By: sp34n119w , 8:14 PM GMT on October 23, 2012

So, in the last presidential election, I wrote a lot about third party candidates. I made no secret of the fact that I would vote for Nader/Gonzales that year, and I did. Nader isn't running this time around but I still have choices.

I have no illusions regarding the possibility of a third party candidate winning the Presidency. That will not happen. The idea is to change the current, dysfunctional, system that leaves so many of us without representation.

So, another reason to vote third party is simply to voice one's own personal views on the issues of the day, especially those which are not being properly addressed by the two major parties. The two parties are, if you have not noticed, virtually identical in every way – if not in their official platforms, then definitely in their actions. By voting for someone else, someone outside of the machine, one can send the message that there are citizens who are paying attention to that fact.

I realize that the media portrays third party voters in a very different light (if they mention us at all!). Third party voters and their candidates are … what? Immature, irresponsible, silly, unrealistic, spoilers, and really ought to be ignored except when some comic relief is needed. Well, that's what happens to those who buck the status quo, so, that's okay.

While third party candidates have no shot at the Presidency, they do sometimes have a chance to win races at the local and State level, and even House and Senate contests. These are important, too, as was noted in the comments of the last blog here and, particularly, in the video that calpoppy brought about ALEC and their work in State legislatures. It's also important because every win at these levels lends strength to that party and legitimacy to the whole idea of Thirds.

The Thirds are more likely to address the issues that affect the average citizen day-to-day, and they are willing and able to talk about real problems and real solutions because, frankly, they've got nothing to lose by doing so. Now, they don't agree on what the solutions are, obviously, but at least they are often willing to consider working on them.
Even if they don't get elected, by raising these issues they can bring them into the public consciousness and, sometimes, force those who are elected to face those issues, themselves.

The current voting system supports a two-party political system. It is bound to push all candidates towards one or another extreme position as they compete for the same voters. Right now, all candidates skew far Right but, 50-70 years ago, all candidates skewed Left (read Nixon's positions on just about everything and shudder at the realization that Obama is far Right of that). We can get a pretty good balance going for awhile, so that it looks like a real choice, but it will always swing again. These swings necessarily disenfranchise large blocks of citizens.
We can talk more about this in the comments. In the meantime, have a look at and see what you think about that voting system.

Nationally, the largest thirds are Libertarian, Constitution, and Green. Each of them have fielded candidates for President and each has had some success at local and State levels over the years. They don't get a lot of attention.

As of 2008, here in California (the media's poster child for Liberalism), the Constitution Party had more than twice the membership of the Green Party. Add in the Libertarians and it becomes clear why we so often elect Republican Governors and House Reps. Californians are quite conservative, politically, but very divided in that conservatism. What about your State?

More references:
Wikipedia's entry on U.S. Political parties.
The census bureau's copious election and affiliation statistics.

I expect some randomness to creep (or barge) into the comments (as usual and much appreciated) but feel free to discuss the OP or your own political topics, too. I'd be happy to hear about State races and about any interesting referendums or propositions, if you've got something to say and need a place to say it. Probably I'll say my piece about one or more propositions on the Cali ballot, myself.
It's almost over, friends!


Seditious Swirls:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

Clashing Clouds :

Rebellious Rain:

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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65. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
8:40 PM GMT on November 28, 2012
sp34n119w has created a new entry.
64. calpoppy
12:22 AM GMT on November 27, 2012
So what is the difference of Sharia law and the Catholic church? Not much when it comes to women's rights.

Rush's show after the elections, the Republicans should have given out free birth control pills and had free abortion clinics and they would have had the women's vote. I can't think of all the bad words I have for that type of thinking!!!!! But we know Rush has never evolved past an amoeba.

Since the 15 freeway does effect me if I want to travel down the hill, I too think it is CRAZY to go to Vegas or go out to the desert with all your 4 wheel stuff on Thanksgiving weekend, when a couple of million of your closest So Cal friends are going to the same place! If it had snowed then 3 million close friends would have been up at Mountain High Ski resort for some elbow to elbow snowboarding and total gridlock on the highway going up to the resort.

Book stores, I love them! Even though it is very cool to be able to get a book in the evening in 30 seconds on the kindle. Our favorite book store is up in Boise, Id a used book store with 3 different levels to the store, right in the middle of downtown. We spent hours there, and came back with oodles of books! This bookstore has all the dark corners and the ladders to make it into my kind of store.

Almost done with Christmas shopping, two more gifts and that is all. Cyber Monday, I took full advantage of it.

I think your cat will relax soon. Sounds like he isn't to feral. I have had a couple of ferals that calmed down and allowed petting and even picking up and being stuck in a carrier for a trip to get spayed.

I am glad you had a great T-day. Mine was nice but a lot of work, enjoyable though :) We are having fun with our new fowl, and I found out something about my DIL to be, she loves pigmy goats! And she knits! A goat lover and a knitter, how cool can that be.

Haven't talked with you for awhile, had a lot to say :))
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63. sp34n119w
11:30 PM GMT on November 26, 2012
… with a very long comment, which is what happens when I don't post for too long. Or, when I spend all day writing a comment. Or, let's be honest, when I write a comment at all!


