Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yard sign says "Don't Redefine Marriage" then radically redefines marriage

I could have grabbed a perfectly aligned image from their website, but I wanted to find one in the wild, which proved more difficult than I expected.  They're disturbingly common, especially in the places where non-bigoted signs are stolen as soon as the non-bigot's back is turned.  (That's not, strictly speaking, legal yet I doubt any arrests will come of it.)  Anyway, after going much farther than I thought I'd have to, I saw a political sign I'd never seen before, cheaply designed and with only two colors, as if whoever put it out couldn't afford three, I wondered what it could be.  When I realized it was a Romney sign I thought that surely I'd be able to find some of the hate I was looking for in the area, so I headed over and sure enough found this:

Did you catch that?  I may have to turn in my math major card because it took my mother pointing it out for me to see it.  At this point I'm just so used to hearing, "Marriage is between a man and a woman" that my mind sort of glossed over the words and symbols used.

What the sign presents is an equation with an equals sign.  In so doing it defines marriage.

An equals sign means both sides of the equal sign are exactly the same thing.  You don't get to say 2 + 2 = 5, and then argue that it's true because, hey, if you add a one to it then 2 + 2 does equal five.  Equals signs do not work that way.

What is on the left side is no more or less than what is on the right side, what is on the right side is no more or less than what is one the left side.  The two are identical in every way.  They may look different, or be described in different ways, but they are identical.  That's what equals means.

According to the sign the definition of marriage is "one man plus one woman."  You may note a lack of any kind of vows being taken in that definition, or a lack of weddings, or a lack of rights to hospital visits, or a lack of church, or a lack of state, or a lack of promises of fidelity, or a lack of relationship of any kind, (or a lack of lack of relationship: if the man and woman are brother and sister the sign says that's marriage), or a lack of anything other than a man and a woman.

Take the adult population of the world (so we're talking about men and women not boys and girls) pick two at random.  Put them together.  (In the same general place at the same time, no Frankenstein's monsters please.)  There's about a 50% chance that, according to the makers of the sign, that counts as a marriage.

But they've never met before, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But the only thing they have in common is that they were selected at random, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But they have no intention of sticking together, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But they haven't exchanged any vows, you say.  Doesn't matter.

The makers of the sign have redefined marriage to mean any pair of people in which one is a man and the other a woman.  Any pair.  No other requirements.

That is a radical redefinition of marriage.

The HMS Bounty

I live on a hill, there are no tall trees near my house.  Which means that when all is said and done I'm pretty well protected.

Once upon a time, I think when I was in summer camp and my family took me out for a day with them, I did a few things that one doesn't usually do.  I road the narrow gauge railroad, I walked around on the Gazela, which was at the time the oldest and largest square rigged ship still sailing.  (I think they might have repaired one that was older [there were definitely older ones still being towed at the time], or built one that was larger, or both, since then.) and I saw the HMS Bounty coming in under full sail.

I don't know for sure which one I saw (apparently there were two reconstructed for the different film versions) but given that one is currently serving as a Chinese tourist attraction and the other was built near here I have a guess.

I think the one I saw is the one that just sank in the storm.

the Bounty sinking
Picture by US Coast Guard

The crew had 16 members.  14 were rescued.  The body of another was recovered.  The captain remains missing.  As of an article posted this morning, the Coast Guard is hopeful that the Captain will be found and found alive.  The article also contains a different picture, also provided by the Coast Guard, of the ship sinking.

An ad I saw: Vote Biblical Values (Tuesday, November 6)

So I just saw this ad:

Now, first off, that would be illegal.  'Round these parts November 6th is known as "Well you sure as Hell put it off till the last minute, didn't you?" day.  That's not actually true, but I did already vote and the ad isn't exactly being truthful either.

I'm not talking about the ad purporting to be from Billy Graham even though as near as anyone can tell all of the letters supposedly from him of late have been written by others and the sentiments expressed in them place these letters in direct conflict with the 93 year old's actual words and deeds.

I'm talking about the whole "Biblical Values" thing.

I've seen the ballot, having already voted, and biblical values were not on it.  At no point did I see a referendum to reinstate biblical polygamy or slavery, at no point did I see a place that said "Check here if you think unmarried rape victims should be forced to marry their rapists with no possibility of divorce."  Nowhere did I see a place where I could vote to reinstate slavery.

I did not see a place where I could vote to require people to build a parapet around every roof they make to prevent the bloodshed of someone falling off of it (Deuteronomy 22:8, if you were wondering).  This is of particular interest at the moment because I recently heard the story of someone dying by falling off a roof (though have forgotten the exact details at the moment.)

I did see a place where I could love my neighbor as I love myself and since that's a biblical value I agree with I did vote in favor of legalizing same sex marriage.

But for the most part, not much in the way of biblical values on the ballot, just a bunch of candidates running for this or that.

Monday, October 29, 2012

So, I just voted.

I voted for marriage equality, as I'm sure all you could have guessed.  I voted for Barack Obama, as I'm sure all of you could have guessed.  I voted for Angus King, even though I didn't really want to.  That is what I'll be talking about here.

Those who read a recent comment at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings are about to get a sense of deja vu bcause they've heard this story before.

Angus King is a well known former Governor and is an Independent   When Michael Moore described Maine by saying that it had two Democrats in the House, two Republicans in the Senate, and an Independent for Governor he was talking about Angus King.

When he was Governor I met him briefly for what was a photo op (I've checked, I can't find the photo) because robots are fun and high school is important, and our team was really good, and that's the sort of thing that can bring a Governor to visit with cameras in tow.  I had to sign a release saying they could use my picture and everything.  He seemed nice enough, and I have no person grudge against him.

And I'm pissed off at him.  And I just voted for him.

I didn't want to vote for him, I wanted to vote for Chellie Pingree (I did, just not for Senate) and that didn't happen because she eventually decided not to run for Senate after all.  Why did she make that decision?  Angus King.

When he jumped in she walked away and to understand why we have to go back to 2010.  The 2010 elections sucked in a great many ways, but in Maine they had an extra dimension of "Ugh!" when they left us with a Governor 61% of the people voted against.

How did this happen? You may or may not ask.  Well it went like this:

The Republicans nominated Paul LePage.  The Democrats nominated Libby Mitchell.  Well known Independent Eliot Cutler nominated himself.  There were two other candidates on the ballot, and a couple of write in things, but they didn't really matter.  What mattered was Republican-Independent-Democrat.

Three way races often have a habit of collapsing into two way races, but this race did something strange, it collapsed into two different two way races.  Depending on where you were standing it was either a race between LePage and Cutler, and other people who don't really matter, or a race between LePage and Mitchell, and other people who don't really matter.

Wherever you were standing most of the votes went to the local, "Not-LePage", but since LePage was the only one in both of the de facto two way races he was able to get the most votes.  39% of the vote was more than anyone else, Maine goes by a "Most votes wins," system, and so we now have Governor LePage.

This is the person telling the NAACP to kiss his ass when discussing Martin Luther King day, who holds works of are hostage because... because... well you get a different answer depending on which part of the administration you ask, where the Governor is standing, and which way the wind is blowing.  His press team gives one answer.  His lawyers another.  He himself gives many completely contradictory ones, but it is notable that the set of answers he gives when addressing Mainers is completely unrelated to the set he gives when addressing the nation as a whole; it's as if he's talking about completely different things.

The original explanation was that a single anonymous email said that a picture depicting labor history favored Labor over the corrupt business people they were fighting against in those historical settings (and if you look into your history, you'll see that those business people were corrupt, sometimes to the level of outright evil.) and that was an unacceptable lack of balance so the work of art had to be stolen and held hostage in an undisclosed location.

This pro-Business slant might be why he's made it so we're no longer "Vacationland" or "The Way Life Should Be" but instead our motto should be "Open for Business" because we want businesses to view us as a place to come for cheap labor and low regulations.

