Nov 292008
 

Warning: this post may read like a lot of braggadocio, and for that I would like to apologize. I don’t tell this story in order to wallow in my own celebration but rather because I’ve come to realize it explains a lot about how I see the world and approach solving its problems, and I want to be able to point back to this explanation from future posts that might implicate this particular perspective.

So, without further ado: did you know I invented the suspension bridge?

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:49 pm
Nov 272008
 

I started writing this post about a week ago but then held off publishing it. One of the reasons I don’t like to talk about some of the subjects in wide currency within the blogosphere is because, in addition to wanting to avoid “me, too-ism,” many of these stories, particularly those relating to current events, frequently have too short a lifespan and will soon become irrelevant. On the other hand, I do pay attention to the news around me and like to share what cogent thoughts form about it. So since this story is unfolding slowly enough for me to be able to catch up with my comments I will risk potentially-imminent mootness and venture to weigh in anyway about the possible — and at this point perhaps even probable — appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:15 pm
Nov 192008
 

I intended to write the rest of the story of my work with the election at the end of each day, but there simply was not enough time to both experience it and also reflect on it. So the story will have to be continued retrospectively, from a vantage point where we already know that everything worked out fine. Seemingly inevitably fine.

But at the time such an outcome hardly seemed inevitable. In fact, at times it hardly seemed possible. The stress, tension, and pessimism on display in Part I continued to permeate each subsequent day up through the election. The only thing that seemed inevitable back then was disaster.

On the other hand, from the start, my Midwest election adventure began to be kissed by little bits of kismet, happy perfections that made me appreciate what I was doing and remind me that optimism is not always misplaced.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:17 am
Nov 012008
 

Bravo TV has been running episodes of the West Wing over recent days, the ones from the final season where they tracked the fictitious campaign to replace the outgoing two-term president. Others have noted certain parallels between that fiction and current reality — e.g., a minority Democrat running against an aging center-leaning conservative — but that’s not what brings the West Wing reference to mind. During these episodes there’s another story arc woven throughout them referencing fraught elections in a heretofore autocratic former Soviet satellite. As diplomats wring their hands trying to make sure the fledgling sparks of democracy are able to catch hold without destabilizing the rest of the region, one of the solutions the Americans call for are US poll monitors.

As if we have any business claiming any authority on holding fair elections.
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:41 pm