You can do it

Is this where we are headed?
I am discouraged today. I’ve actually felt this way for a number of years now. It’s been so long I can’t even remember when it began, but that’s not really important. What is important if for you to know why I feel this way. It’s important to me that you read this and think about what I’ve said and do something, anything, as a result. Comment, pass this along, tell others in person… I don’t care, just do something. Because the lack of anyone doing anything is what has me so discouraged.

If you look back at this blog and other places where I post things (facebook, my news feed, twitter, etc.) you will see that the majority of things I post about are things that are wrong with the world (particularly America) politically and socially. I know ‘wrong’ here is biased towards my own beliefs but I really feel that my perspective is general enough that any reasonable person exposed to the things I post would feel similar to how I do. But in all this time I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve felt that anyone has responded in a serious way to anything I’ve posted.

And this is what discourages me. Every day I read or learn something new that makes me want to scream out in anger or frustration. Every day I have to take a moment and ask myself, what can I do to make the world a place where things like this don’t happen again? So I post, and I donate to causes and I participate in politics by voting, and I genuinely think about how things affect the greater good. But it doesn’t change anything. And that inertia tends to make me more depressed. So I start to just give up and say ‘fuck it, if people would rather care more about mindless shit, then they deserve to get what they get’. We deserve the America we live in right now. The one where our liberties have been eroded in the name of security. The one where we can’t afford to educate our children because of wars we’re fighting for possibly flimsy reasons. The one where we have floods and tornados and odd weather every day and yet we deny that global warming is real. And on and on.

But I can’t sit back and do that anymore. In the last 2 years myself and many of my close friends have had their first children. So now instead of just saying “I’m dead in 60 years, it can’t get that bad”, we’re all now forced to say “what kind of world will our children inherit? And what about their children?”. Now things matter even more, and yet, I can see no change at all.

So what do I want? What would a perfect world be like from my perspective? What would I want you to do? It’s simple really. I want two things. First I want many people (many of the people I know) to take 10-15 minutes a day to read things that I (and other trusted friends) post and talk about. I want this because I don’t post things that are time-wasters. In my perfect world you all would trust that. Second I want you all to be motivated by the things I post to actually do something on your own. Maybe write about what you read, or talk to friends and family, or vote for candidates that support views that coincide with positions you read about, or maybe even debate with me the merits of what I post. In short I want you to take some time to react to what I post.

I can see why you don’t. We are constantly barraged with stimulus. And most of it has the effect of making us feel ok. Why allow ourselves to willingly feel bad about our world when we can so easily feel good about it? We are wired to suppress bad feelings and our media, our very lifestyle enables us to follow that path so easily. So I know it’s hard. But it’s so important to fight that urge to take the ‘soma’ and take a look at the world without our rose colored glasses. You don’t need to do it all the time, just once and a while. Please, I am literally begging you. We as a society are already failing because of ambivalence. Don’t let us fail completely!

huh? I’m ashamed to be a Democrat

Ok.. so as if I haven’t complained enough about the fucked up primary process we use to choose our nominee here comes something else to piss me off. Howard Dean is calling for Obama and Clinton to get into a room and decide who is going to be the nominee.. forget the convention and the delegates and the ‘democratic’ process (the way the super delegates and primarys work are hardly democratic, but that’s another story)… he thinks that we should just anoint someone right off.

Now the election at this point is coming down to who can raise more money and last all the way to the convention since clearly neither is going to win this thing before then. However, if one has to drop out due to money issues, well.. you can see how that would work out.

In some ways I think that the primaries are for us, the democratic voters to decide who we want to represnet us, but on the other hand it’s really up to the DNC right? I mean, they decide weather states can pledge delegates to their convention (see florida). They choose the rules of the whole deal. Why should we expect that we could simply have some transparent way to choose? Why can’t we just have a nationwide popular vote to choose our nominee?

I wish there was some other way to be involved in politcs.. some other party I could choose.. but that’s just hope and in America that only gets you so far.

New Hampsire and my favorite company Diebold

http://www.legitgov.org/nh_machine_vs_paper.html

also some good stuff on bradblog (http://bradblog.com/) about this same topic.. The interesting thing is that there are paper ballots for these counties but it would take a challenge by Obama to force a manual recount and I would bet that he wouldn’t want to look like a sore looser here so I highly doubt they will do anything. These are the same machines that were on “Hacking Democracy” one of my favorite documentaries on the subject.

There is no doubt in my mind these machines were hacked.. none.

Good news/Bad news

I’ve been telling anyone who would listen for about 3 years now about the fraudulent recount effort of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio that would (in my opinion) have proved that the election was stolen by the evil slimy Bush bastards. It was also recounted quite well in the HBO documentary “HackingDemocracy“. Well, two of the election workers involved were charged with rigging the recount and they have been found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in jail. This is good news. The bad news is multi-faceted. First I’m upset that they only got 18 months. Clearly what they did was tantamount to treason and they should have at least gotten life in prison for subverting our constitution. Second I’m upset becasue you won’t find anywhere in the MSM this story.. I looked with no luck and I’m sure you won’t see this on TV. Lastly, I’m most upset because this does nothing to remove Bush from the White House.. at the least, congress could investigate.. According to Bradblog only 6 Kerry votes in each Ohio precinct would have made him the winner. oh wait.. the ballots have been destroyed even though a Judge ordered them saved.. hmn.. interesting. Fuckers. Why aren’t more of us upset about this?

60,000

There are almost 1.5 million people living in Philadelphia. In the first election where Street won, less than 300,000 voted. If that were to happen this year that would mean that the first candidate (of the 5) to get 60,000 votes would win the election. That means that in the worst case, 4% of the city population is going to choose our next mayor. Is that a good system?

It’s not, but there’s nothing we can do about it in the next 8 days so we should vote very carefully. What I mean is that you need to decide who you want to win and who you don’t want to win. My list is as follows : Brady, Nutter, Evans, Fattah, Knox. Now. My thought is that the election if it were held today would give us: Knox, Nutter (in a very close heat) followed by Brady, Fattah and Evans.

Since I don’t want Knox to win at all and would rather see anyone in office over him, I should actually vote for Nutter since I think that he has the best shot at winning. If you are a Fattah or Evans supporter, you shouldn’t vote for either of them either. Any vote that isn’t for one of the 2 front runners will be a vote for the leader (probably Knox). So, be careful, we don’t want another Ralph Nader situation here.

We need to seriously think about changing our election system. With more than 2 candidates the entire system breaks down and becomes unfair to everyone.

But, no matter what I say, if you don’t vote, you’ve made the worst mistake of all and you have no right to complain about anything anymore.

The Tide is Turning

This is good news.. The Dems in congress are getting ready to introduce and pass a resolution mandating paper trails for all voting machines before the 08 presidential election. In addition it appears that they are going to try to get a handle on the proprietary source code issue as well :

It would also require state elections officials to hand over to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), a federal agency charged with overseeing the shift to electronic voting machines, all of the source code and other ballot programming files associated with the machines they certify. In a move that could prove controversial, the EAC under the bill would have to make that information available “for inspection promptly upon request to any person.”

This is really, really good news. We need to keep an eye on this bill and make sure we pressure our senators to pass it as well!