Thursday, November 27, 2008
This has, in the GC Household, been a year of losses and growth, with much for which to be thankful.
A decades long pain in the neck is largely removed from my life, and that I had the courage to finally say "enough" and recognize that at some point, discovering that someone (regardless of their goodness or badness as persons) is bad *for me*, is something of a gift for which I am grateful though it is not a cost-free situation.
That two weeks after my fathers funeral in January I lost my job, and have been job-hunting since as I burn through my resources is more challenging to be thankful for, but on the flip side I was unhappy in that job and had I not been let go, would likely have stubbornly clung to an unhappy position rather than risk the job market. If naught else, being let go opens the door for me to find a happier place to labor in search of my daily dollar.
Further, I am thankful that the job situation (however dismaying I find it) left me available to serve as nurse and chauffeur after my mom's back surgery and her impending knee surgery.
That despite the turmoil, I have a roof over my head (and probably too much) food to keep me nourished is something for which I am thankful.
I am grateful for the opportunity to mentor a newcomer in the firearms activism community, and give back to that community some of the guidance that was graciously provided to me when I showed up as a cranky (Well, what do you expect, I'm a cynic!) over-energetic newbie out to solve the problem of anti-gun moonbats in fifteen minutes or less. Newbies to activism need that "sitting upon till they calm down", and I'm thankful for the opportunity to give back.
Much as I regret the necessity, I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the process to stop or repeal the Nickels gun ban - both as a pro2A sort, and as a believer in "we elect mayors, not kings".
I am thankful for this forum that allows me to vent, perhaps hone my writing skills, and to occasionally exercise my muse.
I am thankful that thus far that Obama has only nominated one absolutely dreadful potential cabinet member, Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder, thus far. It could be far worse.
I am grateful for our troops abroad, and the difficult and dangerous work they do.
There is the much to be thankful for - may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and dine on turkey and stuffing with gravy to satiation.
On balance, there is much for which to be thankful ...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
By way of Random Nuclear Strikes, by way of Ace, by way of Confederate Yankee, by way of the USMC.
The few, the proud, the...U.S. Marines...
To do the issue justice, over the centuries, marriage and marriage-like relationships have performed a veritable legal drag show, appearing in different and evolving guises over the years. We need only look at the anti-miscegenation laws (inter-racial marriage/relationships) passed and repealed in our own country, the rise and fall of Mormon polygamy (still a subject for occasional debate and police raids), arranged marriages (and the more familiar corollary in this country, the requirement of the brides fathers or eldest living male relatives consent) to realize that even this tiny subset of changes hints at the vaster changes in the institution in North America, Europe, and beyond.
Things have, for instance, changed since the days when excessive affection between spouses (in private, even) was considered poor form, and protestant preachers railed against affectionate "pet" names and familiarity between spouses, lest it undermine the husbands authority.
I will leave it for another time, but ample evidence exists that in at various times and places over history that, indeed, same sex marriage (or things so oddly similar as to beggar other explanation) has existed without the world ending, or societies dissolving in response.
That said, however, where do we go from here?
Ever hear of that old phrase, "Everything old is new again?"
I suggest that marriage as we know it today has three separate functional pieces or jobs -
1) A religious ceremony.
2) An established relationship structure with specific and broad rights and responsibilities and organized default entry and exit strategies.
3) A familial element, the notion of caring for minors (pre-existing or appearing on scene after the marriage commences) and in the longer term, the partners caring for each other in their old age and thus reducing the burden of the aging upon the taxpayer even as the aging partners independence and experience are preserved and enhanced (ideally).
Again, the wild-eyed libertarian that I am, I favor a minimum of state intrusion. If only for the sake of keeping the bloodshed from spontaneous techniques to a minimum, I favor at an absolute minimum some kind of "this is how you break up without emulating Henry VIII or variations thereupon" kind of mechanism - the whole "judge as mediator/arbitrator" thing has a whole bunch of good things going for it, not least among them the aforementioned faint vague hope of keeping the bloodshed to a minimum.
I favor the notion of divorcing the civil and societal elements (i.e., all the legal privileges, obligations, benefits, etc.) from the religious element. In other words, under this scheme any church (and no, you don't get to draw me into the red herring of defining who's a church and who isn't) can perform - or refuse to perform - any little old wedding ceremony between competent and consenting adults that thrills their little hearts...such ceremony will simply be wholly irrelevant (not unlike a funeral) to the legal system.
The flip side of this is that suddenly the *civil* variety of marriage is the only one recognized by the courts and is available to all competent and consenting adults outside of a reasonable degree of consanguinity and, perhaps, a pre-marital requirement of "full disclosure" of any pre-existing health conditions between the parties to the grand event.
