Sunday, October 29, 2006

Call for Change

Call For Change

If you want to see a difference in this country, here's something you can do in addition to voting for it. In fact, even if you're not registered or can't vote for some other reason, you can still help create a change in this country.

Voter turn out is going to be THE deciding factor in the upcoming election. If Republicans get their voters out, they will win. If Democrats get their voters out, they will win. If any single segment of the voting population decided to turn out they would carry every election.

This is something YOU can do to effect change. YOU can make a huge difference. Sometimes a very small number of votes carry an election.

From Move-On:

In 2006, Democratic voter turnout matters big-time. Many races will be decided by just hundreds of votes�and those races will determine the future of Congress. MoveOn's Call for Change program allows people with busy lives to spend as little as 15 minutes mobilizing voters in key races from their home computer and phone.

The goal is to make 5 million calls this election season�2 million have already been made. Here's what some MoveOn members have reported back:

This is easier than any political calling I have done. The print is large, you click on the screen rather than filling in tiny boxes. I like being able to call from home.
�Shelby, Spokane, WA

The best part is the flexibility of the program. I can call when my schedule permits, in small time slots: while I'm waiting for a fax, or have a half hour to spare.
�Diana, Los Angeles, CA

The tools, the script, the ease in which you can do this is wonderful! It could not be easier, and you can make a lot of calls in a short amount of time.
�Tomi, The Woodlands, TX

Republicans and Democrats

When I was driving across Missouri a couple of weeks ago I was struck by the number of signs I saw for Jim Talent (R). He's the incumbent who is in a dead heat with his challenger McCaskill.

I wasn't that knowledgeable about either of them, although people I know who live in Missouri have spoken highly of McCaskill for the last couple of years.

It's about stem cell research. Missouri is trying to become the first state to protect stem cell research. Not surprisingly, the Republican is against it and the Democrat is for it. Actually, Talent says he's for stem cell research and against human cloning - but he voted with the president to throw out fertility clinic embryos instead of using them, so in reality, he's against stem cell research. Actions ALWAYS tell the real story - words are just words.

The great irony is that neither of them will really have squat to say about stem cell research in Missouri, other than their own votes. It's an initiative that people will be voting on at the same time they're voting on this race. It's a great example of how one issue can polarize a race. It may or may not be an important issue. In this case I would contend it is important, but so often it's a nothing issue like abortion.

Again, let me state for those of you who haven't caught on to the obvious - if Republicans really wanted to outlaw abortion it would be done. You've had control of the white house and the congress for years now. If anyone really wanted it done, it would be done. Have you noticed that no one talks about it except at election time? That's so they can get you to vote for them on this ONE issue, without paying any attention to the fact that they may be idiots otherwise. I'm not saying all Republican candidates are idiots, but some are, (just as some democrats are), and they get voted into office based on ONE issue and then we're all stuck with them. It's foolish to vote for anyone based on one issue - we live in a very complex society.

I was impressed this morning to hear a St. Louis voter say that she was voting for McCaskill, even though she thought Talent had done a decent job, and her decision had nothing to do with stem cell research. I'm encouraged to see thoughtful voters - even if they're not in agreement with my views.

Michael J. Fox's ad has increased support for stem cell research by 5%, but there's no word yet if Patricia Heaton's ad against it had any effect. Of course, Rush Limbaugh saying Fox was "faking it" in his ad no doubt garnered more attention for it than it would have had otherwise.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say I support stem cell research. I think we have to be forward thinking and look for new advances in medicine. This is, by far, the most promising thing we have on the horizon and affects a large number of diseases - and probably more we aren't yet aware of. The idea that stem cell research leads to human cloning is just ludicrous. Please, read a little bit about the science involved - that's so ridiculous it's not even worth the effort it would take for me to type more words about it.

This race has reminded me of something I've noticed before. It makes no sense to me why it would be this way, but I've noticed it multiple times.

There's a view of the world that is "progressive," meaning that we want to move ahead, try new things, be experimental, are open to new concepts. Then there's a view of the world that is about maintaining the status quo and eschewing anything we don't know everything there is to know about it. More and more democrats are the former and republicans the latter. That makes no sense to me. A political affiliation is generally about HOW to do something, not about WHAT to do. But anymore it is about the most basic concept - are we moving forward or are we staying where we are?

I've noticed this on a ton of issues, stem cell research being just one of them. Looking at other structures for health care, innovative ideas for day care, giving people who live together rights (and I don't mean just gay people), etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on but over the last few decades it always seems to be republicans arguing for why we should not do something different, and democrats pushing for the new.

Maybe this is why the republican base is the wealthy in general - if you've got the money, you don't want change - you want to maintain your position. If you're wealthy and healthy, with great health insurance, a job where you can never be laid off, and no concern for the environment I can understand why you'd vote Republican. If you're not all of those things I cannot understand why you would want the average republican candidate in office. Why would you not want to look at some innovative change?

This country could never have been founded by a group of today's republicans. They would not have wanted to venture into something new that we didn't know enough about. They would never have broken free of British rule. They would never have written the constitution. Although they may have gotten on the ships to come here for religious freedom, they would never have created a situation where every man could choose his own religion. Still, 200 years plus later, they're trying to shake that very basic foundation of our country.

It is going to be an interesting election.


It has been a stunningly gorgeous day - in the 70s with just a slight breeze. Cool enough to wear long sleeves but warm enough to be outdoors.

I snapped this photo yesterday. Fall has definitely arrived.

I have accomplished a ton of things so far this weekend. I decided I should take advantage of the beautiful weather to do some outdoor things that may become difficult as temperatures drop.

Yesterday I cleaned out my car, which was no easy feat. I still need to go vacuum it, but at least I gathered up the things that were lying about and delivered them to where they belong.

Today I went and got some Roy's. I ran into Alan, one of the guys in my leadership class, while I was there. So, I ended up chatting with him while we ate. He's a neat guy, who's also an artist. He was in my visioning group the first night of our retreat and I enjoyed getting to know him a little bit.

Afterwards I popped into The Dancing Grouse for a few minutes. I hadn't seen Diana in a couple of weeks.

This afternoon I managed to put together some of the shelving I bought to go into the wardrobe in my home office. I've put together three of them and have one more to go. I'm on my way out now to get some bins to use for storage in there.

The nice weather prompted me to wash off the front porch. It's quite the project because I have to move the many rocks I have by the front door in order to do it. When I was cleaning out the car yesterday I ran across a really cool rock I had picked up somewhere and forgotten. It had gotten lodged underneath the seat, but I rediscovered it yesterday. So, I added it to the stack of rocks by the door. I even took the globe off the light and washed it, and cleaned the front door.

I may just leave the globe off the porch light until after Halloween. We might want to replace the bulb with a colored one instead of the white one for the night.

My recycling experiment has been successful so far. My bag of glass, plastic and aluminum is almost full, as is the paper one. But, my actual trash is very minimal. Unfortunately, they only take recycling stuff every two weeks so I'll have to hang onto it until Friday.

I also made a cake tonight for an event on Monday. It's cooling now so I can frost it tomorrow. I fixed myself eggplant parmesan for dinner. I need to run the dishwasher again before bed so I can get up to a clean kitchen in the morning to make frosting and get that done. I'm doing an autumn theme - not sure exactly what yet - maybe sunflowers.

I'm also reminded that my oven is still not perfectly level. I will get more shims and work on it a bit more.

Well, I'm off to grocery shop. I want to do some more cooking tomorrow and I like to start fresh with everything I need.