• WTF? Saw an ad saying “Support marriage rights” that’s in favor of Prop 8, which ELIMINATES marriage rights! Someone’s got things backwards. (discussion at LiveJournal) #
  • Last-minute review of ballot propositions. Are we there yet? #
  • Naming proposed laws after people whose cases (a) inspired or (b) are used to promote them has jumped the shark, #

If I understand this correctly, it’s apparently okay to compare an entire class of women to pit bulls wearing lipstick, but using a worn-out cliché to compare a candidate’s policies to a pig wearing lipstick is sexist.

So is being called a dog better than being called a pig? Or is it just more offensive to dismiss policies than to make jokes about people?

This is going to be a long two months.

Today’s “Super Tuesday,” on which a whole bunch of states hold their primary elections. We still have have Democrats running against other Democrats and Republicans running against other Republicans, hoping to get their parties’ nominations for this fall’s Presidential election.

So it was weird last night to see an ad for Republican Mitt Romney contrasting himself against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Unless he’s changed party affiliation, he isn’t running against her. We don’t know if he ever will run against her. The Republican party hasn’t opted into California’s open primary system, so only registered Republicans are eligible to vote for Romney today, and they’re not likely to have considered voting for Clinton in the first place.

So who the heck was the ad aimed at?

Keep in mind that I don’t watch much TV, so this sort of thing might have been going on for a while, and I wouldn’t have noticed.

Had dinner at my parents’ last night, and at one point talk turned to yesterday’s primary election. It’s quite interesting that, within a matter of days, the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary chose different candidates for both major parties.

It points out something that should be obvious: State-wide primaries don’t tell you how well a candidate would do in a national election. Iowa Democrats preferred Obama; New Hampshire Democrats preferred Clinton. Iowa Republicans preferred Huckabee; New Hampshire Republicans preferred McCain. It shouldn’t be a surprise that people in different regions have different concerns.

Putting too much stock in the results of one state-wide race makes as much sense as having Oregon voters select the next governor of Louisiana.

On a related note, what is it that causes so many fields to settle into the equivalent of a two-party system, with two major players (sometimes balanced, sometimes one dominant and one major alternative) and a bunch of also-rans? Republicans & Democrats, Windows & Macintosh, Internet Explorer & Firefox (and previously Netscape and Internet Explorer), Pepsi & Coca-Cola, etc.

Sure, humans like oppositions. It’s what makes the false dilemma fallacy work so well rhetorically. But why is either-or thinking so prevalent in some fields? And what’s different about fields in which many alternatives hold each other in balance? Car manufacturers, for instance, or movie studios, or cell phone manufacturers.

This just showed up in my email from Babylon 5 Scripts:

J. Michael Straczynski with campaign sign: Londo/ G’Kar ’08: How much worse could it be?

From JMS’s Cafe Press store (the same site through which he’s selling his script books with commentary):

With the coming 2008 elections, there aren’t a lot of candidates we can agree upon. So as a public service, we are now providing a slate of candidates that will bring the country together in common cause and preserve many of this nations’ finest electoral traditions.

Slates available include Londo/G’Kar, G’Kar/Londo, and Zathras/Zathras (trained in crisis management!)

I remember having an unofficial Sheridan/Ivanova ’96 (or possibly Sheridan/Delenn) bumper sticker, but I’m fairly certain it was a homemade “Elect The Brain” (as in Pinky and the…) sticker that I actually put on my car that year.

Now if only they’d used the correct punctuation on the ’08 instead of trusting smart quotes. (That should be an apostrophe, not a left single quote.)