Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

  • Music:

Memories with an Asterisk

Two component experiences:

  • Scent of an apple through the skin - shyness. Contrast with that bitten
  • Biking up the street, halls of lime and lemon colours. I may not like the chill, but this is a particularly beautiful time of the year.
Combined: a memory with an asterisk, reminding me that the image of sitting outdoors and enjoying the trees while smelling an apple is constructed. Yet I may make it real.

Recently I've been enjoying Gyokuro (ぎょくろ?) tea from Té Café - it's like a more mellow version of the Matcha they used to have.

Grabbag of things:

  • Khamenei is attempting to solidifiy his religious leadership. Why? His religious qualifications are lacking, there are significant portions of the Ulema that (like Montazeri was) disapproved of how this year's elections were handled, disagree with his interpretation of Islam with regards to government, or desire less religious control over the government (or vice-versa). Given that his closest ally is a snake, he needs more than symbolic power to be secure.
  • I mentioned that Judge Phillips declared the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy to be Unconstitutional in a previous post, leading the Pentagon to begin to admit homosexuals in recruiting. Despite requests by the Obama Administration to have the decision stayed until they can appeal, Phillips has refused to stay her order. The White House's reasoning is stated as preferring the legislative route, wanting details of spousal benefits worked out. and desiring a study due at the end of the year to be completed on the topic. I consider this cowardice and laud the judge's reasoning - 「Although government concerns about military readiness and cohesion are important, "these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest of safeguarding fundamental constitutional rights」. This is an issue of government sanctioned discrimination, and it is not acceptable by our values. No study will change that. Many other errors in reasoning have been corrected by our courts - that is one of the roles of the Judiciary in common law systems, and there is no reason to prefer actions of legislature over the judiciary here. Delays and haggling are unacceptable - it is unacceptable to have a centrist implement a half-hearted solution paid for with comprimises on other issues when the question of "what should happen" can be resolved by a simple push for consistency within our legal system, without comprimise, without watering down, without the inevitable filibuster by conservatives in congress. Obama may have a duty to defend the laws as they are in legal challenges, but we should not support him in such efforts. We note as well that another flavour of conservatives, the Log Cabin Republicans and others comfortable with them, are leading the push for legal equality. There is no excuse for standing on the wrong side of history - whether Obama is defending current policy by his role or out of personal conviction, the decent thing to do is to stand against him on this matter. The words "now is not the time" is a terrible thing to accept when facing injustice.
  • I find Christine O'Donnell to be a bit scary. She reminds me of Palin - differently scary from Ron or Rand Paul. I sometiems wonder what kinds of political leaders we might get on a national level that might inspire me to leave the country for a time. The democrats are hardly inspiring, but I'd be even less happy watching either libertarians or conservative populists dismantle a civilisation from the inside.
  • I am hearing something very odd on the radio here at Té Café - it sounds like Michael Jackson covering 「Rock the Casbah」. Pretty awesome!
  • Finally learned bash's way to provide arguments to inner commands
    • echo hello there
    • escape 1
    • escape-underscore
    • (this changes the normal escape-underscore behaviour to instead repeat the first argument to the last command)
  • Discussions on multiculturalism in Germany. Reference: Legacy of Pim Fortuyn
  • I am disappointed (but not surprised) at federal opposition to California Proposition 19 (Which would legalise marijuana). As I've stated before, I believe that an appropriate metric for recreational drug prohibition would be if a drug cannot reasonably be used in moderation within the confines of a regular life, it may be prohibited, otherwise it should generally be legal. We accept that alcohol is potentially problematic if misused, but it it can be used responsibly and has been for a very long time. Likewise, marijuana is usable in moderation by responsible adults (I have known several people who do so; people who really have their life together) - it should be legal. Any other drugs should be judged by that metric. If there is no strong social interest in prohibition, as a society we should remain with the default of autonomy.
  • Might be getting an unreleased ultra-low cost tablet in the mail soon (different from the OLPC system). I'm pretty excited to see the financial interests in using Android plus very-low-cost systems as a new common platform for various things start to play out. In a few ways it's an odd choice (for one, Google seems lukewarm to the idea of it on non-phone platforms), but it's good and open enough in the same way that the early PC platform (particularly after IBM failed to stop the clones with lawsuits) was.
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