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I been wordy today.

Today I found a couple of things to respond to, and I’m going to leave copies of them in here.  The first is a response to an article on the Nolan Chart website trying (and, IMO, failing) to create certain connections between Roman history and American history.  The second is a pair of responses to an article on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today overturning a challenge to I-872 which created a “Top-two” primary election.  I’ll put them all under a cut to be kind to your friend’s page. 

I did get a response from the guy at the Nolan Chart site (he wasn’t happy — shock).  I’ll probably post a brief reply before I leave, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to give it more.  I think my wordiness capacity has been used up.

Anyhow, here goes:


Your understanding of Rome assumes a healthy dose of “good ol’ days” which simply isn’t the case. The Senatorial class always represented its own interests before those of anybody else, and nobody in power ever gave a damn about the “common people” except when their power was dependent on those “common people,” whether then or now (and only then enough to maintain their own power). Republican Rome represented the interests of the elites at most. It represented a more diverse group of those elites than Imperial Rome, but, Cicero’s words to the contrary, it was not anything anybody today would consider a Golden Age. Cicero was an elite snob, and Gaius Julius Caesar was the darling of the common Roman man. The Senators caved to Caesar’s pressure not only because he had beaten them militarily, but also because of his wide-spread popularity. The world was a lot more vicious and dirty than most Americans would be comfortable with for most of the past — still is in most of the world.


The Founding Fathers were quite comfortable with an electorate limited to property owning (wealthy) white males. They wanted power for those people (themselves). This was quite progressive for the time — no place in the world was that inclusive — and I agree that these were great men who accomplished something great. But they didn’t walk on water, and they would not impress anybody today as paragons of inclusiveness and respecters of diversity. Your notion of a Golden Age that was stolen away by corrupt lessers is older than Rome — go read Hesiod to see it for the first time it was written down a little under 3000 years ago. It was no more true then than it is now — people are basically people across time and space.


And the notion that someone is more moral because they have less money is amusing, but empty. 


I second your recommendation that people study some history, starting with you. Real history, not something to support your agenda. Your grasp of Roman history and American history is way too shaky to support conclusions as half-assed as what you’re talking about here — at least to anybody who knows anything about history, which, I’ll grant you, damn few do.


“Bush has only started.”? Bush has served 86 of the 96 months he can serve as President — he’s almost done. Unless you’ve got some conclusive evidence to show otherwise, he will leave office in ten months. If you had that evidence, you would have presented that, rather than this silly presentist conjecture, so we’ll let it stand that Bush leaves office on-time, and your claim that he’s only starting is just plain wrong.


Looking forward to reading Empire.  Not sure when I’ll get to it.


And the second:

Okay. Perhaps it’s time for the parties to take a break and let the voters do their own vetting of candidates. Anybody looking forward to researching 50-100 candidates before August to figure out which are the best options? That’d be an election without party designation, or party participation. You don’t have the benefit of the judgment and experience of endorsement committees made up of interested people who will spend the time asking candidates tough questions to see if they’re competent and adequate representatives of the basic party philosophy. I’ll grant that these folks are far from perfect — I’ve supported candidates who did not get my party’s endorsement — but are you sure you’re willing to do the job they do and that you can do it better?

Anybody looking forward to one party rule? That’s what the top-two primary can be — that’s what it was in Louisiana for many years. This is not the blanket primary we had before — that allowed for one nominee per primary. This means you will *never* see a Libertarian candidate, or a Green Party candidate, or a Reform Party candidate. In some races, you’re going to be lucky to see a Republican — in others, you’ll be lucky to see a Democrat.

The blanket primary was struck down on the same constitutional objections as top two. If top two is constitutional (which the Supes say it is) then blanket is, and I’d far rather go back to that than be stuck with this dog.
        Blain |                                  03.18.08 – 2:34 pm |


On reading the majority decision in this case, it appears that the blanket primary remains unconstitutional, so my statement above contrary to that is inaccurate, and I withdraw it.

