T-Shirts for Peace

Going shopping isn’t how I would normally encourage people to work for peace. I don’t think encouraging Americans to go shopping after 9/11 was the best way of dealing with that event. Likewise, while I like my T shirts with pithy pro-peace messages, I question their ability bring about meaningful change. However, I make one special exception.

I’ve long been a fan of No Sweat Apparel. Their focus has been to sell apparel made in union shops from around the world. Beyond seeking better working conditions, No Sweat addresses larger issues.

After the Tsunami in Banda Aceh, they sold flip-flops made in Jakarta. They were designed by orphans of the Tsunami and profits from the sale go to support the Schools for Aceh Foundation.

Now, as we see more tension in the Middle East, they are selling “organic union made t-shirts from Bethlehem”. Pax Christi is featuring a T-shirt made in this shop.

In addition, Ideablob, a project of Advanta Bank Corp is offering $10,000 to the best business ideas, and No Sweat is one of the finalists this month. So, if you don’t mind registering on a site run by a credit card company, stop by and vote for No Sweat Apparel.

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Delegate Selection Week

Last week, there was a bit of buzz online about the process in Connecticut that Democrats use to select delegates to the National Convention in Denver. This morning, I received an email about Massachusetts’ process for selecting delegates to the national convention. Their caucuses will be April 5th and sound pretty similar to what happens in Connecticut.

However, there are other conventions besides the National Convention. In Connecticut, there are nearly two hundred other conventions. There is a convention for each State Representative seat, each State Senate seat, each Congressional District, and the State Convention. Typically, these conventions don’t get as much attention as the National Convention, which is too bad, because they can be great fun and important events.

This year they may be even more interesting and exciting, due to the new campaign finance laws. The goal of these new laws is to make it easier for people to run, so hopefully there will be more candidates showing up at the conventions.

The State Legislative conventions work differently from the National Convention. For the National Convention, the primary determines how many delegates each candidate gets going into the National Convention. With the State Legislative conventions, the delegates get selected at special caucuses or meetings of Democratic Town Committees. The candidate that gets the most delegates at the convention becomes the nominee, but can be challenged in a primary afterwards.

The rules for the Connecticut Democratic Party, as I understand them, is that delegates to these other conventions need to be selected this week. I’ve been trying to find out when these delegate selection meetings will take place and what rules will be in effect. In Woodbridge, we will be having our meeting Thursday at 8 PM ‘at the center rm 16’. I am new to Woodbridge, but sent a message to the DTC Chair in town and he promptly got back to me with details.

Sophia on MyLeftNutmeg posted information about the Glastonbury Democratic Caucus, which will also take place on Thursday at Democratic Headquarters, 2341 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT.

I sent an email to as many members of State Central as I could find email addresses for, which was at least half of State Central. Brian Anderson forwarded my message on to Chris Pitts on the communications committee of the Canterbury DTC. Chris sent me details about their delegate selection process. They will be meeting 7pm on April 1st at the Canterbury Town Hall. Besides Brian, and my DTC chair, who is also on State Central, only one other member of State Central responded. She noted that their delegate selection would take place during their regularly scheduled DTC meeting, but she forgot to tell me when and where that meeting will be.

So, the amount of information available online about how to get involved in Democratic politics in Connecticut is slowly improving, but it is still significantly lacking. If you know of other delegate selection meetings, please leave a comment here or drop me a note at aldon dot hynes at orient dash lodge dot com. Let’s get people more involved.

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The Gigantic Foreclosure

It seems like an unlikely movie plot. A Wall Street technology executive, who started on Wall Street writing programs to analyze mortgage backed securities, moves to the suburbs and buys a unique hundred-year-old home. After living there for a few years, his marriage falls apart. His career takes a nasty turn, and he struggles to find a new job on the Street. He remarries and spends his time writing and getting involved with politics. He names his blog after the unique house. He gets credentialed as one of the first bloggers at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He writes a novel for National Novel Writing Month, and as the housing market collapses, he is forced to sell his house in a foreclosure auction.

As he tries to straighten out his financial woes, he gets a call from a movie scout that would like to use the house for a romantic comedy. There isn’t a lot of money in the deal, not enough to bail him out. They want to film just days before the foreclosure auction.

At this point, suggestions on the way the story plays out with the filming and the auction and any humorous twists would be appreciated. I would much rather see this play out as a romantic comedy closer to the style of Woody Allen than a tragicomedy in the style of Zola. However, I can wait. The filming is scheduled for Wednesday and the auction is scheduled for Saturday.

You see, while this sounds like a very unlikely movie plot, it is the current real life twists and turns of my current life.

The movie turns out to be Gigantic, “A comedy centered around a mattress salesman and the young woman whom he meets at his store.” It stars Zooey Deschanel and Paul Dano, with John Goodman, Jane Alexander, Edward Asner and others. One article says that Dano plays “Brian, a depressed mattress salesman whose quest to adopt a Chinese baby is sidetracked when he falls for Happy (Deschanel)”. Another article reports, “Asner will play Dano's pot-smoking, gangsta rap-loving father, and Alexander plays his mother. Goodman plays Deschanel's brilliant but domineering father.”

Gigantic, originally uploaded by Aldon.

As best as I can tell, there is a family reunion, which will be filmed at Orient Lodge. The family is going hunting, or something like that. One person said that family is going mushroom hunting together and everyone takes magic mushrooms before hand.

So, if everything goes fine, they will finish filming at the house a couple days before the foreclosure auction. I have no idea what will happen at the foreclosure auction. It would be great if things work out in such a way that covers a large portion of the outstanding debt, but we shall see.

Foreclosure Notice, originally uploaded by Aldon.

So, Gigantic sounds like a fun movie. The plot might seem a little unlikely, but it probably seems more likely than the plot of my life and we shall see how the two plots intermingle.

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He is Risen!

The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia! It is the Episcopalian Easter greeting that has become core to my Easter experiences. This Easter did not bring as much Easter joy as other years. Some of it may be the pressures of all that is going on in my life. Other parts are simply because I think I’m fighting a virus. When I wasn’t at Church or eating with Kim’s parents, I was mostly sleeping and will head off to be shortly.

However, I wanted to try and get a blog post up today, even though I haven’t had a lot of time to think about it or write anything spectacular.

From the personal side, Fiona woke to find the Easter baskets on the dining room table. At the corner of the table there was a small pile of black jelly beans; Easter Bunny Poop. It must be that our Chocolate Lab started the Easter Bunny. As noted before, next week will be a very busy week, so I shall try to get some good rest before the week begins.

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The swamp

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