July 13th, 2004

acquire rational thought [individum]

what if terrorists attacked right before the November election...

So, everyone’s freaking out about this idea that the November election might be postponed in case of terrorist attack. Now, regardless of whether you think there is danger of a terrorist attack, let’s say that the people in charge believe there is such a danger. Wouldn’t it make sense to plan for that possibility? I mean, if there had been a national election scheduled for September 11, 2001, would anyone argue that said election should have gone on as planned rather than being postponed a few weeks?

Click here for more discussion.
i fight fire with words

on hate speech laws

Someone (the comment later got deleted, so i’m leaving the person anonymous) left a comment saying, "Something stops being one's right to freedom of expression when it infringes upon that same right [of freedom of expression] in another."

My instinct is to agree, though then i think i wouldn’t wanna make it a motto or something because that opens the door for all that inane “They won’t publish me; they’re censoring me!”

Whatever happened to “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? (Huh, apparently that’s one of those “famous things people didn’t say” things.)

My father rightly points out that "you should be very, very slow to give your friends power that you wouldn't want to see in the hands of your enemies." He continues: "In a free society, one must be willing to accept various affronts--else no one could ever say or do anything controversial."

I disagree with lots of things people have said, but there’s no way we can have conversation if people aren’t allowed to say what they really think. This of course dovetails with my belief that it is far better for everyone to be upfront about their agendas/biases/etc.
hermione by oatmilk

and while i'm mandating, i meant to post this a few days ago

Am i the only person who thinks a flat tax would be a good idea? All paychecks (excluding paying under the table, obviously) pass through the federal government anyway. Couldn’t the federal government just take 10% (or whatever gets deemed a good number) out of everyone’s paycheck just like Social Security etc. gets taken out? This would eliminate the entire April 15 process. (Clearly i’m evil, because the fact that this would mean some huge number of people would be out of work is not to my mind a compelling reason to retain the current tax system.)

Campaign finance is trickier. I hate that you have to be rich to make it in politics, but it also seems obscene to say “People like you enough to give you lots of money, but we won’t let you use it.” But then, what do you need campaign funds for, exactly?

Well, first you need to spread your message to voters. We get booklets before local elections about what a Yes or No vote on Proposition #whatever would mean. I have long thought there should be something similar for candidates. Succinct easy-to-understand statements of their platforms. Brief summaries of their voting records. I absolutely think people should be informed voters, and i have long wished that it were easier for people to be so.

National debates i assume you get your transportation/housing subsidized by your party.

Wandering the country kissing babies... yeah, you can spend your own money on that.


Remember how i watched the Buffy musical with Jonah and he fell in love? Well Sunday night he IMs me:
So Buffy is like the best thing ever. How could you not tell me that it was so wonderful. (I took out the first season on DVD from the library.)
It really amazing. It's so well-written and compelling, and the metaphors are creative and fresh and deal with teen issues so well. The dialogue and script is wonderful, and Joss Whedon seems like the coolest person ever.
I finally saw Y Tu Mamá También. What’s the big deal about that movie? (Sidenote: it reminded me a lot of Nico and Dani.)

Speaking of overrated. I read the in the most recent NYT Magazine and of course it mentioned "Art Spiegelman's groundbreaking" Maus. I finally read Maus recently and was almost bored. Am i missing something? (Note to self: must write Nancy Pearl and complain that Sandman wasn’t mentioned under Graphic Novels in Book Lust.)

Ellyn e-mailed on Monday saying they had free tickets to I, Robot, so i reread the Asimov book, which i had been meaning to since i saw the ads for the movie.

I realized that Chapter 2: Runaround, is what i think of as I, Robot. The ads remind me of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which got turned into Blade Runner. Having reread the Asimov book, the ads most reminded me of “Little Lost Robot.” People on IMDb have suggested that the movie is likely aiming to be another I, Robot chapter -- in the spirit of Asimov’s world but not explicitly adapting any particular story.

Having finished the book i thought "Wow Asimov is brilliant" and decided i really didn’t wanna see the mutant hybrid of a movie. I might not have been allowed to anyway, actually. Jenny said Ellyn wouldn’t let her go. Maybe you had to be a mentor? (Neither of us are.) Bonding time with the girls or whatever. Blah.


“Violations” (5.12) ... omg that was possibly the most disturbing episode ever.

“Conundrum” (5.14) ... gah! it’s the “Tabula Rasa” (BtVS 6.08) episode. (ladyvivien: i’ve decided Ro Laren is Vash done right. Leaving aside the whole relationship part of it, that is. She has Vash’s attitude but i actually like her.)
Giles on a horse, need i say more? [muzakgurrl]

(no subject)

Worked 6 and a half hours today, which is the most so far. Actually got a lot done, which made me feel good. Some of the usual office monkey “put together a packet to be mailed out for so-and-so” stuff, but also a lot of real work. Pulled a submission from body image for use on a web feature and heavily edited it. (English is not the author’s first language.) Also wrote introduction to said web feature.

Read 3 short story submissions. The first one had lots of interesting description but ended up losing itself in the purple prose. The POV character starts quoting Shelley near the end, so i wondered if the author had been reading too much of the Romantic poets recently. That same author also wrote a story about various characters at her (the POV character’s) grandmother’s nursing home. Much different style, which bodes well for the author’s future as a writer. The last one was about a girl who has been taking ballet lessons for 10 years and finally quits because of the taskmaster instructor. The narrator doesn’t want to become a professional dancer, just wants to dance for fun, and ends up at a once-a-week class filled with middle-aged women where she truly enjoys herself.

Jenny and i chatted about them. She said that Ellyn had pointed to the heavily descriptive one as an example of what Teen Voices is looking for. Jenny and i agreed that we thought of the ballet one as the best for Teen Voices.

Last time i got caught in the rain going from Teen Voices to South Station i was irked, even though i like the rain, because i wasn’t expecting it. This time i was and quite enjoyed the rain, leaving my umbrella in my bag.

Oh, and Monday finished out well. I finally got to the mail at 4:15 after having finished the send item list and all the route ins were done save the blue slips (item specific requests, rather than regular interlibrary returns). Got a good chunk of it done. Whole lot of new cards that day. Don’t think i fucked anything up, though there were numerous little things that had been changed in the past year that i hadn’t been informed of.