Archives for posts with tag: election day

Here it is. Did you vote? Did you vote for a world we can all thrive in? (Was that even possible, from your perspective?) I guess we all watch it unfold now… all the things: the greed, the lies, the grandstanding, the finger-pointing, the temper tantrums, the speeches, the media coverage… What is there to say about any (or all) of that – that hasn’t been said more skillfully, elsewhere? I got nothing.

Here’s this.

Fingers crossed that we’re a calmer, more reasonable, more considerate nation when this is over. If not? Well… I guess we begin again.

Sipping coffee between housework tasks. It’s a rather ordinary sunny, chilly, autumn Sunday. I hear my Traveling Partner working on a project in his woodshop. Lovely day. I mean… lovely day right here. Your results, based on a quick look at this morning’s news headlines, may vary.

It’s a beautiful day to make good choices, and to be that person we most want to be.

…What a mess we’ve made… I mean… as a nation, a society… a species. Just saying. We could do better.

So… the U.S. election is in progress. “Election Day” is just a couple days away. I hope you are not imagining any great ease in national tension based on some particular outcome…? It’s unfortunate that we’ve allowed our political discourse to degrade to false dichotomies and ad hominem attacks. Growing and maintaining a society built on equality, rights, and freedoms shared by all requires a more subtle understanding than that, it would seem. We have, by that measure, failed entirely. It’s sad to observe the increasing racial tensions in so many cities, and hate-filled rhetoric becoming so commonplace, everywhere.

Full disclosure? I’m neither a republican nor a democrat. Nope, not “green party” or libertarian, either. (Nor communist, socialist, fascist, or other organized party affiliation of any brand.) I’ve still got a stake in how things turn out; I’m American. I live here. I shop here. I work here. I earn here. I invest here. I hike and camp here. I enjoy the local roads and infrastructure here. I vote here. This particular election season I voted as early as I could. I think our method of voting is fairly horrible, and doesn’t have much potential for any outcome other than degrading into a two-party system (or system in which only two parties have a legitimate chance at a win). Our government is implicitly institutionally racist – it’s also implicitly and institutionally sexist, and extremely so. I dislike both those things. I vote specifically against those conditions, and I look for opportunities to do so.

Feeling down about the election this year? I encourage you to (re)watch South Park season 8, episode 8, “Douche and Turd”. Definitely. If you’re looking for something more… hopeful… I recommend CGP Gray (on YouTude) episodes from his Politics in the Animal Kingdom work. There are better ways available to us. We’d only have to decide to do differently.

…Honestly, I don’t understand why we have not yet embraced – fully embraced, for real – direct democracy. Legitimate actual democracy. We certainly have the technology to build a secure system for online voting, already. (Do you doubt that is true? I direct your attention to the various online banks and similar systems, as well as your basic banking ATM. Also… the NSA. We don’t lack adequate encryption methods for secure online voting. That’s one challenge we don’t face at this point in time.) We already know the electoral college has nothing whatsoever to do with a democratic election, and is an artifact of another time. (I sound like I am on the edge of ranting. My apologies. You don’t need that from me, of all people. I’m simply continue to be astonished at the lengths parties will seem to go to, in order to restrict people from being able to vote at all. It rather undermines the very concept of democracy.) That’s what sours me most on “this great nation”, I think, we call ourselves a democracy, but we don’t actually mean it “for real”. We very much prefer that our democracy return only results that we personally favor, however harmful or distasteful to the majority. 😦

Please at least just fucking vote, okay? Not a joke vote. Not a “protest vote”. Really vote. Maybe it “doesn’t matter” to you in any way you acknowledge – but it matters to the lives, the literal lives, of so many other people… please? Vote. And… just saying… if you’re going to vote at all, why not also make your choices based on outcomes that will truly serve the largest number of Americans in the best possible ways? All Americans. Even the ones you don’t like, personally. 🙂 Instead of focusing on an assortment of party platforms that were chosen to serve those in power (or the special interests they have obligated themselves to), just put your vote on what will serve Americans – all Americans – the best possible way, resulting in the best possible quality of life for every one of us – and not at the expense of other Americans, or even other nations. It’s not a zero sum game. It’s not a fucking pie. It’s time we all changed our thinking to get better results for the survival of humankind. It’s not about the money.

