Ballad of the Ballot

All of three groups of Trick or Treaters knocked on our door yesterday.  Three.  The neighborhood was subdued as Kendrick Meek’s campaign office.

Guido had the radio on a good part of yesterday afternoon while she washed windows, something she does in preparation for Thanksgiving’s festivities.  I heard the ad where Rick Scott’s mother pimps her son’s candidacy a dozen times at least.  Not that I would ever vote for an inexperienced arrogant corporate corruptocrat anyway, but if I were on the fence, these Vote For My Son He’s So Wonderful ads would drive me to the other side.

I am thoroughly over-saturated with election news, and I don’t even watch teevee.  Election Day will be positively liberating.

Guido and I also reviewed the ballot this weekend.  There’s some terribly-worded Amendment issue about the number of kids in classrooms.  Evidently schools are getting around maximum requirements by sawing children in half, and distributing the parts in different grade levels.  This amendment reportedly puts an end to that practice.

You might wonder why in hell classroom capacity is (a) a constitutional issue for which amendments are needed, and (b) why the citizens with zero direct interest and even less expertise get to vote on the matter.  It’s just wrong, a perfect example of what happens when leadership fails, people mistrust their government, and loudmouths prevail over cooler heads.

Furthermore, the premise of the issue – that smaller classes are a better venue for education than larger ones – isn’t even established.  It sounds like common sense, but there are studies around with contrasting conclusions.  I have a gnawing suspicion that this brouhaha is a ruse by teachers unions to maximize employment opportunities.

All that aside, I’ll probably vote for it anyway.

The other puzzler is Amendment 4, a poorly-thought-out knee-jerk reaction to a long-lasting serious problem that is the rape of the land that is Florida.  Even people who recognize the problem and sympathize with the amendment’s intended outcome have doubts about its method and impact.  They say the only ones who will benefit are the developers, banking industries, real estate moguls, and lobbyists at whom the amendment is aimed.

And yet, it this cadre of Florida infestation that has poured zillions of dollars into the amendment’s defeat.  They’re screaming about killing any chance of financial recovery, unemployment, strangled government, higher taxes, etc. – every fear-inspiring thought they can cook up and throw.

I suspect Amendment 4 – and why, again, is this a constitutional matter? – is the classic Bad Idea Whose Time Is Come.  I’ll vote Yes.

Remind me again – is Ralph Nader running this time?  No?  Okay, then I’m done.

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22 Responses to Ballad of the Ballot

  1. 'Nonymous says:

    What, you’re against motherhood now?

    Using his mother as a spokesperson serves two goals: it reminds elderly Florida voters that Scott shares their concerns for medicare, health care, and other issues impacting the elderly, and it contrasts Scott with Kendrick Meek, who inherited his position from his politician mother Carrie. As the ads say, Rick Scott didn’t inherit anything — he made it all on his own.

    It’s a good ad and it will help put him over the top.

  2. Ralph Nader says:

    Can you believe what clowns these are? Maybe next time. Save your money to send me.

  3. CB Hudirolf says:

    I say bollocks bloody bollocks to your ballad and your ballot. I say.

    I had to take my phone off line…..robo-calls 4 times an hour…..and yes, some from Rick Scott’s mama.

  4. Missing Lincoln says:

    I got a robo-call from Scott’s MILF half-sister. She said she wasn’t wearing panties, and wanted me to make a contribution of $2.99 per minute.

    At least I think it was her.

  5. CL Jahn says:

    Here’s the thing about Amendment 4 opponents; most of their argument against it is made up; instead of giving us good reasons, they’re lying. They’re lying when they say the courts ruled that it’s a “vote for everything” bill. They’re lying when they say St. Pete’s Beach is a “test case” for it. They’re even lying when they claim it will cause urban sprawl.
    When one side resorts to lies, I vote the other way. That’s just how I roll.

  6. mkhall says:

    The class size thing is a Jeb Bush legacy. The Republicans were furious that Floridians voted for smaller class sizes; smaller classes means more teachers, and that works counter to the Republican goal of eliminating public schools, and limiting education to the wealthy and the white. They’ve sought ways to get around that prior amendment ever sense.

    Amendment 4 is tougher. The goal is good, the execution iffy. Still, it will force a slowdown of development outside planned land use, and anything that slows down urban sprawl and the destruction of the Everglades is a good thing.

    As to why it’s a constitutional matter, it’s because Florida’s constitution accurately represents its state bird: the Spread Eagle. Anyone with the money can get an amendment on the ballot and bypass the legislative “process” completely.

  7. Kent Standit says:

    I spit my beer into the monitor reading what Missing Lincoln wrote. Dude, you’re my kind of sick.

    mkhall: I like that explanation, but I thought the Florida state bird was the Early Bird. I know the state flower is the Blooming Idiot.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Republican Marco Rubio won, and so did a lot of other Republicans. Guess the liberal folks who always comment on your site are going down to Walgreens or CVS to buy a few bottles of Pepto-Bismol and Alka-Seltzers for those soon to come ulcers.

    • Squathole says:

      It’s possible, Anonymous, except for Missing Lincoln who by now has spent his last dime in increments of $2.99 and can’t afford it.

      Worse than the outcome of the election, though, is the gloating of the victors. You remember what that’s like, I’m sure.

      I suspect most thinking voters understand that this election was more reaction than anything else, and after 2 years of inevitable gridlock and bickering, they’ll see that anger is a better motivator than outcome-producer. Personally, I anticipate with glee the opportunity to see clowns like Rick Scott, in over their heads and armed with neither knowledge nor allies, floundering around making asses of themselves while cameras record everything, and treat the whole world to their antics on youtube.

      As for Rubio, that smart-mouthed little twerp is certain to become a big hit in Washington, allowing the whole nation to see what it’s like listening to and dealing with the strange crypto-fascist politician than defines Cuban Miami wingnuttery. I give him 2 months before he climbs up on his hind legs in the Senate to tells senators from midwest agricultural states who support removing the Cuban trade embargo that they’re communist agents of the Castro regime.

      The dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on.

  9. Sharpshooter says:

    Squatty,
    you may be seeing more of Mark Blonde than you think. You may not like him, but 51% of the voters did and I am afraid you may have to change your tune when you see him in action in Washington.
    BTW, there is not need to call him a little twerp or also diss the whole Cuban American community by labeling all of them “wingnuttery”. I certainly did not expect that from you because to be honest, you come across a little bit racist, pal. In today’s America that is a no-no and also is not politically correct.

    • Squathole says:

      Sharpo; Now you know how important it is to me to be “politically correct,” right?

      I agree with you entirely, as I stated in the comment: Rubio is sure to be a big hit in Washington, and we here in the home state will be treated to not just local reviews, but national commentaries, pro and con. I doubt very much he will sit down and shut up the way freshmen senators are expected to, and in fact, I will be sorely disappointed if he does.

      I said nothing about “the whole Cuban American community” — I never say anything about ALL of anybody, because that is stereotyping, which invariably is dumb and wrong. Not ALL Cuban Americans are wingnuts, not even in the hotbed of CA wingnuttery that is Miami. My comment was about that sub-set only. And you know that, too!

      Hell, I’ve said this a zillion times — a person’s gotta do something a lot nastier and uglier than just BE something for me to hate on him. I have high standards for evaluating the despicable, you know, and race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc., doesn’t get past quality control. Maybe age. Just kidding.

  10. Sharpshooter says:

    Squatty,
    As someone who once sat in the White house used to say: “there you go again”

    “not even in the hotbed of CA wingnuttery that is Miami.”
    Miami encompasses a lot of people and all CA are not “wingnuttery” although to be true, what you define as “wingnuttery” to me may be something else.
    Let’s take the case of the Jews who are all supportive of Israel. Are they all zionists and terroristas like the Irgun or like Menachen Begin? No. I don’t think so.
    CA’s living in Maimi come from a very different experience and background than you. They have been traumatized by the communist “experience” and they look at things perhaps much differently than you do, who have always been so lucky because you have lived in freedom. These experiences have marked them as they do those who have been through a war or perhaps an unjust imprisonment. As Rubio very clerly said in his speech, his forebearers lost their country and their freedom and they were able to remake their lives in total freedom here. To them living in the USA is a rebirth of their hopes and dreams if you want to call it that. They value that very dearly. They are grateful just like the Soviet Jews or refuseniks that left the USSR in the 70’s and came to the US. They know very well from personal experience, what it is to lose one’s freedom and country and have to flee to an unknown shore, not knowing the language and the customs of the new country, and start from zero with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few family photos . These feelings can not be conveyed to anyone who has not shared that experience, because it is impossible. They just would not understand. One has to live it personally on one’s flesh to know it from within.
    If you were uprooted from here and never saw the Phillies on TV again, or drove down to the beach anymore, or were unable to shoot the breeze with your old friends, or were insulted, vilified, humiliated, despised by your neighbors whom you have known all your life, perhaps you would understand a little bit. Then I wouldn’t dare call you an extremist if you were overprotective of your new found freedoms, because I would understand perfectly well what you are feeling.
    As they say in Oklahoma: “one does not know someone else’s troubles until one has traveled for a few moons in their mocassins.”

  11. Squathole says:

    Sharpo:

    1. You’re preaching to the choir.

    2. I repeat: I said nothing about “the whole Cuban American community” — I never say anything about ALL of anybody, because that is stereotyping, which invariably is dumb and wrong. Not ALL Cuban Americans are wingnuts, not even in the hotbed of CA wingnuttery that is Miami.

    3. You, on the other hand, go off with this statement: CA’s living in Maimi come from a very different experience and background than you. They have been traumatized by the communist “experience” and they look at things perhaps much differently than you do, who have always been so lucky because you have lived in freedom. This is not true of all CAs living in Miami. (Nothing is true of ALL Miami CAs — except, perhaps, that they’re all CAs. Living in Miami. Logic, Spock.) So if there’s any stereotyping going on, it follows from that. But I know you better than than, and I know when you make that statement, you’re talking about some CAs, not all CAs, even if it is in fact a large number. Which it is.

    4. That’s all incidental, though. You cite the refuseniks and the Jews who fled Russia, and you might just as easily included Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Eastern Europeans, etc. Many of these refugees, grateful to be received in their new country, and proud of the institutions that protect its citizens, quickly became participants in progressive causes. These immigrants feared what you fear, but their solution is not the same solution. In other words, their miserable experiences that parallel those of the Miami CA did not lead them to embrace the wingnuttery I condemned. It isn’t an inevitable conclusion. And reasonable people differ.

    5, You’re quite right about walking miles in another’s moccasins. I did not have the same immigrant experience as my Russian grandparents did, arriving here to somewhat hostile reception in the tender City of Bodily Harm, where they promptly became union members and FDR liberals. (The Hungarians opened up small businesses, of course, and were utterly indifferent or hostile to politics). Their experiences inform my own.

    Happy Veteran’s Day!

  12. Hose B says:

    You guys are still on this?

    Sharpshooter wins the kewpe doll – First one to play the Cuban race card for Marco Rubio! I beg to differ, sir. Just as for 3 years, not every nasty crack aimed at Obama was racist, and weren’t aimed at anybody other than him, what I read here isn’t t aimed at everybody but the ones named. Which doesn’t include little old mostly-Miami CA me.

    Thicken your skin, my friend. It’s how we all survive, and win.

  13. Sharpshooter says:

    HoseB,
    if I weren’t thick skinned I would not have survived for 25 years living among mostly rednecks whom I had the orgasmic pleasure of supervising at work having moved there from NYC. They made fun of my accent, my dress, (mostly suits and wild ties), my choice of vehicles, my choice of food, well you get the gist of it.
    CAs are the only minority in this country insulted and ridiculed by liberals and the MSM as troglodites, dinosaurs, right wing nuts, etc.
    Even members of the past Kennedy admin. as the recently defunct Mr Sorensen and many others, ridiculed us when we warned them about the Soviet missiles in CUba, and attributed to “our feverish tropical minds” another slight meant to dismiss our concerns for the paramount safety and well being of the US. In the end, we were proven right and our critics wrong, and the missiles were there all along and aimed at the heart of the US placing in mortal danger all of our lives.
    But it took the U-2’s photographs brought back by the Air Force pilots, to prove that what we had been saying and warning the US public for months, was true.
    CA’s had been warning the US for years about the danger of the Castro regime, about its criminal intentions and its penetration of all US govt. agencies etc. and have received insults and made fun of because of it.
    Castro had a spy right inside the highest echelons of the Pentagon guiding Cuba policy! Ana Belen Montes had been working for Cuban intelligence for over 30 years undetected.
    A Mr and Mrs Myers had been working for the Castro regime inside the Satte Dept. highest office also for over 20 years undetected. They were both recently caught and sentenced to long prison terms.
    Sadly when we spoke about it and warned previous administrations about this danger, again we were derided and made fun of as right wingers, troglodites and dinosaurs who lived in the past. But again we were right and our critics were wrong. But the insults and the buffonery continues unabated. That is alright, I just open another beer
    and eat another meat pie and laugh it off.

