First Democrat Re-Elected in 1934

Usually, Election Day comes and sometime after 9:00PM, we either celebrate or commiserate, might get home early or not, but the job is done, the big question of the night answered and the new campaign begins.

Not so this year. At least we didn't have to wait until Dec 12th for someone else to choose!

Two weeks after CNN, MSNBC and even Faux News did it, Hanna today accepted the fact that Congressman Arcuri will continue being our Congressman.

New York most always gets put in the blue column, but around here, its red.

As if Election Day 2008 wasn't exciting enough.


Yes, I Can... the Eternal Motto of Folks who Make

To say that this election cycle has been different than 2006's doesn't even begin to cover it. I'm not all over the place and the hours are much kinder to my 2 year older body and soul. And that there's a Presidential Election this year just adds a whole other dimension to the days.

There are some volunteer-made Arcuri buttons still floating around, I don't know how well all those iron-oned tee shirts have held up, and this was the one other craftiness I was able to do then:

I first got into politics with the Clinton-Gore election in '92. One of the features of the office back then was a a stock pile of white poster board and markers. There were probably times when the number of hand-made campaign signs outnumbered the official ones.

Well, in the years since, I've discovered the crafter in me and have found great joy in making... cards, prints, jewelry, pottery, beads, books, centerpieces, and who knows what else.

So, it's been really exciting to see the creativity that the Obama campaign has inspired, directly or indirectly, formally or informally. And it has been as frustrating with not having the time to add my craftiness to the mix.

Two night of insomnia resulted in these from me
These are some creations of others that I really like:
yea.. it's made of beans and a whole lotta patience by boogaloo on Craftster.

Moveon-org held a craft contest and this piece honoring That One was made before he was dubbed that:

Spelling for Obama:
Spelling Change.com

Design for Obama has over 300 posters that you can download and print. Seriously... over 300. This one
is breath-taking in it's detail. It's done by an illustrator. Each line is hand written (yes words) and the poster really needs to be printed out to be appreciated.

This:pretty much sums up all the visual candy here

The Obama Craft Project not only exceeded its campaign fund raising goal, but also works hard to collect all the creativity in one place.

The Obama Art Report lets readers know what's happening in the print art Obama world and where to get your hands on some. If you are fast enough.

Ok, pumpkin carving season is pretty much over, but take a look at what's offered at Yes We Carve.

30 Reasons offers a poster every day.

Then, there are the official Barack Obama campaign creative efforts.

Clothing designers at Runway to Change

Musicians at Yes We Can. Listen here.

Visual Artists at Artists for Obama.

I like creative people. They make things. They make things happen.


The Party of Hope

"We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can."



GOP says, "PLEASE, Please, Please Be Stupid"

While an Observer-Dispatch article by Bryon Ackerman is also an issue of the campaign newsletter from Congressional candidate Richard Hanna...

While the OD, Hanna, and the NRCC don't know the difference between a correlation and a causation...

While Hanna's stands on any issue is left to the interpretation of what his endorsers say... (and if you think that statement's hard to grasp, try looking up any of the following on Hanna's campaign website: education, health care, tax, immigration, war or any other issue that's important to you.)

let's take a look at what Open Secrets offers (on Oct 22, 2008, 11:55PM):

Arcuri: 0%
Hanna: 49%
This simply shows that if Hanna were not supporting himself, just short of HALF OF HIS SUPPORT would be gone.

Top Contributors (categorized by me, not Open Secrets):
Arcuri: political PACs, labor groups,
Hanna: privately owned companies, Exxon Mobil, Meryl Lynch
I'd rather have the support of people who work for the betterment of others rather than the likes of Exxon Mobil. And seriously, Hanna bellyaching about Fannie Mae while taking money from Meryl Lynch would be just as crazy as McCain calling Obama a pop star while his own VP shops like Paris Hilton. OH. Oopps!