What the Court sees in the top two is a non-partisan primary, since it disregards the parties of the candidates and only qualifies them based on the number of votes they receive. It is only because the primary has this non-partisan nature that the Court sees no issue with the parties’ right to association — the party designation for a candidate is not claiming their representation by the party but, rather, indicates the party they indicate a preference for.…8/03/06- 713.pdf for those who want to read the decision and understand what the ruling does and doesn’t say, and does and doesn’t mean. 

This decision is not necessarily final, btw. The court holds the possibility that it might be challenged and overturned if it can be shown to have produced an unconstitutional result. The challenge was a facial challenge, essentially saying that I-872 was unconstitutional on its face, and that has different requirements for the challenge to be successful than other sorts of challenges have. I would not be surprised to see another challenge made when I-872 results in the ballot qualification for candidates at odds with their parties or, possibly, when a party is squeezed off of the ballot. Today’s decision does not preclude that challenge, and does not assure that I-872 would survive that challenge.

It would have been nice if the Ammons article included some of these details.
            Blain |                                  03.18.08 – 5:43 pm |

Osmonds Rock

I’ve also recently watched a couple of recorded Osmond concerts, and they’re quite good entertainers.  If you’re not too cool for the room, you might give them a shot.  They’ve got great harmonies.  They dance without looking boy-band.  And they take you back if you’re over 30. 

Having recently watched a similar recorded Barry Manilow concert (also worth a shot for the not-too-cool), I’m not enjoying the audience shots that get included.  The front-row fans are grown women who grew up idolizing these performers, they know every song, they dance and sing, and, well, they look rather dumb.  Not that they’re dumb, but they look dumb, just like anybody who’s having that much fun looks dumb, and they don’t have the mitigation of being teen-aged, where the expectations are lower. 

But, yeah.  Worth a look.

DVR Farts

I missed Jeopardy last night, because the DVR farted and lost the series record setting somehow for that and Millionaire (I use it for a warm-up — it goes a lot faster when you fast forward through the IQ test rounds).  I could not get it to do a series recording setting last night for any reason for the 19:30 local broadcast channel.  I found another listing at 11:00, and it would do that, but I checked that recording just now and it was empty because that was on GSN, and I don’t get GSN.  So I tried and it did the series record on the one I’ve been using up until now without a flinch.  So I’ll have another one to do tonight. 

I’ve been learning where my holes of knowledge are — I need to do some basic literature and art history, along with some emphasis on Shakespeare, and I have some holes when it comes to snooty TV shows, all of which came together to give me three sucky catagories in DJ in my last round.  I made 2k more on DJ than I did in the Jeopardy round, which isn’t good. 

However, I’m pretty good with my state birds, so, if they come up, I’ve got a good shot (a little confused on some of the midwest states about cardinal/robin/eastern goldfinch). 

Dropping off another resume today, and I’ll try to get some electronically filed today also.  And then drop off an application pack for Juvie in Everett on Monday, and maybe send another set for a Crisis Intervention & Victim Advocate in a Sexual Assault Center in Everett as well.  Maybe I can have that ready to drop off Monday as well.  I’ve gotten one response on one of the jobs I sent a resume for — it was filled.  And I’ve had three or four insurance agencies try to recruit me from my available resume (I think I’m going to make it unavailable, if that’s what I’m going to get).

Job hunting less than fun.

Well, job hunting has never been fun for me — I’ve always hated it.  But it’s become necessary — I haven’t had a job all week.  I do need to call the HR person at the state to see if I can straighten stuff out there, but I’m not really hopeful that they will do something that makes sense (ever).  And I have been finding some nice sounding opportunities that would be workable next steps — ranging from doing some of what I have been doing, but closer to home and for better pay to being a social work assistant working in a hospital, which would be wonderful.  I dropped off an application packet for a juvenile detention officer position today, and will be sending another off for another facility shortly — might see if there’s an opening for the facility between here and there as well and make a sweep of it.  Having the degree to put into the application is making this more fun than job applying has been in the past.

However, writing all of these cover letters is getting to me.  All of this talking about myself, saying the same things in different ways, is just getting to be too much.  One of the sites I’m working through has an online application where they will send the resume for me for each position, and I can add a cover letter, but it seems to be that they all get the same cover letter.  I was trying to write a one-size fits all letter, but that’s making me too crazy.  So I’m going to spend some time tomorrow and do each application separately, with its own customized cover letter.

