Monday, September 29, 2008

778 Points!!

Wow, what a day on the stock market. The economic forecast for our country is grim. The bailout of Wallstreet seems necessary, but also so unfair to the regular citizen who is struggling and does not have someone standing by to bail them out of their financial troubles. The entire thing makes me feel sick to my stomach! I think of the stories Grammy has told about how she and her family survived the great depression. Those experienced truly shaped who she still is today. I pray that we don't have to experience a great depression. I worry for us all.

I wonder how our next President will lead us out of this mess.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


So I watched the Presidential Debate. I don't think it significantly benefited either candidate. The fact that McCain didn't walk away the 'winner' of the debate was good for Obama. I was struck by how little they spoke about the financial crisis in which we now find ourselves. If I remember correctly, McCain implied that he pushed for more regulations and oversight of the financial institutes...the following link would lead us to believe that this was hot his typical stance

t r u t h o u t Keating Five Ring a Bell?

I also was struck by McCain's insistence that we win the war in Iraq. This statement in my opinion is hugely egocentric and perhaps connected to his own experience in Vietnam. The fact that some people in our country including John McCain think that we can go over to the middle east and change various systems of beliefs, internal conflicts and a way of government and life that has been existence for as long as it has is truly unbelievable. We are the United States but we are not all knowing and all powerful. This is not to say that I do not fully support the work that our young men and women are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as abroad. I just think it is time for our military to come home and regroup. We need to provide reliefe and support to the families who have so bravely served our country. The fact that John McCain said that if he were to be elected that veterans would have a friend in the White House begged the next question. Where have you been since 1982 when you began in Washington. The following link might interest those who believe McCain would be a friend to veterans.

John McCain No Friend of Veterans : Veterans Today - U.S. Military Veterans VA Home Loans, Vet Jobs, VA Benefits, VA Hospitals, VA Administration

Something else I have given much thought to lately is the idea of having a 'maverick' leading our country. So I looked up the word and these are a few of definitions that I found:

a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates.

One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

Synonyms: bohemian, dissenter, loner, nonconformist, stray, unbranded

Certainly it will be important to elect someone who is strong in his convictions, however that person also needs to be able to collaborate and work with others to solve problems.

When I think of a maverick leader I think of someone who is a rogue leader. Our country's image has been tarnished over the last eight years. Electing a maverick will not improve our image.

As we consider our options in November we have to think about the candidates decision making abilities. The fact that McCain chose Sara Palin rather than say Elizabeth Dole to be his running mate speaks volumes to his decision making abilities. Even conservative writers are concerned about his choice. Check out this article to see what I mean

Palin Problem by Kathleen Parker on National Review Online

If you need evidence regarding Palin's lack of qualifications to be a heartbeat away from running the most powerful nation in the world perhaps you should check out these links. I have to say I almost feel bad for her. It seems to me that her party has thrown her under the bus. She appears to be unprepared for the interviews and it seems that she is only being used as a trophy VP candidate. I hope she takes Kathleen Parker's advise.

The Mark Levin Show » Gibson Interview

Exclusive: Palin On Foreign Policy, Katie Couric Interviews The Candidate About Watching Russia, Her New Passport And Her Opinion Of Obama - CBS News

One-On-One With Sarah Palin, CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric Interviews Alaska's Governor On The Ailing Economy - CBS News

Well we have a lot to think about. For me the choice is clear. Obama represents history, change, hope and a bright future for Americans.



Another Mama for Obama!

Monday, September 22, 2008


So today was quite the productive day! My only weekday off was quite busy. It started with the regular morning routine...getting up, preparing breakfast, lunch, children for school etc. After driving N and n to school I was off to the bank and then the store to pick up Dad's groceries. I delivered and put away the groceries and then spent some time visiting. We had our usual conversation about Fluffy and all that Fluffy does to entertain Dad. The cat is quite fresh, but Dad adores her. Here she is before she was spade and got chubby!

Anyway it was a quick visit as I had chores to do at home, not to mention meetings for which to prepare.

Back at home I got some laundry done, phone calls made, doctors appointments made for Dad and I even managed to iron a couple of outfits. This was just the beginning.

This afternoon I had two meetings scheduled. The first of which was a special education Team meeting for one of my former students. I went to support this child's Mom. There had been issues with the school system prior to this and we both expected a less than warm reception. Boy were we wrong. They let the child's Mom share all of her information and concerns uninterrupted. They all looked at the portfolio she brought from last year. They were even receptive to having her be in the room during testing. This was something that I thought would be a problem. Everyone was friendly, warm and receptive! What a relief. I left the meeting feeling quite hopeful for this family.

