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As many of you know, I am in Seattle caring for my ailing grandmother.  While up here, I found out an old high school friend was running for the King County Executive job left vacant when Ron Sims joined the Obama Administration.  I diaried, posted, cajoled, begged and pleaded for you to donate to his campaign in any way you could.  The frontrunner in the race was a former news anchor who has been outed as a republican.  The mail-in vote was on Tuesday and the ballots are slowly trickling in...

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Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 06:18 PM PDT

GUS: The Politics of Smoking

by uc booker

As some of you know, I finally quit smoking ten years ago.  I did not do it alone. I had the patch to keep me sane.  I started smoking at a very young age and tried quitting several times before I finally succeeded.  And, like everything else in my life, there was a political slant as to why I decided to quit. More after the break...

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When I was in high school, I wasn't the most popular guy in the school.  In French class, the row of seats along the window belonged to "Les Freres d'A," or the A Brothers, because we all got A's on all of our tests.  The brothers were me, Dow Constantine, David Garrigues, and Matt Picinich.  The thing about Dow was that he was also the Student Body President, extremely popular and for all the right reasons.  He was nice to everyone.  He could have been like the Heathers of the movie fame, but he was definitely a Veronica, who fought for the underdog.  Of course, he's not Gay.  His boyfriend didn't try to blow up the school.  He didn't murder any of the mean kids.  Maybe "Heathers" wasn't the best analogy...

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Tom Brokaw gained even more notoriety after retiring by writing his book, "The Greatest Generation."  In the work, Brokaw recounts the challenges facing the people who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II.  More importantly, Brokaw shares stories of how this generation rose, not only to face these challenges, but to vanquish all comers.  It is a real American story because it is the story of America.  

My grandmother is one of those in that generation and her story is entering it's final chapter.  A farm girl from the Midwest moved to the coast with her child to meet up with her husband.  Together, they would help build the ships and planes that helped win the war.  He went off to help fight it.  She worked hard and bought the house she loved, the house in which she will pass into history.  She has been my friend, my confidante, and my greatest supporter.  Now, I have to go help her make her transition.  

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I know this will be seen as complete heresy to some, but hear me out before you just dismiss the notion out of hand.

The "markets" have left the average American high and dry more often than not.  1929 and 2008 have been the worst years in recent times, but there have been many other drops and possibly worse ones in the Nineteenth Century.  

In this time of bailouts and buying of toxic assets, is it time to disassemble the Dow, NASDAQ, the S&P, and other markets? Should we throw the baby out with the bath water and work on getting pregnant again?  

Follow me after the break...

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Prop 8 supporters seem to have opened an interesting window by shutting the door on Gay marriages here in California.  Instead of trying to approve another Gay marriage proposition in the state, anti prop 8 activists have proposed taking the state out of the marriage business altogether!  There is a movement afoot to make California the first civil unions only state! D'oh!

More after the break...


Would you support civil unions for all?

84%252 votes
8%25 votes
3%11 votes
4%12 votes

| 300 votes | Vote | Results

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It is no surprise that I am not a fan of monotheists in general and christians most specifically.  I have often said that I feel christians who claim to be progressive are complicit with those who are not progressive when they do not stand up to the hatemongers.  I am happy to report that a group of christians finally stood up to the westboro baptist hate mongers in Buffalo, New York of all places.

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When I went to bed last night, the news was saying that the California Senate would be pulling another all nighter to get a budget passed.  Well, the gop voted for something; unfortunately, it was not a budget.


California should

69%52 votes
18%14 votes
2%2 votes
6%5 votes
2%2 votes

| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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For those of you who do not know, Ahnuld the Gropinator called a special session of the California Legislature to address the $42 Billion budget deficit projected in the state this year.  Like in our national legislature, there has to be a certain percentage to agree before a budget can pass.  Unfortunately, there must be a 2/3 super-majority and the stalemate has lasted over one hundred days.  


How should California deal with it's budget deficit?

42%63 votes
0%0 votes
2%3 votes
8%13 votes
16%25 votes
5%8 votes
5%8 votes
19%29 votes

| 149 votes | Vote | Results

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The Faux Noiz station here in LA just announced that the dark prince is under investigation.  I did see him in my old neighborhood in Los Angeles at Vons, a grocery store, about five years ago.  I wanted to say something to him then, but store security was following him closely.  He had a cart full of tuna, Ritz crackers, and stool softener.  I figured it wasn't up to me.  The local ABC station has confirmed the investigation, too.  


Should the cardinal

27%32 votes
2%3 votes
61%71 votes
8%10 votes

| 116 votes | Vote | Results

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Much has been made on the subject of marriage.  What is the definition of a marriage has dominated the American psyche for the last three presidential election cycles.  Whether you think marriage for one man and one woman does not really matter to me.  What I am doing is rejecting the tradition of marriage outright.  It is a relic of the Dark Ages that establishes property be it real estate, spouses, or children.  The time has come for society to evolve into a more perfect union of love without the histrionics of entitlement and ownership.

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As I have said, I am not for Gay marriage; but then, I am not for anyone getting married.  I do not understand the need to drag a tradition of ownership from the Dark Ages into the new millenium.  I have been protesting with many other Californians for this issue.  I hope the court does the right thing and I am sure they will.


What should the court do?

4%7 votes
3%5 votes
75%122 votes
17%28 votes

| 162 votes | Vote | Results

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