Saturday, November 06, 2004

New (small) rant at 3rd WWWave

Click on the image "Replies to the News". Because, yeah, baby, I'm *angry*.

The 3rd WWWave.

Fascinating question

Fascinating question:

We are clearly in the middle of one of the great periods of Christian revival in American history, the third or fourth of the “Great Awakenings” in American Protestantism. Each such period has begun with a change in the nature of worship itself, essentially a private phase, and moved onto a public phase where it engaged with the political process. These have been significant moments of progress for this country. The Second Great Awakening led in its public phase to the Abolitionist movement. What some historians consider the Third Great Awakening beginning in the 1890s led to the Social Gospel movement, settlement houses, and the beginnings of the progressive era idea of a public responsibility to ameliorate poverty.
The right question, I think, is not whether religion has an undue influence, but why it is that the current flourishing of religious faith has, for the first time ever, virtually no element of social justice? Why is its public phase so exclusively focused on issues of private and personal behavior? Is this caused by trends in the nature of religious worship itself? Is it a displacement of economic or social pressures? Will that change? What are the factors that might cause it to change?

Matthew Yglesias offers an answer:

I think the answer is that it does have a strong element of social justice.

The fact that many of these social justice initiatives are ill-designed, and that they are tacked on to various more-or-less nutty proposals that strike Mark and I as unrelated to social justice is by no means unique. For a very long time in America, a great deal of fervor went into criminalizing the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This was believed by many at the time to be absolutely vital to the future moral integrity of the nation. The impulse in question was, meanwhile, by no means unrelated to some worthy impulses toward social reform, and to some totally unworthy impulses toward nativism and xenophobia. The religious impulse today is, of course, not precisely akin to the one that existed in previous times, but it is similar to past manifestations of the trend in that it mixes good ideas with bad approaches to worthy aims to dogmatic pursuit of certain goals that strike secular people as silly or malevolent.

Words to the wise, and the not so

"I, however, place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared."

Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer, July 21, 1816

One of many reasons, if you are registered Republican, to leave the party, and join the party of fiscal responsibility.

Analysts Call Outlook for Bush Plan Bleak. Too much deficit. Not enough revenue.

"It doesn't seem like we're going to see any tightness in U.S. budget policy anytime soon," said Rebecca Patterson, senior currency strategist at Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase.

Under Bush's plan for spending and taxes, the deficit would be $258 billion in 2009. If anything, that may understate the size of the deficit in coming years because it does not include any additional costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon is expected to seek an additional $70 billion early next year.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Those Three Little Words I Wasn't Longing To Hear

"even stronger mandate"

Kerry concedes election to Bush

The thought of this Administration with no checks on it makes my blood run cold. And that's what we're going to have. So, wave good-bye to your kids' education, wave good-bye to your overtime pay for overtime worked, wave good-bye to college loans and clean water and toxic waste cleanup, and say hello to Big Brother, Big Business and, let's face it, the draft.


The Dominionist States of America

This country is, or maybe 100 years from now they'll say "was", I don't know, the Great American Experiment. But whatever history says about us, and I mean the e pluribus unum us, the many who came together once into one, today, I say unto you, this experiment only ever works when we stand together.

Be afraid of those three little words, "even stronger mandate". But do not back down. The other three can be stronger.


Voter Suppression In Ohio, The Blog

Global monitors find faults

The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.

Yes! Everybody! Big round of applause for the "Help America Vote Act"! Ain't it grand?!

Foreign monitors barred from some US polling stations: OSCE observer

Their visit has raised the anger of conservative US commentators and politicians, angry that the US electoral process would be scrutinized like an election in Ukraine or Azerbaijan.

Hey, after 2000? Who could blame people for thinking we might have a titch more in common with Azerbaijan than we might like to, when it comes to electoral processes?

I prefer analogizing US to Afghanistan, myself. But what the hell, Bush can't spell either of them.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

One Excessively Warm Hat

Since I live in Boston, now, an excessively warm hat seemed appropriate.

Step 01: Purchase roving from 'unidentified sheep' somewhere in Montana. (Note, actual purchase made from owner of sheep.)
Step 02: Spin roving into medium-thick yarn of a natural white (rather a creamy shade).
Step 03: Spin other roving into slightly thicker yarn of a natural brown.
Step 04: Move to Boston.
Step 05: Begin law school.
Step 06: On a Friday, desperately need to be doing something other than studying for a couple hours. Cast on approx. 16 inches worth of stitches in the "natural white" and join on circular needles, while watching "Tomb Raider".
Step 07: Knit for 1.5-ish inches worth in 2x2 ribbing. (That's knit 2, purl 2 ribbing.)
Step 08: Switch to stockinette, and knit a simple diamond pattern in the brown on white, for a longer while than thought necessary.
Step 09: Frown at work thus far and speculate it is, in fact, too small for one's head. Plus, it's too long. Proceed undaunted.
Step 10: Switch to just the brown and begin knitting and decreasing for a couple rows.
Step 11: Switch to the white and knit/decrease a couple rows.
Step 12: Repeat for another set of brown and white rows, then, in white, start decreasing the hell out of everything until 12 or so stitches left, upon which point run yarn through remaining stitches and pull to tighten. (Switching to double-pointed needles will be required at some point.)
Step 13: Weave in ends, block, and be pleasantly surprised: hat may actually fit!