The Fanatics are Winning

And Richard C. Titus of Utica said he'd fly, too.

"I would still take that flight," he said. "It's very important for the terrorists to realize they are not disrupting people's normal way of life."

They are not disrupting people's normal way of life.

OK, I'll grant that an exploding bomb would certainly be more disrupting but I gotta say that I would look at flying anywhere as the last option these days. Not because it's unsafe. Because it's so DISRUPTING.

Can't take my water. No meds unless they're prescription (gee, did the pharacutical companies write that paragraph of the new regulations?!?). No lotion. No contact lenses since no contact lense solution. No make up. No toothpaste. No hair spray. No unexpected-delay toiletries like shampoo or soap.

I thought I heard that 2 dozen people were arrested for allegedly being in this McGyver plot.

24 people managed to ruin air travel for 6,639,505,860 (as of 10:59 on August 11, 2006).

That's what is really scary.



I once heard that writing is easy. Just sit by a typewriter and open a vein.

Sometimes, art is a spontaneous outpouring that isn't controlled. That's what happened to me when I answered a call for art. I'm still angry and not over it, so when the call for the
Do Not Fold, Bend, Spindle or Mutilate: Computer Punch Card Art, I was adamant that I would not, would not, do the hanging chad thing.

Above is the piece that I submitted to the show.

The piece went from plain punch card to stamped, addressed and enveloped in about 20 minutes. That included the time it took to design and carve the "Vote" stamp. When I'd sat down, I had intended to do a woven fiber arts piece, but Minerva had other plans.

exhibit has been posted on the web so the works can be seen by anyone. I'm not sure what the total number of pieces is, but it was inspiring to see so many names of other artists I've exchanged work with over the years.

There were a number of other pieces that also echoed the feelings still raging from the 2000 debacle. There are obviously still a lot of people still
not ready to make nice.

What happened in 2000 was wrong. That it's continued is worse. That Americans are dying in Iraq to give the Iraqi people the right to vote while our right to vote is being nibbled to death by ducks is evil.

I'll be comforted by a computerized vote the day the check out machines incorrectly scan a price for the LAST time. I'm not holding my breath.


The friends, music and food of Campaigning

It was another night of campaigning for Mike Arcuri tonight and again I end the day tired, but a good, well-earned tired.

Like most Democrats, I need to work. Something's gotta pay the bill and I'm lucky that I have a job that I enjoy.

So after the work day, I changed into my new campaign shirt (and was pleased to see that my sewing skills had not vanished. Pretty neat to turn a Large sized shirt into a Small. But definitely a LOT easier than going the other way!) and headed to the Utica Jazz Fest on Bank Place to help the volunteers set up.

Now, going to the Jazz Fest isn't work. There were many Wednesday's last summer that I met friends down there for food, drinks, and good music. The bonus was running into other people I knew. Last week's cancellation due to the weather was a disappointment. Unfortunately, there was a good chance that I'd miss most of it this week too.

Once they were set, I popped back into my car and went back to MVCC. This time, I wasn't wearing a blue shirt of our union, but instead the same blue, but with the campaign logo. I met up with Mike there and we spent some time meeting the people who were attending the Boilermaker Block Party that celebrated East Utica's most enthusiastic crowd for the runners. It was so nice to see the quad filled with people. There's something sad about empty educational settings and even though we run classes over the summer, it's just not the same. And it was wonderful to see so many neighbors of the college stop by for a BBQ.

But, we left there and made our way to New York Mills where Mike went door-to-door. Granted, I need to take 2 for each of his steps, but the drive and energy he has for getting out there and meeting voters astounds me. Not just that he's an elected official and he knows the benefits of meeting people face to face, but that he enjoys it and genuinely likes people. And though of course we'll cross paths with the few that already decided that they wouldn't vote for him, most people are very positive and encouraging to him. Most all of them recognized him and several commented on his most recent press conference.

Between houses, we got into a conversation about why we do this, walking house to house, knocking on the doors of strangers and talking with them. Because it might make a difference and a difference has to be made. Things are going frighteningly wrong. Infidelity is a high crime and misdemeanors, oil companies are establishing national energy policies, no-child-left-behind is letting the rest of the world better educate their students, and just because it's said often enough and loud enough, lies are truth.

We do it because there is:
A duty to try to FIX something that is broken.
A duty to try to RIGHT what is wrong.
A duty to try to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I got chills when Mike said those words in his announcement. As a counselor and someone who's worked with kids, I've often reinforced the link between rights and responsibilities. But since the greed-first era of Reagan, as a nation we've put a great deal more importance on what "my rights are" instead of balancing it with "my responsibilities are."

Is it any wonder that Enron officials stole from the very people who helped them live the lives they had? Should we be surprised that we're paying a fortune at the gas station while New Orleans drowns and the oil companies are making more profit that ever before? And it's a good thing that Ray Meier,
"as a Co-Chair of the Senate bipartisan Task Force on Medicaid Reform, he helped enact a
cap on the local cost of the Medicaid program as part of the 2005-06 New York State budget, saving localities and taxpayers millions of dollars."

After all, we who live in Oneida County needed those dollars to pay for the additional cost that came with having the highest sales tax in the state at 9.75%. (Dollar stores became the dollar-ten stores). County legislators said that the tax had to go up to cover the additional costs for Medicaid. When the cost didn't go up as much as they thought it would, the highest sales tax in the state (and I remember hearing that it was also the highest in the country) was dropped. It was dropped a whole whopping quarter of a penny to 9.5%. They're still the dollar ten stores.

OK, back to this beautiful evening. We finally finished the houses on the street and I headed back to the Jazz Fest and dinner, good company and good music.

It was a wonderful way to end a good day.


I'm drinking tea and playing with my cat.

I gave up trying to get an update from the TV and eventually moved to my computer. If I cause anyone's site to crash, I'm sorry and I'm not working on Lamont's campaign. It's Michael Arcuri that I'm helping.

So, here I am, basically lounging, sipping my tea, music's playing and I'm surfing the internet looking for exit polling. I even called a friend who lives in CT.

Then I came across a diary on Daily Kos that was posting from the Lamont HQ. And they were also posting pictures.

There was something surrealistic about the election night episode of West Wing and the feeling's back again tonight. I don't remember the last Election Night when I was relaxing at home, playing with my cat and drinking tea. But the pictures and frequent updates from HQ bring back the excitement and adrenalin that's the food of the event. And waiting for numbers is a lot easier when I'm doing it with others.

Technology has changed everything.

My brother died a few years ago and my family was thrown into an upheaval that included some of us traveling, meeting up with others, and traveling again. On that day, for the first time I truly appreciated the benefits of the cell phone.

When 9.11 happened, not only were so many of us witnesses of the horrors, but again cell phones made a difference for some people.

A friend regularly chats online with her family who are on the other side of the planet. She can't make it back there for her sister's wedding, so they're going to set up a computer and cam so she can watch everything.

And tonight, I get to relax with my cat and still be in HQ of the Lamont campaign.

At least until the web site crashes.