Monday, June 27, 2005

Can of worms?

So, if the Supreme Court has decided that file-sharing software developers are responsible for the piracy committed with their product, will we be holding Smith & Wesson responsible for the shootings that take place with their product?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Critical mass

I am sitting at my trusty iBook, finding every excuse imaginable to avoid working on the paper I'm supposed to finish by Monday. I have an outline. I have data. I have notes. I have to write.

Instead, I am getting up every few mintutes to watch the A&E Biography program on the Brady Bunch. Did you know the A&E in A&E network stands for Arts and Entertainment? Does the Brady Bunch qualify as either of those? I guess it is entertaining in the same way all this Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey shit is entertaining.

Speaking of which, I am sure this isn't the most politically correct thing to say, but I really doubt Rosa Parks fought for a seat back in Montgomery so that Oprah could throw a hissy fit about not getting into a f*#@ing Hermes store in Paris. If that's the most humiliated she's ever been, she's lived a charmed life.

And Tom Cruise is a raving lunatic. All this media attention has led me to do some reading, including the Wikipedia entries on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, and frankly these people are more frightening then a busload of Baptists at a science fair.

I am hoping this is all reaching some kind of critical mass, and Hollywood is going to implode. Let's boycott the movies and put them out of business.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is a test.

I can "blog" via email, now. I am not entirely sure of the benefit of this, since if I can email, I must have access to a computer, and if I have access to a computer I can go to my blog and update. I think. Unless I am leery of the security of the computer I am using and don't want to sign in to my blogspot account. But, I'd still have to sign on to my email, wouldn't I? And given the choice between someone accessing my email or my blog, I'd rather have them poking around my blog.

I am going to Montana next month. It will be the first trip the missus and I have taken together since we went to Florida in February of '03. It will be our first trip to Montana since May of 1998, before we were even married. I remember that we watched the last episode of Sienfeld at her aunt's house. We're going to have huckleberry shakes and eat lots of beef, and I'm going to have some micro-brewed beer, unless the whole micro-brewery phenomenon died out in Montana like it did here. Remember all the micro-breweries popping up everywhere in the nineties? Those were the days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Finally summer!

I would be enjoying the balmy summer weather we are finally getting more if it wasn't 64 degrees in my office. Now I know why the woman who had this office before me covered the AC duct in the ceiling. I have to open the window to warm up. This seems to be a problem for everyone I know who works indoors.

I wonder if they air condition schools, now. I remember the teachers turning the lights out to keep the classrooms cool when I was a kid. I thought AC was just for rich people. The landlady had an air conditioner in her living room and I used to go upstairs to her apartment (her youngest son and I were best friends) and stand right in front of it. Now I'll only put our AC in the bedroom if the missus absolutely insists. I just don't like the stale air.

The older I get the pickier I am about temperature control. The range of my "comfort zone" gets more and more narrow each year. Pretty soon I am going to be one of those cranks who bitches if it isn't exactly 77 degrees and 50% humidity (which happens to be the precise readings right now-it figures that I'm stuck in this frigid office). I used to love extreme temperatures. I wanted summer to be 100 and winter to be 20 below. Not anymore.

In an entirely unrelated note: where does Tom Cruise come off making comments about Brooke Shields's career? Tom, she's been making movies since before your girlfriend was born, asshat!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A one-sided argument is no argument at all.

I am working on my senior capstone project, as it is called here at the School for Professional and Continuing Studies of the large university in the northeast where I study and work. My paper is focusing on the effect and efficacy of term limits on the professionalization of legislatures. In the statement of my research problem, I wanted to present the argument put forth by supporters of term limits. Their argument is based on the belief that citizen legislators are preferable to professional politicians. I went to the web site for US Term Limits, the most prominent term limit advocacy group, to find some kind of explanation of their position. I found a quote from Benjamin Franklin, a one sentence mission statement and many, many news articles about the fight to preserve term limits where they have been passed.

This is typical of organizations dedicated to one specific cause. So much effort goes into promoting the fight that the reason for the fight never gets explained clearly. The assumption is that the argument is so self evident that there is no need to clarify it. When pressed for an answer, many supporters of causes like this get trapped in circular logic. "Unlimited terms are bad because they allow people to hold office indefinitely, and that's bad so we should have term limits." I can tell you that term limits could help prevent elected office holders from becoming entrenched in their positions and considering and enacting legislation based on a narrow point of view. But I could also tell you that the activity of drafting, considering, reviewing and revising legislation is a complex process that might very well benefit from the input of experienced legislators. What I cannot seem to find on US Term Limits is a researched, logically supported examination of the process of legislative professionalization and the drawbacks to the end result of that process.

My point of view is that term limits are unnecessary and redundant. Terms are already limited, and if citizens are not happy with an elected office holder, then they should stand for election against them. Yes, that is a lot of work. Yes, a well-connected politician might be difficult to defeat. It is too common for people to rail against "the politicians" and "the government" as if there is some separate ruling class that needs to be overthrown. The term limit argument appears to contradict itself. On the one hand, it says that getting elected is so difficult that it is virtually impossible to get someone out of office once they are in. On the other hand it proposes that the best protection for democracy is to force turnover and compel more people to run for office. I would think the most likely outcome of term limits would be greater party control over candidate selection. If candidates are going to be needed for every office every eight years, the party is going to get more involved in grooming and maintaining a candidate pool. A classic example of this scenario would be the story of George Wallace in Alabama. That state had gubernatorial term limits that stipulated no person could serve more than two consecutive terms. So when Wallace's second term was coming to a close, his wife ran for election. And won. She served a term, and George ran again. And won again. If people aren't interested in working for a change in government, there won't be a change.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A quick PSA

Hey there, folks. It's 9:25 AM EDT. If you regularly stream KEXP with Windows Media player(like I do) you may have found that it is looping the same 11 seconds of a song and then freezing this morning. They are working on the problem (it isn't your Windows Media Player). I would suggest downloading the free RealPlayer and streaming the 128k mp3 stream with that. It's working for me.

I'll write something a little more interesting in here soon, I promise.

Friday, June 10, 2005


I have abandoned Diaryland for blogger. As much as I hold an aversion to the word "blog," and still cannnot bring myself to say it aloud, I like the look of the templates here. I have also read several "blogspot bloggers" and get the sense that this is a slightly more mature community. Mumble mumble, cough cough, quite right, wot wot? I sound so stuffy, but I guess I should embrace it and just be me.

I am going to try to put something worth reading up here most days. Sometimes I will rant, sometimes I will be too analytical (emphasis on the anal), and sometimes I will just be silly, but I hope I will be somewhat entertaining without insulting anybody's intelligence.