Category Archive:politics

The pollsters gathered ‘round mini-screens, fingers hovering over touchpads, waiting (im)patiently for the right moment. Jason sat near the window watching birds wheel against the blue skies.

“Jas! Get over here. We need your help with these calculations. The polls close in an hour. We need to be ready to close ‘em down with our latest, up-to-date exit polls. The major affiliates are on hold waiting for the numbers. Who do we say won? R’s or D’s?”

Shaking his head and muttering, he walked over to join the huddle. “I remember when we talked about the PEOPLE being the winners.”

Just in time for Election Day Lance chose a new song for the 100 Word Song project. This time it is The Replacements’ Election Day. Go on over, check it out and give it a go – give us your 100.

The news was greeted with sighs and wistful smiles. Hopes pinned on one candidate vanished with the flick of a wrist. Small town politics at its best, the race had been hard fought, harder won. Someone sobbed in his beer. The other hoisted an aged whiskey in salute.

“Good thing this only happens once every four years.”

“You’re right, Harold. If this campaign had lasted one more day you would have had a divorce decree acting as coaster to that glass.”

“Awww, Margie. C’mere and give me a kiss. My people are waiting. You and me, girl. You and me.”

Velvet Verbosity tells about an upcoming nerdery-competition held jointly with writers from the 100 Word Challenge and the Trifecta Writing Challenge, but does not forget to give us a 100 word challenge . . . VANISHED.

The candidates approached the podiums as the audience settled into their seats. The applause died down.

The moderator spoke each name in turn and watched as each began to tremble.

8th grade class elections had never been more fun, she thought. It was her mission, as Social Studies teacher, to introduce the nuances of politics past and present to these students. It was her personal goal to see one go on from her class to bigger and better things. She dreamed of a future president looking into the camera and thanking HER for the push she gave him (or her).

VV asked for Tremble to be the focus of the week. I don’t often write about politics here – because it does make people tremble. And it makes me tremble to push – to prod – to work at other people’s scabs. I don’t like my own scabs picked.

But the above piece was inspired by the presidential debate which I am watching as I type.

The years I spent in high school were fraught with all the angst a 1960’s era teen could face. There were no cell phones, no fb, no internet, no texting . . . we rode the city bus to and from school because we could not afford vehicles. Blah, blah, blah.

There were a lot of things we did NOT have – but there were a lot of things we DID have as well.

Some of the discussions in our PoD (Problems of Democracy) classes (now called social studies) centered around the government and elections and the Past – because if we did not learn from the past we were certain to repeat the past. That’s what they said.

A big item of discussion was whether or not 18 year olds should have the right to vote. Mind you, ALL US citizens had NOT always had the right to vote. The RIGHT to vote was hard sought, hard fought, and hard won.

We were separated in our idealistic world of beliefs even then. Some held that 18 year olds were too young to know or care what was going on in the US – thus could not vote with knowledge. Some held that 18 = old enough to go to VietNam (many returning in body bags) = old enough to vote for the people sending them there.

1971 saw the 26th amendment passed giving 18 year olds the right to vote. I was 21 that year. I voted in my first presidential election in the Nixon McGovern race. I’ve not missed a presidential election since – have not missed many state or local elections, either. Voting is a PRIVILEGE and a RIGHT. My foremothers could not vote because they were women. I’m thankful that I CAN vote.

You know I’m going somewhere with this, right?


It is a presidential election year (REALLY? Gosh, Moosie, we did NOT know that) /sarcasm. I asked a young person near and dear to my heart – who recently turned 18 – about voter registration. Not only is this person not registered, but there is no desire to vote in the election.

The community that does not take advantage of its rights gives those rights away.

I am becoming my grandmother. She bemoaned the generation that was mine. We proved her wrong in lots of ways. I am not bemoaning this millennial generation, but I AM hoping that they will take the reins and go forward and BE the changing force our country needs. They can do it. I have that faith.

Go – register – learn the issues – vote your conscience (not what your mother or I say) – Go and make us proud.

the Gramma

I really was headed off to bed – and I thought to check just one more email before I did. An acquaintance had emailed me yesterday asking my opinion of Sarah Palin – did I know her? What did I think? What did I know?

My reply was to the point, and honest. My main comment to my friend was the same you’ve seen here before and will see here again – I tell no one how to vote, I simply ask that you do vote and that you do it with wisdom and education.

When I checked that email address a few minutes ago, my friend had sent me a copy of the Kilkenny letter – something that a resident of Wasilla had sent to her family and friends while asking them not to forward it on to anyone.

What? She asked them not to forward it on.

Come on, people, you KNOW that is exactly the type email that will be forwarded – ad nauseum. The letter was written 8-29. It is at the top of the g****e searches for Kilkenny letter. It is expanding at a VIRAL rate.

So, why am I even mentioning it here? After all, we’ve already agreed that I am not going to tell you how to vote, right?

But, please, I have to repeat her fourth reason for having written the note: “Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996 . . .”

Can we say pettiness to the extreme?

I live in small town Alaska. My town is probably about the same size or a tad smaller than Wasilla. We, too, are becoming a big box store kinda town, and no, I don’t like that much. But, contrary to what some would say, Wasilla becoming that kinda town is no more Sarah Palin’s fault than Kenai becoming one is any one mayor’s fault.

It’s likely partly MY fault because I sat back and let it happen – or didn’t fight harder so it wouldn’t happen. You know what I’m saying?

Some of you don’t know this about me . . . in the 90s I was TOTALLY immersed in small town politics. I (like Kilkenny claims about herself and Wasilla) – I attended EVERY borough assembly meeting, MOST every school board meeting and MOST city council meetings. I attended planning sessions and committee meetings. I said my piece. I took down names. I counted the votes. I got involved.

I EVEN ran for office at the borough level (we don’t have counties, we have boroughs). I actually WON once – and then lost it in the run-off that was required because neither I nor my nearest opponent garnered 40% of the votes as the borough requred. I lost the run-off by 32 votes! Gosh, no, I’m not bitter – really. I’ve seen my former opponent. He is now a FAT cat in the most literal of senses.

Alaska, while the biggest land mass state in the union, is still small town. In addition to our city and borough reps, we know our state senators and representatives by their first names. We go to school functions with them (used to be our kids were in school together, now it’s our grandkids), we go to church with them, we eat in the same restaurants. We know which of them got picked up for one too many DUI charges (driving under the influence). We know when their kids are hurting.

Most of us let each other live their lives and either pray for them or lend helping hands when they have a need. Most of us mind our own business.

Some of us are like Kilkenny. THOSE are the ones who make the newspaper headlines.

And, that is a sad thing – for Alaska – and for the union.

Now, you all go on and do the right thing. If you’ve been thinking about forwarding that letter, think twice, remember small town pettiness, remember how you would feel to have some of those things said about you. And remember most of all . . . untruths are often have just enough truth in them to make them that much more believable.
I’m just sayin’

‘night everyone.