Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A non-profit news daily 

MinnPost.com coming November 8, supported by it's users like public radio and television.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vote for war with Iran! 

A particularly hard-hitting episode from Josh Marshall,


As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

More ...


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Bush lie revealed 

If Iraq is a sovereign state as Bush has been claiming for several years the Blackwater narrative would be entirely different. The very definition of a soverign state requires that its government have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. If this were so, there would be no controversy and negotiations about whether Blackwater will continue to play a role in Iraq. Furthermore, there would be no question at all over whether Blackwater is answerable to Iraq's justice system.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The rich get richer 

This should be the third or fourth nail in the coffin for the American idea that people earn what they're worth. To me, it seems reasonable to believe the most talented among us could be 4 or five times more productive than the average worker, but government policy has allowed the upper class to be rewarded thousands of times over what they'd have earned had they not been unusually fortunate in their investment gambles or born into wealth in the first place. From the Wall Street Journal,

The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all income in 2005, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. That is up sharply from 19% in 2004, and surpasses the previous high of 20.8% set in 2000, at the peak of the previous bull market in stocks.

The bottom 50% earned 12.8% of all income, down from 13.4% in 2004 and a bit less than their 13% share in 2000.

The top 1% "earn" almost twice that of the bottom 50% combined. In effect America is an aristocracy.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Makes sense to me 

Beth sends me this:

Participants were college students whose politics ranged from "very liberal" to "very conservative." They were instructed to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W ...

Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.

In other words, one of the reasons conservatives have such difficulty understanding the nuanced issues that affect our world is that they're still struggling with the alphabet while their liberal peers are prepared for college.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Notable Perfume 

Less than once a year I watch a movie that absolutely bedazzles me - yesterday Perfume did just that. A period piece without aliens, even. Killing off Dustin Hoffman's character halfway through really worked, which is saying a lot in my book!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm for it 

Who can be against a war tax?

Top House Democrats Tuesday proposed a "war surtax" to pay for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a plan quickly condemned by Republicans and opposed by the House leadership.

The surtax would be "a percentage of your tax bill," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, D-Wisconsin. "And if you don't like the cost, then shut down the war."

Why stop at a war tax? I'd love to see my tax contributions fleshed out.

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