Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Bard Went Down To Georgia

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Which really art not such a much to say,
As Georgia heat maketh sane insensate.
Each day too hot the eye of heaven shines
And glareth down on wilting mortal Man
Only bugs do this climate find sublime
Plus creepy kudzu choking all the land.
And this eternal summer shall not fade:
EIGHTY-FOUR DEGREES on Halloween's eve*.
With little comfort found within the shade
where snakes and beetles live and thrive and breed.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see
The heat's compounded by humidity.

*Seriously -- Halloween is tomorrow and it's 84 right now, with the hottest part of the day still to come.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Overwhelming Whiteguyness of Clinton/Trump Equivalency

I just got back from casting my early vote – and despite my longstanding loathing for her war hawkishness, her punitive opposition to drug legalization, her support for the surveillance state and sundry other things, I metaphorically held my nose and literally voted for Hillary Clinton. Which in turn inspired some outraged outbursts from some of my online acquaintances: how can you vote to maintain the corrupt status quo? Support the two-party duopoly? Continue a Clinton dynasty? Back the continuation of America's endless drone warfare? And other things which a President Hillary Clinton would undoubtedly do.

Granted, my own political leanings are softcore libertarian, so what I see and read on social media are somewhat outside the norm. With that outlier status in mind – and also remembering that “the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'” – here's an interesting anecdote I've noticed this presidential election: of the many people who say “Trump and Clinton are equally bad, and thus the only moral voting options this year are to either vote third party or not vote at all,” they're all white and overwhelmingly male -- i.e., NOT members of any ethnic, racial, religious or gender group whom a President Trump would seek to legally discriminate against.

There are many, MANY things I dislike about Hillary Clinton -- none of the conspiratorial whargarble, but I greatly dislike her war hawkishness, her punitive views on drug legalization, and many other things -- but there's zero evidence Trump would be any improvement there. And there's one way HRC is hands-down better than Trump: she does NOT want to, for example, deport all Muslims from the country, she has NOT said that American-born citizens of Mexican ancestry are too untrustworthy to be federal judges, and so forth.

If the bigot with the bad Oompa-Loompa spray-tan were to win, and I had to say good-bye to certain dear friends (and naturalized American citizens) who are being deported because they pray to the wrong version of the Abrahamic God, I don't think those friends of mine would be much comforted by the reassurance “See this hand I'm using to wave good-bye? You'll be glad to know it's a CLEAN hand, unsullied by pulling the lever for any corrupt establishment-type.”

And that — combined with my first-time status of “voter in a battleground state” — is why I did not vote for Gary Johnson this year, as I did in 2012.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Clinton Voters in Georgia: An Anecdote

I went to a meetup today--officially it was an atheists' meetup, but any eavesdroppers who overheard the majority of the conversation would think the meetup was actually "People who don't particularly like Clinton, but are voting for her because Georgia is now a battleground state, and she's neither Trump nor the Christian Right."

Eventually the conversation got around to various bizarre things Trump, Pence or their alt-right followers said and believed, which led to bizarre conspiracy theories in general, and at one point I mentioned the "Obama caused the Fukushima tsunami with his HAARP weather machine" conspiracy, which none of them had heard of before. So one guy took out his phone, and I told him "Seriously -- Google the words Obama, harp with two a's, and Fukushima," and his eyes bugged out when he saw the results. He even said "Oh my God, look at this," even though we're all atheists there.

I destroyed four people's innocence today.
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