Sunday, August 31, 2008
The evidence comes our way, once again, from last of the independents, Mr. Sean Holman:
Today, Republican presidential candidate John McCain named Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. But Canwest News Service is giving readers a skewed view of Ms. Palin. Because the graphic it's using of Senator McCain's vice-presidential pick (under the caption "Vogue Magazine with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on the cover") is actually a photoshopped fake, created by the blog Kodiak Konfidential.
Of course, the real problem is not the lazy use of single sources by the professional media not verified from the 'Teh':
Instead, it's the fault of those loony-eyed bloggers muckin' about on the toobz who post up unintelligible stuff next to their satire.
Unintellible stuff like the following, direct from the afore-mentioned Kodiak Konfidential:
As I'm sure you've heard by now, Alaska's Governess, Sarah Palin, was photographed recently for an upcoming issue of Vogue.
No, this isn't an advanced copy, just some Photoshoppin'.
And if you read the comments to KK's post, all the way down to the bottom, the stupider gets even more so.
Interesting that, after poking around a little at KK's site it's clear that he's (?) both an Obama supporter and a Palin booster. While the latter has a whiff of the provincial about it there is also some solid, if populist, stuff behind it as well. Looks like real issues, especially those that actually distinguish the positions of H. Clinton and S. Palin, may be the only way to crack this nut. The latter, of course, will be extremely difficult for many in the ProMedia to do given that they are already trumpeting the two as being political equivalents (or, at the very least, counterweights). Thus, they will need some real help (a.k.a. pushback).
Update: Had the actual forgery up originally, but there is no need. It's pretty much double thumbs-up top of the Teh at the link above.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Of course, the real test will come when John McCain's newly minted running mate, Sarah Palin, finally figures out 'what is it, exactly, that the V.P. does, every day' and/or is asked to spell 'potato'.
These are not serious people.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
With the Lotuslandian economy apparently grinding to a halt, his party's popularity tanking, and his own personal negatives soaring into the stratosphere, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell is nowhere to be found and poor Colin Hansen is left to carry the water.
Where the heckfire is Mr. Campbell, really?
Well, it turns out he is hanging out, and harranguing the natives, in his newest and sweetest home, also known as Alabama.
Mobile Alabama to be more precise:
Thursday, August 28, 2008
By Dan Murtaugh
Mobile Press Register, Staff Reporter
The RSA Tower, historic homes on Government Street and oak-lined streets are all assets that downtown Mobile should develop around, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said Wednesday.
Campbell, also a former mayor of Vancouver, Canada, spoke to a packed Moonlight Grand Ballroom at the Battle House Hotel at the annual meeting of the Downtown Mobile Alliance.....
Hmmmmm....The Grand Ballroom of the Battle House Hotel......Kind of makes you wonder if our guitar playing Gord had his Lynrd Skynrd Freak on too.....
All of a sudden the weather has gone weirdly winter here in Lotusland.
So much so that the short season, Single-A, just-slightly-better-than-Rookie-League, Vancouver Canadians may have some difficulty getting their last homestand in before school starts next week.
Came across the photo above on an interesting niche-site called 'BeerHawkers' which, apparently, touched down briefly in these here parts because of a post I wrote awhile back.....
Original PhotoSource: dc's Flicker page.
And not that I'm still bitter about the loss of Triple-A ball and/or long for the days of Stu Kehoe or anything, but eleven bucks plus a stinking service charge for a lousy seat in the (no longer really) bleachers? Sheesh!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Negative 'momentum' that is:
(British Columbia Premier Gordon ) Campbell posted a particularly high negative momentum score (-45). Half of respondents (50%) say their opinion of the Premier has worsened over the past two months, and only five per cent report an improvement. The momentum score for James stands at -5 (13% say their opinion of the BC NDP leader is better than two months ago, 18% say it is worse).
That is from the poll released today by Angus Reid which also says that Carol James' NDP has nudged ahead of Mr. Campbell's LINO's in overall popularity.
All of which begs the question......what, specifically, has Mr. Campbell done that is making Lotuslandians suddenly turn away from him in droves?
Or, is it possible that folks are getting a wee bit nervous about Mr. Campbell's good-times government that may turn out to be anything but when all those sour externals finally push the economy over the edge of the now safety net-free cliff for real?
