Monday, December 29, 2008

I just turned off my wireless router at home

I also noticed this one:

Cell Phones May be Wiping out Bees and Affecting Health of Humans

So, let me remind everyone of a specific advertising campaign:

The human race is committing suicide. There's no other way to say it. I think we should stop. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Уважаемые русского народа

Dear Russian People,

This is not a game. The Cold War ended in 1991. We are no longer rivals. Our world is in danger. We must solve these problems together.

Это не игра. Холодная война закончилась в 1991 году. Мы не враги. Наш мир находится в опасности. Мы должны решать эти проблемы сообща.

I do not know why our leaders still argue with each other. And it no longer matters. We have the Internet. We have Google Translate. We can talk to each other. We can learn from each other. We can help each other. There should be no walls between us.

Я не знаю, почему наши руководители все еще спорят друг с другом. И это уже не вопрос. У нас есть Интернет. Мы Google Translate. Мы можем говорить друг с другом. Мы можем учиться друг у друга. Мы можем помогать друг другу. Там должно быть никакой стены между нами.

There is something you can do. It is something that we had to learn to do again. Talk to your neighbors about the future. Put aside your fear. Make your democracy work for you.

Существует то, что вы можете сделать. Это то, что мы должны были научиться делать снова. Поговорите со своим соседям о будущем. Существует больше ничего бояться. Сделайте вашу демократию работа для вас.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Re: Rev. Rick Warren's Speech

I'm starting to rethink the Warren thing. At first it didn't really bother me too much. I'm honestly interested in listening to his speech to see what he says to the Evangelicals around the country about the change that is coming. But then I saw the Facebook group against the speech.

I'm starting to see that this 2 minute speech is the first opportunity for people who feel strongly about a progressive cause to rally together and stand up against something that Obama is doing that people feel is not in the nations best interest. And it seems to be the first appointment, granted just for 2 minutes on that day, that people are organizing to stop.

DFA's mantra is "power to the people", right? I've seen complaints and objections raised to several of Obama's cabinet picks, but no organized movement has started to lobby against them. If Rick Warren's appointment does nothing else, it will help people understand that the power is still in their hands if we can get enough people to stand up and say no to this. Even if we can't get the President-Elect to pull back the invitation, "turning our backs on bigotry" at the event itself will be a strong message to the inside the beltway crowd that we don't have to, and won't, put up with Right-Wing nonsense any longer.

The speech Rev. Warren gives may be 2 minutes long. Our ability to organize around our own objections to this appointment may result in something much longer lasting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stand on two feet

One of the frustrations that I've had over the last 4 years has been the attitude that the membership door is a one way valve. That if you're not doing what the party organization is doing that you're not really helping the Party. That if you're not attending the meetings, you're not really a Democrat. It goes to the perception that the "Democratic Party" is a election machine, and nothing else. That perception is not held by people on the inside, but it is often what we hear from people who feel like they are on the outside.

I want the Democratic Party to be able to say that we support Democracy. Democracy stands on two feet. The first is political, and we have responsibilities as an organization to fulfill our responsibilities to provide a place for candidates and campaigns to get endorsements and report their successes and needs, as well as a responsibility to provide a way for our members to get access to our elected officials.

But the other "foot" is economic. Job security, economic security, etc. That's what we're all striving for, and any organization that ignores this for political posturing is not going to be a strong organization for long. We've started over the last 5 years to regain a picture of what we lost in the 1990's when the party in King County started focusing on finding candidates instead of recovering the support of the voters, but we haven't regained it yet. I think we can, and I want to empower people with ideas so we might get closer to that.

Meetings are twice a month for the executive board, and once a month for members who don't want to attend the eboard meetings. 2-4 hours isn't enough time to get anything done, but it is enough time to talk about and report on what we do outside the meetings. Let's turn the Democrats back into a Community Organization, rather than just an Electoral Machine.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

digital frustrations

Shockwave keeps crashing, AVG takes forever, and Gmail has been super super slow over the last week. GRRRRR!!!

A day in the life of a digitalholic, I guess.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dear President-Elect, on Water

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I hope that our national and local water systems that draw from natural sources, provide the water for our homes and businesses, and process the waste water and sewer systems so we can return that water back to nature in the same or better condition than how we received it will be on your priority list for the infrastructure improvements and investments being considered. So many people in our country take water for granted, and I don't think we can afford to do that any longer. We must recognize that our future depends on linking our residential, industrial and commercial systems into the natural systems that we depend on for survival.

Appointing someone within the Interior Department as the Deputy Secretary for Water would be a huge step in the right direction. This position could coordinate Federal regulations and laws to push state and local governments towards sustainability. Our growth management standards must reflect reality, not just draining aquifers until we turn land into deserts.

I look forward to hearing other ideas on this important topic from within the administration.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Email thread on Gun Control

Why should it require the ability to kill someone else for us to feel safe in our own homes? Why not give people jobs so they don't have to steal to get what they want?

As far as the lack of law enforcement, how much of the budget of your local police department is now under threat because of the loss of tax revenue? Do you believe that taxes should be increased so that we have police officers walking the street to prevent crime instead of simply recording it after it happens? So do I.

I don't need a gun to protect my property. I need a society where people don't feel the need to steal. Crime has gone up over the last decade because of the loss of employment opportunities and the erosion of our social and legal foundations. What I have worked for throughout my life is for security. I personally feel like having a weapon in my house would make me less secure. If a gun is registered to me, there would always be the threat of having that gun stolen and used in another crime. I don't want that to happen. I feel safer not having a handgun, and I don't need or enjoy hunting. I'm a good shot with a rifle, but only at a shooting range. I actually enjoy archery more.

Country, Firearm Homicide rate per 100,000 people vs. overall Homicide rate per 100,000

Source: Wikipedia

Canada, 0.54 vs. 1.58
England & Wales, 0.12 vs. 1.57
Australia, 0.31 vs. 1.57
United States, 2.97 vs. 7.52

Which of these four countries is statistically safer for us to live in?

Violent crime does not depend on guns. Violent crime depends on criminals who don't care what the consequences of their actions are. That's not going to be changed by giving everyone the ability to kill their neighbors. It will be changed by giving people the ability to employ their neighbors and/or to find employment themselves so they can support themselves and their families, feel secure about their future, and live the American Dream.

I served 6 years in the US Navy, defending the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I consider the fear that people have of other members of our own community to be the greatest enemy we have or will ever face.