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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Greg's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, June 25th, 2011
9:16 pm
BTW, if any of y'all knows anybody who's in the market for a reasonably-priced-for-Manhattan apartment share to start in August, let me know. So far, one person's expressed interest and I'm showing the apartment on Monday, but with a relatively short deadline here, I'd rather not put all my having-a-roommate-eggs in one basket.

But, yeah, other than that apartmentpanic! thing, not that much going on with me. What about you guys?

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Monday, May 16th, 2011
7:18 pm
Sometimes adulthood is actually pretty terrible.

Current Mood: worried

(You put your right hand in...)

Thursday, January 27th, 2011
8:55 am
Bluh bluh huge snowfall
And apparently there's more coming this weekend. Whee, for those of us who need to travel, for work

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Friday, September 3rd, 2010
7:44 pm
Day 27: Operation Ikeabed
Mission Accomplished.

Current Mood: tired

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Monday, May 24th, 2010
10:21 pm
My roommate received word today that she was accepted for a Physics position in Delaware. A hearty and happy congratulations to crystalpyramid!

As an regrettable (for me, at least) consequence of this wonderful news, though, she will be relocating at some point during the summer. As I would like to keep my current apartment ($1700 for a 2BR in Manhattan is kind of an amazing deal, and I'd rather not pay the same rent I do right now to live in a smaller apartment further away from work), this, in turn, means I need to find a new roommate. Thus: if you're looking for a place in the city, or have a friend or family member or co-worker or associate or enemy or all of the above who is, please drop me a line.

That is all, thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Current Mood: sleepy

(2 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
3:56 pm
Remember, it doesn't count as terrorism until we know the ethnicity of the perpetrators!
What is this, 2002? So passe.

Don't worry though, we're assured by the NRCC that it, and every other instance of violence against lawmakers has been isolated incident. And Republican leaders assure us that by whining about this stuff, Democrats are just enflaming more violence, in a way that directly inciting constituents presumably doesn't.

Which is a relief. Because if there were somehow any iota of evidence that these sorts of things were in any way concerted or coordinated, it would be downright terrifying. But, see, instead, they're just a series of dozens of isolated incidents over the course of a single week. You know! Just one big misunderstanding/coincidence!

Current Mood: concerned

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
10:35 pm
It's more of a food/politics blog, really.
SO, I was considering blegging a post about the recent political climate since health care passed, and how very toxic political violence is to a functional democracy, and how what we're seeing now constitutes the first few steps down the path to a particularly dangerous pathology of democracy that we saw for a time in the previous century, but I decided not to.

Instead, I'm going to suggest that any and all of you donate to any representatives you have that voted for health care -yes, even the Joe Liebermans, and Bart Stupaks- because, it ends up, that vote was a hell of a lot more courageous than any of us realized at the time. This might be a good place to start, if you don't have any other ideas.

And, with that, I'm now going provide a partial list of the contents of my refrigerator:
Read more...Collapse )

Sooo... yeah. That part of my life is good. Enough to keep my mind off the politics stuff for a bit, even.

(6 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Friday, January 1st, 2010
10:14 am
I'll be honest:

Ten hours in, and I'm not liking this decade any more than the last one, yet.

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
10:11 am

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
3:57 pm
The New York State Senate continues to be basically the worst thing ever.

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

3:21 pm
Just who does he think he is, directing diplomatic policy like some sort of... Chief... Diplomat...
Just in case you needed some further evidence that the political right wing of this country is basically an absurd caricature of itself, I give you:

Barack Obama is apparently a monarchist. Now, that particular suggestion has been used by the left as a parody of the right's "Barack Obama can do no right" attitude for a while, but to actually hear someone earnestly say it aloud is... wow. But, things don't end there, no indeedy.

See, the thing that they're calling Obama a monarchist for? It's for deigning to negotiate treaties and direct diplomatic policy. That's right: Obama is a monarchist, because he's exercising his constitutional power and responsibility to direct US foreign policy. How DARE he.

Still, it's great to have such wonderful sentinels of a limited executive branch in our government and commentariat. Certainly, we remember how pivotal a role the American right, and Senator Inhofe, specifically was in reigning in executive power when the White House was arguing that they had the right and power to unilaterally ignore US law and any and all ratified treaties in, say, time of crisis or just whenever, right? No? Yeah, me neither. But, it certainly seems like executive power- even over something that's explicitly a power granted to the executive by the constitution, in fact, rather than one that was made up on the spot like the ones Bush/Cheney enjoyed so much- just suddenly became a no-good, very bad thing.

I think a friend of mine really put it best:

"Well, it's like the difference between the right to bear arms and black people having guns.

Power: it's a wonderful things, as long as only The Right People have it.

(5 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
8:41 am


Words really fail. I can honestly only articulate two responces to what is, by and large, shock and rage at this response, that even the insane right of this country would jump immediately to the conculsion that we should be barring a religious group from certain fields based on the incident at Fort Hood. It's clear to me that the right wing really has embraced an extreme nativism and chilling racism that truly does verge on the fascism they so often accuse others of lately.

First: let's just clarify one thing about the "terrorism" word. See, it actually has a pretty specific legal meaning, and its overuse has generally contributed to the worst sensationalism and hysteria over the brown people in this country. So, to be clear: attacks against military? Technically not terrorism. Terrorist attacks are those carried out against civilian populations. This is an important definition for us as Americans, because there's no way to expand our definition of "terrorism" such that things like the USS Cole bombing would count, but our own drone attacks against Taliban leaders who are not presently engaged in combat activites, for example, would. To say nothing of the secret assassination squads we almost mobilized. And, even if we chose to ignore the legal definition at work, and use the colloquial overuse of the term, it's very clear from what's emerged thus far that Mjr. Hasan was acting alone, and that his story is far too complex to make it appropriate to jump to the prejudicial and sensationalistic "Terrorism!" conclusion. Criticism of Obama or the liberal establishment for being circumspect about use of the terrorism label is, to whit, dearly misplaced, and reveals a great deal more about the agenda of those critics than anyone else.

Second: Where are the Southern Baptist suicide bombers? The Methodist market bombings?Collapse )

And those are just the ones I could find with 15 minutes of research that a)committed unequivocal terrorist acts b) during my lifetime and c)were Americans acting on a American soil. For some reason, there's even more reticence when it comes to referring to the murder of doctors while in pursuit of a political end as terrorism. Obviously, if one counted things like all that terrorism by the IRA, that number would go up considerably. But really, the take-away lesson here is, why haven't we barred Christians from the military? Honestly, until we come up with some ironclad way of telling the Christians who are going to go out and commit terrorist acts from the ones that aren't...

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Friday, November 6th, 2009
7:56 am

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
10:51 am
On the Maine results
Yeah, fuck.

And echoes of California, in that we were all expecting a different result, but in the end, it was a surprise loss. And yet, Maine was all the more of a surprise, because, even though No on 1 was out-spent, we all saw much more of a vocal reaction to what was (rightly) percieved as heavy pressure from out-of-staters on the Yes on 1 side. Further, the Yes campaign was, in a word, rather bad. Inept. Lame. As we've seen in other places, the campaign strategy seemed to hinge on spreading outrageous lies as far and wide as possible, and hope that they took root with enough people who didn't know better. And while No did an excellent job couching marriage equality as a "Mainer values" issue, it's clear that the incoherent lies (vote yes or THEY'LL TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO GET GAY MARRIED) weren't adaquitely dispelled enough.

Either that, or 50% + a few people really don't think gays should have equal civil rights. Which might also actually be true. It's hard to argue with an 0-in-31 track record.

And, that prospect is depressing, obviously. But, it's also worth looking at the history of civil rights in this country: I have little doubt that, for example, in 1954, 50%+ a handful of people in America were proponents of, or indifferent to segregation. And, certainly, more than 50% of the money was. I'm pretty sure, as well, that in 1967, there were *still* 50%+ a number of people who were opponents of, or indifferent to, the prospect of mixed-race marriage. If the laws that were on the books in nearly 30 states even then are any indication.

My point being, there's a reason why we shouldn't believe that civil rights is a matter subject to majority votes. The whole point of our civic system is to protect the rights of minorities, even under rule of the majority. Ultimately, the civil rights movement of decades passed succeeeded not merely on the strength of their grass roots, but also because of support on the federal level and because of a judicial system that affirmed those civil rights. In the latter case, we're in a rather unfortunate place judicially right now. But, I do think that for success on marriage equality, it is imperative that we put much more pressure on the federal government, and in particular, President Obama, to demonstrate leadership on this issue. On this, as with too many other issues, the President's reticence is ultimately an impediment: his political capital will rapidly run out, unless he actually starts putting it to good use. And it's time we all remind him of this. Because on this, as with so many other present issues, we're going to be doomed to falter and fail and be stuck with compromises and half-measures that accomplish nothing, absent strong actual leadership from those we put in office.

Current Mood: aggravated

(7 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

8:29 am
Doug Hoffman's loss is GREAT NEWS... for Doug Hoffman!!!
Okay, I'm just as pissed about the news out of Maine last night as everyone else. And mostly indifferent to the rest of the news. Though, I'm glad to see that Virginia finally elected a governor that will put an end once and for all to those problems caused by working women and "fornicators". Go, you guys.

But, in actual good news, NY-23 went to Owens. Much too much, I think, has been made of this race as a bellweather and a referendum on Obama the Republicans ACORN SOMETHING, but the lulziest thing to come out of it is not how thoroughly the fair-right hobbled their own chances of a gimmie Republican vote in the House, but the post election spin from the far-right over it.

That's right, people: the take-away message for the right out of this election is absolutely not that capitulating to the right-wing of American politics is something that's likely to drive the remaining moderates out of the tent in greater numbers than it brings in Becktards who would have, I guess, voted for the Constitution Party or something? into the tent, even in staunchly conservative districts such as NY-23. Instead, it's that this is a MASSIVE VICTORY for "conservatives", who have demonstrated that they, umm, can orchestrate an effective enough PR campaign to cripple a moderate's campaign and force them out of the race, but are still so far out-of-touch with the mainstream that they can't win a moderates' race, even under almost ideal conditions. So, the key lesson, according to these idiots, is that Republicans should listen to their right-wing more, and consequentially lose more elections.

