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Archive for the ‘All political and stuff’ Category

oh yes it’s caucus night

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Yup. I’m totally singing that in the style of Kool and the Gang because I’m that cool. Or uncool. Whichever.

Moving on to the important part! If you live in my area, tonight is the time to caucus! I know, if my Facebook feed is any indication, that lots of you have ideas for making your city, state, country, even world, a better place. You may feel like the government isn’t representing you, or that you can’t relate to either party. Going to your precinct caucus is a great way to make change happen, and get your party reflecting your values! Because they’re broken down by precinct, odds are you won’t have to go far. Plus it’s a great way to meet your neighbors, meet candidates, and if you already support a candidate, chat with the people that would be able to get him or her into office! They typically don’t take too long, you can set your DVR to record your stories, have dinner, caucus, and get home in time to unwind and still hit the hay at a reasonable hour.

How much you participate is up to you! You can bring resolutions you want your party to adopt, or just vote on others’ presented resolutions. You can run to be a delegate, if the mood strikes. It’s all up to you!

The Pioneer Press offers some information and links to get you started. If you aren’t local, I recommend taking a moment to google if your city or town has caucuses and how to get involved. (I would post links, but the US is pretty large, and I’m sure I would miss information, I’m sure you understand!)

So, go forth and caucus!!

xoxox

takin’ action

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

So, Tuesday I participated in the record-breaking Minnesota DFL precinct caucus. (Previous record was 80,000 in the ’60s, we tripled that this year–w00t!) I have to say, on my third time around, it still feels so magical. This year was kind of weird, though. The DFL decided to make the presidential ballot binding, rather than the usual non-binding straw poll. That made for a strange dynamic, perhaps making the choice a little more stressful. In retrospect, knowing that my ideal candidate is also behind my viable candidate, and released his supporters, I could have voted for him, and still subcaucused in the Senate district round for the viable candidate…oh well.
A brief rundown of Tuesday…
I knew G would have to pic me up at the gym, and we would head over to our caucus. I was wearing dance pants and a workout tank…and very worried I would be freezing at the caucus, thus thinking maybe I should have thought to bring layers with me. Too late for that. As we started along Summit Avenue, we hit traffic. Barely moving traffic only a few blocks from our home, and a few miles from our caucus place. We couldn’t figure out what was up…I mean traffic on Summit? So, we headed over to Grand…same deal. We continued several blocks over to come at the place from the back way. Found a reasonable parking spot, and headed over to the junior high school building serving as our caucus building. Lines. Around the block at each entrance. I have never witnessed such a thing! It was pretty awesome. The lines were continuously moving due to the highly organized group of volunteers stationed at the doors to keep people heading inside. As we snaked along we had some pretty great conversations with fellow caucusers. Learned about other progressive groups and bonded over election excitement. We got inside, and asked for directions to our room. The building was crowded, but the volunteers were on the ball…I was so very pleased and proud of them. We made our way to the correct stairwell, where we proceeded to wait in line to vote and get into our precinct caucus. A quick note: I had an ice cold diet soda that I purchased to go with my on the go sandwich dinner. I chose to leave it in the car because I thought I would be too cold. This was laughable! As we stood in the stairwell, I was forced to take my coat off. It was roasting! All that body heat made for a very cozy atmosphere. Several people commented on my wisdom in wearing a tank top. I had to ‘fess up that it was purely a happy accident. It was really cool to see people of all ages, ethnicities, new citizens, lifelong citizens, complete diversity coming and going. We finally made our way to our room…hurray! We quickly signed in and cast our ballot, and found seats on tables along one wall. There were people perched on bookcases and desks, all the chairs full. We missed some of the action due to the lines, but quickly caught up. It was pleasing to see how many people chose to stick around after casting their presidential ballots. We voted on party resolutions, heard speeches about our senatorial candidates, and G even presented a resolution…wheeee! We had to push back our voting of delegates to make sure that all those waiting in line had their fair shot. I thought of a campaign speech, just in case we had more delegate volunteers than spaces. It was pretty powerful to see people speaking on things that obviously meant so much to them, and the hope that positively beamed from them as they read resolutions. On an US Weekly note…apparently Garrison Keillor is in our precinct. He voted and proceeded to hang out and watch the proceedings. It made me a little nervous to be a mere few feet from him… I felt like I needed to be extra impressive! My only disappointment of the evening were the few bad seeds who felt the need to try and foist their negativity on the room. I have no problem with being critical, and offering productive feedback or criticism. However, just to say things that are mean-spirited or off-the-cuff rude is completely unecessary.
Eventually, we were able to vote on delegates. In a miracle, exactly 28 people volunteered for the 28 positions for the senate district convention. Four more volunteered as alternates, and politely decided among themselves their ranks for the convention. We volunteered for committees…I felt really bad, though. My hand shot up for resolutions, and the chair said there was room for only one per committee form our precinct. I dashed G’s hopes of also being on resolutions.
So, today, I woke up sunshiney early and made my way to a local library for the first committee meeting! We sorted resolutions based on various criteria, we discussed, I learned. It was pretty cool, if not a bit daunting as we have quite the pile of resolutions to research this week, and our chair has quite the pile to condense. We have three short weeks to compile all the resolutions from all the precincts and get them to the printer in time for the convention. It will be some work, but I also think it will be really interesting. Just hearing the scope of the resolutions passed in our precinct, and today seeing some of the others, makes me really excited for the convention.
Looking to the future, I would really, really, really love to be a delegate to the state convention this year. Unfortunately, I think the competition will be fierce, and I know that the qualifications of some will far outweigh my own (or rather, lack thereof). Despite that, I would be so honored to be elected to go on. In a magical dream world, I would get to go to the national convention…but I don’t know how possible that is. One dream at a time. If both G and I were to go on to state, that would rock. It would be such an amazing experience!!
I am so very pleased to be a part of this. I am really optimistic this year. We have such an amazing field of candidates. Some years it honestly is the lesser of evils. However, this year, I feel like choosing one candidate simply means putting aside a very capable, viable candidate. No matter who goes on (even though, I would ideally love it to be my candidate), I feel like we will only benefit. I am also honored to be in such an involved neighborhood, and senate district.
After several years of the political climate, I am honestly optimistic, rather than anxious.

