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"Anarchy isn't the best form of government, but it's better than no government at all."
Saturday April 26, 2014 "Performed an operation on a twin while still in the womb." On a wall plaque at Roosevelt High School, where the DFL City Convention was being held. (DFL: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.)

There was a Somali interpreter.

Sidenote: Somali immigrants have been doing well in Minneapolis politics. Which may seem odd considering Somalia is a political mess. Then again, Irish immigrants in the US, Canada, Latin America, and Australia and their descendants have shown more political competence than politicians in Ireland (both the Republic and Northern Ireland.)

Transcription on screen. Wonky. "Awed torl um" for auditorium at one point. "A claymation" for acclamation several times. "Tell gate" a couple of times.

Candidate forum. Changed one School Board At-Large choice. There was only one candidate for my district (District 1); and she impressed me favorably enough that I didn't decide to go for No Endorsement.

(School Board elections are nonpartisan, but parties make endorsements.)

Credentials given out. There was a long, long line. This was scheduled to take an hour; took almost twice as long.

A bunch of formal stuff at the beginning, most of it routine. More formal bumpf at intervals.

School Board candidate speeches.

Several candidates brought supporters on stage. I found this annoying. I wanted to see and hear the candidates themselves. ( I was favorably impressed by the candidate who had a few of his students speak in support, though. But he wasn't running for my district or at-large.)

Followed by balloting. One set of ballots for each district which had a vacancy to fill; another set for districts which had only the At-Large election.

Minneapolis party officers elected. Two candidates for Chair. The incumbent won.

Other offices mostly had only one candidate nominated. Two Fundraising Director candidates, but one declined the nomination.

There was one resolution with enough signatures to be voted on. Someone proposed an amendment; then someone moved to amend that amendment.

The School Board results were announced. Of the four candidates, one got enough votes (over the 60% minimum) for endorsement. Another was one vote short.

A large number of ballots were spoiled -- not signed on the back. "Sign your ballot on the back" had been announced several times, but not everyone had listened.

Second ballot. After my ballot was gathered up, I decided to leave. I had been there about nine hours, and nothing else I did was likely to influence anything.

Will I attend again? Whenever School Board endorsements are being considered, yes.
Tuesday February 4, 2014 Would mammoths be halal? Searching on "elephants" and "halal" didn't bring up a definitive answer.

I did confirm that mammoths wouldn't be kosher.

***DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) precinct caucus.

A bit over half the residents of SE Como (my neighborhood) are college age; the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus is close by. Last year, most caucus attendees were US-born senior citizens who looked Northern European. This year there were also a number of Somalis.

The incumbent state representative has a Somali challenger this year. Her campaign literature makes a point of her having Somali supporters.

This part of Minneapolis votes left of San Francisco (not left of Berkeley, usually.) The state DFL is farther right -- a bit left of the UK Labour Party, I think.

The caucus was entitled to elect delegates to various upcoming party conventions. I became a delegate to the part of the city convention which will choose school board nominees.

Almost everyone who wanted to be a delegate was elected. The rest became alternates.

There were also party positions to be filled, and fewer candidates than positions open.

Nearby, the Cedar-Riverside precinct caucus was shut down after a fight broke out between supporters of the state representative candidates. Apparently, both groups were made up of Somalis.

***Comments of Comment:

seawasp 2/04/14: It may also be "Yes, I think this is a good idea, but if it's not enacted and no one seems likely to, why should I deprive myself and my family of obviously gainful opportunities that are currently perfectly legal and that many argue AREN'T ethically problematic?"

***From Twitter:

Julieanne Smolinski ‏@BoobsRadley How sad for bathing suit designers that they have never ever seen or touched a breast. I mean, I'm assuming.
Wednesday November 13, 2013 Minnesota Daily story on the Hawaii legislature passing a bill legalizing same-sex marriage: "Sen. Sam Slon...said the government should stay out of legislating marriage.

"'People have differences, and you can't legislate morality. You can try, but you can't do it' ...."

I see an inconsistency there.

***To Waite House for NAPS (Nutritional Assistance for Seniors) food.

And for the twice-monthly produce distribution. Abundant apples, radishes, and cabbage available.

***Southeast Como neighborhood organization Annual Meeting at Van Cleve Park. Attendance was light. And only three or four were college age, in a neighborhood where 52 percent of the population is 18 to 24.

In fiction, political meetings are usually exciting. In real life? File that trope with "War is fun."