In general LePage has never managed to appear in the news in a way that didn't make him a national embarrassment.  One newspaper columnist wrote an open letter to Kathleen Sebelius begging her to keep LePage occupied for as long as possible when he came to her asking (or was it demanding?) that she do something both impossible and illegal just so that we could get some damn work done while he was out of the state.

Cut to the beginnings of the Senate race.  Olympia Snowe, after selling her soul to appeal to Republican primary voters, realized she still couldn't win a Republican primary.  She announced she would not run again.  I hoped this would be enough incentive for Chellie Pingree to run for Senate, and it seemed to be.  It reached the point where her run was all but official.

Enter Angus King.  He announced his run as an Independent.

Suddenly everyone's mind is back on 2010 and the fact that we still have to wake up each morning to the knowledge that our Governor is Paul LePage and if we think about it too much morning turns into mourning.

Angus King, like Elliot Cutler, is a credible enough independent candidate that we're looking at another three way race Republican-Independent-Democrat.  We know how that turned out last time.  It left us with Governor LePage.  The last thing the majority of Mainers want is Senator-LaPage-alike.

Angus isn't going to back down, so the only way to make sure we don't get the LePagamuffin as Senator via the majority being split is for the Democrats to concede the race.

Chellie Pingree's all but official run is ended.  The Democrats end up offering up little known, little experienced and chance-not-having Cynthia Dill as their nominee.  (She happens to be my representative in the State Senate, for what it's worth.  She only got elected to there in 2010.)

And so the race became Republican vs. Independent with a vote for Dill being a protest vote that will have no effect upon the actual outcome.  I don't believe in protest voting, I believe in voting for the least bad option that has a chance of winning.

So I voted for Angus because he is the least bad option that stands a chance of winning, to quote Argo which I recommend, "This is the best bad idea we have."

So I've just voted for an Independent who won't even tell us who he'll caucus with (if he doesn't caucus with a major party he gets no committee assignments which severely limits his influence and power.)  Also, if you were to place him on the Democratic to Republican scale you'd find him to be a moderate Republican, like Snowe was before she sold her soul.  I wanted to vote for a Democrat.  More than that, I wanted to vote for Chellie Pingree.

Want the Zompocalypse? Vote Romney.

I came to this via a commenter at Slacktivist but it has since become a main post at Slacktivist.

So, what is "this"

Josh Whedon endorses Mitt Romney:

“Let’s all embrace the future — stop pretending we care about each other and start hoarding canned goods.”

"Mitt's Ready.  He's not afraid to face a ravening, grasping hoard of sub-humans, because that's how he sees poor poor people already."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NRA: Her bailiwick

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 3)]
[Two things, first the narration in Nioclae: Rise of the Antichrist says, "This was more her bailiwick than his, but his question soon became moot."  Referring, if it matters, to which road Chloe would take.  Second, if you haven't seen the first episode of Warehouse 13 this will make no sense to you.]

This was more her bailiwick than his-
Everything stopped as Cameron Williams questioned the narration.
"Her bailiwick?" he asked.
"Yes, Mr. Williams, my bailiwick," Mrs. Fredrick said from the back seat of the car.
Cameron looked to see her, he was sure the seat had been empty, "How did you..."
"That's not important."  She handed him a folder.
"What's this?"
"An invitation to endless wonder."
"Lady, I'll take an invitation to endless shit shoveling if it'll get me out of these goddamned books."  This was true, but incomplete, so Cameron provided some context, "But I have to find my wife and make sure she's safe first."
"That's already being taken care of."
Arte showed up at the car window, "We think the artifact is probably Scofield's personal bible."


[Left Behind Index]

Skewed Slightly to the Left: Getting there

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page )]
[Following directly from the last episode with Cameron in it.]

As Cameron reached the exit Jane appeared wearing a backpack and asked, "Do you know how to drive a motorcycle?"
"Simple question and we're low on time, yes or no."
"Then I'm driving."
They exited the church and walked toward the parking lot.  "I'm going alone," Cameron said.
"How?  You just said you can't drive."
"Why would I need a-"
"The streets are filled with rubble and abandoned vehicles and God knows what else.  You need something that can maneuver around all of that and fit through whatever openings there may be."
"The Range Rover got through it ok."
"The thing that used to be a Range Rover which you showed up in is full of bullet holes and begging to explode."
Cameron shrugged, it was true.
"Besides, what you really need is speed, not something that can smash through but something that can swerve around."
Cameron was ready to concede that, he wanted to locate Chloe as fast as possible, but there were other problems.  "And what are we supposed to do when we find Chloe?  How many people are you expecting to fit on the bike?"
"At this point sheltering in place is probably the best bet, your major fear should be that she's stuck on the street somewhere.  We need to find her, transport is a secondary concern at best.  We might be able to walk her to a safer place than she is."
Jane took off the backpack and threw it to Cameron, "Survival kit and med supplies.  If she's hurt we can patch her up." Cameron put on the pack.  Jane mounted the bike, "Hold on tight, somehow the helmets got misplaced so if you fall your head is toast." Cameron got on behind her and held on for dear life.
Jane sped through the streets and sidewalks, at one point finding an entire street blocked by the rubble of a collapsed building.  After they had come to a screeching halt, much too close to the ruin for comfort, Cameron asked, "Is that the..." but trailed off when he was unable to remember the name of the building.
"Yes," Jane said.  Then started speeding back the way they had come to look for an alternate route.

[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]

The Lovecraft Reference that Needs To Exist

[Originally Posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

It could be a book, or a comic, or a TV Show or a movie.  It could be a dark and stormy night or absolute uncanny silence.  It could be in an old dusty library so that they'd have references at hand or in a room of an abandoned house they're hiding in.  None of that matters.  What matters is that this needs to exist:

Strange things have been happening and they've dug up a book written in an obscure inflected language which purports to be from 1372. After getting a handle on the cases a member of the group begins to translate
"Ok, so the first sentence here looks like a pretty simple thing, with two clauses, 'that... which'. Primary clause, relative clause. The primary clause is, um, 'That ... that is... that is dead,' wait, no, 'That is not dead.' The relative is... 'Which is able to...' Fuck. I hate indirect statement. Ok, this part means 'in/for eternity' so-"
"That is not dead which can eternal lie."
"Uh... yes. How did you know?"
"Trash it, the book's a fake."
"It's quoting Lovecraft, it's a fake."
And then they throw out the book and move on to more important things, having lost valuable time, but at least not as much as they would have if they'd continued chasing the red herring that was the book.


[Original Work Index]

"Life's not fair" is no excuse

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2)]

"Life's not fair," is no excuse.  I am aware of this fact.  "Life's not fair," should be a call to action.
It should work like this:
Child: That's not fair
Smug adult: Well, life's not fair.
Child: But it should be fair.*  The fact that it's not means that you should endeavor to make things more fair, not use the unfairness of life as an excuse for your own unfairness.  Take responsibility for your own actions for a change.
Somewhat less smug adult: Endeavor?
Child: I have access to a dictionary.
Somewhat less smug adult: But you're eight.
Child: So what?
Adult becoming more smug: You're just repeating something someone said to you.
Child: Would it be any less true if I were?  Besides, where did you get your, 'Life's not fair,' excuse from?  (sarcastic:) Scientific inquiry of your own making?
*adult, with smugness in limbo, is not sure what to say*
* It would later be pointed out to me that this isn't strictly speaking true.  Perhaps the child should say, "But this should be fair," indicating the situation instead of life.  Fairness should be a floor, not a ceiling.  People should never get worse than they deserve but, so long as it doesn't come at the expense of others getting worse than they deserve, people getting better than they deserve is no great injustice.
Also, for context before the above post, I pointed out this quote:
Marcus Cole: I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Marcus' approach: to recognize the unfairness of the universe, but not to use it to excuse his own actions (that part is not in the quote, that's from watching Marcus be Marcus) but rather try to be a just and decent person in the face of an unfair universe, seems the best approach.  That life isn't fair is a fact, but that fact is not an excuse.  If anything it is a call to be better people ourselves.  Life isn't fair, so injustice won't solve itself; we have to do it.


