Let’s Move to 100% Vote-by-Mail

22 states have a vote by mail option. Three states: Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, are now set up to vote ONLY by mail. Every potential voter gets a ballot mailed to them – no questions asked, no hassle. These states save tens or hundreds of millions of dollars running elections, put to rest all of the questions and vulnerabilities of voting machines, and maintain a tangible paper trail (even texting you confirmation when your vote is received). We need to put an end to polling places being used as tools of voter suppression, and this solution seems like a no-brainer to me. Bring it on, in all 50.

Unemployment Rate Plummets!

U.S. unemployment rate is at an all-time low! I mean, just look at the data! Oh, wait. Blue line = Obama inauguration, red line = Trump inauguration.

May as well look at the Down Jones while we’re at it (the stock market):

Notice a trend?

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Truly Socialist / Truly Capitalist

There are no truly socialist countries in the world, if you’re going by strict definitions. Neither are there any truly capitalist countries in the world. All countries have some regulations to protect the less fortunate, and all countries have some regulations to prevent the effects of runaway capitalism. There is a spectrum of regulation and a spectrum of social safety nets. “Socialist” usually just means “More socialistic than my country” and vice versa for “capitalist.” The only question is where you want your country to exist on these spectrums. Great answer at Quora.

The Fireplace Delusion

Very good analogy. TLDR; When you go up against things that bring people comfort, no matter how reasonable or factual your arguments may be, be prepared to meet The Clenched Fists of Entrenchment.

The Fireplace Delusion | Sam Harris

The Fireplace Delusion | Sam Harris

It seems to me that many nonbelievers have forgotten—or never knew—what it is like to suffer an unhappy collision with scientific rationality. We are open to good evidence and sound argument as a matter of principle, and are generally willing to follow wherever they may lead. Certain of us have made careers out of bemoaning … Continued

Source: samharris.org/the-fireplace-delusion/

 

 

 

Who Is America?

Mind reeling watching Sacha Baron-Cohen’s “Who Is America?” The things Americans and their politicians are willing to say and do on camera when they feel like they’re talking to someone sympathetic to their cause…. Dick Cheney signing a waterboard. A woman from The Bachelor claiming to have saved 6,000 lives in Sierra-Leone by “just being nice” to a warlord. Congresscritters actively promoting the “Kinderguardian” program to arm toddlers in American schools, or to scream the N-word and push a bare butt up against people in burkhas to “make the terrorists homosexual.”

It goes on and on, until you’re dumbfounded. Amazing how one “victim” after another tries to defend themselves by claiming they were “duped” … as in duped into saying what they really think. The depths of American idiocy and evil Cohen is uprooting here is equal parts brilliant and horrific.

If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young…

Grandfather and uncle said to me when I was young “If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart, but if you aren’t a middle-aged conservative, you have no head.” But that’s not what I’ve seen or experienced. What I’ve seen is that if people rigidify their beliefs as they age, they become more conservative. If they continue to learn and absorb, they become more liberal. How does your experience compare?

A Nanosecond Per Foot

It takes light takes about a nanosecond to travel a foot. So if you’re sitting four feet away from me, I’m seeing you as you were 4 billionths of a second ago. Meanwhile, Earth light takes four years to get to Alpha Centauri. So for anyone on a planet in Alpha Centauri watching Earth TV, it would appear that we still have an adult president in office.

Weird Math

I just got called “a radical leftist” who is “angry because I’m not getting my way.” It occurred to me that that is probably how many Trump supporters see protestors against his regime – as radicals. So, I want to know: what “radical” ideas have any of us promoted in the past 18 months? Is it “radical” to not want the U.S. to torture? Is it “radical” not to want our government run by inexperienced bankers, bloggers, oil tycoons and reality TV hosts? Is it “radical” that we want to preserve crucial environmental regulations? Is it “radical” that we stand with and for America’s history as a refugee-friendly country, symbolized by our own Statue of Liberty? Is it “radical” that we believe in the 1st Amendment and recognize that a free press is fundamental to a functioning democracy? Is it “radical” that we want to turn to expert scientists who dedicate their careers to understanding and explaining the physical world to us? Nothing on this list is radical. No one on the left is even proposing change in this fight – we are just trying to protect our good bits. Meanwhile, we have a president who is throwing Molotov cocktails into the middle of…. pretty much everything, actively working to tear down as much of our government, our principles, our culture as he can. And we’re the radicals? Weird math.

My Head Hurts

My head hurts, literally and figuratively. Can’t glimpse media for 10 seconds without being overwhelmed and terrified by a torrent of news about the rise of authoritarianism in our own back yard. There is SO much of it, no one knows which story to focus on. It’s been like this since the beginning of the campaigns – a daily shit storm brilliantly engineered to keep our heads spinning. No one knows which end is up. For a year and a half, one man has completely dominated our social media, our conversations, our news, our nightmares. Friends are fighting with friends, family ties are strained by disagreement. Part of me wants to just check out and remember that there is more to life than this one man, that he can’t ruin everything. The other part of me feels like it would be irresponsible not to be vacuuming up every piece of news, not to be rising up. I want to re-share every damn thing, and I also want to post puppy pictures. I know I’m not alone. I see otherwise sane people claiming emotional fatigue and “checking out,” and part of me wants to join them. We’re torn between needing to carry on with life so Trump doesn’t “own” us and needing to stay awake. Meanwhile, who has the time to deal with all of this? We have jobs and families and stuff to do, and media was already a time suck even before Trump – now there’s no way to keep up. Did I mention my head hurts?

Feeling Erased

I get the feeling that many on the right don’t understand why people are so upset, and why the upset does not seem to be subsiding. Last night I heard a report that Trump plans to sign a record-breaking 25 executive orders in his first few days in office, which together will amount to effectively erasing Obama’s legacy – essentially undoing his life’s work. This morning I woke up feeling like the same was happening to me, on a smaller scale. We (leftists) work every single day to teach our children inclusivity, and how to identify/address racism when we encounter it. We teach our kids to pick up trash if they find it in the woods, to take a bicycle rather than a car when feasible. Because every little bit helps, and the small sacrifices are so very much worth it. We donate to environmental and human rights causes, work to raise awareness about industrial practices that can hurt humanity or the earth, and so on.

So when you wake up one day and find that the new regime is installing one of the nation’s most prominent white nationalists in a top position, that a climate skeptic will head the EPA, that plans for mass deportations are under way…. all together it feels like your life’s work is being erased. And that, in turn makes us feel equal parts furious, helpless, and depressed. We are not protesting because we lost the election, and we’re not protesting because the conservatives are in. We are protesting because of extreme, sweeping changes that are about to happen that will collectively undermine our lifes’ work.

That’s why we’re angry: We feel erased.