Monday, March 31

political perspectives

I overheard these three gems (?) on Saturday at the convention:

#1: "I'd vote for Hillary Clinton even if she were a man." (from a Clinton supporter)

#2: "I'd vote for Barack Obama even if he were white." (from an Obama supporter)

#3: "Eat the fish, leave the bones." (from a black woman, regarding the Reverend Jeremiah Wright -- meaning: we don't accept every word that comes out of his mouth, either, regardless of what Rush Limbaugh would have us believe).

Sunday, March 30

Saturday in the park

No denying that the lines to get our credentials approved was long yesterday, at the Texas Democratic Senate District 8 convention, but it was orderly. I would've arranged for at least three times as many poll workers! I brought a full-charged iPod and a couple books to read, but found myself conversing with other delegates most of the day.

Our precinct's nine Obama delegates (and a few alternates) gathered remotely as a group, but split into lines based on surname once we arrived at the convention. Then, we decided to gather instead in the "problem children" line because our paperwork from March 4 had been lost. {sigh} Needless to say, this gave our precinct a better chance to know one another, even though we'd met 2 nights before to plot strategy*
* that lasted 3 hours, although I arrived 2 hours late due to a conflicting meeting. I had to wonder how many meetings I've attended where I could arrive 2 hours late, and find that I really hadn't missed much!
Our precinct was allocated 15 delegates to this State Senate Convention; Obama led 9-6. Once we got into the Thomas Jefferson High School auditorium (complete with balcony!) the task was mostly waiting - two votes were cast in the next 3 hours (amidst occasional mini-speeches by those running for office): one for our presidential preference and the other for our precinct's lone representative to the Texas State Democratic convention - in June.

By 3pm - 7 hours after our morning rendezvous - all the convention work had been completed and we all went our separate ways (now bonded by the experience). This morning, I heard the final result from our Senate convention was 59-41 Obama, which mirrored the March 4 caucus result.

I guess it'll be time to do this again in two years, right?

Saturday, March 22

T minus 4

Only four (4) more dead US soldiers and Dick Cheney will have reached His Goal of 4,000 dead! Maybe it'll happen on Easter Sunday - wouldn't that be swell (in His eyes)?

I was amazed to watch the video clip of Cheney where He was asked if He cared that 2/3 of the public is against His war, and He said "NO" (the question starts at :57 seconds).

Maybe it's just me, but He seemed particularly happy during the interview. I suspect it's because oil is over $110/barrel and His buddies at KBR (Halliburton) are raking in record profits at the expense of the National Guardsmen who are dying for His own personal gain.

It's only a matter of time until he, McCainBush and the other Republican Freaks bring back The Draft. Let's hope they (sensibly) restrict it only to Republican teenagers, since that will help to thin their ranks for future wars.

Friday, March 21

Hillary and the Nazis

At least The Clinton Campaign knows how to read history books, specifically the stuff about World War II luminary Joseph Göbbels #1 mantra: LIE (the bigger the better) and repeat it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and ... Good thing they've employed James Carville (Karl Christian Rove's twin over on the Democratic side).

Maybe she learned it from another historical figure .. a fundamentalist Baptist preacher in 1859:
If you want the truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world. it will fly; it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old proverb, 'a lie will go round the world while truth is putting its boots on.'

-Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
At least now we know what Hillary wants to be called if she's elected: Mein Führer. Bill can still be First Gentleman (let's hope he keeps fresh cigars on hand, if The Opportunity ever strikes).

BTW, I enjoyed today's CNN article:
Obama camp: Clinton would be 'deeply flawed' nominee

Tangentially related: Jim David's piece "The Black Elephant in the Room"

Wednesday, March 19

double reds

Earlier today, I did my first-ever "double red" donation, and it went well enough that I may do it again.

As explained on Carter Bloodcare's website:
"Unlike a traditional whole blood donation, Double Red Cell Collection (2RBC) allows the donor to safely give two units of red blood cells, instead of just one. The process separates blood into its components while it is being drawn. Because only red blood cells are being collected, enough can be collected for two red cell transfusions. The remaining components are returned to the donor. The collection procedure takes just 20 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and can be performed every four months. 2RBC donors must meet certain height and weight requirements, as well as routine donor criteria"
Once I'd completed the usual (CBT) pre-screening questionnaire, and hemoglobin test, and body temperature, and blood pressure check, I was plugged into a Most Splendid Machine which did the 2RBC described above. All told, I was there about 65 minutes.

