V is for Vote! (Missouri residents, please vote NO on Amendment 2 this Tuesday!)

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Fellow Missourians! The state primaries are coming up this Tuesday, August 7th. If you’re not already registered to vote, it’s obviously too late for this round – but if you can, please register to vote in the general elections on November 6th. The last day to register is October 10, 2012, according to the MO Secretary of State’s 2012 election calendar. You can find registration instructions here.

In this, the latter half of 2012, you’d think that sample ballots would be readily available and easy to find on the SOS’s website as well. Along with election dates, registration documents, and the like, there should be a link to each district’s ballots right there on the main page, making it easy peasy for voters to research their choices beforehand. Or, hell, know what their choices even are.

Or not. At least not here in the “Show Me” state. Upon visiting the “Elections” section of SOS’s website, voters can find all sorts of info under the “for voters” menu – voter ID info, absentee voting requirements, how to check your voter registration, even language for past and present initiative petitions and ballot questions. But no sample ballots.

Under the FAQ, there is an entry regarding sample ballots: “Where can I see a sample ballot?”

The answer:

You may be able to view your sample ballot at our Voter Information Lookup.

Sample ballots can also be viewed at the polling place or at the office of your local election authority. Sample ballots are also required to be printed twice prior to each election in newspapers of general circulation. Some election jurisdictions may also mail sample ballots to all registered voters in that jurisdiction.

I dutifully checked my registration as directed, and…nothing. Nada. No link or further instructions or even so much as a note that a sample ballot for my district is not available through the Vote Missouri website – but hey, here’s where you can find it.

It took me a half hour of digging before I was finally able to find a sample ballot for my district – and even then, it wasn’t published on a government website, but in the archives of our local, rinky-dink county newspaper. Had The Clinton County Leader not archived old issues online, I would have been forced to trek on over to the county courthouse to pick up a paper ballot. Which isn’t really a big deal, since it’s just down the street, and I have a car to drive there – and failing that, a healthy, able body to get me there. But not everyone does. Some potential voters may be confined to their homes, either temporarily or long-term, while others may be lacking in transportation. Still others may have internet access, minus the knowledge to research and locate a ballot on a third-party website. Or operate Adobe Reader.

My point is, there’s no good reason why sample ballots for every district shouldn’t be available in multiple places – in the newspaper, in government buildings, via sail mail for those who request it, and yes, in one central place online, preferably listed alongside other election materials. The internet: it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s effective. It’s also 2012. Get with the program, Robin Carnahan.

Anyway, here’s the sample ballot for Clinton County, Missouri (click through to embiggen), followed by a plain-text version. In years past I’ve published my picks as well, but seeing as I still haven’t made up my mind (so many candidates, so little information!) I did things a little differently this time around.

Missouri state primaries - 8/7/12 - sample ballot

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Got those red state blues.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Blue Girl

More like “Green Girl, Red State.” CC image via DieselDemon on Flickr.
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Perhaps the greatest downside to living in a rural area, and particularly a rural area in an already red state? Knowing that you’ve not a snowball’s chance in hell of electing a politician who even approximates your values and beliefs. “Approximates,” not “shares” – I hold enough unpopular opinions to know that I’ll never live to see a politician on the state or federal level with whom I see eye to on most issues, not even if I up and move to San Francisco. That said, I don’t expect to be outright insulted for my beliefs when contacting an elected representative, in a polite and respectful manner, about pending legislation.

What follows is an email exchange I had with my state House Representative, Glen Klippenstein (R-MO, 5th District), about Missouri House Bill 1860, our state’s answer to the increasing popularity of “ag gag” bills. (Check out Will Potter’s excellent coverage of this and other forms of activist repression at Green is the New Red.) I was responding to an action alert sent out by PETA; usually I edit form letters, both to personalize them and to scrub them of any speciesism (distressingly common in form letters from enviro groups), but at the state level I’m fairly certain that mine is the only copy my representatives will receive. (Though in retrospect, I really should have replaced the link to meat.org with a different resource. No matter how unfair and undeserved the reputation, referring to a website run by what’s widely regarded as a “radical extremist” group really isn’t the best choice. That and I’d rather not be associated with them in any way, shape, or form, thankyouverymuch.)

