rone: (glyph)

At first, when friends shared stuff from Mike "Dirty Jobs" Rowe, it was an entertaining read.  His show seemed pretty good, too.  But after a while, his common-sense aw-shucks shtick wore thin, and i unsubscribed.  Then, a few weeks ago, he wrote something in which he compared voting to gun ownership, and how, just as some people shouldn't be encouraged to own a gun, some shouldn't be encouraged to vote.  Well, that sure as hell didn't sit right with me.

This clown tries to hide his elitism, expressed through his concern trolling that some people simply aren't equipped to understand the complicated issues behind our domestic and foreign policies and as voters pose too much of a risk, by painting his friends in Hollywood as the real out-of-touch elitists.  It's cute to say that there ought to be an intelligence test to vote in this country, but we already know that this would just be another way to keep marginalized populations out of the ballot box.  It is, not to put too fine a point on it, un-American.  And we already have a tremendous amount of uninformed voters who are already participating, and will continue to participate, on election day.  So fuck off, Mike Rowe, you sad Romney stumper, with your shitty attitude about people who can't be trusted with the vote.  And your enthusiastic recommendation of "Economics in One Lesson" can go sit in the corner with all of the Austrian economics crackpots, too.

rone: (i think too much)
I can't say when the American notion of considering third-party votes wasted began, but I'm fairly certain that the first time I saw it expressed was in the 1996 Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons. Since then, this sentiment has been augmented by the myth of Nader sucking away enough voters from Gore to tip the scales in Bush's favor. Today, this has culminated in the common plea from many to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton because of the desperate and unique existential threat that Donald Trump poses to this nation and, indeed, the world.

I will start off with a very simple declaration: no vote is wasted. Democracy, even in the misshapen state you'll find in our presidential election process, depends on every vote that is cast. Thus, every vote is crucial. To claim that one's vote is wasted because it was cast for an extremely likely loser, but isn't wasted if it's cast for the loser with the most votes, is sheerly disingenuous. To claim that voting for a third party is not only a waste, but not even a political act, as Clay Shirky tendentiously argues, condescendingly strikes at the very freedom of voting one's preference, while neatly delivering a Catch-22 of American politics: voting for one of the two big parties strengthens the two-party system in this country; voting third-party doesn't strengthen third parties, which strengthens the two-party system in this country; not voting doesn't accomplish anything, which strengthens the two-party system in this country. It is an inescapably defeatist narrative, which is usually supplemented by a smug suggestion that the only way to change the process is from within. We can see how well efforts to make the Democratic Party more progressive rather than neoliberal, or to make the Republican Party more conservative rather than regressive and nativist, have fared over the last few decades.

As for the myth of third-party candidates as spoilers, the basic premise is that third party voters somehow owe their vote to the big party that is in some way closer to their views. This is rank arrogation. You may feel that third party voters are misinformed, and perhaps misguided. You might even be right. But that doesn't make them any different than most voters for either big party; Shirky goes out of his way to impugn the motivations of third-party voters without ever questioning those of Democratic and Republican voters. Whoever we vote for will probably not accomplish what we want them to accomplish. Does that mean that our vote was wasted?

The fact is that this point can be made persuasively, as John Halle and Noam Chomsky have done already. In general, we would be better served by cogent points and dialogue, rather than sententious declarations, if not outright accusations that someone is voting wrong (or, worse, a direct appeal to fear, which is the backbone of the Trump campaign, and also informs many of my friends' appeals to vote for Clinton, as they are terrified —with good reason— of Trump).

Our vote is our voice in democracy, and it means what we want it to mean. It might not get us what we wanted it to get us, and it rarely does. But don't let anyone tell you that your vote is a waste.
rone: (waagh)

