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[personal profile] bursar42
The raspberries are almost ripe. They're a little more tart than usual. Also, this year, they're domestic raspberry bushes, so picking the berries no longer actually draws blood. It's great.

So. Here's my issue with the GOP. I, being the lily-livered, waffling Pinko I am, am leary of anyone who is intent on governing with the resounding motto Deus vult. Aside from the inability to engage such people in reasonable debate because of the question-begging nature of any of their assertions, there's the inability to accept other viewpoints (something the Democrats may be too good at). All of these things lead to a refusal to compromise, something democracy relies upon, something the two oldest democracies seem to be having trouble with lately. This manifests itself in such excesses as the "Nuclear Option", Rangel (D-NY) being kept out of a conference committee, despite being appointed by the minority, and the ridiculous exercise [Sorry for the poor link, but what can you do?]we saw a year ago when some Congressmen decided to hold up a bill in committee until someone had a chance to actually read the bill.

Why is this refusal to compromise bad? Because it breaks the system. The System, of course, is there to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Consider, for example, the Nuclear Option. For the entire history of the Congress, it has taken 2/3 of voting members to change the rules, not a majority. Even when a party has had 2/3, this rule, and many other fundamental rules, have never changed significantly (at least not to purposely benefit one party). Never did the Jeffersonian Republicans do it. Never did the Radical Republicans of Reconstruction do it. It breaks the system, the system which allows there to be a meaningful "loyal opposition", as the British put it. The opposition has a say and can influence things while having a real shot at (re-)gaining power. This is the feature of mature democracies which prevents the formation of paramilitary "parties" with armed goons (read as Red, Black, Brown, &c. Shirts). It means the Democrats have get out the vote drives and don't bomb polling places. But the Republicans are too short-sighted to understand all this because they're too busy looking at "eternal values" and believing themselves to be acting as the right hand of the Most Holy One to see damage done to the unwritten fabric of our political system.

This paragraph is here to remind me why I like the humanities. You can ignore it. Today, I spent a while chatting with my aunt. For a while, she was a nun who taught school in the poorest parts of Brooklyn (the ones where people want to be so lucky as to live in the projects), then she taught school in Panama. And so forth, until she quit the nunnery and became a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society. Really interesting lady. Anyhow, we got to talking about politics, the War, the war in Iraq, religion, the magazine America, the fortune of the Christian Science Monitor, and other things of more local interest, like the fate of one of the neighbors from half a century ago. At any rate, this has led me to sort of think about what I want to be when I grow up. Periodically, I get this ridiculously strong desire to do something mathematically oriented. Engineering, physics. Then I read an excerpt of something by Origen, for example, and I want to be a theologian (or something similar). It's kind of odd, these radical shifts. It would be nice if I had any idea what I was good at. But I've got at least four years to decide what that is, so we'll have fun guessing until then.

Date: 2005-07-05 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennekirby.livejournal.com
The humanities are cool. So are the sciences. Go be analytical & smart in the humanities. It's possible to just have a good brain that could think smart things about whatever you feed it, rather than to actually have talent for one particular field. Do whatever's going to keep presenting problems you'll find interesting.

...or be like me, think all that, and eventually end up becoming an engineer anyway, and keep thinking about all that other stuff too. Or flip a coin! I did that. In any case, you will rock at whatever you do; some little thing will push you in one direction and you'll either follow it or you won't.

The Republicans are so much less cool than you. And I think that's the first time in my life I've made a sweeping generalization about either party, but they certainly have done a lot to convince me they deserve it in the last few years, with a few notable exceptions. I don't understand how anyone could think it was a good idea to bump the balance of power even more. When was the last time the Democrats actually had a chance to do a whole lot without the help of a few Republicans anyway, being in the minority? *sigh*

...I think I'll go eat pie for breakfast and pretend I live someplace else for an hour or two.

Date: 2005-07-06 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ipecak.livejournal.com
Hm, well since you're going to Brown (are you? I only know you got accepted into it) you'll be pretty free of restrictions regarding the courses. So that should help. Someone I talked to on one of those college info sessions took one class in every department for his first two years, and it really helped him out. Maybe it'll work for you?

I'm personally in the same boat as you are in - without direction, with many directions, repeat.

You'll figure it out.

-Belinda ^-^

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May 2007

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