Monday, September 26, 2005

Reheated Brownie

Raw Story noted that Michael "Brownie" Brown, the former-director of FEMA who resigned in the wake of the wicked poor federal response to Katrina, has been hired back by FEMA as a consultant! And guess what he's working on--evaluating FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina! No lie--here is the link to the CBS story. Way to go Brownie! How about that for a chance to clear your reputation? I guess this really does make sense, since was so close to the problem. Honestly, shouldn't we broaden this little stroke of the administration's genius and put Karl Rove in charge of investigating the Plame leak while Bill Frist heads up the Securities and Exchange Commission?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Urinetown, The Musical

Hilarious, kind of dark. Won a bunch of Tonies back in 2002. Basic plot is that a severe water shortage has eliminated the possibility of private toilets. Now everyone has to pay to use public bathrooms, and one company owns all of the public amenities. Poor people can't afford to urinate. There are laws against going in public. Anyone caught doing so gets sent to Urinetown, a place no one can describe because once someone "goes" they never come back.

Bobby, the main character believes that the provision of basic human needs should not depend on the size of someone's pocketbook and sets out to create a freedom rebellion. (spoiler alert) In the end, the spunky rebels win, but they all die anyway because the regulations they removed were actually protecting (at least for awhile) their unsustainable way of life. And the underdogs lacked the emotional stability and experience necessary to fill the vaccuum left by big business's demise with good alternative solutions.

I think it is amazing when a musical written in the late 90s can so well describe the political climate of today. Of course there is a middle way where the excesses of both sides of the con/lib debate are ignored in favor of creating better solutions, but you would NEVER know it by looking at the uber-polarized U.S. right now.

Believe it or not, this is one reason I do not want the Republican party to screw up so much. The last thing we need is such a backlash that we end up with Democrats in the same powerful position Republicans are now, controlling all representative houses of governement. This is why I wish both the head of the Senate (R-Bill Frist for insider trading) and the Speaker of the House (R-Tom Delay for unethical connections with a lobbyist) and the administration (Karl Rove) were not under investigation as I type. Oh, obviously if they are corrupt they need to go, but don't think it will mean good things for any of us. Why is the notion of moderation in all things so hard for humans? Are we all destined for Urinetown?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Eastside Squirrels

We have two squirrels who have run the place since we've lived here. Like most squirrels, they are cute and a little scary. John and I named the skinny one Nutboy Slim and the "huskier" one, R Tuffy. "R" is for rodent. We just call him Tuffy. We decided against more disneyfied names for the following reasons:

A. We live on the Eastside of Indy, and names like "Pete" or "Fuzzy" sounded a little too Northside.
B. These squirrels are not shy. Life doesn't happen to them. They make it happen. They KNOW what they want and aren't afraid to go for it even when you're standing right next to it (Tuffy usually goes for it first, which may be why he is a little "huskier."
C. Everything else in the yard-- birds, bugs, recently planted seeds, even cats, are afraid of them.

But in the end, they are just squirrels trying to get a nut (an extra acorn to whomever can name the song reference in that last sentence).

I'll try to get some pictures, because despite their tough exteriors, they are still pretty sweet.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Equal Marriage Rights Update

One stop shopping for important equal marriage rights info that you may not have noticed in the news:

In July, Canada made it legal for same-sex couples to marry, making it the fourth country to protect families like mine. The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain also recongize same-sex unions.

England is set to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in December 2005. My friend Dave told me he knew that already because Sir Elton John and his long-term partner David Furnish are planning a December wedding. Dave has made no decisions about what he will wear. I hope the knight's wedding will be televised. It would be the third broadcast British wedding I've seen. Hopefully it will have all of the pageantry and hopefully longer lasting results than the other two. In any case, what an excuse for a tv party--bring your tulle and your rhinestone sunglasses! More details to come.

