09/19/08 05:39 - 72ºF - ID#45732
This offends me on so many levels.
Here's one point that few are mentioning.
Why are these companies suddenly going bankrupt? Because Americans can't pay their debts. The Loans and mortgages aren't being repaid. Why can't Americans pay? Because the housing bubble popped, and people's homes are now worth less than their mortgages they owe. Or people got varriable rate morgages, now they can't afford the interest. So people are going bankrupt and losing their homes in record numbers.
People leave those homes empty, and declare bankruptcy, they have no good options. People got screwed, so the banks are no longer getting all that money they were promised. So.... now the banks are screwed.
Suddenly the government is willing to shovel cash at rich people who mad terrible choices and led their companies into the ground. But when average Americans lost their homes, we called it a Handout, rewarding people who made bad decisions.
Now it's Wall St, and we call it a Bailout, stabilizing the economy. Well, if you'd helped people stay in their homes and pay their debts, this never would have reached Wall St. Why should the middle class bail out Wall St after we were left to fend for ourselves when we were in trouble.
Anybody know how much money the government has put toward helping citizens overcome the housing crisis? I'll bet it's less than $400 billion. But that's what us citizens has given to Wall St over the past year.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/10/08 01:17 - 62ºF - ID#45623
Lies, Media, Campaigns
What does it say about someone when they repeat a lie over and over again in front of the American people? Especially when that person is trying to get those same people to vote for them. Especially when they're running for the highest office in the land.
McCain, Palin, and the Republicans don't respect democracy, they don't respect you, they think we're a bunch of gullible morons.
They Lie about Obama's tax plan, healthcare plan, energy plan and his voting record. They lie about the bridge to nowhere. They lie about their record, and they say one thing while their actions tell us the opposite.
The Republicans are on record saying facts and issues don't matter, people vote for a composite image of the candidate. Ok, and you're going to build that image with lies? Excuse me, but elections are NOT a fucking game.
This country is in dire straights, but Republicans would rather win an election than offer solutions. Straight talk my ass.
Tell me if Obama, or his campaign has lied about McCain and Palin. I can find false internet rumors, but nothing from the actual Obama Campaign.
The media should call a lie when they see one. There aren't always two sides to a story. Journalists need to set the record straight, and realize that lies are not just a matter of opinion. I've noticed some indications that they may start doing more fact checking, if they don't, they fail.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/04/08 08:57 - 68ºF - ID#45560
The conventions are basically a string of monologues, speeches in front of sympathetic crowds. It's much more difficult when you have someone questioning your assertions in a debate, press conference or interview.
The thing that bugs me about the Republicans, at least the ones who get the most attention, is that they don't respect the truth. And when they get up in front of the TV cameras and distort the facts, they are insulting the American people. Say whatever it takes to get elected, turn the elections into lip service, the goal is to win, who cares how you get there.
I watched Romney, Giuliani, Huckabee, some of Lieberman, and Palin. I knew what was bullshit, but not everyone does. I was happy to find this article from the AP when I woke up, At least to AP noticed it too.
Here's an AP fact check of Palin's speech, and some other statements:
And a few debunked claims from Liberman and Fred Thompson:
I want to take people to court who lie to the American people like this.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/02/08 03:16 - 81ºF - ID#45540
Way too much news
At the RNC convention the Police FBI and Sheriffs departments are PREEMPTIVELY arresting journalists and activists who are connected to any and all protests in St Paul. They are arresting people without court approval and holding them on Conspiricy charges, which means they have 36 hours to get evidence against them before they have to let them go.
Pre-emptive Raids? That means breaking into a house and storming into the room with automatic weapons drawn (no bullshit) where peaceful activists are planning protests. Before the activists even set foot in the streets.
independent Journalists are a common target, video and photo equipment is confiscated, erased, and kept for a few days to prevent journalists from exercising their constitutional duty.
This is so extreme that 3 of the top people from the Democracy Now! were detained, including Amy Goodman. For those who may not know, Democracy Now! is independent journalism at its finest, the forerunners of Pacifica radio, and also on TV. They ask the difficult questions, they are always professional, and they get eyewitness interviews from inside jails and conflict zones, their reputation and huge network of independent journalists means they get the critical stories and perspectives that mainstream media misses. The one thing they stand up for above all else is the rights of journalists and average people to know what their government is doing and respond to it, without fear of arrest, injury or death. They have saved many journalist's lives and reputations worldwide, over the years simply shedding light on the injustice of their detention.
