grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm currently in CA, near San Francisco. My good friend Usakeh's mother has just died, so I have come out here to offer moral support. It's quite a blow for anyone, and harder when your mom is so young. [livejournal.com profile] millari is here, too, and it's been nice to spend time together. Things I like about it here: it's so sunny and mild; the gorgeous countryside of rolling hills; there aren't any mosquitos to eat me alive when I'm out exercising. What I don't like so much is that everything is more costly than back home in MA. If I were living out here, I'd really have to get a job.

Usakeh's dad is a Stanford prof, and he's been very accommodating of our presence, but I'm sure he'll be pleased to see the end of lounging on his sofas. Happily, it's a large, sunny, pleasant house so there is at least enough room. (Actually, the previous owner was apparently an AV nut, so there's a home theater room that's like a more comfortable version of the little downstairs venue at the old pleasant street theater.

We spent last weekend in Carmel, with U's grandparents (retired professors originally from Vienna), in a gorgeous villa overlooking the sea. It's probably worth millions now, but they've been there for decades and it has a pleasantly lived-in feel. It sort of reminds me of my grandmother's house, for all that it's a comfy Adobe structure on a slope with a gorgeous view of the bay, rather than a stodgy box in North Andover.

Lots of great places to go walking out there, and the most beautiful was Point Lobos state reservation. There were deer, seals, pelicans and many other birds, plus some truly gorgeous terrain and vegetation. I took a bunch of pictures, mainly thinking how Mole Underfield would love them and how he might paint them.

I'm flying back tomorrow, and then... Well, we'll see. No civil politics this week, as we're all away, which is a pity as Cruz and Kasich dropping out leave only Trump in the running for the GOP nomination is probably worth a few minutes discussion.

I have started reading the Three Musketeers, and enjoying it quite a bit. Dumas is quite the storyteller, and it's interesting to me how much I'm enjoying it despite the characters all being rather broad and archetypal. I wonder how much of that is because he created the archetypes? I have seen various movie adaptations, so I'm familiar with some of the story and general plot elements, but it's interesting to see how much of the milieu, the flavor of the story, comes from Dumas. Also, I'd forgotten that he was black. It fascinates me how much of the most popular pop culture is created by marginalized people.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm in a better mindset than my last post. It's tough to resist the old patterns of my family, but one of my friends (I think it was millari but it might have been morlock) summed it up well: don't go back to Andover to care of your mom, go back to visit your mom. And it's true that we already have a great team helping mom, with the PCAs from Home Instead, house calls from Patricia and Margaret at Elder Care Coordinator, financial coverage from the folks at US Trust, and chats with the minister. I'm going to focus on making my time in Andover about what I can do that others can't. Also, when I'm away, I call every day.

Right now, though, I'm in Tarrytown. I came down on Saturday and stayed with friends in Mount Vernon (super pleasant home for a super nice couple) (saw the Last Witchhunter movie, which was just as predictable and ersatz as a Snickers bar). Sunday we had the 'make plans for 2016' board meeting, and in the evening Lefty and I played Pathfinder (the adventure card game not the RPG, because who has time for such a baroque rules system?)* I had planned to drive back home tomorrow early in the day, but Lefty called and asked me to come take him to urgent care. He's got some sort of bladder problem that I think has been greatly exacerbated by an infection? Anyhoo, it was horrible so he needed a ride and a friend while he got treatment. I stayed the night at his place, and this morning the pills are working and he's much improved. Huzzah! (I beguiled the hours after he crashed out by watching Burn After Reading, which was as great as M told me it would be and was like watching a Fiasco game adapted to film, and the The Seven Percent Solution, which I had seen thirty years ago but I hadn't noticed that it's kind of racist and that Robert Duvall's British accent sounds terrible.)

Now I'm heading off with Lefty on a store errand, and then it's home to vote!

