Archive - Aug 2006


August 28th

My comment about Nicco and EchoDitto...

(Here is a comment that I added over on EchoDitto's blog concerning the decision of their CEO to take a leave of absence.)

I have known Nicco since he worked with the Dean campaign and I was a volunteer. I have been a client of EchoDitto. I consider Nicco a friend and EchoDitto a firm that I respect. How Nicco and EchoDitto address his support of Sen. McCain is not a simple issue.

Individuals have a responsibility to think about whom they will support and then to show their support. Nicco has said that he supports John McCain. I applaud him for standing up for what he believes. Personally, I do not support Sen. McCain. I don’t see how people can. But that is politics and I hope there will be a vigorous debate.

Corporations have a responsibility to their stakeholders. They need to act in such away as to maintain profits, treat employees fairly and not alienate clients. Unfortunately, too many corporations do not act responsible in all these ways. Political campaigns have responsibilities to the candidates and their supporters. One responsibility is to find the best services, and using a firm that has a CEO supporting a candidate from an opposing party may not be in the best interest of the campaign.

I believe that Nicco and EchoDitto have acted responsibly in confronting the clash that has occurred. I applaud both, yet I still hope that someone can get Nicco to look beyond McCain’s work on campaign finance reform and question whether or not, in the big picture, Sen. McCain is someone that should lead our country.

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August 27th

Superfund, made personal

(Originally posted on DailyKos.)

On June 30th, 1992 a Burlington Northern train derailed while crossing a bridge over the Nemadji River near Superior Wisconsin. A tank of benzene ruptured and over 40,000 people were evacuated. To paraphrase an old quote, the evacuation of 40,000 people is a statistic, the leukemia of one is a tragedy.

This was brought home to me today as I read Barbara’s Diary on DailyKos about her sister Betti. Her diary starts off, “What do you do when you begin your Saturday like most others with heading to ride my horse and work on some horses and you receive a call from your niece saying that her mother (my sister-Betti) is in NICU bleeding in her brain.”

She goes on to talk about “Betti having been diagnosed with AML (an acute luekemia that is pretty deadly) due as a result of a 1992 train derailment in Superior, Wisconsin that dumped TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND TONS OF BENZENE...this happened a mile from her farm.” Betti is 51 and has no medical insurance.

There has been an outpouring of support for Barbara and Betti on DailyKos and I am adding my prayers for Betti and for everyone who is touched by this tragedy. But I also wanted to find out a little bit more about the whole story.

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August 25th

Fighting poverty one click at a time

(Cross posted on the OAC Blog)

Today, I received an email about GoodSearch. It is a search engine that contributes a penny to a charity of your choice every time you use them for a websearch.

After checking around a little bit, I’ve set my charity of choice to One.Org. (Not to be confused with One America Committee). So, every time I do a search, a penny will go to One.Org, The Campaign to Make Poverty History.

I use Firefox as my web browser, and so I’ve set the little search box in the upper right hand corner, which I use all the time, to default to GoodSearch. I use that search box a lot, so I suspect that my searches are going to add up. I’ve also just set up my wife’s computer to use GoodSearch and contribute to Habitat for Humanity.

Are you using GoodSearch? Which charity are you contributing to?

August 24th

Killer Coke and Mentos

I’ve been so busy with the Lamont campaign recently that I really haven’t had a chance to keep up on what is going on in Massachusetts, or on some of the wider more popular online trends. Today, however, I took a chance to try and catch up.

I started reading a little bit about some ‘Killer Coke’ campaign. Apparently one of Deval Patrick’s opponents is trying to criticize Patrick for having worked for Coca-Cola. It is a strategy that I really don’t understand.

I’ve heard people talking about how we need to move our politics to a real discussion of issues and not simply choosing our politicians the way we choose Coke or Pepsi, but making an issue of a candidate working for Coke just doesn’t make sense. Is Patrick’s opponent trying to alienate all the Coke drinkers in Massachusetts? How about the people who drink Minute Maid Orange Juice or Dasini Water, two other Coke products?

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August 23rd

Requiem for a Ferret

The late summer sun shone gently on the adjacent lawn. It was almost quiet, except for the distant leaf blower, a jet overhead, traffic a few streets over, a bird chirping, and the occasional rustling of leaves by the wind. In a hidden alcove underneath a juniper bush, my daughter and I sat and talked. We had just buried Hershey, our pet ferret. She was taking her place next to the graves of two other ferrets that had passed on before her.

On the lawn, a rabbit hopped out to forage, ever alert lest the dog wander over this direction. The rabbit watched the juniper bush as closely as I watched the rabbit. It seemed to be waiting for something to change, or perhaps for a chance to tell me something. Maybe it wanted me to know that Hershey has gone on to a better place for ferrets.

It is sad to lose a pet. It is even harder when it seems as if everything else around you is changing. As the adult, I need to show compassion, stability, and hope. Yet things around me are changing too. What will I be doing in a few months? Will we sell the house and move? It is draining.

Earlier this week, I hurt my back. I’m not sure how much my back pain is a result of stress, of irregular exercise patterns, or other things, but the pain persists. A few nights ago, I took some nighttime pain relievers. They knocked me out and I slept soundly for eight or nine hours. Then, at 5:05 AM, crazy duck called.

We think it is a wood duck, which we have named crazy duck. Its ghoulish cry is disturbing in the middle of the night. Others have suggested it is a loon, but I don’t think so.

The otherworldly call awoke me. I glanced over at the digital alarm clock, without my eyes being able to clearly focus yet, and saw the message. 5:05 looked like S.O.S. What creature was asking for my help at this hour of the morning? A minute passed and S.O.S. became 5:06. I recognized the cry of crazy duck. My thoughts cleared and I rolled over to get a little more sleep. Yet the cry for help remained.

In a world of change, of terror, how do we exude hope? Perhaps looking at a rabbit on a sunny lawn while reflecting on the life a beloved pet is a starting point.

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