October 19th, 2007


[politics] The rule of law

Mukasey suggested that the president can ignore a law, including the surveillance act, if it unduly impinges on his constitutional authority as commander in chief during wartime.

"The president is not putting somebody above the law; the president is putting somebody within the law," Mukasey said. "The president doesn't stand above the law. But the law emphatically includes the Constitution."

    — Washington Post

The president can ignore a law... That's the Nixon Doctrine, isn't it? I heard this portion of Mukasey's testimony on the radio while driving to the airport very early this morning. What it amounted to was "the president can ignore a law if he says so." Unfortunately I haven't been able to run down a full transcript of that portion this morning, but it's even creepier when you hear the whole thing.

Ah, the good old rule of law. That used to be important to the GOP, back when they liked to complain about some guy named Clinton. Conservative principled consistency strikes again!

[links] Link salad, politics & science edition

Schools should put faith in science — The Calgary Herald with a smoking editorial on the teaching of Creationism/Intelligent Design in schools. (And incidentally, this obsession with evolution is one big reason I think so many religous conservatives are prima facie idiots, and why I'm so digusted with their enablers in the moderate churches and across the conservative political spectrum. Abortion is one thing — an area of at least potentially legitimate disagreement, however I wrongheaded I personally think some people are. Creationism is just wilful stupidity scantily clad in the presumed respectability of faith.)

Evangelicals Lukewarm Toward GOP Field — Words fail to express the depths of my sorrow. Where will they find someone with the intellectual shallowness, vapid incuriosity and moral strait jacketing of President Bush? On the other hand, since repressed sexuality is the new black1 among Evangelical leaderhip (Ted Haggard, Lindsay Roberts, Gary Aldridge), maybe they should just draft Larry "Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy" Craig. They already know he's one of them.

New Coast Guard Task in Arctic’s Warming Seas — Man, even the Arctic Ocean has bought into the liberal propaganda about "Global Warming." Must be Al Gore's fault.

Neanderthals May Have Had Gene for Speech — This is intensely cool.

1. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's the old black, too.

[personal] Home, more or less

I am home. Tired as heck, but home. lasirenadolce was very sweet to meet me at the airport.

Off to California Tuesday. Off to New York a week from Monday. Off to Omaha again mid-November, then Texas. (I'm out of town 18 days in November.)

The flights today were a little frustrating. I was already seated, dozing, when the Omaha flight was still boarding. Someone clocked me right in the forehead with their carry-on. That sort of set the tone.

On the other hand, in getting off the plane in Portland I realized I'd been seated in First Class behind a Famous Hollywood Star for the past four hours. He's a distinctive looking actor, about my age, but was very dressed down. As we got up to leave, I began to talk to him.

jaylake:Don't I know who you are?
FHS(In a quiet, patient voice) I don't know, do you?
jaylake:I've seen your face many times.
FHS(smiles) Then I guess you do. It happens.
jaylake:I'm a writer. No one ever knows who I am.
FHSYou like it that way?
jaylake:Well, from what I read in the papers, I think so.
FHSWhat do you write?
jaylake:Fantasy and science fiction.
FHSWho's your favorite writer?
jaylake:Gene Wolfe. I think he's one of the greatest writers we have in any field.
(We talk about Gene Wolfe for a few moments.)
FHSWhat book of yours should I read?
jaylake:Mainspring. (I hand him a business card.) Look me up on Amazon

At that point I realize the entire First Class section is just listening to us talk, no one trying to get off the plane. I never said his name, or told him mine out loud. He was so very low key, but I think he appreciated being recognized without being hassled. The really weird part is I don't think anyone else in the cabin recognized him.

Really, it was very cool.

One more thing: Apropos of nothing in particular, said by me recently to kenscholes:

"Trying to understand your own writing is like cutting your own hair. Sometimes you get lucky and find the right mirror."

[conventions] World Fantasy Programming

I have my World Fantasy Programming item now. I've a reading at 3:30 pm on Friday. I'll also be at the mass autographing Friday evening. Otherwise, I'll be in the bar or whatever other den of iniquity is trapping the souls of writers that weekend.

