In other news on all things racist America, Wiki estimates present day KKK membership at a paltry 1,200. While the Klan certain isn't the only white supremacist movement in the US, I don't think the decline in the Klan is do to losing members to other organizations. Rather, I think its a dying breed. I can't speak for the whole country but the last few Klan rallies in Ohio have had more folks showing up to protest the Klan than Klan members.
Speaking of radical groups, Islamicists are back on track to retake Somalia. I have two problems with US intervention in Somalia. On the one hand, I think it clear that the best chance for a stable government in the near to medium term is the Islamicist group presently moving in. When they took Mogadishu a couple of years ago, they restored quite a few public services to Somalians for the first time in years. No other group thus far has been able to maintain even a semblance of civil order and a functioning government. On the other hand, I think the US bailing out failed states is a bad message to send to the world, hey folks, don't worry about establishing order yourself, Uncle Sam will come to your rescue when push comes to shove.
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. ``Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,'' Mr. Shuster said.
Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow -- the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy -- is just a Web site.
Ah, but I'm easily amused. This morning I read through a flame fest on Facebook wherein some young folk tried to convince the offspring of eastern European immigrants that the C in the [C]hange Obama wants to bring is for [C]ommunism. I suspect that the pleasant folks engage in dialog with him neither understood the distinction between a communist regime and a mixed economy nor realized that they guy they were disputing with likely grew up listening to first hand stories about life in a communist regime.
Speaking of eastern Europe, while doing research yesterday on the subject of a flat income tax, I discovered that most countries with a flat tax are former Soviet Bloc countries. I find that interesting. My supposition (pulled directly out of my corybungus) is that it has to do with the fact that Marxist economic theory assigns no role to the principle of marginal utility unlike almost every other significant school of economists with the possible exception of the Neo-Ricardians.
Also in my research, I discovered that neither Ron Paul nor Neil Boortz supports a flat income tax. I thought I remembered both of them supporting the idea. Turns out my memory of Ron Paul supporting the idea stems from his quote, `Yes, I support the flattest tax of all: 0%.' WIth Neil Boortz, it comes from his book `The Fair Tax' which isn't about a flat income tax but about replacing income tax with a 30% flat consumption tax which is an even more idiotic idea than a flat income tax. Let's not just be unfair to those who make less money, let's also kill the chief drive driver (consumer spending) of the US economy!
Speaking of the economy, the sour economy in the US drives an increase in smoking. I guess it's time to invest in whatever parent company presently owns Phillip Morris. And Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Surprise! No formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the [SEVEN HUNDRED BAJILLION DOLLAR] bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Let's hear it for poorly written laws designed to accomplish vague goals! In a competent administration, I wouldn't worry so much. (Not that I'm altogether certain that there was any recent administration I'd have trusted.) But it seems to me that laws should be written with an eye to the worst possible person implementing it. In this case, the law should have required an oversight committee be established before any funds were spent and the purposes for which the funds could be spent narrowly defined.
And now I should go do research on whether Thomas Aquinas really meant unguis when he wrote ignis in Question V Article 3 of his commentary on the De Trinitate of Boethius. Most critical editions use unguis but personally I like the idea of having fire in my soul.
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