Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One last People's Choice nominees entry about songs in speculative fiction movies

"Stay tuned for the last entry of the month" was my message to conclude Speculative fiction in movies at the People's Choice Awards 2017.  I expected to return to reality.  Instead, I find I'm too exhausted from this month's news to rouse myself from my "I can't be in an all DOOM all the time" mood, so I'm going to indulge my interest in music from visual media today.

I voted for all the categories in the People's Choice Awards last night.  Having written about television and movies made it easy for me to vote for my favorites.  However, I'm not as up on pop music as I used to be, except for those artists that have songs in my favorite movies.  No surprise, I voted for Adele whenever I could in part because of her singing the theme to "Skyfall."  I also voted for Rihanna and Twenty One Pilots on the same basis, Rihanna because of her song in "Star Trek Beyond" and Twenty One Pilots because their song is my favorite in "Suicide Squad."  Here are those songs.

First, Sledgehammer (From The Motion Picture "Star Trek Beyond").

Next, Heathens (from Suicide Squad: The Album).

I fully expect one or both songs to be nominated at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.  I wouldn't be surprised if other songs from "Suicide Squad" are also nominated.  The movie probably has the best compilation song soundtrack of any live-action movie this year.  May the music be at least as recognized as "Fifty Shades of Grey" was earlier this year.

That's it for this month.  I promise to return to reality after midnight.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Speculative fiction in movies at the People's Choice Awards 2017

I promised "movies tomorrow" at the end of Speculative fiction on television at the People's Choice Awards 2017, part 2.  It's time to deliver.

Wochit Entertainment sums up what a great year it's been for speculative fiction of two kinds in Superheroes Dominate Peoples Choice Awards.

The Peoples Choice Awards have announced their nominees for 2016's ceremony, and superheroes dominate the Favorite Movie category.  The Favorite Action Movie category is 100 percent superhero biased, with Batman v Superman, X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad nominated. In the Favorite Movie category are superpowered blockbusters Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool and Suicide Squad, as well as animated features Zootopia and Finding Dory.
Yes, it's been a great year for superheroes and animated films, at least at the box office.  According to Box Office Mojo, the nine top grossing films of the year so far are either animated (1, 3, 4, and 6 are "Finding Dory," "The Secret Life of Pets," "The Jungle Book," and "Zootopia") or superhero flicks (2, 5, and 7-9 are "Captain America: Civil War," "Deadpool," "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," "Suicide Squad," and "Doctor Strange").  One has to go all the way down to #10 to find a movie that is neither, "Jason Bourne," a spy thriller/action film.  It probably won't stay there, as I expect "Rogue One" will knock it out by the end of the year.  If so, that will mean that six out of the top ten will be Disney movies.  As I shared in By popular demand, 'Doctor Strange' tops the box office, it's already been a record year for Disney and it looks like the studio may set an all-time box office record.

Follow over the jump for all the movie nominees, along with my comments about them and their chances of winning.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Speculative fiction on television at the People's Choice Awards 2017, part 2

"Actors tomorrow!"  That's how I concluded the body of Speculative fiction on television at the People's Choice Awards 2017, part 1.  Since it's tomorrow, actors today!
Andrew Lincoln
Ian Somerhalder
Jensen Ackles
Sam Heughan
Tyler Posey
My favorite among this group is Andrew Lincoln, Rick from "The Walking Dead," but Jensen Ackles, Dean from "Supernatural," is the previous winner and thus the favorite.
Caitriona Balfe
Emilia Clarke
Jennifer Morrison
Lauren Cohan
Millie Bobby Brown
While I'm rooting for Lauren Cohan, Maggie from "The Walking Dead," she's competing against last year's winner, Caitriona Balfe of "Outlander."  Normally, I'd say Balfe was the favorite, but Millie Bobby Brown from "Stranger Things" might just be able to pull off an upset.  Her performance as Eleven was riveting.

Follow over the jump for acting and performing nominations from the more mainstream categories.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Speculative fiction on television at the People's Choice Awards 2017, part 1

I closed yesterday's 'Shop Small' on Small Business Saturday 2016 by telling my readers "Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday, which will be about the People's Choice Awards nominees.  Sorry, no vote this week."*

Normally, I pay much more attention to the Critics' Choice Movie and Television Awards than I do the People's Choice Awards, but this year I decided to give the honors decided by popular vote first priority, despite stunts like the Mannequin Challenge at the People's Choice Awards 2017 Nominations Announcement.**

Celebs wreak havoc at the People's Choice Awards 2017 Nominations Announcement on November 15 in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to our celebrity presenters:

Boris Kodjoe
Jamie Chung
Jordana Brewster
Ken Jeong
Molly Shannon
Piper Perabo
Wilmer Valderrama
The People's Choice Awards don't take themselves very seriously.  In that regard, they're a lot like the Teen Choice Awards.  Since I cover those, I'll cover these.

Enough introduction -- it's time for the nominees.
The Flash
Once Upon a Time
The Vampire Diaries
Last year's winner, "Beauty and the Beast," was not renominated, so the contest is wide open.  All the rest of last year's nominees returned, so I expect one of them to prevail.  However, I have to go back four years to a field that did not include "Beauty and the Beast."  That year's winner was "Supernatural."  Based on that, I'd consider it to be the favorite.  However, it lost to "Once Upon a Time" at the Teen Choice Awards this year.  Since I prefer "Once Upon a Time" to "Supernatural," even though I watch both shows, that outcome would be fine with me.
American Horror Story
Orphan Black
Teen Wolf
The Walking Dead
Picking my favorite is easy for me--"The Walking Dead."  It helps its chances that the defending winner, "Outlander"  has been moved to the "Premium" category, along with "Game of Thrones".  The zombie show's win is not a lock, as both "American Horror Story" and "Teen Wolf" are returning nominees, "Orphan Black" earned an Emmy for its lead actress, Tatiana Maslany, and "Shadowhunters" won Choice TV Breakout Show at the Teen Choice Awards.  The competition is stiffer than the zombies!
Game of Thrones
Marvel’s Luke Cage
Stranger Things
Now, that's a field!  "Outlander" is a defending winner in last year's cable category, beating "Game of Thrones," a feat I expect it to repeat.  However, I think both "Westworld" and "Stranger Things" are better shows with "Stranger Things" being the more popular of the two.  While I'd vote for "Westworld" as the higher quality show, I think it's the year of "Stranger Things."  If any show can knock off "Outlander," the Netflix show will do it.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominated television programs in the relevant categories.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

'Shop Small' on Small Business Saturday 2016

Happy Small Business Saturday!  It's no secret I don't like Black Friday, calling it Buy Nothing Day instead, but I do support the idea of making the economy more local and sustainable, so I like Small Business Saturday.  So does the Obama Administration, as Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, states in Wall Street Journal's After Black Friday, Go Small on 'Small Business Saturday.'

