What I've been up to

Have been busy getting ready for this, and will be occupado all weekend. Our little activist group is doing a poster presentation at the conference on one of our major projects, Export the Oregon Vote. Read all about it, and if you're in the Portland area, check us out at the conference.


Buy your ice skates now...

...because hell is about to freeze over:


I have a sudden powerful urge to do the Snoopy Happy Dance....


What was that seventh plague, again?*

Well, I'm still not any closer to getting my Katrina post(s) up and already, a bigger and badder hurricane is set to swoop down on a section of the Gulf and swallow it up whole.

I guess we can hope that at least some good will come from the Katrina nightmare and that everyone will take Mother Nature seriously this time.

God, let us have learned our lesson this time.

*reference here


"Their people"

Via slacktivist comes this incredible post from Big Monkey, Helpy Chalk, who interviewed the infamous mayor of Gretna, Louisiana about his decision to force people fleeing New Orleans back across the bridge, away from rescue and salvation. It's...wow. Just wow.

I think Big Monkey's take on it is the right one. From the mayor's perspective, what he did was the right thing, but as Big Monkey notes midway through, the way he words it is very telling. And slacktivist's own perspective expands on it further, on the idea that there's always room.

I think this is one of my fundamental problems with so many people I disagree with on the other side. And I'm not really talking politically, but morally, or spiritually, or...well something. Although it is interesting how much those things line up with political alignments these days. But anyway, this idea that there's always room, it's one that's as much a part of me as my eye color. And I thought for the longest time it was that way for everyone, but of course I realized it wasn't.

Which I think is why we have such a hard time overcoming that divide, because there are people on "the other side" who can't see past the bridge to the people beyond. To them, taking care of "their people" is the point, which of course misses the point..."their people" are all people. But so many of them just can't seem to see it.


The Working Society

Okay, so y’all know John Edwards was my guy during the last election. I can’t remember if I told you the whole story about why, but it boils down to the first time I heard him give his “Two Americas” speech way back in the Fall of 2003. And I still think he’ll be President some day.

Well anyway. I’m still on his mailing list and today, I received the email about his latest speech, “The Working Society”. I don’t know, maybe it’s what I needed right now, because I’ve been feeling a little low and pessimistic about the future. Or maybe I’m still hoping to find that candidate that’s going to be the bright shining star during the next election and I think he’s the one (I mean, I am and I do, but it’s entirely possible I’m not entirely realistic about his chances). But whatever the reason, it’s...well, it’s good. Really, really good. Like I’m finding again that optimism that I felt the first time I heard him speak. No, not just that, but the optimism that led me to support Gore not just in 2000, but waaaaay back in 1988, when I stumped for him the first time. In Wyoming. In high school. God, I was such a dork.

So anyway, read it. Seriously. Like now. Not only does he not run away from liberal ideas, he embraces them. Hell, he proposes new ones. Not just rhetoric and vague talking points, but actual, honest-to-god ideas and proposals and solutions. It’s too early to know if he can sustain this kind of proaction and lead the candidate field in the next couple of years, and who knows what other candidates might emerge between now and then, but for the time being...well, I'm hopeful.

Pest Control

Via Sisyphus Shrugged, we learn that tons of MREs donated by the British government to feed hungry victims of Katrina...are set to be incinerated in a big bonfire salute to the monumental evil of this Administration. That's right -- our government has decided that they'd rather put the match to tons of much-needed food generously donated by another country at its own expense rather than pass it on to the folks it was intended for, the people who have little or no access to the most basic needs of daily survival and who're entirely dependent on us to feed them.

At some point, you've got to stop thinking this is colossal incompetence. Nobody, not even the High Holy Asshats of this Administration are so fundamentally stupid on this large of a scale. This is deliberate. Everything -- everything -- this Administration has done since those first reports of Katrina's looming potential has been to actively, deliberately, purposely leave these people to die. "If the storm doesn't get 'em, the flood waters surely will, and if that doesn't, then perhaps leaving them out in the hot sun with no food or water for days will do it. And if that doesn't work, well, there's a million other ways to squish out the remaining stragglers like the bugs they are." I'm not saying they've actively planned this (at least, not at first), but in the end, does it really matter? Considering the result, the line between Conspiratorial Evil and Stunning Indifference pretty much vanishes, don't you think?

UPDATE: Yeah, read this and then convince me I'm wrong that this entire clusterfuck was deliberate.


Fuck it -- I'm back

Yes, kids... I've dusted out the corners of this poor neglected blog and shined a little daylight in. My spare time has gotten increasingly short since, oh, about May, and I've had to set aside many of my ongoing projects including this blog. Not for lack of wanting to write about the fifty-three bajillion ways my head has exploded on a daily basis, but you know how it is.

And then Katrina happened, and I descended into a funk of Gaussian proportions (I don't really know what that means, except it sounds pretty fucking horrible, right?) and turned to the blog to write about the High Holy Asshats and their Fucked-Up Passion Play of Depraved Indifference. Every day in that first week, I added dozens of must-read links to my draft and wrote pages and pages of written screaming and anger and blah-de-blah-blah. This draft-not-yet-posted-post has become downright epic in both scope and size and it's still sitting on my desktop, waiting for me to wade into the midst of it with three weeks of perspective and the slow burning inferno of primal rage to make some kind of sense of it.

Well, my life isn't looking to calm down anytime in the near future and at this rate, the thing's never going to be posted and if I keep waiting until it is to update this blog, it's going to continue to gather dust and be of no use to anyone. Just now, literally minutes ago, I just said to myself, "fuck it, time to start posting again."

So...I'm back, bitches. And I'm more pissed off than ever.