Ylee – well, hedgehogs have that prickly hair!
“Thirds”, lol, I piled my plate so high the first time that there wasn't room for seconds, let alone thirds :)

Karen – thanks! I hope you had a good time way up north ;)
What a neat idea for your Bunco group - look forward to seeing your scarf! I've been feeling the urge to crochet, lately. Knitting is wonderful and I like the fabric but crochet is so much faster … and there are wonderful patterns on ravelry. Actually, if I could find my hook, I'd try Tunisian crochet again. I like it and it's the new rage, with lots of tutorials for different stitches. Ever tried it?
Well, I shouldn't even be thinking about that. I've got two projects on the needles and three more in line. I am sooooo sloooooow, LOL

WTS, gg, calpoppy – thanks for the T-Day wishes! I had a lovely time at my sister's. Also, traffic was light-ish (in my direction) and my usual Starbucks was open late because the Target up the mall was set to open at 9PM that night and they were expecting big business. We got there around 6 or 6:30 I think and already there was a steady stream of coffee customers walking back and forth from the Target line. Crazy, man.
Hope you all had a wonderful day and, having peeked at your blogs, I know you did :)


Expansion ...

Traffic – why do people go to Vegas on Thanksgiving? It's about five hours from San Bernardino, from where the 210 meets the 15, and at that juncture traffic was at a stand-still on the 15 as far as the eye could see, and backed up onto the 210 at the ramp. I don't understand. That must near-double the time it takes to get there. It cannot be worth it. Can it?

Food – my sis makes the bestest applesauce you've ever tasted! This year it was even better because she used different apples and didn't even need any sugar. Heaven!

Shopping – I don't do Black Friday. The cost exceeds the value. My experience tells me that I can get the deal I want (or live without) without that misery. So, I figure, it is not misery for the folks who do it. They experience the crowds and general mayhem as entertainment. I'm happy to let them have that.
I did go to B&N on Saturday, though. Didn't get much as they did not have in stock three books I was looking for. They aren't old books. In fact, one was the book Masters recommended, which I think my mom would like to read. So, are book stores finally over? I love my nook but some stuff I want in hand, you know?
On the other hand (regarding sale shopping), I'm having some difficulty passing up cyber Monday deals on yarn and such, LOL


The kitteh is doing pretty well. He is expanding his “safe zone” bit by bit, a little every day. He's eating well, but differently, preferring his canned food over crunchies. Weird, that.
The day that I wrote about him keeping me awake at night but then having a night where I actually got some sleep was followed by two more nights of loud and obnoxious yowling. That was it, though, and he bothers me not at all at night, now.
I'm not saying all is well. He still is freaked out about most everything, but he also comes out from his hidey-hole for pets and play, so, progress. Maybe he'll be a real housecat, one day, or maybe he'll be like the last feral and never calm down. Well, he's already better than she was, in many ways – I can put two hands on him, for one thing, and even pick him up if I time it right.
He handled being alone all day on T-Day fine and hasn't really destroyed anything (yet). In fact, if it weren't for the litter box in the bathroom, all would be purrfect. No, not purrfect. That's the bright-sider in me speaking, lol. But, I have hope :)


Really do have an idea for a new blog. Really will try to get it up sooooon. So, don't feel obligated to leave a comment but feel free to do so :)
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62. sp34n119w
11:21 PM GMT on November 26, 2012
On Savita, because I saw a story on CNN where they talked to her husband and ended with, “All he wants is to know the truth”, which made me angry because it is not true. What he wants is to be home with his wife, grieving the loss of their potential child, healing, and planning their next try at starting a family together. That's what he wants and that's what was stolen from him.
The truth is already known – that the Catholic hierarchy, in an effort to save their own souls (rather, to exercise and emphasize their power), insist that women die and, for reasons that escape me, have the authority to dictate medical practices to doctors. Doctors at Catholic-owned hospitals risk their jobs if they provide information (let alone standard of care) to women who are dying for lack of medical care. They risk nothing for breaking the laws that state that patients are entitled to full information and to receive the standard of care. Why is that?

Wrote a lot more but won't post it. I know most people just don't care. Religious people are allowed to torture, maim, and kill (women, children, gays, Others) because they are super special snowflakes whose feelings would be hurt if they had to behave ethically, or even civilly. We can't have that, now, can we?
Here are some links if you'd like more on the story and what it means for women unfortunate enough to have to depend on Catholic hospitals and clinics in the U. S. and around the world:
The Irish Times story now has follow-ups and such.
Dr. Jen Gunter with a brief explanation of the medical stuff.
The National Women's Law Center researched this – the fact sheet and, more enlightening, the study itself. That study is the thing to read to get the gist of the whole mess.
I have a link to a dissection of the Catholic directives (they are too long to comb through on one's own but the dissection provides some direction for anyone who wants to try) so, if anyone wants that link, wumail me.


Be right back …
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61. Ylee
10:18 PM GMT on November 24, 2012
Thirds is a good Thanksgiving blog title! :)
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60. SBKaren
5:47 PM GMT on November 22, 2012
I would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends, food and gratitude for what we do have. I promise to try to live up to this quote all year long!

I'm crocheting a scarf for our Bunco Christmas scarf gift exchange this year. I'm making the pattern up. I promise to share when it's done....probably this weekend!
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59. sp34n119w
7:40 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving WU!
I'm not going to get to every blog I'd like tonight so I would change my title to say that but I don't know when I'd get around to changing it back ;) So this is it!
There is always something for which to be thankful and WU is ever there as a reminder of the wonderful people that exist all around us. Thanks :)
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58. calpoppy
2:40 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Enjoy the Holiday in Beaumont!!!!

