Yellow Dog Politics

A litany of musings after a life spent not chasing Women

Pennsylvania Voter ID law put on hold … Kind of … For Now

Judge Robert Simpson’s Supplemental Determination on the Act of March 14, 2012, P.L. No. 18 (Act 18) [after this, its called the Voter ID Law].
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FINAL RESULT
The election officials will ask for a photo ID prior to allowing the voter to vote. It is up to the voter to demand a ballot if he/she has no approved ID

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Background:  Judge Simpson’s first declaration was that the Voter ID law was constitutional (under the PA constitution) and did not pose a dramatic danger to the voting rights of the estimated 8.5% of the voting eligible population that would be effective disenfranchised by the ID law.  The ID law provided that a State issued DOSID (Department Of State) would be issued free of charge to those persons not having a PennDOT ID (Drivers License). Upon Appeal, the State Supreme Court Disagreed, and required immediate corrective action.  This is the corrective action.  Actual text can be found here.

Page 1.  List of Petitioners and Respondents:

A whole bunch of people no one has ever heard of, but presumably they live in PA and would be adversly affected by the Voter ID Law, if enforced.  [Remember, if you don't have a dog in the fight, you can't be part of the fight.  Locus Standi]
V
The STATE in the person of the the Gov and SecOfState
Determination: Judge Simpson says he has re-consider pronto. The reasons are:

Page 2
PA Supremes want Simpson to assess just how available ARE these IDs, given that its been a month since he said it was Kosher. The law says “liberal Access”. Is DOS up to the task of issuing the ID’s before the election. If your answer is NO or if you’ve changed your mind between then and now about the whole damn mess
THEN
You got to make it not happen with a preliminary injunction.
Judge Simpson then repeats the instructions and says it applies TO THE CURRENT ELECTION.

So anyway, Judge Simpson talks to the lawyers, reads scads of additional material and gets more stuff from the lawyers. He then holds another hearing (on 9/25/2012) and gets yet more reading material from people after the hearing. Based on all that:

Page 3
The DOS ID was intended to be a stop-gap measure for those persons who don’t have a PennDOT ID (Drivers License). The Supreme’s, however, don’t think that it is easy enough. But, we have some new procedures put in place by two guys from PennDOT that they claim will solve the whole problem. Judge Simpson is quite complementary of the gentlemen from DOT. Simpson then says he doesn’t believe it.

1. The testimony given is similiar to what was said in the first hearing before the Supreme Court boxed his ears.
2. There isn’t much time left.
3. PennDOT admits there will be problems. The Petitioners corroborate quite loudly.
Therefore and forthwith: The Pooch is still screwed. It ain’t Liberal Access.

Page 4
Judge Simpson is quite complementary to the attempts by the state people to make the sitution better (re: put lipstick on the pig). He states that this will be good enough after the election, when there is time to fix the problems as they arise.

DISENFRANCHISMENT
Judge Simpson’s estimates of the number of people disenfranchised was significantly less than that of the Petitioners. It was still, however, a big number.

Page 5
He notes the number of IDs issued has increased, but that it isn’t enough. He gives no actual reasons why there were fewer issued than expected, he simply notes that the gap between what is needed and what will be issued is too large. He rejects Respondent arguments that there just weren’t that many needed, anyway.

Therefore: I am going to issue a temporary injunction on the Voter ID law.

Page 6
Now, as to HOW the injuction will be served: The petitioners don’t object to the absentee ballot provisions and the Responsdents agree that the Supremes definition of liberal access has to be implemented.

Simpson gives a lot of references essentially saying that injuctions should be a specific as possible.

Page 7
The offending conduct of the Voter ID implementation is defined as those procedures which cause people to not to get to vote. The injunction will be tailored to correct this deficit.

Simpson will NOT prevent the state from conducting outreach and education as to the requirement for voter ID. He rejects the ascertain that the problem is asking for an ID and concludes that the REAL problem is preventing people from voting AFTER BEING ASKED.
RESULT:
ELECTION OFFICIALS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ASK FOR PHOTO ID but will be required to allow voting without a photo ID being produced … Left unsaid is whether or not the official will be required to tell the potential voter that he/she DOES NOT NEED THE ID to actually vote.