Small Business Saturday, nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, puts the spotlight on the nation's 28 million shops along Main Street. Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration explains the vital role small businesses play in local communities and how companies like Uber and American Express are providing incentives for consumers to shop small.
I hope Trump finds someone at least half as competent to take her position.  As competent?  Sorry, I'm too realistic.

Since today is about local small businesses, this entry wouldn't be complete without some local examples.  Follow over the jump to watch WXYZ's videos promoting small businesses in Wyandotte, a community I use as an example of a walkable neighborhood in my classes.*

Friday, November 25, 2016

Eight years of President Obama pardoning turkeys

Happy Buy Nothing Day, my name for Black Friday.  I'm still in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, so I'm going to continue taking advantage of the holiday weekend to post something light-hearted, Obama's Top 10 Corniest Thanksgiving Turkey Jokes from the Wall Street Journal.  Don't worry about the sound cutting out; it will come back.

True to the decades-long tradition, the U.S. president pardons a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House every year. Watch President Obama’s top 10 most eye roll-worthy turkey-themed cracks of his presidency.
I am going to miss him, especially compared to his replacement.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vote for Troy Athens in the WDIV Battle of the Bands

Happy Thanksgiving!  As I type this, both the Macy's Parade in New York and the parade formery known as Hudson's in Detroit are both going on.  I wrote about the Macy's Parade twice and Detroit's parade once last year.  This year, I looked at the marching bands participating in both parades and found only one that inspired me, Troy Athens in Detroit's Parade.*
Just before Santa Claus makes his appearance on television during America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, look for the Troy Athens High School marching band.

“They’re very pumped,” says director Adam Cable, an Athens graduate in his first year at the helm.

Athens is one of 10 high school bands participating in the parade on Woodward Avenue, which is televised nationally.
The parade celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, Cable chose “Celebrate” by Kool & the Gang as one song that the 100-member band will perform as it marches the 2 1/2 miles of the parade route.
Why do I care about Troy Athens?  It's because I used to be a judge for the MCBA and Troy Athens is the only band in today's parade that competed in the circuit's shows this year, placing tenth out of twelve in the top class at this year's championship.  I may not have judged for MCBA for a decade, but I have some loyalty to the organization and its competing units.  Consequently, I'm asking my readers to vote for Troy Athens in WDIV's "The Battle of the Bands."  Click on the link to cast your ballot.

The Oakland Press reported "Athens has been named best band in past parades at least a dozen times," so I feel more optimistic than I did when I asked people to vote for Walled Lake Central in MLive's poll last year.   They ended up losing, but had a good time at the Macy's Parade last year anyway.

Finally, here is the band's performance at last year's MCBA championship, playing a space show.  I can never resist that.

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

*I'll be more excited about the bands in the Macy's Parade next year, when Rockford H.S. marches.  That band earned won the highest class in the MCBA championship, beating Plymouth-Canton, who marched in the Rose Parade this year.  Here's to hoping I remember to write about them next Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tipsy Bartender drinks for Thanksgiving 2016

Between recovering from post-election stress disorder and the upcoming holiday, I'm in another "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood.  That I posted three entertainment entries in a row probably tipped my readers off about that, even if two of them were also about the election results.  Therefore, I'm continuing with posts on the lighter side by being a good environmentalist and recycling one of my ideas, Tipsy Bartender drinks for Thanksgiving.  Since I skipped doing this last year, instead focusing on parades, I'm going to present last year's recipes a year late, beginning with Mini Apple Pie Jello Shots.  Unlike past years, where pumpkin was the featured flavor, this year's videos feature apples.

The cutest little apple pie jello shots ever!
Jello Mix:
2 1/2 Cup Apple Juice
3 Packs Gelatin
3/4 Cup Sugar
Dash of Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Fireball Whiskey
3/4 Cup Apple Vodka
Pie Crust
Another pie drink for American Thanksgiving!  As usual, everyone, including Skyy, is having way too good a time.

Follow over the jump for more, including the one recipe posted just this morning for this year's holiday.*

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

'Westworld's Thandie Newton talks about the U.S. election, Brexit, and her role

"I have more to write about "Westworld," but I'll save it for another installment.  Stay tuned."  That's how I finished Thanks to Infidel 753, I describe how 'Westworld' is like 'Jurassic Park' and it's how I begin today's entry.

As I've written before, I'm an environmentalist, so I not only recycle, I conserve my resources.  One of those resources is the video below, When Westworld Sounds Better than the Real World from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which was broadcast in conjunction with a Maeve-centric episode.  Since Sunday's episode also featured Maeve, I thought it was time to share it.

Westworld star Thandie Newton suggest that the US and UK are now closer than ever, and wishes it would cost less money to visit Westworld.
That was a hopeful message on her part about the election and a wise response from Colbert, although I'm not as optimistic that will happen.

Speaking of hopeful messages, Newton connected her role to her real life in the Los Angeles Times article Infidel 753 linked to.
Thandie Newton, who fights for women’s rights in her private life, is hopeful about the potential conversations around the show and her character Maeve. “This is one of those big, bombastic statements, that I don’t want to turn people off, but I really think it’s part of the solution when it comes to violence against women, when it comes to gender equality,” she says. “This was the first time in my life I was able to do the work that I do as an activist through the role.”
I can imagine that's a satisfying feeling.

"Westworld" will return for a second season, something I'll write about later.  I'd like to see Newton's character Maeve return, but after last night's episode and the previews, I'm not holding my breath.  In the meantime, enjoy this show about an MMO made real, another angle I'll explore later.  Stay tuned.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Melania Trump prefers Trump Tower to the White House

The New York Times reports Melania and Barron Trump Won’t Immediately Move to White House.
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, will not immediately move to the White House after Mr. Trump takes office in January, out of concern for uprooting Barron in the middle of the school year, transition officials said on Sunday.

Ms. Trump and Barron will remain in New York for at least another six months, the officials said. Speaking to reporters on Sunday at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., Mr. Trump said they would join him “very soon — after he’s finished with school.”

Mr. Trump said he would move to the White House. Still, with his family remaining at Trump Tower, the likelihood may increase that Mr. Trump will spend part of the week in New York.
For all of the enthusiasm that the president-elect displayed on the campaign trail, Ms. Trump, a former model, never shared in it. She did not join her husband other than for major events like the Republican National Convention, and she granted few interviews.
Keeping Trump Tower as a residence for the incoming president’s family will create security and logistical hurdles for the Secret Service and the Police Department. The tower is on Fifth Avenue, a major thoroughfare.
I'll let Iago from "Aladdin" express my reaction to this news.

Thank you, Iago.  I couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm also reminded of a skit from the Emmy Awards ten years ago: Donald Trump and Megan Mullally singing "Green Acres."

"The chores!" "The stores!" "Fresh Air!" "Trump Tower!"  Yeah, "Darling, I love you but give me Fifth Avenue!"  That bit now looks very prescient, except it looks like The Donald did not get Melania to sing "Good bye, city life" "The White House we are there!"  No, it will be just The Donald with his family visiting him, at least until July.

Megan told the back-story of that bit on the Conan O'Brian Show this summer: Megan Mullally's Emmys Duet With Donald Trump.

Donald was VERY into the concept of winning Emmy Idol back in 2005, so just imagine what he must be like now.
Considering that the show was nominated for eight Emmy Awards in its history, but never won, the "Emmy Idol" was the only award The Donald has ever won at the Emmys.  No wonder he wanted it so bad.  I hope he's as happy becoming President, even if the rest of us aren't.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanks to Infidel 753, I describe how 'Westworld' is like 'Jurassic Park'

Once again, I put the topic of today's entry up for a vote.  This time, all the votes came in as comments to the blog entry instead of the blog's Facebook page.  Infidel 753 requested "Westworld" while Paul Wartenberg cast a write-in for "Doctor Who."  That left me to break the tie, which I did in favor of "Westworld."  Sorry, Paul.  Maybe next time.

Infidel made the follow argument on behalf of his choice:
Can I vote for Westworld? I never much cared for "post-apocalyptic" anything, and by now it's become ubiquitous to the point of cliché. Artificial intelligence is the kind of thing science fiction should be addressing, since it's likely to lie in our actual future.
He then repeated his point in today's link roundup.
A new TV show looks at ethical questions involving artificial intelligence that the real world may soon have to face (found via Crazy Eddie).
Thanks for the linkback and hat/tip, Infidel!*  You also prompted me to write the "more thorough entry" I promised in Evan Rachel Woods on acting in Westworld.

Enough preliminaries -- time to talk about the show itself.  I begin with this bit of promotion barely disguised as a news report, Wochit Entertainment's What Is HBO's Westworld About?

Westworld, the new sci-fi drama series from HBO, promises to explore the current human fascination and dependency on technology, while exposing what our darkest desires are without having any consequence.  Of course the series is getting the HBO treatment, meaning more sex, more violence, and more shockers than the original film.
The similarities between Jurassic Park and, by extension, Jurassic World, and "Westworld" hit me very early in my watching.  Both explore the concept of using advanced technologies, genetic engineering in the case of the "Jurassic Park" movies and artificial intelligence plus robotics in the case of "Westworld," to create the attractions in a theme park.  Of course, both works originally come from the same author, Michael Crichton, and "Westworld" came first, so the inspiration probably flowed from the cowboy robots to the genetically engineered dinosaurs.  It seems that the influence has now flowed from back to its source, with "Jurassic Park" now coloring HBO's "Westworld."  Watch Westworld is Just Jurassic Park from College Humor to see even more commonalities between the two franchises.

Imagine a theme park populated with things from the past that eight year olds love...
Just because it's a joke doesn't mean it's not all true.  Just the same, I doubt the parallels involving the park's creators were there in the original "Westworld" movie.  Instead, I suspect they were added by executive producer J.J. Abrams and showrunners Jonathan Nolan and wife Lisa Joy, especially J.J. Abrams.  Not only did he suggest that the remake be a TV series from the androids' point of view, his "mystery box" philosophy of storytelling runs through the show.  I wouldn't put it past him to bring in some of the tropes from "Jurassic Park" to flesh out the current miniseries.

I have more to write about "Westworld," but I'll save it for another installment.  Stay tuned.

*Infidel is more of an optimist about the future than I am and appears to be less enamored with the zombie apocalypse, which I acknowledge is a scenario that won't actually happen.  That written, it does work as a metaphor for what makes Americans anxious about the present and future.  Just the same, Infidel did take advantage of an opportunity to steer my writing to a subject he found interesting, which I'm inviting my readers to do every week; more of them should do that when I present the opening.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Post-election stress disorder

After posting One week of anti-Trump protests and demonstrations in southeast Michigan, I realized that a lot of us are understandably anxious, if not downright fearful, of the results of the election.  Dr. Nandi of WXYZ in Detroit offered some helpful advice about how to cope with those emotions in Post-election stress disorder.

I especially like the suggestions of "contribute to worthy organizations" (Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Natural Resources Defense Council are all good choices) and "take action" (Coffee Party USA is always looking for volunteers!).  It beats curling up in a fetal position for the rest of the year.

Speaking of elections, it's time for the weekly vote.  I'll repeat what I wrote last Saturday.
Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment entry.  Leave a comment here or surf over the the blog's Facebook page to vote for the topic of tomorrow's entry.  The choices are box office and reviews for the opening weekends of "Arrival" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and how they compare to "Doctor Strange," more on "Westworld," trailers for "Rogue One" and "Wonder Woman," marches for the winners of the Electoral College and the popular vote, or write-in votes for any other entertainment topic.
Last week, the write-in for Leonard Cohen won.  What will the winner be this Sunday?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Chevrolet Bolt wins Green Car of the Year

I wrote a lot about the Chevrolet Volt during the first three years of this blog, including defending it against Newt Gingrich.  Now it's time to write about its little sister, the Bolt, which was just named Green Car of the Year.  Take it away, Detroit Free Press!
LOS ANGELES — General Motors'   long-range 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car was named Green Car of the Year Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Bolt's 238-mile range on a fully charged battery approaches that of a Tesla. Yet the Bolt, in many cases, is about half the price. It will be priced at $37,495 and is due to go on sale by the end of the year. After tax incentives, Bolt prices will start just under $30,000 out the door.

