tiggymalvern: (fantastic!)

And even better:


Can't we just elect him President now?
tiggymalvern: (fantastic!)
Seattle will be raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. It's nice to live somewhere in the US where the elected officials actually care about the people. Perhaps somebody should suggest it to Congress.

Elsewhere, I see that Pope Francis has jumped the shark. After working so hard to appeal to non-Catholics, and reasonable people in general, he said in a speech that married couples who choose not have kids will regret it, doomed to end up lonely and bitter in their old age. As lonely and bitter as all those childless priests that the Vatican forces to remain celibate, maybe?
tiggymalvern: (wtf is with this shit?)
It is interesting that the Amash amendment voted on by Congress last night, which aimed to stop you from spuriously collecting data on hundreds of millions of people with no justification whatsoever, was narrowly defeated by only 217 votes to 205. By taking the highly unusual step of publicly condemning an amendment, you just about managed to get your way.

But it becomes even more interesting when you break down the votes along party lines. Mr President, the majority of your own party opposed your wishes, by 111 to 83. You only got your way because the likes of Michele Bachmann voted with you, along with a majority of Republicans (134 to 94).

Perhaps, Mr President, when your own party feels that you are in the wrong, and it takes the hardline right-wingers to drag you through unscathed, you might like to reconsider your position on the issue.

Or perhaps you won't. I won't be holding my breath.

ETA: See also today's SMBC.
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
So the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, as expected. Good news for the couples in states where gay marriage is legal - now the federal government can't pretend their marriages aren't real.

Something of a sneaky move by the Supreme Court on Prop 8 - they managed to leave the California court's ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional to stand, thereby killing off Prop 8, without setting a precedent that would mean no state can ban gay marriage. I find it a little odd that they even took the Prop 8 case in the first place - their conclusion that private citizens don't have the right to defend a law that the government won't support was equally valid months ago.

And then, of course, there was the dedicated Wendy Davis, with her nearly 11 hour filibuster in the Texas State Legislature yesterday, and the equally determined crowd of her supporters who managed to stop the bill when her filibuster was halted. The bill would effectively have made it impossible to get an abortion in Texas outside major urban areas - unreasonable demands placed on abortion clinics would have forced most of them to close. When Davis' filibuster was ended and it looked as if the bill might pass, the public gallery took over from her and created a fifteen minute wall of cheering and clapping that stopped the vote from being held. The live stream at that point was pretty awesome, with utter chaos in the Capitol.

After the midnight deadline, when the crowd went quiet, the Senate vote was held, and the timestamp on the official records was altered to make it look like the vote was held before midnight. At least the lieutenant governor, who personally supported the bill, was honest about it, and admitted that the bill was out of time.

So, democracy vs democracy - the elected representatives voted one way, and their constituents turned out in person to say, 'Hey, this isn't what we wanted you to legislate.' Good for them.
tiggymalvern: (wtf is with this shit?)
You are not elected to protect yourselves from negative campaigns. You are not elected to earn yourselves a good rating from the NRA. You are elected to represent the people. And poll after poll by organisations from both sides of the political divide have made it pretty damn clear what the people want. The people want background checks before buying guns.

46% of US senators, you are cowards who would rather cover your own asses than do your job for the people who chose you.
tiggymalvern: (wtf is with this shit?)
I understand that you have deeply heartfelt beliefs on the best way to fix the economy. I understand that you are reluctant to compromise your ideals on this point.

If only we had some way to ask the people what they think on the matter. We could call it 'voting'. You could choose a spokesperson who would stand up on TV and talk a lot about the need to cut welfare spending. The Democrats could have a guy who talks about the need to support the poorest in society and taxing rich people more to pay for it. Then each citizen could choose between the two, and we could count up all their choices.

If we did all that, the whole crazily involved, ridiculously expensive voting thing, and your guy lost by some reasonable margin - if that happened, perhaps you could go along with the people and actually agree to some of Obama's plans for at least a whole month afterwards, maybe?
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
It seems to be official now - enough of the votes counted and announcement made. In yesterday's voting, Washington state, along with Maryland and Maine, became the first US states to choose gay marriage by popular vote. I live in this amazingly beautiful, varied, awe-inspiring landscape, and apparently I share it with a majority of people who are thoughtful, generous and open-minded. This really is a fabulous place to live, and my fellow Washingtonians have made me so proud to be here.

Of course we also, along with Colorado, became the first state to choose legalising recreational marijuana, a measure publicly supported by several ex-federal drug enforcers, the entire Seattle city council and the King County sheriff, who has better things to do with their time than prosecute people over a joint. I anticipate much fun and games with the federal authorities! Given how much trouble the DEA has been giving California over medical suppliers of pot, it's going to be interesting XD

Edit: Okay, it seems the Seattle Times was getting ahead of itself for a moment there - still not official yet, but everyone seems convinced.
tiggymalvern: (fantastic!)
Dear Americans, thank you so much for proving that you can still be sane.

Of course, he still won't be able to get anything done, because the Republicans in the House will be the same old obstructionist, filibustering gits, but at least we don't get Mitt in charge.
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
Every now and then a politician will do something awesome that melts some of my cynicism about elected officials. Today it is the Mayor of Boston, for bluntly telling the homophobic owner of a fast food chain that his outlets are not wanted in the city.