As a conservative Republican and cattle breeder (GlenKirk Farms “has sold cattle, semen, and embryos across America and worldwide” – so much for protecting the unborn!) who has served as chairman of the National Beef Promotion and Research Board, I wasn’t expecting a particularly sympathetic ear from Rep. Klippenstein. That said.

 
 

—–Original Message—–
From: Advocate [mailto:advocate@animalactivist.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Garbato
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:25 AM
To: Glen Klippenstein
Subject: Please Oppose H.B. 1860

Apr 19, 2012

Representative Glen Klippenstein
State Capitol, Room 410A
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Dear Representative Klippenstein,

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to oppose House Bill
(H.B.) 1860. This bill, which would make it a crime to photograph or record video or sound of a farm without the farm owner’s consent, is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms. If signed into law, it would infringe on citizens’ rights to expose cruelty to animals.

Past investigations of factory farms resulted in criminal convictions of farm managers and workers found beating, sexually abusing, stomping on, kicking, and throwing animals. To watch the video footage and see why it is so important that citizens retain their freedom to document crimes against animals on factory farms and relay the evidence to law-enforcement authorities, please visit Meat.org.

Please don’t let the farming industry hide behind closed doors: Oppose H.B. 1860.

Thank you for your attention and for all that you do for Missourians.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kelly Garbato
[Address removed]

 
 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Glen.Klippenstein@house.mo.gov
Date: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM
Subject: RE: Please Oppose H.B. 1860
To: kelly.garbato@gmail.com

Kelly,
To say that this legislation is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms, shows extraordinary contempt for the vast majority of honorable people that actually know the real story and feed you.

Thank you for your e-mail.

Glen
Rep. Glen Klippenstein
5th District

 
 
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Vote, mofo’s, vote!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Rock The Vote - Empower Yourself - Take Part In Democracy

An important reminder for all the lovely American mofo’ers out there: please, if you can, remember to vote today! No matter your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, religious beliefs or party affiliation, it’s your responsibility as a citizen to participate in the democratic process. Globally, many people are denied this right; and, for many U.S. citizens, voting is an only recently-won right. Even if you write in Dennis Kucinich or your bestest dog friend in every race, vote! Abstention is interpreted as apathy, not protest; only by voting will your voice be heard.

FYI: according to Wiki, the following states offer some form of same-day voter registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC. If you live in any of these states but are not registered, show up at the polls anyhow, and register to vote on-site. If you’re not registered and thus not eligible to vote in this election cycle, register to vote today so that you’re prepared for the next election, “large” (national) or “small” (local).

Also, know your rights! Hit up the ACLU for a handy-dandy state-by-state guide to voting rights: http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights.

And your polling place! MoveOn.org has a polling place lookup (along with links to voting ID laws and contact info for legal help), but if you’d prefer something less partisan, Google Maps to the rescue!

Finally, a few personal pleas:

Arizona residents, please vote NO on PROP 109;
Arkansas residents, please vote NO on ISSUE NO. 1;
South Carolina residents, please vote NO on AMENDMENT 1;
Tennessee residents, please vote NO on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1.

All would establish fishing and hunting as constitutional “rights” in each state’s respective amendment. How fucked up is that?

Missouri residents, please vote YES on PROP B, which would improve conditions for some dogs enslaved in MO puppy mills. It’s far from perfect, but it’s an improvement.

North Dakota residents, please vote YES on MEASURE 2, which would make canned hunting illegal.

California residents, please vote YES on PROP 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state of CA.

For a full list of all 2010 ballot propositions, see Ballotpedia.

Is there something I’m forgetting? Tell us in the comments!

Please and thank you (and now back to our regularly scheduled VeganMoFo).

Updated to add: vegansaurus just published a pretty comprehensive, state-by-state ballot measure guide that you should totally check out! Also, if you happen to reside in CA, Marji’s Mina has a few suggestions for you, too.

