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Sat Oct 25, 2014 at 03:15 PM PDT

I just voted for a Republican

by rugbymom

    When I was six, my father took me with him on election day, down the street to the school where he voted. They had a small sample machine with the little clackety wooden levers for voters to practice on, so I got to "vote." My father taught me never, ever to vote the straight ticket lever -- that it was important to make a decision on each candidate, not let the party bosses do it for you. (My father was so left-wing that he lost his job during the McCarthy era.)

     So I just filled out my mail-in ballot, and thought about each race. And I ended up voting for a Republican, for Lt. Governor. Why? Follow me below the nonpartisan squiggle.

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         As the movie 12 Years a Slave accumulates richly-deserved awards, including two awards from the British BAFTA and nine nominations for tonight's Academy Awards, a caution is in order. The film is, of course, based on a memoir that appears to be true, and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was a historical consultant to ensure that the movie portrayal was accurate. Even in its dramatic portrayal of the horrors of slavery, however, the film risks reinforcing persistent myths about the slavery system that warp our national conversation on slavery and race.

          Follow me below the fold.

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:50 PM PDT

Brayton Point Photo Diary

by rugbymom

Cordgrass has already put up a diary on today's action to close down the Brayton Point (Mass.) coal-fired plant, so I'll just add some of my photos from today.

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Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 06:11 PM PDT

Close Down Brayton Point: Training Day

by rugbymom

Today was training day for the action tomorrow (Sunday) at the gates of the coal-fired generating plant at Brayton Point, Somerset, Massachusetts, the largest such facility in New England. (According to the organizers, the plant emitted 6 million tons of CO2 in 2010, along with 15,000 tons of mercury, arsenic, lead, and other pollutants.)

Making signs for demonstration at Brayton Point coal plant
Making signs for the Brayton Point action
The action is part of the "Summer Heat" series sponsored by 350.org. It is intended to put pressure on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to use the authority given to him by the state's 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, to set allowable carbon emission levels low enough that the plant will have to close. The demand includes a "just transition" ensuring alternate economic opportunities for the displaced workers and the community, and development of renewable energy to replace the electricity generated by the plant.

Follow me below the squiggle for more.

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This will be short -- the ACLU has a petition campaign to urge President Obama and the DOJ to treat Edward Snowden with full due process guarantees, including the presumption of innocence (instead of the kind of merciless treatment Bradley Manning has had to endure in detention). They'd like to get up to 25,000 -- quickly -- and the number of signatures now stands at just over 17,500. Sign it, and forward it to anyone else you can think of.

I am becoming a big believer in publicity and public shaming as useful tools in this struggle. Saying to a former Constitutional law professor, "Hey, remember all that Con law stuff you used to teach, and used to believe in? Now is when it's needed. NOW!" might just get his attention and shame him into doing the right thing, rather than the thing that he fantasizes will make John McCain like him.

https://www.aclu.org/...

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As December of 1862 drew to a close, all eyes were on Washington, just as they are this year. After eighteen months of bloody fighting, pressure was building on President Lincoln to take action on slavery.

On September 22, after Union troops chased Confederate General Robert E. Lee back across the Potomac River at Antietam, the President had announced that if the Confederate states did not lay down their arms by January 1, 1863, he was prepared to issue an Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the rebel areas. This Preliminary Proclamation was published widely.

But would he actually do it?

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Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM PST

Why Marriage Equality Won

by rugbymom

I know many Kossacks don't glide over to CNN.com very often, so want to recommend that you do. They have an article front-paged on why marriage equality won at the ballot box: because of individuals and families who unexpectedly found themselves becoming activists.

Profiled in the article:

---"A preacher," Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, now serving the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick, Maryland. Twenty-five years ago, as a new pastor, she was asked to officiate at a same-sex ceremony, and declined -- and then kicked herself. Working on the Maryland referendum gave her a chance for a "do-over."

---"A teacher," Michael Clark, a Seattle-area middle school band and orchestra teacher. He and his domestic partner have been together for 18 years, but he kept quiet about all that in the classroom.

---"A soldier's parents," Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt of Minnesota, whose son, Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, was the first openly gay soldier killed in Afghanistan after repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." For the Wilfahrts, speaking out on behalf of marriage equality was the best way to honor their son's memory.

---"A GOP leader," Mark Ellis of Maine, adopted from the Phillipines. He realized that his own interracial marriage would once have been illegal in many states. A former chairman of the state GOP, he wondered if speaking out on marriage equality would jeopardize his position. But he found other Republicans who supported marriage equality, giving them the courage to speak out.

CNN observes:

Each took up the cause for personal reasons shaped by life experiences. Together, they surprised America; their voices emerged as a sign of a more progressive electorate that's grown tired of arguments that say marriage between two men or two women undermines the institution and the very fabric of society.
I'm sure each of us could add dozens of stories like this. Ultimately "change" happens one person at a time, one friendship at a time, one eye-opening experience at a time.

To those of you who are planning your weddings, or just worked hard on these referendums, a heartfelt "congratulations!"

Discuss

Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 04:55 AM PDT

How to get SuperPAC ads off the air

by rugbymom

An article in the June AARP Bulletin outlines how to get misleading SuperPAC ads off the air during this election cycle. This gives us huge leverage.

According to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, broadcast stations are pretty much required to air ads directly sponsored by federal candidates. (They also can't charge as much for them.)

But they are NOT required to air third-party ads -- and that gives us power. Follow me below the squiggle for more.

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Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:46 AM PDT

This Labor Day, I Want My Color Back

by rugbymom

As I walked towards the Verizon strikers' rally in downtown Providence a couple of weeks ago, I realized my mistake. The street held a sea of red t-shirts, identifying members of the IBEW and CWA, and supporters from the UAW and other unions. My light blue one marked me as a clueless outsider, no matter how lustily I sang “Solidarity Forever.”

Walk with me past the squiggly barrier.

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Recently a number of liberal blogs (including this one) have been pushing the radical suggestion of creating single-payer publicly-funded fire stations, to replace the current patchwork of private fire companies and fire insurance companies in American cities.

This change would be a disaster for fire fighting and would be contrary to fundamental American values.

Follow me below the fold.  

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What's on your "New New Deal" wishlist to jump-start the economy for the other 95% of us?

Here's my list of items I haven't seen elsewhere. Some of these could be added to a post-election stimulus package that House and Senate leaders are considering; some may have to wait for the new Administration in January. Feel free to add to it, comment, discuss. Hopefully, enough pols or their staff people monitor these boards to pick up the ideas with value.

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Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 09:21 AM PDT

Quaker roll call

by rugbymom

In the comment thread about the recent incident at George Fox University, I noticed a lot of Quakers and friends-of-Friends among us. I'm curious how many, and who we are.

Poll

How Quaker are you?

13%5 votes
13%5 votes
5%2 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
10%4 votes
8%3 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
40%15 votes
2%1 votes

| 37 votes | Vote | Results

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