A picture is worth a thousand words…

Thursday, 12/02/2009 ≅20:23 ©brainycat

And I certainly couldn't have said it better myself. So I'll spare you the rant and share a pic via roxykatt:

Enjoy Capitalism, billions are suffering for you

Enjoy Capitalism, billions are suffering for you

Seattle PI prints a rebuttal to Joel Connelly

Wednesday, 04/02/2009 ≅14:32 ©brainycat

Redeeming themselves in my eyes, the Seattle PI ran an excellent column written by Lisa M. Stone, executive director of Northwest Women's Law Center, Christine Charbonneau, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and  Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

In this column, these women demonstrate the misinformation and poor thinking that got me so riled up earlier this week.

Humanity’s days may be numbered

Tuesday, 03/02/2009 ≅21:05 ©brainycat

For all those who laugh at my preparations for the oncoming end of the Age of Living Humans:

The Zombieclypse is starting in Texas, via Skulls in the Stars.

And further proof that living humans are not at the top of the terrestrial food chain any longer, via local panic mongerers KIRO tv.

If I hacked a road sign, I'd change it to "YOU ARE LOST". But I'm sort of an asshole like that.

An open response to Joel Connelly

Monday, 02/02/2009 ≅19:20 ©brainycat

Normally I like Joel Connelly's Op-Ed pieces in the Seattle PI. Sunday's column, however, is full of the same sort of twisted logic and failed half-truths that I would expect from the Taliban and other abrahamaic evangelicals that I had to write him a letter.

First, Joel's column:

My reply:

I must write to you to say that in this column, you have truly
disappointed every reader in this house. Normally, we find your
columns cogent, insightful and instructive even if we feel your
premises are misinformed or your conclusions flawed. However, this
column is so far below your normal standards we wonder if you actually
wrote it.

To compare religious superstitionists to courageous civil disobediers
standing up to the material horror of western imperialism, or brave
individuals standing true to their ideals against the hysteria of
McCarthyism is an analogy that entirely fails by any account of logic.
The most grotesque perversion of rationalism has to be the argument
that opposing the unfettered, legal distribution of a particular drug that
is relevant to a certain segement of the population is no
different than struggling for access for a drug for a different set of
patients. Excuse me? Remove the religiousostiy from your arguments,
and there's nothing left. The last time I read the Constitution, it
said we all have a right to be free from religion's influence in
government. That means free from your religion, too, Joel. NARAL et al
are not trying to tell you what to believe, but ensuring people who
believe differently than you can share public and professional spaces
without undue and unfair hindrance.

In this day and age, to deny healthcare to a class of customers based
on a particular set of "morals" that have their roots in the same
oppressive idealogies that lead to the Dark Ages of Europe is nothing
short of criminal. By your logic, we should praise the catholics who
aided and abetted the nazi's because "they were following their
conscience". I can't follow you down that dark and slippery path, and
fortunately some people in our government see the bigger issues at
stake. In my job, my wife's job, and everyone I know, we are asked to
put aside our feelings and leave our personal lives at home to fulfill
the duties required of us to earn our paychecks. What makes pharmacy
technicians any different? If they don't want to be asked to prescribe
a drug that may or may not prevent a pregnancy that may or may not
happen without intervention, they can find a job where they will not
be asked to do so.

But they keep coming back to their jobs at the dispensary, day after
day. It would seem to me that these pharmacy techs believe more
strongly in dollars than in their god.

Absontee Election Ballot Coverage

Tuesday, 28/10/2008 ≅14:56 ©brainycat

I'm working on my ballot.

Initiatives are my favorite part of voting. Except the drivel that comes from Tim Eyman. I-985 is a joke at best, and a wasteful debacle that jeopardizes public safety everywhere in the state. Oddly enough, both sides quote the same report for their numbers about what the real costs and benefits are. This bill explicity refuses to allow money to go to alternatives to single occupancy vehicles, and takes money away from infrastructure projects in the rest of the state. BAD IDEAS!!!!

I-1000: The "best" argument against it is that persons on the crap end of capitalism will kill themselves sooner than if they were on the wealthy end. NewsFlash! Poor people are ALREADY dying sooner, and have been for time immemorial! I don't see any of these superstitious jesusfreaks falling over themselves to fight for affordable healthcare for everyone, now do I? The way we die is too intimate and private, especially after a long illness, to do anything but allow real options and real dialogues between patients and providers.

Speaking of healthcare, I-1029 doesn't seem like the best way forward for anyone but SEIU. There is a bill in the state house right now that would provide a certification path all the way from part-time home care provider to RN, and the PI says the other plan is cheaper as well. I'm all for the unions, but I can't ever stand to get behind a dumb idea.

I'm actually opposed to making the Elections Director an elected job. It WILL become partisan if it does. It's easier to have an executive fired than recalled if they screw the pooch. Additionally, as long as it's not an elected position, the whacko people like Eyman won't be able to influence it as easily. NO on Amendment 1!

Amendment 2 adds the language "disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression" to the  list of cardinal civil rights rules the county and it's contractors must abide by. YES, DUHHHH!!!

