Rebuilding the past (2006 Edition)…

The content for this post comes from a different journal, and takes the form of an archive. I’m cutting the display for the sake of your feed, but there’s a BUNCH of stuff here, below the cut.

I’ll be revising this post, representing all of my thoughts on 2006, and adding to it and to others, to put all the politics in one easy-to find and source place.

In theory, all links have been vetted, but the Internet is ephemeral. If you notice a broken link, let me know. Thanks!

And on with the show…

 

01/06/2006: Insert witty title here…

CNN. Gotta love them. Better than the Enquirer any day…

The good…

Fla. court strikes down school vouchers

Gov. Bush vows to find ways to continue nation’s first program

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The Florida Supreme Court struck down a statewide voucher system Thursday that allowed children to attend private schools at taxpayer expense — a program Gov. Jeb Bush considered one of his proudest achievements.

The bad…

Robertson suggests God smote Sharon

Evangelist links Israeli leader’s stroke to ‘dividing God’s land’

(CNN) — Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.

And finally, the ugly…

Wal-Mart ‘heartsick’ over DVD grouping

Reports: No. 1 retailer apologizes for racial links on Web site, spoofs poor holiday sales in song.

I don’t have an icon to reflect the proper sense of mixed disgust and relief. Must try to do something about that…


01/12/2006: Time for a change in subject…

The Impeachment of George W. Bush

Any President who maintains he is above the law–and acts repeatedly on that belief by violating the law–commits high crimes and misdemeanors that endanger our constitutional system of government. Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, veteran of the Watergate proceedings, calls for a full and fair inquiry into President Bush’s actions, including his violation of US laws and international treaty obligations in the warrantless wiretapping and torture scandals; his reckless and dishonest waging of the war in Iraq; and his failure to fulfill his oath to faithfully execute the laws of the nation. This is a process that should never be lightly undertaken, she argues, but President Bush’s misdeeds constitute grounds for his impeachment and removal from office.

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060130/holtzman

(Thanks, Rich!)


01/16/2006: Won’t they ever learn???

DH just gave me this lovely little tidbit for my own LJ posting. Can’t help sharing with other folks.

The More Things Change… A Review by Doug Brown (http://www.powells.com/review/2006_01_14)

Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism by Geoffrey R. Stone

Debating Polk’s declaration of war on Mexico in 1848, Abraham Lincoln’s law partner argued the president should have the right to declare war on another country to repel invasion. In an amazingly prescient bit of writing, Lincoln disagreed: “Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purposes, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect after having given him so much as you propose. If to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, ‘I see no probability of the British invading us’; but he will say to you, ‘Be silent; I see it, if you don’t.'”

Interesting, huh…?

Have I ever mentioned that there was a book in the library at my elementary school, which I always sought out and which (if such records still existed) would probably prove to be the only book I checked out more than once? It contained the lyrics to a whole bunch of songs, including the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I could listen to that song all day – even though the lord she wrote about isn’t mine.

Here are the lyrics, just so I can find them again, without digging through my lyric books. http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/h/bhymnotr.htm

And finally, in honor of the man whose name has become synonymous with the word freedom: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/Ihaveadream.htm

Speech delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. (70 days before my birth, 86 days before the death of JFK).

How far we have come, and yet…


01/21/2006: On the political front…

Got this message and submitted the petition. I strongly recommend you do the same.

Subject: The President Broke the Law

President Bush admitted to personally authorizing thousands of allegedly illegal wiretaps, and he doesn’t plan to stop. Circumventing the Constitution is serious business.

This is a big moment. People from across the political spectrum are standing together to protect the rule of law and the principles that are core to our identity as Americans.

Can you sign this petition to show Congress that Americans want a thorough investigation of the president’s secret wiretapping program?

http://political.moveon.org/ruleoflaw/

Thanks!

I said it months ago here (July 8th, 2005 – way before the wiretapping issue broke). Funny how I can predict the future. Somewhere in the 27 comments I received was the implication that if we were good citizens, we wouldn’t have to worry. Uh…

It isn’t getting better, especially with two Supreme Court justices on the switch. Roberts is already in, and in his very first ruling was one of three dissenting voices in an issue for which I side with the majority. With the possibility that Alito will also be seated, I think folks ought to be concerned. Cronyism, corruption and rank disregard for the Constitution – hallmarks of the current administration and many of the people in charge who helped put them in power.

Don’t know what I mean? See this article in the Post (not related to the current administration, but the previous one), and their hope that they could smoke out some sort of dirt on the former secretary of housing and urban development: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/19/AR2006011901835.html

All it amounts to is a justification and rationalization for continuing an investigation which should have ended years ago. No conclusive evidence has ever been found, but there *must* have been something. Riiiight. At least Kenneth Starr knew when to quit.

In the meantime, here’s Karl Rove’s take on the 2006 elections: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/20/AR2006012001853.html

and more discussion on Alito’s nomination to the court: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/19/AR2006011902907.html

Still think your civil liberties can’t be trampled? Still believe the President has our constitution in mind? Still think the Patriot Act is for your protection?