Anyway, that approach probably makes far too much sense for it to ever to occur.
Monday, November 24, 2008
SEATTLE MAYOR SAYS HE WILL BAN GUNS YOUR PUBLIC COMMENTS NEEDED
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has launched an attack on law-abiding gun owners who either live in the city, or visit there, by forging ahead with a plan to ban all firearms, including those legally carried by law-abiding citizens. He is doing this in defiance of an opinion from Attorney General Rob McKenna that such a ban would be illegal under Washington State’s model preemption statute.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms encourages Washington State residents, and citizens from across the country who regularly visit Seattle, to submit comments to the city via its website:
On December 15, 2008, a public hearing will be held in the Bertha Knight Landes room at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, with sign-in beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Mayor Nickels’ proposed plan would impair the rights of citizens to bear arms, as affirmed by Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution. He would prevent citizens licensed to carry firearms in public places from exercising that right on city-owned property, including city parks and the Seattle Center.
Citizens may also e-mail Mayor Nickels directly: seattle.gov/mayor/citizen_response.htm
You may also call the Mayor's office: (206) 684-4000.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The secret ballot issue rotates around the ease with which voter intimidation can be accomplished - if the ballot is open for all to review "who voted for what" it is both dreadfully easy to meet out punishment upon those who oppose union representation - but also to point out well in advance that such punishment will be doled out.
A secret ballot tends to make that process of intimidation and punishment much more challenging for the naughty.
But back to that advertisement. CBS wouldn't air it (the other MSM networks did not seem to have a problem) because the advertisement showed unvoiced video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi...because they were afraid it would "confuse" viewers...
View below, and decide if you're too ditzy to comprehend what's going on...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The various folks who contributed to Prop 8 had every right to do so, and to participate in the political process. I may disagree with them, some of them I may specifically dislike, but that really doesn't have anything to do with their rights.
Similarly, the various folks who donated to the No On 8 campaign had every right to donate to the campaign *they* believed in.
HOWEVER, just because an election is over, doesn't mean there is some divine commandment to "shut up now and take your medicine". Neither is there such a commandment along the lines of "those who donated to victorious campaigns against you and yours are immune from law-abiding acts of retribution". Finally, there seems to be a distinct lack of divine instructions about "thou shalt not go to court over initatives victorious at the polls that thou findeth obnoxious".
So, guess what? For good or ill, LGBT folks and their friends have *every right* to take to the streets, wave signs, engage in creative protest and litigation, and refuse to hire or do business with those they perceive as having done us serious harm.
Just as would the "Pro-8" forces would have every right to do so should a constitutional amendment be passed to deny them the right to marry and to invalidate their existing marriages.
The *most compelling* argument I've heard against massive LGBT protests, blacklists, and boycotts is not "the voters have spoken, shut up". It is "backlash sucks, lets fight this in a year or two, we have Conneticut after all, let's not piss off the fence-sitters and those who barring our pissing them off, just don't give a damn about LGBT folks one way or another." And that argument I don't find especially compelling.
What I would suggest, however, is that there is a *line* in protesting that the wise activist DOES NOT CROSS. It's pretty basic, really - the swiftest way for any activist group or individual to completely undermine their own cause is to injure folks (or scare the crap out of them with envelopes of white powder, in this day and age...) or damage property (arson is tacky, don't ya know).
There are exceptions, including ones where armed insurrection is wholly justified. But they are, thankfully, damned rare and almost always involve someone on the other side getting somebody in our community dead or injured. Most other things can be fixed with time and litigation.
That still leaves an AWFUL lot of room to express dismay with vast and mighty creativity...without setting ourselves up to face former allies and potential allies turned at best substantially less friendly towards us.
In short, even without Gay Marriage (a laudable goal I believe we'll see in the next few years), when we look at the 50's, the 70's, or even the 90's - we've really got a pretty good thing going as a community, and while progress is desireable and good - so is not screwing up the relatively decent situation we've got.
That's my take...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Yeargh. Just finished pulling an all-nighter, and got the email this morning that they would be sending a whole bunch of photo's north via e-mail ...to arrive this afternoon or evening. Suspect I'll have to chat with them when I'm a tad more rational about "reasonable expectations" and "how much you get for a couple of hundred dollars."
Note: If you don't want a pissy layout guy, don't surprise him with the need to generate articles from whole cloth or do a whole bunch of last minute photo work (photo's, especially ones that require extensive photo-shopping to be presentable, are very labor intensive). Grrr.
If you want a rush job WITH a lot of photo's...have them READY.
1) 150dpi+, 300dpi photo resolution is better for any kind of print edition you're not cooking out on a bottom end inkjet (the second most expensive way per page).
