Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Superman Saw On His Way To The Rescue

First Bikila Snow/Ice Run

I went for a run during lunch yesterday in the Bikilas. The traction on the cleanly scraped ice in Riverfront Park was no better and no worse than shoes. I kept a shorter stride on those parts. Traction was much better on the packed snow and I could open up a little more. The temp was in the low 20's but my feet didn't get cold. Going through the slushy parts while crossing the streets was just as treacherous as shoes but with the strange sensation of my toes squishing the gray snow while trying to get a grip.

It seems I'm always trying to get a grip in life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Out Takes

With Geoff and Josh home for Thanksgiving weekend, we thought we'd try to do a family photo that we could include with the soon to be released Christmas cards. The kids, as always, were very cooperative.

Okay, maybe it wasn't just the kids goofing around.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Riding On Studded Tires

This is my Specialized Rock Hooper I purchased brand new back in 1993. It still has the original chain and rear cassette. (This was the bike where I learned what happens when you don't do regular maintenance.) Feel sorry for it for I have severely abused it. I replaced the front chain rings a few years ago after wearing them down to nubs. Instead of sinking money into a new cassette I decided to use it as a beater bike. Four years ago I made my own studded tires for it.

I think we had two quick snowfalls last winter so the beater bike has been idle for a long time. The Black Friday Bike Ride was my first since the killer winter of '08. One thing I didn't mention about last Friday's ride was that my front tire went flat leaving me to walk the last seven blocks.

Last night I removed the tubes and correctly guessed that one or more screw heads had punctured them. The front tube had two good sized holes. The rear tube had three small holes but was still holding pressure to last a 2-3 hour ride. Instead of using up a bunch of patches I replaced the tubes.

During Friday's ride I was asked how I made my studded tires. I found the instructions on the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters site ages ago. They don't have them posted any more but they do hold classes where they teach you how make your own. So from memory here's what I did.

I used two old knobby mountain bike tires. With a 1/16-inch drill bit I made pilot holes through the knobs on the outside edge of the tire.

A 3/8-inch length, hex head, zinc plated steel self tapping screw went through each pilot hole. That's the time consuming part. To soften the edges of the screw heads, cover them with duct tape. I used an old inner tube as a liner to provide more protection.

A word of caution. These screws are sticking out of the tires so you can't just grab onto them like you would any other tire. Pay careful attention if you spin or stop the tire by hand. Grabbing it is a hazard. The screws will tear you up. Be careful when you lean a tire against something. Bumping into it is a hazard. The screws will tear you up. I'd post a photo of the injuries I suffered last night but I've embarrassed myself enough on the Interwebs. Did I mention the screws will tear you up? Oh, and don't even run into someone. You will poke lots of holes in them and quite possibly make them very, very upset. Fortunately, I haven't done that.

I didn't have the bike ready in time for the Ken Paulman Memorial Menudo Ride so I cruised around north Spokane for a couple of hours instead.

Winter riding means so much sweat riding in so low gear going through so much snow and covering so little distance.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gingerbread House Party

Continuing our family tradition of making gingerbread houses with friends and family, most everyone we invited over could make it. A few who live well away from civilization were unable to get through the snow in a timely manner. Those who could make it had a great time and decorated some beautiful houses. And ate lots of candy.

Stephanie's friend, Heather, gets started.

Jaslyn is assisted by her grandmother.

Big cheese smile from Landon.

Ericka is definitely going with the edible roof.

Josh isn't ready for photos yet.

Zak, Landon's dad--you see where he gets the goofiness from--and Katie before it got real messy.

Karen, an accomplished quilt artist herself, and her husband, Paul.

Sisyphus Snow Day

Shovel. When finished return to your starting point and begin again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Bike Ride

Seven riders answered John's call for the Black Friday Bike Ride. From The Scoop we headed north to The Rocket Bakery on 14th for coffee. When we went north and west to High Bridge Park, across the Sandifur Bridge, east to Riverfront Park and then another coffee stop at Atticus. From there we returned to our starting point and called it a day. There weren't very many miles, but it was a workout slogging through the snow. A fun workout.

Hmmm, how to characterize these guys. Pat sums it up nicely.

For This Most Special Day In America

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Performance Art In The Paper

Even though I get a copy of the paper at my house every day, I also like to check out articles in the online version of the Review just to view the comments. One of the most entertaining commenters is soccermomsusie.

