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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Random musings. (Page 53)

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Author Topic: Random musings.
LDWriter2
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I forgot to mention... on my part of this discussion.

Jay Sekalow(Not sure about that spelling but it's close) had a good debate on the reading of the Constitution. I forgot the name of the woman he debated but I have heard her before...she didn't do that good a job this time. She did bring up that they didn't read the whole thing but I was distracted at work so missed what Jay said in response. But other then that her part of it was weak and it sounded like she was stretching for an argument. She mentioned the cost of the reading but I didn't catch any explanation of where she got that figure which Jay said was way too much.


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Pyre Dynasty
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How much does it cost to give everyone in a company a 15 min. break? For a big company it's a seriously large number to pay for people just sitting around. That doesn't mean it's not worth it.

It's interesting when people say something is in the constitution when it isn't. Certainly some of those things would fit there, and are in the same spirit as some other things written there, and could be written into law without running afoul of it, but it isn't actually there.


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rich
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quote:
It's interesting when people say something is in the constitution when it isn't.

Like what?


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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"Separation of church and state" isn't in the constitution, but everyone seems to think that it is.
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LDWriter2
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quote:

"Separation of church and state" isn't in the constitution, but everyone seems to think that it is.

O'Donnell, however you spell her name, got into trouble for stating that truth doing a debate. Of course I think part of that was her delivery, she seemed to be trying to be humorous about it when she should have made a strong, definite statement.

I think you can add the right to privacy to that and what the Obama Administration is trying to pull with the Health care law...wanting us all to buy health insurance.


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Robert Nowall
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Some things in the Constitution are disregarded...for instance, no person impeached by Congress is supposed to hold an office of public trust, like, say, a Congressman...but a former judge who was impeached is a Congressman right now.

That "separation of church and state" comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. He refers to a "wall of separation between church and state" as what the First Amendment means.

It should be noted the Jefferson did not participate in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and was not even present at the Constitutional Convention.

Here's a link, http://civilliberty.about.com/od/religiousliberty/a/danburybaptists.htm , though a simple search could probably turn up dozens of sites that post the text of Jefferson's letter.


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LDWriter2
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quote:

That "separation of church and state" comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. He refers to a "wall of separation between church and state" as what the First Amendment means.

We know that, but was the wall to protect the church from the state, as some people think, or to protect the state from the church as others think.

I think by many of their speeches during that time--Washington's speech on the first Thanksgiving as one example--that contained so many references to God and even scripture quotes. Not to mention the Congress meeting in a building a church also used. They didn't worry about violating separation of church and state as much as many do today. If they worried about it at all.



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Robert Nowall
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Y'know, we seem to be veering dangerously close to that dreaded "political discussion" here.

Maybe we could talk about the latest attempt to censor Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn---I'd be delighted to, but only if I could use the words in question.


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LDWriter2
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Robert Kathleen can respond to your question but I say I thought it was only one word, is there another one that is being missed in the discussion of the first word?


And I don't think I would need to use said word to say I don't think it needs to be censored. It's not the only work with objectionable words and even though some have been censored before I'd rather leave it as is. It's one of those slippery slopes.


But it can used as a discussion of that day and of writing. Stephen King says in his book on writing that we should allow our characters to use the terms they would use in real life. There have been times while reading that I wished the writer had censored their characters but usually I have to admit those words fit and in some cases it would be funny and/or off if they didn't say such words.

I have problems with my characters saying something worse than damn so I kinda cheat a little and not allow them to say the whole word. So far none would have said that word up above and I'm not sure if any ever will...it's a word that doesn't come to mind while writing or any other time for that matter. But it is conceivable that someday somewhere somehow a character will want to use it, I will have to decide then how to deal with it but I think Twian's character would have used it back then.


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rich
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Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution, but the intent/spirit is there in the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court has upheld Jefferson's specific words in many a case.

And O'Donnell wasn't stating a truth so much as not understanding what the phrase meant and how the 1st Amendment related to it. If you watch the video of that debate (held at a law school) you can tell she's floundering, not fully realizing what Coons was telling her.

And I think it's stupid and unnecessary to censor Twain's work.


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Pyre Dynasty
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That censoring of Twain is stupid and impractical. Every time that certain word is used it does not mean slave, as they are editing it to be. That would be like replacing "gravity" in Ender's Game with "weight." Sure there is some kind of correlation, but they do not mean the same thing. What if we did that to more modern works? Say a book about Selma?

