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Writer's Block: There Can Be Only One

Do you believe in monogamy?
Yes. And No. Just like we have blonds and brunettes, some people are (serially) monogamous, and some aren't.

I don't believe in One True Soulmate, and people who have only one lovable mate in life. But I've definitely seen people who could love more than one person at a time, and those who could not.

And I don't think it's sex-linked, either.
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Equal Rights Marriage Blogchain

"Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you are or were once or hope someday to be in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow."

My marriage is enhanced by the same-sex marriages of others.

My relations are strengthened by the camaraderie of others' relations, ones that are similar to mine, and ones that are different from mine.

Having the State endorse the union of men or of women underscores essential qualities of marriage: attraction, love, compatibility, and collaboration. I am really proud to live in a State where so many of my friends were reminded that they were equal, and where they are treated equally by the law.
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Tap, Tap... I'm not dead yet, but the economy needs CPR

Surprise! An actual entry in my LJ. I wrote about half the following, with the rest a petition request from CREDO.

When doing what is good for the public and good for the world costs money, companies need laws that force all of the companies to do the right things. Otherwise, the responsible companies have higher costs than the irresponsible companies, so the responsible ones can't compete and go out of business.

Congress is on the brink of making a one-sided deal to give George W. Bush a blank check to bail out financial companies - offering nearly (or perhaps more than) a trillion taxpayer dollars to Wall Street to cover its bad debts (on unregulated investments that Wall Street invented in the first place; like CDOs--Collateralized Debt Obligations, and CDSes--Credit Default Swaps. [Oversimplified, CDOs (originated by Investment Banks like Bear Sterns, Lehman Bros, Morgan Stanley, Merill Lynch, etc) are like mortgage mutual funds but aren't regulated like mutual funds or mortgages, and CDSes (what got AIG in trouble) are like insurance policies but don't require capital reserves like insurance policies do, and aren't regulated, um, at all.] That works out to somewhere between $2000 and $5000 from every American family. So what do the taxpayers get in return?

Nothing. No new regulation or oversight to help avoid this kind of crisis in the future. No public interest givebacks to help people whose homes are in the hands of the banks. Perhaps most shockingly of all, the taxpayers get absolutely no share in the profits if and when these finance giants bounce back, even though we are now assuming a great deal of the risk.

This is worse than a bad deal - this isn't a deal at all. This is a blank check to some of the richest companies in the world.

Remember the Savings and Loan crisis? Please tell Congress not to go sheep-like into this legislation. Free markets are not free without Federal regulations to level the playing field. We're seeing the results of systematic deregulation of banks and financial institutions now. The regulatory laws that were passed in the 1930s to prevent repeats of the Great Depression have now been mostly dismantled, and... Lo! The results.

When George Bush first took office, one of the things he wanted to do as a present to the refrigeration industry was to get rid of some environmentally beneficial legal restrictions on refrigerants/refrigeration companies. The companies themselves screamed at him not to do that. They needed the level playing field that the regulations provided to the industry.

I just signed a petition calling on key members of Congress to impose a few sensible conditions to this bailout in order to protect the American people -- I hope you will too.

Please have a look and take action.


(no subject)

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me -- it can only be one word long. Then, if you wish, copy and paste this in your journal so that I may leave a word about you.

Starting that Game Up Again

Having finaly gotten my answer to alexx_kay finished, it's now my turn to indulge other people.
If you comment, and I can ...

1. I'll respond with something I like about you.
2. I'll tell you what artist/song/movie or other item reminds me of you.
3. I'll name something we should do together.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me (or just me).
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. I'll leave you a quote that is somehow appropriate to you.
7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you, if I have such a thought.
8. If I do this for you, please post this on your journal so you can do the same for other people

Measure for Measure

I'm preparing to direct the Town Cow Theater Company's annual free summer show in Anne Chamberlin Park in Concord Center. It plays July 14th to 30th, Fridays and Saturdays at 6 PM, and Sundays at 4 PM. We're holding auditions this coming Sunday afternoon, March 19, in Concord center for some of the best roles, including Isabella, Mariana, Juliet, and Claudio. To schedule an appointment, telephone producer Thomas Caron at (978) 318 - 7979, or send an e-mail to theater@thetowncow.org. Theatrical ladies, here's your chance to play plum parts.

"Measure for Measure," Shakespeare's final comedy, depicts the whole of life, as it is, politics included. Vincentio is a duke with a passion for learning and a lax attitude toward enforcing the law. Confronting a society gone out of control, and fearful that a sudden about-face would appear too brutal, he chooses to take a vacation, and appoints his deputy, Angelo, to the task of restoring order.

Angelo, a judge so severe that "when he makes water his urine is congealed ice," makes it his first order of business to enforce the statute against extramarital fornication, and condemns to death a young man, Claudio, for getting his fiancee pregnant. When Claudio's sister, Isabella, a novice nun, appeals to Angelo for mercy, the magistrate is staggered by a lightning bolt of lust, and offers her a deal: her brother's freedom in exchange for her body. But unbeknownst to Angelo or anyone else, Duke Vincentio hasn't gone anywhere. He's disguised himself as a monk, to monitor the fallout of his shaky plan to shore up the morality of his subjects. His well-meaning yet incompetent interventions only make matters worse, and the relatively happy ending is due in part to luck.

This play clearly shows how incompetent leadership can degrade society and the state, how power corrupts, how justice and mercy are often contradictory, incompatible, yet necessary sides of the same coin, and how difficult it is to fix a failed state. Ah, Shakespeare, still timely (perhaps unfortunately.)

