Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Morning Randomness

A doxology (from the Greek doxa, glory + logos, word or speaking) is a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns. The tradition derives from a similar practice in the Jewish synagogue.

An Annotated Doxology

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Blessings of justice, grace and mercy;
salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification.
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing, "Alleluia!"
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet,
and with two he flew. And one called to another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth"
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Two Quotes for the Day

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question.
Stephen Jay Gould
US author, naturalist, paleontologist, & popularizer of science (1941 - 2002)
We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1953
US science fiction author (1920 - )




Washington Post: Detroit: Get a Clue


The truth is that the chief executives of the Big Three automakers could have hitchhiked to Washington to beg for alms and they still would have been raked over the coals. But the fact that they came in their corporate jets was a bit much.

What, they couldn't have piled into a tricked-out Malibu and taken turns at the wheel?

Richard Wagoner of General Motors, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford should begin the inevitable cost-cutting by firing their public relations consultants. They left Capitol Hill empty-handed, but they're bound to get some kind of federal help, however grudging.

If not, well, the Big Three execs can always come back to town -- by more modest means of transportation, one hopes.

If there's anything beneficial in this predictable melodrama, it's that contemplating a taxpayer-funded rescue of the auto industry might make Americans realize the extent to which their government already puts its big, fat thumb on the scales of free enterprise. The idea that the U.S. economy is based on unfettered free markets is, and has long been, a cruel joke.

It's more of a joke now, arguably, than at any time since the Great Depression. Our government has already pledged well over $700 billion -- it may go over $1 trillion -- to save the financial industry from its own greed-fueled excesses. That, in the end, is why the automakers have to be given some kind of multibillion-dollar handout. Yes, it's galling to reward industry management that has such a track record of failure -- and that inspired so little confidence while testifying before Congress. But politically it's just not tenable to bail out a bunch of Porsche-driving investment bankers and then slam the door on legions of lunch-bucket-toting workers.

Instead of openly "picking winners and losers," which is anathema to pure-of-heart free-marketeers, we hide our industrial policy in the tax code. The tax code is littered with that kind of targeted largess. This is a big part of what lobbyists do -- get tax breaks for their clients.

Detroit blames its situation on the financial and economic crisis. It's true that demand for cars has fallen off a cliff, largely because many would-be buyers are unable to get financing. It's true that the auto industry claims to have seen the light about making energy-efficient cars. But it's also true that these newly enlightened executives spent years defending their industry's obsession with SUVs -- and pooh-poohing the idea that times, and tastes, would ever change.

They should be given the money -- and then be shown the door to make way for management that can see past the hood.

IAVA: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

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