Hubbard Squash

Author's details

Date registered: 02/28/2014

Latest posts

  1. Democrats: If you really stand with women, revoke the NFL’s nonprofit status. — 09/11/2014
  2. Turning in my character sheet. — 06/08/2014
  3. Voter suppression efforts by Republicans still ongoing — 03/31/2014
  4. Sen. Joe Manchin (“D”-WV) calls for ban on Bitcoin. — 03/01/2014

Author's posts listings

Sep 11 2014

Democrats: If you really stand with women, revoke the NFL’s nonprofit status.

The NFL’s Ray Rice saga keeps going. America has seen the horrible abuse video. Now news is coming out of a cover-up that goes all the way to Roger Goodell. He thought a two-game suspension was good enough. He thought the video was under wraps. But it’s hard to keep something like this quiet  in the age of the Internet.

No, Roger Goodell, two games was not good enough. Only after public outcry did Goodell and the NFL act. The evidence is starting to show that he covered this up. Covered this up so the NFL could make more money. Covered this up since April. The NFL’s coverup and enabling of domestic abuse sullies the reputation of all levels of the organization, all the way to Roger Goodell.

Goodell is a greedy little executive that cares only about profit. The NFL enjoys non-profit tax-exempt status. It is time for that status to be revoked.

The Democrats are supposed to be the party that stands for womens’ rights. Now a time to put that in action.

The NFL makes tens of billions of dollars a year. Players like Ray Rice are millionaires. The NFL are not a nonprofit organization. It’s common sense. But in this corporate-skewed world we live in, common sense is in short supply.

The NFL should not be able to enable violence against women and still avoid paying taxes as a phone “nonprofit”.

Will Democrats act, or do what they usually do: nothing? Will the Democrats stand with women, or will they stand with greedy corporate donors?

Jun 08 2014

Turning in my character sheet.

In D&D and other nerdy table-top RPG games I used to play, we play different characters. Knights, dwarfs, vampires, super heroes, gunslingers. Those characters never last forever. They’re not real. When they are done, we hand in our character sheet. One rule in RPG’s was that things that happen in character shouldn’t affect the people we were in real life. When we handed in our character sheet, that character’s exploits were reduced to memories, but the people we were in real life lived on.

We all play characters in our lives. You may play a different character at work than you do with your family. On the Internet we play characters too, known by their Internet names.

I have to say that the character known as Hubbard Squash/Broke and Unemployed/whatever will be no more. This isn’t like the GBCW I posted on DailyKos. I am deleting my Twitter account, and will have no more dealings on political blogs or any type of social media tied to Hubbard Squash. Not as Hubbard or any identity tied to, or not tied to, Hubbard. Why?

Because a few on DailyKos, led by Denise Oliver Velez, have made it clear they are taking steps to ruin my real life. They want me to be put in jail for posting on DailyKos after being banned. One of them may be filing a fake police report right now. I don’t have time to work out the HTML but the comment thread is here:

http://www.dailykos.com/commen…

I wouldn’t be scared of these bullies normally, but this isn’t fair to my family. My wife is sick and about to go thru major surgery. After years of being Broke and Unemployed I’m about to start a real middle-class job in my field. Finally my wife won’t have to work so hard. Finally, we won’t be poor. They want to destroy all that because I posted on a blog and they didn’t like it.

To be clear, I never stalked anyone. I never took this Internet quarrel outside of Dailykos and Twitter, and few posts here at SHG. But there’s no limit to how far they’ll take it. They want to see me suffer financially. They want my family to suffer. They literally want me dead or in jail. And are taking the first steps to do that.

So Hubbard Squash and anything linked to that identity is gone forever. Any political activism, outside of local stuff I didn’t talk about on the Internet, is gone forever too. To protect my family from those who want to harm them.

Sorry for any trouble I caused at SHG. But I’m gone from the political Internet. For good. Because the most important character I play is that of being my wife’s husband. She needs me. Not in jail because some vindictive assholes gamed the system to put me there.

I have to protect my family above all else. So goodbye, and thanks for all the fish. At SHG you treated me with respect, and I’ll remember that.

Mar 31 2014

Voter suppression efforts by Republicans still ongoing

It’s happening so often it’s like we’re getting used to it. A voter ID law here, reduced voting hours there. Ho-hum, “nothing to see here” says Mainstream Cable News.

A New York Times article highlights ongoing efforts by swing states with GOP-controlled legislatures to make it more difficult for people to vote.

In my state, Ohio, one of the biggest changes will be in early voting. For 2014, people will no longer be allowed to vote the Sunday before election day. This may sound like small change, but it’s a big deal. Some churches have done “souls to the polls” efforts to transport their members to the polls, and they do it on the Sunday before election day. The Sunday vote is important to low-wage workers forced to work 6-day weeks to make ends meet. Sunday may be the only day they have to vote. In 2012, I voted the Sunday before Election Day, and waited 2 and a half hours for the privilege.

Republicans, of course, know this. “They know when they are taking away early voting exactly who it’s affecting,”, says Democratic candidate for Governor, Ed Fitzgerald. It affects black voters, low-income voters, urban voters, groups that trend Democratic.

Recently, a group of officials in the Cincinnati area took part in a 90-minute bus ride and walk to a proposed early voting site as a protest over how long the trip took from one inner-city neighborhood.

Another dirty trick is to require documents that are harder to obtain.

