Archive for September, 2008

Reason # 36: The Bracelets

September 30, 2008

One of my favorite moments of the first presidential debate was when McCain drew attention to the bracelet he wears in honor of a war victim…only to be followed by Obama’s note that he, in fact, also wore a bracelet.

I had to chuckle. I wondered if one of them would lay claims to a nose ring, anklet, belly piercing or tattoo.

For the record, neither did.

Of course, both men wear these bracelets in recognition of the tragedies of war that are felt by families who have lost loved ones and who thus feel the impact of war in a very real and personal way that is unimaginable to many of us. McCain can particularly identify with this. I don’t think anyone in the country really doubts he feels true empathy towards war victims (or that Obama does as well), be it those who have lost their lives or those who have temporarily lost their freedom and suffered as he did.

However, these bracelets have much broader significance to me, and I’m imagining they do to many of you as well. These bracelets are not only public acts of remembrance and indications of future representation on Pennsylvania Avenue. They are also indications of compassion, which good old Wiki(pedia) defines as: “…a profound human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering.”

And here, you fellow hockey moms and others, is where these two men differ.

Greatly.

In choosing who I would want to wear a bracelet bearing my name, that is, who I would most trust to alleviate the suffering of others in this world, I’d choose Obama. Sure, McCain would cover me in terms of defense and veteran spending (in some arenas). But, I have a sneaking suspicion–no, I have an outright belief, ladies–that Obama will cover my butt in many other, important ways.

He’ll think about how I will get to the doctor, and how I’ll pay for it.

He’ll think about whether the pay I receive for a days work – as a woman – is commensurate with the pay I would receive as a man.

He’ll think about how I’m going to educate my kids and about how I’m going to clean up the environmental messes of the world.

And he’ll even think about what it is like to not be me – he’ll think about how the rest of the world perceives and relates to Americans (yup, another mess).

So, ladies, the next time you reach for the armoire and put on your jewels (uh, I guess for us hockey moms it might often be jewelry right?), think about the names and causes and beliefs you would put on a bracelet if you had to. And think about who you want to be wearing your bracelet.

–Colleen, former figure skater and hockey player, carpool chauffeur extraordinaire, Boulder, Colorado

Reason #37: The Hockey Soda Philosophy

September 29, 2008

Let me take you back to the 1980s.  Driving to practice, three or four times each week, an hour round trip.  My son, his teammates, my two daughters, my husband, and me. Pink Floyd blaring.  Billy Squier blaring.  Sugar Hill Gang blaring.

Ah….those were the days.

And the rink? We lived in the rink, but it wasn’t only about ice time.  There was lots else to do: shooting “balls” made of hockey tape against the rink walls when practice was over.  Hitting the game room to play Space Invaders, Pacman, Donkey Kong, or Asteroids.  Hitting up the rink branch of the local bank—also known as mom—for quarters for the game room.  Good times they were.

And don’t forget the snack bar: eating soft pretzels, Charleston Chews, and drinking hockey sodas.

What is a hockey soda, you ask? Let me tell you, its got to be 80s-style.  No new-fangled diet sodas (or even worse, fountain ice tea) allowed.  A hockey soda is Coke, Sprite, root beer, and orange soda mixed together.  Its a drink of champions, a drink of young hockey players everywhere, and a drink representative of this country.

The hockey soda is the melting pot.  It recognizes the strengths of its individual components and values their combination.  What’s good alone is even better together.

My hockey soda philosophy is right at home with Barack Obama.  His campaign is built on a recognition that ours is a multi-ethnic society, a nation and state built by people from around the world cooperating with each other.  My family, my friends, my country—we’re one tasty hockey soda.

Bottoms up, everyone, and make sure you vote on November 4!