you could say i’m lazy

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Since I am cutting and pasting what I just wrote on a message board. I was going to blog about this anyway, and was trying to decide when my blood pressure would be low enough to do so…however after reading once whiney and apathetic statement after another, I think I nearly had an aneurism. So, here is what I said there…my apologies in advance, as it is not as well constructed as I would like, due to the aneurism and all.
“First off…yes I voted.
Second off, I was going to quote some people, but after reading so many of the same apathetic statements, I gave up. Yes, everyone should vote. However, if so many of you actually care about actually changing anything, get off your asses and got to the caucuses. There you can *gasp* [i]actually tell the party what is imprtant to you and get it on the platform[/i]. You can make resolutions. You can vote on what candidate gets the party nomination.
Go to meet and greets with candidates and tell them what direction you would like them to go in, what issues are important.
Write letters to the candiates and those already in office and tell them what you want, as they are respresenting you.
All this bullshit about how the parties “don’t represent me” is bullshit! If you look at the fundamentals of the green “party” and the independent “party” alongside those of the DFL…you will find they are pretty much the same. If there are things within the party that you disagree with, then do something about it. Want a lefter leaning candidate? Go and get one the nom at the convention.
In the election of 2004, I went as far as I was able to go in terms of conventions. I did not run to go to the state convention for our subcaucus, as it was already a large pool, and there were many who had been much more involved in our candidate’s campaign. My candidate did not get the nom in the end. I expected that, but I supported him as long as he was in the race because he brought valuable insight to the other candidates, challenged them, and made people aware of a lot of things that I feel matter. As much as I would have loved to see him be president, I knew it was more valuable for me to support the better candidate of the two. However, I kept active, and I still make sure that the people that represent me know where I stand. My candidate through the caucus and convention process was so left that he could have easily taken the easy way out to get on the ballot and take his toys to the green party. He did not. He instead chose to make the most difference he could as far as he could into the race and make his voice heard. If Hutchinson or Pentel would have the balls to do that, then maybe they would have my vote. Instead I went with the candidate who was the most qualified of those who went through the more difficult process (not that it matters, but Hatch did have my support from the beginning. He was the most qualified of those who sought the nom, again had either of the other two gone through the process I might speak differently). I hardly call that voting for the “lesser of two evils.” I call that getting involved in the whole process, and not bitching because I couldn’t be bothered, and saying that none of the candidates were appealing because I couldn’t be bothered to tell the party what I wanted. Government is about compromise, and doing the best for the most people.
IRV has the potential to help, as we wouldn’t be stuck with someone who the majority didn’t vote for.
And this is coming from someone who voted for Perot in ’96 (to answer Mr. Grimes question). I was fresh out of high school, where nobody told me you could do anything other than vote for the third party. I don’t regret voting for him, because I learned something from it. It made me get more involved, and get the people and the issues that were important to me on the ballot.
In short, elections are few and far between. Yes, voting is important, but nothing will change if that is the only time you expect to change things. Try changing your sheets or your clothes or your oil once every two or four (or eight) years and tell me how that goes for you.
Sorry, but this issue is truly a burr in my saddle.”