Quality of Disclosure:
Arcuri: Full Disclosure 94.4% Incomplete 0.0% None 5.6%
Hanna: Full Disclosure 41.8% Incomplete 3.6% None 54.6%
FULL DISCLOSURE: Includes full name and occupation / employer
INCOMPLETE DISCLOSURE: Occupation listed gives no indication what the person does for a living. Examples of unacceptably vague disclosures are such "occupations" as "businessman", "entrepreneur", "self-employed", and "executive".
NO DISCLOSURE: No information about the donor's employer and / or occupation was listed.

Seeing this was what prompted this postcard. When Hanna kept repeating "I don't know" at the debate last week, he really meant it when it came to his donors.
The FEC requires this information, it's super simple to collect, and it discloses the industry incentives supporting a candidate. What 54.6% of that is being hidden from the voters 13 days before the Election?

I don't understand the GOP's desire, assumption and need for Americans to be stupid. You'd think that anyone would instead expect and demand rational thinking and intelligence from voters, candidates, students, mothers, fathers, teachers, doctors, snow-plow driver and everyone else on the planet.

Hanna may be new to actively doing something in the community but he sounds like the same ol GOP.


"Incredibly deceiving"

That is the result of WKTV's Truth Test on Richard Hanna's latest ad. Well, Richard Hanna and the NRCC. Remember the NRCC, the National Republican Congressional Committee? In case you need reminders:


and here
and here
and here

This latest ad is not posted on the Hanna website, so you'll have to see it on the WKTV report. You can also read the text. At least this one is child and family safe.

Mike Arcuri's ads are also Truth Tested by WKTV. I think the easiest way to find all of the test results is by searching 'Truth Test Arcuri Hanna.'



They fail to lead by example.... unless this really is what they seek

I finally got a chance to see the Arcuri-Hanna News 10 Now debate and was saddened to see Hanna drinking from the Pailin coolaid that makes the speaker repeatedly squawk out a memorized phrase regardless of context and sounding no better than a wind-up mechanical parrot.

I say saddened because I'm somewhat familiar with Hanna's generosity, especially in support of women. The YWCA honored him for his check-writing tradition (though in a Church Lady Isn't That Special moment, the event program (identified as an "ad") also identifies that he's the sponsor of the lunchon). Supporting the groups that do the work to help others is vital to those groups doing the work. And a good donor, like a good business man, needs to be able to pick and choose what he's doing with his money.

But supporting, sponsoring and donating are very different tasks from doing work. Hanna got a thank you for the checks he wrote.

Michael Arcuri was thanked for the work he did. As the first male selected as the Mohawk Valley Person of the Year by the same above named YWCA, his work in battling and prosecuting domestic violence and child abuse reached far beyond cash.

The list of things Congressman Arcuri has done to better this region since he was elected to Congress is long and far more than I want to capture in this little postcard. But things that are especially dear to me are his support of increased Student Aid, increasing the minimum wage and mental health parity.

I know what Michael Arcuri has done and what he seeks to do. You can see it yourself here on his website. If you can find Hanna's list on his website (where I just clicked on every link), would you please post it in a comment?

That's the difference between making something and making out a check.

Onto national politics... I'll leave it to Keith Olbermann who said it better than I:



Now it's a Question of Judgment

(available here)
(free to borrow for Web)
I really didn't question his judgment until he picked her for his Vice President.

I've shared my opinion about how Republicans think of women, but what is it with Republican women??

"Just a hockey mom." HER words, not mine. "Just" a mom is offensive and sexist. Being a good parents and raising children well can be the biggest change a person makes on the planet. There is nothing "just" about that and dismissing that work is a sign of a dilettante who's children probably are better off being raised by a professional nanny. Real moms know there is no such thing as "just a mom."

Anti-Choice, no exemptions. I don't understand women who would insist that a women who is a victim of rape carry a resulting pregnancy to term. This is beyond 'blame the victim' this is punish the slut who deserved it. And her baby too. For the last 32 years (yes, that's THIRTY-TWO YEARS), Alaska has ranked in the top 5 states with the highest rates in the nation of reported rapes. Six times the national average rate of child sexual assault. Oh, and if you are raped and want a rape kit done, be sure to grab your wallet on the way to the hospital since you had to buy the rape kit so the police can collect the evidence.