2) If you know how, have the photo or graphics in .tiff format. Yes it's big...but it's SOOOO much more flexible.
3) Go ahead and if you know how, convert your color palette on all graphic and photo images to CMYK, not RGB. CMYK makes print shops happy. RGB makes them REALLY cranky.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I think, just about now, if I were Bush....I'd be gathering a list of everyone that the Democrats might conceivably be thinking of investigating (and a few they weren't), then issue each of them general pardons for charged and uncharged past mis-steps...and at the same time issue identical pardons to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and to the DNC (as per the suggestion of a fellow blogger), promptly resign, and let Dick Cheney pardon *ME*.
And in giving the announcement speach, I'd open with "In the fine tradition of Bill Clinton, and what I fully expect to be the vastly expanded upon tradition of Barack Obama..."
Followed shortly by running like hell for Texas...
The GOP has three major problems (aside from George Bush) that alienate critical voter demographics.
The Theocratic Right scares the bejabbers out of the average voter, and with their social-interventionist want list (Anti-abortion, Anti-gay, maximized suffering, and Christian Nationalism) will continue to scare the bejabbers out of that average moderate or libertarian voter that, while increasingly common, simply wants to be let alone to seek perdition in his or her own way with a minimum of taxes. The GOP needs those voters to survive as a viable party.
Simply coming off as an especially scary "because God(dess) told me so" variant on control freak isn't exactly going to win friends and deliver votes amongst the crowd the GOP has lost.
Demonizing and baiting the gay community must end, as it serves only as red meat to the Theocratic right while alienating younger and more centrist voters in spades.
Abortion, as a matter of law, is similarly a long lost battle (if ever it was worth winning) - like many other issues, abortion seems to be a morally challenging decision best decided between the patient, their medical advisor, and such divine influence as they acknowledge and accept for themselves - and, with a few small exceptions, all parties are ill-served by all but the most minimal government intervention in the operation and maintenance of individuals own bodies.
Modern medicine offers many miracles, not least among them amazingly improved survival rates from once-dire situations. However, the greatest fear of many is to be rescued from one medical adventure or another to live a long, miserable, pain-filled, semi-vegetative existence wired to so much life support gear that death's precious escape is denied well beyond the time when it is but a simple mercy.
The blind opposition of the Theocratic Right to DNR orders, let alone Death with Dignity options for the terminally ill, not surprisingly is less than enchanting to anyone who has ever accompanied a loved one on that long miserable medically-lengthened journey towards that final goal, and terrifying to those old or infirm enough to have realized they are not immortal or immune from mishap.
Finally, the United States is not and was never intended to be a "Christian Nation" - rather, we are and have (more or less reluctantly) been a refuge and champion of freedom of faith, with neither malice nor favor towards any faith our goal. Advocating to the contrary alienates those of non-mainstream faiths, and further, to the extent church and government intertwine, they are both diminished - a rare instance of the sum being substantially less than the parts.
With their current dogma, the Theocratic Right is largely an occasionally politically useful dead stinking pelican hanging about the neck of the GOP - driving off potential allies with its' stench and inspiring ridicule in the populace.
Someone once said that those who must declare their faith in the market place are inherently unfaithful - that the truly faithful are content to lead by example. Perhaps a hint was being given.
Immigration is fundamentally fouled up. Yet, the GOP (barring this issue) is fundamentally the favored party of immigrants, as the vast majority are fleeing flawed and failed nations. More than a few are fleeing tyrannies, socialist and otherwise, petty and grand mal, murderous and benevolent - but consistently fled from for the hope that is the United States, wanting absolutely no part of bringing the old nightmares of the homeland to fruition in their new homes.
We do not have secure borders, and it will be vastly expensive to achieve them - but worthwhile, as no other actual reform can take place without having a fairly good hold on who is entering and exiting the nation. Without secure borders, throwing some out of the country isn't terribly much more than an exercise in political drama if wandering back in is relatively easy.
Our system of immigration law is fundamentally dysfunctional, layered with surprising little high-stakes pitfalls for the immigrant seeking to be law-abiding and those lawful residents seeking to pursue citizenship. The GOP has an opportunity to dredge out this legalistic swamp in favor of something that is actually on speaking terms with logic, rather than a system based on the legislated bigotries du jour accumulated in one muck-filled bucket after another over a century or more - and score major points with the immigrant demographic in the process.
As part of a process of immigration reform that hopes to succeed, some form of filter must be put in place to separate the proverbial sheep from the goats, followed by exporting the goats to their native lands (or at least anyplace but here). There are vast numbers of immigrants whose presence enriches our communities, foster innovation in business, support our industry, and in general are a clear benefit to the nation.
