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Random Thoughts About the Convention

Aug 2016
15

I just remembered someone who spoke at the convention talking about Hubert Humphrey’s 1948 civil rights speech.  So I went and listened to it.  (Listen here, it’s not long)

I was struck by a multipe things.  The first thing was, wow, he was a really good speaker.  Two, he kind of reminds me of J. P. Barone.  Three, I had no idea the passion that some people had for civil rights in the 1940’s.  But one of the main things that I was struck with, was the fact that back in the day, delegates to the convention could actually *do* things.  It would have been great to at least have a minority report about the TPP.  I think we could have convinced a lot of Hillary delegates to vote with us.

I was also struck with a sense of awe at the fact that I was in the same place as someone who, while only vaguely referenced in U.S. history and Minnesota history, was a very influential person in politics in the 20th century.

And if you’re wondering, the minority report passed by a narrow margin and a large chunk of the south walked out.  Of that convention and the party for good.  (More on that and more, here)

All I can say is, Good Riddance.


Final thoughts on the DNC convention

Aug 2016
02

First Day Post

The best way I can think to sum up the DNC convention is that it ended as well as it could have.

I’ve already gone over the reason why we felt the need to boo at times or raise the issue of TPP by chanting and on the final night we chanted “No more war” to during war talks, to which the Hillary people chanted, “USA, USA, USA” to drown us out. (Do they want more war? Confused.)

Tuesday was a very emotional night.  It was quite a scene to witness Bernie’s brother announcing the Democrats Abroad total.  It was interesting to see how each state announced themselves, and it was kinda disappointing when they would do Hillary’s name last.  It would have been nice if they announced the winners totals last.  Another disappointing thing  was seeing the Superdelegates influence.  The worst was Wyoming where Bernie won with almost 60% and he got 7 votes to 11 Clinton votes.  I’m glad there is reform in the works, but it would have been better had they eliminated it entirely.

It was fun to be there when Minnesota’s totals were announced:  47-42 for Bernie (he won well over 60%).  There was a really good picture in the Star Tribune of our delegation during this period when we all squeezed in together, and the thing that really struck me was how diverse our delegation was.  I realize that diversity is a Democratic Party goal, but it really seems to me like the DFL takes it to a whole other level.  Very proud to be a DFLer.

Another disappointment came when Bernie moved to accept Hillary by acclamation (voice vote).  I know that she won, but it would have been nice to see a total.  Not sure why they skipped that part.

After roll-call was over a number of us walked out to the concourse, not as part of the organized walk-out, but because it was a very, very emotional time and we needed a break.  (Side note, some of the emotion came from Hillary delegates trying to force Hillary signs on Bernie Delegates.  Our co-chair at breakfast had asked for time to heal, and that’s what we needed, not bullying).  While in the concourse, R.T. Rybak came out and we had a huddle and he gave us a pep-talk.  I am struck with how kind and generous this man is.  We definitely needed it and I think quite a few of us felt better after it.

Huddle over, quite a few of us left.  We had prior engagements to get to (more on that later).  When we were leaving, we tried to go in the regular subway entrance, but were turned away and told to get tokens (SEPTA was supposed to be free for the convention).  So we cross the street to get tokens, and I’m glad that we couldn’t get on in the first entrance.  We had to walk by protesters on the other side of a fence and they were cheering for Bernie and they started cheering “Thank You” to us.  It really felt like we were a part of something bigger.  We thanked them back and headed for the train.

Wednesday, I still wasn’t feeling great about the whole process and I had family visiting in D.C.  so I took the train down to see them and see our capital.  This was an amazing experience and I’m so glad that I went.  You can see my post about that here: Facebook Post on DC Trip

When Thursday dawned I had gotten 14 hours of sleep since Sunday.  The main reason for this was that the convention goes from 4-ish to 12am-ish.  So if you want to do anything social, of which there is a LOT to do, you do it after the convention.  So we regularly didn’t get to bed until 3:30-4 and had to get up between 7:30 and 9am for breakfast.  (Next time I might get up later)

Thursday’s day of convention was more jovial than Tuesday.  Maybe it was Obama’s speech or people just had had some time to heal.  There was much joking about, though we still did our part by raising our voices when needed.  But I think it was done in a better fashion this time around.   Hillary’s speech was good.  I could have done without all of the military talk leading up to it to remind us that she is indeed a hawk.  I realize that makes some like her more, but I personally believe that we don’t need to be starting more conflicts.

I do think that with her speech, had she nominated someone other than Tim Kaine (someone who isn’t for TPP and corporate interests) she could have sewn up this election.  As it is, it will be hard for her to win.

When she does win, us Berners will be responsible for giving her a congress to help enact the changes we want to see.  We’re going to do everything we can to get progressive voices elected all up and down the ballot.


First Day of Convention

Jul 2016
26

Whew, long first day. I’ll start with my thoughts on the whole experience. There are three things that I think the DNC could have done differently to ensure a more “unified” delegation.

