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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, October 08, 2018

Our next door neighbors reported seeing a rat in our back yard. Mindful of the alternative pest control principle that destroying the habitat is the best way to eliminate the problem I moved our woodpile to a different location. (I also put down poison, because fuck rats.) As I moved the wood I encountered slugs and big black spiders and bugs with many legs. The way I felt when I saw these things was something like the way I felt reading this article about Title IX and Yale Law School. You want to eliminate Brett Kavanaughs? Move the woodpile, and put out poison.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

For a long time I was really interested in hearing the New York sessions for Blood on the Tracks. The story goes that Dylan cut most of the songs that ended up on the album with a group of New York session players, including the cats who recorded the music for Deliverance. He went home for Christmas and played the songs for his brother, who thought they could be done better, so Dylan assembled some Minnesota musicians and re-recorded the material. Thing is, a fair amount of the New York material has found its way onto Bootleg Sessions releases already. The material is interesting- lyrical changes, different tempos and instrumentation, all that sort of stuff, but I feel as though more of it would be too much. Some of the Bootleg Sessions  sets are invaluable: the Basement Tapes set, for example, is closer to what went on at Big Pink than the original official release and is therefore essential, and I think Tell Tale Signs is one of my favorite Dylan collections. At least half of the Royal Alber Hall set is essential, and the first set in the series, Bootleg Collection Vol. 1-3 is a great alternative way into the work. I actually like the Self-Portrait material too, although I'd say it is really mostly for obsessives, scholars and completests. So I don't know, do I really need a half dozen more versions of "Meet Me in the Morning"?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Without my even knowing it until years later John Wilcock had a huge influence on my life

Thursday, September 13, 2018

40 and 41 at our polling place at 8:35.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

EGC says that I told her once that cooking is taking something and doing something to it, then doing something else. I don't recall this, but it sounds like something I'd say. Another thing that sounds like me is saying that fruits and vegetables are ingredients. These cherry tomato raisins are a good example of both concepts. I suppose if I were a Legumier I'd be fussier about appearance, but since these little jewels cook down so much I have been pretty slapdash about that. Three pounds of cherry tomatoes sounds like a lot, but they are so delicious that you are going to be glad you made a bunch. Had some with pesto pasta the other night, and it was sublime. Core, score, blanch, shock, peel and season with a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 tablespoons olive oil, roast.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Australia is proposing making shamans mandatory reporters of sexual abuse learned of in confession. I suppose I understand, kind of, why this might seem like a good idea, but I think it is not, and I think it misses the real point, at least in the legal tradition that I practice in. The law of privilege exists for a number of good reasons. One of those reasons is that it pretty effectively keeps judges from having to rule on matters of religious faith. Consider what a mess it would be to conduct an evidentiary hearing on a confession made in the context of a penitent seeking absolution-- to say nothing of the Constitutional argument that government should stay out of matters of religion. I keep harping on Mark 22:21, but it seems to me that this is where the real failing of the institutional Church is to be found. When a crime is reported to a cleric, which is what seems to have happened in most of the reported instances I am aware of, the cleric should report the crime to the appropriate civil authorities. Penitent reporting, to the extent that it happens at all, is likely something that occurs at the margins. Fix the main problem, then we can consider the fringe cases.

I am no lover of religion, and especially institutional religions, but these practices have demonstrated a unique persistence in history. Since we can't get rid of them the next best solution is to recognize that governmental interference with them is a bad idea.  It would be interesting to look into how other governments deal with the Church/State relationship- I know that in some places churches are actually state-funded. I'm too American in my values to think that would be a workable plan here.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Just for the record, this is what I thought of John McCain in 2008.

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