Friday, December 16, 2016

Potent anticipation

There is a power in want, in anticipation, which many have lost to that which is instant. We are taught to live in the very moment, not to worry, or hope, or long for too much. We are taught to want and have more and quickly consume it. There is a power in the opposite of this.

Perhaps I should use the example of foreplay.

Two strangers meet in a bar, they rent a hotel room and have sex. They never speak again. Touch your soul?

What about this? (And don't worry, those who don't read naughty novels, there will be nothing you need to confess to your wise elderly priest on a Saturday afternoon.)

Two strangers subtly eyed each other across the room. It is a boutique coffee shop, where they have now met. They furtively glanced and quickly looked away, until they furtively glanced and looked away at the same time. Over six months, they frequent the same expensive provider of unexpected thrills and caffeine, sometimes coinciding with one another, sometimes not. He longs for her voice, the smell of her hair, the touch of her heat. On the seventh month, they are in the line together, and for the first time, they speak. Her hair is an ocean breeze, her touch is soft and silky, and oh, her heat of her skin upon his. Their hands touch, and just don't move away. They have coffee together, and hope it is more than a physical thing. His eyes glint and glitter as he speaks, his red lips are newly scarred with bite marks as he nervously whispers to her, biting his lips in a new anticipation. Bit by bit, they slowly, cautiously discover it is more than lust, more than a thing of the merely physical, but even the physical, they cannot yet handle. They don't kiss, yet. What if anticipation isn't met, what if the kiss isn't what it could be? He'd been lucky when her hair was an ocean breeze, when her heat was gratifying and her skin so silky, silky smooth. What if the kiss wasn't all that? His worry consumed him.

They text and chat over the telephone at all hours, he craves her soft, light voice, she longs for the depth of his, a tsunami of force overcoming her. Eight months in, they share a subtle, single kiss. His lips brush softly against hers, and that is it, though for hours later, they remain back in that moment. A few years later, they marry, they have been through fights, and challenges, and love every detail about each other. But they fear the intimacy, and don't do anything on their wedding night. Weeks later, they are at a restaurant enjoying wine. The wine is heavy in its smell, and as it swirls about in their mouths, hitting each taste centre, it slightly dulls their senses and inhibitions.

At their small, cosy cottage, they lie together on the couch, heartbeat against heartbeat, warmth encompassing warmth. He kisses the top of her head, then slowly moves down to her forehead, her nose, her mouth, all of her, but her sensitive areas, and with a slow urgency about it. They kiss for twenty minutes, before heading gradually towards the bedroom door. He has lit scented candles, her favourite scents, and she wears the lingerie she knows he finds most delightful, yet classy. Shortly after crossing the threshold, anticipation becomes sumptuous reality, and after it, they cuddle, and fall asleep in one another's arms. As the morning light peeps through the curtains, together, and in love, they lay fast asleep, anticipation didn't exceed reality, and what worry there was has faded.

Which pair would you prefer to be?

What about these four?

She sits down, writes the examination, and passes easily. She knows already she has passed, and is unsurprised when it happens.
He sits down, writes the examination, and unknowingly fails. He wasn't worried at all. The failure is a shock, with massive consequences. He is so shocked by the results, he is unable to study and fails the supplementary, too.
She sits down, writes, fails. She worries about the results until she gets them, and is almost relieved when she realises she did fail. Her worry had her going over all the contents, and she passes a supplementary exam.
He sits down, writes the tough examination, and passes easily. He worries he may have failed, and goes over his work. He wonders right until the mark comes through, and erupts with pleasure when he realises he has passed. Like a rocket reaching orbit, he feels weightless and ecstatic.

Who would you rather be? Is worry that evil, if upon having worried you are better prepared to move on from defeat, and all the more overjoyed at victory?

What about food?

He eats an expensive, well presented meal. The end.

Or:

She sits down slowly in front of the table. In the kitchen, its door near her seat, she smells the subtle hints of flavour, and hears the sizzle of the divine meats. The smells invite her, and draw her in. Before she knows it, she is upon her feet, walking towards the kitchen door. She stops herself and returns to the hard, cold wooden table, and sits before her mat, knives and forks. A starter comes first, a small chocolate thing. She lets the smell overcome her, and holds it up to her nose. She eyes it out, and pushes its texture against her mouth, not eating it, yet. She lets the smell captivate her, until, without realising it, she has nibbled just a little bit off. She swirls it across her mouth, squeezes it, sucks upon its chocolaty veins of pleasure, and lets it rest in her mouth for ages, until it has dissolved. She slowly swallows, and places the morsel against her lips again, until, without knowing it, she has nibbled a small little piece again. Pleasure hits her subconscious and lights up her face. Her scarlet lips move into a slight, then great and potent smile. She giggles and laughs in delight, and releases soft, high sounds of delight. In half an hour, the morsels are all eaten, and she moves happily to the main course.

Meals at the best restaurants are often smaller, but should be enjoyed in the same time as a larger selection of food.

