June 24th, 2005


Bonus Feature

A bit extra, for tonight.

I recently experienced something that changed my mind, partly, about someone. I still have a good deal of what was there before for them, and will steer well clear of them, but things are somewhat different.

Some questions that may enlighten (feel free to challenge the premeses if you like -- not all of the questions are actually from within my framework)

  • Do governments have a right to defend and maintain their territorial integrity?
    • If so, when? Does how that territory was acquired matter?
    • Does political speech become acceptable to intervene in when a government is in a state of crisis or may collapse because of lack of internal support?
  • In circumstances where one people commits a massive wrong against another, should there be and if so how long a redistribution of wealth from the damaging to the damaged? Special training?
  • Should groups be allowed to secede, with land, from society? If so, how and when?
And a bit more. Israeli politics is more lively than American politics because their political parties actually stand for things. Your challenge: Take one of the two major parties and list/comment on which minor parties you would consider joining in coalition with to win an election and form a government.

Major parties

  • Likud - a conservative, neo-liberal fairly free-market party with hawkish tendencies and strong nationalism
  • Labour - a somewhat liberal, economically centrist party with doveish tendencies
Minor parties
  • Shas - A religious party that aims to maintain religious privilege and role within government, and pushes for a large budget for social programmes
  • Shinui - A secular party that aims to remove religious privilege and role within government and a free market.
  • Yachad - A liberal, social-democratic party with strong doveish tendencies and mild tendencies toward secularism
  • Hadash - A communist party with a strong Arab basis pushing for Israeli binationality
  • LINK - A conservative, moderate religious zionist party that aims to maintain a standard democratic model and modern legal system
  • National Union - A coalition of conservative parties aiming to expel Palistinians from Israel, protect Russian Jewish interests, and religious Zionism
  • Am Ehad - A socialist party
  • United Torah Judaism - A religious party, similar to Shas but representing a different Hebrew subethnicity
Maybe I'll give my answers later.

Dancing in Molasses


  • I had a long conversation with someone on holiday from Germany, and was invited to drink beer with them (I declined)
  • Two more Jewish people I know were surprised to find out that I am not also Jewish
  • I had lunch with someone I didn't imagine having lunch with (not a bad thing at all)
  • I semi-made plans to have tea with someone I'd like to get to know better
  • I was shipped another CD from a band I like (the first was presumably lost in the mail between Canada and here)
  • I broke, and then fixed in a hackish way the configuration that makes the 6 Terabyte RAID I have at work function
  • I watched a bum at Coffee Tree talk to himself for about 40 minutes
  • I picked up enough junk on the way to work that I had difficulty keeping it all together with the hand I was using
  • I decided that it might be satisfying making occasional morning trips on the weekend, with a garbage bag, around to pick up litter
  • I thought of an interesting way to make it easier to remove items from the stick-spikes that people use when picking up litter professionally
  • I stopped by an independant video store and rented three movies, the first new nonanime movies I've seen for a long time. The titles are
    • Naked Lunch
    • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    • Uzumaki (horror film from Japan, subtitled)
  • I returned to work when I was waiting to leave at the bus stop, because something came up they needed me for
  • I got a job offer in the mail that, while I won't take it, would be interesting. It's in Philly, is a very high-end systems admin/engineer position involving kernel debugging, training junior sysadmins, and similar.
  • I was reminded that I've been in Squirrel Hill long enough for a lot of people to know my name who I don't expect to know it.
  • I had a very good hair day