Monday, November 11, 2013

Gone Fishing!

Thank you for taking the time to view the art on this blog and for any political or artistic activism you partake in. This blog is not active for the time being. I'm currently pursuing my own art and taking time away from political activism. I may revive it in the future. I do hope you find something inspiring, interesting, or just plain old entertaining from reading what's been posted here. Thank you.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Trickle THIS!!!

"To put it simply, trickle down economics is a myth with no basis in reality. It is simply an ideology that never was supported by evidence. Right wing conservatives have warned of dire consequences from any attempt to increase taxes on the wealthy ever since the idea was first voiced. From those warnings you would think that the very high rates of taxation on the wealthy starting with FDR’s presidency, and lasting for half a century, would have resulted in catastrophic economic consequences, notwithstanding the reductions in income inequality achieved in part by that taxation. However, just the opposite turned out to be the case." (From Richard Wilkinson’s and Kate Pickett’s book, “The Spirit Level – Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.)

Read the full article this quote is from


Dear Readers,

I apologize for my neglect of this blog. There are two reasons for it. One, I simply burned out on politics after working so hard to help get Obama elected (and the Democrats a majority in Congress) and I've been posting so much on Facebook instead.

Alas, the weak-kneed Dems have lost their majority in the House and are on shaky ground in the Senate. Obama has lost his mojo too. So, it's back to the slog of politics for me, and for you dear reader. More to come...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Letter From A Friend

I received the following email from a friend the other day and had to think about it for a bit before knowing how I wanted to respond to his concerns that Obama was not performing as advertised. (Links added to flesh out the conversation.)
Hey, Emily!

Sorry I haven't written earlier. And it looks like it takes an emergency to make me do so: I am greatly afraid--especially since I now dwell in anti-Obama land--that the President is getting defeated at every turn, and I lay part of the blame for that on the fact that (as far as I know) he just isn't aware of the information that George Lakoff talks about.

The far-right religious and political nuts (like the ones who are my Texas relatives) have stolen the day, and O. has no clue as to how to frame his programs. Is there ANY WAY that someone can get L.'s concepts thru to the President? I am so fearful that he is giving up his Presidency in less than a year's time and just caving in to doing what so many of the centrists consider what is "sensible".

Since I have moved to Texas, my SS and Medicare payments have actually gone DOWN! :-( Do you have any assurance for a former Bay Area guy who longs to return? Not assurance of returning any time soon--just assurance that the country can be salvaged.
My response:

Thanks for keeping in touch from the vacuum that is Texas! I'm not very focused on politics for now, trying to recover from the years of activism and right now I'm working on this year's ArtCar Fest which is in two weeks.

I still support Obama because he's got it in him to do the job he was elected for and he's only been at it for 9 months now. I want to give him a full, fair chance to fix the absolute destruction to our National government and infrastructure wrought by the GOP in the past decade. I'm being realistic that he, as smart and as dedicated as he is, cannot reverse the damage in such a short time...or even perhaps in one or two terms. The squealing and vicious attacks by the unfortunately, regularly televised, right wingnuts is making a nearly impossible job even more difficult. (The Top 5 Lies About Obama's Health Care Reform.)

It's a shame that what is being shown on Faux News and in these staged so-called "tea party protests" at Congressional Town Hall meetings, and elsewhere around the country, have come to be considered acceptable political discourse. They're NOT!

I hope you can make it back here at the least for a visit. Always keep the Bay Area in your heart and try to spread some of it's unique way of thinking wherever you are! Be well, blessed be.

Here's something special from another friend:

The Obama Experiment.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

From and R.E.M.

Please share this around!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

I ran this article (and added images to it) almost exactly 3 years ago. We've replaced the President and taken back the U.S. Congress, with intelligent human beings (thank the goddess) and yet from the safety of their media enclaves the radical right wing minority continues to spew disinformation about basic human rights. The current issue under attack is of course (again) health care in America. Please read this and share it around. It really explains why some things in our culture are best done by government rather than for profit by enormous corporations who could give a shit about you and me:

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

by John Gray
(From Michael Moore)

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.