Ever since my Ecuador vacation, my sleep period during weekends rarely lasts more than 5 hours; i can snooze a bit afterwards, but it's definitely not true, bona fide sleep.  This is... suboptimal.  However, one silver lining that we've found is getting up before dawn and driving over the hill to Santa Cruz to experience the sunrise on the beach, where [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda took some pictures, and then head to Linda's Seabreeze Cafe for breakfast, after which we drove to the next beach and Kim took some more pictures.  I took one, too:

kim on the beach, taking pictures in portrait mode with her DSLR + zoom lens

After that, we drove back north, past San José to Mountain View, and dropped by the farmers' market, hoping to score some pork belly from TLC Ranch; they had none, alas, so we consoled ourselves with some of their excellent bacon.  On the way out, there were volunteers registering people to vote, so i took the opportunity to cease being a registered Republican and once again join the glorious ranks of the Scorched Earth Party.  The volunteer who reviewed my form laughed when she saw my party declaration, and also when i said, "Join the 10% with the lead pipes!" but Kim thought she looked nervous, so i dunno.

rone: (picassohead)

A Yes on 8 sign has appeared on our neighbors' lawn.  My first reaction was to try to get a hold of a No on 8 sign and put it on our lawn.  Note that we like our neighbors and that, despite being really Jesusy, they're not pushy in the least about it beyond offering to pray for us in our endeavors (like when i mentioned i was going for a job interview) and wishing that God bless us, which fifteen years ago would have had me seething, but now i don't mind at all because i'm not that much of an asshole anymore.

[Poll #1273930]

The way things are going, it looks like Ecuador will have same-sex marriage before the US will.  Who saw that coming?

rone: (Default)

A Yes on 8 sign has appeared on our neighbors' lawn.  My first reaction was to try to get a hold of a No on 8 sign and put it on our lawn.  Note that we like our neighbors and that, despite being really Jesusy, they're not pushy in the least about it beyond offering to pray for us in our endeavors (like when i mentioned i was going for a job interview) and wishing that God bless us, which fifteen years ago would have had me seething, but now i don't mind at all because i'm not that much of an asshole anymore.

[Poll #1273930]

The way things are going, it looks like Ecuador will have same-sex marriage before the US will.  Who saw that coming?

rone: (gaaa)

<[livejournal.com profile] venividi> ok. just when i thought it couldn't get weirder.
<venividi> one of my step daughter's friends has registered to vote because "Obama is a muslim"
<venividi> turns out he wants to  vote *for* obama
<venividi> because he doesn't want the zionists to win.
<venividi> *sob*



rone: (Default)

<[livejournal.com profile] venividi> ok. just when i thought it couldn't get weirder.
<venividi> one of my step daughter's friends has registered to vote because "Obama is a muslim"
<venividi> turns out he wants to  vote *for* obama
<venividi> because he doesn't want the zionists to win.
<venividi> *sob*



rone: (dust)

Via [livejournal.com profile] thequietquiet, a video of acrobatic ball kicking and juggling.  Fake?  Maybe, but still pretty good.


If you're curious to know what [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda's and my relationship was like early on, you should rent Prime, VORSICHT: SPOILER )

.


Another fine Improv Everywhere stunt (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] en_ki).


Lyndon LaRouche asks, "Is the Devil in your laptop?" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tritone).


[livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina let me know that SJSU's president issued a letter banning blood drives on campus due to the FDA's policy that bans gay men (or, indeed, any man who's had sex with another man) from donating blood.  A tough decision, but i support Kassing's rationale and i hope that his efforts (among those of other campuses) get the FDA to reconsider the policy once we get someone in the White House who isn't an utter imbecile.

rone: (Default)

Via [livejournal.com profile] thequietquiet, a video of acrobatic ball kicking and juggling.  Fake?  Maybe, but still pretty good.


If you're curious to know what [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda's and my relationship was like early on, you should rent Prime, VORSICHT: SPOILER )

.


Another fine Improv Everywhere stunt (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] en_ki).


Lyndon LaRouche asks, "Is the Devil in your laptop?" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tritone).


[livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina let me know that SJSU's president issued a letter banning blood drives on campus due to the FDA's policy that bans gay men (or, indeed, any man who's had sex with another man) from donating blood.  A tough decision, but i support Kassing's rationale and i hope that his efforts (among those of other campuses) get the FDA to reconsider the policy once we get someone in the White House who isn't an utter imbecile.

rone: (eschaton event)

I like SelectSmart because it takes the guesswork out of choosing the lesser evil.  Or something.

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate  (100%)
2. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended)  (82%)
et cetera, ad nauseam, per secula seculorum )



rone: (Default)

I like SelectSmart because it takes the guesswork out of choosing the lesser evil.  Or something.