The article I read about this quoted Twain as having said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is a big deal." Those of you who know the way that quote actually goes understands how they have castrated that quote. I've used this argument so many times but it's a favorite of mine: When grandma dies do we cut her out of the family pictures? It's a part of history, and if we wrote a story set during that time we would be totally justified in using that word. Any other word would be out of place.

They claim they are doing it for accessibility, because they say there are some people who won't read a book with that word in it. Poppycock in my opinion.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is protect a person from themselves. No matter how much you scream at them they still decide to walk out on the slick surface.


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LDWriter2
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quote:

Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution, but the intent/spirit is there in the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court has upheld Jefferson's specific words in many a case.
And O'Donnell wasn't stating a truth so much as not understanding what the phrase meant and how the 1st Amendment related to it.

She understood better than liberals want to give her credit for. This whole thing with the letter was started by one specific judge, not that long ago compared to the age of the US, who didn't like religion. We have to live with his finding a hidden meaning in the words but one can see by the way the Founders acted and their speeches they never intended for it to go that far. There is no wall in the Constitution.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Okay, yeah, this is edging awfully close to the political.

And on the Twain censorship subject, so far as I know, the word in question is not banned on this forum. This gets back to the general question of censoring our characters, and that is an Open Discussion on Writing topic, right?


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PB&Jenny
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So, how 'bought those Cowboys?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Good job on being random, PB&Jenny.


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LDWriter2
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I would have said Eagles not Cowboys.


That's because I love the birds, get an Eagle calendar every year. Just something about an eagle soaring that is...well something.

Not sure how the team is doing seems to be not so bad so far.


And I have no idea if the band is still together. They did have some good songs but not enough for me to become a fan.

But those bird....

And Kathleen I say close? I think we tripped over the edge already but than again there was no mention of political parties even though I brought up the term liberal. So Okay no more.
Even though there is my blog, I may get around to writing something further on that subject sometime.

Is it okay to say that?


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Pyre Dynasty
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That particular word may not be specifically banned here but in this day and age people can lose their job for using such a word, even in environments where the words that are banned here are commonplace.

On birds, the Seahawks beat the Saints tonight, it was the first time a team with a losing record has ever won a playoff game. (Gotta love the wildcard.)


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Robert Nowall
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I couldn't locate the last time I remember the issue coming up---involving a lengthy post I made about use of the word in question in various censored versions of "Blazing Saddles"---but I was under the impression is was banned...

(I kinda made reference to this matter when we were doing the Movie Quotes thread last year...thought it would've provoked some kind of reaction...)

*****

They tell me the Jets won. I always think of them as the "Anarchists," from an obscure joke from a 1970s sitcom. ("There they are, the anarchists!...you know what anarchy is, don't you?" "Sure. Everybody doing whatever they want. Like the Jets.")


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PB&Jenny
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Yup, I almost lost a job because I told someone who was upset with me that the only reason they were upset with me was because I was Black. They were not Black. No one in the room was Black.

I was literally dragged into Personnel to explain my actions. It was very strange. I do have some Black ancestry and I have Black in-laws, but I don't have the look. I could almost imagine a guillotine in the room. Very strange how fearful people have become about upsetting other races even if none were involved.

And, just to point out my workplace faux pas, I was telling a friend of mine how my Black cousin talked when he is with friends. He's very funny, btw.


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LDWriter2
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PB part of that is PCness going to seed. It always reminds me of the old joke about the father and son taking a donkey down hill to sell. By the time they got done listening to everyone they offended they dropped the donkey from a rope bridge high above a river. If you listen to everyone you can lose your a... .


Anyway your story also reminds me of a Dr. Williams. Should remember his first name..heard it enough times...but he's a Economics Prof who has written books on economics-very good reading if you like that type of thing. But now he has written a book about himself. He grew up in projects, was cab driver in major city and joined the army and sent to Korea. he put down he was Caucasian even though no one could mistake that he is black. His CO told him he had to change it but it ended up sticking.

Not so PC back in those days.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Was that Walter Williams, LDWriter2? Interesting guy.

I remember a Guest of Honor speech by Jane Yolen, at a convention I attended, in which she talked about how political correctness can be as much a way of censoring people as book burning.

I also remember when the big switch happened: from hearing people use words like the one in question with impunity in one year, and then hearing people being accused of being "prejudiced" (which then became THE THING NOT TO BE) the next year.