Photo Source: Reservoir

He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too.

Photo Source: Safe Medications

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Photo Source: Safe Meat

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Photo Source: Shampoo

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

Photo Source: Smokestacks

He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Photo Source: Subway

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Photo Source: Union Workers

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Photo Source: Bank

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home.

Photo Source: Crash Test

He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

Photo Source: Rural Power

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

Photo Source: Social Security

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

Photo Source: Right Wing Radio

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Incredible, Visually Astonishing, Critical to Watch...

As my friend, a family member, a fan of my artwork and/or blog, but mostly as a fellow human being I ask that you take the time to watch this free online full feature film by French director, Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

I can't say I've ever been affected by a film this way...especially a documentary.



From the film's website:

A hymn for the planet

HOME is an ode to the planet's beauty and its delicate harmony. Through the landscapes of 54 countries captured from above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand takes us on an unique journey all around the planet, to contemplate it and to understand it. But HOME is more than a documentary with a message, it is a magnificent movie in its own right. Every breathtaking shot shows the Earth - our Earth - as we have never seen it before. Every image shows the Earth's treasures we are destroying and all the wonders we can still preserve. "From the sky, there's less need for explanations". Our vision becomes more immediate, intuitive and emotional. HOME has an impact on anyone who sees it. It awakens in us the awareness that is needed to change the way we see the world. (HOME embraces the major ecological issues that confront us and shows how everything on our planet is interconnected.)

This quote is no hyperbole. This film is one of the most fantastic visual feasts I've seen and the quality, even on YouTube was excellent.

Take the time, watch the film, be changed as I was by seeing it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CA Election May 19, 2009

If you are registered for permanent absentee ballot you should probably mail it in today.

Here is some advice from the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club a terrific progressive Bay Area group:


On May 19th Vote NO! on all the propositions

PROP. 1A – Imposes a permanent spending cap based on a rolling 10- year average of revenues, extends recently approved tax increases ($18 billion) for 5-years, creates ‘rainy day” fund.

The tight, inflexible spending cap on state spending is permanent, but tax increases associated with the budget deal will end in five years. Therefore the drastic cuts in services imposed this year will be mostly permanent and will cripple future possibilities of significant new programs for education, health care, and other needed state services when the economy improves. If 1A is defeated the tax increases made as part of the budget deal will expire in two years when a better long term solution for the structural budget deficit could be developed Vote No!

PROP. 1B - Restores Prop. 98 school funding formula for years after 2010 so cuts made to public education as part of this year’s budget deal can be restored in future years, but is dependent on state revenues increasing.

Will only take effect if Prop. 1A passes. While there is merit in protecting education funding in future years if proposition 1A passes, this could also be done directly by the legislature so proposition 1B is unnecessary. Vote No!

PROP 1C - Borrows up to $5 billion against future increased lottery revenues to go into general fund this year.

State promotion of gambling is irresponsible. A better place to bring in additional revenue is increasing taxes on the wealthiest citizens and corporations. Vote No!

PROP. 1D - Children’s Services (“First 5”) funding
Allows funds specified for younger children’s services collected by special tobacco tax to be used for a wider variety of education and social services previously financed through general fund. Vote No!

PROP. 1E - Mental Health Funding - Allows special fund for mental health services previously passed by voters to be spent for a wider variety of health and social services currently supported primarily by the general fund.

Taken together the money shifted to the general fund by Props. 1D and 1E will close only about $1.5 billion of a $42 billion dollar budget deficit. Rather than raid funds passed by voters to prioritize needed children’s and mental health services, we should find new sources of revenue, such as an oil severance tax, to help close the budget deficit. Vote No!

- Prevents payment of Cost of Living salary increases to state legislators and Constitutional officers whenever the budget is in deficit.

