Saturday, March 22, 2008

Your Plans This Tuesday Evening

Note: I'd love to make this "about" Obama, which I will admit to doing when emailing a similar message to the Utah for Obama group earlier this evening. However, even if you're a Hillary supporter, the information below will benefit Democrats at every level, from the bottom, all the way to the Presidential nominee. I hope you'll give 2 hours next Tuesday and help make a difference.

This coming Tuesday, March 25, Democratic County Caucuses, aka Mass Meetings, will be taking place across Utah. Most of them are at 7 PM. The Democratic Party needs every one of you to participate. You can get information about the location of yours at the Utah State Democratic Party web site, or at the Salt Lake County Democrats web site.

What is a County Caucus?
At the County Caucus, the local Democratic party organizes at it's most basic level. Precinct Officers and Delegates to the County Convention are elected. Some of this varies by county, so do check into it for your county. For Salt Lake County, County Convention Delegates are also Delegates to the Utah State Convention.

A Precinct Officer is an elected representative for their precinct, which is a very small area in most cases. They should keep in contact with people in their neighborhood, so that everyone can feel connected to the Democratic Party. They are part of the gateway between the average person and the highest levels of the Democratic Party. They help candidates for elected offices organize local action, such as walking, phone banking, etc. Most of the year, this communication requires only a few hours a month, depending on what the Precinct Officer wants to do. When it gets close to election time, a Precinct Officer might spend a couple of hours per week helping organize the local action. Of course, there's not a "required" amount of time, but in general, a Precinct Officer should have an idea of who in their neighborhood might want to volunteer, and can help campaigns reach those people, and should help contact their neighbors to get them to vote in the election (Get Out The Vote - GOTV). Any further questions on this will be answered by the Legislative Chair at the Caucus.

A Legislative Chair is responsible for communication between the Party and up to 20 or 30 Precinct Officers, depending on the area. They will work very close with their State Representatives when there is a campaign going. Sometimes there could be a lot of work involved, which is why many areas choose to also elect a Legislative Vice Chair. In Salt Lake County, there is a Regional Director that they will work closely with, to help keep everything organized and moving, and keep the lines of communication with the County Democratic Party open. In other counties, they will work directly with the County Party. I am one of 5 Regional Directors in Salt Lake County, and I know that there is a lot of support for our Legislative Chairs, so don't be afraid to step up, if you're interested in doing this.

A Delegate represents the Democrats in a precinct at the County Convention, where they will vote. This is the really fun part! Some of the County Delegates are also State Delegates (this varies by county). If this is not the case for your county, another Caucus will be held where the County Delegates will elect the State Delegates.

And where this gets very exciting, in May, the State Delegates will be the ones who choose the National Delegates. National Delegates are the people who attend the Democratic National Convention in August to nominate the Democratic Presidential Candidate.

Now, there's tons more information about how that all works, and I'll be writing at a later date about that, but right now this means we need everyone to get involved with the local Democratic Party! In many places, the Precinct Officer positions are empty, because in the past, people have not known about them or feel like it's a waste of time. With what I've seen over the last year, I definitely know better than that, and I hope you do too! This is the year for Democrats in Utah! Many of us are seeing the opportunity around us, right here in Utah. We have been so close on so many elections in Utah, and your participation will make a difference! If you have any desire to be a part of this local change, please consider becoming a Precinct Officer, or a Legislative Chair or a Delegate. You won't be alone once you take one of these positions. The County Parties and the Utah State Democratic Party have really got good things going and will help you every step of the way. But, having people in these positions is vital to the success of Democrats at all levels, from City Council all the way to President, this fall.

And, even if you don't want to take one of these positions, please attend, and cast your vote for the person you think will be the best. This may seem like a light matter, but really, everything that happens at the County, State and National level with the Democratic Party is based on what happens at the Precinct Level. The people you vote for will directly impact this November's election. So, please attend. And get your friends and family to go, too.

More information about the Salt Lake County Caucuses can be found on the party web site.

If you are outside of Salt Lake County, check your local county Democrats web site, found through the Utah State Democrats web site.

Who can go?
Anyone who qualifies to vote this coming November can attend and participate in the Caucus.

I have attempted to explain the information above to the best of my ability. It is possible that I don't have things exactly right, or that they vary from county to county. Please check with your local County Democratic Party with any questions you have, and for verification. The "legal jargon" for all of the rules surrounding the process can be found through each County Democratic Party. Feel free to let me know if you discover any errors in the above information.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hillary, this is how it's done

The following article from Senator Obama was just published on Huffington Post, and I wanted to point out that condemning the statements of someone who is associated with your campaign not only can be done, but can be done with class.

