Archive for the 'politics' Category

Domestic Terrorism

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Right-wing bloggers spent quite a bit of time last month complaining about an FBI report warning of the dangers posed by right-wing extremists, calling it an Obama-orchestrated “hit job” on conservatives, among other things.  One of the many passages found objectionable reads as follows (emphasis mine): Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly […]

President-Elect Obama’s Christmas Present to America: Science

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

“…promoting science isn’t just about providing resources.  It’s about protecting free and open inquiry.  It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology… because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth, and a greater understanding of the world around us.”


Friday, December 19th, 2008

From an article by Andrei Shleifer, emphasis mine: There is, however, a class of cases where the argument against government ownership is not as straightforward. In these cases, cost reductions for which private suppliers have stronger incentives have potentially deleterious effects on the non-contractible quality. For example, private prisons might abuse prisoners by hiring cheaper […]

Fear of Obama

Monday, October 20th, 2008

From the videos of a number of McCain-Palin supporters at rallies and elsewhere, it appears that there is a non-trivial portion of the population that is actually afraid of Barack Obama as President. Note that I’m not referring to people who simply disagree with Obama’s policies, I actually mean people who fear Obama, people who […]

What Is and Is Not Genocide

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

The word “genocide” carries with it powerful emotional and political implications. As such, there are always those who will attempt to deny or belittle an actual genocide, or claim as a genocide something that is not. In the former category, there are those like Ann Coulter, herself a joke, who here makes a poor attempt […]

Bush on the Lessons of the Vietnam War

Friday, November 17th, 2006

From HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday the United States’ unsuccessful war in Vietnam three decades ago offered lessons for the American-led struggle in Iraq. “We’ll succeed unless we quit,” Bush said shortly after arriving in this one-time war capital. It’s a little worrisome that the lesson from Vietnam […]

Hope for Iraq

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Stories like this one in the Christian Science Monitor provide a little more hope for the situation in Iraq. To me, stories of this sort also add an important bit of perspective to the situation and underline the fact that Iraq is not Vietnam, despite what some have suggested. The most fundamental difference is the […]

Drunk Dialing: Wiretaps and Cellulosic Ethanol

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

If I were given the assignment of saying one negative and one positive thing about the President’s State of the Union address last night, this is what I would offer… Negative: Yesterday I wrote a FAQ explaining the illegal wiretapping point-by-point. And yesterday, Bush repeated the same disproven points again: It is said that prior […]

An Honorable Soldier

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

“If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is “America.” –Captain Ian Fishback Captain Ian Fishback, a West Point graduate serving with the 82nd Airborne Division, […]

Jim Jeffords Plays “Spot the Absurdity” — And Wins!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

This was at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing today with Michael Crichton as the key witness. The money quote: “Mr. Chairman, given the profound human suffering and ecological damage along the Gulf Coast, why are we having a hearing that features a fiction writer as our key witness?” Jeffords also reassures us […]

Economics, Energy, and the Environment.