Which makes more cover letters.  Just what I needed.

I would still rather stick a fork through my hand than go through this process if it would wind me up with a decent job.  However, I’ve not yet found a way to convert ham-fisted acupuncture into job success, so I’ll keep slogging through this.  And I’ll try not to be too obvious about how much I hate doing it.  I’m almost hopeful that this will work.

Jeopardy update

So I’ve been scoring Jeopardy for a little over a week, and I just had my best game.  My average for the first five was 20520, which isn’t quite to the goal of 24000.  My average for the past two is 25100.  One thing that’s bumped a couple of those scores down has been when they don’t complete a board (like Thursday’s show).  However, yesterday’s show (which I just did) got me 30400.  Something that helped was that I didn’t get a wrong guess in the Double Jeopardy round.  I’ve also missed questions that I should have got by forgetting what the category was.  Guessing at answers I’m not certain of has lost me more than not guessing would have on the instances my unspoken guesses was correct.  I have also seen categories that I would have done better with if I’d done the training mentioned in the article I mentioned before. 

So it’s about time to start with some flashcards for some of the repeated category areas to pick up some of those other answers.  They will help fill my head with more trivia, and should help bump up my scores a bit.

I’m probably going to do another post or two today.  There’s stuff going on.

All night long (almost)

It’s going to be a long day.  This week I’m working early in the morning (6-9), so I have to leave about 5:15 to get there, so I need to get up about 4:30.  However, I’ve been getting to sleep about 2:00 most mornings lately, which makes that a nasty wake-up time.  So I was a little sleepy at about 7:30 in the evening, so i went to bed for the night.  That would be plenty early to get a good eight hours of sleep.  Brilliant plan, neh?

One little problem — I got a couple phone calls and woke up at 10, and then I was awake.  I’m just now starting to get sleepy, and it’s 4:00.  So I’m going to go get ready for the day and get to work.  If I can make it through the day without a nap, I should be better able to get to sleep at 8 tonight. 

I also got some good news — I have more money than I thought I did.  My paycheck was direct deposited Friday, and I had an automatic utility payment scheduled for the same day, and, when I checked Friday, I couldn’t see the transactions, but I could see that my new balance was going to be less than I thought it would be.  But it’s all better now. 

So enough time killing.  time to go turn my alarm off and get into the bath tub.


I’ve decided to start preparing to be a contestant on Jeopardy.  I’ve enjoyed the show a lot and I’m not getting any younger, so I thought it’d look into it.  I found a site on the net from a man who was a two-day winner some years back with some insights into how to be a contestant.  And so I’m recording the show now (dvr is my friend) and I just did the first show using his method (you keep track of which answers you get right on the board, not counting Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy) to come up with a score.  The goal is 32,000 and I just got 19,800 without any additional training based on the guidelines given on that site.  I’m pleased.  I had a couple of categories that I was useless in, and had a couple of answers that I wasn’t sure about that were right (and some wrong guesses). 

Relatively pleased.  And it was fun. 

The Moderate Supermajority

That’s a great title.  It’s not talking about American presidential politics — it’s talking about the proclaimed need for moderate Muslims who will push back against more radical Muslims.  Written by Michael J. Totten, this article makes a number of interesting points about the actions of these moderate Muslims and how they do and don’t get media coverage (along with why). 

And now we’ll see if Semagic is behaving better after both the helpful tip from , and my ham-fisted deleting of all of my draft files.  If it doesn’t, it’s most likely because of the latter tactic. 

Update: It works now. Thanks Mara.

Glasses came.

They’re interesting.  The frames are much narrower than I’ve had before.  The arms  are flexible and springy.  The lenses are stronger — my left eye is in focus for the first time for a long time.  My right eye seems fuzzy, but I think that’s compared to the improvement in that eye.  This is a big shift in my prescription.

So today is headache day. 

Also, Semagic is being a butt  It continues to open up with that first post sitting there.  This is annoying.