–Eileen, hockey wife, hockey mother to 3, hockey grandmother to 5, Wilbraham, Massachusetts

Reason #38: Roe Vs. Wade

September 28, 2008

We need to protect a woman’s right to choose. We need to protect the rights of women to make a “decision” (as Sarah Palin put it in regard to the pregnancy of her eldest daughter). We need to make sure that all women have access to the information they need about sex, reproduction, and pregnancy.

And, we need to recognize, act on, and not pass over the appalling Republican hypocrisy on these issues.

Join us–and thousands of others in this country–by counteracting this hypocrisy. Here’s one easy way to help keep Roe vs. Wade safe for another generation, and then some: make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name.

Any amount will do: $5, $10, $50, $500. We don’t know the genuis who came up with this idea, but so far Planned Parenthood has received $802,000 in donations!

To donate, click here and then check that you would like to make your gift in honor of someone, then enter Sarah Palin’s name when prompted. You will be asked for an address for where a thank you card should be sent. Enter this: McCain for President, 1235 S. Clark Street, 1st Floor, Arlington, VA 22202.

And then spend the rest of the day smiling and continuing to fight the good fight for reproductive freedom, for sex education, and for healthy pregnancies and sexual health for all women in the USA and around the world.

A vote for McCain is a vote for Palin’s Stone Age views on women, sex, and reproduction. Take the worst of George W. Bush and multiply it. Then multiply it again. Then make another donation to Planned Parenthood.

We stand by Roe vs. Wade and thus, we stand strongly with Barack Obama’s policies on women’s issues: read here to learn more!

–Karen, mother of two, Ridgewood, New Jersey

Reason #39: Sarah Palin’s Passport

September 27, 2008

Or lack of it.

Really now?  She didn’t get her first passport until 2006 (or, some say, 2007)?  And this woman is potentially going to be our Vice President?

Here’s why this matters: having a passport is not a sign of being financially well-off, from some sort of privileged background (as Palin tried to explain things to Katie Couric).  For some it might be, sure, but for most I would argue, its a sign of curiosity about the world.  Its about considering oneself not just a citizen of Alaska or Colorado or the USA, but a citizen of the world.

To be a global citizen as well as an American citizen is to understand that we all share the same planet, that we have something to learn from people everywhere, and that the best way to make sense of the world is to get out and see it—-to travel one’s own state, one’s own country, and, yes, the world.

There are all sorts of ways to do this on the cheap.  It doesn’t need to be expensive.  Gearing oneself up for a backpacking trip anywhere in the world is surely less than the cost of one’s permits and gear for a good, long hunting season.  Its all about how you choose to spend your money.

Granted the world has changed a bit lately.  In earlier times, we didn’t need passports to go to certain countries.  New England youth hockey used to be full of team exchange trips with other teams, including in Canada.  Load everyone up in the station wagon or van and head north.  Passports not required.

What happened off the ice was more important than what happened on it.  Staying up late to eat pizza or poutine; cracking jokes from one’s sleeping bag; seeing what Saturday morning cartoons they watched in the great white north—shortening the cultural gap between here and there.  This is what travel is about.

Travel breaks down barriers.  Travel builds bridges across countries.  Travel builds friendships.  Travel directly counters the sort of fear and xenophobia underlying some of the support for Palin.  None of this is productive for our country, and certainly not for hockey.  Just think of the many amazing players in the NHL with roots outside the USA.  You better bet they all have passports.

I want my President and VP to get this.  I want them to know personally why travel matters.  I expect them to know the world, and by knowing the world through their own experience, to thus better be able to know the USA and thus better be able to govern this country.

This is just one of many reasons I’m voting for Barack Obama for President–2008.

–Carole, mother to two, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #40: Gas, the Air We Breathe, and Fuzzy Bears

September 26, 2008

Let’s start with the environment, because, as they say, “put on your oxygen mask first…” and hockey moms depend on air – lots of it – to fuel our lungs as we scream in the stands for our young’uns.

So let’s talk environment, an easy slapshot on net for Obama because, as even my staunchly Republican father admits, the Republicans are disastrous for the environment.

