Category Archives: politics

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Just Vote

I don’t really care who you vote for, though I certainly hope you align with me :)

Really though, i don’t care. I care about Americans being so apathetic we sit around, bitch about political ads, bitch about whomever is in office, and then come voting day, we’re “too busy”, “Don’t care enough, the other guy’s gonna win anyway, the news said so” etc. We’re often our own worst enemy.

On Columbus day I saw tweets going around about taking Columbus day as a national holiday and giving it to Native Americans (which is certainly better than Columbus day) but the one I liked the most, make Election day a national holiday. 

Remove the biggest excuses for low turn out.

Until that happens, though, it’s on us. I’ve voted in every election since I turned voting age. I’ve asked to leave work early, I’ve waiting in hour plus long lines. It’s important to me.

I wish my voice carried more weight, I wish we put .. well all things, above who can spend the most, maybe someday we will. Maybe when voter turnout nationwide is closer to 90% than 60% (honestly I was surprised it was that high) the will of the people will matter.

All that to say, please vote. If you live in a state (Like CO) with mail in ballots, you have NO EXCUSE. You’re a terrible, person, and worthless ‘merican if you couldn’t even put a stamp on an envelope or go for a walk and drop the ballot in a box. If you have to go to a polling place tomorrow, I sympathize, but still urge you to do it. You may not think your vote/voice matters, but it’s hard to ignore a chorus.

GO VOTE.

Defend the internet

Why something that was born from academia, transcends (mostly) national borders, and brings together people and idea, even needs defending is beyond me. That said, it’s clearly not beyond our government. Whether it’s the NSA or our congressmen, it seems like the fight for a free and neutral internet hasn’t stopped in years. When one idiotic bill is killed (SOPA/PIPA) another is introduced with much the same goals.

I’m taking part in today, because I think it’s a big deal. Already we’re seeing the effects of a less than neutral internet, and it’s been less than a month.  Many have posted great examples of what a non neutral network could look like, and sadly the above is one that was common “…Now imagine a future where Netflix streaming is twice as expensive after 6PM. Where a single Skype call costs as much as a monthly landline.

Or simply throttled into unusability.

 

Why I voted No on 66

For those who are quick to judge, it’s NOT because I’m anti education, or anti kids, or anything like that. In fact I’m very pro educated populace. I’ve seen idiocracy and if you haven’t you should. It’s one of those parody movies that hits a little close to home…

To me, Amendment 66 had a huge flaw that made it a ‘no’ vote for me. It took two things that are very separate issues and tried to shove them together. I don’t know why, I don’t know if any thought was given to it, but it took a tax increase to the tune of 950 Mil. That’s almost 1 Billion dollars, and lumped it in with reforms to the way money for schools is handled.

School reform is a big deal and long over due. I’m all for it. In my high school years I was really involved with how my school and district ran. I knew my way around the District Office, the school office etc. I saw the spending. I want our public education system to be completely gutted and started over. I think a District office should be 10 people in an office onsite at a school. I think a building with any marble in it is wrong. I think teachers should be paid like the rock stars they are. I think Bad teachers need to get the boot and tenure be done away with. Show me and the voting public a bill that does that, and I don’t think there’d be a no vote in the house.

All of that can be accomplished without more money. None of those things cost more to implement. I’d have voted a resounding yes on 66 if it had focused solely on reforming schools and education. The transparency and spending rules sounded like great starts. I have no idea why they had to be tied to a tax increase.

I’m also not opposed to spending more on education, what I am opposed to is throwing money at a borked system. To me amendment 66 would have been a home run if it focused on fixing (even in a smaller way to start) the education system. A tax increase would be easier to swallow if it came on the heels of “Look what we’ve been up to. We’ve cut spending here and here. We’ve implanted these rules that puts the money in the classroom.” etc. Instead of the standard refrain of “we just need more. Give us more money. Please, we need more. more more more.”

I really wish (maybe they did and I don’t know) there was a poll of voters who said no, asking “why?” I think the authors of the amendment had great intentions, i know it was a long time coming, but i think the execution was wrong. At least it was for me.

 

Happy Election Day!

Did you vote?

If yes, good for you. If no, go do it right now. There’s no excuse for not exercising your rights as an American. Think the race is sewed up? Don’t fool yourself, as we’ve seen in the past, every vote counts.

Stop what you’re doing right now and find your polling place, there’s a lot of them, unless you live in the sticks I’m, sure there’s one near you.

