My Novels

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Ah, Sunday again...and I only have a short time at the computer. Today is the one day of the week I DO get out and away from my house/desk. Retirement is GREAT though, and I wouldn't change anything about this, being able to sleep late, bike when the weather is nice, write or surf the net during the day... Home and possessions paid for, a modest income, a modest lifestyle..but debt-free. Yes, I like my life now.

In the news I found an article about our current recession. I sold some of my stocks after Sept.11th, so just call me cautious, not unpatriotic. {As an aside, one thing that bugs me is the Prez saying our patriotic duty is to, "spend, spend, spend and go about our lives, have a good time..." No wonder so many other people in the world think we're arrogant and selfish, when the best advice our Prez can give us in a time of war is to "spend and have a good time."} Anyhow, here's an excerpt from more bad news about the economy:

Equal Opportunity Recession: Almost Everyone Is Feeling It

The breadth of the current downturn is not solely the result of the shock caused by the terrorist attacks. In recent years, as many cities and towns have lured companies from elsewhere with tax breaks and cash grants, regional economies have diversified and begun to look more alike.

Between March, when the recession officially began, and November, 37 states lost more jobs than they gained. Many of those states, now grappling with revenue shortfalls, are considering budget cuts that themselves are likely to aggravate the downturn. Although the 1990-91 recession was more severe than this downturn, employment fell in only 31 states through its first eight months.

And now some more insight into bad human nature/behavior for the naive and uninitiated:

According to a history book on the Ohio Penitentiary, a man named James Clark Ridpath swung around the entire circle of truth and gave this kaleidoscopic view on the causes of crime.

He said: "I asked a man what was the cause of crime. He was a preacher, and he said it was original sin -- and nothing more. I asked a doctor and he said it was bad health -- that crime is only a form of disease. I asked a lawyer and he said -- defining a circle -- that it was the violation of the law and he would attend to it. He gave me his card. I asked a banker and he said it was the silver agitation. The silverites had destroyed public confidence. I asked a teacher and he said it was the lack of education -- the ignorance of the masses. I asked an astronomer and he said it was the spots on the sun. I asked a biologist and he said crime is zymotic in its origin with bacillus. I asked a politician and he said it was the essential badness of the law. He was a candidate for the lower house. I asked a busy man and he said it was indolence -- that idleness is the mother of all vice. I asked a nurseryman and he said it was the lack of fruit. I asked a man who had a phonetic alphabet and he said it was the abomination of the English orthography."

However, here's MY personal insights into human behavior because I'm a creative writer:

This discovery of the complexity of human nature was accompanied by another -- the discovery of the complexity and irrationality of human motive, the discovery that one could love and hate simultaneously, be honest and cheap, be arrogant and humble, be any pair of opposites that one had supposed to be mutually exclusive. This, I believe, is not common knowledge and would be incomprehensible to many. It has always been known, of course, by the dramatists and the novelist. It is, in fact, a knowledge far more disturbing to other people than to writers, for to writers it is the grist to their mills. -- Alan Paton "The Challenge of Fear" Saturday Review, '67

That's all folks for today!

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