29 October 2008


The Big Dirt Nap, Part 382,592

Used without permission.

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28 October 2008



As a Jones, I have nothing but the upmost confidence in these kids. I see 'em at school/work, and they're great! They're our future: Let's give them all the support we can.

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26 October 2008


One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

From anchorwoman Barbara West's profile at WFTV's site:
Prior to working in television news, I was an assistant professor at the University of Vermont and represented Vermont in the Miss America Pageant. I hold a Master's Degree from the University of Vermont.
See also this, from below.

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Vote Like Us

Voting: Tim with Sample Ballot Voting: Mack After Voting

Submitted for your perusal, the sample ballot that Mack and I marked up and used in the voting booth yesterday during early voting.
The simple rules:
  1. "Hold your nose and vote the straight Democratic ticket." (Thanks to Joe Fineman's mom.)
  2. Keep judges appointed by Lawton Chiles; dump judges appointed by Jeb! (As with "Jeopardy!", the bang ('!') is part of the name.)
  3. Locally, it's probably best to get some fresh blood in. George Coleman's a fine man, but he's had his chance. Given the (lack of) response to the TS Fay flooding, I don't see why we would keep him. Similarly with the City Council Seat 3 election.

In the weeds, we voted against the local option tax for community colleges, because I think that localities shouldn't be able to differentially support post-secondary education unless they want to go all out and charter their own school. Community colleges in Florida are state-chartered schools, and if the state doesn't want to pony up the money to support them, then we'd better quit electing pro-stupidity keep-'em-dumb Republicans to the legislature.

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25 October 2008


Biden May Have Just as Well Said, "WTF?"

Addendum: Joe.My.God. reports here that the anchorwhatzit is married to a GOP strategist. Good grief.

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24 October 2008



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That David Sedaris Quotation on "Undecided" Voters

From the New Yorker, here:
I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

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23 October 2008


He's Got Sole

Image by Callie Shell at The Digital Journalist, used without permission.

From the caption
Senator Obama was doing press interviews by telephone in a holding room between events. Sometime later as he was getting ready to begin his event, he asked me if I was photographing his shoes. When I said yes, he told me that he had already had them resoled once since he entered the race a year earlier. Providence, R.I., 3/1/2008.

Temperment and just plain old good sense.

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Shorter History

The USA's pre-9/11 lack of response to radical Islam? Pretty much all Cap Weinberger's fault. So sez Bob McFarlane in this op-ed in today's New York Times.

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22 October 2008


Chucky T Video of Yesterday

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Chucky T Video of the Day

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21 October 2008


Obama's Travel Plans

If I were him, I'd come back from Hawaii via Alaska, where I'd hold a rally in Wasilla.

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20 October 2008


Attn: Nervous Nellies

Buck up!

Your running around scared of the GOP machine is sooooo 2004. Instead of doing everything you can to demoralize the opposition, you're fretting.

Wake the eff up.

Your attitude has a lot to do with how this election turns out. It's not some kind of magical "whatever you believe will happen," but it is some kind of not-too-deeply mysterious "if you act correctly, you can determine the outcome."

These folks are the ones with whom we share this nation. They choose to be on the wrong side of a great election we have coming. We won't hold that against them.

But be clear in your own minds. Those few are choosing to be on the wrong side. Your job is to get them on the right side, not to hand-wring about their invincible machine.

Instead of fretting, you ought to be reminding them of how badly they're going to lose on 4 November.

Instead of talking about their secret reservior of power, you ought to be recalling your own reservoir: the millions who've just registered, just to see this come to the right conclusion.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again until some of you get it: There are only two true winning slogans in an election: "You never had it so good," and "Time for a change." 2004 and "Be afraid. Be very afraid" was a gross aberation.

Do you seriously think the American public wants to be in this situation in 2012 saying, "We thought we'd get change with McCain, but we really knew it was more of the same"?


They want change now, and the only candidate that can bring the change we need, the change you can believe, is Obama.

So cut the shit with the whining. Cut the shit with your secret fear of the Republican hate machine. Cut the shit with your fear and "respect" of those who stand for the monied and who wrongfully use the deeply religious to enhance their own power, not because they really share their views.

Buck up. Grow a pair. And tell everyone you know that the next President of the United States is Barack Obama.

Tell them that John McCain and Sarah Palin are frauds. Untrustworthy. Undeserving of leading this great nation in this time of need.

And that you pity them if they can't get with the program.



Obama 2008. The change we need.

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19 October 2008


Two + Two 'til No on 2

Two weeks and two days to go until the election. Here's an update re: No on 2.

First, there's this great post by Marc Kevin Hall at Hidden City.
I don't mind the name calling, really. Some withered bitch on the phone calling me a "goddam faggot" rolls off my back; so do all the violent phone-slams and the "my wife will vote the way I god damn tell her to vote" statements. But those are more than compensated by the people who don't understand the wording of the amendment, and who appreciate me taking the time to explain it to them. Hearing people say "Hell no, I'm not going to vote for that!" also feels good, and the occasional person like 78 year old Elaine make it all worthwhile. Elaine didn't really understand the proposal at first, and then said "Wait, are we still fighting this battle? What the hell is wrong with those people in Tallahassee? Who gives a good God damn who wants to fuck who? Let everybody be happy for Christ's sake!"
The irony about those folks calling Marc a faggot is that he's not gay.

Second, new polling on the amendment is showing 53% yes, 42% no, 5% undecided, and since in a surprising (for Florida) smart move several years ago we boosted the level required for an amendment to pass from simple majority to 60%, that's looking good. But it's no reason to be complacent. So please, if you can, give or continue to give your time and your treasure to Say No 2.

