Voting is the best revenge

Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day. (As usual, your ol’ pal Dubbatrubba is a day late and a dollar short… actually make that a day late and $10 million in “dark money” short, because corporations are people too!)

It’s not too late to register.

It’s not too late to make sure your registration is accurate.

It’s not too late to get #VoteReady, by finding out who is on the ballot… and learning about the particular hoops you need to jump through in your state.

Make no mistake, there are folks who are trying to make it tougher and tougher for you to vote. Especially if you’re poor, or car-less, or disabled. Some of those folks are elected officials. Voting them right out of office will be extra satisfying.

Yes, the cards are stacked against you — gerrymandering is at an all-time high. (“If you can’t beat ’em, crack, pack and stack ’em” seems to be the official motto.) But don’t let them win by not voting.

Exercise is good for you.

Exercising your right to vote is good for the future of democracy.

One World, One Big Problem

I hate to rain on your parade… actually, I can’t rain on your parade because there are widespread droughts.

On the plus side, no water hazards… (photo credit: Paul Bilodeau, the North Andover (MA) Eagle-Tribune)

Please take five minutes to read this Substack post from Bill McKibben.

But of course the damage is deepest in the poorest places. Somalia, and the surrounding region in the horn of Africa, are in the fifth straight rainy season without rain, and the toll is almost unimaginable. A million people have been internally displaced; the ones who haven’t managed to move to grim camps will soon starve. “They have no chance,” one refugee explained. “It is just a matter of time until they die. Even here we might die because we have nothing”.

From the Substack post linked above

And of course, what goes up (evaporation) must come down… we’re seeing that in Pakistan.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2022/pakistan-floods-monsoon-climate-change/?tid=ptv_rellink

(At least they have a Climate Change Minister… that’s more than you can say for the U.S. of A.)

We’re taking baby steps to address the climate crisis, but we need one giant leap for mankind. And the things that may prevent that, ironically, are the short-term consequences of not acting boldly enough.

In such a world of climate disruption and destabilization, the prospects for positive futures are bleak.  At the national and international levels, the capacity to move forward with bold and carefully conceived plans for emissions reductions and climate adaptation will be severely impaired.  A world consumed with the consequences of climate chaos will have little time for anything else. The multiple inadequacies and failures of global governance, never strong except in certain economic spheres, will likely be magnified by international tensions and conflicts as well as domestic preoccupations. And at the community level, energies will be monopolized by efforts at simply surviving and coping.

From this essay by James Gustave Speth

Sorry to be all gloom and doom, but water is life. Without it — or with too much of it –things are looking pretty gloomy.

Not done yet

Dani (rhymes with “Sunny”) Isaacsohn won the Democratic primary for Ohio State Representative in District 24 this past Tuesday. That’s my home district, and because it’s roughly 2/3 Democratic, Dani has a very strong chance of winning the November general election.

Only 8.4% of eligible voters cast ballots. Granted, some of that apathy is because it was an unusual second primary, in the dog days of summer… and that happened due to some voting map shenanigans by Dani’s future counterparts across the aisle. But due to the paltry turnout, Dani only needed to get nearly 3600 people to vote for him. Actually, in hindsight, he would’ve only needed 800 votes.

Those results may make it seem like Dani was a lock, but that’s not the case at all. Dale Mallory had name recognition out the wazoo, and sometimes — especially when there’s low turnout — that’s all you need.

Mallory’s father, William Mallory, Sr., served 28 years in the Ohio General Assembly and became the first Black majority floor leader. His brothers are former state legislator and former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory, municipal court judges Dwane and William Mallory Jr., and Cincinnati NAACP president Joe Mallory.

From this Cincinnati.com article

I met Dani at a “voteraiser” at a friend’s home. Seems like a nice young man. Smart kid for sure – he graduated from Walnut Hills High school as valedictorian, went to Georgetown and then graduated from Yale Law School. But it seems he learned just as many valuable lessons on the high school hardwood.