While understandably there is anger directed at all legislators for the drawn-out budget process, this is a gimmick that misses the real villain here— extreme right wing groups pressuring Republican legislators to “shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub” by starving it of revenue. Vote No!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Inspiration from a True American Political Artist

Here's how it's done folks:

Filmmaker David Silberberg beautifully captured our recent Ocean Beach memorial for Tom Kennedy.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rest In Peace Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy and wife Haideen Anderson at ArtCar Fest 2008
Photo © Emily Duffy

I'm not fully able to write here yet about my friend, artist Tom Kennedy, but I do want to at least post this acknowledgement of his sudden departure from our ArtCar community. I'm basically still in shock about his drowning on Easter Sunday so need to process further before I can do a proper dedication to the man.

Meanwhile here are some sites with information about Tom:

Memorial Site

Laughing Squid

Rick McKinney's Site

Flickr Photo Pool

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Oh Yes, Please DO!

From Think Progress

During a radio interview yesterday, corrupt Congressman Don Young (R-AK) expressed his hope that the corrupt former Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, might make a run against the corrupt Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin:

"Personally I’d like to see him run for governor, and that’s my personal feeling,” Young told the Alaska Public Radio Network on Thursday. “So, we’ll see what happens down the line. He probably won’t, but I think that would be a great way to cap off a great career as being the governor of the state of Alaska.”

TNR’s Jason Zengerle writes, “Maybe that’s why Sarah Palin wants Mark Begich to give his Senate seat back to Stevens: less competition.”

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Obama's Progressive Budget

Obama Hope by Shepard Fairey

From (the organization I've been volunteering for over the past 6 years):

Want to see what change looks like? Real change?

Well, here it is. Last week, President Obama unveiled his budget—his blueprint for America—and it's ambitious, amazing, and unapologetically progressive. As Paul Krugman said, it will set America on a "fundamentally new course."1

President Obama called his budget "a threat to the status quo," and trust me, the status quo noticed. Oil companies, big banks and insurance companies are already mobilizing to stop it.2

Unfortunately, most folks don't realize how far-reaching and progressive the plan is—that's where we all come in.

Here are 10 really incredible things about Obama's plan. Check them out and then send them on to your friends and family so that millions of people will have the information they need to fight to make this vision a reality.
10 things you should know about Obama's plan (but probably don't)

The plan:

1. Makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care that will go a long way toward paying for a more efficient, more affordable health care system that covers every single American.3

2. Reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. And if your family makes less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up one dime.4

3. Invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology, creating millions of green jobs that can never be outsourced.5

4. Brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable, finally bringing the war to a close—and freeing up almost ten billion dollars a month for domestic priorities.6

5. Reverses growing income inequality. The plan lets the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and focuses on strengthening the middle class.7

6. Closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies. 8

7. Increases grants to help families pay for college—the largest increase ever.9

8. Halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles, but his plan brings the deficit under control as soon as the economy begins to recover.10

9. Dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC—the agencies that police Wall Street.11

10. Tells it straight. For years, budgets have used accounting tricks to hide the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and too many other programs. Obama's budget gets rid of the smokescreens and lays out what America's priorities are, what they cost, and how we're going to pay for them.12

This is the change we voted for. President Obama has done his part, now we need to do ours.

Can you pass this on to your personal network and then click HERE to let us know how many people you told, so we can track our impact together:

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Tanya, Peter, Justin and the rest of the team

P.S. Turns out there are way more than 10 amazing things in Obama's budget and we couldn't resist sharing just a few more.

1. Stops unnecessary government subsidies to big banks, health insurance companies and big agribusinesses.13,14,15

2. Expands access to early childhood education and improves schools by investing in programs that make sure every child has a qualified, strong teacher.16

3. Negotiates for better prescription drug prices using Medicaid's tremendous bargaining power.17

4. Expands access to family planning for low-income women.18

5. Caps the pollution that causes global warming, and makes polluters pay to support clean energy innovation.19


1. Climate of Change, The New York Times, February 27, 2009

2. Obama Calls His Budget Sweeping, Needed Change, The New York Times, February 28, 2009

3. Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

4. Obama Expects Fight Over $3.55 Trillion Budget Plan, Bloomberg News, February 28, 2009

5. Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness, Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

6. The Economic Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan, The New York Times, March 1, 2009

7. Tax Cuts, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

8. Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness, Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

