Want to join in? Respond to our weekly writing prompts, open to everyone.
Want to join in? Respond to our weekly writing prompts, open to everyone.
from Gerrit Niezen
This morning I discovered Trefle, an API for plants, through the r/hydro Reddit. What is exciting is that it does seem to cover a number of the variables I'm looking to include in my growing spreadsheet:
There are also other interesting fields, e.g.:
Trefle gets its information from a bunch of sources, including USDA, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, Wikimedia and PlantNet.
While Trefle itself isn't open-source, it should always be free for open-source projects. Another alternative to consider, that is open-source, is OpenFarm.
from Ronald Steegstra
Wie biedt ons bescherming tegen de (IT) wetenschapper. Met straling en andere modem verschijnselen. Tegen de smaaktwisten voor content, cookies en chips. Wie redt ons van de data en wettelijke bescherming van bezit door gebogen en geknakte recht geleerden. Waar kan ik bescherming vinden tegen al die nieuwsgierige mannen met hun neus achter de schermen, echt dichte gordijnen tegen vragende blikken. Wanneer kom ik los van de wil van anderen om mij te laten scheiden van mijn zuur ontvangen centen. Je hoeft niks van mij te weten en ik zit niet om je object verlegen. Jullie waarschijnlijke aanwezigheid is frustrerend, vervelend en vermoeiend. Hier is niks te halen maar blijkbaar is dat een reden voor een dubbele dosis stompzinnigheid, aan de ene kant voorkomen de geheime wanden dat er iets noemenswaardig gaat gebeuren in dit al te eenvoudige leven en aan de andere kant loeren dezelfde personen of deze frustrerende situatie iets veroorzaakt waardoor er reden is tot zorg, angst en noodzakelijke interventie. Het is van de zotten.
Mag ik alsjeblieft geregeerd worden door fladderende vlinders, wilde bloemen, vruchten aan een boom en niet door overleg, methoden, infrastructuur, belasting en metadata. Liever het rechtvaardige toeval van de natuur dan boeken vol wetten, regels, plichten die we in de loop der eeuwen, geregeerd door het altijd eerbiedwaardige en wijze verstand, heilig hebben verklaard.
Na jaren van pleiten, zitten in zalen, lezen van slechte zinnen is de kromme situatie nu officieel goed gekeurd. Krom is het nieuwe recht. Daar hebben we hard voor geschreven, gesproken, herschreven, uitgesproken, geformuleerd, gewist, informatie gereorganiseerd, structuur aangebracht, maar dan heb je ook een gebogen situatie recht gemaakt. Applausje voor de hersenen en het daarop aangepaste woord. Nu dan getrouwen, laten we deze overwinning op onszelf vieren met bouwplannen voor een papieren paleis met een spitse toren. Het theoretische paleis van Babbel.
Meester Dokter Ingenieur aan u de eer, knip het lint door. 'Dames, vrouwen, meisjes, Heren, mannen, kerels, venten, knapen, jongens hierbij verklaar ik het overleg voor het begin van een mogelijk plan voor de bouw van een papieren paleis met een hoge spitse toren voor geopend. Over vijf jaar verwacht ik dat we kunnen aanvangen met het openbaar maken van ons idee met een officieel goedgekeurd plan.' knip
Something is wrong with the current state of this planet.
Have you ever felt in your bones that something is seriously wrong with the way the whole system is running ?
People are moving day to day yet they are going nowhere, like mice maneuvering through a maze only to end up on a stationary wheel.
A scientist did an experiment in where, whenever he fed his animals food, he would ring a bell. After a while of continuously doing this, he realized that whenever he rang the bell, the animals would salivate.
That is how most people behave with money.
What I am saying is that it seems, most of our basic tools have been weaponized against us.
Has your body been weaponized and used against you to prevent you from reaching your highest possibility ?
That is something to contemplate about.
