Thursday, October 30, 2003

One day left on the job... I had been talking earlier today with a friend and said that over the last six weeks I'd gone through all five of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Dying over this: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Then, after lunch, I read an essay on Unemployment by Carla Herrera in which she says the same thing! At least I know; I'm not alone.

Of course, in Silicon Valley, nobody is unemployed. We're all just independent contractors and consultants with a very light client load. To that end, I'm now officially pursuing that track along with full-time employment. I hereby announce the official opening of Goldstein Consulting; nonprofit management and fundraising.

If I'm able to line up enough clients and projects to keep up the mortgage payments, before I find a full-time job, I will continue with the consulting. I would really prefer to go that route, but the state of the economy is telling me to keep looking for a "real job" along with trying to sell my services as a solo artist. We'll see which strategy wins...

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Beating around the Bush

Buy my stuff at Lulu!
Now Available - Another New Book:

Beating Around the Bush

If the Democrats want to win in 2004, they'll need to stop whining and blaming Ralph Nader and hanging chads for their defeat. The most un-becoming thing about the "Blame Nader" bandwagon is that it simply isn't true. Through a thorough examination of the exit polls from the 2000 presidential election, this report shows that Ralph Nader not only didn't harm Al Gore's campaign; it may have actually helped Gore. This is information that neither party wants you to know. The Democrats don't want to loose their whipping boy and face defeat, and the Greens don't want to admit that their campaign actually helped the Democrats.

$5.89 in print - or ebook for only $0.95

Monday, October 27, 2003

You may remember a horrifying case about two years ago in Texas, where a woman hit a man with her car, lodging him (still alive) in her windshield. Rather than drive directly to a hospital to get him some help, she drove home, parked the car in her garage, and let him die a slow, painful death, while she ignored his pleas for help.

Well, here's the happy ending:

The victim's son - who has publicly forgiven the killer - was just awarded a $10,000 scholarship to finish college. The scholarship fund is just for the families of murder victims, with the money being raised by... murderers on death row.

The inmates, with help from the Catholic church's peace and justice committee and Amnesty International USA, publish a bi-monthly magazine called Compassion. The proceeds from the magazine go into the scholarship fund.

Read the SF Chronicle story about this case

Sunday, October 26, 2003

In the previous post, going back to last Sunday, I was kidding about joining Arnold and applying for a job in his administration. Well, now I can get to the truth behind my job search: after next Friday, I will be once again looking for work in this lousy economy.

It's a long story, that I'd rather not get into at this time, but it's essentially a lay-off to allow a restructuring of the position and the office. I've known it was coming for a little over a month, and have been working with my boss to set the timeframe for the transition, etc. We announced it this week, and my staff (or, former staff) are really pissed-off, as are some key constituents.

Anyway, that's why I've been a bit pre-occupied and stressed-out, and not posting here much. Once November 3 hits, and I don't have somewhere to head everyday, I'll be posting a lot more.

Hey - So how about some good news? I've come across (from one of my many Yahoo! Groups writer lists) a new Print-on-Demand publisher called

The positive part of Lulu: There are no set-up fees involved, and publishing is nearly instantaneously. You can upload your documents, type in the description, and have it available for sale within minutes, with absolutely no up-front investment.

The negative part of Lulu: Although you can purchase an ISBN (bringing in extra fees and set-up costs), it's unlikely that you'll have even the same distribution possibilities of an iUniverse. What you'll sell is what you can sell off of the Lulu site.

What this could be good for: I wouldn't use Lulu for another full-length work of fiction, but I think it has great promise for smaller projects. I'm planning a series of booklets (about 24 pages each) on political topics to test this out, and posted the first one last night...

The Conservative Roots of Business Affirmative Action by Ken Goldstein. Richard Nixon a liberal? Nixon's "Black Capitalism" initiative did more to bring about the development of minority business enterprises than all the Democrats from FDR to LBJ. Learn about it in this informative 23-page booklet.

"A review of the development of minority business enterprises, from the Civil War to the present, shows that it was Republican President, Richard Nixon, who brought about some of the greatest gains. How is it that only thirty years ago both major parties agreed on the reasoning and need behind Affirmative Action policies, and only differed in the approach they took? This booklet, adapted from the author's Master's thesis, is an attempt at bringing the public discourse back to a place where we can look objectively at programs, goals, and methods and rationally discuss what race-based remedies are still required (if any), without the vitriol and animosity that has marked previous debates."

The printed booklet is $5.93 and the ebook is only $0.95. How could you resist one? Buy it today!.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

As they say, "If you can't beat 'em; join 'em."

So I headed on down to to apply for a position with his administration. There are hundreds (thousands?) of jobs that he'll need to fill over the next couple of weeks, and I figure I'm as qualified as the next guy, so why not?