One thing I've noticed: King County loves to absorb power for themselves! Amendment 3 concentrates all the power of the existing regional councils into fewer hands... Then it gives these small cabals MORE power!! WRONG! FAIL!

I'm voting against Amendment 4 for two reasons. One, we the people already decide who's properly qualified when we cast our ballots. Two, there's some frighteningly vague wording about "Additional qualifications my be enacted by ordinance..." Picture, if you will, the far-right in charge of -just- enough votes to pass an ordinance saying, for example, "The sheriff must meet community standards of decency." And that means whats-her-name could be disqualified for being gay, nevermind that she's the best sheriff we've had in King County in ten years.

Amendment 5 wants to create a new county council, dedicated to providing economic and financial forecasts to the county every year. I don't think we need more politicians trying to be economists, we need more economists to be paid consulting fees for rendering a vital service. More public servants sucking up my tax dollars while they fiddle numbers to suit their political careers is not what King County needs more of.

Speaking of taking the time to fiddle the numbers, Amendment 6 requires the budgets to be turned in 20 days sooner than they are now. I think this is a good idea, it's nearly 3 extra weeks to work with the proposals.

After that little bit of generosity, King County goes back to their powerhungry ways again. They want to require citizen initiatives to require twice as many signatures - 20% vs. 10% of the number of people who voted for or against the county executive  - to get an initiative on the ballot. No, NO, NO!

The last amendment removes the party-based language from the election process for county executive, county assessor and districting comittees. I'm voting for this ONLY because our primary system is totally fubared in this state, and taking the party out of those positions puts more power back into the hands of the people.

But enough about rules and procedures. Let's get on to the popularity contest.

Obama and Gregoire, duh. Jim McDermott voted AGAINST the Wall Street bailout, so he's made a fan of me for life. Brad Owen is clearly deserving to win a 3rd massive majority for Lt. Gov.  Jason Osgood is clearly the best guy to run our elections as Secretary of State - he actually understands why the Diebold machine is an Orwellian implement. Jim McIntire, running for state treasurer, has the endorsements of the state Labor Council and NARAL, which are good enough for me. Brian Sonntag's opponent for State Auditor mentions church and prolife organizations in his bio, so Brian is in. Our current Attorney General hasn't done much for me, but that's because I'm not incorporated. John Ladenburg is the new man. Goldmark is picking up my vote for Commisioner of Public Lands, because the incumbent didn't stop the new mines from going in nicely.  Randy Dorn is clearly better suited for Superintendent of Public Instruction, as his opponent has completely bungled the budget, WASL and NCLB. Kreidler has labor's endorsement for Insurance Commisioner, and he has stood up to the industry pretty well so far.

I don't really get into local politics too much. I just go with the leftest of the candidates. I like Reuven because he still has kids in public school right now.

There are 3 uncontested races for State Supreme Court. I can't conscionably vote in an uncontested election. The same goes for the two uncontested Court of Appeals positions.  There are some contested seats in the Superior Court. I like Parisien's experience, and that she's worked thousands of pro bono hours for victims of domestic violence. Holly Hill gets my vote, as she has labor's endorsement and her opponent has the Seattle Times' endorsement.

And then we get back to Seattle propositions. Prop 1 is asking for a new tax to pay for upgrades to the Pike Place Market. That facility is making money - if they need to tax anybody, they can tax the cruise lines or figure out how to pay for it with the profits it's already generating. Prop 2 is more money for the parks department. They ask for more money EVERY ballot, and I give it to them EVERY time.

Of course, Sound Transit has another levy. I don't always agree with ST or their strategy, but at least they're trying to do something despite all the naysayers blocking them every step of the way.

Lists of how my legislators voted on the bailout

Saturday, 04/10/2008 ≅11:13 ©brainycat

So, I've never been a single issue voter, I look for the most leftist candidate and they get my vote. This fall it's different. I am so mad about the "bailout" I don't even know where to start. All I know is my wife and I should be allowed to list both the executive branch and wall street as dependents on our taxforms for the next many years.

Complete list of senators who voted for the bill

Complete list of representatives who voted for the bill

Nightmare scenario #491: Alien cooption

Saturday, 17/05/2008 ≅19:32 ©brainycat

Modern humans are contacted by an alien culture that is profoundly more technologically advanced than ours. They can move matter solid in our experienced dimensions faster than light at will. They have an infinite power source and the ability to manufacture infinite amounts of materials in our three dimensions as easily as we'd bake a cake. Gravity? Yeah, they're the experts. In short, basically as gods to us.

And they get all googly eyed at some fringe religious cult, proclaiming them as the purveyors of the way we can attain the same level of expertise as they've attained.

And I'd have to admit that I've spent a long time and a lot of mental energy nursing the completely wrong idea. Before I did that though, I'd sell myself on the idea that they were actually some kids out who were out joyriding and decided to rile things up in the monkey cage. Because, you know, if I had access to that kind of technology I'd do the same thing at least once.