Don’t forget to vote

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

I’ll save my diatribe about how people need to get more involved, and should caucus, and get involved in campaigns and such for another day.
For now, vote. It only takes a few minutes, and every vote counts. We are in a scary place right now, and you have the power to make change.

stomach turning…

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

So, G and I were watching the Olympics as a part of our romantic Valentine’s Day evening. What can I say, we’re an old married couple, it doesn’t take much for us. Anyhow, we’re watching, we’re chatting about various athletes, and of course there is the usual smattering of commercial breaks. One of these commercials actually made my stomach turn. It has these guys, who appear to be either in the military, or who have served in the military. There are clips of footage from various terrorist attacks over the last five or so years. The men are talking about how we need to fight terrorism, and how they would drather we fight it IN IRAQ rather than have to fight it here. It mentioned how wise our current president is, and that he understands that we have to fight in Iraq in order to defeat the terrorists.
Are you fucking kidding me? No really, are you??
It absolutely infuriates me that this sort of propoganda is continuing to be spread. That these outright lies are being spread as thought they are the absolute truth. The freaking attacks that were depicted in this ad were not all even related to each other, much less did any of them have a freaking thing to do with why we are sending our military to Iraq to fight. The war in Iraq is offensive. I hesitate to even call it a war, because the last time the US actually declared a war, the way it is supposed to be declared, was WWII. However, we attacked them. Iraq had nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden, and the trade center attacks. In fact, the US government gave Osama Bin Laden a whole crapload of training, to get help against Iraq. Suddenly, Bush decides that he wants to bomb the shit out of Iraq, for no real valid reason, without the support of the people living there, so he very carefully gets the country to believe we are fighting terrorism. BULLSHIT! I also do not understand how so many people in this country just believe whatever the spin doctors spew out, rather than taking a few minutes to find out the truth. Then, to have people pay for television spots to continue to spew out lies in an effort to try to keep these apathetic people from getting their own information. It gets my blood boiling. To the point that I am afraid my head will actually explode.
Further, so many people bitch about their rights being infringed upon, or paying taxes, or not making enough money….yet they are unwilling to do a darn thing about it. Most people don’t even bother to vote. Many that actually do bother to vote, son’t inform themselves about what they are voting for. Those that do, bitch that we only get two candidates for office and that the parties are too much alike. Well, then get off your lazy asses and do something about it. Caucuses are coming up. Go to whichever one even remotely resembles your beliefs. Stand up for yourself. Tell your party what you want represented. Write a resolution. Vote for your candidate…you know there are lots of them at this point. Make some change rather than just putting a bunch of useless negative energy out there. People like to say what a great country we are, yet they don’t even take advantage of any of the things that make this country great.
Maybe it’s good that I saw that ad. Yeah, my blood pressure is probably spiking. However, it reminded me of the people who are only concerned with their agenda, and not what is best for the most people. Just in time to caucus, and fight the lies. Make yourself heard….otherwise, quit yer bitchin’

Just found this…

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

…and thought it was a good thought. Especially as we all try to keep our chins up these days…
“Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives. It’s about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people.”
Paul Wellstone