But WAIT!!! There’s MORE …
page 8
Judge Simpson says he carefully reviewed the Election Code language and the process dealing with disenfranchisment is in the Provisional Ballot conditions. {NOTE: a provisional ballot is given when questions of eligibility arise. The ballot is only counted if all rules concerning provisional ballots are satisified}

page 9
The Voter ID law added two additional rules to the provisional ballot procedure: 1. If the person doesn’t appear and swear he/she IS the elector; or 2: if they don’t show up with proper ID. Thus disenfranchisment only happens when the provisional ballot is not counted because of you don’t show up to prove you are you.

Page 10-11
Discussion of Severability. Essentially, you don’t have to kill the whole law to strike down offending passages if the offending passages are not inherent to the actions of the law.

Page 12
part of the provision of Voter ID was that any elections prior to 9/17/2012, any elector, he could vote but would be told to get ID before 9/17.

page 13
This injunction extends the transition provision through the general elections:

ie: You get to vote, but get your ass to an ID place before the next elections are held, and in the future, you got to have the approved ID.

page 14-15-16
Lots of reasons why Petitioners arguements are bullshit and they should shut up. Also rejected is the request by Responsdents to force non-ID electors to vote by provisional ballot since the transition period did not force a provisional ballot.

This is a temporary injunction, not a permanent injunction. Judge Simpson thinks the PA Supremes are only concerned with this election. The validity of the law itself is not in question, only its specific implementation at this point in time.

If you don’t like it, take it up with the Supreme Court.

Thank You for Your Service

I have a problem with the title of this Post.  I served in the Marines for 2 years, 9 months, 13 days and 7 hours from ’70-’73.  I was stationed at 8th and I in Washington DC for most of that time, and anything I did or didn’t do probably had absolutely zero relevance to the conflict in VietNam.  So why am I being thanked for 3 years of partying in our Nation’s Capitol?  Because the idiot who is thanking me doesn’t know diddly about what I did.  For all this person knows, I ate the Big Chicken Dinner for a pedophileac massacre outside Dallas.

I absolutely hate it when someone thanks me for this.  Part of it is because while I volunteered for a tour in ‘Nam (3 times) I never went.  Part of it is because I knew so many who did go over and came back changed or broken or didn’t come back.  Some sort of survivor guilt perhaps.  Whatever, I’m not ashamed of what I did, I just don’t think it was any big deal.  It could have been, but it wasn’t.

I asked a blog writer that I read (Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station) in the comment section of on of his blogs (http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/02/moderation-is-on.html about 3/4ths the way down).  He responded with this:

DerFarmFebruary 29, 2012 8:42 AM

I have a dilemma and my wife suggested that you could be the solution.
I’ve been recently been accosted several times by people thanking me for my service. Generally speaking, these people never served or even seriously thought about serving in anything approaching military or social service. It feels creepy and kinda makes me want to ask if they want Fries with that.
Am I being an asshole, a curmudgeon, too sensitive, or does this kind of thing strike you as being just another Romney moment?

