Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prescribing Freedom

McArdle weighs in on the health care "conscience laws" debate:
I think pharmacists have a perfect right of conscience to refuse to dispense birth control, but the pharmacy has a perfect right of conscience to fire him for not doing his job. What's next? A first amendment right for Christian scientists to become surgeons without performing procedures? A legal obligation for doctors to preside over executions?
In my opinion, we need to jettison
lots of laws we've made about medicine.


Usually when I see 'abduction' I visualize extraterrestrial kidnappings. Then I imagine squeezing my legs together.

Last but not least, I think about epistemology:
Abduction, or inference to the best explanation, is a method of reasoning in which one chooses the hypothesis that would, if true, best explain the relevant evidence. Abductive reasoning starts from a set of accepted facts and infers their most likely, or best, explanations.
I do have a question. Isn't this usually considered as one of the steps of induction?

Not that I object to analyzing it as a separate step! But couldn't they have made up a new word to avoid confusion?

Philosophers love to distinguish
each little step
and they steal from normal English
with frightening pep.

Scribbling As Memory Aid

I often doodle while listening to lectures. 

My wife has taken this to mean that I am not paying attention. But now I am vindicated:
Researchers in the United Kingdom found that test subjects who doodled while listening to a recorded message had a 29 percent better recall of the message's details than those who didn't doodle.
Now we need a follow-up study, on people who write verse while listening to lectures.

If doodling's
a good thing,
can verse
be worse?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Eight Arms, No Spine

They had more water than usual at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, due to a bit of octopus sabotage:
The female California two-spotted octopus swam to the top of her tank, disassembled a valve with her powerful arm, and released at least 200 gallons (757 liters) of seawater into nearby exhibits and offices.
Scientists don't know what to make of it.
Such high jinks are typical of the invertebrates' still unexplained smarts, experts say.
I fear they're underrated
because we're not closely related.

The Great and Powerful

Here the stands the Tin Man, in need of oil and a heart. 

Behind him you can glimpse the yellow brick road.

Tonight's live theater adventure was a production of The Wizard of Oz, as performed by elementary and preschool children.

Beware the words of the wizard -
booming but thin.

Your brains, your heart, your courage,
wait within.

Chicago Tea Party

I was on my way to a meeting for work, but I did see people starting to gather at Daley Plaza for the Chicago Tea Party. 

Here's a news report and a bunch of photos. A couple of the photos feature home-made signs which refer to a certain titan shrugging off his burdens. Some of the signs are rather rude. One cute photo shows a lady wearing teabags for earrings. 

But apparently nothing was tossed in the Chicago River, even though they marched across it.

Besides, what would they toss?

Please don't offer copies of the stimulus bill as a solution.
Tossing those into the river would be pollution.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Atlas Selling Like Hot Cakes

I wonder why sales of Atlas Shrugged are way up?

The Economist reports:
On January 13th the book’s ranking was 33, briefly besting President Barack Obama’s popular tome, “The Audacity of Hope”.
The story's energetic
and eerily prophetic.

The Fountainhead Through A Glass, Darkly

Courtesy of Stephen Hicks, here's a peculiar essay on The Fountainhead. I've been trying to make sense of it. 

There's this:
In spite of being in love with Howard Roark, Dominique Francon marries first B. Peter Keating and then C. Gail Wynand.
Did the essayist imagine that Gail and Peter are middle names? I think this was meant:
In spite of being in love with A) Howard Roark, Dominique Francon marries first B) Peter Keating and then C) Gail Wynand.
Then there's this, also about Dominique:
Karen Horney says,

By various experiences with men, she strives to humiliate herself in order to experience some of the pain she believes Roark is feeling. Sex for her is a degrading experience, a subduing one because carried on with inferior men. . . . The obtaining of satisfaction by submersion in misery is an expression of the general principle of finding satisfaction by losing the self in something greater, by dissolving the individuality, by getting rid of the self with its doubts, conflicts, pains, limitations, and isolation. (Horney Karen, Qtd. in Deane, Paul, "Ayn Rand's Neurotic Personalities of Our Times." Revue des langues, vivantes, Vol. XXXVI, No. 2, 1970, pp. 125-99)
The first funny here is "Horney Karen". But the essayist clearly means "Horney, Karen". 