[Original Work Index]

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding Newspapers

Ok, bit of an odd question: how would one go about finding a list of every newspaper in the United States that accepts electronic submissions?  (I actually just received stamps today, but I'm not going to be sending letters to newspapers.)

Seriously, every single one.

There are 3,033 counties or county equivalents in the US and if we assume that every county has a paper of record then we're talking about a long list, one also has to consider that some cities have dozens of papers in them.

But how does one go about locating all of them?


And beyond that question, I figured it was probably best not to have the front post be taken up by the Latin version of of the Universal Lord's Prayer.  How many of my readers read Latin, anyway?

Tam ea communis et universa precatio est quam creare posse

[This is a translation into Latin of what I think has become known as The Universal Lord's Prayer, written more than a year ago.  It's sort of a first pass, no feedback yet.  It makes no attempt to correct the grammatical problems of the original.  Just to translate them.]

Pater noster, qui fortasse femineus es aut sine genere es aut multi genus aut etiam simpliciter multus et qui fortasse propinquitatem nobiscum habes nonve habes et forte in minimis etiam es, qui es in caelis per quod in aninmo habere ubicumque eum/eam/id/eos/ea/ea forte adesse, aut etiam non adesse cum probaverimus eum/eam/id/eos/ea/ea in primo forsitan non esse:

sanctificetur Nomen Tuum si nomine tibi est et illud genus rei tibi placet;

adveniat abeatve, apudve nobiscum maneat, inve alibi maneat, aut in via quae nec adveniente nec abeunte eat, aut ominio opinabilis sit, aut res quas verbis motionis simplicia describere non potest faciat Regnum aut Reginum, aut Imperium Singulare Multitudinisve, aut Respūblicas Formam Popularem aut Imperium Habitus Mari, aut Commūnitarium Imperium Cooperante Paris, aut Civitatem in qua libido multitudinis pro legibus est, aut Quodcumque Tuum;

fiat voluntas Tua nisi malus es, voluntasve non habes, bonave es sed malus sum, voluntaseve est ex contrarius, malamve diem sic res, quae in vero utinam non voles si in statu animi salūbri sis (complexum egesne?) via, forteve ... ecastor, quid scisne, in posterum versum movemus uter vis aut non,

sicut in caelo, uti significatione antea discripte caeli, si res in illo loco bona sunt, si sum, quod, antea constitutus, forsitan non esse, cum maxime tu forte non esse, additamentum fortasse illud succedentem videamus primus, imperium in caelo habesne? Non certus sum illam arrogantiam habere. Si in caelo voluntas Tua perpetuo impeditur fortasse non sicut in caelo volumus, nisi in primo voluntas Tua esse nolumus et ... movemus:), et in terra aut alibi loco, Martem tempore anni esse audio.

Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie respiciens sollicitūdines victuum nostrorum, qui fortasse non panem sinit, etiam non panis omni nostrarum placet, et fortasse multitūdinem panis datūri non habes ac vero imponere nolamus, nisi volamus, et quid si panem eges, et quid si ieiunium servamus hodie et quid si persuasum sumus tue non coniunctum esse nos panem adipiscentes, et vero ego credo nos quid vocesse hic sic esse: nos cibum velle, nisi ubi nos nolle, et illud fortasse non vero tecum coniunctionem habere, qui fortasse tu nos alens non curat atque adeo fortasse etiam es. Tamen ego te satis edere spero, sed illud modo me est et ego loquor pro omni;

et dimitte nobis debita nostra nisi non reamur oportere dimittere nobis debita nostra, vel non rear conveniens esse tibi, quotcumque aliarum rerum,

sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris praeter illa tempora non summus;

et ne nos inducas in tentationem, nisi temptari volomas paula temptationem nonnumquam foresse res bonus est, et non persuasus sum omnem nostri sequi ubi, qua ducitis, volamus, fortasse malus es, aut sine mente es, aut non sum, et quaedam nostra experientias malae cum MLA[1], et aliquantulum plurem historiae tuae scire volo, bonusne itineris dux es? Citationesne habes?

sed libera nos a Malo nisi illud genus rei nobis placet. Fortasse periculum nobis placet. Periculum potest ludum esse. Additamentum non omnis nostrarum persuasa est te virtūte in liberatus aut etiam potes distinguere bonum a malum. Et fortasse praesertim alacres sumus nos hodie liberari neglegenter. Credo illud esse fortasse aliquid, quod singillatim diiūdicare oportere, ita prior roges. Nisi ille homo tibi dixit te non facio, in animo habeo. Tu debes te notitiam optimam habere, nisi non habes quod fortasse non es, ita omitte debere in priore et substitue fortasse.

(Verba Interposita Coepit)

Namque tuum es fortasse sed non necessarie regnum ipse aut reginum, aut respūblicas formam popularem, aut … illudne prius fecimus? Credo nos illud prius fecisse. Ita fortasse vos in memoriam revocare oportet, sed adiciam id modo unum reolarum esse et non reolam ipsam esse posse cum quaedam nostrae audiverimus ea in sarcinis sex veniunt, si ea quidem veniunt, rumores sunt in interretibus id fortasse non etiam esse.

et potentia ipsa aut inopia de potentia aut voluntas sententia te potentia uti aut status opprimere aut quofferasvoces[2]. Probabiliter quofferasvoces sed inopia de re est ita modo i cum eo, et decus ipsim aut non, id fortasse non decus est, quaedam nostrae non credet te esse multam gloriosam, aliae credet te esse quam gloriosissimam posse, et admiratio mihi non es si accidit quasdam nostrae credere nomen tibi esse Gloria,

in aeternum et perpetuum dum copiae durant, inritum ubi vetari, et omnis illa musica sonis caeruleis concaedateve vibrateve evocateve respondateque multisve rhythmo, subitariteve designata[3]. Musicane sonis caeruleis concaedateve vibrateve evocateve respondateque multisve rhythmo, subitariteve designata tibi placet? Opiniones variant. Certus non vero summus, res est totam “tuum es res ipse et quofferasvoces et disputata gloria” res per summam temporis durere non pro certo quanto habemus quando usquam ex nihil temporis ad omnia aeternitates variare.

(Verba Interposita Terminat)

Amen. Vel non est. Fortisan non sit. Quod etiam “Amen” significat? Aliquis non dubitanter insiliet ut mihi narret sed credo nos ad modum certo posse non omnem sire.


Before we get to the notes, note that, as the in the original the bold is the original, but the doxology (the parenthetical) is not in the original Latin, so I had to translate that into Latin.  The full Latin I was working with is the original plus my translation of the doxology is in the notes [4].


Translation notes

[1] Global Positioning System, translated hastily and no doubt badly as Mundus Locans Artificium (MLA)

[2] whatchamacallit = what you may/might call it = quod fortasse voces = quofforasvoces

In compounds “d” assimilates to “f” if the second part begins with an “f” thus quod becoming quof. The “t” screwed up the way the word rolled off the tongue and thus had to be dropped. Originally I also dropped “sse” but decided to maintain one “s” to keep as much of the original feel as possible.

[3] Jazz. Trust me on this.

Ok, more explanation needed. I used the definition:

musical art form rooted in West African cultural and musical expression and in the African American blues tradition, with diverse influences over time, commonly characterized by blue notes, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythms and improvisation.”

I didn't want to get into the history so much as the being, also how does one say “African American blues tradition” in a language that fails to take into account the existence of America? One could translate America somehow (land beyond the outer ocean, new world) and thus get at it, but that wasn't the point. So I just worked with the “characterized by” part.

