Voting

Nov. 4th, 2008 04:26 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
There was no waiting at our polling place.  Also, there was essentially nobody on the ballot.  Okay, so like 6 pairs running for President, and around 8 people running for other things (4 running unopposed).  And there was a non-binding referendum to tell the state legislature whether or not we want universal health coverage in the State of Wisconsin.  We spent quite a while looking for sample ballots last night because we couldn't quite believe there would be so little on it and figured the ones we were finding were incomplete. 

At some point, because I've been thinking about it a lot lately, I want to take a little time to post about why it is that the more I hear about the anti-same sex marriage amendment bills, the more angry I get about them.  But not right now because my VB controls are crying at me to be arranged properly on my form. 
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I ran across this the other day.  It is a long but good read. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?em  (This one does not seem to require sign in.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink (Same article, but this link is theoretically permanent--seems to require login though.)

Dream

Apr. 5th, 2008 10:15 am
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I had a dream last night that I was in bed with Obama. No, we weren't doing anything. Except I was explaining to him that even if he did become the President, "The most powerful man in the world is just a political distinction."
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
ONE DAY CONTENT STRIKE - Friday, March 21st (note: this actually begins on Thursday, the 20th in the US)

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics: a permanent reminder of the power of the userbase.

This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do.

This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of adfree space.

This is a protest that will educate the new owners that LJ is driven by user-created content.

The 24-hour strike will begin at the following times for the following locations:

Thursday, March 20, 2:00 PM -- Honolulu
Thursday, March 20, 4:00 PM -- Anchorage
Thursday, March 20, 5:00 PM -- San Francisco; Los Angeles
Thursday, March 20, 6:00 PM -- Mexico City; Denver
Thursday, March 20, 7:00 PM -- Chicago
Thursday, March 20, 8:00 PM -- Montreal; New York; Toronto
Thursday, March 20, 9:00 PM -- Buenos Aires
Midnight -- London
Friday, March 21, 1:00 AM -- Paris
Friday, March 21, 2:00 AM -- Istanbul
Friday, March 21, 3:00 AM -- Moscow
Friday, March 21, 4:00 AM -- Dubai
Friday, March 21, 5:00 AM -- Islamabad
Friday, March 21, 6:00 AM -- Bangladesh
Friday, March 21, 7:00 AM -- Bangkok
Friday, March 21, 8:00 AM -- Singapore
Friday, March 21, 9:00 AM -- Tokyo
Friday, March 21, 10:00 AM -- Brisbane
Friday, March 21, 11:00 AM -- Sydney
Friday, March 21, 12 Noon -- Suva
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Apparently renting a home in Wisconsin doesn't actually make you a resident of the state. Because "renting is temporary, so a lease doesn't prove that you live here even though a documentation of a mortgage would." What a fucking bitch.

Fortunately I can take 2 hours off work another day and drive across town with any number of other documents I do have, but didn't have on me, which in no way prove that I live here, and use those to establish residency. Who would have thought that the documents they require for a drivers license are different than those they require to prove residency for registering a car, and in addition make no fucking sense.

Maybe instead of just offering tax incentives for home ownership, which just shift the demand curve, and don't actually make homes more affordable, we could help people achieve the American Dream by not making them feel less like people for not "having a home."

Yeah, and incidentally, I have tons of documentation that would make it easy for me to get a drivers license in Illinois, Oregon, or New York (if those states have such fucked up rules)... in spite of not living in any of those places. In spite of not ever having ever lived in New York.

Edit: Okay, so actually on closer examination of our papers we don't seem to have a document that will allow me to prove residency for a drivers license, since our pay stubs don't have our address on them (which is evidently required for them to work), and the only utility bill we have received thus far is in Josh's name and not mine... because a utility bill on a rental home is so much more permanent than a lease on a rental home. I've got 10 more days before I'm in violation of the law for living here 60 days and not changing my drivers license over. If I wasn't so pissed off, that would probably be funny.

