31 October, 2012

Official Voting Instructions From Lefty Central HQ: National Elections for Northern California

The party line ticket.

The good (Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi), the not-as-good (Barack Husein Obama) and the ugly (Diane Feinstein).

Diane Feinstein, for all her faults (and there are many) is the devil we know, same as the incumbent POTUS.
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So let's deal with the 800-lbs gorilla in the room: Democrats acting like Republicans.

DiFi and Obama are both (the former enthusiastically and the latter more moderately) in the "blue dog" camp, which is a Democrat who is willing to court votes on the right, wants to appear business friendly and will often vote in spite of the will of the party constituency (or at least stated orthodoxy).

They are hawkish on defense and willing to play games with civil liberties (especially those pertaining to due process - looking at you, Mr. President); they can be coy or waffle regarding civil rights, especially marriage equality (though Senator Feinstein has always been pro- and POTUS has come around due perhaps in no small part to his disaffected base).

Finally in the past Blue Dogs have been not as enthusiastic supporters to the right for choice.

This has resulted in the passage of a number of laws, nationally and in state legislatures, that are obnoxious to anyone who cares about reproductive health (as organizations such as Planned Parenthood are in the crossfire of the culture wars) or a woman's right to choose.

Those Blue Dogs may not be willfully malicious, but theirs is in this and many other cases a sin of omission.

It is the Blue Dogs loyalty that Obama courted in his first months in office and throughout 2009 in order to pass the Health Care Bill, with all its blemishes, and the approval of the Blue Dog caucus (officially, the Democratic Leadership Caucus or DLC).

In the name of "bipartisanship" the DLC, Obama and the Blue Dogs have allowed the extreme right to run rough shod over legislatures on the state and local and national theatres, sometimes by malice but usually in the name of pragmatism.

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On the right, or among the famously annoying undecided (eg, the audience for this post), there seems to be a lot of anxiety fomenting about the injustice of a two party system; hence the Tea Party and Libertarian resurgence.

These are the same people that confuse property with liberty and think that the right to have a gun is more important than the fact that I'd rather be alive than shot in the face, how's that for rights?

Not that gun control laws work. But the right has taken a bullshit reading of the 2nd Amendment and twisted it into an extreme ideology. I enjoy popping off a few rounds from a rifle as much as the next guy, but I'd rather dip my balls in fire ants than give 1¢ to the NRA, a organization dedicated to defending a single "right" over all others.

Pro gun or against gun, everyone should realize that since the NRA is so powerful, and that the candidates they support also support an extreme right-wing vision of the country. Supporting gun rights is practically akin to being anti-gay rights, anti-choice, pro-Dominionist, pro-Zionist and anti-union.

Support the NRA and you are buying the whole bill of sale.

Is the Democratic platform on guns wrong? Maybe in 1986, but it has evolved. Gun control has been abandoned because it's a poison pill with moderates (Americans who believe in the primacy of 2nd Amendment rights but may be open to socially liberal ideas or entitlement or fair taxation).

No, the ACLU forever gets my money, not the NRA, despite defending people whose ideologies I find deplorable, because at least they fight for real rights. Put that in your "well-organized militia and shove it", wingers.

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Make no mistake, up is down, black is white and Libertarianism is the crypto-fascist authoritarian dreams of people who aren't satisfied with the chest pounding jingoism the GOP today embodies. If you need any more proof, see the welfare programs for corporations and the rich they want to embolden and strengthen (fascism) and the entitlement programs they would gut (class warfare, anti-poor, anti-middle class, Plutocratic) and the programs they have no interest in, or worse, a desire to raze like public infrastructure, education, "tort reform" (code for: immunity for corporate citizens and the very wealthy) and the like.

Libertarianism is a non-starter for me, and it should be for anyone who can think past "I got my own, screw you."

Unfortunately it has a certain faux intellectual appeal and has attracted many intelligent people into lockstep with the designs of people like the Koch brothers who do not have their best interests in mind.

I'll skip the extended discussion about self-taxation. I'm glad the Kochs pay for things like NOVA and the like, but I still think they need to contribute to birth control for at risk women and harm reduction for drug abusers, like it or not.

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Ron Paul is a racist. I said it.

The race baiting of the right has been talked about exhaustively.

Gary Johnson is at least an honest broker of the above flawed Libertarianism. Paul is just a crypto-racist with a wing-nut following. Sorry.

The GOP is racist. I hear the dog whistles and you are fooling no one when you claim innocence. This whole issue of voter fraud has one goal: keep Democrats (blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the elderly) from voting.