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Book Review: President Obama Election 2008: Collection of Newspaper Front Pages by the Poynter Institute (2008)

Monday, January 19th, 2009

One for the History Books

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

Let me preface my review of PRESIDENT OBAMA: ELECTION 2008 (A COLLECTION OF NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES SELECTED BY THE POYNTER INSTITUTE) with a disclosure: I’m not a huge Obama fan. Not because I think he’s a secret Muslim(n), or because I’m afraid that he’ll turn America socialist and make all the heteros gay marry. On the contrary – I am way left of Obama on most issues. I voted for Kucinich in the primaries, McKinney/Clemente in the general election. While I’m relieved that Obama/Biden triumphed over McCain/Palin, I don’t have any delusions that President Obama will usher in a new era of American prosperity, or that he’s really an uber-progressive guy at heart. My review, then, is purely nonpartisan – after all, I’m reviewing an art/photography book, not a politician, right?

All that said, I requested a review copy of PRESIDENT OBAMA through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program because the 2008 elections were truly historic, whatever your political affiliations. I thought the book would make a nice keepsake, at best. At worst, I figured could regift it to my conservative, gun-loving father as a gag gift. Turns out, I think I’ll keep my copy of PRESIDENT OBAMA. It’s a gorgeous, full-color book, featuring 78 post-election day newspaper front pages from around the globe. The covers are arranged alphabetically, with local American newspapers grouped first (ordered by state; 42 states are represented), followed by national and then international papers. Placed inconspicuously beside each front page is a brief block of text explaining the paper and why it was chosen.

Many of the local American front pages follow the same format, with large, election-night photos of the Obama family (or portraits of Barack Obama) placed front and center. Here, it’s interesting to note how similar many of the headlines are; most feature some variation on the “hope,” “change,” or “yes we can” campaign slogans. Some of the media border eerily on idol worship, depicting Obama’s face on money or working his campaign logo (the red, white and blue “O”) into the text of their headlines. Collectively, the local media appears to have succumbed, more or less, to the cult of personality surrounding Obama: Welcome to Obamanation! Certainly, November 4, 2008 was a historic point in American history; sitting at home, I cried along with much of America as I watched the returns come in. Still, Obama’s staff couldn’t have created more laudatory coverage if they tried. After eight years of capitulation to Bush, I can only hope that this isn’t indicative of the sort of “hard-hitting” reporting we can expect from the mainstream media in the next four years.

The international front pages offer a bit more diversity; Vienna’s DIE PRESSE, for example, features a photo of Obama surrounded by smaller pictures of local reaction to the election results, while the word “change” – translated into 24 languages – steals the cover of Belgium’s DE MORGEN. In the post-Bush world, it’s quite refreshing to see global citizens celebrating American events, instead of protesting them!

I guess my only complaint is that the Poynter Institute chose not to include any conservative / right-of-center news media in this volume. Granted, dissenting or negative coverage wouldn’t exactly jibe with the laudatory tone of this volume, but still – this was a divisive and polarized election season (what with all the scare-mongering, race baiting, appeals to misogyny and cries of “terra-ist!”), and a few token voices of resistance might make the collection more complete – and historically accurate. While most November 5th coverage was no doubt respectful (if not outright celebratory), the editors did choose to include a few liberal alterna-weeklies – so methinks they could have unearthed one or two unhappy conservative rags, too.

Overall, PRESIDENT OBAMA makes for a nice coffee table book – just make sure you go all out and purchase the hardcover edition. My paperback was a tad bent when it arrived. :(

(This review was originally published on Amazon and Library Thing, and is also available on Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

Oh, Baby.

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Blub alert! Grab a box of Kleenex and the nearest doggy (or kitty) before watching this video about Baby, an ex-puppy mill poodle who lost a leg due to the abuse she received during her nine years as a “breeder.”

