Archive for November, 2012

On the side of Angels?

November 26, 2012

It is the boast of Republicans that theirs is the just party, that they are champions of morality and goodness, that they alone can lead our country righteously.

And then there are the things Republican politicians actually do:

Such as Romney stranding his workers by canceling their campaign credit cards. These workers had been sent by the campaign to where they should be most effective: which means many red staters were left in swing states to figure out their own way home.

And Linda McMahon’s (R) failed campaign giving bad checks to staffers– enclosed with a condom to indicate they were screwed.

But the petty cruelty on display after the election pales compared to the betrayals of democracy that happened during the election:

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and a former GOP chairman both admit that laws in Florida limiting voting hours were “intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters.”

I’ll be waiting for similar admissions regarding every state which had Voter ID laws or voting hours changed just before the election, but in the meantime, here is Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai regarding his state’s voter ID law:

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Sokka Sunday, Comfy Cat Edition

November 18, 2012

Beautiful American Cussedness

November 12, 2012

6 days ago the final votes were made, and the tallies reveal some remarkable things, such as the youth vote increasing by a percent from 2008.

More impressive than that, though, is the American response to people trying to suppress our votes.

In Florida, early voting days were cut from 14 to 8 by Florida Secretary of State Rick Detzner (R). In response, people waited for 6 hours to vote or- in some cases- left after a long wait one day only to come back and vote another.

In Pennsylvania, Republican legislators tried to reduce the vote by passing a restrictive Voter ID law, which was then blocked by a judge. And the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) originally tried to have extended voting hours in Republican leaning counties, and not in Democratic leaning counties. When that was challenged, the hours were made the same in all areas- but much shorter than had been planned for the Republican counties. The outcome in both cases? The states went Democratic in the Presidential contest.

Let me just make this clear, in case the election results didn’t: Don’t suppress our votes, we don’t like it, we will vote, and we will vote against whoever tries to prevent our vote.

American Elections: Needs Improvement

November 11, 2012

It’s been 5 days since the American people reelected President Barack Obama, but I’ve been thinking about how we could get more people voting since I read that somewhere on the order of 90 million eligible voters would not be voting this year.

Now, most of these are merely logistical tweaks to make it easier to vote rather than methods of encouraging people to do so, but here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Election day should be a federal holiday- this should be obvious. In this country we extol voting as the duty of every American, and we have a day off for Columbus (!) but not for voting? This must be rectified.
  • Mail-in-ballots should not require postage. This should be built into the system. If you are sending your ballot through the United States Postal Service to do your civic duty as an American, you should not need to first go out and buy stamps.
  • Public transit should be free on election day. We should be able to vote, even if we don’t have cars.
  • The Electoral College should be replaced with direct popular vote. Currently, if you are in a strongly partisan state, your vote for President has much less value than if you live in a swing state- the awareness of this fact serves to depress voter turnout and reduce engagement even for state and local matters where the Electoral College has no direct effect.
  • Voting machines without paper trails should be eliminated with extreme prejudice. We cannot afford to have either the reality or the appearance of crooked elections.
  • We need to have Citizens United (Orwellian naming schemes, how reassuring) undone. People should not have to compete with multinational organizations for control of the country. I’m not picky about how to undo that ruling: Constitutional amendment could work if the justice system doesn’t clean its own house. (This country was formed after the British Crown taxed the colonialists to make up for a tax break to a too-big-to-fail East India Company, one of the first multinational corporations. Don’t try to tell me that an impartial ruling based on the constitution indicates that the founders wanted companies to be treated like people.)

 

Please share more ideas in the comments.

Sokka: Cat of Light and Shadow

November 10, 2012

 

 

And other absurdly pretentious titles. Here are the pics:

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas

November 9, 2012

This movie, a story about a mid-life crisis, has wonderful music and engaging characters…

… I know. Mid-life crisis?

The main character is a man successful in his field, but he feels empty:

He decides on a drastic change in career, radically changes his wardrobe and gets a new ride:

And starts a romance with a woman much younger than him:

At the end, the moral is that it isn’t a matter of what you do, but of loving whatever you do, and making connections along the way.

So, my dear readers, am I wrong?

I’ve returned.

November 9, 2012

Now that I’m back, I’m planning on spending more time articulating, organizing and developing my ideas, and spending less time on daily politics. I’m also thinking of adding more weekly topics to join Sokka, (who will still be appearing on weekends, fear not) and spending some time reviewing occasional extraordinary nonfiction as well as fiction.

Starting with a somewhat unusual take on Nightmare before Christmas, which I will post shortly.