off to Michigan
Won't be blogging for the next few days, in all likelihood. Have a good one.
As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."
Movies are bad. Movies hate God! Movies cause bad, bad things. Bad.
The late Yasser Arafat invented terror as a tactic. Whatever you think of Palestinian oppression or Israeli militancy, or vice-versa, this is incontrovertible. He was duplicitous, fomented rebellion, and was never truly interested in peace in the Middle East, unless by peace you mean the annihilation of all Jews. The biggest problem with the Arab-Israeli conflict is that BOTH SIDES ARE WRONG. It makes it kind of hard to take up sides on the issue, even for a Jewish man such as myself. The death of Arafat will help move the goalposts toward peace, but until Sharon exits the power stage, I don't think anything will get done. What is needed is a new generation of leadership.
Well that was quick.
There were tanks in the streets of Los Angeles yesterday. You probably didn't hear about it. I passed by this rally about 5 minutes before the tanks arrived, and I didn't hear about it until this morning. Tanks.
Well, I hope you go back to a long and fulfilling career of losing elections to dead people.
This latest rumor, flogged by the National Review Online (no way I give them a link) and David Frum, that the comatose Yassir Arafat probably has AIDS because there are unconfirmed rumors that he's gay, are the worst kind of racism and bigotry. I'm no fan of Arafat, the man who's singularly responsible for terror as a tactic. But simply to tar him with a gay brush (a sign of dishonor in the patriarchal Muslim world) based on nothing (well, we can't pinpoint what's wrong with him, so it must be AIDS, right?) is sickening. It also assumes, 20 years after the spread of AIDS, that's it's still merely a gay disease.
This is a list of vote tabulations in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio, precinct by precinct. There are 30 precincts in which the number of votes is higher than the number of registered voters. The total overages are about 93,000 votes. That's one county in Ohio. Now, that's ballot stuffing, folks, and whether it's Democratic or Republican, it needs to be addressed. But you know, given Ohio's result, given the disparity between exit polling and "official" results in the state, given Diebold's CEO's "commitment to securing Ohio's electoral votes for George Bush," I'm going to bet on the fraud coming from the Republican side of the ledger.
California is ungovernable in its current form. The legislature is safe, and severely term-limited, so that once anybody gets to know how things work in Sacramento, they have to leave. Plus they're from the extremes of both parties. The initiative system is so easy to use, with virtually no barrier to entry, that legislation is permanently under review, since if something fails in the legislature it can go on the ballot without delay. Budgets require a super-majority, which forces the legislature to actually work together, but because they are not pressured by their constituents to do so, they don't. Thanks to selfish ballot measures like Prop. 13 (which forces property taxes to be exceedingly low), the government is incapable of raising enough money to pay for services unless there is an extreme boom like the tech sector gold rush. The special interests, mindful of California's status as a bellweather state for the nation in terms of policy, put things on the ballot they know sensible citizens will pass (greenhouse gas emissions, stem cell research) when in fact there's no money to pay for them unless you borrow up to your eyeballs. Therefore, services get hacked, deficits go up anyway, everybody yells at everybody, and the state looks more and more like Arkansas every day.
Freed from the surgical muzzle placed on him after he said that if 3/4 of Iraq voted in elections, then "so be it," Donald "Grumpy Old Man" Rumsfeld is back, giving press conferences. Remember when, during the invasion phase, the press corps swooned to hear this guy bloviate on about things like "We know where the WMD are, it's in the area around Tikrit, somewhere to the north, south, east or west"?
OK, so we lost. So 3% more of the country likes fighting unnecessary wars than us. 3% more likes ensuring their economic ruin than us (that is, unless they're filthy rich). 3% more can't stand the thought of gay guys kissing than us. And so on and so on and so on. If you accept the premise that the vote was fair (which is quite an if, the more you read), then you have to look at the results and try to figure out how the Democratic Party can turn it around. Let's just list them, in no particular order:
And there really is no consensus about this election. Some people are screaming voting fraud, some people say that overlooks the real issue; some people say we have to reach out to rural conservative Christians, otehrs say the gap wasn't as "values"-based as the media thinks; some people believe we have to go leftward, others think we should stay right where we are, and just change the language we use. It's not surprising, this multiplicity of opinions; in fact, it's good for the process. Most of all, it means nobody is willing to give up.