Saturday, October 23, 2004

So, about this Mary Cheney thing...

I've read a lot of commentary on this issue recently and even discussed it in a few IM conversations, so I feel compelled to respond. The issue is how appropriate it was that both John Edwards and John Kerry brought up Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter in reference to gay rights questions in the debate. Here is my opinion, flat out: it was in fact inappropriate, but that is causing people to miss the larger picture. As usual.

Bringing up Mary Cheney was a shameless attempt to denounce Dick Cheney's character, which is a shame, because Cheney is much closer to being on the right side of the issue than Bush is. He handled the matter extremely well in the vice presidential debate, and honestly his recent handling of the issue of his daughter (if it should even be called an issue) has made me develop a certain level of respect for him.

So yes, perhaps using Mary Cheney as a specific example in their responses was wrong. But the real tragedy is that it overshadows the fact that Kerry was absolutely correct in his response. Bush dodged it, not wanting to piss off the Coalition. Kerry hit it dead-on: no, homosexuality is not a choice, and yes, if not marriage then at least full rights should be extended to all gay people. Kerry gave a straightforward, heartfelt, and intelligent answer, and unfortunately it was overshadowed by his use of a specific example that happens to be related to the vice president.

I read an interesting article by Richard Cohen a few days ago in which he assured his readers that Bush will not pursue the Federal Marriage Amendment if elected to a second term. As I am almost positive Bush will win in a week and a half, I hope this is true. I hope, against all hope, that we can just give gay people equal rights and go back to focusing on how to improve the world situation.

Song lyric of the day:
"I believe in Karma: what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side...
I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality"
-Savage Garden, "Affirmation"

(I know, I can't believe I just used a Savage Garden lyric, but what the hell, it seemed appropriate.)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Best pennant series ever!

With apologies to Collazzi, I have to report my excitement at having just witnessed history. The best League Championship Series ever just ended with the Red Sox coming back from a 3 games to none deficit to defeat the Yankees. No Major League baseball team had ever even made it to a Game 7 after being down 3, let alone won. The Red Sox did just that.

Not being a Yankees fan, it's hard for me not to root for the Sox when they reach the playoffs. After so many times coming so close, maybe they can finally win a world championship and shake off this whole stupid curse thing. I don't believe in curses and I never will, except for teams from Chicago.

So now there's a chance I'll get the World Series I wanted the moment the playoffs started: Red Sox - Astros. We'll find out tomorrow. Man, no wonder my grades are slipping...

Song lyric of the day:
"Baby even the losers get lucky sometimes..."
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Monday, October 18, 2004

Preparing for early voting...

Thanks to the wonder that is early voting, I won't have to stand in line to cast my first in-person presidential vote on Election Day. So I spent the past two hours researching candidates in the local elections that no one has bothered to talk about very much in spite of the fact that they probably make a greater difference in the lives of most people's day-to-day lives than the national election. (Deep breath).

I refuse to simply vote along party lines. Given the almost 50/50 party mix of my finalized ballot (including one Libertarian candidate) it's hard to consider myself partisan anyway. I went online to the Houston Chronicle, which actually provided a fairly good voter's guide that allows you to compare two candidates. It reassured me, for example, that I will vote for a tree before I vote for Tom DeLay -- not that it matters much anyway in this district.

Unfortunately, there were a few shortcomings to the process. For example, no direct comparisons between candidates were possible outside of the Presidential and Congressional elections. However, barring that, most of the failures of the Houston voter's guide are the fault of the candidates themselves. I point them out here on the off-chance that a future candidate for office happens to come across this blog and wants to know how to earn my vote:

  • Okay guys, in this day and age, you really need to have a website. If nothing else, it shows you actually care. Hell, you don't actually have to say anything. Just put a picture of your smiling face up if you have to. Which reminds me...
  • If you're going to have a website, here's what isn't going to earn my vote: having nothing other than a photo gallery showing you hobnobbing with a few people I guess I'm theoretically supposed to recognize; showing a list of quotes from members of your own party talking about how bad-ass you are; and so forth. Talk about your platform, for God's sake! (I suppose this contradicts my first point, but take baby steps: first website, then website that actually means something.) Weirdly, the candidates that addressed these concerns most directly were the two candidates for Tax Assessor.
  • Last of all, and this is kind of a corollary to the points above, don't assume I'm going to vote for you because of your party affiliation. Having a difficult time choosing in one Court of Appeals race, I was struck by a candidate whose website had a link that said, "Why I Am Running as a Republican". Honestly, reading her history, I was wondering the same thing. And she told me. It made sense, I agreed with her general outlook on the judicial process, and I will be voting for her.

I don't guess anyone actually cares about much of the stuff in this rant anyway. But hey, at least it's more coherent than my last one (the point of which, incidentally, was to examine the strange methods we as a country are trying to promote love overseas while restricting it here -- a point I'm not sure I actually made :-P). Anyhoo, I really just wanted to post something since I hadn't for a while.

Also, between now and November 2, make sure to vote! Even if you can't decide between the lesser of two evils in our Presidential election, vote for constable or something. Don't do it for me, or your country, do it for yourself. After all, it's fun to poke those holes or press those buttons.

Song lyric of the day:
"Purify the colors, purify my mind
And spread the ashes of the colors
Over this heart of mine"
-The Arcade Fire, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)