There are other, less charming, immigrants who regardless of their legal status are swindlers, cheats, smugglers, thieves and generally net losses to whatever society is cursed with their presence (we have a sufficiency of homegrown ones of this sort, after all). A great expulsion of these excessively naughty folks must then take place - best defined as participants in violent crime, not economic rule-breaking.
The great Neo-Con disconnect, i.e., liberalism lite, is simply a soup con of domestic and foreign interventionalism with a slightly different philosophical tinge. Big government from the right, rather than from the left, and damn the torpedoes. After brief popularity, it failed in the popular imagination because of its' own lack of imagination - after all, just as a bad burrito twice-chewed hurled up and refried (even served as a delicacy) is still just a bad burrito...now-defiled by prior treatment, no matter how you dress it up. Again, we observe a dead stinking albatross hanging about the neck of the GOP, driving off the libertarian and centrist voters by the mere stench of the thing.
Some suggest that letting the GOP implode into a thousand fractious factions to coalesce again, rising as a phoenix from the ashes, a cleaner and purer bird is the best solution - claiming that the conflagration would take out the DNC as well, from a sheer lack of countervailing pressure to keep the equally mutually hateful and conflicted cliques of the DNC from spontaneous and massive fratricide.
It may be that is the eventual path our nation must take, and perhaps it might even bless us with a true multi-party system rather than the practical duopoly we currently endure.
However, it's also a high-risk path to blow up the opposition in the face of a messianic rhetorician of uncommon skill - for who will counterbalance the Obamessiah's claptrap in the event of GOP fragmentation?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I do not. I have no issue with a black/asian/latino/male/female/transgender/gay/bi/het/lesbian person sitting in the Oval Office, per se. To me those are simply not relevant considerations (though I will confess the small sin of wanting a black lesbian libertarian republican elected president, merely so I can expire from excessive giggling as the heads of a delightfully high number of "true believers" on the left and right spontaneously explode from sheer cognitive dissonance).I do not object to Obama as a person - he seems like he'd be a joy to sit around a fireplace with, sipping beverage of choice, arguing the problems of the world late into the night.I vehemently object to Obama as President, and anticipate a national nightmare on the order of the Wilson administration. Coming up through hardball Chicago politics, tutored by Fr Pflaeger and Reverend Wright, compatriot of Bill Ayres, and with previously stated policy aspirations including a national ban on concealed carry and a permanent Evil Black Gun ban combined with intimidation of non-sycophantic media and the Missouri "Truth Enforcement Squads" - there is plenty of reason to be worried for our country, our freedoms, and our continued happiness as individuals.
And then there's the economy...where apparently we'll see a re-invention of the New Deal and all the damage it did, but writ large.I don't need to theorize when I can look at past actions during and prior to the campaign.
Appointing Rahm Emanuel, a wildly partisan champion of a pitbull in the best ward boss grudge-holding vindictive SOB tradition of Chicago as Obama's Chief of Staff - well, that only confirms for me the "take no prisoners, piss on the remains" nature of the coming administration.
May God, or whatever deity you like, help us....
Gay or straight, we're going to need it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The effect of Nickels proposal, if somehow passed, would be to bar open or concealed carry by law-abiding citizens (CPL-holders, in the second instance) in City Parks, Woodland Park Zoo, Libraries, City Hall, and any other City property or facility (marked or unmarked, posted or unposted) you'd care to name by the mechanism of a rule requiring any city employee aware of any armed person not an active law enforcement officer in pursuit of their duties to first issue a formal trespass warning to such persons, and then summon officers to write a trespass citation (misdemeanor) against any such notified person still remaining on city property or in a city facility. While we have yet to see it, such a trespass notice could be a permanent bar - wiping out, say, ones ability to go to City Council and offer testimony.
Given that Nickels has yet to do more than bloviate and scheme, a lawsuit is sadly premature. Before one can take Nickels and the City to court for an egregious violation of law and violation of civil rights, Nickels and his cronies must first commit the actual evil deed. One cannot sue pre-emptively in these matters.
However, in December he apparently proposes to hold formal hearings prior to enacting his ban. Right about that time, expect lawsuits to be warming up, and if you're fiscally equipped and have standing (i.e., suffer a plausible injury or deprivation of rights due to City action) you might contact the Second Amendment Foundation about strategy and tactics.
At that December meeting, however, as a community we need every breathing body we can turn out in some kind of business attire (if possible) demonstrating a calm yet determined demeanor and filling the meeting area from wall to wall. As the time grows nearer, I'm sure additional strategy will emanate from our communities leaders. If we're lucky, a massive turnout will discourage Nickels and his Cease Fire loons from an attack on Pre-emption (an assault expected in Olympia, Jan. 09).
