Thursday, October 30, 2008

Important note from Texas Freedom Network

Calling all Texans: Let's keep creationism out of our kids' science classes.

It is time for the public comment period on the state's science curriculum standards. The draft looks very good, by the way. But that doesn't mean the anti-science conservatives on the Board can't wreck it. As many of us as possible need to make our voices heard and follow these steps helpfully supplied by TFN:

1. Click here to go to the comments form on the TEA Web site.
2. Scroll down to "Directions for Using the Feedback Forms." You will find a list of links to feedback forms for Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and high school courses. Forms for Grades K-8 are in Microsoft Excel. You have a choice of formats for the high school form: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word.
4. Once you have completed a feedback form (each is short), you may save the file on to your computer. Then you have three options for sending the form to TEA:
- Attach the saved file of the completed form to an e-mail and send it to TEA at Please put SCIENCE COMMENTS in the Subject Line.
- Print out the completed form and fax it to TEA at (512) 463-8057; Fax to: SCIENCE COMMENTS
- Mail the completed form to TEA at the following address:
Texas Education Agency
Division of Curriculum, Science Comments
1701 N. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701-1494

Democracy happens

And in a big way. Congratulations, Texas, on surpassing the vote totals from 2004 before election day even gets here!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good times, early voting

You know what makes up for jerks in East Texas tailgating you due to your bumper stickers and wackos putting propaganda in your mailbox due to your yard sign? (No, I'm not paranoid, why do you ask?)

Casting a ballot.

The line was out the door at Audelia Road Library for early voting on Sunday - and it bears mentioning that this was during the Cowboys game. It was a wonderful sight. And my 18 month old got a little more exposure to the democratic process.

I still don't like touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. But the election workers were very efficient and got us in there after about a ten minute wait. I wonder what it's going to look like on election day...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ruthify me

Let me just say, I can relate to what Larry David is going through. I've been really anxious and irritable lately. And maybe it's stuff at work and maybe it's years of savings evaporated in my 401k, but I know it's this election. I can't wait for this election to be over and in the meantime I need therapy.

This morning I asked God for grace and went running rather than reading the newspaper. And on my commute I kept my paper shut most of the train ride and my spirit was calmed by the sounds of Jack Johnson and Ruthie Foster.

I'm off work early today and am about to open up my voter's guide and a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Gotta figure out who to vote for in the Lead Leprechaun race (hat tip Anna Kay). If I have time I'll go ahead and hit the library for early voting.

November 5th can't get here soon enough.

Update: Polls closed at 5PM, but the Sample Ballot is filled out and ready to go.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Republican warm fuzzies

A friend and colleague of mine is a rabid Republican. She and I have fought for months, sometimes very uncomfortably, about politics and the presidential race. As the primaries were winding down she tried to bet me $100 that McCain would win the election. (I modified the bet to lunch and I'm looking forward to collecting on November 5.)

On Monday she said she had a confession for me. She was considering voting for Barack Obama for President of the U.S. and A. This is a woman who has never voted for a Democrat in her 40 years, still thinks George W. Bush has done a good job, thinks Obama is probably a socialist and also likes Sarah Palin. So what is it that has (possibly) turned her around?

In short: the need for the country to come together and the ugliness of McCain's supporters. The blatant racism and divisiveness that flood her e-mail inbox from acquaintances. She's sick of the division and doesn't want to be associated with the hatefulness of some of McCain's supporters. I assured her that I didn't think that McCain was a racist or that all his supporters were hateful people, but that the Obama camp would welcome her with open arms.

This is a big reason why McCain's campaign is failing. He could have repudiated these tactics. Instead he continues to fan the flames of hate and fear with mailers and robocalls continuing to try to link Obama with terrorism.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thank you neighbor!

A neighbor noticed our missing sign this morning and offered that he had an extra one he'd be happy to give us. That's the kind of gesture that just makes you feel good.

Fire up Lake Highlands Dems! Let's turn precinct 2209 blue!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lake Highlands Obama yard signs kidnapped

Some tool swiped a bunch of Obama yard signs in Lake Highlands - either last night or this morning. It appears that only Obama signs were taken. Other Democratic signs were in their proper place.

OK, this was probably some stupid kid, so I'll not try to read too much into this. But a few points:
1. Isn't the Republican party the party of law and order? Don't they get PO'd when someone takes their stuff (think tax policy)?
2. It's hard for me to think that it's merely a coincidence that this happened shortly after the character attack on Obama began. These accusations and insinuations give people tacit approval to do and think some pretty horrible stuff, as witnessed by the hate speech at the McCain-Palin rallies. Swiping my yard sign isn't hate speech and it may be a petty crime, but it is still a crime. And it is not how we are supposed to do democracy.
3. Those whippersnappers better stay off my lawn!

The FV family is contemplating a homemade sign to replace our stolen one. If we do so I'll throw a picture of it up here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thank God

After a week of stoking the fear and hate of the far right wing of his party, Senator McCain has finally done the right thing and is trying to calm down his supporters. Thank you, Senator. I hope your ads, rallies, and rhetoric will all shift to stop questioning the patriotism and motives of your opponent. Fear and hate will never bring this country together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stirring up trouble

I have become extremely concerned and disturbed as the campaign has taken a nasty turn this week. It is not surprising that the flailing Republican ticket has decided to go negative. What I have been disturbed by though is the violent language which is being stoked on the campaign trail. In separate instances this week crowds at McCain-Palin rallies have been heard to yell "treason," "traitor," "kill him," and "off with his head" in reference to Barack Obama. These remarks, many of them audible to the Republican candidates, were not immediately repudiated.

Even more disturbing is that, even in the face of this hatred, the campaign has kept up the same line of attack. They are fomenting an environment where it would not be surprising for some wingnut to attempt an act of violence against Obama, one of his supporters, or even a member of the media which has also been on the receiving end of much of this same vitriol.

This is not supposed to be the way we conduct democracy in America folks. Please see Andrew Sullivan's piece on this.

Obama is probably going to win this election. Let's not create an environment where the next president has to go everywhere in a bullet proof pope-mobile and his family and country have to be fearful for his life.

John McCain can put a stop to this. I'm waiting to see some leadership from him. As Sullivan signs off: "For once in this campaign, put your country first."