“There’s been a lot of talk about building an affordable electric car with a 200-mile range that brings electric vehicles to the mainstream, but only one manufacturer has done that, and it’s us,” Chevrolet marketing manager Steve Majoros said.

It's the fourth triumph of the week for the audacious Chevy, which aims to steal the mantle of electric vehicle leadership from Tesla. The Bolt won Motor Trend magazine's car of the year award Monday, was named a finalist for North American Car of the Year Tuesday and made Car and Driver magazine's coveted 10 Best list Wednesday.
Agence France Presse shows the car and the reaction of the GM executives to winning the award in Chevrolet Bolt EV wins 'Green Car of the Year' award.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV wins the 2016 Green Car of the Year award in Los Angeles, beating out the BMW 330e iPerformance, the Chrysler Pacifica, the Kia Optima and the Toyota Prius Prime.

CNNMoney has more about the car itself in Taking the Chevy Bolt out for a spin.

Chevrolet's newest all-electric vehicle is estimated to have a larger range than the similarly-priced Tesla. But will the cars be a hit with consumers?
The answer to the question is "I hope so."  In the meantime, I wish GM and the Bolt design team good luck with the judges for North American Car of the Year.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

One week of anti-Trump protests and demonstrations in southeast Michigan

My immediate reaction to the election of Donald Trump was to observe that Kunstler said Americans would elect maniacs.*  I then wandered away from the topic to write about public transportation losing in metro Detroit, good news from last week's election, and minor parties, with a brief return to the topic of Trump at the end of A final 'Hallelujah' for Leonard Cohen.  During that time, other people in the region were processing Trump's victory differently, beginning with protests the next day.  WXYZ has the story beginning with Donald Trump's victory sparked protests.

Donald Trump's victory sparks protests in downtown Detroit.
The action continued the next day as Trump's victory sparked protest at Wayne State University campus.

After the first couple of days of protesting Trump's election, the demonstrators changed the subject from Trump to the actions of the people following him.  WXYZ's More Anti-Trump protests show that pivot as people were objecting to chants of "Build that wall" at Royal Oak Middle School.

This incident hit close to my old home, as I not only lived in Royal Oak, I still work there.  I used to pass Royal Oak Middle School on the way home from work at least twice a week.  Also, the protest march started at my work.

Finally, even liberal Ann Arbor was not spared from supporters of Trump acting out against minorities.  WXYZ has that story in Hundreds gather in support of U of M Muslim community.

A giant rally at the University of Michigan in the wake of ethnic intimidation on the campus.
Good for the students at my graduate alma mater.

That written, I'm beginning to wonder what this will lead to.  I expect it will look like what Charlie Pierce of Esquire describes.
There seems to be little doubt now that the Trump presidency is likely to be marked by large-scale public demonstrations. The prospective Trump presidency already is marked by large-scale public demonstrations and he hasn't done anything yet except run a chaotic transition process and sneak out for a steak.

But whatever demonstrations occur, if Trump makes good on some of what he said he would do during the campaign, those demonstrations are not going to be limited to the streets of the big cities. And they're not going to be limited to angry college students and the Black Lives Matter movement. They're not even going to be limited to Democrats, or liberals, or any of the fantastic beasts of the Breitbartian collective imagination.
The question, of course, is how a Trump administration would respond to widespread civil disobedience and, so far, the auguries are not promising.
No, they're not.  We are still 1968.

*I'm showing "The End of Suburbia" this week and was wondering what the students' reactions would be to this prediction.  Tuesday's students were suitably freaked out.  I'm looking forward to seeing if Thursday's section reacts as strongly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Libertarians achieve 'major party' status in Michigan

I finished Greens win more offices than Libertarians in Michigan by writing "The Libertarians can take some consolation from achieving "major party" status, a topic I'll save for tomorrow."  The Greens may have elected more candidates to office, but the Libertarians won enough votes to play by the same rules as the Democrats and Republicans, at least in this state.  The Detroit News has the story.
Michigan Libertarians received enough votes to have their candidates listed in the next state primary election in August 2018.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson earned Tuesday more than the 154,040-vote threshold necessary for the Libertarian Party of Michigan to participate in the August 2018 statewide primary.

The former Republican governor from New Mexico won 172,711 votes in Michigan, or 3.6 percent of the state’s total vote. That’s the largest percentage of votes captured by a third-party candidate since Ross Perot won 9 percent in 1996.
I thought 2016 would be a good year for minor party candidates.  This is yet another sign that it was.

The good news is that the Libertarians will have more visibility.  The voting public will get to see the party's candidates' names on the August primary ballot and the party will likely be eligible to participate in more debates.

The bad news is that this means the party will have to work much harder, as Michigan Radio reports.
[Michigan Libertarian Party Chairman Bill]Gelineau cautions [it] will be a “challenge” for the party to maintain ‘major party’ status.

“We’re going to have to find a candidate that runs for governor [in 2018] who’s going to be able to express those values and rally people to maintain that level,” says Gelineau.

Along with fielding strong candidates, Gelineau says Libertarians will also have to back ballot questions in keeping with their philosophy of believing in free enterprise and the free market system together with a tolerant social policy. He says that would include legalizing marijuana.
That issue would probably be a winner in this state, as it contributed to some of the good news from last week's election.  The problem won't be the legalization vote; I'm sure that will happen.  Instead, it would be qualifying for the ballot.  Doing so is more difficult now than it was just a few years ago.

Speaking of which, major party status and participation in the primaries means that Libertarians will have to qualify their candidates for Governor and the federal and state legislatures by petition instead of by convention.  Ballotpedia lists the number of signatures required depending on the population of the district.   For State House, that's a minimum of 200 signatures.  One candidate could probably collect those.  It gets tougher for U.S. House, where a minimum of 1,000 valid signatures are required.  That isn't guaranteed even for major party candidates, as Thaddeus McCotter found out the hard way in 2012.  The hurdle rests even higher for U.S. Senate and Governor, both of which will require 15,000 signatures.  That's going to be daunting for a party that is used to nominating people at a convention for all offices.

