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Final Push

Well, I just wanted to wish good luck to those running for office, and many thanks to those who gave of their time and effort to bring the Progressive message across - and also to those who participated in our conversations over the past months. I think the post election world will look and be a far better place because of our united efforts. It's been a grand ride into the future. Thanks.

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 25, 2004 at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Anarchist Votes This Election

AlterNet had an October 15th article that I found hopeful and wanted to share, but I wish I heard of Utah Phillips before last night. After the Bush Family Fortunes premiere, I was speaking to a person that said his conscience wouldn't allow him to vote for Bush or Kerry. This gent was very thoughtful in his reasons and they are understandable--though I disagree with him. I really wish I could have told him about Utah's decision. I think it would resonate with someone that has spent their whole life opposing our cultural pressures.

The article, http://www.alternet.org/election04/20159/, is about Utah Phillips, a Korean War Veteran and a purposeful non-voter/anarchist, who will cast a vote for Kerry this year.

Below is an excerpt from an article by Carolyn Crane of The Nation:

Interview Q: "You've said that your choice to not vote, to not participate in the system in that way, is one of the most sacred promises you've made. I know what it means to you to make this decision. It's sobering, because I think: Are things really that bad?

Utah Phillips: "Yeah, it is that bad. Now, I am not putting myself forth as an example. I'm not putting myself forth as a role model. Anarchists don't make rules for other people. You make rules for yourself and then people have got to learn how to trust you. And if you blow it you have the courage to change, and you do change and an anarchist is always something you're becoming. I don't need any congratulations for what I'm doing at all. I feel lousy about it. I don't feel good about it all. I'm simply going to do it. And if there are consequences of my act, than I harvest those consequences. That too, is anarchy."

- Charlene Johnston

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 18, 2004 at 10:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Renewable Energy

The Renewable Energy Conference in Burlington, Vermont on Thursday, October 13th, brought together some 200+ Vermoners to talk about the future of wind, solar and biomass initiatives throughout the state. The major theme was the development of wind turbine farms, and how it could replace the coal and oil generated power that the United States, including New England, has become so dependent upon. Expansionist wars and health care issues aside, we have the technology to develop many types of renewable energy sources - but powerful individuals, energy interests, and politics has left us with future lives and health in grave jeopardy.
The parallel theme of why more women weren't panel participants or attendees at the conference, brought home the volitale nature of environmental issues, and how we continue to be antagonist toward each other, thus reducing the power of our message by throwing insults and accusations amongst our own believers.
One comes away from such conferences energized, but also frustrated at the cycle of special interests - individual, corporate or governmental - that continue to dominate the public's basic needs. Forming new alliances appeared to be the future way to bring about change, and now, regardless of the election results in November, seems to be the time to do just that.

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 15, 2004 at 08:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Coastal Notes

To a friend in Oregon I wrote:
There's an interesting article in the October 11th edition of The New Yorker, entitled "Pump Dreams" - about energy independence, and how we're really going to have to conserve soon. But it's like telling a child "not" to do something - chances are they'll do it! As the article points out, after 9/11 American's reacted just the opposite of how they should. Instead of looking at our behaviors and making changes, we decided to fight wars that cost billions of dollars - and we can't afford, and then running out to buy more SUVs and Hummers - which costs even more money. That's a sad commentary on our society. And certainly the "little" things we do to conserve energy need to be done, but it's the bigger things that will continue to get us deeper and deeper into debt - further reducing the quality of our lives, and eventually drowning us with the high cost of oil - an artificial value for a commodity at best. The end suggestion, in the article, was to let the prices stay high and eventually the public will wake up! I'm not so sure about that. It also pointed out that neither Bush or Kerry has a very realistic handle on energy policies - so how could the American people? That's a pretty sad cup of tea - but that's the scoop from this side of the mesa...

Their reply:
Oh, I hear you! Of course you're right, and that "is" the sad part. It is so wearing to keep beating the drum on deaf ears.

-Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 11, 2004 at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Action Plan

Here's a ten-step political action "to do" list leading up to the elections.
1) Talk to your neighbors
2) Sticker your candidate's message on your vehicle, and anybody else's willing to do so.
3) Get posters on area mass transit
4) Volunteer to do mailings and phone contacts
5) Talk politics, politics, politics!
6) Send e-mails to family, friends, and acquaintances
7) Get posters up in local businesses
8) Work at making your candidate's message easily understood
9) Turn ideas into actions!
10) Arrange to travel in groups to your polling place

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 4, 2004 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Dear Diary

So, already this morning I've been called a "damn" Progressive that'll only manage to get everything messed up! After listening to last night's orchestrated conversation (otherwise known as a Presidential debate) in Miami last night - interspersed with calculated tidbits of passion in which the most lively exchange had to do with the candidiate's daughters - I felt overwhelmingly tired. This morning I only feel angry. So I asked myself why? It appears, as a country, we are left (or allowed) to debate how to win "our" global mission - when it's the mission itself that's in question. The argument appears to be that if we verbalize our mistakes, then we can "agree" to continue to stamp our particular political and religious brand of "enlightenment on the world" - particularly in Iraq. I quess I find that arrogant and condescending, all good intensions aside. Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps not. But these are my thoughts on this first day of October.

-Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on October 1, 2004 at 09:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)