Richard Tallent’s occasional blog

Thoughts on Healthcare

Earlier today, a PAC called “Friends of Bernie Sanders” sent out a survey about “Medicare for All.” Since I’m quite sure this is just a ploy for campaign contributions and not a word of the answers will reach the ears of any policy makers, I decided to answer the questions publicly instead. If my thoughts are going to be a tree falling in the forest, I’ll at least fell that tree in my own forest. Read more →

An Alternative to our Broken Delegate System

We all know the primary problem with our delegate voting system–it all but eliminates the odds of a third-party win, because voters have the Sophie’s Choice of either supporting the “lesser evil” major party candidate, or voting their conscience and risking that doing so will tip the scale toward the “greater evil” candidate. I’ve looked into alternatives such as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), but they tend to be complicated, and would require both retooling of all existing manual and electronic voting systems and retraining the entire populace in how to vote. Read more →

Libertarians, Check your Privilege!

I’m happy you found in Gary Johnson a candidate who agrees with you on social issues, foreign policy, and domestic security. I’m right there with ya. But before you jump on that train, you should understand libertarian *economic* positions, because they are downright bonkers. (If you think I’m making any of this shit up, go read the party platform, as well as speeches and interviews by the current and past candidates. Read more →

You don’t get to decide.

I posted this on Facebook, but since there’s a sliver of a chance that someone still reads this blog, I’m cross-posting it here. I just got blocked by a photographer friend because I stood up for TG people while he was making demeaning comments people self-identifying as something other than their birth-assigned gender. I can argue all day with my conservative friends about taxes or federalism or foreign policy, but I won’t stand for belittling of marginalized minorities. Read more →

“Take Our Country Back”

When someone says that, this is what I hear: TAKE — providing nothing in return, using force, manipulation, mob rule, bribery, obstruction, or any other means to achieve the goal. OUR — WASPs, aka “real” Americans. COUNTRY — militant nationalists, willfully ignorant of anything else going on around this tiny blue dot. BACK — back to the days when non-comformists and minorities of every kind were enslaved, ridiculed, railroaded, interred, denied the right to vote, and ignored in the courthouses and statehouses. Read more →

Ten Reasons I Hate Local News

Let me preface this by saying (a) I used to work in local television, and (b) I have friends who are or have been part of the industry, so I don’t really blame the on-screen talent or even some of the people behind the scenes. I hate local newscasts. I still record one newscast a day, and skim it about 75% of the time, usually during dinner. I’ve chosen the least objectionable local newscast, which for me is KFDM, but it’s still pretty terrible. Read more →

The Michigan Abortion Law

My Facebook feed blew up today with articles about Michigan’s new law regarding abortions, which basically says that health insurance in Michigan can’t cover elective abortion by default, you have to pay for it ahead of time as a separate rider if you want it. One thing that pisses me off about the press is that they rarely if ever actually link articles directly to the text of the bills and judicial decisions they cover, which allows them to just lazily report the outrageous statements on both sides of the issue. Read more →

Social Security and the Debt

I saw yet another graphic on Facebook being shared that claims that Social Security has no problems at all, and that we don’t need reforms. Unfortunately, much as I am a fan of the system and its successes, this just isn’t the case. Until now, we’ve been running a surplus in Social Security taxes, due to the balance of young vs. retired workers. Now, we’re right at the edge of the revenue equalling the payouts. Read more →