Grandmothers Against the War carry their message to the Oakland federal building, April 17
Despite wars and rumors of wars, all is not lost. This post touches on a few hints at saner potential futures, in the spirit of the little local demonstration pictured above.
- The forced pregnancy forces may have over-reached by passing their abortion ban in South Dakota. In addition to facing a referendum there, the strong negative popular reaction has legislators elsewhere trying to duck the issue. Talk to Action has a round up.
- I'm always interested in juries. I've seen serving on them bring out good stuff in quite ordinary people. A recent study suggests that jurors deliberate more carefully and thoughtfully when the panel contains persons of different races.
- Some may find this obvious, but I hadn't thought of it: Lester R. Brown proposes that, instead of taxing income, we should be taxing environmentally destructive activities, like burning coal and, yes, driving cars. As it stands, we have a very poor understanding of what our current lifestyle actually costs society. If the social cost of smoking were included in the price of cigarettes, a pack would run $7.18. A gallon of gas, taxed so as to cover the social cost of burning it, would run $11. On the other hand, our income taxes would drop dramatically as social burdens would be paid for at the point of consumption. I know -- driving addicts would never stand for it. But opponents should think about this:
- Meanwhile, our idiot President may be considering nuking Iran's idiot president (and a lot of other people) thereby plunging us all into WWIII, but it is nice to read something moderately sensible about Iranian nuclear plans coming from an Israeli source, Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz. According to Bar'el, after a life spent trying to prevent proliferation of nukes, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has concluded it can't be done. Apparently he has concluded that