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It’s Been Real

I hope everyone enjoyed the highs and lows of this discussion, but all good things come to an end.

We’d like to thank all of you for your time, thoughts, and input, even when, or rather, especially when it got heated. But there’s some good (ed – ????) news, so turn that frown upside down.

Goodbye ID

If you’ve enjoyed this little exercise, we’re moving to a new space, with a bigger bullpen of writers, and more of the art, music, humor and photography we’ve started to develop here. The new site will be less policy-centric, more frequently updated, and more a celebration of the good life. I hope you check it out. The new site goes live on May 3rd, 2010, and we’ll throw the link up here then.

Mother Jones reports that Humbolt County, California, home to prolific marijuana growing, now has some great new bumper stickers.

Recently, “Keep Pot Illegal” bumper stickers have been seen on cars around the county. In chat rooms and on blogs, anonymous writers predict that tobacco companies will crush small farmers and take marijuana production to the Central Valley. With legalization, if residents don’t act, “we’re going to be ruined,” said Anna Hamilton, a radio host on KMUD-FM (91.1) in southern Humboldt County.

Bruce Yandle might be proud that actual bootleggers have signed on to his theory.

Via Boing Boing.

Brief Thoughts

I GIS’d ‘briefs’ to try to get an image for the links header today. I won’t make that mistake again.

To clear my mind, I had to rewatch this video.

On to the links:

Friend of the Blog Tate Watkins in the Christian Science Monitor on the evils of foreign “aid”.

Free speech/religious hatred watch: Southpark creators Matt and Trey were threatened by a radical Muslim website. Comedy Central heavily edited the offending episode. Matt and Trey released a statement. The threatening website was then hacked.

Three photoblogs to follow: Shutterboo, Close-Up Clarendon, and Vivid Corvid.

DCites: Georgetown is having a “French Market” Friday and Saturday. Sounds like a plan.

I was dreading last night’s Nat’s game more than usual, but fortunately justice prevailed.

That’s it. Take a break from policy for the weekend. Enjoy the spring.

Happy Earth Day

Despite being an evil capitalist souless rape-machine, I do love me some Earth. So happy Earth Day, and please browse through Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts’ series Cleaned by Capitalism over at the Cafe.

Also, if you really want, celebrate with whatever this guy has. I can’t decide if it’s natural or man-made, but it seems awesome.

Amen

Radley Balko’s response to Mori Dinauer’s post is so good it’s worth quoting in full. Testify:

“The American Prospect’s Mori Dinauer is just a hair off in this post.

I don’t promote government failure, I expect it. And my expectations are met fairly often. What I promote is the idea that more people share my expectations, so fewer people are harmed by government failure, and so we can stop this slide toward increasingly large portions of our lives being subject to the whims, interests, and prejudices of politicians.

I will concede that there’s a problem, here. In the private sector, failure leads to obsolescence (unless, of course, you work for a portion of the private sector that politicians think should be preserved in spite of failure). When government fails, people like Dinauer and, well, the government claim it’s a sign that we need more government. It’s not that government did a poor job, or is a poor mechanism for addressing that particular problem, it’s that there just wasn’t enough government. Of course, the same people will point to what they call governmentsuccess as, also, a good argument for more government.

It’s a nifty trick. The right does it with national security. The fact that we haven’t had a major terrorist attack since September 11, 2001 proves that the Bush administration’s heavy-handed, high-security approach to fighting terrorism worked! But if we had suffered another attack, the same people would have been arguing that we need to surrender more of our civil liberties to the security state. Two sides. Same coin.

That Pew poll is also a pretty good indication that the more government tries to do, the more poorly it does it. Your usual caveats about correlation and causation apply, but the federal government certainly didn’t shrink over the period the trust-in-government trend line has taken a nosedive. Note too that during the Clinton administration, federal spending actually shrank as a percentage of GDP, and the federal workforce shrank by nearly 400,000, leaving it at its lowest level since 1960. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s one period in the last 50 years over which trust in the federal government took a sharp climb.

But in general—yes—I think the fact that more people are realizing that government isn’t capable of solving all of their problems is an encouraging trend. Because it isn’t.”

On The Twentieth of April

My little sister attends the University of Vermont, and today she noted she was “one of three people at UVM not excited about the date“. I share her ambivalence. Continue Reading »

I don’t have a decent body of work yet, so no photo-of-the-day, but it can flesh out some less writing-intensive periods.

These little things are the copper insides of a stripping plate, in a column or ‘beer still’ at the Four Roses bourbon distillery in Lawerenceburg, Kentucky.

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