Reasons #11-16: Hockey Moms for Obama

October 26, 2008

Hockey Moms for Obama—40 Reasons to Vote for Barack Obama:

11. He’s NOT Out Shopping….

12. Hope

13. Dinosaurs, God, and Science in Schools

14. Race and the American Dream

15. He’s Got His Priorities in Order

16. Health Care is a Right

And, for your viewing pleasure, because we just can’t resist: check out these videos:

Obama-McCain Breakdance Showdown

Waaaaasup! Guys for Obama

School House Rock for Obama

and

the Old-Time Celebs video by the Jewish Alliance for Change.  Enjoy!

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Reason #11: He’s NOT out Shopping…

October 25, 2008

When Sarah Palin was nominated to be McCain’s Vice President she did what any smart, busy woman would logically do. She went shopping.

Let me repeat that, she didn’t spend her time reading, studying, debating, heck, thinking about what this meant in her life (as well as if, honestly, she really belonged in this role). She went shopping.

$150,000+ worth, on the Republican National Party’s tab.

Yeah, yeah, now that this has been exposed, Palin and the RNC are saying it will go to charity at the end of the campaign. There even seem to be some lost receipts, after this shocking tab came out stores can’t find their records

Other Disturbing Facts:

Sarah’s make up artist is earning more than McCain’s foreign policy advisor.

She’s in good company with Cindy McCain who spent $300,000 on a “party ensemble” (what is that even?).

The First Dude is taking on a new look, and even baby Trig got a $295 pram. Is she moving from Alaska to rural England or something?

Heck, Palin can’t even perform on Saturday Night Live without haggling over her wardrobe!

Folks, this is ridiculous.

The most disturbing aspect is that this seems to be a grand ploy to get us to stop thinking about the issues on this campaign and concentrate on Sarah’s latest fashion sense, haircut, and new snaz.

Even if she only spent a few hundred thousand dollars to raise millions, (’cause, let’s remember, she’s a “regular gal“). this is emblematic of a disconnect in values and, on a more sinister level, indicative of what they think of us, the people. This seems to be a grand ploy to get us to stop thinking about the issues on this campaign and concentrate on Sarah’s new look. They think we’ll buy this miracle make-over and forget about the issues.

Well, I’m insulted.

And finally, gals, as Chris Matthews so aptly says, this is the attempt to “remake” the Hockey Mom. Which, as we must recall, is the very identity which Palin is touting!

Well true hockey moms are smart, sassy, and they don’t need a make-over.

Let’s vote Obama. And keep our wardrobes, which are mighty fine just as is, intact.

– Colleen, a mama in Boulder who likes to shop with the best of ’em, but favors consignment stores and has the best fashion consultants a gal could dream of, good friends and a snazzy husband.

Reason #12: Hope

October 24, 2008

We’re with them (see above!): with Obama we see hope.

We see the chance to turn around this country, to rebuild the economy, to reconnect across divides that separate us in this country, and to together reach out to the rest of the world, beginning with new strategies to bring our soldiers home and end war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We see hope, and once again, we’re thrilled to see so many conservative Republicans–including not just Colin Powell, but most recently a member of McCain’s own advisory team, President Bush’s former press secretary, and a Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon–endorse Obama.  When you have a candidate who truly brings people together across partisan and other divides like this, then you have not only change, but hope.

(I wonder who Condi Rice is voting for……..?)

Here’s to our two young friends above.  Their faces say it as loudly as their shirts do: Obama means hope for our future.

–Carole, mother of two and eternal optimist, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #13: Dinosaurs, God, and Science in Schools

October 23, 2008

Our nation is going down. Down in science. The puck is whizzing past us while we stand around with our sticks in the air. It’s ugly.

McCain is supposedly “waffling” on whether Creationism (and/or Intelligent Design, which, per Molly our scientist here , is “equally problematic, just wrapped up in a little cloak”) and Evolution should be taught, side by side, in our schools (though he has certainly come out strong for Creationism in the past). And we all know where Palin stands on this issue. How can you “waffle” on this?

Here are a few reasons we view “waffling” as problematic:

1. There is a significant difference between McCain and Obama on this issue. One guy doesn’t know what he thinks. The other believes that Creationism has no place in our schools. Obama states, “I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.”

The question is whether or not Creationism/Intelligent Design should be treated as an equal to Evolution. Science is driven by hypotheses. Creationism and Intelligent Design are devoid of hypotheses. Evolution, on the other hand, has a number of hypotheses that have been tested – through time – by numerous scientists.

Can you believe we have Presidential candidates who actually want to introduce “non-science” in the classroom. Oh yeah, global warming isn’t really happening anyway, right?!!