'Health care must be market and business driven.' Really? And just which corporation would you trust making healthcare choices for you and your family? Enron, Exon, Halliburton. One policy fits all... Stay healthy!

and be scared.... very scared.


What I did over Summer Break. WAIT A MINUTE!!?? WHAT BREAK???

I think one of the sure signs of summer ending is the jump-starting of this blog. It's been a fun, relaxing summer with just many things more appealing than catching up on the key board. With some of the changes that start at work tomorrow, I might end up using my lunch time for more things like the blog. Maybe. Getting out of the office is oft needed too.

One of the pure social events was taking some visitors up to The Wild Center, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks. I was really hoping to see and learn more about the critters around here, aside from the turkey, foxes, skunk, raccoons, turkey vultures, hawks and the pileated woodpecker that have been visiting my back yard.

But, aside from getting attitude worthy of a cat from a duck, I was able to enjoy the antics of their resident otters. Eons past, my favorite part of visiting the Utica Zoo was to watch the otters.

There were opportunities to join a birder and a naturalist on walks, but as I was the only one in my group that wanted to go, those will have to wait for another trip.

Another events that's been pleasantly taking up some time is helping with a friend's wedding. There will be another post about one aspect of the wedding shower, but below are some of the pictures used in one of the games. Pink fru-fru really isn't the bride's style, so we went a bit off the usual path. How many of these brides or grooms do you recognize as the political figures they are?

(No, you don't get a prize.)

And, of course, politics is picking up speed.

I've been on the road for Congressman Michael Arcuri again, still visiting great places in the district and meeting more great folks as well as reconnecting with longer-known ones. The volunteers who went with me decided that there's a house in Edmeston that would just be perfect for me. I wouldn't disagree though the commute would give me pause. Every year, I go to a craft show in Springfield, MA, but I am putting Smithfield, NY, on the "visit again" list. Serious fun shopping and what looks like a very relaxing B&B! Plus Herkimer, Norwich, Fairfield, Dolgeville, Smithville Flats, as well as Utica and New Hartford, all welcomed the Congressman very warmly. Even when he couldn't join us, the volunteers were wonderfully welcomed. Which says a lot about how much the voters like our Congressman. Click here to help out.

For those of you who read this blog 2 years ago, you know how excited I felt about seeing the district and all the treasures in it. This year, it rather feels like homecoming weekend. A childhood friend is running for Judge. A high school classmate is running for Congress. Jill Ghaleb is seeking to keep her seat as Otsego County Judge and Darius Shahinfar is running the NY's 21 Congressional District. And the high number of Arcuri volunteers who have continued through this campaign all together make each event filled with familiar faces mingled with all the new ones.

This is the first time I've wished I was a delegate to the DNC Convention. But seeing it at the Uptown Theater with about 170 other Obama supporters was good too. What a roller coaster Democrats have been on this year. Democrats aren't good at goose-stepping to the dictates of party officials. And in spite of Michigan and Florida escaping the consequences of their acts, at the end, we come together to do the right thing. Although "Democratic" is our first name, we all understand that the rules that govern DNC, GOP and American election processes are republic in nature. These federal campaigns are about getting the needed delegates. The popular votes roll into that, but popular vote isn't enough.

Senator Clinton said it very well.
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
Politics can't be personal. Sure, the parents, spouses, children, siblings all have that claim and that motivation, but politics has to be about more than the person. Now, candidates aren't interchangable. Who someone is comes from all the aspects about him or herself. And for each of us who are active, there was probabaly one person who inspired us to get active.

In short, Palin is no Hillary!


Love in Utica

Isn't it nice that love can still be found in the greater Utica area? Best wishes to the couple and their new addition...


