The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Toy


Got myself a new toy, a "reflex bag"--one of those speed bags that sits on a stalk, Jason and I can both play with it, and it's great fun to integrate into the other stuff. I'm also picking the Tibetans back up, using them as my cool-down after the workout. Seemed to work fine yesterday.

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The Kindle still seems to be one hell of a piece of equipment. There is a bit of reflection from the page, but that's easily compensated for. No problem. I suspect that I'll concentrate on classic texts I would refer to again and again more than books I'm only likely to read once, or more contemporary work. The Complete Dickens? The meditations of Marcus Aurelius? The possibilities are endless.

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Had a great time with Guru Cliff Stewart last night. He didn't seem depressed about the Snipes situation, which was comforting. He loves Wes dearly, and had a hard time keeping his anger tamped down. Trust me: you don't want to get Cliff angry. Kind of a scary guy...

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Watching the national election, I still think that an Obama-Clinton ticket would solve more problems than it caused. Even if she wrangled the superdelegates into line, I would vote for her...unless she gets those Michigan and Florida delegates seated in a way that feels like a cheat. That would feel like a subversion of the democratic process, and frankly, I might vote for McCain. I'd rather vote for someone who strikes me as being more honest--even if I disagree with him on many things. If she would get those delegates seated, I have no idea at all where her ethics really are, and that is simply too much of an unknown for me. So, Hillary...stay away from that one, but otherwise fight on to your heart's content.

Hell, I like a good scrap.
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I hear "Speed Racer" is pure cotton-candy. Probably take Jason this weekend.

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Finishing "Night of the Heat" (the sequel to "Casanegra") will be followed by finishing the script of "Good House" for Fox. Busy, busy...and this year could be wonderful. I want that script to be as close to perfect as I can get it. This might be the best chance I ever get in Hollywood, and if it is, I want to know I brought my A-game. I can handle losing. I can't handle not feeling I did my best.

18 comments:

Ed Greaves said...

Steve, forgot to mention that you can get a lot of good stuff for free. Point the Kindle Browser to

http://mnybks.net/

There's thousands of Project Gutenberg and Public domain stuff you can download for free right to your Kindle. Just select the MOBI version. (Kindle's native format is a variant, and it reads that format natively.)

That's the mobile friendly browser version. You can also hit the regular version of the site, (http://www.manybooks.net/ )download the books to your PC, then copy to the Kindle through the USB cable.

suzanne said...

Steve
I think an Obama/Clinton ticket would be
a disaster!

She doesn't round out his
experiential weaknesses
there's the Bill factor
(and i liked him as Prez
but now: NOT)
Hillary wold chafe in the second place position
better to keep her in the Senate

And as for you saying
yo'd consider voting for McCain
I can't believe it!
he'd stack the Supreme Court
with Conservatives
for one thing
and there are others

being a war hero doesn;t necessarily mean
you have what it takes to be an effective President

what about BALANCE????

Dan Moran said...

Hillary as VP does nothing but magnify the ticket's weaknesses. Not a good choice ... maybe a necessary choice, depending on whether Hillary's supporters are really angry, but not a good one for the general.

Obama's better off picking someone like Wesley Clark. That would do him some good.

suzanne said...

Or Webb, Dan

EVS said...

"I still think that an Obama-Clinton ticket would solve more problems than it caused".

Perhaps for the country, but I doubt Obama would feel very comfortable with Bill over in Blair House and/or constantly stumbling into him periodically in the Lincoln Room or farting around in the White House rose garden if you get my drift. I know like hell I wouldn't dig it and might even tell my SS detail to give Bill's a heads-up on how I felt about it, and photo-ops with the veep and her brood would be kept to the bearrrrest of minimums.

I'm sorry. Call me petty, but there's just something about the new captain wanting to see and socially deal with the old captain on the deck, let alone the bridge of the ship that he's now in command of, that just flat sucks. Which is why this kind of thing is discouraged in the armed forces.

Josh Jasper said...

I'm with Suzanne. Web would be a good choice. His military experience could counter McCain's. I think Secretary Of The Navy trumps airman.

McCain stacking the supreme court with conservatives won't impact Steve's life personally. It will, however, end up overturning Roe. V. Wade, keeping same sex marriage from happening, etc...

Oh, and despite Hillary's trumpeting, McCain is going to keep troops in Iraq for god knows how long, and probably keep Bush's track record of trammeling our reputation with the rest of the world. He's about as diplomatic as a porcupine.

And there's that pro-torture-despite-being-tortured thing.

McCain is great if you're a social conservative in favor of the war in Iraq, but not much good for anything else.

Dan Moran said...

Webb would be an excellent choice, yes.

I'm sort of generically baffled when anyone who's concerned about what's going on in the black community would vote Republican. JC Watts said once he'd consistently been treated badly at Republican conventions, "Hey, boy, carry this, would you," kind of stuff -- and he was a congressman.