Now the challenges of journalists in America are apparently the worst in a generation.
How did the DNC handle the protests there? Well they faced some problems too. Many of the police in Denver were not wearing name tags, a way to avoid persecution for excessive force and other violations. There was a huge free, Rage Against the Machine concert that kicked off a protest march that was determined to enter the convention and read a list of demands from the floor. Tear gas was ready to fly outside the convention as it already had in previous days, but the Obama campaign came out and spoke to the leaders of the protest and treated them with dignity. Crisis avoided. And though it was a small gesture, it did a lot for Obama's credibility among the activists who would likely protest again in November by voting for Independent Parties.
God Hates Republicans
What other conclusion can you make? A hurricane on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, that forces their convention to do improv. But the hurricane was not fierce enough to allow republicans to grandstand during the search and rescue effort. The levees barely held. The whole event just served to remind people that Katrina was a whole 3 years ago, and New Orleans is still a disaster.
Republicans trying to out Democrat the Democrats
This is the fun part. McCain finally picks a VP, Sarah Palin, she comes out and appears on the national stage with him for the first time. During that event, both republicans tried to use Democratic talking points as their own. McCain within the first minute of the speech "you want your government to understand what you're going through, to stand on your side and fight for you. That's what I intend to do" I also notice McCain is trying to look like a man of the people more by abandoning the suit and tie, and using a loose button up shirt more often.
Palin's speech was almost a parody of the DNC. She talks first about her family one by one, then her roots as an average schmo in Alaska, before thanking Hillary Clinton and trying to sound like a feminist. And she ends the speech with this "The next 67 days I'm going to take our campaign to every part of our country and our message of reform to every voter of every background, in every political party, or no party at all. If you want change in Washington, if you hope for a better America, then we're asking for your vote on the 4th of November."
I have to laugh, and cheer a bit about this whole thing. The DNC pulled the rug out from under a host of traditional republican issues. Like the faith based free market economy. Trickle Down economics. Tax cuts for the top. Bankrupt the government it's my money. Me first, everyone else fend for yourselves. And foreign policy, reminding us who abandoned an unfinished war in Afghanistan to go fight for some geopolitical pipe dream in Iraq.
I had a feeling that we could change the debate this year. All the energy of the Democrats and progressives determined to turn this country around. An excellent, empathetic leader and speaker like Obama. And the limitless evidence, given to us over the past 8 years, of the failure of the conservative philosophy. All these things create an opportunity to move away from wedge issues, and toward a government that does its job. A government that plans for the future, invites public participation, and maximizes the potential of every American, so that as a country we rise together.
The Liberal philosophy is a patriotic one, I've been talking about it for years. Finally Liberals are not ashamed of their ideas, they used the DNC to show America what we stand for. And America liked it :) They liked it so much, that the McCain campaign freaked out and started trying to turn a man who owns 7 houses, into a man of the people, a working class hero. It realy makes me a little giddy. Probably a good move, but I doubt it will save the Republican Party.
You know more people watched Obama's speech than the Olympics opening ceremonies, and the American Idol finale. In fact there are only 4 football games including the super bowl that got higher ratings this year.
Also Focus on the Family asks people to pray for rain during Obama's speech, no goal, republicans not on God's good side.
It will be interesting to see the RNC, and what happens with their VP choice, much info coming out now. But at least it's entertaining.
Politics is finally more interesting than Reality TV. Hooray!
Location: Buffalo, NY
08/29/08 01:49 - 65ºF - ID#45498
Reflections on Obama's Night
The NY Times has the transcript on the same page as the video,
I think the speech was excellent. The whole convention went well. I feel like I know the Democratic party much better, I feel like they understand the problems of everyday people, and they care about making things better. I also feel like I can relate to the Democratic Party more than I ever have before.
