Sunday, February 26, 2017

ISA 2017: Baltimore is My Home Away from Home Away from Home

Award-winning blogger Pete Trumbore got a
Duckie for his beautiful and sharp blog
(http://www.petertrumbore.com/)
Twas a pretty terrific ISA this year and not just because I received a Duckie! The Online Media Caucus had several events that were went off quite well.  There was a Live Tweet panel where folks chatted and tweeted and discussed twitter strategies.


 
Will Moore dressed for his Ignite conference

 My roommate, Bill Ayres, brought cookies as usual!













Sara Mitchell, whose laugh is perhaps the only one in the
business that is louder and more piercing than mine
I spent plenty of time hanging out with smart folks and, well, drinking beer.  During my first dinner, a trivia game broke out.  I was proud our team won for best name: "Bowling Green Survivors"











A big story of this ISA was reaction to and protest of the Muslim Ban and all that Trump is doing.


The G-Man in the middle is actually Cullen Hendrix,
a prof at U of Denver.  I think he would have looked better
in his drummer garb.  Oh well.




The ban had a direct impact on me and mine: Aisha Ahmad was to receive an award for the best paper on International Security in 2016, but she could not attend given how Canadian Muslims were being treated at the border.  It was my honor to accept on her behalf, but also my shame--that my country (well one of the two) was behaving so badly that she could not attend.  I was and am super proud of her--for her achievement and the classy statement she had me read.









First Spidey appearance
There was also some silliness as there is an amazing pop culture museum next to the Hilton.  Heaps of original comic books and heaps of all kinds of stuff.. 










And an old book cover that could be the new cover for any books on US intervention policy:












As always, I enjoyed seeing my friends, making new ones, eating great food, having some terrific beer, not losing at poker, getting feedback and learning about the latest research

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fighting #VoterFraudFraud

As I am that the International Studies Association meeting, inspiration strikes in all kinds of strange ways.  In discussing Trump and Sessions and the potential end of American democracy, I realized that there is stuff that can be done to fight #voterfraudfraud--the effort to suppress likely Democratic voters (minorities, students, etc).

Of course, the best course of action are legal strategies to get these laws tossed out.  But that takes much time and often happens too late, so that likely Dem voters are discouraged.  What we need to do is support efforts to get people the ID's needed to register to vote--which can be driver's licenses, fishing or hunting permits, gun permits, passport, etc.

The first step, besides fundraising and organization, is to identify what ID's are needed in each state and figure out for each state:
  • which ID is the easiest to get (requires the least paperwork, requires no or easy visit to get, etc)
  • which ID is the cheapest to get
  • which ID does not need to get renewed or does not have to be renewed frequently.
The second step is to help potentially disenfranchised voters whichever ID makes the most sense in terms of cost, difficulty and length of renewal.  If it means getting heaps of people gun permits rather than passports or driver's licenses or whatever, then do it.

The third step is to make voting more pleasant in an environment where it is more difficult.  The GOP have realized that early voting is a problem for them, so they have eliminated some of it, especially those days when African-Americans tend to vote (Sundays).  This creates huge lines on election days, so resistance organizations should try to provide water/food/umbrellas/folding chairs, and whatever else to make it easier to stand on line for hours.  Perhaps music and entertainment or whatever. 


Get out the Vote Efforts happen just before elections, when it is too late to get people the ID they need to register, to vote.  We need to make an effort now to get people the ID's they need so that they can register and then get to vote, and then we need to make voting less painful despite the best efforts of the GOP to make it inconvenient.  Sure, if we can, get laws passed to extend early voting, make it possible or easier to mail in one's vote and all that.  But if we can't make election days holidays and if we can't legislate our way through this in states dominated by GOP, then make it easier to vote.