"That you may ruminate"

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Archive for the ‘I’m Curious’ Category

…On Political Emails.

Posted by Steve on August 20, 2010

I’m very confused: somehow, several political causes that either I don’t agree with or have nothing to do with me (I don’t live in Maine) have gotten ahold of my email address and keep sending me emails asking me to write politicians or give money. I don’t mind doing that for causes I support – NARAL, say, or the NRA (yes, I believe in unrestricted access to guns and abortions. I also support capital and corporal punishment as well as strong separation of church and state). But I’m not going to do it for causes I oppose – that goes without saying – and I think it’s inappropriate for me to inject myself in state matters for states I don’t live in. Like Maine.

Of course, this spam’s better than the other spam I get.

I just wonder how these organizations got my email address, is all.

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…On Constitutions – a Challenge and a Request.

Posted by Steve on February 23, 2009

In reading many politics, law, and policy-oriented blogs, I’ve encountered many variations on the theme of “we don’t amend our Constitution very often, and we shouldn’t amend it very often.” Personally, I disagree. Even the parts I like and agree with 100% (fewer than even my friends are aware of), I think just as a matter of routine maintenance should have been replaced with modernized language by now. As to the parts I disagree with and the parts I think are missing, well, if I were to draft a new Constitution for the United States of America, some things would be wildly different (“Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings and of the conduct of duels…”).

But then, why should I be the only one getting to specify what they think the Constitution should be? After all, many people have blogs devoted to matters of law, policy, and politics (whereas this blog is devoted to whatever can keep my attention long enough for me to finish a post), with an assortment of commenters, which to me indicates many people care about such things. So, to you people with your own blogs: your task, should you choose to accept it, is to draft a new Constitution for the United States. Write it, post it, let me know about it. I’m going to make a collection of people’s 2009 Constitutions for the United States of America. The only rules are that your Constitution be complete and that it reflect your vision of the ideal United States of America. Whether the rest of America will go along with it doesn’t matter.

I realize this could be time-consuming, but what better way to express your political values and ideals in the detail that will ensure they’re understood accurately?

I’ll be posting my own once I’m done with it. Hopefully, I’ll have many others to share.

Posted in Constitution Collection, Here be Politics!, I'm Curious | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

…On Donations and Hinderance.

Posted by Steve on September 28, 2008

I know how to give money (or other things, like time to Rebuilding Together or blood to the Red Cross) to support causes I like. It’s pretty simple: identify who to give to, and give to them. But is there a way to “undonate” to hinder causes I oppose? For instance, there’s elections going on. I know how to give money to the campaign of the candidate I support. Is there a way though to cost a candidate’s campaign money if I don’t support that candidate? Or if, say, there’s a group that I think is fighting to make the world a worse place, is there a way to hinder them in a way that would be equal and opposite to sending them $20 or volunteering with them for an hour?

I’m curious, mainly because I want to do it. There’s ways to contribute to the causes you support, shouldn’t there be ways to interfere with the causes you oppose? I want to give negative donations to those.

Posted in I'm Curious | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

…On Walking Very Far.

Posted by Steve on September 1, 2008

According to legend, marathons acquired their name and peculiar distance because they began in commemoration of an ancient Greek soldier who ran from a battle at Marathon to Athens in order to deliver a message, then promptly died of exhaustion. Of course, Wikipedia casts doubt on the legitimacy of the legend both in terms of accuracy and ancientness. Regardless, there’s now a lot of those races and lots of people run them (and do not die. Maybe the Ancient Greek guy had fought in the battle and was already exhausted, or had been wearing armor while he ran?), although I don’t understand why they do. Both my parents, actually, have done it multiple times – though you’ll never see me doing it. Run 26 miles? Not unless I’m at Point A, I really really really need to get to Point B in a hurry, Point B is 26 miles away, and my only way to get there is on foot. Hiking that distance over awesome terrain (like a lot of national parks) or walking it for work-related activities, those are both fine. I’ve done those. It’s just that I won’t run.

Anyway, 26 miles is far. I realize there’s a select group of people who can and do go even farther in a single day, but for ease of math let’s just say 25 miles is the max on how far one person can pedestriate in a day – especially since we’re about to be stringing days together. See, I just read this, and one sentence caught my eye:

A few rally-goers planned to walk from Green Bay, Wis., and join up with Paul for the final miles of their Walk4Freedom.

.
To that, I say, “Daaaaymn!” For those of you unfamiliar with Wisconsin, Green Bay is on the right and Minnesota is on the left (and Minneapolis though close to the border is not on it). I’ve driven from Minneapolis to Green Bay and back, and it’s far. Also a little hilly. And snowy – or at least it was when I drove, but then that was in December and not Auguseptember. Anyway, Google Maps tells me that it is 279 miles from Green Bay to Minneapolis, which is 11 days at our stipulated 25 miles/day rate. Not something beyond most people’s annual vacation supply at work, but you’d most likely have to have been saving it up for awhile. Assuming you work on a 5/2 schedule, with the same two days off each time around, you could have your 11 days straddle your two scheduled days off twice, which would leave 7 days of vacation time for walking to consume. Like I said, you’d have to save it up and it wouldn’t leave you much (possibly any) time for the rest of the year, but you could probably do it.

You wouldn’t be able to walk much farther, though, which makes me wonder where people get the time off from work to walk something longer, like the Way of St. James or the Appalachian Trail. Or do the walkers on those routes skew towards unemployed groups?

At the moment, I’m curious about it.

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