That, however, doesn't mean those of us in the 2A and Civil Rights community need to or should sit about waiting for Nickels & Co to engage upon their venture into tyrannical ninnyhood.
Instead, we can start the letter-writing/calling/emailing of our elected representatives and the media to ensure that such ninnyhood meet the most hostile response possible. Be polite, be knowledgeable, and be aware that the media will often choose to use your own quotes in a less than flattering fashion.
Be sure to mention how this policy increases the risk of gay bashing in city parks and facilities, by ensuring that law-abiding gay folk are helpless in the face of the rising number of hate crime based assaults. Mention that this enhances the vulnerability of pedestrians to dangerous dogs and predatory (and sometimes larcenous) two-legged critters.
Remember that threats and rants telegraph punches. That this is presently a matter of STATE statute and constitutional law. And play nicely, for the moment.
Seattle Times: email@example.com
Seattle Post Intelligencer: firstname.lastname@example.org
KIRO TV: http://www.kirotv.com/contact/index.html
KING TV: email@example.com
KOMO TV: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised Code of Washington (Pre-emption section re firearms)
Next up for Election: November 2009
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2011
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2011
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2009
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2009
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2011
Seattle City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2009
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2009
Seattle City Council Member
Next up for Election: November 2011
Watch the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Both based in Bellevue, they have promised to initiate legal action if, and when, Mayor Nickels issues his executive order.
Such legal action may also involve the National Rifle Association, with whom they are currently suing the State of Washington over alien firearms licensing. Join and support these organizations because the legal challenge will be expensive.
Meanwhile, we're all going to need to keep a constant eye on Olympia as it's a good bet we'll see a serious assault on state pre-emption by the Seattle contingent (Nickels, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Adam Kline, etc). Seattle has been bullying the state in Olympia since it was founded, and is in deep need of a really thoroughgoing reality check.
Key to our success is the old truism "Don't be dumb", in combination with "if it makes you giggle, it's probably a bad idea".
The temptation to go head to head with megalomaniacal and wrong-headed sorts may be strong, it's almost certainly a bad and counterproductive notion. Such open defiance could well foul up impending lawsuits and sabotage efforts to preserve pre-emption in Olympia.
The nice thing about demonstrations is that while they may not be the best tool for today, they store really well on the shelf and can always be brought out as an option later - ideally coordinated across the 2A community for maximum impact, with everyone from the Ducks Unlimited folks to the Open Carry crowd joining the party, and driving home the point.
What we can't accomplish as individuals, or even as sub-groups in the community - as a coordinated body we can achieve with verve and charm.
Dave Workman, over at SAF/CCRKBA, asks all interested to contact him with their email address so he can keep them up to date with alerts and such.
A limited supply of All Natural Multigrain Pancake Mix by Coach's Oats is available for direct sale to the populace. To purchase, call 714-692-6885.
They also report that Costco stores in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho in December will resume selling the pancake mix after its successful debut earlier this year.
If you want Costco to continue carrying the mix, call or email them.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
In Washington in the early hours of evening, it appears that Gregoire will return to a second term as Governor of Washington by a hair thin margin - and that as a state and nation we have suffered a horrifying game change. It will be at least a week before we know for sure.
Obama will be inaugurated with a quite possibly filibuster-proof Democrat-Controlled Congress and no brakes on his liberal and anti-gun steamroller , in fact, encouraged by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (never met an anti-gun measure she didn't support) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Obama, endorsed by the Communist Party of the United States, seems likely to bring vast and difficult to repair changes to our nation. He supports a federal ban on concealed carry . He supports the creation of a civilian "national security force" fully the size and cost of the U.S. Military, bringing to mind questions of to whom such a group would be responsible, and under what principles it would operate...and raised eyebrows from students of history familiar with the Sturm Abteilung of pre-WWII Germany, a group with such charm that anything even slightly resembling it should produce twitches and nervousness in the prudent.
Under an Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime we can only expect an uphill battle to allow gun owners to peacefully meet, let alone actually sell guns to each other at *gasp* a gun show. We can expect yet another uphill battle to prevent our nation being saddled with yet another, permanent, EBG ban. We can expect further intimidation of any media daring to dissent .
We face the threat of Universal Health Care - "all the competence of FEMA, all the compassion of the IRS." For an example of just how bad that can be, take a long cold look at the NHS of formerly Great Britain.