    • Hose B says:

      Sharpshooter: CAs are the only minority in this country insulted and ridiculed by liberals and the MSM as troglodites, dinosaurs, right wing nuts, etc.

      If this is true, maybe it’s because we’re the only minority whose most prominent leaders have been troglodytes, dinosaurs, etc. I don’t recall seeing news about North Koreans fire-bombing museums in Miami or putting explosives in South Koreans’ cars. Or Mexicans taking books off the shelf of schools. Or Russians protesting the arrival of art exhibits and musical performers because they were Communists.

      Do you follow the Babalu blog? You can enjoy choice CA wingnuttery served fresh every day.

      Also, don’t overlook the fact that liberals and the MSM routinely ridicule troglodytes, dinosaurs, wingnuts, etc. who are NOT Cuban Americans, too. (And my personal favorite, rednecks.)

      I’m very proud to be Cuban, and it pains me to think about its current condition, and the way Cubans (in Cuba) have suffered for 50 years. That doesn’t excuse poisonous politics and the xenophobia I see every day in Miami, although it has gotten a whole lot better over the last 20 years.

  14. Missing Lincoln says:

    Insults and bufoonery. Sounds like the holidays at my house. Hell, it sounds like Wednesday at my house.

  15. Paot says:

    Sharpshooter…..

    While I sympathize with your position, and fully relate to your experiences, I do not agree with your conclusions.

    Most members of my family were wiped out by the Nazis. They were Orthodox Jews, some of the first to be rounded up in Germany and Poland. None got out beforehand, a few survived, including one grandparent and one aunt.

    When that grandparent arrived in New York with nothing and no family, he was treated as you describe yourself. They made fun of his speech, his language, his clothes, his looks and of course, his religion.

    It’s an old immigration tale you’ve heard a thousand times. He found a job, worked hard, saved some money, found a wife, raised a family, send his children to school. He made it, in other words, and so did his family. I’m a lucky person.

    Politically astute, he was what you would consider a leftwinger, a liberal. He believed the liberals to be most like himself, sympathetic to the little guy, respectful of his values. He admired the way they shared and stood together against wealthy institutions out to either crush or exploit people like himself. He died a proud Democrat. His last vote was for JFK.

    Today’s American Jews face very little of the contempt and discrimination he confronted. Even in south Florida, which was very hostile to Jews for a long time, I see very little of the disdain I still see expressed for Cubans. History repeats itself, and that will change as it did for the Jews.

    But my point is that even similar experiences can lead to very different political beliefs. the Cuban American population in Miami is remarkably conservative for an American minority, its approach very different from the Jews with similar experiences, who are some of the most dependably liberal voters in the nation. And yet the two are very much alike. I wonder if you see it that way, too.

  16. Sharpshooter says:

    HoseB,
    If you really are Cuban, you sure are a strange kind of Cuban. And I will leave it at that. There is really no need to answer any further. I think what I think and you folks do the same. That is what freedom is all about. BTW, you ceratinly do not convince me with your arguments. Sorry. So long.

  17. Sharpshooter says:

    Squathole,
    The Jews used to have folks like HoseB in the concentration camps and in the ghetto of Warsaw. The Germans called them SonderKommandos. You may want to Google it to find out their duties.

    • Hose B says:

      So much for “so long,” huh Sharpshooter.

      I disagree with your insulting remark, of course, but it nicely illustrates the gulf between us. I am guessing that we are at least a generation apart, which would explain the different way we see things. On that score, I assure you that many younger Cubans in Miami think along the same lines I do. We wish no disrespect to our older relatives, but we’ve reached different conclusions about what needs to be done next. Typically, older Cubans prefer to hurl insults and abuse at any opinion different than theirs. Which, as I noted above, is part of the problem, not a solution.

  18. Missing Lincoln says:

    I smell a familiar syntax.

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