Her human, Jana Kohl – who authored a book about Baby’s ordeal called A Rare Breed of Lovewrites:

Like all the breeding dogs, Baby was tattooed with a number and had her vocal cords cut so the owners wouldn’t have to listen to her cries to be let out of her cage. Her leg was amputated after her rescue due to the abuse she suffered. On the day Baby was scheduled to be killed – because she had gotten too old to breed – she was rescued by a passing stranger who was dubbed the “Drive-by Angel.” Eventually Baby found a forever home with author Jana Kohl, who was inspired to tell the world about her ordeal and hopefully reform this cruel industry.

Baby famously posed with President-elect Barack Obama; the duo is currently featured on the cover of American Dog magazine.

Let’s hope that the Obama family thinks of poor Baby – victimized and exploited, caged and enslaved, her babies and life stolen from her in the name of corporate profits and human wants – when they consider whether they should adopt and/or buy a dog for daughters Sasha and Malia.

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Tagged:

The Perfect Cup of Tea

Monday, January 5th, 2009

2009-01-05 - The Perfect Cup of Tea - 0004

Mix 1/2 cup of Silk’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice soy milk with 1/2 cup water. Microwave until hot-hot-hot – about two and a half minutes – and then throw in one or two bags of your favorite tea. Let steep for five minutes, add a bit of sugar to taste, and enjoy!

I’m sipping on a cup now (Bigelow’s Earl Grey Green Tea; I prefer their Green Tea with Peach, but I’m plum out), trying my very bestest to find my calm zen place, after hearing rumors on the internets that Obama plans to both adopt and buy a dog, in an incredibly stupid attempt to play even the most trivial of issues* both ways. And no, the run-on sentences definitely aren’t originating from my zen place.

For what it’s worth, I’m so glad I voted my conscience this election cycle. Otherwise, I probably would have thrown my mug through the front window by now.

* Relatively speaking, and totally removed from the decision’s context and long-term consequences.

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Tagged:

Kinship Circle: October-December 2008 Updates (Parts 1 & 2)

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 24, 2008 12:08 AM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: OCT-DEC 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: OCT – DEC 2008 / KINSHIP CIRCLE UPDATES
YEAR END WRAP UP – Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008

1. Donna Karan Announces Fur-Free 2009 Lines
2. Dragged Pit Bull Is Healing And Soon Adoptable
3. Cat Killing Boyfriend Walks Free
4. Records Show Big Industry Planned AETA All Along
5. Obama Picks: The Good & The Not So Good
6. L.A. Assistant Fire Chief Charged In Karley’s Killing
7. Netherlands Ban Products Made Of Cape Fur Seals
8. Prempro Maker, Wyeth, Pays For Fake Articles
9. Report On Hallmark/Westland Downer Scandal
10. Eddie Lama’s Oasis Sanctuary Closes
11. Michael Vick: Early Release & Back To NFL?

PART 2: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008
RESEND PART #2 TO ME: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

12. Hero’s Plan To Save Wild Horses Moves Forward
13. Until Export Is Banned, More Horses Killed
14. Rodeo “Horse Tripping” Outlawed In Phoenix
15. Houston: Biggest Dogfight Bust In U.S. History
16. Activists Vow To Overturn Navy’s Use Of Sonar
17. Oxford Univ. Lab To Use Thousands Of Animals
18. Prop 2 Passes For Calif. Farmed Animals
19. EU Proposal To Ban Great Apes In Experiments
20. Ringling Bros. Big Fat Federal Lawsuit
21. Alaska Whales: 1 vs. Gov. Sarah Palin: 0

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Kinship Circle: Animals Would Like Obama To Know…

Monday, December 1st, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 29, 2008 6:44 PM
Subject: Animals Would Like Obama To Know…

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST AS WRITTEN

11/29/08: Animals Would Like President-Elect Obama To Know…

ONLY YOU CAN BE THEIR VOICE:

1. Dogs Respectfully Demand A Rescued Presidential Pooch
2. Farmed Animals Hope For An Administration That Acts In Their Interest
3. Wild Animals Want An End To Lethal “Management”
4. What’s Your Big Idea For Change?

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Silken Tofu for Nader!

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Stephen Colbert weighs in on the passage of California’s Proposition 2 on Wednesday’s post-election ThreatDown:

Appropriately, “Food Rights” is Threat #2, about three minutes in.