There is so much pollution in Nature, hundreds of animal species have gone extinct because of capitalization and we have the audacity to call all this progress.
They say justice is blind and Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold. I say, that blindfold is made from paper or plastic etched with numbers on it that we call money.
Something is seriously wrong with this planet.
from Hey It's Me
I'm back from my “expedition” to the highest mountain 🏔️ in my country. It took us two days because we wanted to see the sunrise 🌄️ at the top; it was beautiful. At night I saw so many stars and I also saw the milky way; it makes you think about our existence. I'm incredibly grateful to have friends ❤️ like that.
Here are some photos I took. The views are incredible, and the trip was the highlight of this summer. Now I'm getting ready for University in October. I know it will be a lot of work, and I need to start looking for more balance to handle the upcoming challenges.
its the first day of fall. summer is over and i am incredibly tired today. i work another 2 days before my day off. i should be grateful for my job and i am . i just think i am too old to do it anymore. i made it through today and thats what counts. the last 2 days have been split shifts so i was just too tired to even think when i got home.
the chores later will be to feed all the creatures and bed them all down for the night. hopfully tomorrow will still be a short day and i can be home early and maybe get a few more things done.
i got some happy mail today. a post card from the UK . will have to start to make one to send back. thats the idea is to make postcards to send. its fun to do, but someday i am going to make something i wont want to send....lol i also have 3 ATC's to get out this week. i had to stop and get stamps on the way home today. most of my cards go to the USA. i was hoping to be trading more with Canada but it is what it is today. maybe in the future there will be more to trade with. i just need more time to make the cards. work sure gets in the way of some things.
so tonight instead of going back to work and working till 9, its shower and bed by 830 and hopefully sleep well until its time to get up. see you all tomorrow....
from Kamen Reader
Ah, un bon vieux calembour tellement foireux que c'est même plus un calembour, il était temps de rehausser le niveau de mes vannes de titres (
ou pas). Pour cette vingt-et-unième issue on va causer de l'annual Tortues Ninjas publié par IDW. Achtung spoiler si vous n'avez pas encore lu TMNT #100.
Scénario : Tom Waltz Dessin : Adam Gorham Couleurs : John Rauch / Michael Garland Lettrage : Shawn Lee Editeur : IDW publishing (VO)
PLOT : Après les conséquences du #100, Oroku Saki est de retour et décide désormais de faire amende honorable pour la chance qui lui a été offerte mais ses rêves sont toujours peuplés de démons et d'angoisse. (Voir la saga “Shredder In Hell”) Dans l'ombre, le Roi des Rats veille au grain... Il est bien décidé à utiliser certains personnages à des fins personnelles. Si il n'arrive pas à corrompre Oroku Saki de redevenir Shredder, Karai s'avère nettement plus sensible à son invitation à la violence. Et pour finir, il interfère même avec Leatherhead qui sert désormais d'hôte à un Utrom. Les pions sont en place, la partie peut commencer...
MON AVIS : C'est un très bel annual, c'est bien écrit, c'est bien mis en scène et c'est un bon récap' sur la situation mais ce n'est malheureusement rien de nouveau. Toutes ces conséquences logiques des évènements n'apprennent rien de nouveau et font plus numéro d'exposition pour le Rat King qu'autre chose. Et d'après moi ça aurait pu être condensé dans un numéro standard d'autant plus qu'on savait très bien ce qu'il advenait du duo Utrom/Leatherface à la fin du #100 et pour ma part, j'aurais préféré que ça reste dans le mystère que ça supposait, laissant une sorte d'impression “à suivre...” plutôt qu'une nouvelle utilisation d'un personnage par Rat King.
J'avoue que c'est un personnage que je n'apprécie pas, non pas que le design soit pas bon mais c'est ce que j'appele un “master plotter” (maître de la planification) qui passe son temps à tout mettre en place, à faire les bonnes choses pour que tout se déroule selon ses plans et étant donné la nature même des comics je m'attends à un épilogue final pour le personnage sous forme d'une défaite par les tortues ou Leatherhead ou même Karai et qu'il lance un : “Ah ben ça s'est pas passé comme je le prévoyais, mais j'aurais ma vengeance !” tandis qu'il prends la fuite, mortellement blessé. Vous voyez le topo...
