Archive for October, 2008

Vote for the Issues: Donna Brazile Isn’t Going to the Back of the Bus

In this most historic election I hope we all vote based on the issues. I love this video of Donna Brazile and how far we have come.

Whoo Hoo, only 4 days left.


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My Political Manifesto: An Evangelical for Obama


Here is a copy of an email I sent this evening that is culmination of my thoughts of late. Why, as a committed evangelical Christian, I will vote for Barack Obama next week:

“I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond to your last email. I have given much thought to our exchanges in advance of the historic election we all face next week. Thank you so much for your kind words about this exchange and I am pleased that you see our children as thinking individuals. We try hard to instill a good work ethic and a strong mind in our children. We teach them to question everything, to ask what is the agenda behind anything they hear and wonder what is not being said in a conversation. I see promising signs that they both are going to grow up to be strong. loving, intelligent, Christ centered people willing to help others. I too, respect how much time you put into giving thoughtful understanding of the issues we face and I suspect we really agree on more than we disagree with.

The reason I have not had time before now to respond to your latest email is that both Matt and I have been very busy working on a new venture at our church called The Service Project. It is still in it’s development stage but even at this early point we are seeing amazing things. The general concept is to get the people in our church out of the pews after Sunday morning and into the community reaching out to those who have needs that are not being met. We also meet on a regular basis to inspire new ideas and spend time in worship. The ideas for service come from anyone in the congregation that has an idea that we can assist in. So far we are launching a clothing collection for children in a local group home that have been kicked out of foster homes and come only with the clothes on their back. We are working with local food banks to help stock shelves in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We plan on an outreach to seniors in centers where they need people to visit and socialize with to combat lonliness and depression. We are tutoring in juvenile hall and we are planning on adopting a local beach in the new year. Most recently more people have come aboard and are starting a home repair service for single mothers, senoirs and othe low income families in our community, comprised of volunteer labor and minimal costs. I was encouraged to hear that Greer’s Jr High group has also become excited to get involved and they are looking for a service project they can start.

I mention all this, because this project speaks to my agenda when I present my take on the political issues and the choice we all make next week as we elect a new president. I realize every day when I wake up that I lead an incredibly blessed life. And although I often feel like I am working harder and harder and yet finances seem tighter and tighter, I also know that I am so much more fortunate than 90% of the rest of the world and even most of the citizens of this great country. I have spent my entire life living in an economy that encourages us to buy things we don’t really need to create jobs that eventually end up overseas where labor is cheaper. The fact is that every day when I get up I spend time wondering what I will wear and every evening I spend time wondering what I will eat and this tells me that I have more than I truly need and my focus needs to turn to those who have less and truly need more. Even though we qualify for the Obama tax credit I would not mind if we did not. I strongly believe the best way to stimulate our economy is to give money back to the people who need to spend it, the middle class. Our middle class, as large as it is, represents an enormous economic engine that can help us get back on track. These are the people that will reinvest this money back into the economy hopefully stablizing the housing industry and getting the banks back on track.

After that I think we all need to take a long hard look at our lifestyles. Almost everyone I know has more than one car per person in their family, multiple homes, large toys like boats and bikes. Do any of us really need more? I think we all need to turn our focus to those less fortunate than us. We need to have a health care system that is affordable for everyone, even if it means some reduction in the services we don’t really need or even utilize. We need to pay teachers more and focus on education, using tax dollars to encourage more college education.

We have already touched quite a bit on the one topic so very many Christians use as the litmus test for any candidate, abortion. You know my personal story and I stay committed to ending abortion but I also realize, the abortion question is really the wrong question. We need to focus on preventing the preganancy in the first place and providing resources to those who are pregnant but feel they cannot financially survive a child, or another child. The Republicans have for so long had a pro-life focus and have worked tirelessly to overbbturn Roe vs. Wade but where are their efforts support those women who make that very hard choice to have an abortion? I was so saddened when Sarah Palin had a great opportunity to discuss the issue of an unwanted pregnancy with her daughter Bristol, to hear no mention of adoption. Also it is one thing to for Levi Johnson to drop out of high school and work full time, but his economic resources are vastly different than the average teenage father. Our focus as Christians should be support pregnant women and reduce/prevent the pregnancy in the first place before we worry about legislation.

Also how, as Christians, can we be so concerned with life before birth but worry so little about it after the baby is born. I believe the number one moral issue we as Christians should address is poverty and starvation. When we as Amercans spend more on pet food than many third world countries can spend to feed their citizens. When our globalized economy and farm policies mean that food aid to countries like Haiti support American farmers while completely disrupting local Haitian farmers and fail to meet even the most basic nutrional needs of the people. When our defense forces are so streched in a questionable war that we cannot come to the aid of the Sudanese in the Darfur region, who are being attacked for their religious beliefs, uprooted and forced into refugee camps run without adequate resources. When we have starvation in our own country, a country where many of us throw away as much food as we actually consume. I think we as Christians need to lead the way.and sacrifice a little to help other and support policy changes to combat hunger and starvation the world over.

