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Hidden River

Oct. 29th, 2009

02:46 pm

On my way into work this morning, there were several people standing on one of the pedestrian bridges over 405, sheltering under umbrellas in the heavy, cold rain. They held up political signs. They were smiling happily and waving to traffic.

Problem was, these signs were the small road-side type and these people were standing about 25-30 ft. above the freeway. In that rain, I couldn't even begin to read them. As I passed underneath, I was just able to make out the word "REJECT" in large, red letters. My guess is that it was either against Initiative 1033 (the "Let's Bankrupt the State" measure) or Referendum 71 (the "Let Gays and Senior Citizens Keep Their Civil Rights" measure), but there was no way to know. These people were up there, braving that weather, seemingly unaware that nobody passing below them was getting their message.

The worst part is that I didn't know whether to feel sympathy or schadenfreude.


Jun. 3rd, 2009

01:55 pm - Bwuh?

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN0311731020090603

Obama is saying that "any requirement for mandatory health insurance in a proposed overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system should allow exemptions for the poor and for small businesses". The article doesn't provide much detail, but it seems like the only purpose of this would be to crack down on Wal-Mart and their ilk (which is a good start, but hardly a solution to the overall health care crisis) and also take the choice away from those few individuals who could afford health insurance but choose not to pay for it.

Despite what Republicans have been implying, the problem is not that most people without health insurance are just too cheap/lazy to spring for it. The problem is that too many people just plain can't afford it and/or work for small businesses which also can't afford it. What Obama is proposing won't help these people at all.

What's that you say? This is just one part of a larger solution which will help the poor and small businesses?

If that's true, then why bother with the exemptions at all? If the goal is to have affordable insurance for everybody, then it won't be a "hardship" for the poor and small businesses. This whole discussion is nonsensical at best, and a deliberate distraction at worst.

This is smelling an awful lot like bait-and-switch to me... Why are we talking about mandatory insurance before we've implemented any of the reforms to make it affordable? As it stands, it seems like nothing more than a giveaway to the insurance companies, with Obama playing along while trying to protect the most vulnerable.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

May. 28th, 2009

09:37 pm - diania_firebird is famous

x-posted to my journal and mapleshirefarms

filkertom has updated his website and I was thrilled to see that the lyrics for this little ditty are now online.

You can even buy the song (or the album) from here if you're so inclined, and support your probably-not-so-local independent musician in the process.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased

Apr. 28th, 2009

10:51 am - Yes!!!

One of my favorite Republicans, Arlen Specter, is switching parties.  I've been hoping he would - it's a smart move for him and the only hope he has of keeping his Senate seat in 2010.  (He's trailing badly behind his ultra-right-wing primary opponent, who in turn doesn't stand a chance of winning the general election.) 

That puts the Dems at 59 seats, until Al Franken finally gets seated - then it's 60, which means the Republicans will have a very difficult time breaking their record from last term of the most filibusters ever (112).

Edit: Unfortunately, the cynic in me is waiting for Joe Lieberman to jump to the Republicans.

Current Mood: happyhappy

Apr. 1st, 2009

12:36 pm - Too young

Just got word from herekittikitti that Andy Hallett has died of congestive heart failure. He was 33. Best as I can tell, this is not an April Fools joke, unfortunately.

This just...sucks.

Edit: So apparently this happened on Sunday. I've only just now heard about it.

Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Lady Marmalade

Mar. 24th, 2009

08:21 pm - Ask a stupid question...

...get an intelligent answer - even if it doesn't deserve one.

From tonight's Presidential press conference:

Chuck Todd (NBC News):
Some have compared this financial crisis to a war. And in times of war, past presidents have called for some form of sacrifice.

Some of your programs, whether for Main Street or Wall Street, have actually cushioned the blow for those that were irresponsible during this — during this economic period of prosperity or supposed prosperity that you were talking about.

Why, given this new era of responsibility that you're asking for, why haven't you asked for something specific that the public should be sacrificing to participate in this economic recovery?


I have a question for Mr. Todd. Exactly which planet are you from?

My guess is this guy makes over $250K / year and just can't understand why the poor and middle class people who are barely scraping by because of the economy aren't having their taxes raised too.

Corporate news media - ya gotta love it. Or not.

Full text of the news conference is here.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

Feb. 13th, 2009

03:17 pm - Cool Geek factoid

At 3:31pm Pacific today (23:31 UTC), the Unix time will be 1234567890. That's 15 minutes from now as I write this.

** Measured in seconds since January 1, 1970 (UTC).

Edit: There's a countdown tool at http://coolepochcountdown.com/

Current Mood: amusedamused

Dec. 26th, 2008

02:15 pm - Gah

The temperature just dropped a couple of degrees and the slushy snow we had a little while ago has turned to big, fat flakes. I can't imagine it warming up significantly after the sun sets. Looks like our multi-family dinner which was rescheduled for tomorrow may have to be rescheduled yet again.

I really enjoyed having a white Xmas for once - but it can stop now.

No, really.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

Dec. 17th, 2008

04:48 pm - Here it comes

It started snailing a little while ago (snow/hail mixed) and now we have very heavy snow mixed with a little rain. (The forecasters got it right this time - they said it would probably start up in South Snohomish/North King County around sunset.) Since it'll probably drop a few degrees shortly, I'm guessing we're finally in for stick-to-the-ground snow before long.

Hmm... Well, it's already stick-to-the-dog snow, apparently. Luci just came in from her potty break looking suspiciously white on top.

Current Mood: sleepysleepy

Dec. 15th, 2008

12:05 pm - So much for the natural sunlight

My coworkers have closed all the blinds and half the lights are turned off. It's dark in here. All I want to do is nap.

Looks like I'm going to be needing my full-spectrum lamp again. :(

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