If Frogs had Wings

Most everyone has some kind of fantasy life.... Fantasy Football, Invisible Friends, Star Trek, Fantasy Congress, Second Life, whatever. Some are just interests, some are odd, some are childish, some are hard to understand, some are freaky.

Some, at least these two, are far from fantastic. They're scary. That they are contemplated and justified should give us nightmares.

McCain's 100 year war. No sane humane human should ever consider a 100 year war as a viable option for anything. Even The Hundred Year War stopped in year 3, year 10, etc, etc. It was only in hindsight that it was seen as a hundred year war, though paused by several truces. Edward III never planned for a hundred year war. His battle plan did not include Henry VI, fourth King into the future and born over 100 years after him.

That McCain served in Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war and can still say out loud that a 100 year war would be OK with him should terrify all of us. That he, who knows first hand the horrors of war, can so casually commit the next 26 elected Presidents and the next 4 to 5 generations of Americans to any war is horrifying. That he acknowledges that this is a war based on lies and still stays his course is that much more horrifying.

Add to that, an adviser who unequivocally states that a terrorist attack would "be a big advantage" to McCain, and I'm left wondering not only where is McCain's better angel, but where are those of the company he keeps? It is disheartened cynicism that makes Democrats mutter comments of October Surprises, not jealousy. That a terrorist attack can be seen as an advantage to anyone makes as much sense as planning for a 100 year war does.

Two seemingly random pieces coming together can be simple synchronicity at play. Three pieces just may be the engineering of wings on the frogs.


Neither Gender nor Heritage are the Issue

Some days, life really lives up to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Days, weeks, months, years...

I've always said that I'm lucky enough to have the luxury to be active in politics. Though I'm far away from being free of financial concerns, I do live within my means. That I am able to work one job and meet my needs give me the hours to do things that aren't financially reimbursed whether that's volunteering or playing, or whatever else I choose to do. Food, shelter and clothing are covered.

Health becomes a challenge as time goes by. Things could be worse or better but is certainly manageable.
The rest of the pyramid is still standing,

So, why haven't I been active here or anywhere else really over the Presidential campaigns?

Dean's asked a couple of times here and certainly it's been a topic of conversation more places than not. (By the way, Dean, Pam and I missed you and Arlene in Springfield. Like always, it was an uneventful trip... meaning it was a great weekend! And I found crafting goodies I've been wanting for a long time.)

I'm still active in Congressman Arcuri's re-election campaign and the enthusiasm hasn't faded. I'm sure I'll help out with other candidates, too, including Barack Obama.

I suspect that part of the reason I didn't get all fired up about the Presidential race is because the base question that was so hyped was a non-interest for me.

It seemed like the question the Democratic Primary was fighting over was "can a woman or a black man be President?"


There's no agony, soul-searching, wondering, exploring or anything deeper than a loud, disgusted, and condescending, "Duh! Try reading the Constitution sometime."

Am I proud that it's the Democratic Party that brought forth Hillary and Barack? Of course. But, seriously, could we really expect that either a woman or a person of color would be allowed to achieve in the Republican Party what they do in the Democratic?

(OK, it was not the Democrats that were asking that question. We were answering the question of "which one do we want?" So, who was it that was really caterwauling that other question?)

Reality check, folks... Chickens who vote for Col. Sanders would never be accepted sitting at the head of the table.

I'm not so blindly faithful that I'd say "anyone but McCain" but I do pray for someone who won't continue dragging us down this damned road we're on.

I've started a sentence a few times lately with "whoever next leads this country will have the task to start to fix" and I stop mid-sentence.

Obama will have the task to start to fix all the destruction the Shrub Badministration has inflicted on America. The damages done run so deep that that it will take years to heal, no matter who the President is...President Obama, President Clinton (Bill or Hillary), President Santa Claus or President Fairy God-Mother.

I stop mid-sentence because I don't really believe that whoever next leads this country will take on that challenge. I believe that Obama will do his best to start healing the damages the last 8 years have brought.

I believe that McCain will not start the healing but rather continue the damages of the Shrub. If you don't accept that something needs fixing, you don't bother trying.