It’s time to begin again. Let’s start with what we’re voting for.

A moment of levity in the morning seems appropriate on the day after mid-term elections. Right now, the outcome doesn’t matter much; the changes in many cases don’t become effective for months, and the election itself is over. It’s no particular cause for stress just at the moment. Why would it be? Still…my Facebook feed is filled with people who suddenly found their voice, after the election results are in and it didn’t ‘go their way’. Many of those folks voted – they are irked with people who didn’t – and quite a few people didn’t vote, some of them are annoyed that the people voting voted the way they did.  I suspect that this national post-election snit is helpful to someone or other; it is certainly a distraction from the ‘now’ moment, which is too bad… ‘now’ isn’t that bad, generally.

Let’s take a few deep breaths, and cover some basics just to get past the tough bits…

  1. Some asshats and very ineffective people got elected, and this is commonly true; we’ll all survive it, and try again next election.
  2. Some women got elected, and some men of a very particular sort aren’t happy about that; those dudes are literally everywhere, but they are less favored year after year, and may eventually become extinct – possibly in my lifetime. (Party at my place when that day comes!)
  3. Some people who lack ‘the right credentials’ got elected; they’ll probably do just fine given a chance.
  4. Everyone elected has less power individually than we give them credit for, but they probably like to feel important; the media is there helping with that.
  5. Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. joined Washington, and Colorado in admitting that ‘most people’ – the ‘majority’ that is to say – think using cannabis is harmless enough to be legal; historical record-keeping shows this to be true, and it seems likely there is nothing to be alarmed about, unless perhaps you work for the DEA, which may soon be without a mission.
  6. …And if you aren’t sure legal weed is ‘okay’, take a deep breath and remember that most of the people you know who use cannabis haven’t been comfortable ‘coming out’ because it’s been problematic legally, and it may be that indeed ‘most people’ are far more okay with it than you realize.
  7. South Park Season 8 Episode 8… just saying.
  8. Things change. Things change slowly for people who want change most, and things change very fast for people who fear change. Right now is generally reliably right now, and nothing more.
  9. The anger and heightened emotion we all feel when we are frustrated, frightened, irritated, held back, or treated unfairly are real… real emotions, just that and nothing more. Feelings. It’s okay to make room in our hearts to treat ourselves well, to honor our feelings, to comfort ourselves…it may be necessary, actually; I don’t think we can count on an election to do that for us. Becoming mired in the emotions doesn’t really improve things, though.
  10. There will be another election very soon.

The path ahead is strewn with possibilities and choices...

The path ahead is strewn with possibilities and choices…

Here it is a Wednesday morning like any other. I hurt a lot this morning: arthritis, a headache, and tension in my shoulders and neck likely related to both. It’s a lot of pain to be in and still function. I take appropriate pain management steps, and hope for the best. I have slept restlessly since Daylight Savings Time, which is not uncommon. It may be weeks before my own clock resets. My coffee was hot and tasty – and it is early enough to have another shot of espresso if I care to… for now I am not inclined to make the effort due to the pain I am in. My inexpensive office chair happens to be the one place in the house that is genuinely comfortable when I hurt like this, so here I am, and content to remain so as long as I can before I leave for the office to spend the day in chairs that are not at all comfortable for me.  Sometimes life feels like an endurance race, more than a gentle journey of discovery.

I would say more, about other things, perhaps; this morning I hurt enough that taking care of me is the focus of my will and my intention… that… and treating the world similarly well, with equal kindness. There’s a lot of pain out there. I would like very much not to be causing any of it. With that in mind, I go forth into the world to explore the day. Today is a good day to see change in the world.