This is not only sad for the future of science, but sad for our children. Those little hockey playing buggers. What are we teaching them – that critical thought doesn’t matter?!

2. This approach is dangerous – perilous even – as our country slips behind in the standings in science. We’re behind Europe and Asia. Science and technology have had a place in our country for a long time. Think model T. Think of the computer. Think of that very essential element in any hockey game – the Zamboni. If this trend continues, we won’t be making new Zambonis in this country. We’ll be depending on inventors from elsewhere.

3. Furthermore, this approach to science – giving religion a place in our schools – completely denies the separation of church and state, which requires that the government not endorse one religion over another, or religion over non-religion. Certainly, we can all believe what we’d like, but teaching religion in the schools isolates some beliefs while embracing others.

So challenge your kids to reach new levels of science. Vote Obama.

– Molly, an evolutionary biologist who always wanted to ride atop a Zamboni and is fired up about the dismal decline of science in our country, and Colleen, who didn’t do so well in her science classes but does understand that humans didn’t have pet dinosaurs

Reason #14: Race and the American Dream

October 22, 2008

Yesterday I was talking with my friend Karen about our children and the election. She was spot-on about something: our children are growing up in a world where a black man is a presidential candidate, and hopefully will be President of the United States of America.

For our children, the normal state of affairs is that a black man can be President.

Let me say that again.

For our children, it will be entirely normal for a black man to be President. I cannot adequately put into words what this means, especially given the history of racism in this country (never mind nasty racist incidents in this current electoral moment), but I do know one thing:

As a national community, we are one step closer to deracializing the American Dream, the belief that any American can accomplish his or her goals through hard work. That is, we are one important step closer to making the job of President of the United States of America a legitimate possibility for all US citizens regardless of their skin color.

This is a phenomenal moment for children everywhere in this country in terms of continuing to break down racial prejudices and divides.

Here’s to a future run by this new generation, whose first political memories are of a brilliant, strong, competent, and accomplished black presidential candidate: Barack Obama.

And once we elect him to office, then the work begins to join the rest of the world in normalizing the idea of a female president–a US citizen of any heritage: black, white, Asian, Latina, American Indian, or Arab.

In my lifetime? I hope so.  In our children’s lifetimes? Absolutely.

–Carole, mother of two who is humbled at the thought of the world our children will know, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #15: He’s got his Priorities in Order

October 21, 2008

Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about the policies, ethics, and approach Obama will bring to government.

But today I’m here to talk about the person, the regular guy who just decided to take a couple of days off to head to Hawaii to see his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, or “Toot” as she is known by her grandchildren. In my opinion, this proves more than anything about Obama. He’s in touch with what is “real” in life, he’s got his priorities in order.

When I got married 11 years ago the Bishop who married us, a very wise soul, had one message for my husband and me: “Know the main thing, and keep the main thing the main thing.”

As Obama nears the end of his presidential campaign and voting day approaches, I applaud him for knowing the main thing – the importance of his family – and for keeping the main thing the main thing by going to Hawaii at this critical time in his grandmother’s life. He knows he has less than two weeks until election day. But he made a choice to put it on hold for something even more important, for a chance to talk with and hug his grandmother. Political debate will be here in a few days. She might not be.

Keeping our priorities straight amidst the chatter and outright chaos of daily life –  not to mention in a race for what is arguably one of the most important and influential positions in the world today – is hard, at best. For many, it is downright impossible.

But the joy of watching our kids gets us through long hockey games in cold winter weather. The comfort of our family’s presence welcomes us home after hard days at work when we return bone tired. The warmth of our childrens’ hugs carries us through the night, until we rise in the morning to start it all over again.

Obama knows this.

And he also knows how important this visit is. Perhaps this will be the most important visit he’ll make in these long months of campaigning, a moment to stop, keep the main thing the main thing, and recognize the importance of a woman who profoundly influenced his life (and who blazed some trails in her own right!).

So kudos to Obama, as well as to the strong grandmother who helped shape who he is today.

As we grow tired of the months and months of debates and political rhetoric and eagerly await November 4th, give your kids a hug, take some time to head to a park or pumpkin patch, have a glass of wine with your spouse, and then return with your spirit intact to campaign for Obama.

And above all… know the main thing, and keep the main thing the main thing.

– Colleen, mother of three in Boulder, Colorado who savors her family time even more than a bar of fine, dark chocolate or a nice glass of Malbec.

Reason #16: Health Care is a Right

October 20, 2008

John McCain thinks health care is a responsibility.  Barack Obama thinks health care is a right.

