Thursday, November 18, 2010


May I suggest an alternative to the airport security check ins that have so many knickers in a twist? I haven’t figured out which combo is best. But, when you arrive at the airport and check in you are issued either two bed sheets or a sheet and a hospital style gown. You are also given flip flops and a see through bag that can be sealed once it’s scanned. Perhaps they could use something like the anti shoplifting tags that use dye. That, or a very small stink bomb to deter folks from unsealing their bags.

You change, put your clothing, including the above mentioned knickers and other unmentionables in the bag and go through the security scanners. Your bag is sealed and you board your flight looking rather like an extra from Gandhi, the Animal House toga party or an old sword and sandals film. I would not want to be stranded on the tarmac in Chicago this time of year.

For extra spice all congressional representatives, bureaucrats etc. would be required to fly commercial airlines and have to do the same thing. Especially anyone remotely tied to the TSA or Homeland Security. Can you imagine all our over sixty representatives without their power suits (or skirts) as the case may be. ;-) It’d be worth the cost of a ticket just to see Mitch McConnel trying to figure out what to do with his tighty whities.

"Those who sacrifice liberty for a little security deserve neither security or safety." freely borrowed from Ben Franklin.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I’ve been following the Alaska senate race with a lot of interest. The incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, was edged out in the primary by a Tea Party candidate endorsed by Sara Palin. She conceded the election, but decided to run as a write in candidate. As of today it looks like she just might win the election.

At this point they’re arguing over which votes count. Alaska requires that the write in candidates’ name be spelled correctly. Works for me, except that both major parties went to court to block any list of write in candidates being posted at the polls and to forbid poll workers to help voters with their write in ballots. My source for this is the on line version of the Anchorage Daily News. Both parties, not just disgruntled Republicans who view Murkowski as a spoiler. Some states (example; Texas) block candidates who lose in the primary from running as write ins. Alaska doesn’t.

Let’s shift our perspective a bit. Look at the Republicans and the Democrats as brands like say, GM or Ford. The brand provides a commodity; votes and access on the local, state and federal level instead of pickups and SUV’s. It is in the interest of the major parties to provide fairly reliable results in return for the money donated to their war chests. From the point of view of the donors the parties provide a source of votes and access with as few surprises as possible. Democracy is great in theory. Not so great in practice from the point of view of parties or their donors.

It is also in the interests of the parties and the donors to restrict the competition; in other words the fewer brands (parties) competing for donor money the better. I don’t know how other states handle party access to the ballot. In Oregon a new party has to gather enough signatures to get their candidates on the ballot and then maintain a certain percentage of the ballots cast to maintain that access. A few years ago the legislature passed a (short lived) measure that counted those petition signatures as votes. If you signed a petition to get Joe Blow on the ballot and he didn’t make it you couldn’t vote for another candidate from a different party who did make it on the ballot.

Uncontrolled, unbranded candidates? A successful write in campaign at the federal level could be a nightmare come true for both parties.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NOT the End of the World

Post Election:

Life goes on, the world still turns, the seasons change

the autumn leaves have their hour

reminding us of those things

truly worth our full attention...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have a suggestion for an amendment to the constitution.

"For the purposes of funding political campaigns a person shall be defined as a living being of human descent possessing either two X chromosomes or an X and a Y chromosome or a variation of the combination usually found when genes are typed."

Think it’ll happen?