Your tax dollars at work

Phil Greenspun
has a post
about yet another example of your tax dollars at work harrassing
law-abiding citizens.

Maybe it’s always been dog-bites-man, and I’m just running into
it more often this summer. (See my posts about the
Gates arrest
and the
arrest of my next door neighbor.

There is definitely a generic problem with throwing money at
problems people think are important. When I was working in
scientific research, I got earthquake prediction money and
cancer research money for projects that were very loosely
related to earthquake prediction and cancer research. (In this
case, I’m not saying they were bad projects.)

So I think all this money people are giving the police because
they’re concerned about the public safety may need some more
thinking about. Having too many police with too little idea of
how to contribute to the public safety may well be making the
public less safe rather than more so.

Farm Share for One

I went to visit my family yesterday, and I think my sister was
a little disappointed that all I brought them were two melons
and a bunch of collard greens.

I got the share on the assumption that I wouldn’t cook that
much, but there wouldn’t be any trouble giving some away to
people who would, and it isn’t so expensive that if a few things
end up in the compost bin it isn’t a tragedy.

In general, it has been working out that way. The melons are a
problem because I don’t like them at all, and apparently neither
do some of the people I give things to. This week I had an
unusually large number of events to cook for, which accounts for
not having brought lettuce or beans to the family.

I did dither about what to do with the excess zucchini long
enough that they developed unsightly spots, so I think I’ll put
them in the compost bin, although probably the starving children
in India would be glad to have them.

If they eat zucchini in
India. If they don’t, the children would probably insist on
starving even if someone gave them lots of zucchini. My Polish
relatives tell the story of some well-intentioned food-relief
efforts from the US after World War II, where anyone in Poland
could get all the peanut butter they could eat, and it sat there
in the warehouse while starving people who’d never touched peanut
butter in their lives and weren’t going to start now died in
the streets.

In any case, my zucchini would have worse than unsightly spots
by the time it got to India, even if it weren’t more efficient
to send money to OXFAM or
somewhere than to mail zucchini to India. And I haven’t put
very much stuff in the compost bin.

I’ll be playing on September 20

Here’s part of the draft press release my sister sent me
yesterday. I’d show you the whole thing, except that she sent
it for editing to the participants, and they may want something
edited in or out. But there will be lots of music and some poetry reading and probably opportunities to join in.

Arts Around the Block
Church of the Holy Spirit, 190 Rock Street, Fall River
Sunday September 20, 2000 12:30 -4


1:30: Laura Conrad, Two ornamented renaissance standards by Diego
Ortiz, G-alto Recorder accompanied on Italian
Virginals: Douce Memoire, O Felici Occhi Miei

Sanctuary – Classical music:
3: Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Led at the keyboard by
Judith Conrad, Jagan Nath Singh Khalsa, Violin as Peter, Ruth Shand,
Bassoon as Grandfather, Mike Shand, Baroque Flute as the bird, Dan
Moniz, clarinet as the cat, Carroll Grillo, soprano and alto saxophone
as the duck, Alan Powers as narrator.

Outside by the wall behind the cemetery (weather and noise level

12:30 Laura Conrad, solo recorder music by Jacob Van Eyck, music to
stroll through the park to, in 17th century Holland

3:30 The Fall River Fipple Fluters:
The Night Watch by Anthony Holborne
Mozart Trio
Folk Songs from the British Isles (The Banks of Allen Waters,
Flow Gently Sweet Afton, Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron, All
Through the Night, Londonderry Air)
Dowland Now O Now I Needs Must Part

further information Judith Conrad 508-674-6128,

Laura Conrad, also a Durfee high graduate, now lives in Cambridge MA
where she directs the Cantabile Renaissance band and studies recorder
with John Tyson. She is playing recorder today; she also plays
serpent, an ancestor of the tuba which was widely used as the loudest
instrument available between 1600 and 1850.

The Fall River Fipple Fluters are an amateur recorder-playing group
founded in 1991 by Judith Conrad. They play together for fun every
Friday at Four-thirty in Fall River. New members are always welcome,
willingness to try to learn recorder is the only requirement. They
play all sizes of recorder and many different styles of music, the
core repertoire being Western classical music from the 16th to the
18th centuries, the heyday of the recorder.. For further information
call Judith Conrad, 508-674-6128

I’m not listed in the Peter and the Wolf program, but
apparently everyone who comes will be invited to participate in
the finale, so I may bring a tuba or serpent or something, or just twitter on a recorder. I will definitely be playing with the Fipple Fluters.