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I'm hit! I'm it!

cvirtue tagged me. I'll tag more folks, though I 'spect they mostly won't respond, 'cause I'm late and most folks who're interested have already done this.

Ground Rules:
The first player of this "game" starts with the topic "5 Guilty Pleasures" and people who get tagged need to write an LJ entry about their 5 Guilty Pleasures as well as state this rule. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their names.

CV's NOTE: this is specifically GUILTY pleasures. That means things you like which you feel somewhat sheepish, or guilty, about admitting to others. Not just regular pleasures. My first reaction was, "I don't have any guilty pleasures: all my pleasure are blatant hedonistic ones." But when I thought about it, I realized I was wrong. I've definitely got guilt.

1. Staying up way too late at night, and sleeping late the next morning.
2. Snacking away all day long (on nuts, cheese, chocolate, and cookies, etc... rather than healthy stuff like fruit.)
3. Watching TV (Law and Order clones and other crime dramas) while staying up way too late at night.
4. Spending too much time on the computer reading my LJ friends list (including way too late at night.)
5. Reading gossip magazines in supermarket lines, Dr.'s offices, and other waiting rooms.

Tag: gyzki, marysdress, alexx_kay, jdulac, multigeek

Taking one for the Team

goldsquare points to the NYTimes article, and metahacker points to this one: http://www.drinkinggame.us/. But tonight, I have to stay sober, because:

For several years I've been a panel member of something called "Knowledge Networks."

What is Knowledge Networks? They say: "Knowledge Networks is a premier marketing information sciences company, founded in early 2000 by two Stanford University professors. We operate the only online consumer research panel that represents all aspects of the U.S. population." Why am I a panel member? Because, as they explain: "As a member of the panel, you will have a chance to help shape the products and services you use every day and to earn extra cash in the process! Our panel members are located across the United States, voicing their valuable opinions to help business and government better meet consumer needs."

So, I can earn $ for sounding off on matters both trivial and important. Tonight they have a special treat for me: I qualified to be one of the people to send in a response to Shrub's State of the Union address. They're giving me 10,000 extra points to watch tonight's State of the Union address, and then run upstairs to fill out the response survey before my personal views have a chance to be polluted by the Democrat's response. That means I have to listen to his speech, but at least I get to sound off about what he said afterward. As my friend, Cat, said today when I told her why I had to listen to the SotU, "Great! You tell 'em for us, Pamela!"

I'm keeping an open mind, I'll have you know. There's a chance that I'll be favorably impressed by our Prez, just like there is that chance that global warming will be reversed by Spring. I believe I'm a moderate.

EDIT:: Well, that was frustrating. I'm not referring to the fingernails-on-blackboard part of the evening, either--aside from Bush's usual nonsense, like his insistence on making his tax cuts permanent, insisting his unauthorized domestic surveillance was all legal and business-as-usual, and his pretending that he values bipartisan constructive feedback, Bush actually had some proposals I liked: a bipartisan committee to advise on technological ways to transfer the nation off of oil dependency, a national educational program to foster excellence in math and the hard sciences, some blather about fixing the entitlements (he started with a comment like, "because congress refused to fix social security last year," and was interrupted at that point with a standing ovation! glee! ). If he implements half of these new programs at all well, I could be happy with something out of the White-house this term. Of course, there's no way to pay for any of it, especially with the cost of his $&^4 glue-trap Iraq war. And how come we can't get rid of the opium trade in Afghanistan, when the Taliban managed to do it?

Anyway, my frustration was with the durn Knowledge Networks survey afterward. It was way too simplistic: "Do you approve or disapprove of the President's proposals?" There was no way to answer that, because some I actually approved of were in there with the "save marriage from being ruined" junk, so I just went generally negative without any opportunity to differentiate. The survey was therefore useless and divisive. Ick.
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Come Celebrate Tonight!

I'm in Concord Player's "Winter Welcome" this evening at 51 Walden St. in Concord center at about 6:30 to 6:45 ish start time. It's free, it's great for children, it's part of the tree-lighting festivities, a generic Winter holiday mishmash celebration, in Concord Center, and the theater is just a short walk from the park where the tree gets lit. I hope families will come! (I think cvirtue will be bringing her twins.)

At 6PM there will be a parade leaving from the Dunkin' Donuts at the corner of Thoreau St. and Sudbury Rd. opposite the Concord Depot (the commuter rail stop), which will march up Sudbury Road to the little park in downtown Concord Center where the big Christmas tree will be lit (I think by a Santa on a fire truck.) at about 6:15 PM or so. There Concord Chorus will sing a few songs (about 10 minutes worth) and then people will wander down the street to 51 Walden St, (the Concord Players Theatre) hopefully not getting too distracted along the way by the cute local shops handing out holiday goodies to passersby. When the theatre gets full of people (we expect around 6:35 ish) Winter Welcome will begin. I play the fool (as usual, no comments about type-casting allowed) in 'Saint George and the Dragon,' sort of a traditional medieval short super-hero action drama with overtones of pagan traditions (and a great dragon costume, a hairy devil, a dark knight, Father Christmas, St. George dressed all in white, etc,) and I also sing with the madrigal singers. There will also be a great Morris Dance troupe doing the horn dance (an erie and hauntingly beautiful ancient dance with antlers) and some sword dances, but I have nothing to do with them (aside from admiring and watching.) There will be sing alongs of "Deck the Halls" and "Oh Hanukkah", and such, as well as some older Wassail songs, all accompanied by a quartet of horns! The whole thing will take less than an hour, so everyone should be on their way home by 8 PM.

I recommend it highly.

The downtown roads will be closed to auto traffic, so I recommend arriving before 6 to get a parking place, or taking the commuter rail to Concord Center.