Barack Obama: On My Faith and My Church

The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.

Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.

The Lost Boys Grew Up

That's right, the lost boys grew up, and now they have a new movie, taking place 21 years later.

However, MTV sucks, and the Flash code they provide for the trailer gives you a still image with no sound, then redirects to Corey Feldman's interview. So, here's MTV's page where the trailer actually works. Apparently, they're the only ones with the trailer as of yet.

It will have both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, in case you were wondering. Unfortunately, this will go directly to DVD, which totally dashes my hopes for the film. But, I'll be buying it anyway. I own the original on VHS, and I'm pretty sure it's one of the videos I kept when VHS went the way of the dodo bird. However, I'll probably be buying the original on DVD, assuming it's out already or coming out.

The Lost Boys is (in my limited experience) the "original" vampire movie. I wasn't allowed to watch anything like that growing up, but The Lost Boys was one of the first movies I watched that I "wasn't supposed to", and is largely why I love vampire movies to this day. It wasn't the best, but it is one of my favorites.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

He's Only Winning Because He's Black!

And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."
Oh, wait. That was 20 years ago. This year's quote was:
If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.
Then, she actually "defends" herself with this:
Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?
At least I agree with her on one thing. About 3:25 in, she calls herself a lunatic:

Clinton refused to distance herself from Ferraro after the first remark, and that I know of, hasn't since the second, either. As a fundraiser and BFF of the Clintons, I can only agree with a commentator I saw last night who believes she's actually acting as a mouthpiece for Hillary, who can't say these things herself.

The thing is, every campaign will find itself associated with someone who is less than perfect, and who does or says something stupid, or just plain IS stupid. However, it seems to me that Hillary has surrounded herself with nothing but stupidity. It tells you a lot about the candidate when you look at those who are the closest to them, and it's looking like Hillary might just be dripping slime.

xkcd: Morning

Alt: I'd press on them to try to unstick them, but I can't reach. Can we try cycling day and night really fast?

Waking up in the morning is always a shock, but to wake up to dead pixels!

Monday, March 10, 2008

xkcd: Unraveling Technology

Alt: I would take 'kibibyte' more seriously if it didn't sound so much like 'Kibbles N Bits'.

I think this might have been the chart they used that one time when I tried to take classes from a "tech school" but quit after discovering that I knew more about JavaScript than the "teacher" (even though all I knew at the time was that there was supposed to be a difference between Java and JavaScript), among other things.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

On Being Organized

Along with being a fan of PostSecret, I also love FOUND Magazine.

This entry was me at age 10. I realized that I've been failing at being organized for 20 years!

I even remember breaking times down to under the 5 minute mark (7:38 am).

The above realization makes me wonder if there's any hope for me now.

87% Addicted

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Thanks to Catherine Morgan, who also got an 87%, for the link to the quiz, and also for nominating me in Women's Voices Making History.

If you're looking for a sign... this is it.

(I think I need this made into a poster)

If you're not yet a fan of PostSecret, prepare to "waste" a lot of time checking it out, and have Sunday (when the new ones are posted) become your favorite day of the week. Here's a hint of why:

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail
in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

Just one caution - the postcards aren't always safe for work, though I wouldn't call them pornographic either.

I often wonder what sort of postcard I would send in.

How Did I Miss Daylight Savings Time Beginning?

I haven't heard a peep from anyone about Daylight Savings Time Change. Then I noticed that my computer said it was after 4, but I had thought it was only about 2:30. I panicked, because I have something I need to do before 5, but the kids aren't ready to leave the house. Then, as I'm rushing to get them ready, I notice the clock says 3:15.

Meanwhile, Dax walks by to take the dog out and gives me a funny smile. I couldn't figure out why.

So, I go back to my computer, but it does indeed tell me it's 4:15. So, I had to look it up. Apparently, today is the day.

Crap. Why didn't anyone tell me? So, I'm telling you. Set your clocks ahead an hour.

Friday, March 07, 2008

xkcd: RIP Gary Gygax

Alt: RIP, Gary.

xkcd: Your Utah Legislature Edition

I think this captures the very heart of the Utah Legislature:

Alt: I never understood why someone would expect me to accept their rules right after they'd punched me. I'm sure it's all very symbolic or something.

You can just make up the rules as you go along, right?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Life Just Got Way Better!

Google has introduced 2-way Calendar Sync!