Replies

  • my wife suggested that you could be the solution
    Tell your wife that the first one is free, but I charge for any advice after that.
    Am I being an asshole, a curmudgeon, too sensitive…
    None of the above. Or all of the above. Pick your poison.
    For what it’s worth, I myself am uncomfortable when I’m approached and thanked by strangers for my military service. Most of us are.
    See, we’re not supposed need or want that gratitude, are we? We’re supposed to serve out of a sense of selfless duty, out of patriotism, out of honor, or because the country needs us, or because it’s our job.
    You’re not supposed to feel good about being thanked for your sacrifice – especially when many times it doesn’t feel like such a sacrifice. Especially when our brothers and sisters in arms often gave much, much more. Especially when so many of us didn’t come home. And yet here we are mostly hale and healthy and walking around, that is supposed to be thanks enough.
    We’ve been conditioned to believe that we do what we do because it serves a higher purpose, not because we might get some kind of personal validation from others. And this is a good thing because free societies should neither create nor worship a warrior class. We do what we do out of duty, not because it makes us superior citizens.
    But we all secretly want that? Don’t we? We want those who didn’t serve to at least acknowledge our service. We want to know that they know that we’re out there busting our asses for them, out there in the mud and the blood and the shit while they’re home screwing our sweethearts and taking our jobs and going to college and living their goddamned lives. We want them to know how lucky they are. Don’t we?
    And that kind of makes us assholes.
    At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. We do what we do because it’s our job, our duty, and we’d do it even if nobody gave a damn, even if every civilian thinks we’re dimwitted knuckle dragging goons who couldn’t get a real job, even if every TV show and Hollywood movie continues to show us day in and day out as slobbering warmongering cardboard cutout jarhead robot stereotypes who scream YES SIR! and secretly scheme to take over the country.
    And so, when somebody thanks us, we feel cognitive dissonance. We feel guilty, because we’re not supposed to need that validation. Because in our minds it feels wrong.
    And it gets worse, because so often it feels like “Thanks for your service” is the new “have a nice day.” It sometimes feels phony and obsequious and something people do because America has this big giant guilt complex over how they treated veterans after Korea and especially Vietnam.
    HOWEVER most of the time that’s all projection on our part. Most of time people are simply expressing their sincere gratitude for what we do. They don’t know that we carry this baggage around with us. They just want you to know that your service is appreciated, that they appreciate it. They see us on the news, they see the terrible things we do, they know that many of us come back damaged, and they can’t do anything about it and they often feel guilty for not serving themselves – so they thank you. You were taught that in uniform you’re an Ambassador for America, out of uniform, as a vet, you’re a representative for all those who can no longer be thanked. You represent all those who have served, who have fallen, who have returned damaged. It’s your duty, it’s part of that oath your swore – not the one to the Constitution, but the unspoken one to your brothers and sisters in arms.
    Take the expressions of gratitude in the spirit offered, if not for yourself then do it for all those still out there in the dark and dangerous corners of the world.

I think he said it far better than I ever could.  So thank you … now go away and leave me alone.

Votes: Fraud vs Suppression Part 1

There have been many attempts recently to pass Voter ID laws. 31 states currently require Voter ID. 16 require ID but not a photo ID, 7 require Photo ID, but do not specify which id, and 8 require “strict” photo ID. For the 8 Strict ID states, the worth, effect and intentions of these laws is the object of much scrutiny and high-flown angst. Of the articles and blog entries that I have found, all but one essentially justifies/castigates the laws with the argument of I’m right and you’re wrong. That blog entry uses a strict cost analysis that does not address the non-monetary issue of societal worth in preventing fraudulent votes.

By definition, preventing fraudulent voting using a Voter ID involves the potential for preventing non-fraudulent voting. There is a social cost associated with preventing proper votes, and a social benefit with preventing improper votes. The real question should be: Are the benefits worth the cost?

Proclamations that no cost is too great to bear are patently ridiculous (Cost is always a limiting factor). Equally ridiculous are claims that the system is fatally flawed if even one vote is suppressed (40%+ elligible voters routinely don’t vote). What is needed is an easily applied, non-biased, transparent methodology that will estimate the value of preventing fraudulent votes in terms of preventing proper votes. This value should then be capable of being compared to the current system with the results being understandable to any thinking, high school educated person.

Proving that votes have actual monetary worth is not hard, but has it’s drawbacks. It would make sense to assign a monetary value by how much people actually pay: an absentee ballot: $100-$122 and a single vote for office: $10. But this leads to difficulty in setting an exact price, to say nothing of the notorious lack of humor from the FBI. Additionally, this is not the price of all votes, simply the price of a vote to an interested party.

Proving that voting has a non-monetary worth is also not hard. Voting restrictions such as literacy tests, land owning requirements, poll taxes, and so on are the evidence of the social value of voting/preventing votes. Restrictive laws regarding previous voting rights of the US are a pastiche of attempts to regulate who can cast a ballot.

Since it is apparent that we cannot show the value of voting/fraudulent voting in strict monetary terms, and that many of the non-monetary suppression efforts cannot be monetized, we have to fall back upon the econonmic concept of utility.

In 2006, in response to perceived widespread individual voter fraud, a Voter ID law was passed in Missouri. Although ruled unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court, it provides a good test case for analysing voter fraud vs voter suppression behaviors. 5%+ of the adult Missouri population does not have the necessary supporting documentation to obtain the “free” ID used to vote under this law. Furthermore, it has been shown that up to 240000 currently registered voters are part of that 5+%. These registered voters become dis-enfranchised upon invocation of the Voter ID law.

