Friday, October 29, 2010

Found this from 2004 on driftglass.  I have to admit, it's got me to thinking.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Initiatives, Referenda, and Joint Resolutions: a Guide to Washington State's Midterm Ballot

As an American, I feel it is every citizen's duty not only to vote, but to inform themselves as to the choices they have in the voting booth, and the consequences of those choices.  But I also understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to dig into it that I do.  So, as a public service (or possibly just a cry for attention), I have spent the afternoon going through the Washington State Voter's Pamphlet, reading through the wording, the consequences, and the statements for and against, and I have assembled this handy guide to how I think you should vote and why.

Please note that this is only a guide to Initiatives to the People, Referenda from the State Legislature, and State Senate and House Joint Resolutions.  I may or many not have time to write about the races for federal and state political office later this week.  I feel like people are probably already pretty set as far as the types of candidates they support, being that people generally know where they stand on the political spectrum.  But ballot initiative and the like take a little more unpacking, I think, and I wanted to devote a little time to figuring it out for myself, and apparently I've decided that you want to know what I think, too.  So here it is.

The Quick and Dirty Version:

I-1053:  NO
I-1082:  NO
I-1098:  YES
I-1100:  YES
I-1105:  NO
I-1107:  NO
R-52:  YES
SJR-8225:  YES
HJR-4220:  NO

Reasons why below the jump, for those who care to know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Curb-Stomping the Bitch

You know she had it coming.  If the damned media hadn't edited the video you'd see that that woman was totally a Muslim sleeper agent, probably illegally Hispanic, and that the ironic Republicorp Employee of the Month award she was attempting to give Rand Paul was so dangerously unConstitutional and would have done such grievous ideological and political harm to his anointed candidacy, that the Confederacy Republic, God bless her, would never have recovered.  So really, these large and seemingly irrationally violent men should lauded as the heroes they truly are, bravely and selflessly wrestling this small, suspiciously swarthy woman to the ground and stomping the Satan out from under her disguise wig.

Hell, bitch is lucky they didn't express their Second Amendment rights, too.  You know she was asking for it.  They all are.

UPDATE:  The curb-stomper in question appears to be directly involved with Rand Paul's campaign.  Which makes Paul's non-condemnation on Fox news even more craven.  I guess what they say about lying down with dogs must be true...

Thursday, October 14, 2010


You know your girl's a keeper when she sends you links like this.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reading and Writing 10/10/10

Once upon a time, Glen Cook was one of my guilty pleasures.  What's changed is that I am no longer guilty about how much pleasure I take in his work.  Put simply, Glen Cook kicks ass.

My earliest encounter with his work was the first three or four books of The Annals of the Black Company and, later, The Garrett Files, back when I was just a wee young whelp blazing through as many tomes from the Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Club as I could get my hands on.  Later, I read (and loved) The Dragon Never Sleeps, a stand-alone space opera that I found a used copy of a couple of years ago and read again.  To my great delight, it was just as good, if not better, the second time around.

So when I recently found myself gazing upon the vast to-read pile that adorns my bookshelves, with an (oddly rare these days) opportunity to read whatever I wanted, I leapt at the chance to read Passage At Arms, one of his lesser known works, a military SF standalone that is, in the words of my esteemed Clarion instructor (and literary hero) Jeff VanderMeer, the "Das Boot of SF."  If you look at the picture above closely enough, you can see where he says it, there at the top, above Cook's byline.

Synoptically speaking, Passage at Arms is a first-person narrative account of one ship's patrol into unfriendly space during a protracted war between humanity and an alien race called the Ulant.  Told from the perspective of a discharged Navy Lieutenant turned war correspondent, the story revolves primarily around the claustrophobia and paranoia of the crew on their months-long patrol through the vicissitudes and uncertainty of war in space.  Despite its science fictional premise, there's a certain verisimilitude here that really brings things home.  The narrow focus on surviving the present; the lack of information; the contempt for Command:  it all rings true.  It all sounds like what it's really like to be at war, or would be, under those circumstances. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Worthy Quotations

One of the great rewards of a writer's life is that it lets you read all the books you want to without feeling guilty.
-Damon Knight

Monday, October 04, 2010

Reading and Writing 10/4/10

Finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell today at work (not a single customer all day; I used to dream about having jobs like this).  What a great freakin' book.  It'd be easy to get bogged down in the structure of the work; it's a series of nested stories, each of which references the previous one, which are arranged palindromically, I guess you'd call it, since each ends in a cliffhanger somewhere in the middle, until the story at the center, which completes, and then the stories are reprised and finished, in reverse order, until the book ends with the same story with which it began.  But while the structure, which in lesser hands would be downright gimmicky, certainly dominates the reader's attention (and kept at least this reader's attention with the unceasing novelty of a new character, setting, POV, and narrative/dramatic arc every--for lack of a better word--chapter), there are some interesting  and insightful themes running through the work (colonialism, violent conquest, historical teleology, the way that words, things, and ideas take on a life of their own) that carry it past the merely gimmicky and into the realm of Literature-with-a-capital-L.  And it's fun, too.  The proliferation of stories and POV characters allows Mitchell a great deal of room to play (even while the underlying project has all the seriousness one might ask of a work of literature), and the result is an absolute joy to read.  Friends of mine have been recommending this book to me for years now, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.  Especially after 2666, this was just what I needed: just the right blend of levity and gravity in an interesting puzzle of nested narratives each with its own particular flavor and character but that connected to each other in interesting and not always obvious ways.  I've also got Black Swan Green, one of his later books, sitting on my bookshelf, which I hope to read soon, but, alas, will not be able to get to immediately, since I'm going to have to be more targeted in my reading in the immediate future.

Why? you ask.  Well, I'm glad you did (which is why I did it for you).