9. Student Loans, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

10. Obama unveils budget blueprint, CNN, February 26, 2009

11. Obama budget would boost SEC, CFTC, FBI, Reuters, February 26, 2009

12. Obama's budget, Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009

13. Health Insurance Stocks Dive on Medicare Advantage Cuts, The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009

14. Agriculture, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

15. Investing Wisely in Our Children, Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

16. Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

17. Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

18. Setting 'Green' Goals, The New York Times, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Call for Art

Human Peace Symbol

From Artist Kim Ritter, Houston, TX:

It is my firm belief that art can act as a bridge towards world peace

Peace Expedition’s First Trunk Show
“Peace Offerings”

Call for Submissions from Around the Globe for Theme “Peace Expedition”

Currently I am creating a new art car called the Peace Expedition. An integral part of my mission is to showcase small format 2d and 3d artwork in a Trunk Show entitled “Peace Offerings”.
This interactive/collaborative exhibition will be on display in and around the Peace Expedition at Art Car Events like the
Houston Art Car Parade which attracts 200,000 viewers every year.

My mission is to promote the cause of world peace by showcasing art from around the world.

Artwork must fit the theme of “The Peace Expedition” and have some connection to one or both of the themes of ‘Peace’ and ‘Expedition’. Exploration of the theme is encouraged. This can be your personal statement about your journey towards peace or the bumps along the way, it may be a political statement about your country’s/ region’s/city’s or village’s journey to peace. If abstract, the work should still have some connection to the themes of “Peace” or “Expedition”

Artwork will be displayed in various ways that fit the theme of “The Peace Expedition”. These display options will showcase the art. Some may be used to decorate the car inside and out, put on or in suitcases and trunks, assembled into scrapbooks, diaries, collected in cigar boxes or in small trunks. Ritter would like to get something from every state and every country.


ANY SIZE 12 x 12 or UNDER

Some suggested sizes:

Inchie 1x1"
Fat Inchie 1.5 x 1.5"
Atc size 2.5 x 3.5"
Postcard Size 4”x6” (10 cm x 15 cm) or
3”x3” (7.5 cm x 7.5cm) or
4”x4” (10 cm x 10 cm) or
12” x 12” (30 cm x 30 cm)

Label your work on the back with YOUR NAME, CITY, STATE, COUNTRY, AND TITLE OF THE WORK…. be creative if you wish
Sign your work on the front if possible

3D Sizes:
Work should fit into a MATCHBOOK or MATCHBOX or CIGAR BOX of your own choosing.
Choose the matchbook/matchbox/cigar box of your choice. You may decorate the matchbook/cigar box with 2d work if you wish to match what you put inside.
Label your work on the bottom with YOUR NAME, CITY, STATE, COUNTRY, AND TITLE OF THE WORK…. be creative if you wish
Sign your work on the front if possible

Ship to :
Kim Ritter
18727 Point Lookout Dr
Houston TX 77058

Please share this call with your artist friends around the world. Provide them with a translation if needed (and send me a copy of the translation for others who speak the same language. Email to

International participants: Make sure that the shipping option avoids duties or custom fees as there is no budget for that. Insuring the work will most likely increase the likelihood of added customs fees or duties.


Peace Expedition First Steamer Trunk Show Entry


How does your entry relate to the themes of peace or expedition?

Artists release:
I _____________________________________________(print) give Kim Ritter the right to photograph and publish the work in promotion of the Peace Expedition. I understand my work will not be returned but will remain in the Peace Expedition Art Collection. The individual artists retain their copyrights to the individual works while Kim Ritter retains copyright for the collaborative art car called The Peace Expedition and the collections/collaborations that result in the combining of the individual art into scrapbooks, trunks and boxes and other ways of displaying the collections. I have read and agree to the guidelines listed in the call for submissions.

Signature Date

These little treasures will be displayed on and in the car and in trunks and other boxes.

Whenever the Peace Expedition is on display, people will be able to explore the art in the Steamer Trunk. The exhibition “Peace Offerings” or parts of the exhibition and collection may also be displayed at other events/exhibitions.