In the face of Gregoire gubernatorial re-election, at the state level, we look at a Legislature with both houses firmly held by Democrats (few of whom support the civil rights of gun owners), the statehouse held by perennial opponent Gregoire, and the most powerful (if inept and arrogant) Mayor in Washington dragging his pet police chief to the '09 Legislative Session in Olympia to attempt repeal of statewide pre-emption regarding firearms laws, broaden the range of restricted areas, abolish gun shows, and generally wreak havoc upon the land. That is the change offered us by Washington State Democrats.
With an Obama presidency, a Democrat-dominated Congress, and the possibility of a second Christine Gregoire term, we are in deep and foul stuff as gun owners and private citizens.
As has been shown again and again, Obama and Co. support free speech that supports their goals and aspirations wholeheartedly - dissent, not so much. Most recently we've seen Obama & Co. recruit elected local law enforcement leaders to investigate and prosecute dissenters, intimidation of television stations via threats to their licenses.
We all need to start thinking about "where do we go from here?" and whether the GOP as currently constituted, is fundamentally dysfunctional...
For the next 4-8 years we'll be running the Red Queen's Race - running like hell to stay in the same place.
A friend has already texted me "we are winning" in response to the various indicators of an Obama victory. This is at 7:20 p.m. PST. I reply, "god help us all", and we go about our evening on friendly terms.
USAToday and their lovely county by county map shows only a few counties have come in, nationwide, and of those that have come in, an awful lot of them are Republican Red. Oddly, the Google map are showing entire states of these mostly GOP Red counties tumbling to Obama - what gives?
Still, there remains hope. At 8 p.m. election results will be released by the 38 counties in Washington - we'll see what that brings.
Next posting a little after 8 p.m.
At 7:34 Oprah is bubbling away giddily, if somewhat prematurely. The night is far from over yet, though it may be a bit much to hope that we see McCain triumphantly waving an "Obama Triumphs!!" headline over his head while giving his victory speech.
In passing, Sen. Charles Schumer is already burbling away about the joys of re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine on at least the broadcast media (and knowing him, in his heart of hearts, he's plotting to saddle the blogosphere with some variant of it).
The Senate is looking more and more precarious, with the potential of a larger-looming filibuster-proof Democratic Majority looking more and more likely.
Meanwhile, we hear of Pennsylvania with both direct voter intimidation by individuals dressed as Black Panthers; and in other Pennsylvania news, Philadelphia is experiencing campaign fraud and chaos instigated by their own poll workers.
And we creep ever closer to 8:00 p.m....
8:00 P.M. ABC claims Electoral votes at 207-141 Obama-McCain. ABC is now officially projecting that Obama will be our next President, god help us. Western and Midwest states actual results not in yet, and could (with more than a fair amount of luck) provide a helluva surprise to ABC yet. Polls *just* closed in Washington, and folks still waiting in line in many states are still entitled to vote if they were in line at local "closing time" - aren't projections great?
Celebrations have begun, but the night is not over...hold on tight and stay at home, folks.
ABC is now projecting Obama with 297 electoral votes and projecting McCain with 145. Fox hasn't called it yet, and no electoral data from much of the West Coast. As excited as crowds seem, if the electoral trend reverses, things may become a bit exciting.
Joe Huffman, over on his blog, posts some salient words on the matter. Socialism is a bloody-handed sociopath, regardless of how mellifluous and seductive its prophets may be - hold on tight, this is going to get ugly and take a long time to fix.
8:15 P.M. ABC is already working to bury McCain in flowers and irrelevancy. Dear God. At 8:18 p.m. McCain concedes. God help us all.
He could have at least waited for the votes to come in (for real, rather than in fanciful projections). I was not a fan, but this disappointments me yet further. With such an early concession, the man betrays our nation. That he should at least wait till dawn (or even midnight, in the West) seems only reasonable and a basic responsibility of any presidential candidate.
May God have mercy on this nation, for Obama and his ilk will not.
McCain basically advises us, in the spirit of appeasement, to bend over and not worry about reaching for the lube. He urges us to come together and bury differences to work with Obama.
The hell with that.
Let the fun begin. Let us support Obama with every bit of enthusiasm and encouragement that George Bush received. More to come. A few moments of mourning will ensue before blogging resumes on state issues and candidates.
At 8:34 p.m., the King County website is rather predictable. Tim Eymans Initiative 985 is going down to defeat (and is doing poorly at the state website as well, presently). Initiative 1000, Death with Dignity, is doing well in King County and at the state level. Initiative 1029, god help us, is also passing...quite possibly requiring Washingtonians to either employ certify aides or spend time and treasure to become themselves certified to help their aging parents.
9:01 p.m. - it is much too early to call the local races, in my opinion. Thus, the live blog concludes for the evening.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I live in the 7th Congressional District of Washington, if that helps...