It’s the Monday before mid-term elections. I’m not sure what is the more important observation, that it is Monday, or that mid-term elections are tomorrow. Mondays are what they are, and the parents of the 50’s and 60’s dragging their hung over butts out of bed too early each Monday morning to drag themselves to jobs surrounded by chain-smoking coworkers, no doubt faced some nasty feeling Mondays back in the day. Considering the cultural changes – and there have been many, when I take a moment to look closely – result in the high likelihood that few Mondays these days are actually ‘that bad’ for most working adults; we still bitch about Mondays. It’s the first day back after the weekend for many folks, although not all, and I think if people were honest with themselves, Mondays are not really that big a deal – unless we’re making choices to make them suck, ourselves. I even know, first hand, a whole bunch of people who not only claim to enjoy their work – but actually no kidding seem to really dig what they do to earn a living, and approach it with great enthusiasm and a sense of fun. That’s pretty amazing – and certainly undercuts the whole ‘Mondays suck’ notion.

I work for a living. It’s a good job. I don’t mind it, generally, but in  principle I could take or leave ‘gainful’ employment. I’m a fan of the idea of ‘basic income‘, personally. Technology has come so far that it makes sense that there may be fewer ‘jobs’ – great! Ideally, couldn’t that mean that more people don’t have to work? More human beings could invest their time and effort in creative endeavors, in socially meaningful work that is often considered the sort of thing that ‘doesn’t pay the bills’, and even more thoughtful pursuits like research, philosophy, and writing could be undertaken by people who could not easily have dreamed so large before… a basic income socio-economic model could free humanity from the tyranny of struggling on minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs would become the ‘upgrade’ someone could take on – part-time, even – to improve their lot enough to be sufficient for them, personally, while writing that great American novel, or filming their movie, or getting their degree. Human beings would have a more level playing field in which to create, and grow, and thrive. It would make Mondays irrelevant, certainly. I’d love to see our culture mature to a point that it isn’t a loss of personal value to society to be without employment; to value people based on what they choose to do, themselves, with their time, and not put such high value on indentured servitude to the agenda of others.

Autumn raindrops

Autumn raindrops

Sorry. I’ll put the soapbox away now; it is, after all, a Monday. It’s also the day before election day. I hope you voted; it makes a difference, and although the difference you make with your one vote may be small (as small as one vote), it is significant beyond measure when you raise your voice, and make the effort. 🙂

Winners and losers abound in the discussion of the election drama unfolding this week. I’m bored with it already, not because I don’t value my role, and not because the measures up for consideration are without meaning or worth, themselves, but more because individual people so often tend to view elections through a lens of winners and losers. When a vote has a successful outcome – win or lose – the result is that life is better for more people than it was before. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if it is a ‘yes’ vote, or a ‘no’ vote, and it doesn’t matter whether a change is made – when it comes time to evaluate the win/lose of an election, only one things really matters to make that determination; is life better for more people? If not, I consider the election lost. Just my way of viewing it. I don’t find value in being emotionally invested in the specific yes/no outcome of an individual measure, much of the time. I definitely vote my values, and what matters to me – but I consider with great care the outcome for all. It matters.  Our laws ‘write the code’ for our social experience.

Patterns in nature and life

Patterns in nature and life

So much serious stuff. It’s Monday. Don’t be a dick. Don’t be a hater. Why invest the minutes of your precious mortal life in misery? Do you enjoy those feelings that much? It seems unlikely that you do. 😉

Yesterday was lovely. The travelers returned home much earlier than planned, and I welcomed them happily. We had a great time over an early supper, and watched a favorite movie. It was a chill fun evening, and a great homecoming experience. I love homecomings…they feel exciting, and connected, and joyful.

The occasional autumn flower

The occasional autumn flower

Today is a good day to relish a Monday. Today is a good day for perspective on what matters most, and that we are each having our own experience. Today is a good day for smiles, hope, and positive intentions. Today is a good day to feast our hearts on joy and delight, and to recognize the fundamental humanity of others around us. Today is a good day to change the world.