Message from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee

  • The Supreme Court won’t fix gerrymandering soon, so it’s up to voters.

Charlotte Observer

Half of the officials who will take part in redistricting in 2021 will be elected this year, including governors who will have veto power over rigged maps.

This year, the National Democratic Committee is targeting:

  • 12 states
  • 10 governor’s races
  • 275 state legislative seats

Many of these elections are taking place in districts that are already gerrymandered, so Democrats are facing an uphill battle.

But the electoral fight IS winnable. It happened in Virginia and Wisconsin.

What do we want? We want “to see voters picking their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Surprise, Surprise!

It is very sad that self did not get to see Udaipur, but self is sure she will get to see it, some other time.

More important, self learned after arriving in New Delhi, a few weeks ago, that she felt very much at ease among Indians.  That is, self discovered that there were many similarities between the people she met in India and the people she knows back in California and the Philippines.  Self learned that Indians eat several times a day —  almost as often as Filipinos.  And their food is not strangely exotic —  in fact, it is bloody delicious!  And since food is practically her # 1 issue whenever self visits a foreign country, the food issue not being an issue helped self relax right away.  Plus, the open-air markets remind self very much of Manila’s Divisoria.

Upon her return, self found answers to several questions that had lately pre-occupied her.  To wit :

  • Is Mitt Romney still the most likely Republican candidate to run against Obama?  Ixnay!  Rick “the vest” Santorum has surprisingly trumped Mitt “the hair” Romney!  Santorum cleaned up in three states!  Wow!  As recently as a month ago, self could never have anticipated such a remarkable development!
  • Is Silicon Valley still a “happening” place?  In a Letter to the Editor written by a Los Altos resident and published in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, William Burke calls Silicon Valley “the heart of enterprise and inspiration of the world, home of Apple, HP, Cisco, Google, Facebook and many more.”  Wow, let’s be proud, San Francisco Bay Area residents!  Moreover, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco just declared Proposition 8 (ban on same-sex marriages in California) “unconstitutional,” which means there will likely be many dramatic about-faces and hand-wringing in the months/ years to come, at least until the issue is addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court.  More material for blog!  Fabulous!
  • Is President Noynoy of the Philippines still a Mama’s Boy?  Ooops, self meant:  Is Noynoy ever going to get married?  Apparently, the answer is yes!  The love interest had a photograph on p. 1 of Philippine News.  She is, of course, very pretty.  In the Philippines, 87.8 % of the time, appearance = destiny.
  • Does Bella still have all her marbles?  Self is happy to report:  yes!  Exhibit A:  when self crept into the house, the Ancient One lifted her head and began wagging her tail in a most vigorous manner.
  • Are there any upcoming movies self is interested in seeing?  Yes!  Self just saw a preview for a Ryan Reynolds/ Denzel Washington thriller, and another for a Jonah Hill/ Channing Tatum comedy, and yet another for the “Prometheus” movie, starring Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson (Self thinks Worthington looks so much better when his hair is long)
  • What is current Sam Worthington vehicle “Man on Ledge” like?  It has Elizabeth Banks!  Yes!  And Ed Burns!  And that guy from “Hurt Locker” who is suddenly all over the place —  no, not Jeremy Renner, the other guy!  The one who played the uptight dude!  Anthony Mackie!
  • Is America going bananas over the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s?  Yes!  Her neighbor two blocks down the street has hung paper hearts on her gate, and heart-shaped sugar cookies are stacked near the entrance of Safeway.  Today the talk shows were focused on a “Valentine’s Day” theme.  Such as:  how to keep your bouquet of tulips looking fresh, tips from a Sunset Magazine editor.
  • Does the house need a good sweeping?  Of course!  Even with the Ancient One being kept in the San Carlos Pet Hospital (until two nights ago), there are gigantic fur-balls nestled in the corners of the living and dining room.
  • Did self get to watch “Justified” Season 3 Episode 4?  Yes, she did, and though she loves the lackadaisical criminals, and the comedic mayhem, and the face and stance or maybe just about everything of Timothy Olyphant, self thought last night’s episode dragged just a wee bit.  Dewey gets stuck in the neck with a syringe, at least two times.  Both times, self was expecting him to wind up in a body bag, which he does.  But SPOILER ALERT! not permanently.  Neal McDonough, as this season’s potent Evil One, gets to utter some lines of Quirky Bad Guy dialogue.
  • Since self has read six novels in a row since the start of 2012, will her next book be yet another novel?  Ixnay!  Self began delving into Adrian Goldsworthy’s Caesar:  The Life of a Colossus.  Although she has yet to arrive at any bloody parts, and is stuck on a page which describes in minute detail the power held by the Roman Senate, she is sure that very dramatic scenes are there, simply lying in wait.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

You Don’t Think This Is Bad?

  • It rained all day.  The weather people are calling this “the last rain of the season,” but how do they know?  Self bets there’ll be further rain, and more weather people claiming that will be “the last rain of the season.”  To all those people who still maintain, “We need the rain!” —  can ya please be quiet already?
  • The city of Tracy, CA has started to charge its citizens for 9-1-1 calls.  That’s how broke California is.  That is, it costs you nothing to make the call, but if an ambulance ends up being sent, you have to pay $300 for the ambulance.  Might as well call a taxi to take you straight to the emergency room!
  • When hubby arrives from work, 9 pm (He was supposed to be Read the rest of this entry »

Proposition 8 Quote of the Day!

“My two moms can beat up your ten wives.”

— Sign held aloft by young man at this afternoon’s protest against the California State Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage

Let the fun begin.

Big News Day

  • The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 (Self has one eye on the TV as she types this and already crowds seem to be massing in San Francisco —  Opponents of Prop 8 have apparently been gathered there, in a state of high anticipation, since early this morning).
  • “Angels & Demons” made $27.7 million over the weekend, which demonstrates once again why no one should read self’s movie reviews, HA HA HA HA HA
  • Today is the day that changed forever the way self feels about getting back her SASEs. Whenever she gets one of them back she thinks, Oh, another rejection.  There was one in today’s mail, and self let it sit and sit and sit. When she finally did rip it open, she made sure she was standing right next to the trash can.  Her disbelieving eyes saw only two words: “Contract forthcoming.”  Editor surely takes the prize in most laconic communication of the year!  Self submitted one of her “trans-genre” pieces.  She’s on a roll!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

A MIGHTY HEART, p. 191

The TV is on CNN, of course. I did my part. Right after my two classes, I went to the school on Topaz (I used to go to a church on Lowell; now, instead of senior citizens, I am greeted by high-schoolers) and cast my vote. Hubby went through all the propositions with me over the weekend. But now, I don’t remember a thing. Not one thing. Except that I must vote NO on Proposition 4, Proposition 8, and Measure W. And also that I must vote a straight Democratic ticket.

In my 8 a.m. class, we are talking about The Kite Runner. In the 10 a.m. class, we are talking about The Swallows of Kabul. In both classes, we discuss The Five Pillars of Islam.

“Why don’t you talk about the Sixth Pillar?” a student in my 10 a.m. class inquires. “It’s about jihad; don’t you think that’s important?” I let her talk about what she understands by the word.

At home, I resume reading A Mighty Heart. Mariane already knows that her husband is dead. She has found out in the worst way imaginable.

“How do you know? How do you know?” she keeps asking John Bauman, who assisted in the search for her husband.

To which he responds: “They had a knife, and they used it in such a way there is no doubt — ”

A page later:

Randall and the others head out to find the killers. I run after them. I grab an AK-47 out of the arms of a guard and declare to Randall, “I’m going with you!”

“You can’t,” says Randall. “It’s too dangerous.”

“Fuck you! I don’t fucking care about danger!”

Randall’s eyes fill with tears again. “Mariane, please.”

I hand the guard his gun and return to my room.

Saturday Before the 2008 Elections

It’s raining, it’s pouring.  Self had to drive to the City.  Almost turned back at Burlingame, the traffic was horrible.  But she persevered.  At her destination, she got treated to her first ever taste of something called a “Princess Cake.”  It had a green layer of marzipan.  Inside was fluffy white slices, separated by layers of raspberry filling.

At the gathering, self found that everyone was stressed, possibly more stressed than she:  several people were having to find new abodes, one person was in between jobs, and another’s company was experiencing severe revenue shortfalls.

On the way home, rain was murderous.  Self’s car wiggled from side to side, but self white-knuckled it to Daly City so that she could pick up some “comfort food” from Goldilocks.  The place was eerily empty, and no one seemed interested in serving self, the lone customer.  That is, eight saleswomen were gathered behind the counter, chatting to each other.  Self didn’t feel like she could interrupt the gay proceedings by shouting, “Hoy!”  Eventually, however, someone did take notice, whereupon self bought 24 pieces of polvoron (ha ha ha ha!) and hubby’s favorite, cuchinta.

And then self went home.  Hubby had been ensconced on couch all day, watching football games.  He blithely informed self of the results of several games:  Stanford won, University of Washington got trounced again, and no. 1 Texas was on its way to being upset by no. 7 Texas Tech.

Self saw the phone message light was blinking. It was yet another group calling for self’s support of some petition or other.  Here are the messages self has received the past week:

  • From Senator Barbara Boxer:  No on Prop. 4
  • From Janice Hirohama of the League of Women Voters:  Yes on Prop. 11
  • From Diane Howard, Vice Mayor of Redwood City:  No on Measure W
  • From Bonnie Shatun of the CA Teachers Association:  No on Prop. 8
  • Yes on Prop. 7 by some group describing itself as “Green”
  • From Janice Hirohama again

The voter information pamphlet that arrived in the mail some time ago has pages and pages devoted to Measure V and Measure W, Measure Q and Measure R.  Each measure has an “Impartial Analysis,” an “Argument in Favor of”, “Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of,” an “Argument Against”, and a “Rebuttal to Argument Against.”

Self also learns that there are actually six people running for President of the United States.  Aside from McCain and Obama, there are:

  • Alan Keyes (American Independent Party)
  • Ralph Nader (Peace and Freedom Party)
  • Bob Barr (Libertarian Party)
  • Cynthia McKinney (Green Party)

Self learns that one of her neighbors, Ira Ruskin, is running for California State Assemblyman.

In addition, there are the following Propositions:

Proposition 1A:  the “safe, reliable high-speed passenger train bond act”

Proposition 2:  Initiative requiring “standards for confining farm animals”

Proposition 3:  the “Children’s Hospital bond act”

Proposition 4:  Initiative to require “waiting period and parental notification before termination of minor’s pregnancy”

and let’s not forget the vital Proposition 8, which would “eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.”

There are, of course, many other Propositions, but self is nodding off (although it’s not even 10 p.m.) and so must bid dear blog readers good-night.

Oh the Risk, the Angst, the Agony

The next-door neighbors have bought their kids a kitten. Self sees it teetering along the fence, and she prays fervently that the kitten has a sure self of balance and never falls into our side of the fence, for dear Gracie would be lying in wait and, well, the results would not be pretty, dear blog readers.

Also, we are going to have a new President. Pretty soon! And either of the candidates would for sure know how to pronounce the word “nuclear.” So this would be a vast improvement.

And then, our neighborhood has sprouted signs: NO on W! YES on W! NO on Proposition 8! YES on Proposition 8!

One of our neighbors, a very amiable man named John, has no less than three signs in his front yard, all urging NO ON W. Hubby has been exceedingly interested in the issue of Measure W, and has done tons of research, such as reading the local newspapers and watching with eagle eye for any newsprint that contains the words “Measure W.” And, after weeks of study, he informed self that Read the rest of this entry »

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