dilemmanade
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
 
Depressing and frightening...Posted by C

Mark A. R. Kleiman calls it profoundly depressing. And I agree.

According to an ABC News poll, nearly two thirds of Americans believe the stories of Noah's Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, and the 6-day creation to be literally true.

I am reminded of a booklet I've read about Passover. It said that when teaching a very young child child about Passover, you speak in the first person: "This is what happened to me." You tell the story differently to an older child, and differently again to a teenager or an adult.

And I am reminded of a buddhist text, aimed at monks and teachers, that said that most adults are to be looked upon as children when it comes to their spiritual development.

There is deeper meaning to be had in the Bible, and people who believe in the literal truth of those stories can't have it. People who believe in the literal truth of those stories are children, spiritually and intellectually.

Should children be allowed to vote? It's stuff like this that makes me despair of civilization and democracy.

 
Saturday, February 14, 2004
 
Just wondering...Posted by C

If any of my reader(s) happens to know, please email me.

When computing unempolyment figures, is it taken into account that we've had a big increase in the number of persons behind bars?

In other words, if we hadn't started putting more and more people in prison, would unemployment figures be significantly worse than they are?

I suspect the answer is "yes."

If someone with the numbers could compute what the numbers would be if prison population had stayed stable throughout the 80s, 90s and the start of this century, and then recompute the unemployment rate, I think it would be enlightening.

Max, would this be easy for you to do?

Note, we are a non-partisan blog. I know this calculation would reflect as badly on democratic as republican administrations.
 
Friday, February 13, 2004
 
Where have I been?...Posted by C

It's been a week since my last post. Pretty shabby. And in a week where the blogs have probably received more page views than any week thus far, thanks to the growing AWOL, Plame, and WMD scandals.

I've just been too happy!

Here's my story:

I wasn't blogging yet. But it was last summer when my mood began to improve.

I had been pretty down-in-the-dumps since September 11, 2001.

My first thoughts, like those of so many, were about how the unelected POTUS would no doubt use the terrorist attack as an excuse to impose draconian "security" measures that would whittle away at, if not chop away at, the Bill of Rights.

Well, he did. I won't go through a litany of everything that went on after that kept me depressed. Let's just leave it at this: I didn't support either war, and he's really messed up the economy.

Last summer things began to get better. I don't remember what exactly clued me in, but I realized the press was beginning to wake up.

Then there was the Plame affair. I confess I was elated. I realize that innocent people were probably imprisoned and assassinated because one of Bush's henchmen decided to out an undercover CIA operative in order to intimidate Joe Wilson (and anyone else who might oppose the POTUS in any way). And I don't mean to say I was happy about that. But I just knew that Bush had damaged his relationship with the powerful spook community. And as time went by, and Bush didn't do anything to resolve the situation, I just knew that CIA folks past and present would begin using their institutional influence to see to it that Bush wasn't re-elected.

And that, my dear readers, made me happy. Very, very happy.

That brings me to the AWOL story, the Kay report, and other recent news. I've just spent every free moment reading, and sighing with relief as the collapse of the Bush regime becomes more and more inevitable.

So I've been too busy to post.

My aim here is not to try to compete with CalPundit or Atrios. Heaven forbid. I love those guys. And they seem to have a lot more time than I do, and a greater ability to write about everything-- right now.

My aim is to write when I have something to add: no-one else mentions the rhetorical technique employed by Bush of mentioning Saddam and 9/11 in the same sentence, even when he doesn't draw a causal link. So I harp on that. As time goes by more of my thinking will dribble out here.

I may not have garnered any readers. I may never, in fact, do so. (My mom doesn't have a computer, my wife isn't interested in anything I have to say, and my kid is only three and a half years old.)

But I'm gonna do this, even if no-one else actually reads it, just because someone might.
 
Friday, February 06, 2004
 
Gropinator declares...Posted by C

...Ronald Reagan Day in California.

It's the day we fondly remember "$640 Pentagon toilet seats, ketchup as a vegetable, firing striking air traffic controllers, Iran-Contra, double-digit unemployment, astrologers in the White House and influence peddling." (Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan.)

Ah, Ronnie. And let me add: Cruise missiles in Europe, the war in El Salvador, Star Wars, and budget deficits.
 
When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

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