Monday, November 28, 2005

A Ticket Out of the Torture Chamber

Have you heard about the scramble in New Jersey? The governor-elect Jon Corzine, until recently a Senator, will appoint his Senate successor, and the "elaborate suck-up" campaign among New Jersey's Congressional delegation, all but one of whom are angling for the spot, slammed instantly into high gear. Here's the Washington Post (registration probably required) take on it.

It's political comedy at its lowest, folks. From the Post article, on tensions between Corzine and one of the hopefuls:

There is a history of animus between Schumer and Corzine, dating to a speech Corzine delivered last year at the Washington Press Club. "Sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey," Corzine lamented. "Take a little bite out of it and he will throw his own feces at you."

Corzine, who said he meant this facetiously, would later apologize.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Religion, public life, and politics

Reading Jim Wallis' God's Politics: How the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It, I am inspired. Here--not in science classes, but here--is the place for religion in public life. Wallis shows how Christian theology can (and ruddy well should) inform the choices and actions of Americans. Remarkably pragmatic, given its subject matter, he cuts neither Democrats nor Republicans any slack, repeatedly invoking Jesus, the Old Testament, Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

His "God question": How are the kids doing? Meaning, for any given policy choice, how will children's lives be improved or worsened? He saves some of his bitterest condemnation for the fatcats in this country, pointing out that just four hundred taxpayers control some 99% of the wealth in the United States, but the Bush tax cuts benefited primarily those people and them alone.

He's not all that wild on the Iraq war, either. (This is Understatement As Humor).

Excellent read.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Whoa! The Point of Know Return is already here!

From CNN: "The University of Kansas faculty has had enough", says the Religious Studies department chair.

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Flock; Unmaintainable Code

Oddly enough, I found this cool Web 2.0 tool by Googling "web 2.0 backlash", and following up the link about the "I hate Flock" blog. Briefly, Flock is a browser that makes a two-way application out of the Web. It gives you one-touch RSS aggregation, bookmarks stored on the Web instead of on your hard drive, social tagging (I think--haven't tried that), and blogging, including a one-click "blog this" button. (currently at version 0.5)

The other prize for today came to me via my excellent friend Barry: How To Write Unmaintainable Code. It's by no means new, but it was new to me, and hilarious. Roedy Green excoriates piles of bone-headed practices that would be ludicrous if they weren't so common. I checked: None of my code in there.