I will also entertain suggestions here as to what I should read.

[travel] Peripatesis

Um, ok. For those playing along with the home game version of "Where's Jay", here's the latest summary.

10/23-10/24Oakland, CA

10/29-10/30Hartford, CT

10/30-10/31New York, NY

10/31-11/5Saratoga Springs, NY (WFC)

11/12-11/16Omaha, NE (including momo feast for the Omaha Beach Party)

11/16-11/17Portland, OR (OryCon)

11/18-11/24Dallas, TX and Galveston, TX (precise itinerary TBD)

We also have the_child's birthday party this weekend, which could be not inaccurately dubbed ChildCon, a West Coast iteration of the Omaha Beach Party next weekend, and sundry holiday events.

[poll] Loving Julius voting poll

Per my recent post concerning amusement, I am giving away a very limited edition dark erotica chapbook of mine, Loving Julius, which was a pilot project of Traife Buffet Press, publishers of the mighty limited edition of Greetings From Lake Wu Traife Buffet ]. The chapbook was given out as a fundraising premium at the Center For Sex and Culture in San Francisco a year or so ago, and has never been available for sale.

One of the following entrants in the contest to amuse me by explaining why they deserve a copy of the chapbook will be a lucky winner. You will decide their fates, who will laugh, who will cry, who will triumph and whose dreams will be crushed.

All decisions of the judges are probably arbitrary and capricious. They are also final. All ties to be settled by the_child.

Poll #1074372 Loving Julius

Who really deserves a copy of Loving Julius?

irismoonlight: Because vanilla should *own* rich, dark chocolate sauce.
jetse: I should win because there are more things my fellow countrymen did to make that tulip black then are dreamt of in your philosphy, Horatio...
saycestsay: Because accretion disc sploog doesn't stand a chance of cross-pollinating the proto-planets if Nemesis doesn't whip things up every 26 million years or so...
aries_jordan: Because I will take snippets of dialogue and tableax and create lol pictures with them. (Caveat: NOT USING REAL CATS).
howeird: I need some dark erotica to read on light rail.
delkytlar: Because my eBay ratings are all positive, and I'm sure I could offload it on one of the losers quickly and at significant personal profit. Did I really post that? Um... JAY LAKE IS BRILLIANT!
(Anonymous) Chris Y: Because you know I will be shocked and appalled, and you'd just love to do that!
controuble: Because what else is a pore widdle widow-woman to do besides read about it?
snippy: I must say, after reading Trial of the Flowers I am more than a little frightened at what you might consider dark erotica. And chagrined at possible missed opportunities.
sheelangig: The only answer to Why? is Because. Just because.
rarelylynne: Because as your archivist, I need a complete record of you as a writer. Yup, it's me, from NIU, going all kamikaze librarian on ya. :-)
garyomaha: M. and I are considering an addition to the house, so we need books to put into the walls.
goulo: Because postage to Poland costs more.
(Anonymous) Chris C: Because it would make up for the Box of Wonders, bought at Torcon, 2003, that I never seem to manage to pick up. :-)
danjite: Uh, 'Cos I published it and don't own one?
shaolingrrl: 'Cuz I look really hot in one of those stripy uniforms--you know, the funky, kitschy ones with the pillbox hats on steroids--and if I won I'd put the uniform on and read the book and pretend it was all about loving MEEEEEEEE!
badlydrawnjeff: I've always been fascinated by clockporn. Wait, this is a sequel to Mainspring, right?

[links] Link salad, bonus serving

Tim Layzell — Automotive artist. Some gorgeous stuff. (Thanks to danjite.)

danjite with an important clown-related poll

jeffvandermeer on the triumph of competence — A very useful critique of our field and its aesthetics.

Early Humans Wore Makeup, Ate Mussels — What they're really saying is that beach that we're always told we crawled out of the ocean onto was actually Pismo Beach.

What will US air travel look like in ten years? — A subject of some interest to me, as you might imagine.