Friday, December 28, 2007

Year End Message From

I've been volunteering for for more than three years. Aside from attending rallies and such I work for the "Support Corps" as a training manager. Support Corps are the uber-volunteers who answer your emails when you write to MoveOn with questions or complaints. It's been a great experience working with such smart, innovative people. The folks in the video below are a good representation of members:

If you're not a member (membership is free but donations are appreciated since it's a 100% member-funded organization) go here for more info:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

GET YOUR VOTE IN: It Will All Be Decided By February 6, 2008!

I would bet few of you are thinking about the presidential election (like most other Americans.) Did you know the decision will be swift and you might miss your chance to participate? Every vote counts (and will hopefully be accurately counted) in this contest that's likely to be decided by February 6th! Then we'll all have to throw our support behind whichever candidate has won the numbers game.

Will it be the advertised favorite Clinton? Can Obama's stardom push him past her in the final stretch? Will Edwards come from behind? Is Dodd doing a surprise end run? Does Kucinich have a shot at it? Biden is apparently moving up in the polls, does he have a chance? It's all up to YOU! If you live in one of the following states you need to GET BUSY and...

1) Decide on a Candidate (don't be embarrassed if you haven't decided yet, be informed! It may help to watch the videos below).

2) Donate to that candidate (if you can).

3) Promote that candidate to your circle of contacts.

4) Make sure your voter registration etc. is in order.

5) Check, re-check, and double-check the date of your primary/caucus with your state registrar (or applicable entity.)


U.S. Democratic primary and caucus dates for 2008 (SOURCE):


PRIMARY & CAUCUS DATES (As of 11/29/07):

Michigan - January 15th
Nevada - January 19th
South Carolina - January 26th
Florida - January 29th
Maine - February 1st
Alabama - February 5th
Alaska - February 5th
Arizona - February 5th
Arkansas - February 5th
California - February 5th
Colorado - February 5th
Connecticut - February 5th
Delaware - February 5th
Georgia - February 5th
Idaho - February 5th
Illinois - February 5th
Kansas - February 5th
Massachusetts - February 5th
Minnesota - February 5th
Missouri - February 5th
New Jersey - February 5th
New Mexico - February 5th
New York - February 5th
North Dakota - February 5th
Oklahoma - February 5th
Tennessee - February 5th
Utah - February 5th

If you are undecided, and you live in one of the above listed states here is a quick group of videos showing the candidates in their own words (in various settings). I hope these help you decide who to support (in random order). Note: You can also take this online test to see which candidate's positions on the issues most match your own.

John Edwards' Website

Barack Obama's Website

Hillary Clinton's Website

Chris Dodd's Website

Dennis Kucinich's Website

Joe Biden's Website

Bill Richardson's Website

Mike Gravel's Website

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Merry Crisis-Mess and a Happy No Fear!"

Department of Homeland Security Blanket © 2007 Jessica Vitkus

Below is a letter to the editor from one of my blog readers, Ron Greenstein. I'm hoping the San Francisco Chronicle does print his entertaining missive:
"Merry Crisis-Mess and a Happy No Fear! Shouldn’t anyone who has been paying attention be ready to consider the state of our country and world as a crisis? And with so much incompetence, corruption, ill health (physical/psychological, social, economic, etc.), hatreds, wars and goofy weather, mess is a most accurate description. But, you might wonder, what is there to be merry about? Wisdom knows a crisis-mess presents a challenge, and to one inspired to meet the challenge there is the potential for self-fulfillment. Is there anything better than that? Furthermore we have all witnessed, whether in our own experience or through stories, how people in a crisis can come together like a family would, and how people have risen above petty selfishness to perform heroic deeds.

So, do you recognize that we have a crisis situation, and do you long to take up the challenge of doing what you can toward getting us through it and correcting that which has precipitated it? If so, Merry Crisis-Mess to you!

