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Is Palin's level of experience normal for a VP candidate? 2008

A concise and thorough review of our nation's other Vice Presidents.

Posted on September 30, 2008 at 01:36 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (3)

Going through old email I found this lovely description by my Mum of Extra Action Marching Band's appearance in the Point Arena (Mendocino county, Northern California) 4th of July parade:

Toward the end came the Extra Action band from San Francisco --- impressively rehearsed, vividly brass- and drum- rhythmed, scantily (though decently) clad, very very flashy.  They had silver lame` flags and a lively routine which they performed now and then; the rest of the time they kept the music going while members of the troupe danced and wove among each other and out through the crowd --- very cheerful, very bold.  A group that gives anarchy a good name.

Exactly so.

Posted on September 28, 2008 at 11:53 AM in creativity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gonna take some changes. Ten Ways to Prepare for Post-Oil Society by James Kunstler is an intense but necessary set of ideas to contemplate.

Posted on September 27, 2008 at 08:08 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Something for San Franciscans to be proud of 2008

Really nice news in my email this morning: Healthy San Francisco is now providing health care to over half of the 60,000 uninsured residents the program is expected to reach. This is after just 15 months and it's wonderful to think about the impact this has not only on the city economy, but also on individuals' lives.

I'm proud to live in a city where the practicality of universal heath care is being demonstrated.

You can hear more about the program, and about hopes that other cites & counties around the country will take similar efforts in this short video from Mayor Gavin Newsom:

Posted on September 24, 2008 at 07:28 AM in health | Permalink | Comments (0)

Great stuff from Craig Ferguson 2008

We're in agreement on this one, Craig & I.

I believe if you can vote, especially in a presidential election and especially this year, and you don't, you're a moron.

I'll go one step further. How about if we made it a new rule that you can't legally make the choice to drink unless you've done your part and voted?

Not competent enough to think about what you would or wouldn't like to see happen with the most powerful job in the world for the next four years? Then, kid, you are not competent enough even for lite beer.

Also, let it be known throughout this great land that if you ever meet anyone who put in their vote for anything relating to some reality tv show or song contest or people's choice award for hottest babe in America or the like and who did not vote in this presidential election but could have, you're entitled to have them spayed or neutered so they can't breed any more cretins. Thank you for doing your part.

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 08:16 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

U.S. military presence (& thus costs to American taxpayers) 2008

Noted for future reference & more detailed reading:

Mother Jones' year-long project to investigate U.S. military activity around the globe

Map of Pentagon-reported U.S. troop presence (see notes for background details, but note that they may not provide context such as explaining how Indonesia's stated 26 troops manage three facilities totaling 49,122 square feet).

Useful journalism, both for the facts collected and the questions they raise.

Posted on September 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

What we need is a rebirth of satire, of dissent, of irreverence, of an uncompromising insistence that phoniness is phony and platitudes are platitudinous.

     --Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

And I have to wonder, is this on the wall in The Daily Show offices? Specifically intentional or no, thanks, you guys.

Posted on September 6, 2008 at 09:27 AM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

          --Abraham Lincoln (1861 State of the Union address)

Posted on September 3, 2008 at 07:29 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (2)

"The same party that impeached Clinton over a BJ is now telling us the Palin pregnancy is a private matter while emphasizing it's a choice?"

- Mike Monteiro
(channeling my indignation in his Twitterstream)

Posted on September 1, 2008 at 04:38 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Because you both have a vagina" is as bad a reason to support a candidate as "because you both have a penis". 2008

I am deeply disappointed to see people who claimed to be fighting for equality drawn to support McCain due to his choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. If you want people to be judged and compensated on their merits rather than based on gender, then gender shouldn't be your first priority in choosing who to support.

- Sarah Palin is a member of an organization ("Feminists For Life") which opposes abortion and - a critically important detail - "abortifacient birth control", in other words the pill, IUD, and Plan B. Whether they are opposed to other methods is unclear, but probable considering their unwillingness to respond to questions on birth control other than to bring up ways in which different methods may cause health risks. (As if pregnancy didn't frequently have side effects far worse!)

She appears to be completely opposed to a woman's right to choose whether or not to become pregnant. Not being able to have control over your own body is definitely NOT a feminist political position.

- Despite the clear benefits to women (indeed, to everyone) of increasing education and scientific understanding, Sarah Palin is opposed to science education and is obstinately ignorant of the state of scientific knowledge. She has sued to try to stop the addition of animals which might interfere with oil drilling being added to the endangered species list in opposition to Alaska state biologists' recommendations and peer-reviewed scholarship showing numbers of polar bears are dropping. She supports the teaching of creationism in science classes (not in religious studies where it would belong if it belonged anywhere in a state-funded school), though it's possible that after some of her backpedaling it's more appropriate to say she isn't opposed to it. She is opposed to stem cell research. Most damning, she doesn't think human activity has led to global warming despite the opinion that it has held by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.

A person who's a creationist doesn't understand science and technology at all. A person whose understanding of environmental change is entirely shaped by ties to the oil industry is dangerously biased. The vice president of the United States needs to be held to a higher standard of understanding on science; it is too critical to our national health and competitive success.

So, should women who supported Hillary Clinton now support John McCain just because he's got a woman VP? No. It's ridiculous to think that Palin's gender should make her palatable to Clinton supporters.

No one skewered this point of view better than Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee on the Daily Show in the second half of this video:

Posted on September 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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