Sinon c'est un numéro de bonne qualité, le nom de l'artiste ne me dit rien mais je trouve qu'il assure très bien la partie graphique avec les deux coloristes. Visuellement c'est un numéro plus que correct et narrativement il présente bien les choses mais de mon point de vue, tout ça aurait pu être condensé en un numéro de la série régulière et faire de l'annual quelque chose de plus distrayant de la storyline principale. Mais le soucis c'est qu'il se passe tellement de choses depuis TMNT #90+ que c'est difficile de choisir. L'attentat de Hob, le retour de Shredder, les Mutanimals, Jennika...
Le numéro est bon mais je suis déçu par le contenu, je ne suis pas fan de Rat King et j'aurais aimé que ce ne soit pas quelque chose d'aussi convenu que le méchant qui prépare ses machinations. Le fait qu'il efface la mémoire à court terme de Leatherface me dérange aussi. Je sais bien que c'est un dieu et qu'il peut influencer les choses mais “un petit passage de main devant les yeux et il oublie ce que je veux qu'il oublie” c'est Star Wars-tier. J'espère simplement que le personnage vaudra l'exposition qu'il a dans ce numéro sachant qu'il est là depuis un bon moment et qu'on savait déjà que c'était un comploteur.
à choisir j'aurais préféré un annual sur Gothano
NOTE : 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑
BILAN : Un numéro sympa mais dispensable pour moi, Rat King ne m'intéressait pas plus que ça. En plus j'avais hésité mais tant pis. C'est loin d'être nul, je n'ai pas perdu mon argent et je ne me suis pas ennuyé mais c'est simplement que le sujet m'a pas emballé. Je suis quand même pressé d'en savoir plus sur la suite de la série notamment avec Karai.
#issues #idwpublishing #tmnt
Impressed upon the mind through pain, the deepest memories are of the worst things that have happened to us.
The worst things that have happened to us are not painful simply because they happened. But remain painful because we feel that we deserve what happened to us.
The mind searches for a lesson where very few can be found; fear grows out of a dissatisfaction of this need. Like picking at a scab, the mind reopens wounds to alleviate an immediate discomfort by searching for what is not there.
Accepting that having reasons to blame yourself is not evidence of singular fault. A person does not choose who they are, that they are born, and among whom they are born. We are products of things only beyond our control, and we do not control our failures.
We only believe in free will if we want to claim the right to blame and punish. The better of us reserves that right for against ourselves. The best of us realize that we are our own persecutors.
I'm growing my hair out a bit more, I decided. Not to the 6.5 inches it was before, but longer on top a tad more than it currently is.
Sianara, Mike's Thoughts! I liked reading your blog, never corresponded with you, though we probably have a few things in common, but not a lot. Hope to see you back on W.a in the future :)
Coffee is up. Need to check the forecast for tomorrow morning. I hope it is cool outside (and low humidity) around 8 AM. Looking forward to a hike.
Also, got in my strength training for this evening. Felt good.
I like this concept of “apartment camping”, or just living in my apartment in between outings on the trail or wherever in the county. I mean the place is cozy, and is quite home-like, but I treat my apartment as a sort of shelter, and not much else. The 300 sq ft unit in STL was ideal for me, though I didn't do much to/with it while I lived there. Was fun at the time.
Life is easy in this regard: just living in a bare minimum apartment, with bare minimum stuff, bare minimum responsibilities (or no responsibilities), bare minimum aspirations, yet, always content with living in the Here and Now and enjoying life. Simple stuff.
