Monday, June 30

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's campaigners

I am so impressed with Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's campaigners.

Yesterday I attended a post-campaign event so I could attempt to explain to Mr. Nelson-Pallmeyer the source of my frustration.
(Click to read the details.)

I'm mathematical and calculating enough that I can't stomach the idea of putting my time and labor into preaching to the choir. I joined his campaign when it seemed like it was going to be a chance to get thousands of mainstream Americans who don't read "liberal fringe magazines" exposed to sound policy proposals that use phrases like "militarized empire."
(Something Mr. Nelson-Pallmeyer slipped into a sentence yesterday without thinking, bless his heart.)

Mainstream Americans will show up and listen to such talk if what they're doing is "learning a political candidate's views before voting." They won't show up to places where policy and action proposals include that kind of language under any old circumstances.

That's what makes them not "the choir."

I told Mr. Nelson-Pallmeyer that I needed guidance towards other arenas--arenas besides campaigns for public office--where I could direct my labor if I was going to feel my heart calling me towards his proposed "citizen movement."

Since I didn't have the heart to stick with the part of hte movement that's reaching, at best, 1 new mainstream person a week by waving "No Blood for Oil" signs, I asked him if through his mailing list or his next book he could provide guidance for people like me.

He said he was searching for answers to such a question and would continue to do so so--and address them as he figured out how to.

But it turns out I didn't need to worry about Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer campaigners turning his message's mainstream momentum into a bunch of choir-preaching.

A large chunk of Nelson-Pallmeyer's contact structure in CD 1 has turned into an opposition movement to construction of a corn ethanol plant.

Let me reemphasize that.

JNP campaigners are keeping one of his "liberal fringe magazine" messages--that almost all biofuels do more harm than good--in the mainstream down there.


What the heck was I worried about?

heart heart heart heart heart heart heart

(Click here and scroll to the end of the post to read a wonderful University Ave. light rail fight story, too.)

Beyond that, the "Hopeful Thursdays" meeting in someone's back yard that I rolled my eyes at when I first heard about it... pretty much a mirror image of the meetings in the same person's back yard out of which SPRUNG this candidacy (which I do not roll my eyes at).

After that news, I'm excited to hear what people come up with at "Hopeful Thursdays" meetings.

And, last but not least, a Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer supporter or two really touched me yesterday by surprising me with support for my University Avenue activities I hadn't asked for:

Attached to my clipboard, on top of the flyers, flapping in the wind, were two dollar bills.

What confidence in people's "do good" projects exists in the Nelson-Pallmeyer world. Running both ways.

Friday, June 27

You Couldn't Find A Few Hundred Non-Killers Out Of 12,000 Detainees, Hamas?

I read that the ratio of prisoners being talked about exchanging with Israel & Palestine is something like several hundred : 3.

Now, that sorta makes sense, once you factor in that the number of people held by the two sides is something like 12,000 : ... is it less than 10?

But here's what BUGS me.

Dumb*** officials on the Palestinian side aren't asking for a list that's 100% people who shouldn't be imprisoned in the first place.

According to this article, some of the hundreds they're asking for have committed actions that resulted in deaths.

Now, I'm not for keeping all people whose actions have resulted in deaths locked up forever, but for crying out loud, can they at least ask for them to be let out SECOND?

Can they at least ask for them to be let out after letting out a few hundred of the Palestinians who were locked up for throwing a rock at a tank or spitting at a soldier who let a bully beat them up?

I really hate the way people w/ power behave. **shakes a fist at Hamas elected & appointed officials**

(I wish I knew of some group who'd agree w/ me who could communicate with and influence Hamas officials. Something like Avaaz, only they don't get that narrow, so that wouldn't really work...da**it.)

Farmer's Market food

Grocery stores in my area:
Salad bar: $8/lb
Bread: $2/lb

Farmer's Markets in my area:
Salad fixins: $0.50/lb - $4/lb (mostly $1/lb - $2/lb)
Bread: $4/lb - $8/lb

Why on earth some people go to farmer's markets for the bread and other prepared goods and seem not to care much about the beans, greens, and other salad fixins is beyond me.

(P.S. Make sure to take a close look at the produce of people of color. The bread-lovers are probably passing them over for $32/lb artisinal oregano or something, so they could use your business to stay on the farm.

The more you shop at stalls with cheap food marketed based on traditional-yet-wise approaches to safety and health (and no more), the better they can stay afloat despite the non-traditional rules set up by modern bureaucracy.

If you worry about them not being "organic," which is a crock, anyway, talk to them.

My favorite experience: I said I was so hungry, I'd like something I could eat right now, without access to water for washing. Did the farmer-vendor have any ideas? She showed me some greens with holes in them, and when I expressed skepticism about the holes, she answered: "If the bugs won't eat it, neither should you!"

Lesson: there are always old tricks and farm wisdom that can help you pick out safe food for you and your family at low prices.)

Wednesday, June 25

Minnesota senate race

Blogger Penigma wrote:

Franken...obviously wouldn't...utter political pomposity and economic boondoggle for the benefit of corporations (summer gas-tax break).

