Monday, November 23, 2009

Policy wonk alert!

ZOMG, the Washington State Secretary of State's office has created a redistricting boardgame!


As the Washington Bus put it,
"What could possibly be sexier than redistricting legislative districts? Exactly: not a damn thing. With the 2010 census rearing its head, the prospect of a significantly re-drawn legislative landscape is looming large. Your local political world will definitely be shifting… and remember: all politics is, in the end, local. Want to get a jump on the good times? Check out the Secretary of State’s Redistricting board game. We kid you not."

Friday, November 13, 2009


I mentioned the death penalty in passing in that last post, taking for granted arguments against it and barely even relating it to the movie I watched.

But, as usual, my old roomie The Common Man is far more articulate than I. (I sputter -- "What? Who? That? No! So wrong! Gaaaaack! Arrrrgh.") He phrased his anti-death penalty arguments much better in his recent return to the blogsphere, in which he posts about the recent tragedy at Fort Hood and execution of the DC Sniper:
"... emotional reaction to these crimes is exactly why justice is not served through execution. Justice is a bitch goddess who constantly disappoints us; yet, to be effective, she must remain blind to the emotional undercurrents that make me want to slam Hasan and Muhammad into walls again and again . . . And, as several studies have demonstrated that execution does not substantially deter crime, there does not seem to be a rational reason for capital punishment. The world may be a better place without Muhammad in it tonight, but justice (whose guarantee is the basis of civilization and of our society) is not served by it."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tomorrow is Another Day

I've been sitting on these for a few weeks. Now that the election's over and I have time on my hands again (at least theoretically), maybe I can catch up.

Set entirely in New York, Kal Ho Naa Ho is a Shah Rukh Khan movie I hadn't seen yet. While I do tend to hate romantic comedies, Bollywood dramas are perfectly acceptable. This one was, as expected, incredibly cheesy. But I do love Preity Zinta, who usually plays relatively strong-ish as well as book-ish female leads. Here, though, I was a little disappointed. It's basically one big love triangle: she likes Shah Rukh Khan, who is dying of a heart condition and wants her to hook up with her school buddy. I wasn't the biggest fan of the storyline. Also not down with the faint homophobia. But of course, it's a shameless tear-jerker, and I was sobbing by the end.

Changeling was one of the most pro-death penalty movies I've ever seen. I thought it would be a nice, quick film to watch while working from home one day, and it turned out not to be merely a movie about how the corrupt LAPD (is that redundant?) conspired to toss Angelina Jolie into a mental institution when she insisted they didn't find her missing son and "returned" a different child instead. While I appreciated the points it tried to make about how women have been traditionally dismissed and demeaned in society, I thought those themes were secondary to the larger point of the story, which was that a serial killer needed to die. It was rather disturbing.

Lastly, National Treasure has been on TV twice this election cycle --funny enough, one of those times was on the local CBC station! And I am a sucker for watching the thing in its entirely once I see that it's on.

So inaccurate. So improbable! Such a rip-off of Indiana Jones. Too ready to perpetuate the Founding-Fathers-knew-best-and-were-superhuman mythology.

So bad. SO GOOD!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Several drinks later...

I accidentally showed up in photos in both the PI and Times at a mayoral candidate's event.

Just like Forrest Gump!

Oh, what a night!

I have a backlog of blog entries, but the most important announcement: election night ROCKED!

The ballot measure I spent the most time working against went down big-time, even in more conservative, anti-tax counties. In fact, Benton County, which has never rejected an initiative by the state's resident anti-tax "Initiative King" rejected this one. It was heartening to watch the early returns. (I'll be back on the job hunt in a week, but for now it's great to bask in the glow of victory.)

And then, Washington voters approved the state domestic partnership law that the state legislature already passed this spring. (The same is not true of the state where I went to college, which, on the same night, voted to overturn the marriage equality law its legislature passed earlier this year.)

Setting aside the horrible idea of anyone's rights being put to a vote, here's a great local article that offers some hope.

I'm proud of my state for being the first to not vote down a pro-gay ballot measure. It won by a narrow margin, to be sure. But it won nonetheless.

The tide is turning...