patiently politicked his way through six ballots. Just a few hours ago, my correspondent Will DiNovi saw Steele and Ohio's Kenneth Blackwell face to face in the hall. "I know we've disagreed on a lot of things," Steele was telling him. Blackwell waited a little -- then he endorsed Steele.

Steele's election won't help the party attrack black voters immediately, but if Steele sets the right tone, he could help the party compete for them in the (way) future. As GOP strategists have always known, and noted, somewhat dyspeptically, it's white suburban voters, particularly women, who are responsive to a diversity message. The RNC isn't diverse yet; only five black delegates were chosen to attend the national convention. Steele was disgusted by that. It prompted him to run.

Even more than race, even as Steele lauded the party's conservative members, his election marks a step away from the balkanized Southern white ethos of the party. Steele, pro-life, has worked with moderate Republicans all of his life, although he did his best during the campaign to minimize those ties. If he reverts to form, it means that the RNC has just selected a chairman who will not prioritize social issues above economic issues. When people speak of broadening the party's geographic diversity, they are speaking in code. They mean that the party needs to welcome more moderates; needs to be more forgiving of departures from orthodoxy; need to be less antagonistic to pro-choicers and gays.

They don't make musicals like they used to



The Meaning of Life, 1983

Dept. of too much time on hand



Daily Mail
:
The likeness took 80 hours to draw with two dials on a plastic frame – all using one unbroken black line.

Another Dish reader on atheism

The interesting mail keeps up:

Your philosophy student reader's email did a wonderful job of finding three ways to say the same simple point: Christianity is more than an infatuation with God as Deity. I think most atheists understand and accept this and a moment's time exploring the writings of even the spittle-flecked atheist agitators shows that they understand that life still presents significant questions, both moral and existential, that religions claim to answer.

Your previous reader letter raised a similar point concerning the seeming lack of positive propositions from atheist thinkers, but the philosophy student goes a step further and insinuates that perhaps "real atheism" is close to impossible unless one can otherwise justify all of one's existential beliefs without God.

Both of these readers, I think, conflate atheism with too much else. Atheism is a simple proposition: Sufficient, convincing evidence for existence of the Supreme Being(s) is lacking and claims that rely on the existence of God for their validity are therefore false. Atheism is not the idea that morality does not and cannot exist, it is simply the idea that God does not exist. To use your previous reader's metaphor: Atheists claim we all actually live in the same country, but that our country is not God's country even though most people believe that's where they live.

And indeed, were atheists ever to "win" their argument, people would have to decide how to guide their conduct in the world without taking it for granted that certain things were deemed impermissible by the highest Authority in existence. These aren't easy questions to answer and, to my mind, the naked fact that God does or does not exist, does little to help us with their answers. There are reasons to follow certain moral principles that are founded on more than God's directives and lessons and stories that constitute so much of religious teachings bear this out. Atheist thought does, in fact, grapple with these issues as well... but it's somewhat difficult getting religious people to devote lots of time to atheist study.

Your two previous reader letters started by implying that atheists haven't yet earned a place in the discussion and finished by insinuating that it might be impossible for atheists to have anything to say once they get there. The problem is that they seem to expect to find people who identify themselves as "Atheist Philosophers" when in fact they should be looking for thinkers who happen not to believe in God. It may surprise them to learn, despite the Dawkins and Harrises of the world, that many atheists wake up in the morning without deciding how they can disprove God's existence today. Many people who don't believe in God have spent alot of time thinking about how to life a satisfying and proper life.

To put it another way: Just as religion is not an infatuation with God, atheism is not an infatuation with Nothing. The long and significant history of non-theistic philosophy and moral theory is full of the very positive arguments and metaphysical justifications your readers say they want. May I suggest a little Hume to start? Some Bentham or John Stuart Mill? Nietzsche (but always with a grain of salt). Ayn Rand - but only as a case study in how non-theistic theories can still be dogmatic.

Duncan is out!

For those jonesing for some kind of election-related activity, today's balloting for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee is, well, at least mildly interesting.