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.


01/24/2006: See what happens?

Got a personal invitation (ok, it was a recording) to attend the Doug Duncan town meeting tomorrow evening. Considering I’ll have to decide between him and O’Malley come August, I’m thinking of attending. No decisions, though.


01/26/2006: Late night posting…

Watch for me in the Washington Post under Maryland politics. I went to the Doug Duncan Town Hall meeting tonight and asked some pointed questions. Got some decent rhetoric which, if true, makes him look like a decent choice for Maryland governor. Noticed a reporter in the background, and chatted him up after the meeting, at which point he made sure he had my name spelled correctly. Interesting.

We’ll see if anything comes from it. I’m leaning a little closer to voting for him vs O’Malley (especially if the latter really likes slots). He seems to be strong on education, but I’ve got experience with politicians who talk real well, but who can’t follow through, and that’s the last thing we need when it comes time to unseat Erlich.

There’s other stuff, but not at 12:45am. I’m going to bed.


02/01/2006: Too stunned to write…

Last night I sat down before bed and read all the way through our Bill of Rights. You know, the things which govern how we are supposed to operate as a country?

Too bad the current administration hasn’t bothered to do the same recently.

I have a whole lot to say but I’m thinking about how I want to say it. I’m also contemplating writing it in essay form and posting it on my Writing blog page.

So much to say. So long to wait until the next election.

And so very much disappointment.

Aside from all that, there is apparently a protest being organized for February 13 to support same sex marriage in Annapolis. I am giving serious consideration to attending the event. Anyone who wishes to come join me is welcome to come to my home afterwards for some hot cocoa and like-minded support.

It is time to take our rights back and to hold those responsible for their restriction accountable.


02/09/2006: 999 days left…

…to the next presidential election (give or take a day…).

Just thought I’d mention it.


02/09/2006: Oh, lookie. I got a gift…

Poking around LJ I ran across a post on the subject of “Scooter” Libby. All I can say is I hope this is a positive sign.

But don’t just take National Journal’s word for it. See what MSNBC has to say on the subject, too.

http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2006/0209nj1.htm and http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11259044/

Not enough to do cartwheels over, but it’s enough to give me a warm, fuzzy glow.

Gonna start pinning that panne now…


02/10/2006: For anyone else interested…

Here’s the details:

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/legislative/2006/lobbyday/index.htm

Sorry it took so long – I needed to find the church newsletter! I’ve been kinda busy…


03/01/2006: Musing About Death

I’ve had this post brewing in the back of my mind since I started listening to Rent (and really, since I saw the movie last fall).

I think my thoughts have solidified enough to write what I’ve been thinking, on and off, over the months.

Warning!!! Serious musings on the value of life, the meaninglessness of death, and other associated issues follow. Some seriously graphic depictions of a chronic illness – of which some of my friends have been diagnosed, are described. Please read at your own risk.

I am 42 years old at the writing of this post. I will be 43 this coming November.

While this may not seem to be a significant birthday to most of you, for me it’s a major milestone.

My mother (born on in 1934, died in 1978), was 43 years old when she finally succumbed to Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

She was bedridden, unable to do anything for herself, from approximately 1968/69 until her death. Her doctors treated her with cortisone, but it didn’t help and she eventually moved home to be cared for by her parents, including her father (a General Practitioner for his neighborhood).

I was 14.

This is background information, intended to explain why I am suddenly obsessed (I don’t think there’s a better word right now) with listening to the music – and particularly the words – of the soundtrack. It’s not really a music virus. I’m attempting to absorb the incongruity and irony that is Rent. It is a monument to survival in the face of difficult, sometimes horrifying circumstances. And it was written by someone who faced his own final deadline without knowing it.

“No day but today,” indeed.

If one was to investigate why I have taken on so many time-intensive projects, why I have felt the need to commit my self and my time so often and so intensely, one really only has to look at the first three paragraphs, and to listen to the music and the words of Rent to fully understand.

Life is short. It’s an overused cliche and a state of mind all at the same time – a personal philosophy which very often drives my sense of purpose.

It’s impossible to pack everything into a single life. There isn’t enough time in the day, not enough energy in the world. But that simple phrase – no day but today – explains so much about why I find it so utterly offensive that anyone could condone the taking of life (ANY life).

I don’t have answers. I don’t know what to do if someone else takes a life. Is it okay to take that person’s life in exchange? I don’t know. I suppose it’s appropriate to think, in theory, that by taking a life one forfeits the right to keep one’s own, but do any of us have the right to take that life? How can we say that it’s okay to take a life in one case and not okay to take a life in another, depending on circumstances?