The smell, the texture, the heat, the taste, upon all the senses, is heightened, and heightens the experience. Without hope and dread, without worry and anticipation, what is there left in life, but boredom of a present not hyped up beforehand?

Mindfulness and calm are great things in moments of chaos, but like all things, they should be carefully moderated. Otherwise, life is empty, and achievements are but the void, and the nothingness semblant of unimportant things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Larry Lessig is lying about potentially flipping 20 Donald Trump GOP electoral college voters.

Larry Lessig told Politico that his group, Electors Trust, has been approached by 20 Republican electors for free legal advice on whether or not they can be Faithless Electors and vote for someone other than Donald Trump to be President of the United States of America. Media report that this is half the number of Faithless Electors needed to thwart an electoral college vote for Trump.

So, how likely is he to be telling the truth?

Is there a conflict of interest? Larry Lessig is a former Democrat presidential contender.



For a start, Politico introduces him as not just a Harvard Law professor. University lecturers in the United States of America usually veer to the left of the political spectrum. Barack Obama went to Harvard, before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago. Larry Lessig himself is certainly on the left, having been a Democratic nominee for President at one stage. That stage, being this year, 2016, where he withdrew before the Primaries.

What are the chances of mass faithless electors joining hands?

There have been 157 Faithless Electors in the history of the American nation, a rather small number overall. None has ever been able to change the outcome of an election, and, generally, they did it because their conscience could not countenance a candidate. Three of those 157 abstained from voting at all.

As for what Democrats want Trump voters to do:

'Only 82 electors in history have voted against their state’s popular vote for personal reasons. Another 71 electors have changed their votes after the death of a candidate. None of those instances have ever changed the outcome of an election, according to data compiled by the nonprofit group FairVote. ' Jonathan Easley and Ben Kamisar, 'Electoral College voters under intense pressure', The Hill, 13 December 2016.

However, while Democrats are horrified by Donald Trump, white men, white women, and Republicans, all got out to vote for him. Belief in a party's best interest, and survival, increase generally when a person joins that party's official ranks. Republican electors are just that, Republicans. Even Ted Cruz eventually endorsed Donald Trump, his political career depended on it. Any Republican who votes against a candidate who gained such majorities as Trump did among Republican voters, is committing career suicide. The party has united around their candidate, and voting against the herd when the American people have endorsed their candidate, would be viewed as treason of the highest order.

Conscientious objectors also tend to act as they do in order to follow their conscience with integrity. A Republican whip operation found only one faithless elector who won't be voting for Trump, Texan, Chris Suprun. Suprun, like past conscientious objectors, has publically made his stance known. Suprun lists Megaphone Strategies, a PR firm hounding Republicans to vote against their orders, for queries about his decision. Megaphone Strategies is associated with CNN host, Van Jones, who famously called the last election a 'whitelash'. If their conscience and integrity is so important to them, and if Republicans can't force them to change their vote, why would they lie to the whip operation?

Do the electors not have their own attorneys?

As an attorney, myself, this is the most striking thing. In life changing decisions, when people seek legal advice, they tend to approach their own trusted attorney, assured of his confidentiality, and past assistance. An attorney is like a hairdresser, you tend to keep the one you have. That attorney might then approach experts if there is something they cannot handle on their own. The law on Faithless Electors is rather clear: if a state has no rules against their changing their votes, then they may vote for someone other than the candidate they have chosen. There is no complex legal issue at work.

Larry Lessig doesn't substantiate his claim of 20 Republican electors. How did they contact him? Did he verify it was them and not a prank or activist disinformation attempt. He, himself, has been a liberal activist for decades.

Why would they approach Lessig?

Finally, with the only known Faithless Elector choosing the Van Jones organisation, why on heaven and Earth would the Republican electors chose some obscure law professor with political ambitions to advise them? All twenty of them? Even factoring in the rule of small numbers, that is an oddity, especially as they allegedly asked for free legal advice in an instance where even the average man on the street could tell them the law on the matter, and where their own attorneys certainly could. Republican electors don't tend to be the sort of people who are living from hand to mouth and can't afford a consultation with their own attorney.

Furthermore, one would expect such Republicans to gather around Megaphone Strategies if they were seeking to consolidate.

What if they were to succeed?

If the Faithless Electors succeeded only slightly, then the House of Representatives would elect the president: almost certainly Donald Trump. If Hillary Clinton won the electoral college vote, the Faithless Electors would go from being traitors to being successful traitors. Republicans would destroy their lives. With such a pressure upon the Faithless Electors, it seems unlikely they would risk not voting for Trump.

The electoral college was not created to prevent a tyrant from taking power. It was created because America is a federation of once independent states, which didn't want more populous states taking away their voice in elections. Even if Trump were to become a dictator, or all the Left Wing campaign presents him as, the Electoral College was not given the power to overthrow him or people like those they fear him to be. It is simply an accident of history, which has stuck through the years.

In conclusion, it is very unlikely Lessig is telling the truth. Perhaps 20 Republicans will change their vote, but it is unlikely they would have all approached him.

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