Monday, November 21, 2005


Mitt Romney feels that John Adams would be surprised (and, I take it he also means disappointed) that the Supreme Judicial Court found that the Massachusetts Constitution protects the right of homosexuals to marry. Well, Adams would probably be mortified that women leave the house in flip-flops, tube tops and cut-offs, but I hardly think Romney would like to see them outlawed. Adams et al did not write constitutions with the intention of solving every public policy debate once and for all. This is high school civics, and Romney should be aware of it. (Oh yeah, high schools don't teach civics anymore.) The framers did not try to answer all of posterity's questions in one sitting. If they had wanted to do that, they wouldn't have left slavery unresolved so it could tear the country in two seventy years after the constitutional convention. What's true of the U.S. Constitution is true of the many state constitutions. They provide a framework for the process to settle public debate.

This issue among many others, such as abortion,illustrates why the Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution and why many framers and politicians of the day did not want to delineate the rights of citizens in a list. They were concerned that future governments would use the inverse assumption (i.e. if you do have the rights we listed, you don't have any others) to hamper personal liberty. At the time many people had the wild idea that all people were born with unlimited individual liberty, and that governments, rather than existing to grant limited rights, existed to determine what few limitations on these unlimited rights could be agreed upon and enacted under common deliberation. They weren't proclaiming commandments, they were providing guidance. That's why constitutions were written on paper, not in stone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I could be disappointed, and it would be okay.

Every fall, there is one day when it goes from summer/fall to fall/winter. The temperature usually hits 70 sometime in the afternoon, then drops 20 or 30 degrees by 8 p.m. Today is supposed to be that day. The cold is finally on the way. I like the winter (until about February) so it doesn't bother me that much. I start looking forward to the bone chilling cold, although I have not been such a big fan of snow since I started having to shovel out a car. Although I promised myself I would go sledding if we got a lot of snow this year.

There weren't any big surprises in last week's election. The May-ah trounced Maura Hennigan, unfortunately. And Patricia White lost. And it looks like Flaherty is safe in his council presidency, although Arroyo made a good showing. Now let's see if Hizzoner tries to make good on his pledge to "get the universities to pay their fair share."

I'm not sure I can make it through the holidays without cable TV.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Election Day!

Get out and vote! I got dressed up nice and everything. I wore my old favorite shirt that I forgot I had and a bow tie. Then I walked the four blocks down to my polling place where I didn't even have to stand in line. There were a few people already in the "booths" filling out their ballots. I miss the old mechanical voting machines, and I am always afraid that my vote is going to get invalidated because I go the tiniest bit outside of the lines. And did you know that November 8th is the latest day that election day can fall on? It is the first Tuesday after the first Monday, so it always falls between the 2nd and the 8th. Congress did this to keep it from falling on All Saints Day (according to wikipedia).

I am still suffering from my cold, feeling congested and a little light headed from blowing my nose so much. I hope I don't get too stuffed up, because I can't take anything for it with all the medicines I am on. Feh. I was in the doctor's office a couple of weeks ago and overheard one of the nurse practitioners talking to a patient who I assumed was an elderly woman by the tone and volume of the conversation. It sounded like she was calling in to ask what she should do about her cold. (How do you get to be an old woman and not learn what to do about a cold?) After a few preliminary questions about fluids and medicines I heard the nurse say, "Oh yes, we call that a 'Hot Toddy.' Sweats it right out of ya."

I'm going to go spread my germs at the campus cafe and get a "Virgin Hot Toddy."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blatant Time Wasting

It's 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon, and I haven't even gotten one tenth of the reading I need to do for my classes this week done. It's a dreary Sunday afternoon and I feel like wasting it on foolish noodling about on the internet and in front of the TV. I will probably call in sick to work tomorrow, using the slight scratch at the back of my throat and the touch of congestion in my head as an excuse. I'll keep busy then, but today I just want to goof off. Isn't that what Sundays are for?

I went out last night, but I cut the night short. The missus and I just couldn't get excited about being in a loud, dark nightclub all night. I was feeling a little under the weather then - probably the first signs of the cold I am getting now - and we skipped out before the second band even got started. Probably the best thing to do in the long run.

I wish I had a fireplace. I'd toast marshmallows now if I could. Maybe even make s'mores. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is Monday. Monday is a good day to start from scratch.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Trick or...or...or what!? What!!??

My first Halloween with diabetes and I wasn't a very good little goblin. I'm lucky that I don't have too much difficulty managing my blood sugar. I've been going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week for about a month, now, and that's helped keep me in control. But last night I went to bed with a pretty good spike in the glucose levels. Phooey - no more treats for me, and every candy dish I pass is overflowing with chocolate.

This Halloween hasn't been particularly spooky. I think it's because all the leaves are still on the trees. There aren't any creepy shadows following me around. Another thing I've noticed this autumn is a distinct dearth of squirrels. I've seen a few, but nowhere near as many as last year. I literally tripped over them on campus last fall as they dashed from trash can to bench to bushes. This year I have to keep my eyes peeled just to catch sight of one, and they're skittish and shy and skinny. Now, the missus and I are convinced (Yankee weather prognosticators that we are) that you can predict the severity of the coming winter by the girth of these little rodents. Last year they were porkers, and we spent the better part of 5 months under a more-or-less permanent blanket of snow.

I am not sure whether the paucity and puniness of this years crop is a good sign or a bad sign. Maybe whatever instinct tells them to fatten up also tells them not to bother reproducing if an even harsher winter is following on the heels of the first.