vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
But I must raise a glass to this.

One of the (many and manifold) problems with organized religion (especially JICs) is its terror of XX chromosome lifeforms.

ETA: I confess to thinking of [ profile] thealater when I saw that. :)
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
<i>Two of the journalists, though, should be standing in the corner wearing dunce caps today. The first is Chuck Todd of NBC News, who asked if it wasn't consumer spending that created the current death spiral, and whether it wouldn't make sense for people to save more and spend less.
I'll spare you the back and forth, though, in re-reading the transcript, I'm struck by Obama's ability to reinterpret Todd's question as though it were intelligent. But anyone who has been following economic news in recent months knows that the trouble we now face was brought on by a monumental banking crisis, leading to a collapse in consumer and business spending. The problem isn't overspending; it's a near-total lack of spending.</i>

From the Guardian (UK)


Mr. Kennedy really needs to get out of the Beltway and its Group Think.

It is precisely our Get It Now, Get It Cheap, Buy What I Want Whenever I Want It mentality that got us into this mess in the first place. People attached the same mentality to buying a home as they did to a DVD player: I Want One, so I'll get it on credit. I want it cheap, so I'll buy the Chinese one.

When we got dragged into a war, what did our government tell us? Keep spending money! We'll cut taxes so you spend Even More!!! You have a 401K, so you don't need to save money -- in fact, we'll make sure that it doesn't benefit you financially to save at all! We'll penalize you for having savings unless it's enough money to that you're an investment company....

The immediate problem is lack of spending, to most people.
The true and deeper issue is the consumer culture itself.

Our marketers first found the things we needed, and sold us that.
Then, they could no longer sell us the things we needed, more than we needed, when we did not need them.
So they created an appetite -- a want -- for things we did not need. And pretended to us that the thing was only WANTED was something we needed, so much that we believed it.
And we never had to walk away from things we wanted, because, hey, we could borrow the money and get it anyway, right?

Mr. Kennedy's bought into the idea that, well, we need to have a lot of money. Not only floating around our selves, but also floating around our world. Milton Friedman once said the world was based on Greed. And that capitalism and greed created the most good for the most people (a disturbingly socialistic view from capitalism's great supporter). So, there's the buy-in from everyone else, since Friedman Said So. Greed isn't good, but it's better than anything else...

So we need to have money and we need to Buy Stuff. Lots of Stuff! Lots of Cheap Stuff!! It makes the economy work!
But do we? Do we really?

We need food, water, shelter and fellowship. Everything else -- everything! -- is gravy.
I've lived on ramen, generic mac'n'cheese, frozen peas and low-grade canned tuna. And I was grateful for the tuna, when it was on sale at 33cents a can.
I remember eating a lot of pasta when I was a kid. Remember those times when we were living off the stuff in the basement, sis? And mom's canned crabapples and baby corn and pickles? And the garden? (And I did enjoy eating some of those cows.... they deserved to be hamburger :P)

Has anyone besides me enjoyed the sweetness of self-denial? Of looking at that Thing I Want and holding it and longing for it and... putting it back? Has anyone enjoyed the accomplishment of saying "No" to the self and its Want Want Want?

The problem, Mr. Kennedy, isn't that we're not spending.
The problem is, that we can't afford to spend on the Useless Cr*p anymore.
And the silver lining is?

It's about time.

Holy cow!

Feb. 17th, 2009 10:44 pm
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (bujold -- cultural go boom)

.... a government that actually tells you sh*t?


I guess we'll wait and see if it's more than just smoke and mirrors...
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

If you're a fan of the GOP, you might find this embarrassing.

How is it that Hollywood can use the phrase "Magic Negro" when it talks about Morgan Freeman films...?
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

She pointed out THIS and I explored and found (for the Obama fans out there) THIS.

The first is bad language, the second is very political.
Both, as she says, sublime Britishness.

But now, I'm going to have to visit the Daily Mash, pretty much -- uhm -- daily.
*shakes fist*  Like I NEED another site to visit.... ;)


Nov. 4th, 2008 08:54 pm
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

The stupid election season is over.

Can we just start fixing stuff now?


Oct. 28th, 2008 08:30 am
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (do NOT piss off the Queen)

I voted.

Read my voters' pamphlet(s), made my decision(s), cast my vote(s), etc.

No, you do not get to hear how I voted.

As an aside, however, local elections are amusing when you can do write-in candidates. I wonder how many votes Mr. Ed or Mickey Mouse get...?

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
Link-ity Link

This text is provided here for educational purposes only, and it is not on full version.

Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.

