Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Just a thought

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Say you were a huge, top of the pile company.  But you aren’t about to rest on laurels, and the has-beens and wannabes are out there.

“Please don’t poach our ‘best’ talent.  Please don’t offer them huge early exit bonuses.  Please don’t let hire their own buddies with similar sweetheart deals that work out better if they get ‘fired’ a couple months in, which conveniently just happens to happen.  Please don’t let one of our minions take full control of your company, drive it into the ground, get paid off to get lost, and let her…um, or him, yeah, come back to us, with your cash in hand, and more of our stock that just went through the roof at the announcement of your bankruptcy.  Please, don’t do that.”

Couldn’t possibly explain certain tech company goings on, maybe?

The TrustE seal of eh-whatever

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

The foreseeable downward spiral of KlearGear is to be expected.  Any business that thinks crafting a legal clause in their TOS for fining bad reviewers is straight up telling you that they intend to provide poor service, and worse support.  Won’t be missed.

TrustE’s completely apathetic response is the more annoying aspect of the drama.  If they were worth the bits they are printed with, anyone using a trustE seal improperly would be taken to court, or settled out of court, with terms that allowed TrustE to trumpet their successes.  The tweet they would send wouldn’t be a toothless promise of an investigation (a process which according to their own website, stops at “we sent them a letter”), but something like, “Kaching! incoming settlement for fraudulent use of our logo.  What should we spend it on, ping pong table or Foosball?”

Then again, it’s not like I’ve ever seen a trustE seal and gone, “oh now I’ll do business with this shady looking skeeze”.  I’ve never heard of them ever doing anything.  They show up in my mind in the same space as those old webring badges, “member top 100 blah blah blahs”.  OK, sure, whatever.

Yelling at the tide

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

When a musician complains about people recording their shows and sharing it on youtube, I can’t help but picture a petulant child, yelling at the tide, as it washes away her sand castle.  There is no doubt you built a thing of beauty, but the world is always changing, and if you make a stand in the path of progress, there is likely to be little left but momentary ripples in the waves, as the future passes you by.  The world will not reshape it’s path to your will, it won’t for any artist, in any medium (fine-art, 3d-printing is coming for you next… in less than 10 years from now, everyone will be wearing cameras capable of building hyper-accurate 3-d models just walking around a museum or gallery, if not sooner).  And yet there are others who survive and thrive in this new world.  You can learn from them, adapt and embrace, or you can continue to stand in the sand, as your dreams melt around your feet, yelling at the tide.

Seattle Hempfest 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

This was the first Hempfest, since Washington state legalized weed.  I go, and take pictures, almost every year.  It’s a great place to get some cool art, see lots of interesting looking people, and see people toking up in public.  This year, some things were already different.  If the final rules allow sales at festivals, next year could be very different indeed.

First thing I noticed, not a single seller of weed alternatives.  No sativa retailers at all.  Only one authorization clinic came this year; I’m hoping they paid attention to how strictly the DEA went with the people who rubber stamped authorizations last year….

For the first time I’ve ever seen, vendors of different bits of paraphernalia were actually using real weed, or hash oil, when they demo’d the equipment, instead of flavored essential oils.  Vaporizing technology was all the rage; ‘dabbing’ seems to be rapidly replacing ‘toking’ as the delivery method of choice for the kids these days, at least by song lyrics and average booth composition.  I also saw two local food trucks, over and above the regular fair food people that are at everything in this neck of the woods.

There were two electronic music areas this year, the ‘chill’ zone, and the energetic stage, both kept fairly steady crowds around, when the music was going (energetic stage didn’t get started as early as the chill tent).  I didn’t see the pseudo-ICP band playing this year, but I didn’t look for them either.

The army flew 4 helicopters overhead at one point, probably just a routine training exercise with a little detour to play with the potheads.  More interesting to me, was the private helicopter that buzzed the entire length of the park, around 4:20 Saturday, flying what looked to be too low, close to the shore, and too fast, to be legal, without some sort of special permit.  Of course, the new camera takes too long to boot up, to capture them =(



Filing a FOIA

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The other day, I dropped a hard drive and lost everything on it.  I was in despair, until it occurred to me, I can file a FOIA request with the NSA; they probably have my data backed up already.

What I don’t see

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Yesterday, as I was walking along the street near my home, I realized, that while I still see lots of the caps for hypodermic needles, I haven’t seen an actual exposed sharp in quite a while, possibly since I asked the local needle exchange program if there was any suggestions they had.  They never responded to me, but perhaps they did do something, as something seems to have changed.  Progress of a sort.