{BTW, while driving down, I listened to a podcast recommended by a friend I'll call Vanderbilt, the Blacklist Table Reads, which turns unproduced screen plays into audio dramas. It's a Hollywood thing, but the episode I listened to was Chrome Noir, a 30s crime story with robots that was a lot of fun.}



*I do, actually, in a game that Stoic is running. Honestly, though, if it weren't a long-running and already ongoing campaign, I don't know that I would find it worth the trouble, and I kept my character simple.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
OK, I found a work around for the glitch in the LJ app on my iPad, so I can write this post and see it at the same time. Much better.

I'm in Andover, visiting with my mother and brother as has become my wont. My brother has another chemo appointment tomorrow, and I'll be accompanying him. Assuming that he find this as tolerable as the last one, it will be the start of an ongoing series of treatments.

I have spent about three months of this year back here, lending what support I can. Besides cutting into my income, it's changed the situation at the store significantly. Back in May, when my brother was first diagnosed, I was here for most of the month to rally round the flag, and then my father died, so I wound up not working that entire month. While I was away, it became clear that the fellow managing the store was derelict in his duties and, worse, lying to the board about it. So, the first day I came back, he was fired and Lefty took over again as store manager (he's been coming up every week from New York), and we began this intense process of damage control to get the delinquent bills paid. It was a difficult couple of months, but we got things back on track, and we started grooming me to take over as store manager.

And then we found out that the doctors at MGH had been really wrong about Dave's condition. September was tumultuous, and we tried to find a way to tag-team running the store with each of us doing it part-time, but it just didn't work. So, while I'm still working at the store, I have stepped down as a manager, gone back to working hourly, and taking a pay cut. We have put out a call for applicants to manage the Northampton store, and I'll help train them up to the job, when I'm not out here.

I hope that my brother and I might take some fun trips together soon. I'm particularly thinking of Hawaii and then New Zealand, but sojourns to New York or Chicago also sound good.

I have been thinking about what to do with myself, given that I have more time on my hands, and what sort of goals I should pursue since throwing myself into work isn't really an option just now. It's lead me to wonder what it is that dedicated creative types have that I don't. One answer that has occurred is a social infrastructure that promotes writing, drawing, etc. and I think I might have stumbled into one just now around my new radio show.

Yes, I have a radio show, Civil Politics, on Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP, 103.3 FM for those of you in western MA) every Friday at 7 PM. I'm the host, and George Claxton and Susan Timberlake are the commenters, and we talk about political issues. We're less concerned with the tribal squabbles of our two parties, and more with what politics is about: competing interests, social problems, moral values, and finding ways to get along with each other. We must have 3 or 4 listeners already! (The show is available for streaming, and we're recording them as podcasts, which are online at civilpolitics.wordpress.com) I quite like doing the show, and I think it's an important set of discussions to have, one that more widely known media don't actually do. I have yet to listen to any of them again, but I will do, because I want to get better at it.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
Apropos of a comment I left for something [livejournal.com profile] anagramofbrat posted, I thought I'd bloviate about the terrible racket that are lotteries.  Every once in a while, I play lotteries like Mega-Millions, wherein I sacrifice a dollar for a non-zero chance to win tens of millions of dollars.  I don't expect to win, and I don't actually NEED the money, but I do it because of the freedom it would provide.  Not to travel, or escape the rat race, or pay off debts, because I already have that.

No, if I ever wind up with major money, I'm going into politics and philanthropy, because I could skip a lot of the fundraising that drains so many politicians time, energy, and independence.  And if I get REALLY rich, I may give Joss Whedon a fat check for more Firefly.

In reality, though, lotteries are cruel, regressive taxes that play on the desperate, the mentally ill, and the addicted.  I think the state should just raise taxes on the rich ever so slightly, and then automatically enroll everyone in a regular $1 million jackpot (free of state taxes).  Do it once a week, and we'll have about 50 new millionaires every year.  After a few years, I think it will make a huge dent in our problems with poverty, school funding, etc.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)

This is something I have been mulling over for... jeez, more than a year! (I guess I have fallen off the LJ wagon.) Since I heard about themurder of Trayvon Martin, and especially since Zimmerman's acquital. It's been on my mind especially because of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and the subsequent spectacularly unjustified armed response by that city's police department, and also since I had dinner with an old friend I haven't seen in a while, down in Atlanta, who is passionately committed to permissive gun laws.*

One of the great insights that has stayed with me since my undergraduate days was a passage from Aristotle's Politics, that runs something like this: "Just as a human hand is no longer a human hand once severed from the body, so too a person on their own is either a beast or a god." In a society that prizes individualism as much as ours, 18 year old me found it mind-blowing to consider that the full human experience demands living with other people. No matter how minimal or informal a society's legal customs, no matter how small the population with which one lives, we NEED other people.

(Mind you, I'm still a firm believer in the great American insight, that we are all unique individuals and that we all matter.)

Living with other people means living with the needs, opinions and concerns of one's contemporaries, and also with those of one's ancestors (which have probably become distilled into customs, rituals, folkways, songs, vocabulary, and so on and on). Also, because humans take so long to mature, and because our brains are so plastic, we depend on the context created by our societies to fully develop. I believe that those two truths together mean that there are many ways for us all to live together, and many ways to strike a balance between our need to be part of a group, and our need to be ourselves.

The tension between individual liberty and group needs must be a very old one for our species, but it's definitely been around since our societies became more complex, and became civilizations. The oldest story I know, the Epic of Gilgamesh, starts with low status citizens protesting oppression by their king--i.e. with people in Uruk struggling to balance their individual rights against the need to fit in with their society.

Here's where the guns part comes in: as thinkers like Hobbes and Locke have pointed out, one basic reason to put up with a society is that it helps protect its members from violence--from strangers and from the people one lives with. In a civilization, (i.e. in a more complex society with lots of strangers close by) the laws that restrict one's actions should also keep one safe. This is true in my case. I have walked the streets at night in every place I have ever lived, and never feared for my safety, and nothing bad has yet happened to me. (Obviously, that could change tomorrow, but I think 44 years is still a pretty good track record, even so.)

Let me emphasize this: I don't carry a gun or other dedicated weapon, nor do I even own one, though I easily could do. In all my life, I have never faced danger in my home, or outside it. I have had very few interactions with the police, and in none of them have I had any problems, or faced any danger that I could detect. On the two occasions that I have called them to my home (for false alarms), they were polite and helpful and prompt. I thus conclude that the civilization in which I live does a satisfactory job of protecting me.

In contrast, this same civilization clearly failed to protect Trayvon and James. Both were unarmed teenagers, shot by armed adults who confronted them. That's horrible enough, but it gets worse, because how we collectively respond to crimes when they happen matters just as much as what we do to prevent them. Misunderstandings and mistakes (whether good- or ill-intentioned) can happen in any human interaction, so I think that the mere fact of these two killings does not, ipso facto, mean that our society has a problem. The true depths of our disfunction emerge in what happened after the shootings: Neither George Zimmerman nor Darren Wilson apologized for making a horrible blunder. The police did not respond with a speedy investigation. A month afterwards, neither man had been arrested. It took at least a week for most news to cover the killings, or for many people outside the black community, to take up the subject of either killing.

Altogether, I believe that makes it clear that, as a nation, we don't take these crimes as seriously as we should, and that we aren't affording dark-skinned citizens the same protections that I enjoy. Which is another way of saying that black Americans don't live in a civilization. I don't need to tote a gun around to protect myself, but clearly Trayvon and James did. The expectations of safety and protection that I have are a privilege that I enjoy, in part because of my pale skin. People of color in the USA live in conditions more akin to pre-modern Europe, where Vikings might suddenly show up for kidnapping and murder. This is why a large chunk of white America doesn't appreciate the problems facing non-white America, because judging people who don't live in safety by the same standards as people who do is foolish, and morally backwards.