And can you just imagine what that negative number will be if the 'Trial Of The Century' ever actually, you know, starts?
Way Late To The Rescue V1.0:
"The Premier (of Ontario Mike Harris) is committed to do whatever it takes to ensure Walkerton residents have access to a safe and clean water supply. We are living up to that commitment."
Way Late To The Rescue V2.0:
"The surveillance system picked up a problem that was occurring and allowed us to respond efficiently and effectively to an emerging public health issue," Clement told an Ottawa news conference Sunday. "This is an example of where our surveillance system worked."
If so, the time has come to go read Alison.
And that includes the comments.
Original Post Idea: extrapolatorily swiped from Mike.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
When it comes to dealing with Lotusland's burgeoning drug addiction problem, for real, how does the following sound?
The committee recommended a comprehensive drug strategy that included rehab centres, educational campaigns and stiffer penalties for traffickers. But what really stirred debate was its proposal for clinics that would provide maintenance-level doses of heroin to addicts.....
But, hang on a second.
Just who is on this 'committee' and what are they really up to?
Are they crazy whackadoodles who want junkies, pushers and thugs to storm our schools, parks and neighbourhoods?
Are they radical tulip eaters united against the ridiculous statements and non-existent rehabilitative policies of Mr. Tony Clement?
Are they futuristic utopianists who worship the no longer new millenia pillars of their prophet Philip Owen?
......Absolutely no freakin' way.
Or, could they be a group of concerned and thoughtful citizens formed by the Community Chest of Vancouver to really deal with the problem in, get this, 1952.
Details, and the initially positive press response to the committee's proposals can be found in a fantastic piece by Lani Russwurm in yesterday's Tyee.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Despite what KLR-Vu has been spewing, it looks like the focus groups told 'em the Canuckistanian people are not quite ready to abandon a woman's right to choose, especially if push-comes-to-shove during the rough and tumble of a supposed upcoming election campaign.
How else to explain the following, as reported by Brodie Fenlon of the Globe and (nolongerEmpire)Mail?
The Harper government cut loose a contentious private member's bill that would have made it a crime to take the life of a fetus just as election speculation hits fever pitch.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced Monday that the government will draft a new bill to replace Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, so that it closes the debate about fetal rights and focuses instead on penalizing criminals who harm pregnant women.
The act, which was introduced last year by Tory MP Ken Epp of Edmonton and passed second reading in the spring, would make it a separate offence for killing an unborn child when a pregnant woman is slain.
Pro-abortion advocates have denounced it for giving the fetus some human rights. Last week, the Canadian Medical Association voted to oppose the bill, and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion spoke out against it, challenging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to clarify his own views on abortion......
Of course, there's also a second point to consider.
Which is that if you give the base all they want, when they (think they) want it, they just might lose their appetite for the fight (see: Marriage, Same Sex).
Image from Bora Zivkovic's most excellent science blog.
Original Link Source: deBeauxOs at Birth Pangs.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
And guess who's bringing it to us?
David Akin has the (very, very well researched) story:
The poll (of potential voters in the by-election riding of Guelph) was done by a firm whose principal happens to be the brother of a Conservative MP. The firm, KlrVu-Research of Winnipeg, is headed by Allan Bruinooge, the older brother of Rod Bruinooge, a first-term Conservative MP who scored one of the biggest upsets of the 2006 election, taking out Liberal cabinet minister Reg Alcock......
The big guys -- Ipsos-Reid, Decima and so on -- use real people and telephones to call you up and ask a few 'screening' questions to make sure you're a qualified voter. The phone numbers are drawn randomly from a geographic area but pollsters do some additional weeding to balance for gender, income levels, and other qualifiers to make they get a random sample. Typically, the big-name pollsters will make thousands of phone calls to be able to report the opinions of about 1,000 Canadians, which they claim will be a representative sample. The big firms will qualify their results by saying that the results are accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Klr-Vu, on the other hand, does not use human beings to do its polling: It uses software. Here is Klr-Vu's own words:
This KLRVU poll was conducted by touchtone technology which polled households across Guelph. Using this technology with the voice of a professional announcer all respondents heard the questions asked identically, which queried a response on the candidate's name and their associated party. In theory, with the stated sample size, one can say with 95% certainty that the results would not vary by more than the stated margin of sampling error, in one direction or the other. There are other possible sources of error in all surveys that may be more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. These include refusals to be interviewed, question wording and question order, weighting by demographic control data and the manner in which respondents are filtered (such as, determining who is a likely participant). It is difficult to quantify the errors that may result from these factors.