After the first ballot, the hand-picked-by-Bush incumbent, Mike Duncan, was in the lead with 52 votes. Michael Steele was a close second with 46, followed by South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson with 28. On the second ballot, Duncan and Steele were tied at 48, with Dawson in third with 29. On the third ballot, Steele pulled ahead with 51 votes, while Duncan slipped to second with 44, and Dawson holding on with 34.

And at that point, Duncan decided to call it a day, withdrawing from consideration.
"Obviously the winds of change are blowing at the RNC," Duncan said, adding that he trusts the "vision" of his fellow members. "I understand what's going on."

"At this time, I wish to withdraw my name from nomination as chairman as the RNC," he said, to a standing ovation.
The low profile Duncan served through the Republican collapse of the late Bush term, and received little blame for GOP defeats, but had little record of success to point to.
I will be very surprised if Steele doesn't win now. Better stock up on that champagne.

Finally

Michael "We have to elect moderates in the party" Steele is surging...

Marc Ambinder:
Voting begins in two hours, but the chatter in the halls of the Capital Hilton is that Michael Steele has benefited from a last-minute surge of support. Steele's team estimates that he has at least 40 first-round votes in the bag, second only to current RNC chairman Mike Duncan, who will probably finish the first round with between 55 and 65 votes.

During a private meeting with members last night, Steele vociferously defended his personal views -- he's pro-life -- and his intention to broaden the party's reach to include those who disagree. He was well-recieved.
Now that's Republican change I can believe in.

Cliche expert visits Gaza

Via Jonah Goldberg:

Q: Why Magnus Arbuthnot! How unexpected to see you in South Jerusalem! What brings you here?

A: I have been sent by a respected and impartial NGO to investigate the carnage inflicted by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Q: Which NGO would that be?

A: An NGO that uses an ostensible human-rights agenda as camouflage for an anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic program.

Q: So you’ve been south. What did you see there?

A: Collateral damage.

Q: Collateral to what?

A: To Israel’s right to defend itself.

Q: And what else?

A: To courageous Palestinian resistance against Zionist imperialism.

READ MORE...

As bad as things get

...they could be worse:
According to new research for The Sunday Times by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, state spending as a percentage of GDP has now reached 49% for the UK as a whole.

That's bad enough as it is – the government now controls practically half of the UK economy – but when you look at the regional figures the picture is even worse.

In the Northeast, state spending is 66.4% of GDP. In Wales, it's 71.6%. And in Northern Ireland, it's a whopping 77.6%.

I don't think the Soviet Republics ever managed to achieve quite that degree of state dominance.
At what point does it become communism?

The USA is at about 33% (20% federal, rest state/local)

Thursday, January 29

Samantha's back

The foreign policy wonk who said what we were all thinking during the primaries gets back on board:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Samantha Power, the Harvard University professor who earned notoriety for calling Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster" while working to elect Barack Obama president, will take a senior foreign policy job at the White House, The Associated Press has learned.

Snowborghini

Lambo Gallardo LP560-4 on an ice track in the Italian Alps

Mortgage cramdowns

Chapter 13s may not be such a good idea, as Megan explains.

More on Bush's big-government disaster



Reason beats the horse some more:

Now that George W. Bush has finally left office, here's a challenge to a nation famous for its proud tradition of invention: Can somebody invent a machine capable of fully measuring the disaster that was the Bush presidency?

Yes, yes, I know that attitudes towards presidencies are volatile. Harry Truman was hated when he left office and look at him now; he's so highly regarded that President Bush thought of him as a role model. There are, I'm sure, still a few William Henry Harrison dead-enders around, convinced that the 31 days the broken-down old general spent as president will someday receive the full glory they deserve.

In a way that was inconceivable when he took office, Bush—the advance man for the "ownership society," smaller and more trustworthy government, and a humble foreign policy—increased the size and scope of the federal government to unprecedented levels. At the same time, he constantly flashed signs of secrecy, duplicity, ineffectiveness and outright incompetence.

READ MORE...

Basically Bush, like the Republicans under him, preached low taxes and small-government while actually governing largely and incompetently, but in the name of "small-government" conservatism. With this he's accomplished an impressively bad trifecta:

1) Bigger government
2) Manifestly incompetent governance
3) Greatly harming the good name of small-government conservatism

Best case scenario for the country, Obama's Democrats only accomplish #1. Worser case they also accomplish a bit of #3 because they give big-government a better name by running the country more competently than Bush's purported "small government" .