The Democratic Party is diverse, but they find common ground and move in the right direction. They don't all agree on things like the death penalty, nuclear power, blackwater, or NAFTA, but they're able to find common ground and keep moving ahead. You have people like John Lewis, an old black congressman who marched alongside MLK and got beaten in the street by cops, you've got Waxman, and Dodd, and Richardson, and Kucinnich, and Jim Webb. This party looks like America, it's not a bunch of fat cats who can't relate to what's actually going on in the lives of Americans. They feel a duty and a responsibility to look out for the common good.
In Obama's speech he gave specifics on where he stands and what he wants to do in Washington. He also attacked the Republican policies point blank. He totally redefined the debate. But beyond that, he reminded us what makes America great. When we work together, for a common purpose, we can do great things. Let's get back to that basic American idea, that we want to help create a better future for our children. Let's see the Republicans answer that one, do you want a better future for our children or not? If you do, we need to take action on better schools, global warming, healthcare, the middle class, voting integrity, international respect, keeping jobs in America and being a self-sufficient nation, where those who work hard can get ahead.
Let's stop dividing ourselves into categories and realize that we are all Americans, we're in this together, and if we work together we will succeed.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well."
"These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency [ouch] of George W. Bush. America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this."
"the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change." -zing!
"Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know."
"For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own. Well it's time for them to own their failure." [D-Pumps fist]
Fundamental Point: "You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put away a little extra money at the end of each month so that you can someday watch your child receive her diploma ... We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work. The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great "
[Talks about his less than privileged family, well worth watching] then - "I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States." [crumples the elitist caricature into a ball and tosses McCain's money in the garbage]
"It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road."
"government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology." [pops the conservatives balloon, and drain's the bathtub Norquist wanted to drown the government in]
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President. " [see below for abbreviated platform]
"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America."
"What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore."
"If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know."
"I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you. "
"You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it"
"This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences"
"That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream. "
"At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess."
Barrack Obama's Platform in incomplete sentences:
"stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America."
"cut taxes - for 95 percent of all working families."
"in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East."
"meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance."
"Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years (OPEC Price tripled in 70's), and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels."
"drilling is a stopgap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close."
"As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America."
"invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy ... an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced."
"If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most."
"Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations."
"Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy." - good start
"we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength."
"Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise. "
"We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans - Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are to restore that legacy." [Long Convincing national security part, basically says history has proved him right and McCain wrong]
"You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq."
"I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."
"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."
I'd call it a pragmatic Liberal platform with patriotic vision.
wow, this is long, how the hell could I call this a summary.
Location: Buffalo, NY
08/28/08 10:55 - 65ºF - ID#45482
Democrats doing pretty good
the Democrats seem like the ones who can honestly understand the problems of the Middle-Class. They know what we're dealing with, and they have good solutions that will to get us there.
Their platform can be summarized in 2 points.
Rebuild the American Dream
restore America's standing in the world
The American dream is not based on what you can buy, it's not about having a house and a car and a pool. Everybody has their own dream, and the promise of America is that every child should have the opportunity to reach that dream if they try. This is not a society of classes, America is the place where those who work hard get ahead in life. That is a basic American value, and it has been under assault for the past 8 years.
Restoring America's standing in the world. "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." It is NOT in our self-interest to be isolated and despised by other countries. To be respected we need to lead by example, and quit yelling at other countries to do as we say, not as we do.
Here's the great side effect of this campaign; They are empowering the American people, building efficacy, and convincing us that if we work for it, we can create a better America together. That's powerful stuff, and it goes beyond just selling the Democratic party, it's bigger than that. It says Americans determine the course of our own country.
The one thing that's missing from the message so far...
Adopting a progressive platform is in America's self-interest.
We need and educated public so we can innovate better and faster than the rest of the world.
We need smart poor kids to have the chance to get out of the ghetto and put their great ideas to use for America.
We need renewable energy, because we know everyone is going to want it, and if we have the best product, made in America, then we win economically.
We need allies and international laws, to settle disagreements between nations. So we don't have to send our ambitious young people off to be killed, maimed, and mentally devastated. Our military people should be at home raising their families, instead of leaving them to worry night and day about your safety.
We need to end the War in Iraq, because it is bankrupting our country, as we borrow money to pay for a mistake.
We need universal healthcare, because at some point everybody needs medical attention, and nobody should lose their house because of a medical bill. Families should be able to focus on raising their kids. And not have to work two jobs just to afford for-profit health insurance.
We need to rebuild our infrastructure, because we don't want bridges to fall down while we drive over them, or levees to break and flood cities. The government has a job to do, and it would employ millions of Americans.
We need a strong middle class, because that's what drives our economy, and helps people realize their American Dream.
Americans are a proud people. We can accomplish anything. We're smart ambitious and innovative. We've been on the cutting edge many times in our history. We've invented incredible things, and achieved great progress. As a nation, we need to tap into that American spirit, and trust the American people. We need a government that believes in us and partners with us, instead of a selfish government that hides from us and deceives us.
If I were a Democrat I'd be appealing to the practical side, as well as the proud side of America.
We'll see what Barrack Obama says tonight. I liked Bill Clinton's speach the best so far, though Hillary, Michelle, Kucinnich, and Joe Biden were also good.
I'm glad the Clinton Obama primary battle is over. Now Obama can run on President Clinton's record of success too, and he doesn't have to run against both political establishments. He can focus on what the Republicans have done since they seized all the wheels of power. Everything has gone wrong over the past 8 years, and because of that the Democrats have a platform that comes with empirical evidence. And if they do succeed in empowering the American people, they'd better stick to the high road, or we'll hold them accountable too.
Location: Buffalo, NY
08/26/08 01:42 - 68ºF - ID#45460
Part 3 the Reception
The ceremony was about an hour and a half, then we did family photos for about an hour.
Me and my two girls
M and Brother, sporting his kilt. Yea, he's about 6'4"
(e:mmtornow) Fam, notice the dog, we took him on the honeymoon too.
We missed cocktail hour, came back got a drink and then we were introduced.
Invitation and Coffee Party Favors. I designed the invitation, seating chart and a bunch of stuff.
The Seating Chart
had a Vegetarian dinner, Lasagna! Veggies straight out of Dad's garden, and fresh bread. It was really good
The Cake. Funny thing is, we had no idea what the cake looked like. They brought it out, we moved the leaves, and cut it. Luckily the photographer got a picture for us so we could actually look at it.
It was Carrot Cake, made by a friend of the family from scratch, SO friggen tasty. We actually didn't really taste the cake till the next day either, we just had that bite on the plate here.
Oh yea, I had poison Ivy the whole time. We came up a week before the wedding to do some landscaping, there was poison ivy in the garden. I had the cream in my pocket the whole day.
Old School crew
It was a really nice speech, Long enough to be meaningful, and touching for everyone, but not too long, not written down, and he was pretty nervous, needed some moral support from Scott, and a few drinks to get ready. It went something like this, "I've known David for a long time, and he's always been there for me...." Then he gave us both a hug, and spilled his drink all over the dance floor.
So I got a napkin and said, 'don't worry Kenny, I'm here for you man, I got your back'.
Our First Dance.
We danced to Elvis, I can't help falling in love with you. We listened to at least 50 potential first dance songs, we wanted to do Frank Sinatra or Coldplay, but this song just fit best with our story.
Dancing with Mom. We danced to Stevie Wonder, Sunshine of my Life. It was fun, my mom likes to dance.
M and Dad danced to Fleetwood Mac, Landslide. Cool song, her dad never dances, so it was a big joke getting him out on the dancefloor. Oh, and he went inside and changed into shorts after dinner, so we had to get him back into his brand new one and only suit before dancing. But he rocked the siut for the rest of the night.
View from the Tent
The Older Cousins Group
Yes, I'm dancing with my camera on, so what :)
Conga Line! I'll take that over the electric slide any day. I've been to enough weddings that when the DJ played the right song I started to Conga. It wasn't even the usual 'feelin hot hot hot' song. Fun Times
The Conga Line gets everyone on the dancefloor! I circled everyone up just in time.
Molly was on the Dancefloor 100% of the time, she only missed one song to go out to the pond for the reflection shot.
Dad in the Background Rocking out.
Candlelit Reflection in the pond
M and brother spinning
Dad was having a good ol time, we were totally surprised to see him anywhere near the dancefloor.
Dog Joins party, at about 9:30
I'm thinking the song might have been Old Time Rock and Roll. But this just makes it official, we've made it to the drunken silly part of the night. Not every wedding gets to that stage, actually some weddings start silly and drunk before the ceremony :).
The setting, on the pond, some people moved chairs around and made themselves at home next to the water. It was a great spot.
Fireworks for the end, Uncle Bob likes fireworks.
2:30am everyone left is sitting around the fire, with kegs nearby. Dad finally decides to call it a night. M still has flowers in her hair.
3:30am, M keeps talking about seeing the sun rise, I think she doesn't want it to end. The day went so well, who wants to end it. M Brother and I are the last 3 standing.
Dawn came about 5:30am, and in the light we noticed that the place was a mess! So we tidied up a bit before heading up to the cupola on top of the barn for a view of the sunrise.
Last Photo, Molly and I heading to bed at Dawn, Brother was inside doing dishes or something. Time to get some shuteye before heading east to the woods.
We enjoyed every minute.
Location: Buffalo, NY
08/22/08 09:26 - 68ºF - ID#45408
Sick of the Swing Voters
Telling people what they want to hear will fuck you over. You can't change the game of politics, without changing the game of presidential campaigning. Being honest and truthful isn't enough. Registering millions of new voters isn't enough. Fighting the smears isn't enough.
Here's the problem, The largest voting block in America IS THE ONE THAT STAYS FUCKING HOME! It's the young voters and the cynics. How did Obama get the nomination? By inspiring millions of people to volunteer their time. By making people feel like they could be part of the solution. Making us feel like we had the power to take the country back. The new generation of voters is ready to see some serious change in this country, and we're willing to do it our fucking selves. Those are the people you need.
Oh sure, you can register a million new voters, but come election day, they need to be passionate about their candidate, not just scared of the other guy. Or else they won't bother.
I don't know who Obama is talking to but he's getting some bad advice. Remember the Gas Tax holiday? Yea, he called it a sham, and got enough respect to bounce over Clinton. But today we're talking about Offshore Drilling, and suddenly Obama is an appeaser. The Oil Comapnies have leases to 100 million acres of land, 33 million of which are offshore But they aren't drilling because they make more money when supply is tight. Force McCain to address that question, are you with the Oil Companies or with the American people? But instead Obama wimps out, drilling should be part of the energy formula blah blah... If the oil companies still have lands where they can get oil they don't need more, we can talk about that when they've used what they already have. Taking on the oil companies makes you a hero, thanks for blowing that one.
Add the FISA bill to the list of wimp-outs, and the bullish rhetoric toward Iran. And you start to look like the same old same old. That doesn't get my vote, it doesn't get me to volunteer to phonebank from my home, or pick up a friend on the way to the polling booth, or to sit at a table on campus to register voters. And it won't get my father in-law back to Pennsylvania as a campaign volunteer either. Now you start to see why the ambiguous middle doesn't matter.
Me, you think I'll vote for him anyway, I'm a New York Democrat now, so why not take my vote as a given, and start campaigning for the center. Actually no, I'm one of those crazy motherfuckers who will vote for Cynthia McKinney just to prove a point. Wasting my vote? Yea right, she will appreciate it more than the chosen two. And I'll keep voting with my finger in the air until I get my third party.
Location: Buffalo, NY
08/16/08 06:26 - 75ºF - ID#45343
We got them as a wedding present from our neighbor Ed. We had two cats but they both passed away over the past year or so. He used to babysit them when we went on vacation, he's like the uncle who feeds your kids candy and sends them home all wired on sugar.
We got our two kittens from the SPCA after we came home from our honeymoon. They are sisters from the same litter, born as strays in north east buffalo.
This is Ally, she's the fuzzy cuddly one. she likes to purr and dig her little nose into your arm.
This is Moosewood the silly crazy one. She likes to jump on your lap and rub her cheeks on your face.
during the day they spend much of their time trying to get my attention while I'm trying to work.
Here's a few more photos.
Location: Buffalo, NY
07/23/08 02:43 - 70ºF - ID#45111
Wedding Story Part 2
Part 2: The Ceremony.
We wanted to have the ceremony outside under this huge tree in the front yard, but we weren't sure if it would happen. The forecast was calling for 70% chance of rain. You can't control the weather, but I was just hoping for 2 rain-free hours to do the ceremony outside. The reception was going to be under a huge tent, so it didn't matter if it rained later in the day, but the ceremony would be so much nicer outside under the tree in the front of the house.
When we finished taking pictures at the lake it was windy, really cloudy, and it had rained on us a little. We went back to the house for the ceremony and we both expected the chairs to be safely under the tent. We arrived at the house, and the place looked totally different than how we left it. I'll never forget pulling into the driveway and seeing all these people, gathering in the country with their fancy clothes on, walking in a hundred different directions, moving out of the way of our car as we passed. And to our surprise all the chairs were confidently set up under the tree.
Getting Everything Ready
Our un-signed Wedding Certificate
There were people everywhere! We only had about 10-15 minutes before the ceremony started. I kind of led Molly through the jungle of people so we could go upstairs and get ready, "hi... good to see you, we gotta go hide upstairs..." We paused to give grandma a kiss on the cheek but that was it. I forgot to shave that morning, so I did that. Then I stuck my head out the door to check on the microphones. We waited on the steps, for things to start. Edgar gave everyone an overview of Quaker practice and what would happen during the ceremony. Then we walked out.
We sit in calm silence until we feel moved to say our vows. People might pray, or meditate, or just quiet down their minds to bring a spiritual calm into their hearts.
Quakers would call the silence during meeting, becoming centered, listening for the light within, or waiting for god. Quakers usually worship in silence, unless they are inwardly moved to speak. We waited about 10 minutes. This must have seemed like a long time to non-quakers, but I noticed many of them dreamily gazing at me and my bride, I think they understood. When we were both calm and ready, we said our vows. The sun was out.
"In the presence of the spirit, our friends and our family, I take thee, to be my Wife. I promise with love, to be caring and compassionate, to be supportive and patient, to show understanding and empathy, to keep an open and honest heart, and to always nurture our shared unity as your Husband from this day forward."
We wrote our vows together, and remembered everything. After saying our vows, we exchanged Rings, and signed the Marriage Certificate.
Then we looked at each other and we both wanted a hug.
That's when everyone gets teary eyed. We sit back down again, and the marriage certificate is read aloud.
For the rest of the meeting we just wait silently for people to share messages from their hearts.
The dog was interested, but he was calm too.
Under the huge canopy of shade provided by the the ancient and sturdy Maple tree.
There is no minister leading the ceremony, anyone can speak if they are moved to do so. People just raise their hand for a microphone, and share what they wish. It's unscripted, and the messages are very personal, and very spiritual. We waited about 15 minutes in silence. The first message was a song called 'Simple Gifts', it was shared by someone from Buffalo Meeting. Below is a picture of all the people who shared.
As you can see, anyone can speak, weather they're 9 years old or 90. Many people shared stories about us, or they talked about love and marriage, how happy they were for us, and how good we are for each other. Something like this ... "listening to the leaves, and the birds, and feeling the warmth of the sun, it seems as if the heavens are celebrating with us." "May your love be as broad as the branches above you, and as deep as the roots below." "We love when they do First Day School, they're so nice and fun to be around." "The bride adopted us as her grandparents when she moved to Fredonia. She would arrive late at night to sleep at our house, we woke her up, fed her, and gave her a ride to Quaker Meeting on Sunday." "the groom and I have known each other since we were born, and we did all those important things together, like climbing trees or playing with legos." .... It was realy nice.
A few More Photos from during the messages.
My Mom Sharing, she's so cute.
The Scene for our big Country Wedding.
After the Meeting Ends our families and wedding party sign the Marriage certificate. Everyone at the wedding also signs the certificate during the night. The entire ceremony was wonderful, things went so well, and we got to do it outside under the tree. We are very blessed. Afterward we said hi to some of the guests, and did family portraits.
Next time, the reception. Honeymoon stuff later too.
I'm glad I'm writing all this stuff down, it's nice to remember it now, and I want to keep all the details.
Location: Buffalo, NY