Book twenty-seven of 2019: The Forever Machine, by Mark Clifton & Frank Riley ⭐️⭐️ 1955 Hugo Best Novel 📚

Odd mix of early postulation about how AI might affect society and almost new-age “woo” of psychoanalysis rejuvenating the physical body to youth. Not very engaging.

Another ST:DIS Theory

After watching tonight’s episode of Discovery (S02E11), Prairie and I came up with what we think is a very possible theory about where this season might go in the next few episodes, and it’s one that impacts a fair amount of the future Trek universe.

Details behind the cut, as this will be in definite spoiler territory, both for tonight’s episode, and potentially for the next three episodes if we’re right (though my last theory didn’t pan out, so keep that in mind).

Spoilers below!

🖖 #StarTrekDiscovery S02E11 Another solid episode. Glad they didn’t drag out the Burnham family reunion drama over multiple episodes, but the scenes with Michael and her mom were really good. Spock continues to evolve nicely. And we have theories about ties to future series….

The NRA is a Terrorist Organization

As far as I’m concerned, at least (and I’m certainly not the only one).

Two articles from the past few days:

NRA: We’ll fight renewal of Violence Against Women Act

The National Rifle Association will fight renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) when the U.S. House of Representatives votes next week, objecting to expanded provisions that would prohibit domestic abusers from owning or possessing firearms.

Currently, federal law prohibits those convicted of domestic abuse against a spouse or family member from owning or possessing a firearm.

The NRA-opposed provision would close the “boyfriend loophole” and extend the prohibition to male acquaintances outside of marriage or family. It would also extend the gun ban to those with misdemeanor stalking convictions, and those under temporary protective orders.

How to sell a massacre: NRA’s playbook revealed

How should you respond to a deadly mass shooting if you are a gun rights advocate?

First, “Say nothing.” If media queries persist, go on the “offence, offence, offence”. Smear gun-control groups. “Shame them” with statements such as – “How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?”

This was the advice the US’s most powerful gun lobby gave Australia’s One Nation party, according to an Al Jazeera investigation, when representatives of the Australian far-right group sought guidance from the National Rifle Association (NRA) on loosening the Pacific country’s strict gun laws.

That there are still many people who support this group is positively disgusting.

VOTE

Everyone: When it’s time to vote, GET OUT AND VOTE.

The list below (originally found on Facebook) focuses on Alaskan elections (Alaskans can be particularly prone to the “my vote doesn’t count so why bother” mentality, particularly in Presidential elections where Alaska has few electoral votes and the races are often called before polls have even closed in Alaska), but I’d be willing to bet good money that similar close results can be found in whatever region you live in (I’ll admit that I haven’t taken the time to personally research and verify each of these specific instances, but I have no immediate reason to doubt them).

Also, you’ll notice that most of this list has results not from high-profile Presidential elections, but from local elections, from as broad as gubernatorial to as local as school district races. Sure, that’s because those races often deal with smaller voting populations, but those are also the races that are often far more directly impactful to the people who are (and who should be) voting. They may not be as “sexy” and exciting as big-ticket races, but they’re just as important — and not infrequently, arguably more so.


YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

DON’T EVER THINK YOUR VOTE DOESN’T COUNT, BECAUSE IN…

1845: ONE vote brought Texas into the Union.

1868: ONE vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

1876: ONE vote gave Rutherford Hayes the presidency of the United States

1939: ONE vote passed the Selective Service act.

1960: ONE vote per precinct elected John F. Kennedy President.

…AND IN ALASKA…

1978: Jay Hammond won the nomination for Governor over Walter Hickel in the primary election by just 98 votes statewide. That’s less than 1/4 vote per precinct!

1978: ONE vote elected Tim Kelly to his Senate seat in District F.

1982: TWO votes gave the nomination for State Senate in District J to David McCracken in the primary election.

1984: ONE vote gave Mary Ratcliff the nomination for State Representative, House District 12, in the primary election.

1986: 17 votes (less than one vote per precinct) elected Rick Uehling Senator from District H, Seat B, out of 14,389 votes cast.

1988: SIX votes elected David Finkelstein to State Representative, House District 12 in the primary election.

1990: TEN votes elect Terry Martin to State Representative, District 13, Seat B. Just ONE vote per precinct.

1990: Four contests in the general election were decided by a margin of less than ONE PERCENT of the votes cast in each contest.

1992: FIVE votes gave Al Vezey the nomination for State Representative, House District 32 in the primary election (less than ONE vote per precinct).

1994: 1.1 votes per precinct elected Tony Knowles as Governor and Fran Ulmer as Lieutenant Governor out of 216,668 votes cast.

1996: ONE vote gave Ann Spohnholz the nomination for State Representative, House District 21, in the primary election.

1998: A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to elect Wayne Morgan after a runoff Election for a school board seat in the Kuspuk School District.

2003: 14 votes gave Mark Begich the 45% plurality threshold needed to elect him Mayor of Anchorage.

2006: A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to give Bryce Edgmon the nomination for State Representative, House District 37, in the primary election.

2016: In the Anchorage municipal election, Proposition 9, Girdwood Police Protection, passed by THREE votes.

Book twenty-six of 2019: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📚 1954 Retro Hugo Best Novel

Wow, does this one ever hold up. Incredibly (and possibly sadly) as relevant now as…wow, 65 years ago. Impressively prescient in many ways, as well.

No More ‘Florida Man’ Jokes From Me

While I didn’t know how little support Florida gave its less privileged residents, the common themes in all these stories really are glaringly obvious once pointed out.

‘Florida Man’ Jokes Are an Excuse to Laugh at the Poor

“Another tedious, liberal, PC scold,” you may think as you read the headline for this piece. “Why can’t we just have fun and enjoy a hilarious meme in peace?” Well, you can enjoy “Florida man” all you want, but by any objective metric, it’s worth noting that “Florida man” memes—just like all “dumb criminal” or “weird crime” stories—are little more than a socially acceptable way of gawking at and belittling the dispossessed and indigent.

The reason Florida seems to have more “bizarre news” stories is because it leaves tens of thousands of people with financial, mental health and drug problems to fend for themselves, and then, under the banner of transparency, hands over the inevitable result of this lack of support to a click-hungry press. To paraphrase another viral tweet, it monetizes the rot.

“Florida man” isn’t an accident. It’s the logical byproduct of a state whose politics have been defined by cruel, racist indifference to the poor for decades.