Politics

May. 2nd, 2015 09:09 pm
emgrasso: (raptors logo)
[personal profile] emgrasso
The world seems to be pushing toward activism this year, sometimes in odd ways.

1)

DuPont is having a contested Board election this year. I usually don't bother sending in proxies -- I almost never own more than 100 shares of any one stock I've invested in, so my choices are likely to be hidden in the statistical noise. But the DuPont board of directors, with many millions of shares of which I own 100, called me FOUR times to make sure I would vote in the election... so I voted.

I did not vote for anyone on either Board of Directors slate (as far as I could tell it was a choice between sharks and tapeworms).

I voted for the proposed auditors, and against the executive compensation that was being proposed (see comment about tapeworms).

And I voted in favor of all of the questions that had been placed on the ballot by trade unions and religious groups.

I don't expect my votes made an real difference -- I'm a couple of decimal places below anything that will even show up in the voting reports. But there may be a lot of small stockholders like me who will be harassed into paying attention to the ballot. Maybe some of the ballot questions will make it out of statistical noise territory.

2)
Bernie Sanders.

For a long time I was registered as an Independent. Then one year there was a local race where the Democratic primary mattered more the the general election (there's a reason they sometimes call it the People's Republic of Boulder), and it occurred to me that it had been at least 10 years since I'd had an opportunity to vote for a Republican candidate I found acceptable, so I registered as a Democrat.

In the past few years I have started occasionally making small political donations, and also 'signing' various on-line petitions. I'd like to think that some of the recipients might check their donor lists and the petitions they receive for correlations, but I honestly don't think they are that smart. In 2014 I donated to the Democratic Congressional campaign rather than to my actual Representative because I did not like the way he voted on a few things in the lead-up to the elections, and I would be stunned if the analyses could pick up that sort of subtlety.

I donated to Bernie Sanders, possibly just outside the first 24 hours after he announced his presidential campaign. I want his voice in the debates and the Democratic platform. (I've been realizing lately that many of my opinions are left-ish even by Canadian and European standards.)

I got a phone call from the Hillary Clinton campaign this afternoon. I enjoyed telling them that I was supporting Bernie. Maybe it will decrease the phone-spam I get. Or maybe not. I think I was averaging more than a call a day from campaigns and pollsters last fall.

3)
The 2015 nominations for the Hugo awards were hijacked by a bunch of people with appallingly horrible taste who took advantage of a loophole in the rules.

The first WorldCon I attended was IguanaCon II in Phoenix in 1978. I have been an attending or a voting member many times since then (with occasional gaps), but have rarely nominated anything.

I think I missed voting last year due to health and other distractions, though I had a voting membership. I generally approved of the results and definiely approved of the Hugo for best novel.

I am voting this year. Emphatically. "No Award" is an option in Hugo voting, which is nice when all of the options presented are mediocre or worse. I am also making a point of buying works of non-slate nominees in the categories that have them.

I have sampled the works of some slate nominees who dropped out due to disagreements with the organizers of the ballot-stuffing, and I'm sorry to say I have not found anything that makes me regret that they are non longer on the ballots.

There is one special case: I bought the latest book in the Dresden series by Jim Butcher when the ebook first came out. It had some nice bits and the writing is decent, but I would have been surprised if it showed up on the Hugo ballot. Having it show up as part of the slate is... disconcerting. It indicates that he is not part of my tribe. What's the saying? "If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas". I'm a cat person.

I have been reading and enjoying the Dresden series long enough that I would have bought the first volume of Butcher's new series on spec when it first came out if he had not displayed a casual opportunism regarding the slate that I find a bit off-putting. I think I'm going to wait for either the paperback release (and accompanying ebook price cut) or mind-bendingly good reviews before I sample it.

My voting membership this year gives me nominating rights next year, but I have also just bought my voting membership for 2016 (which will give me nominating rights in 2017) and mailed out the fee for voting rights in 2017 (which will give me voting rights in 2018).

Unlike past years, I'm going to make use of my ability to nominate. I tend to think of myself as not a short fiction reader, but I read enough on-line and follow enough links from various websites and blogs that I have more exposure to current short works than I've had since I stopped subscribing to some of the genre magazines, 25 or 30 years ago.
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