Thursday, August 12, 2004

"A local executive does not possess that authorit y"

-- From a very very quick skim of the opinion(s).

CA Supreme Court says Newsom was wrong to disregard CA statute unconstitutional, since the court had not actually admitted the statute to be unconstitutional.

Local officials are directed to uphold the statute barring gay marriage until or unless the statute is determined to be unconstitutional (by a court...not a local executive).

The marriages performed between same-sex partners have been annulled.

Fear is a Noun and a Verb

Today, I'm going to tell a short parable about fear.

In two days, I'll be getting on a jet plane to fly across the country. With two cats. And I am afraid.

What am I afraid of? I am afraid overzealous security personnel at the airport will inadvertantly release one or more of my cats from their carriers, thereby giving me a heart attack and killing me.

I am afraid overzealous airline personnel will refuse to let me board, leaving me trapped at one of the world's busiest aiports in the middle of the night, with two cats, thereby giving me a heart attack and killing me.

What I am not afraid of:

Flying on a jet plane in a post-9/11 world.

Being in an airport in a post-9/11 world.

Arriving jetlagged.

Starting law school.


The uses of fear, for me, however, are many. Fear keeps me on my toes. As an expert contingency planner, my fear reminds me to plan ahead and be prepared. I have my contingency plan(s) lined up. (I won't need them. Nothing bad will happen. I am prepared nonetheless. This is who I am. This is what I do.) I have never let my fear stop me from doing or being or achieving. (My fear will not stop me from getting on that jet plane. With two cats.)

This seems to be good advice for the Bush Administration. Fear is only useful when it goads you to do something useful.

Color-coded terror alerts, by way of example, do not seem to foot that bill. They are, in fact, quite aptly named. They make you worry, make you fear, but don't offer you the opportunity to do anything constructive.

Terror Alert -- an alert designed to foster terror.

Yes. Yes they are.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hey! There's Hope For Me, Yet!

Not that I worry about being prone to Alzheimer's in particular or anything, but losing my mind is just about the worst way to go I can imagine.

Work 'may ward off Alzheimer's'

...previous studies have indicated that keeping the brain active can protect against Alzheimer's.
Research published last year suggested that dancing, playing musical instruments, reading and playing board games can all reduce the risks of developing the disease.
Dr Kathleen Smyth, who was involved in this latest study, said mentally demanding jobs may boost brain activity and help it to fight against Alzheimer's.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

September 'National Preparedness Month'

This is transparently a continuation of the Bush campaign by other means, financed with everyone's tax dollars, out of funds that could be used, say, to hire more actual first-responders, Pushtun translators, or troops to replace the exhausted guardsmen.

If this September is NPM -- what have all the other months since September 11, 2001 been? The warm-up act?