We agree: health care should be a right held by all.  Access to health care should be something that all citizens of this wealthy country have irrespective of their income.  Health care is something that we can and must do better on asap.

Need help reading between the lines of the two candidates’ health plans?  Once again, Alternet has a great guide–the Progressive Voter Guide to Health Care that lays out Obama and McCain’s positions on the following topics: quality health care for all; obesity; information technology; Medicaid; Medicare; prescription drugs; gender-based health disparities; HIV/AIDS; veterans’ health; and, reproductive health and family planning.

Still can’t get enough? Try out Stand Up for Health Care, a great website that lets you compare the two candidates’ plans side by side.

Health care matters for everyone: for children and elders, for men and for women.  Yes, women.  We’re talking to you, John McCain.  In the last debate, we were aghast at McCain’s snarling dismissal of “women’s health” (his air quotes, not ours).  What? Are you serious?  Just one more reason why Obama clearly won all three debates—what we call in hockey a hat trick.

Speaking of women’s health, see the great coverage of women’s issues at Feminists for Obama, including some powerful videos.

Hockey Moms for Obama stand firmly with Senator Barack Obama on health care.  Know who else does?  The American Nurses Association, the group Doctors for Obama, and, increasingly, all sorts of conservative Republicans, from Christopher Buckley to Colin Powell.  Welcome to the Obama-Biden team, gentlemen, you’re in good company here!

–Carole, mother of two healthy children who has her pediatrician’s phone number memorized….just in case, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Spotted at Trader Joe’s in Venice, California!

October 20, 2008

Love this!  Spotted by the ever intrepid Janelle in the Trader Joe’s parking lot in Venice!

Need to get your Hockey Moms for Obama gear on?  Cafe Press has some great shirts and stickers, as does Zazzle.  Who knows—your photo could be the next one up here!

Change is coming: Obama 2008!

Reasons #17-24: Hockey Moms for Obama

October 20, 2008

Here are reasons #17-24 hockey moms are voting for Obama:

#17: ‘Cause He’s Inspiring Community Activists From Other Hemispheres

#18. We’re Pro-America

#19. McAnger vs. Zen and the Art of Campaigning

#20. Of Plumbers, Wealth, and Government

#21. For the Children

#22. The Rest of the World!

#23. Because Community Organizing IS Relevant!

#24. Judgment and Leadership in Complex Times

Reason #17: ‘Cause He’s Inspiring Community Activists from Other Hemispheres

October 19, 2008

We all know the conservatives have been railing against the value of community organizing and activism and Obama’s experience in this camp. See “Reason #22,” ‘nuf said.

But Obama’s experiences and perspectives have been inspiring folks around the world in amazing ways.

On a trip to Brazil this past summer I was approached by a 77 year old community activist living from Bahia. When she realized I was from the United States, she gave me a special task: to get a poem she wrote for Barack Obama to him.

Can any of us imagine taking the time and thought to write an 8 page poem to Brazil’s president, Lula? Probably not.

And that’s the power Obama brings to this election. People from around the world – more than ever – are feeling the same hope that inspires us here.

So today I present not my words, but the poem of Dona Otilia. She’s speaks from her heart, and gives us a glimpse of the global power of Obama. Read on. And vote Obama… for Dona Otilia.

Since age 12 Dona Otilia  Nogueira has advocated for the rights of women, indigenous peoples, quilombolas (Afro-Brazilian slave descendents), family farmers, and other underrepresented and oppressed groups in Bahia. Her poem to Barack Obama is translated from Portuguese to English.

I ask your apologies
For my enormous boldness
To be from another continent
To live in another nation
But with the greatest humility
Hearing all of the reports
I took up my pen
And wrote in prose and verse
To pay homage to a man
Who arose among millions
With good proposals and actions
Determination and love
Tenacity and modesty
To win against discrimination

I am proud of the black race
With a large love and admiration
And also of the Indians
I am a descendent of these two
And for this I have suffered much
I had no way to study
In a country with much discrimination
Living the need to fill
To cultivate the land
And by this land I was sustained
But I had faith in God and courage
To confront prejudice
So I see the world in another manner
All that passes is not a mirage

I live in a country without terror
The worst thing here are the drugs
Here there are no volcanos
Some small earthquakes
We don’t have cyclones or tidal waves
In the south of the country some small
Hurricanes are growing
The robber here walks free
Which is terrible
Because the world is this way
We have high levels of criminality
We have a lot of work to do in this area
For people to learn
Because we don’t lack conflict

