Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Odds and ends

Mark Twain: Primitive Buddhist?
"In Sydney I had a large dream. . . . I dreamed that the visible universe is the physical person of God; that the vast worlds that we see twinkling millions of miles apart in the fields of space are the blood corpuscles in His veins; and that we and the other creatures are the microbes that charge with multitudinous life the corpuscles."--Following the Equator, 1897
Whatever, this is a beautiful vision of the sacred. Some say Buddhists don't believe in God. Some Buddhists say that they don't believe there is anything that is not God. And some say that Following the Equator is a gentle vacation you can take whenever you feel the need to just stop and stare out to sea.

Hussein: Common Arabic name. Meaning: Handsome one.

And when it comes to Barack, I gotta agree--the name his daddy gave him was right on. Whatever your politics, the guy is gorgeous, and yes, he can dance!

He can also converse intelligently without coming across like he's promoting himself. All this stuff about how he has no specific policies--I just don't find that to be true. He addresses an issue and then he tells how he would deal with it. It's true that no elected president yet has been able to deliver on even a fourth of what s/he promises, but there are plenty of specifics there.

Study finds immigrants commit less California crime (my bold)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) Feb 26, 2008. Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S.-born citizen to commit crime in California, the most populous state in the United States, according to a report issued late on Monday.

People born outside the United States make up about 35 percent of California's adult population but account for about 17 percent of the adult prison population, the report by the Public Policy Institute of California showed.

According to the report's authors the findings suggest that long-standing fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified. The report also noted that U.S.-born adult men are incarcerated at a rate more than 2 1/2 times greater than that of foreign-born men.

"Our research indicates that limiting immigration, requiring higher educational levels to obtain visas, or spending more money to increase penalties against criminal immigrants will have little impact on public safety," said Kristin Butcher, co-author of the report and associate professor of economics at Wellesley College.

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