I think I learned my opinion from Unfogged, that term limits are terrible because governance is a skill and you shouldn't hamstring people from becoming masterful. Furthermore, why on earth would newbies be less corrupt than old-timers? K-street and the revolving door of lobbyists and so on.
I'm wondering the degree to which these apply to the smallest scales - like Heebieville - where salaries are so low that no one is a career politician. (The mayor makes roughly 26K/year, and the council members make around 23K/year. This is not accidentally elitist.)
The argument being floated is that having to take a term off gives you perspective - you can take a moment to reflect on how your decisions panned out, and hear perspectives without having a your nose 2" from the policy docket. And that it helps with the encumbancy bias. The arguments against are mostly "let the people decide who they want!"
Anyway: do the arguments against term limits for state or federal governments still make sense on such a small scale?
Also the number of councilmembers who would have been affected over the past 30 years is incredibly small. And some took a term off just because they lost an election or decided not to run, and then came back anyway.
This story is a delight, and I've got to imagine some people here remember it happening.
Funke sent directions to a forested area, where police officers found a box attached to a telephone pole, with a linen bag inside bearing the "DuckTales" logo and an image of Scrooge McDuck. They also found a strange contraption designed to connect the money bag to the back of a train using electromagnets. Funke instructed them to attach the money bag to a train from Rostock to Berlin. When the train roared past, he pushed a button on a transmitter to deactivate the magnets, but the package didn't drop; the police had tied it to the train. He sent another letter, changing the pickup location. On August 14th, he again waited near the train tracks, wearing gloves, black glasses, and a gray wig. This time, the package eventually detached and crashed against the tracks. As Funke ran to pick it up, the train stopped and police officers jumped out. "Stand still or I'll shoot!" an officer cried, firing his weapon into the air.
Funke grabbed the package and scampered to safety. When he opened it, he saw that only four thousand marks were real; the rest was Mickey Mouse money. He had threatened the store with another bomb if it didn't pay up. Meanwhile, it didn't take the police long to connect the two bombings: both involved voice changers, a treasure hunt, ingenious gadgets, and money thrown from a train. They were dealing with a serial bomber who appeared to take inspiration from the capers in comic books featuring Scrooge McDuck. From that moment on, they called him Dagobert.
It goes on for years and years.
Did anyone else ever read Michael Crighton's The Great Train Robbery? I don't know how it holds up, but it made a great impression on me as a teenager as the gold standard for a merry story of ingeniously complicated crime.
I can't imagine anything novel to write on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aside from noting that it's gut-wrenching, nor most of the other news stories going on. It does seem like there's more awful news at the moment than there has been this year.
I started reading The Warmth of Other Suns over the weekend, and as of about halfway through, the thing that hits me hardest is the sheer malice of southern white people. Like, there's cruelty through laziness, through ignorance, through negligence, through passivity, but then there's a whole different level of ruthless cruelty which requires planning, extra effort, cost to oneself, and just plain desire to wreck and destroy and inflict pain. It's the latter sadism which is just relentless in the stories of why each person left.
There's a brief mention that white southerners got more sadistic after the civil war and the liberation of the slaves. It seems very believable, and it makes me seek psychological explanations about humiliation and status. But you could also tell me that the sadism was about the same before and after the civil war, and just less-well documented before, and that would also make sense to me.
I personally am much more inclined to seek explanations of laziness/ignorance/negligence when people are cruel to each other - probably sadism is just much more uncomfortable for me to consider. But now I'm in a headspace to question some of my automatic interpretations of events for the past few years. Some of them have seemed sadistic to me, but I probably haven't cast a wide-enough net to systemic forces being deliberately sadistic. Just merely having inherited the sadism that's persisted for hundreds of years. (I'm also revisiting my childhood naivete and events growing up.)
One other note: Wilkerson uses the word "caste" many times, so clearly the ideas behind the next book were already percolating.
Ok, play the reel forward for me. How would it play out if I had a magic wand and decreed that all housing rentals had to be rent-to-own?
I'm picturing a two-track system: If you want to get rid of a property, you find a seller and things proceed as they do currently. But if you want to be a landlord or if you want to rent, then things are very different. Renters accrue equity in the space. Eventually there is a point where the renter owns the home, and the landlord exists as an optional management company. If the renter wants to move, they can either operate as a landlord to the new tenant, or sell it outright, either to a new owner or the management company.
What are the unintended consequences? What does this solve?
Note: This is all predicated on a magic wand. Of course the political will to make something like this happen is pure fantasy.
Mossy Character writes: "More than half of the nation's four-year colleges and universities have dropped the SAT and ACT requirement"And will the replacement admissions standards not be equally inegalitarian, but more fragmented, and thus even more arbitrary and costly to administer?
Heebie's take: I think this is mostly good, but also the haves will always find a way to re-establish priority over the have-nots. So I imagine that the admissions teams will try to rely on other metrics and possibly invent new ones, mostly in good faith. For a few years, you will in fact find that entering classes are more socio-economically and racially diverse, while the SAT prep coaches figure out how to game the new admissions system and start charging wealthy parents for their new expertise. As they say, when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
I just got back from posing for three hours as a model at my mom's art class. (Fully clothed, thank you very much.) I was very nervous about this. The idea is that you hold a pose for twenty minutes, and then get ten minutes off, and then resume the original pose. They chalk the tires, so to speak, so that you can find your exact position. It's like excruciatingly slow tabata.
I was extremely worried about my ability to comply, and so I spent a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong, and I think that helped me pick a position I could hold. My traps and neck muscles tend to get tense and sore, so I ended up kind of lounging back in an easy chair, with my legs gathered up near me, and I had a little towel to help support my neck in a steady position, and I was fine.
An interesting thing is having an express obligation to not give murmurs of assent or facial expressions of encouragement as people chat. I found that a little liberating, especially around strangers. They chatted freely. I also wasn't bored like I thought I might be, because it was calm enough that I could let my thoughts drift freely.
Also interesting is watching the conversation move in and out of topics that I know my mom knows a lot about, and watching her select when to contribute and when not to reveal, out of a lifelong tendency towards not being the tallest poppy. Usually I would just interject on her behalf, but again, I had to just sit there silently and let it unfold.
Now I have some drawings of some old lady from the future, idk.