Videos in this post

The Colbert Report, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
ThreatDown – Black Presidents
American voters must not watch TV, or they would know that every time a black man is president something terrible happens. (04:44)

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Tagged:

Kinship Circle: New Day For Animals? Ban On Dog Racing, Prop 2 Passes…

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM
Subject: New Day For Animals? Ban On Dog Racing, Prop 2 Passes…

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

ANIMAL PROTECTION LEGISLATION
11/5/08: A New Day For Animals? Dog Racing Ban, Prop 2 Passes…

2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Dog Racing Ban

Massachusetts: Dog Racing Ban Phased In By 2010

November 4, 2008: One vote went to the dogs, literally, as Massachusetts citizens voted yes on Question 3, approving The Greyhound Protection Act.

The majority vote of “yes” on Ballot Question 3 in Massachusetts means that greyhound racing will be banned. The existing dog racing tracks in Massachusetts will be ordered to shut down by January 1, 2010, as commercial dog racing is slowly “phased out” in the Baystate. Massachusetts Ballot Question 3 passed, with 56% voting “yes” on Question 3, and 44% voting “no.” A majority vote was required to pass The Greyhound Protection Act….

California: Prop 2 Passes!

2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Prop 2 Passes!

LT PHOTO: http://www.yesonprop2.com/

2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Prop 2 Passes! 02

RT PHOTO: Sent by KC member Barb Dunsmore

FROM FARM SANCTUARY: In a historic victory, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, a landmark measure that bans factory farming confinement systems — battery cages, veal crates and gestation crates — in the state by 2015. By a vote of more than 60%, Californians sent a clear message to big agribusiness that cruelty to animals is unacceptable…

FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE: The California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act passed in the largest agricultural state in the U.S., particularly for egg-laying hens. Some feel this ban on the most egregious cruelty doesn’t go far enough, as animals remain unable to be themselves in a natural setting…and are still drugged, mishandled, slaughtered, and consumed.

But clearly — the issue of how animals become meals has entered mainstream consciousness. Of equal importance: The people have a voice. Despite the millions agribusiness lobbyists spent on overturning this initiative, it passed. The ballot initiative system, fueled by grassroots stamina, worked.

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happysadsickangryfearfulhopeful

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

He wasn’t my candidate, but I’m relieved that today, the Wednesday-morning quarterbacks are discussing how President-elect Barack Obama triumphed over Senator McCain – if only because the other alternative is too terrifying to consider.

I hope that Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain will begin to heal the deep racial divisions that still exist in this country.

But I fear that rewarding a campaign based at least in part on rank, naked misogyny will only encourage it to grow, fester and spread.

I want to believe that an Obama administration will respect and fight for the civil and human rights of all: people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, people of disability, people of all faiths – and particularly those of none. Non-human animals and the environment. Global citizens, not just American citizens.

But I’m fucking terrified that he’ll throw us all under the bus, in the name of “populism” and “reaching across the aisle.” All those “special interest groups” President Obama has called upon to converge as one – does he expect us to sacrifice our well-being for “the greater good”?

Because I won’t. A condescending pat on the head simply won’t do. Goodbye to all that shit.

And yet, blub. This is history, in the making. On more than one level, I’m so very proud to be an American today.

On other levels…not so much.

I don’t know what to think or feel or be this morning.

I voted.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

2008-11-04 - This Bitch Voted - 0004

Mr. Bitch and I headed out to the polling place around 10:45. Anticipating at least an hour’s wait, I brought a copy of the latest Bitch magazine. We even parked a ways down the street from the courthouse, since we didn’t want to cruise around looking for a spot, and wanted to save the good parking for elderly and handicapped voters anyhow.

Alas, although the small room allocated for elections was crowded, there was no line to speak of. The whole process took all of 15 minutes, start to finish. The hardest part was penciling in my write-ins with a marker. (Ugh!)

