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Month: June 2003

Third party spoilers

I have seen an interesting political meme a few times of late. It says that third party candidates are always spoilers, and cites the Republican dominance of the Presidency between 1896 and 1932 as partial evidence. The argument is that Eugene Debs pulled votes away from the Democrats, causing them to lose. It also cites other examples, but it’s the turn of the century example I’m going to address here. (Because it’s the one which is wrong. The others are pretty much accurate.)

I’m making this post because I spent a while putting together the data and I don’t want to lose it; also because I believe in spreading accurate information, where such is available. My data source is David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.

Content moved into the extended entry because it was messing up the front page.

Selfish pig

Don Park’s philosophy of life is admirable, and not that far from mine. He calls it the Selfish Pig. Smart guy. I wish I was as capable of detaching appropriately as he is; life’s not really all that complex.

Also: hi, John! I am sorry I was a flake last year; it was a bad year for me, but that’s no excuse.

Ya immoral perv

Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, is all about criminalizing gay marriage. It’s a pretty odd argument, too. Let’s step closer, shall we?

His fear is that “this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually — or I’m concerned about the potential for it gradually being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned.” That’s a little stumblemouthed on the face of it, actually. If criminal activity within the home was being condoned, that’d be expanding the zone of privacy. Not encroaching upon it. Still, I think you can see what he meant.

Still, it’s odd, isn’t it? The recent Supreme Court decision legalizing sodomy doesn’t condone criminal behavior. It clarifies what may be considered criminal. Those are two very different things. If the Supreme Court had said “It’s OK to make sodomy illegal, but you can do it in your bedroom if you like,” I can see where Frist might be coming from. Alas, that’s not what they said.

One more thing: “Generally, I think matters such as sodomy should be addressed by the state legislatures. That’s where those decisions — with the local norms, the local mores — are being able to have their input reflected.”

I’m curious as to how big a locale is. For example, if Provincetown decided to outlaw het sex, would that be OK? If it reflects local norms and local mores?

Perhaps not. “Asked whether he supported an amendment that would ban any marriage in the United States except a union of a man and a woman, Frist said: ‘I absolutely do, of course I do.’”

That’s not very much like allowing the state legislatures to make decisions based on the local norms, is it? I sense some inconsistency here.

Musings on formats

Dave’s shut it down.

So I’m shutting down Scripting News now, to give me some time to think, and to give you all a demo of what it would be like if it weren’t here. These last few days have been really awful. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have so many people screaming at you. It’s inhuman, especially considering that my health isn’t that good. The only conclusion I can come to is that I shouldn’t be doing this.

You know… I don’t like seeing people feel bad. But the current situation came about in part because people felt Dave was using Scripting News in order to unduly affect certain technical issues. Retreating is one way to say “OK, I’ll stop.” I’m not sure Dave’s gonna get the desired effect here.

Also, as a technologist (and as someone who’s recommended Dave’s protocols in a business setting), watching a site vanish does not give me warm fuzzies. Sure, it’s still there as, so I can still get to archived posts and so forth. But man, how do you rely on a spec which can vanish at any moment?

Pensive times.

Jimmy says

Jimmy Breslin is pissed off. Who can blame him? He says he’s thinking about getting out of the news business. Hope he doesn’t.

This government’s kidnapping of Faris/Rauf violated the laws handed down by Madison, Jefferson, Marshall. A small religious zealot, John Ashcroft, takes their great laws and bravery and using our new Patriot Act, turns it into Fascism.

He could do this openly because news reporters go about the government like gardeners, bent over, smiling and nodding when one of the owners shows up. You only have to look at a White House news conference to see how they aggressively pursue your right to know.

The newspeople stand when the president comes into the room. They really do. They don’t sit until he tells them to. You tell them a lie and they say, “Sir.”

The thing that really strikes me about this is how conservative it is, in the non-political sense. Here’s a guy who’s seen a lot. I mean, a lot. He’s recorded half of the twentieth century for us. He’s not writing so scathingly about a return to conservative values; he’s not protesting the act of living in the past. He’s talking about how dangerous the changes are.

Summer summer summer

In an orgy of sporting expenditure, I find myself with four tickets for each weekend 11 AM session in the 2003 Reebok Pro Summer League. There’s a chance LeBron James will be playing, and even if he isn’t — hey! It’s summer basketball! How cool is that? I also got one ticket for the evening session on Sunday.

Hopefully I’ll be able to drag my brother and his wife and my nephew along; if not I’m sure I can find a good home for the excess tickets.