Nerdy Reminders

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Part of me broke on the day of the election. Hillary Clinton quoted that verse in her concession speech. While I would have gone on if she hadn’t, those words have sometimes given me the ability on some days to not snap at someone or not snark or dismiss or even just to stop crying and get up. I’m not really religious anymore but I went to a Presbyterian church for many years and went through confirmation. Even as an adult many of the ethics underlying and certainly the words of Christianity resonate with me.

I work at a company making a laser cutter so I decided after the election to make something to carry with me to remind me of my values. I’d been planning to make an IDIC for a while. So I made this on the Glowforge:

'IDIC necklace'

Toward a feminist future

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day which is a much bigger deal in every country that isn’t the United States. I only learned about it as an adult at a company with offices all around the world. It’s not really surprising that a day created by socialists is ignored here. This year in the United States, a “women’s strike” or “a day without women” is being organized for the same day. I guess we can thank one of the more openly misogynist political campaigns and administrations for all the newly activated feminist agitation.

I feel weird about a strike, even in solidarity. I like my job. I’m at no risk of losing my job (nor have I been for a long time). I’m appreciated at work. I’m paid well. I believe the men who run my company try to be aware of the contributions of women, both in our workplace and elsewhere in society. It seems hollow for me to not be at work for the day as my absence won’t teach much of anything. Working in tech, often it feels like my presence in a room is an uncomfortable statement. Plus we have a lot to do at work and I want to work on it.

We should accept more refugees not make it harder for them

We already require refugees to go through absurd hoops. We admitted just barely over 12,000 people last year. I say admitted because clearly many Americans do not wish to welcome them. The Syrian war — which partially exists because of our war in Iraq — has caused millions of refugees to leave Syria (plus millions more who have had to move within Syria). Most of the external refugees have gone to neighboring countries and some to Europe.

March and Call and Write!

I know a lot of folks don’t like protest marches or don’t think they are useful. But they are IF you then get more engaged.

Call and write your elected officials. You can have more impact locally in a lot of cases so don’t just call people in national office! You’ve probably got a mayor, city councillors, maybe a county council, probably multiple state legislators, a governor! They all matter a lot and people are generally even less engaged in state and local politics. Pick a couple issues (or even one) you care a lot about and find out what they are all doing, then call and write.

Why I am Marching Tomorrow

First, to get this out of the way: I am not marching “against Trump”.

Now, obviously I believe he holds odious notions. He thinks poorly of women and has likely assaulted more than he can count on his hands. His words make it clear he thinks all black people are a racist caricature from television. He is explicitly anti-Christian in his words against Muslims and immigrants. What would Jesus do? The one I studied in Bible school would insist I welcome Muslims and immigrants, not keep or kick them out. The list of his failures before he even takes office is long.

This week in Congress, Jan 3–6, 2017

In case you were under the misapprehension that Trump is the anomaly — that the things he’s advocated and said are beyond acceptability in national politics and don’t represent the Republican party or that Republican leaders just went along with him because they hope he’ll rubber stamp their different agenda — here are a few things that happened in the first week of the new Congressional session:

  • A bill was introduced (versions in both houses) to replace the national personal and corporate income taxes, estate taxes and employment taxes with a national consumption tax. All policy I’ve ever seen on this topic suggests the rate would have to be incredibly high and would be extremely regressive in order to come anywhere near to replacing income taxes.

Tech Execs Bow Down

So this happened:

'Deray tweet: Their faces say it all.'

'Shaft tweet: #trump does not meet the ethical bar for employment and would be fired for his actions, words and deeds from all of the firms represented'

My frustrated mid-day comment after foolishly opening twitter to find out about this tech company leader meeting with the President-elect was to ask:

'All of those retweets. I realize we often have to work with people we don’t like or who did wrong things. But is there a line not to cross?'

A friend commented that this is happening and folks need to work with him and some work from the inside and so on. And yes, of course that’s correct. But I didn’t hear most of these people loudly criticizing anything he said during his campaign (or not very often). Or loudly criticizing what he said he wants to do. Or demanding Republican leaders show some standards.

This is not normal

I ran across this tweet yesterday:

'Jeff Bezos: I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.'

I understand the sentiment to reject the idea of wanting an incoming president to fail. To instead hope that he will perform better than his campaign would suggest. But this particular form does not name or condemn the racism, misogyny and general bigotry that propelled him to office. This tweet implicitly endorses that bigotry. It normalizes that bigotry. It says you can be elected to the highest office of the United States while routinely saying bigoted things and promising exclusionary and racist policies. And many will just make nice and pretend it didn’t happen.

You stand for bigotry, Republican Leadership

You stand for bigotry. There are only six days left till the election to stand against it. Six days for you to stand up and be leaders. Yes, it’s silly for me to expect or care that you will. Yet I do. Trump is a symptom. He’s not the disease. He may be incompetent, crude and bigoted. But most everything he’s said is something that your colleagues have said, perhaps in coded terms, for quite some time. Rejecting Trump is not about Trump losing. Rejecting Trump is about you starting to guide people away from electoral politics based on bigotry before it really does go too far, if it hasn’t already.

'St. Louis Arch'

Ballot Guide 2016

No time for clever subtitles

Oof! I’ve been busy. Startup life is a lot of work. A toddler is a lot of work (even if my partner does the biggest share). But I also decided to get involved in politics more directly than writing my reps and started going to the 37th legislative district Democrats meeting, started volunteering for the Washington Coordinated Campaign and Hillary for WA, became a precinct committee officer (PCO), and then keep adding stuff to it.

So while I’ve been keeping up with politics, I haven’t really felt like prioritizing blogging. So here’s my ballot guide / endorsements. I don’t see why only newspapers or cheeky alt weeklies should have all the fun. If you’re here, you like reading me or at least hate-reading me, so maybe you want to know why I’m voting how I am. Plus, it forces me to think about each race carefully in order to maybe write something pithy and humorous. Even if you’re not in Washington, you might enjoy hearing about our state-wide initiatives! Those are always just spectacular (not as spectactular as California).