"Ladies and gentlemen: War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children." -- Jimmy Carter (b. 1924-10-01; US President 1977-01-20 to 1981-01-20), Nobel Lecture, 2002-12-10
(Also, happy birthday to my nephew Kyle, if my sister lets him read this)
There are a few advantages to this (now that I have a good fountain pen, and won't give myself tendinitis like I did in Japan -- hooray for ergonomics!)
-I can treat every word as something provisional, something I'm going to have to toss away anyway, if only to retype it.
-I get to give myself little milestones along the way, of filling up a notebook, of running out of ink in my pen and changing the ink.
-I don't have to get quite so hung up over numbers and word count -- 'About two pages, almost every day' is comfortingly vague. (I'm not sure it's going to be good for my own sense of pacing -- hopefully I won't find out that it's way under or over the page count I was looking for, once I type it up!)
There is one big disadvantage.
I had forgotten, for a time, about the notebooks that I lost in transit when I moved back from Japan. But longhand makes it very hard to follow the principle of 'if you don't have three copies, you don't have any.' There's fire and floods and my own scatter-brained-ness to contend with.
I wonder how much trouble it would be to scan in every page and email it to myself. I wonder if the copies would be clear enough to retype from. I wonder if I'm worrying too much about this.
Scene : my therapist's waiting room.
Stranger on phone: Hi, I was wondering if you had this book? Oh, you're not open yet? When do you open?
Me : Hi, I'm a librarian? Can I check the library catalog for you?
Stranger :YES THANK YOU.
Hopefully that's all the librarianship I'll do for the next 12 days? Though I might try to show my mom how to download audio books.
But, yeah, might make a difference to get myself on a bike that fits better.
"Get it? They're playing a part. And what makes me think there's something to it is, I know that's what I do when I get up on a stage. I play a part. I'm not me, the fellow who lives in Rumson, New Jersey, and keeps parakeets. I'm The Incredible Art. If you look at it one way, I'm sort of hypnotizing myself into behaving, what do they call it, counterfactually. And not just me. All actors. They get up there night after night. The corns don't hurt, the cough doesn't hack, whether they're exhausted or not the step is spry -- until the curtain comes down, and that glorious, radiant creature schlumps away to the dressing room and the Bromo-Seltzer and the Preparation H." -- The Incredible Art, in The Cool War by Frederik Pohl (1979, Del Rey / Ballantine Books, New York)
Nobody *could* interfere. If someone wanted to mess with an election, he'd have to be able to break into where the machines were stored, open the back and do a whole lot of things to mess with the gears -- and it wouldn't really be worth the time. Each machine was independent of all others. The votes were recorded on paper with a lot of carbon paper copies behind it-- four or five -- and the election judges would tally the totals from the machines at their site and send them to the Board of Elections -- driving there, and taking along the papers so they could be retained and checked.
In 1985 I covered all the races that were open in one Western New York county, some 69 races from dogcatcher (yes) to US senate. In order to find out the results, I took my calculator to the county Board of Elections and did my own tallies of each race, reading from right to left along the carbon totals, copying everything on paper, bringing it back to the newspaper office and writing up the results. My calculator ran out of batteries at 4 a.m., while I was still working on totals.
Why did we go to electronic voting machines? Greed. Greed for the news, sooner than it takes for humans to add up the results of individual machines, or stacks of punched cards. Even though nobody elected would take office for nearly two months, people want to know *sooner*. Now. This second.
But the problem this year -- in a midterm election, during a time when the economy is wobbly, when many governments have been defunded by Republicans and have little money -- is a bit different than it was. AVM mechanical voting machines did not age the way computers do. AVM machines would, eventually, get metal stress and wear out, or need new parts that could be installed with a screwdriver. Electronic voting machines used now are several years old, running software that is generations behind what is current. They are eminently hackable, using unencrypted centralized Windows software. Nobody seems to have created an update of the software that could be installed.
Why voting machines are about to wreak havoc on another election. Simple answer: software from 2002.
And so, now, there are other issues as well.
In Virginia, up to 200,000 people may not be able to vote because of problems with voter ID. Think about this. Spread this number out among election districts in a rural state. That's enough to change a few races.
I have to wonder if it might be possible to pay Congress by the hour instead of by the term, because these guys have done very little on the clock.
If you live in North Carolina, or any other state with a heavy Republican interest, check the information that you're mailed about voting. Americans for Prosperity -- another Koch brothers enterprise -- are sending out the wrong information. On purpose? You have to ask? Well, maybe they interviewed the cat and it said it wanted to vote?