When Gelineau said that the Libertarian party organization would have to change to accomodate major party status, he wasn't kidding.  The Republicans and Democrats have clubs in most medium-sized or larger municipalities (Royal Oak, Southfield, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield each have their own Democratic clubs), and those are where the candidates get a lot of their petitions signed.  I don't know if the Libertarians have that level of local organization.  If they don't, they might need to create it in order to qualify their candidates for the ballot.  That might be interesting to watch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Greens win more offices than Libertarians in Michigan

While I'm waiting for the final national popular vote to be counted and certified, I'm following up on a contest I highlighted in Michigan Green candidates from the bottom of the ballot to the top.
I'll start at the bottom of the partisan ballot by repeating what I wrote in June.
The most interesting in terms of practical effect are running for the lowest offices.
Finally, the Libertarians nominated three candidates for Ypsilanti Township Park Commissioner, Elizabeth Ceader, Lawrence W. Johnson, and Kalyn Sterzik.  Of this group, Johnson had previously run for Ypsilanti Township Trustee in 2012 and lost.  He and the rest may have more success this year.  There are currently four Democratic candidates on the August primary ballot for seven slots with no Republican candidates.  Unless another party nominates candidates or an independent files for the office, all three appear likely to be elected, serving as the opposition to the Democrats.
Even if these three are the only Libertarians elected in Michigan this year, 2016 would still be a good year for minor party candidates.
The Greens did nominate two people for these positions, Stuart Collis and Shauna McNally.  While the possibility of all three Libertarians serving has dropped, there will still be three minor party members of the board, at least one of which will be a Libertarian.  I personally think the Greens are a better match for the constituency than the Libertarians, but I have my doubts that they will be able to pull enough votes away from the Democrats, who I expect will all get elected, to pick off more than one of the Libertarians.  Still, this will be an interesting contest to watch for no other reason than seeing what happens when minor parties actually can compete and win.
I was right and wrong about this contest.  I was right that the Greens were a better fit for the constituency than the Libertarians, so I was wrong that only one of them would win.  According to the Washtenaw County Clerk, both did, leaving only one Libertarian to serve as opposition to the Democrats from the right.  Here are the candidates listed in decreasing order of vote totals/percentages with the party identifications added and the winning candidates names and numbers bolded.

Debbie Swanson (D)   17888    19.37%
Gloria C. Peterson (D)    17544    18.99%
David L. Streeter (D)   17051    18.46%
Edward Burnett (D)    17042    18.45%
Shauna L. McNally (G)      5009    5.42%
Elizabeth Corder (L)    4719    5.11%
Stuart Collis (G)     4580    4.96%

Lawrence W. Johnson (L)    4163    4.51%
Kalyn D. Sterzik (L)    3888    4.21%

It looks like I misspelled Corder's name, but that's because the Libertarian Party did, too (the error has since been corrected).  Still, congratuations to McNally, Corder, and Collis, all of whom get to represent the "minor parties" in local government.

By the way, they're not alone.  Jesse Torres was elected to the Holly Township Parks Commission as the only elected Green Party official in Oakland County.  She came in sixth for board with seven members (the seventh will be either a qualified write-in or an appointee).  Korie Blyveis was re-elected as Newburg Township Clerk in Cass County; she ran unopposed and still got 370 votes.  She was one of three Greens in local office in the state before last Tuesday, the others being Scott Klein on Hamtramck City Council and David Newland on the Bellaire School Board Trustee.  Finally, Tom Mair won a seat on the Grand Traverse County Commission, beating a five-term Republican incumbent.  That probably makes him the highest ranking elected member of the Green Party in the state out of seven.

On the other hand, no other Libertarian candidates won offices in Michigan as a result of last week's election.  Even adding Corder to the two elected Libertarians in Michigan gives them a grand total of three to the Greens seven.  Surprise!  The party that came in fourth in the statewide presidential contest beat the one that came in third when it came to getting candidates into office, including defeating them in the one local race where they competed head to head.

*The Libertarians can take some consolation from achieving "major party" status, a topic I'll save for tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Some good news from last week's election

Despite Trump winning and public transportation losing last Tuesday, some good news came out of the election.  New York Magazine forecast that Progressives Are Headed for Big Election Day Wins on Wages, Weed, and Guns.
[I]if polls can be believed, America will have less marijuana prohibition, more gun control, and higher minimum wages a week from now than it does today. Which may be the closest thing to “change you can believe in” that progressives will get for a good while.
Sure enough, Marijuana, gun control, minimum wage hikes win at the polls as Wochit News reported.

Filling a void created by congressional inaction, voters in a scattering of states tightened gun control laws and approved increases in the minimum wage. The campaign to legalize marijuana achieved a major breakthrough, with victories in at least six states. In all, more than 150 measures appeared on statewide ballots in Tuesday's election. California, Nevada and Massachusetts approved measures legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, while Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota voted to allow pot for medical purposes. A recreational pot proposal lost in Arizona.
Shades of Meanwhile, at the bottom of the ballot!

Vox had more on the results in Trump won. But so did marijuana legalization, gun control, and minimum wage increases.
While Democrats lost big, liberals won some of the big initiatives that were on statewide ballots. It wasn’t a total sweep — several states, for example, affirmed the death penalty — but there were gains on some issues, including marijuana legalization, minimum wage, and gun control.
At least the polls weren't wrong on these measures.

Crooks and Liars found even more good news for public education, environment, and diversity in Some Good News - Progressives Win Key Ballot Initiatives beyond those victories above.
Massachusetts voters reject charter school expansion. MassLive: “In a devastating loss for supporters of charter schools, Massachusetts voters on Tuesday voted against a ballot question that would have allowed the state to approve up to 12 new or expanded charter schools a year, outside of an existing cap … The pro-charter school money came from a mix of Massachusetts corporations, individuals working in the financial industry, out-of-state donors like the Walton family who owns Wal-Mart and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Washington State rejects “revenue-neutral” carbon tax. Seattle Times: “Initiative 732, which sought to apply a tax on energy-derived coal, oil gas garnered just 42 percent after ballot counts around the state … The measure had trouble marshaling consensus among progressive and environmental groups.”

