Take as much time as you need to read Andrew Bacevich's extensive argument concerning "Counterculture Conservatism," written for The American Conservative shortly after President Obama's re-election. Mr. Bacevitch and I differ on "Original Sin, by whatever name" -- I think people are basically good but corruptible -- but I believe in the utility of "respect(ing) received wisdom" (and "respect" doesn't imply slavish or histrionic devotion), and I also believe the family has been "supplant(ed) with the hyper-powered -- if also alienated -- individual." I'll likely continue to imagine that "hyper-powered individual" as bankster more than bureaucrat.
Institute of Self-Reliance report finds that locally-owned wind and solar businesses create more jobs than big corporations. Which is obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a minute -- big corporations are all about doing the most work with the fewest people -- but while I think big corporate investment would help make solar and wind widespread, I would also prefer that state and federal governments remove obstacles for small businesses. (I'm a little surprised that while the article makes welcome criticisms of federal solar tax credits, it doesn't mention the "sun tax" legislation pushed by fossil-fuel corporations.)
ProPublica describes where some of our tobacco settlement dollars go -- at least in Niagara County, NY, where short-term windfalls from tobacco bonds got invested in some very silly stuff. Key insight, from the very beginning: "A central tenet of government finance is that money borrowed over the long term should be spent on projects that will outlast the debt." In other news, you don't use higher-interest debt to pay off lower-interest debt.
FTC orders one of them there work-from-home corporation to pay $25 million to customers who found they could not work from home as easily as they were led to believe. In case you were wondering, that scam generally works by promising you THOUSANDZ UV TEH DOLLARZ!!!! by working from your couch or wherever, then demanding you pay a few hundred bucks for a starter kit, then demanding thousands of dollars more for more "business tools," and so on, and so on. It's rather like that Nigerian email scam from last decade.
Finally, VA-10 Republican U.S. House candidate Barbara Comstock suggests that we track undocumented immigrants the way FedEx tracks packages! You may recognize this particular nugget as the speck of dirt around which Newt Gingrich formed that absolute pearl of a book, Real Change, back in 2008. Of course you already know the problem: undocumented immigrants not only don't present themselves in large cardboard boxes with barcodes on the side, but they also have some considerable interest in, well, not being found, which tends to confound tracking efforts. Next from Ms. Comstock: everyone should have a barcode on their hand just like in the Bible!