House of Representatives, WA-7th Dist.: Steve Beren. He's not Jim McDermott. I'd like to see some strong material that supports a libertarian view of gay marriage and of firearms ownership, but I'm willing to start with "He's not McDermott".
Governor: Dino Rossi, GOP. He's balanced a seriously screwed up state budget before, he's gun-friendly, and for the most part, doesn't give much of a damn about gay folk one way or another. And he hasn't pissed away a huge state budget surplus into an impending 3.2 billion dollar state deficit.
Lt. Governor: Marcia McCraw, GOP - not out of any active dislike or distate for the incumbent, Brad Owens, but more in the spirit of "throw the bastards out". I am not presently happy with my state elected officials.
Secretary of State: Sam Reed, GOP. Only because I don't see anyone better. Not, IMHO, exactly the best election security guru. But I don't see anyone cheerleading for Voter ID, abolishing mail-in elections, and stringent security measures for any electronic voting machines. Better the devil we know in this case (he's not all that bad).
State Treasurer: Allan Martin, GOP. Only because I'm in the mood to send a message.
State Auditor: J. Richard McEntee, GOP. See State Treasurer.
Attorney General: Rob McKenna, GOP. He's doing a good job, he wrote a WONDERFUL pro-gun opinion thoroughly whacking Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and his proposed gun ban, and besides, I've met his mommy and she's a nice lady. Make the nice lady happy and vote for Rob.
Commissioner of Public Lands: Doug Sutherland, GOP. Some message, and it seems likely to peeve the evironmentally sensitive - always an indicator of a good deed. This race isn't exactly a priority to me.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Dear god, not another four years of Terry Bergeson and her "Discovery Learning" trashing public education. A nearly autonomic response will kick in with the intelligent voter, and result in a vote for Randy Dorn, GOP. Dorn, a former educator and legislator, will bring not only his native talents but walk into a situation he can't screw up much worse than his predecessor.
Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler, DEM. With years of experience in insurance, he brings his views both as an agent and as a consumer advocate to the table. He's been doing a good job, and we shouldn't ought to jiggle his arm overmuch.
34th WA Legislative District: My State Senator and House Rep's are running unopposed, regrettably - never a good situation. Choose your favorite write-in, I did.
Initiatitive 985 (WA) : Yes. From perennial Initiative gadfly Tim Eymann, anything that rattles the PC sorts and the anti-car crowd this thoroughly deserves a vote just for entertainment value. Opens high-occupancy vehicle lanes to all traffic during specified hours, require traffic light synchronization, increase roadside assistance funding, and dedicate certain taxes, fines, tolls and other revenues to traffic-flow purposes.
Initiative 1000 (WA): Yes. Concerns allowing certain terminally ill competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions. Would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. What is more private and personal than the decision, when faced with near-term terminal illness, of when and how you want to go? Thank you very much, but as long as I'm remotely competent, that's MY decision (as regards me and only me!).
Initiative 1029 (WA): No. Creates another layer of regulation requiring licensing (like that of nurses) for home caregivers, could easily be abused to require licensure of family caregivers.
King County Charter Amendment No. 1: Shall the King County Charter be amended to provide that the position of county director of elections be created as a nonpartisan elected office? No. Sounds too much like setting a fox (a political hack) to guard the hen-house (the election).
King County Charter Amendment No. 2: Shall Section 840 of the King County Charter be amended to add disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression to the prohibited grounds for discrimination in county employment and county contracting, and to limit the prohibition against discrimination in county contracting to contracts with nongovernmental entities, as provided in Ordinance No. 16204? Yes. Discrimination is bad, and worse, it's bad business. It's a pity that this has to be defined so closely, but some folks still don't get it really doesn't matter who (as a gov't entity) you buy a flyswatter from as long as it's cheap and does the job.
King County Charter Amendment No. 3: Expands power of "regional committee's" - cross-county organizations, as I understand it. Just say no. Keep gov't divided, small, and helpless as possible.
King County Charter Amendment No. 4: Creates additional qualifications for county elected officials. Just say no, on principle. If they can qualify as a voter and make the filing requirements, then they are qualified - down this path lies a whole new variety of gerrymandering. Not only no, but Hell No.
King County Charter Amendment No. 5: Establishing Forecast Council and Office of Economic and Financial Forecasting. With the county diving 90+ million into the hole, we can't afford any bright shiny bureaucracies just presently - and isn't this what we already pay some folks for?
King County Charter Amendment No. 6: Flips budget deadlines around. I can't divine any good reason for it, so, vote no. If in doubt, toss it out.
