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A few days ago I got a political action email from "the Change.org Team in support of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund" asking me to write to the Discovery Channel to "express my disappointment and to urge them to drop Sarah Palen's new show".

How typical.

The tactic for political engagement of trying to prevent an opponent to be heard is utterly loathsome.

I can easily hypothesize an opposite case, say that doctrinaire fundy religionists where urging the cancellation of shows that favored some favored 'progressive' viewpoints and people. I am absolutely sure that the folks at Change.org would be outraged.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
When They do it, it is "the mask slipped" or it is a "Freudian Slip".
When We do it, its a "mistatement" and "allow me to revise my remarks".

When They do it, it is using "code words" and "dogwhistling".
When We do it, it is "speaking to our base".

When We do it, it was a "lighthearted jest".
When They do it, it is Not Funny.

When one of "our" people" join Them, they are class/race/political traitors.
When one of "their" people join Us, they are "seeing the light" and "coming together in unity".

When one of Their people attend services in a church with a "weird" minister, they are a "nutjob".
When one of Our people attend services in a church with a "weird" minister, they are "being part of their community of faith".

When We say "You are wrong", that is "speaking truth to power".
When They say "You are wrong", it is an "ad hominem attack".

When They continue to disagree with us, that is "Getting in our face", and is bad.
When We continue to disagree with them, that is "Getting in their face", and is good.

When one of Them get caught doing something illegal, embarrassing, or hypocritical, it is a demonstration of their moral bankruptcy.
When one of Us get caught doing something illegal, embarrassing, or hypocritical, it is a "momentary lapse" that we should "Move On" from.

When We throw people off the ballot and off the election rolls by using legal technicalities, it is "defending the integrity of the democratic process".
When They throw people off the ballot and off the election rolls by using legal technicalities, it is "attacking the integrity of the democratic process".

I could keep going...

But that would probably be an "ad hominem attack" and "getting in your face" and a demonstration of my "moral bankruptcy".
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
A USENET thread, wherein someone is argues that permitting freedom in choices is something to be avoided. I wouldn't have believed that someone would make the argument, but then, I'm a reactionary libertarian whackjob. (My words are in the blue.)

The "right one" is irrelevent and mostly illusionary. Most choices don't even have an intrinsically "right answer", they are purely personal preferences.
Most choices? No, not really. There are lots of choices that people can make very cogent arguments should be the "norm" and we need mechanisms of handling the driction that that entails in a society. We don't have the luxuary of everybody doing their own thing anymore.
And so once again, we're in the weird position where:
  • the "reactionary nutjob" (that's me) is arguing in favor of freedom, individuality, and respect for the actual diversity of people and thought.
  • and the "liberal" is arguing in favor of enforced comformity.
Your argument is exactly the same one made by the pre- and anti- enlightment cohort. They were wrong then. Why are you right now?
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)

Do you listen to streaming music? If you want to keep listening, join Save Net Radio, or else on July 15th, most all the streaming music sources will be bankrupted.

Do you like small bands, local bands, indie bands? If you want them to keep getting their own royalty money, join Save Net Radio. Otherwise, the new rules require that all streaming royalty money be collected by the labels instead of the bands, and the band will be required to join, in order to be paid their own money! (Minus a significant "handling fee", of course.)
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The King County Elections folks have sent me a form to update my signature on my voter file, because the Seattle March special election is going to be entirely by postal mail. And they want to make sure that my signature is up to date, in order to verify my ballot.

Let's see. They postal mail me a form to this address, ask me to make a template signature, that I am to postal back to them, so that they can postal mail me a ballot, that I can fill out, and sign the wrapper, and post back to them. And to verify that I am really me, the registered voter, they will compare the signatures. Which they got via postal mail from the same address they sent the ballot to.

Are they really that stupid, or do they think that we are? Are we?
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
Today's story, like yesterday's, didn't happen to me, but was told to me by the people it happened to. Also, like yesterday's, it doesn't exactly paint "people" in a good light. This story is very important to me, and help crystalize a lot of my opinions.

Once upon a time, in a land north of where most of you live, there was a family that owned a piece of land. When they first bought it, many years before, it wasn't worth very much. It was completely unimproved and undeveloped. No utilities reached it. Nothing grew on it except trees and moss. There were no roads to it, no trails over it, no buildings on it.

This family was not "rich". They didn't have trust fund, or a well paying job. At the beginning of this story, all they owned was a truck, a camper, their clothes, and this piece of land, which as I had said, wasn't worth much and so hadn't cost much.

Over the passing decades, they built and expanded and rebuilt a house, in which they made a home for themselves and later for their children as well. They built other structures. An outhouse, and later, a septic tank and field. They built sheds, and planted gardens, in soil that they created themselves (the native soil, while rich, needed to be heavily conditioned before it would grow anything other than the trees and moss I mentioned before). They planted fruit trees. They started raising a few goats and chickens.

They brought in the utilities. Telephone and electricity. Which they had to pay dearly for. (Utility companies make people in far rural areas pay to extend the lines, and it's very expensive.)

Eventually, they got neighbors. Which was fine, for the most part. It was good to have other people close by, to talk to, and other kids for their kids to play with and grow up with.

Some of their neighbors asked if it was ok if they cut across their property to get to get to an expanse of public land, which had a river on it, so as to go hunting, and camping, and fishing, and boating. Now, there were other ways to get to that public land and river, official roads, official rights of ways, and so forth, but cutting across this piece of private property was quicker and more convenient. And the people, not seeing any harm, and desiring to be good members of their "community", gave their assent.

All was well for a couple of years, and then the neighbors they first gave the assent to, each in turn, moved elsewhere.

More people moved in, and more homes were built (tapping into the utility extentions that these people had first paid to have installed), and more and more people were taking the "shortcut". A path was being worn across the grass, which they had had to plant and coax into growing. The trees along the path were being damaged. People's pets were romping in the garden, the fruit trees were being injured, the gates to the goats were being opened. Litter was being strewn. People started riding ATVs along the path at ungodly hours of the night.

They put up signs asking people to please not damage the land. Please stay on the path. It didn't help.

Finally, they put up "no trespassing" signs. People tore down the signs. And then, they put them up again, and built a wall, and a fence, and stood guard on their own property, and started calling the police.

And they were sued, by their "neighbors". (Yes, those ARE "sneer quotes".)

And they lost.

Not only did they have to let people tramp across their land, not only did they not have any effective recourse when people vandalized and damaged in their passing, they were required to improve the trail.

This is about the time I was told this story by the property owners.

The last time I spoke with them, they were preparing to improve the trail again, under the cloud of another lawsuit, this time under the umbrella of the ADA. Apparently some of the trespassers wish to be able to cross this rough woody terrain, in wheelchairs.

All because someone was willing to be "good neighbors".
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
Actually the real question is whether we can afford to keep burning hydrocarbons, wherever we gets 'em from. x
So you do your part in conviencing the folks around you to be pro-nuke, yes? x
Indeed I do .. and yourself? x
I try. The problem is, it seems that everyone who already isn't convienced, the moment someone says "nuke", their brain turns off. Of course, it seems that for people who do think about energy and pollution and who are not already pro-nuke, the "brain turn off" function is already either on a hair-trigger, or is welded down. It's worse than the goddamn "for the sake of the children" problem. x
Atoms make baby Jesus cry. That's about the only explanation I can give for some people's reactions. x
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
"The winner is the person for whom the most votes are counted — not cast." -- Geov Parrish, Seattle Weekly

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. Those who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." -- Joseph Stalin


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Mark Atwood

September 2017

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