***Comments from: Bonnie Randall Schutzman 11/13: "I think in images and sounds, but there's also usually a word-based narrative going on."

tickertape synesthesia

Carole Zastera Michels 11/13 "Words for me. I asked a friend in Germany which language he thought in, and he said he didn't think in a language."

Carol Kennedy 11/13 "In something like patterns, but as I have said before, if one doesn't think in words, it's very hard to describe in words how one thinks!"

John Shannonhouse 11/13 "I think in processes."

Lee Gold 11/13 "Words
"Memory flashbacks (embedded experiences, which includes all senses)"

***From Twitter:

Jeff Noon ‏@jeffnoon My dead wife often speaks clearly: “In two miles turn left.” Other times her voice is garbled, fuzzy with static. The car veers on the road.

Jesse Sheidlower ‏@jessesheidlower Reading Dictionary of Old English online; Chrome asks, "This page is in Malay. Would you like to translate it?" Hmm.

PLOS ONE ‏@PLOSONE Stone-Tipped Spears Predate Existence of Humans … via @Discovery_News
[More precisely, they predate our species of human.]

Wonkette ‏@Wonkette Help Us Keep Our Day Drinking Sexy And Discreet With This Bra That Holds Wine -
Sunday November 3, 2013. Daylight Losing Time; All Hallows Day. And in one fantasy story, St. Hammer-and-Sickle's Day.

***David Tenner in soc.history.what-if: "Richard Albert. 'The Constitutional Politics of Presidential Succession,' Hofstra Law Review 39, no.3 (2011): 497-576, argues that the current system is all wrong and proposes an alternative I have never seen mentioned before...."

I downloaded the PDF. "Here is what I suggest: the solution is to revise the order of succession to insert former living Presidents—in reverse chronological order of service, beginning with former Presidents of the same party as the unavailable president—into the line of succession and to concurrently remove the Speaker of the House and the Senate President pro tempore. Under this new presidential succession sequence, a former President will serve only temporarily until a special election is held to elect a new head of state. Former Presidents are the only ones equipped with the proven competence, domestic repute, and foreign stature needed to pull the United States out of the depths of disaster. Moreover, they are known quantities seen as motivated by the public interest and not driven by political posturing."

"To illustrate the line of succession more vividly, here is the order of presidential succession assuming it had been activated on March 1, 2010, under the administration of President Barack Obama: assuming Vice President Joe Biden were unavailable, the first four statutory successors would be former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and George H. W. Bush, followed by the Cabinet."

Note: Hypothetical Presidents and successors are referred to as "she" and "her," with one exception that I spotted.

Commenters on the newsgroup were divided between those who thought it was a stupid idea and those who thought it was an outstandingly stupid idea.

***From Twitter:

US Reality Check ‏@USRealityCheck Monsanto's Losses Widen as #GMO Seed Sales Decline #GMOs #RightToKnow #LabelGMOs

R.L. Ripples ‏@TweetsofOld A Chicago physician says small feet indicate a hot temper and an evil tongue. KY1883
Wednesday October 9, 2013 To Waite House for NAPS and produce distribution.

***The Geek Partnership Society (currently the major sf/fantasy fandom(s) group in the Twin Cities Metro) is now on Meetup.


Headline of the Day
"IRS Official Says She Never Consorted With the Devil"
-- Associated Press, October 9, 2013.

***From Publishers Lunch (free email from Publishers Marketplace):
Book deal: "NYT bestselling author of WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S STAR WARS Ian Doescher's THE EMPIRE STRIKETH BACK and THE JEDI DOTH RETURN, completing the original Star Wars trilogy in iambic pentameter"

***From Twitter:

MarkMillerITPro ‏@MarkMillerITPro
I hate it when I use the wrong word in my status and people just consume that I am stupid. Jeanette Breedt #quote

Julieanne Smolinski ‏@BoobsRadley
I think more credit for the baby boom should go to food in the 1950s. Jello salad, or sex with just about anyone? You know what you'd pick.

Petteri Tarkkonen ‏@ptarkkonen
"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect." -Benny Hill #business

Gates Foundation ‏@gatesfoundation
More than 2/3 in Kenya use mobile money. MT @BillGates: There are only 10 ATMs for every 100K adults in #Kenya.
Retweeted by Futurist Watcher
Friday August 16, 2013 The New York Times has a culinary report from Montana, where meat slaughtered in a most unkosher manner is more legal than it had been.

Deliberately running down deer for eating has not been legalized. And human roadkill doesn't seem to be discussed.

