Looking back and thinking forward

Month: April, 2008

Time for some light humor

Thanks to Fay!

A 54 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God she asked, "Is my time up?" God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live." Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair colour and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance. Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn’t you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?" God replied: "I didn’t bloody recognize you!"

Quotes for today:

True spirituality is a mental attitude you can practice at any time. Dalai Lama

This country needs a healthy and open discussion of race. Mr. Obama’s repudiation of Mr. Wright is part of that. His opponents also have a responsibility — to repudiate the race-baiting and make sure it stops. Opinion, The New York Times, April 30, 2008

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: When you’re in it you just don’t know it


Is Obama weak?

Is it a weakness to refuse to play the game?

Indeed, I believe it takes more courage to stand as firm as a strong oak in a river of swirling waters, than to retaliate with tit-for-tat, distortions, tearing down of others, and ugliness. If Obama loses the nomination because he has the strength and integrity to stand up for what he believes is good for the country, I will stand by him to the end. For the waters swirling around his tree are murky and foul indeed. Pundits and politicians alike – even his Pastor – are calling for his blood, taunting him into the fight, calling him names and suggesting he is weak.

Be strong, Obama. Stand tall. For you are surrounded by ignorance, and meanness of spirit. I admire how you did not denounce your Pastor but explained in-depth the complexity of racism and the societal divisions. I was proud of you when you did not use simple phrases in your speech in Philadelphia. You did not insult our intelligence. You told us the truth. You shared your line of thinking. All those desperate souls out there are shaking and rocking your boat. There seems to be an anguished cry from the depths of darkness and ignorance that is fiercely pulling you down to keep the status quo, the system, safe – in balance – to restore the power into those business-as-usual hands – who believe in "obliterating" nations instead of dialog with people. There is absolutely no need for another "Gotcha" debate with the nation’s privileged, Golden Girl, twisting facts and preaching at us sanctimoniously.

We know who you are and where you stand.

The change of your style terrifies people. Stand firm, Obama, and all the millions who donated our monies, who are urging you to move forward, who are speaking through you for change and peace and integrity – all of us will stand with you.

I’m fired up, Obama and ready to go, ready to keep on going with you, until you are right there in the White House – ready, even to change the world:

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: The middle or both ends

Kicking the habit (Update)

Blogging has become a habit. After more than three years of writing first at my Tamarika site and here, at Mining Nuggets, I have discovered that the theme has shifted. In the beginning I joined the blogging world, literally to find a community after moving from Buffalo to Philadelphia – having left personal and professional friends of 17 years. And then, blogging became an avenue for self work because having left my therapist behind in Buffalo, there was still much that I wanted to explore and understand about myself. Finally, trying to write a post, however short or long, once a day was a great way to hone, strengthen and improve my writing skills.

Lately, I have been writing about the primary elections. Venting frustrations and trying to understand the political scene. I discovered that I was not writing to change anyone’s mind or impose my ideas. It was more of a way to feel some sense of power over a situation that is beyond my control. In fact, it has made me wonder about writing in general.

Once again, I question why I blog.

Self expression is certainly one of the reasons. Connection, another. But, I wonder if it is also a way to delude myself into feeling powerful when, indeed, I have so little control over so much in my life: past regrets, aging, relationships, loss … to name a few.

Writing silently and privately in a journal could be just as powerful, and yet I seem to want others to read what I write. In the early childhood field, it makes sense for me to share my ideas about teaching. Writing books for teachers makes sense. Perhaps that way I might offer support or new ways of thinking about interactions with children for teachers who are looking for that.

But, blogging? Who in the world, out there, cares what I have to say about my personal life or political opinions?  And why would I delude myself into thinking strangers out in cyberspace would want to hear what I – little old me – have to say about these things?

So, I have come to the conclusion that I blog out of some sort of narcissistic need. To be center of attention in some way. To feel special and acknowledged. And this causes me to feel ashamed and, yes, I must admit it to myself, somewhat pathetic. For, surely I am compensating for what I did not receive as a young child – still trying to fill a hole in my old worn out soul? It scares me to remember what I must have done to achieve that sense of recognition that I so lacked as a child, when I did not have blogging!

Has blogging become some kind of emotional crutch for me? And, if so, is that so wrong?

Or should I just … well … kick the habit?

