And you thought Star Wars was just science fiction, right? Ha! Remember how the heroic insurgents were first ferreted out by a drone? Remember how the rulers of the universe were called “The Empire?” Remember their vast force of identical armor-clad soldiers? Remember Darth Vader, the Empire’s evil genius, sounding for all the world like Dick Cheney? But perhaps most of all, remember how the whole Battle Star community, pro-war and pro-peace alike, went up in flames?
Sanctions would divert the attention of the Iranian government and its people from the real problems within Iran, including the lack of freedom of speech and other rampant human and civil rights abuses. Stepping up our sanctions against Iran would offer its hardliners the propaganda they need to gain internal political support against the United States and therefore increase the regime’s power—just as support for Ahmadinejad has begun to wane.
Good riddance to 2009: the recession, the Wall Street bailouts, the main street misery, and most of all the so-called health-care “debate.” Now that the debacle is mostly over, for better or worse, we’d best turn our attention to the one factor driving up health-care costs in this country that hasn’t even been mentioned—the lack of paid sick leave.
It looks like locking people up is a hard habit to break. The American prison population quadrupled in just the last 25 years. We’ve even surpassed China and Russia in the percentage of citizens in the clink. Meanwhile the rest of the world just scratches its head. “What are those crazy Americans up to now? Their country isn’t crime-ridden.”
It’s a good thing my long-haired calico Hyacinth can’t read the newspaper. Otherwise I’m sure she’d be deeply offended by all the recent headlines about “fat cats.”
It’s hard to believe but there was a time when there was hardly a town or village that didn’t support some sort of baseball team, be it minor league, semi-professional or amateur. Baseball players were national heroes. The World Series was a big deal. For six months of the year the sport dominated the water-cooler-lunch-room chitchat. No more. Now it’s football, football, football.
With some notable exceptions and a great deal of grumbling in its ranks, Congress seems to be going right along with Obama’s Afghan plan. Such as it is.
Exposing the human brain to these new devices creates both physical risks and political ones. Mind-reading by authorities or the private sector could easily mean a potential loss of freedom. There are then many questions to be resolved before the government or the marketplace adopts this technology. What kind of an informed consent should be granted? What kind of information would be divulged?
It’s bad enough when a person drowns in debt. Shock waves multiply when a corporation teeters on the verge of failure. The economy becomes even more agitated when a country declares bankruptcy, as Iceland did in 2008 and Hungary and Latvia almost did in 2009.