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Robert Nowall
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I'd say something really raw about somebody I work with, but it'd be potentially libelous and might get back to said person.

Instead, I'll tell a joke.

One day the bus driver had just had it. "There's been too much argument. I'm tired of telling people to move to the back of the bus just because of the color of their skin. From now on, everybody's just green. Got it?"

After some mutterings of general agreement, the bus driver said, "Right. Now if the dark green people will move to the back of the bus..."


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Well, if that isn't a show-stopper, I don't know what is.
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LDWriter2
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Yes, Kathleen it is Walter. For some strange unknown reason I keep forgetting it.
Actually, I did good to remember his last name.

Yes indeed he is interesting.

As his web site, which maybe I shouldn't mention here since it would be close political and I've been doing too much of that lately.


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LDWriter2
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Robert
quote:

One day the bus driver had just had it. "There's been too much argument. I'm tired of telling people to move to the back of the bus just because of the color of their skin. From now on, everybody's just green. Got it?"

After some mutterings of general agreement, the bus driver said, "Right. Now if the dark green people will move to the back of the bus..."



There's an old novel where that happens. I mean everyone turning green, and the writer gets a bit into the darker green aspects.


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Robert Nowall
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I can't vouch for the novel, but the joke was current when I was growing up...
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rich
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Yeah, I bet that was a hit in the '60s.
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LDWriter2
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Actually that part of the novel was just a small side comment, the story was about why we turned green and how that reason made nature go at super speed.

When I got the book-paperback-, from an used book store or from my dad, it was old. So it might have been written in the 50s. I can't recall the writer but I think he was famous, someone I knew of.


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Robert Nowall
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I had bad news this week...my current favorite bookstore is closing Saturday. Books-a-Million, and I've been there nearly every Tuesday for, oh, when did it open again? Some ten years, at least. Through one location change down the road.

Now where will I get my book fix? There's another one, but it's twice as far away...the local Barnes & Noble doesn't have the same stuff...everything else is even farther away...and ordering online just isn't the same thing as browsing.


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philocinemas
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Well, Robert, at least I bet they're going to have some good sales between now and Saturday.
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LDWriter2
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Hey Robert is that just that one store or the whole chain?


I ask because not that long ago it was stated that finally we are suppose to get one of those sometime. But so far no other news on that front, with Borders probably going into bankruptcy it would seem now would be a good time for them to move here. if they are still viable.


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Robert Nowall
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Just the one store---I asked. And, far as I know, no sales are planned, they're just moving the merchandise away.

Like I said, there's another Books-a-Million, but it's twice the distance. This one, the one that's closing, is at Page Field Commons on US 41---the other one is on Colonial on the other side of I-75. Certainly that one's within driving range---it's no farther away than where I work---but it's the damned inconvenience of it all. I mean the place was always busy, so why close it at all?

*****

I wouldn't be surprised at all if, sometime before my next vacation, every Borders closed down...


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Robert Nowall
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Did I mention I rescued several books before exiting? A couple of expensive items I looked at every time I went in, but hadn't yet decided to buy...boy, what with Christmas and all, my credit card bill is going to be big this month...
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Pyre Dynasty
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I've had to do that more than once, buy all the things I had been meaning to someday because the store was closing. They took out my favorite Subway right next to where I worked (it was nice for 45 min. lunches) to build a tunnel under a busy road.

Also for some inexplicable reason 7-11 completely pulled out of my city.

Sometimes the players like to move the pieces around, and they don't bother telling the pawns why.


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LDWriter2
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Hmm, tax time is coming.


I know this because I saw some cross dressing Statue of Liberty types on street corners.

There's nothing like seeing a Statue of Liberty with a beard to know that April 15 is around the corner.

Of course that hasn't quite popped up yet this year but it will. There was however a whole choir of them yesterday. One was-or at least looked-- female the rest looked...well, lets say they were ugly, flat chested woman.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited January 16, 2011).]


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Robert Nowall
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Well, of the bookstores I used to frequent in the 1970s when I lived in Poughkeepsie, none of them are open now. I'm used to disappearing stores...it's just damned inconveniencing...

*****

Yeah, the Statue of Liberty dancers have hit the streets here, too. I know times are tough, but surely there must be better entry-level jobs?


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snapper
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quote:
Sometimes the players like to move the pieces around, and they don't bother telling the pawns why

Like this line. I may have to use it, PD (if that's okay).