Those who speak on behalf of the righteous believe that they have the authority to do as they please, based on their conception of “right” and “law.” I believe there are basic rights and laws that are incontrovertable and not definable by any written work. And yet…

There is the question of abortion. There is the question of capitol punishment. There is the question of justice in the face of an attack on innocent bystanders who happened to get to work too early in the morning and were in the path of incoming airplanes carrying other innocent bystanders. There is the “rescue” of a people oppressed, who then take the opportunity to incite civil war based on religious belief.

How do we reconcile ourselves to allow one of these acts and not another? How can people look at each other and decide, based on belief, that one person should be allowed to live while another should die?

And, in the end, what do we accomplish when we set out to “protect” one life from being taken by another? At what cost?

I’ve been accused of being idealistic. Unrealistic. A pacifist (and that’s apparently an evil thing to some people).

I don’t have answers to these questions, but they are burning me up inside. I am trying to coexist with an increasingly hostile environment. And the only thing that saves me from moving on to something “better” is that I have no clear assurance that there is, in fact, something better. I think there may be something different, but I have no guarantees that this is the case. And I have learned that there is no better purpose to life than to live it here and now.

I can intellectualize life in 40 years. I have extant examples of people who live well into their 90s – even in my own family. But I also have shining examples of extended life gone horribly wrong, too. It shows in the face of my mother-in-law every time we go to visit her in the nursing home. She and my mother (had she lived) would be near the same age. It shows in the vivid descriptions of my friend’s father, who suffers from dementia. It shows in my family history – where we live to old age if we don’t die of cancer, but with dementia or heart disease, or in an enfeebled state. None of my oldest relatives, save possibly Great Aunt Annie and First Cousin Thrice Removed Harry, maintained useful lives into their 90s.

There is, in fact, no day but today.

So how do I reconcile this knowledge with seeking out life-threatening activities in the name of protection and service? The short answer is, I can’t. I am told that it must be done. Someone has to do it. My response is “why?” All the justification in the world doesn’t seem to make it better, when those who should serve to protect my interests fail to understand what my interests are and how I interpret them.

The Earth is a wonderful land. It truly is. Anyone who has visited the Grand Canyon or the California Redwoods or the wilds of the Adirondack mountains knows what I mean. I can’t speak for other lands – my experience is far too limited, but I can take what I know of North America and extend it globally. And if we don’t start recognizing that what we have is a gift (from God or whatever), and that it and ALL its people with the same respect and reverence, then in the end we will have nothing.

When I see global warming warnings brushed aside in the name of our human importance and our innate right to do as we please, when I hear that we can go to war against a people because we are protecting another people, when I hear that a person may be killed for the $60 someone else thinks is more important than the life of that person, I feel ill.

We will soon be short on doctors. We will lack teachers to teach the people how to save themselves. We will descend into the next Dark Ages as our world heats up. And we will have no one to save when that time comes. It won’t be my children who will see this horrible change, but their children, or their children’s children. A few generations more and the only thing left will be the cockroaches and a few stragglers who will be left to pick up what’s left.

Can we break the cycle? I wish I knew – for the sake of my children. I want them to know a world where everyone is treated the same, regardless of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their last name. I want them to know a dark sky filled with stars. I want them to see a world where people respect each other, help each other. Where one person’s worth is not judged by his bankbook or her DVD collection or the political connections he has.

And for me? I wish I had more time. And if I didn’t that I knew when I was leaving, so that I could plan accordingly.

And that I could do something to make this world better than it is right now.

And that my actions would inspire other people to do the same.

And finally, that nobody would have to experience what I have. But then, I guess people don’t learn unless they have examples, do they?


04/20/2006: Random comments…

I’m thrilled at Karl Rove’s reduced role, but I just can’t get excited about the lame attempt by a lame-duck administration to try and fix its problems. I’d expound but I just haven’t got the energy for indignation at this point. Justice just ain’t gonna happen.


04/27/2006: Well, isn’t that nice???

Ok. I’m usually relatively paranoid about my financial stuff, because if I don’t watch it like a hawk, checks start to bounce. Having DH and me using the same account to pay everything (like the mortgage and food) means that if one of us isn’t paying attention, the other one draws the account down to zero.

So, I’ve been religious about using the download feature I get with USAA. Until about Tuesday, that is, when I started getting an error that the software couldn’t verify the financial institution. WTF?!?

I just got off the phone with their tech support, and I’ve got this nasty, paranoid feeling that everyone is in cahoots with everyone else, and they’re all conspiring against us.

“As of April 25, we no longer support anything older than Quicken 2004. That means we don’t support downloaded data or any of the other automated features of the site.”

How nice for Intuit.

So, when I’m done venting, I’m off to the nearest store to purchase the most recent version. Yeah, I know I could download it off the site. I just don’t feel like dealing with the problem if I need to reinstall the software later. I’d rather have the disk. Call me old fashioned.

Oh, and while I’m out I can go buy some more gas for the car. Which leads to the second rant of the day.

