Monday, October 30, 2006

“The politicians, special interests and the media are in a spate of high excitement over next week’s elections,” writes Bob Herbert (New York Times, “The System’s Broken,” 30 October 2006, A27). On the other side, there is “an increasing sense of disenchantment and unease … Big money and gerrymandering have placed government out of the reach of most Americans. … It’s time to bring the intelligence, creativity and energy of the broader population into the quest for constructive change.”

Amen.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chopstick Instruction!

[As printed exactly on the sleeve of Bamboo Chopsticks(tm) ...]

Welcome to Chinese Restaurant.
Please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks
the traditional and typical of Chinese glonous history and cultual.

Opposite side

Tuk under tnurnb and held firmly

Learn how to use your chopsticks
Add second chcostick hold it as you hold a pencil

Hold tirst chopstick in originai position move the second one up and down
Now you can pick up anything:

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sometime this Tuesday, Oct. 17 (7:45 in the morning or thereabout is my guess), the U.S. population will hit 300 million. According to figures reported in the Wall Street Journal, it will reach 400 million in about 35 years. I think everything is gonna be fine. No worries, demographers. Honest. (From the ranting fellow who has no idea what he is talking about.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Grim Numbers

Bulletin: (Maybe) 600,000 Iraqi dead from the war we launched three years ago, out of their population of roughly 27 million, according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study as reported in today’s New York Times.

600,000 is the mean estimate, and said to be by no means exact. Our “coalition forces,” it is sad to say, are to blame for much of the carnage though not all.

Taking the very mininum count — which is reported to be 426,369 — as a percentage of the Iraqi population, the equivalent American count would be 4,651,299. Would you put that on page 16?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Note on a Great Betrayal

From a letter to the editor; the New York Times, printed 29 September 2006 (A22):

The Rev. Connell Maguire, Navy cpt (ret.), puts the recent shameful repudiation of the bedrock legal principle on which the U.S. stands (English Common Law, of which a major part is the right to habeas corpus) in a solemnly eloquent way:

“The day the detainee bill is signed will be a day that will live in dishonor in our history. The practices that appalled us in the past when used by sleazy regimes will be incorporated into our legal heritage.

“If we do not reject the responsible party in power, we will indict ourselves as accomplices before decent world opinion.”

Americans are a good, decent people. We must demonstrate this in a few weeks and throw out the outlaws dominating — and destroying — the principles for which our patriot ancestors bled and died.