Wave hi as you may be passing somewhat close, LOL!
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57. GardenGrrl
3:52 PM GMT on November 21, 2012
Empowerment; Somthing to be thankful for

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56. Ylee
12:32 AM GMT on November 20, 2012
Painfully cute? Ouch! :)
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55. WatchinTheSky
11:15 PM GMT on November 19, 2012
Hi sp, we never had a problem since starting the 'juice', actually it was V8 and part of my breakfast anyway, so no additional work :)
Plume totally skipped, heard it rained most of Saturday in LA, .5" for you - very nice!
Savita - grrr, don't get me started!!!! Maybe there is no hope for 'us'...
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54. sp34n119w
10:47 PM GMT on November 19, 2012
ftr, the baby hedgehog pic cam to me via Stephen Fry and twitter. There was a second with the critter curled up in a tight little ball in the palm of a hand. Painfully cute.

Ylee - I have to admit that, while I don't share my current Republican representative's ideology, he has brought a lot of money - and jobs - into the area that translated to real improvements. So, if you do get some 'pork', I hope it's useful!

WTS - that makes sense (the juice, that is). The cat has been on prescription food since his incident and seems to be doing well enough, despite my constant worrying. I gave a different juice to my dog in her last couple of years in the hope of easing her joint pain and there was an interesting "side effect" in that she had always been a "blurper" - barfing up little bits (usually mostly water) here and there - and the juice put an end to that. She never "blurped" again! So, I am definitely not opposed to finding food remedies and will keep yours in mind! While hoping he doesn't need it.

That plume seems to have skipped you and brought us over half an inch. Nice :)

calpoppy - TIRED OF GOATS?!?! Are you insane?!
Oh, wait. Maybe that's me.

That is a beautiful flower! I'm afraid of trying to grow orchids and, if I did, I'd want it to be something extraordinary like that, for sure. Where do you think I might find one? Having killed off all but my philodendron and charlie (which actually has orchid-like little flowers), it may be time to try something new! But, it should be as forgiving as a philodendron or charlie, LOL


Weather ... well, I've already said about the rain received. Haven't checked the discussion today but things look quite pleasant for the week, especially Turkey Day. I have spent many Thanksgivings with windows wide open trying to cool the house while the oven was in constant use. Don't think it'll be anywhere near that warm (and I'll be in Beaumont, and with a/c if necessary, anyway) but it should be shirtsleeves temps all around SoCal. Happy happy joy joy :)

I am curious about what I see on the vapor sat up there. The mottled swirly west of the northwest is ominous, as that appearance usually means cold, bitter cold, is coming with it. Anyone check the models? Is it going to slide?


While I haven't been posting much I have been collecting links for a dump. Some are just fun or silly. Some are cool science-y things. A whole slew of them are on the death of Savita Halappanavar and the relevant info for the U.S. Can't quite bring myself to post about that.
Well, we'll see about the link dump later. Right now I must do more Monday things.

see wu :)

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53. calpoppy
8:48 PM GMT on November 18, 2012
Now that is one cute little guy!!!

I hope you aren't to tired of goats. But here is one that takes not to much care and you can keep in the house.

It is the goat orchid!
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52. sp34n119w
2:03 AM GMT on November 18, 2012
Nothing to say ... just cannot lose this ...

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51. WatchinTheSky
5:14 PM GMT on November 15, 2012
Tomato juice for cats is like cranberry juice for (female?) people. Helps to keep the system acidic so reducing crystal growth. Not sure I noticed the 'mellow' effect :) our kitty was generally pretty mellow with or without the juice! Our cat would jump into the dryer when just opened and full of warm clean clothes. Definitely in the DNA :) They like to 'help'.
Cloud plume from the south looks pretty impressive, our chances for rain seem slim, but change day to day.
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50. Ylee
2:31 AM GMT on November 15, 2012
I heard they re-elected McConnell to Senate Minority Leader; oh well, maybe he'll be able to send some more pork my way that we don't need! :P
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49. sp34n119w
11:38 PM GMT on November 14, 2012
I have been really sleepy the last few days. I tossed the cat into the house on Saturday. Turns out, Garage Cat's particular response to that was to hide all day and then prowl and yowl all night. There were brief interludes in the evening which allowed for playing and petting. He didn't eat until I hand-fed him a little bit on Sunday eve and then, when that didn't prompt him to eat from his bowls, I hand-fed him his entire dinner on Monday eve. Tuesday he ate on his own and now seems to be doing okay with that. He has had no trouble finding and using the litter box, thank goodness.
I feel for him. He has no idea what all these things and noises are. The refrigerator, the water filter, the furnace … all make weird noises that could be an existential threat, so far as he knows. The carpet is a real difficulty, catching and trapping his claws at play and when trying to run away. The fireplace looked like a good place to hide but, boy, is it dirty, despite the fact that I've never used it and had scrubbed it before turning the hearth into an entertainment center.
For all that he does not know about beds and ovens and the utterly entrancing television, when I put a basket of laundry on the sofa the other day he went straight for it. Apparently, feline attraction to clean clothes is DNA encoded.
Well, last night he only yowled for only a short while, and quietly, at that. So, I find that I can keep my eyes focused today even though I still don't feel rested. Perhaps we are on our way to peace.


Karen – I tried that link the day you posted it and it didn't work. BUT today it worked! And sucked up a whole lotta time, LOL I appreciate the writer's point and thank you for posting the link :)
The comments, though, were endless. In fact, I finally had to stop reading them. Interesting that the very first long thread was about religion. Some of the back-and-forth on the economy showed the difficulty and complexity well enough.

