Why Obama Now


Eureka! USPO-ISP!

I just had a wild idea…

I live in a rural area, and my income is dependent on a reliable internet connection. Because I’m rural, I’m paying three or four times as much as broadband customers in other regions for much slower access speeds. There are cellular data plans, but they’re not competitive, yet, with wired broadband, and the wireless data carriers aren’t required to stay net-neutral.

I think what we need a national wireless network. A modern equivalent of Rural Electrification to get wireless broadband to every corner of the country. A network where you didn’t have to buy an unnecessary land-line or tv-cable package or cell-phone contract to get connected. A net-neutral on-ramp to the internet that won’t mess with your data or access speeds in order to gain some sort of competitive advantage. A network that every computer, laptop, and tablet could connect to, anywhere, all under a single personal or family account.

Naturally, we’d make this new national network part of the US Postal Service. It’d still be for profit like the current postal system, but it’d be the Public Option for broadband access. Profit isn’t the main directive, providing access to a critical service is. The costs would be low so as few barriers to entry as possible for the average citizen, and there could be federal assistance in place for lower income families. It would be parallel to the existing wireless networks of the cell phone companies, but it’d force them to be more competitive in price and service.

And it would create thousands upon thousands of solid, union jobs.

Too crazy?

Anti-Christian Antics in Wisconsin School

Some religious zealots - specifically Christian zealots - are trying to paint this as anti-Christian. They're being biased and short-sighted, but they're correct in thinking that the school is in the wrong, here.  I had something similar happen with my son in his second-grade class, though it was our lack of reverence that got him into trouble.

After I'd picked him up from school, one day, he was acting upset. I asked why and he explained that he'd been held inside at his desk for part of recess (the standard punishment for second-graders). When I asked why, though, I got a bit of a shock. He was being punished for using the exclamation "
Oh, my God!" This seriously worried me. I stopped by his classroom the next morning and had a chat with his teacher about it. She said a couple of the kids in class were highly religious and were taking offense to hearing what they considered a blasphemous phrase. I, in turn, had to explain to the teacher that by officially punishing my son for not following a particular religion's tenets she was in fact establishing a preferred religion. I explained that we were not religious and I really wanted to avoid that. I had no problem with her explaining to him that it'd be polite not to say that phrase, but I couldn't actually allow her to punish him for using it. She understood the distinction, thankfully, and was willing to work with me. Unlike the teacher in this article. The school in the article needs to unbend a bit on their rules, and the parent of the zealous student also needs to unwind a bit. I grew up around such zealotry - that's why I'm making certain that my children are exposed to as little of it as possible.


Since there's no Apple Store within 600 miles of me, I do most of my shopping online, and have used all sorts of different package carriers to deliver things for me. DHL was a nightmare, and the post office is a little slow but extremely reliable, and the big two - FedEx and UPS - were always about the same.

Except that I just got a call from my mom relating a story to me that has me totally floored. My dad is a Vietnam Veteran and also a Registered Nurse. Years ago, he was exposed to Hepatitis from a needle stick and now is on medication to treat some liver problems. The VA ships him his medicine every week via FedEx. The scheduling is a bit tight and typically it arrives exactly when he's going to be needing it, and delays in shipping would be disastrous. Until recently, the young man that drove the route through our town for FedEx understood that my parents both work during the day and might not be home to accept delivery and was perfectly happy to grant their request to simply leave the package at their front door so they could have it the day it was delivered instead of delaying arrival until one of them happened to be home.

Around Thanksgiving, a new person started driving the FedEx truck that services my parents area, and despite repeated requests and explanations, refused to simply leave the package. Technically, the package required a signature and she simply wasn't going to deliver the medicine without one. This lead to many days of my parents scrambling to try to be home on the day of delivery despite the fact that they couldn't get a precise time of arrival from FedEx and had to sometimes wait hours simply to be available when the FedEx truck arrived. My dad called the VA and got them to drop the signature requirement hopefully to facilitate an easier delivery.

