open your eyes

24 05 2006


"'I can't shake this crazy feeling that there is some small thing that we're being lied to about.' And that's how the paper ended."

Ishmael nodded thoughtfully… "And do you still wonder if you've been lied to?"

"Yes, but not as desperately as I did then."

"Not as desperately? Why is that?"

"Because I've found out that, as a practical matter, it doesn't make any difference. Whether we're being lied to or not, we still have to get up and go to work and pay the bills and all the rest."

"Unless, of course, you all began to suspect you were being lied to-and all found out what the lie was."

"What do you mean?"

"If you alone found out what the lie was, then you're probably right-it would make no great difference. But if you all found out what the lie was, it might conceivably make a very great difference indeed."

~from Ishmael by Daniel Quinn


This passage came to my mind two nights ago as I was listening to a panel discussion at the Wil-Mar center about Iran. 


Bush immigration plan

17 05 2006

After listening to Bush's speech on immigration this week, I figured out what his plan really entails:

1) "They" make immigration a big deal, so all the illegals get scared

2) Bush offers illegals the chance to be legal by joining the military and fighting our battles

3) Immigrants sign up and US continues to exploit them for monetary/political gain

4) White middle class people care less about what battles we go into because it's not their kids dying

5) The government gets free reign and in the meantime puts the crack-down on our civil liberties

That's my on-the-fly theory. 


15 05 2006

How’s this for cool?

I’ve lived in this house for two years and kind of know my neighbors, but not really. We all just live our own busy lives, I guess. A couple of us have been talking about doing a potluck for the past year, but it just never seems to happen. It’s a working middle-class area: we all have very unpretentious, small, post-WWII military housing style dwellings. There are no Jones’ to keep up with, but even if there were, I doubt anyone around here would care.

Our neighborhood association has recently become active again after many years. It’s pretty exciting for me because I’m all about making connections, especially when I don’t have to lead the effort. (Cue cheezy 80’s music: I feel most comfortable being the wind beneath other people’s wings.)

So, at the first meeting I met a woman that lives (really) just 4 houses away. We talked a bit, but I had to leave. She called recently to talk about setting up a meeting for the social committee. There was something about her that was immediately comfortable.


Tonight, I went over to her house for the first time to talk about plans and get to know her. It turns out that we were born in the same hospital, same year… 3 days apart in a different state from where we both live now! We went to similar schools on the same side of a large city and ran around in the same stompin’ grounds. We both started out poor, but went to college & have made our way. It felt so good to be familiar with a stranger’s background! To maybe not know the details, but to understand and experience where that person started. And she’s so close!

Here’s to connections..and to friendships…to wandering alone…and sometimes, suddenly, not so alone.

Madison treasures

8 05 2006

Here's something I wrote on IshCon, but it belongs here, also (since this is all about my journey):

The first is Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative.
It's a local independant cooperative that sells books and sponsers events that are politically and socially progressive. We just recently put our entire inventory on-line and can process orders from around the country. The prices are all standard from the publishers-so no great Amazon deals-but with each book purchase you are supporting a co-op that gives back to it's community and tries to support and promote awareness of alternative ideas.
I know that this sounds like an ad, but I've been volunteering there for over a year and just really dig what this bookstore is about.

The second thing is an event: The Midwest Social Forum. The website can tell you more, but basically it's like the World Social Forum, only…umm…smaller. Here is the intro blurb from the website:

The Midwest Social Forum is an annual gathering of grassroots organizations, community activists, artists, workers, educators, students, and others committed to making a better, more just world possible. It provides an open space for exchanging experiences and information, strengthening alliances and networks, and developing effective strategies for progressive social, economic, and political change. This year it will be held in Milwaukee, July 7-9, 2006, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union.

I went last year and found it just very inspiring. The whole program was very well organized, informational and mind-opening. It provided a good balance of large and small scale presentations and group discussions. I would only complain that no one could take in all that the conference had to offer. The theme this year is "Another World is Possible".

There are many other cool Madison things too like WORT and Sustain Dane, but I'd better stop. The list really is endless.