Riding The Bum to victory

Scrape, persist, get lucky, and then add the simply awesome, amazing Madison Bumgarner. Without him in the post season, the Giants would have been dead meat, as color commentator Mike Krukow would say. (For more on Bum, see this wonderful story in the New York Times.)

This series was dedicated to a woman named Judy, who suddenly passed away in her sleep last week, just on the eve of the Giants’ three-game home series in S.F. She had tickets to all three. Her funeral this weekend will be filled with orange and black.

To Judy and the Giants!


Embarrassing [u]

If you’ve wandered over to these pages seeking an explanation for what happened to my campaign website, I sheepishly report that I inadvertently let my domain registry expire. I was notified of the impending expiration, but the notices were sent to a now-cancelled email account, which had been hacked twice previously.

I have now renewed the subscription, but am told that the website (snopudcampaign.org) will not be back until tomorrow.

Lousy timing, I’d say.

UPDATE (Oct. 30, 2014):

Back up and running.

Posted in PUD |


A professor of political science somewhere in the Midwest (he chooses to remain mostly anonymous) offers this post. He writes:

Eventually we realize that most of the people who comment on things online are merely trolls who enjoy saying whatever will raise your ire, or people who are in earnest but who are far too stupid to either make a coherent point or understand the ones anyone else might make.

We also learn that with increased visibility comes more criticism, and that is a reality in any facet of life or format for communication. More hits mean more trolls. It’s just the way of the world. The absolute best way to handle it, whether you are a famous celebrity or a highly visible author or a minor blogger of no particular renown, is to ignore it. There is nothing to be gained, ever. At best it is a total waste of time as you try to engage a stranger who most likely does not have any interest in a legitimate exchange of ideas; he/she simply wants to tell you that you suck and then move on. At worst, it makes you look bad – petty, thin-skinned, overly sensitive, and possibly a little unhinged.

If you should read the comments to online articles, you’ll invariably and immediately confront the behaviors described by Ed, of ginandtacos.com. What strikes me, in addition to the incivility, is the level of anger. People are mad as hell and, given their predispositions, quick to vilify, besmirch, or worse.

So, I’ll be avoiding the commentariat and drop the option of commenting on my blogs. If you’ve got something to say, start your own blog.

It’s been quiet here

I haven’t blogged for a while (who noticed?) for a very understandable reason. I’ve been occupied with retaining my seat on the Snohomish County Public Utility District Board of Commissioners, a position I’ve held for two terms, or 12 years. So my energies and words have been spent over there rather than here. But only two weeks to go before the election. Afterwards I’ll be back in somewhat regular form.

A quick note. Nothing seems to have changed in my absence. Inequality reigns, along with wars, pestilence, and famine.

Have a nice day.

Oh, and did you hear about the depressed Frenchman who swallowed a live frog hoping to croak?

Pots and black kettles

A couple of conservative Republicans (I know, redundant) have alleged that the White House and the E.P.A. colluded with the National Resource Defense Council to write carbon-restricting rules that would result in the shuttering of coal plants. The New York Times:

Mr. [Darrell] Issa and Mr. [David] Vitter contend that the environmental group’s influence on the Obama climate change rule was inappropriate. Their staff members are investigating whether in drafting the rule the E.P.A. broke the law, specifically the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how agencies write regulations.

The proposed rule, now in a public comment period, would force American power plants to sharply curb carbon emissions, the chief cause of global warming. Mr. Obama announced the rule in June. If enacted, the rule could shutter hundreds of coal-fired power plants and stand as a defining element of Mr. Obama’s legacy on fighting climate change. Republicans and the coal industry have attacked it as a “war on coal” that will raise energy prices and destroy jobs.

Dear reader, do you recall ALEC? It’s an acronym for American Legislative Exchange Council. Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

…a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among the United States.[4][5][6] According to its website, ALEC “works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public.”[7]

Well, guess what? ALEC’s draft legislation has been introduced and adopted in dozens of state legislatures—word for word.

The audacity.

Here’s another reason for cynicism

It may have occurred to you by now that you don’t count in our modern so-called democracy. It’s not one person one vote. It’s one dollar one vote. And it may also have occurred to you that you don’t have as many dollars as, say, the Koch brothers. So, if you want your candidate or issue to prevail at the ballot box, you better hope that millions of other like-minded and dollar-challenged citizens agree. Otherwise, plutocracy reigns.

The New York Times has been following the money. Not yours, of course, since you don’t have any. But “dark money,” the dollars invested by the likes of David and Charles Koch (actually, in their case, very dirty money, as the linked Rolling Stone article makes clear). Rich people with particular interests don’t want the Rest of Us to know how much money they’ve contributed nor to whom or what. But the Times did some financial sleuthing then reported on their findings.

More than half of the general election advertising aired by outside groups in the battle for control of Congress has come from organizations that disclose little or nothing about their donors, a flood of secret money that is now at the center of a debate over the line between free speech and corruption.

The article criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. The majority are naive, ignorant, or deceitful. Pick your poison, Justice Kennedy, who wrote the decision.

Oh, and guess which political party has better exploited that terribly flawed opinion? Why, yes, it’s the Republicans. The Times:

…close to 80 percent of general election advertising by outside groups aiding Republicans has been paid for with secret money, donated to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Freedom Partners — a trade association of donors with ties to Charles G. and David H. Koch — and Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove.

Bush’s brain lives on, now tethered to the toxic Kochs, who, according to Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone magazine, have essentially purchased the G.O.P. using money obtained by ever more nefarious ways. (Dickinson, it seems, got under the Koch’s skin. The brothers responded, kind of.)

Your crazy neighbor

Timothy Egan, writing for the New York Times:

There is one more deep-held red state belief that could explain our national cognitive dissonance. Two-thirds of Republicans think people can be possessed by demons. We don’t need a new Congress. We need an exorcist.

America has always been the land of the loons, going back to the original Puritans who thought it helpful to burn women at the stake, because they were possessed by the devil himself. It would seem that we haven’t gotten very far in our understanding of what is real and what is fanciful, which may help explain our off-the-charts religiosity. Give me God, surely, but throw in Satan as well.

Egan is decrying the probable capture of the U.S. Senate by Republicans, the stupid party, as one of its standard bearers opined. That such an absurdity will befall the body politic this November allows us to drop the fiction that ours is a nation of reasonable minds. We tossed out the books generations ago, clinging only to the Bible and hagiographies of the truly inane, beginning with Ronald Reagan, of whom the loons cannot possibly get enough.

I gave up long ago trying to figure this out, why “my fellow Americans” took a collective dive into the intellectual void, believing that idiocy would somehow save them. Idiots deserve to be ruled by their own. The big problem, of course, is that they rule us all.