Monday, May 26, 2008
Wrong! He (or a confederate) was extracting my wallet from the lowest pants-leg pocket of my cargo pants, where I had complacently believed it was safe. Within a half hour over $8000 had been fraudulently paid from my checking account for "purchases." The bank assures me that they will make me whole. And I relearned a lesson.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
We've had internet in our apartment here, but won't in St. Petersburg, so ruminating about the US political scene will also have to wait. Dos V'danya.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Fingar ia a real hero of the civil service: he headed off the Administration’s seeming rush toward war with Iran by his fiercely independent intelligence conclusion that Iran has stopped their development of nuclear weapons. He gets no praise from hard-liners, but has repeatedly been thanked for his integrity by members of Congressional committees he has testified to.
His reaction? “I began to resent this. Treating integrity and professionalism as if it is an unusual and courageous act. I frankly was dismayed."
Just as in baseball, cheaters and liars in government have brought the honest people under a cloud. It’ll take a serious dose of ethics by the new Administration to remove the cloud.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Michael Gerson's column in this morning's Washington Post reminds me why I stopped being a conservative. I was a conservative because I believed in the founding principles of
Gerson's column today describes how seven pro-life senators have prevented Senate action on the President's emergency plan for HIV-AIDS relief, which he wrote would help 3 million infected people. Gerson, himself a staunch conservative, concludes, " For all of conservatism's evident virtues, it can have one furtive, seedy vice: A justified suspicion of government can degenerate into an anti-government ideology -- rigid, stingy and indifferent to human suffering."
That indifference finally got to me in 1993, after seeing government indifference to the rioting in
Monday, May 12, 2008
But then came the cheating. Barry Bonds 762. Roger Clemens 354. Obviously steroid-inflated, and therefore phony. But what about all the other marks? can we believe anything?
Thomas Boswell figured out part of the answer in his May 10 Washington Post piece, "A Three-Way Argument for Game's Integrity." He analyzed the records of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz, who formed the heart of the Atlanta Braves' pitching staff for eleven years, winning 862 games among them. He discovered that each of them had a decliniing performance starting in their mid-30s. By contrast, Bonds and Clemens got better--unlike ordinary humans not on steroids, whose performance declines as they age.
So Boswell pronounces the threesome clean, and we can admire their records without suspicion. Good for the ethical players!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I'll have to think about whether ethics looks different to fourteen-year olds than to forty- or fifty-year olds.