Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama: The Two Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

What a great night! For the first time EVER I stayed up to watch the election returns. I've always voted, and been fairly active in the process. But never before have I been so excited by the prospect of who might be our next President.

After dinner we all gathered in the Dancing Rabbit Common House; Tony hooked up his computer to the projector and we flipped between BBC News, MSNBC, and even Fox - he was very accommodating and good humored about all the demands being shouted from around the room (i.e.: "Hey Toe! we need something funny now!" and then a few minutes later "Tony! What's happening in Virginia? What about Boone County, Missouri?"). I found it especially gratifying to watch Fox have to concede state after state to Obama (hee hee).

In between state by state returns and checking in on local election results, we watched a little Jon Stewart:




Then we watched John McCain at the Alfred Smith Memorial Dinner. He's a great speaker. It gets pretty funny after the first three minutes.





But when 10:30 rolled around, we were there for McCains concession speech. I found it very touching, and feel he is what my mom would have called " a class act." It is too bad (for him, not for us) that his advisors chose to saddle him with Scary Sarah Palin.

Watching the crowd in Grant Park in Chicago was exciting, too. It was sure a more diverse crowd than the lily-white group gathered in Phoenix. As much as I am not a fan of Jesse Jackson, I was very touched by the shots of him in the crowds, tears running down his cheeks. Many of us went through a lot of tissues yesterday. Another thought I had was that it was interesting that Jesse was in the crowd and not up on a dias with other "dignitaries." It's a brand new day.



Michelle Obama looked fabulous - I was first taken aback by her choice of dress (2009 Narciso Rodriguez), then came to believe that it was a powerful choice. Very goddess-like, as if to say women DO have curves (as well as brains!); we are reclaiming our booties and ALL of our bodies, in all of their glory.

For the first time in eight years I am not ashamed to be a US citizen. I have hope that for once we'll have a leader who will unite us and not divide us. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and hoping for the best. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that today is election day. In a show of solidarity, the folks at Dancing Rabbit and Red Earth Farms went to Rutledge and voted en masse this morning. Voting lines in Rutledge, Missouri! The lines didn't last long, and then everyone wandered over to Zimmerman's for a celebratory donut.

The sticker: the REAL reason I vote!


Rutledge has a population of 103. We vote in the Community Center, and this year is the first time we have had "real" ballots. In previous elections we were given HUGE (newspaper size) pieces of paper on which to make our "X" with a pencil. The ballot was then folded into quarters and inserted into a black box secured with a padlock. This year there is a snazzy motorized contraption that sucks one's ballot into the box. We've hit the big time. (Although we still prefer to sit at the long dining tables to vote, rather than standing in the two booths provided for privacy).

Tamar and Aurelia discuss the minor differences between Obama and McCain...




Alyson assists Cole in pronouncing "President Obama."


Jeff and Alyssa check in.
So now the waiting begins. Oh, how I hope this is the beginning of reinstatement of diplomacy, common sense, and all the good things the United States used to stand for.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

76 Nobel Laureates Endorse Obama...


...so does The Economist, and so do at least 30 Dancing Rabbits, although we're not making any headlines!
In this encouraging article (below) Tom Schueneman of Red, Green and Blue, (a site that "brings together voices from across the political and ideological spectrums to discuss and debate critical environmental issues and current events") writes:

"As of last Friday, the number of Nobel Laureates endorsing Barack Obama for president has risen to 76, saying Obama will end Bush-era trashing of scientific research, integrity, and competitiveness.

In an open letter, the Laureates cite the politicization of science under the Bush administration, particularly in the fields of heath and climate, saying that “vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support,” adding that through an advisory process “distorted by political considerations” America’s “once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk.”

Despite John McCain’s claim that he is the true agent of change for all that has gone wrong under George Bush, both he and his remarkably incurious and misinformed (at best) running mate show how they plan to continue Bush’s appalling lack of regard for science; combining an inexcusable ignorance of the importance of basic scientific research, with the morally bereft penchant for using science as yet another divisive wedge to promulgate their politics of intolerance, fear, and derision - aiming straight at the lowest common denominator the body politic.

The vital role of science to address the most pressing issues of our time, from economic competitiveness to climate change, energy, and sustainability, will return under an Obama administration, say the Nobel scientists:

“We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation’s and the world’s most urgent needs.”

The letter stresses that the country is in urgent need of a “visionary leader” saying, “We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him”.

McCain and Palin would surely continue us on the resolute path back to the Dark Ages upon which George Bush set out eight years ago.

And there is no more time to waste on such foolishness."

I couldn't agree more. Please take the time to vote!