Iranian politician Nina Siakhali Moradi had her city council election overturned by religious conservatives, who barred her from office for being too pretty, Iran Wire reports.

"Anthony Weiner may be lagging in the race for New York City mayor, but he is winning in another area -- hot dog marketing," ABC News reports.

"The delicious combination of Anthony Weiner's name and his sexually suggestive Twitter antics were apparently too good to pass up for one Florida marketing man, who has joined forces with an Illinois hot dog company to create a hot dog brand called Carlos Danger Weiners, which he has incorporated into the company Carlos Danger LLC."

***From Twitter: ‏@pollster
HUFFPOLLSTER: Can Twitter Predict Elections? Not So Fast

Mickey McCauley ‏@Mickey_McCauley
Somehow people who ask what you'll do in the zombie apocalypse get annoyed when you say you'll ride your Pegasus to safety
Retweeted by Ray Radlein

inhabitat ‏@inhabitat
The world's first "Pestaurant" is serving up chocolate-dipped ants and salty crickets in London!

[Note: Deer, pegasi, and most insects are not kosher.]
Thursday August 8, 2013 Adult Children Anonymous meeting. (Adult Children of Alcoholic and Otherwise Dysfunctional Families Anonymous.)

One poster on the meeting place's wall quoted a sermon John Robinson gave to Pilgrims in 1620:

"We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind
To notions of our day and place, crude partial, and confined
No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred,
There is yet more light and truth to break forth from God's Holy Word."

The Dumbest Candidate Ever?
Stephanie Banister, of the Australian One Nation movement "did her campaign no favors" in a television interview, "mistaking Islam for a country, confusing haram with Koran and drawing a blank on the nationwide disability scheme," the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

She also claimed that ''Jews follow Jesus Christ''.

From Twitter:
William Brazill ‏@InstantFiction
He moved like a polo player, she thought, a man used to commanding a mount and scoring. It thrilled her that he might see her as a goal.
[Not the best romance writing I've seen.]

GlenHiemstra ‏@GlenHiemstra
Modafinil - the time-shifting drug - would you stay awake for 40 hours straight if there were no side effects?

inhabitat ‏@inhabitat
Find out why this school district in Texas plans to start micro-chipping their students
Tuesday August 6, 2013 National Night Out. I didn't attend any of the local gatherings -- which, considering the evening's weather (episodes of hail and rain), was just as well.

But there will be a "PPL National Night Out" gathering on the 16th at Van Cleve Park. (The National Night Out movement has had a schism.)

***T-shirt: "Ce n'est pas un t-shirt."

***Seen at the Minneapolis Central Library, a Christian sf novel which I disrecommend: The Tuloriad, (Oct 2009, John Ringo, Tom Kratman, publ. Baen, 1-4391-3304-2, $26.00, 385pp, hc)

Main reason for disrecommendation: Tom Kratman doesn't demonstrate as much Christian charity as th average Satanist.

***Shopped at St. Vincent De Paul thrift store and the Wedge Coop. Paid for next thirty days of no-contract phone service.

At Southeast Library, picked up a collection of George Orwell's essays.

Bonus Quote of the Day
"What are you going to do about it, grandpa?"

-- Anthony Weiner, quoted by the New York Post, to a 69-year-old man who objected to Weiner touching him at an AARP mayoral forum.

From Twitter:
R.L. Ripples ‏@TweetsofOld
Mondays have been designated "Hangman's" day in South Carolina. "We should worry." MN1913
What do you expect your country's politics to be like in 50 years?
In 200 years?
Friday July 5, 2013. Realized that my synesthesias include feeling "auras." Not for everyone. And the perceptions aren't always reliable -- some people I feel as asexual are sexual addicts, and others are sanely enthusiastic about sex. ["Auras" in quotes because I'm a non-mystic.]

***Comment I made in the Speculative Writers Community on Google+:
For the nearish future in the US, there will be mostly names common now; mixed with new names, revived old names, and who-knows. Some common names might become unpopular -- like Adolf. Some names now male will become female, as happened to Beverly and Shirley.

Later, the mix will change. A thousand years from now, the mix will be noticeably different. Five thousand years, really different.

For information on names, I recommend:
The American Name Society
The Jewish Genealogical Society

***From Google News:
"Wall Street Journal
Poll: Parents Still Don't Want Children Going Into Politics

"Don't send my boy to Congress,"
The weeping mother said.
"Don't make him run for office,
"I'd rather see him dead."

***Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog
July 5, 2013,
Crib Sheet: How I Work (Self-indulgent)

Charlie Stross — who is, sad to say, my favorite living science-fiction author now that Iain Banks has died — has been writing a series of “crib sheets” on his blog: explanations of how his various novels came to be written. (Have I mentioned that Neptune’s Brood — which is, among other things, about interstellar monetary economics — is one of his best yet?) I, at least, find this kind of thing fascinating....

***From Twitter:
Mark Ames ‏@MarkAmesExiled
Speaking of secrecy, I'd forgotten that Assange made WikiLeaks members sign non-disclosure secrecy contract
Retweeted by Matt Novak

***In my ISP's spam bucket: "Popular Cell Phones" <>
Thursday July 4, 2013. Independence Day.

Evening sounds: fireworks, some probably legal.

A new Gallup survey finds that despite a high 85% of Americans saying they are "extremely" or "very" proud to be an American, 71% say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed in today's United States, while 27% say they would be pleased.

My view: "The signers would be disappointed" and "Things went wrong" are not the same thing. Some would be disappointed because slavery has been written out of the Constitution. Some because women have the vote.

Others for reasons I'd be more sympathetic to. The size of permanent military forces, for example.

***From Twitter:
Simon Bisson ‏@sbisson
We are actually living in a computer simulation in the far future, made up of NSA records and Google Streetview images.

Pinboard ‏@Pinboard
Canada is a chilling reminder of what would have happened if there had been no Declaration of Independence
Retweeted by Tim Maly
Wednesday June 26, 2013 Learned from National Public Radio that the Defense Of Marriage Act had been partly invalidated. Same-sex married couples in states which recognize their marriages can now get various Federal benefits.

In 1996, some liberals in Congress voted for DOMA. And a liberal President signed it into law.

There are science fiction stories in which immortal politicians rule the world. (Or the United States, the rest of the world being unimportant.) I find this implausible; it's hard enough for politicians to keep up with twenty years of social change. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with less than a year of social change.

If Alexander the Great had been immortal, how long could he have held onto power?

***My knees loosened up. I don't know what I've done right.

***Produce distribution at Waite House, preceded by a presentation on legal remedies for housing discrimination. Including -"If the apartment is for rent when you call, but when you arrive the landlord doesn't like the color of your skin..."-

I remembered reading that some time ago a linguist (Raven McDonald?) found out he was more likely to be told a place was available if he showed up in person rather than calling. He was a white man with a Southern accent, and the landlords assumed anyone with such an accent was Black.
Monday June 17, 2013 Planned out a political system.

Shopped at the Wedge Coop and Steeple People Thrift Store.

In the mail: Christian Nation: A Novel by Frederic C. Rich.

"When President McCain dies and Sarah Palin becomes president, the reader, along with the nation, stumbles down a terrifyingly credible path toward theocracy, realizing too late that the Christian right meant precisely what it said."

Former Mitt Romney economic adviser Greg Mankiw has a new paper that tries to "defend the 1 percent" and the current state of income equality in the United States.

Writes Mankiw: "In the end, the left's arguments for increased redistribution are valid in principle but dubious in practice... If the current tax system were regressive, or if the incomes of the top 1 percent were much greater than their economic contributions, or if the rich enjoyed government services in excess of what they pay in taxes, then the case for increasing the top tax rate would indeed be strong. But there is no compelling reason to believe that any of these premises holds true."

My opinions: The current tax system is indeed regressive, taking into account all taxes.

I agree with Ayn Rand that some of the top one percent would have incomes greater than their economic contributions if they were making minimum wage.

The rich do get government services of greater value than what they pay in taxes.

***Telephone directories delivered. Issued April 2013, allegedly. Again this year, a bit thinner than last year.
Friday June 7, 2013 Idea: A legislative house in which long-range plans (a century or more) originate. Which, to be practical, requires that the future can be very accurately predicted. And that politicians can be trusted to choose wisely among predictions.

***From Twitter:
Human Origins at SI ‏@HumanOrigins
MT @SmithsonianMag: Similar body language in baby chimps, bonobos & humans suggests gestures came 1st in speech evol.

***From Twitter:
Greg Hancock ‏@greghancock
"Our...library...will be filled with the best 3,500 volumes to restart civilization." @longnow cc @hughhowey #grim
Retweeted by Long Now

Two science fiction writers have speculated that it would be best to let civilization die out and a new civilization be born. Fredric Brown ("Letter to a Phoenix") and Chad Oliver ("Transfusion") came up with different rationales.
Friday May 24, 2013 From

"Weiner Website Featured Image of Pittsburgh
"Anthony Weiner (D) changed his newly unveiled New York mayoral campaign website after criticism it displayed the cityscape of Pittsburgh, The Hill reports."