Hope you and hubby are well over your colds! And enjoying the brief warmup before the next wave of cool and possible rain.

LC – I was honestly surprised that the death penalty repeal did not pass. The other one that didn't go “my way” was the stupid sex offender proposition. From my perspective, that was one of those that sounded good on the ballot despite being worse than useless. I don't remember seeing any mailers or tv ads (I miss most of those, anyway, though) about those two.

Thanks for the number and yikes that's the lowest I've ever seen for Thirds. The Libertarians did pretty well in Cali, garnering more votes than the Greens and P&Fs combined, as usual.
Wait, did I already write that here? Sorry if I did … feeling a little out of touch with my own blog, LOL

Ylee – Garage Cat is on his way to becoming Reluctant House Cat :) Good news is, he doesn't seem to be ill. Angry, scared, and resentful, sure, but not sick. I'm really not sure it's possible to turn a five-and-a-half-year-old feral cat into a happy house moggy. Guess I'll find out!

Luckily, the Republicans seem to have realized that the real cliff is the one they are standing on with regards to the next election cycle.

WTS – Tomato Juice?! Is that to prevent/treat a blockage or to make him a mellow housecat? ;)

Oh, you got much rain! Much more than me, that is. Rain in the forecast again tomorrow through the weekend, I guess … you, too?

Yeah, the “cliff” can't be much of a crisis if anyone thinks it can be put off. As I say, though, I don't think it will be put off. Whether the solution will be to anyone's liking is anyone's guess, of course.

calpoppy – yes, it is! Now that is a happy-making picture! Too cute with his little turned up ears and all :)


Well, between work, tiredness, and Karen's wonderful link, it has taken me all day to write this and I haven't been to others' blogs, as I had hoped to do.
Hopefully I can do that later as I'm feeling more out of touch than usual!

P.S. In a previous comment I wrote "SayNoToTea" as "SoNoToTea". Oops. Sorry! Just a typo. You knew what I meant, though.
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48. calpoppy
9:17 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
The world is just a little better when goats smile!

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47. WatchinTheSky
5:13 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Garage Cat needs to start having tomato juice with breakfast! It worked for us, once we found out about it.

Rainy season is trying to start, almost 1/4" last Friday, woohoo!

'Love is all you need', just ask famous ex generals ;)

Am not sure what kind of cliff it is if it can be kicked down the road...
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46. Ylee
10:58 PM GMT on November 11, 2012
How's Garage Cat? You're right, most cats can be stoopid, lol!

The real question now is whether or not Washington can avoid going over the Fiscal Cliff.

I say they'll "kick the can down the road" sometime around Dec. 19th.... :P
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45. LowerCal
11:35 PM GMT on November 09, 2012
.... analysts are saying that money made very little difference. On one of the MSNBC shows last night they talked about Rove's strategy and how bad it was - and how much it cost.
I didn't get everything I wished (and worked) for on Election Day but I am heartened that the "big money" spent in Cali didn't have as big an influence. California and L.A. county voters either made the best decisions (IMO) or made the vote much closer than the storm of deceptive media and mail ads might have foretold.

They only decisions that went heavily awry (IMO) where on a couple of issues that got practically no media time or mail either for or against. The few sentences on the ballot made them seem like great ideas. Maybe the biggest problem is low information voting.

"Thirds" collectively got 2.3% (one fortythird) of the California presidential vote.
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44. SBKaren
11:23 PM GMT on November 09, 2012
It is chilly today!!!wind is blowing, but it blew the clouds right out. I don't even know if we are expecting more rain.....I thought so.

Hubby picked up a cold somewhere. We both had a scratchy throat on Tuesday morning, but mine went away. He just keep on going and while he feels OK, he is extra tired and his voice is nil.

Spent the morning and early afternoon with mom. I read this article on Facebook and thought you and those that visit your blog would like to read it. I still have trouble with posting links with an iPad, so lets see if I'm successful.


Wow, I did it! I even got the link embedded in a word. I impressed myself!
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43. sp34n119w
9:40 PM GMT on November 09, 2012
Hiya! We got a little rain yesterday and it's supposed to be raining today but it is not. It is sunny. Also, cold :(
Meant to warm up in a few days.

Bogon - darn. Thought you had a plan ;)
I'll leave Machiavelli to those with more devious minds than mine, LOL

calpoppy - IS IT SNOWING YET?!?!
They said north side was the sweet side for this one, so, there is hope. Nothing on the Mt Wilson cam but maybe tonight, huh? My overnight forecast is for brrrrr!

From what I've seen so far, analysts are saying that money made very little difference. On one of the MSNBC shows last night they talked about Rove's strategy and how bad it was - and how much it cost.

Hurray for finished knitting! Wish I could say that, lol
Can't wait to see a pic of how that lovely yarn worked up :)
I like moss stitch - easy but interesting. I'm about to start a project that isn't getting started because I need to plan it and can't decide and moss stitch is on the table.

Karen - glad you got some rain, too! It's a nice change :)

Yep, I heard that massive sigh of relief! Even our local library has reason to hope that some programs that were on the chopping block may survive.
Best thing is the budget is a done deal and we can get on with things.
Oh, and a super-majority of Dems in the both State legislative bodies for the first time in 70 years! That is, honestly, a little scary. But, with Brown at the helm, I'm not too worried.

I read through a thread about Prop 30 and there were the usual gloom-and-doomers posting. They are dead certain that this spells the end of the Cali economy. Businesses will leave, rich people will move, and the economy will crash. They say that whenever there is a change (in any direction) in taxes or in regulation, and they've been doing that for decades. It cracks me up. Throughout those decades, California has remained at the top of the economic heap - by any measure, including technical innovation and entrepreneurship - year after year, despite taxes and regulation (and despite being arguably the largest welfare state in the States). Or, hmmmm, maybe because of taxes and regulation! Duh.
Whatever. If people want to leave, good riddance. It'll free up some space on the roads ;)


How Sandy did not hurt Mitt, no matter how much Republicans might wish it were so.


Why Republicans are so anti-education.


Lots of people are still suffering from Sandy and the latest storm. I saw someone complaining that they couldn't get power hooked up until a licensed electrician and plumber had been in to check things out, and implying that that was unnecessary red tape. Would they rather have electricity hooked up and then watch their home burn to the ground? How stupid. I understand the frustration but there are only so many workers available and a great deal of work to do.
I follow Southern California Edison (@SCE) on teh twits and they've been posting photos of their work - 16 hours a day, even through a snowstorm! What else do you want?
They also have had some fun of a sort they don't often get around here :)


My goals for yesterday and today have been thwarted, almost entirely, by Garage Cat. I think he may be ill (big concern being another urinary tract blockage - I don't think I blogged about that at the time but it was hell for both of us and I do not want a repeat) so I locked him in the garage very early yesterday afternoon and he is still stuck in there. No happy kitteh, he. I have the door to the house open in hopes he'll come in and stay in - I want him to become a house cat so I can keep an eye on him all the time and not worry so much. Anyway, it means I can't do certain work for fear of frightening him (don't think he'd like the printer or the paper shredder, for instances), which would make it harder to tell if he is actually ill or just reacting to the weirdness of the situation. *sigh* Stoopid cat.
Also, I've become bored, LOL
Think I'll try to knit ... maybe he'll come in to play with the string :)


I'm not ready to write a new blog. The politics are still interesting. Bear with me - and play along :)
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42. SBKaren
2:27 AM GMT on November 09, 2012
Hey sp,

I'm happy that prop 30 passed. We have to do something for our students, Remember, we are educating the next leaders of our country!!!

We received an email from our top administrator that we don't have to look forward to furlough days now. We had them chosen and in place if prop 30 didn't pass. We were going to take 6 between now and June. Two would have been staff development days, 4 were going to shorten the school year. Whew!

We had rain!!
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41. calpoppy
11:30 PM GMT on November 08, 2012
I commented on another blog that one day the guy or gal with the most money will gain the presidency, we can all just sit back and wait to see who shells out the most cash. My cynical view. Lol!

Knitting, I am done with my merino sheep scarf and I really love it. Had to make it a little narrower and shorter because of not enough yarn. Plus I used a size 14 needle. I'll get you a pic it is really different, almost done with the alpaca scarf. My next will be a moss stitch scarf.

Any rain for you, we have clouds and cool temps but no wet stuff yet.
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40. Bogon
3:03 AM GMT on November 08, 2012
For what it's worth, I wasn't necessarily recommending being sneaky as a practical course of action. I'm saying that the sneaks deserve to be snuck up on.

For advice on practical politics I'm probably not the best guy to ask. You might do better to consult e. g. Machiavelli.
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39. sp34n119w
10:46 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
See? Told you that voting third party wouldn't hurt anything ;)
Actually, last night I saw a brief mention of a Republican loss (Senate, I think) that may have been due to Libertarian voters. Libertarians are the largest Third and make their voices heard in many contests.


WTS - sorry :(
It isn't that a third party prez would be able to break the gridlock (though they might - no party loyalty so everyone could work with the prez and still save face). Nobody expects the third party candidate to win that office, anyway. The idea is to bring forward important issues that are being ignored and try to get politicians to address those issues by riling up the voters.

Of course Rocky is angry. So am I. Much of the Bill of Rights has been shredded. Families are starving in the streets of the richest country in the world. Greed rules our economy, unchecked by any notion of the common good or the future of our nation and its people. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed in my name but without my consent and in conflict with the law of the land. We have everything we need to be the finest example of civilization the world has ever known but instead of using our power to provide sustenance and succor we use it to sow death and discord around the world and here at home.

Nobody must be angry about that but I think it's okay to be. I also think we can be angry about those things while still being joyful about what good there is in the world. It is not an either/or thing - we can enjoy what is good while acknowledging what is not good and working to make the world better.

I do think, if you need a bit of bright-siding, that the election yesterday is a reaffirmation of what the electorate can do. Demographics have shifted and, more importantly, folks who have historically been disenfranchised or disaffected are realizing that their votes really do count. Also, we have a whole generation+ who grew up with a global (less provincial) view of the issues of the day, thanks to international television and, of course, the internet. This should, in theory, lead to a better, more just, more tolerant, less violent world. The Thirds potentially provide organizing bodies that address the concerns that the Dems and Reps will not - if the new voters can find the Thirds, they will find a political home.

Where did this soapbox come from? I could've sworn I shoved that thing to the back of the closet the other day ...

Oh, and, I did get my sticker and I know that if you drop off a mail-in ballot they'll give you a sticker. I took my mom to drop hers off yesterday but had to ask for her sticker. But if it is mailed in - no sticker :( They should include one in with the ballots!

