Tuesday, May 22, 2007

She Might Be a Giant . . .

As a watcher of Missouri Politics, I was very interested in who was going to take Charlie Wheeler's senate seat. Jollie Justus was a fascinating candidate and being partial to political outsiders, she was a favorite. (I didn't say she was "the" favorite. I also am a Jason Klumb fan, so I won't do selective memory thing and act like I would have only been happy if Jollie would have won).
Yet the progressive movement needs a strong voice in 10th senate district. There were those that were worried about her inexperience in elected office. As a minister, may I officially pronounce those worries dead! ;-)
Sen. Justus has proven herself to be an outstanding advocate and a great champion for the cause of community, peace and shalom (no, I'm not going to say the J-word! ;-) Her blog, Freshmeat, is one of the great original source materials of activities in the City of Jefferson. And, she stands an excellent standard by which anyone in Missouri could ask if their own senator has the courage and integrity which Sen. Justus does.
If your senator (or representative) can measure up to her, then cast your vote with pride. If he or she can't, you are in luck because you have over 9 months to find a better candidate. (And yes, there was wisdom when God made 9 months the human gestation period!)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Labor Pains » Blog Archive » Union-Funded ACORN Can’t Hide Fraud

Labor Pains » Blog Archive » Union-Funded ACORN Can’t Hide Fraud

Again, no one has alleged any voter fraud. ACORN was ripped offed by its employees. Could they have done a better job in quality control, perhaps. But you don't blame Red Lobster if the staff steals money from the till. Do you?

Also, an anti-organizing site that doesn't allow for comments on their blog. Telling!

They have this in their FAQ:
Is this part of a political effort?
No. The Center for Union Facts doesn't support candidates for office. We are about education.
Thank God, educational efforts are never political! I think the organizing word is "self-interest."

So, Center for Union Facts what is your self-interest? Who do you get most of your money from? And you surely don't believe that unions are a monolithic institution do you?

SEUI is one of the few unions that is still interested in organizing new workers. Or perhaps you know that already, its just they are trying to organize your workers, sorry not your workers, the workers of your funders.

Independence Redistricting plan approved

www.kansascity.com | 05/16/2007 | Redistricting plan approved: "“The dirty little secret about this debate is that it’s not about local control; it’s about re-segregating the school district in Kansas City,” said Rep. John Burnett, a Kansas City Democrat. “We are trying to take seven white schools away from a minority school district and re-segregate Kansas City.”"

Rep. Burnett is correct. You can't solve this systemic problem on a piece-meal basis. That is true segregationist thinking.

Doesn't MARC have the 1 KC Campaign? Until our school districts match the other geographic boundaries there is always going to be a problem. I'm all for 1 Independence, but then that means we need to bring back the Independence schools that lay in the eastern part of the city from the Blue Springs school district. Likewise, somehow there should be a single, Kansas City, Missouri School District.

Or, is there an another option? Growing up in Michigan we had local school districts and then intermediate school districts that served as a bridge between the local district and the state board of education. Perhaps there should be a Jackson County Intermediate School District? Or, we cab continue to wage these border wars. It worked so well in the past.

Project Vote Blog over @ Talking Points Memo Cafe

An excellent source of information on voting rights and so-called voter fraud: Project Vote Blog.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I am Waiting for the Correction, or Better Yet an Apology

I just posted the comments below at KC Buzz Blog, for once again an erroneous version of the truth was circulated about my involvement with the organization that registered more low-income and Black voters than anyone else in the state. I wrote:

I wonder why the headline didn't read "KMBC's Micheal Mahoney ambushes minister and peace activist at board of elections."

That sounds like a more interesting story, or at least it is mystory. Perhaps because "Todd Elkins" was not a member of ACORN at the time and was not authorized to speak on their behalf. Perhaps he asked not to be interviewed and offered to put Mr. Mahoney in contact with the designated spokesperson. However, under the bright lights of a TV camera, even a nice guy can say things which can be taken out of context.

Editing. Such Power in the Editing.

The solution? More content. Even better content.

The problem with most TV Media is not that it slants to the right or the left, but rather it often is shallow.

I am Elder Todd Elkins and I was there doing 1st Amendment activities that day. So was Mr. Mahoney.

He got the story wrong. I know I was right.

in my e-mailbox: Gun Guys: Using Hatred to Spread Fear

From The Gun Guys , Subject: Using Hatred to Spread Fear.

As usual, they are on the mark. One of my favorite political philosophers use to say, "Fear Not."

Instead of Mental health think of Mental Wellness

Think Mental Wellness instead of Mental health. A better term.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Off Pitch on Wal-Mart

I love The Pitch. It is a great source of alternative news. It can conveys both light and heat. A powerful combination.