See this article on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/25/bush.energy/index.html and then tell me that this isn’t the Oil Companies (en masse) holding out for complete deregulation of the oil fields throughout our continent. Fun stuff. Just blackmail the American public until we’re forced to turn over the Alaskan territories, and forget all about those nasty EPA regulations that are supposed to reduce greenhouse gasses, because, like, we all know that Global Warming is just a myth, and besides, we’re just treading water here until the Rapture anyway, so why keep the earth nice?

Feh.


05/13/2006: I should NOT be awake right now…

Oh, and because I simply can’t resist – I hope this is true: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051206Y.shtml (Thanks to Liam for posting the link.) Maybe there’s a little hope out there in the midst of this Pandora’s Box we’ve got open right now…


05/13/2006: A couple more things I forgot last night, in the haze…

First up, while we were stuck in traffic last night, heading down to see Midsummer, I tuned in to Marketplace in the middle of this story:

A mom’s road back to work is often bumpy

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2006/05/12/PM200605124.html

At least I’m not alone.

Before kids, when I interviewed, generally speaking, I had the option to turn offers down. So far this time, I’ve been on two interviews, and I’ve been told twice I’m not right for the job. I suspect it’s because of my kids.

So what do I do? Lie? Tell them I have kids but I also don’t care?

I don’t want to freelance anymore. It’s a pain and the pay is insufficient to cover everything. But if I can’t get a job with the kind of pay I need to cover child care, then what’s the point in trying?

With all the fuss made about “family values” I’d like to see some fuss made to help *support* those of us who care about those family values. Lucky for me, my husband has a decent job. I can’t imagine what would happen if that wasn’t the case.

You know, for all the fuss we’ve made over the last 20 years about the improvements to life and work, how am I so much different from a woman in the 50s? I suppose the opportunities are out there, but if the companies aren’t hiring me, then they aren’t opportunities, are they?

On a related note: I ranted at Diane’s a few weeks ago about education and No Child Left Behind. It’s a sore point for me. Very sore. Having gone through a year of life with today’s kindergartener, I can say with certainty that 15 years down the road, we’ll see all the damage the current administration has done with this so-called insurance policy for kids. We’ll have fewer teachers, more kids to teach, and more kids falling through the cracks or dumbing down because the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

If you’re going to force kids to know the stuff they should *before* starting kindergarten, and you’re not providing proper advance notice to parents, there’s no way the kids will be able to catch up. I’m lucky (again). I can afford to send my kids to preschool (even if it’s a coop program and I have to be in class once a month). But how is it for the kids whose parents can’t afford preschool, but who can’t qualify for Headstart either?

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Don’t give me another damn tax cut. Better yet, don’t give yourself another tax cut. Go give the money to the programs (like Education) that need it! Regulate the industries where spending has gone out of control! Or find a way to mandate something for education for which you can actually afford to pay.

And you can start by making it possible for us women with children to find a place in the work force so we can afford to help pay for all this stuff!!!


05/16/2006: Tidbits to make my life a little more…interesting.

my sister, who apparently is likeminded, just emailed me the contents of this article: The Motherhood Manifesto (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060522/blades)

Exactly so.


05/19/2006: On the subject of reproductive health…

While I was in the shower this evening, prepping for rehearsal, I started to work out an op ed piece regarding this travesty of health management concerning reproductive health. It’s not all the way there yet, but it concerns redirecting the funds they’re planning to spend in enforcing this crap on education and prevention rather than simply making sure all the rest of the brood mares are up to snuff. Pretty soon we’re going to see the resurgence of orphanages and workhouses, and we’ll have gone safely backwards over a hundred years.

If the people in charge spent half the money they’re earmarking for this new initiative on ensuring that every kid born in the US had healthcare (not just access to it, but actual coverage), and every kid and adult had proper explanations for where STDs and pregnancies came from, and if every woman simply had affordable and available health services, then we wouldn’t have to worry about whether Jane Doe was in proper medical condition to bear that child, because we’d know she intended to get pregnant in the first place.

Stupid effing MALE politicians. (Are there any female politicians backing this crap??? Haven’t had time to research it. That’s part of the problem with submitting it. I want my facts straight first.)


05/29/2006: Memorial Day…

Two things:

Mark Twain’s The War Prayer: http://hackvan.com/pub/stig/spirit/the-war-prayer.htm

and

Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation – 1870: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/howejwriting/a/mothers_day.htm

(The above were two of the readings from yesterday’s sermon.)

Do me a favor, huh, and don’t wish me a Happy Memorial Day. There isn’t any such thing.


07/11/2006: Well, it’s about FREAKING time!

White House: Detainees entitled to Geneva Convention protections

Lawmakers to draft legislation in response to high court decision

Tuesday, July 11, 2006; Posted: 1:24 p.m. EDT (17:24 GMT)

WASHINGTON(AP) — The Bush administration, called to account by Congress after the Supreme Court blocked military tribunals, said Tuesday that all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in all other U.S. military custody around the world are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.