Here in the U.S.:

In MA, a legislative bill failed to reverse the state's judiciary decision that same-sex marriage is constitutional. Both gay rights groups as well as some conservative Christian groups were pleased with the vote. The proposed bill, while denying marriage rights, would have provided limited but not full protection for same-sex couples. (Christian right groups didn't want same-sex families to have ANY protections). An attempt to put a "new and improved" amendment on a ballot with NO protections is in the works, but it will be 2008 before it could go before MA voters. While this battle is far from over (I've learned never to underestimate just how powerful fear and the religious right can be) the discussion in the MA legislature appeared to be less rancorous during this last round of debate. Seems MA civilization has not been destroyed because more people are allowed to make their lives together more secure.

This month in CA, the LEGISLATURE passed a bill that would allow same-sex couples equal marriage rights. However, Governor Schwarzenegger said he will veto it. He says the decision should be put to a popular vote or, strangely enough, be approved by the judiciary (I thought conservatives didn't like that idea).

From the Online Journal:

The veto statement concluded with “Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto AB849.'” The reference is to Proposition 22, an initiative passed in 2000 that banned same-sex marriage in California. But as the San Francisco Chronicle and Mr. Skelton pointed out, the views of rational, reasonable, socially conscious, fair-minded people evolve:

"Two months before voters passed Prop. 22, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that likely voters favored a ban on same-sex marriage by 57 to 38 percent. In a poll taken last month by the same group, likely voters were split evenly on the question, 46 to 46 percent, although nearly 70 percent of [conservative] Republican voters continued to disapprove."

A September 9, 2005 New York Times editorial also took note of that poll and the changing views toward marriage equality, as well as other aspects of Schwarzenegger’s ridiculous explanation for the swift veto:

"For years, social conservatives have accused judges of deciding social issues that should be left to legislators. Now Mr. Schwarzenegger wants to ignore his Legislature and leave gay marriage to the courts or the voters at large to decide. . . .
"Mr. Schwarzenegger also seems to have forgotten that this nation was founded as a republic, in which the citizens elect legislators to govern on their behalf. Such representative democracy is especially important when it comes to protecting the fundamental rights of minorities, who may face bigoted hostility from some segments of the electorate."

Aside from ignoring the essence of “republic,” letting the voters decide every issue sounds “democratic,” but Tocqueville was right: there is a worm in the American apple. Canada’s Prime Minister Paul Martin put it most succinctly when he said that civil rights is not a popularity contest. The point had been clearly made by a 1968 Gallup poll that showed a whopping 72 percent of Americans opposed interracial marriage a year after the Supreme Court legalized it (Loving v. Virginia). A “popularity vote” in 1968 would have delayed interracial marriage equality for years. A popularity vote on codifying racial segregation in some Southern states—and probably a few others—in 1950 would almost certainly have delayed African Americans’ civil rights for years if not decades.

Civil Rights delayed are civil rights denied, Mr. Schwarzenegger. History is quite clear on that, as it will be on your political pandering and moral cowardice.

I think we're going to make it after all (throwing tam skyward). On a related note, if in times of trial you need to be reminded why you are proud to be an American, you may want to check out the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington . John and I rented it (it had been years since I'd seen it), and it is a good remedy for cynicism. Stewart is the perfect ideal patriot. And Jean Arthur is great as the sweet but jaded beltway insider who figures out how to overcome legislative pathology. I attribute this movie with saving the filabuster this past year, and the Lincoln memorial is practically part of the cast. Pass me a tissue and long live the Republic. Wait, that sounded kind of French. God bless America!

Friday, September 09, 2005

FEMA Head Michael Brown Being Removed

Just saw this in bottom of screen scroll while watching Washington Journal. Brown is being taken off Katrina relief efforts.

"Cops Trapped Survivors in New Orleans"

Not New Orleans cops, suburban cops. From The Washington Times:

United Press International
Cops trapped survivors in New Orleans
By Shaun Waterman
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
Sep. 9, 2005 at 10:48AM

Police from surrounding jurisdictions shut down several access points to one of the only ways out of New Orleans last week, effectively trapping victims of Hurricane Katrina in the flooded and devastated city.

An eyewitness account from two San Francisco paramedics posted on an internet site for Emergency Medical Services specialists says, "Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot."

"We shut down the bridge," Arthur Lawson, chief of the City of Gretna Police Department, confirmed to United Press International, adding that his jurisdiction had been "a closed and secure location" since before the storm hit.