What's more, that quote is improperly sourced somehow. The article by Paul Deane is real, but he was the one discussing Rand, based on Horney's theories.

Finally, there's this closing sentence:
Rand is offering her view of an altruistic utopian society, a society that is best for all, not the few.
An altruistic utopian society,
of a Randian variety?
I question the writer's sobriety!

(Or can it be agreed
he simply failed to read
Roark's lengthy courtroom creed?)


I see we're going to have a discussion Saturday at my house about how to keep your emotions from hijacking your brain and disrupting your ability to stay objective.

If a wild flood
of feeling
has you reeling
and you think you're losing your grip...

is there a way to nip
it in the bud?

I'm not sure
that there's a universal cure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tao of Dow

ABC News:
President Obama spoke twice in the last 24 hours about the country's economy, and a jittery Wall Street responded both times with sharp downturns.
Leaders pluck and play
the strings of the state,

the money hurries away,
unwilling to wait

to see if they get in tune
sometime soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quee Nelson Looks at the Matrix

Last night I had a fun conversation with Quee Nelson, author of The Slightest Philosophy.  She was worried I was missing the boat on one aspect of her theory.

When considering the brain-in-the-vat problem, she wouldn't say there is "no evidence" for the thesis, since the typical vat-hypothesist does offer some kind of argument.

For instance, in The Matrix, there's specific evidence offered - we are told that déjà vuis a glitch in the matrix program. (And then, if you want a boatload of evidence, there's The Red Pill.)

So she would rather say the brain-in-the-vat hypothesis is not the best fit for the evidence we have.

Perhaps we disagree a bit on this!

I'd say the evidence is thin
for those vats we're allegedly in,
so thin I think it's fair
to say it's barely there.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dogging the Slumdog

We watched some of the Oscars last night - DVRing through the highlights. We're visiting with good friends from India, and they were very happy with all the wins for Slumdog. I haven't seen it yet, but they told me it was being dismissed as "poverty porn" by some critics.

I must admit, I had no idea.

Today another friend posted about the ridiculousness of rejecting works like Slumdog merely because they are set among the poor. 

I had missed this critical trend altogether.

I knew that lots of serious lit today
is written by profs about life in college towns, 
but I hadn't known that tours among the poor 
had taken a turn toward the big thumbs down.

Reframe the Game

In case you were concerned about government taking over private businesses:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he supports efforts of the federal government to dramatically expand its stake in Citigroup, but wants people to back off from the dramatic rhetoric. 

“It’s not nationalization, it’s protecting the taxpayers’ interests,” Reid (D-Nev.) told MSNBC’s Morning Joe program on Monday.
Don't worry - we're not nationalizing.
Just listen to our rationalizing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gloom, Doom, Bye Bye Boom

MSNBC headline:
Gloom persists despite audacious plans 
Stimulus spending rivals the New Deal, but the bad news keeps coming
This shouldn't be surprising. The New Deal worked out the same way. FDR spent and spent and the Depression lingered and lingered. But his popularity remained high. He gave great speeches.

To paraphrase:

History doesn't repeat itself every time,
but it has a scary tendency to rhyme.

Trouble In The Family Tree

Remember Travis, the berserker chimp who had to be gunned down? 

Well, the NY Daily News reports that his mother met a similar fate:
Travis' mom, Suzy, was gunned down in 2001 by a teenager after she and two other primates escaped their Missouri ranch and wreaked havoc, sources and experts told The News.
I don't know whether the mom 
or the son was scarier...
but I sure hope they have no kin 
residing in my area.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

Out the plane window, under the wing:

A river makes
its way like a snake.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marauding Ape

You may not have followed the story about the pet chimp in Connecticut who mauled a woman.

The chimp got outdoors and wouldn't come in. The owner, a woman, called a friend, another woman, for assistance.

The chimp attacked the friend horribly. Her nose and eyes are gone.  Last I heard, she was still in critical condition.

The owner then stabbed the chimp with a knife.

The chimp then cornered a cop, who shot it. The chimp wandered off and died.

The owner is mourning the chimp:
He was my life. I raised him from 3-and-a-half weeks old... He slept with me every night, he combed my hair. Everything in the house is for him....
Chimpanzees are awful cute.