2. The Relation of the different Magistrates to each other was not determined, at Rome, by assigning to each office special and distinct powers and duties; nor were the different magistrates protected against each other's interference. The earliest magistrates, the consuls, held an undifferentiated complex of military, judicial, and administrative powers; and the creation of new magistracies was not at first accompanied (except in the case of the censors) by any logical separation of these powers. The trend of development, especially in the later Republic, was towards a division of provinciae or spheres of power; but the separation never became complete. Powers of interference were so general as to amount to a fundamental principle of the constitution—a principle which found its extreme expression in the tribunate.

The Romans themselves classed their magistrates not according to the kind of power, but according to the degree of power, which each exercised. Their term for general power was imperium. The dictator and his lieutenant, the consuls and the praetors, all had imperium. The consular imperium was minus as regarded the dictator and his lieutenant, maius as compared with that of the praetors. The other magistrates (censors, tribunes, aediles, quaestors, etc.) had not imperium—i. e. their powers were not general, but special. These, therefore, strictly speaking, were all lower or lesser magistrates (magistratus minores). The censors, however, by reason of the importance of their duties, were regularly classed among the magistratus maiores; and so also, on more technical grounds, were the curule aediles.

Maior potestas. In principle, any magistrate with imperium might issue commands and prohibitions to any magistrate without imperium. The exceptions to this rule were as follows: neither the tribunes nor the censors were subject to the commands or prohibitions of the magistrates with imperium; and the tribunes might intervene negatively, by prohibitions, against the acts of all magistrates except the dictator, his lieutenant, and the censors. The exceptional position of the censors was due to their possession of a distinct field of duties. They had no occasion to interfere with other magistrates, and no other magistrates were permitted to interfere with them. The peculiar position of the tribunes was a survival from the period of the conflict between the orders. Negatively the tribunes had maior potestas as against the consuls; but no Roman would have so expressed it, for the Romans meant by potestas power to act rather than power to prevent.

In principle, again, a magistrate with maius imperium might issue commands to a magistrate with minus imperium; so that a dictator might command and restrain a consul, and a consul might similarly direct or check a praetor.

Par potestas. Further possibilities of interference resulted from the fact that every magistracy except the dictatorship was held by two or more persons. Between such colleagues there was, in principle, no division of power; each possessed all the powers of the office. Each, therefore, might act alone, and without regard to the views or wishes of his colleague or colleagues; and if they remained passive, his act was valid and effective. But if a colleague stepped in (intercessit) and forbade the act, then equal power stood opposed to equal power and the result was a deadlock. This was true not merely as between two colleagues, but also when a larger number held the same magistracy; majority rule was not recognized; the negative will of one was as powerful as the positive will of any larger number. A veto, therefore, could not be vetoed—a rule which was of peculiar importance in the tribunate. In that body one tribune could prevent the other nine from doing any positive act—e. g. from presenting a bill to the people; but nine tribunes could not prevent one from vetoing the act of a consul or other magistrate.

Provinciae. In principle, therefore, the positive powers of each magistracy could be exercised only when the colleagues were of one mind; and this unanimity was necessary for each single act. In fact, however, some division of power, by agreement or by lot, was customary from the earliest period of the Republic (e. g. one consul sometimes took the field with an army while the other governed the city); but it does not appear that in the early Republic any such division of the field of consular duties was made for the year. The assignment to a single magistrate of a distinct field of power for his full annual term apparently dates from the establishment of the praetorship. The praetor was not simply a judicial officer, nor was his authority limited to the city; but by force of constant custom civil jurisdiction within the city became his peculiar "province." When a second praetorship was instituted, B.C. 242, a division of the judicial field became usual; but the assignment to each praetor of his special competence was made after election and by lot. The same system prevailed when the number of praetors was successively increased to four, six, and eight, and when such distinct functions as the government of subject provinces and the presidency of special criminal courts (quaestiones) were attached to the office. No Roman was ever elected to a special praetorship; he was simply elected praetor, and his special duties were determined by lot. The same system was extended to the quaestors, and gradually, in the later Republic, to the consuls. For some time after the establishment of the city praetorship the consuls acted jointly. They even took the field together, the supreme command alternating day by day. But as foreign wars became more numerous they began, often by the advice of the Senate, but technically, in every case, by agreement, to divide the legions and the field of military operations, and to draw lots for their respective armies and "provinces." The Senate indeed might recommend or the people decree the assignment of a particular campaign or territory to a particular magistrate extra sortem; but this was unusual.

From the fact that all magistrates of equal rank were colleagues with equal powers and that the division of functions here described was primarily a de facto rather than a legal division, it followed, in principle, that either consul could interfere with the other in the field of military operations, and that any praetor could intercede against the act of any other praetor in the city. Such interference was practically impossible outside of the city, if different fields of activity had been assigned to the consuls, because of the rule that intercession must be made in person; and within the city it was regularly excluded by custom (but see Cicero, Verr. i. 46, 119).


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