"All our people had evacuated and we locked the city down," he said.
The bridge in question -- the Crescent City Connection -- is the major artery heading west out of New Orleans across the Mississippi River.
Lawson said that once the storm itself had passed Monday, police from Gretna City, Jefferson Parrish and the Louisiana State Crescent City Connection Police Department closed to foot traffic the three access points to the bridge closest to the West Bank of the river.
He added that the small town, which he called "a bedroom community" for the city of New Orleans, would have been overwhelmed by the influx.
"There was no food, water or shelter" in Gretna City, Lawson said. "We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people.
 If we had opened the bridge, our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged."
But -- in an example of the chaos that continued to beset survivors of the storm long after it had passed -- even as Lawson's men were closing the bridge, authorities in New Orleans were telling people that it was only way out of the city.

"The only way people can leave the city of New Orleans is to get on (the) Crescent City Connection ... authorities said," reads a Tuesday morning posting on the Web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, which kept reporting through the storm and the ruinous flooding that followed.

Similar announcements appeared on the Web site of local radio station WDSU and other local news sources.
"Evidently, someone on the ground (in New Orleans) was telling people there was transport here, or food or shelter," said Lawson. "There wasn't."
"We were not contacted by anyone" about the instructions being given to survivors to use the bridge to get out of town, he said.
The two paramedics, who were trapped in the city while attending a convention, joined a group of people who had been turned out by the hotels that they were staying in on Wednesday. When the group attempted to get to the Superdome -- designated by city authorities as a shelter for those unable to evacuate -- they were turned away by the National Guard.

 "Quite naturally, we asked ... 'What was our alternative?' The guards told us that that was our problem, and no, they did not have extra water to give to us.
 "This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile law enforcement." As they made their way to the bridge in order to leave the city "armed Gretna sheriffs (sic) formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads."

Members of the group nonetheless approached the police lines, and "questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge ... They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City.
"These were code words," the paramedics wrote, "for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans."
The authors say that during the course of that day, they saw "other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated."
Efforts to contact the authors of the Internet posting were unsuccessful, but UPI was able to confirm that individuals with their names are employed as paramedics in San Francisco.

Celebrate the rescuers, but remember the whole truth.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Be Aware. A Lack of Truth Hurts Us.

From Media Matters:

...If the [Washington] Post wants to characterize criticism as "strident" or "harsh," it might better begin with the false claim, made by a "senior Bush aide" -- and reported in the September 4 edition of the Post as though it were true -- that Blanco [governor of Louisiana] still hadn't gotten around to declaring a state of emergency as of September 3. In fact, Blanco did so on August 26, a fact the Post acknowledged in a correction on September 5. But neither the Post's correction, nor any subsequent article, even hinted at a basic, and extremely newsworthy, fact: The Bush administration is spreading false information about Blanco in order to shift blame to state and local efforts...

Something to be aware of, when Bush's advisor Karl Rove takes on a smear campaign, here is what it looks like:

1. Ignore opponents' criticism
2. Attack them at a strength, rather than a weakness
3. Attempt to discredit opponent by any means possible, including lies
4. Repeat lies over and over and in many places until people assume they are the truth

Bush calls Rove "turd blossom" because he has a history of making crap smell good. Bush should know. He's given Rove plenty of loads to work with. The city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are probably not up to fighting the Rove machine. It is frightening how powerful it is--just ask Republican John McCain. It will be up to you to look critically at statements that anyone (including people who disagree with the White House) claim as truth.

America Grows Up

Mournful shock and heavy-hearted stabs at relief seem to be some of the few activities Americans of all stripes can do together as they look on in horror at what is happening to their brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast.

Katrina provided me with a snapshot of what it means to be an American in the early 21st century. I'm happy to report that a heart still beats beneath our vulnerable frame. In realitiy we have always been vulnerable, but with an unconscious sense of immortality that adolescents possess. I think part of what is troubling America these days is that as a country we are entering early middle age. No longer the spunky idealistic youth, we are entering that time in a country's history when we start to ponder the truth that nothing lasts forever. The human response to the aging process is varied, and not suprisingly so are the responses to our country's "maturation."