Link to the letter.
tiggymalvern: (Xena doesn't like idiots)
Following on from yesterday's post, the people of North Carolina voted for a law they didn't understand, which means the State now officially cannot recognise common-law marriage of any kind. So what's going to happen in those districts of North Carolina that had already chosen to give benefits to unmarried couples in long term relationships? Will they obey the new state law and cut them off? We await the screaming....
tiggymalvern: (action!)
Amendment One goes to the vote today in North Carolina, and would ban not only same sex marriage, but any form of civil union or domestic partnership, including common-law marriage.

Interestingly, Public Policy Polling results suggest that 55% of people will vote for Amendment One, but 52% support civil unions. Dr Barber is right - too many of the people who will be voting on this amendment haven't really read and understood what they are voting on. The media focus on making it exclusively about 'gay marriage' may have won the day for bigots.
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
On February 1, the Washington State Senate voted to approve SB 6239, the marriage equality legislation, by a vote of 28-21.

Now the bill moves to Congress, where we know it has enough support to pass easily, and we also know the governor will be delighted to sign it into law. That will make Washington the seventh US state to approve same sex marriage. Yet another reason I like living here :-)

Of course, it will almost certainly then end up going to a referendum on the November ballot, but that's a whole 'nother fight entirely....
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
Marriage Equality is Coming to Washington State

A State Senator who is herself a traditional Christian has declared her support for Washington's Marriage Equality Bill, and it now has enough guaranteed backers to pass. I love her statement declaring her position, which is quoted in full at the link above.

I know this announcement makes me the so-called 25th vote, the vote that ensures passage. That's neither here nor there. If I were the first or the seventh or the 28th vote, my position would not be any different. I happen to be the 25th because I insisted on taking this much time to hear from my constituents and to sort it out for myself, to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy.

Every legislator who opposes gay marriage because of a knee-jerk 'Christian' reaction should read her statement, and maybe it will make them think.
tiggymalvern: (you called)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

tiggymalvern: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] de_nugis at To UK Flisties
(Taken most recently from [livejournal.com profile] amber1960, slightly adapted.)

If you're from the UK and you believe in freedom of speech and an uncensored internet, you really need to sign this petition. There are others floating about, but that particular one is the best way to ensure that your voice gets heard. It's hosted on the directgov website and addresses parliament directly. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, it becomes eligible for discussion in the House of Commons.

Details below )
tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
Lawmakers from Russia's ruling United Russia party have passed the first reading of a bill to criminalise "public acts" promoting homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender identity in St Petersburg. The bill gives no definition of 'public acts', but is certain to be used to ban gay pride events.

The bill's sponsor stated it was intended to "stop the flow of immoral information that pours over children and young people," in an official commentary. "Sometimes parents and schools are unable to stand up to the powerful showbusiness industry that promotes immorality and permissiveness." The strong implication is that the bill will be used to erase positive LGBT role models from public life and the entertainment industry.

Sign a petition to be delivered to Russian embassies around the world here at All Out.



tiggymalvern: (doctor/jack kiss)
Fort Worth city councilman speaks to bullied teens.

tiggymalvern: (wanna come get me?)
I haven't often seen California quail up a tree, but that's where they ended up yesterday morning.

Oh, no, the squirrels are after us! )

On a completely different subject, I find myself feeling surprisingly positive about the new Lib-Con coalition. There's a great deal of sense in the coalition document, and everyone's in tune about the important things (reducing the godawful debt, removing those nasty, intrusive spying laws, and we're going to get preferential voting, yay!). Europe is basically a non-issue for the next few years, with the euro in such a precarious state, and that's definitely something they can argue about later, once they've done the bigger deals. If they can both hold in check the eejits in their parties (and there are rather more Tory eejits, as an inevitable consequence of the fact that there are rather more Tories), I really think they can pull this off. I certainly hope so.

Whether they do or not, at least the political blogs and columns have been a source of a great deal more amusement over the last few days than they have in years XD Though I do wish they would stop slashing the politicians, my brain doesn't need it.
tiggymalvern: (ready to roll)
Why is everyone suddenly talking about PR as if it's the only possible choice for electoral reform? The Lib Dems, the newspapers, all the current buzz I'm reading is about PR vs the status quo.

Can't we have a system based on Preferential Voting/Single Transferable Vote? People who wish to vote Lib Dem, or whatever, can then do so instead of feeling obligated to vote tactically. The Lib Dems would take the extra seats they deserve, and without handing seats to lunatics like the BNP, which is the inevitable result of PR ::shudder:: Plus, people get to keep the benefits of a local MP who is directly accountable to them, which is lost with PR.

I don't want a referendum that offers me the choice of PR vs doing nothing. I'd like to try some middle ground first. Yes, I know that Preferential Voting can throw up some odd results sometimes too - peering at Australia - but I feel horribly disinclined to vote for an electoral system that is guaranteed to put the BNP in Parliament :-(
tiggymalvern: (crazy or what)
Not the first hung Parliament of my lifetime, but definitely the first one I can remember.

I thought Gordon Brown was a bloody awful Chancellor after Labour's first term, and a barely credible Prime Minister, but I've always regarded him as a basically honest guy, who actually believed in what he was doing. If he attempts to cling onto power now, after the public have effectively told him to FOAD with around 28% of the vote, he will lose that one piece of respect I had for him. The voters never have elected him, and apparently they never will elect him. The Lib Dems have a point on electoral reform, when it's even possible that Gordon can attempt to call himself PM after this.

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