Sunday Confessional: I’m not feeling very neighborly

So many people in my neighborhood have signs in support of candidates and policies that are destructive and greed-based.  Candidates who want nothing more than to strip away our health care. Strip away protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Strip away health insurance coverage for young adults under their parents’ plans.

I tried explaining my family’s health care needs to a kind neighbor displaying a campaign sign for one such candidate, telling him it was hurtful to see that sign in his yard. He listened to what I had to say about my family’s medical needs and how that candidate’s policies would change our lives for the worst. He listened and then said he’d talk to A and D, two men in our neighborhood. Well, apparently my female opinion wasn’t enough in the face of men’s opinions because my neighbor still has the sign for the candidate backed by the Koch Brothers in his yard.

Then there are the many anti-Proposition 112 signs in the neighborhood. All of them saying it’s more important to save a few oil and gas jobs in Colorado rather than protect the health and safety of its citizens. Every time I see one of those signs I wish I could put a drilling rig/fracking site on their front lawn. It’s so easy to vote against public health and safety when you’re not at risk. There is zero chance we’ll ever have oil and gas operations in our neighborhood, so fuck everyone else around the state, right? Not to mention how insane it is to ignore the fact that the planet is on a crash course to extinction due to fossil fuels.

I apologize for venting here. I just wish my neighborhood was filled with people trying to behave less like ignorant greedheads and more like Mister Rogers. I’m gonna go back to my fictional neighborhood now . . .

Keep on keeping on

I think that the thing that we learned,
back in the day of the civil rights movement,
is that you do have to keep on keeping on.

~  Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Beauty blooming in the swamp at Kapok Park.

Beauty blooming in the swamp at Kapok Park.

No matter what the outcome today,
gotta keep moving forward.

 

 

 

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Paper Rules

For anyone who still doesn’t understand why PAPER BALLOTS are better for democracy than ELECTRONIC VOTING, go here to watch the Minnesota Canvassing Board in action.  The U.S. Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken was so close the decision is coming down to the board hand-counting the challenged paper ballots. 

Remember, accurate counts such as this are NOT possible when voters are forced to use unverifiable, black- box voting.

Paper rules.

            

Hope

I’ve been feeling down lately about the present and future of this country.  The damage done in the past seven years will take many, many years to undo and we need strong, brave leaders who understand that desperate times require bold solutions.  I believe Edwards is the best candidate to get this country back on track but his populist, progressive message is a threat to our corporate media and the DLC which are doing their best to marginalize him.  I don’t believe Edwards can get the nomination and I’ll just say that I’m less than thrilled with the two other leading candidates.

So why am I feeling hope?

Hope Reason Number One:  I found out tonight that a woman and writer I very much admire is going to run for public office.  You gotta love that kind of grassroots spunk and determination!

Hope Reason Number Two:  Last Friday night when I was at the caucus training for the upcoming Colorado caucuses (Feb 5) our party secretary told us that in 2004, a total of 2100 people in our county participated in caucuses but that as of Friday, the party phone line had already received 2700 inquiries about caucus locations!  More people are getting involved which means more ideas and more passion and maybe, just maybe, more progressive solutions to the many problems!

Hope Reason Number Three:  Tonight I helped with the weekly spaghetti dinner for the homeless and working poor.  And guess what?  Folks were talking about caucusing!  In 2004 I registered many of those people to vote, some for the first time in a long time and some for the first time ever, but I didn’t really push to get them to caucuses because the interest didn’t seem to be there.  But now they want to be involved right from the start which means more people involved which means more ideas and more passion and, well, you know. 

Have you ever noticed how Hope makes you feel just a tiny bit lighter?