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Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM PDT

Can Teachout teach Cuomo a lesson?

by averblue

If you saw my last diary, you know that I am in America right now, supporting my dad and handling the "estate" of my mother, which is composed 90% of papers and archives from all her civic involvement through the decades.  But I am also taking some "time off" from cleaning and sorting to get involved, myself, in an election that is coming up in New York: the challenge from Zephyr Teachout to incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary on September 9.

Why?  Because I think my mom would agree:  sometimes you have to prioritize.  Her archives will be here next month, but the chance to elect a true progressive as NY governor will come and go.  Now is the time to act, because climate change is a real and growing threat now, and because money is strangling our democracy now.  I'm also prioritizing this because next spring my husband and I are going to move back to Ithaca.  We will be leaving a part of the world where the most conservative politicians and voters are still to the left of the US Democratic party.  I get more than a little depressed when I think about what I'll be leaving behind, from single payer health care to 5 week paid summer vacations to the absence of Big Money in public elections and the absence of handguns on the street.  I would be really happy if at least I was moving to a part of the US where someone was trying to do something.  I know, I know, Cuomo brought same-sex marriage to NY, and of course a Republican governor would be worse... but I just can't get excited about moving to a NY that is still under Cuomo's leadership.

More below the squiggle (but, as someone pointed out in the comments last time, it's good to offer a donation link in the intro, so here it is: donate here.)

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Update 1: the important info now top, front and center:  The NYS Democratic primary is 9 September.  You can help unseat Cuomo by contributing to, or volunteering for, the campaign of Zephyr Teachout, a progressive alternative.  Learn more here, contribute here, volunteer here.

Update 2:  I thought I should highlight another important aspect of this race, which might appeal particularly to out-of-staters.  One of Teachout's primary interests is campaign finance reform, and she is one of the leading legal experts on political corruption. Her arguments were cited in the Citizens United case by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.  If she could become governor of NY, not only would many New Yorkers be relieved that Cuomo was gone, but residents of other states could expect her to get behind efforts to clean up politics and overturn Citizens United.

Update 3:  I got some very interesting (and nuanced) information from a friend about fracking that I am sharing, with his permission.  See below, at the end of my original diary.

Disclaimer: I'm not really up on my New York politics... and I haven't been following US politics or Daily Kos much in recent months.  I know, sorry.  But I will now try to "contribute my little stone" (steentje bijdragen) as they say in Dutch, and tell you about my interesting afternoon.

Background: I am an American lving in Belgium, but this month I am in Ithaca to help with memorial services for my mom and to support my dad.  My mom was a good Democrat, and was following the anti-fracking movement.  It was personal for her and my dad, as the owner of the land right behind their house (where I grew up and they have lived more than 50 years) has sold fracking rights to Big Oil.  Today the anti-fracking activists were having a gathering and they had invited Cuomo's primary opponent to come speak, and dad asked if I wanted to go.

I said what many people have probably said before me, "What?  Cuomo has a Democratic opponent?"  And, "Does he have any chance at all?"  The answer was, yes, Cuomo has an opponent, and she is young and energetic and running with a Chinese American from NYC and they are both lawyers.  My response was, oh well....  I can see the writing on the wall.  She may be wonderful and progressive and intelligent and everything, but she can't win.  But what the heck, let's go see what she has to say to the fracktovists.

Read about my impressions after the fluffy cloud-like symbol associated with progressive Democratic politics.

(And thanks, on behalf of my dad and my late mother, for reading this diary and putting it on the rec list!)

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Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:43 AM PST

our daily bread, Belgian style

by averblue

I visited family in the US over Christmas, and was stuck by (among other things) how differently Americans and Belgians organize food for their families. I thought I would share a few of my observations on this subject, as part of what I hope will become a "series."  

(My first diary was about working as a house cleaner here in Belgium, with support from a rather interesting government subsidy program for such workers.)  

Grab a healthy snack and follow me over the squiggle (I promise it won't all be about Belgian chocolates.)

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Hello (or, hallo, as they say in Belgium)! This diary was inspired by Lightbulb's wonderful series at Daily Kos, "Confessions of a retail worker." Maybe it will become a series, also? I don't know. It is my first real diary and I'm going to take it day by day.

We moved to Belgium in June of 2010. "We" equals my husband (Dutch man, self-employed fix-it guy) and me (American woman) and a fair number of cats. In May of 2010, after 5 years of marriage, Dutch language courses, and low-wage work in the Netherlands, I became a Dutch citizen. (I didn't give up my American citizenship, though, because I consider it the Duty of every civic-minded world citizen to vote against Republicans in American elections if they are able to do so.) There was a nice ceremony at City Hall, I picked up my passport, and we emigrated over the border.  

(emigrate over the squiggle to read more...)

UPDATE: huh? rec list? wow!  ongeloofelijk. (say "UHN- ghuh- LO- fuh- luk" -- that's Dutch for "unbelievable")

Thanks everyone, now my husband will have to sort his own receipts tonight, because I have other responsibilities :-)

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