Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quote of the day

"She almost spoke like a super villain, like Dr Doom." - Ken Levine, commenting on the certainty with which Ayn Rand held her beliefs

Levine is the designer of Bioshock, a critically acclaimed video game that takes place in an Objectivist dystopia inspired by Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. He has stated that the game is "a cautionary tale about wholesale, unquestioning belief in something."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"War on terror"

If this is how you fight "terror," then perhaps one need look for another path.


While Israeli officials are quick to rattle off the numbers of projectiles fired from Gaza, rarely do they tell you what they fire into Gaza, what the effects of this fire is and what the fallout from it is.

For example, in 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza have been responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children, and the injury of 468 Palestinians, of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57 percent, or 310, were caused by Israeli aircraft missile fire; 28 percent, or 150, where from Israeli live ammunition; 11 percent, or 59, were from Israeli tank shells; while another 3 percent, or 18, were from Israeli mortar fire.

Through September 2012, Israeli weaponry caused 55 Palestinian deaths and 257 injuries. Among these 312 casualties, 61, or roughly 20 percent, were children and 28 were female. 209 of these casualties came as a result of Israeli Air Force missiles, 69 from live ammunition fire, and 18 from tank shells. It is important to note that these figures do not represent a totality of Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza but rather only Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza which cause casualties. The total number of Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza is bound to be significantly larger.

For context, consider this: more Palestinians were killed in Gaza yesterday than Israelis have been killed by projectile fire from Gaza in the past three years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Excerpt of the day

From The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

"What do you know?"

"Well, that is hard to tell," replied Jack. "For although I feel that I know a tremendous lot, I am not yet aware how much there is in the world to find out about. It will take me a little time to discover whether I am very wise or very foolish."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quote of the day

"Based on what is known, what is most disturbing about the whole Petraeus scandal is not the sexual activities that it revealed, but the wildly out-of-control government surveillance powers which enabled these revelations. What requires investigation here is not Petraeus and Allen and their various sexual partners but the FBI and the whole sprawling, unaccountable surveillance system that has been built." - Glenn Greenwald

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quote of the day

"A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving." - Albert Einstein, The Quotable Einstein

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quote of the day

"Modern Republicans are devotees of faith-based analysis on every front." - Paul Krugman

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A lost opportunity

As Dean Baker says

It is remarkable that the Democrats have not been harsher in holding Romney in contempt for his comments [making fun of efforts to mitigate global warming] in these final days leading up to the election. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot.

Imagine a world where we had not seen the Sept. 11 attacks and a Democratic challenger to President Bush's reelection in 2004 had mocked the money that Bush had spent on defenses against terrorism. If the country had then been hit by a terrorist attack in the week before the election would the Republicans be shy about going after their challenger's bad sense of humor?
But instead both parties quietly agreed not to make an issue out of the biggest issue facing mankind.