Taken together, our citizenry functions as the mind of America. And just as conflicting and compatible thoughts battle for position within our head, we find ourselves in various stages of agreement or disagreement with one another as we continue to shape our identity.

The "I'm not getting older" response

Overheard saying: America is the same as it ever was, nothing needs to change.

Positive traits: Positive attitude, optimism

Negative outcomes: Strained muscles. Overstressed systems. Eventual immobility.

The "Let's turn back time" response

Overheard saying: If America just works hard enough, we can be just like we were before.

Positive traits: Positive short-term change, attractive exterior.

Negative outcomes: Shallow change. Eventual frustration when changes do not alter things fundamentally. Regret when once idealized past is remembered accurately.

The "What does it mean to be older?" response

Overheard saying: What needs to change now that America is older? How are we fundamentally different than we were before? What has not changed? What do I need to accept?

Positive traits: More reflective, as opposed to reflexive, capacity. More realistic view of what is possible. Greater sense of what is important. More likely to spend time and energy where it matters.

Negative outcomes: Can become so introspective that inactivity sets in.

A human has a remarkable tendency to operate in all three modes simultaneously. And sometimes when one response bumps against another, there is mental friction. And that is what I see happening today in America. Maybe it helps me to see the variety of reponses to the same issues as different views of problems we all want to resolve rather than through an "us against them" lens. Honestly, sometimes I can do that and sometimes I can't.

It is also helpful for me to see us mourn and help people together. It reminds me that we are all part of the same body, trying to figure this aging thing out. One thing I'm pretty sure of, America was born with great strengths and a definite character. These will not disappear just because we age. If we are lucky they will mellow and be refined, until America becomes like the treasured elders I have come to know, respect, and love.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From Faith to Fury: Senator Mary Landrieu

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is not a wing-nut Democrat. She was a part of the gang of 14 who compromised with Republicans in order to salvage the filibuster. After the hurricane hit New Orleans she put on a brave face and thanked federal politicians on both sides of the aisle, including Bill Frist for their efforts. This despite some genuine cracks in the federal aid facade. Still, she encouraged emotional reporters demanding answers to avoid the blame game.

Then, she traveled with Bush to one of the levee breaches, and this is what she saw (from KTAL-TV News, via AmericaBlog:

“But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast – black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government.

Then, she began to hear the administration shrugging the molasses-assed pace of federal relief efforts onto state and local officials--a small number of people working in a metropolis-sized swamp that is 9 to 20 feet deep.

She is done covering the administration's behind now. On a helicopter tour with George Stephanapoulos on a taping of This Week, she offered her current perspective (See the entire clip at the video blog Crooks and Liars, text from Daily Kos:

Today, Senator Landrieu, a Democrat whose father, Moon Landrieu, was once the mayor of New Orleans, dropped her earlier reserve about criticizing federal failings.

Mr. Bush had said that the enormousness of the crisis had "strained state and local capabilities."

Local authorities took this as a deeply unjustified criticism, and a distraught Ms. Landrieu said that if she heard any more criticism from federal officials, particularly about the evacuation of New Orleans, she might lose control.

"If one person criticizes them or says one more thing - including the president of the United States - he will hear from me," she said on the ABC program "This Week." "One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally."

She also referred angrily to comments Mr. Bush had made Friday at the New Orleans airport about the fun he had had there in his younger days.

"Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered," Ms. Landrieu said during a helicopter tour of the area with an ABC interviewer. "Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?"

She later goes on to point out that Bush raided the FEMA budget items designated to bring the levees up to par in the last few years.

There are some things Bush should have learned by now about real Southerners (as opposed to Houston-based East Coasters who pose as brush gathering ranchers). During an argument, we will usually provide you with a polite concession, if for no other reason than to help solve a bigger problem later or just to be kind. If we find out that you are insincere or dishonest, we will quietly dismiss you, either directly or with veiled sarcasm. If we find that you are also a cowardly opportunist, we will turn on you like a junkyard Pit Bull.

