Friday, October 05, 2007

Fryday Miscellany

Today is Friday, 5 October 2007.

I’ve begun reading Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnick (2000), and in the first few pages encountered this beauty: “We love Paris not out of “nostalgia” but because we love the look of light on things, as opposed to the look of light from things, the world reduced to images radiating from screens”.

The Republican Party styles itself as the party of small government and lower taxes, yet some 70% of the U.S. national debt of $9.1 trillion was incurred under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Running deficits and thus running up the debt is, of course, a transparently-sly approach to raising taxes, merely displacing the necessity of increased taxation to a future day. (I’m reminded of J. Wellington Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons: "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today".)

It is with the rationalization of “fiscal responsibility” that W. Bush has vetoed an expansion of health care benefits to more American children. This from the fellow who has committed the American people to pay, over coming years, from $1-2 trillion for his failing conquest and annexation of Iraq. The man’s cruelty remains boundless.

At a Town Hall meeting in Pennsylvania on Wednesday past, Bush demonstrated that his fluency in the American language also remains boundless.

"You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket - in this case, a woman - more money in her pocket to expand a business, they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building, somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded, it prevented [sic] additional opportunities for people to work. Tax cuts matter.”

"My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions.”

"I delegate to good people. I always tell Condi Rice, `I want to remind you, Madam Secretary, who has the Ph.D. and who was the C student. And I want to remind you who the adviser is and who the president is.'”

"I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, `Mr. President, here's what's on my mind.' And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device [sic], I decide, you know, I say, `This is what we're going to do.' And it's `Yes, sir, Mr. President.' And then we get after it, implement policy."

"I'll be glad to answer some questions from you if you got any. If not, I can keep on blowing hot air until the time runs out."

Before the European invaders arrived, Manhattan was known as “Mannahatta”, or “land of many hills”. Read about an effort to re-construct what Mannahatta originally looked like, complete with computer-generated images, in The New Yorker:


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