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Showing posts from January 26, 2003
Government as God
Bill Clinton several times referred to a "new covenant" between the US government and the American people. You'll recall that the original covenant was that between God and Israel, followed, according to the Christian faith, by a new covenant between God and Christians, mediated by Christ.

Am I alone in being disturbed by such language and the implied equating of government with a god? What a monstrous ego it must take to liken oneself to Moses or Christ, and how different from the point of view of the Founding Fathers, who at least tried to carefully limit the powers of government!

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. —George Washington

Why bring this up when Clinton is, thank goodness, no longer President? Because George W. Bush, while not exalting himself as Clinton did, still uses religious imagery. "Power, power, wonder-working power" belongs in the old hymn t…
Assorted Despicable Things and People, Part Two
Dr. Laura
I actually listened to some of one of her shows (not voluntarily; I was traveling with a friend, and we were scanning the AM band for something to listen to). Callers to her show must either be desperate or masochistic, to put up with her rudeness and verbal abuse, and the fans must have a sadistic streak. Dr. Laura (whose doctorate is in physiology, having nothing to do with how she makes a living these days) is big on family...but a few weeks ago her mother's dead body was discovered in an apartment, apparently having been there unnoticed for months. Dr. Laura tells callers to stop sniveling and "face the day," but check out her behavior on a trip to Dallas to give a talk to the women's division of the Jewish Welfare Federation.
Same Song, Opposite Aisle
These days there are a number of web sites where people mostly post quotations from news articles and/or commentaries on said articles. (The sources of the news articles don't much appreciate the quotation; there's been at least one lawsuit over the matter.)

freerepublic.com is the right-wing flavor. There you'll find a lot of creationism threads--there are either a lot of creationists or a few really vocal ones at freerepublic.com. (OTOH, there are rational people there, too.) You'll find a lot of religious ranting and bashing of homosexuals, and people who dare point out that GWB is pushing big government despite the posturings of the Republican Party are flamed at great length. There's a libertarian contingent that regularly points out the idiocy of the Drug War, and is just as regularly flamed for their troubles, and simultaneously told that (1) they're too few in number to be significant and (2) they're helping the Democrats by…
Assorted Despicable Things and People, Part One
Microsoft
Once upon a time, only technical people knew the details of how Microsoft rose to power. Now, you have to have been comatose or living in the outback not to know. If you don't know, go read Wendy Goldman Rohm's The Microsoft File and you'll find out.
C++
The PL/I of the 90s; a bloated obscenity of poorly thought-out, ill-fitting features and kludged syntax that no one person can keep in his head. These days, people say that the day of programming languages that try to be all things to all men is gone, but nobody bothered to tell Bjarne Stroustrup.
The Clintons
The most loathsome, amoral, corrupt person to ever occupy the White House, and his equally vile and power-hungry wife. To quote Dick Morris, "It’s a good thing those two are sociopaths. Otherwise their consciences might bother them..." Time for a "reality show" parody, if that's not a redundancy.