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Showing posts from August, 2006

The God of Imagination

My summer reading this year included New York Times ubercolumnist Thomas Friedman's popular book The World is Flat . In it I found some interesting things to know about our fine Catholicist Nation. To muse on those things with me, go here . For a bit of exposition on the Catholicist Nation, take a peek here .

The Value of Picking Out the Liars

The biggest poker tournament of all time was recently won by a television producer and agent. The winner, Jamie Gold, defeated a starting field of nearly 9,000 players, and he credited his victory in part to his experiences reading people in Hollywood meetings. He said, "I have a greater sense of when people are telling the truth and when they are lying." (Los Angeles Times, 8/12/06) His take was $12 million dollars, and while much of his success was certainly the result of a lot of luck, I couldn't help but think. So this is the value of looking at someone and truthfully divining their deception . It is ironic that in the same day's Times was media pundit Tim Rutten's take on news service Reuters doctoring photos of the Lebanon-Israel conflict. He pointed out that this should be a much bigger story than it is. It may not have had the strongest legs because Reuters fired the photographer, issued apologies, and all that kind of stuff. I don't think for a sec

The Blow-the-Snot-Out-of-'Em Deficiency

A recent John Podhoretz column was brought to my attention as I listened to a bit of talk radio this morning, and the piece exposed the wimpiness of the preeminent powers to fight bad things, like terrorism. These powers have tons of military strength and weaponry, they just don't use it because they're too timidly fearful of world opinion. Lots of media coverage of children lying dead around rubble can be a wee counterproductive. Today's Rome (embodied in the U.S./U.K./and, in some sense, Israel alliance) certainly doesn't act like the Rome of old. When Rome of old conquered a territory, it summarily executed every single remotely powerful individual (after a bit of parading some of them about town), dragging the main leader to the feet of the emperor who very graciously said, "You may serve me, or be dead also." That kind of fixed everything. Please know that I don't say yea or nay to this activity in any way, for my Lord has asked me to live by the pr

Playing Monopoly

My 10 year-old son went off to camp today, where he'll be for four days. But this morning before he went, I promised him I'd play him in Monopoly, his favorite board game. The full game, an hour-and-a-half long. We put the game together, set the timer, and off we went. Usually he beats the tar out of me. Seriously, he has this knack for rolling past my house-laden properties and lands on "Free Parking" way more than he should (yes, we play with that kitty in the middle). But today, I was the one getting the rolls he's always gotten . About an hour into the game I'd already landed on "Free Parking" five times to his none (maybe John Rawls was right!) I'd bought four properties he couldn't afford, and at the height of my power I had hotels on each property of three different color groupings, three of the railroads and both utilities (hey, those guys can get you some sweet cash). The notable thing is that because my son loves to play this gam