We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Related: Ace rightly notes that the O's refusal to stand strong with the protesters can damage future relations with Iran. The man is a pussy, a Prom Queen. The only things he gets tough with are Republicans, FOX news, and our international allies and friends like the Brits and Israel.
I agree that the "war against drugs" failed. It's been going on since Nixon. All it does is raise the cost of drugs and increase the crime. It's past time to re-think it. It's too bad that drug users generally have little interest in getting over it, but that's reality.
What the late lamented Milton Friedman said about medical care costs. He makes a number of excellent points, including that it is employee insurance that drives the prices up. h/t, Mankiw
Re the Neanderthal upon whom someone had supped, read the first paragraph --maybe the truth is, in a protein-needy world, the surprise would be if there was NO cannibalism (ie see term 'slow meat'). I don't see why it wouldn't be reasonable to assume that one of the lost-in-the-dawns-of-time truths is that cannibalism, being the very eating of the seed as it were, was a spur toward religion --which is among all else a practical self-preservation belief system that sets humankind aside from humankind's normal food supply.
I'm withholding judgement on the swine flu. I mean, how do you know it won't be a big thing? Also, my step sister, her husband, and her son all got the swine flu. Her husband went into the hospital and the rest were quarantined. Sometimes the flu is bad, sometime it ain't. I don't think anyone knows enough to tell before it happens.
I'll throw in my usual comment on the war on drugs. If we recognize the right of adults to use drugs as they please, we must enforce the responsibility that goes with it. If your drug abuse gets you into trouble, you must find your own way out. You may ask anyone who is willing to help you, but no demands on the government (that is, my) pocket. If you commit dangerous or harmful acts under the influence of drugs, the full force of the law applies. Too often, the drug abusers claim their dependence as a mitigating factor. We will have signed up for a real disaster if we allow the free use of drugs and then let drug use become a defense at the law.