Man Without Qualities

Friday, December 26, 2003

Children's Letters To God

Via another e-mail:

1. Dear God,
Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter.
There is nothing in there now.
2. Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a
puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.
3. Dear Mr. God,
I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart.
I had to have 3 stitches and a shot.
4. Dear God,
If we come back as somebody else, please don't let me be Jennifer Horton - because I hate her.
7. Dear God,
When did you know you were God? Who told you?
8. Dear God,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house?
9. Dear God,
I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our
family and I can never do it.
10. Dear God,
Did you really mean, Do Unto Others As They Do Unto You?
If you did then, I'm going to get even with my brother.
11. Dear God,
I like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on
water, too.
12. Dear God,
My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy.
How far back do you go?
Love, Dennis
13. Dear God,
Do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does?
19. Dear God,
Please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year.
21. Dear God,
I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget.

23. Dear God,
My brother told me about how you are born but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say?
24. Dear God,
If you watch in Church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.
25. Dear God,
Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business?
26. Dear God,
In Sunday School they told us what you do for a job. Who does it when you are on vacation?
27. Dear God,
In school we read that Thomas Edison made light, but in Sunday School they said you did it first. Did he steal your idea?
Sincerely, Donna
28. Dear God,
I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God.
29. Dear God,
It is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon?
30. Dear God,
I am doing the best I can. Really.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

A Lawyer's Christmas

E-mailed from a friend:

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas,
there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property
(hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures
therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc.,
had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House
in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas
a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were
located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal
hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein visions of confectionery treats,
including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums and/or other
caries causing items, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as
"I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the
second part (hereinafter "Mamma" or "She Who Must Be Obeyed;" collectively,
the "Parties"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep.
(At such time, the Parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g.kerchief, cap, sleepstocking, etc.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the
unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e. the
lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance.
The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to
investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of
wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle")
being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately
eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact
was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to
the approximately eight (8) reindeer, and specifically identified the
animal co-trespassers by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,
Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is
further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer
intentionally and did willfully trespass upon the roofs of several
residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted
that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of
unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission,
either expressed or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus
entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with
residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion
of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was
smoking what appeared to be but may not have been tobacco in a small pipe
in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the foot apparel of the
minor children hanging adjacent to the chimney with toys and other small
gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minors
pursuant to the applicable provisions of the 26 USC 1, et seq, to-wit: the U.S. Tax Code.)

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Sunday, December 21, 2003

Isn't This The Same James Carville ...

... who said: "I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope...But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everyone."

Corporal Cueball said that after Bob Rubin shot down some of the zanier Clinton/Carville proposals by reference to the bond market. Considering the even zanier proposals Cueball is making now, he may want to call his old friend Bob to learn that the bond market still does intimidate everyone who pays attention and isn't a flakey professional opportunist.
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For The Holidays, Send A Gift With A Wish Attached III: The New York Times Continues It's Long Journey Through Denial

Today's lead editorial in the New York Times is an interesting early example of the concession/uberdenialism combo to which the liberal media and many Democrats are likely to be driven increasingly if the economy and foreign affairs continue to improve.

First, the concession: the Administration effort to obtain debt relief for Iraq is admitted to be correct, and an appropriate exception to America's general resistance to national debt foregiveness pleas.

Then, the many and egregious denials. The Times tells us that The leaders of France and Germany were already looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington on Iraq. Is that right? Was the German Chancellor, who obtained his office by running on a platform of opposition to American efforts in Iraq, really looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington on Iraq? And was France signaling that it was looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington when French representatives recently mocked an American request that NATO supply more helicopters in Afghanistan? The French and German leaders didn't let on that their real motivation was looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington when (as reported by CNN) only a few weeks ago they responded to British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying: "whatever the differences there have been about the conflict, we all want to see a stable Iraq," by highlighting their differences. Chirac even corrected Blair when Blair suggested there might be some movement on agreeing to the transfer of power from the U.S. occupying force to Iraqi officials. The whole affair was such a fiasco that Professor Richard Whitman, of the University of Westminster in London, told CNN the talks were a "major disappointment." Professor Whitman observed: "(We) hoped for a real push towards some firm agreement at least among European states. It is very difficult to see where we are going to see some common ground."

Ah, those inscrutable Parisians and Berliners! The Times appears to perceive that in correcting and rebuffing Washington's great ally that Messrs. Chirac and Schroeder were only looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington on Iraq! Nor does it appear that the French and Germans were already looking for politically feasible ways to work with Washington on Iraq when they refused to contribute more than a token amount to Iraq's reconstruction. Perhaps Professor Whitman feels chastened and corrected - but I wouldn't bet on it.

The Times begins its editorial with the witless pronouncement: James Baker III is quickly showing how old-fashioned diplomacy can advance Washington's policy objectives. Old-fashioned diplomacy? Old-fashioned diplomacy is the job of the Secretary of State - to whom Mr. Baker does not even report. Colin Powell's hospitalization doesn't explain this substitution - the trip was hardly of such an urgency that it could not have been postponed for a few weeks, and Mr. powell could have sent his first in command. That's the way old fashioned diplomacy works.

By the rules of old-fashioned diplomacy there was plenty of time for Mr. Powell to recover, since Mr. Baker's entire trip should have been (under those rules) at least postponed following what the Times calls a Pentagon memo excluding France, Germany, Russia and other opponents of the war from Iraqi reconstruction contracts financed by American tax dollars whose release on the eve of Mr. Baker's European trip was inept. Interestingly, the Times does not join with the naive crowd arguing that the memo's release or text was not fully approved by the White House or Mr. Baker (even, to paranoids, such as Herr Doktorprofessor Paul Von Krugman, a deliberate attempt to undermine Mr. Baker's efforts). Nor does the Times tarry to explain why the memo's release did not prevent French and German cooperation on debt relief for Iraq. Not only did it not prevent it, the memo's release almost certainly enormously aided in securing that cooperation, which is nothing more or less than agreement to contribute through debt relief value economically identical to the very reconstruction funds that the Europeans had earlier refused to provide. The memo drew a clear line indicating that further European outrages such as their refusal to contribute to reconstruction would be met with dramatic and effective and very expensive retorts from the United States. Almost certainly, that's what drew the cooperation and that's why the trip was not postponed and that's why neither Mr. Powell nor anyone reporting to him made the trip.

That's anything but old fashioned diplomacy. That's hard-scrabble, Texas-style, cram-down workout maneuvering. Mr. Powell can pick up on the old fashioned diplomacy when Mr. Baker - the Texan - finishes his work.

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