Advantage #0: only red bloodcells are extracted during this procedure; you're compensated with an anticoagulant and returned plasma. My system didn't seemed as "shocked" as during a whole-blood donation (although my most common side-effect has been that hematoma bruise, which I try to mitigate by drinking lots of water before donating .. making my vein easier to find).

Advantage #1: the phlebotomist assigned to this device is the senior one (sort of like asking for The Head Barber), so the chances of Yet Another Hematoma are drastically reduced.

Advantage #2: being a sucker for technology, I enjoyed watching the monitoring device, which (among other things) accurately predicted the duration of my donation to within 60 seconds.

Advantage #3: a double-red donation doubles the interval between donations, from 8 to 16 weeks. They gave me "double the credits" per donation, so it'll mean that I'll be visiting 3 times/year instead of 6*
* technically, 3.25 times vs 6.5 times, but .. who's counting?
Finally, the phlebotomist "complimented me" on my high platelet count, and suggested I give a platelet donation at my next visit. Their website says platelet donations are possible every 2 weeks (and take 90 minutes) so I'd be badgered expected 24 times a year .. I think I'll pass on that. Well, maybe once .. but only if I get a really gooder commemorative T-shirt.

if it ain't the rain, it's the lack of children

It rained upwards of four inches here yesterday, so my evening meeting was canceled mostly due to concerns that others wouldn't be able to attend. Now, tomorrow night's meeting is also in jeopardy but for another reason: it's Spring Break Week and many people are out of town. Guess it's time for me to gather all my tax stuff and schlep it to my CPA.

Ever notice how many illiterate people work at airports? During the television coverage of DFW's shutdown (they effectively canceled their entire schedule and decided to Mulligan today), the TV monitors showed row-after-row where the flight was "CANCELLED" (there's no such word in the USA, but okay in Britain where they still spell [color] with a U, among other peculiarities).

Huzzah spot of the day (kudos, 23/6): When Fox "News" sees a black man, they cross the street and file a report on gang violence

Sunday, March 16

Return of the Bull Moose Party

Spotted: Bullying more damaging than sexual harassment

I'm unsure why this is different from the political world, when the Conservative Republic American Party has been bullying us around for the past 7 years (not to mention those awful years when Ronald Reagan was their annointed deity).

Friday, March 14

so many choices ...

I was looking up a local store and it asked for my city. I filled in [Dallas] but left the state blank. It then asked me to be more specific, offering the list below. Hmmm.

I decided to amuse myself and sort these Dallases by population (2000 Census):

Dallas, Texas (1,188,580)
Dallas, Oregon (12,459)
Dallas, Georgia (5,056)
Dallas, North Carolina (3,402)
Dallas, Pennsylvania (2,557)
Dallas, Iowa (1,298)
Dallas, West Virginia (464)
Dallas, Wisconsin (356)
Dallas, South Dakota (144)

Wednesday, March 12

waiting for April

I wonder if there are as many racists in Pennsylvania as there are in neighboring Ohio; I guess we'll know on April 22nd.

Separately, the US military death toll may hit 4,000 before then .. we're at 3,984 now, best I can tell.

Saturday, March 8

Does Hillary want a race war in August?

I'm increasingly concerned by the Rovian* tactics used by The Clinton Family as they try to find any way to steal the Democratic nomination from Barack Obama.
* Karl Christian Rove
Now that it's been publicly revealed what a Monster she is (depending on which psycho personality she brings to any given event), I suppose Hillary should prepare us for a period of civil unrest, culminating in the deaths of hundreds this August when her supporters find some way to secure her nomination. Her husband ("the first black president") will undoubtedly be very, very proud.

"President McCain" .. it just rolls off the tongue, don't you think?

Maybe when he reinstitutes The Draft, Jenna and NotJenna will be at the head of the line. I, for one, can't wait for them to be waterboarded. Pass the popcorn, please?

Wednesday, March 5

Texas Two-Step : a review

Before experiencing the Texas caucus in person (last night), I wasn't so sure about the so-called Texas Two-Step .. where voters gather soon after the polls close and hold a party caucus to allocate 1/3 of the state's delegates.

