Mar 30th, 2007 by ravi
In preparation for a day of appreciation

April Foos RFCs
My friend Tom has a new book, this time around in a lighter vein. If you are a geek with some history, you will find it worth a read. Check out his Live Journal post for more info.

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Mar 2nd, 2007 by ravi
Saving the children

Without any hint of irony, Daniel Mendelsohn writes an Op-Ed in the NYT about the recent discovery of letters from Otto Frank:

A Family History Like Too Many Others – New York Times

Above all, such letters demonstrate movingly the overriding preoccupation that nothing was as important as saving the children. “It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for,” Otto Frank wrote. “If only the world were open and I’d been able to send a child to America or Palestine, it would be easier,” my great-uncle mourned as he started losing hope.

[…]

[T]he fact that this latest and unexpected addition to the Frank file was casually found in a relatively neglected American archive reminds us, too, that there are many thousands of similar stories on this side of the Atlantic still waiting to surface, if only we bothered — or knew — to look for them[.]

We would not need to look much farther than the very Palestine that remains closed today, to its own inhabitants.

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Mar 2nd, 2007 by ravi
Underestimating the public

The Democrats have made a strategy out of underestimating the public, and that losing strategy is not bound to change, despite evidence to the contrary:

Most Support U.S. Guarantee of Health Care – NYT

While the war in Iraq remains the overarching issue in the early stages of the 2008 campaign, access to affordable health care is at the top of the public’s domestic agenda, ranked far more important than immigration, cutting taxes or promoting traditional values.

Only 24 percent said they were satisfied with President Bush’s handling of the health insurance issue, despite his recent initiatives, and 62 percent said the Democrats were more likely to improve the health care system.

Americans showed a striking willingness in the poll to make tradeoffs to guarantee health insurance for all, including paying as much as $500 more in taxes a year and forgoing future tax cuts.

Don’t expect the Democrats to take this to heart and at least lead from behind. They do watch the polls, but those are the personality horse-race type stuff.

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Mar 1st, 2007 by ravi
O’Connor and the Will to Stupidity

As Kermit Roosevelt (huh?!) mentions in the American Prospect,  former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is said to have had an embroidered cushion in her office that read “Maybe in error, but never in doubt”.

If that rings a bell,  here is a hint:

Once the decision has been made, to shut your ears even to the best counter-arguments: a sign of a strong character. Also an occasional will to stupidity.

That is of course from Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil).

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