Anyone who can consider that a 100 year war is an option is not capable of leading the healing we need.

Will I be enthusiastically for Obama? Absolutely. Will I be working on his campaign? As much as I can. Will I donate? Yes.

And I'd have done the same if the Democratic candidate were anyone else.

This is why.


Craft Night in Utica

Even a year ago, I was managing to do a better job of keeping up with things here. I'd love to blame it on the bead-making class, but that's really just part of it.

One of the joys of getting older is in still being surprised by yourself. As a child, I rather quickly became a practical, serious one. I used to love art class, but once it became an elective, it was no longer an option. Playing the violin lasted at most a year beyond art class. Eventually, the only creative outlet I did use was writing and that has managed to last most all my life in some form, though in more recent years, mostly as professional genre.

So it was rather a stunning revelation that I still liked a broad range of creative arts. Even more stunning was that I often like what I make.

So, when recently I'd been asked by several folks unconnected to each other, if Mojoz's Craft Night was still meeting, I figured that it was time to try again. All the creative play people engage in touch upon a vast array of needs. Creative, spiritual, recreational, developmental, exploration and any other incentive with which a person creates something, it's often a solitary endeavor. But if social can be added to the mix, everything is that much more creative, spiritual, recreational, developmental or exploratory. And it's a lot more fun too!
Mojoz's is at the corner of Culver and Albany in Utica.


Space, the Final Frontier

Thanks for the comments, Dean. I love the new look, though I'm a glutton for most anything space related. A use of our tax dollars that I'm thrilled over is that much of NASA's images are not copyrighted and their use guidelines are extremely generous. I wanted to be an astronaut more than anything else when I was a child and it's never really gone away. I'd blast off tomorrow if I had the opportunity.

Here are some sites for NASA images:

Once upon a time, I'd have to haunt antique stores looking for paper ephemera, either for my own collections or for my crafting, but what joy to find so much available on the internet.

I did step outside to watch the eclipse but only for about 3 minutes during the peak. It was frigid and 2 coats, 2 scarves, hat ands gloves still left me frozen to the bone. I really wish that I knew how to take night pictures. There have been some views of the moon that were breath-taking.

If you're also a Space fan, I'd highly recommend the movie "In the Shadow of the Moon." I saw it at the local museum, but it's now available on DVD too. I remember as a child sitting in class as we watched rocket launches and recoveries. There was a sense of awe and wonder that feels sadly absent in later generations.

And, I can't see the stars anymore. One of my strongest memories was of my first visit to the then uber rural ancestral home back in Bangladesh. The only lights available were wood fires and oil lamps. It truly seemed that that hemisphere of Earth had more stars in the sky than did ours. The Vancouver Sun had an article on the damage caused by light pollution that would be worth your time to read.

When I get home late at night, I do appreciate enough light to see that I can safely walk to the front door. But that's never caused me to gasp in awe or fill my soul as the drive through rural, no-lights roads on the way home always does. Motion-activated lights are the way to go.

Well, no politics tonight. I'll save that for another night.


New and Improved. Well, at least New.

As you can see, I've played around with my template and got a whole new look here. I think it much better represents me than what was previously being used.

Sadly, the change also means that many of the links/images/etc that were previously posted have been lost. If you really need me to track any of them down, please leave me a comment and I will do my best, but no guarantees, OK? Otherwise, for now, I'm going to leave them lost in the grand universe.

To those of you who pop in here ever so often, sorry for the lack of updates for the last forever. I've been crafting and playing with my cat more than anything else these days. I plan to continue with Mike Arcuri's re-election campaign, though the Clinton and Obama elections are also intriguing me.

I've been keeping an eye on the Presidential race. For a long time, I've debated seeking a spot as a Delegate, but just never felt it strongly enough. I think this year would be a fascinating time to be a Delegate. But I've also been enjoying a number of conversations with college students about the Elections and voting. Younger voters always have a lot more at stake than anyone else with elections and I hope they get involved this year.