Civic duties - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Civic duties
Wednesday, 03 November 2004 at 11:20 am
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Firstly, kudos to everybody who got out there and voted in the currently ongoing US election. I didn't post saying that people ought to vote, though I do believe voting is an obligation, because I felt it wasn't my place to preach. The more so when many extremely committed and upright citizens have expressed irritation at being subjected to constant nagging to vote.

Of course, there's no real reason to listen to me on this one, but I would urge people who are emotionally involved in the outcome of the election not to despair yet. And I'm thinking supportive thoughts in all your directions.

Secondly, I learnt today that I have been called for jury service. There's probably not going to be a better time in my life to do it than now; the most likely outcome is that it will delay my finishing my PhD by a couple of weeks or not at all if I end up not having to serve. I don't need to organize cover for myself at work, I can afford it financially, and I won't even have the inconvenience of having to interrupt experiments to attend court, since I'm not really doing many experiments.

As the child of two lawyers, I've always found the legal system fascinating. That adds up with a general sense of being glad to do something to promote values I care about at minimal cost to myself, so that I'm really rather pleased to have this opportunity. I think I shall likely enjoy the service too; meeting new people and thinking about problems I wouldn't otherwise engage with, and expressing myself clearly and cogently to a group are all prospects that appeal.

However, the downside of this is that I've made some vague plans to be in England the weekend of the 27th November. It ain't gonna happen now, given I'm called for 25th and I have no idea whether or not I'll be available on the Friday to travel, and neither can I make plans that might interfere with being in court first thing Monday morning. I'm not really prepared to spend upwards of 20 hours travelling for less than two full days in England, let alone that this would involve travelling on shabbat which I'm trying to avoid.

Many apologies, therefore, to lethargic_man, pseudomonas, my parents and especially LC, whose engagement party I shall miss as a result of this. I want to see you guys, I'm just a bit stuck on the practicalities. I'm aiming for doseybat's party, assuming I don't end up serving for an inordinately long time. So, swings and roundabouts; I'd thought I probably wouldn't make it to the party due to it falling so close to LC's engagement party.


Moooood: busybusy
Tuuuuune: Alice Cooper: Elected ;-)
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From:galliana
Date:November 3rd, 2004 11:52 am (UTC)
11 minutes after journal entry
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I hope we see you at Bat's party.

On the US election, I noticed this post on the BBC website:

# 1024 GMT: French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier says he "raises his hat to the American democracy". He tells French radio: "There has been an incredible turnout and a debate in which the entire world took interest."

I can't help feeling that this is either a classic example of diplomatic nullspeak, or a particularly ironic comment. I'm inclined to favour the latter, given the ways in which the phrase 'raises his hat to...' might be read.

Bon voyage America.

I feel for my Americans friends, and I fear for us all.
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(no subject) - compilerbitch (11/3/04 12:06 pm)
From:galliana
Date:November 3rd, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
That's because I *am* scary. Don't forget this. Remember to abase yourself properly before speaking to me again.
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:November 3rd, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry, 03:45 pm (lethargic_man's time)
(Link)
:-(

Nothing to be done about it, but :-( anyway. That's going to make it eight weeks after last time before I see you again.
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:November 3rd, 2004 04:10 pm (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry, 04:10 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Oh, don't make that face! This really, really isn't my fault or my choice.

And look, we were talking at one point about meeting sometime in between the weekend in York and the weekend of LC's party, even when we thought it was 6 weeks rather than 8. I know it's short notice, which might make it expensive and stuff, but do you want to try to figure something out? We can work out the details by email; I know I'm bad at logistics and all, but I don't think it's entirely hopeless.
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zdamiana: default
From:zdamiana
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)
5 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Thanks for the good wishes on the presidential election. Unfortunately, it looks like all hope is now gone. Kerry was just conceding when I last listened to the news. And that's not all... the senate minority leader lost reelection, and all of the states that had gay marriage bans on their ballot passed the amendment.

Since I live in one of the most liberal precincts, of the most liberal district, of one of the most liberal cities, of one of the most liberal states of the nation, I pretty consistently find myself surprised and disappointed by election results. I guess it is better to be hopeful and have my hopes dashed with each election than it is to become jaded and stop hoping, though.

As for Jury service, I was on a jury about a year ago. I had always wanted to be on a jury, and thought that it was not only a civic duty, but would likely be a really interesting experience. It was, though I was somewhat surprised to find that the responsibility of jury duty weighed more heavily on my conscience than I had expected. And that was in a misdemeanor case that was about the smallest possible case that could go to jury trial (it was, in fact, the young prosecutor's first case ever!). Good luck in getting on a jury, if that's what you want, but if you think there would be a time that would be more convenient for you to serve, you should go ahead and request to change the dates to make it more convenient. (I assume that is possible within the UK system)
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:November 5th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 09:27 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thanks for the good wishes on the presidential election. Unfortunately, it looks like all hope is now gone.
For any good it may do, I'm sorry, and I wish you strength.

I pretty consistently find myself surprised and disappointed by election results.
I can relate to that, because I interact with a virtual America that's bluer than blue. My friends, for a start; I'm probably one of the furthest right politically of my entire social circle, and I'm fairly centrist. And wider than that, the American blogs I read pretty much range between left of centre and way leftie. So I read a lot of stuff about how no sensible or decent person would vote for Bush, and I kind of assumed that most Americans are sensible and decent and as such there was only one reasonable result to expect. Not so. I'm not sure which of the underlying assumptions is wrong, mind you.

I was somewhat surprised to find that the responsibility of jury duty weighed more heavily on my conscience than I had expected.
This is a good point; I think I probably shall angst about any decisions I end up contributing to. The more so because of course I shan't be able to talk the cases over with my friends to get affirmation of my decisions.

if you think there would be a time that would be more convenient for you to serve, you should go ahead and request to change the dates to make it more convenient.
I think you misunderstood my post here; I did write it in rather a hurry. My point was that there's never an absolutely good time to take an undefined chunk of time out of your life, but this is probably about the least bad time it could be for me.
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