Excuse me?

Do you really think that?

I would LOVE it if that were true.

If I could believe that about him, I would definitely vote for him (right now, uninformed about 3rd-party alternatives, I would...but of course, I'll see if there's anyone I like better come November. 3rd-party voting is useful here--5% in a statewide election gets them automatic entrance to debates) and possibly even campaign for him.


I wish Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer had won.

Monday, June 23

Two Buck Chuck, Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, UFW

Well I'll be darned.
My favorite of ProfBW's action suggestions, which she asked me to subordinate to promoting the UFW's actions (which were more relevant to the immediately deceased victim), is now a UFW action.

Good thinkin' 99.

(On the other hand, now I wish I HAD gotten around to getting my conservative buddy who shops at Trader Joe's all the time to call them about Two Buck Chuck and voice his opinion as a consumer before the UFW got behind it. Now he'll think I'm just bugging him about my "UFW mailing list" stuff when he Googles the issue and sees the UFW come up!)

Female Dentist of Color

Click here to read why I'm looking for a female dentist of color.

Yesterday, I read Dr. Weems write:

Who can say for sure whether it’s blackness or femaleness that’s despised most in this country? Meaning, there’s probably no way to parse out which part of you is under attack when as a black woman professor you sit reading the vicious evaluations of your students
I'd searched for her after seeing her leave this comment:
Have you ever considered the possibility that your students' reactions hav more to do with You than they do with the material you are asking them to reflect upon there in the classroom?

Could it be that it's not only their own unexamined racism, but their own internalized sexism that makes them resent and resist the race discussion their black Female professor is trying to get them to engage?

Sure, the Obamas of the world faced their share of racism as they traversed through the halls of places like Harvard and Princeton. But the experiences of the black women students in class with Obama and other black males would tell that there's a very unique reaction academics reserve for black women in the classroom.

I wonder if a significant part of white (and black) students' revolt against and resistance to the material you and I present isn't also motivated by their
deep suspicions about our right and competence to teach them.

As black women in academia we all have a rather sophisticated grasp of race and racism in the classroom, media, and in this country. But sexism, especially when it's directed at us, we aren't always astute at naming and addressing.

I don't know if the reaction I'm having is a helpful one or if it's a well-intentioned yet "*headsmack*" one...but my reaction, after thinking:
Geez Louise, that must be hard. I don't know if I could survive being in their shoes.
was to think,
By gum, since I do my darndest NOT to be like the students described over there (who give bad reviews of a teacher simply because the teacher is bringing coverage of women of color to their rightful proportional representation in studies about women), maybe I, just by going into someone's professional world and being a good human being, can be a bright spot in someone's day.

Although I'm not a student any more, I do have other ways in which I need to interact with professionals and support them. And this would be with my dollars, not my "review" words.

See, I need a dentist.

So I'm thinking about looking for a female dentist of color. Particularly of a racial/ethnic background that gets practically NO respect in the health fields.

Of course, my mom being in the health field, I've heard nightmare stories about incompetent treatment. Stories that make me very much want to avoid incompetent treatment.

So it'll be quite a challenge to filter out truly incompetent people from people who're very competent but not racially/ethnically mainstream enough to get the reviews they deserve.

But, the good news is, once I FIND a dentist of color who knows what she's doing with teeth, the rest of it isn't any more complicated than being who I strive to be anyway. A good person. (Who actually bothers to get dental checkups.)


Boy is it hard to find a list of female dentists of color in Minnesota! 2 hours on the internet and nothing.

Can any readers help me?

Wednesday, June 18

I'm Going To Continue Protesting The Central Corridor LRT Plans

Well, today didn't go as badly as I thought.

My mobilization efforts did--I only managed to mobilize 4 people, thanks to my lousy organization.

But luck connected me to proper organizers who, although previously not 100% against light rail trains going down University Avenue, are now 100% against it. They've changed their minds about not fighting the route because they've decided that they're not going to be able to win a fight for any other means to their end (true economic justice for the people currently on & around University Ave..)

I have hope that even as a lazy, half-assed runner, I've nevertheless looked up, wishing for someone to hand my baton off to while I walk off the track and coddle my ego for a while, and, miraculously, found a whole team reaching back to me.

I don't deserve it, of course...but I got it. It's what luck delivered today.

And I'll take it.

And keep fighting. I ain't quitting today.

Tuesday, June 17

Protesting the Central Corridor LRT Plans

I'm about ready to give up the fight against light rail trains on University Avenue.

I don't like why, either.

The thought of how badly I've failed--both through lack of time investment and lack of skill--at organizing makes me sick at my stomach.

I suck at getting people to follow up.
I suck at following up and doing work myself (like getting my damned flyers and calls to action translated into Hmong, Cambodian, Lao, & Vietnamese).

And now it's mobilizing time and I've got no one standing beside me because I failed at organizing.

That's no reason to give up fighting the good fight.

But it sure makes me feel like doing so.

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"