Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Volunteer work disparity

I saw in the research published in the NYT that Republicans are about 35% more likely than the average American to do volunteer work and that Democrats are about 20% less likely. This is worrisome. Democrats should be aware of the limits of civil society in practice to counter the accusation that they don't know about the problems they want government to solve. (Admittedly, many Democrats are teachers, health care workers etc.)

St. Louis County turnout

80.09%, the highest ever. Voters should take a bow.

Iraq as state of nature

I briefly saw that Jon Lee Anderson was arguing in the New Yorker that deBaathification has made Iraq less stable. I realize that with the lack of institutions that can impose force, Iraq is the state of nature! Hobbes was right that it can really exist. Either that or it is a failed state. I think that the Americans have responsibility to make sure the same guys do not come to power and the Iraqis are just as badly off as before.

Happy Chanukah

To all my seven readers.

A gift for the Rams

Dallas beat Seattle on Testaverde's pass to Keyshawn Johnson where his elbow hit out of bounds before his knee did. Thank you to John Madden and Al Michaels for pointing this out. I am sorry that MNF is suffering in the ratings because these guys are an absolute pleasure to listen to. On the "Desperate Housewives" scandal, they probably should not have aired it, but people should know there are always 10 minutes of chatter before the game.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Rams are in 6th place

Through absolutely no fault of their own.

Giants 7, Washington 31

And it just gets worse.

Wanderings in the blogverse

Bring back Kurt!
I actually watched 20 minutes of college football. I hope that USC gets in so I will have someone to root for. This whole situation seems to call out for a playoff. The past two years we had three legitimate contenders for the national championship. The Auburn team looks very professional. Pitt won the Big East! Yea!
The NYT featured a review of Stephen King and partner's book on the Red Sox season. I actually smiled!
Referred from Instapundit, I visited Bill Whittle's site and Cold Fury. These sites are worth visiting since the authors are not sheep Republicans (Mike said that he thought Bush was "too damn liberal" the last time). I agree that Iraq could be said to be part of the war on terrorism since Saddam Hussein was an example of the undemocratic regimes in the Arab world and he was supporting terrorism by sending checks to suicide bombers' families. Part of the war on Al Qaeda, however, is dubious. I am reading Plan of Attack(yes, I should have done it before the election). I am not sure there is anything really juicy in it, but for those of us against the war, it can reinforce that Bush was living in a fantasy world. I also realized a solution to Lewis Lapham's pointing out a contradiction between "a limited government and an imperial army". A limited government means faith in sovereign individuals. An imperial army is an expression of sovereign individualism since there is limited international government to restrain it. Also, a legitimate function of government for almost everyone is to stop the threat of force so the sovereign individuals can trust each other. However, I don't think the Founders meant us to have an "imperial army". They were even suspicious of a standing army.
I was so depressed after these two blogs I visited Daily Kos. I felt in a warm bath of support and felt very despondent that my little blog could accomplish anything. I signed up. Stephanie Dray's post was very illuminating because it assumed that Americans would automatically see through Bush for the sake of an ideal America. Unfortunately, many Americans seem to have the attitude that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", and their enemy is the fashionable, amoral liberals or leftists(France could be painted in this light). (Thanks, Tom Wolfe. I am not sure if I can still link to you. The interview was in The Guardian.) This is very sad because there are plenty of passionately moral liberals out there. So, anything the amoral leftists support cannot be ideal on its face. They can also argue that liberalism has to be cynical because it assumes that the government needs to do for people what they can do for themselves. (I don't really agree. The government has moral responsibilities to establish justice as a representative of the people.) I also had the impression out here that I was in a situation of traditional Jewish politics vs. Christian politics and Israel-centered Jewish politics. I am not able to have an opinion yet about what a theologically sound Christian politics should be. I was heartened to see Christian posters expressing strong belief in a liberal America not too different from my own. My husband expressed two Bush supporter beliefs. He said that he wanted someone who "knew when to pull the trigger" and that Arafat's death was a consequence of choosing Bush because he was now completely irrelevant. In a vain attempt to find a silver lining, I remembered someone's comments on Dennis Ross when he visited our town. The person said, "Ross just wanted to have a deal, not worrying whether it would be safe for Israel." Kerry in this situation may have been tempted just to have a deal.
I also visited Baraita. Very nice blog.