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LDWriter2
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An update.

I saw a statue of Liberty with a beard today.


It used to be they used both Uncle Sam and S of L outfits both with the right genders but the last couple of years they don't care or maybe they think it will attract more customers if passerbys saw a male S of L.


Cross dressing isn't that big around here. Even though about five years ago a bunch of crossdressers picketed a local talk radio station, all were wearing kinda short miniskirts.

Hmmm, maybe I could do a Urban Fantasy story about a cross dresser-- a Lady Gaga, or Spears or Madonna impersonator maybe. No no no no

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited January 17, 2011).]


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Pyre Dynasty
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LD that way madness lies.

Snapper, knock yourself out, if it's appropriate add attribution. (Just because I want people to spend an extra brain cycle trying to figure out who this weirdo is.)


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Robert Nowall
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We've got a lot of people around here waving signs saying "WE BUY GOLD," too.

*****

Today I take the plunge and make the trip to the "outer" Books-a-Million store. I'll drive by the old one, to see if they really closed (there's been nothing in the papers about it), then, push on to the other one. But I don't know if it'll be my weekly habit anymore...I may switch to Barnes & Noble, or alternate, or take opportunities to visit more distant bookstores...

*****

Then again, I'll be shopping for other things. My printer is dying! The last week or so, it's been printing extremly blurry pictures on the "maximum dpi" setting I like to printout certain comics on...in "normal" it's smeared some of the print jobs at about a quarter of the way from the left side of the print page...and also stops midway through jobs and says it's jammed when it isn't, or that the cartridge is jammed, or something or other.

I don't know. I might be able to troubleshoot and fix it, but I don't know if I can. I could take it in for repairs, but then I might not have a printer for a few weeks. It wouldn't be that much trouble (or money) to buy a new printer / scanner / fax machine / whatever, maybe even a better one.

Funny, though...last month it was my monitor, this month it's my printer. And I got them both at the same time. Could my tower unit be far behind? (I had better start copying some important files, like my literary work...)


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Smiley
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I'm convinced that WE BUY GOLD thing is a ploy to take gold out of the public's hands.

"Here, I'll take your real currency (gold), and give you this nice, shiny piece of green paper. Isn't that nice of me?"

BUNK!


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Robert Nowall
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The thing with gold is (1) you can't eat it, and (2) you can't spend it. Makes it less than attractive to me as an investment...
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Pyre Dynasty
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The terrible thing about all this "We buy gold" stuff is that they pay way under what the gold is actually worth, and they even say so in their fine print. (You agree that 1% of the value of this gold is what you are willing to sell it for.)
Gold is worth $1,367.33 an OUNCE today (don't quote me on that it might be different when you read this.) It just makes me sick when I see those commercials with a guy saying "I got 200 bucks for my gold." it means this guy sent them $20,000 worth of gold to them.
(And yes, my data comes from actual third party research.)

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Smiley
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Exactly!!! :/
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aspirit
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Gold is edible (in very small quantities) but eaten less frequently than silver.

Why I'm here: Someone spammed my blog, which is typical, but addressed me by one of my main character's names, which is creepy. Is the spammer a Hatracker?


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Robert Nowall
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A while back in New York, they were selling a gilt-edged-with-gold hamburger, for a hundred dollars. You can eat the gold therein, but, of course, this too shall pass. (Personally, I thought, at that price, the hamburger had better be damned tasty...)

*****

That's Thing #3 with gold---the price-per-ounce is too damned high.


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EP Kaplan
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Got a new job!
I'm doing New Media marketing for the New Jersey Devils, the National Hockey League team. A few of you might know that I'm a rabid hockey fan, and, being a lifelong resident of The Garden State, a Devils fan. In fact, one of the things I think helped land me the gig was attaching to my resume a copy of my essay, "Welcome to The Rock", which I had mentioned in the Publications section. It should be a fun experience combining two things I love, writing and hockey, into one gig.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Way to go, EP Kaplan!
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EP Kaplan
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Thanks, KDW. I'm pretty excited about it. I'll be working my first game (as in, at the arena, interacting with fans) this Sunday.
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Smiley
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I'm a man and I know this may sound weird, but I've never figured out the fascination men seem to have with sports. I'm weird, so sue me.

But definite congrats EPK on your new job!

[This message has been edited by Smiley (edited January 19, 2011).]


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