Tag Archives: democracy

Blue In The Blood

Election Day is upon us, and it’s more important than ever to exercise our civic duty and cast a vote. Below is only ONE reason it’s essential!

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This is a section of the new patient registration form required by our office, and this is what someone chose to claim as an allergy. Seriously now …

Now, at first, I did laugh thinking that this guy is pretty ballsy to believe that this would go unnoticed by the two LIBERALS working the front office.

However, in hindsight, I need to remember that people are actually crazy and maybe next time I will refrain from calling to remind him to double up on his Benadryl before his appointment. Oh yes, I did!

It has never been a question for me whether or not I would vote, but in light of the current atmosphere in this country or even in our local communities, the bar has risen to light a fire under our friends, family, neighbors, and anyone with ears. It’s in my blood, my blue blood to be exact.

I was raised by two dedicated democratic servants of the community. The polling place was in our home for god sakes. No excuses.

My mother would stay up the night before making homemade meatballs with gravy for the women on the board, while my sister and I rolled lunchmeats into fancy schmancy cylinders to be displayed on a platter, and my father would go to the neighborhood deli first thing in the morning for fresh rolls. My parents fed both sides of the aisle because they were NORMAL!

During my childhood, I witnessed my parents taking on local government to ensure that our newly built, but quickly growing community, was safe with the installation of much-needed stop signs, rescue wagons, and larger street signs to make it easier for police and fire to respond. My mother walked up and down endless steps to have petitions signed, sometimes going back more than once to catch the man of the house after work.

It was definitely a family affair, whether you wanted to be involved or not, you rallied your friends to stuff envelopes and canvas the neighborhood like a chain gang. This was in the 70’s when kids had enough critical thinking skills to make things like this fun. 

Fast forward to 2018. My father is long gone, but my mother will be turning 92 this month. Her goal has been to live to cast her vote in this election … oh yeah … this is what I’ve heard for months. 

She has been following this election like a hawk. Well, a legally blind bird, with a sharp mind who is outraged at the behavior in Washington. When a 92-year-old tells you they’ve NEVER seen anything like it, be alarmed. 

I will be voting before I go to work. I’m leaving on my lunch break to assist my mother in the voting booth, and I will be sending my children unlimited text messages until they get over to the polls. Threats are not off the table to the children. 

Now, if you haven’t already done so, log off and get your ass to the polls and E!

Enjoy The Ride! 

 

 

 

 

We, Us & Our

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I think it’s safe to say that democracy is a work in progress. So, as we celebrate the 4th of July, let’s really get this party started shall we.  A true celebration means recommitting ourselves to the work that needs doing if we want democracy to survive and thrive. This excludes just sitting in the house and “liking” a democracy page on Facebook. We have a responsibility to be accountable to everyone around us…The Common Good.

We spend so much of our time divided these days, defining ourselves by our “side” that we forget something very important and frankly it’s in grave danger: We’re all in this together! Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s because you’ve heard this many times before in a wonderful document that seems to be getting some attention these days … The Constitution. 

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Everything after this sentence is just sugar on that big ole piece of pie.

So, today as we celebrate our Independence, let’s try to re-think how we start tomorrow. I’m suggesting an Interdependence way of thinking for the rest of the year. I love my freedom, but I’m also a big believer in collaboration. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead.

I know for me, in my personal life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all those helping hands along the way who took the time to invest in my wellbeing. There were many times when energy and love were thrown onto my path to push me along.

Of course we would all love to take credit for our achievements, but let’s face it … it was a communal effort. We tend to forget that many of our opportunities came from the hard work of the generations before us who cared enough about our future to invest in the common good. Where would we be without it? 

Let’s celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the real freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re gathered around embracing your freedom with friends & family or just enjoying an extra day away from the salt mines work place, you can take a moment to focus on the similarities of your surroundings. Hey look we both breathe air Omg! we have so much in common. We have to start somewhere now…rightEnjoy the Ride! 

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Stay Awake

tumblr_mctl04mveM1rabieto1_400People never cease to amaze me! Just when I thought it was safe to be line at the grocery store, something changed. Little did I know that someone, most likely the Fox network, must be dispensing portable soap boxes to their loyal listeners. This is what I’m going with since I have no other answer.

