08 October 2009

evening reading

A brief history of condoms This requires no further explanation.

People who defend Roman Polanski also might have liked Obama? Who cares. Idiotic headlining: check!

Economist on unemployment fix Simpler version: reduce the payroll tax. Long term simple version: reduce and simplify the corporate income tax rates (by also removing many corporate subsidies or tax shelters). Pretty sure this second one was a campaign pledge. But I'm not holding my breath on seeing it happen.

Hate speech versus religious freedom I think this is just another public relations disaster. It's unlikely we would find SCOTUS all that amenable to the actual terms. But quite simply, if people are uncomfortable having their beliefs or ideas mocked, then they shouldn't have beliefs and ideas. When ideas are that unfounded or that shaky that you need to retaliate with threats, violence, or incite violence against your opposition, then this is not a good belief system anyway. Eventually Islam and Christianity will grow up and lose this need for public defense from their "big bad bullies". Atheists and secularists like me who are probably the people most targeted by public resentment and bias? Yes it is reassuring to see how "powerful" we atheists are. Jews have a few centuries of head start on both groups and even they still have a few literalists and maniacal fundamentalists. I have some patience here. But I'd have more if there are free and open discussions about the nature and role of faith. Everywhere.

More murder and mayhem! Mostly good news. As in things don't change much. But they also often get better.

Afghan Opium Wars Deux 93%. Nice. There's a quick way to rebuild a country. Between this and the Mexico marijuana importation problems, it's fascinating to see all the warmongering positions in the war on drugs try to defend the status quo positions of illegal drugs and interdiction/supply side approaches. Only to get a nice big wad of shut the hell up from the facts of what those approaches are achieving.

Franken wins! Or sort of. If it is something limited to civil suits, that's better than nothing. But there is still that pesky "legal netherworld" (I'm highly annoyed that this same turn of phrase occurred to me before I re-read the article...) that our contractors inhabit for our overseas occupation and imperial states to consider. Good luck getting a straight answer on how this affects Bagram also. Also, that dead fly thing was outrageously popular yesterday it seems.

And finally: Moment of Zen - Bombing the Moon
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