American Taliban

images-1You’re a young man who eschews walking in favor of a skateboard, who has a bevy of wahinis surrounding him when he surfs, who is blessed with a Washington D. C. family that is powerful and rich, who is allowed to delay college to find himself: his more spiritual side.

A High School theme paper and an interest in Arabic poetry lead him to a madrasa in Brooklyn where he starts to learn Arabic; then his friend and mentor at the school invites him for further study in Pakistan; then he discovers the erotic closeness of other men and goes off into the mountains to train and learn to improve his marksmanship. He does all of this in a romantic quest to be like Richard Burton and to live life to the fullest.

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The Great Recession

Here is an interesting chart republished in Slate that shows the financial crisis in the United States in comparison to crises in other countries at other times.

The Great Recession In Comparative Context
By Matthew Yglesias

This seems to show that the recent crisis in the United States wasn’t really that bad and was under control fairly early. But as the article points out, compared to the crash of 1929 and FDR’s response, there isn’t any magic shown in the Obama recovery. I expect if the opposition party had been serious about improving the lives of all the American people, the recovery might have been rapid and reparative (of course, with the GOP focus on assuring that Obama failed, we’ll never know what might have happened for sure).

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