There is no Latin word for syncopation, so one had to be constructed, this was done by taking the word appart then putting it back together in Latin:

syncopation = sycopate + ion; syncopate from greek for “with + cut”
cum + caedes = concaedes = syncopate; concaedatio = syncopation

One could have done it different ways, but they didn't sound as good.

There is no Latin word for improvisation, but there is one for improvised:
improvised = subitarius
So I went with subitaritio for improvisation

The downside with going with -ve is that it implies that anything that has even one of these features is jazz, this is unfortunate, but the alternative (using a word for “and”) would be to imply that anything lacking even one of these features is not jazz, which seems no better.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur Nomen Tuum;
adveniat Regnum Tuum;
fiat voluntas Tua,
sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a Malo.

[Namque tuum es regnum ipse
et potentia ipsa et decus ipsim
in aeternum et perpetuum.]



Further notes:

Fortasse is a word I have come to love.  An adverb of possibility that can work with the indicative or subjunctive.  Adverbs don't decline or conjugate.  They're always spelled/said the same way.

I used Cassell's as my primary source.  It gives Latin terms for monarchy and autocracy.  Or, rather, it gives a term.  The same term for both.  So anyone feeling like something got left out of that list is correct.

Also, "a certain amount of X" no idea how to translate that because certain is actually used here to mean "specific but unknown" which is the opposite of the ordinary meaning of certain and yet used often enough to be in the dictionary as a definition of certain, now the very next sentence pointed out the unknowness which would be redundant if I chose a word with that as the primary definition, but finding something that had the same feel as the "certain" in "a certain amount of X" proved difficult, so I dropped it.

I stack indirect statements:
"really I think what we're saying here is that we want food"
"really I think" is setting up an indirect statement:
"really I think [what we're saying here is that we want food]"
"what we're saying here" does the same:
"really I think [what we're saying here [is that we want food]]"
"is that" is barely anything, yet it's still setting up an indirect statement
"really I think [what we're saying here [is that [we want food]]]"

One sentence and we're nesting the indirect statements three deep.  Didn't notice that until I was having to use so many accusative-infinitive constructions in translation.

On the topic of tools, Cassell's had primacy but Wiktionary is nice and Google translate can be used as well provided one remembers it's like a sledgehammer with a cracked handle.  Use it sparingly, use it carefully, verify your results, and it could save you a lot of trouble.  Use it without such things and the crack in the handle will become a broken handle and you risk a giant piece of metal falling on your foot.  In other words it has it's uses, but needs to be watched carefully.

Where I found it most useful was when I wanted to translate a word into Latin but the English part of my dictionary didn't have that English word. I could quickly punch a bunch of synonyms into Google translate until I find one that does output reasonable seeming Latin translations.  Then I can look up those Latin words in an actual dictionary and see if Google got it right this time.  It doesn't always.  Don't trust.  Use, but verify.


Other stuff.

Originally I translated [thingy] as res, but then it occurred to me that I should have added a diminutive suffix to it (ducky is the diminutive of duck, thingy is the diminutive of thing) but "thingy" is a very informal word, so getting one with a long history isn't the best, so I've gone with reola, not a real Latin word, but formed from real Latin parts. re- the root of res; -ola one of the diminutive suffixes.

I planned to convert the "/"s with the -ve suffix on the word after the /, but there's something fun about the speed of "eum/eam/id/eos/ea/ea" as compared to "eumve eamve idve eosve eave eave".  So I'm not sure on that point

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From my sister: "Do you hate gays? Well, if you do, join me this election day and vote Yes on One." (Yes on One is a vote for marriage equality)

My sister is a big believer in framing.  If you want to convince people you have to speak in a language they understand and all that stuff.  You know, telling the truth, but telling it in such a way that people hearing that truth would do something they would never ordinarily do, hence this post on facebook:
Do you hate gays? Well, if you do, join me this election day and vote Yes on One. Yes on One means taxing the most open gays at a higher tax bracket. Yes on One means less government and hospital subsidized benefits for gays. Yes on One means taking money away from gay couples and putting those dollars directly in the hands of churches. Yes on One means the end of joint healthcare for domestic partnerships. If you are fed up with tax and benefit loopholes and special rights for gays, join me in voting Yes on One. Please be sure to tell all your like-minded friends to do the same.

Later an explanation follows but before that:
I never said I hate gays. All of these are true good reasons why people who dislike gay people should vote Yes on One.
And then:
Not sarcasm. "Heartwarming stories" is a damned stupid approach for rationalizing with a group that lumps homosexuals with child molesters. It's like saying," Look at the cute family my ten year-old niece have and I have. We're having a baby." If you want the right to vote your way, bust out your ad framing fox news style.
Claim One: Means taxing the most open gays at a higher tax bracket. Couples who are open enough to get married will be taxed on their combined incomes. Claim Two: Means less government and hospital subsidized benefits for gays. Combined income will push some out of mandatory free hospital care and benefits such as foodstamps. Claim Three: Means taking money away from gay couples and putting those dollars directly in the hands of churches. Gay people as soooo gonna get married in churches, the UU where I got married (and then divorced in the courthouse about a block away) will have a long waiting list. Claim Four: Means the end of joint healthcare for domestic partnerships. Insurance companies will get rid of domestic partnership insurance as soon as gay marriage becomes legal because they are cheap bastards. So no, [name redacted], people can hate gays and vote yes on one. And if you know someone who does, I invite you to use these reasons when you speak with them.
There is a logic and a method to her way of thinking.  My biggest complaint with her reasoning (in general, not here in particular) is that she expects everyone else to be the same way.  For example she'll come up with a completely reasonable plan, but fails to take into account that one of the people who has to sign off on it is an unreasonable person.

In this case I think that in some ways she's making the same arguments that pro marriage equality people are already making.  We have priests pointing out that right now the government is telling them who they can and cannot marry but, should marriage equality become law, only the churches will be able to make that call.  Thus they're appealing to everyone who believes in religious freedom and the government getting its nose out out church business.

We have business people pointing out that anti discrimination laws already exist so this cannot hurt them in the least, but what it can do is bring them new customers.  Thus they're appealing to anyone who likes business or would just like the damned economy to pick up.

Certainly appeals are being made on levels beyond just, "Look at my wonderful family, we want to get married," or, "Look at my fellow fireman, when I go off duty I go home to my spouse; I think he should be allowed to do the same."  Don't get me wrong, those appeals are being made, but they're not the only ones.

I think my sister's primary problem in the above is that she's trying to appeal to a demographic that simply will not be reached.  Her claims are true, and someone who hates gay people may well be swayed by them in a vacuum, but they're not in a vacuum.

No one in this country wants to defend traditional marriage because traditional marriage sucked.  Monogamy was an economic and political agreement entered into for means entirely divorced from the values we all claim to cherish.  Plus it was pagan and the people who usually claim to defend it are emphatically not.  It was a product of the traditional Roman (pagan) traditions that Christians inherited along with the empire.  Traditional Biblical marriage involved one man, multiple women as wives, and slaves.

Perhaps someone who put up one of those "defend traditional marriage" signs is calling for a return to polygamy and slave-holding, but somehow I doubt it.

So she's right that it's not about marriage, and thus the focus on people who hate gays as the opposition makes a certain amount of sense.  But it's not just hate, it's also fear, and even if her way did work it still wouldn't treat the root of the problem which is the hate and the fear.

That's where the "Look at me, look at my mothers, this is a real family," (actually I think that ad was from the election we lost) can make a difference.  Hate and Fear are easy things to feel about some exotic Other.  It becomes harder when you realize that the person is just like you but for a few, relatively minor, differences.

More than that, I think that the people who really hate gay people are, for the most part, the ones leading the charge.  No argument is going to sway them because they know exactly what they want and what they want is No on One.  They don't matter though.

The people who matter are the ones following them.  And I don't think, for the most part, that the followers hate gay people.  I think they've put their trust in the wrong people, I think they've been led astray, I think they're afraid of monsters that don't exist and dark futures that will never come to be.  I think they're in this because they've been lied to.  I think they're in this because they're afraid.

The cure for that is truth.  Not truth you can spin in such a way as to make voting for marriage equality the option people who hate gay people will take.  The simple truth that gay people, bisexual people, and all other people are people.  They are not monsters.  This is not the apocalypse.  Doom will not befall us if we treat others with dignity and respect.

Always, always, be aware of the target audience.  If you want to win the election the target audience isn't the cynical ass who lumps non-heterosexuals in with child molesters, it's his flock.  You don't need an argument that can sway him (though if you've got one go for it) you need one that can sway the flock.

And the flock probably isn't made up of cynical assholes with interesting if dark and lumpy minerals where their hearts should be.  The flock is probably made up of scared people whose primary source of information is cynical assholes with interesting if dark and lumpy minerals where their hearts should be and as such are filled with misconceptions and fear.

To reach them we need to correct those misconceptions and erase that fear.  Part of that is putting a human face on those they would harm.  Part of it is making sure they know that the choices they make may well result in harm (and definitely will if they make a certain choice), part of that is appealing to the better angels of their nature rather than trying to convince the lower demons of their nature that they should vote the right way for the wrong reasons.

So I disagree with my sister, but if you know anyone who can be convinced by her points, and you live in a state where marriage equality is on the ballot, it is worth noting that the points are, in fact, true.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Put The Candle Back! (A post about policy toward transgender students in a town I'd never heard of)

Days ago I read about a school board which had put in place a policy to support and defend their transgender students.  This is an incredibly important thing.  Even in places that are safe and friendly to those who are non-heterosexual the safety or acceptance of non cissexual people cannot be taken as a given.

In many places it is seriously about the right to poop, because if you're planning on going anywhere other than in your pants you're probably going to have to use a room with toilets and those tend to be marked via gender. Go into what someone considers the wrong one and you could be killed.

So a school making it a matter of policy to not be evil, and spelling out what that means in terms of their transgender students is a massive and important thing.  Not because it changes the world or anything, but because every single student in that school is a person who matters and some of them need to be protected and others need to know that lashing out at individuals perceived to be non-cis is not acceptable, and more than that basic decency is always in season.

It's a step that should never need to be taken, because basic decency should be in force as the status quo, but "should" and "is" are two very different words and so it is a step that does need to be taken.  Taken more often, taken in more places.  Taken until so many have moved that step forward that they can't imagine one step back was ever the status quo.  Taken until, even when factually aware of it an intellectually accepting of the truth of it, the fact that we were ever as we are now seems emotionally impossible.  Taken until people look back at this moment and history and say, "How could anyone have ever been like that?"  Not with shock or outrage, because they can't reach that point through the sheer force of abject incomprehension.

We need to take these should-be-unnecessary steps forward.  Not we should take them.  We need to take them.

Then, this morning, I read that a school had taken a step back.

It had a perfectly reasonable and common decency based policy with regard to its transgender students, and it rescinded that policy in response to public outcry from bigots.

Didn't take long to learn that it was the same school.

They took a stand for what was right.  Then they backed down.  They decided to do right by their students, then they said, using different words of course, "Fuck the students."

So much for progress.

But it seems like there might be some small chance for hope.  If public pressure could make them preform a complete 180, maybe it can make them do a 360.  But I don't know how to raise a public outcry like the bigots do.  They make their living on it.  I don't.

The only way I know of to exert public pressure is petition, which is one of the smaller ways.  But it is, at least, a way.

So I looked around.  I found two, but they're outdated.  They're from before the policy was rescinded, trying to say not to rescind it.  I signed them anyway, I recommend everyone else do the the same.  I know of nothing else that can be done.  Just, boost the signal, it's all I can do.

I already added it to the This Week in the Slacktiverse post.

Links to petitions are here:
Stop District 131 from reversing their new transgender policy!
Uphold the transgender protection policy you UNANIMOUSLY voted to adopt!!

They Live (A movie you should see)

They Live

This should be on your list of movies to see.  You should watch this movie.  Now obviously I want you to buy it through my link because that benefits me, but this is a beg, borrow, or steal situation.  See the movie.

Is it a good movie?  No.  Is the acting wonderful or the effects dazzling?  No.  Does the pacing frequently make you want to scream, "Get on with it!"?  Yes.  Is there misogynistic language?  Yes.  Misogyny of myriad other forms?  I'm sure.

Should you see this movie?  Yes.  Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

It should be on required viewing lists.

I don't want to say it's allegory because I fear that'll drive you away, but it is.  Even if you don't like allegory you should still see it.

What is it an allegory about?  Well, like all allegories that's a bit fuzzy.  Is it capitalism, the patriarchy, the kyriarchy, class warfare, imperialism?  Any, all.  Yes.  No.  It's an allegory and and allegory can apply to too many things to really say.

It's also a story in its own right and not a bad one at that, if it suffers for execution.

And, if you ever want to understand the phrase, "I'm all out of bubblegum," this is where it comes from.


I bring this up because I'm in the process of recording as much of it as I can (I have no money, while TV remains I'm recording whatever I can whenever I can, but I lost track of time, so I'll only get a portion of the movie.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Skewed Slightly to the Left (?) - Before the Potentate's Speech

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 3)]
[Following, I guess, from this story in which Rayford planned to crash the plane to foil Nicolae's plans, but waited until after the stop where Amanda got off because he didn't want to kill his wife.  And then, just as he was preparing to crash, Nicolae relieved him of command.]