From an article about snow expected this holiday weekend.

Plowing the streets is one of the most Socialistic endeavors around and is a waste. Think about it. Why should I have to subsidize you losers who are too lazy to go out and buy a 4 wheel drive automobile?

My Hummer has no problem. Its 4 studded tires spinning - erasing bike lanes wherever it goes - on plowed or unplowed streets. It is unfair that the city feels like it has to “level the playing field” for you WELFARE TRACTION QUEENS!!!

Mexican drug cartel possession and use of combat arms.

It almost brings a tear to my eye that the Mexicans cherish their firearm rights! At least they are buying American!

This is making me rethink about them illegally crossing our border. It is comforting to think that there are still people who cherish our Second Amendment so much that they are willing to sneak over to our side to give us a much needed shot of Constitutional firepower.

Even Paul Turner is fair game.

Sunburned whales.

This is just a scam to try to get We The People to buy tanning oil for whales. I know some would like this because of the ironic nature of us capturing whales to give them oil, but can we really afford this?

Look for Greenpeace to spearhead the effort to combat this “problem.” Maybe they are seeking some corporate sponsorship to buy a new condom dispenser for the SS Coppertone Warrior.

The Republican party's plan to derail health reform.

What I look forward to:

1. Elimination of health insurance companies not being able to kick sick people off of their insurance. This just makes sense. Do we other policy holders want to catch what they have?!?

2. Elimination of allowing children up to age 26 to stay on their parents' plan. Once they turn 18, if they want insurance, they should join the Army.

The Rally to Restore Sanity held in Riverfront Park

Okay, I will be honest, there were twice as many people at this event compared to one of our tea party rallies.

HOWEVER, we outweighed them at least two to one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Working Hard To Destroy Your Health Care...So You Don't Have To

Because it is vital that the so-called "Obamacare" be derailed, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has signed on to an amicus brief filed by the American Center for Law and Justice in federal court supporting Florida’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law.

In other news, American Center for Law and Justice also calls for investigating terrorists on Capitol Hill.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Riding Bikes On Downtown Spokane Sidewalks

I see people riding bikes on downtown sidewalks all the time, but riding on the sidewalk is not permitted in the retail zone as designated by the Spokane Municipal Code. I'm wondering if it's necessary. First of all, I've never seen it enforced. (The city has a bike helmet requirement and the police are too busy too enforce that as well.) Secondly, how do you know where riding on the sidewalk is prohibited unless you read the municipal code? You don't.

Spokane Municipal Code 16A.61.787 states:

No person may ride a bicycle or non-motorized vehicle upon any sidewalk or other pedestrian way within the retail zone of the congested district of the City as defined by SMC 16A.04.010 and SMC 16A.04.020, provided that nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the riding of a bicycle or non-motorized vehicle upon any sidewalk or other pedestrian way within any area other than the retail zone of the congested district of the City.

And SMC 16A.04.020 states:

"Retail zone of the congested district" means all the area within the congested district bounded as follows:

On the north by the north line of Spokane Falls Boulevard;

On the west by the west line of Monroe Street;

On the south by the south line of Second Avenue from Monroe Street to Washington Street, and the south line of First Avenue from Washington Street to Bernard Street;

On the east by the east line of Washington Street from Second Avenue to First Avenue, and by the east line of Bernard Street from First Avenue to Spokane Falls Boulevard.

The retail zone shall also include both sides of Monroe Street from Main Avenue to Broadway, also both sides of Riverside Avenue, Sprague Avenue and First Avenue from Madison Street to Monroe Street, and both sides of Post Street from Spokane Falls Boulevard north to the Post Street bridge.

It's really difficult to make sense of that without looking at a map.

View Retail Zone - No Bikes On Sidewalks in a larger map

I don't know if posting signs throughout this area is possible--or worth doing. The city should scrap the prohibition of riding bikes on the sidewalk. The remainder of SMC 16.61.787 contains common sense rules concerning bikes yielding to pedestrians, exercising due care and caution, not riding too fast for conditions, etc. which should suffice for enforcement.

*** Update

I should add that I don't condone bikes on the sidewalk anywhere. But since they are allowed on sidewalks in almost all of Spokane, I doubt the need for prohibiting them in the retail zone since it's rarely enforced and extremely difficult to know where the prohibited areas are.

