My brother likes the new layout of Not Pillage. I'm not certain that I do. I actually liked the whole simplistic black and white thingy. No artifice, no pretension. Black words on a white screen (YOU KIDS GET OFFA MY LAWN!) But I just couldn't deal anymore with video being relegated to too small a space. So I changed it.
Over 9 years ago, I decided to go with the Typepad basic service. Wordpress wasn't available yet, and I liked the people who created, own and run 6 Apart. Even though, as a basic subscriber, I don't have the options of stylesheet design and layout I would wish, I still have a robust and secure internet presence. I could transfer to Wordpress now, but No. The reasons are many.
1) Few things amuse me more than people claiming ownership over a webspace that they don't pay for. I don't want to be 'that guy'.
2) I could pay for hosting and still use Wordpad, but that seems a bit inconsistent when I have what I want. My blogging has never been about saving money.
3) Though I have sassed them before, and they have sassed me back, I still like the people who run and created Typepad.
4) It ain't Blogger.
This layout is okay. It's starting to grow on me, and I can introduce a bit of color when I need to.
If ever there was a video that required the full exposure a new layout could offer, this is it:
The election is coming. It is time to make a choice. There are those who would have you believe that Obama is a bad choice and I'm just telling you that he's better than the alternative. No fucking way. He is *BETTER* than the alternative, but this sad-sack bad-choice crap is just that, crap. I don't like getting shit on by the rich, and I don't really care that drone strikes should have me getting even more shit on by the rich. There are those who believe that one should willingly hurt oneself to support a morality that favors others (when the truth is it won't favor those others at all.) 'We need to punish bad doers by punishing ourselves' they will claim. Nope. No I don't. I need no such thing.
Drones are the weapons of the future, here now. They will be used by any President elected, including Jill Stein. That is the way of technology; I know because it's my business to know. If you want universal peace, then write in Ron Paul. Me? I'm voting for the people who will favor what and how I live. These are my choices:
I haven't a doubt that I will be accused of 'only supporting Democrats'. I've been doing the blogging thing for 9+ years. You don't think I've seen all this bullshit from right or left before?
It's been nearly 2 days now since Chief Justice Roberts, in a moment of epilepsy drug fueled psychosis, betrayed the will of TEA Party Jesus and handed the country over to the Kenyon Devil body and soul. That's BODY AND SOUL I tell you! In that time, the wretched Michelle Malkin (the original anchor baby) has continued her whine about the KD's lack of spending precious precious middle class dollars to help her specifically with a little fire problem she's having. Speaker 'Darrelle' Boehner and the contemptible other brother Darrelle Issa got a 'Dear John' letter from the Justice department saying 'Kindly fuck yourself. Signed: All my Love, the Ghost of Ronald Reagan'. The EPA has been Constitutionally cleared to actually do their job. Students will not have to serve longer in their financial indenture for learning that Maiasaurs were not the babysitters of Babylonian young un's. Candidate Mittens has vowed to repeal National Romneycare, though he has not, nor ever will, any power or authority to do so.
It has not been a nice couple of days to be a wingnut clown, and everyone is around to see those tears.
Still, celebration is premature and there's a buttload of work left to do. This is what I'm getting at. In business, regardless of a plan or proposition, there will always be someone of some authority who says 'let's take a step back and look at other options'. And there will always be that one who says that after the plan is inevitable or has been implemented. Stepping back on Health Care reform is not an option. The ACA is the law, and it will not be repealed. I do not credit Obama for this, though I could, but the American people have learned more actual facts about the ACA in two days then they have since it's passage. Outrage is a great megaphone. It may not be what 'we' want, but it is a step in the right direction. There is no reason to step backwards.
Yet strangely, there are those not of the wingnut variety who wish we had. Every single historical indicator points to how that would be a terrible thing for the progress towards 'Medicare for all', commonly called 'single-payer'. Before Justice Roberts' brain-dysfunction upholding the ACA, almost every single lefty in the land was prepared to either crow about the failure of corporate will or lament the idea that the goal was that much farther away. Hmm. We don't have to do either. There doesn't need to be any stepping back. There won't be any stepping back. Yet still some wail that there should be.
Read that first paragraph again. The right has been rope-a-doped to the point that Malkin is screaming for socialist help, and Romney is clearly arguing against himself. Even CJ Roberts is joking about hiding in a bunker against the wailing of wingnuttia. This is the time to strike. In a metaphor my brother will appreciate, the American metal is the right kind of hot. Use the hammer now, before it becomes brittle. This is the time to take back this country from the rightward shift. That's all there is to it.
I fully accept that others may not accept my plea here. Okay. John Cole said it better than I could have anyway.
There's a bunch of folks all puffed up with 'principles' thinking that voters are uninformed, and candidates have an easy job manipulating that lack of knowledge. Really? Let's find out how much the intelligencia actually know about pleasing people who live and know where and what they live.