I love the iconoclast. I love the iconoclast in perhaps a way that only a faithful, true believer/radical can. Yet a recent article in The Pitch shed light on the paper's true colors.

The article was, "One Wal-Mart Ain't Enough: Raytowners prepare to spend a lot of money furthering their reputation as ... Raytowners." Now John Combest might point out that the ellipses aren't correct, yet I struggled too much with grammar in school to make such an observation! ;-)

But the real kicker is the opening line, "How's this for kooky: A city trying to shed its redneck image lays down big money on Wal-Mart."

Where do I start?

Redneck? Redneck? Or do you mean bluecollar? Or working class? There is a difference. A big difference.

I am damn tired of liberal elitist talking about how ignorant everyone else is and yet not walking the talk in their own lives. It is the easiest thing in the world to tear down someone else. We have all met bullies in our day.

The sign of a real man (and no I'm not going to be gender neutral here, because this is far more a problem for men than for women . . . in my experience) is to be able to break the cycle of bullying and be a real grown-up. An adult.

Have you been to the new Wal-mart in Kansas City? It is amazing. The floor has a soft feel to it because they used recycled rubber in the construction (for more raving see Yael Abouhalkah). Plus, if you are a night owl (as I am) it is the only place to shop at 2 am (or when you are coming off your 2nd shift).

Wal-mart isn't my favorite place to shop. It probably isn't even in my top 10, but I am not above shopping there. And for midnight shopping (which also has the advantage of missing the horrible crowds) it is the best superstore in town.

I don't mind The Pitch's slant to the left, I enjoy that. Shallow and cheap, I can't stand that.

Beware of those who ban books! (And other truisms)

A wiser woman than I has created a wonderful site that catalogs many of the banned books that someone has deemed "dangerous".

Toy assault guns at Target. Not a problem! Books. Careful. (And to be fair, they are probably right that the books are more dangerous than the silly little piece of plastic shaped as a gun).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Am I too old for Facebook, or too young?

OK, I love Facebook. I am addicted.

I hate MySpace.


Facebook has learned from the mistakes of MySpace and designed a system from the ground up. They have created a better system (not a better mouse trap, because we all know what happens to the mice when you put traps around).

Facebook has help create a system which has built-in, one of the things that their users need the most: boundaries (or whatever metaphor you would like to use: firewalls, curtains, shields).

Facebook isn't perfect. It is a human system and no matter how intelligent the design, it still falls short. I realized that today when I tried to create a Facebook account for my son, Carter. The Facebook system told me he was not eligible for an account. Fine, there is probably wisdom in that.

however, as a father, I want the first social networking account that my son has to be one that I create and approve of. If I have to explain that to you, you aren't a parent.

I will say this and it is something that is so completely obvious to one generation and may take a lot of explaining to another. There is power in whoever can come up with the social networking software that has "Facebook features" and appeals to multiple generations.

Why? Because grandparents will give anything for a good picture of their kid and his kid. (References available upon request).

Addendum: Did you know that Facebook and Myspace aren't in the Blogger Spell Check Dictionary? ;-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

ACORN & Voting Fraud

There is a great article over at BradBlog that documents the Right's attack on ACORN about Voting Rights. I was a minor player in all of this, someday I will tell my story on this, but it seems that Brad is more right than wrong.

Newsflash: Everyone Has Self-Interest!

Via my efriend, John Combest, the Columbia Tribune runs a story with the headline, "Survey: Public education is in crisis."


Yet my favorite part of the article is the subheading, "Show-Me Institute has agenda, critics say."

Actually it is called "self-interest." And so do you and so do I.

Get over it.

If you want to critique the poll, critique the methodology, not the messenger.

I did learn that in public school, or was it a private college? I don't remember! ;-)

Todd 4.0

Upgrades. There is something wonderful about them (and frightening). I am upgrading Todd (I hope).

Without saying too much, this past year has been Hell for me. I've been downsized, seperated, hospitizled, divorced (almost), interviewed by the FBI and layed off (by another job).

God, my life has sucked. Sucked Hard.

Yet I have walked through the desert and have seen a glimpse of the promise land.

I believe in the Resurrection.

I believe in Hope (and no, it is not a town in Arkansas, but yes it is).

And I believe in planting a stake where you are and taking a stand.

I am here (that is not enough, but it is a wonderful start).

Fell into the Gap . . .

Sept 2006 - May 2007

I was not actively blogger during this time. Partly because of my employment situation, partly because of my personal situation.

That story will be told later. For now, know, lets just say that, "I fell into the Gap" (Yes I will listen to corporate sponsorship bids! ;-)