[politics] Election Day
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, go vote. Obviously I care passionately who gets elected, but your vote is yours, not mine. I’m not entitled to an opinion about how you vote, only about whether you vote. Even if you and I have diametrically opposed political views, I still think it’s critical that we both vote. Call me idealistic, but I never thought the way to winning elections was to discourage the people I disagree with from voting. Quite the opposite, in fact.
For Oregon voters, here’s some information on last minute voting.
Context for people who don’t live in Oregon or Washington: All our elections are 100% vote by mail. We don’t have Election Day polling places, though the county offices are open for ballot drop and for people who had trouble with their mail-in ballots. It’s a clean, simple system that seems to optimize turn-out with virtually no fraud at all. Sometimes there are problems with people who’ve recently moved and may have two addresses, but that amounts to a literal handful of votes statewide in any given election cycle. I don’t why all fifty states don’t adopt this system — virtually all the nonsense about voter ID laws and limiting early voting simply vanishes with this system. It also eliminates all the issues around polling places and staffing and having the right forms and so on. Clean, simple and fair.
If you favor universal suffrage and high turn outs, this system should be a model. If you don’t favor universal suffrage and high turn outs, then we don’t have a lot to talk about because I don’t agree with your profoundly undemocratic and unpatriotic values.
Note, per a brief discussion in comments yesterday with ericjamesstone, that I do not favor some sort of permanent single party liberal-progressive government. I have no equivalent vision of the GOP’s triumphalist Permanent Majority. We need a balance of viewpoints and opinions in government, simply because no one is right all the time, and solutions which are sensible under one set of circumstances can be destructive under other sets.
Whether that balance is best provided by a two-party system is another discussion entirely, but that’s the system the United States has today. The only path I see to meaningful multiparty democracy in this country would involve a complete shattering of the Republican coalition. While I think that given the current nature of the Republican party that would probably be very good for the country, I find it unlikely to actually happen. There’s way too much money tied up in GOP interests, and the media is too deeply invested in both conservative aims in general, and in their own conservative ownership and management.
My issue with the GOP and the conservative movement isn’t their existence, or even necessarily their nominal aims as parsed through the lens of pre-Reagan conservatism. My issue is with the scorched earth, spoke-in-the-wheels style of politics the GOP practices in lieu of actually governing when they are in office. My issue is with the eliminationist politics of resentment the GOP absolutely relies on for votes, poisoning society and culture as a whole. My issue is with handing government over to people dedicated to drowning it in a bathtub, to people who believe that government is incapable of competence or effectiveness, and therefore govern incompetently and ineffectively.
The modern Republican party doesn’t have a different vision of government than I do. They have a contract out on government. If they were interested in reform, or an alternate vision for the future, we’d have something to talk about. But despite the high minded rhetoric they throw around to make themselves feel good about decades of wholesale political and social vandalism, the GOP is a party that wants to destroy the village in order to save it. A village we all have to live in, regardless of whether we vote or who we vote for.
To put it in SF nerd terms, the GOP has become Frank Herbert’s BuSab. And that’s good for none of us. Not even the conservatives so busy setting fire to the village they live in.
So, yeah, I voted for Obama. Because I’d like there to be a functioning American government tomorrow, and next year, and next decade.
Posted: 6:49 am Tue November 06 2012 | Comments(9) |
[links] Link salad has no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time
The Ghastlycrud Zombies — An interesting and entertaining Kickstarter. (Pointed out by rekre8.)
Egyptian princess’ tomb dating from 2500 BC is discovered near Cairo — Cool.
Old Media, Digitized, Make New Forms — Computers are changing art in unexpected ways.
Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction — This is wild. Very SFnal. (Via threeoutside.)
Lenticular Clouds Over Washington — I have seen this, in roughly the location photographed. They are mighty strange.
A Convenient Excuse — On the real meaning of climate change, and the complete failure of American media and political culture to come to terms with that.
It’s Time for the Poor to Come Out of the Plutocracy’s Closet of Shame — As I’ve said before, Calvinism is a deep stain on the American soul. From that cesspool of belief rises up our deep social judgments against the poor and the needy, who we tend to believe must somehow deserve their lot as it is evidence of moral failing or lack of sufficient hard work. No one works harder than the poor, but you will find vanishingly few wealthy or middle class who are willing to understand this. To put it in reverse, we have a deep seated cultural belief that if you are thrifty and hard working and virtuous, you will prosper. The more politically and socially conservative you are, the more likely you are to see this as a basic truth. Logically enough, if you do believe that, it’s easy to see people who have not prospered as insufficiently thrifty and hard working and virtuous. This is a nasty, vicious cycle of thought so deeply engrained in our social assumptions that almost none of us ever see it for what it is — a pleasant, self-valorizing middle class fantasy that justifies our individual wealth and privilege while relieving us of any responsibility for the infrastructure or class issues faced by others. This is the thinking that allows otherwise sane, moral conservatives to speak with a straight face about “eliminating a culture of dependency” when they propose to put millions of people out of healthcare, eliminate early childhood programs, cut nutrition benefits, or deny people public assistance of any form — starving the poor, the elderly and the children of America for the sake of tax cuts for the virtuous high-earning. Conservatives simply refuse to see the toxic implications of their own beliefs.