Hey, I am a huge fan of Free Speech, but for the love of God I can not tolerate when it is abused. Why on earth would a complete stranger feel that a hateful political rant would be a good way to strike up a conversation with ME of all people on this planet? guess the days of “hey baby what’s your sign?” are long gone. 

There I was minding my own business in the check-out line, reading the headlines on all the rag magazines, catching up on all the Kardashian bull shit news, when out of nowhere this person decided to egg me on while he ranted over everything under the sun. Maybe my peace sign bracelet set him off…who knows.

Well, that’s all I can say is THANK GOODNESS I’ve been graced with the gift of having my face come8a83b3cdb5d142b58ffcf58f0c7d9487 up with a quick response long before my mouth has a chance. Sometimes this can be a curse, but not this time. 

I have no idea what my face said, but I can only imagine it was something like “WOW!” or “Shut up you bigoted ass!” or perhaps both since I was then referred to as “one of them” shortly after my face had spoken.

There really were no words to respond, well I did think of two, but I wasn’t going that low. One would think that having a 5′ 9″ cricket as his only audience member would make him stop.

34f61adfcaba647773cb17bf7c5b7071Oh, this guy had all the answers. He was explaining everything that should be getting done “down there in Washington” and everything that would be getting done if “all the idiots” didn’t come out to vote. Can you feel my pain?

At this point I began chanting the ole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” lecture in my head for sanity purposes. I’ll be honest, after the 3rd time there were F-bombs tossed in to keep me out of jail.

I stood in silence wondering what would happen if this guy spent a quarter of his energy actually contributing to something good instead of spreading his relentless mouth farts all over the place. Hmm, maybe … just maybe, it would loosen that padlock on his mind. 

Since that didn’t seem to be happening any time soon, I continued to silently ingest his gases while loading my groceries at the speed of light. As if food shopping wasn’t enough to suck the life out of me…seriously. 

“All of us wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” Robert Kennedy

As you can imagine this left me with a huge social hangover by the time I got home. You know that wonderful feeling you get when you’re around exhausting people for a long period of time. It was going to take something much stronger than CALGON to take me away from this one!

I decided that the toxic remnants of this encounter had to leave before they did any more damage so I went out on my deck, flopped onto my swing and turned on some tunes. I was swinging in the silence when out of nowhere BAM! Teddy Pendergast saved the day. Thank you higher power, thank you very much!

I’m glad I didn’t waste my words on someone who didn’t deserve to hear my voice. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all. Stay awake and Enjoy the Ride! 

Love & Power

Below is a message that was shared by Parker J. Palmer. Mr. Palmer is well known Quaker, who I admit has influenced me in many ways. Listening to his words have made me a better person. Here is his thought for this very special day.

Take time to reflect this important message:

On Monday, January 21, Americans will celebrate our 57th Presidential Inauguration and the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here’s a quote from Dr. King about the relation of love and power that’s worth pondering on this or any other day. I kept this quote close at hand as I wrote my new book, sub-titled  “The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit”

The best way to honor the gift of American democracy is to do whatever we can—in our homes, schools and workplaces, in our communities, states and nation—to help create a politics that joins love and power.

An impossible dream? Of course. But where would we be if people like Dr. King had been unwilling to dream impossible dreams, confident that others would come along to pick up where they left off?

Was their confidence well-placed? The answer to that question is in our hands…

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Revolution? Nobody Has Time For That!

0050_soap_box3I’ve been trying to get up on this damn soap box all week, but I kept getting distracted by one piece of insanity after the other. So here I am, finally **tap pssh tap** I hope you can all hear me out there in Blogosphere and beyond. Ok, here we go…..

I need to address the escalated chatter I’ve been hearing lately in regards to a Revolution of some sort that is prompting people to run out and purchase firearms. People, I might add, who have NEVER owned a gun in their life. Everyone suddenly wants a weapon for “protection” for this Revolution. Really? Have these people ever tried to organize a group of people for a cause? Please!

You can call me crazy, but I’m going to provide you with a little scenario explaining why I believe there will NOT be a Revolution.

SCENE SETTING: The rally is being held in a large arena with red, white & blue balloons strung across the large stage. The PopsOrganizer is in jeans, a tailored shirt with dressy work boots, hoping his outfit will appeal to all classes in attendance. Flags are waving, lady Liberty is being erected through the center of the stage just as the Uncle Sam dancers make their way up the aisle high-fiving the crowd. The speaker appears at the podium and everyone is asked to move down closer to the stage due to the poor turnout. Just keeping it real.

