I'm divided on Douglas Haddow's Adbusters article, "Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization," and not just because I've been accused of being a hipster myself. Of course I find his thesis compelling (i.e., that "hipster" culture amalgamates bits of past countercultures without being as productive as countercultures tend to be), and his observations on how corporations exploit hipsterism are invaluable. But I also find his thesis far too narrow -- in fact, I think his definition of "civilization" almost entirely in terms of what you buy, wear, and consume is rather like what he's criticizing, actually. I also wonder if he ran into any hipsters who shopped at co-ops, volunteered at food banks, wrote their Congressfolk every week, or worked with old people. If he had, he'd have probably written a very different article.
Citizens for Tax Justice reviews the new 20-cent Seattle grocery bag tax. CTJ says both pro and con sides have good arguments, and I don't buy the Libertarian myth that people only make moral choices on their own, but I'm firmly on the con side here -- I think this tax hurts working people way more than the rich, I think people already reuse and recycle their plastic bags, and, most of all, I'm discovering that I'm generally opposed to enacting specific taxes for use on specific projects. And yes, I reckon that would include the gasoline tax, no matter how many roads it rebuilds. We can't hold crumbling infrastructure hostage to regressive taxes. Now, using money from progressive income taxes to fix crumbling infrastructure? We should have done that a long time ago. Oh, right -- before President Reagan, we did do that.
Finally, courtesy the News Dissector, a Haaretz report suggests that Mr. Bush has refused to sell certain offensive weaponry to Israel and thus put the kibosh on an Israeli attack on Iran. If that's true, it's about damn time -- like Scott Ritter says, being a friend to Israel means refusing to enable its dumb ideas. But a word of warning: we all know Mr. Bush, so this could all be psyops.