Cranky ... grouchy ... crotchety
I'm a bit grumpy this morning. I shouldn't be. Linda's speech therapist was sick this morning, so she kind of has the day off. You'll be unsurprised to learn that we decided to celebrate by having a leisurely visit to the coffee shop.
I took the book I have been trying to read lately, Free Culture
, written by a conservative named Lawrence Lessig. It's a nonfiction book, unlike the usual fantasy novels that I read for fun. I really recommend this book, and you don't even have to buy it. You can download it from free-culture.org
. The cover of the book is dead-ugly, but there's a point to it which you'll understand when you read it.
Near the end, he talks about a case he argued in front of the Supreme Court. It was a court case that I followed a few years ago, and I really cared about it. Unfortunately the good guys lost, and in the book he explains what they did wrong and what they should have done that would have won. Basically he failed because he had faith that the supreme court would "do the right thing" when presented with the facts of the case. After all, they're professionals and know the law. In the book, explains that he should have gone for the big sell, he should have mixed in politics.
That is so disappointing on so many levels. It's heartbreaking to have your faith betrayed. It was personally disappointing to me because I cared about it. It is disappointing to see that characterization of the highest court made by someone who had had so much respect for them.
I suppose it's easy to be disappointed in your country when elections approach. I don't even have television, so I don't know what the attack ads look like this year, but I've had plenty in my mail box. All of the candidates know what they have to say to get elected. There are only two parties to choose from, and both are pathetically conservative and backward. If you break a stereotype, you might offend someone.
I never make mistakes
I was reading some candidates' answers to questions posed by a geeky news site at slashdot.org
. As usual, they were generic, and quite clearly not written by the candidates themselves. My favorite question was,
When is it appropriate for a leader to change their opinion? Both sides have been accused of flip-flopping on important issues - President Bush on establishing the Dept. of Homeland Security and steel tariffs, Senator Kerry on the Iraq war. But changing opinion due to thoughtful reconsideration ought not to be derided as flip-flopping. Tell us about a time when you had an honest change of opinion on a topic of national importance.
I suppose it is no big surprise that no one answered that. Nader talked about eating hot dogs, Kerry attacked Bush, and Bush declined to answer that question.
Would it be so hard for Kerry to explain something about how his experience in the military made him anti-war? He's getting hell for it anyway. Would it be so hard for Bush to say that he thought Iraq was an imminent threat only to discover that they were a developing threat? Surely Nader could do better than hot dogs.
I can do better than hot dogs. When Linda was in the hospital, and she refused a feeding tube, I didn't help her with the decision. I felt like it was so important that I should respect her decision and not pressure my opinions onto her. I later realized that this was a mistake. We were never people to make decisions alone. I should have talked to her and helped her.
What I thought was respect was a kind of neglect. I don't persecute myself for it, it was a hard week and people make mistakes. Linda doesn't even remember it, so she isn't angry.
Everyone changes opinions. When I was in high school I remember talking to my dad about flag burning. It didn't seem like a big deal (to me) for the law to prohibit burning the flag and he didn't agree.
Now that I'm older, I see it, right along with the pledge and any number of other things, as a way for one group to exert itself over another. If the pledge weren't about coercion, then the phrase "under God" wouldn't be so damned important would it?
So people change. In high school I never imagined growing up to be embarassed for my country. If I owned a flag, I could imagine burning it today.
And now I've written that in a mass medium, and in doing so I am resolved that I can never run for president. No one who has said such a thing can ever be president.