Books That I’m Reading

Secrets of the FBI

The Secrets of the FBI, by Ronald Kessler: Although rather defensive over some the FBI’s mistakes, it starts with Hoover and goes over some of the good and bad points of each director peppered with many humorous anecdotal tales of FBI break-ins gone wrong, like when a cat escaped and they sent agents with night vision out to recapture it, threw it back in the house and wondered why the dog was flipping out over the cat only to find out the next day that it was the wrong cat. Or the time a bus was parked in front of a house to give agents cover for a target house they broke into, after which everyone piled in the bus and drove off, only to find two freaked out pedestrian passengers who boarded without anyone noticing and was now ringing the bus stop bell to be let off the bus filled with black-suited men bearing weapons.

Continue reading

The True Meaning of Christmas

St. Nicholas

December 25 is not Jesus’ birthday. Christmas is based on the winter solstice. In a great many religions from the Old World, the solstice marked the day that the vegetation god died, typically by being crucified on a tree, causing all the earth’s vegetation to die with him only to be reborn on the spring equinox. Thus the death and resurrection of the god symbolized the death and resurrection of vegetation throughout the year.

Continue reading

Family Guy Writer Suffers Nerve Damage From LAPD During Occupy Protest

unified message

One of the writers of the Family Guy told of the abuse he and other protestors took from the LAPD:

It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.

Continue reading

Keynes vs. Hayek

“These days, you constantly see articles that make it seem as if there was a great debate in the 1930s between Keynes and Hayek, and that this debate has continued through the generations. As Warsh says, nothing like this happened. Hayek essentially made a fool of himself early in the Great Depression, and his ideas vanished from the professional discussion.

So why is his name invoked so much now? Because The Road to Serfdom struck a political chord with the American right, which adopted Hayek as a sort of mascot — and retroactively inflated his role as an economic thinker. Warsh is even crueler about this than I would have been; he compares Hayek (or rather the “Hayek” invented by his admirers) to Rosie Ruiz, who claimed to have won the marathon, but actually took the subway to the finish line.” –Paul Krugman

Continue reading