Because of the interactive nature of the exhibition, Ritter will not be able to return your work.
All work becomes part of the “Peace Expedition Art Collection”. Add it to your Collections category on your CV or resume.

The deadline for delivery of work is March 30th but I am accepting artwork now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Moguls or Main Street?

Brave New Films is collecting foreclosure stories.

Don't Divorce My Friends And Family

Monday, February 02, 2009

Institutionalized Hate

From the Sacramento Bee

Mormon church reveals deeper involvement in Proposition 8

By Shane Goldmacher

Sunday, Feb. 01, 2009

The Mormon church has revealed in a campaign filing that the church spent nearly $190,000 to help pass Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California.

The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the state's campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints violated state laws by not fully disclosing its involvement during the campaign.

While many church members had donated directly to the Yes on 8 campaign – some estimates of Mormon giving range as high as $20 million – the church itself had previously reported little direct campaign activity.

But in the filing made Friday, the Mormon church reported thousands in travel expenses, such as airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals for the campaign. The church also reported $96,849.31 worth of "compensated staff time" – hours that church employees spent working to pass the same-sex marriage ban.

"As I read this report, it seems to raise more questions than it answers," said Fred Karger, who filed the initial complaint against the church with the Fair Political Practices Commission in November.

Karger, the founder of Californians Against Hate, a group that opposed the measure, said he believes the church was involved financially long before the first expenditure it listed in September.

"I think there is still a lot of missing parts of the report because we know they've been active since June," Karger said.

Mormon church officials could not be reached Saturday for comment.

Roman Porter, executive director of the FPPC, confirmed that the agency was investigating the complaint against the church but declined comment on specifics.

The Yes on 8 campaign filed its own expenditure reports over the weekend revealing that the main arm of the campaign spent more than $39.2 million. Total spending among the various proponents topped $41 million.

Opponents of the measure had not filed their disclosure statement as of Saturday. The deadline for year-end statements is midnight Monday.

The Mormon church's involvement in Proposition 8 touched off controversy both during and after the campaign.

Many gay marriage advocates saw the church and its membership's efforts as crucial to the passage of Proposition 8. The measure won with 52 percent of the vote, a margin of 600,000 votes.

Following the election, church leaders in the Sacramento region hired extra security to guard a Mormon temple in Folsom. Ten local church buildings were vandalized in the two weeks following the Nov. 4 vote.

Some individual Mormons were targeted for their support of Proposition 8, as well. Scott Eckern, an LDS member, resigned as artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento in November after a $1,000 donation he made to the Yes on 8 campaign was made public. There were similar cases elsewhere in the state.

The Yes on 8 campaign petitioned a federal court to withhold disclosure of late donors, citing such harassment. But the judge ruled last week the donors must be disclosed.

"The court finds the state is not facilitating retaliation by compelling disclosure," U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said in his decision Thursday.

Jeff Flint, a strategist for the Yes on 8 campaign, downplayed the latest financial filing that details the Mormon church's efforts to ban gay marriage.

"I don't think anybody beyond rabid opponents of Proposition 8 will consider it newsworthy to find out that leaders of the Mormon church spent time on the campaign," Flint said.

He noted that the church was both public and vocal about its support for the same-sex marriage ban.

Flint said the Mormon church's reported direct spending amounted to "half of 1 percent of all campaign expenditures."

All told, Proposition 8 was the most expensive ballot fight last November. It is considered the most expensive campaign over a social issue in history.

And it could all be repeated as early as next year, as some gay marriage advocates are pressing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in a 2010 ballot campaign if court efforts to overturn Proposition 8 are unsuccessful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our White House Again

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day in America

My fellow progressive activist, Rob Dickinson, sent this out late last night. I found it reflected a lot of what was on my own mind at this auspicious moment in America.