Bogon - how do we sneak up on the sneakiest of the sneaks?! lol
Best to hit 'em head on!

Wiley has been taking a lot of shots, lately. I always did like that strip :)

gg - better the devil you know then the devil you don't? Maybe. I don't know. Maybe what we hear some people saying out loud is not what most people are saying to themselves.


I waited in line longer than I ever have to vote in SP. Looks like there was a good turnout this time. Poll workers usually tell me the numbers go up and down through the day but yesterday they were wiped out by a constant stream. We had two city council seats up but also a local measure that probably brought folks out. Nice :)


When I went to bed last night it looked like Jerry's new tax was going to lose and that I would be stuck with a Republican Representative, still. This morning I find that the tax passed and there's a new Democrat in the House. What a difference real numbers make.
Speaking of, xkcd makes another point about numbers. He, too, had been taking some well-aimed shots at American politics and, specifically, the way it is "reported". Go back several panels and see.


If you can stand a bit more on the current state of Civil Liberties, Ed Brayton comments on (and links to) an article in the Guardian. I haven't read the full article, yet, but it does seem to give some perspective.


Yes, I'm relieved it's over, too. Also, I am relieved that Obama won. I'm not stupid. The President is not the problem here, though. We are.
Whatev. I need a break :)


She may not be Roxie-level cute but Sutter did her job well:
Let's hope it works.


Anything else we want to say about the election? Besides, "hooray its over can i have my mailbox and telephone back now please thankyouthankyouthankyou"?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
38. Bogon
4:23 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Trump has been complaining about the election process. Maybe he could be persuaded to support the Range Voting group that sp linked. I noticed that CRV also offered impartial solutions to the widespread problem of gerrymandering.

Speaking for myself, I'm sure I would be a much more highly motivated voter, if we could adopt a better method for assessing the will of the electorate.

Meanwhile today's Non Sequitur says it all.
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37. GardenGrrl
2:53 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Hey Bogon, do you think "The Donald" will fund us to storm congress?

The fact that so many people have been saying "Fire Congress" but re-elected the same bandits makes me wonder if the fix was in. The alternative thought that perhaps millions of Americans are so stupid to complain and vote the same is even more frightening.
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36. Bogon
1:14 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Breathing a sigh of relief this morning. It's over.

Quoting sp34n119w:

The two parties are, if you have not noticed, virtually identical in every way – if not in their official platforms, then definitely in their actions. By voting for someone else, someone outside of the machine, one can send the message that there are citizens who are paying attention to that fact.

Why let them know? I think we ought to sneak up on 'em.
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35. WatchinTheSky
11:07 PM GMT on November 06, 2012
Hi sp, just a note - you still get the sticker when dropping off the ballot!!
Now off to follow links.

Rocky seems a little angry.. But what annoys me and seems a quandary - if someone from our current 2 party system can't move an agenda forward because of the other party stonewalling/filibustering, how can a 3rd party leader (pres) ever hope to get anything done? A bit like an odd line from a local rep race 1st time candidate saying - vote for me because I say no pay for congress if we don't pass a budget. That is well and fine but how is he ever going to do anything about that??? As a freshman in congress?? Now I am just deflated and sad :( crap..
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34. sp34n119w
9:01 PM GMT on November 06, 2012
Oh I forgot! calpoppy left us a link about voting machines the other day. This is one thing that is happening:

Go read the description to understand what's going on there.

Perhaps the U.S. now needs a United Nations elections oversight delegation.
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33. sp34n119w
8:39 PM GMT on November 06, 2012
Quoting weatheringpoints:
Hi sp :)

Third-Party presidential debate: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein

Hi WP! Thanks so much for that! I missed the live feed but watched the youtube late last night. It just feels good to know that someone cares about what I care about, you know? Even if they won't be heard by most.
Gary Johnson is always a hoot and a half. Can't fault his level of enthusiasm!

WTS - not so warm or so windy today. Just about perfect, actually! I need to get out and soak it up because, yes, cold is coming :( Well, snow on the mountains is pretty, and I will try to appreciate it, lol

A day of (ex-)Browncoats vs. Alliance will be a welcome change of politics!

Romney/Biden, LOL Is that why we haven't seen much of Ryan the past couple weeks?

I also made my final choices last night but still have to get to the polls today. I like voting in person but sort of envy those of you who have ballots to fill out at home. Might make the switch for next time. I do so want that sticker though ... ;)


Tonight or tomorrow I'll post (for those who don't want to follow the link) the text from a letter written by Rocky Anderson that sums up why I cannot vote for a candidate from either major party for President.

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32. WatchinTheSky
5:42 PM GMT on November 06, 2012
Hot Dry Not so windy Woohoo! Never really got windy here, but 95 Monday Yay ;) Now just waiting for Friday's snow!!

Oh GOP, your the greatest (The GOP's closing argument), but greatest what?

Finished the ballot Monday night, whew. Voting is almost done, a bit of counting, and Romney/Biden can get to work!! lol

Must see TV on this Sunday!! Thanks for the heads up :)
Hope you are feeling better!
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31. weatheringpoints
2:11 AM GMT on November 06, 2012
Hi sp :)
Here's a link to the Final Third Party U.S. Presidential Debate LIVE
(in progress) 9PM to 10:30PM EST

Edit to add link to Youtube:
Third-Party presidential debate: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
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30. sp34n119w
7:47 PM GMT on November 05, 2012
I've been a bit under the weather (so to speak) and without the energy to follow up on my promise (threat?) to write more about the election and the various choices we have. Instead, I have spent my down time in mindless recreation - like a few hours of gypsy music on youtube one night, a few hours catching up on knitting blogs the next, various other random distractions as needed, and reading an excellent sf novel (which wasn't so mindless, being a bit on the hard sf side of things). Also did some virtual window shopping for a new phone and found that, after three years of consideration, some of the models I was interested in are no longer available. Hmph. They could have waited for me to make up my mind. I don't know why I can't make up my mind. I guess I just don't care that much, lol.

