Archive for November, 2006

2006.11.08

Ten New Worries for Congress

Just a few new worries I have for the new Democratic Congress in DC…

1: I worry that the apparent unity the Dems showed leading up to the Election yesterday will be shattered as the their diverse goals and priorities rise to the surface. Can they maintain the unity to work on issues that matter?

2: I worry that this morning’s contrite speech by President Bush is a hollow and meaningless speech. He’s talked many many times in the past about working with others, compromising, and making changes. Those never happened.

3: I worry that while portions of the country hail a “new era” in Congress, the new era won’t materialize.

4: I worry because what exactly is this “new era”? Do you know? While I found the nuevo-Republican’s agenda reprehensible, at least I could easily predict what they would say on almost any issue.

5: I worry that some people thinking that America has abondoned the Republican party will be taken to heart, just as in 1994 when people said the same thing of Democrats.

6: I worry that the Democrats don’t have their own Contract With America.

7: I worry that various pundits are going to call certain Republicans sore losers which isn’t going to help anyone move on to the business at hand.

8: I worry that President Bush is going to use his Executive Orders far more than he has in the past, and even that was a lot.

9: I worry that the Democratic leadership, satisfied with what they have accomplished, are done.

10: I worry that the “liberal”, “progressive”, and “independent” voters out there, satisfied with what they have accomplished, are done.

What are you worried about?

2 Comments | Catergorized: political

2006.11.07

Voter Marathon

I just got in to work after voting. Wow, was that a marathon! In addition to dozens of state and local elected official and approving or not approving about 10 judicial appointments, there were 13 state propositions and 11 for San Francisco. That was a lot of black ink and took a while to get through, yet there are a number of issues that could affect California for decades to come.

If you live in San Francisco and aren’t sure where to go to vote click here.

Vote! :)

Comments Off | Catergorized: life  political  san francisco

2006.11.06

Go and Vote

Tomorrow is Election Day in America. If you’re an American and don’t vote that is your right, but it is a terrible mistake.

Some people think that it’s better to not vote than to vote for bad candidates. Others feel that their vote doesn’t matter. For the first there is no excuse; run for office yourself. That or seek out people you do trust and help them advance your cause. If you feel your vote doesn’t matter consider the election for Governor of Washington in the last cycle. It was determined by a handful of votes. Sometimes people don’t think that ballot measures or propositions affect themselves.

Yes, there has been corruption in many elections. Write to your Congresspeople in DC and your State and tell them your thoughts. If enough people voice their discontent you would be surprised at how you and others can make a difference.

Finally, a special message to liberals. For too long you’ve sat on your asses with sad excuses not to vote. In addition to the excuses above I’ve heard people say that only a stupid person would vote for the conservative candidate. Whatever they are, you are more of an idiot for not voting. In races where the polls say your prefered candidate is ahead, don’t assume that the election is over. Polls are not an election. Vote. You are not entitled to wish your candidate into office. Only action will put him or her there.

Whatever your political inclination, though, go and vote. If we don’t then America truly belongs in the hands of corrupt, power-hungry, hypocritical, amoral, criminal, perverted, scandalous, career politicians who will take away more and more of your rights, put Americans in harms way, create a world where we are reviled not respected, and move us into a socio-political Dark Age.

Be a citizen. Vote.

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2006.11.05

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Comments Off | Catergorized: life  political  thoughts

2006.11.05

Battlestar Galacticons?

I was rather surprised to read this. “As the midterm elections approach, many conservatives are feeling betrayed by one of their most important allies in the war on terror: Battlestar Galactica.” Eh? What was that?

Over the sci-fi show’s first two seasons, many conservatives saw it as a pitch-perfect metaphor for the United States’ post-9/11 battle against Osama bin Laden and his Muslamonazi horde. … But alas, this love affair between Galactica and the right was not to last: in its third season, the show has morphed into a stinging allegorical critique of America’s three-year occupation of Iraq.

What did conservatives expect? Some right wing kowtowing like FOX News? BSG takes so many of our current political issues and flips them on their heads like abortion, elections, religion injecting itself in politics, the use of torture, secret courts, and many other moral and ethical issues. Did they really think that the writers and producers of Battlestar Galactica was really on their side? Or anyone’s side?

One of the cornerstones of science fiction (and good fiction in general) is to ask difficult questions and see how we, as human beings, would react in those situations. You see it in Star Trek with the characters refusing to betray their beliefs for the sake of expediency. Asimov and PK Dick asked if we should treat robots as equals if they are sentient. Heinlein wondered if a fascist society could be a potentially good thing. These questions are asked to we can vicariously experience what life would be like under different circumstances, to try to expand our perceptions of the world we live in (sometimes even when we don’t like it), and while sometimes the reaction we have is pure escapism sometimes, once in a while, we gain an insight into our own human nature and it’s a revelation.

BSG asks big questions, too. Do you steal an election because losing would probably make things worse? If humanity is down to only 40,000 people do you ban abortion even if you believe in a woman’s right to choose? Is suicide bombing any different than sending a pilot on a mission where the pilot has no chance of returning alive? Maybe instead of feeling betrayed that BSG isn’t catering to their world view these “Galacticons” should examine if the circumstance presented in the show don’t ring true, and if they were in the same situations whether they would act any differently.

Socrates (I believe it was) stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” BSG -and science fiction in general- must examine life also, or it’s not worth watching.

Comments Off | Catergorized: political  tv

2006.11.04

Great Sympathy for a Rational Conservative

John Cole from the conservative blog Balloon Juice has reached a point where he can’t believe in the current GOP or many of those supporting them.

In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.

I find this sad. It hurts. I’ve said before that the current GOP is not the traditional GOP that believed in small and limited government, the right to be left alone from government intrusion, strong defense (having a strong military is not the same as a strong defense), pro-entrepreneurial business, and more. Markos, founder of the almost insanely Democratic blog DailyKos, feels John Cole’s hurt.

But whatever decision he has ahead, he has already made one important one — he’ll refuse to be a conservative sycophant. That would’ve been his easiest option, and the one almost universally taken by his conservative colleagues. His next step, no matter which one he takes, will be much, much tougher.

I wish others who have joined the current conservative cult would open their eyes as well.

Comments Off | Catergorized: life  political  thoughts

2006.11.04

Military Editorials

If you needed any more evidence that perhaps all isn’t well in Iraq, here is an editorial that will run in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corp Times. It calls for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

No news on whether the Stars and Stripes will also carry the editorial. I wonder what will be discussed at this conference?

Comments Off | Catergorized: political

2006.11.01

A Couple Halloween Pics

For those interested, I posted a few pictures from the Halloween party. These are from Mookee and Hiromi Kadowaki.

Comments Off | Catergorized: friends  life  photos
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