Dear friends,

Within a few short hours, the national nightmare of the Bush presidency, if you can call it that, will be coming to an ignoble and much awaited end. For eight long years, we've endured assault after assault on our most deeply held values while the most dangerous President in history chipped away (and in some cases dynamited away) at fundamental civil rights, the rule of law, social justice and the safety nets protecting the most vulnerable amongst us, the environment, workers rights, human rights, international law and our nation's standing in the community of nations. We witnessed a regime that believed in torture, extraordinary renditions, overseas gulags, warrantless wiretaps, and Abu Ghraib-like abuses and believed little in the Constitution, if it was considered at all. Our eyes and ears stung and our hearts sank when watching and hearing the hypocrisy and dishonesty that this administration spewed forth on a regular basis, making even Orwell turn in his grave with freshly branded policies like the Clear Skies initiative that would increase acid rain and dangerous pollutants, and Healthy Forests initiative that would lead to unchecked logging of old growth forests. "War is peace", "freedom is slavery", "ignorance is strength". "Mission accomplished". To watch a Bush press conference was to willingly leave the reality-based universe for one entirely based on bad fiction and distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies.

With two terms worth of evidence and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as the enduring imagery, our eight year ordeal is the ultimate in reckless experiments to finally, once and for ever, answer the question - "Does it really matter who leads our country?" Some suggested in 2000 that it would be all the same whoever was elected, and surprisingly some still believed that in 2004. We've seen how a government run by incompetents and scoundrels can squander what is great about our country in a fraction of the time that it took to create and earn, and in a smaller fraction still of the time it will take to regain. With a country in shambles, an economy on life support, industry after industry collapsing in ruin, and workers across the country suffering, we all know better, and hopefully we won't forget this lesson any time soon. I fear that we will, but hope that the searing memories of the Bush years will create of legacy of civic awareness and engagement and perhaps more prudent voting. Those who thought that government could never be more than "the problem" realized after Katrina that we look to our government to be there in times of need and to solve those problems bigger than we as individuals or that the private sector would be able to or be willing to solve. And as the retirement savings of the nation were halved, those who didn't already believe that regulation protects us from fraud and abuse learned it the hard way. And those who believed that someone as simplistic and ill-equipped as Bush could attend to the difficulties of an increasingly dangerous and interconnected world are forever relieved of that foolish viewpoint. Unfortunately, the price we will pay for these lessons is staggeringly high.

But like even the most horrific hurricanes that leave a wake of destruction in their path, even this terrible storm has dissipated and will soon be over. And what a mess we will be left with as the Bushco. gang departs back to their comfortable nests. The wreckage will take years and in many cases decades to rebuild and recover from, if that is even possible at all. How do we gain back the eight lost years in the battle to address global warming when so little time remains. Will the debt created by the Bush era be paid off in the lifetime of my three year old son? Who knows.

But, lest you think me a total pessimist, that is not the true intent of this note. In fact, I am extremely hopeful. It is incredible that we have elected a President in Barack Obama who possesses such great intellect and leadership and is poised to skillfully navigate the political and policy landscape to bring about real change. How refreshing it is to see someone who generally makes very thoughtful decisions and surrounds himself with qualified, committed, and experienced advisors and staff. It is equally amazing to watch how so many people have become inspired and activated by Obama's campaign and his Presidency that our democracy feels invigorated. Within hours, my fifteen-year-old niece (with my sister's whole family) will be in D.C. watching the inauguration, after doggedly working for the grassroots campaign for Obama in North Carolina, a red state that was won for Obama by diehards like her. And in her first election ever to be deeply involved, in a state won by only 14k votes, even before she herself can vote, she has seen how every vote matters, and every door knocked and every call made can make a difference. What could be cooler than that!

