Google: Don’t be evil

First it was imposing censorship for China, now it’s financing fascism in America.

If Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin wanted money, they have more than they could want. This looks like a power play.

Update: Jersey Cynic and Skippy picked up this story as well but didn’t note that Google’s PAC is financing Republican campaigns.


Barack Obama

I saw Wolf Blitzer interview Barack Obama a bit ago and it was clear even in the promo that Wolf was going to ask him if he was running for President in 2008. I believe Barack could not say he was and no candidate can do that now, because unless the party is really already so unified behind that one person, it would divide the party against him. Surely Hillary Clinton and a lot of other people also want to be President, and they aren’t going to get behind anyone else right now.

This is not the season to make those kinds of announcements, and it’s a very silly question, as Barack said.

He is impressive. I believe that he is a good man and he will run for President some day.

Update: Shamanic seems to like him too. Should be interesting to discuss after November.

How people change

Glenn Greenwald wonders how some self-described libertarians turned into full-scale authoritarians as soon as they got a little influence.

Weather Underground

Fire Tornado

This picture (click for full-size) was taken yesterday in California. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground explains that a hot enough fire can cause a tornado. This one is the best picture he’s ever seen of a fire tornado.

Sorta like how the grass roots can catch fire enough to change things from down here, too.

Ed Rosenthal and Richard Watts updates

Please refer to the press release for background.

The blog at Hemp Evolution should keep you up to date. Current news is that the Grand Jury will not reconvene in their case.

Do we need a single government?

This began as a comment on a thread at Sadly, No!

For hundreds of years in Western Europe the Catholic Church was the single official religion. After the Protestant Reformation and a series of conflicts, the single church was divided into several distinct heirarchies under separate earthly leadership.

The dispute officially began when Martin Luther observed abuses of the priests, the selling of indulgences and other corruptions. Whether the corruption could have been corrected by any other means, the establishment of new institutions was deemed necessary and appropriate by a large number of people.

Many of these churches proclaim their own universality and may not recognize the others. But when America was established it was decided that nobody should be compelled to support any particular church institution. You could, in effect, subscribe to any church you believed in.

I don’t want to talk too much about what’s going on right now in terms of religious differences, but the differences we have in our belief in how the government should be organized, and whether it is an analogous situation to the time of Martin Luther. This administration has largely wrecked what many of us believe in, the corruption has been almost beyond belief, and the horrorshow in Iraq not to mention New Orleans is disgusting.

Should I write these up as 95 theses? I think not. You get my point, I hope.

Whatever hope we may have that these fascists will be thrown off democratically, I’m concerned about the fact that as many as a third of the public still supports them, and apparently subscribes quite honestly to the authoritarian power structure. We should keep trying to explain why it’s wrong and how they are hurting people, including themselves, but it would take a lot more time than an election cycle or two to cut this percentage down to something insignificant. Generations.

So what if we just let them not be part of the same government?

It probably sounds sacriligious, if you believe a single, unified, democratic government is the essence of the nation. But of course it isn’t, we have geographically defined divisions, states with their own semi-autonomy. But there isn’t such thing as a 100% Red or 100% Blue state.

if our conception of government is different from theirs, can we have a peaceful union?

I’m not proposing answers, just questions.

Less briefly noted than intended

Kinky Friedman, who is presently an independent candidate for governor of Texas, has called for cannabis decriminalization.

I guess I just don’t understand why Kinky Friedman didn’t run as a Democrat. Did he think he wouldn’t be acceptable to their party or does he think he’d have a better chance as an independent? If he can’t get a majority of Democrats to vote for him in the general election he can’t win anyhow, unless the Republicans defect in droves from their incumbent, which seems unlikely.

There are so many reasons I don’t like to do politics. It’s so messy and unpredictable and the consequences of screwing up and making the wrong decision are insane. It’s kind of like if someone told me that I could push this button and maybe it would help me get something I wanted but maybe it would blow me and my whole family up, not to mention also the neighbors down the street and a few foreign countries. I’m not pushing that button.

I know I am opposed to the present administration and its deeds, and any Republican governor helps solidify their state support so if you’re a Texan and you vote, I suggest you make sure it isn’t for Perry or Strayhorn, the former press secretary’s mom.

Update: On rereading, I hope I’m not unclear. In the best of all possible worlds, I hope Kinky Friedman wins.