Hopefully some of the hair I've pulled out will grow back now.
Now I can access my calendar at home or on my laptop, on Google Calendar or in Outlook. When I add an event to the Outlook calendar on my laptop, Google Calendar Sync syncs it to my Google Calendar -- and since I also have Google Calendar Sync running on my desktop, the event then syncs from Google Calendar to Outlook calendar on my desktop. All of my calendar views are always up to date, and I can choose whichever one I want to use.

My only complaint is...why in the hell couldn't they do this when the Obama Campaign was in full-swing here in Utah for the primary? Ah, well. I still love Google.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Clinton distorts image of Obama in campaign ad to make him "blacker"

The details are over on DailyKos, but here is a summary.

Hillary Clinton put out a campaign ad where a picture of Barack Obama was used. The photo was altered to make his skin darker. If that wasn't bad enough, the ratio was also altered, or "squished", to make it seem as if he has a wide, flat nose.

In this ad, she also lies about his subcommittee, saying it's responsible for Afghanistan, and that he hasn't held hearings. Problem is, Afghanistan is under another committee.

Then, when confronted, the Clinton campaign denies that the ad is theirs. Except the ad was on Clinton's own site. Oops.

Seriously, go read this, look at the facts. This is absolutely horrible behavior. This woman does not deserve to be president, by any stretch of the imagination.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Red-Faced States: A Preview of Tonight

From ThinkProgress:
The Dallas News reports that already, polling places are experiencing a “crush” of voters for today’s primary elections. The Texas Secretary of State office said that “early voters last week had already surpassed the total early-voting numbers for both the 1996 and 2000 elections,” and that interest is expected to continue today. GOP polling sites, however, “were not as busy.”

I think maybe no one wants to be seen voting for a Republican, even in red states. Thanks to Mark for the witty reply that I turned into the title.

I've said over and over since this started that record turnout was the only prediction I would make. And it seems that record turnout on the Democratic side has been the theme through every state so far, and again in Texas. This is bad news for Hillary, I think.

I'm hosting a Watch Party tonight at Mo Diggity's, and plan to live blog from the party (my first attempt at such a thing). Let me know what you think as the results come in, and I'll share with the crowd.

And if you want first-hand information on what it's been like in Texas, read this entry by a guy who's been in my hometown of Sugarland, TX (aka Houston).

Newsflash, Hillary: Fear Mongering Is a Republican Tactic, Not a Democratic One

Yeah, we all know about the 3 am phone calls right now. And this does start out on that topic, but it gets much juicier.

I love the part where Bill tells the crowd (for Kerry during the '04 election):
Now, one of Clinton's Laws of Politics is this; If one candidate's trying to scare you, and the other one's trying to get you to think. If one candidate's appealing to your fears, and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person that wants you to think and hope.

I sure as hell don't want another 8 years of Bush style politics.

Monday, March 03, 2008

xkcd: More Catch Up

This first one gets a shout out to my favorite pregnant friend (you know who you are, even if no one else does)

This one is something my own dreams would probably pull, once writing code the whole time I'm asleep finally wears off:

Daddy, I want to be president!

After the last video I posted of Hillary endorsing McCain, I stumbled upon this video.

This is exactly what Hillary has reminded me of so many times, and towards the end when it shows her saying she had a specific social security plan, then her saying she wouldn't endorse any social security plan until she's "approaching fiscal responsibility" just eats at me.

I saw Countdown earlier talking about her accusing Barack of making side deals with Canada about NAFTA, and a friend (hi, Nikki!) sent me a link to an article about it. As I told her in reply, tfahese are the things I've known about her since the start, just knew inside. She'd lie to get us to go to war just like Bush, if it suited her purposes.

And that's why, as much as I'd really, truly like to see a woman in the White House, Hillary is not someone I believe should be in there. I hope that tomorrow's primaries and caucuses (aka primacaucuses) will answer any doubt about the Democratic Nominee being Barack Obama. The Results Watch Party will be quite a thrill!

Hillary Clinton Abandons Democratic Party ...or... Clinton Endorses McCain

I'd like to find a more eloquent way of expressing what I think of this. More below.

CBS News titled this: Clinton Says She and McCain Offer Experience, Obama Offers Speeches

Hillary Clinton told reporters that both she and the presumtive Republican nominee John McCain offer the experience to be ready to tackle any crisis facing the country under their watch, but Barack Obama simply offers more rhetoric. “I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say,” she said. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

The only thing I can say is "What a bitch!"

She has obviously abandoned the Democratic Party. Will they abandon her now?

Watch for yourself: