Saturday, January 30, 2010

One man, two votes?

One of the things that bothers me about the recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. FEC, is that in essence it gives multiple votes to individuals who control large corporations. Such an individual casts his own vote and may argue in favor of his favorite candidates. He can also devote his corporation's resources to convincing others to vote his way. Some have suggested limiting a corporation's ability to influence votes by requiring a vote of shareholders; but the majority of shares may be held by a limited, unrepresentative group.

Anyway, it looks like the floodgates have been opened.

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Abner farewell

He came in June 2008, represented as a youngster of Germanic ethnicity. Perhaps I should have suspected this was just a ploy to meet expectations when I saw him drop a social security check and seemed to detect a hint of an Australian accent. He seemed glad to settle in, yet had just a bit of aloofness that contradicted his friendly disposition.

He was a friend to all and did not have any bluster or criticism toward new acquaintances. He joined the DA staff shortly after arriving, and his first post was a little critical of anti-Democratic Party television broadcasting company Sinclair. His September post was a bit of doggerel about Sarah Palin lying, and, in his last post, he referred to Bill McCormack of the Christian Coalition as a "lying sack of shit" for insisting proposed health care reform included a provision wherein the government would administer a program of euthanasia. I guess, for all his friendliness, he could not abide lying ideologues.

In September, Abner suddenly lost his appetite and his energy. We learned that he suffered from a form of cancer that quickly debilitated him; hospital care could not save him.

Abner is gone too soon, but his brief time among us has brightened our lives.