Monthly Archives: February 2009

YES!

Yes yes yes yes yes.

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FGF-Progressives Working Together Edition

In 2004, a group of bloggers from 15 states and myself organized a fund-raiser for MoveOn here in Nashville.  I had reached out to this band because I was a fan, and I was surprised they agreed to do it for free.  Gretchen Peters and Monkey Bowl also performed, and I gave a short yet forgettable speech. 😉  Eli Pariser from MoveOn agreed to ask their Creative Director, Laura Dawn (Bush in 30 seconds) to participate and she came out and gave a better speech.  Billy Block pitched in and was the evening’s host.

3rd and Lindsey‘s owner was nice enough to toss up his joint for free that night.  Hugh Bennett Productions helped with sound, and The Nashville Scene gave us some ad space.  Congressman Jim Cooper, (no link love for you!) had originally agreed to speak, but bailed last minute.

It was fun, and way cool to see a large group of bloggers who had never met get together for something they believed in.  I mention all of this because there has been a little hub-bub over at Pith about whether or not a small group of Progressives can raise enough money to fund the TNDP.  I think the discussion misses the point. Everbody pitched in to make the event happen.  That night, like the event R. Neal organized, raised some money, raised some awareness, and, for about three hours, raised the roof!

EDIT:  Almost forgot, Southern Beale from Music Row Democrats, who set up a table and registered voters.  My bad.

Progressives will have to work together, volunteer their talent and time, and create a fund-raising framework that isn’t just based in Davidson County.  Don’t tell me it cannot be done.  Anyway, I’m goin to Dizz Knee Land:

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The Worst Kind Of Cowardice

Good Lord.  By now, unless you are Joaquin Phoenix, you are well aware that some woman out in California underwent fertility treatments and gave birth to a platoon.  I don’t agree with her decision to do this, and I am disappointed that her family and her doctor didn’t give her better counsel, but damn, I’m uncomfortable even weighing in on this…

Apparently, some people have decided to issue death threats to the poor woman.  I have to ask, why?  Is the prospect of having to pitch in a few pennies to keep those babies healthy so distasteful that you would threaten to kill their mother?

I’m tellin ya, its this kind of cowardice that will be the end of us.  Sure, she should be the ultimate cautionary tale.  She has indeed made decisions that are clearly not in the best interests of her new children, or the ones that came before.  Obviously, the woman has issues.  Any doctor worth his degree should have seen that.

Where the hell are you pro-life people?  She really needs ya.

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Props

90 minutes ago, a dead tree toppled over and took down the phone and power lines, which started a grass fire burning in my front yard, (more accurately described as a pasture.)  I ran out there with a small container of flour, and tried to put it out, only to watch it spread faster.  Using my cell, I contacted 911 and within 5 minutes the fire dept responded, and put out the fire.  about 4 minutes later, the electric company was here with two bucket trucks, and within an hour had re-strung wire and restored our power.  I went out and spliced the phone line back together, since the phone company can’t seem to get here until Friday.  Their wire is on the ground.

I felt pretty stupid standing there, my little container of flour in my hand when those guys showed up.  They were courteous enough not to laugh.  The mayor even dropped by to see to it that the fire was out.  All in all, I can’t complain.

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Coming Out Of The Pinko Closet

I’ve decided if i wait until I have all these thoughts laid out neatly so I can simply place them into one coherent post…I’ll be eating my food through a straw by the time I’m done.  So, here I go:

Heartbreaktown has a thoughtful post up about privacy from invasive background checks.  The last time I shopped for auto insurance, I was prepared to turn over my driving record, of course, but was shocked to find out that even with a perfect record, and, no gaps in coverage, my quote would be based largely on my credit history.  What?  Some actuary, sitting in a cubicle in your corporate office has a spreadsheet showing people with good credit are better drivers, and you believe it?  I mean, we got the best rate available, but what about other folks?

Once you have a stellar credit rating, you spend too much time protecting it.  Losing it means paying more for damn near everything, not just the interest rate on borrowed money, and i think thats unfair, and, probably unsustainable as part of our financial foundation.  We are about to see millions of previously credit worthy Americans take a huge drop in their credit scores, and if renting an apartment, finding a job, buying a car, (and, insuring it) all cost more because your credit is whack, many may wind up homeless, jobless, car-less, option-less.

Once you are down in this country, we make sure you can’t ever get back up.

Not that long ago, there was a sense of shared risk.  A bright man or  (eventually) a woman could approach a banker with a solid business plan, and the banker might just fund his or her idea and roll the dice because they would share in the profit if it worked.  They also knew that there would be a potential for loss, and that was ok.  Those days are gone.  No one wants to assume any risk.  Banks want to be fully collateralized or they won’t lend.

What about now?  Maybe, just maybe, we will see some movement away from big, corporate banks, towards smaller, locally owned and operated banks that have a stake in their community.

I have been thinking about opening a business.  There is a restaurant that has been closed for a year, it is turn-key ready, all i have to do is stock it and open the doors.  I plan to approach the owners of the strip mall where it sits with a proposal…let me get it open and running, and take a piece of the gross, say, one year, so I don’t tie up capital paying rent and can funnel the money back into the business.  We can certainly re-negotiate after a year when we won’t have to base the rent or terms on assumptions.  Right now, that space and equipment are earning exactly zero.  This is a perfect shared risk scenario.  Otherwise, in this economy, I’m not at all interested in risking a great deal of cash.

I have also finally had success finding like-minded people here in the area, who see the upside to sharing resources and labor.  I have a front-end loader.  Another guy has a trailer, and still another knows how to repair heavy equipment.  So, we trade.  I’d like to get to a point where everything gets traded, from haircuts to car repair to raising meat.  Why do 8 families need 8 mowers?  What if only two families had mowers, and two families had weed-eaters, and we all pitched in and got the work done?  It frees up time for everyone, frees up money because you don’t have to buy everything up front, and allows people to interact with each other.

I guess, to me, I’m thinking that the whole economic model is about to change, radically.  I don’t see any corrective shift doing the job.  I think we will all have to totally re-think how we do business, and what we consider necessary.  I’m all for it.

More later.  (whew, writing a communist manifesto for the new millennium is exhausting)

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A Day In The Life

Exhausted.  I woke, slid my feet into my dusty boots, downed a smoothie made of bananas and some red powder I’m bein forced to drink and o.j., and headed outside.  I got the horse’s feet trimmed, loaded 2 tons of gravel onto a 1 ton truck, then unloaded it by hand and spread it over my 610 ft drive.  I hurt in places I can no longer reach.  Washed and folded 2 loads of laundry, cleaned my grill, and now its time to gulp sip some single malt scotch and have a steak dinner.  I plan to be in bed by 7:30

There have been worse days here…

I planned on this whole “the end days are coming post” but it will have to wait until tommorow.  If, you know, there is a tommorow.

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Making A Difference

Awesome.

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A (Silver) Jew Comes Clean

Damn,  Mary Mancini has a heartbreaking post up.  At least it broke my heart.  Its gutsy, a little reckless, maybe, but David Berman has a story he wants to tell you about what his Dad does for a living.  It doesn’t make me sad for the obvious reasons, (and there is ample cause) but rather it makes me sad that David apparently felt the need to cleanse himself of his Dad’s complicity in crimes against the commons.  That had to hurt.

Heh, “crimes against the commons.”  I’m such a Pinko.

(Hey ACK, if you see this, I’d say one loyalty may have trumped the other)

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We Feel Your Pain

The very definition of schadenfruede.

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FGF- For My Dad

These two used to make him laugh, loud and hard, and well, that was rare in our house.  I loved them too.

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