It's Jim Crow, plain and simple. Shame on you.

Stop asking the leader of the free world for his papers. He's your president too, show some respect. No one asked for Bush's papers.

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I'm voting for bomby-McDrone, yes I am, because the alternative is killy-McMormon, ready to pull the trigger at Israel's beckoning on Iran. Then we all die, and the Dominionists get the last laugh (except they don't, because they will all be dead too, and there is no heaven or hell: Imagine that!).

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The skies have parted above central Oregon as I listen to Yousef Islam (né Cat Stephens) singing "I love everything, so don't it make you feel sad?".

The weather has been a bit drizzly in Oregon, as is seasonal.

On the East Coast it's been an apocalyptic shit-storm, literally, and it's only going to get worse as Climate Change drags on unabated.

Romney talks about disbanding and de-funding FEMA, and mocks the President's pledge to "slow the rise of the oceans."

Well, at least someone has pledged to try something, you and your God bothering party. I don't know what Romney really believes, if he believes in another other than himself and his magical underwear.

He shamelessly catered to Dominionists in the primaries, that vocal wing of the Republican Party that believes, quite literally, that God created everything for Man to have total dominion on. It's an Evangelical stance that has no room for climate science, or science at all, that forces women to have rape babies and that yearns for a reunited Israel, reformed in its original Biblical footprint, in order to bring about the Second Coming of Christ and the apocalypse.

These people are delusional and dangerous, no more advanced in their thinking about the world than the Taliban. They are the American Taliban, and they must be stopped.

I'm sitting in a hotel room now and on the TV there are back to back "ghost hunting" "reality" shows on Travel and SyFy. At least the latter is on a channel that at one time purported to be dedicated to fiction, which ghosts certainly are.

Click... click... "Bigfoot Hunters"... on the Science Channel? Discovery? History? "Sarah Palin's Alaska", "Hoarders", "True UFO History" and with a numbing coda of "COPS" and the like in case you didn't hate your fellow American enough ("this insane criminal was caught trying to flee the police, who he should have no reason to fear if he wasn't a bad, bad, drug using law breaker" rambles on John Walsh, who understandably lost his faith long ago).

These messages, they stick, they get into someplace deep within us, and they help us believe the lie that we aren't all in it together, that the next guy doesn't deserve the same breaks as I do, and that being lucky is a virtue of hard scrabble effort and not a combination of birthright, dumb luck, societal support, education, military hegemony and legacy.

You didn't built that. We did.

They say "there are no poor people in America, just temporarily embarrassed millionaires." And the chumps on reality TV. And ghosts. Ghosts everywhere, at least on the dial (pro-tip: in the olden days, dials were used to "tune" televisions to the dozen or so on-air channels), screaming incomprehensible banshee choruses at our faces ("FUCK IT, WE'LL DO IT LIVE!").

We have to turn the tide of the dumbification of America, and we need to fight ignorance with knowledge, fear with love and the Culture War with cultural progress.

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Still undecided?

You can take any position and pose them as binary choices (since they are). Iran war or not? Choice or not? Gay rights or not? Tax cuts for the rich or not? Austerity or not? Social security privatization or not? There's really only one clear choice. I will Jill Stein all the luck in the world, but she or Gary Johnson are not viable opponents to the Romney machine.

I believe in science, fair taxation of the wealthy, gay rights, a woman's right to choose, standing up to Israeli foreign entanglements, ending wars not starting them, clean energy, equal pay, the right for laborers to organize and I'm against corporate personhood and I'm voting Democratic.

24 October, 2012

Nacho Bike

Re: This bike isn't your stolen one :(
Inbox
x

Terry
11:19 AM (26 minutes ago)

to me
I'm sure the police have contacted you and given you the bad news ,it's not your bike.

Sent from my iPhone
Thanks a lot, jerk. I am sorry the PD wasted their time checking the bike you were selling out.

I am more sorry that you have wasted my time so thoroughly. Next time, when someone asks for proof of sale, you should consider offering it up on request.

Thank you SO MUCH for taunting me about it in email. I hope you never sell you bike, asshole.

20 October, 2012

Official Voting Instructions From Lefty Central HQ: Ballot Measure Edition


Prop 30 - Yes. The proposition asks the wealthiest Californians to invest in the state whose treasure they enjoy and whose economy enriches them.

Prop 31 - Needs more study.

SFBG says no, "gives governor too much power". Likes the idea of a 24 month budget, and some of the other proposals (more municipal control over funds), but does not like the bills complexity, suggests it is a grab-bag approach to fixing several critical problems at once and is leery of using propositions as legislative fixes for issues this critical.

