September 12, 2004

And on that note...

...take a look here for some interesting and varied perspectives on the election. If you want to buy a book to further your education, click on over to Amazon right from the Blogcritics site.

Regardless of your political leanings, I encourage everyone to read, read, read, and then read some more. Educate yourself on the issues that are important to you. If you accept the fact that all news sources have their own biases (some more marked than others, to be sure), then read everything you can and make up your own mind. In the end, democracy's best asset is an educated and informed electorate. Do your part.

And if you're 18 years old and haven't registerd to vote yet (and you know who you are) -- don't wait until it's too late. Register now, and vote.

Pre-election Blues

At less than two months from Election Day, I am increasingly convinced of the certainty of George Bush's re-election. This is not something that makes me happy. The extent to which the Republican's have been able to spin John Kerry into something he is not, and the lack of success that the Democrats have had in fighting back, all point to the fact that those who are not already firmly in one camp or another are likely to vote for the devil they know, and that would be Bush. Recently, he's been saying things like "You might not agree with me, but at least you know where I stand." Yes, Mr. President, I do know where you stand, and I don't like it one little bit.

Otherwise intelligent people who claim not to agree with any of Bush's social policies are often heard making the statement that he "gets" the war on terror. I have to wonder what yardstick they're using to measure that -- if you believe what you read, the next big thing in terrorist attacks is likely to be the suitcase bomb, a small, remotely detonated nuclear device that could be placed just about anywhere. The administration has spent a great deal of capital, human and otherwise, fighting terrorism in Iraq, where it seems to me that those resources would have been put to better use elsewhere. Osama bin Laden, the bad guy of the decade, is still running free, probably somewhere in Afghanistan. Homeland security is being woefully neglected in very important ways, with only 2 percent of the millions of shipping containers reaching our ports every year being inspected.

I'm not even going to go into what a disaster another Bush administration will be for social policy, but suffice it to say we are likely going to see the clocks turned back to the 1950s in terms of rights for women and gay people.

I hope that everyone who is eligible to vote goes out and votes this year, and I hope everyone gives it some real thought and does some real research into the candidates and the issues before November.

September 08, 2004

My nest is empty...

The boy went off to college this past weekend. It's a little weird, this whole suddenly-I'm-not-really-a-mother-anymore deal. Oh, I know that technically it's a job for life -- but there are some aspects of the role that change forever once your kid leaves home, even in that semi-permanent way that college kids leave home. I'm finding my way slowly for now -- I'm not exactly crushed, but I am a little sad. It's hard to go from being needed to being not-so-needed. On the other hand, I saved about $80 on my grocery bill last night, I don't have to write a check for guitar lessons this month, there's one less bathroom to scrub, and my laundry burden is considerably lighter. Nobody interrupted my night's sleep by coming in at 2:30 AM, and I'm not worried about anybody driving in bad weather. I can borrow his CDs without asking, and I don't have to watch any of those really bad reality shows on MTV. Oh, and I can cook whatever the hell I want to for dinner. So right now, it's a little back and forth, but I think I'm going to be alright.

September 03, 2004

September Musings

September is one of my favorite months. There's something about the rhythm of the changing seasons that I find predictable and comforting. And since autumn is my favorite time of the year, September, that funny place between the end of summer and the real autumn (which in my mind translates to October and November), is the harbinger of many things that please me.

To start with, it's hard to beat the autumn weather. More often than not, we have sunny skies and crisp temperatures. I'm a weather moderate -- I hate the heat and humidity of summer, and lately I'm not too fond of winter, either. Autumn is pretty much perfect in regard to temperature, and in New England, the changing foliage and the smell of the leaves all combine to delight my senses. As someone who enjoys the pleasures of hearth and home, I look forward to changing my dinner menus from the lighter fare of summer to the soups and stews that colder weather demand of us.

For school kids, September of course marks the beginning of another academic year. Like most kids, I had mixed emotions about it back then, and I never cease to be surprised as some of those feelings reawaken year after year. As the evening skies darken earlier and I reach for a sweater when I go out to walk in the evening, I'm filled, even after all this time, with the anticipation of new beginnings.