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April 21, 2006
I've been AWOL

What with The Big Flood of '06 (the one in my apartment, I mean) that resulted in a day of cleaning and doing laundry, and one (this evening to become two) evenings of working this week, there hasn't been much time for the world o'blog.

To be honest, there hasn't been much time for any amusements, up to and including simply reading the news.

I know I raved and glowed about the joys of employment here recently (And I still feel that way. I like to work and a paycheck is a wondrous thing.) but I'm considerably less-enchanted with this particular job than I was...and I had doubts when I started it.

One boss and two employees.

One passive-aggressive boss and two passive-agressive employees.

One burned-out boss, one burned-out employee, and one woman wishing she'd filed for unemployment when she lost her last job in November. Because then she might have felt a little less financially precarious and might have thought twice about going into an atmosphere that, let's just admit it, she knew was likely to be toxic.

But you didn't come here to listen to my personal problems, right?

But you already know that the latest polls have Bush's "approval" rating at 33%. Other than that, good news is hard to find.

You already know that the number of "terrorist" attacks in the world tripled last year, while we continued to prosecute our war on whatever we're calling it this week.

You already know that a CIA officer was fired to leaking the fact that the CIA has secret prisons located around the world.

You already know that Rove has been moved from "policy" (where we'll never know what he was doing) to "politics" and put in charge of getting Republicans elected in November (so the dirty tricks will increase). (Like "subliminal" ads.)

You know that lunatics in Georgia are considering banning the Harry Potter books from their schools because of the dreaded "witchcraft" accusations. (Is this 2006 or 1606?) Y

ou know that Halliburton is making a ton of money selling death and that Ford Motor Corporation is losing their shorts selling gas-guzzling automobiles.

And you know that, whether we like it or not, we're probably already conducting military operations in Iran.

So, you know, all-in-all, this is a week of news I'm probably happier for having missed.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)
April 19, 2006
Unsurprising Philosophy
You scored as Old School Democrat. Old school Democrats emphasize economic justice and opportunity. The Democratic ideal is best summarized by the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Old School Democrat

75%

Green

60%

New Democrat

45%

Foreign Policy Hawk

40%

Libertarian

30%

Pro Business Republican

20%

Socially Conservative Republican

5%

What's Your Political Philosophy?
created with QuizFarm.com

Hee. I'm "Old School."

Posted by AnneZook at 06:29 PM | Comments (8)
Seriously

When you sign up for an e-newsletter from some site, how much do you care if they have the technology to put your name in the message?

I mean, when Amazon writes to you, they say, "Dear Anne." If you sign up for updates from a news site, it's usually just the news topics you asked for, no name.

How much does having your name on an e-mail impress you?

Posted by AnneZook at 06:07 PM | Comments (3)
April 16, 2006
It was a BIG block of cheese
President Josiah Bartlet: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up.

I watched the West Wing when it was under Sorkin's brilliant handling. (I tried to watch it after he'd left, but I have a massive distaste for shows that are "rrrripped! from the headlines!")

The memory of those first three seasons lives on in my heart, for so many reasons. For wit. Drama. Passion. Courage. Absurdity. I've never seen a television show that matched it for sheer, heart-stopping beauty.

A lot of people are paying tribute to the show across the 'net. Me, I just want to thank Sorkin et. al., for giving television a show worthy of the power of the medium.

President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes it does. Leviticus.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.

And for giving a voice to the liberal ideals upon which this nation was founded.

We know the difference between television and reality. We know that we may never see an Administration this full of idealists and clean-handed politicians and operatives, trying that hard to do right by everyone.

But the show offered us a vision of what politics could be. What it should be, if elected officials really care about doing the right thing and if the opposition is principled (and not always wrong). And, at its best, it offered us a view of the issues, the compromises, and the pitfalls of political office, a view that we could use as a yardstick to measure what is happening around us. A view and a goal.

C.J. Cregg: There were 36 homicides last night. 480 sexual assaults. 3411 robberies. 3685 aggravated assaults, all at gun point. And if anyone thinks those crimes could have been prevented if the victims themselves had been carrying guns, I only remind that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best trained armed guards in the history of the world.

I loved the unashamedly liberal politics, of course, but there are issues that cross Party lines and TWW dealt with those. Who can forget Ainsley Hayes? She was "the enemy" but she was also the voice of the sane Republican Right. She spoke for those issues where there are at least two "right" positions, with as much courage, compassion, and conviction as any liberal on the show.

Sam Seaborn: Mallory, education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That's my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

They handled the issues I care about and introduced me to some issues I hadn't even considered, with passion and commitment and a clarity that's lacking in today's political debate. It's not just that Aaron Sorkin is a certified genius, dialogue-wise. It's that his characteres knew what they believed. They stood for things, thing that were about more than just winning elections.

President Josiah Bartlet: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?
Will Bailey: Because it's the only thing that ever has.

And, yes, not the least, I want to thank them for the Big Block of Cheese. As a symbol of good government, the idea that there is food put out so that any who are hungry might eat...that's a beautiful thing.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:59 AM | Comments (1)