Many Southerners, after hearing self-serving lies such as the ones above or, "we had no idea the levees would break" or "we thought New Orleans had been spared" or "no one asked us for help" are in one of the stages mentioned above. It remains to be seen how many will arrive at the Pit Bull stage, but I suspect Mary Landrieu won't be the only one.

Mondo Elephant Ears

This is John's mom, Linda, next to one of her and Jim's ENORMOUS Elephant Ear plants. John and I grow them, too. In fact Linda says we gave them this bulb, but it is with no small pain that I admit that ours are not nearly this big.

I love Elephant Ears. My grandmother grew them in groves, like she did everything, and I loved the sound they made when she watered them.

Fun fact: These Elephant Ears are actually called Taro, and their bulbs, which you have to dig up each fall where we live, are what people in Hawaii use to make poi. There is another plant called Alocasia, which I think is the true Elephant Ear, but I'm not sure.

Friends in Arkansas and Texas, Elephant Ears do really well in your area. If you want any starts off of ours, let me know.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hero Alert: 20-year Old Grabs A Bus and Saves Lives

Click here for the full story from the Houston Chronicle.

Short version is 20 year-old Jabbar Gibson was trapped in New Orleans with a bunch of other people. He grabbed a school bus, loaded it up with about 50 passengers and headed to Houston's Astrodome where he had heard hurricane survivors were being welcomed. The group picked up people they saw on their way out, pooled their money for gas, and finally made their way to the Astrodome.

Sadly, when the group arrived they were denied entry (no lie) because the Astrodome was "reserved for the 23,000 people being evacuated from the Louisana Superdome." Gibson stood his ground and eventually the group was allowed into the Astrodome. Brave boy.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Comment Procedure and Blam

Hi Growers. Have you noticed all of the spammy messages in my comments sections lately? This is called "blam"--blog spam. I'm working to eliminate it, because it is VERY annoying. The best way I know how at the moment is to enable a "word verification" feature. Commenting is really just as simple as it ever was, with one little step added. At the bottom of the page where you write your comment you'll see a "word" written in groovy word art looking text along with a space to type the letters that you see. Type in those wavy letters and submit. Blam is automated and therefore it cannot recognize the atypical text, which means we should see less of it.

My apologies and gratitude for the extra effort.

Heroes: Southern Baptists Know About Big Food

A hero story. If there is one thing Southern Baptists know it is how to feed lots of people, and their disaster efforts with the Red Cross are really well planned.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Dispatch via Raw Story:

"America is obviously going to have to rethink disaster relief," said Jim Burton, director of volunteer mobilization for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention...But there are always delays, Burton said, because nothing is deployed until experts survey the damage and decide where to most effectively put relief services.
(And that is what makes a late presidential arrival and federal government actions somewhat unfortunate.)
"...His agency has planned for missing bridges. The Southern Baptists' worst-case planning is for reaching Memphis after an earthquake on the New Madrid fault, which in 1812 whiplashed at a stone-crushing 8.1 on the Richter scale. Burton envisions the Mississippi without bridges.

So when state and local Southern Baptists raise money to build a mobile kitchen, he tells them to design it to be hoisted in by helicopter."

That is what disaster preparedness looks like. Sadly, and if the Red Cross is to be believed this aspect of the debacle is not FEMA's fault, the organization is not allowed into New Orleans where the trapped people are.

As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.

Other relief agencies say the area is so damaged and dangerous that they doubted they could conduct mass feeding there now.

"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

"Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders."

Calls to the Department of Homeland Security and its subagency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, were not returned yesterday.

Though frustrated, Hosler understood the reasons. The goal is to move people out of an uninhabitable city, and relief operations might keep them there. Security is so bad that she fears feeding stations might get ransacked.

I do wonder though, how are some of these folks going to get out to where the SBC has food for them if they don't have the energy and health to do it?

