Thursday, December 06, 2007
Poem of the Day
I've often felt that the role of economics, like religion, in the life of a people is seldom appreciated for its essence—a form of poetry that embodies the abstractions and distractions of those of us who have escaped from the plow and now wonder what we should do about each other.
Economics, disguised as science and cloaked in the robe of mathematics, typically presents itself so denuded of its poetic aspect that there should be little surprise if it is commonly ignored by anyone with any sense. Yet the pure poetry of the enterprise at times bursts forth in an effulgence that cannot fail to charm. Such was today's find.
The text was written by Gary Danelishen, an economics major at Baldwin-Wallace College, and was the concluding sentence of his essay on "Austrian Economics vs. Benanke's Economics."
It is an excellent example of abstract poetry and could well stand alone in any anthology. I have taken the liberty, however, of adapting it, using certain techniques associated with visual poetry, to produce the work that follows. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
[A note on browsers: This œuvre was produced using Firefox and tested under Safari. The result when viewed through Internet Explorer is, as always, anyone's guess—and if your monitor explodes I am, as always, truly sorry.]
THE MEANING OF IT ALL
a Lachmannesque kaleidoscopic vision of
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Good News of the Day
While not falling as far as Giuliani, Hillary Clinton has lost ground recently in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. The former First Lady now attracts 34% of the vote nationwide. That’s the lowest level of support recorded for Clinton since Rasmussen Reports began daily tracking in mid-July.... In weekly results, Clinton’s support hasn’t been this low since April. —Rasmussen Report commentary on their Daily Presidential Tracking Poll for 12/5/07
This may cost me an ambassadorship to Uzbekistan, but it's worth it.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Mike Jones on Larry Craig, or vice versa
Today, along with the Idaho Statesman, I resume my efforts to assist the Republican Party with its sex-ed program "Republicans for sex," or REX—more commonly known as "Republicans suck."
As you probably know, after an unfortunate encounter with a cop in an airport men's room, U.S. Senator and Idaho Hall-of-Famer Larry Craig pled guilty to engaging in what he now says was Constitutionally protected speech. Craig also stated in no uncertain terms, "I am not gay, I never have been gay."
After hearing that claim, several of Craig's alleged paramours were skeptical and contacted the Statesman with tales of their own. Some were willing to talk on tape.
He-said, he-said allegations
You know I would be the last to publish rumor, gossip or speculation. But I always feel that when the mainstream media (MSM) do it, it elevates it somehow. Reporter Dan Popkey notes that—
As with the Statesman's August report, the new evidence is not definitive. There are no videos, no love letters, no voice messages. Like last August, they are he-said, he-said allegations about a man seeking discreet sex from partners whom he counted on to never tell.
But the Statesman's investigation, which included reviews of travel and property records and background checks on all five men, found nothing to disprove the five new accounts. The men offer telling and sometimes similar details about what happened, or the senator's travel records place him in the city where sex is alleged to have occurred, or his accusers told credible witnesses at the time of the incident.
.... His admission of guilt, taken together with the three accounts published Aug. 28 and the five new statements, add weight to the evidence that Craig has been living a double life.
Help for the hearing-impaired
The Statesman has kindly made the testimonies available online so that "Idahoans can hear these accounts and decide for themselves about accusations against Sen. Craig." Since some Idahoans are deaf, I've decided to provide transcripts.
There is also the matter of accuracy. Reporter Popkey does a creditable job of providing a third-person account of the interviews for those who may be reluctant to listen to the tapes. But at times his account strays from the exact narrative. For instance, Popkey writes of sex worker Mike Jones that "Jones said he immediately deduced ... that he was servicing a politician." Jones never used the word "servicing"—at least on tape—and it does seem a little crude.1
So I present herewith a transcript of the Stateman's interview with Mike Jones. Jones, you will recall, was the person who peered into the soul of megachurch pastor Ted Haggard and found him wanting—wanting methamphetamines and sex, that is.
[Audio 1] MIKE JONES: Well, my first thing I said to myself is "What a hypocrite! This guy came to see me!" And you know, I didn't know what to do. It was almost like the Haggard thing—it was like "Now what do I do when I know this information?"
But what really set the tone for me with Craig was, he said he was going to resign, okay? Listen, in my mind, I thought "Fine." You know, "that's what he should do" I think, you know, "I don't need to worry about it." I didn't want to make it an issue. You know, that's not what I was into—of coming out everytime I knew someone was gay that was seeing me. That was not my thing.
But what made me change my mind—what really kind of angered me—was when he reneged—when I heard rumors that he was reneging on his resignation, when I started seeing blurbs where Craig may actually, you know, not resign, that's when I contacted you guys, because that's when—I started getting like "This is not right!" You know he was doing the right thing to resign but now that he's going to backtrack and renege on that—that was not right because I knew this guy was a hypocrite.
[Audio 2] The one thing that stands out about this man—besides the fact that I recognized him and heard and recognized his voice when he spoke was—here's a man who within the first five minutes of seeing me said, "Do you follow politics, Mike?"
Which is such a strange statement anyway to begin with. And then he didn't follow up on it. He basically changed the subject. When I said, "Yes," he said, "Oh gee, it's cold outside." And that's in my mind— You have to understand that people in my business—you know, we're pretty good about figuring out people very quickly based on things they say or things they do. And so when he said that, in my mind I go, "Oh, he's a politician." Which was not my first—by any means. But it didn't matter to me. That's not what I was in business for—was to really figure all that out or try to trap people.
But it was a clear indication that he was a politician to me. And then he did something that only a few people did that saw me through the years. And that is—he kept his clothes on.
STATESMAN: Elaborate on that for me.
MIKE JONES: Well, he took his dress shirt off, and he had a T-shirt on, and he undid his zipper and pulled his penis out and he performed oral sex on me.
[audio 3] Yeah, I sent him into the room and that's where they can disrobe or whatever they want to do. I always stay out of the room...
STATESMAN: I see. Okay.
MIKE JONES: ... while they do that. And so there was—I had hooks and hangers on the wall so they could hang up their coats—whatever.
So when I went in there, when he said he was ready, I just saw the T-shirt on and he was laying on the table with his clothes on. It was like no big deal.
So I was just kind of touching him around. And he wanted me to be nude, which I was. And you know he was kind of playing with me a little bit. And then, you know, after I got an erection for him, that's when he undid his zipper and pulled his penis out. So he was stroking as he was, you know, performing oral sex on me.
STATESMAN: He was stroking...?
MIKE JONES: His penis.
MIKE JONES: Yeah.
As Statesman commenter "Lavatory Larry" wrote so aptly of Senator Craig, "He really has put the 'Ho' back in Idaho!"
Sex education in America (8/31/07)