Badger recall on PBS

So we’re watching the News Hour on public TV Friday, and what should appear but a great segment on the effort to oust our governor here in Wisconsin, barely in office a year. The Recall Walker movement is off to a booming start, with more than 50,000 signatures gathered in the first 48 hours.

Here a still I shot off the TV (more on my Facebook page):

PBS News Hour shot 11-18-11

Ask not … healthcare version

So the new Healthcare Reform Act says every American will be required to buy health insurance by 2014 (wait — don’t yawn and fall asleep — this gets interesting!), and the Supreme Court of the United States will decide next year if that’s constitutional.

This made me think of the famous line Ted Sorenson wrote for JFK’s inaugural speeech, the one about “ask not what your country can do for you.” Here’s my variation:

Ask not that your country require you to buy health insurance

Ask that your country provide healthcare to everyone

To unseat a Tyrant – the Prelude

By now most of the world knows about the protests here in Wisconsin, the 30th of the 50 United States to be recognized (1848), and luckily a state whose Constitution allows for the recall of elected officials. But in case Libya and Syria have pushed our so far peaceful, non-bloody situation out of your mind, we elected a tyrannical governor in Wisconsin, who — along with his majority in both houses of the state Legislature — stripped most collective bargaining rights from public employees and ended mandatory union dues, effectively killing their unions.

Governor Scott Walker and his Republican Party storm troopers were so pushy and rude about ramming through legislation that oridinary citizens who were not necessarily union members or even liberals showed up by the thousands to occupy our state capitol building, and march around its square for days and weeks and months.

Protest at Wisconsin's capitol

Although many waned to throw the bums out right away. It turns out you have to wait until an elected official is in office a year before you can do a recall. Governor Walker’s first year is about up now and the recall petition process is set to begin on the 15th of this month. We’ll need half a million signatures, which is about 11% of the state’s voting-age population of 4.37 million people. Seems do-able, getting one out of 10 of us to sign a petition. Game on!

It’s okay to worry … a little

Are you one of those people who can’t stop worrying? Does the evening news fill you with dread? And let’s not even talk about our children!

I think I’m a person who doesn’t worry enough. Things have a way of working themselves out, I’ll say. And what can I do about the debt crisis in Greece anyway?

Somewhere between these two extremes is where most of us probably end up. We find that constant worrying is exhausting, and blissful optimism is impossible to maintain, so we worry just enough to be cautious, or ask a question, or make a phone call, or plan ahead.

And if plans aren’t enough and it’s all still too much, I recommend faith. Knowing that everything is in God’s hands puts worry to bed.

[Thanks to my dearest wife for the idea.]


First snow, big deal?

“Does it snow by you?” — as my Milwaukee German ancestors would have put it. Today, the 9th of November the day I was born, I would answer: “Ya, hey, she’s snowin’ now.”

My son was born in the summer, so it’s hard to picture a winter baby — you wouldn’t go out as much, but those first few months tend to be intimate and intense, whatever the weather. Anyway, my late mother looked out upon an urban landscape in Chicago, and may have an early dusting of snow, like today. I thank her for my life, although I really didn’t like her all that much — kinda cold, distant, self-involved. Or maybe that’s me!

Well I’ll accept the freak snow as my first surprise gift today — may it make me a more prudent planner. And yes, Love, we’ll get your snow tires on ASAP.