Friday, February 27, 2009

Limerick of the Day #7

Our Commander-in-Chief now, Barack,
Says it's time to pull troops from Iraq.
A transition force
Will stay longer, of course,
But the others will wend their way back.
(Or to Afghanistan.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Limerick of the Day #6

The Gershwin Award went tonight
To Stevie Wonder, visionary without sight.
The Obamas tried greatly
Being cool, but still stately.
The White House doesn't have to be white.

Limerick of the Day #5

News outlets all use the same trick,
Whether broadcast, on-line, pulp or slick.
They just run a sound bite,
Making ideas sound trite,
When they should run a sound limerick.


Suggested by a NYTimes op-ed piece, We’re Not ‘Cowards,’ We’re Just Loud, by Stephen L. Carter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Limerick of the Day #4

Health care, energy, education,
As the President spoke to the nation,
Are goals that he stressed,
Which will put to the test
Whether he can fulfill his oration.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Limerick of the Day #3

Gay marriage, some say, is a sin.
But it's no business law belongs in.
For avoiding confusion
The legal intrusion
Should be just to note next of kin.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Limerick of the Day #2

The celebrity game's so unfair.
Opportunity knocks, so be there.
Some folks struggle for years
Just to reach the top tiers,
Then along comes Slumdog Millionaire.

Limerick of the Day #1

As we watch, our economy tanks,
Taking with it our favorite banks.
We may nationalize,
But we'll rationalize
That at least their execs will say "Thanks."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stimulus Package

Audio

When the banks just aren't lending
And consumers aren't spending
Then we have to stop pretending
That this crisis will be ending
Without governmental mending
Or at least superintending.

So maybe our nation
Just needs stimulation
So this situation
Of fiscal stagnation
And rampant deflation
Will reach its cessation.

This transaction
Fights contraction
But reaction
From one faction
Is distraction
From our action.

If we'd
Succeed
To lead,
May need
And greed
Recede
Indeed.

Lend.
Spend.
Vend.
Mend.
Tend.
The end.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Darwin



Friday, February 13, 2009

Evolution

I meant to post this yesterday, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. However,
  1. I don't put much stock in anniversaries, which simply reflect the repeating cyclical nature of planetary motion, and
  2. I wasn't done yet.
Anyway, with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, ...

Audio

Darwin:
My eyes are fully open to The Origin of Species.
That’s the title of my book in which I put forth several theses
On the way that things adapt by means of natural selection,
Which is nature’s mechanism for the species’ own protection.
For it shows how organisms in environments precarious
Can over generations thrive by adaptations various.
And if you still believe in the old story of the garden
With young Adam and his Eve, then I shall have to beg your pardon.
Chorus:
He will have to beg your pardon.
Darwin:
Yes, I’ll have to beg your pardon.
Chorus:
He will have to beg your pardon.
Darwin:
Yes, I’ll have to beg your pardon.
I shall have to beg your pardon.
I shall have to beg your pardon.
I shall have to beg your pardon, pardon, pardon, pardon, pardon.

Darwin:
You really should consider this idea of evolution.
To the question of diversity, it’s quite a good solution.
Though you may think the Galápagos a kind of a nirvana
With the co-existing mockingbird, finch, tortoise and iguana,
It is peaceful on the surface as you’ll note on your arrival
But these species are engaged in brutal struggles for survival,
Which occasionally lead to fights that will the stillness shatter,
Though as nature takes no sides the outcome really doesn’t matter.
Chorus:
No, it really doesn’t matter.
Darwin:
Yes, it really doesn’t matter.
Chorus:
Yes, it really doesn’t matter.
Darwin:
No, it really doesn’t matter.
So it really doesn’t matter.
So it really doesn’t matter.
So it really doesn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter.

Darwin:
I stand behind this theory though it isn’t yet quite flawless
And I have to share the credit with young Alfred Russel Wallace.
I don’t condone my cousin’s sort of mental calisthenics
Which have tried to use this theory just to justify eugenics.
I suppose with any breakthrough like this one on evolution
There is bound to be some harm in the ensuing revolution.
So some people keep engaging in selective breeding chatter.
While to others ideas not found in the Bible do not matter.
Chorus:
So these ideas do not matter.
Darwin:
So these ideas do not matter.
Chorus:
So these ideas do not matter.
Darwin:
So these ideas do not matter.
So these ideas do not matter.
So these ideas do not matter.
So these ideas do not matter, matter, matter, matter, matter.
So some people keep engaging in selective breeding chatter.
While to others ideas not found in the Bible do not matter.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ponzi Schemes



Audio

'Round the world, just as throughout this land,
People often have dreams that are grand.
Some may think a great feat
Would be trying to cheat
On the law of supply and demand.

Ponzi thought he had a way around it.
But his fortune? The feds did impound it.
After incarceration
His own declaration:
"I went looking for trouble, and found it."

Investing is always a trade-off,
But not as it's practiced by Madoff.
Those who get in at first
Might just be reimbursed
But the others will never get paid off.

Countless others have tried out such schemes,
Building fraudulent revenue streams.
For those who've been caught
Freedom cannot be bought,
Though a few may be living their dreams.

Ponzi victims all sign up consensually
Hoping fortunes will grow exponentially.
Each new sap in the door
Helps pay those from before
But it always collapses eventually.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another View of History

For yet another view of history, check out Europe Between the Oceans (reviewed here). The author, Sir Barry Cunliffe, takes the view that history is largely determined by geography, a claim that hearkens back at least to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. So maybe history isn't about great people after all. It's about masses ... land masses!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Heroes and Hordes

Audio

Of history, some take the view
It's shaped by what great people do.
But others think the evidence
Shows trends of thought lead to events.

Thomas Carlyle, way back when,
Blamed history on the "great men."
Some others have opposed this view.
(I guess it doesn't matter who.)

It's quite egalitarian
To think that each barbarian
Is just as good as civilized,
But this point's been politicized.

Those who believe some folks are great
Think they deserve more from the state.
But those who see life as more fair
Think everyone deserves a share.

Is it about movements and trends,
Or great folks serving their own ends?
How can we ever solve this riddle?
The answer's somewhere in the middle.