Tag Archives: politics

Stand and Be Counted

i_voted_sticker

By Jim Selman | Bio

We’ve been assaulted lately by political pundits and statisticians telling us what will happen this week. It is easy to roll over and assume they know what they are talking about. So why bother to vote at all? Just sit back and watch the process on TV. This is a particularly easy rationalization for cynics and those who’ve become resigned that they don’t make a difference anyway.

Most of the hype and hysteria seems to be aimed at younger voters. It is assumed

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N.O.P.E.: National Organization of Pissed Off Elders

By Jim Selman | Bio

I want to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and goodwill into society. I think I’ll call it the National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders (N.O.P.E.).

What’s pissing us off?

A lot more than just ‘aging’ issues like Social Security, pharmaceuticals and our sex lives.

First, it pisses us off that the people in charge are squandering away the opportunities they had to make the world work, or at least be a better place. For example…

  • Thinking we get stupid as we get older
  • Growth at any cost
  • Short-sightedness
  • Self-righteousness
  • Special interests
  • Contrived controversy
  • Bullying, greed and intolerance
  • Turning an economic mechanism like capitalism into an ideology
  • “Us versus Them”ism

N.O.P.E. could have both positive and negative strategies. For example, when we’re talking to someone who is speaking baby talk to us or raising their voice so we can hear, we could shout

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California Musings

By Jim Selman | Bio

I spent the weekend in California, hanging out with my children and visiting old friends. I was in both Los Angeles and San Francisco and picked up on the current mood from both ends of the State—at least based on my small sample of conversations. The consensus is that California is a great place to live, but a fiscal and political mess.

The deficit is staggering (over 25 billion and rising). The governor has been terminated politically speaking and can’t get the politicians or the public to go along with his well-intended proposals to fix the problems. Most of the money that is around is tied up and pre-allocated by a system of arcane initiatives that make the democratic process look and feel like a straightjacket. I am told that the famously inept and unworkable politics of Sacramento look more like “politics

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Obama’s Big Day

By Jim Selman | Bio

It’s been a long 8 years and now we begin again, but with a lot more on our plate. The list of challenges grows daily, the costs keep rising, the numbers of jobless and homeless Americans and others throughout the world are growing. And yet, the mood today is very festive and enthusiastic. I am in Buenos Aires and, judging by the mood in most of the coffee shops, you’d think that Barack was their new president. I cannot remember an inauguration with so much pageantry and expectation. The planners have outdone themselves to create a sense of inclusiveness, even at the risk of pissing off some of the hardcore ideologues that are still more committed to being ‘right’ than to having a united America that might just pull together enough to dig ourselves out of the current hole we are in.

I remember marching in January 1961 as a young cadet in JFK’s inauguration. It was the coldest winter in memory. Between the ice and the blowing snow, I didn’t get to see much except the back of the guy in front of me. Even so, I can still remember the sense of pride and patriotism I felt being a part of what was to become a time of renewed hope and inspiration. Those were the times when the ‘best and the brightest’ sought public service. JFK’s challenge to “Ask

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Political Leanings

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Today is the day after the Canadian federal elections. It’s also Blog Action Day on Poverty. Admittedly, poverty is an important issue, and so are politics. But there is an intractable problem we all face that is the context for poverty, economics and politics. And that is the environment. Our elected leaders in Canada and the U.S. will not only set the course for North American environmental and economic policies for the next few years, but will also impact

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N.O.P.E. 2

By Jim Selman | Bio

Well, I’m never too old to be surprised. For you that are not familiar with the acronym N.O.P.E, it is short for National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders. Our purpose is to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and goodwill into society. The last time I spoke from this perspective I was expressing my disgust at the cynical depths that the Bush gang would go to

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Clinton and Obama

Well, it looks like Hillary is bowing out—actually more like accepting the fact that she can’t win. Polls in that league are realists above all else. I assume we’ll get the inside dope on whatever backroom deals were made in the weeks ahead. Now the healing and reunification of the Democratic Party must begin.

However, before we relegate Hillary to the political graveyard, I want us to stop and reflect on what an incredible process this has been and acknowledge her for her strength and courage

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N.O.P.E.

I want to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and good will into society. I think I’ll call it the National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders (N.O.P.E.).

What’s pissing us off?

A lot more than just ‘aging’ issues like Social Security, pharmaceuticals and our sex lives.

First, it pisses us off that the people in charge are squandering away the opportunities they had to make the world work, or at least be a better place

read more

Cynical Ambition

Since I starting blogging a couple of months ago, I find myself
waking up in the middle of the night with something inside me screaming
to be said. Tonight it is cynical ambition. What I mean by that is the
kind of “Do anything for power — or money, or sex, or fame”. You can
fill in the ‘it’ that people will do anything to have.

I have spent most of my life trying to be positive, to stand for something, to leave the world a bit better than I found it. Sometimes I have

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