The on-line semi-intellectual journal of an oddball generalist.

Posted By Confutus

I've been continuing progress on my historical bridge to current events. 2009 is well under construction, and I'm just about to finish its connections to religion. The fourth quarter of 2009 is now fully connected to all the nations I have listed,  I've been keeping up progress on November, the current month, and last month. for last month, October, I've been workking on analyzing events, and have all but the last ten days analyzed.  I've also been working back into the past, a little, into the third quarter analyzing events of September, August, and July, although there is still quite a bit to be done. 


The biggest events of the month in the United States have dealt with the results of the November 4 elections. I was watching the Congressional election in New York District 23, and was surprised to see the Republican candidate Dede Scozzofava first drop out of the race after dropping to third place in the polls, and then endorse the Democratic candidate.  There were many who considered her a RINO (Republican in Name Only) or even a DIABLO (Democrat in all but Label Only) who were unsurprised by this move. Not too surprisingly, she was requested and agreed to step down from the Republican leadership in the New York state assembly, after being assured of a cold reception by other Republicans.  The Democrats would welcome her votes if she were to switch parties, but  like Arlen Specter in the US House of Representatives, she might not trust her with leadership.


The 2000+ page proposed Health care bill squeaked through the House of Representatives, but still has to go through the Senate and would be subjected to the possibility of being amemded there, and then have to be reapproved by the House of Representatives. To prevent bills from bouncing back and forth in this fashion, when different versions of a bill are passed by each house of Congess, they are sent to a conference committee which hammers out the differences and sends one bill which is subject to a straight up-or-down vote in each house. Congressional rules normally require bills to be read aloud on the floor, unless there is unamimous consent to dispense with the reading. This is the normal procedure, but if even one congressman objects, the bill must be read aloud. All 2000+ pages of it.  In this case, with there so many concerns about whether the bill is even constitutional and whether the proposed reforms are affordable, it would be a good idea to slow the process down and have the various issues discussed.


The shooting at Ft. Hood also has some attention.  I haven't written much about Islam because I haven't studied it much. Most Muslins are peaceful, and many live exemplarly lives (especially in contrast to the moral sewer which Hollywood and television portray)  However, I'm prepared to believe that the shooter was a violent radical, after the kind of  the hijackers who perpetrated the destruction of the World Trade Center, and the kind who associate with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and who are marked by their willinginess to kill, commit atrocities, and be killed in struggle against the infidel., everyone who is not a muslim.There is, regrettably, some justification in the Koran for such interpretations.


I;ll discuss other world events in another post.


Posted By Confutus

On President Obama's speech to Congress on Health care, I didn't hear it. I skimmed the transcript afterward.  I'm not going to quote the whole thing, but as i read off the  list of promises, my thought was..Impossible. There's no way any government program is going to do all that. I think "Rainbow Stew" by Merle Haggard sums up my response.


The education speech was, as I suspected, pretty much innocuous. But the opposition to it is some measure of how little Obama is trusted.


There was some commentary that mentioned how difficult it is to actually "read the bill" when it comes to legislation. That's because legislation is full of professional legal jargon "legalese", that is virtually incomprehensible to the layman and requires a whole library for even the specialist to follow. It appears that the highly specialized and complex nature of Federal laws and regulations impose a huge, and largely unrecognized burden on society. I woulder if it would be a good idea to scrap the whole thing and start over.



Posted By Confutus

One of the latest ideas going around is the idea that

"No one should die because they cannot get access to health care, and

no one should go  broke because they get sick.  I've encountered this recently in a couple of different places. such as here and here.


Those sound like good ideas. However, I'm hesitant to endorse them, because there are a great many things that also should not be in our society: Such as, no one should be murdered, or assaulted, or robbed.  We live in a imperfect world.


What is often  further implied with these statements, is that the US Government should be committed to health-care or insurance reform. The unspken, tacit assumptions that often go along with these high-sounding principles have sometimes had highly undesirable consequences.  Even if I agreed with this idea, and I do, although tentatively, because I don't know how much emphasis this idea should be given compared to other shoulds and should nots in society,  I'm wary of the secondary assumptions.


Posted By Confutus

I found a discussion on the social science of Mormonism to be noteworthy.


I think I'm going to be referring to the irony of the Lendingtree commercial, which offers a loan as the solution to the problem of overwhelming debt, with some frequency.


I don't think I'm going to say anything about the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy for a little while. 


I had a fairly lengthy rant on my opinion to the health insurance proposal, but it disappeared into cyberspace.  It appears to be headed for defeat in Congress, and I hope the proposal fails, because I think it's bad public policy.


I noted with some interest an article which was discussed at  by Ed Morrissey at HotAir, which refers to an economist who blamed Hoover's deals with labor unions for the depth of the Great Depression.


I was also vastly amused by a quote attributed to David Brooks.


That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run.”…

Pant creases as a prognostication of the future? I suppose it's no worse than haruspicy or reading tea leaves, but it should probably be taken about as seriously.  




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