Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I heart the Constitution

Weeks like the last two make me very happy that the United States is governed by a constitution and not public opinion polls. I don't care if Dzokhar Tsarnaev was born on the moon; he is a citizen of this country and deserves the same right to a fair trial as every other citizen, regardless of where he was born, or how/if he worships, or the accusations he faces. I also don't care if 700% of Americans support even stricter gun control laws than the ones we have now; barring the (highly improbable) repeal of the Second Amendment, there is a constitution that says they're wrong. Thank you, Republicans in Congress, for the first reasonable thing you've done since that time you voted against re-upping the Patriot Act. And shame on you, anti-gun activists and NRA blowhards, for all of your self-serving fear mongering.

I'm not ever a huge fan of taking citizens' rights away, but I'm especially uneasy when these actions are motivated by ill-conceived, reactionary impulses. Laws are supposed to ensure rights, not strip them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

it's mathematics

The streets in Washington, D.C., run three ways: east-west, north-south, and diagonally. East-west streets are designated alphabetically; north-south streets are designated numerically; diagonal streets have state names.

The alphabetical designations of the streets running east-west begin on each side of East Capitol Street and The National Mall. The first street on each is A, the next is N, the third is C; on through Y, with no J, X or Z Streets and the I shown by Eye. Once the letters of the alphabet are exhausted, the streets have two-syllable names, then three-syllable names, and then names of trees and flowers. Sometimes this system is referred to as the second, third and fourth alphabets.

The numerical designations of the streets running north-south begin on each side of North and South Capitol Streets. The first street on each side is First Street, the next is Second Street, and so on.

North, South and East Capitol Streets and The National Mall divide Washington, D.C., into four sections: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. The streets are identified by the section of the city in which they are located. For example: C Street NW; C Street NE; C Street SW and C Street SE.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

definitely not an atheist

Sometimes, when I think about the horrors of the Middle Passage, or of the Holocaust - any genocide, really - I get so angry at God that I can't help but cry. How am I supposed to put faith in a God who sits back and allows so many people to suffer? And don't talk to me about mysteries of faith and master plans: you know who else had a master plan? Hitler.

These are the moments I wish I was an atheist.