Look at it this way if you don’t vote you have no right (zero, you’ll get punched in the face if you do) to complain about the outcome. You can’t cry on facebook. you can’t tweet about leaving the country or being upset so many Americans are so stupid. Non of it, you forfeit that right by not exercising the other. It’s that simple.

I don’t normally post twice about voting, but I can’t stress enough how important it is. America has made a lot of progress in the last few years, some of it hard fought, some of it painful, but all of it to make America a better place for EVERYONE. I’ve come to terms with the fact I won’t be in the 1% or the 10%, or shit, the 20% either probably. But I wouldn’t trade anything to be elsewhere.

Do we want to go back to a system where the rich get richer? Where civil liberties are pulled away from us? Where we’re told “don’t worry it’ll trickle down your way sooner or later” I don’t.

Do we want to go back to a system where two dudes or two women who love each other can’t get married? (ok technically we’re not there yet, but we’re closer than ever) Do we want to go back to a system where our military grows more and more despite not having a need to do so, while more and more working poor lose their homes?

Go vote. I’d love you to vote for progress, equality, and a nation were we’re all treated as equal no matter who we love or what we worship, but vote your conscience. Just VOTE.

Vote. It’s important.

I’ll be honest, i don’t care who you voted for. I care that voted. I posted this to facebook but wanted to post it here too. I decided to share how I voted this year.

I voted Obama (no surprise) and Democrat on the various seats and such.

I voted Yes on S. I can’t see any downside and if it makes our states hiring practices a little more modern I’m ok with that. Also I don’t oppose Vets getting more preference in hiring.

I voted YES on 64. I don’t smoke pot. I don’t care who does and much like cigarettes what you do in your house or car or not around me is your business. Plus more than anything. I want to tax the shit out of pot heads. I mean prohibition doesn’t work, taxing things does.

I voted NO on 65. I’m actually very in favor of what this initiative was trying to do, but from what I’ve read about it it’s too poorly written and doesn’t actually outline how things would be enforced, etc. I hate gray areas in legislation. I hope this can come back with a more thought out execution.

I voted YES on Question 2A. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure about it, but from the wording on the ballot (I couldn’t find a website with pros/cons and lost my pamphlet) it sounds like it won’t cost anything, but gives wider controls on using existing monies. I’m ok with that.

I voted NO on 3A and 3B. Sorry parents and kids. I love schools I want American children to be the smartest ever but throwing more money and debt at broke models isn’t the solution. I could rant on this forever but I won’t. So i voted no.

Oh and I voted to retain all our judges. Judges are a hard one for me. I’ve never met them, they don’t campaign (often at least), and so I don’t know about them. I used this site to help.

How’d you vote? Share or don’t that’s your prerogative.

Snobbish goes both ways @vcarrolldp

This Sunday while sipping my coffee and reading the Sunday paper (We get one print paper a week, the Sunday) i came across an opinion piece by Vincent Carroll titled “Too Good for Walmart”. Read it here (assuming the Denver Post website doesn’t screw up the link).

I loved how from the beginning Carroll takes the stance of being better than the snobby people who are anti Walmart, because he’s being more open minded. Of course he’s objective though, he makes sure to point out his neighborhood is getting a Target, which we all know is the same as a Walmart, so surely his point of view is completely valid.

I don’t know anything about Carroll but his rant against people who don’t want a Walmart seems to be based from a position of never having been in one, near one, or employed by one. I can claim all three of those, and can promise Caroll is wrong. In every point he tries to make, he’s wrong.

As an employer (I’ll grant you this was in the 90’s) Walmart is beyond shady. I worked up to and never beyond 35 hours a week, because that was the Full Time Employee cut off. 36 hours and I’d have been eligible for health benefits.  The Walmart in my town opened next to a Mervyn’s and within about 2 years, the Mervyn’s closed up. The Shopping center they occupied, dried up almost completely. Nothing ever came into the empty Mervyn’s, many of the smaller unit stores had to close up as well. Yeah Walmart was great for the neighborhood.

When talk of unions spread through a store, corporate would load up a private jet with a team of manager level people and deploy them to a store. Suddenly that store had twice as many managers, glad handing around the store making sure employees felt loved, and appreciated and heard. Then the vote would pass, and the union team would leave and nothing would have changed for the employees. Now to be clear I never voted to go union, and would have quit my high school job had the vote gone through. Also as a high school kid I felt the pay was much better than average. Could I support a family? No, but it was always more than fast food, etc.