As soon as this meeting ended I had to race over to the central school offices to meet with our new superintendent and several other Stand for Children strategy team members. Our meeting began late but it was well worth the wait. Can I say collaboration! Yes I can! That has been our goal for the past year and we finally have it with this new superintendent. He actually sees us as allies and wants to communicate and work with us on issues facing our schools and children. He even shared with us that the school district will be devising a ten year vision/plan and that members of the community will be involved. He suggested that some of the seats on the committee should be filled by Stand members! WOW! He even spoke about how great it is that we have a core group of parents but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have an even larger core group of involved parents. To me that sounds like he is interested in helping us to get the word out about Stand and build our membership! What a great meeting. We left and everyone was very impressed. Having met with the superintendent previously on my own I was thrilled that everyone was as impressed as I had been upon meeting him.

Anyway that brings us up to about 4:15 this afternoon. So much more was accomplished tonight but at this point I am tired and will have to share more another day!


Just in case you forgot:

I'm Another Mama for Obama

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Effect a Change Now

So I'm back again. I thought everyone might want to check out this link. Lot's of opportunities for grassroots work. Get out the vote and talking to undecided folks about what our country needs.

Check it out if you have not already!

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need Home

Change is Possible

Lest we think change is impossible I have a story to share. Some may remember my post from last year Surfside Serenity: The First Week and Standardized Testing!!!!!!!! . Well blessings come to us in various ways. It was through this incident that I eventually became involved with Stand for Children. I have found my involvement with this group to be both empowering and inspirational. I work with like minded parents and citizens who believe we can do better for all of our children. I am enjoying my position of Chapter Chair for our local chapter and have also found our Massachusetts Leadership monthly meetings informative and energizing. I have learned about the power that groups of constituents have when addressing an issue.

Two weeks ago I was reminded that while there is strength in numbers, sometimes it takes just one passionate person to stand up for what is right in order to make a change. At N's open house I was able to talk with a Mom from his class who was also n's teacher last year. It seems that when the administration was configuring the testing plan for the beginning of this year (that according to the meeting I had with the new school superintendent is mandated yet not funded by the state) the reading specialist who was involved in creating the schedule brought a copy of the letter I wrote last year after n's incident with the testing. With the help of this input testing for the entire school was pushed back with the first grade testing not happening until the end of September. Not only that they have changed the instrument from a first grade tool to a kindergarten tool. In this teacher's words "You're our Norma Rae! You saved us!" What a wonderful feeling! I had hoped that I could make a change, but was happy to have at least expressed my opinion and concerns. To be validated in such a way and to make a difference for all the first grade teachers and children is incredible.

So the lesson to this story is that even though strength is in numbers a single person can make a difference! We just need to stand up for what we believe in and what we know to be right!

Peace, Love and Hope!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This Could be our FUTURE!

So I came across a link to this video on This Mom's blog. I felt like I had to share it because I am so concerned that we will end up with four more years of George W. Bush policies. Our country is better than this! We all have to do our part to make a change.

While I respect John McCain for his service to our country in the military and as a Senator I do not believe that gives him an inalienable right to be the next President of the United States. I certainly believe that if anything were to happen to John McCain in office that Sara Palin is not prepared to be our Commander in Chief. Please check out these youtube videos and pass them along.

We have to be thoughtful about this election and really speak out about our convictions. Times are tough enough let's not make them tougher!

This video is even scarier! Please don't let us go down this road.

Peace, Hope and Love!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Interesting Perspective on Palin

I received the following in my email today and felt like I had to forward it to everyone and also share it with the few folks who happen to visit here on occasion. As I said in my email to family and friends: we have a very important decision to make in November. Will we have more of the same? Will our country have the courage to move forward with new leadership? Leadership that has a different vision for our country particularly for the working middle class families who are getting squeezed from every direction.

I pray that we make the right decision for our country.

by Eve Ensler

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to sa ving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country choose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take t he polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and health care or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis,doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in thef loor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Turkey, Lurkey!

So we had not seen the turkeys in a while. We were just talking about them yesterday as a matter of fact! Today they were back looking better than ever. I thought they were eating bugs in the grass but R thought they were enjoying the mushrooms.

Thought you all would like to check out some photos.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'll Never Forget

So there is so much I could write about today however I feel I have to talk about 9/11. I am watching the history channel right now as I type and it brings everything back. I remember watching the today show. My children were very little, 1year and 3 years old. I watched the newscast live as the second plane struck the world trade center. I remember that I couldn't look away even as horrified as I felt. I remember feeling helpless and hopeless. I did not know anyone who perished in that attack yet it hit me like a ton of bricks. In retrospect I think it furthered a depression I may have already been struggling with after the death of my mother in law and my mother in the previous year. It took me a long time before I let go of the anxiety I would have when I heard a plane overhead. Today I think of all the families who were effected by this terrorist attack. I think of the babies who were not yet born to the fathers who perished in the towers. My heart goes out to all the families who are struggling with this anniversary.

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