I have chosen to use the 2002 election in Missouri as a test case for voter ID analysis for 3 reasons:
1. 2002 vote counts are available: 1,877,620
2. An exact number of alleged Voter Identification fraud occurrances is available: 278
3. The ID law in question is not in force.

In the next installment I will attempt to derive an approximation of 1 fraudulent vote= X proper votes. Armed with this information, we can then deduce if the $3$27 million dollars it would have taken to implement the law would cause more damage than good.

End of Part 1

This guy says it all … in Real English

http://www.stonekettle.com/2011/12/everybodys-so-different-i-havent.html

The above link is to a blog that says much about what has happened to our country.  Personally, since I was 18 I’ve always been pretty much to the left of most everyone I knew.  Jim Wright makes the case that he hasn’t drifted at all.  The country has left him.  He makes a telling argument.  I think he is right.

In 1998 no less a personage than Newt Gingrich called house Republicans cannibals.  I’ve accused Newt of many things, lack of wit was never one of them.   Perhaps Newt saw the shape of things to come.  Cannibals, indeed.

Why is the RightWing Crazy?

The first thing to discuss is IS THE RIGHTWING CRAZY? Well, definitions of crazy abound. Now please note, that with some few exceptions (the Klan, the Posse, and a few others) we are not talking about clinical insanity. We are using crazy in the vernacular meaning way out of bounds. Definition 2c, d and e apply:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/crazy
1. Affected with madness; insane.
2. Informal Departing from proportion or moderation
b. Immoderately fond; infatuated
c. Intensely involved or preoccupied
d. Foolish or impractical; senseless
e. Immoderate aversion, hatred for little reason (my addition)

A few examples are in order.

c.Intensely involved/preoccupied
Gun nuts who are convinced that Obama and Democrats are attempting to take away their guns. Patently foolish. Most Democrats (myself included) are approving of some form of gun control. Most of it is common sense and no one that I know of wants to take away anyone’s guns. The gun control advocates have plenty of sites, and I couldn’t list them. Anyone who fits the description above, would accuse me of hiding the “real” agenda, anyway … Find your own references.

d. Foolish or impractical
Over the top protestations of the Leftwingedness of others.
Ultra-Liberal Susan Collins, Liberal Lisa Murkowski, and Socialist Harry Reid. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are not liberal in any sane sense of the word. You might not think them conservative enough, but these people are never going to get elected in Massachusetts. Harry Reid is many things. Socialist ain’t one of them.

e. Immoderate aversion, hatred for reasons seemingly over the top
Matt Staver says gay rights will cause the end of western civilization.    “Things ranging from Illegal and unfettered immigration to more simple issues like people actually willing to wait in a line for an hour to buy a cupcake in Georgetown all point to disaster for the United States of America” … really? New York Gay Marriage causes waits in Georgetown leading to the fall of Western Civilization.

Ok, the point is, the right (and it IS primarily the right) freaks out about things and decided it is the end of the world … literally.  DADT? There are about 30 militaries now that don’t care about your sexual orientation. The world has not come to an end. Gay Marriage? 8 states in the US issue licenses for gays to marry. I’ve heard of No one getting a divorce because David and Bob in DC got married over the weekend. There are at least 9 countries that now allow Gay Marriage … including Canada. Yup, can’t trust those Canadians at all …

So why do the Righties do it?  A major part of the reason is noise overload.  When the airwaves are littered with spouting heads like Rush and Savage, you gotta be loud, obnoxious, and over the top to get heard.  Calm dispassionate discourse goes over like cucumber sandwiches at a Texas Bar-B-Que.

Part of it is the outlandish belief system that has evolved. 25 years of demonization by the RightWing of anyone not accepted by them as “mainstream”, has delivered a generation that has no notion of decency towards the opposition. Bachmann calls on congress to investigate unamerican congressmen,  Rick Perry calls out treason, Jon Huntsman calls out treason, Ron Paul calls out treason. Can you find examples of calling out treason from the Democrats? Yes, but THEY are not running for president.

Is it any wonder, with examples like these, that 1/4 of the population fears and hates 1/3 the population? Joeseph McCarthy was such a small fish

Feds Repeal Prop 8 … Right Wing is Revolting!!

Well, not quite. THE FEDS in the sense of the Federal Governenment including DOD, FBI, Congress and the Presidency didn’t. A federal judge did repeal Prop 8. At least for the time being, until a higher court can/does overrule or confirm.

In My opinion the Right Wing in the form of TeaParty and etc, is a mass of revolting putresence, but I don’t think they have declared war on the rest of us.

I like the decision.

I am going to attempt to to a Reader’s Digest condensation of the Judge’s decision. I’ve tried to make the reasoning and essence of the most important points (to me) by addressing it as a set of pages. You can verify how well you think I did by reading the pages.

Page 0:
Plaintiffs are a collection of gay couples
Defendants are titularly the Governor and Attorney General of CA. However, since both of these fine gentlemen think Prop 8 is unconstitutional and unfair, neither of them would do the job. So a bunch of others (intervenors) volunteered. These people are the folks from PROTECTMARRIAGE.COM and a couple of extraneous people.

Page 1: Defines Plaintiffs and why they are complaining. The argument is that Prop 8 violates the 14th amendment of due process and equal protection under the law. Further that enforcement by state officials violates 42 USC § 1983 (federal law). Court finds in favor of the Plaintiffs and enjoins enforcement of Prop. 8

Ok, From here on out I will call the Plaintiffs Gays and Defendants Straights. This is to relieve you of the necessity of actually thinking about who likes what. Anyway, it was confusing my wife.

Pages 2-4 Some history of Prop 8

Page 5 Gays legal arguements: Prop 8 Discriminates against Homosexuals by not allowing freedom of choice in marriage partners. Heterosexual citizens are not so constrained.

pages 6-10: Straights legal arguement: The state has a vested interest in marriage only so far as it enhances the ability of the state to get more citizens. Further, those future citizens will be better citizens for not having been raised in an environment where there is acknowledgment of homosexuality.

Pages 11-24 of the decision essentially say that there is not an overiding interest in the state to keep gay/lesbian from getting married. Furthermore, the entire Prop. 8 support contingent (those who like it) is only obeservable in the negative. They don’t want some people to get married. That is, there are no positive benefits for these people of excluding gay/lesbian from the marriage act.

page 11: Direct and cross examinations on the questions of:
1. Does CA has a vested interest in “better” marriages by not allowing gay marriage;
2. is CA better served with only Heterosexual marriage;
3. is Prop 8 simply a private moral view without any interest of the state served.

pages 12-15: All sides agree that the state would benefit from recognizing same-sex marriages in that it would enhance the stability of an additional segment of the population. Straights argue that recognizing same-sex marriage could concievably be detrimental to the institution of marriage. To quote the estimable Judge: “…no basis for establishing that California has an interest in refusing to recognize marriage between two people because of their sex.”

pages 16-20: Testimony confirms that there is no essential difference between hetero and homosexual marriages in fact. One exception being the biological effect of procreation. However, once again the Judge says: “…California has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions.”

Pages 20-24: Testimony confirms that Prop 8 was primarily a moral view of the world, and that the interests of CA were not well served by that viewpoint. More Judge words: “Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval.”

Pages 25-28: Lay Witnesses (people who think they know a lot, but don’t consider themselves “expert”) for the Gays are credible to judge. That is, the testimony that is given is deemed to be truthful and reasoned, just not worthy of the expert qualification.

Pages 28-35: Gays present the conclusions and qualifications of expert witnesses. Straights do not challenge the expert designation. Lots of degrees, books, articles, professorships and other such paraphrenalia. Primary points are:

marriage has always been a secular relationship in the US;

widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians has traditionally been endemic in the US;

same-sex and heterosexual unions are remarkably congruent economically. Further, disallowing same-sex marriage has had an extensive adverse effect on those non-marriage unions and the state of California, specifically San Francisco; (parenthetic aside: well, D’UH)

same-sex marriage offers significant benefits to the psycological health of same-sex marriage partners;

homosexuals do not have the option of changing their sexual orientation to any significant degree;

children of same-sex unions do not show adverse effects from their raising and would benefit from the normalization of the union.

Straights Testimony:
Pages 35-36: The Straights withdraw 4 expert witness due to (in their words) “…[they] were extremely concerned about their personal safety, and did not want to appear with any recording of any sort, whatsoever.”

