Uncle Josh Fights for the Commons (Multnomah County Measure 26-184

The “American Commons” is a phrase I use to describe my ideal political party, although at this point it’s really about being in full support of Democracy as opposed to Oligarchy or Monarchy. One of the things we need to do, as a country but also at every level down to the neighborhood, is apply Democracy to the election process. One way to do this is to publicly finance campaigns, letting each serious candidate draw from a stipend during the official three-month campaign season and have the state buy advertisement slots which can be distributed evenly among those candidates. In the meantime, we have Measure 26-184, which puts strict restrictions on how much any individual can donate to a county-level campaign. To win broad appeal, political figures will need to make a broad appeal instead of getting one or two special interests with deep pockets behind them. I am for Continue reading Uncle Josh Fights for the Commons (Multnomah County Measure 26-184

Uncle Josh goes all Aaron Burr (Oregon Measure 94 post)

Thanks to Hamilton, most Americans know a story of Aaron Burr. Burr does not always act to better his position, but waits for someone to realize his virtue and give him status. When he does decide to make a move to get into “the room where it happens” he finds the last available seat is taken up by Alexander Hamilton. Imagine (or remember) a time when the only way to learn about new movies was to read the news paper (which came to your door every single day) and scan the ads. Sometimes there was a movie reviewer, and some times an ad on TV, and sometimes schoolyard scuttlebutt. You are twelve years old. You see a bunch of movies that look good (they aren’t, but you’re twelve! What do you know?) and you look forward to a whole summer of catching movies. Then a new rating comes out: PG-13. Continue reading Uncle Josh goes all Aaron Burr (Oregon Measure 94 post)

Uncle Josh on Fear in the American Commons

In the world of jokedom, the 12:30 AM phone call is the teenager out after curfew with the family car, calling to say there was an accident. Dad immediately asks “How’s the car.” It’s not a funny a joke, but it is telling about what the Dad of Jokedom fears more than the potential loss of a child or even injury to that child: Loss of the family car. Why? Because without the car Dad has to go to work on Public Transportation, which may add an hour or two to his day. (My personal record: 5 hours on public transportation back and forth for a 4-hour work shift.) But also the cost of repairing the car on a tight budget may mean “no vacation this year” or “no meals out this month” or “no mortgage payment this month” which leads to living in smaller and smaller apartments for possibly Continue reading Uncle Josh on Fear in the American Commons