Friday Follies: Let’s Do the Numbers

This week Team TRUMP sent me the following email:

Friend, CNN is at it again. Their latest phony poll claims that 64% of Americans have less confidence in President Trump than they did one year ago. Yet of more than 1,000 people interviewed, just 24% were Republicans.

♪ O Say Can We See Through the Demagoguery ♪

Chris Long will be working for nothing this year. The 6’3” 270-pound defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles said this week that he’s donating his next 10 weeks’ salary to increasing educational opportunities for underserved kids in the three cities where he has played professional football. Earlier he had given his first six weeks’ pay for scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s 16 weeks, the entire NFL season, for which he is paid $1 million.

Blogging in a time of horror

The aim of these blogs is to present short essays that will give you an idea to consider, if only fleetingly, much like Robert Frost’s belief that a poem could be “a momentary stay against confusion.” So perhaps they’re not equipped to deal with a tragedy of the proportions of Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas, which to date has killed 59 people and wounded over 520 more. Yet to write about something else seems a kind of a desecration, as does engaging in the same mind-numbing dance in which accusations of “politicizing” the shootings stifle any debate at all. 

Sleeping with the Olympic bomber (Part 3)

I didn’t think too much about the news because, like most people, I knew the Olympic bomber was an overweight guy with a mustache. Then I remembered – the fat guy, Richard Jewell, had been the victim of a rush to judgment by both police and the press. The real bomber was Eric Rudolph.

Shameless Begging

Two or three decades ago some free local newspapers instituted something called “voluntary pay,” in which they asked their readers to put money in an envelope enclosed in the paper – and assured them they would continue to receive the paper whether they ponied up or not. This was an interesting strategy, one which made no sense to me and whose results were so sufficiently modest that the idea never caught on with the industry.

A narrow trail lovingly made

A new trail begins just west of Little Long Pond on the Mt. Desert Land & Garden Preserve, which consists of 1,165 acres abutting Acadia National Park. The Richard Trail is named for Richard Rockefeller, a doctor who for years chaired the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders and died when the plane he was piloting crashed in fog and heavy rain three years ago.