I received an email from someone I do not know chiding me for my 'defense of Steve Bullock' in my last post. Since it appears that it was sent in good faith, I will not repost it or expose the author here. It did raise a few questions or concerns that have been occupying my thoughts here of late, so I'll post what response I can.
First, I was not defending Steve Bullock. Some of my opinions were posted yesterday, so allow me to flesh them out here. (Wait. You don't have to allow it because this is my forum.) My opinion is that Bullock's response to the question was fueled by surprise at being asked a question that doesn't much pass his radar. He responded as a candidate to a question he didn't expect, about an issue that is not very big to him, and informed himself only by his legal training. A Governor should not be in the business of overturning the will of his constituents. Those who think the response thoughtless have every right and reason to do so, especially as it affects them personally. I'm not defending that response at all. In truth, I thought it kind of thoughtless as well. To me, it was also understandable, and not of much substance. That is not a defense, it's rather pointing out the obvious.
The rest of the email can be boiled down to one question, in a couple of parts. 'How can you write that GBLT marriage rights are of no concern to you when it is a matter of civil rights?' That is actually a fine question, the one that demanded this response, one I have no problem answering when seen for it's parts.
First, how can marriage equality not affect me? Back in 2004, when Montana was considering it's defense of hetero-normity amendment, we were all inundated with the rather 'pragmatic' argument that gay weddings would cheapen, kill, blaspheme and destroy traditional marriage and our moral standing in the world. The correct and appropriate response to that was also very pragmatic and honest. Nope, gay people getting married won't influence or affect me one single iota. Not even a smidgen. Yet now that the amendment became a part of the Constitution of Montana, I am being asked to admit that it does affect me. No. No it doesn't. Whether or not GBLT people have wedding rights will not change my life at all. Not one bit. I'm not doing a 180 on this. My answer in 2004 is the same as my answer in 2012. It won't affect me either way. However, there are those that it will affect in very dramatic ways. And that is the root of single issue voting.
Those who feel (rightly or wrongly) that a single issue will affect them deeply given it's outcome are single issue voters and by all correct thinking, they should be. Where problems arise (one of many ways) is when single issue voters use that issue as an appeal to universalize voting itself. A bigger problem is when multi-issue voters use the single as a rallying cry to attack the person, rather than the issue. Witness this: Dave Strohmaier put out an advertisement promoting his support of marriage equality in Montana. The self-appointed liberal watchdog of Montana living in Colorado pulled his best Admiral Ackbar impression and warned us all that Strohmaier was likely deceitful, using a wedge issue to manipulate our votes. What's funny to me is this, a politician bringing up a wedge issue designed for single issue voters is to be suspect, but a poor response about a single issue thrown at a politician is cause for sharpening pitchforks and lighting torches (with all due non-violence, of course.) It seems to me there is something wrong with that. Claiming that something affects all people when it doesn't really isn't true. It often doesn't even ring true on reading.
What is wrong is confusion. It is using a single issue in effort to universalize it to all voters. That is what has happened with GBLT rights. Gay marriage is not the actual issue. The issue is civil rights. On that score, I don't think Bullock failed, despite himself. Ted Kennedy famously argued in the Senate that if rights were to mean anything, they could not be open to the will of voters, and especially could not be defined or denied by the states in this unified Republic. I think, my opinion, that many if not most, Puritopians have forgotten that simple truth. What the AG or Governor in Montana argues for or does not means little to the rights we all should have.
Yes, that affects me, just not on any level that will actually affect my life or the way I live it. Sad paradox, isn't it? Boiled down, GBLT rights are a matter of principle. Civil rights are a matter of principle. But when the rubber meets the road, telling anyone that a principle that will not affect them in even the smallest bit is more important than causes and effects that will alter their life is a poor strategy. It is begging one to agree with the universal nature of a cause that really isn't universal at all.
I'm not a single issue voter. I've yet to encounter a single issue that affects me so very much that I will pin my hopes on electoral success. At no point do I or will I fault those who do. Nor will I be told that a single issue defines my life or beliefs just because it might be falsely universalized.
I don't fault people for being single issue voters, when the issue they favor is one that affects them quite personally. It's all the better when that issue is not a betrayal of other beliefs they might have. I will never support people voting against their own self-interest, so it would be foolish to chide them when they vote for that best self interest.
D. Gregory Smith will not support Steve Bullock in his candidacy for the Governorship of Montana. It looks like he's got a very good reason not to do so. I admit to not having paid due attention to Heather Margolis in the primary, but will do so in the future. That was inspired by Smith's impassioned plea for equality.