Dani credits his time at Walnut Hills for solidifying his love of Cincinnati. Those years – especially his years as captain of the basketball team – shaped his belief that friendships, trust, and love across the barriers of geography, race, and class are critical to unlocking our full potential as a city. He remains firm in his conviction that our diversity should be a source of strength, not weaponized to create barriers and drive us apart.

From Dani’s website

our diversity should be a source of strength, not weaponized to create barriers and drive us apart“… sounds like your typical political platitudes. And maybe it is. But here’s a sign that Dani walks the walk:

Dale Mallory didn’t have the support of some Democrats in leadership. An endorsement committee moved to endorse Isaacsohn. After a heated debate, Isaacsohn said he urged the Hamilton County Democrats to not endorse for the sake of party unity. 

From the same Cincinnati.com article cited above

In the backstabbing win-at-all-costs world of politics, Dani put a common cause before his own ambitions. Would that more politicians were like that.

I work from home most days, and usually try to get out for a walk to break the monotony of my bland basement (and the creativity-sapping barrage of Zoom meetings). A few weeks ago, I was out for a walk and ran into Dani. He was out knocking on doors, trying to convince folks to vote for him. It was hotter than blazes that day. You’ve gotta really want it to go door-to-door in 2022 trying to get people to vote for you. But that hard work paid off.

Now comes the really hard work. Trying to win a general election. And if you win that, the work gets even harder: trying to find common ground across the aisle, when that aisle can seem as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Too much of our politics at the State House is about tearing each other down, scoring points, and honing in on what separates us. We have real divisions and challenges, but if we allow them to consume us, everyone loses. Dani believes that when we lift as we climb, we are able to celebrate each others’ success and come together to solve shared challenges.

From Dani’s website

I hope Dani wins in November. More importantly, I hope he’s able to find some common ground, and work out sensible solutions to the challenges we face in our city and state.

I’ve got the power (finally).

Big storm rolled into the nasty ‘nati on Wednesday afternoon. Knocked out power in thousands of homes, including ours.

The sudden, unexpected power outage caused a whole host of first world problems. “Oh no, I can’t make a triple berry smoothie and then drink it while watching Real Housewives and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (if you’re over 50)/Twitter (if you own an electric car company)/Instagram (if you’re a graphic designer)/TikTok (everyone else).”

On a hot day that was muggier than New York City in the 70s, the biggest challenge was the lack of air conditioning. It brought back memories of growing up in rural Arkansas in a house without central air. It’s tough to sleep when you feel that heat pressing down on you. No amount of tossing and turning can shake it off, no shedding of clothing can bring relief.

In my fever non-dreams, I remembered that a tornado touched down about 20 miles away from our house, in Goshen, Ohio, leaving hundreds without electricity. Or running water. Or the only home they’ve ever known.

The earth is nearly 25,000 miles around. 20 miles is a rounding error. It’s also the difference between throwing out some fridge food and starting from scratch.

The power came back on at our house yesterday morning. What was a minor inconvenience to me is a game-changer in Goshen, Ohio.

We’re not in Kansas anymore. We don’t have to be. Severe storms are becoming more widespread, and more commonplace. How long until one takes place at my place?

A Voice of Reason in a Land of Insanity

Here’s a Letter to the Editor that appeared in this past Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

Hear, hear! Responsible gun owners should demand action as much as Moms Demand Action. You would hope common sense were a bit more common. The 2nd Amendment — as Lawre points out — was written when our Founding Fathers couldn’t have imagined the killing machines of today. And the 2nd Amendment was (and is) about arming a militia to protect the security our (then newly formed) country.

So if you want an assault rifle, join the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines… or your local constabulary. But if you’re not in one of those groups, you shouldn’t have access.

Why does the Second Amendment trump our ‘unalienable right’ to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Let’s demand commonsense gun control.

(Full disclosure: I know the letter writer, Lawre. But seeing her letter in the Enquirer was the first time I was aware of her stance on gun regulation.)

A Natural regression

Bit by bit, piece by piece, we’ve unraveled the stitches on the social safety net.

[Pearls Before Swine is a great comic strip… check it out here.]

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