kmusser: (Freedom)
It's become pretty clear that the administration are making immigrants public enemy #1. I just want to state unequivocally that immigrants are not the enemy. The people that come are are those that are drawn to America's ideals, they have a more vested interest than anyone in "making America great". Repeated research has shown that the crime rate among immigrants is lower than among non-immigrants. We should be welcoming them, not blaming them for problems that they have nothing to do with.

While I'm at it a shout out to my own immigrant ancestors:
Gus Michul Sr. and Katherine who came from Lithuania in 1905
Frank and Christina Flachbarth who came from Austria-Hungary in 1881
Herbert and Hannah Broome who came from England in 1880
John and Ricky Reinke who came from Germany in 1871
Jacob and Mary Dauwalter who came from Germany in 1865
William and Elizabeth Smith who came from Germany in the 1860's
John Cravener who came from Ireland in the early 1800's
and the Musser, Davis, Waugaman, Learn, Dormeyer, Guyer, and Yockey families that came over from Germany, France, Netherlands, and Switzerland in the 1700's. I'm glad all of them made it and played their part in making America great.

This post inspired by the news that immigration enforcement sweeps have started: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/federal-agents-conduct-sweeping-immigration-enforcement-raids-in-at-least-6-states/2017/02/10/4b9f443a-efc8-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html
kmusser: (V)
Ok, I've had a few days to think about the election.

To anyone who says it's going to be ok - maybe, but I doubt it. Part of the fear is having no idea what Trump will actually do since almost everything he says is a lie, but a bigger part is knowing that if at this point he decides to go full fascist1 there is no one that is going to stop him, and so far he appears to be following in Mussolini's footsteps.

I've seen a lot of posts pointing blame. Third party voters are not to blame, about 2% of the electorate votes third party every election, and despite the added press they got this time around, they did not get significantly more votes - there's no reason to think those voters would vote anything other than third party. The electoral college is not to blame, our presidential elections have never been a straight popular vote and both sides know the rules our elections operate under - at any rate the electoral college is not going anywhere. It boils down to we lost because we didn't convince enough voters that electing a racist, sexist, fascist asshole with poor impulse control was a monumentally bad idea. That should have been an easy sell, but Trump proved the better salesman.

I think a big part of that failure is that we don't talk to people that don't already agree with us. I've seen a lot of people asking for anyone who voted for Trump to leave their lives, I think that's a mistake. We need to convince more folks. It's hard to convince anyone that fear and anger aren't the answers or that immigrants and minorities are not the causes of their troubles if we don't talk. I refuse to tar all Trump supporters with his sins. I don't think most of them are really Trump fans, but they feared Clinton more, or just wanted to send a "fuck you" to Washington. I think they made a big mistake, but they're never going to see that if they are ostracized. Note this is not a call for unity (fuck appeasement) or a call to ignore bigotry, it absolutely should be called out whenever we see it - and if Trump supporters want us to believe they're not all bigots they need to join us in denouncing it. You don't need to be friends, this is simply a call to keep the lines of communication open2 3, even with people who disrespect you, because if we don't, how is that ever going to change? Some of my friends are literally in fear for their lives, either because the ACA could be repealed and they'd be denied health care, or from hate crimes from bigots that feel they don't have to hide any longer (a lot of specific incidents being passed around on facebook are false, but yes this is happening). Trump supporters need to know this, they need to see and hear about the consequences of their votes.

What to do next? Those of us with privilege enough to do so should help protect those most likely to bear the brunt of Trump's presidency, give to organizations that help immigrants, minorities, and women; support their businesses, bear witness and help if they're attacked. Don't be silent. To that end know that my house is a safe haven to anyone that should need it. Watch this administration, don't let our rights disappear without notice, a free press will likely be one of the first to go. Hope that none of this will prove necessary, but prepare in case it is.

1 I'm not using fascist as an insult here, if you don't know what fascism actually is I suggest you read up on it, because that is what we are facing.
2 oh lord, I'm agreeing with Glenn Beck, shoot me now.
3 and I know we need our safe spaces too, I'm not saying every channel should be open, just that if you close your bubble completely, no one will hear you.
kmusser: (America)
So, as previously mentioned, we have primary elections. I'll be voting in the Frederick county Democratic primary. My thoughts on the contested races therein follow.

Governor

Heather Mizeur - is way too awesome to ever actually become our governor. Go check out her campaign site and/or her Wikipedia page. Vote for her.
Anthony Brown - is the establishment candidate and who I expect to win, I don't have anything against him, but don't expect him to do anything other than toe the party line.
Doug Gansler - is a complete asshole, don't vote for him.

the rest of the candidate list is under the cut )
kmusser: (America)
A reminder that we have a primary election coming up on June 24th.  In Maryland you must be registered with a party to vote in that party's primary.  The deadline for registering and/or changing your party affiliation is June 3rd.

I know it's primary election in a non-presidential election year, no one votes in those. I strongly suggest that you do so.  Especially in a state that's as politically lopsided as Maryland it is usually the primary election that determines the ultimate winner, and local elections have a much more direct impact on your day to day life than the presidential ones do. Even if you don't like either of the parties (and really, I can't blame you for that) it can be worth registering just so that you can vote in the primary, you can always vote for whoever you like in the general election regardless of how you registered. 

