Monday, March 31, 2008

Judy Baker's An Evening with Judy

Just a small note on the Judy Baker's fund raising dinner. She is running for U.S. Congress in 9th Congressional District in Missouri. It was well attended and half of the Democracy For Missouri steering committee was there including Wayne Brekus, president, Bill Monroe, Obama National Delegate, and myself. She gave a short speech and mentioned the 50 state strategy and how she was the epitome of it. It calls for fighting Republicans in all 50 states and not let a Republican seat go uncontested. Judy got into the race when Hulshof was still in office and she was ready to take the fight to him.

Columbia School Board Races and Tax Levy

As April 8th approaches. an increasingly number of people have said to me that the school board has really lost touch with it's constituents. Over the last year with the new math curriculum and the whole high school site fiasco, many parents and non-parents alike have started asking questions on how the district's affairs are run. To add to this discontent, there is a 54 cent property tax levy to make up for some "shortfalls"

The general sense I get from the person "on the street" is that the tax levy is going to go down hard and Preis might not be re-elected. To his credit, he did invite Phylis Chase to one of our Democracy for Missouri meetings to hear a presentation from the Leave My Child Alone project. This project exposes a sneaky provision in the No Child Left Behind law that forces schools to give military recruiters personal information on students unless they opt-out. A few weeks later, we received a letter from Chase that these opt-out forms will be in student's orientation packets and the beginning of the next school year.

Though it looks like Ines Segert is the front runner, the other two slots can come from any one of those candidates, save Arch Brooks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Leave Act - Clay Sr. says Hillary had nothing to do with it

William Clay Sr., former Mo congressman, was one of the chief sponsors of the bill back in the 90's. He claims that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with it. In a St Louis Dispatch article, Clay Sr. said there wasn't really much os a need for lobbying.

You know, she might of "help" Bill Clinton write a speech or provide some unofficial advice. Is this one of those resume exaggerations? Sure it is. But it is not the blatant lie about landing in sniper fire and being whisked away when it is clear you were not. We have to be careful not to equate an exaggeration with an outright lie. One is clearly different from the other. A lot of people, especially Clinton supporters, are pointing to Obama's "exaggerations" to some how excuse Hillary's Bosnia lie. This is very Karl Rovian in the sense that he would deflect any criticism from the administration by pointing to his critic's alleged bad behavior. Never mind that he was comparing apples to walruses, that didn't matter.

In Memoriam

Margot Patterson Lubensky, first Boone County woman to serve in the General assembly, died Friday March 28, 2008. The Missourian has a nice article about Ms. Lubensky.

Paul Sturtz for First Ward City Council

The First ward of Columbia has a great opportunity to elect one of the most creative people in the city to the Council. Paul Sturtz founded Ragtag theater and has he along with David Wilson have organized the True/False film festival, an increasingly popular and influential event. In a ward with diverse neighborhoods and people, the other candidates have only their niche constituents. But Paul is the only candidate that views the council seat as a vehicle for change not just for the first ward. but for the city as a whole. If you live in the first ward, please cast your vote for Paul Sturtz on April 8th

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Natural Health, Midwifery, and Chuck Graham

Since Tuesday, I have wondered to myself why the lay midwifery advocates have gone after Chuck Graham with such fury. then I started to talk to some people who are not necessary midwifery proponents, but supporters of natural health. Through this inquiry I started to understand , in my opinion, the misguided anger towards Senator Graham. I actually attended a Health Freedom Expo in Chicago in 2006. I have never been to Chicago and thought why not. At this Expo they were many vendors selling anything from small miniature sauna that looked like a pup tent to the latest in super juices. Many folks who support natural medicine believe that the medical profession is too pharmaceutical based and going back to "natural methods" will heal the body. There are many states that have considered or are considering legislation to ban or restrict these natural medicine practices, hence the health freedom movement.

Personally I do not agree with the senator, but I don't believe Chuck is against midwifery because he "in" with the AMA. Can he just be against it just because he believes it's unsafe?

For me, some of the natural health philosophy makes sense. I do believe people are over-medicated and natural methods seem less intrusive and have less side effects. Other practices like iridology I don't buy.

Maybe there can be room for compromise.

Mo 9th Congressional Convention in Audrain county

It was a rainy and stormy night....ok, it was raining, but I'm not writing a fictional piece with a cliche beginning. I attended the Mo 9th Congressional Convention in Mexico, Missouri. A couple of friends and I drove up there from Columbia as Obama Alternates. We tried to make up a song to sing as we were driving up in the rain, but couldn't find many words that rhymed with alternate. We arrived in one piece and spent some time talking and conversing with other delegates. I was stumping for William Monroe to be the make Obama Delegate. Bill is a public health nurse that works in Columbia, but lives in Fulton. Before the vote, there were delegates that didn't show up so alternates were chosen to fill in. My friend's wife and I were picked to be delegates and had voting privileges. It is funny that she became an alt a month earlier only because she didn't want to walk home and decided to join her husband at the county convention in February. Democracy is about showing up it seems (attributed to Wayne Brekhus).

Speeches were given, the holy trinity of Truman, FDR, and JFK was invoked, and in the end Bill won the delegate seat. Robin LaBrunerie of Columbia won the female delegate slot. Missourian story is here.

I must say I thought the process was fun and hope to have more fun at the State convention on May the 10th.