So, essentially, a digital voice -- software -- posed the questions and respondents registered their preferences by pressing a button a telephone. Critics say this technique does not appropriately screen for non-voters and is prone to errors.
It is also prone to abuse, as Americans found out during the last congressional election cycle, particularly when it is used for the dubious practice known as 'push' polling.
Which makes one wonder if it is possible for the folks behind robo-calling to capitalize on the potential for both errors and abuse to generate 'magical' numbers.
Like, say, the number 'fifty-six'.
Which, coincidentally or not, is precisely the number of Canadians, in percent, that the Robo-Callers with the ties to the Can-Cons say are 'opposed' to Henry Morgentaler's Order of Canada.
Which, it turns out, when compared with the numbers generated by other pollsters using more 'conventional' methodology, doesn't look so magical after all.
Again, from Mr. Akin's post:
Ipsos-Reid, the polling firm used by Canwest News Service whose methodology is similar to Nanos Research, also polled on the Morgentaler issue and got a completely different result. Ipsos-Reid asked 1,023 Canadians between July 4-7 about the suitability of Morgentaler to receive the Order of Canada and found that 65 per cent were OK with it. The Toronto Star asked its pollster, Angus Reid Strategies, to poll on the Morgentaler question. Angus Reid found that 60 per cent of Canadians were OK with the Morgentaler award.
In other words, that not so magical 'fifty-six' appears to be little more than unadulterated codswallop.
Original link sources: Red Tory and Where'd That Bug Go?
Originally clear-eyed leg-work: JJ and Buckets
Usually, I ignore Heckfire Canyon's Deepest Double-Toothpicks out of these things.
But when both Alison and Cathie tag you, you know your time has come.
So, given the fact that all the best kick-ass Lotuslandian Poli-Bloggers have already been tagged I'm going to offer up a different breed here, b/w a taste of the work of each showing why they belong*.
First, a pro who occasionally likes to cross over to the wrong side of the tracks where the amateurs work:
"One of B.C.'s great health care successes has been its management of spending on prescription drugs. A major factor has been the Therapeutics Initiative at UBC, which assesses the benefits and risks of new drugs, providing the information needed to determine whether they're worth adding to the list covered by Pharmacare.
It's a success story that has attracted praise from around the world and saved the public hundreds of millions of dollars. Now the government, pushed by Big Pharma, wants to gut the Initiative.
A Victoria doctor in family practice offers a view from the frontlines here."
Second, another real pro who has recently given herself more time, space and room to move:
"I posted my basement suite on craigslist Tuesday at about 2 p.m. It’s on okay suite, not the worst, but not the fanciest. I’m not one of those homeowners who’s raised the house to create higher ceilings. It’s about 540 square feet and the stove is at least 15years old. I charge $650, which I thought was reasonable and in the ballpark for the part of Mount Pleasant I live in.
The calls started coming in at about 2:01 p.m. After the first 10 calls in half an hour that effectively prevented me from getting any work done, I put a message on my machine telling people to send me emails instead. By 9 that night, I pulled the ad off craigslist because even the emails were overwhelming me. In all, I’d say I’ve had almost 100 calls (some from the newspaper ad that I couldn’t get pulled for a day). One young guy offered me $100 over whatever anyone else was willing to pay so that he and his girlfriend could get out of the 340-square-foot basement hole they were in on Fraser Street. One couple described themselves as professionals in their early 30s, who were dying to get out of their bachelor apartment on a busy intersection nearby. People who worked at galleries, in publishing, at talent agencies called. So did lots of graduate students. And then, slow off the mark, towards the tail end of the 100 calls, so did lots of men with the accents of various locales around the world. And this was all happening in the middle of the month, not at the beginning, when presumably most of the vacant apartments had already changed hands.