And in Wisconsin, a troll on Facebook suggested armed poll watchers check to see who supported the movement to recall the governor. This idiocy did not go down well.
"Thanks to Abbott's homophobic politicking, Connie Wilson is in a tough spot. She may not be able to vote. The couple's finances are in the name Wilson. Their child's last name is Wilson. Connie's medical records. Every valid legal record of her life amounts to who she is today: Connie Wilson. DPS suggested that Connie get an Texas ID with her birth name, which is not her legal name.
"As a married LGBT citizen and new resident to Texas, Connie told the Texas Observer that she feels undocumented. 'My name is already legally Wilson. I don't know if a judge will even grant me a name change from Wilson to Wilson.'"
-- Brint Crockett, "Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denies Mom Of Three Driver's License -- And Right To Vote", 2014-09-24
The September 26th Project Censored show looks at Affordable Housing and Coalitions for Building Safe and Healthy Communities in the San Francisco Bay area. We address how reactionary forces including the Tea Party and Nimby groups seek to block equitable housing and livable communities . Our guests include Wendi Kallins with the Coalition for a Livable Marin, […]
The post Affordable Housing and Coalitions for Building Safe and Healthy Communities appeared first on Project Censored.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-09-19:
"A rib has no particular potency nor is it associated mythologically or symbolically with any human generative act. Needless to say, the penis has always been associated with generation, in practice, in mythology, and in the popular imagination. Therefore, the literal, metaphorical, and euphemistic use of the word tzela make the baculum a good candidate for the singular bone taken from Adam to generate Eve." -- Scott F. Gilbert and Ziony Zevit, writing in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, offering an alternative interpretation of the Biblical account of the creation of Eve.
(submitted to the mailing list by Rob Wood)
The quoted summary paragraph is a good summary, but I find the two preceeding paragraphs more interesting. The first of those is:
One of the creation stories in Genesis may be an explanatory myth wherein the Bible attempts to find a cause for why human males lack this particular bone. Our opinion is that Adam did not lose a rib in the creation of Eve. Any ancient Israelite (or for that matter, any American child) would be expected to know that there is an equal (and even) number of ribs in both men and women. Moreover, ribs lack any intrinsic generative capacity. We think it is far more probable that it was Adamâs baculum that was removed in order to make Eve. That would explain why human males, of all the primates and most other mammals, did not have one. The Hebrew noun translated as "rib," tzela (tzade, lamed, ayin), can indeed mean a costal rib. It can also mean the rib of a hill (2 Samuel 16:13), the side chambers (enclosing the temple like ribs, as in 1 Kings 6:5,6), or the supporting columns of trees, like cedars or firs, or the planks in buildings and doors (1 Kings 6:15,16). So the word could be used to indicate a structural support beam. Interestingly, Biblical Hebrew, unlike later rabbinic Hebrew, had no technical term for the penis and referred to it through many circumlocutions. When rendered into Greek, sometime in the second century BCE, the translators used the word pleura, which means "side," and would connote a body rib (as the medical term pleura still does). This translation, enshrined in the Septuagint, the Greek Bible of the early church, fixed the meaning for most of western civilization, even though the Hebrew was not so specific.
The entire piece is pretty short. Go take a look.
My cell phone decided yesterday to launch itself on a voyage of discovery and somehow escaped from my purse.
And landed on the road, where I did not see it (black case on asphalt) and accidentally drove over it.
The SU found it later -- the touchscreen is splintered so that if I even try to swipe on it I get minuscule bits of glass in my fingertips.
But it still plays the song I had cued up: Heartache Tonight, by the Eagles.
"The complementarity of the persons in a marriage reflects the complementarity of the Persons of the Trinity, and the bliss of marital union is an inkling of the bliss of the union of the Persons of the Trinity." -- Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, "Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage", 2014-09-03
"Aha! So we should be promoting triads." -- dmk, reacting to Gobry's statement, 2014-09-13 (non-public FB comment)
I thought that I was really down because of what was going on with my book and publishing stuff, but actually, I was really down for lots of other reasons too, and I ended up pinning a lot of hope on publishing as, like, the One Thing That Could Save Me from things like toxic workplaces and bad landlords, so every time I failed with the publishing stuff I felt like I was failing with everything.
And I'm not going to say that I'm over that, because I'm not, but I sort of feel better about whacking at toxic workplaces and bad landlords from other angles (besides 'be very rich so that I don't have to deal with them'). And that makes everything else just a little bit lower-stakes.