Contemptible Attention Seekers Or Hoax?

A Minnesota couple, Pete and Alisha Arnold, created a web site called Birth or Not on which they have an on-line poll asking, "Should we give birth or have an abortion?"

The couple is currently 17 weeks pregnant and allegedly are unsure if they want to be parents. So they're asking the world if they should give birth or have an abortion. They've been posting pictures of the ultrasound scans of the fetus.

And people are pissed. You can read more about it at the Daily Mail.

Alisha Arnold claims to be 17 weeks pregnant. That would start her pregnancy around the second week of July. I took a look at the domain name registration and found it was created on May 17, 2010.

Why would you create a domain name for this purpose two months before getting pregnant if you weren't sure you were ready to be parents?

Here are some guesses I have.

* Purposely get pregnant and use the web site to decide to have or abort the child, trivialize the decision to have an abortion, and get lots of attention.

* Fake the pregnancy, use the site to trivialize the decision to have an abortion in an attempt to rally the anti-abortion movement, and get people so upset they push for their (Minnesota) legislators to make abortion illegal in their state.

We will find out on December 9 when they must make their decision. I'm betting it's a hoax.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eh? What Was That?

Overhearing my coworker in the next cubicle on a very short phone call, I was puzzled by the single question that made up the entire conversation.

After they hung up I asked, "Did you just ask someone of they got their hair combed?"

(Surely you can understand my bewilderment and curiosity about calling someone, asking this question and then hanging up. I was at a complete loss trying to come up with a scenario that would result in this strange inquiry. And for good reason I learned.)

"No," they laughed. "I asked if they got their headphones."

So we all had a brief moment of amusement and I got some blog fodder.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ain't That The Truth

KHQ's web site has a traffic alert page containing a photo of a car with snow on it. They invite you to click on the picture to enlarge it.

Yep. Ain't life a bitch.

Flying Irish Run

Steph and a friend joined me in running with the Flying Irish this evening. Not running has been driving me crazy so this week I'm trying 3-4 miles runs with a day off in between. It gets a little painful at times, but it's far more tolerable than not running.

Anyway, I was surprised to find O'Doherty's just as crowded on a cold, windy and dark afternoon as it is during the summer. There were easily 150+ people there today. They have one more run that counts towards earning a shirt and that would be the Turkey Trot Second Harvest food drive run at Manito Park on Thanksgiving morning. Geoff and Josh will be home and we're making a family event of it.

Is Morality An Insurmountable Climb?

We learn from today's Spokesman Review that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US court, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property but cleared of 276 counts of murder and attempted murder.

The fact he was only found guilty of one charge upsets some people. The presiding judge would not allow a witness to testify since the only reason we know about the witness is because we tortured Ghailani.

From the article:

“This tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama administration’s decision to try al-Qaida terrorists in civilian courts,” Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., said, calling the decision “a total miscarriage of justice.”

Congressman King is correct. It is insane to try suspected terrorists in our civilian courts when we tortured them to get the evidence we needed to convict them. And he is correct that this is a total miscarriage of justice. The Obama administration claims the authority to indefinitely detain a suspect even if they are found not guilty. So it's not like they were going to let Ghailani go if he was acquitted of all charges.

We have descended the slippery slope. Former President George W. Bush admits to authorizing the use of water boarding, a form of torture our country has considered illegal for 90 years. He is an admitted war criminal and there is no outrage. But don't you dare besmirch his character by saying he doesn't care about black people.

The Obama administration continues using the policies implemented by the Bush administration where state secrets are paramount and trials would simply be for show because indefinite detention is the reality.

Just when you think there's nowhere for our country to go but up, it somehow finds a way to slide farther down.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Truth Be Told

Gary Graham, Spokesman Review editor, had a column in today's paper addressing he and his fellow editors' decision to publish the photo of the dead suspect from last Friday's shooting.

Apparently a number of people complained about the photo so Mr Graham explained the reasoning behind the decision.

• Fatal shootings in this community and others have been in the news a lot lately. Officer-involved shootings, in particular, have prompted considerable discussion in Spokane and Spokane Valley. That context seemed especially important in the examination of how to handle the photo.

• The nature of media reports about fatal shootings tends to sanitize violence. A body fully covered by a tarp, or one not shown at all, tells a far different story than the reality of the event.

