Saturday, February 2, 2008

Missing Obama

We got up at 6:00 this morning to go see and hear Barack Obama speak at Boise State Univ. in the Taco Bell Arena, scheduled to begin at 8:30. We left home at 7:15 and drove through the cold winter weather. The temperature was 24. The traffic became heavier as we approached the BSU campus. Driving slowly down University Blvd past the older campus buildings, we glanced to our left and saw the line of people waiting to get into the arena. It was past the library to the west and not moving very rapidly. At that point our expectations took a nose dive, especially since it was cold and four-year-old Zach was sitting in the back seat sniffling and occassionally sneezing and coughing from a cold. We decided to NOT join the line and instead circled the campus, going south to Beacon, then east to Broadway, and north to State St. On Broadway we noticed a similar line of people reaching from the arena the whole way around the east side of the stadium to the Greenbelt. We knew many would not get into the arena. So we listened to Obama's speech on the radio from the warmth of out home while Zachary played with the magnets Karen got him for Christmas. It was worth listening to. He didn't just promise change, but actually specified what some of those changes would be, and I found myself agreeing with many of them.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Quote from Joe Conason

This is a worth-while quote that I would like to include on my blog. I read it first a few years ago and have referred to it several times since. It's from the introduction of the book, Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, by Joe Conason, Published 2003.

"If Americans have a common fault, however it's our tendency to suffer from historical amnesia. Too many of us have forgotten, or never learned, what kind of country America was under the conservative rule that preceded the century of liberal reform. And too many of us have no idea whose ideas and energy brought about the reforms we now take for granted."
"If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a forty-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights - you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable - you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family - you can thank liberals. If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green - you can thank liberals. If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society - you can thank liberals. Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their oppositon to every one of those advances." Pages 3 and 4

Thanks, Joe, for that timely reminder. For people who used to have those "progressive innovations" such as the option of union membership and have lost it, or if your air is now more polluted than it used to be - you can thank the conservative Reagan and Bush Administrations who have been trying deserately to take those rights away from you and reduce the qualilty of your life. To be honest some of the blame also goes to the Clinton Administration which was also too conservative much of the time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When the Star That is Your Life...

slipped from behind silk clouds and
dropped its honeyed beam on my heart,
I felt the earth twist...

like a balloon tugged on its cord,
a planet skimmed by a meteor,
a life altered by one word.

Now that the world is new;
Fresh rain crowns us with blessing,
the cup of our hearts brim with hope.

I watch the light rise in your eyes
as the first drop of water springs
from blue rocks, the first summer

bird song brightens the dawn.
"Nothing sounds prettier than
the voice of the one you love,"

someone said, and your voice, gentle
and loving, graces my life. Our
hands meet, and we move together;

our lives, our relationship, a constellation
of new light, sparkle in a divine galaxy.

Written for my daughter, Marika's, October, 2007 wedding to Nathan Gillis
and also published in slightly different form in the chapbook
"Do You Believe in Idaho: Poetry from Page and Stage."