Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty

We just had an election and while individual voters all have a personal brief as to why they voted the way they did I think we can agree that in general the public wanted a change in direction. More competence and less corruption. Reports like this add up after a while and eventually you get buyers regret, Democrats’ New Intelligence Chairman Needs a Crash Course on al Qaeda

That’s because, like a number of his colleagues and top counterterrorism officials that I’ve interviewed over the past several months, Reyes can’t answer some fundamental questions about the powerful forces arrayed against us in the Middle East.

It begs the question, of course: How can the Intelligence Committee do effective oversight of U.S. spy agencies when its leaders don’t know basics about the battlefield?

OK, we could say that Republicans were not any better, but there are sometimes where tit-for-tat arguments like that just don’t cut it. Ezra Klein has more – Confederacy of Dunces

Looks like incoming House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes is the latest in a long line of Congressional national security experts who don’t actually know anything about national security. He thinks the viciously anti-Shiite al-Qaeda are...Shiites, something that even casual observers of the Iraq War know to be false, given that al-Qaeda is gaining ground in Iraq as protectors of the Sunnis. ( the links to Shia and Sunni are mine)

No cynicism intended it is easy for the old school liberal libertarian in me to object to the trans fat wars, The coming crackdown on trans fats. But trans fats are not like hemp that has been around for thousands of years. It is something science invented recently. If we think of it as a food additive/preservative/enhancer rather then a food and realize that like some drugs this one has just not worked out well and is being recalled then the liberal libertarian argument comes up shallow. Unless you’re of the school of thought that public health-care policy should be trashed altogether.

Everything that’s wrong with trans fats follows from their industrial heritage. In nature, things generally don’t stick around unless they serve some purpose. Cream is lousy for adult arteries, but it nourishes babies of all kinds. In nature, things that are harmful in excess tend to disappear unless they’re safe in moderation. And nature is always looking for alternatives, so if something dangerous is still here, it has probably been hard to replace.

None of these things is true of trans fats. They’re worse than saturated fats, because, in addition to raising bad cholesterol, they lower good cholesterol. As the health department points out, “there is no safe level of artificial trans fat consumption … in contrast to other dietary fats which, when consumed in moderation, are a natural part of a healthy diet. Artificially produced trans fat is relatively new to our food supply and confers no known health benefit.”

Because trans fats are industrial, regulating them feels like regulating chemicals, not food.

Shiites Rout Sunni Families in Mixed Area of Baghdad

Bands of armed Shiite militiamen stormed through a neighborhood in north-central Baghdad on Saturday, driving hundreds of Sunni Arabs from their homes in what a Sunni colonel in the Iraqi Army described as one of the most flagrant episodes of sectarian warfare yet unleashed in the capital.

So the Right feels that the press is exaggerating the level of sectarian violence. Black-Market Weapon Prices Surge in Iraq Chaos

The market for this American-issued pistol and the ubiquitous assault rifle illustrated how fear, mismanagement and malfeasance are shaping the small-arms market in Iraq.

Weapon prices are soaring along with an expanding sectarian war, as more buyers push prices several times higher than those that existed at the time of the American-led invasion nearly four years ago.

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” – Bertrand Russell