Now let’s address, those who frequent Walmart stores and the impact on the surroundings. You know why there’s not a site called People of Target (there is but it’s not actually about Target, go figure)? Because stereotypically or not, Target stores keep to a higher standard. The stores are cleaner, tidier, and overall less dingy. Why dress up to go shopping when the store is a pig pen of crap? Why treat the store nicely when it looks like a tornado just touched down? Etc. Walmart stores simply don’t encourage the same type of cleanliness other stores do. Safeway stores didn’t but they cleaned up, the focused on raising the image of their stores, and now most Safeway stores have a much classier look and feel. Walmart could do that too, but they don’t because they’re printing money off the poor who may or may not care, but have no problem buying 12 gal. jars of pickles.

To be clear, I’m not anti business, but I believe all businesses should have a conscience, and when making a profit is no longer the main concern, attention should shift to doing good. Renovating stores to raise  the profile of the neighborhoods, using that tremendous power to encourage customers to eat healthy by making a healthy snack the same price as the Cheeto’s. Raise employee pay so that Walmart is the only job they need, vs. one of two just to make rent, Etc. And that’s where Walmart fails to me. Yes they give millions away to charities that have nothing to do with their business so that they can point to those when people criticize them.

So yeah those folks (of which I’m one) who are against a Walmart at 9th and Colorado are a bit snobby, but not for no reason. Perhaps Carroll should drive out to stapleton and hang out inside and outside the Walmart there. Or over in Littleton (just outside Highlands Ranch of course). Or any other Walmart location. Before he shouts down people who want to preserve the look and feel of their neighborhood, maybe she should look at what it is they’re fighting vs. simply seeing snobby white folk fighting a Walmart?

 

Here’s a hint for Carroll, When you attack “we’re too good for it” with “I’m better than you for being more open minded” you’re no better.

Dear Gov’t please fix existing problems first

I worked on the title of this post for a while, and it’s often tough to be clear and succinct at the same time. I think it works.

Take a minute and click the bar over my top banner or this link. It’s definitely important.

I don’t think anyone (well maybe the 1%) would argue that it’s a pretty fucked up time in America right now. Record unemployment and foreclosures. The Middle class is vanishing faster than Bengal tigers, and the wealthiest 1% is quickly rising to essentially a ruling class. Didn’t we have a revolution about that notion? Before anyone jumps in. I don’t care if the rich are rich, nor do I think they should just give away money to balance the scales. That’s not the same as expecting a bit more equal playing field to compete and earn money.

We’ve got banks making terrible decisions, doing shady ass deals to get richer, and then being bailed out by the government because we let them get so big, failing would further damage our fragile economy.

We’ve got small businesses struggling (mine included) to stay afloat while big businesses get loans and buy outs. You know, I’d love it if the American public owned a portion of my business, can I get a small bail out loan?

And while all this is going down the government is trying to install a kill switch on the internet. You know like what Egypt and the rest of the middle east, and of course China, like to use when their citizens get uppity wanting peace and freedom from oppression.

I’m against anything that puts the internet in the control of anyone, especially a government or corporation. I think it’s a US responsibility that the internet be free, open and as makes sense unrestricted. I remember watching the news feeds, and of course tweets about shit going down in Egypt and elsewhere. People rising up against their corrupt and sure I’ll say it, evil, governments. The first thing almost every government does in that situation is kill the internet. I remember thinking how strong and brave those folks were not having twitter, Facebook, etc to use to rally. Having to rely basically on old school approaches, and risky in person exchanges before rallies to spread the word. I thought how impressive for one thing, and how sad. And mostly how lucky I felt that such bullshit didn’t happen here. Heck we’ve got popular revolts in many major cities right now, enabled, supported, and enboldened by the internet.

How many occupy(city name) websites do you think there’d be if the US government could simply turn off the net. Block sites they don’t like or that disagree with their world view?

It bums me out when people we elected to office do things that are so far from what the general population wants, let alone cares about. I mean really, do our law makers think the guy who’s struggling to make his mortgage cares about whether the internet has a kill switch?

Think he’s concerned right now as he decides which bill to pay and which to put off until the second notice, that the government is enabling big business to come in and shut down sites that they think might be poaching their shit. Sites where someone made a disparaging comment on a blog post, etc.

He doesn’t care, he can’t. Oh wait, i guess that’s probably their plan… silly me.

 

Go click the link up above, it really is important.