And yet, there is more to rid myself of. In terms of “not serving me any type of purpose stuff”. I won't run down a laundry list of things I am ridding myself of, but there are a few (kinda big) things I am getting rid of, but again, I have no use for these items. To be honest, more (GOOD) things are staying than there are (BAD/USELESS) things being donated/thrown away.
The coffee is good. Cooling off now. The neighbors are still up and about and on their respective balconies, doing their thing. The clock just struck midnight.
I have number crunching to do in the next week or so. Bills must be paid :/ Not just bills, but Internet re-activation at the new apartment, forwarding my snail mail, moving the heavy stuff to the new place (and up a flight of stairs) on Sept. 28, putting the bills at the new address in my name/cancelling the bills here. The only thing that is remaining the same is my phone number, my e-mail, my debit card – hell, even my State ID has to have an address change on it, not that I bothered to update the ID when I moved to this address four years ago. As far as my ID is concerned, I still live in Pevely, MO., LOL! It'd be cool if I just didn't have an address. Or didn't bother with snail mail, did all mail contact digitally. I can try to go paperless with bills (which I always sign-up for, they always break the agreement and send me bills through snail mail, anyway). I can try again, though. And I sorta wish there was a service to just “CANCEL” mail. Like fill out a form with the USPS and request to not get junk mail anymore, no more flyers, or catalogs, or anything like that. Worth looking into.
On that note: there are no services (regardless of the bill delivery method) I can cancel, either. I “need” Internet, or at least phone data (WiFi is not 100% necessary for my life). I can't cancel electricity or gas (this apartment heats itself with a gas method). And obviously I cannot cancel rent, LMAO! Phone (and data) costs are small. $30 a month but I can at the drop of a hat go to $60 a month plan and have unlimited LTE, which is worth considering, and just tethering when I want, which is entirely possible with this (Android) phone. That cost goes UP but the WiFi bill would go DOWN (to $0), saving me $30 a month. Not exactly hurting for the money saved, but would appreciate one less bill (one less thing to think about).
So let's set some priorities – I will:
and go from there :)
Be back in a bit!
Globalization: A Changing World
Globalization is the interconnection of national economies across the world on issues such as trade, labour, banking and the movement of people, goods and services. Basically this means that each government around the world is allowing their people to do business beyond their own borders. The world is rapidly shifting from self-contained and isolated economies to a more interdependent global economy. In a globally interdependent economy, a Filipino might use a phone designed in the United States that was assembled in China by Apple from components made in Japan and Germany. A phone used by a Filipino is only one of the many examples of globalization.
Globalization is evident in my daily living. From making my breakfast using kitchenware and appliances mostly made in Japan to the air conditioner I use when I sleep at night. In times when the house is too boring, I use my phone to play music through my earphones that were designed in South Korea and assembled in China. Globalization has also affected my choices of books authored by Indians and Americans. My preference for food has also changed due to globalization. Part of the necessities and a little section of who I am is all because of globalization.
Foreign trade, for me, is the most common form of globalization and the highest in profile. The practise of importing and exporting products with other nations is known as Globalized trade. In a typical setting, companies do this in order to access a product that is not found domestically. This will open new markets for their products and find low-cost business environments through comparative advantage. In other words, global trade is bringing something in that you may not typically find at home. Although this is a decreasing category of trade since the advancement of technology has made it possible to manufacture products almost anywhere around the globe. History has been shaped by trade for access, such as the Chinese sailing across the sea to trade porcelain with Filipinos for spices. Today's equivalent might be exchanging foreign money with domestic money.
As the saying goes, “The only constant is change.” Our world as we know it is rapidly changing through globalization. We may not know it but the change is faster than we think. Before people used horses as their transportation but now people can't go by without riding a bus or a car. The global economy is changing due to its changing demands. This is fueled by the growing number of competitors or hypercompetition. These changes have brought advantages and disadvantages. In trade, it has limited barriers across other nations. This encourages most economists and major governments to embrace free trade as an organizing principle of global economics. While globalization allows for a more efficient movement of goods and services, this tends to advantage large companies at the expense of small ones. In our city, I have seen businesses forced to file for bankruptcy due to the influx of competition within their area of business. Nevertheless, due to these new entrants, it has developed the city's economy.