“Florida voters say no to misleading solar amendment” reports Miami Herald: “Florida voters rejected Amendment 1 on Tuesday, the utility-backed measure to limit rooftop solar expansion, after a scrappy, grassroots campaign and last-minute revelations raised doubts about the proponents’ claims that their goal was to expand solar generation … with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting, the vote was almost evenly split, falling short of the 60 percent needed for a state constitutional amendment to become law.”

Progressive rising star Pramila Jayapal wins House seat. Huffington Post: “…she will be the first Indian-American woman to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives … Jayapal will also join Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the first Indian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Hat/tip to Infidel753 for finding this story.

I can at least feel a little better after reading all that, although it won't make up for what I expect will be lost when Trump occupies the Oval Office next year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A final 'Hallelujah' for Leonard Cohen

No one voted for the topic of today's entertanment entry, so I'm counting my own "write-in" for Leonard Cohen, whose song "Everybody Knows" I've used twice on this blog.  ABC News has the story in Leonard Cohen Dead at 82 | Remembering the 'Hallelujah' Songwriter.

Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet, novelist and musician best known for writing the song "Hallelujah," has died.
Cohen had been compared to Bob Dylan, who won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.  Some people were even suggesting that he should get the next one.  That won't happen; Nobel Prizes are not given to people who are already dead at the time of decision.

That written, Cohen's artistry and fame will live on, as it did last Saturday night, when Election Week Cold Open - SNL featured his most famous song, "Hallelujah."

Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) performs Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
No, I'm not giving up.  As Charles Blow wrote "I respect the presidency; I do not respect this president-elect. I cannot. Count me among the resistance...Power must be challenged, constantly. That begins today."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Double driving update for November 2016

Both cars turned over their odometers this week, so its time for a double driving update, just like the one I wrote for September.  Pearl passed 30,000 miles on Tuesday and Dez passed 53,000 miles on Wednesday.  After doing the calculations, Dez's odometer showed 52,000 miles on September 19, while Pearl's was at 29,000 on September 21 (happy birthday to me!)  Those mean that it took me 41 days for me to drive Pearl 1,000 miles and my wife 44 days to drive Dez the same distance.   That means I drove 24.39 miles/day and 743.90 miles/standard month while my wife traveled 22.73 miles/day and 693.18 miles/standard month over the past seven weeks.  Combined, we drove our cars 47.12 miles/day and 1437.08 miles/standard month since the last update.  Those are a lot more than the 17.54 miles per day and 535.1 (535.09) miles per standard month for Pearl, 6.90 miles per day and 210.34 miles per standard month for Dez, and combined 24.93 miles per day and 760.4 miles per standard month from September.  I drove as much during the past month-and-one-half as both of us drove during the previous two months!

So what changed?  I performed a lot of volunteering for the election, canvassing for candidates and dropping off lawn signs.  My wife visited our daughter in Chicago.  As long as gas is relatively cheap, we can afford to do things that are as high a priority as sustainability, such as family and politics.  The good news for our gas consumption is that the election is over and our daughter and her dogs will visit us for Thanksgiving.  In addition, I'll have fewer meetings to attend.  All that should reduce our driving considerably for the rest of the year, possibly even back to normal, which would be at or below 1,000 miles per month for both cars.

Our increased driving puts us in good company, as the Department of Transportation reported last month.
  • Travel on all roads and streets changed by 3.4% (9.3 billion vehicle miles) for August 2016 as compared with August 2015.
  • Travel for the month is estimated to be 284.9 billion vehicle miles.
  • The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for August 2016 is 268.6 billion miles, a 2.5% (6.5 billion vehicle miles) increase over August 2015. It also represents a 0.8% decrease (-2.2 billion vehicle miles) compared with July 2016.
  • Cumulative Travel for 2016 changed by 3.1% (65.3 billion vehicle miles).
  • The cumulative estimate for the year is 2,152.4 billion vehicle miles of travel.
Calculated Risk displayed the data showing the increased miles driven for all Americans.

True, we actually did not contribute to the higher miles driven during August, as we actually drove less this August than last August, as I reported in Pearl's driving update for December 2015, but I'm sure we'll add to the increased driving for September through November.

Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment entry.  Leave a comment here or surf over the the blog's Facebook page to vote for the topic of tomorrow's entry.  The choices are box office and reviews for the opening weekends of "Arrival" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and how they compare to "Doctor Strange," more on "Westworld," trailers for "Rogue One" and "Wonder Woman," marches for the winners of the Electoral College and the popular vote, or write-in votes for any other entertainment topic (ETA: such as the death of Leonard Cohen, whose music I've used twice).  I count those, as last Sunday's entry shows.  That was decided by one person.  It could be you.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day message from children to their parents

Happy Veterans Day, everyone!  To celebrate the holiday this year, I'm sharing Military kids thank their parents from CNN.

Military kids and their parents speak out about life on the home front.
In their own way, these kids are just as admirable as their parents.

Once again, happy Veterans Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Public Transportation also lost Tuesday

I had high hopes for the Regional Transit Millage, just as I did for Hillary Clinton.  Unfortunately, that, too, fell short as RTA millage rejected by metro Detroit voters.
The Regional Transit Authority millage appears to have been defeated, with unofficial vote tallies for all but one precinct in the four-county area where it was proposed.

The tax appears to have failed by about 18,000 votes.

