Tags: politics

Beneath the falling leaves.

Yikes, sorry! SPRING STUFF

Oh Jesus.

First of all, I've obviously been incredibly busy.

I finished my junior year of college (three semesters left because my major's requirements are more stringent than those of the university). I got Dean's List honours this term as well as last and a 3.65 GPA, which, I should point out, is considered remarkable in my major. Just finishing the UMass Japanese programme, assuming I do, is considered a minor feat of strength; I was surprised to learn how highly we're apparently regarded in my field. Anyway, more importantly, I firmed up some friendships this semester too. I had a fight with a friend on the weekend of Easter, which was also my birthday and Anime Boston, but that seems to have, finally, been resolved. I've been on various reading and watching binges. As one would expect I'm neck-deep in Korra right now and have outstanding commitments for various reasons to Heartcatch Precure, The Twelve Kingdoms, and Natsume Yuujin-chou.

I have an entirely unreasonable if not outright alarming degree of FEELINGS about The Prague Cemetery, mostly because it's genuinely terrifying. I had a perhaps more to be expected set about Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, which made me absolutely bawl.

I was also elected to public office! I'm a member of the Town Meeting of Amherst, Massachusetts, a quaint form of local government used in New England. I'm one of 246 members and I was pretty involved in some controversial zoning votes (our side won in that the terrible development ideas that we were being presented with won't go through this year; we won only by a few votes!). I can talk more about what these controversies were and what the experience in general has been like in the comments if anybody is interested.

A week ago from the day that it now technically is on my side of the International Date Line I was finally officially confirmed in the Episcopal Church. It was the last set of confirmations for Bishop Scruton, whom I'm going to miss a lot. I'm not sure what I think of his potential successors, on whom we have not yet voted.

This summer I'm going to spend some time in Amherst with my friends and also at home with my family, doing a lot of gardening actually. A few weeks ago I finished, at long, long last, the writing project I'd been working on for two and a half years, and I've got something new going on! I've also been working on translating from a Noir artbook that I got at Anime Boston.

I also have a tumblr now!

I'm so sorry about my prolonged absence! How has everybody been?
Gigantea sisters

An observation, a simple observation.

Sarah Palin's Magical Mystery Tour is coming to my part of the country. I don't know who she thinks she's kidding but we're not some sort of 'frontier idiots' here. They're not even frontier idiots in the frontier, because people in all places are smarter than she and her cohort give them credit for--and considering how dumb people are this is saying something. So she can get on her high horse and ride the fuck out of Dodge.

Ahem. That is all.
Shimako is world peace.

Calling all Canadian flisters again!

So...tell me about the New Democratic Party.

Is this going to be like Cleggmania or is Jack Layton/are the NDP perceived as substantive and serious political alternatives? Why are the Liberals imploding so badly (apparently into third-party status if any of this polling is to be believed)? Will this split the left or does it reach the sort of critical mass where the NDP actually start picking up marginal Tory seats as well as previously Liberal ones?

Sorry, but I live relatively close to your country, so this stuff could potentially affect me here in the extreme north-east of the United States.
Not a mistake

Confession for the day

I don't ENJOY identifying as progressive/liberal. I really don't. I have very serious and basic disagreements with the fundamental view/views of existence (secular, rationalistic, et cetera) on which most people who share my policy positions seem to base them. I'm lonely.

'People may not believe it but I advise you all to check your Bibles more closely. God mandates this [radical redistribution of wealth] in Amos and most of the minor Prophets, as well as by implication in Jeremiah, in the Synoptic Gospels, and even in Leviticus 25. It was good for Paul and Silas and it is good enough for me. It is good enough for America, too.'

This is how I debate with radical libertarians.

'God is Love and Love is Justice. Justice entails dealing fairly in human affairs, not denying people the rights that you would not have them deny you. Love is so fundamental that the right to civil recognition of romantic commitment regardless of sex (as civil recognition of familial and professional commitment pays no regard to sex) can be counted a basic human right. And ‘to turn aside human rights before the face of the Most High, to subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not’ (Lamentations 3.35-6). God is Love, God is the source of love, God is concurrent to love, and any love that does not destroy the lovers flows from God and is with Divine blessings. If it is love, and if it is beautiful, is all that matters. In love the moral becomes the aesthetic, the aesthetic the moral. God did not institute the fact of love for some brute material teleology like sex and reproduction. God instituted the fact of love because He is Love. In the end nobody is free from experience; all our experiences are the same, so please don't be cruel.'

This is how I explain my support for gay marriage.

It's not always easy to hold what is fundamentally an un-Enlightenment (not anti-Enlightenment, simply un-) view of the world in a political culture that still thinks that John Locke was a pretty swell guy (and not one of the founding fathers of the Atlantic Slave Trade and an all-around bastard who got off on the thought of genocide in the name of white people's so-called 'private property' rights). In fact it's typically extremely difficult whenever discussion turns from policy issues to the underlying philosophy. I don't know what to do. I'm starting to think that because I'm in a minority therefore I must be wrong.
At what speed must we live

Calling all Canadians!

Can any of the Canadians on my friends list explain to me why your Prime Minister and his Cabinet have been held in contempt of Parliament? I don't question that it's reasonable for him to have so been found--I know of Stephen Harper by reputation, and it is not a good one in my circles--but I would like to be informed about this. This is after all a country that I live only about two hundred miles from!
Doctor/Romana summer

Something really great.