I may be leaning toward "yes", throwing caution to the wind regarding executive power in lieu of budgetary fixes. Will need to look at polling data - would rather it lose by a slim margin that pass.

Prop 32 - No.

SFBG is emphatic that this is a no vote, citing SuperPAC's bearing down on Unions. That's good enough for this liberal.

The measure presents itself as an even-handed effort to reduce political spending by both unions and corporations. "Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors," reads the official ballot summary. 
But while payroll deductions are the main source of funding for labor unions — which use that money to advocate for the interests of their members and the broader working class — few corporations deduct money from their employee paychecks for political purposes. They tap the many other sources of funding at their disposal. 
Similarly, the measure claims to ban "union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees," yet it exempts many of the largest corporations from that restriction, allows even the corporations it does cover to bypass the restriction by forming super PACs, and it still allows corporate officers to funnel contributions to their favored candidates, making the corporate controls almost completely meaningless.

Prop 33 - No.

Attempt to undo consumer protections of insurance rates couched in discount for continuous insurance subscribers. This is a cost-shifting measure that would impact a sizable portion of California insurance subscribers negatively and would effectively dismantle many consumer protections. 

Furthermore, it specifically would target infrequent drivers or people who have giving up insurance for long periods due to: alternative transportation, unemployment, illness, etc.

Prop 34 - Yes.

The death penalty is immoral and does not accomplish what it claims: deterrence.

Furthermore, the death penalty is expensive. The prison system in general and death row specifically takes money out of the hands of teachers, emergency first responders, vital infrastructure projects and protecting the natural beauty of the great state of California.

We're a first world state, why are we employing a third world, barbaric punishment?

Prop 35 - No. "Tough on crime legislation" will further victimize sex workers.

Be ware of any law purporting to be "tough on crime," they are either ineffectual, like our gun laws, or succeed in furtherance of injustice, incarceration, civil rights violations and misery toward minorities and the poor (the drug war, three strikes laws, harsh minimum sentencing guidelines). These are almost always election cycle show pieces ("look at how tough on crime I am! Re-elect me!") and they are usually more damning than helpful, if helpful at all.
Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, mad that the state Legislature wouldn't pass a trafficking law to his liking and looking for an issue to run for office on, put up the money to place this mess on the ballot. It would rewrite the section in California's Penal Code that defines human trafficking, and impose harsher sentences on those found guilty. It requires that all those convicted of human trafficking — under an expanded definition that includes such non-sexual crimes as extortion — register on the sex offender registry, and that all registered sex offenders turn over their Internet usernames and passwords to the government.
Prop 36 - Yes.

Three-strikes reform measure to exclude non-violent crimes. A half-measure, but I'll take it:
Prop. 36 wouldn't repeal three strikes. It would simply require that the third strike offense be considered violent or serious. And it would provide a means for people currently serving ridiculously long sentences for relatively minor crimes to appeal and seek relief.
Prop 37 - Yes.

Chowbacca! makes this argument probably better than I could: http://www.chowbacca.com/2012/09/news-roundup-gmo-edition.html

Prop 38 - Yes, suck it up.

The state needs to raise funds for education, period, and will only be able to do that through a tax increase. The sliding scale starts at $7,300 a year (+0.4%, or about $30) and skews heavily toward a middle class tax burden, but is totally necessary.

Prop 39 - Yes.
Prop. 39 would change a loophole in the state's tax code that helps multistate businesses to avoid state taxes. In essence, the current law lets companies choose whether to base their state tax liability on in-state sales or a combination of sales, employment, and property. Companies with a lot of out-of-state employees are able to reap huge tax breaks — if anything the current law encourages outsourcing.
Prop 40 - Yes.
This referendum challenged the California Senate districts that were created early this year by the Citizen Redistricting Commission, an independent body that voters created as an alternative to the previous practice of letting politicians draw their own legislative districts after the decennial census. Those new districts aren't perfect — indeed, San Francisco was placed in a single Senate district instead of the pair we had — but the process that created them was widely lauded as "open, transparent, and nonpartisan," as the California Supreme Court ruled in rejecting a challenge to the districts. That ruling has caused the proponents of this measure — the side urging a "no" vote, which would invalidate the districts and let a judicial panel redraw them, whereas a "yes" vote upholds the existing districts — to drop their campaign and accept the commission's results. Vote yes. 

08 October, 2012

Fkn Bike Thieves.

I hope you all get gangrene.

Wo est mein bycicle?

Reward if found (unless by me, then probably a punch in the face):