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Sunny but a bit curdled

This is not going to be the best of Labor Day weekends. Not that we didn't know that on Monday.

In Paris, JR, at L'homme qui marche, reported having been down with "blogblues." I'm not sure that I know what that means, but I can sing it. Jason Kottke left for the weekend in what one would have thought was a very uncharacteristic frame of mind. I was feeling a little rancid myself. Reading Marilynne Robinsons's Gilead during this particular week was probably ill-advised, and following it with Madison Smart Bell's fantastic but ultimately you-know-what book about Antoine Lavoisier may have been the dumbest thing I've ever done. I don't know what would have become of me if a shipment from Amazon hadn't delivered Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys. I put it on in the kitchen while I was making dinner and was presently right as rain.

This morning brings dueling Op-Eds from Maureen Dowd and John Tierney. Mr Tierney does the unspeakable, by lodging the "moral hazard" argument against Katrina's victims. According to this pet meme of the right, disasters wouldn't happen if we didn't permit government handouts to dazzle and disable our self-reliance. If you had to bear the loss, in other words, of your seaside home without federally subsidized insurance, and if you couldn't count on the government to rush in with food, water, and first aid, then you'd think twice about living on the Gulf of Mexico. There is an iota of truth in this argument, but only an iota, and it is deformed by a vain, masculine stoicism. Poor people, such as the thousands stranded in New Orleans, don't choose to be poor because the government will help them out. Why should they? It usually doesn't. We practice socialism for the rich in this country. Only.  


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You said it so well. Thank you.

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