Read more…

(Now, if we can just get the high court to admit spying on Americans without warrants is equally illegal, we’ll be in business again.)


08/20/2006: Been meaning to post this…

The deadline to register for voting in the September 12th Maryland primary election is August 22nd. (This TUESDAY!). If you haven’t registered yet, please do! There’s a whole lot at stake this year.

I don’t personally care which party you choose. (Well, yes I do, but that’s your choice, isn’t it?)

How much easier can it get than this: https://www.govote.org/ctrl/sasquatcher.php?event=OVR_UserArrivesAtSite&template=OVR_index&cu__org_cmpgns_id=2&cmpgn_name=txtvoter&t1=vreg

No, really.

End PSA…


08/21/2006: Holy crap, Batman!

Ok, so today has been all about education for me. And religion. Not in a good way.

This was E’s first day of school. It was fraught with chaos and disorganization, and a nasty case of religious enthusiasm I hope won’t happen again.

Lemme ‘splain.

E’s new school is located in a church. It isn’t supposed to be affiliated, as it’s a publically funded charter school, sanctioned by our county.

I’m sure it was an oversight, or failed communication (as in, “It’s your church, so why don’t you say a few words”) concerning this morning’s assembly, but the results were a relatively mild, but nevertheless completely inappropriate bible-thumping prayer session ending in “We thank you oh Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Um.

Then, there’s the “Go to this room. No, this room. No, this room. We mean it this time. And no, the real teacher isn’t here yet. It’s a paperwork problem. I know you understand…” thing.

I’m completely sure that a lot of this stuff is because it’s a brand new school, and there are things people are missing about how to organize a bunch of kids and their shell-shocked parents, but I’m really nervous now. I’ve sent a letter to the school’s board of directors about the assembly, along the lines of “I’m sure you won’t let this happen again.” If they do, DH will sic the ACLU on their butts faster than you can read this sentence, and I’ll be right behind him.

And there’s the visitation by Lt. Gov. Steele (who knows a good political opportunity when he sees one), taking the floor to pat himself on the back for getting the MD charter school law passed in the first place. Yeah, any chance to stump, I suppose.

Oh, and the photo opp, too. Have I mentioned we’re one of maybe three European American families in the school? I can’t say the percentage of African American or other, but we’re the clear minority here, as my friend pointed out to me, mentioning that she should be easy to spot. The photographer/reporter from the Post thought so, too, and he asked my permission to use E’s image in the paper. I smiled and said I suspected we’d be in that position, and his response? Well, there’s the obvious thing (the shade of her skin), and then she’s just so darn photogenic (yeah, I know…).

So, watch tomorrow’s paper, or maybe Thursday’s, if they keep the article for the PG Extra section.

[Edit: Today’s Metro Section (8/22/06), actually: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082101596.html – not exactly the front page, but darn close!]


08/21/2006: Martini anyone?

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=6323

Now *this* is something I’m willing to shell out dollars for. Or something my friends can go in on and buy for me. Not that they’d do anything like that….

Did I mention November 7 is the day after my birthday and Election day?

C’mon. What better present could there be (except maybe for ejecting all the Republican House/Senate mushrooms from their seats, that is…)

I’ll settle for the latter, if I have to…


08/23/2006: This is what happens when I get tired…

I’ve been poking around a web site looking for stuff to stick to my new car. I already have a folder full of stickers, including the one I got from Maria, but I haven’t gotten the round tuits yet, and I thought I’d see what else I could find. And boy, howdy, there’s plenty here: http://www.evolvefish.com/.

My favorite, and the one least likely to pass muster with DH (who may occasionally drive the car to work), was: “Would Somebody Please Give Bush a Blowjob So We Can Impeach Him?” Then there’s explaining to E what the term “blowjob” means…

I’ve got a bunch of stuff racked up in the shopping cart. I just need to know which item(s) DH might want for his car.

All I still need are big bright “flower power” daisies, and I’ll be all set. (Okay, so it isn’t a VW Bug. Sue me.)


08/29/2006: Walking with Martin O’Malley…

Yesterday I signed up to volunteer for Martin O’Malley’s campaign to dump Ehrlich as Governor. I still would have been happier with Doug Duncan, but I’ll take what I can get.

So this afternoon I got email with a list of local appearances, and it appears one of them will be the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. We need to be at Buddy Attick Park by 9:00am, for the walk down Crescent, but that should be easy to do, considering what time the girls are waking up now. 8am would be better for the purposes of ensuring parking. The parade starts at 10am.

We’ll be somewhere in the middle of the line-up, according to the web site.

I think I’m up for that – a little positive candidate support and some waving and shaking hands could be just the ticket… I just need to know if it will be just me or me, DH and the girls too. DH isn’t affiliated, but he might still be willing to walk. Dunno. Gotta ask.

And I got my sample ballot this afternoon in the mail. Got some clues already from the ACLU and from the Post, but I need to do a little more research before the 12th.

