Sunday, November 27, 2016

PCs to the Back of the Bus

Dear Dr. Apple:

Have you thought of this? Picture an Apple store in a mall with a sign over the door that reads "Whites Only." Picture in another part of the mall an electronics store with a sign over the door that reads "Colored Only." Have you thought about that? It's amazing that Apple is continuing with its separate-but-superior OS segregation policies. It should be easy by now to flow from Windows-based applications to Mac-based applications. There shouldn't even be the Mac/PC dichotomy anymore. But there still isn't the free flow of equals between the two segments of the population because a Wall is in place intended specifically to make access to Mac applications difficult for Palestinians, I'm sorry I meant Mexicans, I'm sorry I meant PC users.

It's well past time for Apple to drop its elitism and stop positioning the Mac in the marketplace as if it's a purely Aryan race of computers. That kind of elitism is more attuned to the world of the 1950s. I can easily picture people who were vehemently opposed to school desegregation flocking to stores that sell these clean white machines assiduously designed to appear different from and better than the hordes of common machines in the other stores. That's how we thought then. But now?

The sleek white surfaces of the Apple product line look so sophisticated and forward-thinking and uncluttered by the past. But beneath those surfaces? It's just old white guys being themselves.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

MoveOn.org's Electoral College Petition Is Back

I haven't been this motivated to be political since Dubya's reelection campaign. (The war we could not stop, the reign we could not end.) It seems that every time I sit down to my computer now I see something or other that triggers a need to respond. This too shall pass. Or something like that. The MoveOn.org petition to tell the Electoral College to cast their votes for Hillary was taken down yesterday, and I sent them a message on the order of "I can't believe you did that!" I see that the petition is back online now but all of the previous signatures must have been deleted. They sent out an email this morning asking for financial support and they made no mention of the petition being back online. I went to the site to check that it was still down and found it online again. This is my reply to the fundraising email:
MoveOn totally messed up when they took down the Electoral College petition. I couldn't believe it. In my previous note I speculated that you'd been infiltrated by a conservative plant or two. I don't know if that's the case or if it was just wanting to appear less like sore losers. In most cases I would agree that being a good loser is the best strategy, but the Trump campaign has been outrageous.

Thank you for bringing back the petition! I see that it's down to 50,000 signatures now. I think I remember it being over 200,000 when I signed it the first time. Let's hope momentum can propel this petition past the highest total number of signatures of the previous petition.

Thanks again for bringing it back!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

It's Worse Than We Thought

Scrolling through the news articles on Yahoo, I saw this headline: "The Mike Pence (Donald Trump) Assault On LGBTQ Equality Is Already Underway." It linked to an article by Michelangelo Signorile, Queer Voices Editor-at-Large at Huffington Post. I may have read the entire article without blinking. OMG. Who knew? They're speculating that Mike Pence "could be the most powerful Vice President ever." More powerful than Chaney? Is that physically possible? Signorile writes "Mike Pence is perhaps one of the most anti-LGBTQ political crusaders to serve in Congress and as governor of a state. Long before he signed the draconian anti-LGBTQ 'religious liberty' law in Indiana last year, he supported 'conversion therapy' as a member of Congress, and later, as a columnist and radio host, he gave a speech in which he said that marriage equality would lead to 'societal collapse,' and called homosexuality 'a choice.'" The article is especially unsettling because we believe we've been making halting progress through the years since the turn of the century, that the population has been gradually, grudgingly accepting new ways of thinking about certain segments of the population. But all along there have been influential people plotting ways to roll time back and undo that progress because they feel this progress has been an ooze downward toward depravity rather than a march upward toward enlightenment. Signorile advocates moving through the grieving process quickly and beginning the fight to retain the progress we've made.

I shouldn't scroll down to look at the comments at the end of articles. I know better. I'll have to break that habit if I'm going to get anything else done besides blogging, tweeting and facebooking. But one reply to a comment after this article was just so... dumb that I had to respond:
Kiran Suresh · Los Angeles, California
I'm not afraid of Trump because I know he will do nothing. I'm worried about a republican dominated house and conservative SC which could roll back years of progress. And everyone knows Pence is the scariest wolf in the White House.

Tim Daugherty · Jamison, Pennsylvania
Kiran Suresh: Yes, we need to roll back soooo many things liberals have put into place! This is should not be viewed as a fear but rather the consequences for losing an election to conservative issues. The DOW is up huge... but I guess you do not look at those things.