"Make no mistake about it," Nicolae said as he casually paced in the guestroom on GC One, ignoring the armed guards, their weapons trained on Rayford, "you will continue to be my pilot after this day is through, and you will never crash this plane.  You can think about it, dream about it, wish it, but you will never place this plane or its passengers in danger.
"You will do this because I wish it so.  Because it amuses me.  Because I don't need a good reason and after today you should understand more than most that I am fully prepared to retaliate with undue force at the slightest provocation.
"I let your wife remain in the room while we discussed our plans because I wanted you to know.  I wanted - yes.  That.  Right there.  That moment of recognition that you had your chance to stop this and you didn't take it.  You were too concerned about your own loved ones, too concerned about getting Amanda off the plane, to save millions.
"You know what's coming, don't you?"  Nicolae knelt before the seated Rayford, bringing them eye to eye.  He watched as Rayford considered trying to lunge forward and kill him, and as Rayford realized the guards would kill him before he did any real damage to Nicolae.
Nicolae took a moment to reflect that sometimes miracles weren't breaking the laws of physics sometimes they were as simple as the frangible bullet.  A simple innovation that allowed guns and airplanes mix safely.
Nicolae returned his attention to Rayford, who had averted his eyes.  "I would say I hate cliches, but the truth is I don't.  Some cliches yes, of course, but others I love.  I revel in them.  And this one is so sweet, it's written on your face that you've already come to realize it.  And yet, somehow, still the words will sting more when you hear them spoken than they do right now: You and I are very much alike.  We're not so different.
"You could have crashed this plane when you learned of my plan.  I gave you ample time, but your wife was on the plane then.  So you waited.  You traded one life for millions.  They were nothing but an abstraction to you, not real people.  Who cares if their odds of survival are severely diminished if it can make your loved one, and thus your mind, a little safer?
"Certainly not you.  All this blood is on your hands too.  I say this not to absolve myself, understand.  My hands are soaked in it.  But there is blame to go around.  You could have stopped it, you didn't, and now innocents have died.  Amanda may have warned some, I'm sure she did, but that is nothing compared to the lives you could have saved if you'd simply crashed the plane when you had the chance.
"Millions have died so that you could get what you wanted: Amanda safe.  Millions have died in the service of your desires and that makes us the same.
"I don't know what's more beautiful, the recognition on your face, the shame, or the disgust.  But I do so enjoy having you as my pilot, and so my pilot you will remain.  This will happen.  It will happen of your own choosing.  At the appropriate time I'll explain to you exactly why you will choose this, but now," Nicolae looked at his watch, "Look at the time.
"If you'll excuse me, I have to go convince the world that most of the blood shed was the fault of your side, not mine, and I only very reluctantly retaliated, and only then to defend the innocent and minimize the casualties."
Nicolae allowed himself a smirk.  "When I said that ten percent of the world's weapons would be kept as a deterrent I never actually expected that deterrent would have to actually" deep disingenuous emphasis on the second 'actually', driving home the falsehood of the claim in case, somehow, Rayford had missed it, "be used, and it was with a heavy heart and for the greater good that I did these things to end the war and keep the peace.
"They'll eat it up - the unwashed masses.  You know they will.  So afraid, so confused, so ready for someone to extend them a hand and lead them out of fear and darkness.  They'll be mine by the end of the hour, no matter what your son in law may try to do to sway them.
"And as the masses go, so go the rest.  Those who don't believe will be shouted down, or shunned, or thought dim.  They'll be marginalized if they speak up, so most won't.
"Your religion compares people to sheep, and sheep they are.  They'll follow any shepherd.  My rod and my staff, they comfort them, but my voice is what will win the day today.
"So, ta-ta, I have a broadcast to make."
Nicolae stood and turned in a smooth motion, and was halfway to the door when he stopped, as if something had just occurred to him, "Just how bad was the education system in your former country?  Have you ever read Omelas?" Rayford didn't answer, though Nicolae gave him ample time.  "Stay or walk away?" Nicolae asked.
"Neither," Rayford said, barely above a mumble.
Nicolae's head turned, ever so slightly, back toward Rayford.
Rayford raised his head, raised his eyes, and though he was only looking at the back of Nicolae's head, the guards at least could feel the intensity of his gaze, "I save that fucking child."
Nicolae shrugged.  "Well, I suppose you did today.  Amanda is safe, after all.  One life for millions.  You chose to get her to safety and in that day and hour, all the prosperity and beauty and delight of not one but instead ten cities was destroyed.  While I address the world, ask yourself if it was worth it."  Nicolae left the room.
Minutes later an aide to Nicolae walked in, "The potentate wanted me to assure you that, once the casualties are determined, you will be provided with the names of every individual confirmed to have died in each of the ten targeted North American cities."
The aide turned to one of the guards, "I'm taping the speech for you Mike, from what I've seen it's his finest yet."
"Thanks," Mike said.

[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]

In which I pretend the dream I had last night might seriously interest someone as a time travel story/series of stories

So, last night, after waiting to long to get to bed anyway, I forgot to take my sleep aid.  I didn't have the energy/motivation/spark-plugs necessary to get up and take it, so I stayed in bed and hoped that lack of sleep would do the job itself in a few hours, a few hours later still nothing, I knew I needed to take my sleep aid, but I didn't have the energy/motivation/spark-plugs necessary to get up and take it, so there I stayed.  I might have gotten some sleep during the night, maybe.  But most of it was spent not-asleep, but at the same time often not fully awake.  Tired as all hell and as deep into darkness as I have been able to make the place of my sleep, I went into that place where, though one is still awake, dreams come.

It's happened twice in a row now, see the footnote that ended up being larger than the main post here, in which I describe the last time I had a night like this, I'm going to call it a trend and say that when I know I'm awake but dreams none the less come I experience them as movies or TV shows or something  of that nature.  Something watched, not something experienced.

I wonder if such experiences should be studied more for their possible link to mental health problems.  Perhaps some problems involving believed hallucinations are almost exactly the same thing but without the realization that what is happening is a dream.  Perhaps hallucinations in general are more closely related to the dreams of the sane than we realize.  All who dream have hallucinations, after all.  It's what dreams are.  But they're never labeled with such a hurtful word as "crazy" for it.


Not sure where the time travel came from, but this one had clear roots in seeing at least part of all of the following movies:
The Secret of NIMH
The Art of War
Resident Evil: Apocalypse


It started with a time travel experiment gone wrong, and the rules in this, as with many things in dreams, were not consistent, also the beginning wasn't consistent with the backstory, which obviously didn't exist yet for I had not dreamed it yet.

The beginning, such as it was, was that the time travel experiment accidentally flung the time travel creator into the future (his brother was present at the experiment but not flung into the future) and it had a sort of "It's a Wonderful Life," vibe going on because the world without him was a horrible place.  (The world had been without him because he skipped forward via time travel)  The family business had become an evil megacorp, his home had been torn down, things were evil and dystopyian overseen by his gone-evil big sister and her ever present aide, and stuff was generally bad.

Also the world had become flat, just because evil sister could, and one of his last acts before trying to go back and fix things was to travel into space in a Winnebago (not a Spaceballs' Winnebago with wings, just a Winnebago) and broadcast his message to from humanity to the rest of the universe, in case going back didn't work (he had to steal some component which would be dangerous and potentially lethal so he was well aware he might not even get to the go back in the first place.)  The message was, basically, "I invented time travel.  If you're considering it, don't.  It is a bad idea.  Do not try this thing."

He hadn't taken into account that the rotation of a flat earth means that what is way up in space when the earth is perpendicular to your distance from it's center might actually be touching the earth, or near enough, when the earth moves closer to parallel to your direction from its center.  (By the way, the earth wasn't just flat, it was square.)

Thus hordes of goons started coming toward him across the flat earth when the rotation brought the Winnebago into reach and he narrowly escaped by using the family gift of jumping.  Not Jumper jumping, physically jumping great distances.  Not Hulk distances, more like John Carter distances.  Come to think of it, that might have to do with seeing some of the The Matrix recently.

So hero goes jumping back toward the center of the square earth where evil headquarters is located, in a plot to steal necessary component for time travel device.

At some point before this I should have mentioned apparently loyal family butler who has been awaiting hero's return and helping out.  He helped out with this part too.

So they get necessary component, and then apparently loyal family butler turns out evil and takes the component for himself only to have it be quickly stolen back by Actor Too Prominent to show up this late in the movie (don't remember who, but it was a specific person) who therefore must be an important person.

He takes hero by the hand and they jump onto waiting dragon (genetically engineered, not fantasy born) and we finally get to backstory:


The Hero was the youngest of three children.  Sort of Secret of NIMH aged (converted from mouse to human, of course), though the order of ages was different.  (As was the number of children)  He was constantly bullied by his older brother, his sister was just surviving.

The time travel accident somehow caused hero to disappear as a child of that age, even though it definitely took place as an adult.  The only way I can reconcile this with later rules of time travel, is if the experiment somehow slingshotted hero back to childhood and then bounced him forward into the future from there, with further inconsistency being hand-waved away by the fact it was an accident, not how things normally work.

(Also, to make this consistent with later things the whole square flat earth thing would have to be dropped.  But it was silly anyway.  Space Winnebago goes too, genetically engineered dragon stays.)

This disappearance of hero as a child caused oldest brother to run away in shame, believing it to have been his fault.  His only companion in a childhood lived in squalor in abandoned buildings being a cat he named Dragon.  The cat was grey and unkempt.

It would be revealed that his actual dragon is named Dragon not because of a lack of originality, but because it was named after the cat.  He refers to it to others with whom he is intimate as his cat and calls it "kitty" in intimate moments with the dragon itself.

It would also be revealed that part of the reason eldest brother was such an ass was also shame, and trying to hide that by asserting his dominance over everyone he could.  He was as the eldest child, and still as an adult, almost entirely illiterate.  Rather than seek additional help, he BSed his way through things and tried to hide it.

When Hero asked where Eldest brother had been all this time, it would be revealed he'd been there all along.  By means of holographic trickery (remember, this is The Future) he had been living as evil sister while sister was truly in control as ever present aide.  Thus he was the puppet and target for assassination, while she was in control of the whole world.