1. They could have adopted a much more progressive platform, especially regarding TPP and fracking, and universal health care. They also shouldn’t have pressured Sanders into not bringing minority reports to the floor. (I’ll get into this later)

2. They could have completely eliminated superdelegates (instead of the “unity” commission that is going to “look into” “reducing” the number of superdelegates). Or they could have at the least changed the rules so that superdelegates have to vote the way their state voted. Superdelegates have way too much power. The people on the rules committee learned their lesson from the platform committee and drafted a minority report, but some of the members were pressured into withdrawing their name so those things didn’t get to the floor to be debated either.

3. They could have let the first night be about Bernie since Hilary is technically not the nominee yet. It’s a real slap in the face to just have her talked about the whole night when there was another candidate that got *almost* as many votes. It’s not like it was a landslide or anything. They should have had day one be about him, the roll call on day two, she wins the nomination and then the rest of the convention can be about her.

If these three things had gone a better way, I don’t think there would have been so much discord on the first night.

Now for a bit of explanation. So the committees met before the convention. Rules, credentials, and platform. Most of the “meat” of the convention actually happens at these committee meetings.
At these committee meetings, they will vote for various things. For instance, at the rules committee which determines the rules for the convention, but also the bylaws for the Democratic Party.
The credentials deals with upgrading delegates to alternates and making sure that each states delegation followed the rules that pertain to nominating delegates. The platform committee is the one that
drafts the Party Platform.

If an amendment fails to pass at these committee meetings, and enough of the delegates at the committee (I think 25%) sign a minority report then it can be brought to the floor of the convention for debate and consideration. But skipping this part in various ways as mentioned above, it really made it so that the only reason we are here is to cast our vote for the nominee of the party and that’s it.

There was very positive aspect of yesterday though. When Bernie talked to just his delegates, he told us about a new organization called “Our Revolution”. This organization is going to take the
political revolution forward and work to elect truly progressive candidates up and down the ticket, from school board to county commissioner, to mayor, state congress and federal congress. This
is super exciting and I actually – like pretty much every one of the 1900 delegates – signed up to host a livestream of the first announcement thingie at the end of august.

I’m already going to start work on this by working to get Rick Nolan elected in CD8 in Minnesota and working to get my Senate District to also help him.


My response to Icelandair

Jun 2016
25

Icelandair basically told me that I get no recompense for changing my seats, making us miss a whole day in London, and not feeding us when our flight was 3.5 hours delayed. This is my response


 

I know that you’ve done everything you’re *supposed* to do, but there are ways of going beyond what you’re legally obligated to do so that you ensure the customer is satisfied.

I am extremely dissatisfied and while I know it won’t effect your bottom line, I won’t be flying icelandair again and I will tell my friends and family not to and I will tell social media not to fly icelandair.

You guys could have chosen to handle this better but instead you hide behind legal-speak.

Good day.
Boycotting for life,
Michael Bearfoot.


Ansible!

Jan 2015
22

I am a recent convert to Ansible and I get the feeling I’ll be using it a lot in my day to day work as a system admin.

Here is an example of what Ansible can do for you:

ansible group1 --sudo -m shell -a "lvresize --resizefs --size 60GB /dev/mapper/vgroup1-var"

This resizes a partition on multiple servers all at once. Which is very handy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg on what Ansible can do!


Morning Mist

Sep 2014
22

I really should take more pictures…

 

Misty Morning

Beautiful Misty Morning


Games with friends.

Feb 2014
01

I just got home from playing Caverna with two friends. This game is a lot of fun, even when you lose! (which I did)

image

This is set up.

image

This is my board at the end.

image

And finally, an above shot of the whole game (yes, I am that tall)

I just noticed that we all had laptops. We’re geeks :-) Mainly we were teasing Internet friends that couldn’t be there.

Fun times, for sure. Knackered now. Bed.


The day the Internet returned!

Nov 2013
03

Well, returned to normal speed.
I decided at the beginning of October that I wanted to go to a breaking bad party. Having only seen a few episodes, I had a lot of catching up to do.
So I watched episodes to and from work and managed to go through my whole 5gig allotment. (luckily it happened October 30th)
Now I’m back on 4G, and I much prefer it over 2G.

Today we played xbox in an senior living apartment building, played civ and watched sports and rocked a baby to sleep.

Good day.


November 2nd – Seeing a Mizzou game

Nov 2013
02

I got to see a Mizzou game in person today!  It’s about time.  Nik and I had planned to do it a loooong time ago, but it never quite worked out.  I’ve been gone from Columbia for three years and now we got to go.

I also went out to see another new baby today.  Mirriam was very cute.  I have a kind of, well not quite fear, but an aversion to fresh babys…  I’m just so afraid of injuring them…

So I didn’t hold Mirriam, but I have been holding Neal more.  He’s cute.

The biggest thing today was the game.  We (Mizzou) won 31 – 3.  So my plan worked.  I had two weekends to choose from and I chose the one that they won!  It was a little chili, but totally worth it.

No picture today.  I’ve failed to edit pics, but I did take them!


November and Columbia

Nov 2013
01

I should have had this blog post up yesterday. (I’ll just back date it)

I’ve decided to post every day for the month of November.

Friday (which is today, really it is! 😉 ) was good. Kind of bittersweet. Columbia is becoming less of our place every time we visit..

Today we ran errands with Chelsea’s mom and ate at El Rancho. (I forget how good that place is)

Well that’s all I have now. Here is a pic of one of the babies we are visiting.

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