With the recent reports that Netanyahu called Emanuel and Axelrod self-hating jews, I found this at the Economist DIA blog interesting:

Efforts to win support for right-wing Israeli policies are inevitably going to spin off accusations, like Mr Kirchik’s, that Jews like Max Blumenthal who criticise Israel are self-hating or in some sense not real Jews. This is a familiar dynamic in ethnic nationalist politics; it’s similar to what Slobodan Milosevic did to Serbian liberal opponents, what Putinists do to liberal Russian politicians, or what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has done to his opponents in Iran. It’s actually rather similar, for that matter, to what ethnic nationalists, actual anti-Semites, have always done to the Jews in their countries—claiming they are not “real Russians”, “real Englishmen”, “real Frenchmen”, “real Americans”. If those who are slurring liberal Jews critical of right-wing Israeli policies were thoughtful people, this might give them pause. But, for the most part, they’re not, and it won’t.

via Andrew, who adds:

If you don’t agree with Jamie Kirchick, you’re a self-hater if you’re Jewish and an anti-Semite if you’re not.

Where are the doctors?

July 25, 2009

They take an oath to PROTECT us right?

So if we should TRUST anyone right now to help us fix our broken health system it should be them, no?

Why don’t we see their faces on tv? radio? townhalls?

Can they give us some guidance?

What is the medical profession about these days anyways?


July 19, 2009

It’s really too bad Walter Cronkite died just as drug reform was becoming a real possibility.  He was a trusted voice like no other in that movement.

I’m going to miss his fundraising letters (one of the few I ever actually open).

In case you haven’t seen their ads everywhere online and TV, yes, they are in the middle of an ad blitz.

What caught my eye though is that Google’s AdSense controls don’t seem to be working, so publishers are unable to turn them off!

You heard about the Arizona state senator talking about earth being 6000 years old?  Yeah, but did you catch this?

The irony, of course — and there’s always irony when creationism is involved — is that she’s talking about uranium mining, and it’s through the radioactive decay of uranium that we know the Earth is billions of years old. And she also praises technological achievements!

via Andrew

Pot and crime in L.A.

July 7, 2009

Two startling bits of news hit the Los Angeles area the last couple weeks: Crime rates are down beyond all expectations (in fact we are on track for the fewest murders since the 60s).  Meanwhile there has been an explosion on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the city since 2007, which thanks to a loophole in the law now number over 600.

There is no data (yet anyways) to draw a relation between these two facts, but I still get a chuckle thinking what the headlines would be if crime was up instead, and how many outlets would be brazenly trying to imply just such cause and effect.

Billionaire Peter Peterson, one of the Blackstone guys (now retired) talks about his life, the economy and our unsustainable deficits with Charlie Rose.

But what struck me is how the interview sounds like a chapter out of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success.

First, Peterson points out the many unforeseen and unplanned events that lead him to his success, such as getting kicked out of MIT (so he ended up a businessman instead of an engineer).

Second, he confides his belief that his constant drive for achievement was just a subconscious  way to get his mother’s attention after she lost her daughter at age 1 and became very melancholic.

Indeed, he is walking proof of Gladwell’s point that success is usually due to external factors beyond our control.