Unexpected kindness

With cane in hand, I was beginning to empty my shopping cart (50% dog food) into the back of my Jeep Patriot, when a young man who was parked next to me said, “Can I help you?” I said, “I’m fine but thank you for your offer; you are so kind.”
The teenage boy drove off in his very used mustang convertible. Draw from this what you will. I come away with a positive view of tomorrow.

The tip of the mitt

With late summer in Northern Michigan, we begin to fully appreciate how the cycle of the seasons dances through our lands to offer resources for year-round nourishment and general survival. Native Americans long ago noted the abundance of energy for food and warmth – that this region supplies. Today, our connectedness to and dependence on this land continues, and we can dwell in gratitude. 
Little Traverse Conservancy

Assassination in the 21st century

Fortunately, to date, we don’t kill our Presidents anymore. Instead, members of the U.S. House, who have been elected from gerrymandered districts, have done nothing but attempt to kill our current President’s agenda by obstruction and most recently by law suit. Legislatively, the predominately all- white, old male members of the GOP in the U.S. House are the 21st Century’s assassins of America’s first African-American President.

Reform the primary process and end gerrymandering

I believe the extremely low voter turn out in primaries and gerrymandering are at the root of our polarized and dysfunctional political system and a threat to our democracy.

That’s why I created a petition to The Ohio State House, The Ohio State Senate, Governor John Kasich, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

“Gerrymandering and primaries have polarized our Democracy.

•We need to open primaries up to voters from all parties. There are only 11 states in the country that have purely closed primaries with party registration.
By opening primaries to all voters, we will reduce the current paralyzing effect of “being primaried” and produce more truly representative candidates.

•Primaries are held on different days throughout the country over a period of nine months. No one knows they are happening. As a result, only 3% to 4% of the electorate participate. We need to hold primaries on a single national day. This concept is endorsed by the Brookings Institute and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
A single national primary day would boost voter interest, knowledge, and participation.

•We need to end gerrymandering of districts to create more competitive districts. We currently have a U.S. House and many State Legislative Bodies that don’t accurately represent the electorate. By creating competitive districts, we would strengthen the quality of candidates, and strengthen our democracy.”

Will you sign my petition? Click here to add your name:


Still in search of a more perfect Union

Watching “The Freedom Riders” on PBS thrust me back to the turmoil, racism, and violence of 1961 and the decade to follow.

I was left with a disturbing thought, have things changed in substantive ways today?

With the questioning of our nation’s first black President’s birth certificate, with efforts to sue and even impeach him, with voter suppression laws, with efforts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, the 21st Century’s great piece of Civil Rights legislation, with anti-gay, anti-women, anti-poor, anti-middle class, and anti-immigrant sentiments very much alive, I believe times in segments of our nation are less violent but are still too resistant to the expansion of rights and liberties for all.

For me it gets down to the reality that one national party, the Democrats, are continually in search of a more perfect Union, and one party, the Republicans, are not.