But my note is really not to remind you of the pain of the Bush years, as you may be trying to put that behind you. Nor is it to remind you of the challenges of the Obama presidency or the reasons why I am looking forward to it. Instead, in reflecting on the worst of the Bush years, I was reminded of some great things that it caused to come about. It is with great pride and satisfaction that I know that I joined together with all of you to fight back against the wrongs being done to our country and and our neighbors in the world. It is inspiring to me to reflect on how so many people from so many walks of life took so much time out of their already busy lives and made great sacrifices to take a stand, to "show up", to protest, to call, to write, to campaign, to go to Iowa or Florida or Columbus, and do whatever they could to protect and preserve their country. From the moment I became involved in the Dean campaign in 2004 until tomorrow when I join our DFA group to watch Obama sworn in, I have witnessed true patriotism in each and every one of you, and for that I am profoundly thankful, and forever changed. Who would have thought that a reckless, selfish, anti-intellectual, smirking little twit like George W. would have been able to give me such a wonderful gift. And for that, again I am thankful. And beyond that - good riddance to the bastard for good! But to you, my friends, I hope that you will take a brief moment to reflect on all that has happened in the last 8 years, and to savor the victories that we've achieved and what you've stood for - even when victories eluded us. You showed up. You made a difference. And tomorrow is a new day.

With fond regards and much appreciation,

Rob Dickinson

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bye Bye Mr. Bush and Watch History on 1/20/09!

TERRIFIC VIDEO AND SONG (Thanks to Erika Nelson for the tip):

Watch history unfold before your very eyes on the big screen in both El Cerrito and Oakland:

January 20, 2009
Parkway Speakeasy Theater and Cerrito Speakeasy Theater
Doors open at: UPDATED!!! 7AM!!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Counting Down to #44!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What A Waste!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Justice for All Means Bush/Cheney Too

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

California Carol from the Courage Campaign

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ah, Reality...Thank you Al Gore.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas: What's Very Old is New Again!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Poet Who Knows It!

Duke by Rick McKinney

My friend Rick McKinney is a terrific writer. He's also a very entertaining fellow and I've enjoyed many trips across the West with him over the past decade. Today, he wrote this on his blog, Paris Hilton Ate My Ferret, and I thought you might appreciate it as much as I did:

[With fore and aft excerpts from "Charles Bukowski Screams from the Balcony, Selected Letters 1960-1970"]

"There is always this sense of futility and disgust that you have been hammered finally into something which you do not want to be, and as long as you are conscious of this.. you are going to be pretty generally unhappy... This is sad but it makes me glad I've written a few poems today... I do not want attention. I want myself and they are tearing the arms of my mind apart."

What now for the poet?

Will the looming crash kill him too?

Will the mean needs of food, clothing & shelter

(Buzzing gnats to the soul who wants only to write)

Finally do him in as the suburbs empty out?

In the neighborhood of his sister's rental house

(The bank took her home in March)

There are sad signs

Abandoned pets wander streets as

One in six houses stare mouth agape

Empty windows reveal empty rooms

People driven out by


Unlike many, the poet was good at mathematics

But found he cared much more for feelings

Pursuing the latter doggedly in poems and prose

He clocked two decades of pen & ink

For pennies

For mathematics, as with a woman scorned

Shadowed him bitter

Confounding success

But Lady Mathematics is busy this December

Busy as Santa and all of his elves

Busy as a the lone Grinch with a grudge

Busy taking

Turning out dogs

Pounding REPO signs into unmowed lawns

She's readjusting the equation

Taking more from the middle than ever

Calling it vital measure

To save the banks and auto makers

Pounding out badges and guns and truncheons

Hiring more police from the pools of newly jobless

More police to protect us

From ourselves?


From the Joneses

You know, used to live next door

Slightly higher credit rating

Cause enough for righteous envy

Now living with the kids in a minivan in the Wal-Mart lot

Possessions packed pathetic in rooftop marshmallow box

Now Mr. Jones has dreams riddled with desperation

By orange arc sodium light of sleepless night

He tacks down the list of questions that plague him

Recalling a long-forgotten equation

From Mathematics was it?

No, English

The five W's

He has answers to none

At the party goods emporium

Mathematics is a myth

Recession pure charade

In the festive aisles it is the Eighties again

The poet dons dozens of silly hats

Affecting appropriate accents to please his nephew

Eight and suspiciously serious for the

Mardi Gras and Pirate booty aisle

The boy finally cracks a smile

When from the myriad colors and themes

The child chooses army junk

The poet refuses

Explains why

The child persists

So the poet extracts a promise

If I buy you this army costume, will you promise

Never to join the military when you grow up?