Clinton County has paper ballots that you feed into a scanner; as it registers your ballot, it shows you what number voter you are. This bitch was voter #782 at her polling place. That sounds like a low number, but not so much when you consider that our county is only home to 18,979 people, including kids under 18. Given that there’s only one polling place for the entire county, and residents of different areas received different ballots, it’s possible that I was only voter #782 in my area. Either way, I hope the number reflects a high voter turnout this year.

Anyway, I prepared for a long wait – downed a bowl of pasta for lunch before leaving, brought some reading material, crated Miss Kaylee, the nervous pee-er – so now it looks like I have the afternoon free. I’ve been experiencing waves of nausea (zomg, what if McCain wins!?) and sadness (someone close to me passed away last night) all day, so methinks I’ll take the dogs for a walk (which means three rounds of walks, since I have five dogs and can only handle two at a time). It’s a gorgeous day out, and tomorrow a cold front’s supposed to come through and bring the first snow fall of the season. Better take advantage of the warm weather while I can. Plus, distractions – I needs ’em.

For those voting in Missouri: if you plan on writing in a candidate, you can find Missouri state regulations on write-in candidates here. I double-checked ’em on a whim before leaving; the write-in regulations, though a little stricter than I initially thought, didn’t affect any of my choices. (McKinney/Clemente, if you’re wondering, did file the necessary paperwork to be considered viable write-in candidates.) I mostly voted a Democratic ticket, though I did vote for one libertarian candidate and wrote in two candidates, one Dem, one Green.

And yes, I voted my conscience.

I’m not sorry.

(Crossposted from.)

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Tagged:

VOTE.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Today’s the day! Get yer arses to your polling places, people!

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Kelly’s Clinton County, MO Election Day Picks

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Here I am, less than 12 hours from going to the polls, and I’m just now pouring over the Clinton County ballot and making my picks. Blame it on election burnout. Plus, despite all my blustering back in August, it looks like I’ll mostly be voting a straight Democratic ticket – there simply aren’t any left-wing third party candidates running in MO. McKinney/Clemente aren’t even on the ballot for president and vp – though Nader is – so it looks like I’ll have to write them in. I mean, jeez, if I’m going to “throw” my vote away on a third party candidate, I’d rather it be someone I actually like. Libertarians and Constitution Party members…not so much.

Anyway, my picks below. Since I did most of my research for the primary, I’ll mostly link back to what I wrote in August in order to explain my choices. At the end of this post I’ve also gathered links to various progressive scorecards and endorsements, so you can research your candidates and be your own decider person.

President and Vice President

x John McCain / Sarah Palin (R)
x Barack Obama / Joe Biden (D)
x Bob Barr / Wayne A. Root (Lib)
x Chuck Baldwin / Darrell Castle (Cst)
x Ralph Nader / Matt Gonzalez (Ind)

Though I’d rather vote my conscience as opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils, I’m still waffling. Every time CNN runs the AC360 segment on Supreme Court nominations, I freak a bit and start leaning towards Obama. Then I remember that he initially supported Roberts, and balk.

Ultimately, I suspect I won’t know how I’ll vote until I’m actually in the voting booth. I dislike the Dem ticket for a variety of reasons, some of which involve Obama’s policy positions (his flip-flopping on progressive issues such as FISA, offshore drilling, voter disenfranchisement in Michigan and Florida; his weakness on reproductive rights, including his support for restrictions on late-term abortions; his extension of Bush’s faith-based initiatives, etc.) , others which are more global and have little-to-nothing to do with the actual candidate(s) (i.e., the corrupt, anti-democratic nature of the two-party system; the rank misogyny that permeates the Democratic party).

Yet, the prospect of a McCain/Palin administration scares the red sauce outta me.

I plan on voting for the Green party by penciling in McKinney/Clemente, though I could still be scared toward the Obama/Biden ticket.

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Last-minute voting resources…

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

After much hemming and hawing (blame it on election burnout), I finally filled out my sample ballot this afternoon. You can read up on my picks here; crossposted below is the “Additional Resources” section, which links to 2008 scorecards and endorsements from liberal/progressive organizations, as well as a roster of voter’s rights resources.

Know of a resource I overlooked? Drop it in the comments!