Voters in Wayne and Washtenaw counties supported the tax, approving it 359,244 to 322,447, and 93,994 to 73,270, respectively. It fell short, by 1,109 votes in Oakland county, where the tally was 293,510 against and 292,401 in support. But, the opposition was greatest in Macomb county, with a vote of 222,806 no to 148,159 yes.
The RTA will not be able to try again for a millage for another two years.
Unlike Trump defeating Clinton, this wasn't shocking, merely disappointing.  It's particularly not surprising that Macomb County voted against the measure.  The county voted for Trump and was the least enthusiastic for renewing the Detroit Zoo millage last August.  Here's to trying again in two years so that metro Detroit can get the public transportation system it needs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kunstler said Americans would elect maniacs

Five years ago, I juxtaposed two quotes from James Howard Kunstler to reconstruct a prediction about American politics from the movie "The End of Suburbia."
There will be a great battle to preserve the supposed entitlements to suburbia and it will be an epochal act of futility, a huge waste of effort and resources that might have been much better spent in finding new ways to carry on an American civilization.
Americans will elect maniacs who promise to allow them to keep their McMansions and their commutes and that’s going to produce a lot of political friction, probably a lot of violence, probably a threat to our democratic institutions.
Kunstler was both right and wrong about that prediction, as I pointed out when I revisited that quote in my comment on Slowly, Then All at Once.
As for Trump, you once predicted that Americans would elect maniacs who would promise that they could keep the entitlements of suburbia.  Trump has shown you to be right and wrong about that.  Yes, they'll elect maniacs to protect the entitlements of suburbia, but those entitlements turned out to be psychological and social, not physical.  Trump's support is more a response to threats to the social environment as it is to losing SUVs and McMansions, which with the price of oil being low right now, are not issues like they were in 2008 and 2012.  Instead, it's immigration, terrorism, and "law and order."
What I also wrote, but didn't post because I didn't want to inflame Vlad, who now goes by Janos, and his fellow deplorables was a second observation.
The one thing missing from "The End of Suburbia" was any discussion of White Flight; the movement to the suburbs was all phrased in class terms, not racial ones.  That's something my students from Detroit and its suburbs notice.
I still managed to attract a response from Vlad/Janos, but I ignored him for my own peace of mind.  After last night's election results, I have no peace of mind left for him to disturb.

I'm not alone.  Here are links to others who are fighting a losing battle with despair:
Among my fellow circle of liberal bloggers on Blogspot, there is generally shock, disbelief, and possibly even denial.  The only one who seems to not be surprised was the most pessimistic, Green Eagle, who had been expecting a Trump victory for a while based on his cynical view of the American press.  So far, he's been vindicated.

On the other hand, I expect The Archdruid will be insufferable tonight, when he posts his weekly blog.  He's been predicting a Trump victory for months now and he's been proven right.  Barf.  I was so looking forward to rubbing his nose in being wrong.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Katy Perry roars for Hillary Clinton

It's Election Day and I've run out of things to say after this long campaign, so I'm just going to post this.

As Charles Pierce wrote the other day, Nobody Who Followed This Election Can Say It Hasn't Been a Show.
On Saturday night, in a band shed on the north side of the city, Katy Perry put on a show in support of the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Clinton has been using Perry's "Roar" as her walk-up music for her entire campaign. This is unfortunate for any decent song because, by the end of the campaign, it can make even HRC's most fervent supporters flee in horror. Hell, Donald Trump even has me wincing at "You Can't Always Get What You Want." I didn't think that was possible.)
Katy Perry sang very well on Saturday night. I didn't know many of the songs but people left the shed happy. Maybe they all went out knocking doors and making phone calls. Maybe many of them didn't. But nobody who followed this election can say it hasn't been a show. Are we not entertained?
Everyone, go vote if you haven't done so already, whether by absentee ballot, mail-in ballot, or early voting.  I'll be voting today, then watching the election returns.   I'll be back when the votes are counted.  See you then!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trump pulls a Gingrich on space

Four years ago, I wrote Gingrich shoots for the Moon while campaigning in Florida.  In it, Newt Gingrich proposed establishing a lunar base by 2020.  I portrayed it as playing to the voters on Florida's Space Coast and a grandiose aspirational plan for the country.  It elicited the most approval I've ever expressed about Gingrich on this blog.
Seriously, Gingrich's grandiose plans for space exploration are the only thing I like about him. They prove that, unlike much, even most of the rest of his party, he hasn't given up on science. I applaud him for that.
Even so, it wasn't enough to make me like him otherwise.
However, his ideas about space are not enough to get me to vote for him. It would be like voting for Ron Paul because of his anti-war and pro-legalization positions, while the rest of what he advocates is just unacceptable.
It also subjected Gingrich to a lot of ridicule, deserved or not.

Gingrich's proposal didn't help him win Florida; he lost to Romney.  Still, it was one of the few things I sincerely and unironically liked about any of the 2012 Republican candidates.

It turns out that Trump has just done Gingrich one better; follow over the jump to read how.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

By popular demand, 'Doctor Strange' tops the box office

As I posted in Fall back tonight, even if it may not be good for you, either, I asked my readers on this blog's Facebook page what I should write about for this Sunday's Entertainment entry.  "[S]hould I write about the latest movie trailers, such as 'Wonder Woman,' 'The Walking Dead,' or 'Westworld?'  Cast your vote in the comments!"  I didn't get a vote for any of those.  Instead, I got one for "Doctor Strange."   That wasn't on the menu, but I accepted it.  So, by popular demand, here is a combination review/box office report.*

First, the review from Wochit Entertainment: Pete Travers Gives 'Doctor Strange' "Thrilling" Review.

Reviews for 'Doctor Strange' have come pouring in and the results are pretty positive. Noted critic Pete Travers of Rolling Stone stated, [Cumberbatch], flashing an American accent eons away from the plummy tones of Sherlock or Hamlet, is the creative spark that ignites this bracing new entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. [Director Scott Derrickson deviates] just enough from the cookie-cutter Marvel pattern to become its own living, breathing, thrilling thing."
That's impressive.  I won't be going to the theater to watch it, but I'll be sure to pay the $4.99 when it comes to cable/satellite.

Next, Wochit Entertainment reports on the box office in 'Doctor Strange' Soars, 'Trolls' Misses Mark.

Disney-Marvel's long-awaited "Doctor Strange" is now expected to earn over $80 million in its debut weekend after making $32.6 million on Friday night alone. Predictions earlier in the week were set at $73 million for the weekend. The film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has already made over $100 million overseas. “Trolls,” the animated film featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, and Zooey Deschanel, is now expected to bring in $44 million in its opening weekend, slightly lower than the predicted $47 million.
According to both Business Insider and CNN Money, the film will bring in at least $85 million from the North American market this weekend.  The result will the first record-breaking weekend at the box office this year since "Suicide Squad" this August, 14th consecutive number one debut for movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a likely all-time annual box office record for Disney.  The studio made $5.84 billion in worldwide ticket sales from last year and was only $30 million away before this weekend.  It could shatter the $6 billion mark even before "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" debuts.  After those movies' runs, Disney could beat Universal's all-time record of $6.89 billion, thanks to "Jurassic World" and "Furious 7."  I will probably help with that record, as I might just watch "Rogue One" at the theater.