(Free advice: if you must have a bigger government, get Democrats to run it instead of Republicans. They know how to do it with some effectiveness because the people they appoint are relatively intelligent "public servants" rather than party hacks who are philosophically against doing their own damn jobs effectively.)

Worst case scenario for the country is Democrats actually manage to do #2 instead of #3. And this bad scenario is the only one that helps the right's electoral prospects.

What a terrible pickle Bush Republicanism has left us in.

De-emphasis 101

Cato:

Greg Pierce of the Washington Times‘ Inside Politics column recently investigated whether the Obama administration was dropping the overwrought phrase “war on terror.”

De-emphasizing the war metaphor would be a significant change. But if it is a deliberate change, the White House does not want to acknowledge it.

You see, trumpeting de-emphasis doesn’t generally work…

"Yes we can" marches on?



Prohibition: massive collateral damage that we can't even afford.

My prediction is that we'll get more headway after the 2012 election. There are too many less controversial fish to be fried before then.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

NYT:
Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said that former President George Bush’s signature tax cuts in 2001 had created years of growth but that the nation’s problems started when Democrats regained majorities in Congress in the 2006 elections.
Noam Sheiber fumes:
Really? So the Democrats came into office and a housing bubble retroactively inflated and began to pop? Mortgage-backed assets worth trillions less than their stated value just magically appeared on bank balance sheets and in hedge fund portfolios?

Just to clarify, did all this happen on election night 2006, or was it not until January of 2007, when Nancy Pelosi officially became Speaker?

Al-Arabiya interview



READ TRANSCRIPT...

The new West Wing

Karl Rove, and the NYT have a take.

Wednesday, January 28

Six million died, so clearly we need to get high

As Jeffrey Goldberg puts it, "an unbelievable political ad in an unbelievable country."

Sorry but atheism makes no positive claims

Andrew puts up some email from atheists readers.

They get this interesting response:
Your atheist readers make the classic move of pretending to be the referee when in fact they are just another player on the field. They are treating it as an intellectual puzzle rather than what it actually is for every last of us: a lived commitment. This is why the term "Atheist" itself is so misleading. You're an atheist, fine. I'm an A-Vishnuist, and an A-Buddhist, and an A-Teapotist. Telling me what you don't believe tells me very little, but it's a really cool way to get into the conversation in such a way that everyone has to defend their positions except you -- you get to attack.

This would be valid were this merely an intellectual exercise. There you can usefully indulge the distinctly modern prejudice that doubt is more reasonable than belief. But you can no more avoid making a positive choice about the source of meaning in your life and the universe than you can avoid living in some country. You can talk about which country is best to live in, but the atheist pretends you can live in no country at all.

You gotta live somewhere, and you gotta believe in something, because your beliefs are being expressed every day in how you live your life. Atheists should be forced to articulate their positive position (say, secular humanism) as price of admission to the conversation. So when your reader wants to "put the burden of proof on the one making a specific, positive claim," I simply point out that living your life is a specific, positive claim, and thus everyone has to bear the burden of proof equally.
Analogies can be fun: what if I live on a boat in international water -- or would that be agnosticism?

But I don't see why we should have to bear a burden of proof if I'm not making a positive claim. I too am an A-Vishnuist, an A-Buddhist, an A-Teapotist, but also an a-theist. Living my life is not a "specific, positive claim" any more than a monkey or a dog living its life is a "specific, positive claim". We're all atheists unless we have a positive belief in something that qualifies as "theism". Some of us atheists might be "secular humanists", others not.

I am secular. But I am not a humanist, because I believe that future nonhuman sapient beings should be persons too. There is nothing about my philosophy of life that restricts itself to humanity, other than the fact that humans are currently the only known sentient beings.

Dumb conservo-libertarian argument watch

reason:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), a stalwart friend of free markets and small government in Congress, got curious about the costs of borrowing all those hundreds of billions in stimulus bucks. Being a congressman, he's lucky enough to have the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) at his disposal to do any and all hard math he requires for his congressional duties.

