Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Frozen Chosen

The weather here today is... well, it's kind of hard to describe. First we had snow, then ice, then rain, and now more snow. It's a good day to stay inside and read the paper... or, you might think that, until you spot items like these:

The latest casualty in the Insane War on Drugs, as Harry Browne characterized it, is a British police dog who died of nasal cancer from sniffing too much cocaine. Could the martyrdom of this dog possibly serve as a wedge with which to, at long last, end the insanity of the drug wars? Think about it. If "drug-sniffing dogs" are declared an endangered species, they will have to be relieved from duty -- immediately, world-wide, and permanently. This could be a major setback in the War on Drugs -- maybe the one that finally brings it to a close. We can always hope.

Headline of the Day: "Blowfish testicles make 7 diners sick." Well, Monica could have warned them... but they didn't ask.

Quote of the Day: "My worry is that the Afghans come to see us as part of their problem rather than part of their solution." -- Robert Gates, (still) Secretary of Defense. Whoa, no kidding, Sherlock! The only way I would amend this statement is to eliminate the "part of" part. The Afghans clearly prefer the "enemy that they know" -- i.e. the Taliban -- to the one they would rather not know, i.e. us. And yeah, the Taliban are a bunch of bullies, but frankly, are you any more dead if they kill you than if we do, with one of our "precision airstrikes" -- you know, on wedding parties, female circumcisions, bar mitzvahs (oh wait, no)? Not that I can tell. Of course, the reason we invaded Afghanistan in the first place was to teach the Taliban a damn good lesson -- i.e. for providing a base of operations for Al Qaeda. One could argue that we, in fact, did that. But did the "lesson" have to include total elimination of the Taliban and assurance that they would never return to power? This is apparently the thinking of our foreign policy geniuses. It's not enough to just kick butt, we have to make sure that butt stays kicked forever, basically -- which is the same thing as saying we have to stay in Afghanistan forever -- which is, apparently, exactly what the powers that be (including Obama, note) want.

Congressman Menendez of New Jersey asked the SEC's "director of enforcement", Linda Thomsen, "if Madoff was smarter than the regulators". The article doesn't say what her reply was, but here's what it should have been: "Of _course_ he was smarter than the regulators! How do you think he got away with everything he got away with for so long? If our regulators were as smart as Madoff, they'd be out in the private sector making billions too. But since they're only lowly government employees they have to be satisfied regulating -- or pretending to -- people who are way smarter than they are, and who make thousands of times as much money as they do. You can imagine how successful they are, on average. How successful would you be if you had to "regulate" people who can run rings around you in every way? See why we have a hard time recruiting for these positions?"

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