Additional Resources

Scorecards & Endorsements

AFL-CIO – Working Families VOte 2008
http://www.aflcio.org/issues/politics/

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – ACLU Congressional Scorecard
http://action.aclu.org/site/VoteCenter?page=voteList

Darfur Scorecard
http://www.darfurscores.org/

Environmental Defense Fund – Green Energy Voter Guide, 2008
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=28228

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – Congressional Scorecard
http://www.hrc.org/11424.htm

Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) – 2008 Humane Scorecard: The 110th Congress in Review
http://www.fund.org/pdfs/2008_humane_scorecard.pdf

Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) – 2008 Voter Guide
http://www.fund.org/voter_guide/

League of Conservation Voters (LCV) – 2008 National Environmental Scorecard
http://www.lcv.org/scorecard/

League of Conservation Voters (LCV) – Candid Answers ’08: Voter Guide for the Environment
http://lcv.candidanswers.org/

NARAL – Elections 2008 / Pro-Choice Voter Guides
http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/elections2008/

National Organization of Women – NOW PAC
http://www.nowpacs.org/

Planned Parenthood Action Center
http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/

RH Reality Check – 2008 Election and Reproductive Health
http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/election-2008

Secular Coalition for America – U.S. Congressional Scorecards
http://www.secular.org/scorecard/

The Sierra Club – Election 2008
http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/

Wikipedia – List of Barack Obama presidential campaign endorsements, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Barack_Obama_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2008

Wikipedia – List of John McCain presidential campaign endorsements, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_John_McCain_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2008

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Uh, no.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Just, no.

null

Firstly, I’m not a “girl.”

Nor am I bait, a prop, or an object to be used for your political ends.

It’s nice to know, though, in a historic election year that nearly saw the first viable female presidential candidate, and did bring the second female VP candidate on a major party ticket – well, it’s nice to know what I’m really good for: fucking. It’s all about the lady bits, am I right?

And yes, I realize that the ad was produced by four girls women; that doesn’t make it any less sexist. Because, um, women can be sexist, too.

This sort of misogyny – emanating from the left, and directed at all women, be they conservatives (Palin), Republicans, Democrats (Clinton & the so-called PUMAs), or progressives (non-Obamabots, i.e., me) – is one of many reasons why I won’t be voting for Obama on November 4.

Or renewing my Bust subscription.

This election cycle cannot be over fast enough.

Kinship Circle: Updates, August-October 2008

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: AUG-OCT 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG- OCT 2008
1. Dogfighting Don’s First Day In Louisiana Court
2. Ringling Goes To Federal Trial October 20, 2008?
3. Dog Poisoner Gets 30 Jail Days + Counseling
4. HSUS Sues United Egg Producers
5. Bush Admin Objects, But Polar Bears Get Habitat
6. Our Visit To The Vice Prez Debate, St. Louis, MO
7. After AETA: Another Law To Silence Activists
8. Prop 2 Looks Good As Nov. 4 Elections Approach
9. Bush Admin VS. Gray Wolves: GOP Losing
10. Politics Trumps Mercy: Still No Downer Ban

PART 2: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
11. Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama
12. Police Sgt. Acquitted In Dog’s Death In Locked Car
13. Who Dumped HLS Animal Killers Lately?
14. Shooting Mayor’s Dogs Is “Justified.” Huh?
15. Freedom For Unlawfully Jailed Austrian Activists
16. 8 Little Lambs Left A Lab – To Live At A Sanctuary
17. New Development Proves: IAMS Kills
18. Nepal Bans Monkey Export To Research Labs
19. Korea to Classify Dogs as Livestock
20. NJ: Landmark Legal Victory For Farm Animals
21. EU Proposes Total Ban On Some Seal Goods
22. Calif. Law Bans Slaughter Of Downers
23. Hits & Misses For Animals

RE: 10/10/08: Don’t Let Soldiers Kill Beloved Dog In Iraq

NO ANSWERS YET, BUT SEE: Puppy love denied by U.S. army rules
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/10/14/7080146-ap.html

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Piglets Of The Flood – Iowa Rescues Give Birth

