Political Bytes from the Blogosphere

First, shameless self-promotion: If you haven’t already, click here and sign up for a chance to get a free copy of my upcoming book.

Some interesting, angering, and inspiring tidbits I ran across this weekend:

Do you think that Sunni and Shi’a fight, have fought since forever, can do nothing except fight? Think again! Guest blogger at Informed Comment, Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing, posts an eye-opening article: Sunni and Shi’a have not historically fought; in fact, they have more respect for each other than some Christians and Jews.

Video! I’m a huge fan of Penn and Teller. Half-ashamedly love their show Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, especially the political episodes. (Even the one on Mount Rushmore.) Penn Jillette posted a “Penn Says” video talking about Bob Barr and Wayne Root, and why he probably would not be formally supporting them, and someone called him on his cell phone right in the middle of filming. And if that doesn’t convince you to watch, he also has no shirt on.

More video! I remember when Harry Browne made the Great Libertarian Offer, which was: Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal government program, if it meant you could have a much, much smaller federal government? At the time, I couldn’t think what my “favorite” program was, because I really disliked them all. I eventually settled on a favorite, however. As an author, my favorite federal “program,” as it were, are the copyright laws. Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons, posted the video of a talk he gave at the iCommons Summit in Sapporo Japan, a talk on the history and issues of copyright and Creative Commons, something I would entitle, “The Why, How, and When of Creative Commons.” It reminded me so vividly why copyright, for all its good and necessary points, is just like any other federal government program.

Did you know that gas is more affordable than it was in the free-wheeling, gas-guzzling 1960’s? Indur Goklany and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute have the actual data to prove it.

Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe are using gasoline as currency, because the inflation rate on the Zimbabwe dollar is at something like 2,200,000%. (Hah! And you thought I made up that number, I bet.) In other words, someone keeps printing way too much Zimbabwe dollars, and the people have responded by adopting another standard, even though it’s illegal. (Well, duh!) Boy, they must have some counterfeiter problem there, huh?

This had me gnashing my teeth and rolling on the floor in stitches. According to this AP article, Bush says the violence is unacceptable and Russia’s response is disproportionate. Yeah, well, I guess he’s the expert on disproportionate and unacceptable violence.


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I get Penn’s point about appreciating peploe who preach? to you because it can be done out of love but at the same time, I find it very annoying to be preached to by strangers. It comes off as obnoxious. I was raised in a very religious Christian household, my mom was even a Sunday school teacher and I believed for a long time, was even baptized when I was born again , but after reading the Bible for myself and looking into science, I just don’t hold those same views anymore and never will.

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