Thursday, March 31, 2016


I'm a Democrat.  In every election, and by that I mean literally every November since I turned 18 not just every four years, I have voted along the Democratic party line with a few exceptions where the Democrat was challenged from the left.  I am a Democrat not because I embrace their corporate kowtowing, or their cynical election strategies, but because we live in a two party political system and the party whose candidates come closest to my political views is the Democratic Party.  I have spent a lot of energy arguing with friends and acquaintances about the merits of Democrats over Republicans and challenging the myth that both parties are essentially the same.  And while I concede that if your only concept of elections is November every four years, you're more right than you are wrong.  Which is why primaries are so important and everyone who complains about the status quo should take steps to vote in primaries every single year.

During the primaries, voters have the opportunity to select a candidate whose views approximate their own.  For years my response to those who claim that Democrats and Republicans are all the same has been to ask if they participated in a primary contest.  And that is the reason for the similarities between the general election candidates.  The primary is where voters have the ability to move what their party stands for.  It is only during the primaries that Democrats, or like-minded independents, can push the party away from the policies that have hollowed out the middle class, incarcerated millions of black and brown bodies, and result in deadly and destructive military actions overseas.  

By watching the Cables, reading the news, or speaking with people about politics, it would seem that nearly everyone is angry about the status quo, which begs the question: why doesn't shit change?  I think the simple and obvious answer is the anemic turnout that is typical of a primary election.  We've all heard how low voter turnout is for general elections with just shy of 55% of voting age Americans participating in the 2012 general election. If that number sounds low, it is miles above a typical mid-term election with 2014 seeing lowest turnout since World War II (33.9%).  Even lower than mid-term election turnout is the number of electors who show up for primaries.  With so few people deciding the names that appear on the November ballots, it's no surprise that both parties tend to nominate people with similar backgrounds, world views, and policy ideas.  Sure, each party has its own issues that differentiate them for the voting public such as the Democrats' beliefs that LGBT Americans should be treated as people or the Republicans' insistence that a 2% increase in the top marginal tax rate is Hitler, but on the major issues over which elected officials will actually make decisions, top ticket candidates from both parties have been very similar.

Democrats were angry at President George W. Bush (R) for the war in Iraq, but President Obama (D) toppled the government in Libya and has, intentionally or unintentionally, provided weapons and resources to ISIS aligned groups in Syria's bloody civil war.  When it comes to targeted assassinations, many of which have killed civilians and some of which have killed American citizens, the Democrat leads by a mile in terms of body count.

During the 2008 primaries there was a candidate, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who had he won the nomination and the White House, would likely not have authorized Hillary Clinton's Libya strategy or increased the use of extra-judicial drone killing overseas.  That is a real world example of how the primaries, not the general elections, determine the policies of America.

So if you sit on the sidelines and ignore the primaries, don't be surprised when, come November, the choices all look like dog shit.  If you cede the selection of the candidates to people who love dog shit, that's what you end up with.  Furthermore, democracy requires a more substantial commitment than once every four years.  As Samantha Bee so magnificently illustrated, the 2010 election was more important than 2008 and yet the turnout was less than 38%.  You know what, just listen to her:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Blog: News Recap

Started up another branch of the PutridPundits domain.  This is called "News Recap" and will basically just be links to the news stories I'm reading plus some commentary if I feel like it.

Putrid Pundits News Recap

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mother Jones: Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong

A great article about the damaging effects of No Child Left Behind.

Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong

Using test scores to evaluate teachers—the main issue in the Chicago strike—is deeply problematic, as I found out in a year of immersion in an inner-city high school.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Made a new blog

I haven't been doing anything on this blog in a long long time.  I've also just created a new one called "User Fail."  Guess what it's about.

User Fail: the blog

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

TV Post - The Walking Dead: It's not Carl's fault

Ok, maybe it is Carl's fault for being a complete and utter moron.  If he hadn't stolen Daryl's gun, and wandered off into the woods and woken a walker that followed him back and killed a cow and then killed Dale, then maybe Dale would still be alive...but come on, who's fault is it really?  Lori and Rick should be responsible for their idiot child who wanders off in a zombie infested world on his own with no repercussions.  At the very least someone should have said "Carl, where the hell have you been?  Why are your pants so muddy?  Don't you know it's dangerous out there?" but no, everyone acts like it's totally normal for the small child to be unaccounted  for hours at a time.  I don't know if it's shitty parenting/survival tactics, or just lazy writing (leaning on the latter) but this has got to stop.

The only person responsible for Dale's death is Dale for wandering off on a dark and misty night through the fields.  That's a nono.  If you want to patrol the grounds, do it in a group.  If you want to get away from the group to blow off some steam...don't.  There are ZOMBIES out there!  Frankly, I'm glad to see Dale get killed because this episode he was really getting on my nerves.  Yes, it would be great to latch onto our humanity and have a fully functioning judicial code in a post-apocalyptic-zombie world...but it's a god damn post-apocalyptic-zombie world!  The important thing is to survive.  Everything else comes second.
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