But when you've got one in hot pursuit
of you and yours -  it's time to shoot.

Lydia Diamond's "Stick Fly"

I just read Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond, a play about an elite African American family getting together at their summer home in Martha's Vineyard. She has an exquisite ear for dialogue. These lines are from a scene where they're talking about a young man's new girlfriend, who has not yet arrived:
Kent: Yeah, Flip's girl is a little melanin challenged.

Cheryl: Melanin challenged? ... [just getting it]  Oh, she white?

Kent and Flip: She's Italian.
The joke is that is that the olive-skinned are seen
as somehow in-between,
not black, but a bit off-white.

And the young men hope that will make it all right
with their mother
who will be upset if the girl is too... other. 

Blenderman Gets The Laughs

The Alleged Adventures of Blenderman
had its first Chicago performance tonight, and the audience loved it. It was put on by the talented ensemble of Hobo Junction.

It was billed as a reading, but it was acted out, costumed, and - most importantly - sung.

Even when it's 10 minutes long,
you can't have a musical without song!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulating Protest

There were protests in Denver today, where Obama ("I will go through the budget line by line") was signing the big bill.

I need a fork.
I smell pork.

Dead Man's Cell Phone

I read Sara Ruhl's play, Dead Man's Cell Phone, today. It's about a woman who picks up a dead man's cell phone and starts taking the guy's calls. It's very clever, and sometimes surreal. The heroine is pursuing connection.

I liked the title, and it's making me wonder if I should change the name of my play to Home From Mexico, or maybe Home From Mexican Jail, especially since imdb indicates the existence of a 2009 film named Ready Or Not although it's not clear to me whether that film is really coming out... or not. Probably I'm pointlessly second-guessing my title.

She picks up a dead man's phone,
and finds herself less alone.


Nuclear subs - armed with nuclear weapons - collide!

It's a big ocean. How did this happen? Don't they have sonar on those things?

Of course, a few days ago, we had: satellites in orbit - collide!

Isn't orbital space bigger than the ocean? What is going on?

I'm keeping my eye on the moon.
I hope it doesn't drop on us soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Looking Up On 34th Street

There's a passage in She And I: A Fugue where the author describes standing on the sidewalk, looking up at Ayn Rand's window on 34th Street in Manhattan:
The doorman came out, asked if he could help - I asked, as if the most natural thing, if I was pointing to Mr O’Connor’s. He moved my finger a little. I walked across 34th to the bus kiosk, near Lexington, leaned against it.
I had stood in he same spot, for similar reasons, more than once. But I had been there a few years earlier.

Her writing inspired
a desire to see
the everyday life behind
her mind's giant leaps.

Neanderthal Park

A New York Times columnist is calling for a rebirth of Neanderthals:
Granted, it would be disorienting and lonely for the first few Neanderthals, but it would be pretty interesting for them as well as us. (What would a Neanderthal make of Disneyland, or of World of Warcraft?)
There's a Harvard researcher who says he can do it for just 30 million.

Bio-ethicists will be furious,
but aren't you a little curious?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The breaking news:
The plane that crashed into a house near Buffalo, killing 50 people, was on autopilot when it went down, a violation of airline policy, a federal aviation official said Sunday.
There's a bit of semantics involved in this, strangely enough:
Steve Chealander of the National Transportation Safety Board said Colgan Air recommends pilots fly manually in icy conditions. Pilots are required to do so in severe ice.

The pilot of the doomed plane reported "significant" ice on his wings and windshield just before crashing Thursday night.
So was he merely going counter to a "recommendation"? Or was he actually violating a "requirement"? 

He described "significant" ice, which doesn't quite sound as bad as "severe" ice.

But I guess, in fact, it was severe,
which is why all those people are no longer here.

Memory Trouble

That was fast:
State lawmakers are calling for a criminal investigation into whether U.S. Sen. Roland Burris committed perjury...
Why, you ask?
The development comes after the Chicago Democrat failed to initially disclose under oath to a House panel that he was hit up for campaign cash by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother.
The good news is that he still says he didn't pay for the appointment to the Senate.
Burris' statement offers the third version of events he has given about his discussions concerning the Senate seat...
So, why change stories now? 

Did he just recall that the gov's bro 
asked for dough?

Or... and this is sheer speculation...
did he get wind that the Feds had already heard about that conversation?

