Friday, October 31, 2008

Age Check - The Preamble of the Constitution

When you read this do you start to sing?

We the people of the United States, in Order to for a more perfect Union, establish Justice and promote domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Those of you who do know why. If you don't, watch this:

School House Rock was awesome! The America Rock series should be shown in all American History and Social Science classes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ATF: Plot to kill Obama is foiled

ATF: Plot to kill Obama is foiled - Decision '08-

I'm surprised that these kind of plots aren't being discovered more with all the hate the right wing is whipping up on Obama. At least this time it is getting more press then the plot discovered this August in Denver which got a single paragraph in ONE of the Seattle newspapers.(You have to page down a bit.) David Niewert's blog Orcinus has a good round up of this incident.

I realize that the vast majority of McCain supporters are just normal people, but vilifying Obama is encouraging the violent nut jobs to come out of the woodwork and is irresponsible on the part of McCain's campaign.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama Tax Calculator

Obama Tax Calculator

Check out this tax calculator. It's pretty cool. This page also has a link to Obama's tax plan, and a comparison of Obama's plan to McCain's. This information is from Obama's official website so take it with whatever size grain of salt you feel necessary.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan Feb 12, 1987 - Aug 6, 2007 - ...he was an American.

He was an American.

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

Thank you Gen. Powell for so eloquently saying what all true Americans believe.

(h/t Making Light for the link to the photo.)

Colin Powell Coulda Been a Contender but Failed. Can He be a Voice of Reason?

Watch this, or read the transcript here. I suggest you watch it though.

Colin Powell is obviously a highly intelligent, knowledgeable person with an incredible amount of experience. This is the reason I was incredibly disappointed in him when he testified before the U.N. with the infamous "vial of anthrax." I had hoped, at the time, that he was going to be the voice of reason in the Bush Administration. The voice of experience that would temper the rush to war. Unfortunately for the world I was wrong. Up until the U.N. testimony I would have voted for Gen. Powell for president over many Democrats, even given some disturbing incidents in his background. However, after that incident I lost most of my respect and all faith in him.

After watching what he had to say on Meet the Press, he has gained back some of his respect in my eyes. He summed up the current state of politics in this country better than anyone else I have read or watched. If conservatives and Republicans LISTEN to him and try to comprehend what he was saying then maybe there is hope for some kind of ideological compromise to help reunite the country in the not too distant future.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Voter Suppression Fails in Ohio - This Time

High court rejects GOP bid in Ohio voting dispute

This is a good sign. It looks like the Republicans won't be able to kick 200,000 people off the voting rolls in Ohio because they used slightly different forms of their names while registering to vote and say...getting their driver's license or getting their Social Security number. This form of suppression using the Help America Vote Act and other measures is happening all over the country.

Check out this Think Progress article for more information about voter suppression.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

King County Budget Cuts to Hit Heath and Social Services Hard

The Seattle PI reports Health programs take a bitter hit.

While I realize we are facing a potential budget shortfall due to the down turn in the economy, human services funding is exactly the wrong area to make cuts. When times are tough the people who rely on services like food programs, in-home care for the elderly or disabled and county funded charities need help even more. Not only is it altruistic to aid these vulnerable people; on a purely financial basis it is cheaper to keep them comfortable in their own homes instead of ending up in demoralizing group homes or even on the street where more expensive emergency programs will have to take care of them.

If you agree with me please contact Ron Sims, the King County Executive and the King County Council and tell them you want them to preserve the Health and Social Services funding.

Update: My letter to the editor published in the Seattle PI. Look towards the bottom.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Check Your Voter Registration Before Election Day and Other Helpful Tips

The King County Absentee Ballots are being mailed starting on 10/17/08. If you don't get yours within a week or so you might want to check and make sure you are really registered and you have an active registration. ATTENTION: If you aren't currently registered to vote in Washington you CAN still register until 10/20/08. You just have to do it in person at the King County Elections Office in Renton.

Remember you have to have your ballot POSTMARKED by election day, 11/4/08, to have it counted. You also have the option of dropping it off at a ballot collection site; in King County you can go here to find the drop off locations.

If you want to check on your voter registration status you can go to King County Elections Voter Lookup and enter your name and birth date or address and not only will it tell you if you are registered it will give you an online voter's guide with all of the races that will be on your ballot. Alternately (and this is what I prefer) you can go to the Washington State Secretary of State - Personalized Voter Information site and enter your name and birth date. This site will not only give you your registration status but will also give you your voter history for the last 3 years and a much nicer personalized voter guide. Either way, be sure you check one of these sites out before election day whether you are voting absentee or at the polls.

For those of you who are voting at the polls in King County you might want to check out the ID requirements and make sure you know where your polling place is located. You can find your polling place by using the KC Voter Lookup tool I linked to above.

No matter who you are voting please go out and vote; it's the only way our democracy will work the way it was designed. Let's see if we can beat the 83% turnout that the Secretary of State is predicting.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

John Walcott: Truth is not subjective

John Walcott, Washington Bureau Chief of McClatchy, won the first I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. He gave a great acceptance speech that every journalist and future journalist should read.

The current crop of journalists seems to be so obsessed with remaining "unbiased" that they don't do any real journalism; they just parrot what they are told. A true journalist needs to be objective, skeptical and thorough. They should report what is said, but investigate the veracity and call out anyone who is lying. I guess what I'm saying is that we need more old fashioned journalists and less new fangled newscasters and reporters.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brian Wood & Local

Comic books have changed over the last decade or so bringing a new breed of writer with new ideas to the forefront. Brian Wood is among the best of these new comic book writers out there. His books have ranged from Northlanders an ongoing about Vikings, DMZ another ongoing about a second U.S. Civil War and his recently complete series, Localpublished by Oni Press.

Local is a coming of age book that follows the life of a teen-age girl, Megan, over several years. Each issue of Local featured a different city or part of the country as she travels around briefly settling down before she is forced to move due to the vagaries of her trouble life. The great stories are accented by the incredible detailed art of Ryan Kelly who captures the flavor of each stop in Megan's life and brings a life to the character beyond Wood's scripting. Local is a great read for teens especially girls who might never wander in the medium feeling it is only full of geeky superheroes and nothing else. If you have read Blankets by Craig Thompson and liked it, I guarantee you will love Local.

Local has been published in a great hardbound collection of all 12 issues and includes extra unpublished art. It make a great gift for yourself or for that person in your life that refuses to give the medium a try.

For a video review of Local as well as Gotham Central check out this edition of Fresh Ink from the Attack of the Show website

BTW you should always buy your comics at your Local Comic Book Store. If you live in Seattle it should be Arcane Comics & More in Ballard.