So much excellence, so little time...
Whited Sepulchre: An excellent, creative and comical conflation of Genesis and the commercial/popular culture hit of Al Gore:
1:1 In the beginning Saint Albert, The Goracle of Music City, created The Book.
1:2 And The Book was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the Book. And the editors of the Book moved upon the pages of it, to give it form and substanc
1:3 And The New York Times said, "Let there be sales:" and there were sales of The Book.
1:4 And Saint Albert saw the sales, and that they were good: and he said "There could be profit and sustenance in this, both for me and all my descendants, and all the tribes of lobbyists." For he had grown weary of being the Junior Senator in the land of the Tennesseeans.
Whited Sepulchre: On the vicious and state redeeming cycle of the probate system:
3) The parole system is a "make work" program for unemployed sociology majors.The Grand and Illustrious Wizard of Oz/ Shane of Dreaming 5GW on warfare and the fallacy of techno-superiority in a decidedly indefinite era of conflict. Outmoded strategy supplemented by high technology is... still outmoded strategy.
Ok, on with the argument. Look at the ex-cons in your workplace. If there aren't any, ask yourself why not, since the streets are full of them.
Could it be that having to leave the workplace in the middle of the day (for idiotic parole meetings) discourages employers from giving these people jobs? And requiring people to pay "supervision fees" when they're fortunate if they can find a minimum wage job, is this nothing more than a good way to encourage ex-cons to steal?
Our modern technology -- though impressive -- has not ushered in a unique "Information Age". In fact, today's technologies have not created wholly new capabilities; they have simply enriched capabilities that have existed for centuries. Rather than living in "The Information Age", I believe we are actually living in the fifth "information age":
1st: Verbal exchange of information (oral communication)
2nd: Physical representation of information (Sumerian writing)
3rd: Portability of information (papyrus)
4th: Mass-production of information (Gutenberg's movable type press)
5th: Information freed from physical form (telegraph, telephone, Internet)
On the recent SCOTUS interpretation of Heller vs Washington DC, excellent highlights:
A final parting thought. How much in danger are our rights from an activist Court? But for one vote, the right of an individual to keep and bear arms could have been taken away from us. By the skin on our collective teeth, we dodged that bullet today.Texas Scribbler:
Their decision upholds the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's creation of a right for individuals to "keep and bear arms" against any limitation by the federal government, and D.C. is a federal creature while Chicago is not. Yet the fact that the decision was just 5-4 is shocking and worrisome, and the common headline (such as this one by the ever clueless Associated Mess) reporting the decision, suggesting that the Supremes have created a new right, would be laughable if they weren't indicative of so much ignorance.The Glittering Eye:
Domestically, I think that at the very least the clarification that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller brought to the issue of gun ownership and that the Court rendered their decision in the general direction of individual rights is good news, too. The Court hasn’t eliminated the ability of states and municipalities to regulate handgun ownership but it has effectively eliminated outright bans.On the Zimbabwe conundrum:
Eddies round up: In which he reflects on the analysis of a few others and offers his own.
Considering the immense difficulty South Africa is having containing the social, political and security ramifications of the spasm of xenophobic violence against immigrants, Mbeki’s caution is warranted by fear of a further destabilization (and the economic consequences, the violence earlier targeted many immigrants that were essentially “market-dominant” minorities within poor communities, self-destructive behavior that has made the crushing poverty there far worse) caused by fleeing refugees.The Strategist: A pure and accurate vision of might vs thought.
There are obvious reasons why western military intervention is not on the cards. Western countries have no vital interests at stake. US and British forces are already stretched in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. An intervention force would have to fight the Zimbabwean army and Zanu-PF militias - the degree, duration and effectiveness of resistance are open questions. And invading Zimbabwe would play into Mugabe's hands: the tyrant's hollow rhetoric about western imperialists and their lackeys might become a potent rallying call.Good stuff.