The whole experience was actually scary. I felt like the helicopter pilot in the evacuation of Saigon, someone whose whimsical choices about which of the supplicants I would call back would alter their lives. It made me feel like going out and buying an apartment building, just so I could rent it out to all the desperate and very nice people who called and emailed......"
Third, the craziest Dog and Blogger Show in Sliverville:
Mr. Beer 'N Hockey.....
"While walking the Hammer this fine evening my dog stopped so she could say hello to a girl with a skateboard walking behind us. The two knew each other from the park. I asked her, "New board, eh?" The deck did not yet have a scratch on it. "I got it for my birthday," she told me. She was some proud of her new wheels and glad someone had noticed her present. "I was hoping for something a little darker," she went on as she showed me the backside of the board, "but I still love it." It was definitely girly. "Main thing is it gets me around," she concluded before she walked ahead of us into the last two weeks of summer....."
Fourth, my favorite Ukefeliast:
"....On the sidewalk in SF, someone wrote the words, "I love Diana Rigg." It's an old piece of sidewalk and the words were etched in it long ago. When last spotted Diana was a guest host on Masterpiece Theater. She looked great, but the leather thing wouldn't work anymore.
The really big news is that I figured out the little strummed riff at the beginning of "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better". I used to know how to play it on guitar, but the guitar is not the same as that most perfect of instruments, the ukulele....
Fifth, a guy a whole lotta folks (but not likely Tony Clement) are rooting for (who also just happens to have one heckuva "gimmick"**):
"I regret deleting my blog. I missed writing. I love to write and wish I could do it better. Someday, I'll take some classes and become a modern day Nabakov. I should have done something to save all of my prior posts. Does anyone out there know if it is possible to undelete it?......"
*'On the list', of course, not 'In the club', because I'm pretty sure that none of them would want to be in any club that would have them.
**Like the original late-night blogger HST once said, back in 1967 when asked what separated him from the subjects of his first book, his gimmick was that he could "write".
Would have put another old pro, Harvey O, on the list too, but he's hit the free ranges running and doesn't need any help from the likes of me.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Yesterday, Cathie, who is, of course, a real Canadian woman, wrote a great piece in which she asked American Prog Bloggers to start putting together a narrative about why their fellow countrymen should vote FOR Obama rather than just pounding away at their keyboards about why they should vote AGAINST McCain.
It was a brilliant bit of commentary, for all kinds of reasons, including in (very) small part, the fact that it made me re-think my own POV.
Here are a few nuggets from it:
Dear American bloggers,
Magical ponies are not going to gallop out of Denver to rescue the Obama campaign......
And then it will be September ...and no ponies to be found anywhere........
I think American Blogtopia should stop waiting for marching orders from Chicago and make its own plan.
1. You need a theme.....
Is there an Obama phrase which you all should be using and blogging about? Markos and Jane and Booman need to come up with a few choices and find something that appeals to people -- maybe a phrase from the convention will be the thing.......
2. You need a message -- about Obama, not about McCain.
I am sick to death of reading blog posts about McCain said this and McCain said that and you kids get off my lawn. Funny, yes, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why does OBAMA want to be president, and why should VOTERS want him to be president? Billmon and Hunter and Americablog and Dibgy and Bill Sher need to write a dozen posts about what Obama means to them and what he should mean to other Americans......
3. And you need stories, stories, stories.
You need Obama anecdotes and history and 'Obama's best quotes' and posts about Michelle and the girls. What kind of professor was he? What did he like best about Kenya? Does he tell jokes? Does he like puns? What was his first job? Was it hard for him to stop smoking? What basketball shot would he most like to be able to do? Across blogtopia, there are people who know him personally, who can write about him or be interviewed about him, who can tell us more about this guy. You need to pass these stories on to the hundreds of thousands of blog readers who are aching to know more -- and to the media who would pick them up and run with them........
Now, sometimes you write a pretty darned good post and nobody pays attention.
And other times you get all kinds of response, usually either all yays or all nays.
But very rarely someone says something contrarian that, even though they are clearly well meaning, helps make your point, which is exactly what a commenter named 'suppa' did when responding to Cathie's post, not at her place, but instead over at The Beaver in response to a post from Dave:
LOL, how about
That's rich lecturing them on this, most top tier Dem blogs in the US have always been touting his difference in issues from energy to womens choice they high-light the differences all the time.
