Saturday, February 27, 2010
Sad for both parties.
The notion that it's a good idea for Democrats to push through a reform proposal that has been unpopular with Americans since about August and hasn't gained any ground no matter what Obama has done, strikes me as surrea -- and most Americans are more worried about the economy and unemployment than the fond dream progressives have nursed ever since Teddy Roosevelt, but they just might do it
I've been doing some research for a piece to run March 7, the date of the Iraqi parliamentary election, on the political situation in Iraq. It's far from stable, and we're starting to see some ramping-up of violence as the day comes closer. The election commission has disqualified several parties and almost 500 individuals from eligibility to run, most of them Sunni. Remember, the Sunni ran things under Saddam and for a long time before that, and the Shia have grievances. It could take months to form a government after the election and instability is likely to be accompanied by increasing violence. That just might be the justification/excuse for U.S. combat troops to stay longer.
I hope not, but . . .
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
And yet, as you can see from a comment, at least some people in the U.S. prefer to remain invincibly ignorant, to believe in myths and lies even in the face of strong scientific evidence. Marijuana has strong properties to cloud the minds -- of drug warriors and their acolytes.
UPDATE: My Twitter handle is alanwbock.
Monday, February 22, 2010
When they introduced ice dancing to the Olympics I thought it was just an excuse to give more people something to compete in, and it seemed to me that for the first few years it was kind of bland. Then Torvill and Dean taught me that it could be artistic and maybe even thrilling. Now I have turned around completely. The pairs skating at this year's Olympics was nothing but jumps and throws and lifts, which requires a great big guy and a teeny girl, which looks incongruous -- athletic but ultimately not all that interesting. Ice dancing now seems to me more like pairs skating was back in the day -- couples skating together, flowing together, matching one another, working together, with the addition of mostly interesting costumes (the Russians with their lame attempt at an Aborigine outfit seemed misconceived -- though the negative reaction was overblown, done by people who have learned the modern dark art of professional offense-taking). I now enjoy ice dancing more than pairs skating.
And oddly enough I don't care a whit about the judging. Let the judges screw things up as they will, I just enjoy them all, My favorites were the Russian couple dancing to Stravinsky's "Firebird, the Canadian couple who danced to Mahler (!) and the Italian couple.
It's fascinating how many different stories about the capture are being bandied about, however. David Ignatius of the WaPo, who has a lot of CIA sources (and on some occasions is something of a shill), says the US and Pakistani intelligence folks had a surefire "no-fooling" tip that Baradar was going to be in that house. On the other hand, the NYT reports that Baradar was a bonus of the raid -- they had no idea he was there and it took them a while to figure out what -- who -- they had.
It's likely that it will be weeks before we have a semi-accurate idea of how Baradar was captured, and there are certain things we will never know. The important things is that it shouoldn't have been necessary and may not be the least bit important to U.S. interests. The only real U.S. interest is al-Qaida, not the Taliban, and being in a military adventure in Afghanistan and working with the sinister Pakistani ISI may well be the worst possible ways to do anything effective about al-Qaida -- which is nowhere near as formidable as our masters want us to believe anyway.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Apparently Lago committed one of those indiscretions that nobody knows are against the rules until the suits interpret things. At a party, after being up 36 hours, he held his gold medal below the waist (!!!) and a girl kissed it. Somebody took a photo and it showed up on TMZ. The suits told him to leave Vancouver now or go through a process that could well have led to him being formally ejected, and possibly ineligible to compete in the next Olympics.
Boo to the suits!!
Friday, February 19, 2010
It is also the case that Russia has traditionally been concerned with what it calls its "near abroad," whether it has sought to incorporate neighboring states into the empire (as the Soviets and to some extent the czars did), and it's not hard to understand. As this Register editorial explains, Napoleon and Hitler both invaded Russia through the flat plains of Poland and the Baltic countries, which offer no geographical barriers to invasion. Extending NATO after the Soviet Union collapsed was a huge mistake in that it made the Russians more paranoid than usual without accomplishing anything useful. NATO should have been disassembled instead. With Ukraine apparentoy in the Russian camp now -- or at least unlikely to cause Russia grief -- Russia might even be a bit less bellicose.
I didn't see any echoes of my previous complaints in the bits and pieces of news coverage I looked at, and perhaps nobody else will agree with me on this. But I thought the judging was, if not downright shameful, at least more than a bit flawed.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign? Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
II Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to satiety
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.
Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.
III At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair. At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jagged, like an old man's mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an aged shark. At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs's fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair. Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only.
IV Who walked between the violet and the violet
Who walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary's colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary's colour,
Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing
White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse. The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew And after this our exile
V If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word. O my people, what have I done unto thee. Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose O my people, what have I done unto thee. Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed. O my people.