One final point is that this mess is the result of what we have been thinking, wanting, and the behaviors that express these. Hence, our task is to begin our fearless, merry questioning of it all. Experiment with the uncommon, the inappropriate, and the blasphemous. This will require getting used to (merrily) being thought of as naive, foolish, and crazy. Happy No Fear!"

12-20-08 -Ron Greenstein

I should also point out a new icon here on the blog, the Countdown to end of Bush! It's located at the top of the column of resources over there on the right side of this page


January 20, 2009 is the date that the next U.S. President will be sworn into office. We must do all we can to be sure it is NOT another Republican. We must demand that it's also not a Republican in a Democratic disguise. Learn about the Democratic candidates, (there's a really good field) and pick the one who's plans you think will get the country out of the terrible mess it's in. Pick the one for the primary who you connect with on policy, who speaks for and too you. Send them money if you can spare it, this is the time to push for your views. The primaries start on January 3, 2008 in Iowa, and it will likely be decided on Super Tuesday (which now includes California!)


Information on the 2008 Presidential Candidates:

From the Washington Post

From Project Vote Smart

From the New York Times

Who's got what $$ from where?
Show Me the Money!

A handy issue comparison chart

So how about using just a wee bit of your holiday digestion time to do a little political homework? The country you save may be your own!

Happy Holidays to one and all!

Antique Unitarian Universalist holiday card from Ken Duffy's collection.

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Call for Artists!

International Fiber Collaborative © 2007 Jennifer Marsh

I came across this very interesting political art project and thought you might want to participate. Artist Jennifer Marsh, (a graduate student at Syracuse University, NY) has come up with a novel way to use fiber art politically. She's calling for artists to send fiber pieces (patchwork, crochet, knitted, woven etc.) to create a giant patchworked "cozy" (like a teapot warmer) for an abandoned gas station. What a wonderfully wild idea! Jennifer explains the project:
The goal of the International Fiber Collaborative is to provide an opportunity for people who enjoy working with crafts, whether professional artists, hobbyists or students to come together from all over the world to express their concerns about their countries extreme dependency on oil for energy. Those who participate will crochet, knit, stitch, patch, or collage 3 foot square fiber panels that will express each participants concern about this topic. Your panel need not contain an image or be a literal portrayal of your idea. Simply by designing and creating a panel of any colors and any fiber technique and participating in this project you are, in the larger picture, expressing your concern about this important subject to the rest of the world. In April 2008, they will be sewn together to completely cover an abandoned gas station in central New York State.

I applaud this integration of "home arts/crafts" with public discourse and intend to participate myself. I hope you will too. The deadline is March 15, 2008 so there's plenty of time to design and create a panel. Here are a few that Jennifer has already received:

Silvia Piza-Tandlich
Costa Rica

Carol B. Lovell
Central Square, New York

Christi Beckmann
Besthoud, Colorado
Quilted Panel

Go HERE for details on how to participate in Jennifer's project. HERE IS THE FORM you need to send along with your fiber donation. Help pass the word about this novel political art piece to your fellow artists, friends, and family members!

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

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

Monday, December 10, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech



DECEMBER 10, 2007

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Honorable members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.

I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.

Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life’s work, unfairly labeling him “The Merchant of Death” because of his invention – dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, the inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace.

Seven years later, Alfred Nobel created this prize and the others that bear his name.

Seven years ago tomorrow, I read my own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken – if not premature. But that unwelcome verdict also brought a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve my purpose.

Unexpectedly, that quest has brought me here. Even though I fear my words cannot match this moment, I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated clearly enough that those who hear me will say, “We must act.”

The distinguished scientists with whom it is the greatest honor of my life to share this award have laid before us a choice between two different futures – a choice that to my ears echoes the words of an ancient prophet: “Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency – a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here. But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst – though not all – of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.

However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world’s leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler’s threat: “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.”

So today, we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun.

As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong.

We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.

Read the rest of Gore's speech HERE!