King County Charter Amendment No. 7: Makes citizen initiatives dramatically more difficult. Just say no, as initiatives have proven a really neat way to hold the elected types feet to the fire.
King County Charter Amendment No. 8: Non-partisan elections. Why? At least as is, we can begin to tell the goats from the sheep, something the average voter needs all the help they can get at. Leave it alone, and just say no.
Proposition 1 (Seattle): No. The Pike Place Market renovation bond authorization. Just say no. The Market does, in fact, need structural upgrades and reinforcements (as well as infrastructure improvements) - however, we're busy warming up to a nasty recession. We can't afford it just now.
Proposition 2 (Seattle): No. Parks Bond Authorization. Again, we can't afford this right now. The city is 60 million in the hole and trying for depth - we need to be reducing our capital and maintenance commitments, not expanding them. Call back in ten years, after the trolley is back on the waterfront.
Sound Transit Proposition #1: NO. Would expand an already failed and over-budget range of rolling petri dishes onto a region designed physically and socially for individual transit. A region with broadly differing work schedules and a thinly spread urban/suburban population is not a good candidate for mass transit solutions - and we certainly can't afford this critter just presently. Just say no, and tell them to build some nice cheap roads.
Turnabout is fair play.
Should Obama win, I would urge Gov. Palin to return to Alaska, and ram through a $100.00/barrel tax on oil pumped in Alaska or in Alaskan waters - to take effect January 20th, 2009 and remain in place until at least 2013. That wrath thing, and all. Put the money into promoting and preserving the hunting lands of the Great State of Alaska (and paying that lovely annual divident).
Similarly, I would urge the coal industry to spontaneously shut down (after all, we want to COOPERATE with the messiah, don't we?) for a four to eight year period of "safety improvements and environmental analysis" at 12:21 p.m. on January 20th, 2009.
For the next four to eight years, save - don't spend. Buy guns, make bread at home. Since Obama wants to make energy expensive, where you can - insulate, seal off, and go for more efficient gear. In the next few weeks I've a garage to insulate, and am looking at the joys of a freezer younger than I am - but if I buy it, it'll get bought before January 20th. Restore your fireplace and prep it as an auxilary heater and garbage burner.
Others make the point well that if elected POTUS, if Obama is hurt, so is the nation - but consider the damage that a "successful" Obama might do, and how hard it would be to repair...and perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to begin the resistance....
Subsequently, after some 1300 or so comments on the story (amazing their server didn't melt), the story first vanished (with links redirected to Drudge) and then re-appeared with addresses redacted.
Perhaps it had something to do with this, or this, or perhaps this? Seems a number of local bloggers came to the conclusion that tit for tat was fair game, and the staff and leadership of The Stranger found equal treatment...discomfiting.
I met Dan Savage (years ago) and he's a good, if consistently misguided, guy. I have no reason nor desire to wish any harm upon him or any member of the Stranger staff (well, except for that "stealing the Pride Parade thing, for which they shall rot in hell", but that's not really relevant to the current discussion).
However, sometimes when you see the lemmings rushing the cliff, it's best to just quietly stand aside and point out the spectacle to the young and unlettered as an educational phenomena.
Pointing the unwashed, vandals, or miscreants at some folks is pretty low risk (though most ethical publications refrain from such activity)... but doing the same to the folks with lawyers, guns, and sufficient money to make a project of such imprudent writers and publications, is at best an example of questionable judgment.
They might just, having vastly sufficient resources, find a way to express their dismay in a manner one would find deeply unsatisfactory.
This is, of course, *before* we consider the folks who somehow just don't fit into the "liberal elite" category who may consider singling out random folks who've simply put a campaign sign on their lawn to be placed at substantially increased risk at the hands of a rogue yellow journalist as a morally reprehensible act worthy of small acts of retribution - be it bad service at a restaurant, to refusing to purchase advertising, or the wide variety other perfectly lawful ways to dole out despair to the despicable.
Heh. Hey guys, you EARNED this one...I'm not participating, but I'll certainly sit back and nibble my popcorn when the process servers arrive.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
The latest one I've run into is the increasingly frequent use by MSM of the phrase "shot to death".
In the kindest interpretation, I can but ask if the speaker or writer in question failed to acquire even a basic exposure to grammar or simply possesses absolutely no sense of literary grace. Given that these are members of the main stream media, the primary "linguistic authority figure" to which many adults are exposed, it is reasonable to expect a certain grace and familiarity with common usage in their utterances - as opposed to such a painfully kludgy usage.
More cynically, one might ask what purpose is served by singling out homicides committed with firearms for description with such specificity...and leaving most other homicides more generically described or traditionally described.
Either way, it is a most kludgy usage and must be ridiculed!