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Meet me in the middle


Thanks to all for your comments. Each one has given me even more food for thought. I realize that receiving comments is yet another reason why I blog. It’s not just the feeling of being connected, it is also the different perspectives that help me broaden my thinking about different topics. I appreciate that each one of you, Papa (William), Winston, Jean, Tamar, and Michal – took the trouble and your time to write such meaningful as well as supportive comments.
Thanks so much.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s wrong with the black vote?

It never ceases to amaze me how the media repeatedly says that Obama is only able to acquire the Black vote, as if it is not as important as the White vote. Are they referring to his electability within the Democratic Party or the nation? Do they mean that the white vote counts more than the black vote?

It would be interesting to hear it rephrased as:

Hurray! Senator Barack Obama has achieved 90% of the black vote! What a privilege and how admirable that is!

Instead, everyone constantly analyzes, with much concern, I might add, about how Obama is unable to attain all those gun-toting, beer drinking white bowling folks out there, many of whom declare that they probably wouldn’t vote for a person of brown color anyway.

Personally, I am ecstatic that he is able to obtain such a huge percentage of African American voters. What a celebration! What a great day! Finally, a person who includes everyone in the process – a whole group of people who are no longer disenfranchised.

If ever we doubted that our American nation is racist to its core, just listen to how the media portrays Obama’s success with the African American vote. Or, more to the point, how silent they are about that.

Reach for a higher vision (Update I, II, & III)

Update I (& see below for Update II):

Quote of the day:

The past is receding; but the future has yet to be born. This is hard labor. Necessary labor. But the direction of this country is clear, it seems to me. And heartening. Andrew Sullivan

Watching Ada as she licks her fur clean, I cannot help but think of the expression, "Licking our wounds."

There are so many battles being fought here. Women versus men; black versus white; will of the people versus will of the political machine; religions versus religions; past versus future; young versus old; fear versus hope …

There are some things that still ring true for me. I do not want a President who speaks of "obliterating" another nation, or who uses Karl Rove type distortions and half-baked truths – willing to tear anyone or all of us down for personal power – laughing all the way.

So, I hope we are able to rise up, up, up above all that, and reach for a higher vision. Have courage, America. We can still do this. No time to lose. Gather round …

We can always lick those wounds on the way. There is a grand healing to engage in right here, right now.

Are you with us?

Update II:

This just in from my friend, Ilene:

The corporate media have been quick to buy into and promote the Hillary

Clinton campaign claim that she won the Pennsylvania primary by "double
digits," but the truth is, that involves a bit of creative rounding.

The final figures for the vote are that Clinton won 1,258,245 votes out of
2,300,542 cast, compared to 1,042,297 for Barack Obama.

If you do the math, that works out to 54.71 percent for Clinton, and 45.31
percent for Obama
(From: This Can’t Be Happening)

This cheered me up too:

Update III – April 24

Quote for today, April 24:

I can see the billboards now: “Hillary Clinton. Not as Bad as You Think.” Roger Simon

Roger Simon at Politico.com writes about Hillary: Don’t Stop Believin’

Voting for Obama


What a tingly, exciting, exhilarating, and hopeful feeling!

Today, I voted for Barack Obama.

Listen, with the possibility of being changed (Update)

Quote of the day:

I encourage people to argue, to agree or disagree, to discuss and struggle, to engage in conversation. I believe deeply in the pedagogical possibilities of dialogue—of listening with the possibility of being changed, and of speaking with the possibility of being heard—and I believe in revitalizing the public square, resisting the eclipse of the public and expanding the public space, searching for a more robust and participatory democracy. Talking to one another can help. William Ayers

My heart has felt heavy ever since Stephanopoulos’ question to Barack Obama at that notorious ABC "debate (?)" about his association with William Ayers. I am proud to say that Bill Ayers is a colleague in the field of education, but more than that, I admire him greatly for his writings and work regarding social justice. Years ago, when my dearest friend Charlie heard that I had invited Ayers to Buffalo to speak to the early childhood community, he begged to be included and meet Bill for breakfast. Charlie was most honored and excited to spend a couple of hours talking with this man. I had just read Ayers’ book: A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court, and decided that our community would benefit greatly from hearing him speak. It was a memorable breakfast for me, listening to the conversation of two people I admired so much discussing issues of social justice that were very close to my heart. Indeed, my most proud moment was when Bill Ayers agreed to read my own book and write a "blurb" for its back cover. His endorsement of my book was an extreme honor for me. William Ayers is a man who walks the talk.

