Posts Tagged With: ugliness


Fall is in the air, there is no mistaking it, the cooler nights; waking up in the dark instead of those sunny mornings. Brrr! There is something else in the air as well, politics. It’s become so ugly I know people who refuse to listen or to vote. I’m tired of the two-party system where you often have to hold your nose to vote. And, now the mega-bucks with attack ads on both sides filling the airwaves. Money that could so easily be spent on positive change. There are good things about politics, though. A local man, Tom Pratt, wholesome, positive, experienced and dedicated to excellence in education is running for School Board. He meets voters at a neighbors house. Now, that’s democracy you can identify with and get behind.

And, Alex Milward, a young high school student who put on a fundraising dinner for Obama as his senior project.  I attended the dinner, and I find my values more in line with the Democratic Party. But, this was such a wholesome event because this young man did it to encourage discourse in our local community. He learned skills like project management, financial tracking, sales and marketing, and public speaking to name a few. Hard work, too.

It was nice to meet neighbors at the event. The local caterer, I have no idea what Jenny Baxter’s political affiliation is, because it doesn’t matter in small town Murphys. Likewise the local musicians who played for the event.

We are all citizens in this soup together.  All morning, I emailed to friends and acquaintances something we can all get behind, Public Citizen, if you haven’t heard. Public Citizen is a non-partisan group attempting to return our campaign laws to the sanity of former years. They are working hard to overturn Citizens United Vs. Federal Election Commission.  Here is an excerpt from their letter:

A recent survey by the Associated Press and the National Constitution Center shows that 83% of Americans think there should be limits on how much money corporations can give to the outside groups that run so many of the dirty campaign ads polluting our airwaves.

It’s not about political parties: 85% of Democrats, 81% of Republicans and 78% of Independents support limiting corporate influence in elections.

And it’s not about income groups: Among people with household incomes over $100,000, the number actually goes up to 90%.

Overwhelmingly, We the People — across political and income spectrums — want corporations out of politics.

Yet a staggering amount of money is being spent by corporations (on behalf of candidates from both major parties, it must be said) seemingly bent on taking us back to the age of the Robber Barons.

With the problem so stark, with people so unified, Public Citizen has an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on all the momentum we’ve built together to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Please contribute $5, $50 or even $500 — whatever you can — right now to help Public Citizen seize the day in our shared fight against the corporate takeover.

This election is one of the most impactful and divisive of our time. I’m guessing you’re getting, and responding to, emails from candidates soliciting your support.

Public Citizen is proudly nonpartisan. We won’t tell you which candidates to support with your vote or your dollars.

But we’re doing critical work that we can’t just put on hold until after Election Day.

We have to prepare now so that we’re at maximum strength to make the most of the opportunities — and respond to the challenges — we’re going to face once the election results are in.

We simply can’t afford to ease off. Not for a month. Not for a day. Not for one moment.

I know not everyone can or will contribute to any of these political groups. But, just be aware they are out there and can use your financial help if you are so minded.


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In Calaveras County we have a record for high turn-out on election day. People take their politics seriously. As far as I know, competitors have treated each other with civility during the thirty-four years I’ve lived here.

Problems do develop and a recall effort against Calaveras County Supervisor Darren Spellman fell short  of the signature requirement on Monday and a verbal spat ensued between Spellman and Bill Crane, a prominent recall supporter. The Elections Clerk, Madalaine Krska,  called the Sherriff’s Department to settle things after it got pretty heated. Spellman claims he was threatened, and Crane claims he walked over and shook Spellmans hand but later called him a liar because  Spellman made derogatory cracks about his wife.

I think of the violent rhetoric we have in the news every day, supposedly mature Senators and Representatives,  and all of their related public spokespersons using character assassination as readily as immature school kids. Bullying, condoning violence, violent rhetoric unworthy of our suspected leaders. Somehow, I thought this was a modern phenomena, but, not so.

Senator Charles Sumner, gave a fiery anti-slavery speech in 1856. He condemned several states for even considering taking the “harlot slavery” as a law in individual states. In fact, those tumultuous years produced enough violence in Kansas, that the state was nearly  divided into two separated states.

Southerner, Preston Brooks, a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina, was particularly incensed with Sumner’s speech.  Not only had the fiery Sumner ridiculed his home state, but Brooks was the nephew of Andrew Butler, one of Sumner’s targets.

In the mind of Brooks, Sumner had violated some code of honor which should be avenged by fighting a duel. But Brooks felt that Sumner, by attacking Butler when he was home recuperating and not present in the Senate, had shown himself not to be a gentlemen deserving of the honor of dueling. Brooks thus reasoned that the proper response was for Sumner to be beaten, with a whip or a cane.

On  May 22,  Brooks entered the building and walked into the Senate chamber. Sumner sat at his desk, writing letters. He waited until several women present in the Senate gallery left, then he walked up to Sumner’s desk and said: “You have libeled my state and slandered my relations, who is aged and absent. And I feel it to be my duty to punish you.”

With that, Brooks struck the seated Sumner across the head with his heavy cane. Sumner, who was quite tall, could not get to his feet as his legs were trapped under his Senate desk, which was bolted to the floor. Brooks continued raining blows with the cane upon Sumner, who tried to fend them off with his arms. Sumner finally was able to break the desk free with his thighs, and staggered down the aisle of the Senate.

Brooks followed him, breaking the cane over Sumner’s head and continuing to strike him with pieces of the cane. Brooks was later arrested on a charge of assault and quickly released on bail.

Good thing they didn’t solve their problems in those days with a gun like they do now. Sumner was attended by a doctor, who administered stitches to close wounds on his head.

Brooks was soon arrested on a charge of assault, and was quickly released on bail.  He was expelled from the House of Representatives, and in the criminal courts he was fined $300 for assault. He returned to South Carolina, where banquets were held in his honor and more canes were presented to him. The voters returned him to Congress, a hero.

Sounds just like the current news, the worse they get, the more they are revered by somebody.  In case you haven’t noticed, most violence and crime is committed by men. Incarcerated men outnumber women, (I’m guessing)  by at least twenty to one. We women pay an unfair amount of taxes for violence. I think the cure is a violence tax. Tax those violent actions and rhetoric and we could clean up politics or else solve the national debt.


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