The political machine is cranking up…


09/05/2006: Ok, so yesterday…

Monday was the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival. We were marching with O’Malley and Brown (http://www.martinomalley.com/), in a large field of folks from many different backgrounds. Pleasing, I think. I got pix, but they’re still on the camera. Ran into the photog for the Post who shot E’s photos at TPA and he said they had a fight over which of her photos to run when. [grin]. I didn’t see more shots in today’s paper, so I rather doubt lightning struck twice, but still…

There was lots of yelling, very nice (if hot in the sun) weather, and a decent amount of support for the candidate, so that was good.


09/11/2006: On this day….**

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/11/911.memorials/index.html*

The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/911/*

Snopes – Rumors of War: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/rumors.asp

The American Civil Liberties Union: http://www.aclu.org/

and finally

The League of Women Voters: http://www.lwv.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home

Today is a somber reminder that people can and do feel free to abuse the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of others.

If you’re concerned about your own personal life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, don’t forget that tomorrow is the Maryland State Primary, and that on November 7 we all, as Americans over the age of 18, have not just the right but the responsibility to vote and direct our leaders.

If you haven’t registered to vote, please do. You still have time to vote in the main election. If you have, many thanks!

The only way we are going to change our leadership is if we tip the balance in the senate and house.

Car, rear view (circa 2006)

Car, rear view (circa 2006)

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* Edited because I realized the main page is going to change, but the point is September 11th stories.

** I REFUSE to use the words “Patriots’ Day” – patriots know what they’re fighting for, and make a conscious decision to lose their lives. Characterizing victims like this implies choice.


09/12/2006: Polling Day Politics

So, here I am, sitting at breakfast, trying to explain to E why we vote.

GAH!

It’s a good thing there isn’t school today. I’m moving slower than molasses.

And when I went out to take another load of trash to the curb, I discovered one last attempt by another city council hopeful on my door.

I’m officially in no-electioneering-beyond-this-point mode this morning. I’ve made all the decisions, done all the research I plan to do at this point.

We’re off to the store for Claritin for E (her nose started running yesterday – I’m betting it’s allergies), followed by a drive to the church to help paint more trim. After that, a trip to her old elementary school to register my votes for the appropriate candidates. [Edit: To follow naps and lunch, because both girls crashed in the car on the way home. They needed the break, obviously, because they decorated the church playroom with about thirteen gazillion sequins and rhinestones while I was painting the trim in the main entry. Fortunately for them, the card was pretty, and I’m not interested in serving a jail sentence, but still…]

I’m pumped. This election ought to be the turning point, and the key to getting underway the impeachment process our President so richly deserves. All it will take is five seats in the senate. That’s all. November 7 is the day after my birthday, but I’m hoping to make it the bigger celebration.

Anyway, after that, we’re off to ballet, then returning home for Tuesday Night Sewing at my place. (You’re welcome to tag along if you’re reading this.) I’m planning to watch the returns intermittently throughout the evening, and possibly 1776 or something else equally patriotic. Someone suggested Jefferson in Paris. I could get behind that…

Tomorrow seems to be a normal boring Wednesday. Gym in the morning, stuff in the afternoon. I wonder if I’ve forgotten anything?

K’s awake now. L8r!

Following up:

Lots of this stuff doesn’t make sense. Fortunately (?) those of us who do give a damn and go vote on nights like this will be the ones who direct the results of the November election. I checked in an hour ago and they were giving up on predicting anything. Everybody’s split either 50/50 or 30/30/30. Wheee…

I’m not going to stay up all night waiting for the votes to tabulate. I am, however, going to check first thing in the morning, in the hope that there’ll be some clear lines.

Frankly, nothing would please me more than to see Schaeffer go. There’s other folks, too, like Johnson, I’d like to see go away. (Nothing galls me more than taking credit for someone else’s work.)

I feel a lot like a walking billboard these days. I haven’t taken my ThinkBlueDems band (the blue one) off since I got it from my BiL, except that I gave the original one away and this is the second one. The Choice band (white) came from a friend (the one who got the first blue band), and the third (red) just got to me via werewulf (HOPE, for the National MS Society). Red, white and blue, and none of this namby pamby ribbon stuff.

Except that my birthday immediately precedes the election, I can’t wait for November.


09/15/2016: PSAs R Us

Our church is holding a free showing of An Inconvenient Truth:

Spotlight on Global Warming
A free showing of the acclaimed video by Al Gore: An Inconvenient Truth. A discussion session follows. Printed material also available.
When: Sunday October 8 at 1:30 p.m.

***A special thank you to Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light for providing us with this great opportunity. Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL) is a non-profit initiative that helps congregations, religious institutions and others in the Washington, D.C. area work for a more just, sustainable and healthier creation by reducing the threat of global warming. Visit gwilp.org for information and resources.