So, I got this email to-day from the International Socialist Organisation chapter at my college (they're officially Marxist, but they accept social democrats or liberation theology people like me as well).

The release of classified documents by the transparency organization Wikileaks is the biggest news in the U.S. right now. For many people around the world, the exposed documents confirm suspicions that U.S. foreign policy primarily acts in the interests of financial gain and political and military power. The U.S. government and political pundits have taken every opportunity to wage a smear campaign against Wikileaks and Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder and spokesperson) in order to undermine the project (more, and more incriminating, documents are set to release this year). Amidst this attack on transparency and investigative journalism is another discussion regarding rape allegations made against Assange. Much of the left (and right) has been utterly terrible on this question, and has openly scapegoated Assange's accusers in the name of defending Wikileaks.

We need to both question the sincerity and real motives of international governments that have jumped at the chance to prosecute Assange, while also standing unapologetically against any sexist victim-blaming against Assange's accusers. We want to weigh in on the key topic that our periphery (not to mention the whole world) is grappling with right now.

(emphasis mine)

I...cannot describe how happy this makes me and how awesome it is to read this from a leftist group right now.
Harriet of Somerville College

(no subject)

If Julian Assange committed rape, then he should go to prison. For rape. Not for 'compromising national security'. For rape, if he committed rape.

Other than the question of the facts, how is this, legally, different to the Polanski thing?
Tea is good.

This is from yesterday's Congressional Record.

Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, after a year of having
their requests for job creation policies fall on deaf ears, the
American people have not only spoken; they've been finally heard.
When it came to job creation, the American people made it perfectly
clear they are no longer willing to play the waiting game. For 15
straight months over 14 million citizens have been without jobs.
Despite these dismal numbers, liberal leaders in Congress continue to
push for more strangling regulations and more government spending.
I believe this is a new day, with a new way forward, including
extending tax cuts and passing tax relief for all Americans, while
providing the incentives to business to create jobs.
It is now time to get the economy rolling, get people back to work,
and get rid of Washington's runaway spending.

In conclusion, God bless our troops, and we will never forget
September 11th in the global war on terrorism.

...The Republican Party, everyone.
You really can't make this stuff up..

(emphasis mine)
Shimako is world peace.

Where we go from here.

Thoughts on the current state of the Congressional and state-level Democratic Party.
  • Nancy Pelosi (CA) was an effective Speaker and will make a far better Minority Leader than somebody like Steny Hoyer (MD) would. Since we probably won't get a Minority Leader Weiner (NY) or Minority Leader Blumenauer (OR), I say keep her.
  • Keep Clyburn (SC) as Whip.
  • Chris Van Hollen (MD), though, needs to get the axe. When the person in charge of a party's campaigning loses that party sixty seats, he needs to be eliminated. Replace him with somebody not from one of the coasts but also not a Blue Dog asshole. Raul Grijalva (AZ) or Ruben Hinojosa (TX), maybe? They're both Hispanic Congressmen from red states who are nevertheless able to win as full-throated progressives even in a year like this one.
  • Keep John Larson (CT) as Caucus Chairman.
  • Keep Rosa DeLauro (CT) on the Steering and Policy Committee but replace George Miller (CA) with somebody not from the San Francisco Bay Area. I recommend Ed Markey (MA) for this job, or Sander Levin (MI) or Dave Loebsack (IA) if it's considered wiser to pick somebody from so-called 'Middle America'.
  • Byron Dorgan (ND) is retiring and will thus need to be replaced as the director of Senate Democratic policy. We need somebody who can work with the shit that a conservative House will spew out. Ordinarily I would say that Bob Menendez (NJ) should be rewarded with this job for his really remarkable triage and salvage efforts, but he might not fit that requirement as well as someone more like Jeff Bingaman (NM) or Debbie Stabenow (MI).
  • Bingaman and Stabenow are both in other leadership positions and would themselves need to be replaced. I'd recommend Amy Klobuchar (MN) for Bingaman's position or Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) for Stabenow's.
  • Blanche Lincoln (AR) was defeated for reelection. Put either Udall (Mark of CO or Tom of NM) in charge of Rural Outreach; the South has pretty much run its course as far as decent Democratic Senators who aren't named Warner or Hagan go, and Tom Harkin (IA) is getting very old. The other alternative is Patrick Leahy (VT), but he's already Judiciary Chairman.
  • FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL AGAINST REPUBLICAN REDISTRICTING. Seriously. Seriously. ESPECIALLY in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio which are unfairly right-leaning because of the last round already. This is really important in the long term. Use the courts if necessary.
  • Shimako Toudou (JP) for Party Boss.
Beneath the falling leaves.

This is a comment from thehill.com

'There are alot of problems with the Dream Act.

1, 35 age limit too old.
2, It is ongoing - never ending.
3. Once these illegal aliens get to be citizens they will be busy sponsoring their illegal families into the country. So the number involved in the amnesty is a lot more than just the one student - you all are forgetting about their families members,

illegal families



I'm sorry. This person has just lost the right to hold forth on any issue of rights or dignities ever again.

I mean really.