I don't think this double standard can last, so I'd really like for us to create safety for everyone else before my racially privileged upper class winds up losing this really great benefit. (I will leave it to smarter people to figure out whether white and non-white Americans live in the same society, as distinct from the same civilization. In my mind, all civilizations are societies, but not all societies are civilizations.)

*That particular issue is tangential to this post, but FWIW, I am sympathetic to the arguments that gun ownership helps preserve our liberties, and can indeed be life-saving tools of self-defense, but I get very nervous when people who carry convenient murders in their pockets are belligerent and irrational. It's something I hope to think and discuss in more depth on my in-the-works political chat show on Valley Free Radio, planned for mid-October.

grinninfoole: (Default)

Today is a day to support people coming out and proclaiming their sexual identity to the world. Gay, lesbian, bi, or some other label; trans- or cis- gendered; celibate, monogamous, polyamorous, or whatever else. This is a time for people to step forward and push back against the mass of society trying to stifle their joy, their love, their relationships, their choices, and the bedrock truth of their lives. It's also a time for those of us who care for those people, and those of us who believe in liberty, to speak up in affirmation.

So that's what I am doing now. I'm going to come out as heterosexual, cisgendered, and basically monogamous (though poly curious). I like women. I emotionally identify with them. I find many of them sexy. I tend to go for paler skin and skinny (like our advertising culture uses to sell to us all). and shorter than I, though I'm by no means exclusive about this. God help me, I'm even kind of attracted to Miley Cyrus. I know that this may seem like the opposite of coming out--instead of speaking up for something repressed, I'm proclaiming something constantly validated and assumed. However, I'd like to point something out: everything I just told you about myself is a taste (or preference or orientation or what-have-you). Or, to put it a sexy way, a kink.

The difference between me and someone who likes rubenesque women, or bearded women, or a foot-fetishist, or a transvestite, or just about anything else, is that my kinks are common enough, and reinforced enough, that hardly anyone recognizes them as such. There's nothing weirder about wanting to suck dick than to lick pussy. Or both. Or neither. Or only with whipped cream and a cherry. Heck, I find the poo, pain and/or blood kinks disturbing, but that really is just me. The consenting adults can do their thing with my blessing (though, please, no poo in my whipped cream, OK?) Double heck, even the folks with non-consensual urges like pedophilia aren't that different from me in their feelings. The damage comes from acting on those feelings, and I feel sympathy for anyone struggling to live a full human life while protecting others from those impulses, and I think we should do more as a collective to help them do so.

(Honestly, while I agree that sexuality is largely, if not completely, orientational and that 'gay reparative' therapy is therefore misguided, I do hope that it isn't completely so, that there we can make meaningful choices about our sexual feelings, because I'd like to think that pedophilically inclined people can choose to grow into something healthier. And, yes, I know that homosexuality and pedophilia are completely different things, and I'm not trying to morally equate them. I just made a logical leap.)

All of us, when you strip away our street clothes and public manners and let us rock out with our metaphorical cocks out, can be weird, gross, amazing, tender, inappropriate, transgressive, and awesome. It's best when we can do it with love and kindness, and it's so much easier to do that when we can be out and proud about who we really are, whoever that is, because there are people out there who are just what we're looking for, and who are looking for us, too.

So happy coming out day, everyone. May we all love long, and prosper.

grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I was summoned for jury duty today, which necessitated getting up about 90 minutes before my alarm normally goes off in the morning.  The one trial in the offing was a criminal case, and the defendant faced a slew of charges, one of which was dissemination of harmful material to a minor.  When I was asked if there was any reason why I wouldn't be able to serve impartially on the jury, I explained that I didn't see how showing someone art would merit sending them to jail.  If no one went to prison for showing kids Passion Of The Christ (and no one should), then no one should go to prison for showing another person porn .  The judge asked if I could follow the law, regardless of my beliefs, and said that I could not.  He then excused me.

i had not expected jury duty to play out like that.  While the timing would have been inconvenient, and the case sounded depressing, I was ready and willing to serve.  The rest of the charge are quite serious, and the case will, I'm sure, require jurors like me.  But, if the prosecution's other charges all fell apart, there was no way I was going to convict someone solely for smutty pictures.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm working a 12 hour day here at the NY store, and another full day tomorrow.  It's only our fourth day open, so things are slow.  The store looks good, but there are lot projects to work on before we're ready for the grand opening.

My mom is apparently running a fever of 102 F (44 C) and has gone back to Holy Family Hospital.  I'm starting to grasp that she's really ill, and that this won't be over soon.  :(

New York is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I'm staying with usakeh, and many roads in her town are still blocked off by fallen trees and severed power lines.  There a long lines at every filling station.  I fear this is just the first taste of our societal collapse as climate change accelerates, but it's great to see the way people here are rallying  to meet the challenge.  They're even excited to see a new comic book store. :)

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want from Grounded, so I guess all the driving around has been helpful.

I just saw a short video by a Mount Holyoke professor in which she discusses correcting a congenital vision problem she had, and how she trained her brain to correct it in her 40s.  

The big election is on three days away.  I hope the candidates I support win, but more than anything I fear that no matter who we elect, we won't do what we must to save ourselves.  It's frustrating that years of Bible-thumper ranting and cynically poisonous Republican rhetoric have made scientifically valid warnings that we're on the brink of disaster sound like just more political bloviation.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I watched some of the Republican convention, and a fair bit of the Democrats, and I'm astounded that this election is even close. 


blah blah politics blah )

On a related note, here is a brief snippet of an FDR speech, deriding the critics of the New Deal for saying essentially the same things the Romney camp says about the Affordable Health Care Act.


Meanwhile, in the senate mines... )
grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm a supporter of Elizabeth Warren and her candidacy for Senate here in Massachusetts.  I'm looking forward to her speech tomorrow night at the Democratic Convention.  Anyone who wants to come over and watch it with me (around 10 PM), leave a comment here and come on by tomorrow.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's an article from the New York Times, summing up what the scientific press has been reporting for years, that the extreme water shortages of the past decade should not be seen as a drought, or as below average.  They are, rather, the new normal, and this only the beginning of how bad it's going to get for our world.  Our society's only hope is some crazy mad science.  Write your congressman.

Seriously.
grinninfoole: (Default)
So, my former governor has picked Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential candidate.  He's gone from touting his business experience to touting his executive branch experience (but not his signal achievement as governor, namely reforming health care) to attacking the president's lack of success in overcoming Republican opposition to fixing the systemic problems in our national economy, to picking a guy who A) has no business experience, B) has served in Congress, but never in the executive branch, and C) is best known for a plan that will impoverish the nation if implemented.

Seriously, Saruman, you do realize that you only get to keep the Ring for at most 8 years, right?
grinninfoole: (Default)
Watched girl with dragon tattoo over the weekend, and was totally hooked by it. I'll hide the rest for those of you who don't care about my film criticism or navel gazing.

Why this film grabbed me: )

EDIT: After I posted this, I watched the sequel, Girl Who Played With Fire. And, wow, it's all about the pervasiveness of male violence, especially as channeled sexually against women. I feel twitchy, and hyped up. Jesus, that woman almost is indestructible.
grinninfoole: (Default)
One thing that motivated me to write about this was Morlock's short essay on the topic, to which I linked in my previous post. Another was hearing part of this conversation on NPR's superb Tell Me More. [transcript] It's about a program in schools in Washington DC to have playground coaches, to tamp down the Lord Of The Flies aspect. I wished there had been something like that at my school.