The affidavit, released Saturday by Burris' office after it was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, said Robert Blagojevich called him three times — once in October and twice after the November election — to seek his fundraising assistance.

Robert Blagojevich's attorney has said his client believes one of the conversations was recorded by the FBI.

"Common Sense" by Merlin Jetton

Merlin Jetton has an article at Rebirth of Reason on what Aristotle meant by "common sense" - which isn't what we usually mean by the term.

Nowadays common sense means something like - what normal people would agree on.

But for Aristotle, it had to do with integrated sensory processing. When we open a door, we typically feel, see, and hear the door. We naturally perceive all this info as coming from one source - even though it came from separate perceptual inputs. As Merlin writes:
Per Aristotle the senses are not integrated at the same level as thinking, but by what he calls the 'common sense'. He wrote very little about it, but held such integration to be perceptual. It could thus be attributed to nonhuman animals.
Merlin goes on to note that Ayn Rand's views are similar to Aristotle's:
"A percept is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism. It is in the form of percepts that man grasps the evidence of his senses and apprehends reality" (ITOE2, p. 5). That is about all -- various sensory data is automatically integrated into percepts. Her published works barely reach beyond that.
As Merlin writes, this level of cognition is shared by us with many animals. I think it's a hard level of cogniton to understand, because it all happens automatically, and you "just know" that the door is heavy and gray and squeaky. But with contemporary scientific tools, cognitive science is making a lot of progress on this stuff.

Wouldn't it be a chore
if you had to think about whether the door
was really the source of what you saw
and also what you felt with your paw?

"Not The Matrix, Pal" by Anja Hartleb-Parson

Anja Hartleb-Parson has a perceptive (and NOW online) review of Quee Nelson's The Slightest Philosophy in The New Individualist (Spring 2009). (My own review is here.)

Hartleb-Parson likes the book a lot:
Nelson has written one of the most entertaining and lucidly written epistemology books I have read in recent years.
But she is careful to let us know that Nelson's defense of naive realism is not the Objectivist approach:
Objectivism does not pose realism as the best explanation; rather, it recognizes existence as an axiom.
Which brings me to the infamous question - how do you know you're not in a cybernetic vat - being fed false sense impressons  - like in the Matrix?

Is the answer that "existence exists" or is the answer that "there's no evidence for that"?

I think that, at least technically, the vat scenario does not violate the "existence exists" axiom. In the world of the Matrix, existence is real, it's just not what most people think it is.

Some theories "explain a lot"
even though the balance of the evidence indicates that the theory is not
so hot.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Among The Petal Peddlers

I was in a flower shop yesterday evening, and the workers told me they hadn't been outside all day because they were insanely busy.

I said, "I hear that Mother's Day is even worse."

"Different crowd!" came the reply.

I gave the shop a quiet scan.
Every customer was a man.

Connotation Speculation

"Fairness" has an air
of everyone must share.

"Justice" carries a thrust
of earn it or go bust.

More Than Mindless Machines

Scientific researchers have been shocked to learn how smart animals are:
Speaking of crow intelligence, Alex Kacelnik, a professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Oxford in England, noted the "master tool user of the avian world," the New Caledonian crow.

These birds have been shown to not just use tools, but to make their own by twisting and bending pieces of wire to fish food from places they couldn't reach otherwise.
That belief that animals were mindless machines was an intellectual theory, descended from Descartes. Everyday people had always inclined to the opinion that animals possessed some form of awareness.

I'm not saying that Aristotle understood animals perfectly. But he understood them better than Descartes did.

Birds have no words,
but it's plain they have brains.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fairness Revisited

They call it the Fairness Doctrine - 
but it wasn't on the square.

State control of indoctrination 
is always unfair.

Culture Clash

Many are suffering V-day anxiety this very minute, but consider the situation in India:
Young secular Indians are organising their own vigilante groups - some armed with Taekwondo moves, others with pepper spray - to protect unmarried couples from Hindu radicals looking to disrupt Valentine's Day celebrations.
Valentine's Day -
when you may need to say:

"I'll spray your face
with pepper and Mace
and kick your butts,
you religious nuts!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Atlas Movie Trailer

My wife found this Atlas Shrugged Movie Trailer on youtube.