***Someone asked online: "What happened on this date in 1879? And changed the world, well at least for women, as they knew it!"

I answered: "The number of sexes required for reproduction was reduced from eleven to five. (Note: the belief that only two are required is a superstition.)"

[Correct answer: Reese candy company was established.]

On Usenet, someone had explained how FDR engineered the attack on Pearl Harbor. And the CIA had the records that proved this. Another poster pointed out that the CIA hadn't existed at the time.

I explained that the CIA was actually established in 93 billion BC, well before our universe was built.

So much for my worries about a snark deficiency.
Tuesday May 21, 2013 From Twitter: Peace Corps ‏@PeaceCorps
Proud to announce we'll begin accepting Volunteer apps from same-sex domestic partners who want to serve together
Retweeted by rivenhomewood

***From Twitter: Media Matters ‏@mmfa
NRA lists the 'coolest gun movies': Flashback: NRA blames mass shootings on movies
Retweeted by Dan Savage

***Shopping: The Wedge Coop. Steeple People Thrift Store, where I found a couple of things I needed.

On to the Dollar Store on Franklin Avenue, and the nearby Aldi grocery.

***"DARE [Dictionary of American Regional English] has received a grant from NEH to do a pilot study in Wisconsin to
test a new Questionnaire and a new methodology for a second round of nationwide fieldwork.

"This time we won't be using Word Wagons--instead, the survey will be conducted online. We are working with the University of Wisconsin Survey Center to develop the method, and we will include a recorded telephone interview to collect phonological data for comparison with the original DARE recordings.

"We plan to omit questions for practices that are now obsolete (farming with oxen, kinds of sleigh, etc) and add questions that reflect changes in our society over the last 50 years."

And what questions will they be asking 50 years from now?
Tuesday May 7, 2013. DFL 2nd Ward caucus. (They're officially called "conventions" rather than caucuses now. I don't know why.)

Each of the Ward's ten precincts was entitled to send up to 49 delegates (and 49 alternates.) There were 54 delegates total, a bit short of 490.

Some other Wards had crowded precinct caucuses; I think because they had contests for City Council seats. Up to the Ward caucus, there hadn't been any declared candidates. The incumbent is a Green who won his last election unopposed. (In Minneapolis, the Republicans are a minor party.) One candidate for City Council endorsement did turn up.

Mayoral-endorsement candidates and their volunteers were very much present, though that endorsement wouldn't be voted on till the city-wide caucus in mid-June. There were also candidates for the Park Board and the Board of Estimates and Taxation -- which, again, weren't to be voted on till June.

Note: All these offices are nonpartisan.

Among the suggested rules: "One or more Convention Chairs, with gender balance, shall be elected by a plurality vote of the convention." Achieving gender balance with one Chair would be an interesting problem.

Mayoral candidates spoke. Candidates for the Boards spoke. The City Council candidate spoke. There were question periods.

All candidates, and all delegates, were in favor of: job creation; a greener Minneapolis; freedom to marry; fewer guns.

At the end, there was a non-DFL speaker: Cam Gordon, Council incumbent. Among other things, he said it would be a good thing if parties could cross-endorse. Both the DFL and the Greens have specific rules against multi-party endorsements, it seems.
"No woman in my time will be Prime Minister or Chancellor or Foreign Secretary--not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn't want to be Prime Minister; you have to give yourself 100 per cent." Margaret Thatcher, 1969. p. 90; Christopher Cerg & Victor Navasky, The Experts Speak.
Saturday April 20, 2013 From Google News: MSNBC "After Boston, we should put Muslims under surveillance, says [U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY)]"

King used to support the Irish Republican Army. To the best of my knowledge, he has never apologized for his support of a quasi-Marxist terrorist organization.

***The Minneapolis Central Library had Walter Jon Williamson's The Boolean Gate. I very much like some of Williamson's fiction. However, I decided I didn't want to read a book about Mark Twain saving the world from Tesla.

At Steeple People Thrift Store, found a good pair of sandals. Not sure how long till it's warm enough here to wear them.

Across Lyndale Avenue to the Wedge Coop.

Then back across, and down Franklin Avenue to a storefront church's sale. Got Dracula, Samuel Butler's translation of the Odyssey, and a baby name book. Plus a few kitchen things, for a total of $1.

