Prejudice, thy name is Steve

He was big, looked to be between 45-50, had a typical Texas drawl and a rodeo belt buckle.  He was in Reesa’s store buying a tatoo for his wife, and I was hanging around and keeping Reesa company.  He looked at me as I walked in and said, “Do I know you from somewhere?”  “Can’t think where,” I said.  “You look familiar.  Are you an actor?”  “No, but I’m told I look a bit like Alan Rickman.”  “Maybe that’s it.”  He didn’t seem convinced.

I didn’t ask if he read sf, or read at all.  He just wasn’t the type.

After about half an hour, I got really disgusted with myself for believing there was a “type” who read, and thinking that a Texas drawl and a rodeo belt buckle meant he didn’t read.  I went back out.  “Uh, do you read?”  “All the time.”  “Science fiction and fantasy?”  “Mostly science fiction.  I thrive on it.”  “Oh.  Uh, I’m sorry.  You may have been me on the back cover a book.”  “Oh yeah?  What have you written.”  “Jhereg?”  “No.”  “To Reign in Hell?”  “No.”  “Dzur?”  “Damn!  You wrote Dzur?  I’ve got that!  It’s on my stack…”

So, yeah, anyway, I apologized for prejudging him, and he was very gracious about it, and we talked about favorite writers for a while.  Cool guy, Texas drawl and rodeo belt buckle and all.

Let this be a lesson to me.

Question for Libertarians

Note the capital “L.” I mean those who support the Libertarian Party, or Randites, or “Rational Anarchists” ala Heinlein, or, as Patrick says, those who want to sell the streets and privatize meat inspection.

This isn’t an effort at argument (though no doubt one will ensue), but a request for information. I’m wondering what the canonical answer is to the charge that without state control, nothing would prevent child labor, and similar abuses. It’s an obvious enough question that I’m sure it’s come up. If someone could run it down for me I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

Obama's Mistake

There is an episode of “The West Wing,” I think from season 3, where there’s an exchange something like this: “Why is this such a big deal?” “Because it’s the classic Washington mistake: he accidentally told the truth.”

No, I am certainly no supporter of Obama. But I think the WSWS analysis that I linked to on the sidebar is spot on–he’s in trouble because a little piece of truth accidentally slipped out. This does nothing to raise my opinion of him, but the flap created by it is certainly another confirmation of what we all knew about US politics.

There are probably more conclusions one could draw from this. Call this thread an invitation for anyone who feels like drawing conclusions.