Steve Perry said...

You have an A-game ... ?

Josh Jasper said...

Dan - I'm sort of generically baffled when anyone who's concerned about what's going on in the black community would vote Republican.

Extreme distaste for Clinton, and no real connection to the results of a Supreme Court stacked with conservatives - not being pro choice woman, a gay man, invested in civil liberties, etc...

Someone who won't be threatened personally by a continuation of the Bush administration's policies, or who fails to realize that McCain will do exactly that.

Anonymous said...

Josh: I'm always fascinated by people who define civil liberties as those they liberties they approve of and not those that they disapprove of. What about my civil liberty to bear arms. There are terrorists out there who hijack planes. If I fly I need to bring my gun on board to protect myself against these terrorists. Airport security won't let me do this. They say I might be a terrorist. How dare they take away my civil liberty to carry a gun just because a few of those bringing a gun aboard might be terrorists.

Society must place some limitations on civil liberties because one persons exercise of their civil liberties can interfere with another persons civil liberties. The fact that someone disagrees with you about which civil liberties should be curtailed or how much a particular liberty should be curtailed doesn't make them evil, stupid or unworthy of respect. Since we already limit some civil liberties in the name of the public good it is clear that the discussion of where to draw the line on any liberty is a valid discussion and that changing those lines either to be more or less restrictive is not always a victory or defeat for the forces of good, but simply a reaction by society to changing times or circumstances.


Marty S

Steven Barnes said...

I can see the point about gay rights. I don't believe Roe v. Wade would really be overturned--I think the Republicans need that wedge issue. As for voting for McCain--I frankly feel what she is doing about the Michigan/Florida situation is vile and dishonest. All anyone would need to do to keep me from voting McCain would be to show me ways that he has been equally dishonest (I'm not saying this would be hard.) My point being that once I feel someone has broken trust to a certain degree, I pay no attention to what they say, and more to the content of their character. I REALLY don't like the implications of that action in terms of what she might be willing to do in the future. But obviously, posting the comment in public is a way to invite people to show me any errors of my thinking.

Anonymous said...

I'd point out that this "If a Republican becomes president abortion will become illegal in the U.S." fear-mongering has been going on strong every election cycle since before Ronald Reagan was elected. It didn't happen under Reagan or under any other Republican president, and it really seems to be a classic case of crying wolf as applied to politics. This is especially true when it comes to McCaine, who is hardly some raving, fanatical fundamentalist or a hardcore ultra-conservative. And even if Roe was somehow overturned, the individual states would still have the right to make decisions about abortion's legality.

Even when Roe was decided, most states already allowed legal abortion. And where does the Constitution, the document which was meant to define and limit the power of the federal government, give Washington DC the power and responsibility to decide such matters anyway? Does anyone who claims to value the Constitution actually read the thing or know why it was written?

If you care about property rights - that is, for people to not have their homes taken by the government and given to politicians' supporters - know that it is the conservative Supreme Court justices who favor such rights and the liberal ones who do not. When the city of New London, Connecticut, wanted to force many (mostly) poor people out of their homes and give the land to a developer who had close ties with local politicians, it is the liberal justices who sided with politicians and the developers, and the conservatives who, predictably, valued the right of a citizen to control their own property. Liberal philosophy tends to like the government to have more power to control our lives, as they think that this leads to better outcomes. Conservatives, especially when it deals with economic decisions, tend to favor individual choice and eschew social engineering by government.

As has been mentioned, it is conservatives who are far more likely to support an individual's right to both defend themselves and to possess the means with which to defend themselves. Look at the states which most limit the right to self defense and the right to possess the means with which to to defend oneself - you will seldom if ever be looking at conservative leaning states.

To act as if only liberals support civil liberties is foolish. Both sides have their strengths and weaknesses in this area. But some people's politics is based on the cartoonish demonizing of those whose views are different than their own. And they seldom admit that their crude caricatures and overblown claims were ever incorrect.

Marco

Anonymous said...

Steve:
You say you can see the point about gay rights, but D.O.M.A. was passed by congress with about 85% support, which indicates strong support from both parties and was signed into law by Bill Clinton a Democrat.

Marty S

Josh Jasper said...

Marty-

Josh: I'm always fascinated by people who define civil liberties as those they liberties they approve of and not those that they disapprove of. What about my civil liberty to bear arms.

I'm for it. It pisses me off that Democrats are intending to restrict it somewhat, but I feel it's a reasonable trade to make if it means rights for same sex couples to get married, or for a woman not to be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, etc...

If there were a pro second amendment , liberal democrat, I'd prefer him or her over the current crop. It's not choice I'm happy to make.

That said, I care more about my GLBT friends rights to health insurance for partners and children than to own automatic weapons.