After last night, I've come to appreciate The Process, and give it a Thumbs Up.

Yes, it was mildly chaotic in my precinct (repeated in thousands of precincts across Texas, so I hear). But, it's The Most Involved I've seen the Democratic party since I moved here in 1993. Long-time poll workers told me it's the most activity they've seen in thirty (30) years of primaries. Yes, it's mostly due to the continued campaigns of Obama-Clinton this late in the race ("only 8 months until the general election!") but it's remarkable to see so many young voters really involved.
Maybe they're finally wising up to the fact that McCain plans to draft them (that means "involuntary" to you newcomers) into his Hundred Year War in Iraq (plus The Iran Expansion) just as soon as he takes office - gotta fulfill that Biblical Prophecy of Armageddon, ya know. Get ready for a steady dose of fear-Fear-FEAR as we approach 4 November 2008.
At any rate .. the caucus proceeded deliberately in my precinct: 123 people packed half of a school cafeteria (the other half occupied by another precinct caucus of similar size) and carefully completed The Caucus Form where we filled out our names and candidate choice. In my precinct, Obama beat Clinton 71-52 and got 9 delegates to her 6. Those delegates will proceed to a County Convention (apparently) on March 29th - a Saturday.

The caucus accomplished several things:
  1. it brought everything out into the open - no secret ballot in this step. No hiding under a white sheet.
  2. it forced people to get involved in the party process. Many of us would otherwise never see this "level of detail" or even meet our "closet Democrat neighbors" (in a red state like Texas where the GOP has bullied the minorities for years, this is HUGE).
  3. it mitigated the nonsense caused by the Texas GOP in the primary (see my blog post of 4 March to understand how the GOP tried to Screw The Democratic Primary). In my precinct, only two (2) Republicans showed up for the Democratic caucus, and they only stayed long enough to sign their names and leave.
After all was said and done, Clinton won the Texas primary (as I predicted on February 9th*) but lost the delegate count. For what I observed, this was both fair and appropriate. Although the Texas Two Step sounded bizarre at first, I'm now a big believer in The Process.
* and YES, I acknowledge that I completely blew the prediction about Huckabee. Even the mouth-foaming Ron Paul supporters (with their Big Signs) didn't have any perceptible impact.

McCain : a real keeper!

H/T to Geoff for spotting this gem, being covered up (as are most all Indian affairs in Arizona) by the McCain staffers: McCain's Personal Genocide?.

It's long been one of my Life Theories that you can tell a lot about a person's character - or lack thereof - by watching how they interact with minorities (however defined). McCain's treatment of the Navajo is really deplorable. I guess he's more interested in chasing skirt, heavy drinking, studying to retain his rank in the bottom 1% of the class - all attributes of his mentor, George W. Bush. Yeah, he's a real keeper.

Tuesday, March 4

Texas Republicans vote for Clinton

One of my former colleagues (a self-described evangelical) says the Texas GOP is doing all it can to ensure a beatable Democrat (Clinton) in the fall election. Since I noticed a long Democratic line during early voting, I wasn't surprised to hear this admission:
Just to tell you how widespread it is, today's Republican line was totally empty, the Dem line had about a dozen folks ahead of me. I recognized about half of them from the County Republican fundraiser. We all winked at each other.
I wonder if the same shenanigans are taking place in Ohio - do they also have an open primary?

It'll be interesting to see how many Republicans I spot at tonight's caucus, in the Hillary camp.

Ref: terrorist voting

what are the odds - will there be a new sheriff in town?

Personally, I'm hoping today marks the end of the Clintons in American politics. While I think Bill was (mostly) effective, I've never been able to warm up to any of Hillary's various personalities.

On the other hand, I'm 100% in agreement with Mark Andreessen, who penned An hour and a half with Barack Obama yesterday. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to vote for someone who can truly inspire real change. For the first time in many years, I found myself voting FOR someone, versus against the more repulsive candidate. I'm so tired of all The Haters out there.

Monday, March 3

issues? schmissues!

spotted in today's Managed News, quoting a campaign staffer out canvassing:
"People say they cast their votes based on the issues, but 95 percent of the time, they don't."
Why am I not surprised? I still think most voters -- lacking even basic knowledge -- should never be allowed into the voting booths.