I looked over the list and decided that I'd go for Poet Laureate. Yes, that's on the list. You might think that Poet Laureate is a non-political post that could carry over from one governor to another, but you'd be wrong. This is a very sensitive position, in more ways that one.

Having decided on what my job should be, I clicked on over to the online job application form and started filling it out.

Other than "Party Affiliation" the first part is pretty standard job application stuff. Then comes the conflict of interest and lobbyist questions, and you realize that Arnold is serious about cleaning up Sacramento. He's certainly going to be weeding out anybody who's been having secret meetings with energy companies that the state is currently suing. (Oops - didn't Arnie do that?)

He also wants people of character in his administration. One question asks if you are under investigation for any kind of criminal activity, and another asks about anything embarrassing that might come up in your background check. Excellent questions; wouldn't want anybody who gropes or sexually harasses their co-workers getting in.

Then there's this one, "Have you ever had any association with any person or group or business venture which could be used, even unfairly, to impugn or question your character and qualifications for the requested appointment?" Do you think making a movie with Tom Arnold fits in here?

I was just about done with the application when it hit me: If I actually get a job with the administration, I'll have to move to Sacramento! I've lived in Sacramento before, and I felt damn lucky to have gotten out. No, that was the deal breaker. You don't apply for a job in a city you have no intention of living in.

Thursday, October 16, 2003 has a 2004 Presidential Candidate Selector that's kind of interesting. You give your answers to 16 issue related questions, and it comes back with its recommendation of who you should be supporting.

There were some surprises in how they ranked the candidates for me, but overall, I'd say it's fairly accurate. According to SelectSmart, the order in which I should prefer the various candidates are:

1. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (100%)
2. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (93%)
3. Green Party Candidate (90%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (90%)
5. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (86%)
6. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (85%)
7. Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham, NY - Democrat (83%)
8. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (83%)
9. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (82%)
10. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (81%)
11. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (81%)
12. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (78%)
13. Socialist Candidate (76%)
14. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (76%)
15. Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Tom, SD - Democrat (75%)
16. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (74%)
17. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (67%)
18. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (67%)
19. Dodd, Senator Chris, CT - Democrat (66%)
20. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (63%)
21. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (63%)
22. Bayh, Senator Evan, IN - Democrat (59%)
23. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (58%)
24. Gore, Former Vice-President Al - Democrat (49%)
25. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ - Democrat (46%)
26. Libertarian Candidate (30%)
27. McCain, Senator John, AZ- Republican (24%)
28. Buchanan, Patrick J. – Reform/Republican (14%)
29. Hagelin, John - Natural Law (10%)
30. Bush, George W. - US President (10%)
31. Hart, Former Senator Gary, CO - Democrat (10%)
32. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA - Democrat (7%)
33. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (3%)

Take the test yourself at

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

An inspirational story of courage finally recognized, from the sports page (of all places):
Two Olympians involved in '68 protest get a statue at San Jose State.

And a story of the triumph of irrational homophobia, from the White House (where else?):
October 13-18 has been decreed "Marriage Protection Week" by Bush & Co.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I don't know why - I didn't ask for this job - but people are sending me all sorts of anti-Arnold articles. Frankly, I'm trying to give the guy a chance to at least take the oath of office before I blast him, but here are a couple of links to read up on anyway:

Arnold's Enron Connection & Dirty Little Secret - It seems there is a reason behind the vast right-wing conspiracy after all.
The "other candidates" aren't done with Arnold yet - Gene Forte (the guy who looks like Gorbachev) is suing the big guy's bodyguards.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Today's the day of our big charity book signing event. Six other authors and I will be at the Learning Game store in Cupertino, from 2:00-4:00, doing a reading and selling signed copies of our books. Our royalties for the day will all be donated to Future Families - a foster family and adoption agency that specializes in abused and hard-to-place children.

If you're in the South Bay Area, and would like to come by, the program starts right at 2:00, with a brief intro about Future Families, then readings from each of the participating authors. Then we'll be available to sign your books until 4:00. The Learning Game is at the corner of Stevens Creek and De Anza boulevards in Cupertino.

For more information, see my "Authors for Charity" page.

Read our press release about the event.

Find out more about Future Families on their web site.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

"I think the people are believing he's going to be some anti-politician. He's a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, being guided by the Republican Party. So the only thing California is going to get is a Republican governor."
-- Jesse Ventura

Here's a sample from my overnight email of what people thought of yesterday's post:

From: on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 at 22:40:54
> fuck you

Scott, could you be a little more specific? It's hard to respond to such a general comment. However, I'm going to take a guess and say you must be a fan of our new governor.

In many conversations with co-workers and associates yesterday I found that many of them were scared of the governator, and for the future of our state. For my part in those conversations, I just kept saying, at least he can't start any wars or kill anybody. I'm considered a moderate around here.

