mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Cheat Sheet
19 - YES
20 - YES
21 - NO
22 - NO
23 - NO
24 - YES
25 - YES
26 - NO
27 - NO
Howdy, voters! It’s election time! Time to get informed! Time to offset the votes of the ignorant, the greedy, and the mean — hopefully coming up with a few votes extra on this side so that We the People collectively pass up the opportunity to inflict grievous harm upon our beloved state.

Mad Props is your 100% independent guide to California’s ballot propositions. Here are our suggestions for how you should vote, and why. (And remember, by “suggestions” I mean “vote this way, or you’re part of the problem!”) more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 2:51pm :: 2 responses
Friday, 21 May 2010
Cheat Sheet
13 - YES
14 - NO
15 - YES
16 - NO
17 - NO
It’s election time! Once again, the people of California have an opportunity to inflict grievous harm upon their beloved state through the initiative process, and once again, Mad Props is here to stand in the way. Confused by the ballot propositions? I’ll cut through the bullshit and tell you which box you should check — and why. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 4:24pm :: 1 response
Friday, 01 May 2009
Cheat Sheet
1A - NO
1B - YES
1C - NO
1D - NO
1E - NO
1F - NO
Oohwee! Look, folks! It’s a Special Election! Meaning, in this case, the people of California have a special, bonus chance to inflict grievous harm upon their beloved state via the initiative process. Is this your first time with Mad Props? Then just know that as a native Californian and lifelong student of politics, I’ve come to view statewide ballot measures as something of a menace. In several elections, I’ve voted NO on every single proposition; any given measure has a very steep uphill climb to convince me it’s worth a YES. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 4:38pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 13 October 2008
It’s election season, which means the people of California once again have the chance to inflict grievous harm upon their beloved state via the initiative process. As I explained in the first edition of Mad Props, as a native Californian and lifelong student of politics, I’ve come to view statewide ballot measures as something of a menace. In several elections, I’ve voted NO on every single proposition; any given measure has a very steep uphill climb to convince me it’s worth a YES. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 2:13pm :: 8 responses
Monday, 04 February 2008
There is a ‘politics’ category on this blog for a simple reason: I am a lifelong student of the subject. This is partly due to circumstance. My father is a professor of political science — meaning, for instance, that back in the 80s, when I was wee, come a Friday night, the household’s singular television would spend half an hour tuned to PBS’s Washington Week in Review before we could move on to the “good stuff” (like Night Flight). But over time, dammit, political and current-events programming became the “good stuff” as far as I was concerned, and so it was, when I got to college, that studying literature wasn’t enough; I had to study literature and political science — thus leading to the unforgettable moment on the phone when dear old dad laughed and noted that I had chosen “not one, but two completely useless majors.” Ahem. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 12:04am :: 7 responses
Thursday, 20 September 2007
So the conservative jackass mayor of the conservative jackass town where I grew up turns out not to be quite such a conservative jackass after all. Two years ago, when running for mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders was firmly supportive of civil unions and firmly against gay marriage, which played well with the conservative jackasses who populate the city. Yesterday, in a moving, tearful speech, he explained he has had a “change of heart,” and revealed for the first time that this issue hits home for him:
“I have close family members and friends who are a member of the gay and lesbian community. Those folks include my daughter Lisa, as well as members of my personal staff.

“I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones — for each of them to find a mate whom they love deeply and who loves them back; someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s experiences.
more...
posted to /politics at 3:20pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
“And I encourage you all to go shopping more.” — President George W. Bush in his year-end press conference this morning
“Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And, be happy.” — OHM, the mechanized prophet of the totalitarian state in THX-1138
posted to /politics at 10:20am :: 0 responses
Friday, 10 November 2006
Longtime readers of this blog know that I think the Chron’s Jon Carroll is the finest newspaper columnist in the land. So I was bummed this morning to read Carroll’s latest, in which he returns from vacation only to pour cold water all over those of us who feel uplifted by the results of this week’s election. “Nothing has changed,” he writes: “Same president, same policies, same corruption, same continuing embarrassments.”