Rapper Kanye West Goes WAY Off Script

Rosie pointed this one out to me. I have admired Kanye West for awhile now. He is one of the few rappers who speak out against the homophobic messages in a lot of rap music. In this video clip at Crooks and Liars (you have to scroll down), Mike Myers reads from the NBC script. Kanye obviously ignores it and speaks his mind. Totally freaks NBC out! Mike Myers looks like he just crapped his pants.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Where is Dick Cheney? and Other Questions

1. Has anyone heard anything from Dick Cheney in months? Not that I miss him, but I'm especially surprised that we haven't heard a peep or any of his usual obscenties during this disaster. I hear that he, like Bush, has been on an extended vacation in his home state, but wouldn't he normally rear his head at a time like this?

2. Why is Bush saying no one knew the levees would break when LA has known all along that they would? Models have shown that even a category 3 hit on New Orleans would compromise them (Katrina was a category 4).

3. Harry Connick, Jr.'s question (Hat tip to Rosie and Prairie Weather:

“How hard it is to take a helicopter or a truck ... it's easy to get to the convention center, we got there with no problem ... how hard is it to take a truck with water or food for these people. I don't understand,” Connick said in an interview ith “Today” host Katie Couric. “They told these people to go to the convention center for help and it's been five days. It's unbearable,” Connick said. He said that while he was at the convention center on Thursday he saw no water or food being distributed to the victims.

4. John's question is actually the same one Newt Gingrich had (from Albany Democrat-herald:

"If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.

How can the years since 9/11 have taught us nothing? This horrific saga is like a billboard that shows terrorists just how vulnerable we really are. Wherever bin Laden is (we know he's not in Iraq), I'm sure he's taking notes.

5. Why do the least empowered people in society always get blamed for things like this? If I had a corporate tax cut for every time I've heard, "Well, those people were told to get out, and they didn't" I could afford a quarter tank of gas. I suspect most of the people who stayed weren't looking at Katrina as an opportunity to be featured on the Weather Channel. Many of them chose the lesser of two evils--stay, maybe survive and keep what few belongings they had or leave, lose what little there is (to the real looters), and risk not finding a place to be later. I'm sure there were people who had it in their heart to stay and profit from someone else's misfortune, but I doubt this is the case for many of the poor.

6. Why do the most empowered people in society rarely get blamed for things like this? Those plasma screen raiders have nothing on the "legal" looting the federal government managed to pull off with FEMA's budget over the past several years, including significant amounts designated for securing New Orleans' pesky levees.

New Orleans is not the only place dams are breaking. DC may find itself sandbagging before too long.

Update: Cheney showed up at the White House on Saturday, five days after Katrina hit. He looks well rested, no doubt ready to spring into action. He and Karl Rove were standing off to the side of Bush's Saturday Rose Garden press conference. Maybe part of our homeland security program should include funds for signs that say "In case of national emergency, GET BACK TO WORK!" which administration officials can post on the refrigerators at their favorite vacation spots.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

GrowingSense is a Year Old Today

It's been exactly one year since I created my own blog. To be honest, GrowingSense started so I could comment on someone else's blog. September of 2004 was a politically active time and I was tired of not being part of the national conversation .

I had no clue how addictive blogging would be. As the complex, frustrating and frequently confusing political events of the past year unfolded I desperately needed a place to float out my perspectives for the sake of finding support and sometimes balance for my ideas.

GrowingSense has been a bizarre (to me at least) mix of politics, faith, and daily life--not unlike a million other blogs. If anything makes it unique it is the mixture of people who I know read it regularly. While folks may or may not share my perspective, GrowingSense nevertheless is made up of beloved people, some whom I've known for decades and others for just a few years. I've been told I have regular readers whom I've never even met (hope to change that when I can).

It is the present moment's connection to the lives of all of these people-- my friends, family, and even strangers, that I find so powerful. In a lot of ways blogging has been kind of like praying- - a way of pouring out my heart to God either in celebration, fear, or frustration. The fact that I drag you with me through it all seems to be right in line with the nature of my faith, or at least with my tendency to make any issue ultimately about me.

So thanks, for hanging tough through the rants and the raves, the weeks of no posting and the occassional meaningless post. Thanks for sharing yourself whether it is through your comments or simply your silent attention. Your presence here gives GrowingSense its soul. Don't know how long it will be around, but I'm grateful for the life it's had so far.