The boy agrees

In the parking lot

With the battery dead

The boy gets a lesson in how to push start a car

Back at sister's house

The poet gets a lesson in




The boy's father, it seems, may soon join the army reserves

Having exhausted other options for saving the family

Somewhere in this poem

Somewhere in the middle

The poet had occasion to wonder

If perhaps Mathematics

As busy as she is

Had forgotten him

That he might breath a sigh of relief

She hasn't

He won't

Like a loan shark

Like a mafia don

Like a terrorist

Having failed to kill him

Mathematics now hunts his loved ones.

Poetry seems so pointless now

Like an adult promise exacted from a child

Not to go to war, not to die for nothing

Poetry is futile

Don't believe it, brother. - RSM

"Poetry must be forgotten; we must get down to raw paint, splatter. I think a man should be forced to write in a roomful of skulls, bits of raw meat hanging, nibbled by fat slothy rats, the sockets of musicless staring into the wet ether-sogged, love-sogged, hate-sogged brain, and forevermore the rockets and flares and chains of history winging like bats, bat-flap and smoke and skulls ringing in the beer... The fact that the poets of the world are drunk is a damn good indication of its shape."

[Fore and aft excerpts from "Charles Bukowski Screams from the Balcony, Selected Letters 1960-1970"]

Check out Rick's excellent book, Dead Men Hike No Trails.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Emily...Where Are You???

I want to apologize for not posting more often since the landmark election on November 4th. Believe it or not I'm almost busier now with my work than I was before the election!?!

I'm working on the cool merchandise they've been offering such as posters and stickers designed by graphic artist Shepard Fairey:

Which you can order (for a short while longer) HERE.

And a new Inauguration tee shirt set to deliver before January 20th (so you can wear it on that historic day):

Which you can order HERE!

So that's what I'm doing right now along with trying to dig through six months of unsorted bills, papers, and household projects. It's so great to have WON back the White House and I want to thank every one of you for whatever part you played in the incredible effort to bring that win about.

Oh, and if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area you MUST SEE the incredible exhibit by sculpture Al Farrow at the de Young Museum. Here's a sample:

Yes, that's a model of a synagogue made out of guns and bullets!

See more photos of the exhibit (as well as some ethereal Ruth Asawa sculptures) on my Flicker Page. But of course it's better in person.

Also for you fashion mavens/clothing whores, check out the extensive Yves Saint Laurent exhibit, WOWZA! All at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Musical that's Sweeping America

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Friday, November 14, 2008

Repeal H8te - Nationwide Protests Saturday 11/15/08

Find a protest in your city/state

Not sure where you stand on the issue of gay marriage? Don't think it has anything to do with you? Watch this video commentary by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and I think you'll understand how this H8teful law (CA's prop 8) hurts everyone, including you:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We The People...Won!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Instructions for Making Sure Your Vote Counts Tomorrow

Hello Dear Ones,

As you may know I've been volunteering at the MoveOn Help Desk for almost 5 years now. I'm hoping that a win for Obama tomorrow will be the result of all these long, difficult years of effort by all of us. To that end I'm forwarding a helpful list of tips about voting tomorrow from MoveOn. Please circulate it far and wide. Many of our friends haven't voted yet and we want to be certain that absolutely every single, vote is counted correctly! Thanks.



Election 2008 Voting Information

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote—not just for Barack Obama, but for Congressional, state, and local candidates as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE: MoveOn members overwhelmingly oppose California's Proposition 8 (a ban on same-sex marriage). Please vote NO on Prop 8.

Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.

* Obama's VoteForChange site:
* League of Women Voters' site:
* Obama's voter hotline: 877-US4-OBAMA (877-874-6226)

What should I do before I go?

* After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
* Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
* Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for:

What if something goes wrong?

* Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
* If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
* Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
* Try to get video of the problem and submit it to

Want to do more?

* Text all of your friends: "Vote Obama today! Pass it on!"
* Call voters in critical battleground states for Obama, from home:

Now everybody go vote!!!