Pages 38-49: David Blankenhorn (BA, MA), community organizer and author of two books. His testimony was challenged as expert because of a lack of peer review on the books. The court determined his testimony to be not credible as expert witness due to a lack of objectivity in the logical sequences of thought. Formal training is not an absolute requirement, but the accoutrement of formal training (peer review, articles, respect of the academic community, objectivity, …) is an absolute requirement. Most of the text is a recitation of why Mr. Blankenhorn’s testimony is not credible.

Pages 49-54:Kenneth Miller (PhD), political scientist and professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. Defense objected to his designation as expert in gay and lesbian political power, but not to his designation of expert in politics per se. The court agreed. In fact, Miller admitted to not knowing a whole lot about the issues OR the literature available. Accordingly, our inimitable Judge decided that: “…the court finds that Miller’s opinions on gay and lesbian political power are entitled to little weight…”

Pages 54-123: Findings of Fact. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of stuff essentially saying that homosexuals are discriminated against as a class, the state is losing money, the institution of marriage is not threatned, children do not have to be biologically related to parents to thrive, children are no worse off with same-sex parents than with opposite-sex parents.

Reasons to Keep Prop 8 Arguements by the Straights:
Page 123-125: Its traditional. Court’s response: who cares? Tradition is simply an excuse not to change when the evidence shows the society to better off with the change.

Page 125-126: Proceed with caution when significantly changing society. Courts response: It’s not a significant, sweeping change. Deal with it.

Page 127-129: Opposite sex partners make better parents with better results. Courts response: CA allows adoption to same-sex parents and to opposite sex parents. CA does not seem to think your position is worth noting.

pages 129-130: Protecting opposite sex married partners from same-sex married partners. Court’s Response: Are you SERIOUS?

pages 130-131: We SHOULD Treat same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples. Court’s response: Did you really mean to say THAT????

pages 131-132: In the words of the Straights: “[a]ny other conceivable legitimate interests identified by the parties, amici, or the court at any stage of the proceedings.” Quite literally this translates to: Judge, we’d REALLY appreciate it if you could find something for us. Court’s response: uhhhhh …… right. Hold that thought.

Pages 132-135: Gays view of Prop 8: A religious condemnation of a specific class. Court’s Response: Sounds good to me.

Remedies: Get rid of it.

An introduction

A few words of introduction. Hopefully, the following will allow people to judge the pronouncements that are forthcoming.

Physically, I am 60ish, white, male, tall and not fat. I am in fair shape and no particular physical handicaps. I have tinnitis from gunfire and Rock ‘n Roll. Trust me, the Rock ‘n Roll was more fun.

Historically, I had my first run-in with the Klan outside Holly Springs, MS in 1969. It was not the last. I did 3 years in the Marines from ’70-’73. All my postings were stateside. I did not go to VietNam. I’ve attended 5 Universities and earned one degree. I’ve had 7 jobs in past 35 years, some were interesting, some were not, all involved programming and data retrieval.

Politically, I am a yellow dog Democrat. That is, I’d vote for a yellow dog before I’d vote for a non-Democrat. I despise Lieberman, think Obama is a nice moderate, John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich are among the very few true liberals in the US political scene and Jim Hightower is the model of a modern Progressive. I’d vote for Jerry Brown before Barbara Boxer and wouldn’t spit on Newt Gingrich if he were burning in hell.

I read fantasy and historical fiction for fun. I play pretty good bridge, bad backgammon and moderately stable (though losing) poker … Texas Hold’em to be exact. I cross country ski, snorkel and take long walks. Lately tho, the walks have been more frequent than the skiing and snorkeling.

I was raised in Mountain California and Southern Missouri and have spent most of my adult life in the Deep South: Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Washington, SE Texas (trust me, it ISN’T the west). In between I have had short jaunts of 2-4 years in New Mexico, California (SF and Berkely) and Minnesota.

In March of 2009, I got tired of feeling uneasy/afraid to speak about my gay friends, my chocolate grandson, my dislike of churces, my pro-union opinions and my traitorous voting for Democratic candidates. Thus, I moved to Massachusetts. So far, I can say it was the best move I’ve made in this life. I hadn’t realized how toxic the far right atmosphere was in Alabama for the past 16 years. I feel that I’ve come home.

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