Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spin it like a record

While I was originally upset by this Gallup poll and its accompanying headline, "Four in 10 Americans Believe in Strict Creationism," another way to describe these data is that, since 2000, support for creationism has dropped 15% while support for 'secular evolution' has nearly doubled.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is Joe Biden dead?

I know that Biden hasn't been as high profile a VP as, say, Cheney.  But he has been non-existent during the past month.  You think he'd be useful for bucking up the Democratic base.

Like the San Andreas fault, I think the longer we don't hear from him, the more likely, the next time we do, it will be eventful.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


UNH overcame a sloppy second quarter to pound down B-CU in their first game of the I-AA playoffs.  I was able to watch on NCAA.com, and it was so pleasant to have just one announcer.  There was no annoying banter, no going on and on about the same point, no disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing.  He called the game.  He told me what was going on that I couldn't see on my screen.  Contrast that to Monday Night Football, or that Fox team that inexplicably allows Tony Siragusa to talk whenever he wants...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Calvin & Hobbes

One of my favorite gags in the old Calvin and Hobbes strips was when Calvin would ask his dad a question, and if the dad didn't know the answer to it, he'd just make something up.  I need to get better at that, because the wife just asked me why the Borders bookstore located in Chestnut Hill is having a blow-out, going out of business sale -- why not just ship the books to another Borders that isn't going out of business and sell them at full price?

Is it too costly to ship them?  Is storage space the issue? 

Hard not to be depressed

about where this country is headed.  We're currently having two debates in Washington about how horrible our deficit is, and thus we need to tighten our belt by doing things like ending unemployment extensions, but we're also deciding that tax cuts, which are completely not paid for and ballooning the deficit, well, those need to be extended.  The party on the ascendancy is riddled by insane ideas -- that we can fight wars forever and have a gigantic defense budget with no apparent consequences; that gay people shouldn't even be allowed to serve in the armed forces, unless they choose to live a lie; that, apparently, scientists around the globe are either involved in some vast conspiracy or are just incredibly stupid, because the idea that releasing tons of CO2 into the air might have consequences is ridiculous; that there are large swathes of people living in this country who, because of the language they speak, the religion they practice, or the city they live in, are not "real" Americans.  It is depressing.

It is depressing that there is 10% unemployment but Wall Street continues to hum along, with finance taking up as big a (completely non-productive) role in the economy as ever, that our best students are choosing jobs playing poker with other people's money rather than working to improve anyone's lives but their own.  It is depressing that the middle class in this country continues to shrink as we start to look more like a banana republic in our income distribution.  It is depressing that the unemployment rate for black men is 16.3% and white men 8.9%.  It is depressing that the only countries that execute more people than the US are China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, while Pakistan and Yemen nip at our heels for 4th place.  It is depressing that we are but two years removed from electing someone who saw these things, was depressed by them too, but was unable to do anything about it.