• There can be deadly consequences when one chooses to begin firing a weapon, whether it’s aimed at relatives or police officers. Publishing a photo of a dead criminal suspect is not likely to deter the next suspect who is determined to use a weapon on another human being, but it does signal to a community that law enforcement officers are trained to respond with force in emergency situations.

• The shooting occurred on a Friday afternoon near a busy intersection before countless witnesses. Unlike most shootings, this one was very public and not easily ignored by anyone in the area.

Personally, I didn't have a problem with the photo which you can view here. I understand the need for the truth and I understand and agree with the reasoning Mr Graham presents. I respect his decision.

But I have to wonder. How different would it be if a law enforcement officer was lying on the ground instead? (In asking this, I'm not questioning or challenging the Review editors, but merely wondering out loud about the public's perspective.)

In the published photo we have a suspect shot dead by police after he shot at his father's house, drove away, walked away from his truck on Monroe Street and either shot into the air and/or at police officers. From all accounts he was certainly a danger to the public and the use of deadly force by the police was appropriate. So in a sense many of us have a feeling that the outcome is, for lack of a better word, acceptable. Justifiable. So publishing a photo of the dead suspect may upset a number of people, but given the lack visible injury and the distance from the camera, the photo is not really objectionable. It's sad that Ethan Corporon did what he did and died as a result, especially since it turns out he was mentally ill and quite unstable. But even so, many of us can justify his death as a result of his actions.

But how would our view change if a policeman was lying on the ground instead? Mr Graham's reasons are just as applicable in this scenario, aren't they? And yet this is not something that is supposed to happen. A fallen hero would be mourned and the suspect prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Would a newspaper print a photo of a police officer covering the body of a fallen comrade with a blue tarp? If so, would the public's reaction be far more intense?

Like I said. I'm just wondering out loud.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's The Little Things That Count

In today's Spokesman Review we see that Senate Republicans are getting serious about the deficit by pursuing a symbolic ban on earmarks.

“Unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things,” [GOP leader Mitch] McConnell said, “we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.”

After months and months of complaining about fiscal discipline and the increasing deficit, Senate Republicans are getting serious about it by banning earmarks.

Even though they have yet to identify where they would cut the budget.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ain't Technology Wonderful

You can get the whole family together.

Cyclocross Yesterday

I could only watch with envy as the racers of all ages and skill levels took on a challenging course at Liberty Lake yesterday. The run-up was quite long and the out-and-back on the beach and into the lake gave everyone plenty of sand to plow through.

This guy didn't get the memo that you were allowed to run up the run-up.

Taking a wide turn into the lake guaranteed an ice cold rinse.

And then after the lake, more sand.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Arguing About The Loose Change In The Couch

Today's Spokesman Review brings us a short blurb containing more bluster about being serious about the deficit by banning earmarks.

This is a well-worn distraction from what most informed people would consider being serious about the deficit. Remember when the Republicans created a Select Committee on Earmark Reform and our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers was appointed the chair in December 2008? She and the committee were to develop a proposal by February 2009. When she began her third term in January 2009 she repeated her aim to get serious about earmarks.

And as of today, let alone February 2009, we got nothing from the select committee chaired by Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Let's face it. If you want to get serious about balancing the budget, you need to deal with those expenses that seriously impact it. The posturing and bluster is getting old.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Touch My Junk, I'll Have You Arrested

An interesting story about a man who opted out of the scanner at the San Diego airport and objected to having his genitals touched during the enhanced pat down search. After not getting patted down he was allowed to return to the ticket counter and get a refund on his ticket. I don't think the TSA ever expected anyone to do something like this.

He had his cell phone recording video and audio during much of the exchange. I'm curious if criminal charges can be brought against him for that since photography is not allowed at the security checkpoints.

Good for him for standing up to the TSA security theater. However I don't think many people are prepared to follow his lead since everybody going through the security checkpoint is catching a plane and you don't do that on a whim.

*** Update ***

I forgot to mention that Nov 24, the busiest day at all our airports, is National Opt Out Day. The intent is to cause delays by opting out of going through the scanners and forcing TSA to dedicate personnel to physically search passengers. Also, there's the option of not flying which affects the airlines' bottom line if enough people don't fly. Presumably, if everyone is running late enough or people don't fly, then the airlines will apply pressure to TSA.

