Getting in the Game
My adventures in the world and the inlfuence of Sports Night.


I just posted this to the Democratic Underground forums ... I had a good read at Barnes and Noble

Before today I was split between Kerry, Edwards and Dean, and leaning towards Edwards. They all seemed to be candidates that could both beat Bush, Rove, and Co. and take the country in a reasonably correct direction. However, after considering Gary Hart I have realized that he must be added to my list at the very least.

I went to his site and saw his extremely realistic and powerful suggestions on Homeland Security and "war on terror". After a nice surprise with his fresh ideas, I went to find his book "The Restoration of the Republic" and was floored. He has developed an ideology based in republicanism (notice the small "r") that provide meaningful direction for the country. He provides for more meaningful alternatives to Bush education reforms (i.e. actual local control vs. national testing), Homeland Security (citizen and National Guard participation vs. war with nations), and even goes on to hint at impressive ideas to address globalization, the economy, and intelectual property.

Like everyone else I was skeptical at first because of his 1988 run and the possibility of character debate that looms over his candidacy. However, I realized this should not preclude him from joining the crowd and testing his idea with the American people in the primaries. His ideas will, at the very least, nudge the deabte in the right direction. At the most, his ideas that he can move the party away from Clintonian capitulation to Republican ideas and towards meaningful alternatives.

Most importantly I believe that his candidacy could, if done right, re-mobilize important traditionally Democratic constituencies that is vital to not only winning the Presidency but ending the electoral parity that Republicans have gained since 1994. To be honest, Kerry and Edwards definitely do not currently have that ability and Dean seems to only have limited solutions.

Finally, he is more electable than people might think. He is still popular in Colorado (an important swing state) and is strong on issues that lost us the senate in 2002 (like Homeland Security). If combined with candidates like Edwards or Bob Graham, the Democrats could see an effective ticket that unites the party under a vision NOT just policy. My fears are the other candidates will only concentrate on the later and only stall the downward spiral that the Republicans have begun to take the country on. We need to get the country moving again, not simply stall is movement in the wrong direction.

Give him a chance. Don't judge him on punditry and old news stories. Once I did that his candidacy has seemingly become vital to a quality debate in the Democratic Party.

Kevin Thurman

posted by Kevin | 1/25/2003 09:35:00 PM

Gary Hart?

After my first initial reaction to Gary Hart as a nominee for President ("Who? The guy who cheated on the boat in '88?"). something strange happened today. I was reading a news story referring to a speech hart made. Whose link was not working so I decided to go to his site.

Upon reading I realized he got it. He is in the game. Everything I have been discovering over the past few months about our society and system of government Hart has been writing about since 2000. I am leaving to go hunt down his book right now and make sure I am right.

Be back later.

posted by Kevin | 1/25/2003 05:51:00 PM


Leaving all kinds of children behind ... and the Democrats don't see it

I was talking with my father the other day ... he works for a community college in CA. He asked my advice about cuts in his school's budget and how to deal with it politically. Which made me think ...

Papers in New York, Minnesota, and even my hometown Redlands Daily Facts are reporting about large cuts in education at the state level that is occurring, due to huge state budget deficits.

In a related story the Democrats are trying to push for aid to the states and cities. The states need it for education and the mayors for homeland security among other things. But so far it has not caught traction with the Bush White House.

The Democratic message should be -> Saving Education, Protecting the Homland, and Boosting the Economy.

While the White House is busy leaving no dictator and no millionaire behind, Bush's high priority and advantage on education seems to have disapeered. not just shifted but disapeered. This is the kind of exposed flank Generals pray for.

The mantra is simple: Leave No Child Behind. Hang him with his own words. They need to hit the airwaves in unison. We are the party of Education and Homeland Security, not just in words, but in action.

Only question is: Why am not hearing it?

posted by Kevin | 1/24/2003 05:41:00 PM


Getting in the Game ... by talking about everyone getting out

Okay ... so this blog is now moving into its second phase. Instead of joining the voices of the simple insanity of the world. The focus of my writing focus on a single area of debate for a while (veering off course when ranting is necessary).

I want to discuss the decline of of the citizen in American society, government, and culture. I do not mean the fact that people don't vote, though that is part of it. It will be about the active movement of our country towards personal democracy and away from mobilization and action of citizenry. I would tell you why that is bad now, but then what you have to look forward too? enjoy reading.

posted by Kevin | 1/22/2003 02:26:00 PM


Even scarier ... 1984 in a new way.