Specifically, what I have not been able to overcome is a most uneasy feeling about how quickly Hillary Clinton jumped on the subject of William Ayers and twisted the facts about his New York Time’s interview in 2001, that coincidentally was published on 9/11. One question constantly plagues – niggles – at my mind: "Did Clinton know Stephanopoulos was going to ask that question ahead of time?" For she seemed to have her comment ready to go. It flowed so sanctimoniously, erroneously and twistedly off her tongue. She seemed overly prepared to pounce on that particular moment, as if anticipating Obama’s surprise at the question.

This morning, I wandered over to Bill Ayers’ blog and discovered a post he had written on April 6 about Hannity’s comment to John McCain. Ayers writes on April 6:

The other night, for example, I heard Sean Hannity tell Senator John McCain that I was an unrepentant terrorist who had written an article on September 11, 2001 extolling bombings against the U.S., and even advocating more terrorist bombs. Senator McCain couldn’t believe it, and neither could I.

As I was reading this piece I could not help but think: "Before Stephanopoulos asked his question, did he not do any research about William Ayers? Could he not have found Ayers’ blog and read his own words about it?" After all, April 6 was 10 days before the debate! That should have been ample time.

As I read Bill Ayers’ blog this morning, especially his post of Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring speech, tears rolled down my cheeks. Why did Obama denounce Ayers so? I had to agree with Rick Ayers who recently wrote:

He should have said, "Senator Clinton, are you really going to go there? Do you have no shame? Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I’m a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. Have you no sense of decency, ma’am, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" …

Why give her a pass? Why claim that Bill Clinton had done something even worse, giving pardons to people from the Weather Underground. That’s like trying to out-right the rightist Clinton. Have the courage to call her for what she is.

Indeed, not that I ever needed convincing prior to Clinton’s despicable behavior on last Wednesday night’s debate, my decision is clear: I will not, in good conscience be able to vote for Clinton even if she is the nominee. All this talk about women and children, it takes a village, and her love of early childhood education! Pah! Doesn’t she know who Bill Ayers is?

I am supporting Obama for President. I am sure you all can tell that about me by now! But this morning I am as sad as can be. I had been fired up and ready to go, I have shared my passion with everyone I know, written about it, wept about it.

But right about now … I must write, right here on my blog, even with as few readers as I have and make a public stand for William Ayers. I urge Senator Barack Obama to come out publicly and with pride about his past or present association with Bill Ayers. Obama: The truth will set you free.

If you are the man of integrity that I believe you are, even as I was so proud when you did not denounce Jeremiah Wright – stand up now and have the strength to acknowledge William Ayers for who he rightfully is.


Check out: Clarifying the Facts at Bill Ayers’ Blog.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: From the depths

Hope for PA


Obama rally in Philadelphia. Thanks Frank at Listics. I needed this.

Wynnewood Whistle Stop

Nelle and Dick came to town this weekend, and early this morning, Nelle and I decided it that it was time to join in Obama’s track for change.


After purchasing buttons and my T-shirt we wandered along onto the station with hundreds of others.


We stood in the glorious sun of a hopeful spring day for a couple of hours. And we made some friends.


Some were as young as could be but managed to wait patiently along with us, chatting and smiling. I was delighted to be able to share one of my beaded bracelets from Kenya with my new young friend, as we waited for Obama’s train to come by.


What a diverse group of people crowded onto Wynnewood station to greet Obama! Some even allowed me to take their picture, knowing that they would be up on my blog. I was grateful for their humor and generosity of spirit.


Yes indeed! Chris Matthews was there. I ran over to him and unashamedly said, "Chris, I have been in America for 20 years and only recently did I discover you. I know this is going to sound a bit like a hippie groupie but … I really love you!" He smiled and gave me a hug replying that he was quite okay with "hippie groupie."


"I will put this picture on my blog," I exclaimed. "That’s fine, " he replied. "Just don’t abuse me."

And then … the train arrived and the crowd went wild …


Bob Casey was there too …


Yes we can!


And as Nelle and I strolled off to our car, we noticed a Borders Bookstore and ducked in quickly to buy a Haggadah for Passover tonight.


What a day! Freedom and Independence, holiday time and Spring. New beginnings.