I'm no expert on queueing theory, but I imagine that if enough people opt out and go through the enhanced pat down instead, then it's possible it could cause delays if TSA doesn't have personnel dedicated to doing pat downs and has to pull them from the security checkpoint process. There's already a long delay at the security checkpoints in major airports so I suppose it's possible that enough people opting out of the scanners could cause additional delay for someone other than themselves. And yet the comments on the TSA blog concerning the enhanced pat down procedures would indicate a lot of people are upset.

I'd like to see what TSA would do with a woman traveling with several children opting out of the scanner.

Found on boingboing

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Disturbing My Hyena

Over the past couple of months I've had a pain in my lower right abdomen that appeared sporadically at first and became more constant the last couple of weeks. Running made it hurt worse, especially the long runs. It felt like a pulled muscle at first which made it easy to ignore since it didn't occur that often. But after running to work last Friday and suffering for a couple days afterwards I went to see the doc. It turns out I have a hernia. So I have to take it easy until I see the surgeon and get it fixed. Running is out which totally bums me out. I tried ice skating today and that was better but it still hurt and I wasn't skating hard enough to work up a sweat. I was hoping to do one more cyclocross race this Sunday but after trying a few mounts and dismounts in the front yard today, I don't think that's wise.

Now I can ride my bike comfortably. But, in the interest of marital harmony, I don't bike commute to work from November to February. So you know what that leaves me.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just A Little Rusty

I saw this was sitting alongside the road on 2nd which is being repaved. "Spirit of Service" was from 2002 but this looks pretty new and unused. I like the color and texture.

Plutonomy And Plutocracy

I've said it before, Bill Moyers is one of the most eloquent and thoughtful journalists. He recently gave a speech at Boston University in which he discusses the current political environment becoming increasingly controlled by and for the rich. He compares today's America with that of the late 19th century and shows not only how the monied interests are more in control than ever, but that they're not close to being done yet.

Donors are laundering their cash through front groups with high-falutin’ names like American Crossroads. That’s one of the two slush funds controlled by Karl Rove in his ambition to revive the era of the robber barons. Promise me you won’t laugh when I tell you that although Rove and the powerful Washington lobbyist who is his accomplice described the first organization as “grassroots”, 97% of its initial contributions came from four billionaires. Yes: The grass grows mighty high when the roots are fertilized with gold.

It's a bit lengthy compared to what most people read on line, but well worth it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Can you believe it's already time to start saving Christmas? Yesterday the Liberty Counsel announced the start of it's eight annual "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign".

When you look through their Naughty and Nice list it's evident that they don't care so much for the religious aspect of Christmas as they do the use of the word "Christmas" in advertising and greetings. After all, nothing saves Christmas like saying "Merry Christmas" every time you go to the store having a Christmas sale and buy more stuff for Christmas. Substituting the word "holiday" is all it takes to make the naughty list. Now for a tax-free donation you can help the Liberty Counsel by getting your own Help Save Christmas Action Pack.

On its website, www.LC.org, Liberty Counsel offers a Help Save Christmas™ action pack, which includes educational legal memoranda to educate government officials, teachers, parents, students, private businesses, employees, and others that it is legal to celebrate Christmas. The action pack also includes an “I ♥ CHRISTmas™” button, an “I Helped Save Christmas” bumper sticker and button, and sample ads for use in local newspapers.

Legal memoranda, buttons, and a bumper sticker is tons of action. (I like how they trademarked the name "CHRISTmas". It shows they're business savvy.) But wait, what's this? The Help Save Christmas Action Pack is under the "Christmas & Holidays" category.

Help save Christmas by telling the Liberty Counsel to use their Help Save Christmas Action Pack to save Christmas and not the Holidays!

Oh, and buy lots of stuff for Christmas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It Was A Great Run

Yesterday, the boys 4A cross country runners from Eisenhower High School did what no team outside of Spokane has done since Eisenhower won back in 1987. They are state champions.

Looking at the results for the last 22 years, you'll see that between Mead (14 wins), Ferris (5 wins) and University High (3 wins), Spokane has dominated. And Spokane continues to do so. On the 3A level, North Central popped up on the radar back on '03 and '04 with second place finishes at state. They have finished first ever since and, along with Mead, Ferris, and University High, have been nationally ranked.

Depth is what makes a cross country team a winner. Only the first five across the finish count for score. But if your number six and seven runners finish ahead of any of the other team's first five then they've also contributed by increasing the other team's score.

