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Showing posts from September, 2012

All of Mitt, why not take all of Mitt?

Mitt Romney's convention started late, became best known for Clint Eastwood supposedly yelling at a chair, and helped the former governor a point or two in polls for less than a week.  Then the Democratic National Convention happened, and nothing has gone right for the Republican candidate for POTUS since.  It's been a bad few weeks, so the Romney campaign has decided to rethink their approach.  What they want to do now has been whittled down to two words, "More Mitt". 

However, people who have gotten to know the politician (as such) have historically come to think less of him over time.  Every opponent in each race he has run has come to disdain him. His statewide approval ratings by the end of his one term running Massachusetts were enough to convince him, and every other politico in the state, he had no shot at a second sitting.  His personal popularity within his party during the recent presidential primaries also dipped as time went on.

It doesn't look like…

"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates,

"who said, 'I drank what?'"

I have come across claims before that all-natural products, at worst, cannot be bad for you. My favourite version of this was on an infomercial, where the host prefaced his pitch for some dietary supplement with the disclaimer, "Now I'm no doctor, but...". At least he was honest about that much.

Recently, I've been seeing articles pushing respberry ketones (complete with clickable ads for the stuff) written or backed by popular doctors, like the man behind the curtain, Dr. Oz. Should it surprise anyone that their argument for the absolute harmlessness of something for which they have conducted no serious human trials or long term studies might as easily justify drinking cyanide or hemlock?

Every version of the Hippocratic Oath I have read, one of which most doctors and med schools will at least pay lip service to, says something like, "Do no harm." But what about when you have no idea whether or not your advi…

"They hate our freedom"

I'm a little surprised I haven't seen this old canard trotted out to explain the sometimes violent protests in the Middle East aimed at the United States because of a film (made by Egyptians in the US) which virtually no one stateside saw or cared for.  The outrage halfway across the world certainly shows a lack of understanding of western culture and a general distrust of it--a distrust which, let's face it, is both understandable and historically justified, particularly in the case where a western government might be involved.

Perhaps more importantly, we are seeing the results of a nascent republicanism amongst a poor, underemployed populations who have been and have felt put upon by their governments and the world.  These events and circumstances are obviously beyond our ability to control, but I wonder if we could not influence them in a finer way than we have in most of our dealings with that region. Perhaps a new Marshal Plan is called for.  Any attempt at convinci…

Boors

Robin, Chapter 9
Previous Chapter


Whatever faults he had, the sheriff of Notsburry was a dedicated fellow.  He never called in sick, often worked late, and rarely took a day off--even then, you might find him in his office, going over unpaid traffic tickets or searching some septuagenarian's deed for actionable flaws.  Wulf's hard work had its rewards. Quarter-over-quarter profits through property seizures and auctions were up year after year, which meant bigger bonuses and better Christmas parties.

Still, Harold didn't want to push himself too much.  To relax, he made a point of taking a strolling patrol twice a week along the outskirts of town, never handing out more than two frivolous citations on his way to the charming Boor's Head.  This was one such day.

[As the Sheriff enters the pub, Robin's party is already seated, their plates cleaned, the men quaffing their beers and arguing animatedly.]

ROBIN-- [noticing Wulf] Ho, Sheriff! You are a just and righte…