What blogs does Cathie read and refer to? Jesus General or Sadly No perhaps? Try some of the more serious issue oriented blogs and you'll see. Time for her to eat crow soon.
suppa | 08.21.08 - 12:01 pm | #
Why does that comment make Cathie's point?
Because it is not more policy wonkisms and/or talking points that the mainstream media mavens so desperately want and need.
Instead, it's narrative.
And the Bloggodome can feed it to them, because they, the mavens, are always ravenously hungry for copy they figure the folks that watch them blindly will gobble-up, no-questions asked.
In other words, forget that ol' Carvilleism about the economy.
Because, this time around.....
And right on cue, here comes more of this McCain 'Owns Too Many Houses' malarkey. Look, Americans love success stories, so stop this crap because it won't work. Instead, tell your fellow countrymen how and why Obama's is a better (and it is!) rags to riches story. Sheesh.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Clearly, it is a sad state of affairs.
And the following just may be the most egregious example:
In the annals of people who have struggled against Communist Party rule, Wu Dianyuan and Wang Xiuying are unlikely to merit even a footnote.
The two women, both in their late 70s, have never spoken out against China's authoritarian government. Both walk with the help of a cane, and Wang is blind in one eye. Their grievance, receiving insufficient compensation when their homes were seized for redevelopment, is perhaps the most common complaint among Chinese displaced during the country's long streak of fast economic growth.
But the Beijing police still sentenced the two women to an extrajudicial term of "re-education through labor" this week for applying to hold a legal protest in a designated area in Beijing, where officials promised that Chinese could hold demonstrations during the Olympic Games.
I mean, what the heck is wrong with these people?
After all, haven't they heard of "Free Speech Zones"?
Or, better still, "Surveillance Democracy"?
So, here's the thing......
If Billmon can't kick it, nobody can.
And the monstrous comment threads have resurfaced as well - Jeebuz! When am I going to sleep!
This one is for our good friend West End Bob, who is looking for a candidate he can work for:
Byers is good.
In fact, in both Bob's and my opinion, he's foreign policy boffo.
The thing is, for all her faults, I also think that Dr. Fry has done some good stuff on health issues, and I think she could really help move harm reduction initiatives forward.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Yesterday we noted that, not long ago (ie. before she got her own MSNBC show), Mr. Rush Limbaugh was pretending that he didn't know who Ms. Rachel Maddow is.
Well, earlier today on his own show Mr. Limbaugh made it abundantly clear that in addition to knowing who she is now he is also intimately aware of Ms. Maddow's endocrine status*:
"There's our buddy (soon to be former MSNBC Host) Dan Abrams, by the way, the last voice you heard there. Again, he's been replaced by Rachel Maddow, or will be, in early September. He's losing his show to somebody with more testosterone than he has......."
Which, in some quarters at least, likely begs the question.......
*How did I come to know this? Well, it's hard to ignore it when you find yourself sitting, for no good reason at all, atop the google-bomb.
It all has to with claims by Mr. Charles McVety* of gargantuan support, both in terms of numbers of citizens and organizations, that supposedly wish to see Dr. Henry Morgentaler's** Order of Canada quashed.
First it was Buckets who started the fact-checker's ball rolling.***
Then it was a fantastic piece by Christopher Bird.
And now the torch has been passed to The Unrepentant One**** who demonstrates that even the apparently 'legitimate' organizations under Mr. McVety's sphere of influence may be less than meets the lazy he said/she said journalist's eye:
I started with "United Families Canada". UFC doesn't appear to have its own website, but there's a United Families International. "United Families Canada" isn't in UFI's list of chapters, but under "Projects" there's a link to a site called "Restore Marriage Canada", which claims to be a project of "United Families Canada".
United Families Canada has no website, no phone number, and -- great snappin' a**holes, it's the Ghost of KLRVU, back to haunt me! But with no web presence, no contact info other than this email addy for "Restore Marriage Canada", and no way of finding out who heads up this group, should it even qualify as a "group"?