The Washington, DC Green Festival is coming October 14 and 15 to the Washington Convention Center. This seems like a very good time to investigate solar panels, green building materials and so on. I’m thinking maybe we’ll go Saturday. Anyone else interested? http://www.greenfestivals.org/content/view/10/33/

O’Malley/Brown fixed their web site so the video doesn’t automatically launch. It still doesn’t say explicitly that they’re running for Gov/Lt.Gov, but you really have to be living under a rock if you’re in the DCMarVa area and you don’t know they’re running against Ehrlich (our soon to be Ex-Governor, if we have anything to say about it.


09/25/2006: PSAs again…

(This is your semi-annual reminder that more than 90% of my posts fall into the Friends category, and are thus not viewable unless you have your own LJ account AND I’ve friended you.)

I leave you with this image:

Last Sunday, after the service was over, the Minister Emeritus stopped me while I was loading the car, and he asked me about the bumper stickers on the back of our new car. Of particular interest: Our Wtf sticker. (Oval, looks a lot like the W04 stickers, but with subtle – and not so subtle – differences.) He and his wife wanted to know what the Wtf stood for. And I told them. Without a lot of blushing. Much. Um…

Interesting life, that’s the case! Don’t miss a minute of it!

Hint.


10/03/2006: The tiniest faint glimmer of hope… [Rant warning]

…is being borne on the backs of innocent people who shouldn’t have to suffer.

I find it in the press assessment of Foley’s now infamous avocation. They’re now talking about all those other Republicans who helped cover up the story and how precarious their seats are in the house.

And then the disgust creeps back in again. I haven’t posted about it for a long time because if I let it get to me, I’ll drown in the morass.

I find it in the sense of outrage being published about those girls in Pennsylvania. (One of them was E’s age.) How could this have happened? Why?

I find it in the growing sense that we’re making our kids kill other people. Witness not one but two school shootings in the space of a week. Have we learned NOTHING since Columbine?

I find it in the faces of the Iraqi people. Oh, yeah. They’re SO much better off now that Saddam is gone. Um…yeah…

I keep hoping someone will look at the pieces of the puzzle and put two and two together. The buck should stop at the Oval Office, and yet I don’t believe for a second that anyone in this current administration will be held even remotely responsible for taking us back fifty years.

I’m snug and relatively happy and safe in my world here, but I let my daughter go to school every day, and every day I run the risk that some lunatic with an aversion to medical therapy will wander into her school and take her away from me. Or that she’ll have her personal space violated, in such a way that she’ll never recover. How scared do I make her to keep her safe, and how much good will it do, ultimately?

I’ve been thinking seriously of moving somewhere else. I can’t figure out where, though. Is there a better place to be now?

And is it just me? Am I the only one who sees the irony in Foley’s mistake? We lost the Senate and the White House to the worst president in the history of our country over a sex scandal. At least then the two participants were consenting adults. This time? 16. Pedophilia disgusts me more than anything else. And the only thing more disgusting is that this…practitioner…was in charge of the committee to legislate against these people!

2008 seems like such a long way off, now.


10/11/2006: So, who’s right again?

It’s too early for this stuff, so feel free to jump back after you’ve had your coffee/tea/breakfast. After all, we’re comfortable at home.

All I hear in the distance is a dog barking and occasional cars going by, on the way to work.

Oh, that and Morning Edition on the radio, where I heard the report on the following:

Disputed study claims 655,000 Iraqi deaths
POSTED: 2:57 a.m. EDT, October 11, 2006
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraq.death.toll.ap/index.html

They haven’t mentioned Darfur in a while, but I figured I’d go and see what the most recent thing was on CNN. (The radio transcript/summary isn’t available until after 8:30am.)

Nigeria’s Obasanjo warns of Darfur genocide
POSTED: 12:28 p.m. EDT, October 10, 2006
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/10/10/nigeria.darfur.genocide.reut/index.html

It’s all politics, after all. The question to ask is why aren’t we involved in both actions, in equal amounts? Why not more deeply in Africa? More people are dying there, obviously. Genocide is genocide, after all, right?

Whether the count is in the thousands or hundreds of thousands, the inequity is pretty obvious to me. But what does the Sudan have to offer?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_conflict

Yeah…


10/28/2006: PSA Reminder: Maryland Absentee Ballot Application Deadline 10/31/06

You trust the Diebold people? Yeah, me neither.

To fill out your application for a Maryland Absentee Ballot, go here: http://elections.state.md.us/voting/absentee.html

It must be received as follows:

  • If the application is mailed, 4:30 p.m. on October 31, 2006; or
  • If the application is faxed, 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2006.

Coming down to the wire. Don’t forget! November 7, 2006 – Absentee ballot or not!

It’s your civic responsibility as a citizen of the United States to exercise your right to vote.

If you don’t get any other exercise this year, at least do that, please!


10/30/2006: Am I a fundy magnet or what???

Ok, so today I finally got it together and took the digital boxes and the cable modem to Comcast. E went with me (on the way back from school). While we were there, she wished the “nice lady” on the other side of the counter a happy Halloween. Seems to me like a reasonable (and friendly) thing to do, but I got an earful in return about how folks who observe the holiday in question are just devil worshipers in disguise.