The next week (the week of Christmas), the new driver didn't arrive at all despite the tracking page on FedEx's website saying that the package was on the truck to be delivered. My dad called FedEx and was finally able to convince them that he desperatly needed to have that medicine and to have her come back. It was nearly 6 p.m. by the time she arrived, well after the she was supposed to be done for the day. When she arrived she was angry and told my dad, "I don't care what sort of problems you have, I'm not leaving the package without a signature." This got my dad angry and he told her that he wanted the name of her supervisor and that he didn't want her to be the person delivering to them, anymore. She refused to give her supervisor's name or even her own first name so my dad wrote a letter to the CEO of the company explaining the incident and why, if they didn't fire her, they should at least have another person deliver to his house.

The finishing touch on the story? Today my dad received a letter from FedEx explaining that they're not going to deliver
anything to his house, anymore.

After failing to deliver critical
medicine to a veteran, they've decided to fire my dad as a customer. Amazing.


This little video alternately boils and chills my blood. These slimy tactics of disenfranchisement have been nearly perfected by Republicans and are going to be used to try to avert a Democratic victory. I only hope we can avoid the trap.

As always, though, it's at the very end of the movie, when the man himself speaks, that my eyes fill up with tears of hope and joy at the idea that we might actually pull it off and save the country...

2 hankies


Republicans and miltary men on John McCain

Equal in strength to my sense of hope at the thought of Barack Obama as President, is my terror at the idea of John McCain as Commander in Chief.

The video mostly just sent chills down my spine, but at the end, during the footage of casualties, I couldn't help but feel sorrow at the needless pain and loss of life. How can people bring themselves to deliberately inflict pain on - or even end the life of - another human? (3 hankies)

McCain wants more wars. McCain shouldn't have a chance of winning, but biased media coverage, the right wing noise machine, voter ignorance, voter suppression, and the heavy support of monied interests mean that there is still the real danger that he could end up in the Oval Office. I hope we can overcome the very real and very difficult hurdles that are in our path back to sanity.

Senator Ted Kennedy Returns to the Senate

I was listening to the podcast of David Bender's
Politically Direct and they were talking about this amazing event in the Senate and I had to immediately go to YouTube to see if I could find the video. Thankfully, it was easy to find. Even after the nightmare of the last 8 years, there are times when I'm so full of pride for this country that it just overwhelms me. 4 hankies

Rachel Maddow Show 7/17/08

Listen to this little clip from Thursday's Rachel Maddow Show. The bit about Rep. Sanchez' Jersey having the "IX" on it made me a little misty-eyed. I'm not much for sports, but I am big on social justice, and I think that Title IX putting women's sports on equal financial footing with men's sports was important. 1 hankie

(I highly recommend buying a premium membership to Air America Radio. For one yearly fee you get to download any or all of their shows as podcasts, commercial-free. Rachel Maddow is my most favorite, but I also listen to another half a dozen, or so, though less devoutly.)

Phyllis and Del


"Breaking ground is nothing new in the nearly six-decade relationship of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.

The lesbian couple were the first to participate in a 2004 challenge of California laws against same-sex marriage, exchanging wedding vows only to see the ceremony voided later."

55 years they had to wait. Social Justice is important to me, and this is an important step. The story of these two ladies and their struggle to be treated fairly and their victory in the end made me weepy. 1 hankie

The Matthew 25 Network

I'm not the most religious guy (I'm a cultural Christian, but not a believing one), but I teared up when I saw this quote about a new Democratic group targeting the Evangelical vote:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Now, I'm a proud Liberal despite all the negative connotation right-wingers tries to spin into the word, and I can think of few better definitions of a Liberal than the person Jesus is describing, here.

And I think it fits beautifully into the simple idea that defines Liberalism, as a whole:

"Liberty and Justice for All."

1 hankie.

Voting Republican

Hard not to cry when you think about all that institutionalized injustice. 1 hankie.