It's not the real producers. It's animated, but not anime.

Actually, does anyone know the name of this animation style? I know it's used in computer games. Is it so-called 3-D?

An animated version
would be a pleasant excursion.

Clock Watching

Isn't this a lovely clock?

I borrowed it from here, The Happiness Project, where Gretchen Rubin documents her attempt to test-drive "every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study I could find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah."

Which way do you see the spiral go -
an inward or outward flow?

Irreconcilable Conflicts

Judd Gregg, Obama's choice for Secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his nomination.
"I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me," Gregg said in the statement.
Gregg was an unusual choice to start with, since he was a sitting Republican senator. But he did accept the job offer. So what is this withdrawal about?

I imagine by now Obama is sick
of making cabinet picks.

Well, we need to be understanding.
Being prez is demanding!

The withdrawal appeared to take the White House by surprise, with members of the president’s media operation learning of Gregg’s decision from reporters.
If I was the president's media operation, I'd be feeling grouchy.

Paper or Plastic?

Congressman Paul Kajorski, who sits on the House Banking Committee, boils it down:
This happens because capitalism keeps trying to destroy itself, by getting out of the bag we put it in to control it.
He sees it as a violent idiot child
which must be caged
to control its rage.

Don't let that thing run wild!

Yes, strangely enough, free markets are made
simply by letting people trade.

Let's Get Scientific

Billions and trillions (which is which?)
float through our legislation. 

The good news is we must be rich
to afford such allocations.

But I do believe it's time to switch
to exponential notation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Humanitarian Samaritan

I love the start of this story:
A Good Samaritan beat a man over the head with a shovel this morning...
So you wonder what a Bad Samaritan would be like, but then you read on:
after witnessing the man stab a woman during a domestic-related attack on a North Side street, police said.
Goodness travels on diverse tracks.
Sometimes it requires delivering whacks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That's Old North Church, in the North End of Boston, a few blocks from my son's apartment. As Wikipedia dryly sums it up:
On April 18, 1775, probably a little after 10 P.M., the 191 ft (58 m) steeple of the Church served a military purpose. Paul Revere told three Boston Patriots to hang two lanterns in the steeple... The lanterns were displayed to send a warning to Charlestown Patriots across the Charles River about the movements of the British Army... The signal only lasted for a few brief moments to avoid catching the eyes of the British troops occupying Boston, but this was long enough for the message to be received in Charlestown. They had kept someone looking at the steeple all night.
Or, as Longfellow had it:
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
The tower still stands tall,
and I think the need remains,
when liberty's under assault,
to take a horse by the reins,
and ride with a cry far and wide.

Picture Worth 3 Trillion Words

Actual Newsweek cover:

Who is this we?
Don't include me!

My proposed revision:

Another Day, Another Dollar Gone Poof

We have a guy fiddling with the banking system.
He's supposed to be smart, but where is the wisdom?

He makes it clear that we need to act now,
but most people think that he doesn't know how...

what a surprise - down goes the Dow!

UPDATE: must-see chart from W.C. Varones - scroll down just a little.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I had a great long weekend in Boston. But I was sort of out of touch from news and the net. I hope nothing happened in the last 3 days.

I've been reading The Analects ("sayings") of Confucius.  "Confucius," by the way, is a latinized version of Kǒng Fūzǐ, or Master Kong.

This is my favorite from today's reading:

"If a man takes no thought for what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand."

Ignore what is afar
and you'll find the things you fear 

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Icy Urban Contrast

In Chicago, it's an occasion for panic, but...

In Boston, people are fond
of walking on frozen rivers and ponds. 

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stimulus and Response

The Chi-Trib is reporting that the Senators stayed up late and agreed on a Stimulus bill, which sounds slightly less expensive than the House version.

I can't say this news excites me. At least not in a positive way.

Perhaps being stimulated
is overrated.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

While You Were Sleeping

How would you like to have "Dominique" carved into your upper arm?

It happened to Wayne Robinson when his one-night bedmate, Dominique Fisher, performed some impromptu body modification on him

And he slept through it, due to a Valium / vodka combo:
When I woke I was covered in blood. Dominique was snoring. I just had to get out of there. I didn't even wake her to ask what she'd done.
If your flame
perversely seeks
to carve her name
in your physique,
it really would be better
if her name had fewer letters
than Dominique.

