Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gotta Love It!

From a fellow phone bank volunteer:

This evening I got a lovely 80 year old woman on the phone who was a Republican ..and we talked for a bit as I told her about the Democratic candidates I was calling about and she said she would be voting for all of them..and added Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama (next time) I said, "If you are a registered Republican, why are you voting the entire Democratic ticket..and she said "I may be a Republican but I do have a brain!"

Gotta love her and love this work!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Agitated

I'll be glad when the election is over. I am so agitated by the misinformation, lies and mean-spiritedness that is happening that I may have to turn off the TV and stop looking at Internet punditry until November 4th. 

When I make calls to encourage DEMS to turn out to vote in November, I get all positive and hopeful again. They're fired up and ready to vote, which is great (and the exact OPPOSITE of what the news is saying) so I expect a good turnout and DEM victories in the areas where they're most needed.

I just want it to be over so I can get back to normalcy emotionally. Of course, if the GOP prognostications prevail, nothing will be normal or better... we'll end up back in the ditch in short order in all likelihood... and that will tick me off because it will mean that the people who voted for Obama in 2008 sat on their hands instead of voting again this year for his agenda and for the people in Congress who support it.

VP Biden, former President Clinton and Michelle Obama will be here in WA in October to rally the DEM voters to turn out (especially the first time voters from the 2008 election), so I expect WA will return Patty Murray, Adam Smith, Norm Dicks and other DEMS to their respective seats. I think this state will be fine as a result. I just worry about the rest of the country because we're all in this together...

I pray that the scales will fall from Fox viewers' eyes and that they'll decide to really look into what they're being fed by going to or and separating the truth from the lies before they go to the polls this year. Fox viewers are not being well-served; they're being indoctrinated. They need to watch more than Fox to get a more-substantial view of reality. I watch all of the cable stations including C-Span.  It's hard for me to watch Fox for very long because they're so obviously skewed to the GOP and to the far right... which is NOT where most Americans are... and when they start bashing Obama and DEMS it infuriates me because they twist facts, repeat gossip and lies, fund radical so-called "Christian fundamentalist" candidates, and foment completely unnecessary fear.

It's just awful. I fear for this country and its citizens; I really do. The rest of the world admires and likes Obama (except for our enemies). We're so blinded by punditry from the left and the right that we can't see what's real.  The right is frightened because of Fox's lies about Obama; the left is frustrated because Obama hasn't done "enough" to address their pet issues.

News Bulletin to Both Sides: The guy isn't Superman. He never claimed to be; his most earnest supporters (including me) saddled him with that moniker and gave him that hill to climb. But he is making progress against enormous odds, lock-step opposition, and bald-faced lies that are being spread about him. In spite of it all, he's holding his head up, offering hope and a way forward.

He deserves our respect, our support, and our prayers. He ISN'T the enemy. He's who we put in place to carry the burden -- and he's carrying it well despite its enormous weight.

Congress needs visionaries to support him -- not naysayers who hobble him.  I pray day and night that we'll give him the support he needs to hit this out of the ballpark for us.  He sure is trying!



Monday, September 27, 2010


Starting today, millions of small business owners will be eligible for up to eight new tax cuts, and within weeks, thousands of businesses will finally have access to the credit they desperately need.

The bill also includes key provisions the President has fought for since the beginning of this year:

-- Small businesses receive a tax write-off on the first $500,000 of new equipment investments;

-- More than a million eligible small businesses will be able to make key long-term investments that are subject to zero capital gains taxes;

-- Entrepreneurs who take a chance on a new idea can deduct the first $10,000 of start-up costs; and

-- The self-employed can deduct 100 percent of the cost of health insurance for themselves and their families from self-employment taxes.

Fabulous Book for Progressive Christians...

Get it, read it, share it. Great Christmas present.

Friday, September 24, 2010

VP Biden is Coming to Tacoma Ocober 8th! WOO HOO!

I'm excited!  VP Joe Biden will be in Tacoma on Friday October 8th with Senator Patty Murray for a Get Out the Vote Rally at UW Tacoma.  I plan to go and help out. I would LOVE to meet him.

I tried to get to Cheney Stadium the last time he was here and  couldn't get within a mile of the place, so I had to come home and watch it on C-SPAN.

I want to meet the VP of the US! Don't know that I will, but just being  in the same room wirth him will be good enough...  I gotta be sure my camera is working that day. Right now it isn't. I need a new battery, methinks!

How Ugly Will the Midterm Elections Be/ Only as Ugly as we Make Them!

Those who voted for Obama have not "abandoned" him or the DEMS that support him who are up for re-election this year on November 2nd. We understand about the lock-step opposition and how he has, in spite of it, managed to run more than 100 "wins" up the flag for the American people. We didn't vote him in with such fervor and joy only to cast him to the wolves during the next six years. We're not summer soldiers and Sunshine patriots. We're in this for the long haul.

I think the GOP and Tea Party are in for a rude awakening when, once again, DEMS, Independents and Republicans who voted for Obama vote AGAIN for his stalwarts in Congress during mid-terms. The leader of the free world is bringing us out of a very deep ditch that he had no part in digging.

The alternative -- not supporting his supporters in Congress -- is unthinkable. It's getting ugly on the other side. Ugly and scary.

It's time for us to step up to the plate during these midterms and vote again for what's right. It was right in 2008 and it's still right in 2010. Don't lose hope now. Hope and effort are what drive the train!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Health Care Reform is Doing for Families Across America

Let's put names and faces on this issue...

Wanna go back in the ditch and have all this taken away? Vote Republican/Tea Party. It'll happen. This is not a scare tactic. The GOP came out just today saying they'll repeal health care reform... not amend it... not improve it.... but REPEAL it.

Unless you're rich -- and even if you are rich -- by going backward to "the GOP days" you can go bankrupt if you get sick. Millions have.

The choice is clear this November.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Met Senator Patty Murray Today!

Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA and Kris Smith Sept 20, 2010
Photo by Nikki Bizzarri Regional Field Director People for Patty Murray

WOO HOO!  I drove to downtown Tacoma this morning to phone bank for Senator Patty Murray and other DEMS. Usually I make calls from my home phone but I got a tip from an Organizing For America regional manager that Senator Murray would be stopping by Tacoma to thank her supporters/helpers, so I got dressed up and went down. (I also emailed about ten other stalwarts and gave them the same heads up I had received; three of them showed up, too... any who didn't have to be at work this morning...)
Rep. Norm Dicks was there, too, so I got to thank them both for their service to the nation and to Washington State.
My first words to Senator Murray were, "Thank you for all you do. It has to be a real pain these days in Washington D.C."  She smiled and said, "But it's important." I said, "Yes, I know it is. I just don't know how you can take it sometimes these past few years." I was referring to the lock-step opposition of formerly sane and approachable GOP members.  I'm sure she knew exactly what I was referring to.
I quickly told her I'd like to give her a small gift if it was anything she would truly like, and told her that DeForest Kelley was my mentor in real life and that I wrote a book about him that I would like to give to her.
At the mention of De's name -- I didn't even have to identify him as a TREK star -- her eyes lit up a little, I assumed with fondness (I wonder if she ever met him or if she was a fan) and she said, "Oh, yes, I would like a copy!" So I told her I would inscribe it to her (I had brought a copy along in case she said yes), which I did as she met and thanked other volunteers.  Inside the book I thanked her for her service to the state and country and then signed it "Live Long and Prosper (Jer. 29:11 New Vulcan Translation.)  I think she'll get a kick out of that when she gets around to opening the book...
The picture that Nikki Bizzarri took turned out GREAT. She says it's mine to do with as I wish, so here it is!  I'll also put it on my Facebook page...
Let's get out the vote and get Senator Patty Murray back to Washington D.C. She has an impressive record and is willing to put up with the bad to achieve the good -- which makes her a saint in my book.
I planted a Patty Murray sign out front when I got home...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering September 11, 2001

In some ways it seems like only yesterday; in others, it seems a lifetime ago.

On September 10th, 2001 I was looking forward to the imminent release of DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories. I had just completed the foreword (the last part of the book, oddly enough) and sent the complete manuscript to the publisher for finalization and printing.

Terry Lee Rioux was staying with me while she traveled across L.A. interviewing people for her then-in-process bio of De, FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST. The view out the window was bright, warm and beautiful.

We awoke September 11th to a ringing telephone. One of Terry's contacts (her agent, I believe) was calling to ask if she had the TV set on.  No, Terry said.  "Turn it on" she was told.

We did.

And from that moment on, my world stopped. I saw two airliners crashing repeatedly into the North and South towers, saw one of the towers going down and, not long after, live, the other. It seemed a scene out of a disaster movie, but it was real. People were dead and dying, some of them jumping out of the Trade Center upper floors to escape the heat of the burning buildings. I saw one praying as he fell. This was real. I was flabbergasted, completely undone, aghast... mouth open, tears streaming down my face.

I watched, hour after hour. Warner Bros. shut down for days and then re-opened with new, Israel-like security meaures in place. The next time I went in to work there, getting inside the gates took a lot longer because studio guards were placing mirrors beneath each vehicle to be sure none carried explosives and looking into trunks and interiors, too.

I organized a candlelight vigil at the condo where I lived. That evening, many veterans and immigrants, including a Muslim woman with her head covered, came to share in solidarity for the gaping wound we were all experiencing.  Another Arab world immigrant was in tears. She told me, "We came to America to find peace and rest from all this. It has followed us here."

Suddenly I realized how lucky we were that this kind of thing hadn't happened in our daily lives before. Too many other countries deal with the aftermath of terrorism every single day.

I am grateful that we have not had another attack like this one -- that those responsible for masterminding 9/11have been backed into caves and are hobbled by the vast outpouring of international military and intelligence support that America has received. Something we're doing is working... at least for now.

I know we won't be out of the woods until non-prejudicial (e.g. beyond nationalism and tribalism) education and tolerance becomes universal, until people realize we share a planet with a diverse population which is largely in much greater need than we are.

Uncivilized (uneducated) people do uncivilized things. Desperate people do desperate things. Hateful people do hateful things.

But there are more of us than there are of them. If that weren't the case, the cause would have been lost generations ago.

It's our job to help, love and encourage the ignorant, desperate and hateful and let them know that their methods of communicating displeasure are counter-productive and will only create more pain for them. And we have to truly listen and respond appropriately to their needs as well as to their methods.. the way we do with our still-under-construction youngest children (as yet uncivilized).

I don't know all the answers. I just know that we need to be willing to listen twice as much as we talk. If we'll just do that much, we're bound to learn a lot about how to proceed.

Right now, it seems few are listening. Most are shaking fists. On both sides.

As Dr Phil would say: "How's that workin'?"

It's time to grow up. We still don't have a civilization. What we have is a poorly-contained brawl.

We can do better.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Goat Walk W/Out Leashes

Today I took Laverne and Shirley on a walk in the neighborhood without leashes attached. They didn't get more than 30 feet away from me at any time, even when they were cavorting. How cool is that?

They're herd animals and I'm their "Mom" -- at least for now. We'll see how long that lasts!