The Odyssey translation had two quirks I hadn't expected.

First: Butler was certain the Iliad and Odyssey had been written by a young woman. And no one had pointed out any flaws in his earlier book which asserted this. (Or maybe he meant no one had made any criticisms worth replying to.)

Second: Butler had used the Roman names for the characters. However, in this edition they were replaced by the Greek names.

***From the Synesthesia mailing list: "The student could not imagine anyone having synaesthetic imagery. After some discussions, the topic turned to how one imagines numbers. It was amazing how the student started telling us about her number line, and then she was completely surprised that not everyone 'saw' their numbers in the same way."
Tuesday April 16, 2013 A political day.

First, picked up Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star from Southeast Library. I consider it one of the best science fiction novels about politics, if not the best.

In the evening I attended the Ward 2, Precinct 3 DFL caucus. (DFL: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Except for the name, I don't think anything's left of the Farmer-Labor Party.)

Seven people showed up. Fifty-two percent of Southeast Como residents are between 18 and 24 years old -- the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campuses are nearby. I don't think any caucus attendees were under 50.

(Some other DFL caucuses were crowded. However, Ward 2 didn't have any declared DFL City Council candidates. Nor Republican candidates. The incumbent is a Green, and may be re-elected with no opposition.)

The precinct caucus was entitled to elect 49 delegates and 49 alternates to the Ward 2 caucus. I had no trouble getting elected.

Also, 13 delegates and 13 alternates to the Minneapolis caucus. I had no trouble being elected.

City elections will use Ranked Choice Voting for the first time this year. An explanation of RCV was given. I didn't need it; I'm familiar with the Australian Ballot from science fiction club elections.

The incumbent Park Board member showed up to ask for support.

Someone came to ask for support for mayoral candidate Mark Andrew.

It was mentioned that Minneapolis has a "weak mayor" system, which means the city council has most of the power.

I pointed out that Chicago also has a "weak mayor" system in theory. (In practice, most Chicago mayors have been powerful.)

One set of resolutions, to have Minneapolis consider the possibility of producing its own power. Passed.

Note: Minneapolis city elections are nonpartisan. Which does not keep parties from making endorsements.
Friday April 12, 2013 Via, from Twitter:

Rep. Steve Stockman @ReElectStockman

Our campaign bumper sticker: If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. #gosnell #tcot
1:44 AM - 12 Apr 13

Amused (mostly) comments on Politicalwire, some on problems of equipping fetuses for self-defense:
Grover Norquist, Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives. William Morrow, 2008.

"The new political movement that now controls much of the Republican party is one of Americans who simply wish to be left alone by the government. They are not asking the government for others' money, time, or attention. Rather, they want to be free to own a gun, homeschool their children, pray, invest their money, and control their own destiny." (Inside front jacket flap.)

This is not entirely accurate. They want less regulation and fewer restrictions for themselves, yes. They also want more regulation and more restrictions for Those Others.

Or perhaps I missed the chapters in which Norquist advocates legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana. And the ones in which he supports the right not to pray in public and the right to join unions.

(Yes, I know some purveyors of processed process liberalism product are equally inconsistent.)

If Norquist were to follow the implications of his principles, he would become a libertarian or an anarcho-capitalist. And, of course, he would lose his customers.

This book is a useful introduction to one strain of US conservatism. Reading it, keep in mind that there are better kinds of conservatism.
Tuesday November 6, 2012 This was my polling place:

Star Tribune "Hot Dish Blog
"Posted by: Paul Walsh under 2012 Presidential election, Minnesota campaigns Updated: November 6, 2012 - 9:29 AM

"Several hundred people were in line this morning at the Sibley Park voting station in south Minneapolis.

"They covered three sides of a city block.

An election official, binder in hand, walked the line and checked to make sure folks were at their correct voting location, because polling locations for many voters in the area had changed because of redistricting...."

The election officials were good.

I voted for Obama; which also meant voting for Biden. If President and Vice President weren't linked, I would likely have voted for a third party VP candidate rather than Biden.

Given Ranked Choice Voting (aka Single Transferable Vote), I would have placed three third-party tickets ahead of the Democratic ticket. The Libertarians nominated a libertarian this time, which they haven't always. After that, the Green and Justice candidates.
Proposed change to US Constitution: Functional constituencies based on political leanings. To start, one Senator each would represent conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Any other political label which gains ten percent or more of registered voters would also be represented.