I miss Tell Me More, btw. It used to be on at 9 AM on WNNZ, and I listed several times a week. Now it's on at 11 AM, and I almost always miss it. Which sucks, because I think it's the best news show out there, in part because Michel Martin is a rare journalist who will actually call someone on something when she thinks they aren't making sense... and then let them explain.

EDIT: An example of why MM rocks my world: telling off Chris Wallace and Don Imus for dissing Cokie Roberts.
grinninfoole: (Default)
The pay attention for a minute. Otherwise, you may go out to recess early.

Get Out The Vote )

/flippant commentary
grinninfoole: (Default)
In one word: WOW.

In more words: I was moved by this movie.

I have read several critiques of the film which all pointed to a racist sub-text of one sort or another.
Tasha Robinson posted a good short review, and there are links to some of those more negative reviews of this sort in the comments. (For reviews attacking the film as 'liberal' and 'America hating', check out Big Hollywood.)

I do not contradict those opinions–even the ones at which I rolled my eyes. Avatar does share thematic (and plot, iIrc) elements with Dances With Wolves, and probably a number of other films. Seeing as the latest in what [livejournal.com profile] rollick  calls America's Holocaust Narrative makes sense, and this is the story of a white man who becomes one of the colored people, etc.

As a (re)viewer, though, I tend to focus on the particulars of the film itself, on how the story works within its own little world. (Yes, I know, very New Criticism. I did go to Kenyon.:) I don't deny the applicability of larger perspectives, or of experiencing the movie through the emotional lens of 'ugh, this is White Guilt Fantasy–I hate those', but this film, I think, is not an allegory, and I believe that there is more to it, both emotionally and dramatically, than a sop to White Guilt.

Here's where the spoilers come in: )



Or, maybe this comic puts it more simply: Multiplex from last week.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have sore throat, so I'm loafing as much as possible today. The great storm which apparently socked the hell out of south and mid-Atlantic states left the merest dusting of snow here, after I went to some trouble to secure studded tires for Skull Jr. Typical. :)

X-mas is bearing down, but I am mostly ready. I have gifts for friends and loved ones (mostly), and I got a tree yesterday (which we shall trim this evening), and we've hung stockings (monster stockings which I got at my store), and the Team has sent many X-mas cards, and gotten together with friends and swapped pressies... it's been nice, this year. I much prefer the holiday season when I have my act together.

Mami y Papi will visit for Xmas eve, we'll dash out to Andover to see my family on the day itself, and then back home for a little household cheer on Boxing Day. M will be going to Germany, getting to know a new friend, over New Year's. I'll be looking for something to do on the 31st, but I am, apparently, cool enough to have been invited to TWO parties on New Year's Day. If possible, I shall go to both.

Xmas is my favorite holiday, but it is so precisely because of the secular nonsense that's built up around it. I'm not a Christian (and even if I were, the holiday doesn't really have anything to do with Josh from Nazareth) and I find the insistence of some, who claim that they are, on grounding any celebration in what they value quite tedious. I'm basically an atheist, and content to be so, and Christmas doesn't have to mean any more to me than 'that time when we put up lights, and decorate conifers, and swap gifts, and shop wildly, and send cards, and feast with family and friends'.

On a related note, we have had a nice Xmas rush bump in business at work, so it looks like we'll finish 2009 in the black, if only slightly. I shall be 40 in a few months, and I foresee the need to disrupt myself from my comfortable rut, but the rut does appear to run on towards the horizon.


Creatively, I'm still running a D&D 3.5 game using the Midnight setting. It's so much more work than designing stuff for 4th, but the setting requires the clunky lack of balance that 4th edition was specifically designed to fix, so what the hell. And I have a great group of players. Who knows how much longer it will last, but I have a couple of plot hooks to throw out at them, and then I expect the players to drive things to a thrilling conclusion. And then, we'll see. Perhaps the writing will come again, if I can accept that muse seems more sub-creative and transformative than path-breaking in its proclivities.


