ok because I actually read the stories I just linked to I now have to say some things to get them out of the obsessional loop:
1. a religion which damns its own infidels to eternal torment in a lake of fire has little room in which to criticize another religion for killing theirs. ditto a religion that thinks it is ok to kill people in order to open up a country to evangelism. no one has said this explicitly but I have a hunch the fundamentalist support for the war had a little to do with this. one needn't rely on christianity's dismal historical record for killing and torturing infidels to question its methods.
2. social programs are not only popular, i.e., willed by the democratic majority, but absolutely necessary in a system that rewards extroverted monetary ambition more than anything else. not all of us were put together in such a way as to make tons of money and the market does not reward all ideas of merit equally. I don't care what Ayn Rand says. teachers and poets don't get rich.
3. not to say there are no power-hungry politicians among the Democrats, but what frightens me about the Republicans is that many of them seem to think that power legitimates ideology, as though power were a sign of divine favor. this is not totally unrelated to a similar symptomatic conflation of democracy and the political ideal of a free market, which has to assume that those with more money deserve the greater influence the free market grants them. not that a free market might not be desirable in many ways, but to make of it the only mechanism for distribution of wealth and political power is inherently unfair. the thing is I sometimes think the conservative position is that unfairness needs no amelioration as long as it keeps the ones in power, in power.
alright. I have to go grade papers now.
it's amazing how a little tiny bit of work wears me out and makes me think I deserve some great reward but it does and I do. eight hours total of paper-grading and I feel like a hero just for having done it. tomorrow I pull together the details and send off their grades and then it's off to the ballgame. this, I suppose, will be my reward but the one thing about it is that I'm going with my friend who is sober and although he did offer to watch me drink if the giants won the world series last year I still feel a little uncomfortable letting loose and slurping them down around him so probably I will have lemonade at the ball park and beer on thursday.
but this will at least save on trips to the restroom which is fine since I also hate disturbing people by getting up a million times during the game.
am I too polite?
so I gave the best grade I've ever given, an A/A+ (slash grades are how we make the incremental grading system more incremental). it was nice to see a well-written undergrad paper. of course, when they write well I think to myself what a talented student whereas when they don't write well I think to myself what a bad teacher. housemate c suggests that I adjust my internal commentary.