Tag Archives: politics

Is The Problem Career Politicians?

I thought it was a good idea then and I think it’s an even better idea now!

Weigh in on the idea of Deliberative Democracy.

My Dad’s Christmas List

My Dad only wants one thing for Christmas … to become your benevolent dictator with wicked awesome powers. Here’s his platform, even though dictators don’t really need one. I guess that’s why he’s benevolent.

• Mistreatment of women, children, or pets will result in a painful, itchy rash that will last for two years at which time your skin will turn green.

• Term limits for every political office. Eight years, then OUT. Out of Washington, out of politics, back home where you will live like the rest of us with the laws you wrote.

• If you don’t use your turn indicators, your engine will die in the middle of the turn and won’t restart for forty-five minutes.

• Tobacco, marijuana, and Brussels sprouts plants will get blight and become extinct.

• No more political campaigns. Elections will be by lottery. Every citizen’s name is in the hat. Draw your name and you are the President, congressmen, city council, or whatever. Except for lawyers. They are ineligible. You will serve for eight years, then OUT. If you haven’t stolen enough by then, you just weren’t trying.

• Chocolate will taste as sweet but will have no calories.

• Salt, sugar and trans fats will be discovered to cure cancer if taken in sufficient amounts.

• Anyone can serve in the military but only men over fifty can go into harms way. Walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and no exemptions.

So, would you vote him in as Benevolent Dictator? Got any Dictatoristic advice for him?

Fictional Dream Cabinet

I was listening to Talk of the Nation on NPR yesterday while I was making a grilled cheese sandwich. They were talking about who they’d like to see in the new President’s Cabinet, regardless of who wins the election.

Coincidentally, on one of my children’s literature groups, there’s been a fun discussion of which fictional character kids would like to see as President.

In this last week of the campaign, I’ve become fascinated and repulsed by politics, wanting to get away from it, but unable to drag myself away. Like when marzipan is the only candy in the house.

So, I thought it would be fun to create a Cabinet with fictional characters.

• President — Atticus Finch because he’s the perfect man.

• Vice President — Guy Noir because in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, he’s still trying to find the answers to life’s persistent questions.

• Secretary of Agriculture — the Farmer in the Dell because not only is he a farmer, but he also knows the dell like nobody’s business.

• Secretary of the Interior — the Lorax because he speaks for the trees for the trees have no tongues and he’s telling you “STOP” from the top of his lungs.

• Secretary of Commerce — Lucy Van Pelt because she knows the value of a nickel.

• Secretary of Justice — Nancy Drew because, well, duh.

• Secretary of Defense — Stephanie Plum’s yummy friend, Ranger. No photo available because he’s so smokin’ hot that he melts the camera. But here’s his jacket.

• Secretary of Labor — Tom Joad because he’ll be ever’where—wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, he’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, he’ll be there… he’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—he’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, he’ll be there.

• Secretary of Education — Miss Frisby because she makes book learnin’ fun.

• Secretary of State — Horton the Elephant because he knows everyone’s important, no matter how small.

• Secretary of Energy — Calvin and Hobbes because they have so much of it.

• Secretary of Transportation — Han Solo. Have you seen his sweet ride?!

• Secretary of Health and Human Services — Marcus Welby, MD. Would this man or his dreamy Under Secretary steer you wrong?!

• Secretary of the Treasury — Ebenezer Scrooge because he knows the sins of man are huge — a never-ending symphony of villainy and infamy, duplicity, deceit, and subterfuge.

• Secretary of Homeland Security — Captain Jack Sparrow. He may not be the best pirate in the world, but he can swashbuckle against anyone. And he’s so charming that nobody would complain about taking their shoes off at the airport or only being allowed three ounces of gels and liquids.

• Secretary of Veterans Affairs — Forrest Gump because I bet his mama would come with him. And maybe Jenny too.

• Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — Daddy Warbucks because he had a wicked awesome house AND he lived in the city AND he took in an orphan.

Who would you choose?

Veep Debate Wordle

Here is a graphic representation of what Sarah Palin and Joe Biden said during the vice presidential debate on October 2, 2008. Again, I took out names and common words (well, also, just, know, etc) because I wanted to see if I could pinpoint themes in what they said.

This is Sarah Palin’s ….

This is Joe Biden’s ….

If you missed it, here’s the first presidential debate wordle
What themes jump out at you for the veep contenders?

Presidential Debate Wordle

I took the transcripts of the debate between Barack Obama and John McCain on Friday, September 26, 2008 and wordled what they said.

From both transcripts, I deleted very common words, some boring ones (well, also, just, make, got, etc) and their names. I wanted to see the words they said most often.

Maybe some food for thought. Maybe it just looks cool.

This is Obama’s ….

This is McCain’s …

Thoughts?

Why Women Should Vote

Connie Schultz of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland wrote a column that has gone viral in a zillion emails and blogs. I got it in an unattributed email, but a bit of research turned up her name, so kudos to Connie Schultz.

After watching an HBO movie entitled “Iron Jawed Angels,” she wrote a powerful reminder of why everyone — not just women — should educate themselves about the issues and vote responsibly.

It’s a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged. Netflix gave it a 4 out of 5 star rating. I’m going to watch it with my kids before the election.

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This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food — all of it colorless slop — was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because — why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

History is being made. And those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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What do you think? Are you going to vote in the Presidential election in November? Do you vote in your local elections? Why or why not? Did you see “Iron Jawed Angels”?