Archives for December 2004

Happy New Year and Good Shabbos

Just in case I run out of time to say it later, here is a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you.

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O’Reilly’s Smoke Machine is Still Churning

Today DovBear engaged in his own Fisking of Bill O’Reilly’s current column called “War Party.” Dated December 30th it is clear that old Bill was short on substance and long on straw men arguments. I already dinged him in this post and in this post.

We covered many if not all of the issues Bill writes about in the existing column, I agree with him on a few points regarding Iraq and the problems with UN. But beyond that Billy Boy and I just don’t see eye to eye on the culture war he writes about.

Specifically we spelled out how Tocqueville’s position on the Tyranny of the Majority which Bill apparently has never read. And we discussed the real questions and concerns people have about public displays of religion.

I timed myself and it has taken me about 7 minutes to type this out and I haven’t bothered to try and edit it. In short I suspect that with this incredible ability and a desire to shout over those who disagree with me I could be a second rate talk show host because surely Bill didn’t spend any longer than I have writing his column.

And I am certainly willing to bet that he didn’t try and do it while assembling a lego village with one hand and entertaining an infant with the other. And in case you are wondering, I do have more than 2 hands, but that is a post for a later date.

Christian Science Monitor Divestment Poll

Folks it is another one of those ever so scientific polls regarding divestment from Israel as a tool to try and affect political change. In a separate post I may discuss the reasons why this is a bad idea, but I don’t have time to do so now.

In the meantime I encourage you to vote no.

On the Outside Looking In

It is a good description of how I have spent large portions of my life. I have always felt like I am a little bit different from other people. I think very quickly and make a lot of comments about things, comments that I think are funny. Yet, moments after I express myself an awkward silence descends over the room accompanied by strained smiles.

Most of the time it doesnt bother me, I kind of enjoy being out in left field. I wear it like a badge of courage. When I play Hearts I shoot for the moon. I gamble and just kind of do my own thing.

I would be less than honest if I said that sometimes it can be a drag. Sometimes I grow tired of standing at the doorway looking at a party that I was not invited to. Nonetheless this feeling does not persist and I always shake it off. I enjoy being by myself, I am comfortable with it.

However it occurs to me that not everyone can do this and that some people need to be part of the group and their alienation is what sets them off on self-destructive paths. I do feel badly about this and wonder if there is anything I can do to help smooth the road for them. From time to time I have tried to help them see. I have tried to help them see the social cues that they miss so that they can be a part of the group. I have tried to help them understand when people are laughing at them versus laughing with them.

The problem is that to do this you have to be aware these things in relation to yourself and sometimes I feel like I am missing the clues too. It is a little frustrating for me because I usually feel like I have a good feeling for judging people’s character, but maybe I don’t.

On the other hand I have heard people say countless times that they are an excellent judge of character only to see them totally misunderstand who a person is.

So the lesson that I learned here is that I am like everyone else, I am human.

Today’s Quotes

“Never go against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line”

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

“I do have a test today, that wasn’t bullsh**. It’s on European Socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So, who gives a crap if they’re Socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”