Edit #2: And as if things didn't seem nuts enough before, get this: they mail your new drivers license to your home address... which really begs the question why they can't just take my word for it and figure that if I am lying about my address I wont ever actually receive my drivers license, so it's okay.
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Kucinich)
Normally I rely on Project Vote Smart for a lot of my info, since I like the way they compile answers from the candidates on issues. But neither Clinton nor Obama took their survey. :-(

Anyone know of another source for such a thing? Or am I just going to have to muck through transcripts of their sweet talk and see if I can learn anything meaningful?
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Today is National Climate Change Day. I wish someone had told me before...
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I've been reading in "Earth in the Balance" about genetic diversity and agriculture. This book is 15 years old, but it is raising some important issues I've never even heard about before. For that reason, I am sorely tempted to transcribe, scan, or photograph the section to share with you guys. Because it sounds like important stuff, and because I know a lot of people on my friends page are knowledgeable on related topics and might have interesting things to say about it. But I wont be doing that at work.

In the mean time, I'm wondering what you can tell me about the genetic engineering of crops controversy. I mean, I know there is controversy, but I've never really understood why. I always figured it was fear of creating the next kudzu, scotch broom, or Himalayan blackberry and accidentally releasing it into the wild... which is certainly a legitimate concern, but hardly more legitimate with genetically engineered plants than with crops we simply transport from one corner of the Earth to another. But now I'm beginning to think there may be a lot more to the concern over genetically engineered crops, and am hoping someone in LJ-land could shed a little more light on it for me...

And relatedly, I've got to figure out how to send a letter to Al Gore. I want to encourage him to make an updated edition of "Earth in the Balance."
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I often wonder how different America, and the world, would be right now if Al Gore had been elected won the election in 2000. I finally got around to watching "An Inconvenient Truth" in December, and currently I am reading "Earth in the Balance," not that I wasn't plenty worried about the issue before. I think of the section about Easter Island in "Collapse" regularly, and the illustration it gives of our dependency on a healthy environment. For those of you who haven't read it, a 1 sentence synopsis of Easter Island is that Easter Island supported a large and prosperous civilization, but they depended heavily on the large palm trees for building many things including their sea-worthy canoes (deep water fishing making an important part of the food source) and the fertility of the soil to grow crops, so after they used the trees to extinction and their top soil became depleted, they were trapped on an island which could no longer support their population. The Earth is a much bigger and more complex system than Easter Island, but it is itself an island. We have no where else to go. And this is increasingly relevant as we are increasingly able to affect the environment on a global scale. If we screw up and don't take proper care of Her before it is too late, we could find ourselves in pretty much the same situation as the Easter Islanders.

So many of the other issues facing our society seem so trivial to me when compared with the climate crisis. 9/11, the war in Iraq, even the rising cost of health care, the gap between rich and poor, education, and a woman's right to choose--what do any of those issues really matter if we can't leave a healthy environment to our children and grand children? I wonder how different the world would be today if we had spent the last 6 years concentrating as a nation on things that actually matter... instead of fighting a pointless war half way around the globe.
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Kucinich)
... but I need to get some sleep.

+ Democrats almost certainly gaining control of the House
- Democrats probably failing to gain control of the Senate by approximately one seat
+ High voter turn out (relative to recent elections and considering that it is a midterm election)
- Lots of reports of problems with electronic voting machines
+++ Green party candidate for Governor of Illinois getting about 11% of the vote (YEPEE! I've got to say this part really made my day.)

Of course nothing is certain until every last ballot has been counted and recounted and the Supreme Court weighs in, but I feel good tonight. I just wish Josh was up to have a glass of wine with me in celebration. I don't know how anyone can sleep with so much excitement in the air.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
So what makes a legal signature a legal signature, and a legal name a legal name?

My understanding is that my legal name is, for pretty much all intents and purposes, the name that I changed my name to on my social security card and drivers license after I got married. But it's not exactly that because it's really that I'm "using" my married name and didn't actually get a court order to actually change my name.

My understanding is that my legal signature is the consistant way in which I make the mark of my choice, and the only aspect of it that really matters is that I make it consistantly. The fact that I sign my name Mary Peter Middendorf rather than Jane Doe III (or a collection of uniteligable scribles scribbles with a unique shape, like most people) only matters because that's the consistant mark I choose to make.