Today, I'll update my stance and say, I'm less afraid of our new governor than I am of his core supporters. These are the people who attacked, verbally and physically, candidates Georgy Russell and Dan Feinstein at various rallies over the last 75 days.

Anybody who's read my ramblings over the years knows that my top priority politically is the opening up of the process, involving more citizen candidates, and increasing the number of active voters. I'm thrilled that when the dust settles, and all the abentee ballots are counted, we could possibly top 70% participation in Tuesday's election. But now I'm also a little nervous at what this participation has wrought.

First time voters who think it's perfectly acceptible to bully other voters for their views; not a good sign for continued democracy. H.L. Menkin wrote that "the masses are asses." Was he right?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

All eyes to Cahleephoneya. Cahleephoneya uber alles. We've got a bigger problem now.

Congratulations to our new governator. Yes, I'm stunned by the size of his victory, but not that he won. And, yes, I truly wish him (and All of Us) the best.

So - what happened here yesterday? Was it a great victory for the Republicans? A great defeat for the Democrats? A blow against the system? Most of the pundits I heard last night or read this morning are saying that it's a Republican upset against the Democrats - And they are all wrong.

Oh, it was a defeat for the Democrats alright. But I'd caution Republican leaders from taking too much credit for it. Arnold's victory was not a Republican victory, and it was not a conservative victory, it was a personal one. People voted for a man, not a party. More importantly, they voted for him as a (perceived) outsider.

I believe this by contrasting the gubernatorial vote with the vote on proposition 54, the "racial privacy" initiative. Had this been a conservative victory, had the typical Republican voter in this state been the one to create change yesterday, prop 54 would have passed. Instead it went down to a decisive defeat (62% no, with most districts reporting).

Watching his victory speech last night, on a stage filled with Democrats as well as Republicans, I came to realize a few things. At first I was disgusted as Jay Leno introduced the governor-elect (I think using the Tonight Show to promote your favorite candidate is a bit unfair). Then I stared in disbelief as Eunice Kennedy and Sargeant Shriver stood smiling at a Republican victory. Then it hit me:

Here in the Bay Area, we saw things differently than the rest of the state, and voted accordingly. In the Bay Area we saw the recall as a right-wing political power-grab and voted against it. The rest of the state saw it as a means to shout, "We're mad as Hell and we're not going to take it anymore." In the Bay Area we saw Arnold as a Republican tool and voted for others. The rest of the state saw him as an outsider and potential leader who could get things done by rising above the political din.

About Arnold's margin of victory: First, it's amazing that in a 135 candidate race anybody could garner nearly 49% of the vote. Yes, it's a mandate, and there's no reason to challenge the results. Let's certify the election, start the transition, and get on with the business of the state.

But, I do have to question whether that commanding lead was all Arnold's doing. I believe the media had a lot to do with it (even beyond buddy Jay's politicizing his little show).

I feel that democracy was the real loser yesterday. We had an opportunity to see a multi-candidate, multi-idea race, and the media couldn't handle it. In the last week they determined to make it a two-man race, and they succeeded. Multiple headlines in each of the papers declared that the recall was now a "referendum on Arnold."

To read any of the final week's coverage would lead a voter to believe that this was a one question race, choosing between a failed governor and a "randy" outsider. If that were the only issue here, I'd have voted for Arnold myself. But the questions, and the issues, were much larger than that.

I'm sure I'll write more about the failings of the press, and the need to open up our democracy to more citizen candidates, later. This morning, however, I'm pleased that proposition 54 failed, and I'm trying to look on the positive sides of Arnold's victory.

And if you still need to have a drink to handle the news, check out the Webtender:

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

So here we are, with twelve hours to go in the race to destroy California. I see hits to this page are going up again as voters hunt for some information about the candidates - any candidate but Ahnold.

For those who care (and even those who don't), here are my recomendations:

Question 1 - The Recall - Vote NO. There is no great love for Gray Davis in this household. We know that he's a political weasel of the highest order, but he was fairly elected - twice. Since that re-election he has committed no crimes that would warrent a removal from office. The recall is motivated by spite politics only. Passing the recall will not help our state's financial situation, it will only further plunge us into a world of politics over policy.

Both major parties are responsible for our current crisis by pretending the tech bubble would never burst. They must now work together (along with the non-aligned) to fix what they've done to us. Giving them fodder to continue bickering and playing recall games only puts off the inevitable, and digs the hole deeper. Put an end to this BS now, vote NO on the recall.

Question 2 - Who should be governor, should the recall pass? - My vote is for Peter Miguel Camejo, the same as it was eleven months ago when Davis was re-elected. Of the five or six "major" candidates (so dubbed by the lazy media), there were only two who were honest, principled, decent people, who put their beliefs above political expediency. Of those two, Camejo is the one who is not a right-wing reactionary.