Society must place some limitations on civil liberties because one persons exercise of their civil liberties can interfere with another persons civil liberties.


What a silly nonspecific statement to make. If you're incapable of actually giving an example, based on something I actually said, why bother saying anything at all?

Steve - I can see the point about gay rights. I don't believe Roe v. Wade would really be overturned--

I can only suggest that you've not been paying attention. Alito, Thomas, Roberts, and Scalia are all set to return the right to restrict abortion to the states. They're on record about it. One more judge is needed.

As for voting for McCain--I frankly feel what she is doing about the Michigan/Florida situation is vile and dishonest.

Yep. McCain is possibly more honest. But he's also pretty much the same as Bush policy wise, so you'd be voting for 4 more years of Bush policy.

All anyone would need to do to keep me from voting McCain would be to show me ways that he has been equally dishonest

He was on the record as having bee anti torture, and then voted lockstep with the Republican party to allow totrure.

What would you rather have? Someone who was dishonest about a contested primary, or someone who'd sell out on torture after having been tortured, and on the record as having been against torture?

My point being that once I feel someone has broken trust to a certain degree, I pay no attention to what they say, and more to the content of their character.

OK, so here's McCain on promising that he'd accept public financing and the restrictions on his private financing that it offered, then backing out on the record

So now he's just as dishonest as Clinton.

Marco - I'd point out that this "If a Republican becomes president abortion will become illegal in the U.S." fear-mongering has been going on strong every election cycle since before Ronald Reagan was elected.

I said overturn Roe V Wade. Not make abortion illegal. Pay attention.


Even when Roe was decided, most states already allowed legal abortion. And where does the Constitution, the document which was meant to define and limit the power of the federal government, give Washington DC the power and responsibility to decide such matters anyway?


Go read the actual decision. It tels you exactly what the argument is made around in the constitution.

But this is besides the point, and I'm not going to get into an abortion debate. McCain will appoint judges who will overturn Roe V Wade given the chance, and pretending otherwise is foolish.

I'm not arguing that being a liberal is better than conservative in all realms. I'm arguing that, if you're someone like Steve, a McCain presidency has no real downside for you. He's not a woman, he's not gay, and he isn't directly impacted by McCain's policies or SCOTUS choices in a negative sense. This is my take on why (in part) he'd be OK with voting for McCain if it was a contest between Clinton and McCain.

I wasn't arguing liberal vs. conservative. I also wasn't making the straw man arguments you and others keep expecting me to be making.

Anonymous said...

Josh:
If you need a specific example of my silly statement start with the Rev. Al Sharpton and his cronies protest of the Sean Bell shooting. When they exercised their right of free expression by trying to block bridges and tunnels they were arrested and the protest broken up. Unlike say a rally in Central Park the chosen form of protest was illegal because it interfered with the rights of those crossing the bridge and rightly so. Nobody in the protesting group had any idea of the harm they might of been causing. What if one of those cars being delayed had a doctor in it on the way to treat an emergency room patient.
On the subject of gay rights, the rights you mention can be granted without the institution of marriage. The benefits bestowed by the government to married individuals should reflect the benefits bestowed on society by the institution of marriage. Many marriages today, gay or otherwise, are based upon the desire to obtain those benefits. In my mind the real answer is not allowing gay marriage, but rethinking what benefits we want to give married couples and under what circumstances.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

Marco - I'd point out that this "If a Republican becomes president abortion will become illegal in the U.S." fear-mongering has been going on strong every election cycle since before Ronald Reagan was elected.

Josh - I said overturn Roe V Wade. Not make abortion illegal. Pay attention.

Everything that happens isn’t about you, Josh. I didn’t use your name in my post, nor was any comment directed at you. These were general comments for general consumption. Perhaps you should pay a little attention yourself? And reign in that ego a bit?

Marco

Anonymous said...

Josh - But this is besides the point, and I'm not going to get into an abortion debate. McCain will appoint judges who will overturn Roe V Wade given the chance, and pretending otherwise is foolish.

Ah yes, because someone else has not made their mind up about what may happen at some time in the future, especially since actual evidence is lacking, and they suggest that speculation akin to yours could be inaccurate, they are foolish. Disagrees with Josh = foolish. Got it!

Marco

Steven Barnes said...

I would really disagree that a McCain presidency might have a downside for me. If he pursues policies that increase the chance of war, I don't believe for a moment that doesn't increase my son's chance of fighting and dying in said war. In addition, no group's rights to full humanity can be oppressed without affecting me: I don't for an instant believe that someone who would shit on someone else wouldn't like me to bend over and take it as well. I'm not waiting until the Nazis come for me, if you know what I mean. As the Jews used Blacks as canaries in the coal mine, I'm happy to use gay and women's rights the same way: sticks bundled together are much tougher to break.