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27 February
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I posed a question about maintaining motivation to the We Have Brains crew last weekend.

[Excuse me. I have to interrupt myself here to say - Look! WHB has its own domain! Hey, I'm excited. I think it's prettier and more functional-looking, too - but then, I designed it. Of course I think it's pretty and functional.]

It's clearly one of life's great ironies that a question about motivation sparked little discussion. I can only assume that others are too busy being motivated to talk about. But I. I am not.

but wait! there's more


22 February
why i hate "liberals"
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We all know I don't actually hate liberals, but I do find some of them irksome at times.

I belong to a local (state, actually) Green Party discussion list that recently decided to limit membership to, well - membership - that is, to people who are "serious" enough about Green to belong to the party.

Aside from what I believe to be foolishness in removing a key link to the rest of the [non-member] community, the logic surrounding this change was just plain offensive. What happened was that the list was invaded by a troll, who didn't have a lot of value to add to the conversation (actually, the conversation tended to be rather petty to begin with, so I'm not sure the list added much value to my life, period). The moderators shunned him. The crowd (a handful of other members) went wild, sparking what turned out to be an interesting debate on censorship within liberal organizations - and in general.

And ultimately, the Green Party [or rather, the individual members who control the list] appears to come down on the side of censorship.

I quote, from an "official" email distributed to the list members: "On the censorship issue, I'd be surprised if anyone is completely against censorship. Is it right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater? Is hate speech protected?"

Surprisingly, yes. Some of us are completely against censorship. While I may feel some forms of speech are not right, or are offensive beyond what I will personally tolerate, I do feel that it's necessary to allow all political speech, whatever form, to be permitted [The "yelling fire" thing, so often used by censorship fans as the great "getcha", is not political speech, and is a spurious example. A red herring.]. My rationale is this: if people who agree with me get to decide what is and is not permissible now, what happens when people who don't agree with me are granted that power?

In order to protect my own speech, I must protect the right of others to speak. Period. A "liberal" who does not understand this is not liberal at all.


04 February
excellence? maybe not.
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I've been travelling mid-day at work more often lately. And so, I'm listening to the local talk radio station (NPR locally shifts to classical music during the workday, and that's just not enough for the drive).

Most of the shows on this particular station are part of the "EIB" network, which is, as far as I can tell, a network of shows that Rush Limbaugh approves.

Rush Limbaugh. Ugh. I do not understand the people who claim he's brilliant and insightful. Maybe he once was - I don't recall him being as simple-minded on his television show years ago - but he certainly is not now. Fully eighty percent of every show he's done has consisted of simply bashing liberals for things like blankly hating conservatives and refusing to come up with effective solutions to the problems they identify.

Um. Excuse me.

"This is Kettle. You're black."

So, no surprise, I find Rush entirely pointless.

But. There are some much better shows on this network. One Glen Beck, for instance. Glen seems to take particular delight in accepting calls from idiots who've heard too much Rush [no, not that Rush, silly!] and stewed in their own prejudices - Glen takes these guys and mocks them furiously. I like that.

He's still conservative, but in a way that would encourage conversation if more liberal-minded folk listened to his show.

Another thing I find fascinating about this whole radio station, oddly enough, is this weird advertising quality. They have the announcers read the actual ads - so, it comes across as these trustworthy figures who just happen to be paid to sell you some idiot product (i.e. Herbalife, I kid you not).

Basically, they use the same methods as older-style radio announcers. Compared to the loud, undisguised quality of most contemporary advertising (surely everyone has at some point had to turn the radio or television down for commercials and back up for the program), it's harder to ignore. It's also strangely disillusioning - and almost creepy.

Trust no one, the trusted radio voice seems to say. Creepy.


fat people are dangerous
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Oh, come on. You know you already knew it. Taking up space is a threat to others (a threat to national security, even, as one would presume based on our being as dangerous as Iraq - of course, while I personally do suspect Iraq of being dangerous, this whole idea could be quite true with a different spin).

Tish pointed out something I find disturbing: fat people cause planes to crash! Or at least, there's enough danger of that happening to merit weighing some people and preventing them from boarding certain planes. Paul has also blogged it, though not to the outrage and annoyance that I would have expected.

This is one of the things that makes me wonder whether radicalism isn't, in fact, the answer. It's not that the idea of weighing people is inherently bad, or that fat activists are humiliated by their weight. It's the obvious intention to apply (should it be enacted) that sort of policy on a discriminatory basis. Uncool.

And, more importantly in my mind, the whole thing points back to the gradual reduction of airline seat sizes and flight frequencies with the end result of overcrowding plans - which is all, of course, ultimately a response to the demand from stockholders for constantly increasing profits combined with consumer demand for constantly decreasing prices. Sometimes, in short - sometimes, capitalism is just plain silly.


book club
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We had a party last weekend. At one point, most of the women were sitting on the back porch howling and hooting and smoking and drinking. We talked about masturbation and vibrators and hot girls and stupid movies.

And there's just something fabulous about a whole bunch of different as anything chicas sitting around being loud and taking up space.

I'd like to have a club like that, though it's hardly the sort of thing that happens by intention. I need to have my girls over more often.


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