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Moussaoui was granted a life sentence recently instead of the potential death sentence that everyone had been bandying about for the last month. I for one, thought this to be an auspicious turn of events, but then again I'm pretty hardset against the death penalty. It's something that's stuck with me through a very torturous period of time in my development, where I was like a ping-pong ball in a dryer, bouncing between beliefs as quickly as someone could give me a reasonable argument for them. What's always stuck with me is the idea that it would be wrong to put a man to death for a crime he committed. There was a time when I would claim that that was because I thought he deserved worse (i.e. torture him, rather than kill him), but as I've grown older and just generally thought about it more, that has been exposed to me as folly. So, using that as a launch pad, let's talk about my true concern in all of this.

If anything, I'd say it's the idea that we, as Americans acting through our government, would allow the death penalty to be applied to a man who, while involved with one of the worst criminal acts in American history, really didn't do anything beyond conspire to commit said act. The entire time the judgement phase was underway I kept thinking "are we going to kill a man for withholding information and negligence?" It frightened me that I even considered it a real possibility, but then again that's just where we find ourselves in this day and age I guess. Now, I'd probably be considered a conservative if we really sat down and thought about it (if it was really of any interest). I believe in the free market, limited government in most cases and states rights and all that other jazz, but still, I kept thinking that this is what it comes to when the party I thought I belonged to (along with any party, really) is in power too long; ideology rules the day and the ultimate goals and basest drives of the lowest denominator get a real, powerful voice in government in the name of reelection, partisanship and supposed justice.

I guess this is all really just about my relief that reason won the day today.

Current Music: The Strokes // Barely Legal
puripnon [userpic]

The Downing Street Memo. // The memo is here.


From time to time, we have a friendly debate on this board. What does everyone think about this?

puripnon [userpic]

I've been kicking around the idea of starting a reading and discussion group at or around campus.

The book that the majority seems to favor is Labyrinths by Jorge Borges. It is a collection of short stories by the very important Argentinian author.

If you're interested in joining, please reply with some times that are and aren't good for you. I'm thinking about meeting every other week for a couple of hours.

~Jon Raleigh

puripnon [userpic]

A number of us have been looking for excuses and/or opportunities to socialize with other members of the lsu_literati  community or intelligent folks in general. I propose that we start a reading group that meets every other week off campus, at my apartment or in a coffee shop.

Some possibilities for books:

1) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman. This is a modern sociological classic. It looks at the way we present ourselves to others in terms of dramatic performances. Definitely of interest to everyone here, as livejournal is nothing except the presentation of self.

2) The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. This is a neo-conservative classic. Allan Bloom, the gay atheist uncle of neo-conservativism, wrote this book in response to attempts by colleges to diversify their courses, especially in the humanities. The quality of his arguments and prose style are matched only by his pomposity. Also, you can buy the book for under a dollar on Amazon.

3) Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. This is perhaps the most pomo (postmodern) book EVER. Baudrillard argues that we have lost reality to simulation, that the world is now more fictitious than real. For the vulgar among us, you might want to read this book, as it was featured in The Matrix. Neo hid a floppy disk in a copy of the book (get it... the book isn't even a book... forget it).

4) Labyrinths by Jorge Borges. Though I would like to avoid ficciones, I'm putting this on the list because it is one of the best collections of short stories that I've read. Almost every French philosopher or culture theorist in the last forty years has dropped Borges's name at least ten times.

5) Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. This is a very very fashionable work of neo-marxist political thought. The authors are so far left that they make Michael Moore look like Pat Buchanan. Love it or hate it, it's an important and hefty book which is inspiring and will inspire a great deal of debate.

If anyone is interested in any of these works or has suggestions for other books (preferably challenging non-fiction or very very challenging fiction), please reply. I'd like to start this in the next two weeks if possible..

g. [userpic]

Does anyone have a recommendation for an excellent coffee? Of the bag/bean variety.

littlefish [userpic]

http://neworleans.craigslist.org/rnr/51954241.html

Discuss?

papa [userpic]

discuss? maybe?Collapse )

unearned unhappiness [userpic]

This is an emergency. I need to move. I don't care who you are. It needs to be on campus. It needs to be a girl, obviously. Please take me in. Please. I'll never bother you. I need to get out of my room.

xposted.

g. [userpic]

This morning on the second floor of the law building was a vast spread of free CC's coffee n' carbohydrates.

Perhaps it will be there all week. Worth investigating.

g. [userpic]

I have decided to take classes with the following two history professors, based solely on their photographs:





I'm sure you can understand why.

Please list your recommendations for eccentric and/or avant-garde professors here.

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