When they finally got the time travel to work, the two (hero and elder brother) were returned to their childhood bodies, memories intact, treating each other with respect, and working to get elder brother to learn how to read, and above all else taking pains to not be complete jerks to their sister because they knew that in any decent world she would turn out good, not evil.

It seems like all is good, but then it will be revealed that some hitherto unknown organization has been monitoring the [technobable] and now knows that time travel is possible.  Sinister music plays.  Credits role.


This definitely comes from the Resident Evil films, I haven't seen the third one but of the three I have seen they always end in a reversal.  The good guys win, it's a happy ending, and then something happens to turn it all around.  It's like someone read Aristotle on drama and took one part, and one part only, of it to heart.  At the very least they should have looked at the part about what makes for a good reversal, better still would be to realize that drama was only half of the equation even in the time and thinking of Aristotle when it came to works with actors, satyr plays were either not counted by Aristotle as being important or lumped under comedy (which would seem a mistake, but then we are talking Aristotle so mistakes are the opposite of out of the question.)  For the purposes of this discussion at least.

It's just that the comedy section of the work has been lost.

There's a fictional book, and a movie based on the book, about a creepy murder mystery surrounding the last surviving copy of the comedy section in 1327.  They've been recommended to classes I was in as very good by both a Classics professor and an English Lit professor (who was teaching Ancient Lit at the time) but creepy murder mystery is not my thing, even if it does star Sean Connery, so I have neither seen nor read it.

The point is, you really don't need reversals, especially not last minute unforeshadowed reversals, but the stories in the dream had it and I think they were stealing from the Resident Evil films in doing so.


Next takes place with the three children as teens or adults, or both (time passes, after all), and sister is the primary protagonist.  She dresses in at least one scene like Elektra from Elektra for no good reason.

The details have faded, as details of dreams do, but I remember a couple of things.  The jumping remains a mainstay of the family, some early genetic engineering perhaps, the film takes place in the future, there is a major plot point about an accident while the three are on futuristic motorcycles.  What is a futuristic motorcycle?  I don't remember.  But they were definitely futuristic.

And that's when the zombies came.  Their name, "the outsiders," feels to me like it came from No Escape, which is a movie that contains no zombies, their being zombies is definitely from Resident Evil.

There's a cure, but only if you get it before the infection is complete.

But before we get to that, time travel has advanced.  The three have devices, watches, which facilitate their time travel now where before a giant machine was needed.  They can go into possible futures and record information on the devices, and bring it back with them (just as they retain their memories), but not to before the devices were created.  They do this very rarely as it involves creating a future, and then destroying it when they return to the point in time whence they came (the future develops from their absence since they can't return until after they've gone) in an attempt to preserve what came from these destroyed timelines they never just get the information they might be looking for.  They get everything.  Every extant book, the entire internet, every piece of information that has been digitized that they can access.

It may be a small compensation for being brought into and then erased from existence  but it's what the children can do, and so they try to preserve the memories of those who were but never were in the futures visited that will never come to be.

Out of an extreme distaste for creating and then destroying timelines and thus people, and extreme moral qualms, the children try to keep their time travel mostly limited to quick jumps into the past.

Basically save scumming as an integral part of the plot.  Also known as, that thing from the movie Next.  The movie would start with sister having to use this technique to try to get the antidote for the zombie plague before injured people turned.  And a dog, somehow a dog was involved.  It too needed the antidote.

The same few minutes, repeated over and over, in myriad different ways, until she got it right.

And, during this, organization from before would appear and make themselves known as an enemy in their attempts to use this moment of vulnerability to steal the children's technology.

So it would be combat between zombies, people with guns, and people who can jump high and fight impressively and have the power to press rewind if things don't go their way.

So imagine the combat and movement of The Matrix, combined with Mirror's Edge, combined with Resident Evil, combined with the conspiracy side of Deus Ex, and quicksave as a part of the plot (which sort of harkens back to the film Slipstream when looked at as a plot element, or Prince of Persia for that matter.  Haven't played the Prince of Persia games.)

Eventually the children would realize that they'd have to go back to the beginning and do a better job of keeping themselves secret.

So, again, they are returned to young age.

Enter a big fat foreign dignitary.  I mean that quite literally.  He is both very tall and imposing, and very wide and imposing.  He speaks some (presumably fictional) foreign language with great artistry and skill, proving him a quick witted and intelligent individual by means of his speech alone.  This is presumably his native tongue.  He speaks English fluently enough grammatically, but with an accent so thick almost no one can understand him.  He is convinced that when he is not understood while speaking English it is because the listener is a dolt (one of his favorite English words) and couldn't possibly have something to do with how he is speaking.  For him the fault is always in others, not himself.

The parents of the family are honored to have him come to their house for a dinner or something, the children don't think much of it, but one of them takes video of him, from the top of the stairs, as he's leaving, just because whichever child it is likes video.  It's shaky and bad, as such video made by small children is.

The turnaround for this section is the discovery that a section of this video is gone.  Somehow removed, though no one was in the house since it was taken.  The parents think it odd, but eventually pass it off as a camera problem, the children are more suspicious.

Then the reveal of why the section is missing.

The secret evil organization, who I'm going to call the Illuminati though I believe they were nameless in the dream, would be shown to have been watching, live, on the video camera as the tape was produced.  A character based on Eleanor Hooks from The Art of War has them notice, and zoom in on a tag on the family dog's collar that appears to be entirely decorative in an abstract line art kind of way, she realizes it's not and has the foreign dignitary steal it, that's what's missing from the tape.

At sort-of-Illuminati headquarters they've scanned the design etched into the tag and blown it up to immense size and as they look at it they realize it's work on time travel, incorporating technology that doesn't exist yet in the schematics.

Thus, again, they're onto the children and will be the primary antagonists going forward.

Having big fat guy be evil should be able to be offset by having big fat people who are not evil.  The children, as they grow into adults, are all of combat-ready athletic builds, but it's not like they'd be the only not-evil people in the movie.

[Footnote on the credits comes from hereish.]


The children have lived, mentally, pretty long by now, they've worked on time travel multiple times over, they're tech savy, combat savy, and have a knowledge of what's coming.

Their work is done in secret, underground, in hidden or forgotten places, but it is done well, and for the first time they let others into it.  Two others, at least, end up with the time travel watches, and the ability to synchronize them remotely is worked on so that, for them all to go back (and thus none of them to lose memories) they don't all have to be in the same place.

They work on a get out of death free card, where the watch is connected to their biosigns and if they're killed  it'll automatically send them back some minutes to when they're not dead, preserving the memory of how they were killed so they don't make the same mistake next go round.  (Before they had to count on living long enough to send themselves back, or having a surviving sibling go back and save them.)

But all this time, unknown to them, illuminati-type-people are trying to steal their tech.  The children have suspicions, and semi-successful precautions, but counters to their technology are created.  The ability to jam time travel, the ability to hitch a lift on a nearby person's step back.

Though the other side never develops the ability to travel through time on their own.

The at least two people who are entrusted with watches are sister's current boyfriend, and a girl/woman about their age who has gained their trust.

Boyfriend will end up psudo-sacrificing himself by grab-lunge-push-pulling (how do we not have a verb for this?) male evil leader off a raised catwalk, but sister, boyfriend, and male evil leader will all make the trip back within moments of hitting the ground.

In an unusual turn of events boyfriend ends up not where he was in the past, but where male evil leader with whom he was grappling was, doubtless caused by the mix of technologies involved.  Turns out male evil leader was into bondage of some type and they're in a place set up for that purpose, which could have unfortunate implications but see above about big and fat guy.  Things can be fixed by showing a variety of people into that, spanning the good-evil-neutral range.

