Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Politics

Fri, Jan 27 2017

Beguiled

I caught myself reaching for a link to an online game this morning while I was enjoying a warm cup of liquid. It was one of those games that has little gems or jewels in rows and columns. The object is to make switches in order to get three or more of a kind in a straight line. It's too easy to go from playing three rounds to playing 30 rounds. Thankfully, my brain reminded me that this morning's game was intended to be only a brief distraction.

Somewhere behind the attention required to play the game my brain was seeing something that made me realize that such a game is kind of a fast-moving matrix for plot elements and twists. While one thing resolves or falls into place, something else changes with one or more characters reacting to it.

Now I need to make my own matrix for those times when I get a bit stuck on the way a plot is moving (or not moving). I don't condone playing games in order to procrastinate, but in this case when my subconscious mind was working on a story, it turned out to be a good move. Fiction does have to flow somewhat naturally from a character's make-up, but fiction, like real life, sometimes throws a monkey wrench (or a gem) into the mix of things.

posted at: 11:33 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Fri, Jan 20 2017

Covering the Parade

I watched quite a bit of the inaugural ceremony earlier today and then viewed the parade and the subsequent attempt at torching metal trash receptacles by a few. There should be a better English term for one who throws tantrums and starts fires when they don't get their way. Arsonist doesn't quite cover it, because arsonists often set fires because they fixated on the blaze and the tantrum-thrower isn't quite that focused. They usually come ill prepared to create a proper flame and they run out of fuel and end up tossing in everything from metal items, which don't burn well, to their own clothing, which leaves them a bit defenseless if/when the police bring out the water cannons. Vandal might be a better term, because it involves destruction of property with no real control over the outcome. And, as a side note, to the people who damaged the vehical carrying media equipment, why would you hurt the very ones who are giving you the best chance at getting attention?

The actual parade was full of movement and music, protectors and performers, rugged blast-proof vehicles and a photographer walking backwards to capture that close-up shot of the drum major (who never broke stride). It was a rather wet day, but that worked in favor of the whole event. The rotating lights of the official motorcycles would have been pale in direct sunlight, but with a backdrop of gray sky and soft rain, those same lights became a brilliant banner of red and blue stars with silver metallic outlines. Very patriotic on such a winter's day.

It's fun to live in a country where people can either celebrate or protest on any given day without getting our heads chopped off for exercising our rights. I have no doubt that both protestors and celebrants will talk about this day. But there's the parade and the pageantry. And then there's the day-to-day work we each have of being an American in 2017. That's a parade where no one gets to be merely a spectator.

posted at: 15:51 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Mon, Oct 19 2009

No, and nothing but no

I just deleted a whole blog post on health care reform because my emotions are too high to make my point in one or two paragraphs. For now I will just say that I will not support any form of government-run plan, including any of the ones House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come up with recently. Each suggestion for reform becomes more ludicrous than the last, including the notion that people should be fined for not buying health care. If that's their best idea for reform then they are making the best case for why they shouldn't be doing this at all. I will not support government-run health care. And I will not vote for any politician who does. I can't tell the rest of you what to do. But I hope you will at least study the history of health care, the history of other government-run programs and consider the chances for success if the government makes your health care decisions for you.

posted at: 14:18 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Tue, Sep 08 2009

American know-how or American know-it-alls?

I was heartened by the fact that many people gave President Obama's talk to students a fair chance today. It's a little frustrating when folks get so frozen in one major party or another that they see everything in black and white when the world is so many colors. I've always remembered that President Bush was readng to children at a school when he received the news about the events of 9-11. It was a shame that it happened at all, but in some ways it was kind of comforting (in an odd sort of way) to know that our country's major political leader could be going about his day doing something simple for children and have his day shocked the same way the rest of us did. It never occurred to me to make his visit to the children political, except to see that it was the kind of thing that presidents do. Thank goodness he didn't read about elephants or donkeys that day. It might have looked partisan and started a big row among those waiting for a chance to throw a verbal punch.

Can't we just enjoy President Obama talking to kids? I'm all for choice and fairness and respect, but this partisan bickering is starting to look silly and irresponsible to me. I don't want to be negative, so I'll just say that I hope we can focus on the issues and stop labeling people as liberal/stupid and conservative/stupid. With the anniversary of 9-11 coming up in a couple of days, this is a great time to focus on pulling together and helping one another along the trail. It's okay to have a joke or two and express our opinions, but the name-calling and personal ridicule are making both those who claim to be liberal and those who claim to be conservative both look mean-spirited and evil-minded. We can be better than this.

posted at: 18:27 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Wed, Jul 01 2009

One tiny corner of a story of the buried difficulties with our state budget

In the midst of all the other fiscal lunacy going on in California, I ran across a story at the Chico Enterprise Record web site, involving houseboat owners at Bidwell Canyon Marina in Oroville. I went and had a look at the Bidwell Marina site, but there doesn't seem to be any news of evictions or contracts or anything else. If 900 boaters are being told to leave, I would want to know that before I got myself too entrenched in any plans at all at the marina.

I'm wondering how many other dramas are being played out at various parks and recreation areas all over the state. I hate to see the National Park Service take over, which is something that has been talked about lately. States seem to have fewer and fewer options apart from the federal umbrella as it is. I'd like to see as much state power left to states as is reasonably possible.

posted at: 15:58 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Wed, May 20 2009

D.C. politicians have a spit-wad contest while Californians just say no

There's just too much name-calling going on in Washington this week for me to link to any of those current news stories. It's the type of silly drama I'd expect from little children, but not from grown men and women drawing a salary on taxpayer money.

Meanwhile, yesterday the citizens in California voted to make do with less on a state-wide level. I don't really think it was a knock against one politician or another here. Taxpayers are just feeling stretched on a rack right now. Some of us have given up cable TV and going on vacation. Many have traded eating out for eating in, and a few are having to also cut back on supplies for eating in. Some of us have tightened our belts so much that tummies are close to touching backbones. Of course, if we can feel our backbones, that may be the best thing for us, because backbone is exactly what it's going to take to get things done. And this time we're not in the mood to do it without stressing a few officeholders at the same time. Have you heard of the No Budget No Pay movement? I'm thinking that yesterday was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taxpayer angst.

posted at: 10:55 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Tue, May 19 2009

California special election

I hope my friends who are working today to help people vote are staying busy, even though predictions were that there would be a light turnout. Californians are voting on six different measures. Meanwhile, Governor Schwarzenegger received an invitation to the White House and I hear he took advantage of using his absentee ballot.

posted at: 12:49 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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