When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke
By: sp34n119w, 8:08 PM GMT on October 27, 2010
Even in districts where it seems that a particular candidate is guaranteed to win, it is worth your while to vote, either for or against.
Voting is how politicians know that we care about what they are doing. That it matters how they behave and what they accomplish. You can send them money, you can send them letters, you can march or blog to your heart's content but, in the end, it is your vote that convinces them that they are being watched by constituents who care.
A few weeks ago, I read a blog entry by author John Scalzi who lives in Ohio House District 8, John Boehner's district. Certainly the Orange One is favored to win and Scalzi, though he will vote, was unconvinced that his vote would do any good. Turns out that the Democrat running against Boehner is no slouch and, having gotten wind of Scalzi's entry, left comments on the blog explaining why he thinks he can win. These reasons include the fact that most folks in the district are registered Independents, who tend to be conservative but old-school conservative, and they are getting fed up with Boehner's pandering to the extremists and may well vote against him, given a viable alternative. Also, the Dem has received quite a lot of financial backing - more than previous challengers, anyway - as further indication of constituents' feelings towards the incumbent. The Dem is quite far Right, by the standards of the Left, and is palatable to many traditional conservatives. But, he can't win if people sit home thinking he can't win, can he? People have to cast their vote for him.
Here's the thing: even if Boehner wins, it makes a difference whether he wins by 2% or 16%. Really, it does. Politicians count those votes, every one, and they notice if more people than expected show up at the polls - especially if those votes go against them - because it means they are being watched and folks are taking the (bare minimum) action required of citizens in a representative democracy. That means that, next time, there may be more going to the “other side” if the winner doesn't pay some mind to what his less loyal constituents want him to do. So, those votes against do matter, even if “your side” loses. Your voice is definitely heard, despite what some pols will tell you in an effort to get you to stay away from the polls.
There are far more registered Democrats than Republicans in this country. There are more Independents than Republicans in many districts. Is it a surprise that the narrative from the Republicans is that government doesn't listen to the people? It is in their best interest for people to feel apathetic and disenfranchised – fewer voters works in their favor, as they can always count on their base. Face it, Democrats and those farther Left are the least likely to vote. They pout and whine, they march and boycott, but they don't vote.
If you are concerned about the incivility of current politics, or about the shameful ignorance of, and total disregard for, basic U.S. History and law and ideals shown by certain candidates for political office (and their supporters!), you must vote. Politicians may notice a march on Washington or a letter writing campaign but those don't affect their paychecks or their power – only votes do that. Hold you nose and squint your eyes if you must, but, VOTE.
Weather watching -
Yeah, clouds, whatever:
Rainy season is upon us! Run for the hills! Oh, no, wait. Hills tend to slide around here. Um, run for the beach!:
Updated: 6:23 PM GMT on November 02, 2010
By: sp34n119w, 6:53 PM GMT on October 10, 2010
Autumn weather in southern California. Hot and dry one week; cold and (maybe) wet the next. Let's just see what happens as we head into winter, shall we?
Hoping for rainclouds OR sunny skies:
Swirlies or pareidolia - you decide:
Oh, it'll happen, just you wait:
This will be a blog for random comments, for sure. Too much to do and too little time! That's a good thing :)
Plus, I like random comments ;)
By: sp34n119w, 6:46 PM GMT on October 04, 2010
Since rain is in the forecast this week – and it is drizzling RIGHT NOW – I thought I'd add the radar into the blog.
If you look at the rgb image you can see that the marine layer that came back a couple days ago is being squeezed and wrung out like a damp sponge – hence the drizzle.
Forecast says that will continue until the low travels south, bringing with it the possibility of real rain through Wednesday. Won't that be nice?
After that, a high pressure system will move in, as usual, and temps will warm again for a bit.
Now taking bets on who gets measurable rain:
More games of Spot the Swirly:
The Gathering Doom: