Wednesday 5th November 2008

on reflection, this is the first u.s. presidential election that has gone my way. i was too young to have an opinion for reagan and to a lesser extent bush 41. i come from a family cut from a deeply red cloth, so when clinton ran in '92 i mirrored my parents and disliked him. it was about high school-ish when i moved more to the left. (i probably owe this lurch to my economics and government teacher; he asked good questions.) in 2000 i didn't know much about gore but was very unimpressed with bush. i voted for nader but preferred gore. by 2004 i was utterly disgusted with bush and had approximately zero interest in kerry; i voted for badnarik but would have preferred kerry.

but 2008! ah, 2008. i was genuinely excited about a candidate, donated to a candidate's campaign, and am profoundly hopeful about where the country and the world can go with this candidate. viewed through the lens of my particular value system, there has been a whole lot of damage done across the board in the last two terms, and i think the next will go a very long way toward healing.

posted by mAtt @ 18.22 (gmt+0000)
to /1137/happiness/soapbox

Friday 31st October 2008

john mccain (via email): 'all the polls are tightening! we haz teh chance for victory ftw lol! p.s. please give us a lot of money, we're starving.'


oh johnny, i can cherry-pick just as well as you. (if the state of denial had 270 electoral votes, you might have had a shot.)

posted by mAtt @ 15.37 (gmt+0000)
to /1137/internet/soapbox

Wednesday 10th September 2008


(the truth is a completely inadequate vehicle for our strategic policy needs) should be your homepage for the next two months, bitches.

posted by mAtt @ 19.52 (gmt+0000)
to /1137/soapbox/unhappiness

Friday 4th April 2008

(in which i elaborate)

at some point in our past we had to deal with fundamental threats to survival. i mean it, profoundly fundamental: take away every comfort you know, remove yourself from the surety of your next meal, hide alternately from the snow and the sun, sleep in the midst of animals with sharp teeth, oh and while all this is going on you also have to make little copies of yourself and do your best to keep them alive as well. rinse, repeat.

under this continuous pressure, it was absolutely assured that we were always comprised of the toughest stuff possible. those with a fortunate allocation of genes departed at a lower rate than those without. over time simple probability distilled the genome.

now we're reaping the benefits of our inherited capability: as a species we're doing well. we've pretty much figured out what to do in order to avoid dying. to this end we've perfected space heaters and crop rotation and vaccines and a hundred thousand other things, and have twice that number of things in development. we have learned to modify our surroundings to suppress the bad stuff, and create environments capable of providing all of our needs. again, we truly can't be blamed for doing so—our deepest, most primal genetic mandate is to keep living, so we'll do what it takes.

but in succeeding so astonishingly, we have removed the very thing that got us here in the first place: pressure.

it's inevitable that little genetic ripples appear. in the beginning they were the cause of our success because they are occasionally beneficial—those that were not eventually corrected themselves through attrition. but with all the cushions we've placed beneath ourselves, with every safety net our large brains and modern life can afford, there is no longer any mechanism to keep these flaws out, so they accumulate.

i believe there will come a point where we will ultimately buckle under the weight. for centuries now we've been moving away from an equilibrium. we've become stagnant and inflated, and a correction is inevitable.

Wednesday 26th March 2008

assets = liabilities. that which has brought us this far now works against us; the weight of these accumulated flaws (for each of which we have a workaround) will crush us in the end. we were early bloomers and it went to our collective genetic head.

posted by mAtt @ 1.07 (gmt+0000)
to /1137/soapbox/unhappiness

Wednesday 8th November 2006

my ideal government structure

first, start with the government structure we (in the united states) have. it has its kinks and inefficiencies, but it basically works. then fill it with the following:

in the house of representatives, centrists. communists and fascists strictly verboten.

in the senate, leftists. i'll stop short of saying downright baby-eating marxists but part of me wants to.

in the courts (especially the supreme court), conservatives all the way. i hate the phrase 'strict constructionist' but the shoe fits.

for president, someone who is simultaneously 1. not affiliated with either party of the current two-party system, 2. ideologically libertarian, 3. economically conservative, 4. socially progressive, 5. an actual scientist, and 6. neutral good in the i-roll-twenties etymology (which naturally eliminates any sith lords—huzzah!).

an independent and unmolested media armed with the much-hyped shield law.

and finally, for every single state and local office in the entire nation, from governor to county comptroller, this guy. (though as a condition of his holding office, he must uphold his election-season promise to frickin' blog more, yo.)

elections are instant runoff and are fewer and farther between, with single-term limits at every level.

there is, of course, always more, but this is the gist. in my head this guarantees that the government itself finds the balance between current and stable. pipe dream? oh yes, but a healthy one.

posted by mAtt @ 23.28 (gmt+0000)
to /insoluble/soapbox

Saturday 21st October 2006

corpus schmorpus

r.i.p. habeus corpus, 1305-2006

but don't cry, because you didn't really need it. it was only a goddamned piece of paper! that ridiculous bit of nonsense was just tying the hands of the judicial process and playing into the hands of the terrorists, the only ones it was protecting. endangering you, protecting them, don't you see?

…normally it's all fun and games until someone yells 'gestapo', but ask yourself: what happens when you become the next "them"?

(via, via²)

posted by mAtt @ 15.35 (gmt+0000)
to /insoluble/soapbox/unhappiness
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