Or if UFC is really just UFI, an American organization, should they really be named in a complaint against a Canadian SC justice? Who knows, maybe anyone in the world can file a complaint... or maybe this is just another case of "astroturfing for Jesus". Seriously, if all that's needed is an email addy, any a**hole could set up an "organization".
To which we can only add.......
*The choice of the title 'Mr.' is purposeful here, as some have raised what appear to be legitimate doubts about Mr. McVety's claim to being a 'Doctor'.
**Of course, Dr. Morgentaler is just that (ie. a real doctor).
***Especially after the current editors at the Globe and (nolonger)Empire Mail refused to do so.
****Who, by the way, seems to be getting younger and younger every day.
Finally, I'd missed the fact (maybe because I'm out of practice?) that the Divine Ms. Z. is all over this one too.
When his new paymasters won't even admit to his being one.......
Sean Holman has the story of former B.C. Liberal Party mucky-muck Brian Bonney who is now being described by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business as having worked previously as "Director of Operations with a large membership based organization."
LINO = Liberal In Name Only
I used to live in, as my grandfather always liked to call it, 'The Excited States'.
And I go back pretty often.
And what scares the bejeebuz out of me most when I do is not the wanton crime and soup sluicing down the streets, the willful ignorance, the crumbling infrastructure, the electronic voting machines, or even the 'Cult of the Family Cyrus'.
Instead, it is Cable TV.
Which is like all the most grotesque fears and worst paranoias of George Orwell wrapped up in a single, monstrous 4,328 kilo Frisco Speedball.
Except that, as reported in yesterday's NY Times, it looks like there may be some sanity coming soon:
So, just who is this Ms. Maddow?
Well, as the header to this post says, Rush Limbaugh has, apparently, never heard of her.
But she is good.
And she is smart.
And she is perceptive.
And she is not a screamer.
And she never, ever entertains either false equivalencies or demonstrable falsehoods.
Looks like I just may have something to look forward in airport lounges in the very near future.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
At first I thought, perhaps, it was a handful of syringes all ready for a throw-down, a la Little Johnny Baird.
After all, how else do you explain focus-test backed crap like the following from Steve's Addiction 'Health' Minister, Mr. Tony Clement:
Now, just what the heckfire was Mr. Clement talking about?
Was it a phalynx of crackhouses, cheek-by-jowl, coming soon to a block near you?
Was it an armed insurrection led by shotgun-wielding gang-bangers holding your entire neighbourhood hostage?
Was it the daily sale of dimebags during gym class at your kids' school?
Of course not.
It was none of those things.
But when Mr. Clement uttered those words about a small-scale harm reduction program in Vancouver called 'Insite' that actually helps the junkies and the sick, he and his handlers (eg. see: Sparrow, Ryan) wanted all of us, especially if we are women and/or swing voters, to think of all those scary things listed above, and more.
Which brings us back to the title of this post.
What, exactly, does Mr. Clement have up his sleeve?
And why haven't we heard anything from John Reynolds lately?
Click through on that last one - it's worth it.
Interesting, don't you think, how Mr. Clements has now dropped the pretense of attacking the science and instead is now going after the doctors.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I've been taking the summer off doing stuff like having a real holiday, focussing really hard on my really interesting real job, and thinking even harder about whether, after 1,706 posts, I want to keep going this thing.
This blogging thing I mean.
Now, it's not that I don't like the actual writing/posting.
In fact, truth be told, it's right up there for me with auto-didactic strumming, cytokeleton-mediated changes in tissue specific gene expression, being a song-and-dance Dad and Revellos.
But the impact, not in terms of popularity or anything, but in terms of actually affecting some small modicum change that matters has been, with rare exception, lacking.
And that, I think, is in large part a result of the fact that I have not been able to bring myself to go whole hog.
For all kinds of reasons.
Including the fact that if I was to do so it would mean that other aspects of all the stuff I like to do (see above) would suffer.
And there is that 'courage' thing as well, which can never be ignored in matters such as these.
What to do?
Well, I'm thinking of getting involved in the political process.
At the grassroots, volunteer, envelope-stuffing level.
To see how things really work.
And see if it is possible to affect a little change from there.
Not to mention that it might be pretty interesting to write about.
Details to follow.....