Brain…full…hurts…

Saturday, April 17th, 2004

So I spent today at the CD4 Convention. I should backtrack, to the SD64 Caucus. At the end of that whole shebang, they needed another female (for affirmative action and all) to fill out the delegates for our subcaucus. The gentleman running our subcaucus asked the lady holding up her hand for her name. I looked around to see what nice lady volunteered. Oh crap. It was my hand up in the air. I seriously have no idea how it shot up, but it did. I then offered to be an alternate, since I was sure the other people signed up would much rather be assured a spot on the floor.
Fast forward to this morning.
As I banged on the snooze button, I wondered what the hell my hand was thinking shooting up like that. I wanted to sleep in. Maybe eat some oatmeal in the afternoon. But I had to get up, look lively, put on clothes. (word on the street is that it is frowned upon to show up naked.) My only consolation was that I didn’t have to work due to this commitment.
Now, I should clarify. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be involved politically…however, things like this scare me. Things involving me at the center of scads of people, having no clue what I’m doing make me hyperventilate. Sometimes sob. Sometimes utter nonsense words that I think are perfectly normal. So why would I throw myself willingly into such a situation???
Anyway, it wasn’t so bad. I made G come with me, until I figured out what the hecate was up. He dutifully ran and got me food while I waited for the credentials report, and while I listened to our good Senator speak. I did get upgraded, yay! So the waking up at the ass-crack of dawn was worth it. I got to vote on lots of things, and it felt good to be involved. I got to see rebellion-boy again. Seriously, I am happy to see young people get involved, and I wish that I would have been more involved (I mean besides voting) at that age, and there were a lot of teenagers that seemed passionate and responsible. But Rebellion boy, with his red beret and no shoes, and his, “take the power back!” was all a little too Rage against the machine for me. Point of Clarification, I love Rage, Zach de la Rocha is brilliant. However, I do not pretend to be him in public, and I do have more political knowledge that the lyrics of “Killing in the name of.” Anyway, I hope he’s around in two years. I’d like to see if he owns shoes.
So, my brain got used full force today, and my ass was used for nothin’ but sittin’. So, brilliant me decides that I need to take a nice long walk. I changed my shirt, and put on some sneaks, and headed out. Apparently I looked hot enough for an overweight teen in an SUV to hit on me. Good to know I’ve still got it. Must be the 18 pounds I’ve lost (yeah, that was a shameless plug…sue me). I saw too many dogs to count, three cats (one of whom was lounging at a house that was not hers), and two rabbits (not pet rabbits…wild rabbits). We all know that where there are two rabbits…there are a million rabbits.
Anyway, my brain is sore, and my bloated carcass has nothing left. So, I must adjourn. All in Favor?
Crap, will I be talking like that permanently??

I’m a smart ass

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

Oy…what a week. My brain is still recovering from Tuesday. I attended my first precinct caucus with G. I thought I knew what to expect, but apparently not. The voting part was more primary than caucus, and I already knew who I was voting for, and was ready to talk people off the fence. I signed up to be a delegate, and voted on resolutions…which was the part that made my brain hurt. Lots to take in, process, decide. It felt really good though. It was good to see people getting involved, fighting for what they believed in…people of all ages. There were those who were young, like us, and those who were very old, people in between. People of different races, income levels, backgrounds…all coming together. Agreeing, disagreeing, agreeing to disagree.
It makes me wish that more people could understand how wonderful the process is…how everyone is capable of making change. It saddens me that so many simply follow what they are told, or not told as the case may be, or don’t do anything at all. We have so many opportunities, so many wonderful freedoms, yet so many ignore them, don’t even notice when they are swept under the rug. I am still processing all of this. Wishing that I would have done this sooner, grateful I didn’t wait any longer.
Whew, that was a lot of seriousness…on the lighter side, I am heading out of town tomorrow. Not anyplace exotic or sunny or warm. I will be spending two weeks with my family, back in ye olde hometown, visiting friends, helping out my parents (my Dad just had his hip replaced…ouch!), and standing up in a good friend’s wedding. I got a bra for the big event today. I had gotten one a few days ago, but it didn’t work, so I got another one. I thought that being a 34D was enough of a pain in the ass…but no, now that I’ve lost weight, I’m a 32D. Which means that if any store has that size, they get one, and once it’s gone, too bad. So, I got something that will work reasonably well, and resigned myself to ordering bras from the internet. It was entertaining listening to the bra clerks’ conversation, talking about the bars and clubs, then practicing dance moves on the tile floor. One girl attempts the Merengue…key word being attempts…and talks about how it was invented by the slaves of whatever country it was invented in because they could do it while chained together, then says, “isn’t that cute???” Heartwarming, really. I was thrilled to get my smart ass out of there.
Well, I need to finish packing. Usually I have lists that are sorted and prioritized for this sort of thing…this time, I am grabbing whatever I can get my hands on, and packing it…and praying it will work. My only real concern is getting the stuff washed that is dirty, and packing enough shoes. I am also very sleepy. My brain has been over worked this weekend. Sort of like when I don’t work out for years, then pop my Tae-bo tape in the VCR and wonder why it’s kicking my ass.
Democrats are sexy. Has anyone ever said, “Hey, nice elephant”?