Enough fantasy.  Back to reality tomorrow, as there is still an election on Tuesday.  With that, I'm off to get out the vote (GOTV)!

*Come join the fun and like Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Facebook.  That's where I'll be posting a weekly reader vote from now on.  I count comments here, of course, but I get more there.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fall back tonight, even if it may not be good for you, either

Tonight is the end of Daylight Saving Time, so remember to fall back, at least for those devices that don't do so automatically.  In the meantime, enjoy this clip I promised eight months ago in Spring ahead for Daylight Saving Time 2016!>
All of us will get our missing hour back in November.  Just wait.  I'll even have another fake movie trailer for it.
Here it is, Daylight Saving - Movie Trailer.

This November, they call it Daylight Saving but the thing that needs us! WHAT TIME IS IT?! #DaylightSavingMovie
It turns out that, not only can Daylight Saving Time be inconvenient, but that falling back can be almost as bad for people as springing ahead.  Newsy has the story in Daylight saving time could be bad for your brain.

Researchers found setting the clock back for winter led to a spike in depression for some people.
I used to like Daylight Saving Time, but I'm beginning to wonder if the dozen states considering getting rid of it have the right idea.

Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday.  As I did for Halloween, I'll put the topic up for a vote--movie trailers, "The Walking Dead," or "Westworld."

Friday, November 4, 2016

WXYZ and Detroit Free Press on the Regional Transit Millage

There's much more on the local ballot than Clinton vs. Trump.  One of those issues I most care about is the Regional Transit Millage.  Yesterday, WXYZ covered the ballot measure in Voters to decide on Metro Detroit regional transit proposal.

Voters in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties will decide on a 1.2-mill mass transit proposal.
I don't agree with the spokeman for the opposition to the millage, but at least he's ideologically consistent in promoting Uber, Lyft, and driverless cars.  The first two, though, are really the present.  As for the third, I refer my readers to Self-driving cars--fantasy and reality.  I think he's too in-love with that fantasy--that, and low taxes.

As for an opinion I agree with, I'm quoting the Detroit Free Press.
Our mass transit is so shoddy, so full of truck-sized holes and gaps, and so underfunded that the mere words "regional transit" are most likely to evoke laughter, if not bitter tears.

Think about your hours-long commute. Ask why it’s so hard, if not impossible, to get to sports or entertainment events on mass transit — or from the airport to downtown or any suburban hub. Or imagine what it’s like to live in southeast Michigan if you’re poor, and transit is your bridge to opportunity.

All of this is why we cannot blow the opportunity on the Nov. 8 ballot to fund our Regional Transit Authority’s initial rollout of a better way, a more integrated and functional system to serve the area.
Not only am I advertising my yes vote here, I just picked up a lawn sign for the measure and put it by the street.  Here's to hoping my example spurs my neighbor to vote yes, too.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Surrogates galore in Michigan as campaign heats up

Since I posted Clinton regains double-digit lead over Trump in Michigan, the race here has tightened.   Epic-MRA, the same pollster I quoted in that last post more recently reported Clinton with a seven-point margin over Trump, while other polls have Clinton leading with by as little as one percent.  It's enough for FiveThirtyEight to lower Clinton's odds of winning Michigan from 86.2% last month to 78% now.  While that's still better than the 71.4% probability early in September, it's enough to attract the attention of both campaigns.  WXYZ had the story Tuesday in Michigan turns [in]to a battleground state for presidential election.

With just a week until election day, Michigan has turned into a battleground state with candidates and supporters fighting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton on Friday and Ivanka Trump yesterday.  WXYZ caught the latter visit along with one by Bill Clinton in Presidential campaigns push to win Michigan.

Former President Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to huddle with Detroit leaders about getting out the vote for his wife. Ivanka Trump also campaigned in Metro Detroit for her father.
The western side of the state also got its share of presidential proxies.  Follow over the jump for two reports from WOOD-TV.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Vox explains how difficult rigging an election really is

Yesterday, I promised I'd return to reality today.  Instead of more DOOM, here's something reassuring from Vox: Want to rig the US presidential election? Good luck.

Here’s why it’s nearly impossible.

A more complete explanation comes from the companion article on Vox's site.
Our system for casting and counting ballots is so decentralized, and has so many built-in safeguards, that you’d have to rig a whole lot of elections to actually sway the results. From regular maintenance of the voter registration rolls to poll workers overseen by both political parties to voting machines designed to catch anyone who tampers with counts, there are checks at every step of the process to ensure the election’s integrity.
The election system is not "rigged" in the way Trump implies.  There are other issues with the system, but voter impersonation isn't one of them.  I'd be more worried about Trump's buddy Putin, who does have the resources to tamper with the machines in the system, messing with the tallies in Trump's favor, but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Evan Rachel Woods on acting in Westworld

I'll return to reality shortly, but I'm still in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, so I'm going to mention what I think is the best science fiction show on TV right now, "Westworld."  It really deserves a more thorough entry than this, which I promise I'll get to, but for today I'll just let Evan Rachel Woods describe her experience as Dolores Abernathy, one of the "Hosts" of "Westworld."  From Late Night with Seth Meyers, Evan Rachel Wood Calls Westworld the Acting Olympics.

Westworld star Evan chats with Seth about the challenges of playing a robot and the cast's favorite plot theories.
Not only was that hilarious, it made me appreciate her performance even more.  She really does an excellent job.

As for the show, it's not the usual post-apocalyptic fare that I cover here, although this could become one, as the themes of The Singularity and associated robot revolt are written into the source material, but it's utterly engrossing, even if it's slow getting to the main plot.  My reaction to the first three episodes was "that was awesome, but I don't know if it went anywhere."  Just the same, I expect it will be a big winner at next year's Emmy Awards, if for no other reason than the next season of "Game of Thrones" won't air until Fall 2017, so it won't be eligible for awards this season.

I'll end with a reading recommendation, 'Westworld' stars explain how the series confronts contemporary issues of human nature and the fembot from the L.A. Times.  It's where I got the image and quote of Evan Rachel Woods above.  There are more from the rest of the cast, along with more analysis of the show.

With that, reality tomorrow, I promise!