Archive for June 21st, 2010
You can’t believe how pro gay and pro freedom of speech I am. I’m way out beyond anyone on the Left. And as for fiscal conservatism and small government, I’m so much further to the right than Glenn Beck. Nobody is further left and further right than me. As I’m fond of saying, if you want to find utopia, take a sharp right on money and a sharp left on sex and it’s straight ahead.
He also speaks freely (as he always does) on belief in God:
I do believe that a belief in god is crazy, but that doesn’t mean that the people who believe in it are crazy. Those are two different things. Ideas can be stupid and crazy and the people who hold those ideas are not necessarily stupid and crazy . . . I’m sure they’re not lying. Their belief may be genuine. But it’s like arguing that fairies are coming out of my toaster in the middle of the night. You can’t prove to me that there aren’t fairies in my toaster, but that doesn’t mean you should take me seriously. What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it’s true for you, why isn’t it true for them? Why are you different? If you say “I believe there’s an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart,” then it’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.
In July, 2001, Portugal enacted a new law that the purchase, possession or use of any previously illegal drug would no longer be a criminal offense. Portugal’s official position is now treatment, not punishment.
Since decriminalization, drug use has gone down 10%, drug infections are down and drug deaths are down. Causation is convoluted, of course, but the drug use explosion predicted by many people never occurred. Ten other European countries have decriminalized drugs. Even in Great Britain, where punishment is still technically on the books, 80% of users who are caught are given a caution or a warning, and only about 1,000 people per year spend time in prison.
If feels good to swing your arms while walking, and now we know that there is a good biomechanical reason too: it saves energy. This, according to a study by the University of Michigan.
Sheldon Whitehouse points out that recent government regulatory failures are merely symptoms of deep and insidious corruption. The problems go well beyond MMS, as Whitehouse documents in this video. Written excerpts of his speech are here. Along the way, he makes it clear that Citizens United allows the tentacles of industry to reach even further into government, until government is only serving monied interests and not the public interest. He gives many examples along the way, and demonstrates that he absolutely understands the process by which government is being corrupted by corporate money. It’s a process that inevitably culminates with the surrender of meaningful government. Whitehouse names names and gives lost of examples.
At the four minute mark, he makes clear that the references to “walruses” in oil company reports is not a laughing matter. It is powerful evidence that MMS was a corporate captive.
This is a brave and direct statement. Whitehouse makes it clear that, given the extent of the problem, our entire Constitution and our way of life are both at risk.
Animusic has been creating some incredibly sophisticated music animations for years. The work is difficult to describe, though when you see an Animusic creation you’ll know it was by Animusic. At this Animusic page you can get a sampling of eight creations. My favorite is “Pogo Sticks,” but they are all mesmerizing.