The Insane Defense of the “Castle Doctrine” Gone Wild — A tragic killing in Montana proves once again that these laws do more to encourage violence than to prevent it. Thank God for the NRA or the GOP, or this poor man might have been prosecuted for running home, getting a gun, then waiting to shoot his lover’s husband dead. Man, I love the American right to defense of essential liberties through widespread private gun ownership. That almost
200 30 people a day die from gun violence is a very small price for you to pay for your right to own a firearm, am I right? 200 30 people who mostly wouldn’t die if guns weren’t so freely available. Small price to pay, all those human lives snuffed out every single day so you can feel good. God Bless America. Personally, I think an email listing the names of every American killed each day and a short biography including their age and the names of their family members should be sent daily to every gun owner in America, and that as a condition of gun ownership every gun owner in America should be required to acknowledge that they approve that message. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
IRS Not Enforcing Rules on Churches and Politics — Ywp, Obama’s definitely suppressing the Christian Right. Yeppers. Nothing to see here, citizen, you may continue to panic about Kenyan Muslim socialism as normal.
Dark Money By The Numbers: 81% Has Gone To Republicans — When you can’t win on ideas, or the merits of your own party’s governing history, buy buy buy.
Last-Minute Ohio Directive Could Trash Legal Votes And Swing The Election — By amazing coincidence, the directive was issued by a Republican. By further amazing coincidence, the directive benefits Republican electoral interests and suppresses likely Democratic votes. This is what happens when conservatives can’t win an election on their party’s record or its ideas. They lie, cheat and steal; and suppress votes. More of that justly famed conservative principled consistency in action.
Southern Nevada woman is arrested on suspicion of trying to vote twice — Oh, look. More voter fraud. By a Republican again. Quick, suppress more poor people’s votes!
GOP candidate: ‘My opponent believes in global warming and has been to other countries, he is basically a monster’ — A classic example of everything that’s wrong with the modern Republican party and the conservative movement, in their own words. That a message like that appeals to even a single voter, let alone an entire state, is a very depressing statement on my fellow citizens. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Mitt Romney’s campaign insults voters — Mr. Romney, by contrast, seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. By definition, any of these things are true of anyone who votes Republican these days. No memory of the Bush administration’s incompetence in foreign policy, domestic affairs and the economy; no comprehension of the math of what happened to the budget, the deficit and the jobs numbers under Bush; and a general inability to look either behind or in front of the curtain of Romney’s rhetoric. After all, the GOP isn’t even pretending not to lie anymore, and Romney still has nearly half the country behind him. Romney’s bet may well be the winning strategy.
?otD: How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.25 hours (solid)
Currently reading: Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold
Posted: 7:38 am Sun November 04 2012 | Comments(0) |
[photos] More faffing about on the Washington and Oregon coasts
In addition to the Aberdeen Star Wars Shop shoot, we did some other location work and tourism over the weekend. This included photography in Oysterville and Nahcotta, watching the Pacific sunset Saturday night, and visiting the wreck of the Peter Iredale on Sunday as a detour on our way home to Portland. We also got some hilarious bonus video of a very bad road in Warrenton, OR.
Some more photos…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 5:39 am Tue August 07 2012 | Comments(0) |
[photos|travel] The Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA
Yesterday, Donnie Reynolds, the_child and I headed to Aberdeen, WA, to the Star Wars Shop there.
Donnie and the_child were shooting footage for a short film documentary project on the store and its owner, Don Sucher. I was along as a lower-tier assistant and generally just to watch.
The place is amazing. Nutso amazing. There’s an estimated 70,000 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia in the store. Along with a bunch of other stuff, including some Kurt Cobain memorabilia, and other science fiction tv show and movie stuff. Even minor sidelines in Lord of the Rings and The Simpsons. It’s a toy collection that metastasized then miscegenated with a pawn shop.
the_child worked second camera, did some interviews of store employees and customers, and shot a lot of stills. It was great fun to see her working, engaging with people, being thoughtful and smart and creative. Me, I wandered around and took pictures and mostly listened.
There are stories to tell here, but I’ll wait for Donnie and the_child to tell them on film.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 6:53 am Sun August 05 2012 | Comments(1) |
[photos] Lighthouses at the Washington Coast
Yesterday, the_child and I loaded up with Donnie Reynolds of Waterloo Productions and headed for the coast to do some location shooting on the documentary project, as well as a small, separate project.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 6:53 am Sat August 04 2012 | Comments(2) |
[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 3
Yesterday was the third day of Cascade Writers. A nice morning’s walk, another long critique session, a lunchtime pizza-and-cake birthday party for the Scholes twins, then some writing time on Other Me and an afternoon of one-on-ones with the attendees in my critique session. I bugged out yesterday evening for a while with Amanda Clark to attend a friend’s birthday party, then came back to close out the evening in the Applebee’s bar across the parking lot, where I was apparently neither as mouthy nor as flirty as advertised.