But today when I went to vote they gave me a hard time. You see, on the voter registry, I am listed in print as "Middendorf, Mary E.P." (Mary Elizabeth Peter Middendorf wouldn't fit on my drivers license and I registered to vote by saying "yes" at the DMV when they asked me if I wanted to register to vote). However, as I said, I sign Mary Peter Middendorf. Well, the people at the polling place seriously hassled me about this, even though the signature for me that they had on file was exactly the same as the one I made. They did let me vote, but I had the impression that they felt like they were doing my a favor and they said my voter registration had to be updated so it matched my signature. WTF? Shouldn't my voter registration be under my, you know, normal legal name? And shouldn't I sign my normal legal signature? Don't they keep them both on file together for a reason? They also hassled Josh on this same issue--who ever had entered his name had him down as "Middendorf, Joshua G. Peter", and they hassled him for signing what looked to them like "John Middendorf" (but I'm sure matched his signature on file since his signature always looks like John Midden-scribble).

So would somebody like to explain to me either what my name is, or how I'm supposed to register to vote, or how I'm supposed to sign when I vote, or what a legal signature is, or what I should do to complain about having incompetant poll workers? Argh.

I'm seriously frustrated by this. Why didn't anyone ever tell me that having 4 names will cause endless headaches for the rest of your life because nobody else can handle it!? Argh.

Edit: I called and reported it. Will anything come of it? Who knows. But it really is inappropriate for them to hassle people like this without a legitimate reason, even though they did eventually let us vote, and I feel better for having had my complaint noted and recorded. If anyone else had/has problems, the nation wide number is 866-OUR-VOTE. This hotline seems to be a joint effort by a number of organizations, including NAACP and People For the American Way, as part of their efforts to monitor the fairness of this election. I'm glad there are organizations out there doing this, and I'm glad Josh and I finally got off our lazy asses and made a donation to People For the American Way last night.

Voting

Nov. 6th, 2006 12:11 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Tomorrow is voting day. I have to say, I really don't like this whole thing of going to the place to vote. I much preferred Oregon's system of voting by mail. That way my ballot would show up in the mail and I could just sit down at the privacy of my own desk with my ballot and my voters hand book, and make my votes and do whatever research I found myself wanting to do when I got to something on the ballot where it wasn't immediately obvious what way I wanted to vote. I could take practically however long I wanted to do this, provided that I actually was good and started early enough (which generally I did). And I never had to worry about remembering what name or what measure number went with what positions or desired vote because I did it all right there. Also, I didn't have to worry about getting home in time to vote on voting day, or whether I had pulled up a correct and complete sample ballot online to even find out which items I'd be voting on (I failed to get myself a complete list last time and didn't realize until I was there trying to fill it out).
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I had a dream last night that President Bush pulled me over and gave me a $500 ticket. Not for a traffic violation, but just because he could.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Important stuff. Read it. It's your civic duty.

http://iainuki.livejournal.com/108901.html
http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/09/legalization-of-torture-an_115945829460324274.html

Am I the only one who increasingly finds herself talking about the news, at home in bed with her husband, and expressing a strongly held feeling about the current political situation, only to stop a moment later and think... "God, maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud?" I don't know what to do, and I am scared.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
UK, Calif. make global warming deal
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060801/ap_on_sc/blair_global_warming

Okay, it doesn't sound like there was actually any substance to the deal, but I approve of a high profile Republican Governor trying to go over Bush's head in this regard. Arnold is officially my favorite Republican politician, for the exceptionally little that's worth.
sillygoosegirl: (Character - Tenar)
Once upon a time, I read in a book about an alien species whose customs demanded that if a murder was committed, the one who committed it must die, or if he could not be found, 12 innocent "relatives" must die in his place. I thought, that is ridiculous, I can't believe that even a weird alien culture could follow practices so absurd and so horrible. Should not one innocent life count for more than the lives of many guilty?

But it's been many years since I read that book. I do not remember what else was in that book, but I remember the part about those weird aliens, and their attack on a space station holding 12 persons of the same species as the one who committed a murder against them. I remember it because it was so dumb and unbelievable.

But I've had a lot of time to think about it, and compare it to what I hear about in current events in violent places. It is disposable, but unfortunately it is not nearly so alien as I once believed.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
"Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives." -Editorial Page, Sunday, June 19 Portland Oregonian
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Kucinich)
Where was that man when 2 years ago? Where was that man 6 years ago?

I want to vote for him.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I must not be as cool as Josh is. I got the email from Senator Durbin, but not the one from Senator Clinton.

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