Of the "minor" candidates there were several that impressed me over the last few months, and for whom I considered voting. They include (but are not limited to) Dan Feinstein, Christopher Sproul, Georgy Russell, and Garrett Gruener (now out of the race). If we had instant run-off voting in this election, I would put a mark by each of their names. They had new, fresh ideas and handled themselves in an honerable manner, and ran great campaigns. I hope to see them each run for office again sometime.

Proposition 53 - Dictates 3% of General Fund revenue to fund state and local infrastructure - No. In a quick read, it sounds like a "why not?" situation, but there are a few problems. The first is simply, there's so little of the state budget that is discretionary already - and this is a huge source of the budget problems we have - that locking in amounts for certain projects limits the flexibility we need to manage in lean times, such as these. Also, infrastructure projects are typically bond financed, not General Fund. It may make sense to stop building with debt, but again, is this the right time? My third question is simply about what the funds can and cannot be used for. I don't think this is a tragedy should it pass, but my recommendation is that we vote no.

Proposition 54 - CRECNO, ban the gathering of race data by the state - HELL NO! Don't be fooled into thinking this is a vote about creating a "color blind" society. This is simply about destroying the data gathering to say whether or not racism exists. Without this data we have no way of knowing whether crimes are hate motivated, if housing, employment, or educational discrimination exists, or even whether or not certain health problems are related to race.

The need to collect this data for a variety of reasons - not just to support affirmative action - is legitimate, and plays a vital role in much of our public policy. This is not about us all getting along without regard for race; it is about being willfully blind to real problems, and blocking possible solutions from being developed. CRECNO is a dangerous public policy, and we must all vote NO.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Alright - For those last minute surfers looking for candidate information for Tuesday's California gubernatorial recall election, here are three more links:

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Friday, October 03, 2003

Who are the "other" candidates for California governor in the recall election? Well, there are two ways of looking at the 130 also-rans.

One would be to seriously look at the proposals that make up their platforms. One partial attempt at this was done by the Oakland Tribune. "Unknown hopefuls' ideas ever a mystery" actually looked at a few key proposals by each of six candidates. Not many, but a start. The saddest part may be that his is one of the most complete lists of "minor" candidate statements available to voters.

More typical is the approach chosen this morning by the SF Chronicle. "From wildest date, to guilty pleasures, to who makes their beds, some of the 'other' recall hopefuls tell all" got right down to what's really important: wildest dates and who makes their own bed.

During this final weekend before the election, why don't you take a little time to visit the web sites of at least 12 candidates and learn a little something about them. I've got the links right here - give it a shot.

(BTW, as a follow-up to my last post, the most popular stupid search that's led to this page during the recall campaign was "georgy russell nude pics." That was toward the start of the campaign when I was mentioning her a lot more. Since I no longer show up in that search my hits have fallen drastically.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I know why you're here. Or, at least, I will know why you were here. I check my site stats regularly and see what links people followed to get to this page, and it also shows me what search terms people used when linking here from Yahoo! or Google. Occasionally, I find some odd searches have led to this blog.

Today, one of you found this page by going to Google and typing, "garrett gruener a jew." I take it this was supposed to be a question, not a statement. Perhaps the searcher was considering voting for Mr. Gruener in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election here in California, and for some reason his religion was going to be the deciding factor. Was the voter trying to confirm that Garrett is a Jew as a good thing or as a bad thing?

One of my first thoughts on seeing this search was that the visitor had used the wrong search engine. Yes, I love Google and it's usually my first choice. But, when asking a question as a search, you should go to Ask Jeeves, which, after all, was founded by the Jew - er - I mean, candidate in question. So, that's what I did. But Jeeves is a sly devil. I asked, but he said next to nothing. Is Garrett (and his company) trying to hide something? I began to get suspicious.

Next, I went to his blog - no mention of his religion. Then to his main web site, still nothing. Sure, there's a page called "Ask Garrett", but it's just his answers to the debate questions; there's no way to really ask him about something as important as whether or not he attended Rosh Hashanah services last week, or whether he'll be fasting on Yom Kippur the day before the big election.

I guess we just may never know if Garrett Gruener is a Jew in time to incorporate that into our decision next Tuesday. All we do know is that he'll create jobs through investment in new green technology, that he'll put computers into the hands of all school kids, that he'll raise the emission standards on SUVs to the same as regular passenger cars, he'll direct state resources toward renewable energy, that he'll close the commercial property loophole in prop 13, and few other things. But is that really enough to base a decision on? I really wish he'd just answer the Jew question already.

For the record: I'm a Jew, and I vote. How my site came up in such a bizarre search is a topic for another posting.

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