We have an excellent government
Our dear Lula
Who ascended the ramp of the Planalto
Remembering the least favored
He is a great man
In this way he diminished hunger
And is going to diminish violence
He is improving education
Investing in culture
Inspiring sports
For this I am happy
I am living in a paradise
The pride of my country

I’ve seen many reports
Coming from North America
I know that inequality is great
And prejudice is strong
But you are brought from God
You have conquered the masses
We are certain of your victory
I know that you’re going to help your race
They have as much suffering as we do
With the disposition to conquer
To have a Black man in power
Is the glory of the future
Better days are going to come
And we’re going to thank God

Obama, you are a child of God
I see the world helping your nation
Against the viruses contaminating the world
You are dedicated to fighting
I know that you are going to do away with problems
With your valiant determination
To fight against pollution and terror
Emitting gasses without limit
Contaminating the world
Without our rulers feeling them
They don’t stop polluting
From one side terror reigns
And from the other, pollution pressures
If it doesn’t stop, the earth is going to explode

Global warming is the fruit
Of much pollution
We need to reforest the world
To have less hydraulic pollution
To stop burning and fires
The earth has its limit
Listen to what I’m going to write
Rulers aren’t worried
They only think in nuclear energy
Without light they live without seeing pollution
Or feign that they don’t understand
They live without a plan
Only living to earn money
With the world destroyed, where will they spend it?

But since you are going to light up the world
I am writing this to you
I know that you are going to shine on the two continents
That you are going to help our Lula succeed
Lula will shine in the South
And you will shine in the North
United, you will be strong
Holding the hand of God
To stop this hurtful war
For a world with so much but still lacks bread
Where children cry tears of hunger
In the hope of a little food
Seeing their parents lose their lives
Losing relatives, friends, and homes.

When I see you on the television
I am filled with hope
I can’t know you personally
Because the distance is great
I am poor and have no way to reach you
But through a friend
Who is very dear to me
I know that this will arrive in your hands
And that you’ll understand
How much we admire you
And also our worry
About this brutal and wrong system
Where all live suffocating
From so much pollution.

Barack Obama go forward
Life has chosen you with love
It has given you this great mission
With angels on high
Holding your hands
Preparing your country
As a leader of the world
And the world is going to vibrate
With your brilliant ideas
You’ll dialogue in the United Nations
Your proposals will have consistency
With strength that isn’t dictatorial
You are like a bird spreading good ideas
Through your dialogue and composure

God and the people are with you
Go forth and don’t look back
Fly on the horizon
Because you are capable
And the world needs you
Saints and angels will help you
We are very worried
About terror and pollution
That suffocates the whole world
Though here we have less of this
We are worried for our brothers
The worst here are the capital cities
The rest of the country lives in peace

I live in Itacare, Bahia
A small town encircled by forest
With more than 50 waterways and rivers
Many waterfalls and cascades
The sixth corridor of the planet
With abundant fauna
The beaches are famous
Covered with forest and clear water
With little pollution
The greatest biodiversity of the world
I invite you to visit
This splendid beauty
Created by mother nature
I know that you will like it here.

I am not dictating anything
But merely expressing my worry
I am an old country woman
Who lacks a good education
But I see that you have a future
You are going to weigh anchor of the boat of Victory
Don’t worry about the darkness of night
The day is going to shine like a ray of light on the horizon
Illuminating your path
Always in the arms of the people
Fly on an ocean that is calm and serene
Give your cry of peace and love
For you have protection
Who is holding your hand
Is certainly Jesus of Nazareth

Obama, God inspired you
As he has inspired my children
My people, country, and forests
For the truth won’t lose its brilliance
Through your humble and profound gestures
A smile that conquers the world
I wish you all the best
You are a young hero
I know that you will say no to war
You will bring peace to your land
For people believe in you
Like the iris waits for light
We wait for Jesus
To see you in power

The angels on high
Are uniting to fight
For the people of Iraq
Who are crying out
With a terrible terror
With so much blood lost
Death everywhere
We feel it in our souls
And we can’t complain
Because our country is another
May God protect your daughters
And illuminate your people
That, united, you will change the world
And help your family.

Obama, I take leave
Pardon me for my audacity
I am inspired here in the forest
And don’t participate in your daily life
I am inspired by flowers in bloom
By the sweet taste of literature
By hearing the songs of birds
And seeing the purity of flowers
The magnitude of President Lula
Are fonts of inspiration
Steps toward peace and love
Hear my greetings
Accept an embrace and your brothers and sisters
And the reverence we owe to God on high.

Respectfully,
Dona Otilia Maria Nogueira
Vila Marambaia
Itacare, Bahia, Brasil

– Colleen, a mother of three in Boulder who is quite active, but not such a good poet