Many have opposed globalization as it vanished the pride of national economy. Many are against it due to the detriment of the middle class because as globalization has turned every economy into a global market many companies now outsource jobs from the developed countries in contrast to developing ones. I may not know every argument introduced by critics and every advantage shown by supporters but I do know that globalization is a reality and it has given the world an opportunity to be more interconnected and a change that we will never forget.
International Business and trade John Paul R. Abul (BAOM2 Ext)
Woke up early to do some meditation and a tarot draw before work (got King of Pentacles). Work was only “okay.” This one client is being particularly frustrating and difficult to deal with, but I think I'm almost done with that project and will be able to fully focus on the next one starting tomorrow. Context switching is incredibly difficult for me.
Finished reading Southern Cunning. Took a walk after lunch and grabbed some pine cones I plan to make into all-natural bird feeders for Mabon tomorrow. Those things are sticky! There's still some pine sap stuck to my fingers.
#work #mabon #witchcraft #100DaysToOffload
There is a book (and documentary) called The Smartest Guys In The Room about the rise and downfall of ENRON (the Fortune 500 Company that went bankrupt in the early-2000's). I saw the book in 2004, wanted to read it, bought it, read it, loved it, and later saw the documentary. There are many things to be said about the book, but the part that stuck with me the most was the “Guys With Spikes” chapter. It was about the company's CFO, Jeff Skilling (later CEO), and how he went about interpreting people, possible employees, current employees, humans in general, and seeing the “best” people (or the people he most identified with) as “guys with spikes” – or people who like to take things to the extremes.
In his case it was a totally different meaning (dirtbikers, Libertarians, outdoorsmen, blah, blah). But for me, I borrow the term as “People with spikes” (regardless of gender), and I find myself identifying with them the most in this life. Not extremist in the media sense of the word (which the media tends to think anyone that isn't 110% lock-step conformist is a “radical extremist”). No, I mean people who “go all the way” with whatever it is they are doing/trying to achieve in life. No excuses, no setbacks. I identify with (and consider myself to be) several things that “just so happen” to be consistent with my character:
Let's address one by one
Minimalism: I like to see, or identify with, people in the online world who take minimalism “to the extreme”, without being “cut off your nose to spite your face” type of sacrifical minimalists. When people have a well-rounded belief around why they shouldn't (or don't want to) own a lot of stuff – this is appealing to me. I, personally, have not counted the amount of things I own because the number would be arbitrary, but I have very little and appreciate the things I DO have greatly.
Writing: I read a lot of blogs, and of course I write numerous blog posts a day. And it has been this way for around 15 years (just a shade under that), but, I like when people write often, write well, and make it their primary focus in life TO write. I identify with this lifestyle.
Music: I cannot say I will ever achieve, or even get the opportunity to HEAR the highest levels of sonic landscape that can be observable by the human ear. There are speakers that go well over $500K. Each! I like better than average (in some cases, MUCH better than average) music listening experiences, and I like (identify with) people who put in a conscious effort to improve their music listening experience.
Vegetarianism: this one, I DO like to see people take to more extreme levels. Not just vegetarianism, but veganism, fruitarianism, intermittent fasting, One Meal A Day (OMAD), and things like that. I am not recommending anyone go to any extremes when it comes to diet (or exercise, for that matter), but I like that there are people out there that keep “pushing the ball forward” in terms of what can be done with the human diet, and setting an example of “Hey, if this person can eat only mangos for a month, maybe I can give up dead animal flesh” type of thing. I've been vegetarian for 6+ years, and I oftentimes have a high-fruit diet with a focus on veganism (no eggs or anything), and it has helped me immensely in life.