Notice please, that doesn't mean I don't have disagreement with D. Gregory. I actually kind of do. In my view of the law, the Constitution and democratic representation, I don't see that any Governor or Gubernatorial candidate should have the desire or will to overturn what has been clearly stated by the people. They can foster a change in the Constitution, but not demand it. That would be no better than a legislature that overturns the people's will to have access to medical marijuana, now would it? CI 96 was passed by a significant majority of Montanans. As awful as it is, it is the law that the executive must deal with because the people wrote it into the Constitution. A Governor cannot and should not be able to overturn the will of the people in this state. Unlike the medical marijuana initiative, this was a constitutional change, which can only be overturned by the people's vote or a federal judicial declaration of violation of rights. I'm hoping the latter happens sometime in the near future.
Bullock's statement was not a support of GBLT individuals, and I understand that clearly. But it was a statement of support for Montana law as passed by the people. No one has a microscope to see into Bullock's soul such that we can parse his statement to be what we want, or to see what he meant by:
I do not favor changing the constitution
To be honest, I don't favor changing the Montana Constitution either, by non-Constitutional means. The Governor should have no such power. I think Bullock, as AG, knows this. Maybe he favors CI 96, and maybe he doesn't. That isn't what was asked of him. Personally, if this issue directly affected me, I would state exactly what D. Gregory Smith did. As it stands, Margolis should be considered, and that's a good thing.
But then the Puritopians hoist their banner of "All or Nothing"! One Montana blogger tweeted today:
Bullock's anti-equality message means less votes for governor of Montana. JUST SAY NO TO THE BULLOCK
Oh yeah, that's helpful. Bullock pushed Gays to the back of the bus, and so he is evil and must be reviled. Like Joan of Arc, holy writ must be observed, and Bullock spoke words of evil. Stand against the Bullock! Do any folk remember what happened to Joan of Arc?
There is no holy writ, save that doing the right thing must be recognized and considered. Calling for people to "Just say no to the Bullock" is stupid, and actually could well stand against the desires that caused Smith to make his decision in the first place. Calling for crucifixion of one who might favor your desires while allowing the opponents to gather strength is exactly what lead to the fiery end of many crusades, including that of Joan of Arc. The Puritopians want it all, in one fell swoop, and will be sorely disappointed when that doesn't happen. Worse still, they will thwart the desires of those who actually have a dog in this hunt, like D. Gregory Smith does.
The difference between "I will not" and "you must not" should be resoundingly clear. Sadly, for the Puritopians, it never really is.
2011 probably wasn't the best year for most folks, though there was considerable improvement for many. Politically speaking, it's been one of the most polarizing years I can think of. Here's hoping for a better 2012.
We can make that happen. Many individuals, smart and otherwise, have argued loud and long that America has a two-party problem. We have a center right party and a far right party. I'm not going to argue that; I never would or have. Here's the thing, though. Our challenge, which should be clear, remains muddied. How do we get a left party in control of our governance?
If 2010, an awful year, is any indication, then the path would be to kill off the center right party. How'd that work out? Not well, obviously. Since handing the US House back to the Republicans, the 99%ers have been held hostage at least 5 times. I'm certainly glad we got rid of those Blue-Dog Dems in favor of truly partisan tea-baggers. After all, partisanship is the problem and getting rid of partisans for more strongly partisan folks is surely the answer.
Or not. How about this? If the country has moved to the right because we have a center-right party and a far-right party, maybe the solution in defending the left isn't to attack the anchor in the middle. Just saying ... Maybe, just maybe, if we destroy the far right, utterly obliterate them, then maybe we might have vision left to support the left. Just maybe. It's easy to see that destroying the far right would leave us with a center right party in control, and doesn't that suck. Maybe it does, except ...
You've all taken high school math, right? If you want a function to move in a desired direction, you don't remove a moderating variable. You remove the extremes. It is that simple. Remove the far right and you have a median that resembles more the country in representation. The center right party already contains those who are of the left. Destroy the far right, and you can't help but have a policy forwarded that better favors the middle and lower classes. More to the point, you have a starting position for moving policy and politics towards the left. This isn't that goddamned difficult. Remove people like Skees, Burnett and Rehberg and you are left with people who are more pliant to your needs. Start from the center right, and you're one helluva lot closer to where you want to go than giving the game away to the far right, as we liberals did in 2010.
Here's to a happy New Year, one in which liberals finally decide to fight back rather than let the right take our apathy as acquiescence.
I don’t care about the outcome of the Obamacare bill. Without it we’re screwed, but he (Obama) made sure that with it we’re screwed as well.
~sigh~ Obama didn't put Scalia or Thomas on the SCOTUS. He didn't even have a chance to vote for or against them. But it's somehow his fault that these two ethically challenged assholes are on the court ruling against the people.
Yes, stupid is as stupid does. Blaming a person in whatever position for screwing you over when they had no say in the screwing is doing the stupid. Thanks, Mark.