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It's been just over a year since I last felt like posting something. Today, a few different numbers passed by my screen that suggested a connection.

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If you're in Virginia, and dealing with voter turnout, you probably want to spread word on this: Linky. "The Virginia State Board of Elections is advising local registrars to accommodate voters who ask to vote absentee because of the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy."

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:38 PM PDT

Call it a bookmark

by abb3w

There's a really cool poll from the The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that (without looking) doubtless has gotten a lot of play on Kos. I'm not even going to try. This is just a bookmark; anyone that cares to comment, please limit it to pointing to other analyses on Kos and elsewhere of their results. Or doing such analyses as separate diaries, and linking to them; whichever.

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 06:54 AM PDT

How things change...

by abb3w

The ultimate reliance of free popular government is the intelligence of the people, and the maintenance of freedom among men. We therefore declare anew our devotion to liberty of thought and conscience, of speech and press, and approve all agencies and instrumentalities which contribute to the education of the children of the land, but while insisting upon the fullest measure of religious liberty, we are opposed to any union of Church and State.

Republican Party Platform of 1892.

Our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids any religious test for public office, and it likewise prohibits the establishment of a state-sponsored creed. The balance between those two ideals has been distorted by judicial rulings which attempt to drive faith out of the public arena. The public display of the Ten Commandments does not violate the U.S. Constitution and accurately reflects the Judeo-Christian heritage of our country.

Republican Party Platform of 2008.



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Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM PDT

Not quite Sinclair Lewis

by abb3w

So, from a brief spasm of curiosity, I tracked down what I think is the source and version of the quote about "wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross" that's usually attributed to Sinclair Lewis. (Hewey Long is also sometimes named.) The bad news is this version may today be even more depressing than the misattributed.

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Tue May 03, 2011 at 02:43 PM PDT

Happy or not

by abb3w

There's some debate as to whether or not we should be celebrating anyone's death. There's even a Martin Luther King Junior (mis-)quote being circulated on the topic.

It's interesting that some of the complaining on these lines is coming from the extreme theocratic Right, who seemed to have no problem with the idea of starting a crusade and torturing enemies to find him. They're pointing their fingers at celebrating liberal moderates and smirking, "You're no better than those you decry." It's a false equivalence, since the Right tend make such anathema enemies far more easily than the Left. You can piss off the left in the same way, but you have to work at it harder to piss off a liberal than a conservative.

There's also a few liberals who are seem genuinely worried that such celebration is a bad thing. They probably should be worried about those who celebrate; it's usually a sign of a lack of empathy. Contrariwise, they might also consider that some empathy may be foolishly placed.

For myself: yes, killing Osama bin Laden is on some level a failure. It would have been a lot better if we could have figured out a way to convince him to change his mind, and to in turn persuade the Taliban to step up and face the challenges of the 20th century (no, I have not forgotten what year it is) like education for women, liberty of religious conscience, and so on. On the other hand, while that might have been possible in some abstract sense, apparently no American was sufficiently clever to see how to accomplish that... or at least, if they did (unlikely though I find it), they also in their cleverness decided there were better uses for their efforts. I'm inclined to believe that the world is a slightly better place with Osama dead than it is with him still wandering about. Yes, there's the risk that he'll be a martyr. Yes, both Afghanistan and Pakistan are still wretched messes. Yes, it was unlikely he could be a further threat. Nonetheless: while imperfect, his death is still an improvement.

Of course, I consider myself more a pragmatist than a liberal.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:53 AM PST

So, let's talk REAL Socialism

by abb3w

I'm not really a big fan of Marx and Engles; to put it mildly there were a lot of problems with their ideas, especially when they switch from descriptive to prescriptive. However, any economist will admit that Marx is one of the big names in the field; like Aristotle, he was wrong about a lot, but serious scholars can't ignore him outright.


So, did YOU catch the switcheroo before the reveal?

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:00 AM PDT

Poe's Law

by abb3w

I caught this on C-SPAN last night to my alarm. The words of Ted Poe, Republican delegate from the Texas Second District to the United States' House of Representatives, are clear enough. A morning check of Google News suggests the media so far haven't noticed.

So... submitted with minimal commentary on my part to my seldom-used Kos Diary.

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Mon May 05, 2008 at 09:12 AM PDT

A brief thought for the superdelegates

by abb3w

To paraphrase Lincoln, "You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Superdelegates represent their State, their Party, their Country, their Humanity, and their own Consciences. They should bear in mind that will answer to all these for their choice, and must themselves decide the relative importance of each of these constituency and try to predict the consequences of their choice thereon.

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Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM PDT

On tactical voting and superdelegates

by abb3w

So, the news cycle has noted that Rush Limbaugh is urging Republicans in states yet to have Primaries to go over and vote in the Democratic one. It's called tactical voting, and it's an old trick children. They've also been discussion the upcoming role of the superdelegates in the Democratic primary, and to what extent the superdelegates should heed the expressed "Will of the Peepul".

Evidently, the media haven't put the pieces together.

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Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:13 PM PDT

A tiny quibble about a giant's address

by abb3w

Obama's speech was brilliant. I was born in 1971; nothing comparable by any politician springs to mind from my lifetime. But, I'm finicky, especially about semantics. So, a couple of tiny points seem worth making.

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