This column serves up fish caught by casting our hook into the waters of recent correspondence—fish that we think will be good for you, either for information or for provocation to think about something new, or about something old but from a different perspective.Last week's column presented a riddle about what a gun-carrying man whose brain has instinctively registered that his attacker is in full stride and only 20 feet away should do.
Answer: Even though the police don't train this tactic, in other circles people are taught to take off running as they draw their weapon then turn and fire. This buys the extra 1-1/2 to 2 seconds needed. If you stand your ground and try to quick-draw, and if the person with the knife has a running start, they will be on you before you have the gun ready to fire. [personal communication]
The Romney campaign blames the stagnant economy on President Obama. The president does not have the power to fix the economy alone. Congress, as per our Constitution, approves and passes bills then sends the future laws to the president to sign or veto. In January 2009, when President Obama took office, the leaders of the GOP in the Senate and the House met secretly. The meetings hatched an "obstructionist plan." In the Senate it was it to filibuster. The number of these filibusters has been unprecedented in the Senate's history. The House of Representatives also blocked many bills that would have improved the economy and jobs. The GOP did not care about the pain and suffering of the American people. Almost 700,000 people lost their jobs just in Republican-controlled states: teachers, firemen, police, and other government workers. [from a letter to a local newspaper]
Another proud day for North Carolina. [personal communication; excerpt from the article linked to:]
A worker caught on undercover video abusing turkeys at a Butterball factory farm in North Carolina pled guilty Tuesday to felonious cruelty to animals.You titled Saturday's lead article on p. 1 "Race offers voters clear choices." Because my wife had to read the title three times to realize that "race" was PROBABLY referring to the presidential campaign rather than to skin color, I looked up AP's original title and learned that it was "White House race offers voters many clear choices."
Brian Douglas was one of six workers facing charges after undercover video shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals and published on the Blotter revealed alleged abuse. An MFA activist had worked undercover at the farm for three weeks and documented what the group called "acts of violence and severe neglect." In the video, workers can be seen kicking and stomping on turkeys, as well as dragging them by their wings and necks.
What considerations led you to shorten the original title the way you did, so that it might be interpreted "Race offers [racist] voters clear choices"?
Has the Herald-Sun just acknowledged that there may be a sizable number of voters in the upcoming presidential election who will cast their vote for the candidate more nearly their own color? None of them read the Herald-Sun, though, right? [from an unpublished letter to a local newspaper]
How about the Mormons? Do we want to just beat the presidential race like a drum until it is over? I heard someone last night being interviewed and saying "Oh, we Mormons don't really believe that Eden-in-Mississippi stuff" and the interviewer just let it go! I would have been all over that and made it an excruciatingly uncomfortable moment for everyone. To me that is when an interviewer has every right to say, "Do you realize that makes you sound like a completely uninformed moron?" To me, the problem is that the media don't drop more bombs, not fewer. First off, as you know, LDS scripture teaches that Eden was in Missouri, not in Mississippi, and for an alleged Mormon to not even know that says something profound. Sort of like someone saying they are pro-abortion but still a devout Republican. Or they are devoutly Catholic but use birth control. No one is devoutly anything if they don't follow its rules. It would be like a vegan's saying "I'm a vegan, but I have to eat fish once a week for the protein."
To me the media should nail people on absurd statements at every opportunity and show them up for the scam artists they are.
It's the same on the question of people's being against Obama just because he isn't white. If an allegedly devout Mormon doesn't know enough about Joseph Smith's teachings to know Missouri from Mississippi, what do non-Mormons know about his other teachings? How many people are getting ready to go vote for a potential nut-case candidate because he is white, instead of for a sane, if mostly incompetent, sitting president because he is black? [personal communication]
Yet another reason why some of us no longer care what happens to the Israelis. [personal communication; excerpt from the article linked to:]
HAIFA, Israel—An Israeli court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.Everything is relative & also paradoxical. As humans, we simultaneously:
Corrie's family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter, launching a civil case in the northern Israeli city of Haifa after a military investigation had cleared the army of wrongdoing.
- Choose & yet don’t choose.
- Are kind but cruel & even indifferent, sometimes even in the very same moment.
- Exist (we’re “solid”) but not really (more space or “nothing”—no thing—than matter).
- Live but often don’t really live at all (a lot of zombies out there).
- Know but don’t know (we know so much, & yet so little).
- Are needy & yet really already have everything we need.
- Can be right but also wrong (the sun rises & sets, but only if we’re on Earth).
- Are limited/finite (physically) yet are unlimited/timeless (live on in other ways—others’ memories, what we leave behind, etc.)…& even then, what we “contribute” can be both momentous (in terms of human lifespans) & insignificant (negligible in geological terms). [personal communication]