John Evan Garvey · Burbank, California
Tim Daugherty: I imagine Jamison is in central Pennsylvania? Do you own cows yourself? I imagine you're married; nope, looking at your profile you appear to be single. You don't know what your girlfriend or your mom is really thinking about the reduction of women's rights that appears to be coming. She hasn't told you what she's really thinking because she knows better. You have an LGBT brother or sister or niece or nephew or cousin who hasn't told you because they know how you'd react. So much going on around you that you don't know about. And you're thinking "It's a man's world again!," meaning straight white Christian man's world. There are people whom you love, who are close to you, whom you are hurting with your support of a narrow conservative agenda. The soooo many things liberals have put into place have benefited people you love. When those rights are taken away, it will hurt them, but they won't let you know that, because they know better.

Say It Often Enough, It Becomes True

An informative article by Neil Buchanan on the Newsweek site: The Cruel 'Crooked' Caricature That Doomed Clinton. Very interesting reading. He trashes the media on the left and right equally, so Conservatives could benefit from reading the article too without feeling too much nausea.

At the end of the article, the Comments section shows that there are currently 600 comments. A reply to the first comment started a long, long thread of people telling the replier how stupid she is. And it rolled on and on. Following are the first comment and the first two replies:
James Johnson
Wow. Rush Limbaugh was right, as usual. The leftist, leg-humping-poodle media is simply incapable of any semblance of balance or introspection. They continue to run interference for a miserable, socialist, elitist candidate.

Sheila Merritt · Darby High School
AS soon as you praise Rush Limbaugh that qualifies you among the thoughtless ditto heads.

Carl Savant · Lamar University
Sheila Merritt: And you sound like PeeWee Herman! "I know you are, but what am I? No real response to anything. Typical Demo"scat"!
Lots of anger addressed directly to Sheila in the long scroll downward. I came to a comment with a picture of Princess Leia from Episode IV as the avatar of the comment writer, and I wrote a reply but it appears several comments down from that one:
Nancine Pike
Sheila Merritt: Dare you to listen for 6 weeks every day...Your bubble will burst.

John Evan Garvey
Nancine Pike: Listen to Rush for six weeks to burst the bubble, Princess Leia?? Coughcoughhack, sorry pardon me, you caught me by surprise there. Ahem. Okay, here's a counter: Listen to Rachel Maddow for six weeks every day. Picture that. You would spend every hour saying "Lies, lies, lies, lies..." Wouldn't you. But then, if someone meticulously went through the two show transcripts and fact-checked, you wouldn't like the outcome. Rachel is a meticulous researcher. Even after fact-checks, though—fact-checks—you would still find a way to keep your bubble intact.
A little ways further down the page is a comment that ended with a reference to Christianity and I replied to that:
Steve Peck
Steven Dickerson: It’s true Rush Limbaugh had the misfortune, to get hooked on pain pills prescribed after botched back surgery. When this happens the left tells us that such failings by conservatives negates the validity of their arguments. No they don’t. A lapse in judgment is not an invalidation of one's principles. Nor, does it make a person immoral or unethical. A continuous pattern of behavior defines character and people like you have defined theirs for over half a century. Their complete lack of compassion and desires to humiliate and misrepresenting things like Rush’s misfortune as moral failure speaks more about your character than his. For people like you, the concept of redemption, like the golden rule and civil rights, is only to be applied to other leftists. A KKK leader can be the “dean of the Senate” if he’s a Democrat because redemption is only for your own.
   Where did the left get the idea that only perfect people can exalt virtue? Certainly not from Christianity, which assumes we are all sinners.

John Evan Garvey
Steve Peck: Excellent cherry-picking technique. That takes skill and practice. Now, picture Jesus having dinner frequently with Muslims and Mexicans. Can you? I really think that, if Jesus were here on Earth today, that would be a familiar image. "Wine-bibber" would be replaced with "alcoholic" wouldn't it? I expect you would be totally disappointed with Jesus, today, not being very Republican. If you want to pull Christianity into the discussion, Jesus gets pulled in along with it. (I'm a grad of BJU and I aced all their doctrine courses, so proceed with theological caution.) Jesus represents some awkwardnesses for the right. He doesn't quite fit. Picture Trump giving a speech with Jesus nearby. If He looked like He disagreed with Trump on some point, would Trump call Him corrupt? I do believe Jesus would shush all the liberal indignation over Trump's groping women, but He probably would then say "Go, thou, and sin no more." Or "Yo, Donald, don't think of women like that anymore." Oh, you mean 'Dean' Robert 'Pork Barrel' Byrd? He filibustered the Civil Rights Act and supported the Viet Nam war. Quite a character. Sounds like he was in the wrong party. You can claim him if you want.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

MoveOn.org's Petition to the Electoral College

MoveOn.org has posted a petition to tell the Electoral College to vote for Hillary.