One can really only hope that "conservatives" decide to angle for a couple more "victories" fashioned after this one.

Also: isn't it hilarious how Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steel (the chair of the RNC), Sean Hannity, Tim Pawlenty, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the Fox News team are apparently not "the Republican establishment", but the local republican party of NY-23 -y'know, the dudes who decided to run Scozzafasdfioa Scozzafoazz Scuzzlebutt, a moderate running on a platform of revitalizing NY-23's economy- are apparently as establishment as George Bush. That first bunch of people are such mavericky mavericks that just happen to hold positions of massive power and PR clout amongst Republicans!

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
10:38 am
You know who else ignored science when it conflicted with ideology?
So, recently, there's been a bit of a flap in Britain (I guess they would call it a 'row' over there) over the hilariously-named Professor David Nutt, chair of their Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and some public comments he's made recently about the non-danger of certain illegal drug use. Now, just to be clear, I strongly disagree with a few of his conclusions (say, his claim that MDMA is less dangerous than horseback riding, which seems to be predicated in the argument that the absolute number of lives lost is less important than the rate of death amongst those engaging in a given activity- a peculiar argument to cite while arguing against minimizing MDMA use).

But, my specific objections to some of his data interpretation aside, this is by far the most hilariously fail-tastic argument against the guy, ever. Honestly, the "logic" hurt my head so much I didn't read all that much beyond the first few paragraphs, but I thought I'd give a crack at two very common types of fail that crop up with startling frequency whenever people try to minimize the relevance of scientific experties in policy discussions:

First, and unrelated to the post title, is the hilarious "well, scientists only study how things in laboratory environments, and that's of minimal to no use for questions about The Real World". Now, ignoring for the moment that plenty of hard scientists do work in naturalistic settings (Hi, Biology!), what makes this doubly hilarious is the fact that we are, in fact, talking about social scientists.

I'm the first person to argue that social sciences are, indeed sciences, but one of the self-evident limitations of the social sciences is that, in dealing with human beings, they are inherently naturalistic, if to varying degrees. Psychology straddles the same line between experimentalism and naturalism that biology brushes against, but when we're talking about public policy or economics, it's absolutely inane to suggest that the scientists in question conform to the stereotype of the beaker-weilding eggheads cloistered in labs and completely oblivious to The Real World. Put simply, these are fields in which the only "laboratory" people have to work with an examine is the real world. That's all we actually have.

The second argument is really the point at whch I stopped reading the damn opinion piece, because it jumped straight to Godwin's Law:
FailfailfailCollapse )

This is one line of argument that invariably sticks in my craw. It's a favorite of the Creationists; "The slavish devotion to Science, and not God, as the source of Truth," they like to argue, "is exactly what leads to things like Nazi Germany". The obvious problem is, this is demonstrably false. Nazi Germany was fueled by ideology, by a cultural mythology that they built up that was starkly at odds with reality. As a point of fact, they were not some insane hyper-rationalist society, and indeed, when science and national ideology came into conflict, it was frequently the ideology that won out, even to the point where ideologically-compatable pseudo-science was promoted at the expense of actual science. Not that in the aforementioned case, that was an awful thing in the long view- Nazi Germany may very well have come closer to developing The Bomb, had they not rejected so much of the underlying science for so long.

The irony of that, of course, is that both creationism and this article call for a sweeping rejection of established scientific fact on ideological grounds, meaning that their invocation of Naziism and its horrors is not only dearly misplaced, but unintentionally better-applicable to their own positions.

But really, this post is perhaps an even better rebuttal to that idiotic Daily Mail piece than anything I can muster.

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
10:47 pm
Well, I *did*.
I guess I should disclaim at some point that this is at least half my fault, as well as being half that of my roommate.

(1 organ donated | You put your right hand in...)

Saturday, October 24th, 2009
4:00 pm
On missed connections and "sealing the deal"
And, okay, not literally in the sense that I'm talking about getting a girl that that I'm attracted to into bed, though I suppose it's worth noting that that particular set of challenges are certainly a subset of the issues I'm going to be talking about. Or, at very least, very strongly related.

Cut for whining and self-pityCollapse )

Do any Aspies/NTs/undiagnosed Aspies have any insights?

Current Mood: pensive

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
5:34 pm

(3 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

Sunday, October 11th, 2009
10:01 am
In a gross (but awesome) miscalculation, I bought way too many crawfish for the upcoming recipe I'll be posting.

At this point, I've used about half of it, but they won't keep forever, so I'm here soliciting suggestions:

What should I do with a pound and a half of excess crawfish? The one idea I've had thus far is to make crawfish salad, such as would be suitable for a crawfish roll, on the grounds that crawfish is something like lobster. Any other ideas?

ETA: I thought this was a relatively original idea, but it ends up, Alton Brown beat me to the punch by about six months. Also, did you know that apparently there's a blog for fans of Alton Brown? Weird.

(4 organs donated | You put your right hand in...)

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