Yeah, that’s me.

I pointed out (politely) that it was a harvest festival, and that there were some cultures where folks honored their ancestors (“cults”). She might be interested to know more about the roots of the holiday. I was politely informed that she had Jesus Christ and that was all she needed. Who needs ancestors when you have Jesus, after all.

Whatever.

So, then, while prepping dinner tonight, I get a “poll” call asking whether I’d vote for Michael Steele or Ben Cardin.

Yep. I’m for raising taxes, homosexual marriage and killing babies in the pursuit of science.

And yes, I will still vote for Ben Cardin, and no I will not vote for Michael Steele. No matter how many times you ask or how unsavory you make it sound.

I tell you, there are days when I find it VERY difficult to tolerate other religions, much less learn from them. How the hell do they expect everyone to believe what they do when they carry that sort of ‘tude around? No wonder we’re in the trouble we are in this country!

(And yeah, I know, I’m preaching to the choir most of the time on this thing. Just sayin’ is all.)


11/05/2006: Thank ghod for small favors!

I just turned my laptop on (didn’t bring it with us because the battery thing made it kinda dumb to do so), and found the autosaved draft of the Friday post. Posted it as a backdated entry. Poof, and there it is again.

Imagine my relief. I’ll NEVER edit another entry using a previous entry as a starting point. Copy and exit, no saving. That’s for me.

There’s a lot of stuff from today, but I want to run out the door to the O’Malley/Brown rally, since I got a personal invite to see former Pres. Bill Clinton in person tonight. Starts at 9. It’s 8:03.

L8r!


11/07/2006: 11:00 and voting’s done…

I bit my nails and used the machine anyway.

Not much left to do but wait and watch.

And if I never hear another negative ad campaign in my life, it will be too soon.

Other stuff to be posted in a not-so-public way.

Go exercise your right and responsibility – VOTE!

Thank you.


11/08/2006: It’s too soon for dancing in the streets…

…but at least I know my ballot isn’t one of the ones waiting to be counted.

I sat on the fence for several days, my absentee ballot in my hot little hands, but I ultimately decided to go with the electronics. So that’s one less paper ballot to be counted overall.

Still, I can’t get excited yet. With both the governor’s race and the senate’s within 100k of each other, we’re probably not going to know for sure until Thursday at the earliest. So, while I’d just love to crow about taking back the house AND the senate, I need to wait just a little bit longer.

I’ll definitely feel a WHOLE lot better in January, regardless of the final outcome, but I can’t help worrying that if Ehrlich pulls this one out, we Democrats will somehow be punished for putting up such a close race.

Don’t forget, either: A lot of damage can still be done in the month and a half between now and the end of the current political year. We’re not out of the woods yet.

Looking forward to hearing the Rove spin on this…

Ok, NOW I have a reason to dance in the streets!

No, it isn’t because…

Rumsfeld to Step Down as Defense Secretary
Bush Taps Former CIA Director Robert Gates as Successor

President Bush today announced he is replacing Donald H. Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, saying a “fresh perspective” is needed at the Pentagon to deal with the war in Iraq. Read more…

Wa-HOO!!!

I was looking to confirm Maria’s crow about Robert Ehrlich (see Google News here: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=ehrlich&btnG=Search+News), but this goes way beyond just being happy about the Governor’s race. For the record, I think she’s right, and Steele will look foolish if he doesn’t concede to Ben Cardin before the end of the day.

Considering the sleazy last-minute political move of shipping in homeless people to hand out inaccurate information designed to confuse voters who weren’t clear on the concept (Yes, Steele is a Republican, and no, it doesn’t matter one bit that he likes puppies), I think we just proved that some people at least get the concept.

Proud to say, I’m a resident of a fully Blue state once again!

YAY!!!!!!!


11/11/2006: Insanely busy the last couple of days…

Ok, so before I get started on the last couple of days, this I gotta share (thanks to Ralph, who finally forced me to get my own YouTube account).

Obviously not safe for work; not really safe for kids either.

If you’re wondering why I’m not crowing more about the takeover of the house and senate, the supremacy of the Democratic Party, or the end of the Evil Empire, understand that I’m just exhausted. There’s a fine rant about the disgusting timeliness of The Crucible somewhere around here, and I might get there sometime soon, but not in the next couple of days. Besides, I think I need to think some more about what I want to say. You may be surprised to discover that I’m really hoping people don’t screw this up. In the back of my head I’m hearing “be careful what you ask for” and it’s getting louder all the time.


12/13/2006: And I thought I had a bad day…

Young Frankenstein fans everywhere, take note…

Peter Boyle of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ dies

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/12/13/boyle.obit.ap/index.html

And in other news…

Staff: Senator hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/12/13/johnson.stroke/index.html

Sigh


2007 and 2008 coming soon

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