This weekend is also a good one for watching cool TV shows. Dr. Who Waters Of Mars premiered in the US last night, and it was terrific. There are two episodes of Dollhouse waiting my viewing as that plunges towards its finale, as two installments of Venture Brothers season 4 (which has been very satisfying). Also, M and I are making our way through Babylon 5, and we're at the half-way point of Season 3, having just seen Severed Dreams and Ceremonies Of Light & Dark. Oh, man, the show was so good.

Oh, and a couple of weeks ago, I happened to watch the pilot of the comedy/drama Chuck, and simply loved it. I watched the next four episodes, and this first impression was confirmed. Light, frothy, charming fun, with pretty people, Jayne from Firefly, good humor, and an actual plot arc bubbling away underneath. It'd be cooler if there were any people of color in it (besides Tony Todd in a minor part), but otherwise I recommend it.



ETA: I have been poking through older entries, and I stumbled across this post about the war in Afghanistan. I now take back what I wrote about the Bushies not fucking that up.

A good day

Jan. 21st, 2009 12:43 am
grinninfoole: (Default)
Today I took a vacation day, and watched the Obama inauguration, and then celebrated my friend Suave's birthday.

The inauguration was the best I have yet seen.  The music before hand was moving, and the Benediction at the end by Joseph Lowery was great (I loved the colloquial language and rhyming structure at the end), even Rick Warren's invocation was pretty good.  I thought Obama's speech was moving, too.  Perhaps not a timeless address for the ages, but a thoughtful, well-written invocation of national ideals, a repudiation of Bush, and a call to collective action, all of which is what we need right now.  So, a great kick off to the Obama presidency, and not a moment too soon.

Suave's party in the evening was OK.  Lots of 20 something hipsters with whom I had little connection, though I did meet a guy who used to teach computer animation at UMass who apparently knows [livejournal.com profile] anzovin, and had a long conversation about why Fringe is wretched, the politics of tyrrany, stuff I didn't know about my old college, and the wisdom of grad school with Ranger.

The really cool bit was the four hours Suave, K, Ranger, and I spent playing Arkham Horror.  Man, that game is fun.


One thing I have to wonder: how can Christopher Hitchens be so smart and yet SO STUPID.

In light of all the comparisons between Obama and FDR and/or Lincoln, this article from the Nation in 1933 seems apt.

grinninfoole: (Default)
In the upcoming election (Tuesday, November 4, if you sort of care, but not much), the USA will pick a new president, a new House of Representatives (probably much like the old one), 33 new senators (most of them probably re-electees), and a bunch of governors and other state employees.   I don't have anything to say about that that others haven't said better.

However, I haven't read or heard anyone sounding off about the three ballot questions here in Massachusetts, so I'm going to write about those.  Note, however, that I'm going to do it like a real pundit on TV, so I'm not going to do a lot research or thinking before I form my opinion.  The only difference is that I am openly admitting this before I begin.

Question One: Repeal of State Income Tax )



Question Two: decriminalize marijuana possession )




Question Three: Ban Dog Racing )


There, now, wasn't that informative?  To think that I could make millions of dollars doing this, if only I played my cards right.

grinninfoole: (Default)
So, trolling around on LJ, I found a mention of children getting gassed a mosque in Dayton, Ohio.  The newspaper report doesn't make it sound like too much, though I do have to wonder how the police can be sure that someone spraying an irritant into a ten year old child's face isn't a crime, isn't a hate crime, and doesn't warrant a detective's attention until the following Monday.  This article at the Huffington Post includes a first hand account of the incident, which sounds pretty ghastly. 

I don't know if it has anything to do with this Obsession DVD that's been passed out to people in Ohio.  But I do know that we're Americans and we founded our country on the idea that everyone matters.  We so often fail at living up to that, but come on people!  TRY HARDER!

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