Adventures in IM

From texts between me and my Maximum Geek cohort Josh Curry today:

me: SF Gate is calling it. 95% reporting, 52-48 for banning gay marriage in CA. Damn.

me: THEY WILL FEEL THE WRATH OF GEORGE TAKEI (oh, my…)

josh: wow that sucks

me: Frickin’ haters. We have a lot of work to do.

josh: Yes, we do.

josh: Luckily we have the ghostly form of Abe Vigoda to guide us.

me: All hail the Fish.

josh: For he is mighty.

me: Not as mighty, though, as Mrs. Fish.

josh: tru dat homeboy

We really do a have a lot of work to do. The younger generation must learn of Barney Miller. And we need to legalize gay marriage, too.

Holy crap, is it already over?

MSNBC just had the governor of Pennsylvania on and he said that because the state Republican party chose to run some inflammatory commercials in the final days about Jeremiah Wright, African American turnout has been off the charts today across the state, east and west. Obama is already looking to win the Keystone State, turning out to be this year’s Ohio ’04 and Florida ’00, by double digits.

If you’ve been following Nate Silver’s analysis on fivethirtyeight.com, you know that McCain’s chances of getting to 270 electoral votes drops dramatically if he loses Pennsylvania. He’d essentially have to win every state Bush took versus Kerry and Gore, including Colorado. And as a Coloradan, I can pretty much guarantee he’s not getting Colorado. So if McCain loses Pennsylvania, he’s as good as sunk before the ballots west of the Mississippi are even counted.

In defense of liberalism and taxation

On a mailing list with some local and not so local acquaintances of mine, we’ve been discussing politics recently, and because I’m as left wing as Rachel Maddow and some of the others are as right wing as Sean Hannity, it gets a little heated. So much so that I’d stopped reading it recently more than just quick skimming when I have a little spare time. But when I saw the quote below from a small business owner who makes about the same as the boss of Joe the Plumber, I was compelled to comment in a bit more depth.

"Even if I pay $1 more in taxes because of Obama, I can’t expect that the government will use it better than I can."

Really, sir? You can, and do, build roads and bridges, build schools, pay teachers and defend the security of the nation all our of your own pocket? Seems like a bit of a stretch on the meager profits your self-owned business provides you after all your expenses.

The fact is taxation is the dues we pay to live in America. Without them, we’d be no better off than folks in Somalia or Afghanistan. We live in a society where even the worst off is still doing better than most of the people in those countries, and that’s the direct result of liberal government policies that lift us ALL up rather than forcing everyone to fend for himself. You know why we working stiffs have weekends at all, rather than working seven days a week? Because of Unions. You know why the water that comes out of your tap is safe to drink? Because the government mandates that this be so.

If you’re really so sure you’d be better off keeping everything for yourself, I invite you to leave this land of plenty and set up shop in Afghanistan with your wife and kid. You’ll be able to keep everything that you make, and you won’t have to worry about liberals unfairly interfering in your livelihood. You won’t have safety, security, or possibly even electricity, either, but those should be a problem for a self-starter like you, should they?

Or you could cut the BS and admit that you benefit from living in this nation, that you’ve only achieved what you have because other people sacrificed to create the opportunity for you. That you’d be nothing without the infrastructure of the nation in which you live. The core of patriotism is caring about the other people who share society with you, and other people have been patriotic enough to provide an environment that allows you the opportunity to excel. Show some appreciation and quit being such an inconsiderate greedy douche bag for once in your pathetic life, willya?

I doubt you’ll take my advice. I expect you’ll continue to benefit from the advantages of being an American while shaking your tiny fist at the injustice of it all. Poor man, indeed.

Yay! I voted!

For me, this election is essentially over. I dropped by one the early polling places (two, actually) yesterday and cast my vote for Barack Hussein Obama (and Joe Biden, Mark Udall for Colorado’s senate seat and Ed Perlmutter for my congressional district). I voted at the second polling station because the line at the first one was a good fifty meters long at least, most of that people two or three abreast. And this is early voting, a full week before election day.

Turnout is amazing this year. Looks very good for democracy. Normally I’d slide into a rant about how the Dems are all about voter turnout and the Republicans, in the last several elections, have done everything they can to suppress voter turnout, prevent the people from making their will known. But I’m in such a good mood, I’ll just give that a pass.

More dumbass white folks

Two ignorant crackers got themselves arrested today after planning to assassinate Barack Obama.

Law enforcement agents have broken up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 88 black people, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives said Monday.

Assassination plot targeting Obama disrupted – Yahoo! News

Frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of this by now. I grew up in Texas, in a predominantly black neighborhood. Seriously, there were three white kids in my high school, one of the larger schools in Houston. Until I was ten or so, I thought I was just a really pale brother. But even so, I ran into enough bigoted rednecks to understand that the irrational roots of racism run deep in the south. It was only 40 years ago that the federal government had to intervene to guarantee the right of registration and voting to African Americans (which still doesn’t work that well, see Florida 2000, Ohio 2004).

There are still a lot of ignorant white people in the south who just can’t accept the idea of a black president of the United States. It is literally alien to their entire worldview. I think one of the few things the Republican party has done right this election cycle is keeping these wingnuts out of the news, sweeping real domestic terrorists like the Klu Klux Klan under the rug until the election is over. But those idiots are still down there, and they’ll still be there after November 4th. What do we do about them then?