Other states are considering mandating proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate or a passport,

Low income voters are more likely to lack the time and money to obatin these documents. But that’s the point isn’t it?

Of course, in a classic mainstream media fair-and-balanced moment, the NYT article infers that by fighting against voter suppression, Democrats are somehow the badguys too.

Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, said Democrats had their own partisan agendas for doing so since an expanded electorate would benefit mostly Democrats.

“It’s not just out of the goodness of their own hearts they are doing this,” he said….

…”The case has not been made that these things so far have had a huge effect on turnout,”

But it has had an effect. Anecdotally, I didn’t wait in line at all in 2000 and 2004, but in 2012 I waited 2 and a half hours. My wife was forced to vote provisionally because her name was purged from the voter rolls, something mainstream media and blogs say isn’t happening. But it is. I used to just be able to show up, state my name, and exercise my right to vote. Now I need an ID and to make sure beforehand my name is still registered.

Even if mainstream polls and studies say there’s no decrease in turnout, voting is more difficult than it once was. Fact. It’s simple logic that if something is more difficult, people are less likely to do it. Waits are longer. There’s more hoops to jump through.

OK, so fighting against voter suppression does help Democrats, but it is also the right thing to do. For all their talk about being “pro-American” or whatever, Republicans have made it a priority to make it more difficult for Americans to vote. Their assault on voting rights is an assault on one of the most American of values: that everyone gets to vote, everyone has a say.

Voter suppression has been talked about before, but it’s not “old news”. It’s happening now. Republicans are getting away with it. It’s a dirty trick. By not talking about voter suppression, or even discouraging talk about voter suppression, we are enabling it. Not  only does it hurt Democrats’ chances in November, it’s fundamentally wrong.

Some of us in Ohio get annoyed at the Election Day circus that envelops us every four years. It seems like national politicians only care about us every four years, then return to Washington forgetting the people who helped them get there. We’re not stupid. We know it’s getting harder to vote, and if Democrats halfheartedly oppose voter suppression or wait until 2016 to care about it, we will remember. There needs to be a sustained, long-term pushback against the Republican agenda to Block the Vote.

Mar 01 2014

Sen. Joe Manchin (“D”-WV) calls for ban on Bitcoin.

Senator Joe Manchin wasnts to  ban the Internet currency Bitcoin in the US.

It’s a typical rightwing argument. Don’t like something? Ban it! Cuz, y’know, small government.

The unregulated DIY Internet currency Bitcoin has been a thorn in the side of governments and regulators since it was invented in 2009.  Manchin’s call to “BAN BITCOIN NOW!!!” comes from the latest uproar surrounding Bitcoin: the collapse of  the once-venerable Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Earlier this week, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox went offline, and hundreds of millions of dollars invested there by Bitcoin enthusiasts vanished. Though the concept of this shadowy cryptocurrency would require more than one diary to explain, the money invested in Mt. Gox was very real. The losses were very real, with some people losing tens of thousands or more.

One burned Bitcoin investor from the UK flew all the way to Tokyo to protest in front of Mt Gox’s office, and has become an Internet hero. In a video, he confronts a chubby t-shirt clad Mt. Gox employee who doesn’t look like a financial professional. That’s part of the problem. Mt. Gox was part of a first wave of early adopters of Bitcoin, of computer nerds and geeks who watched their new currency skyrocket from less than $10/BTC soon after its inception to over $1000/BTC earlier this year. Mt. Gox was originally a site that traded Magic: the Gathering trading cards that later got involved  with Bitcoin (Mt.Gox stood for Magic The Gathering Online eXchange). Mt. Gox did not have the necessary expertise, and got in way over their heads. The whereabouts of Mt.Gox’s CEO Mark Karpeles are unknown, as well as the whereabouts of 750,000 BTC (Over $400 million).

Still, Bitcoin enthusiasts are optimistic. Bitcoin crashed to less than $400/BTC after the Mt. Gox collapse, but has rebounded since to $550/BTC. So those who reinvested in Bitcoin during the crash are reaping the rewards, even as those burned by Mt. Gox are dealing with heavy losses. A new wave of much more serious Bitcoin exchanges are banding together and looking to experts from the financial world and are committed to keeping funds secure and handling them wisely.

So, Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere. It’s true that Bitcoin has been used for money laundering and drug trafficking. It’s true that Bitcoin is extremely volatile. However, If Sen. Manchin truly wanted to protect  “working Americans”, why not lump regulations on Bitcoin with a comprehensive package of Wall Street and Bank reforms? If it’s not OK for an enterprising group of nerds and hackers to play with their own brand of risky investment, why is it OK for rich suit-wearing banksters to play craps with our 401k’s on Wall Street?

Joe Manchin’s call to ban Bitcoin is just another center-right neoliberal fail. It’s part of the Neoliberal agenda to give Wall Street carte blanche to do as they please, but Main Street has to be carefully controlled and saved from themselves. Yeah, Bitcoin is risky. Those who invest in Bitcoin know what they’re getting into, and do so at their own risk. Manchin’s proposal is unnecessary and misguided, but not surprising. This is classic center-right Manchin.

There are political implications to this too. Bitcoin enthusiasts are most often young, smart, and computer savvy. Neoliberals like to think that their agenda “plays to the middle”, and wins elections. But, the Bitcoin world will remember this.

What’s that sound? It’s the sound of Bitcoins being deposited in Rand Paul’s presidential campaign coffers, and of the youth vote incrementally moving away from Democrats.