Top of the Ticket

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Clipped from the SAMPLE ballot in my home jurisdiction of Santa Clara County, Calif.

My choices in this state for the next President of these United States on Nov. 8 (or before, if I choose to vote early):

Gloria La Riva, Peace and Freedom Party – This party is farther to the left than the solidly progressive Green Party. La Riva makes Jill Stein look like Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, GOP – [sigh] Where do I start? You know what, I won’t. Next ticket…

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party – While Johnson has the right idea on some issues, he has some misguided views or has waffled on others. If Bill Weld was at the top of this ticket, I would have given this team greater consideration.

Jill Stein, Green Party – I was for her, albeit reluctantly, as she is closer to being a progressive as Bernie Sanders than Hillary. While I uneasily put up with Dr. Stein’s reluctance to fully denounce people who are against mandatory vaccinations and her openness to clinging to certain nutty conspiracy theories on a variety of issues, there came a point where I could no longer reasonably support her.

Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party – She’s always been a strong, well-qualified candidate. My interest in her declined upon Sanders’ entry into the race and after learning about her insufficiently progressive credentials. My distaste for her became even more pronounced when the Democratic National Committee, in those leaked emails from Wikileaks, revealed how the party establishment was unsurprisingly in the tank for Clinton while trying to undermine the Vermont senator. I don’t care that much about the emails, Benghazi and a bunch of other issues surrounding her like the Right does. Some of them are problems in their own ways but she has settled those issues in various ways. Still, I’m unsure about throwing my support around her just yet.

______________ (write-in candidate) – The California Secretary of State says I have these five options for this line. It’s good to see Bernie as a legitimate choice although it was not organized by the senator himself. Even if I did write in Bernie, he has virtually no chance of winning. In the off-chance he did win this and enough of other states to receive at least 270 electoral votes, there’s no guarantee he will even accept the offer to serve as the 45th President of these United States.

I didn’t struggle this much with the down-ballot races and propositions. Never have I struggled much about voting for anyone of any level since I began voting in 2008. You can easily deduct who I might gravitate toward at the top of the ticket but even I’m still not sure if it is a done deal just yet. I also know there are at least two candidates I definitely will not be voting for. I know, I live in a solid blue state so it doesn’t matter what I think.

I’ll be glad when it’s finally Nov. 9.

On This Sunday: Only one so far?

On This Sunday, I’m glad the midterm elections are finally behind us. The results were truly disappointing and I won’t miss any of that.

When it comes to the racial composition of congressional leaders, among the Asian-Pacific Americans that currently serve or have served in Congress, only one was Korean-American — Rep. Jay Kim, a Republican who represented a district in Diamond Bar, Los Angeles County from 1993 to 1999. Makes sense since Diamond Bar has a significant concentration of Korean-Americans along with the L.A. area being home to the largest Korean population outside the two Koreas.

Unless someone beats me to it within the next ten to twenty years, I hope to be the second Korean-American to serve in Congress as well as the first Democrat in the legislative body. It could likely be a district in California or some other state that I may find myself in down the line. Wherever it happens, I would be honored to make a difference on many levels.

Have a wonderful week, America.

Winners and Losers: Social Media Edition

I am launching yet again another new series on simonoh.com. Winners and Losers highlights individuals and organizations that deserve praise and (gentle) scorn for the good deeds or misdeeds that have done. Themes will vary by edition.

This week, we take a look at some of my nominees for Winners and Losers in the realm of social media.

Winners

Morons. (referring to the vandals)

Hope you don’t mind walking 33 blocks if you don’t want them driving you around.

1. Gap – Racism is an abhorrent element of our society. Ignorance of different races exacerbates the problem.

Fortunately for the Gap clothing company, they appeared to have a contingency plan in place to combat potential racist vandalism of one of its ads featuring a Sikh fashion designer wearing a turban and a woman. Surely enough, some of its ads in New York City were indeed vandalized with racist markings, suggesting that the man was a terrorist and should stop driving taxis.

After receiving reports from observers on Twitters with photos of the defaced ads, Gap responded that it promptly went to work in replacing those ads. The company even changed the header photo on its account with the untarnished ad photo.

Good on Gap for presumably having a plan readily in place to suppress such mishaps and acting swiftly to combating something that could have very well damaged its brand.

Isn't he cute with those glasses on? People with glasses are the best. (Yes, I am biased, too.)

Isn’t he cute with those glasses on? People with glasses are the best. (Yes, I am biased, too.)

2. Noah Fisher – Having to wear glasses for the first time is not always easy. I went through that myself in May 2001, when I started wearing my first pair at the age of 12.

It was no different for four-year-old Noah Fisher.

Seeing that her young son was apprehensive over such an inevitability, Lindsey Fisher took to social media in an effort to get others to help him ease into wearing glasses. The Chapin, S.C. mother created a Facebook fan page, Glasses for Noah, to encourage others to submit their photos and stories about wearing glasses themselves. As of this writing, more than 41,000 people have liked the page with many submitting their own pictures and stories to get little Noah to warm up to the change.

While Noah is still getting used to wearing glasses, the user submissions on the page appears to be having a profound effect on him. Lindsey reports that Noah enjoys looking at those submissions, especially ones with a superhero theme attached to it.

The real superhero here is Noah Fisher. After all, Superman’s true identity, Clark Kent, wore glasses too. It’s only fitting, right?

Losers

Almost! You were so close up until the end.

Almost! (referring to RNC tweet)

1. Republican Party – Talk about a double whammy…and all in a week’s time for the Grand Old Party.

As BuzzFeed Politics reports, the Republican Party sent out a tweet Sunday, commemorating the 58th anniversary of Rosa Park’s arrest after she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala.

The problem? The GOP tweeted that she led the way in “ending racism.” Despite what the Supreme Court might have you believe, racism is far from even being considered over. Without getting overly political, the party still has a long way to go to prove it can better champion civil rights causes in the modern age. This faux pas certainly didn’t help.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) posted on its Twitter account Friday, announcing the sale of T-shirts that read, “Happy holidays is what liberals say.” on the front and “Merry Christmas!” on the back. This, too, prompted outrage before the NRCC announced those shirts have been sold out and shirts currently on sale have a slightly different, less abrasive message printed on them.

In one week, the GOP has alienated minorities, people of faiths other than Christianity and nonbelievers. For a party that admits it needs to work on diversifying its voter base, these developments certainly did not help their case at all.

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Save money? Yes. Live better? I would put that part into question.

2. #WalmartFights – It goes without saying that the annual tradition of Black Friday often brings out hordes of people wanting to be the first to get their hands on rare bargains on big-ticket items. It also brings about its share of problems too.

The hashtag #WalmartFights trended over the weekend, documenting videos and pictures of Walmart shoppers across the nation physically brawling and duking it out at stores. Reasons for the fights vary although it generally involved merchandise that was on sale. There were even reports of shoppers fighting over towels. Yes. Towels.

This has become emblematic of how far people are willing to go just to get the best deals on things like TVs, laptops and towels. They are knowingly putting their lives on the line to acquire something that may not last long…like towels. If those same shoppers were willing to put the same amount of energy into getting their children into college or fighting poverty in this country, it would make for a far better society.

Shame on those that contributed to the violent nature of Black Friday. They should be taught a lesson by being whipped…with towels.

What do you think? Should these heroes and zeroes deserve their respective places on Winners and Losers? Who or what else do you believe is deserving of praise or (gentle) scorn? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.