Security Upgrades

Security upgrades for all presidential press conferences.

A comic strip about security upgrades for presidential press conferences

Via Schneier on Security.

Today Is A Good Day

I generally try and keep my political opinions at a minimum on this blog, but today is special. I remember eight years ago very clearly. I had just turned eighteen and I was full of excitement about the prospect of voting in my first presidential election. And then, I remember black Wednesday. Today marks the beginning of the end of eight years of darkness in this country.

For the last eight years I have been ashamed to be an American. I have been ashamed of the actions of my country at home and abroad. There are too many things that I have been ashamed of to even begin to list. Today, I am proud. For the first time in eight years, I am proud of my country.

I have hope that the tide is turning. I have hope that Obama, the first African American U.S. president, will make a lasting mark. I hope that he will make a lasting mark not because he is the first African American president, but because he could be the next JFK or FDR. BHO, anyone? I also have hope that perhaps this election will embolden the Democratic party to finally grow a backbone. It has been far too long since I’ve dared to hope for the future of my country.

Things to be even more hopeful (and happy) about today

In my home state of Massachusetts, all three of the ballot measures went my way. There will not be an income tax ban. Yay! for MassArt (and other public services). It will no longer be a criminal penalty to possess less than an ounce of marijuana. Yay! for not wasting state money on prosecuting the War On Drugs. Lastly, starting in 2010, there will be no more gambling on dog races. Yay! for the greyhounds.

In Maine, where I grew up, they voted down a measure to allow a casino to be built. In South Dakota, where my lovely grandmother lives, they voted down an initiative that would have banned most types of abortion. In New Hampshire, they went blue across the board: president, senator, governor, and house of representatives. In Montana, a red state where I have many family members (who may or may not be red), Barack Obama very nearly won.

Only California can put a small blemish on this day. As it stands now (according to The New York Times), the proposition to ban same-sex marriages holds a very small lead.

If that is the only thing that I am disappointed about today, that is worth a celebration. Today is a good day.

Best Debate Photo Ever

Mccain Grabby After Third Debate

Via Yahoo News.

The New Yorker: The Choice

A very eloquent endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for president from The New Yorker. You might want to get a cup of coffee and settle in before reading.

Sandra Day O’Connor’s New Career In Game Design

Apparently former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is dabbling in a new field: game design. The Escapist writes:

The game will present students with “real issues and real problems,” O’Connor said, giving them the opportunity to “step into the shoes of a judge, a legislator, an executive – teach them how to think through and analyze problems, take action and voice opinions to their elected representatives.” As an example, she cited an early exercise centering on First Amendment rights, using cases like Tinker v. Des Moines and “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.”

In addition to The Escapist article, The New York Times also published the article “Sandra Day O’Connor’s Plan for Joystick Justice” in yesterday’s paper.

One quote that caught my eye in the article from The Escapist:

“Only one-third of Americans can name the three branches of government,” O’Connor said in a keynote address to the Games For Change conference, “but two-thirds can name a judge on American Idol.”

While I understand O’Connor’s point, that doesn’t really seem to be a fair comparison. Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that that x many people can name all three judges on American Idol? I’m sure that a lot more than one-third of Americans can name at least one branch of our government, while (possiblly) less than two-thirds of people can name all three judges on American Idol.

I, for the record, can name all three of both. OMG I’m so smaht1.

  1. Pronounce phonetically2 for Boston accent effect.
  2. There is a sad, sad irony in the fact that I just had a really hard time figuring out how to spell phonetic (and wasn’t even close). Thank goodness for Goolge again.