Mother Nature: I'm not very “outdoorsy”, I wouldn't say, but I do like getting out and hiking as much as possible, breathing fresh air, admiring (almost worshipping) nature in every way. I identify with people who live primarily IN nature, all the time. Offgrid campers, thru-hikers, vagabonds, etc. I am “akin” to that type of person, I feel.
So, yes, I feel I both identify with and am a “person with spikes”. Or at least it is how I see myself.
Thanks for reading :)
I just went over to the laundromat and got a couple sodas from the vending machine, as I turned around I noticed the “reading ledge”, as I call it, with books, magazines, and the ocassional newspaper there for people to read as they wait for their laundry to get done. I, personally, donated two issues of Offscreen Magazine to the pile, as well as a couple books over the years. This time, I saw a TIME Magazine and a People Magazine, and I thought: “where do they even SELL these magazines anymore?” I mean if you go online you can get a subscription through the mail, I am sure – much like how I subscribed to Offscreen (at one time) through their Website, but, I don't know where you could go to buy a glossy magazine anywhere in St Louis outside of bookstores.
This is neither bad nor good. I don't have sympathy for the magazine publications closing their doors, and the things were essentially wasted shelf space in gas stations and grocery stores when they WERE available. Independent magazines are kinda neat, and “zines” are always fun (I once called this blog a “personal zine”, which it is, it just doesn't have that tagline anymore) – but I think major magazines are going away more and more. Certainly if you cannot buy them conveniently, less people read them and are less likely to subscribe to them.
This reminds me of the actual personal zine I once tried to put together (albeit, a very short one) called “The Zine Around The Corner Vol.1”. I still have the PDF docs for it, and two relatives just bought very high-end copiers/printers, so maybe I can look at it again?
Worth thinking about
Cleaned the kitchen counter and sink, started dishes, sprayed the living room + bedroom with Fabreeze (which I purchased earlier today), and now everything smells (and looks) nice and clean! :)
Still need to deep clean the stove, and the bathroom, as well. I will also dust and use the new glass cleaner wipes (as I couldn't find Windex) on the sliding glass door and my apartment's single window. Also, the bathroom mirror and oven (as there is a mirror-like material to the front of the oven). Basically, everything will get wiped down before I move. I am going to try to save some of the cleaning supplies for when I move into the new place, though, because even though they will paint and put in new carpet, I still want to make sure everything looks/feels/smells flawless.
In terms of moving, I think this will be the last move for the coming years. I got four years out of this apartment, and I don't see moving elsehwere in the following four years. Being so close to a park that I can hike, and the good location, I will likely stick around S St Louis County (particularly this apartment complex) for a good while longer. I wouldn't be against moving to somewhere like Boston (if I could afford it), or something like that, but that would be in the distant future. But if I am being totally honest, I am ready to move to somewhere with a lot more nature. Somewhere like Wyoming, or even Idaho. Beautiful scenery up that way. I remember an old friend, “R”, who was going to move to Pocatillo (sp?) Idaho to be next to family. He didn't have a car, and planned on renting an enormous U-HAUL to bring all his stuff with him, despite my advice to pack a couple medium-sized bags and take a plane. Due to this U-HAUL inconvenience, he ended up settling on moving to Arkansas to be next to other family members. I got dispatches from him and what it was like to rent a small house (with four other people!) in Arkansas, and how broke everyone was, suffering – it was sad. But that's how it went for him, no word from him in years, and I doubt I'd hear from him ever again.
Anyway, coffee is good tonight. 7:30 PM, 12 hours since this AM's first blog post. I have more cleaning to do. More everything to do, haha.
Be back in a bit!
> Maybe the world would be a better place if we didn't > constantly strive to crush our enemies, see them driven > before us, and hear the lamentation of their village > folk. Maybe it would be a better place if we let everything > find its niche or its market and not worry about the > choices of others.
I suspect your maybe's presume beings far superior to those designated human.