So, tomorrow is election day and about all I have to say about that is 1)if you haven't voted already, please VOTE, and 2)I'm so glad it will be over.

Do all of you read SoNoToTea's blog? I don't get over there very often but when I do I am amazed and pleased to see the info links that unclemush leaves there. Since sntt changes out the blog with fair regularity, I'm sure I've missed many of those links. I kept meaning to mention it since the info in those links are good ammo for real-life discussions that might come up, but I guess I figured you all were reading there and I never got around to it. Anyway, kudos to mush and sntt.


WTS - hope you got through the rest of the ballot. I haven't! There are a few props yet to investigate before I go to the polls tomorrow.
Haven't checked your weather today but if it's anything like here, well, hang in there and good fire luck to you - and all of us.

calpoppy - wish I had something more thoughtful to write but, in the absence of that, I'll leave you an article by Steven Pinker about Red States and Blue States that mentions Haidt's work (positively) and is relevant to your comment.
What does the book say about people who like goats? ;)

Ylee - too bad about the lack of wu party. Maybe next year. I think much of the old party crowd spends much more time on FB, these days. So it goes.
Did you take your kids trick-or-treating?

Karen - it is hard to avoid the political stuff. Let's just hope that, whatever the outcome, it is fairly settled by Wednesday so we can be done with the craziness. Well, one form of it anyway.
I did take a quick look at your lovely pics and will be back to savor. Thanks for posting them and I'm glad to see you hanging on wu :)
Yep. Hot again. Not for long, though - go for a swim!

bf - no doubt, Bogon knows how to enjoy life. I'm thinking I need some of those glasses for everyday use :)
So glad you liked (and commented on) the gypsy vid! I was thinking nobody would bother, lol
I went off on a youtube trek listening specifically to three guys (who often play together) - Buffó Rigó Sándor, Lendvai Csócsi József, and Oszkár Ökrös - and really enjoyed it. The first is the man with the grey beard in the vid and, in addition to his fiddle skills, he has a good voice for folk songs. The second is the dark haired, craggy-faced guy (is that who looks like Ben to you?). The third is not in that vid but I saw him at Disney Hall with the LA Phil some years ago and he is a virtuoso cimbalom player.
I won't post any more, though. Today ;)

Thank you for your blogs on Sandy. Your writing was insightful and garnered excellent comments from many.


Browncoats Unite!
Any out there? Did you know that the Firefly tenth anniversary special is coming up on Sunday? Well, now you do!

Think I'll save other random links for after-election blogging.


Hot. Dry. Windy. WOOHOO!!!
94 degrees 12% humidity 14/28 mph wind
Priceless ;)


Oh, okay, one more thing - The GOP's closing argument: "We’re strongly opposed to FEMA and health care, but basically O.K. with rape."
which is being tweeted all over the place, lol

see wu!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. Barefootontherocks
3:14 AM GMT on November 05, 2012
Haha. What Bogon posted. Now that's the way to party on Halloween.

Pretty much talked out about the storm and politics was not my subject ever, so I'll just say thanks for the thoughtful words you left in my blog. Oh, one of the Gypsy violinists looks like Benjamin Franklin. Maybe it's a sign.

Ps. Still violin vid on and enjoying it.
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28. SBKaren
12:42 AM GMT on November 05, 2012
Since my absentee ballot was mailed last week, I'm going to try very hard not to listen to anything political. That will be hard if we have the TV on for any length of time.

I opened my blog with pictures and a couple of videos of our trip to the SD Zoo Safari Park. Drop by when you have a moment.

It's too hot again. I was just getting into making warm meals for dinner, and even looking forward to some favorite tasty one pot meals, but it's back to salads for dinner. Some day soon I know I'll be able to pull that frozen soup out of the freezer and have it taste good!!!
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27. Ylee
8:21 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
This year's WU Halloween was flatter than well, a pancake, although another description, which I can't say here, would be more apt!

A three day old open can of soda would work, too! :)

I guess Sandy sucked the party spirit out of this bunch of weather nerds! :( Oh well, maybe next year!
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26. sp34n119w
7:21 AM GMT on November 01, 2012
OH! Thanks for the Halloween wishes gg, Bogon, WTS and Ylee! Hope everywun had a spooooooky good time :)
Was there a wu party this year? Things seem a bit subdued. Understandably, I suppose.
I'll be back tomorrow or Friday. I think.

Came in to drop a bit of pretty.
Posting this one for the first 2:30 but if you listen/watch for all nine minutes you will see what happens ...
When Gypsy Goes Mainstream!!!

or, at least, that's the title that was running through my mind while I watched ;)
Sound isn't great but everyone knows the tune so it isn't too bad. Fun to watch.

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25. Ylee
10:29 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween, SP!

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24. WatchinTheSky
6:39 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
It's not evening yet but, Black cats!
Oh, and Happy Halloween!
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23. Bogon
4:37 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween, sp!

