Politics and commerce

Jaquandor is back with his Sentential Links, which he had temporarily discontinued during the election season because he feared that he’d “do nothing but link political stuff.” Interestingly, though, the link that caught my attention did have to do with politics, of a sort.

John Scalzi, in his Whatever blog, which is often entertaining, wrote: “There are places that don’t get my business, or will ever get it, because I find their corporate beliefs or practices problematic. But I’m not going to stop going to the local ice cream shop because the owners put a Romney sign in their window.” Continue reading

Nearly a parliamentary system

It’s Election Day in the US. At last. Thank whatever deity you believe in! The only people who will be upset about this are the local television stations, who have been raking it in with all the political advertisements. I’ve discovered that a lot of people don’t understand why the candidates often say at the end of the ads, “I’m Joe Blow, and I approve this message.” It’s because there are ads out there, sponsored by the political parties, or political action committees, supposedly (snicker) independent of the (chortle) political candidates.

As is my tradition, I will be voting as soon as the polls open, at 6 a.m. It’s not just that I am anxious to vote, or want to get it over with. It’s that, if I cast my ballot early enough, they won’t call me to make sure I get out there. Better get my wife to vote before work, too. I’m voting for Continue reading

A political false equivalence

There’s this blogger I came across who I like. But I was puzzled by a comparison made between President Obama’s birth certificate and Gov. Romney’s tax returns, as being similarly not newsworthy.

In the case of the birth certificate, it was authenticated to a degree acceptable to anyone who isn’t a conspiracy theorist.

Whereas the tax returns are interesting because they were not released, save for the last two years, though a self-provided “summary” was made available. Truth is, I don’t care whether Romney releases the documents or not. It DOES, though, speak to his transparency, or lack of same, for his father George set the bar when he ran for President back in the 1960s, and put out a dozen years of returns.

The Gospel lesson a couple weeks back Continue reading

N is for National Elections on November 6

If you’re not from the United States, you may not be aware of the fact that the US is having its national election on Tuesday, November 6.

CONGRESS

Approximately 1/3 of the US Senate is up for election. Senators are elected on a statewide basis for six-year terms.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for election. The number of districts in each state is dependent on its population. The breakdown changes every 10 years, after the decennial Census. The results of the 2010 Census will alter the makeup of the House for the 2012 election. Continue reading

Curiouser and curiouser: 20 questions

There’s this website Curious as a Cat, and it asks one to three questions each week. Here are some from 2006 and 2007 I deigned to answer.

1. What is the one experience in your life that has caused the most pain?
Physical pain. Tie between a broken rib and oral surgery. Emotional, surely an affair of the heart.

2. If you had to pick one thing, what would you say is the single thing that can destroy a soul?
Telling so many lies that you start thinking it’s the truth.

3. What one thing always speaks deeply to you, to your spirit, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?
Music, always. I hear it all the time. Sometimes it’s something I’ve heard recently, but more often it’s a tune suitable for the moment.

4. What is the least appropriate thing to pray for? Continue reading

Past perfect: Gore Vidal, Mike Doonesbury and the Olympics

I haven’t been reading the comic strip Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau as regularly as I once did, 40, 25, even 10 years ago. I own three hefty early volumes of collected strips which I used to reread frequently. However, I’ve never cottoned to it appearing on the op-ed page of my local newspaper. So I managed to miss the great announcement in Sunday’s paper Continue reading

Evil, President Romney, and my daughter’s future

First, Chris, in answer to my answer, writes:

You bring up Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears. However, my husband is studying for a military exam, and the honors that his company won during the “Indian Wars” is considered part of their venerable history… And then I think of Hitler and Genghis Khan and I wonder, were they genuinely trying to do good by their own?

Which is why I picked him over the more obvious choice such as Hitler. History, at least the history most of us have read, has already assigned Hitler with the “evil” mantle; he doesn’t need me. Whereas Jackson’s place in history is a more of mixed bag. I have an ex who could talk your ear off (probably not literally, though I’m not sure) on the topic. I would submit that GWB’s war in Iraq may have been – OK, probably was, in his mind – initiated by “trying to do good” for his own people; didn’t make it right. I daresay most ethnic cleansing are done to “protect” one group from “the other” (see: Rwanda or Yugoslavia in the 1990s for recent examples). Whether the “good intentions” of mass murder is relevant inevitably will be written by the historians.

Maybe a better question is “What do you consider evil?” What is good and what is evil, really?
Continue reading

Obama v. Romney


Answering more Ask Roger Anything questions:

Tom the Mayor, who I know personally, pondered:
Here is a hard one Roger! Who do you think will win the presidential election?

I went to 270towin.com. The map there suggests that Obama has 217 likely electoral votes, and Romney with 191 electoral votes, with 130 electoral votes listed as a tossup. Three states in that latter category are hugely important – Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), and Ohio (18). I suspect that whoever wins at least 2 out of 3 will probably win the White House.

Some statistical piece – I can’t find it presently – states that the Republicans were far better Continue reading

May Rambling: Stolen Scream and lots of music

The Stolen Scream (via Steve Bissette’s Facebook page). Creative theft is a global phenomenon. “The Stolen Scream” is a snapshot of just one such phenomenal, almost spontaneous international appropriation of an artist’s (in this case, a photographer’s) work.

A death that was also a birth. “As a midwife, I’ve spent the last 30 years taking care of women in pregnancy. But nothing prepared me for this.”

It’s a horrible cycle I’m quite familiar with and occasionally adore. After all, anxiety is king, and I am its lowly peasant. Going into public, whether a store, the movies, a restaurant, or a family function, is exhausting. Continue reading

Sing If You’re Glad to Be Gay

In the “nobody said progress was linear” department, I note that, in short order:
* Joe Biden Says He’s Comfortable with Gay Marriage, a remark which sent all the tea leaf watchers to ponder whether it was a “gaffe”
* US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Supports Gay Marriage
* Despite the pleas of good Christian folks such as this guy, the voters of North Carolina voted for constitutional Amendment 1, which not only reemphasizes an already codified law, which will also complicate the lives of unmarried heterosexual couples

* President Barack Obama said:
I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens. Continue reading