Monday, April 10, 2006

 

Watch as, right before your eyes, I turn into Andy Rooney

Every-so-often, the powers that be in NYC do things to make life miserable for us "bridge and tunnel" people under the guise of "we don't want people driving into Manhattan". If they are really sincere, why don't they do somethings to help those of us who commute between Brooklyn/Queens/Long Island and NJ to be able to go around Manhattan: lowering the toll at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge; figuring out what the deal with the Staten Island Expressway congestion is; getting NJ better public transportation besides NJ transit whose main mission (and an admirable one) seems to be getting people to/from NYC and not around within NJ? And as to those of us driving into Manhattan -- a lot of us have babies in tow: if they want us to take public transport, they need to make it feasible for us to come with strollers, etc.

Why do the news media allow the administration to get away with the Friday news dump? You'd think the media would decide, if only out of anger and self-defense, "hey ... the admin. appointing someone who considers us terrorists if we do our job is newsworthy enough that we can print it in Sunday's news instead of just allowing them to get away with it being only printed on Sat." ... it isn't the admin's fault they have their Friday news dump. Who can blame them? It's the media's fault for letting the admin get away with it instead of just putting the Friday news in the Sunday as well as the Sat. paper.

I may have ended my hail avoidence streak. Walking home from shul last Sat., the raindrops got mighty big and then became frozen. It seems to have been more than mere sleet, but maybe not full-blown hail: was it "snail"? I guess, alluding to chubby rain, it was chubby sleet? Speaking of which, the local Chinese restaurant where I grew up was, soon after I left, remodeled. It remained, under new ownership, a Chinese restaurant, but now has the decor and vibe of MindHead.

I do not get people from the "Judeo-Christian" tradition who want to make any and all abortions illegal. I understand (though I disagree with) making "abortion as a form of birth control" illegal (so long as alternatives are provided), but in the case of health and/or life? Doesn't the Hebrew Bible say "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life"? Those who, through "legislative malpractice" make it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion if she has an eptopic pregnancy should be afflicted with pain in kind; those who make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion if her life is in danger should be put to death -- that's Biblical morality. And didn't Jesus say "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? Those who would force a woman to give up her health or life ought to be so forced themselves: actually, when you think about it "do unto others" and "an eye for an eye" are the same morality, aren't they?

Of course, there is the whole practical aspect of legislating morality. Part of the problem with the American Taliban and their ilk, e.g., in El Salvador, is that they come from "moral" traditions in which morality and law are really supposed to be distinct ("render unto Caesar" as Wills points out is a statement of militant secularism) and in which neither moral nor human law are really considered possible to truly follow -- so there is no thought about "sure I think abortion is evil, but how do I practically enforce this morality as a law" -- and you get a disaster like what's happening in El Salvador or what happened in the US pre-Roe v. Wade. Morality and especially law has to be pragmatic: it's even in the Torah (the whole thing about "choose life" the pro-lifers like to quote, besides being an obviously pro-choice statement, is a statement of pragmatism). Those who would try to have laws otherwise are just risking undermining the whole ediface of respect for law.

What's the deal with those who keep decrying "politics" in the very aspects of governance in which our system considers politicization of everything to be a bullwork against tyranny ("ambition must be made to counteract ambition") even as those same people are silently politicizing things which really ought not to be politicized (e.g. funding only those scientific endevours -- lucky for me my work is in that category -- that will allow big pharma to make money while not funding those endevous -- unlucky for my brother his work is in this category -- that might, e.g., show how disastrous our pillaging of the environment and atmosphere is)? Politics has its place -- to blame a Congresscriter for being political rather than celebrating her doing her job is simply un-American: as is to undermine science by politicization. Of course, these are the same people who complain whenever the subject of class is brought up even as they are slyly waging a class war themselves on all but the super-rich ...

I have more gripes (I guess I am so busy, I'm griping a lot) ... I'll type them here as I remember them and I have the time.

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