One does so hate to disappoint.
Another short round of critique and discussion this morning, then a group lunch of an unspecified nature, then I am out of here. the_child comes home this afternoon from her latest 100% parent-free out of town adventure, and I haven’t really seen her since last Monday, so that will be good.
Plus more writing, of course.
Posted: 8:29 am Sun July 29 2012 | Comments(0) |
[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 2
We just had the second day of Cascade Writers. I worked a full day of Day Jobbery (beginning Quite Early), got a bit of editing in on Other Me, then spent the balance of the afternoon in a long critique session covering four of the seven stories in my teaching section. After that, we had a quick group photo, then casacorona and I caught dinner. I eventually wound up chilling in the lobby with a handful of folks.
In other words, a very busy day.
Up a bit before 5 am today for an hour’s walk, breakfast shortly with Amanda Clark, then a morning of critique, followed by an afternoon of professional one-on-ones, with a Scholes twins birthday part in the nmiddle.
In other words, another very busy day.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Posted: 6:36 am Sat July 28 2012 | Comments(1) |
[photos] My weekend in Vancouver, WA at Cascade Writers
A truly necessary stop sign
The Mystery Machine
© 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Posted: 6:30 am Sat July 28 2012 | Comments(0) |
[links] Link salad thinks Saturday night’s alright for fighting
Fernweh for Magellanica — Fernweh is what the Germans call that longing for faraway places, the poetic certainty that things are better elsewhere. But there is a superlative degree of geographic desire, a Fernweh even more sublime: the ache for fictional faraway places.
The Cost Of Free Doughnuts: 70 Years Of Regret — The risks of categorical change.
Why horn size matters when picking a mate
Older worker termites become exploding, toxic defenders — I know people like this.
In Sweden, Taking File Sharing to Heart. And to Church. — Uh, yeah. (Thanks, I think, to Dad.)
Three-planet system’s regular orbits hint at orbital chaos elsewhere — Systems evolve from one disk then have orbital interactions destabilize them.
Civic Virtue — Ta-Nehisi Coates on voting and citizenship. Worth the read.
Jeff Bezos Kicks Straight Support For Gay Marriage Up A Notch — Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie, announced their donation of $2.5 million in support of Washington’s gay marriage legislation this week Huh. Good for him. A case of doing the right thing in a fairly big way. However, Amazon is still prima facie a predatory business that victimizes authors. Bezos certainly isn’t buying back his reputation with me given his company’s business practices. On the other hand, he doesn’t care what I think.
Busted: Republican candidate’s companion voted for 5 years… after her death — Yep, that liberal voting fraud is rampant.
The Republican misinformation machine tackles the Internet — Speaking of Republican lies, and not letting the facts get in the way of a good bout of conservative outrage.
Phoniness and Diplomacy — I was struck by how several of Romney’s missteps were the result of his saying true things that he ought to have known not to say publicly.
Romney Abroad: Candidate Obama Did It Better in 2008 — Mitt Romney’s clumsy start to his overseas trip is shaping up as a stark contrast to candidate Barack Obama’s tour of the Middle East and Europe in July 2008, when he managed to strike perfect pitch at press conferences and in visits with foreign leaders.
Questions for Conservatives About Healthcare Reform — I frequently hear insured people say that if the ACA survives, it will mean they won’t have access to timely medical care. This tells me they not only believe they have a right to health care, but that they have a right to the prompt delivery thereof. And yet, they don’t seem to think people like me and my son have any right to it at all. Well, I disagree with them. I need heathcare reform and I think I deserve it, not from “the government,” but from the society that my family and I have contributed to and served for most of our lives. I’m not saying Obamacare is the answer. I’m only saying that we need to solve this problem and the uncaring rhetoric of my conservative friends is speaking so loudly that I’m finding it difficult to hear anything else they’re saying about healthcare reform. Written by someone who is apparently a religious conservative, demonstrating once again that no one, not even conservatives, likes conservative policies when applied to them personally. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
?otD: What are a couple of the sounds that you really like?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (60 minutes on Other Me)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski
Posted: 6:23 am Sat July 28 2012 | Comments(0) |
[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 1
Yesterday was the first day of Cascade Writers. Kind of a weird one for me, as I’d been home from North Carolina all of fifteen hours when I left again for the conference, and I’d slept half that time. Cascade Writers is in Vancouver, WA, which the other side of the Portland metro area from me, so it wasn’t exactly a haul.
We had a registration gathering, then a handful of us went out for dinner. Mmm, Burgerville onion rings. After that was the conference opening, then I gave an hour long talk on revision and editing. The evening wound up with me spending a bit of time in the hot tub. I retired earlier than is my wont at conventions and conferences due to needing to work today.
Up early for a long walk this morning.
Posted: 5:46 am Fri July 27 2012 | Comments(0) |
« Older Posts |