Archives February 2004

Indifferent creation, purposeful creation

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I was a good boy (in one respect) this week: I read the whole parsha, twice in Hebrew and once in translation. But I still can’t think of anything remotely profound to say about it. So I’m going to crib from one of my favorite comentators, Yeshayahu Leibowitz ztz”l. The following is excerpted from Accepting ...

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It takes one to know one

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Oliver Smoot, MIT class of 1962, who earned lasting fame as the unit of measurement for the Harvard Bridge, is the immediate past chairman of the American National Standards Institute, and now serves as president of the International Standardization Organization.

via anil dash

The ultimate insider-trading scandal

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

According to a recent study, the personal stock portfolios of United States senators outperformed the market by an average of 12 percent per year. (Republicans and Democrats performed equally well.) By comparison, senior executives outperform the market by 5 percent, and the average share-holding household underperforms the market by 1.44 percent.

I’m still having trouble deciding ...

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A free tip to writers of all political stripes

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

If you find yourself writing an article about certain Jews, and pat yourself on the back by writing “Anyone who does [what I’m doing] can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite,” you’re an anti-Semite. (Likewise for other kinds of bigotry, of course.) As the Talmud says, if one person calls you a ...

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One cheer for slavery

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

[Updated.]

Nobody seems to put in a good word for slavery these days. When the Confederate States of America was still a going concern, leaders on both the Union and Rebel sides acknowledged that preservation of slavery was the CSA’s raison d’etre; today, the South is full of nutbars (and I mean that in the ...

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Dubya’s Mardi Gras present to the gay community

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Excerpt from Bush’s speech today:

Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free ...

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Algebra, Al-Qaeda, what’s the difference?

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A few months ago, conservatives were lecturing us naughty left-wingers for our poor manners. It seems that liberals, by criticizing our Commander-in-Chief, are debasing public discourse in America, undermining the high standards set by Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter.

So I guess it’s our fault that the US Secretary of Education called the NEA a ...

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Database rock

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

So the other night, I was listening to one of our Schoolhouse Rock CDs, and was struck by some kind of infernal inspiration. Maybe if I publish this I can get it out of my head…

A Field is a Number, Time, or String

to the tune of “A Noun is a Person, Place, or ...

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You can run, but you can’t hide

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Here are some of the questions asked at yesterday’s White House press briefing. Try writing your own answers, and then follow the link to see if you can spin as well as Scott McClellan.

Scott, does the White House stand behind its report issued just nine days ago, the Economic Report, there will be 2 ...

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Here comes the Judge

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Ten Commandments begins: “I am the Eternal, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the domain of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). Some medieval commentators were bothered by this introduction. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for God to introduce Himself as the creator of the whole universe, instead?

No, it ...

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