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Sunday, December 24, 2006

2006 Christmas Blog Post

I don’t have much to brag about this year, but I feel like I worked pretty hard and had fun doing it.

First off I got pummeled at the chess tournament, with five losses and a draw. I went back to playing online, got my rating up to 1500, then quit playing under that name.

I’m still local steward, but only at my post office, as my old office elected their own new steward, with my full support. And since there are only two rural routes at my office, my workload lightened considerably. As for the job itself, I did have a new business that was filling my truck with golf clubs, but it closed.

I started writing a book on religion and politics, and completed two out of a planned ten chapters, about 80 pages worth. Since I started working on it, however, similar books have been published, and the political landscape has changed. I may decide to rework it, or shelve it indefinitely. But I did post the article Leap of Faith on this blog in October. It is the essence of the book’s message.

In the Spring I put my writing on hold to throw out a lot of old junk and give some of my possessions to charity. It was liberating, but I still have another third or so to go and I have difficulty making the tough decisions.

I put the cleaning on hold when the campaign season started to heat up. This year I served as a floor leader, petitioner, event activist, advisor, and doorknocker for the Green Party, and had a great time. Let’s face it, we got our butts kicked, but we raised a lot of great issues, many of which I have shared on this blog.

Spencer had some significant achievements this year. He worked as a dishwasher this summer for a river cruise line. His band repeated its success at the music festival in Chicago, he got confirmed at his church, and he got his driver’s permit. This month I taught him how to drive my stick shift, and he drove me from Stillwater into Wisconsin, then west across the Twin Cities to Edina and Golden Valley.

In Edina we attended a thank you party for Julie Risser, one of the local candidates I volunteered for. I got 2% when I ran for state senate in that district four years ago, and this year, with a great campaign organization, she expanded that to 14%.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – a Happy Holiday Season!

2005 Christmas Blog Post

Saturday, December 23, 2006

First 100 Hours

The Democrats have been talking about what they plan to do in their first 100 hours after they take power in January. If the Greens took control of the House and Senate, here are just some of the things I'd like to see them address:

United States - Urgent
1. Do something about the genocide in Darfur.
2. Guantanamo detainees -- fair trials.
3. Cut war funding -- if the troops have inadequate supplies, that only means we're not cutting the funding enough.
4. Sonar, ocean trawling, and other Greenpeace initiatives.

United States - Important
1. Global warming -- Improve auto efficiency and bring back the electric car.
2. Measure Depleted Uranium radiation levels in Iraq and Yugoslavia.
3. Restore Habeas Corpus and Amendments 4 through 8 of the Bill of Rights.
4. Election reform -- verifiable paper trail, Instant Runoff Voting, public financing.
5. Impeachment -- WMD lies to Congress, illegal wiretapping, outing a CIA agent.
6. 9/11 independent investigation.

Minnesota - Urgent
1. House the homeless.
2. Clean up toxic sites.

Minnesota - Important
1. Single payer health care.
2. Phase out existing nuclear plants.
3. Election reform.
4. Mass transit.
5. Cancel the stadium.
6. Education reform.
7. Marriage for all.

I hope I'm wrong, but I predict that the Democrats will fail to pass most of these great ideas, or worse still, not even try to pass them. They should pass two versions of everything, one for the president to veto, and one that he will sign, assuming it's an improvement. The world would be so much better if the Greens were in power. I am so glad that we have gone on record before the world and the Creator as doing everything we could to make the world a better place.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Iraq's Civil War

Lately on Air America there has been discussion whether Iraq is in a civil war.

Deaths are now at about 100 a day, according to this article:


That’s up from 50 when I wrote this post in April:


It’s about a third as deadly as the U.S. Civil War. I would say that qualifies.