Penthouse Legend

That's a picture of Ivar Kreugar's penthouse on Park Avenue - up on top there somewhere. (From this book.)

Penthouse Legend, a play by Ayn Rand, borrowed from the circumstances of Kreugar's rise and fall.  He was a financial wizard who seemed to be on top of the world - until his fraudulent house of cards collapsed. The play is better known as Night of January 16th.

The lead role in the play is Karen Andre, personal secretary to the financial wizard.

In real life, Karen Bokman was Kruegar's personal secretary. She was reportedly the last person to see him alive.

For those who have seen the play, here's an interesting quote from this book:
There was so much talk about the case, including some really wild rumors that the corpse had been a fake and that Kreuger had escaped and was living in faraway seclusion...
He had been so fiendishly clever
in his fraudulent endeavors -

No wonder people suspected
he had skipped away undetected.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hope and Copyright Infringement

Exhibit A is an AP photo. Exhibit B is a poster. 

The artist admits he based the poster on the photo.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, does this represent copyright infringement? 

AP says it does, and they want some money from the poster sales!

Be wary of a legal scrimmage
when you borrow an AP image.

Usually they won't notice, but -
if you make money they want a cut!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Daily Doll Data

Officially the Malia and Sasha dolls have been retired. Talk about retiring young!

However, the company is now marketing Mariah and Sydney dolls that look just like the OLD Malia and Sasha dolls.

After all, the toys weren't really the problem. It was what they were called!

Unhitched from the names
that brought them fame,
they may not sell
so well.

Even though... they're still the same.

Admirable Active Voice Admission

Fairly forthright:
“I screwed up.” 

“Today was an embarrassment for us,” Obama said.

It's good to admit that your judgment strayed, 
rather than saying "mistakes were made."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hard to Figure

We've got a credit crunch, and we need the banks to make more loans, but we ALSO need the banks to increase their capital... right? Anyone see a problem there? Well, the banks do:
Banks say they are caught in a frustrating Catch-22: How can they make more loans when creditworthy borrowers are scarce, their balance sheets are saddled with bad debt and regulators are hounding them to horde cash?
But the regulators shout:
You'll figure something out!


Marsha reflects on an epistemological component of the emotionalism that many have noted in politics lately:
Philosophers from Kant to Marcuse and later spent years gutting reason of its power to arrive at objective judgments, and promulgating this view through the Academy. Without this ability, what individual can stand, with certainty, against the crowd? What's left but emotionally based alliances?
Without solid land
on which to stand
windswept feelings
can leave you reeling.

Doll Controversy

Lawmakers and lawyers are upset that images of the Obama family are being sold commercially.

So get your Malia and Sasha dolls now, before the company gets harassed into not making them anymore! Mrs. Obama does not like these dolls.

But attempts at suppression will probably fail legally, and the controversy will probably gather attention for the product. As one commentary declares:
The bigger the brew ha-ha the more the dolls will be worth in the long run.
I agree with the opinion but I like the new spelling of "brew ha-ha". This spelling has a pleasant suggestion of laughing about something over a few beers. 

Where does "brouhaha" come from anyway? Once scholar suggested:
that the word was based on the Hebrew greeting barukh habba, an equivalent of 'welcome' meaning “blessed be the one who comes”.
And here's a funny coincidence: the Hebrew "barukh" is the same word as "Barack" - they're from the same semitic root, meaning "blessed." Which Obama explains on a youtube video here.

May all of you be blessed
and unsuppressed.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Even If The Bears Didn't Make It

It's great to have a Chicago team in the Superbowl.

They left for St. Louis when I was 7. Then they bolted to Arizona in '88.

Come on Cards,
take some yards!


They showed good stuff.
Just not quite enough.

At The Alfalfa Dinner

President Obama spoke at an exclusive party the other night:
I am seriously glad to be here tonight at the annual Alfalfa dinner. I know that many you are aware that this dinner began almost one hundred years ago as a way to celebrate the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. If he were here with us tonight, the General would be 202 years old. And very confused.
I don't think he would be confused, exactly, at having a President with acknowledged African ancestry. Unhappy, perhaps. 

But he knew he lost that war,
and had to know the future held in store
things never seen before.