Particularly in Frederick county we have the brand new positions of county executive and county council members being decided. Do your research before you reach the voting booth.

as a P.S. the county is still looking for election judges. If you can afford to burn the day it's a neat thing to do.

https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration/InstructionsStep1
kmusser: (Voldemort)
A few election related links. I'd like to join [livejournal.com profile] theferrett in his plea for Republicans to rejoin reality. See also here and here and here on how only listening to a single source of information does not help you, especially when that source repeatedly lies to you. The thing about facts is that they really don't care whether you believe in them or not. I'd really like the Democrats to have an opposition that isn't crazy, but that's just not going to happen as long as said opposition has their heads in the sand. Heck, I'd like there to be a viable opposition to the left of the Democrats, but I know that reality isn't going to support me in that so I'll take what I can get. [livejournal.com profile] scaleslea posted a similar sentiment here and [livejournal.com profile] minnesattva did here.

In other news, thanks to twitter we can map where the racists are.

Also, Nate Silver facts.
kmusser: (Obama)
As a follow-up:
Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks.

Ok, so misleading statements and exaggerations from politicians are common, what's amazing to me if how often Romney and Ryan's statements are the exact opposite of the truth. They'll also happily repeat lies no matter how many times they're debunked. And the mainstream media continuing to be reluctant to call them on it - this is not conducive to a working democracy.
kmusser: (Freedom)
Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker for the link: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/03/harms_of_post-9.html a nice summary of what the TSA security circus has cost us.
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy)
Early voting in Maryland starts tomorrow. This message is to registered Democrats in Maryland's 6th Congressional District. So Maryland's redistricting has made this congressional race competitive, there are 12! people running for a chance to defeat Roscoe Tea Party Bartlett. If you're a Democrat your mail box has been flooded by ads from two of those candidates, Robert Garagiola and John Delaney flinging poo at each other. One's a lobbyist, one's a banker, both professional politicians who are complete tools with way more money than they know what to do with. Fortunately they are not the only two in the race. I hereby endorse Milad Pooran for Congress. He's a actual progressive, and the only one in the race with a chance at beating the big money. Read about him on his site or ballotpedia and I'd encourage you to not only vote for him but to fling a few dollars his way to help him get his message out.
kmusser: (Default)
Having had my election judge training today, a few reminders for Maryland voters. Maryland's primary is April 3rd and Maryland does have a closed primary system, which means you need to be a member of a party to vote in that party's primary. You have until March 13 to register, and that includes any changes such as your address or party affiliation. Note also that Maryland has gone through re-districting since the last election, so you may not live in the district that you think you live in. You can check out a map of the new districts at http://www.mdp.state.md.us/redistricting/2010/congDist.shtml As always, places are still looking for judges and it's not too late to sign up.
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy II)
"Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source." - Rick Perry (source)

My brain hurts.
kmusser: (V)
One more link, picked up from friends on FB, http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2011/10/independent-reporting-of.html?m=1 a report of what's actually going on with the protests, makes for quite the contrast to mainstream news reporting.
kmusser: (V)
Some follow-up links, as usual from [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker:
What the protesters are protesting - with charts - essentially the lack of jobs and low wages of the jobs that do exist. Doesn't really go too much into the how we got that way though, for that what's wrong with the economy and how to fix it. Also a very nice personal essay about class, sparked a lot of thoughts for me, if I find time I'll write some of my own experiences of class differences.
kmusser: (V)
Just in case there is any doubt I want to say that I'm 100% in support. As a Discordian how could I not? It's the escalation of chaos in action. It is long past time that the right-wing's monopoly on incoherent rage has been broken.

Sadly I don't think it'll turn in to a left-wing counterweight to the Tea Party, the Tea Party has a huge advantage, namely funding. In a feeble attempt to correct that I'd encourage you to donate to OWS - at least order them a pizza or something.

Also awesome: Occupy Sesame Street - it's on!

AV

3 May 2011 20:42
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy II)
A quick note to my friends across the water - do go out and vote on Thursday. I can't even imagine voters in the U.S. ever being given the same opportunity. Don't waste it, vote Yes to AV.
kmusser: (V)
I haven't posted much the last couple of weeks in part due to being captivated by Egypt. It's rare that non-violent protest and civil disobedience are so spectacularly successful. From the blog I linked to earlier, how Eygpt did it - a good look at factors leading to the protesters success including the groundwork laid and conditions specific to Egypt. A lot of what's discussed there is also probably a good indicator of whether the protests will be successful elsewhere. A similar look from Salon emphasizes the economic clout of the protesters.
kmusser: (V)
Signs have been made - I will not be arriving early because I have * to do, but I will be there passing out Pope cards and carrying a helpful sign for anyone that is lost. If you want to find me texting is probably your best bet.
kmusser: (Cryptic Bastard)
So previously Brunswick elected a 19 year old kid to the city council. Yesterday during the election I got to meet him briefly. I kid you not, he is the spitting image of Prez Rickard. I resisted the impulse to ask him if he fixed clocks in his spare time. Ok, so no one else will get this, that's ok.

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