<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: June 2005

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Freakonomics quote of the day

In an online chat via the Washington Post, Stephen Dubner, co-author of the bestseller "Freakonomics," gave a disheartening response to the question, "Have you explored why some people vote against their own economic interest?":

"No. But it's not that surprising, since one vote is really worth very very little. It probably comes down to the fact that most people consider a single vote to be worth far less in electoral oomph than in the value it gives them in terms of their conscience, or belief, or style, or whatever you want to call it. In 'What's the Matter With Kansas?', Thomas Frank makes much of the fact that blue-collar Republicans are voting against their economic self-interest, which is true. But again, I don't find it so surprising. Steven Spielberg is voting against his economic self-interest by voting Democratic, no? I think the voting paradigm we all cling too -- that economic self-interest rules all -- is pretty weak. (I should also note that I don't know a single economist who bothers to vote, so worthless do they consider the act.)"


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bush disassembles

In response to a human rights report condemning U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, President Bush said, "It seemed to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth."

Notwithstanding the other obvious errors in Bush's thinking and speaking, he also used - and incorrectly defined - the wrong word ("disassemble" instead of "dissemble"). And isn't it apropos that he chose that particular word to misuse and misdefine?