And the government is people.
See also: doing the math.
Marketing is also people.
<repeats the math>
> The 2020 election has already started—with voting > already underway in many states—and it would be a truly > inexcusable act of hypocrisy and injustice for Trump and > Senate Republicans to move any nomination forward.
Too bad those well versed in hypocrisy and/or injustice tend to be pretty darned good at excuses too, hey?
Whereas no particular number of parties consisting of selfish beings is better than any other number of parties consisting of selfish beings, non-selfish beings can create any number of excellent parties.
So guess what really needs to happen?
Yesterday I did not shower. Not afraid to admit it, just got caught up in the day (and listening to music) and didn't find time to shower. Now, I just hopped out of the shower and feel refreshed! Good thing, too, because I was sweating all morning from the wait time at the Auto Spa :/
Took vitamins, had cold water, and now I can get in a strength training sesh this evening. Hoping for a cool morning tomorrow so I can hike, as well, which in all likelihood I will :):) Chances are I will go to the Mississippi Overlook Trail and do that. Only done that trail once before. Will be fun.
Now, maybe some coffee?
from Green Politics
While gathering signatures to put Howie Hawkins, the Green Party presidential candidate, on the ballot in Virginia this November, I often came across Democrats who refuse to sign. 2020, apparently, is the most important presidential election ever, which means that no one other than Democrat Joe Biden should even appear on the ballot. Of course, the idea that this election is the most important one is a tired cliché. 2016 was supposedly the most important election of our lifetime. So was 2012, 2008, 2004, and 2000. Each election is so important – so integral to the success of American democracy – that there is not a single opportunity for any third party to participate ever. Sorry, maybe next time.
It is time to retire this cliché and recognize instead that this election year, more than ever, we need third parties. By we, I do not just mean those of us on the left appalled by Joe Biden’s rejection of Medicare for All, reductions in the military budget, or the legalization of marijuana. I do not just mean those who are fed up with the two-party system and its inability to reflect the diversity of views that voters hold. Rather, everyone has something to gain from supporting third parties this year. The two-party system encourages partisanship and negative campaigning which undermines rational decision-making and discourse. It results in captured constituencies that have no alternative channels through which to make their voices heard, resulting in their concerns going unaddressed. It limits public discussion to the options proposed by those two-major parties, ossifying debate into a black-and-white dichotomy. It results in a self-fulfilling prophecy in which dejected voters begrudgingly vote for the “lesser evil.” Shamed and browbeat into believing that third parties can never win, voters pick the two-major parties yet again, preventing third parties from winning and justifying another round of shaming and browbeating. At a time of uniquely high partisanship, negativity, and voter apathy, it seems that now, more than ever before, we need third parties.
Even just having the choice of voting for a third party can help break these patterns. Yet, third parties are forced across the country to meet increasingly difficult thresholds just to compete. We need hundreds of thousands of signatures from registered voters just to get on ballot lines, enormous fundraising just to get those signatures (and the Green Party takes no corporate or Super PAC money), and 15% in the polls just to get into the presidential debates that millions watch. We are systematically excluded from media coverage in all mainstream outlets, or ridiculed and smeared if we are covered. The pandemic is making all of this much harder for us, but no one seems to care. We sued Virginia to eliminate the signature requirement for this election only, but the court refused, forcing us to still get 2500 signatures in the middle of a pandemic. This is a major threat to our democracy, but it received next to no media coverage.
This sort of intense restriction and blackout can end as soon as enough voters demand to live in a real democracy, not just a pretend red-or-blue one. Of course, it is an uphill battle. Despite the best efforts of the two-party system, we did succeed in at least getting write-in votes for Howie Hawkins to count this year. Democrats will no doubt discourage people from voting their values and insist that anyone writing in Hawkins is “wasting” their vote. But in reality there is no time to waste voting for the same old parties that got us into this mess. This is, after all, the most important election of our lifetime.