And what did the CBO find?: The debt service alone from the stimulus will cost about $347 billion over the next 10 years. As the letter (read the whole thing here [PDF]) dryly notes: "Such costs are not included in CBO’s cost estimates for individual pieces of legislation and are not counted for Congressional scorekeeping purposes."

Yep. That's $347 billion in interest. Stimulating indeed.

Come on m'am, the point of a stimulus during a recession is for the government to borrow at low rates and spend it _now_ to prop up the economy into recovery, then pay for it later. Of course there's going to be interest on borrowed money, that's what happens when you spend money ahead of time. But to argue that $35 billion/year is an unreasonable interest rate is ridiculous. That works out to approximately 4.24% average APR on $825 billion. If this were unreasonable then nobody would ever get a mortgage.

One commenter:
And the total nominal interest on a 250K 15 year mortgage @ 5% is over 100 thousand dollars. On a thirty year it would be nearly equal to the original principal amount. And I didn't even need government accountant to tell me that.

345 billion over ten years is:
0.2% of likely GDP over that period
about 4% of our current debt load
about half of what our deficit is going to be just this year.

Numbers without context are something I expect from various nanny state scaremongers and others with similar aims.
D'oh

Unhealthy body image

Forget blending, let's see some shredding

Don't worry, it's just a guy thing

How to make a treehugger cry

It's the wood chopper from hell:


(via Nosh)

Now you tell us


TPM: Republican National Comittee members decide they no longer like President Bush, just in time for his no longer being president anymore.

Sigh. Mostly lockstep support for 8 years, but now:
As they begin meeting in Washington today, many members of the Republican National Committee are focusing their ire against what they considered George W. Bush's anti-conservative policies and trying to dump the man he tapped to run the GOP.
They're right, Bush represents an abandonment of the Goldwater-Reagan conservatism I'd like to support again. But for them to come out and say so now after he's done all this damage to the conservative cause is immensely frustrating. The GOP has no credibility with the public at this late hour. It's become the party of the Bush-Cheney-Palin axis, and it will take a decade to recover from that image.

Tuesday, January 27

WSJ: please don't reduce unwanted pregnancies

As usual the Wall Street Journal is out of its mind on social issues, saying we shouldn't be promoting contraception in these hard economic times. Apparently the fact that living standards can sometimes go up when population is higher means that in the midst of this recession we should prefer having more unwanted pregnancies, because more unwanted babies and toddlers will somehow stimulate the economy. Interestingly more immigration and paths to citizenship are not an option.

Someone needs to educate the WSJ on how human capital works.

93-year-old man freezes to death

For not paying his electricity bill in Michigan. What a sad way to go.

Deep thought

The outpouring of fear we've seen from Republican media outlets about "worst of the worst" suspected terrorist detainees being brought anywhere on the continental U.S. proves what we've known all along: many on the right are in fact terrified.

The terrorist aim of getting under our skin and provoking irrational behavior has been accomplished.

Monday, January 26

Line in the sand



It's the Mexico-USA border...at Tijuana-San Diego, I think.

Remember the Gipper

“I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer, just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals . . . The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom”
-- Ronald Reagan, 1975
How far we've strayed...

Stimulus package creates first jobs

The Badger Herald:
Gov. Jim Doyle signed an executive order Friday creating a new office to advise officials on how to spend the potentially billions in federal stimulus money the state is expected to receive from President Barack Obama’s administration in the coming months.

The Office of Recovery and Reinvestment is designed to help the government spend the money quickly and wisely by identifying potential spending obstacles and working with schools and local governments, according to Doyle spokesperson Carla Vigue.
One of the goals is to jumpstart the economy through job growth in a variety of different sectors, including University of Wisconsin System projects, Vigue added.
Yay, more bureaucrats! No word yet on new positions in the Office of Redundancy Office.

More Fear & Imbalance

Via ThinkProgress:

Horrific serial killers who are free right now

It turns out Ecuador has no death penalty, so Pedro, who has served the maximum sentence of 20 years, was secretly released in Colombia in 1999. So he served about three weeks for each person he killed. That seems fair.
!! More at CRACKED.

"I pledge to be a servant to our President" revisited

You remember this, at 3:54 ?



Creepy.

But now: parody!

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