Archive for October, 2010
Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”. It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Read the rest of this entry »
A fun little video, complements of IUSB Vision, that illustrates why government regulation harms small businesses:
We all know that Democrats are the compassionate, caring, empathetic, and civil ones, and the Republicans are heartless, stone-cold, angry, and hateful. This is especially true when it comes to minorities. And we know this, because Democrats tell us, and since they’re compassionate and caring, we have to believe them, right?
Well, Bookworm at Right Wing News has put together a list that belies this propaganda conventional wisdom, and shows how Democrats really tend to act. It doesn’t seem to compassionate to me: Read the rest of this entry »
Reason TV Presents this brief video that asks a simple question: If Obama’s economic policies are so great, and he’s fixed the recession, then where are all the jobs at? An interesting comparison between the policies of today and those that ended prolonged the Great Depression.
Today many Americans credit FDR with rescuing our nation from the Great Depression, but there’s plenty wrong with that view, says Lee Ohanian, a UCLA economics professor who specializes in economic crisis. “What’s wrong with that view is that private-sector job growth did not come back under Roosevelt,” says Ohanian, who notes that Americans often forget how long the Great Depression lasted. Unemployment stood at 17 percent in 1939, a decade after the infamous stock market crash, and, although times were much worse back then, Ohanian sees troubling parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession. In both instances our nation emerged from a severe downturn with strong productivity growth and the banking system largely restored. We were poised for a recovery, but didn’t get one. “So the key puzzle for both today and the 1930s is why aren’t private-sector jobs being created at a much more rapid rate?” Read the rest of this entry »
Researchers have determined that genetics could matter when it comes to some adults’ political leanings.
According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, “ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4.” That and how many friends you had during high school. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cato Institute researches many political and policy issues, and one of the most disturbing ones they focus on is the overuse of police force when conducting paramilitary raids.
Cato Fellow Radley Balko highlighted the trend toward heavy-handed police practices in Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Radley continues to chronicle police abuses at The Agitator and Reason. Recent examples of police excesses include the unnecessary death of seven-year old Aiyana Jones in Detroit and this raid on an innocent elderly couple in Chicago (immigrants who fled the Soviet Union because of oppression).
One of the fruits of Radley’s research was the Raidmap, a Google map application that allows you to see the scope of this epidemic of “isolated incidents.” You can also sort botched raids by category: death of an innocent, raid on an innocent suspect, death or injury of an officer, death of a nonviolent offender, unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people, and other examples of paramilitary police excess.
The Raidmap is an interesting tool that allows users to study paramilitary police raids and abuses across the country in an interactive form. And now you can embed it on your webpage if you should so desire. Find the embedable link here.
T.L. Davis at the American Thinker takes a look at how Obamacare has sparked a crisis of how people (and politicians) view the US Constitution:
The debate is also a stage-setting for the greater issues of how to read the Constitution. There are two schools of thought on the issue of constitutionality: the Literalist school and the Case Law school. Each one approaches the document from a different point of view. The Literalist reads the words and meanings as they are presented without nuance, whereas the Case Law adherent reads the Constitution as seen through the filters of case law and precedent. The words they see are not the words themselves, but placeholders for an extended file of subsequent cases and rulings. Read the rest of this entry »