We know SUVs are no longer the rage and we’re trying to unload our gas guzzling monsters – they’re expensive and polluting (even though we have no idea how we’ll pack umpteen sticks and pucks and kids and dogs and snacks into our cars for the hockey shuttle!). However, there is no longer a debate that the shuttle has gotten damn expensive to run. And the driver is pissed off. We need other solutions and “drill baby drill” is just, yet another, Republican chant that dissolves into thin, polluted air.
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Drilling won’t produce results for decades and even then, the oil from Alaska would barely make a dent in our country’s oil needs. We need other solutions like credits for hybrid cars and clean energy. Even more importantly, we need a culture change that shifts our daily habits as energy-hungry Americans. Hockey moms need to band together, to carpool, to do our part. But we ask, is McCain advocating a culture change – or just looking for more oil to extend our collision course a little bit longer?
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Furthermore, does the name Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge mean nothing to Republicans? The folks up in the great state of Alaska at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center calls drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a “2000-Acre Hoax” that would show “how oil drilling, pipelines, roads and airports would sprawl across the Refuge Coastal Plain, harming wildlife habitat for polar bears, caribou, fish and birds (the entire 1.5 million acre area would be opened to drilling – NOT a compact “2000 acres” … not a little square). The National Academy of Sciences reported that cumulative impacts of oil activities harmed the land, animals, Alaska Native culture, and wilderness. If we let oil companies drill the Arctic Refuge, they will destroy this unique wilderness forever.”
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Want to learn more?  Click here for a nice little explanation of the pros and cons of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.  And while the oil drilling facts are highly debated (anywhere from 1% to 7.5% of our country’s oil for 1-20 years), folks seem to agree that drilling here will set a precedent for pretty much drilling anywhere. The term “refuge” will become a farce. And soon, the guys with weird hard hats will be in your neighborhood, outside your door, chanting “drill baby drill.” Ahem, culture change anyone?

Finally, for your reading pleasure, here’s Obama’s stance on environmental issues. Check it out. Dissect it. Compare it with that of the bear-hating Republican from Alaska (seriously, how will she explain to her kids that she personally fought against the mamas and daddies and baby polar bears?!!) and her running mate, and then take a deep breath and picture yourself screaming like a ninny for your young player because you can. If we elect Obama, we cast a vote for the air we breathe and that is a reason not to underestimate!

–Colleen, mother of three, Boulder, Colorado

Countdown: 40 Reasons to Vote for Barack Obama

September 25, 2008

Progressive hockey mothers, unite!

Starting tomorrow, forty days out from election day on November 4, we will post a reason a day explaining why a vote for Obama/Biden is a vote for the positive change our country and our children need.

Want to share your reason(s) for voting for Obama?  Send us an email at hockeymamasforobama@gmail.com including your reasons, contact info, and hockey mom status.

We know that we’ve got a deep bench and we’d love to include your voice in this conversation!

Why Hockey Moms for Obama?

September 24, 2008

Are you a progressive hockey mother, sister, player, or fan pissed off with how the term “hockey mom” has been co-opted by right-wing, elite Christian, Republicans?

So are we.

Hockey as we know and love it cannot be taken over by Republican politicos. As we see it, Sarah Palin is not your average hockey mom. She does not represent us.

So, as mothers with deep hockey roots, we’re putting on our pads and getting ready to throw some elbows.

We’ve started this blog to seek like-minded women (and men) from around the country who love the sport of hockey, but, more importantly, who won’t stand by and let conservatives associate hockey with everything we stand against politically, including our childrens’ futures.

We make lunches, drive carpools, give baths, follow the great sport of hockey, and when someone like Sarah Palin insults our compassion, intelligence, and politics, we aren’t going to simply dump the puck by icing it, but we’re going to make sure our shots are squarely on net.

Ladies, lace up your skates and grab your (lip)sticks!