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate  (100%)
2. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended)  (82%)
et cetera, ad nauseam, per secula seculorum )



rone: (violin)

rone: (Default)

rone: (imminent destruction)

These two from [livejournal.com profile] venividi:

• A man who reportedly believed Republicans were conspiring to steal today's election entered an Allentown polling site, signed in and proceeded to smash the screen of one of the electronic voting machines with a metal cat paperweight, poll volunteers said.

• In an apparent violation of FCC rules, conservative talk radio station KFBK 1530 AM in Sacramento transmitted a paid political advertisement to an unknown number of other stations in the area, using the federal Emergency Alert System (EAS), thus automatically forcing the ad onto the stations' airwaves.

I voted.  On paper.  Don't use voting machines.  See Hacking Democracy.  That is all.

rone: (Default)

These two from [livejournal.com profile] venividi:

• A man who reportedly believed Republicans were conspiring to steal today's election entered an Allentown polling site, signed in and proceeded to smash the screen of one of the electronic voting machines with a metal cat paperweight, poll volunteers said.

• In an apparent violation of FCC rules, conservative talk radio station KFBK 1530 AM in Sacramento transmitted a paid political advertisement to an unknown number of other stations in the area, using the federal Emergency Alert System (EAS), thus automatically forcing the ad onto the stations' airwaves.

I voted.  On paper.  Don't use voting machines.  See Hacking Democracy.  That is all.

rone: (grumpy)

By the time Kim and i went there, they were out of paper ballots.  The helpful, older ladies seemed perplexed by my Luddite resistance to the touchscreen.  I selected all NOs and swore to myself, "Next time, absentee ballot, dummy!"

rone: (Default)

By the time Kim and i went there, they were out of paper ballots.  The helpful, older ladies seemed perplexed by my Luddite resistance to the touchscreen.  I selected all NOs and swore to myself, "Next time, absentee ballot, dummy!"

rone: (anime - (c) 2002 jim vandewalker)

Last Monday, i went to the Solaris 10 launch with my ex-partner in crime Tchie at the Tech Museum of Innovation.  Solaris 10 looks really good, especially compared to its predecessors; Sun claims you'll see a 20% increase in performance just by upgrading from 8 to 10.  Scott McNealy has really aged in the last few years; he looked a little hunched, even.

I've spent the last few days on jury duty call (found out this morning i was off scot free for a year, yay), so i threw my energy into cleaning the house and office, as well as tackling the huge amount of unfolded laundry in our room.  As a result of that, i called for the Great T-Shirt Cull of `04; verdict: one and a half grocery bags of T-shirts were consigned to oblivion (including my totally rad netrek shirt *sniff*).  It's not so bad; i just had to make space for new T-shirts (like [livejournal.com profile] mjg59's excellent "ESR STOLE MY CULTURAL HERITAGE").

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] solipsistnation's alert, i picked up my copy of the Limited Edition of Sid Meier's Pirates!.  So i might be busy this long weekend when i'm not eating.

rone: (Default)

Last Monday, i went to the Solaris 10 launch with my ex-partner in crime Tchie at the Tech Museum of Innovation.  Solaris 10 looks really good, especially compared to its predecessors; Sun claims you'll see a 20% increase in performance just by upgrading from 8 to 10.  Scott McNealy has really aged in the last few years; he looked a little hunched, even.

I've spent the last few days on jury duty call (found out this morning i was off scot free for a year, yay), so i threw my energy into cleaning the house and office, as well as tackling the huge amount of unfolded laundry in our room.  As a result of that, i called for the Great T-Shirt Cull of `04; verdict: one and a half grocery bags of T-shirts were consigned to oblivion (including my totally rad netrek shirt *sniff*).  It's not so bad; i just had to make space for new T-shirts (like [livejournal.com profile] mjg59's excellent "ESR STOLE MY CULTURAL HERITAGE").

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] solipsistnation's alert, i picked up my copy of the Limited Edition of Sid Meier's Pirates!.  So i might be busy this long weekend when i'm not eating.

rone: (picassohead)

i votedI voted at 12:55 in San Jose, CA.

Let the drinking begin.

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