Big brother was not necessarily a government in Orwell's book.

Two things have been brought to my attention today: NBC News signs with Teletrax and the RIAA won a suit against Verizon to get the name of a music file downloader. Both of these involve the ability of corporations to gain information that even the government can't get without a warrant. Why do they get to do this? Because it involves their "property"

However, there is also a specific amount of fair use in regard to copyrighted material. So if I want to use the NBC News footage within the rules of fair use or do the same with songs I am downloading on the internet. If each of these stories become the norm then not only will companies be able to digitally track their material to you, but ensure that if they can't figure out who they can force contracts to be opened in order to do so.

There is no way one can argue that we have fair use and free speech if corporations are allowed to track us and if corporations are also allowed to break anonymity guaranteed under the first amendment. No one seems to be legislating and it only being fought in courts where protection of property at all costs is general practice. we have to bring attention to this movement against your freedom of speech, your privacy, and your future.

posted by Kevin | 1/21/2003 07:22:00 PM

A scary thought ...reliving the Spanish-American War

I didn't watch Capital Gang last week and I sure neither did you, but conservative pundit Robert Novak (whom I have mentioned before), had some interesting words to say about the war:

"Talking to a senior official, and he said to me, he said, Well, if we don't hit in Iraq, where are we going to hit? And they -- it's a desire that the United States, the superpower, is going to manifest its authority to the rest of the world."

My god this is the arrogance that we display to the rest of the world? If the war is about WMD great go get them. If it is about oil I don't agree with it, but at least it still fits into our traditional understanding of national security. But to expand our post-cold war national security policy to include "displays of power" is an alarming concept that mirrored Britain in India, Germany in Poland, The turn-of-the-century powers in Africa, and most importantly - the Spanish American War.

Remember that one? The information was distorted and TR sent out ships to force McKinley's hand in order to display our military power to the world. In our history books it reads like a sad period in our history ... sounds like we're doing it again, but this time we aren't the underdog.

Someone send the White House and Pentagon Tom Atchley and his AP US History Curriculum.

posted by Kevin | 1/21/2003 06:37:00 PM

Muntant Relations

In an odd occurrence I read over at recently a US Court ruled that the mutants of X-Men are not human. This has of course set back mutant rights cause by 40 years ;). We live in odd times. This case was decided on the merits, and what I mean by that is they examined the origin story in order to make this decision. What next ... are we going to deport Superman as an illegal alien?

posted by Kevin | 1/21/2003 06:05:00 PM


So I guess it is time for me to talk about the Michigan case. Anyone who knew me in 1998 when I applied and started college will know where I am about to go with this.

First the Michigan Review has created a great tool, an admissions calculator, that allows to to see if you are automatically rejected or not. Two things to consider when using this tool 1) it does not give you acceptance or not, this simply tells you if you should apply, acceptance cut-offs for any given year will be higher than 100 points and 2) Actually look at the many possibilities of obtaining extra special consideration points, not just race.

Here are some examples: if you win the National Westinghouse Science Fair, from which MIT and Cal Tech pluck people to give full scholarships to, you only get 5 points. A middle-class white male from an underrepresented county in Michigan that wants to be a male nurse, would obtain 21 bonus points. If you have overcome Cancer to successfully recover your grades and lead the fight for a cure in your region you get 3 points. If you score a perfect on your SATs you get 16. If you started your own business and become a successful leader in an industry before you reach college you get 5 points.

Are you starting to see a pattern? The reason this use of affirmative action seems wrong is not just because of race, but because points systems are grossly incapable judging many students. Private colleges use SAT and GPA point scales to create a cut-off then examine each student that is above that cut-off on a individual basis. In major public school systems like at U of M and UC schools this process is dead, (unless appealed) the points alone tend to decide the acceptance.

This is because the legislatures and reformers saw the system is more "honest" and "transparent" thus keeping abuse from happening. However, what has happened is that in our high schools students are less concerned with their communities and enriching themselves through education and more concerned with "getting the GPA"

A simple solution would be to keep the exact same system, but instead of admitting people via that same point system, it could be used a the cut-off for individual review. This way they will consider a larger portion of minority and underrepresented students than they would, but not automatically accept people both white and minority that should give their place to the more accomplished, eclectic, or simply falling through the cracks.

Since when did politicians stop looking for solutions and simply pointed to something and declared it bad? Democrats and republicans both need to realize this is why they get paid the big bucks ... anyone can point it takes a leader to find a solution.

posted by Kevin | 1/19/2003 06:35:00 PM