By Chris McManus Summary: Tea Party activists and some North Bay liberals team up to defeat affordable housing. The Housing Element process is explained. The fight for an elder housing project in Fairfax, California becomes bitter and divisive. The participation by Koch Industry controlled astro-turfed think tanks is explored. Agenda 21 is used as a […]
The post The Green Tea Party and The Fight for Affordable Housing in America’s Most Expensive Community appeared first on Project Censored.
After, you know, the other ones on the stove.
(I know, having rewatched parts, that The X-Files is decidedly NOT a "super epic love put in danger because of shadowy conspiracies and evil governments" kind of show -- certainly it was most interesting when it wasn't -- but when you watch it as a particular kind of swoony 15-year-old, well...)
NYTimes on the theoretical background behind the Caliphate, the Caliph, and the reaction of other Arab states to this.
Republicans are selling access to Republican governors -- corporations pay big bucks and someone from there gets in to meet the politician and gain access to lawmaking with influence. This is corruption, and it comes pretty close to simony too -- so what if it isn't an ecclesiastical seat being sold? That was in the days when the Catholic Church was a government as well.
The CIA's comic guide to national security jargon -- with cartoon illustrations.
Really sweet chalk drawings on streets and bricks and unexpected little places.
David is the son of the director of the a capella group I sing with. Please notice that he is not asking for money *for the program* -- he has applied for grants for the program itself. This is money for him to live on for a year while he puts the thing together: $8,000, which is just about at if not below the poverty line.
If you have a few dollars to send to help someone do very good things, please consider David.
"On Rosh Hashanah we are aware that God is judging us. But God is truly judging us every moment of every day. It is only on Rosh Hashanah that we, as a people, pause to reflect on this phenomenon." -- Michael Mascolo
Grgorian: 2014 September 25
Julian: 2014 September 12
Hebrew: 5775 Tishri 1
Islamic: 1435 Dhu al-Qa'da 30
Persian: 1393 Mehr 3
Indian: 1936 Asvina 3
"Hey, so, you tried to deliver on Sunday to a closed business, didn't make another delivery attempt, didn't make a delivery attempt after I'd requested redelivery, and it's been incredibly difficult to try to talk to a human being and get this sorted out."
"Have you tried upgrading your web browser?"
Emily vs. USPS, round 2:
"Hey, so, what's going on with this package that got sent out from a NYC address almost a week ago?"
"It was in Long Island City! It was in Jersey City! It was in Brooklyn! It was out for delivery in the COMPLETELY WRONG ZIP CODE WHICH YOU HAVE NOT LIVED IN SINCE 2008."
"And now it is..."
And round 2 a DAY after round 1.
(The ONLY address ChinaSprout has on file for me is the right address so... I'm going to be curious to see what happened, if I ever do get this package.)
I don't think anybody is ever going to displace FedEx in the deep dark grudgy parts of my heart, but USPS is sure trying.
I thought, this is how Aquaman feels when they finally have an adventure that relies on being able to talk to fish. This is my Obscure Super Power, finally coming into play.
(It was Mint anyway, so it was easy, but I don't know if any of my coworkers have even seen Linux before. And lest you be annoyed with this guy's son for installing a weird OS on his dad's computer, it was a really ancient laptop, so I'm betting it runs a lot better with Mint than with Windows.)
(I am continuously threatening to install Linux on my mom's laptop. But I think the fact that I keep threatening it reduces the total number of tech questions I get!)
It did occur to me, eventually, that doing 17 miles on a bike with the saddle tilted down so that all my upper body weight was sliding forward and being supported by my wrists was... unwise, and likely to lead to a lot of pain.
(Emily! The mini tool is SO MINI. Just CARRY IT WITH YOU.)
A new bicycle is still likely in the medium-distant future for Reasons, and I've certainly learned my lesson re: buying bicycles that I haven't been well fitted to, but... having adjusted that, I'm likely to be able to work with what I've got for a while longer.
Phones4U was bought by the private equity house, BC Partners, in 2011 for £200m. BC then borrowed £205m and, having saddled the company with vast amounts of debt, paid themselves a dividend of £223m. Crippled by debt, the company has now collapsed into administration.Private equity has been doing that sort of thing over here for years, and it is so acceptable that one of its most successful perpetrators, Willard Romney, ran for president himself instead of hiding behind a more palatable candidate, as the malefactors of great wealth have traditionally done. In the old science fiction gimmick of having the future look back on us with horror and mockery, I suggest:
Back in the day, a PE guy ran for president.
Who did he run against, a pimp?
Thanx to Making Light for the link