2013 Seattle Pride Parade

Monday, July 1st, 2013

I am slowly uploading my pictures from this year’s Seattle Pride parade in downtown Seattle.

I decided to take pics instead of riding the scooter, this year, though after seeing how few people rode in our group this year, I kinda wish I’d joined the ride.  Oh well.

Went to an after party at Pop-Cap, played a little Settlers, Adam’s Family pinball, and headed home before dark, grateful that I’m one of the few people I know in Seattle, with A/C at home.


Feeding the hungry, while they bury the Iron Lady

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

In an appropriate twist of fate, I’m off to spend a day volunteering at Northwest Harvest, while half a world away, the rich mourn the death of someone who arguably left a lot of hungry people in her wake.


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

It’s hard to care about marriage, when you can’t get a second date.

The Michelle Shocked thing

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

So, now we have the audio of the event in question, and an accurate transcript, and it appears, to this someone, who’s seen her live before, that whatever long standing issues of she may have around gay people/rights, what she said, and how she said it in particular, do not jibe with the level of animosity ascribed to it.

“I was in a prayer meeting yesterday and you gotta appreciate how scared, how scared, folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point, and I really shouldn’t say ‘their,’ ‘cause it’s mine, too, we are nearly at the end of time”

Clearly, she is trying to describe how she feels like the religious people around her are feeling…I suspect that when she joins herself with ‘their vantage point’, her similarities of feelings aren’t 100% parallel, in every respect, and she didn’t expect people to think that she meant she agreed with everything in that mindset.  Knowing how much she is aware of how different each individual is, especially inside the head, I just can’t imagine her actually believing that any group of people, no matter how superficially related they are, as a group, will not have strong differences on the specifics.

She continues on,

“from our vantage point, we’re gonna be, uh, I think maybe Chinese water torture is gonna be the means, the method, once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back.”

Again, it seems clear to me she is describing a hypothetical outlook on why things like gay marriage are so frightening to evangelicals, BECAUSE if gay people getting married isn’t the key that opens the door to the second coming, imagine how much worse what actually brings about the end times would be…from their vantage point.

The fact that biblically, gay marriage isn’t even close to a sign of the second coming is irrelevant to the fear some people feel.

Now the question of why an evangelical would be afraid of the second coming is an interesting one.  Is it fear that you are a fraud, and not really saved?  Is it fear that you have so many people you want to save, and think they are going to hell because you didn’t have enough time to convert them?  Is it something else?

There have been groups of people, entire denominations of Christianity, that have been certain they lived in the end-of-days, since Jesus died.  The arrogance it takes to think that your certainty means anything more to God, than the certainty of the millions…probably Billions, who have lived and died with the same strength of conviction, seems extremely un-Christian.

In me, such certainty evokes the same kind of pity I feel for people who tell me, “I have a feeling” about a lottery ticket purchase.  It is a strange moment of self-centered-ness, in people that are often usually much better than that.  But I totally understand it, emotionally.

Anywho, on to the ‘worst’ of it….

“If someone would be so gracious as to tweet out that Michelle Shocked just said from stage, ‘God hates faggots.’ Would you do it now?”

As written text, it looks pretty bad.  But if you listen to the audio, she is obviously joking, giggling, and trying to recover from having the previous statement misunderstood, and didn’t in any way seem to actually mean she had just said that, but that having not gotten her point across that she was speaking about the “vantage point” she had observed at the prayer meeting, someone was going to misquote her, and she might as well get it out of the way now.  Unfortunately, I don’t think people in the venue were listening to anything she actually said anymore, by then, and it spiraled down from there.

So, it would seem that what was said she said, some was not quite what she said, and what was said she said that was accurate, wasn’t re-said in context.  However, having learned about a lot of other incidents, where she’s been equally troubling, the entire picture is not pretty.   Having been to many of her shows, and witnessed her speaking style, and thinking on how similar it is, in many respects, to another artist I respect for their work.  He is a visual artist, very altered takes on reality sort of paintings and sculptures.  A friend once observed that while we may live in the same physical world as the artist, what he paints IS the world he sees.  He doesn’t look at a straight line and imagine the curves he paints, they are always there.  Those curves in the physical world, that he perceives but I don’t, he also perceives in the spiritual and emotional worlds, and I suspect Michelle lives in a similarly unique and distinct universe, parallel and enmeshed with ours, but seen through radically different eyes.  The point being, it does not surprise me when either of them fail to get their point across….it amazes me that they ever do at all.

I don’t know how I feel about supporting her work in the future, knowing about some other incidents, but I feel reasonably certain that THIS incident doesn’t seem to be what I had initially feared, nor what was reported.