I could continue this explanaton of how my Christian morals shape my views on other topics like the environment and enegy, but I think you get the idea. And so with my focus, I currently see the Democratic party as being more in tune with trying to help those less fortunate than me. Are they perlect? No. Are there members of the party that I don’t agree with? Absolutely. But I see this party as more in tune with these goals than the Republican party which I see as focused on ‘let’s make sure we (the already rich and powerful) get what we deserve, and it will trickle down eventually’.

So there you have it. My manifesto on why I believe it is my civic and moral duty to vote for Barack Obama next week. Either way this is a historic election and very exciting. I hope everyone is headed to the polls next week if they have not already voted. And for all the bystanders of these emails, if you made it this far, thanks for listening and sharing in my deep deep respect for this great nation and the over abundant life that God has given to each and every one of us.

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One Week to Go!

Don’t let the man get you down.

Vote early if you can.

Stand in line, bring snacks to people waiting.

Give someone a ride.

If you are a manager of people like me, remind them that the law allows for time to vote. Don’t let this election wind up like the last two.

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Wassup 2008

Greatest thing I have seen or heard all week.

Thanks to 60Frames

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Time for something humorous!

Man o’ man am I getting election fatigue. So to take a break from it all and perhaps to step back and laugh at how crazy things have become, I present to you Fafblog! Thanks to BoingBoing for highlighting this hilarious post!

A taste:

FACT! “Obama” is an ancient Muslim name meaning “He Who Deceives the White Man with his Telegenic Charisma, Angular Good Looks, and Deceptively Conservative Policy Proposals.” Coincidence? Or co-bama?

FACT! The previous fact was made up. But doesn’t the fact that it was so easily made up prove that a kernel of truth must exist within the lie, and doesn’t the existence of that kernel of truth prove that the lie is, in fact, true? Think about it! But not very hard!

FACT! Barack Obama was a community organizer. ACORN is made of community organizers. Acorns come from oak trees. Oak trees belong to the genus Quercus, which includes Quercus faginea, the Portuguese oak. The prime minister of Portugal is José Sócrates, whose last name looks like Socrates, who lived in Athens, which is also a city in Georgia, whose state fruit is the peach, which is native to China, which is exactly what Osama bin Laden was eating off of while he was plotting to destroy the Twin Towers. It’s all connected, people – they just don’t want you to know! And they could be black.

I encourage you all to read the whole thing here:


And in my ever expaning endeavor to provide a first class blog please let me know how hilarious this blog is by voting in my new poll:

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How Ugly Does This Need to Get?

Back from my break on the campaign I am sorely disheartened to see just how negative and nasty the campaigns have become. Let’s start with the most egregious attacker: Sarah Palin.

Fresh from her vows to take the gloves off and attack Barack Obama she is present at more and more rallies where the calls of “terrorist” and “kill him” are prevalent. Where the rumor that Obama was or is a muslim is a code word for “black” and scary. Here is a sampling of ideas from those attending a McCain/Palin rally:

It is literally brain chilling to see how negative some people have become, so negative that John McCain has stepped in and tried to be a voice of reason. And was rejected by the angry crowd.

And now this artice from the Times UK citing McCain campaign insiders who state “A McCain official confirmed that there was dissension in the campaign.”
CNN did a story last week on how race is playing a subtle but pivotal role in this election and the word muslim is code for black for some people.

I know campaigns get ugly, especially near the end, and we normally can heal from the nasty things said. But the vitriol this time around seems so mean spirited. The comments I read on places like AOL, and other blogs, makes me so sad and scared that we are still a divided nation that has no interest in listening to each with respect.

I cannot wait for the silly season to end.

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A Well Deserved Break

Half Dome Reflection

Half Dome Reflection by the Mattman

I did something I have never done before, I completely unplugged.

The family took a well deserved trip to Yosemite last week to go camping. It was awesome and perhaps most awesome of all, I had absolutely no access to media. No cell phone, no wireless, no television, no radio, no IPod. I only saw one newspaper headline the entire time I was there. And although I wondered how the vice presidential debate turned out and whether or not the Congress passed a bail out bill, I really didn’t miss it. It is perhaps a very sad statement to say that this was the first time I completely unplugged, but I think we take for granted the constant rush of information that bombards us on a daily basis. And are we really that uninformed if we don’t catch every broadcast of the evening news, every CNN headline, every Digg top story, every edition of All Things Considered? Now I know that I consume far more media than most people and of late have been on a particular path to paying more attention, but it was so good for the soul, to leave that behind for a few days.

Here is what I did do instead:

    Sat around the campfire and reminisced about old tv shows.
    Took a car ride to the tunnel view to see the valley from above.
    Visted Yosemite Falls after the rain storm and watched the kids climb to the bottom of the falls.
    Walked around most of the valley floor with our short legged dog.
    Rode bikes to take our showers at Curry Village.
    Saw lots of deer and speculated about bear traps.
    Had to cook quickly and keep all food in the bear box so we didn’t end up as bear traps.
    Survived the downpour Friday night with only minimal tent leakage.
    Had a drink in the bar the Ahwahnee.
    Made crescent rolls on carved sticks over an open fire.
    Counted the foreign languages I heard (it was over 20)
    Took pictures for countless other groups.
    Wore closed toed shoes for the first time in 5 months.
    Read a new book on our air mattress that needed the Mattman for balast.
    Didn’t miss the media circus one little bit.

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