Well, no. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Sorry. “First, a lot of those losing Republican incumbents will immediately move down K Street and become lobbyists,” Carroll says. “They will make substantially more money, and they will get to do essentially the same job: they will write the laws that govern our nation.” I tell you, they may try, but they’re going to be fighting a hard uphill battle. Nancy Pelosi has the destruction of the Republicans’ K Street Machine very much in mind. Carroll also suggests global warming will still be treated as “alarmist nonsense.” I don’t think so, not since Barbara Boxer now gets to define Congress’s agenda in this matter. more...
posted to /politics at 11:10am :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 08 November 2006
“I thought we were going to do fine yesterday. Shows what I know.”
— President George W. Bush, speaking of yesterday’s midterm elections in a press conference earlier today
posted to /politics at 4:08pm :: 1 response
Thursday, 02 November 2006
1. The new Sequoia e-voting machines set to debut in my home county of Alameda next week apparently have a rather awful flaw: “Just push the yellow button and you can vote as many times as you want.” No kidding. And of course, the brain-dead (or are they willfully devious?) public officials who have adopted this horrid technology are still missing the point. They say they’re going to ensure that poll workers watch the machines all day — to make sure there’s no funny business from the voters. Apparently nobody remembers Florida in 2000, which taught us that it’s not the voters you have to worry about, but the election officials themselves, who now have another tool in their arsenal should they decide to rig an election and leave no evidence behind. This is frightening as all hell. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 has proven to be exactly what you would expect from the current Republican regime — a boondoggle for greedy/evil corporations that want government money (heaps of it) for producing shitty products or providing shitty services. We’re seeing it all over the map. Halliburton in Iraq. Various companies providing expensive, ineffective machines for the “security theater” ridiculousness at our airports. And then companies like Diebold and Sequoia, who really take the cake because they’re not just providing shitty solutions — they’re undermining our very democracy. Three cheers for the American Way.

2. Heard this joke last night, am loving it. How many Bush administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, as there is nothing wrong with the lightbulb — as a matter of fact, the situation with the lightbulb is improving every day. And it’s hard work. But any talk of a lack of illumination is liberal, Democrat spin. Besides, you think the Democrats have a plan to replace the lightbulb? They want us to just live in the dark! That’s what you’re voting for if you vote for a Democrat — you’re voting for darkness. Why do you hate our freedom?
posted to /politics at 12:02pm :: 1 response
Monday, 23 January 2006
Molly Ivins’s latest piece — a barnstormer about why she won’t support Hillary in ‘08 — actually has me feeling better about our country than anything I’ve read in a good long while:
… The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush’s tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes. The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do “whatever it takes” to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax.
posted to /politics at 10:23am :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 09 November 2005
On the ballot I filled out yesterday for our Special Election, there were only eight items: the eight statewide propositions. (There were no local issues in Oakland.) I gleefully went to my polling place and electronically checked “NO” eight times. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at the ballot box. It felt shockingly good. And I wasn’t doing this just because I think the initiative system is terribly out of control — none of the props were worth supporting. Every single last damn one of them had fatal flaws, even the ones that good folks managed to sneak onto Arnold’s Ballot of Evil.

I awoke this morning to hear on the radio that all eight measures went down in flames. So for the first time in my life, the complete results of an election matched my own votes exactly. How much you wanna bet that never happens again?
posted to /politics at 2:09pm :: 1 response
Thursday, 13 October 2005
In 1997, in a handwritten note to Harriet Miers, George W. Bush wrote:
P.S. No more public scatology
[spotted at Boing Boing]
posted to /politics at 11:13am :: 1 response
Friday, 22 July 2005
Troubletown’s E-Z Guide to Today’s Economy seems accurate, and is a perfect encapsulation of the economic reasons why fleeing this country might be a good idea. (I’m still looking for a nice encapsulation of the cultural reasons getting the hell out sounds like a better idea all the time…)

[spotted at Robot Wisdom. Wanna learn more? Read this from Molly Ivins.]
posted to /politics at 11:22am :: 0 responses
Monday, 16 May 2005
Have you made up your mind on John Bolton, W’s nominee to represent us at the United Nations? Even if you have, you won’t believe this 90-second QuickTime video of Bolton first stating his view that “there is no United Nations” and then proceeding to go absolutely apeshit when someone (in this case, a very mild-mannered individual) has the audacity to politely disagree with him in a public forum.

This guy is both a moron and an ass. It will be a very sad thing if the Senate confirms him. There is no place in diplomacy for people who lose their cool and begin shouting when confronted with opposing ideas. Diplomacy is all about working with people when ideas clash. That’s why we call it DIPLOMACY, dammit!

[spotted, oddly enough, at The Huffington Post]
posted to /politics at 4:16pm :: 1 response
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