REVOLUTION SPEAKER:  Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming out today. I’m sure it wasn’t easy pulling yourselves away from your busy lives to make history, but I’m glad you chose to make this sacrifice for your country. Roaring Applause. I know everyone is feeling a little unsettled these days with the direction our country is taking, but this has been happening for a very long time. Between the chaos in the Middle East, school shootings, slow economy, healthcare issues, Social Security issues, Medicare issues and our everyday life issues we are all on edge. So, I thought it would be a great idea if We The People got together to form a Revolution. Enthusiastic applause. In order to do this we will all need to share in the responsibility of organizing events all over the country. Applause seems weaker. We will all need to do our part to make this a successful Revolution. The crowd begins to shift in their seats. We will be setting up tents throughout some of the largest cities in America. This means you may be living in conditions that you are not accustomed to for long periods of time. If your want change, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices. Section A leaves to use the restroom, they never return to their seats. We will organize groups to get the word out via the Social Media, but let me be clear, we will only use Social Media outlets to invite more of the We The People to join us. The majority of our mission will be held on the ground. Whispers are heard amongst the attenders. We need to show our strength in numbers by physically attending these events. A hand is raise and a question is asked from the crowd. Can we just “like” this Revolution on Facebook? Applause. No sir, this is real life. Forefathers begin spinning in their graves. 

SCENE SETTING: The sounds of “This Land Is Your Land” is playing in the background. The Uncle Sams’ and Lady Liberties exit to man the tables and serve refreshments.

SPEAKER: Are you ready to take your country back? Weak applause and unrecognizable mumbles. We have information tables set up right outside these doors, so please, enjoy the refreshments while you decide how your talents can serve this Revolution best. Crickets can be heard chirping in another county.

WE THE PEOPLE: The crowd heads out to the lobby. We begin to whisper while avoiding eye contact with the organizer and aggressively search for the Exit signs.

SCENE SETTING: Long tables are set up outside the arena. Women dressed as Lady Liberty are patiently waiting to be swarmed with anxious Revolutionary participants, while the Uncle Sam clad men are serving refreshments. The free red, white & blue Revolution pens are waiting to be picked up to fill those sign-up sheets. Some curious potential participants begin to approach the table.

WE THE PEOPLE:  First: Are these pens free? Um, is this Revolution thing going to be during the week, because I work?

                                          Second: Is there any way we can revolt on a Saturday? Oh, wait make that Sunday Jimmy has practice on Saturday. Oh, no wait Sunday isn’t good Mary has dance. Can I get back to you? Are these pens free?

                                          Third: Can I revolt from home? I work every other day, so I can revolt on my days off after my errands.

                                          Fourth: Do you think this Revolution thing will take long? I can commit to 2 weeks of my vacation time, but that 3rd week is mine. Are these pens free?

                                          Fifth: I really, really want to revolt, but Idol just started so, if your still revolting when the season is over I’ll be happy to help out. Hey, can I have this pen?

Instead of filling our homes with weaponry in preparation for a Revolution that may or may not happen, why don’t we figure out a way to honor the gift of American democracy. Impossible? That answer is up to all of us.

It’s time for me to leave the soap box and Enjoy the Ride!

Democracy Is Alive

Since August 1st I’ve been working, along with a few neighbors, to stop the destruction of a beautiful piece of land near my home.  As residents, we learned of this project the day the bulldozers rolled in to flatten the area. According to the Buck at my back gate, no members of the animal kingdom got the memo either and now they are scurrying to relocate.

It appears that a local tour bus company is expanding their parking lot to include 66 additional parking spaces to fill this once Open Space. Asphalt and diesel fumes will soon be our new neighbors, without so much as a peep on their arrival. The welcome wagon will remain in the garage for this addition. 

Collectively we have been hounding our elected officials Whew, now that’s really been a freaking joy, utilizing the social media, pounding the pavement with petitions, exercising our freedom of speech in the press and now my blog.

It’s incredible how many people are up in arms, but disappointing to know that only a handful are truly committed to do the work. Personally, I believe in the beautiful words of Margaret Mead and I will continue to do so. 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Please watch the video and be inspired to sign our online Petition at parkwood-manor-preserve-our-open-space-stop-construction-of-tour-bus-parking-lot-2

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