Why is it important to you?

6:03 am - Jason G. - Politics

The European Central Bank was nice enough to put together this educational video that explains price stability and (as per the sub-title) why it is important to you.

I’m richly amused by the animation techniques that allow them to dub different languages with the same animated visuals…  here’s the French, German, and Spanish versions…  The ECB usually issues press releases in 20 different languages, I’m guessing they have a video for each one.

Now if we can just get people here in the US to understand price stability…


Philosophy of Liberty

6:55 am - Jason G. - Politics

I’ve often wondered why I am drawn to Libertarianism…

Philosophy of Liberty is a cute little animation that tries to distill Liberty down to a format that you can share with children (though many adults could benefit from seeing it…).


Want to be President?

6:43 am - Jason G. - Politics

Everyone and their mother wants to be president…  check out CNN’s slideshow of all 27 possible candidates — 15 Republicans and 12 Democrats.


Non-Binding Protests

10:38 am - Jason G. - Politics

Check out Friday’s The Show (with Ze Frank) for an entertaining take on the attempted non-binding resolutions in congress…

The American public is planning to vote on a non binding resolution condemning non binding resolutions. Enough with the non binding. Anyone can do that. …

The public can do non binding resolutions, we call ’em protests. And we do that to get the attention of elected officials who can do something about it. You’re elected officials and you have the power of the constitution… The President’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t give a crap about protests. …

At least make them filibuster, so we’re entertained while we wait.


Governor Easley…

6:12 am - Jason G. - Politics

From the Charlotte Observer…  North Carolina’s Governor Easley finally speaks up about his choice of Mike Nifong as Durham’s District Attorney:

Gov. Mike Easley said last month that picking Mike Nifong to be Durham’s district attorney was the worst appointment of his career, and he said Nifong broke his promise not to run for the office.

Easley told law students in New York that Nifong’s decision to seek office in last fall’s election almost prompted him to consider yanking Nifong from office.

“I almost un-appointed him when he decided to run,” Easley said. “I rate that as probably the poorest appointment that I’ve,” the governor trailed off before adding “I’ve made some good ones.”

Easley, a former prosecutor, was speaking at New York University Jan. 22 about public service. After the speech, someone in the audience asked him to rate Nifong’s performance in the controversial sexual assault investigation against three former Duke University lacrosse players.

The governor said Nifong had done a poor job.

“You don’t need me to tell you that,” he said.


Stranger than Fiction

6:07 am - Jason G. - Politics

More from WWNK:

By Radley Balko, Reason magazine

(originally published in Reason Magazine, 1/1/07)

It is something of a clichéd tradition for a columnist to write a year-end or New Year column that makes exaggerated, sometimes humorous predictions for the next 12 months.

I wrote such a column at about this time last year, with “predictions” that reflected the continuing, creeping influence of government in our lives. Unfortunately, the state of civil liberties and both economic and personal freedom haven’t improved much over the past year. So I figure it’s time for another round of unlikely predictions as to what we might expect from our government in 2007.

–In yet another case of government bureaucracy gone mad, some local health agency will insist that the churches and private homes where volunteers prepare food for homeless people pass rigorous, restaurant-standard health inspections or shut down operations. The silly policy will be justified in the name of protecting the homeless when, in reality, it will really only lead to fewer homeless people getting fed. (more…)


Climate Change Revisited

6:07 am - Jason G. - Politics, Technology

From the WWNK:

By Doug Hornig

In March 2004, we ran an article on a Pentagon-commissioned study on the possibility of abrupt and drastic climate change, such as happened 12,000 years ago when, according to estimates, the average global temperature rose by seven degrees in only twenty years and put a decisive end to the most recent ice age.The result of the study, a brief paper titled, An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security, pushed certain computer models to their extreme, at which a sudden rise in global temperature results in a shutting down of the Gulf Stream and, counter intuitively, colder conditions for much of the planet.

That, of course, is just one projection among many. Other researchers have modeled quite different futures, with conditions both more and less dire. (more…)


Bono, Arch Capitalist

6:24 am - Jason G. - Commentary, Politics

From Bloomberg:

While Bono was making his appeal [to support charity], U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time…

Murphy points to the band’s decision to move its music publishing company to the Netherlands from Ireland in June 2006 in order to minimize taxes… (more…)


Enjoy That Steak!

6:28 am - Jason G. - Politics

From Chris Mayer:

Meat is incredibly expensive to produce, because raising the necessary livestock requires large amounts of grain. According to The Silk Road to Riches, the average cow consumes 2.5–3% of its body weight in grains every day. “A typical 1,200-pound beef steer could consume about 35 pounds of feed per day,” the authors write, “or more than 13,000 pounds annually. That’s enough grain to feed more than 10 average-sized adults for an entire year.” It’s also very water intensive. It takes about 6,600 gallons of water to produce just 8 ounces of beef. As you can imagine, this puts meat beyond the pale of many poor countries.


History of the Middle East

6:04 am - Jason G. - Politics

Here’s quick review of all the empires and territorial claims in the Middle East in the last 5000 years or so…

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