Addendum: Let me encourage my Florida readers to argue politely with people who intend to vote yes. While the amendment won't be enacted unless it gets 60% of the vote, it would still be better to have a majority of folks vote against the amendment.

Last, Mack and I are mentioned in this article on Amendment 2 by Eileen Zafirro at the Daytona Beach News-Journal. I hope features like this help, but I gotta be honest: even when you're kind of excited about being in the paper, it's a little freaky to see your name mentioned in the excerpt of the top story on the front-page of their web site, and, I presume, on the front page of the print edition (gotta run and pick one up). (I will barely grumble, here and now is it, about the photographer that didn't show up yesterday.)

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18 October 2008


Last Sunday's Bike Ride

Fall's here, and with it, the lessening of wonderful, but eventually oppressive, Florida heat. Last Sunday, we did our usual local loop on the bikes. Pics here at Flickr. Here are a few faves; you can click on them to go to the image on Flickr, then see it in larger sizes (All Sizes icon over the pic):

Mack on the boardwalk over the swamp:

Bald eagle on power standard:
Bald Eagle

Bald eagle excerpt (just the pixels, ma'am):
Bald Eagle, Excerpt

DeBary Hall, local home to rich 19th century New Yorker Frederick DeBary.
Debary Hall

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16 October 2008


Debate Summary

From Adam Serwer, here at TAPPED:
The way political observers watch debate is skewed by the idea that a debate is some kind of duel at high noon. It isn't. It's a beauty contest, and voters, like G-d, don't like ugly. One of the candidates seems to have figured this out.

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15 October 2008


Life Goes On

Three little items for our living in interesting times moments:
Life is short. As Mr. Zevon said, "Enjoy every sandwich."

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12 October 2008


The Last Word on National Coming Out Day

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11 October 2008


NCOD event at ERAU tonight

If you're in the Daytona Beach area, there's a National Coming Out Day event tonight (Saturday, 11 October 2008) at Embry-Riddle. We have pilots from the National Gay Pilots Association and engineers from Raytheon (one of whom was the NOGLSTP GLBT Engineer of the Year last year) as part of a panel about being out in the workplace.

6:30 p.m. at the College of Aviation Atrium.

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Your Human, Quoted

Once again I've been quoted in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, this time in this article about the Delta Lambda Phi colony at ERAU.

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Don't Phase Me Bro

Don't Phase Me Bro

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02 October 2008


McCain's Behavior: A Hypothetical Explanation

Maybe you've seen this.
Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.

As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.

So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman — both of whom greeted him more warmly — and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.
Or maybe you noticed how rude McCain was toward Obama in the debate last Friday night.

I have my own hypothesis about why McCain is acting like search a jerk. First, I assume he's not really that big of a jerk. I assume this has to do with him (McCain) knowing how tenuous his hold on a certain cohort of voters is. That cohort is the crazy religious right.

The crazy religious right, brought back into the McCain fold by his choice of Governor Palin for his running mate, is likely the continuing source of those "Obama's a Muslim" e-mails. Those folks really believe that Obama has some secret plan to turn the US over the those who want to destroy us. Since Obama is "the other," by being black, it's easy for them, a largely white group, to try to turn Obama into "the other who wants to kill us." The idea that a US Senator in public view and running for President for the last N years and winning the nomination of America's oldest political party is some secret agent for our enemies is laughable, but people of good will sometimes believe laughable things.

So, by my thinking, if McCain treats Obama civilly, he cuts the legs out from under this idea that is believed by a goodly number of his recently-brought-back-on-board supporters. If he's going to keep those good-intentioned-but-easily-snookered people in his camp, he has to treat Obama like shit.

Just a theory. Not sure how to test it.

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01 October 2008


Remembering Why

I made my choice to support Senator Obama in this election a little less than a year ago. The blog post about that choice is here.

Most of my thinking then, ignorning what comes across as just plain silly towards the end, still holds. Two key ideas, I believe, remain important today: Building a winning and governing constituency, and bringing to the conversation even those you disagree with.
[A]t least he is building a constituency. The very nature of his candidacy is of being for something, and should he win the Presidency, he will have built a pool of good will and political capital on which to draw....
It was probably inevitable that the perception on building something more than a 50.1% majority would fall to the wayside after the major parties picked their nominees: the inability to influence the media to a sufficient extent to what is something other than either Bush/Clinton squeak-by or McCain man-bites-dog, but also because of having to put together enough electoral votes to win and not having infinite resources to pursue a true fifty-state strategy. But the appeal to our better but not clueless natures is a component of Senator Obama's approach. It's not naivete to argue we actually can do better, both at home and abroad.
Obama brings the quality of actually listening to others, of encouraging the participation of those you thoughtfully disagree with (see Donnie McClurkin), of listening to those you thoughtfully disagree with. I'm sure some of my colleagues on the LGBT-side of the universe will have a difficult time accepting that you have to treat those who don't treat you like a human being like a human being, that you have to listen if you expect to be listened to, but everything in my heart tells me that Obama is right about this.
The other aspect of actually listening to people you disagree with is something that almost seem foreign to the political culture in Washington and in the punditocracy. The claim, bought into by Senator McCain, that having a conversation with foreign leaders we disagree with legitimizes their, admittedly sometimes awful, positions is a bunch of bunk. That the same approach is practiced on the wide-but-small scale to such a degree that all too often we turn those we disagree with into outright enemies in our minds isn't the approach we need to build a better world.
Not just a place at the table, but a table at which all are truly welcome, even those you disagree with.
Early voting is already beginning, otherwise I'd wait until the night before Election Day to make this post. But in the remote event you're still thinking about voting for Senator McCain, please reconsider. I think our collective best interests are served by electing Senator Obama.

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