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22. GardenGrrl
10:09 AM GMT on October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween from Taz...because politics is scary enough...

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21. Ylee
5:37 AM GMT on October 29, 2012
Quoting calpoppy:
On dog breeds, liberals like dogs who are gentle, and relate to the owner as an equal.

Like most cats? :)

Actually I'm wrong; most cats think they are superior to humans, lol!
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20. calpoppy
8:52 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Here is the link to the voting machine article, just an excerpt though.

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19. calpoppy
8:48 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Random thoughts on the election and some things I have learned from the book The Righteous Mind.

Interesting article in Harpers about who owns the voting machines, not Democrats!!!

How funny Mitt is, in declaring how he will be able to reach across the aisle unlike Obama when Grover Norquist has the Rep congress and senate hog tied. You will not raise taxes and you will not cooperate with Obama or you will not be here next election. I guess they have very little independent thought in the Republican party!!!!

On the book I am reading, group-mindedness seems to affect the conservatives more then the liberal mind. Conservatives score low on caring and fairness, liberals score low on loyalty, authority and sanctity.

On dog breeds, liberals like dogs who are gentle, and relate to the owner as an equal. Conservatives look for a breed that is obedient, easily trained, loyal and doesn't warm up to strangers. Both lib and conservatives liked clean animals, LOL!

What I found interesting is how the author claims that the reason Democrats don't do well in Presidential elections is that they are basically only talking to caring and fairness and not to authority, loyalty and sanctity. If they could talk to all of the above they would certainly be able to communicate better with all Americans.

Random crazies. There is a lady in the town that I work in who drives a full sized bright red pick-up with two huge American flags on both sides of the tail gate, a huge Mitt sign on the tail gate along with many other Mitt signs on her truck. As she drove by a customer (who is a conservative) said she is one committed lady but maybe she is a bit over the top. I replied, yes, she should be committed and yes she is over the top and headed toward bottom. We both laughed about it :)

I really like the idea of a third party, a viable third party. Thomas Freidman has talked about it for awhile. It is possible that the third party would be what brings us back to Democracy!!!

Have a good week, SP! Enjoy your weather!!!

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18. WatchinTheSky
5:55 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
That is an insightful comment regards early voting in NorthEast. We have been watchin ;) a fair amount of Weather channel (since there is no real weather here now) and not once have they mentioned that as part of prep for days ahead in their storm coverage.

Interesting to watch Mayor Bloomberg go from no evac Saturday to some evacs Sunday. 'No Thanks', don't need help, we have an excellent response organization. Yeah, maybe, but why not be a little protective instead of just reactive to aftermath?

Are we sure that is a satirical look? ;)

Sometimes I make a list, which politician is telling me the biggest Lie. Even if I tend to agree with some (or even more) of their 'platform', they end up on my 'No' list. Of course now with Citizens United and Super Pacs, it becomes harder to determine who is lying. But, a candidate does not HAVE to take or condone Super Pac money or ads.
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17. sp34n119w
8:10 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Weather: wind died down yesterday evening and had picked up again by late morning today. Not as bad. Warmer today. Lower humidity. Haven't checked on fires but see no smoke.
90 degrees. 10% humidity. 18/32 mph.


WTS - ha! Kind of funny that you brought the fire weather to my attention and then missed it! Very glad you did :)
I know what you mean about voting. It's hard to get excited about it when the choices offer not much choice at all. Still, as you say, it must be done. So we can whine about it ;)
And of course I'm not picking on you! It was the only such statistic in the article I read, LOL I'm sure the rest of us aren't any better, on average.

Ylee - NO!!!!
heehee ;)


I wonder if anyone has mentioned on Masters' blog that today would be a could day for folks in the NE to vote early, if they have that option, since power might still be out come election day. Even if the power is on, folk might have more immediate concerns on that day and miss the opportunity to vote.
I think Maryland begins early voting today.

A satirical look at the GOP in the closing days from the New Yorker.

Now that the comments are closed, I thought I'd link Scalzi's letter to Conservatives from the other day. The first couple dozen comments (all that I've read) make points that Scalzi didn't get to. He has a trigger warning at the top which should be well noted.

Texas health insurance can now legally refuse to pay for ANY services at Planned Parenthood (Even though taxpayer money never funds abortions, Texas does not want taxpayer money going to clinics that perform abortions). That will take away so much revenue that they will have to close clinics. That will leave untold thousands of women and children and men without access to basic health care. And cause more of a glut at other clinics, thus limiting everyone's care. Hurray, Texas.

Malala is doing very well, if you haven't heard. Doctors are cautiously optimistic that she managed to avoid any permanent brain damage.


Edit to add (because I know you care, lol): I did get the lazy zombie to stop knocking on my wall.
Also, I am reminded that I am getting old.
These two things are related, LOL
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16. Ylee
9:58 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
80F. ? Trade ya! :)
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15. WatchinTheSky
8:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
So you got the fierce winds, too? It's still howling between 5 and 10 mph here ;) and not hot, but that's fine, too.
No zombies at the side of the house.
I know you are not picking on me when pointing out dismal San Diego county numbers! I will have to say, it gets hard to vote (more and more lately) without the aid of range voting or at least being able to add comments (you jerk! or Are you kidding me!) And I get more than a little POed about hearing the national results called before Cali votes are in the box.
But I have long ago signed on to "If you don't vote, Don't complain". So I can complain if I want :)
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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke