They Said It, Not Me

It is the year 2000. In the presidential campaign…
New Mexico hinges on 366 votes, Florida on only 537 votes.
Iowa is won by 4144 votes, Wisconsin by 5708 votes.
Oregon is decided by 6765 votes, New Hampshire by 7211 votes.
In the closest presidential election in modern history, 24,731 people in a nation of 280 million make the difference for 59 electoral votes. An incredible statistic when you consider just 4 electoral votes meant the difference between a President Bush and a President Gore.

Email received yesterday from the Bush (and, currently, Cheney) campaign for 2004.

Ahmad Chalabi

Our favorite girl, Maureen Dowd, was off her game these last months, but she’s back, with an enlightening and very readable piece on the Bush Administration’s Iraq war Rasputin, Ahmad Chalabi.
When you have time, please check it out.

And So It Begins

I’ve managed to avoid Ann Coulter up to now – we don’t travel in the same social circles – but my impression was that she was an all-right gal, the right-wing version of one of the savvy left-wing female columnists who delight us with their clever turn of phrase. Molly Ivins, Maureen Dowd and even Arianna Huffington come to mind.
I’m a politics junkie, have followed presidential elections since I was a kid, staying up late to total Electoral College votes with pencil and paper. I remember Stevenson’s Presidential campaigns – both of them – and his speech to the UN at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, considered by some one of the finest pieces of diplomatic oratory of the last century.
And now? My, my, my how have our standards of public discourse have sunk, to tight tank and cesspool levels.

Continue reading And So It Begins

No Child Left Behind

“What’s interesting in this piece of legislation is that because of measuring, you’re able to determine whether or not a child can read or write and add and subtract early. And what the measurement system allows you to do is, one, analyze curriculum

Enlightened Older Folks

It gripes me when some people complain that the US government’s space program is a waste of money, as if the funds themselves were being launched off-planet.
The current issue of The Erickson Tribune, a newsletter for Boomers and people of retirement age, includes the results of a reader poll conducted by researcher Jered Rasmussen.
I was pleasantly surprised by the majority opinion.

Continue reading Enlightened Older Folks

Retreat in India

Because I have a company website, I receive solicitations from time to time from overseas outsourcing companies, mostly from India and Russia.
One particularly assertive individual has emailed me several times, asking if I have an assignment which I’d consider throwing in his direction.
Out of curiosity, I started corresponding with him, starting with a few generic questions about the type of projects he’s worked on, and ending with a serious request for proposal.
The results were interesting.

Continue reading Retreat in India

The Cost of Citizenship: Time

The mainstream media, which had given Bush (“I’m a war president”) a pass for three long years seems – finally – to be crawling out of its communal spider hole.
Thanks to Vietnam vet John Kerry, who has been through one or two political fights in his long career, the media now can focus on a candidate from the loyal opposition who is not afraid of the Rove/Bush smear machine.
Perhaps smelling blood, or maybe just hedging their bets in case of a Democratic victory this fall, the press has been giving its attention to the deficit; intelligence failures; and corruption in the military/industrial complex.

Continue reading The Cost of Citizenship: Time

Friday Five

TGIF and a happy President’s Day weekend:
1. Are you superstitious?
Ayup, I own this one.
2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
Human sacrifice would be right up there.
3. Believer or not, what’s your favorite superstition?
Making a wish when a digital clock shows all the same numerals, like 11:11. Must be a modern superstition, huh?
4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
Sure do. I make a wish when I enter a new church, which happens oh, probably not often enough for someone who’s superstitious.
5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
Nope. From the small amount of training I have in Probability & Statistics, it doesn’t seem possible that 1/12 of the world would have the same events, concerns, shots at romance or the lottery on any given day.