The site displays this note: "MoveOn volunteers reviewed this petition and determined that it either may not reflect MoveOn members' progressive values, or that MoveOn members may disagree about whether to support this petition. MoveOn will not promote the petition beyond hosting it on our site."

The comment I added to my signature was "I know this seems like we're sore losers, and I wouldn't advise this for a less outrageous candidate. But this is Constitutional. This is what the Founding Fathers provided for a case like this."

My email to Rachel Maddow regarding this petition:

I'm sure you've been sent this link to MoveOn.org's petition to tell the Electoral College to cast their votes for Hillary, many times. I can also understand your reluctance to advocate this course of action.

Please consider adding your influence to this movement, Rachel. Please. It isn't that we can't tolerate losing elections. Of course we can. We survived the Dubya years. It's because this candidate has stated such outrageous intentions that the situation is more serious than usual. The fact that Hillary won the popular vote would serve to bolster the unprecedented move of having the Electoral College delegates vote independently. If it were explained clearly enough to the public that this is an extremely unusual situation, the rioting might be minimized.

Please consider advocating this solution to a very serious problem. Four years of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress blocking the White House and getting nothing done is not a pleasant prospect.

The Electoral College is EXACTLY what's needed now

The comment I left on Michael Moore's blog post "Day Two's To-Do List":


#5: Absolutely. #6: Wrong, Michael. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's now for the Electoral College to perform the function for which it was created, to protect the people from themselves. The Electoral College was put in place to prevent the direct election of a charlatan. The expectation was that delegates to the College would cast their votes for the appropriate candidate in spite of the popular vote majority being for the scoundrel. In this case, with Hillary as the winner of the popular vote, it's even more essential that the College perform its intended function. The majority voted for Hillary and it's clear that the declared winner is unfit for office. The Electoral College should do its job. Killing the College would only leave the system open to future Trumps being elected directly by popular majority.

Michael, if you persist in pushing for the elimination of the Electoral College through the ponderous amendment process, it will deflect attention from the College doing its job NOW. The casting of delegate votes for Hillary instead of Trump would solve the problem quickly and would employ the safeguards the Constitution's framers provided us with. PUSH for the Electoral College to elect Hillary. It's legal, it's Constitutional, and it would provide an instantaneous fix to the problem. With your influence and public profile, you would help the process immeasurably. Would you shift your focus to UTILIZING the Electoral College now? Please? People will listen to you. Please do this!


[Note: Since my previous blog post, I found an article on Salon that addressed the questions I'd posed to Rachel Maddow.]

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Snuggie time?

My email to Rachel Maddow today:


Are you going to wear your Snuggie on the show tonight? Seems like all of us in your audience need to hunker down with some comfort food to help ease the pain of the election loss last night. I remember you wearing your waders on the show once, and your Snuggie made at least one appearance in the past. Of course I can just as easily picture you appearing on the show tonight in mourning black with a black veil draped over a very stylish wide-brimmed black hat, looking like you stepped out of a Dynasty rerun. In any case, we'll be looking to Aunt Rachel for comfort tonight.

One point that's been nagging at me a little since the Dubya reelection was the intended role of the Electoral College. In my thinking, the Framers of the Constitution probably created the Electoral College as a buffer to protect the people from themselves when they've been induced to elect a charlatan/scoundrel type to the White House. By having them elect delegates, rather than the President directly, the Founding Fathers offered us a final opportunity for common sense to prevail, with the expectation that the more-educated delegates would cast votes for an appropriate candidate. At the time, in 2004, I thought the Electoral College had failed to perform the function for which it had been designed. Why have an Electoral College if the delegates are bound tightly to the popular vote? What would be the point? And this election seems to be even more in need of the Electoral College protecting the people from themselves. Does this idea relate at all to the thinking of the Founding Fathers, or is this just something that wandered into my head on its own? It just seems kind of odd to me that the College would be set up originally just to echo the popular vote. The people elect delegates rather than the President directly. So? Some civics professor a long time ago may have planted in my head the idea of the people being protected from themselves by the Electoral College, but I don't remember. Just thought I'd ask.