Archive for December, 2007

It’s Getting Better All the Time

Monday, December 17th, 2007

I have begun scanning my father’s color slides so that they will be preserved in a digital format. Mom sent me the first of 35 boxes of slides. There were 134 slides in the projector carousel. Looking at these old pictures of interiors of our houses in Rantoul, IL or Fargo, ND, and our cars, and our shoes, and TV sets, I am struck by the fact that we, the middle class of the 1950’s lived like the poor of 21st century America live now, as far as the material world goes. Of course, being in the military, we had health insurance, but that was somewhat unusual. Insurance or not, we were vulnerable to polio and scarlet fever and other such since-conquered afflictions.

Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830 (via David Frum):“If we were to prophesy that in the year 1930 a population of fifty millions, better fed, clad, and lodged than the English of our time, will cover these islands, that Sussex and Huntingdonshire will be wealthier than the wealthiest parts of the West Riding of Yorkshire now are, that cultivation, rich as that of a flower-garden, will be carried up to the very tops of Ben Nevis and Helvellyn, that machines constructed on principles yet undiscovered will be in every house, that there will be no highways but railroads, no travelling but by steam, that our debt, vast as it seems to us, will appear to our great-grandchildren a trifling encumbrance, which might easily be paid off in a year or two, many people would think us insane. … We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. … On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us? “

Enough with the Iowa Caucus

Friday, December 7th, 2007

I think Romney is toast. I watched JFK give his speech and answer questions from the Christers last night on CSPAN. What a contrast. Kennedy was civil and gracious, but very clear and very tough, and not yielding an inch to the long-winded bigotry he faced in Houston. Romney, on the other hand, pandered. As a member of the Christian Right myself, I appreciate his obeisance of course, but as a patriotic devotee of the Constitution, I find him seriously wanting. Of course Huckabee is even more disgusting with his TV ads declaring himself to be a “Christian leader”. What if he were running against Lieberman?

The real problem is that 40% of the minuscule segment of the Iowa population that attends the Republican caucuses, are fundamentalist Christians. Nowhere near that percentage of the overall Iowa population are fundamentalists. It makes no sense whatsoever for this tiny skewed group to have such a major impact on Presidential elections. Maybe they won’t anymore.

I attended my local Democratic caucus in Iowa in 1980, the year Carter won. I voted for Fred Harris. I didn’t even know what Jimmy Carter looked like, but the place was packed with Carter supporters.

Romney: Freedom requires religion

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Posted by Andy

Freedom requires religion. Irreligious people are clearly indifferent to freedom, if not downright hostile. If I were you, I would make haste to join a church, synagogue or tabernacle of choice, at least before January 2009. A mosque might qualify, but I would not recommend it. A temple of Gaia doesn’t count.

I heard Jeff Greenfield tell Imus that some mainstream Christians think Mormons believe “strange things,’ like the Garden of Eden having been in Missouri. As opposed to sensible people who merely believe quite rationally that some four thousand years after the divine creation of heaven and earth a Jewish virgin was impregnated by a randy ghost, leading to the birth of a man-god who expired upleasantly but rose from the dead after three days and is still hanging around, though not ordinarily visible to the naked eye except sometimes on a muffin or hot water heater.