Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Truism

Just came up with a truism:

"Superstition is like a loaded rifle that we can't set down and ought to be treated as such: in other words, keep it pointed at the sky and keep your feet on the ground."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blatherings on Palin and Damon

Like I said earlier, I was concerned about Sarah Palin, but excited that other conservatives were excited about her. Her interview with Chris Gibson has not alleviated my concern in the least, and, while I think that her selection was a brave and smart move on McCain's part, I am not positive that it will prove a profitable one.

But, for the moment, here are some other thoughts:

I think that Matt Damon plagiarized Maureen Dowd in his embarrassing interview about how he "really needs to know" if Sarah Palin thinks that the dinosaurs were here 6000 years ago. He began by saying something to this effect: "It's like a bad Disney movie . . . she's gonna face down Putin and all that in her folksy way . . ." Maureen Dowd had written approximately the same ideas in the same order a week or two before. (Check out her Sunday column around that time.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Case of Rangel

I am not going to say that Charles Rangel should go to prison. I do not actually know the motives for why he failed to pay taxes on his Dominican properties for more than two decades. Maybe he did actually not understand the tax forms. But, at the very least, this incident should make him, as chairman of the Ways and Means committee, rethink the bureaucracy that underlies taxes. It's time for something that's either simpler (flat tax) or more ethical (consumption tax). I would prefer the latter myself, but I would also take the former if it were offered. It would be much better, I think, then having to pay those Social Security taxes. Here's hoping that this incident will cause Charles Rangel to rethink the bureaucracy. (I wouldn't count on it.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Lecture

Gave my first lecture in 8th grade history today. Talked about ancient Egypt and touched a bit on Hammurabi. My task for this year is to get all of the way from Egypt to Iraq (that is, post-U.S. invasion Iraq) and the U.S. Presidential elections, 2008. It's going to be an interesting year.