Lewis and Clark had a great season this year and finished second at state. I'm glad to see other Spokane schools in the limelight. It's a shame to see Mead's program fading. They may have a great runner in Andrew Gardner, second at state behind LC’s Kenji Bierig but like I said before, depth is what makes a cross country team a winner. Mead only had three freshman at the freshman championships a couple weeks ago. It's very hard to build a successful program if nobody turns out for it. I suppose history teaches us that dynasties come and go. Lewis and Clark loses five varsity runners at the end of the school year. I don't know who they have left but I hope it's enough to do as well next fall.

A 22-year run of Spokane state cross country championships came to an end yesterday. It was awesome. Hopefully a new run starts next year.

Spokane County Voting Stats

Have a look at our county's voting numbers on the Secretary of State web site. About 44% of the voters waited until election day neared before sending in their ballot. I'm hopeful they also waited to make their choice but there's no way of knowing for sure.

But look how many made up their minds up to three weeks beforehand. I'm not going to characterize them, but it seems like it would be prudent to wait. A lot can happen in three weeks during an election cycle.

Bring Back The Draft

Yesterday Senator Lindsey Graham spoke at the Halifax International Security Forum held in Halifax, Nova Scotia in which he advocated going to war with Iran.

"The last thing America wants is another military conflict, but the last thing the world needs is a nuclear-armed Iran... Containment is off the table."

The South Carolina Republican saw the United States going to war with the Islamic republic "not to just neutralize their nuclear program, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard, in other words neuter that regime."

This is not new language for Graham. He gave a speech at AIPAC last March in which he also advocated going to war with Iran as a last resort and yet as the only choice. And how fitting that he ended that speech with these words.

God bless all those who believe in peace and tolerance.

Graham must reserve special blessings for those like himself who see no alternative but war.

During dinner a few nights ago I told Steph that we should bring back the draft and include women.

"No way," she said. "That means I could be sent off to war."

Yes, but mandatory government service is an excellent motivator for getting young people to learn what their government is doing and care enough to do something about it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why The Rush?

Today's Spokesman Review brings us a reprint of an editorial from The Columbian in Vancouver which presents an argument for changing the deadline for mailed in ballots to that of Oregon which requires that all ballots must be in the elections office by the end of Election Day.

Here are the reasons. It takes too long, it's easier for voters to understand the deadline, and it takes too long.

The first reason they give is that allowing mailed in ballots to be postmarked on election day means we have to wait until they all arrive in order for them to be counted. For the really close races that means we don't know who won on election day but we have to wait a few days to find out.

In this day of instant-everything, people want to know on Election Night who won.

What's the rush? Does knowing who won now outweigh making every vote count?

Next, they claim it's easier for voters to understand having the ballot arrive by election day and support that reasoning with an anecdote.

I’m told that this year Multnomah County’s elections office will only receive about 20 ballots that can’t be counted because they were delivered too late. In contrast, here in Clark County, we expect to receive a couple of hundred ballots that can’t be counted because of late postmarks.

And last of all, they create a "what if" scenario where Washington would become as infamous as Florida during the presidential recount in 2004. Now that had to do with recounting ballots in a close election and not waiting for mailed in ballots, which they admitted earlier in the column.

One example is what happened in 2004 when Washingtonians didn’t know for six months the official outcome of the gubernatorial race. That drama had nothing to do with ballot deadlines; it had everything to do with the closeness of the race.

And to top it off, they allow that ballots coming from overseas should be postmarked by election day and allowed to arrive late. Presumably, because most of them wouldn't make a difference since there are so few of them. But then what if the election was that close. Aw shit, then we'd have to wait.

Well, I know how we can fix that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Google Spam

I received this in my Gmail account and it went to the Spam folder. How convenient.


Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (http://buzz.google.com), a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at http://www.BuzzClassAction.com.

This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement and was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Google Inc. | 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway | Mountain View, CA 94043

Tea Party - What Took You So Long To Get Angry?

Shamelessly crossposted from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, but well stated.

I didn't write this. The actual author is unknown but he/she speaks gospel. In anticipation of this election and most assured coronation of the astroturfed group as kingmakers, no matter the outcome:

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks. You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

No.....You finally got mad

When a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick...Oh, Hell No!!