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Thursday, March 26, 2009


I just came back from a concert at the Herbst Theater, where I heard a countertenor -- David Daniels -- sing with the English Concert group.  The Concert was very, very good, and so was the singer.  Countertenors have an eerie quality about them, and it's sometimes hard to reconcile that the voice you are hearing is coming from the person in front of you.  Countertenors are basically male soprano's, but they aren't singing in a falsetto voice.  (At least, I don't think they are.)  I don't know how the voice is produced, but it can be astonishing, and very powerful.  Bravo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Future is Uncertain

Here is another Daily Dharma posting from Tricycle. I really like this one.

"The trigger for much of our anger is frustrated expectation. We sometimes invest so much of ourselves in a project that when it doesn’t turn out as it should we become irate. All ‘shoulds’ point to an expectation, a prediction for the future. We might have realized by now that the future is uncertain, unpredictable. Relying too much on an expectation for the future, a ‘should’, is asking for trouble."

–Ajahn Brahm, from Opening the Door of your Heart (Lothian Books)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Signing Statements

I agree with President Obama's recent statement about the potential abuse of signing statements.  George W. Bush used signing statements to state that he would ignore any law that he believed would infringe on the rights of the executive branch.  But, instead of vetoing bills he believed were in some way unconstitutional before the bills became laws, he *signed* the bills, and then released the signing statement.  In this way, he avoided any situation in which he would have to compromise, or discuss the law with Congress.  If any president believes a bill is in some way flawed, the Constitution intends the president to veto the bill, and let Congress work on it until he finds it acceptable.  This is basic civics.  To issue a signing statement after signing a bill he didn't like was a sneaky way for George W. Bush to ignore the law.  

Here is Obama's recent statement: "There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused.  Constitutional signing statements should not be used to suggest that the president will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements."  An Associated Press article also stated that "Obama ordered his administration to work with Congress to let lawmakers know about concerns over legality before [italics added] legislation gets to the White House for the president's signature."  That is how it is meant to be done, folks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Newspapers and Magazines

I'm a little frightened. People like to read news on-line, but those news stories are only written by print publications. I guess those publications could become on-line only, but then people would need a computer, internet access, and electricity to read the news. That technology seems much more cumbersome than reading a physical piece of paper, which doesn't require software or utilities.