Vote Centers Open and Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread!

Just a reminder that our vote centers and drop boxes are now OPEN! So, unless you’re like me and like to wait until Election Day, GO VOTE — once you’ve filled out your ballot with the benefit of my comprehensive voter guide and Vern’s simpler, shorter, and easier to use voter guide. A guide for each taste: regular and extra crispy! Vern’s correct, by the way, that while the statewide elections of pages 1-2 may be fun, it’s the county elections on pages 3-4 where your vote will matter most — so maybe start there!

Their solemn responsibility … and ours.

It’s an odd juxtaposition that, with the California primary in Presidential election years now having moved to March, only happens once every four years: the opening of the voting in person now occurs right around Memorial Day. So in this post, we honor both.

The graphic above represents what we often think about on Memorial Day: the juxtaposition of honoring the dead with an overwhelming presence of American flags. When you look at the flags this year, they should remind you to vote. You can still mail in your ballots (so long as they’re postmarked by Election Day, which essentially means picked up and stamped, not simply sitting in a mailbox somewhere), or use an Official (NOT a Republican Party in Little Saigon imitation!) Ballot Dropbox — but a lot of people (myself included) still like to vote on Election Day itself. (In my case it’s mostly so I can gauge how long it takes for my drop box ballot to go from the La Habra Community Center to being counted. There’s some research!)

This Memorial Day, we can think about the servicemembers killed in Afghanistan since a year ago: about 13. The horrors of life under the Taliban are tragic and well-known, but if we weren’t able to help the country install a stable and honest government over the previous 20 years, then realistically it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. What we can do is to be energetic about extricating those Afghan civilians whom we promised we would take care of if they helped us, and smoothing the path for women experiencing persecution to get out of the country, both of which mean taking in refugees and asylum-seekers. Between OC and our neighbor Long Beach, we’re the major destination for Vietnamese and Iranians fleeting their countries, as well as Cambodians and (as I recall) Laotians. Our birth rate is lowering; our Covid death rate has taken away a million Americans; we can afford to live up to our commitments.

These 13 American fatalities — all before last October ended — were far fewer than the 30 per year from 2001-2004, the 111 per year from 2005-2008, the 380 per year from 2009-2012, the 51 per year from 2013-2016, and the 15 per year from 2017-2020. (This does not count the servicemembers injured, the ones suffering from PTSD or depression; or the loved ones who suffer with them, none of whom factor into our Memorial Day.) The count from 2021-2024 there may stay at 13; then we’ll see what happens next. Of course, it also doesn’t count those from other countries who fought with the U.S.; we don’t have a holiday for that, but we can hope that they rest in peace.

The flags in the photo catch my attention almost as the grave markers — because they should not be taken to be empty gestures of supposed patriotism, but as representing a real commitment to our obligation to make our country work. I thank our military members for standing up to our former President when necessary, for not coming out and shooting protesters like he reportedly requested, and for essentially being unlike those in countries where the military truly gets the final say in who attains and remains in office.

I suspect that our deceased veterans would have been mortified at seeing protesters, fed on a brazen and gigantic lie, poleaxing police with larger flags, sending members of Congress into hiding, and talking about hanging the Vice-President for doing his job. I’m just glad that we have slowed the increase of those honored on Memorial Day and increased the number who will be with us on next Veterans Day.

Before you vote — especially if you’re in or near Anaheim and choosing between Mike Ortega and lou correa for Congress and Boomer Vicente and avelino valencia for Assembly (where our currently well-behaved commenter Mike Tardif is among the red dishes on the menu) — you should watch this outstanding presentation by Dr. José Moreno (appearing on a conservative network’s interview show) about the recent history of Anaheim politics. It’s excellent! And you can think of whether the people with names in boldface, who have been steadfast opponents of the Cabal even before it was cool (and non-risky) deserve your vote more than those who in italics who have stayed quiet for years while accepting support from Cabal-associated interests for, in one case, decades, and in one case, while on the City Council itself! Choose wisely — and don’t let tons of glossy mailers do your thinking for you!

This is your holiday Weekend Open Thread! Talk about these issue, or whatever else you’d like, within reasonable bounds of decorum and discretion — and we might tighten up on that “reasonable” requirement until the primary is safely over!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)