This allows boyfriend to escape, (male evil leader is tangled, boyfriend is not) but he's now somewhere inside evil lair and slightly injured.  (Evil people have their homes and such inside evil lair, it saves commute time.)

At a similar time and place girl/woman who got time travel watch is revealed to be a double agent when she's forced to plead with her boss (Eleanor Hooks inspired woman) to stop time travel jamming in the area long enough for her to make a step back far enough to save an innocent from zombies.  She bases this on maintaining her cover.  (Other person present doesn't realize time travel is being jammed, so it looks like she's just refusing to help.)  She'll eventually be revealed to be a triple agent (on the protagonist's side all along) who no one knew was a triple agent because she was afraid if she revealed the double agent status (needed to become an open triple agent) she'd lose the protagonists' trust.

At some point in here there's a voice over from sister explaining that it's not all as easy as it seems in telling the story, and showing a difficult situation from her perspective.

She's trapped at the edge of a river or canal.  Snipers and ordinary guards have her pinned down, others moving into position to get a clear shot, Eleanor Hooks character openly taunting her (though clearly inspired by Eleanor Hooks from The Art of War this character differs strongly in that she likes to be there, in the field, when an operation takes place.  She's a battlefield leader, even if she stays toward the back where it's safer.)

Sister tries to run to the building for cover and make an impressive series of jumps, misses the last one.  Breaks many bones, in great pain travels back.  She tries to come in from the side, unnoticed, gets shot and left bleeding on the ground.  She tries to do many things, each one ending in pain and having to travel back to before she was injured.  She explains that to the outsider her life looks like impressive successes and flawless combat, from the inside the life of a time traveling combatant such as herself is one of endlessly losing in injury and pain until you find that one way, that one path that leads you to your objective.

(I think this might have been the scene where she was dressed like Elektra for no good reason.)

Finally she makes it, but is soon on the run again, forced to dive into a water system, protected from the bullets fired at her by the water, she discovers her time travel device is being jammed, worse it's being tapped, monitored, and copied, so that the sort-of-illuminati will be able to make their own time travel devices.

She is forced to escape, low on breath, without the use of time travel to avoid handing them the secrets they want.  Nearly dies.

Not sure where the brothers or the genetically engineered dragon are at this point (I think dragon named after the cat named "Dragon" should exist by now in the timeline.)

But in the end it all comes back to evil lair headquarters.  Zombies are on the approach from one side, barely being outrun by triple agent girl/woman and the person she rescued earlier (also a girl/woman, probably, but not definitely, somewhat younger than triple agent.)  Boyfriend is already inside, trying desperately to evade detection, the trio of siblings are making their infiltration attempt from the non-zombie side.

Finally they all meet up and are able to figure out how the kind-of-illuminati first found out about them, and work out a plan on not having it happen next time.

They make their daring escape, they rebuild their technology.  Finally finding a way to bring the time travel watches back to before their creation, and distributing them to a handful of trusted people.  And they have to be trusted.  This part is all about trust.  Sister has to believe that, even if she and boyfriend should have the worst break up in the history of breakups, he will still, for the rest of his life, work to keep the technology out of the wrong hands even unto the point of death.  Even unto the point of death that the time travel can't fix.

Triple agent has to be trusted that she really is loyal in spite of the deceit before.  Everyone given a watch needs to be trusted absolutely and completely, because they are being given the power to destroy the world. Travel back a generation, change something, it doesn't even have to be something big, the next generation will not be born.  Others will be born in their place, but to give those potential others life means killing off the world that they know.

And not just destroy the world, but control the world, imagine what could be done with the knowledge of what the future brings.

After modifying their technology so it won't be detected as it was the first time, and realizing that no electronic device can be trusted unless they have personally taken it apart, examined it piece by piece, and put it back together (the video camera that got them this time wasn't supposed to have transmission capabilities) they go back to the beginning again.

I haven't mentioned it, because there didn't seem a good place, but in the first movie romantic relationships aren't explored at all, so sister's position on sexuality doesn't come up when she's evil, but as a hero she's definitely sex positive.

Which makes her comment before going back this time, returning to childhood yet again, which amounts to a sarcastic, "Great, now I have to go another [whatever years] without sex," not seem to come out of nowhere.  Repeating school, being treated as a lesser animal not yet human, these things don't bother her as much as a prolonged period of celibacy because she's of the opinion, brought down from the ancient Greeks, that an essential part of being human is eating and having sex.  She is very far from asexual.


And so we come to the final chapter.  The children and their allies are determined not to make a great leap back again, those are for recovering lost works of literature/other art or maybe, just maybe, saving those whose bodies were never found (also known as non-evil Freejack or Millennium that doesn't suck) but anything that changes the timeline should be minutes, hours at most, so that people's developments are not erased.

The final chapter is about getting it right this time.

And for the first time they are free to work against the I've-sort-of-been-calling-them-the-illuminati without being known to the group.  For the first time they have the information leg up on the bad guys.

Their watches are also synchronized so that one of them finding a need to jump back a significant distance takes the rest with them, so they don't end up erasing each other's memory.  What defines a significant distance is defined fairly arbitrarily because there is a line between, "Someone is facing a problem that requires them to jump back ten seconds 200 times in a row until they get it right forcing me to relive this meaningless/extremely irritating ten seconds over and over again," and "If someone jumps back too far I'll lose this life changing epiphany," and that line can never be drawn clearly.  Whatever the choice, who is to say that a second more or less wouldn't be just as good?

Finally this last chapter is about trust rewarded.  There is no Cypher in this story (like I said, recently saw The Matrix again), no Judas, no one who was trusted with the power over time who betrayed them or abused it.  It is the trust equivalent of, "Just this once, Rose, everybody lives."  (The New Doctor Who, Season 1.)

And, to a certain extent, the literal equivalent.  They can't save everyone, but you can bet that they're not moving forward until that hit and run that happened right in front of them didn't happen anymore and not going to move forward until they find a way to make it through the pitched battle with the just-say-illuminati in which Dragon lives.


* During the credits to this feature there is a section on set with the actress playing the female sibling, her clothing clearly inspired by Elektra of Elektra, as part of it she explains that the outfit is pointless, meaningless, and impractical and if she has any say in it the character will never wear this outfit again, certainly not in a battle situation.  She has no problem with the character being sexy or sexual, but not during a fight scene.

Based on the remainder of the dream, the actress did have a say in it because clothing took a definite turn to the practical after that.


The rules of time travel in this:

If you travel back to a time in which you exist, which is what the vast majority of time travel involves in the story and what the time travel watches are for, you travel back into your own body as it was at the time, but with your memories intact (because without the memories, it would be kind of pointless.)  In later generations of tech your time travel device has its memory storage intact as well.

If you travel forward then you're leaving the timeline, which means you're going to a place where your body doesn't exist.  You show up in the body you left in.  This requires more involved technology than the watches, but getting back, provided it's to a time where your body was in the timeline, can be done with the time travel watches.

If you travel backward in time to a point when your body did not exist, you show up in the body you left in.  This, again, requires more involved technology than the watches, but returning does not provided you are returning to a place and time where your body is.

There are only two cases that don't follow this rule, the first is the initial accident.  Instead of removing himself from the timeline when he activated the machine, he bounced back to his youth first, caused frightening and traumatic damage there (caused his older brother to run away from home, possibly had bad effects on his sister as well) removing himself from the timeline, before being catapulted into the future in a body that, more or less, resembled the one he started in, rather than the child's body that had been removed from the timeline.

The second involved two people (boyfriend, male evil lead) literally grabbing onto one another with different technologies attached to each smashing into the ground at the moment the step backwards was taken.  Their tech was damaged, it was at cross purposes, and it took one of them basically to where was expected anyway (though preserved some of the body position and momentum involved, smashing them floorward there) and the other one to the same place instead of to where his body had been.

Beyond those two cases, both of which involve accidents, I think the time travel displayed in the dream was kind-of sort-of consistent.