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 2:01 PM
Subject: Piglets Of The Flood – Iowa Rescues Give Birth

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

10/14/08: UPDATE: Piglets Of The Flood – Iowa Rescues Give Birth

DATE: 7/28/08…9/9/08
SOURCE: Midwest Flood Pig Rescue Blog, http://floodrescue2008.blogspot.com/
Images From A Flood, http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/relief/08-07-03.html

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-14 - Piglets Of The Flood 01

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-14 - Piglets Of The Flood 02

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FARM SANCTUARY, http://www.farmsanctuary.org

FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE

When Iowa floods saturated nearly 80% of the state this summer, Iowa’s Veterinary Response Coordinator enlisted Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network to staff staging areas at Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City and Lee County Fairgrounds in Donnellson, Iowa. By June 14, 2008 we were in daily conference calls with the state EOC (Emergency Operations Center). We contacted Best Friends Rapid Response Team and asked Iowa officials to form an agreement with them (MOU) for water rescue in Louisa, Des Moines, Lee, Johnson or Linn counties…. Over June and July, Kinship Circle volunteers traveled to Iowa for emergency pet sheltering, transport and rescue operations.

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-14 - Piglets Of The Flood 03

PHOTO: Molly Wald, Best Friends, http://www.bestfriends.org

IN THE MEANTIME, PIGS WERE EVERYWHERE…Adrift from flooded hog farms, some still encased in crates. While 40,000 were pre-evacuated, an estimated 4,000 (or more) pigs died. Some who’d scrambled atop levees were shot dead by officials concerned they’d ruin sandbags. Many more drowned. Kinship Circle contacted Farm Sanctuary to ask their Emergency Rescue Team to come to Iowa. KC volunteers Cheri Deatsch, Bob Rude, David Halperin and Craig Hill assisted Farm Sanctuary in initial pig rescues. Eventually “Operation Pig” grew so large, a coalition of Farm Sanctuary, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), American Humane Association (AHA), and Animal Rescue League of Boston recovered pigs from levee systems and treated many for severe sunburn, dehydration, etc. at a triage site in Iowa.

IOWA FLOOD RESCUE PHOTOS & TALES:
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/relief/08-07-03.html

(More below the fold…)

She shoots puppies, doesn’t she?

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Writer-slash-environmentalist Nick Jans gives us an Alaskan’s view of Sarah Palin and her run for the White House.

It’s a great piece – really, I could excerpt the whole damn thing – but this piece in particular is worth noting:

Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

Sarah Palin, “my friends,” is a “pro-life,” God-fearing evangelical. And yet (according to her and hers), it’s atheists like moi who lack morals.

Anyway, Jans explains how Palin can claim to be a genuine Alaskan while simultaneously working to destroy the land she calls home, vis-à-vis her policy of pillaging the environment, to hell with the consequences:

In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

Go read the whole thing.

Note to the rest of the Salon staff: this is a perfect example of how to criticize a female politician without resorting to misogyny and sexist slurs. It’s the policies, stupid! (As opposed to, you know, the vag-n-mams.)

(Crossposted from.)

———————–

Tagged:

Kinship Circle: ACT/ Palin’s Pro-Death Platform

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 3:19 PM
Subject: ACT/ Palin¹s Pro-Death Platform

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

9/27/08: Palin’s Pro-Death Platform On Animals

Next Thursday, October 2, Washington University in St. Louis hosts the vice presidential debate featuring Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden. With the spotlight on vice-prez nominees, you have a great opportunity to send comments to newspapers, blogs and discussions. Let voters know about Governor Sarah Palin’s relentless assault on wildlife and environment.

Whatever your political affiliation, Palin is clearly NOT the candidate for animals….and animals are the focus of this list.

Below are talking points and ideas for your comments, but NEVER COPY AND SEND A FORM LETTER to a newspaper or other media. As soon as an “organized campaign” is suspected, comments are discarded.

======================

SARAH PALIN: THE CLIFF NOTES

======================

Top Facts Everyone Must Know About Sarah Palin
http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm

(More below the fold…)