VI Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn
Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth
This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated And let my cry come unto Thee.
My previous complaint about judging had to do with judging the final pairs programs, and the essence was that the scores didn't show country favoritism so much as they followed conventional wisdom and scores in the short program. It seems to me that one should be able to have a mediocre of poor short program and still make up ground by doing well -- reverting to one's real ability level in some cases -- in the long program, as I thought Denny and Barrett had done in the pairs. But the judges didn't seem open to that; their first impression seemed immutable, based on reputation more than performance. That could happen again tomorrow night. We'll see.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I still think that such thuggishness will backfire, that it will only convince more people to support initiatives like the tax-and-regulate initiative that will be on the California ballot in November. If the authorities aren't willing to cooperate in carving out an exception to prohibition for people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and the like, people will be ready just to legalize and take the decision out of their hands.
He's also more likely top lose or face a serious challenge in November than he lets on. And there's nothing especially commendable about being a moderate. Most of the time it means you don't have very firm convictions or the courage of whatever convictions you have. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
James Fallows issued an interesting challenge. If he's so disgusted by the behind-the-scenes deals and absurd bowing to special interests ad nauseam, spend the rest of his time in office identifying and denouncing them, and naming names. Don't hold your breath. The guy couldn't even face Reid or Obama face to face because the poor dear was afraid they might try to talk him out of it. Profiles in courage.
Monday, February 15, 2010
There were obvious problems in Salt Lake City including obvious favoritism for the judges' countries and allegations of vote-trading. They said they fixed it and maybe they tried, but quite obviously they didn't succeed. As this Slate article explains, what they did was to report the scores anonymously and then randomly select only 7 of the 9 judges' scores. The last was not a bad idea, but what made them think anonymity, which completely eradicates accountability, was going to eliminate favoritism. Instead it encourages it, and Dartmouth economist Eric Zitzewitz, who has studied the results over the last several years with economic tools, finds that home-country bias is now 20% worse.
I'm not saying the Americans should have medaled; both teams did poorly in the short program. But what it looked like to me was that the judges judged on the basis of scores in the short program rather than performance in the long program. Terrible!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The death of the Georgian luger was a terrible tragedy, and although they mostly handled it tastefully before and during the opening ceremonies, I didn't think Olympic officials did very well today. The death was due to an athlete mistake rather than a poor course design -- even as the course was being modified to make up for the obviously over-dangerous aspects, like a too-low wall and unpadded pillars (though I'm not sure how much good padding would do at 95 mph)? Give me a break!
The opening ceremony was really quite impressive. My favorite was when Joni Mitchell was singing "Both Sides Now" and that guy was flying around on whatever kind of contraption he had. But the use of lights and mirrors to create the appearance of solid structures throughout? Marvelous. They did stretch it out a bit at the end, but I even liked the fact that there was a technical problem with the torch at close to the end. Them Canadians -- it's fascinating how many entertainers and sports figures we think of as quintessentially American are Canadian -- know how to put on a a show.
I have a weakness for individualists mainstream commentators think of as troublemakers (I loved John McEnroe best when he was really a "bad boy"), so I'm rooting for Bode Miller and Javi Smith to have wonderful performances.
Friday, February 12, 2010
It strikes me as symptomatic of a declining empire. As the structures of the institutions crumble about them, the officials find ways to pretend none of it is happening and they can maintain their extravagant ways forever.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Your favorable front-page remembrance of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha inadvertently testifies to the abysmally low standards to which politicians are held (“John Murtha dies; longtime congressman was master of pork-barrel politics,” Feb. 9). By your own account, Mr. Murtha was the “King of Pork.” He was known for skillfully using Congressional procedures to earmark funds for his district – that is, to prompt Uncle Sam to take money from Americans at large and give it to the relatively small number of Pennsylvanians who elect Mr. Murtha to office.
His justification? “I take care of my district.” Nothing here about spending taxpayer money wisely; nothing about the general welfare; nothing about principles or fiscal responsibility.
If Mr. Murtha on his own had traveled the country picking pockets, robbing banks, and burgling houses, only to bring the booty back to western PA and share it with his friends, he would have been rightly despised as a common criminal. But because Mr. Murtha joined forces with persons having similarly questionable morals, who together pass off their thievery as “lawmaking,” he’s celebrated in your pages – celebrated for doing, save on a grander scale, exactly what common thieves do.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
It would be disastrous for the U.S. to get involved with overt or covert support for the greens (and almost certainly harmful to the cause), but there is one step the U.S. could take that would make some sense and correct an injustice. Back in the 1990s, at a time when the Clinton administration was hopeful of an opening with Iran, it agreed to designate the Peoples Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) or Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), an opposition group that opposed the shah before it opposed the mullahs, a terrorist organization to please the Iranians. Since the the EU and UK have done through investigations and determined that the designation is unfair, and decided to lift it. By keeping PMOI/MEK on the official terrorist list the U.S. is in essence siding with the regime. Lifting the designation would be an act of neutrality. The U.S. should do it tomorrow at the latest.
I don't have first-hand information. I just hope that Jack recovers and ends up all right. He's been a stalwart in the marijuana legalization movement.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
At least we resisted the impulse not to speak ill of the dead. He was also a legendary pork-barreler and earmarker, and utterly unapologetic about it, taking campaign contributions from contractors and faciuli9tators he directed federal projects to. It was just the ordinary corruption that is much of federal spending, done on a slightly more flamboyant scale. If he had lived much longer he might well have been caught up in an FBI investigation of no-bid military contracts. He was a target of the Abscam sting in the early '80s; He declined a bribe but kept the channel open, so he escaped indictment.
Perhaps he is appealing to his left-wing base by continuing to beat that dead horse. One would wish he had chosen to appeal to that base on foreign policy, by doing the sensible thing and deciding not to get deeply involved in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida is not operating. Instead, his foreign policy looks like Bush III. Disastrous.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
The truth is rather different, as Johan Norberg's excellent book, "Financial Fiasco," which I reviewed for the Sunday Register, explains in reasonably irrefutable detail. Yes, there was greed and excessive risk-taking and bad judgment in the private sector. But it was operating in the environment created by government -- mainly the Fed's expansion of the money supply, the rules created to put teeth in the Community Reinvestment Act, which pressured/mandated banks to hand out risky mortgagaes, the shenanigans of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bush's fixation on the "ownership society" and much more.
Other books tell much the same story. Perhaps the best is Tom Sowell's "The Housing Boom and Bust," and Thomas Woods' "Meltdown." Economists and historians who understand the market got the story into print fairly quickly, but it may be that they have preached only to the converted. For anyone willing to probe a little, however, the story of how the mesltdown was almost entirely the government's doing is available. If only a few more people in the media were willing to probe that far.
Monday, February 08, 2010
All of which is prelude to this Register editorial yesterday urging the military -- well, I guess it has to be Congress to get it done this time around, which doesn't necessarily portend an enlightened approach -- to end the misbegotten "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military and allow gays to serve openly. Not that I would suggest anybody of any orientation serving in the military in such an empire-besotted country these days, but if they want to, let them.
Hi, again, Alan. I also wanted you to know that Jack WAS speaking and singing during the 12 days that Joy Graves and I were with Jack Herer at the Care Center he was in (Avamere Riverpark of Eugene) and in the hospital when he went into Renal Failure (Mckensie-Williamette Hospital). He was, at that time "in there" and I do not believe that he will be allowed, now, to get expert treatment and therapy, as I know he deserves.
As Jack Herer's Secretary and editor of his manuscript "The Most High- Plant Secrets of the Gods and Explorations Revealing the End of the World as You Know It", I have seen many things these past months. You wouldn't believe me if I told you even some of the awful things that I have seen done in the name of Jack Herer, that ARE NOT done in his best interests or for his sake. The freedom of Jack to choose his own Powers of Attorney to protect his manuscript from his estranged wife, (who has said she will not let it be published) has now been taken away. I am now fighting to protect Jack's manuscript, with every fiber of my being, so that it will one day be published as Jack wished it to be. Thank-you, again, for reporting his condition and giving us the chance to comment!
The more people I talked to and the more I read, however, the less optimistic I became. There's a formula (adaptable to local conditions,and customs, of course) for poor nations becoming rich, as this book rather persuasively demonstrates, but it involves protection of private property rights and a welcoming environment for entrepreneurial activity. It turns out that Haiti's government has been ineffectual for years and that what governance Haiti has experienced recently has come from the UN, which doesn't come close to understanding what might work; indeed, it's wedded (not surprisingly) to the kind of top-down model that makes "experts" from international organizations the key players. Haiti's best chance is for the experts to get out of the way (once private property rights are secured), but the chances for such a development approach zero. Too bad. I'd love to be wrong.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
I still think Horton's piece is important, and taken with the critique of the official Navy investigation done at University at least make the case that that report is seriously lacking. And Scott was pretty careful not to go beyond his evidence. He doesn't say he's proven the site was a secret CIA installation, he says that's one of the possibilities, and that the official Navy report failed to reach all potential eyewitnesses including the ones he interviewed. Troubling enough.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Newt is hardly a libertarian; I suspect if we had touched on foreign policy he would defend the empire, just urge it to be smarter. For a generally conventional conservative, however, he is intellectually aware and interested in ideas as well as strategy. Here's a blog post I did, here is a short interview Brian Calle conducted, and here's a video of the entire discussion/interview (maybe not). I suspect he would still run for president if he thought he had a chance, but I doubt if he does. Nonetheless, an interesting person.
Seriously, they're starting to make a believer of me. And it's worth noting that while the Pac-10 may be a bit down as a power conference this year, a consequence is that the teams are fairly evenly matched and prone to lose games you would think they should win. That makes for generally interesting games, especially if you watch, as I have several non-Bruin Pac-10 games, without a particular favorite in your heart, almost all the games will be tightly contested and generally won by 5 points or less. An example: Cal lost to USC 66-63 tonight, and I think that puts the Bruins, improbably enough, in a tie for first. Those are the kinds of games that, as a generic basketball fan, I most enjoy watching. Every team has one 0r two really top-notch players -- Landry Fields on Stanford was amazing tonight. Of course if you have a favorite in the game, as I did tonight, it can make for tense experiences too.
"There are countless ways to disguise, smuggle through, and assemble an explosive. One thing that cannot be easily disguised is the bomber’s mind, high on adrenaline, racing with doubts, insane with fear and hatred. Experience in countries better left unnamed shows that an airport security team of interviewers, trained to look for signs, symptoms, evasions, inconsistencies, and deceptions can do the job faster, less expensively and more effectively than any piece of hardware. Technology is still employed but not relied upon for infallibility."
I'm pretty sure the "left unnamed" country he has in mind is Israel. When I flew there the security was pretty painstaking and included at least a short interview with every passenger. Mildly uncomfortable but hardly unbearable. And for my money much less degrading than a full body scam, er, scan.
Alan, thanks for putting up the Cannabis Culture link to "most" of the truth. As with everything else, many believe different things. After knowing Joy Graves through thick and thin, I believe she is telling the truth; that Jack did sign a Power of Attorney naming her and Chuck to "protect his manuscript" and a Medical Directive giving them the right to medical decisions. I believe that Joy is fulfilling her obligation to Jack and that Chuck has done the opposite of Jack's true wishes.
Jeannie Herer, though,has been untruthful, starting with the statement that she never left Jack to begin with. I have witnessed other lies, myself and there is no reason for them if she has nothing to hide! She has something to hide and it isn't pretty! Ask her where is all of the money she collected from the many benefits and bank accounts, to pay Jack's medical bills with? Why is Joy Graves receiving all of the medical bills? Where are all of the "Get Well" cards that Jeannie and Mark Herer have been receiving for Jack? Why isn't Jack getting any of the many cards his fans, friends and family are sending, to at least "brighten up his room"? So many questions to go, but I will leave that for later!
Before Jack's heart attack, I watched how much he loved Joy as a daughter and how she loved him. I watched the same thing at Avamere, after his heart attack and he showed his love to her there. I also watched Jack scream for me one day while Jeannie was stroking his arm. He is terrified of her, as much as he said he was before his heart attack! Would YOU want the "estranged" spouse who you were divorcing and who you specifically did a POA to protect your manuscript from, to now be IN CHARGE of everything YOU do for the rest of your life? Many know better!!
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
The upshot is that in response to the Christmas would-be bomber, we have imposed yet another degrading invasion of privacy on ordinary airline passengers, and one that doesn't really increase safety or security. It's like a knee-jerk response. Screw up -- this was a government screw-up caused largely by the fact that we have too much security bureaucracy, too many different agencies looking at various pieces of the terrorism puzzle but so caught up in bureaucratic procedures, turf issues and empire-building that they don't -- perhaps can't -- communicate with one another. A would-be terrorist fails on a difficult, long-shot bombing attempt and the government responds by terrorizing ordinary innocent passengers. Truly the terrorists have won.
Job creation requires capital formation and the confidence to deploy capital in productive or at least promising ways that expand or build a business to the point that one needs more people to help out. The only jobs Obama has "saved or created" so far have been government jobs, which bear a distinctly parasitic relationship to the real economy, and are a deterrent to private job creation. Even aside from the fact that government spending, while it may stimulate a little activity in the short run, is not the key to sustainable economic recovery and growth, the fact that we're in a recession is a lame excuse for not having a plan to control long-term deficits.
Monday, February 01, 2010
Despite support from some congresscritters of both parties and a lawsuit, little or not progress has been made on this issue. I'm afraid that since it was a Clinton-era decision, the job of officially identifying terrorist organizations lies with the State Dept, and Hillary is SecState, that it will take dynamite or the political equivalent to get action on this issue. But it would be smart.
Of course it's possible that the issue will become moot if California approves the tax-and-regulate-on-the-alcohol model initiative that officially now will be on the ballot in November. But it is encouraging to see medical marijuana advocates (much of the audience of 150, which filled the cultural center to overflowing seemed to be patients, but not all) and other citizens getting together to take action in the light of recalcitrance from City Hall. Of course none of the citi council members showed up.