Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ride that Percentage like a Wave. A Wave of Concern.

According to the Population Resource Center the average voter turnout for presidential elections between 1960 and 2000 dropped from around 60% to somewhere in the 45-50% range while turnout for mid-term congressional elections seems to pretty consistently fall below 50%.

Here's my question: Why are we pretending that our "democracy" is a legitmate government? Our national officials represent the will of less than half of the eligible voters. The people in office right now are there because roughly 1/4 to 2/5ths of the voting population put a check next to their name on the ballot. That is hardly a majority. And this in a country with a "majority rules" motto. Choosing not to vote means something regardless of whether it represents apathy, disenfranchisement, or a statement against our political system. A no-vote should not be ignored as it is currently.

It's perturbing to think that our president felt he had some kind of mandate because he won with 51% of the vote in '04. The 2004 presidential election had only a 60% voter turnout, meaning that roughly only 30% of eligible voters actually voted for him. 30% gave Bush the thumbs up. This means that 70% of United States voters did not endorse him and yet he is still our representative.

It's fucked, I say. Totally fucked.

* * *

A shout out to Sanity Clause. Something to try to keep in mind this election season (or year... or two-and-a-half years as it seems to have become):

The Bully's Pulpit - Divide and Conquer

First, a caveat: ALL generalizations are flawed.

Having said that, I can unequivocally state that there are two kinds of people: People who divide things into two groups and those who don't. Too many of us are too sure that there are only two sides to every debate, just as there are two sides to a coin. Heads/Tails; Right/Left; Liberal/Conservative; White/Black; Male/Female. Why, if my opinion is Right, must yours be Wrong? continue reading...

Now Presenting...


Monday, October 29, 2007


i hope gibbs can pull his act together after the pathetic showing yesterday. the word of the day is "german." the patriots were robots on the field moving like clockwork.
and props to the patriots' offensive line. those guys are solid. their offense works because of them. if jason campbell had five nice and quiet seconds to sit in the pocket and see his options, the skins would score a lot more points.
comments stolen from the Boston Herald's blog by John Tomase:

… check out the game log for the Colts in their 31-7 victory over the Panthers today. Unlike the Patriots, who converted a pair of fourth downs and were still throwing 30-yard passes in the fourth quarter of their 52-7 victory over the Redskins, the Colts took a different approach.

On their final possession, which began with 9:40 remaining, backup quarterback Jim Sorgi threw a 9-yard pass to Reggie Wayne. Indy than ran on 10 straight plays before Sorgi threw an incompletion on fourth and 12 from the Carolina 25.

In fact, of the Colts' 16 plays in the fourth quarter, 13 were runs.

It's an interesting juxtaposition, to say the least. Then again, maybe it isn't. To quote an e-mail from a bottom-line Patriots fan: "So the Colts have class and we have none. What's your point?"

and Belichick on running up the score
NBC also had some exclusive quotes from Belichick on the subject on Friday.

"I've been coaching too long," Belichick said. "I remember being on that side. When I was coaching defense it was my job to keep the score down, not theirs. When you're playing defense it's your job to stop them. It's not (the offense's) job to not score. It's like I tell the offense, what the (bleep) do you think I send you guys out there for? To punt? We have a punt team for that. That's not your job. Your job is to go out there and score points. If you come off the field and you haven't scored points you haven't done your job."


Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Trove of Bill Watterson's Early and Rare Work

"There's a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back, you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.” -- Steven Wright

The pizza-making got off to a surprisingly good start on tuesday. After a 4-hour journey into the suburban strip mall jungle, I returned to civility with a large block of granite that I plopped into the oven and began heating not long after I made sure it wouldn't break the oven rack.

The dough this time around comprised King Arthur bread flour, tap water, Fleischmann's fresh yeast, and table salt. Using bread flour made the dough much easier to work with as it has a higher gluten content, which keeps it from tearing. I also lucked out when mixing it all up and ended up with a dough that wasn't too wet or too dry. It was as close to perfect as I've made yet. While the end resultant was a crust that was perhaps a bit too thick for the diameter of the pizza, it was both crisp and chewy. No charring though. Still, I was baking these pizzas in 10 minutes rather than 20, which was probably largely due to the thicker and more dense baking stone holding its heat as well as an oven door that actually closed.

The finished product:
Check out the hole structure:

Sadly, no charring:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dawn Raids

There were a number of police raids yesterday in Aotearoa (New Zealand), ostensibly looking for weapons and trying to weed out a terrorist plot of some sort. One of the places that was raided was the community house where I was a caretaker. It apparently has been under surveillance for the past year, which means New Zealand authorities have some kind of dirt on me frying tofu in the kitchen and dumping compost out the back. 17 people in total were arrested around the country, most being held on weapons charges of some sort.

While I can't speak for the other places that were raided, the idea that they might find some kind of weapons cache at 128 is completely ludicrous. I mean, that all the cops came away with were bags of clothes and some documents seems to discredit them. Yes, anarchists hang out at the house--a group of people who would like to see government abolished--but from my experience there, they're all non-violent activists. I don't think the NZ government is really in any danger. The thought that these people are going to terrorize New Zealand in some way is farcical. If anything, the raids support the anarchists' arguments about hierarchies, government, and abuse of power.

In the end it seems like a Bush Administration ploy to cultivate a politics of fear. If New Zealanders buy into it, it will just result in further abuses of power.

Contrary to what Western governments would like us to believe, terrorism isn't the great political issue of our time, it's intolerance of different value systems and cultures.

You can watch a bunch of news clips about the bullshit that's going on here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

i expectorate better

i'm not entirely sure what the latest typography assignment was supposed to imbue in the young, impressionable minds of my classmates other than if you organize letters in a certain way, you can make a picture resembling a face. the kids in my typography class seemed to like the image i made of a collection of characters (century gothic bold--point sizes vary) depicting a face vomiting other characters. the kids like the puke. it reminds them of halloweens of yore, their kid sisters' birthday parties, apple pie, and fields of corn.

when my prof. saw my preliminary sketch, she asked, "what is that?"

lady, if you can't tell it's a face coiled in on itself while disgorging the subject of your class back at you, than i can't help you.

contempt is probably too strong a word to use at this point, but frustration certainly applies on occasion.