I Hear America Sing


Colin Powell speaks for President Obama

Four More Years

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown.

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or  of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to the day-at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

                                                                                                             —Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote in long, loose lines. Whitman introduced to American poetry a democratic, all-encompassing vision and a freedom of style that liberated the form from its traditional constraints.

Whitman was a man of the people. He wasn’t rich and he wandered around our great country meeting the everyday man and woman. He found solace and inspiration in the lives of the 99%. They weren’t called that then, but these days we are. These days we have the 99% and the 1 %. Most of us are part of the 99% and we care about each other, whether we have met or not. We know they are our sisters and brothers. We don’t all look alike, We don’t all speak English well. We don’t all believe in the same issues. What we all are is Americans proud of our country and where we are going. On this election day, I Hear Americans Sing and they vote.

Gloria Steinam for Obama

Coretta Scott King speaks for President Obama

Vote for Hope

Ladies, our ancestors worked hard for us to have the vote. Please go out and stand in line and vote.

In America, every citizen has the right to vote. Citizens of other countries, cannot all say that. Don’t take the vote for granted.

 

Women’s Vote


Women, this is the opportunity to protect our lives and the lives of several generations of young women coming up behind us. There was a time, in the late 1990′s, we thought we had made our point. We had made a difference and we had worked and marched and pushed and made America a better place for women.

Well, having participated in that era of pushing for Women’s Rights, I feel so sad that we are back again;back at the place where women are demeaned, pushed to a side, ignored, and passed over. The conservatives feel a need to control us and to undermine our lives and the lives of women all over the world.

November 6 th, we have the “Ability to Move Beyond Words.”  We have been working to speak our truth, speak up for the rights of women and children. We have been pushing back against those who have started the new “War on Women.”  Well, it is time, ladies, to take off the gloves and to remember as we fight for ourselves, we are fighting for the young ones. Society will decompose unless we work hard to stop this war.

The truth is, as women we can’t ever stop fighting against those who have no respect for women. There are many men, and fundamental religions who feel women need-must be controlled and subjected. They have never loved a woman, and are intimidated by strong assertive women. We can’t let that stop us or future generations. We can’t ease off, become less diligent because we are strong, independent, capable women and we are important too.

So ladies, on November 6th, you need to vote like your life depends on it because It does. We are at a crossroads here in America. We have to preserve what we have gained and we have to ensure the future for other women. Your ballot is the key to freedom. Our ballots are the answer to the War on Women. We must win the fight for ourselves and for women all over the world who are being victimized even as I sit here at my computer typing my words to you.

The Vote


America is coming up on one of our most important votes. Historically, voting; before the women received the vote, men made voting  into an excuse to drink and have fist fights..There was chaos. It is amazing that we made it through these times. Voting was done in saloons and a man’s vote got him a free shot of whiskey.

There were problems with voter ID. Not because of the reasons we debate  today, Police were stationed in the saloons to keep the peace. They often looked the other way, so guys could vote again and get another shot. Guns were toted for a man’s protection. Some may have even been needed. Don’t know. Election day was wild.

Today, emotions flare on all sides. We have evolved. Thanks to the Suffragettes,  women now have the responsibility of voting too.  We no longer vote in the saloons and the whiskey no longer flows like hot lava. Election day is a time for all citizens to speak up.

We must remember on election day to put our apathy aside. Citizens all over the world risk their lives to get to America to have the chance to become citizens and to vote to keep the freedoms we have here in America. They traveled here in ships and planes seeking what the original Pilgrims sought when they arrived in the 1600′s. They wanted freedom and a voice in creating and strengthening these freedoms for all Americans.

In November, remember voting is indeed a right, but it is also an important responsibility. If we are apathetic and don’t use our vote, we weaken our democracy. In every generation, there have been those who threw the hat in and gave up. They stopped voting. They stopped listening to issues.  Both sides of the issues. If something happens later on they don’t like, often, they are the first to complain loudly and frequently. Perhaps if these people had voted, the results would be much different. At the very least, they would have had the opportunity to say, to vote for what they believed in.

My challenge to Americans in November is to go to the polls and vote. Tell our leaders what and whom you want to lead our government. Don’t get caught up in the discontent you feel. Use the discontent within to get yourself out of the house, vote before you go to work or on your way home. We are citizens of a great Democracy and we have a responsibility to work to keep it whole and continuing to grow as the world is growing.

It is important to remember that with all of the new technology, America and Americans need to show people what Democracy is and how it can and does improve lives. Go vote, be proud, no matter who wins, and I do have a favorite, but whoever wins the process will have worked again as it has every four years since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution.

July 4, 2012 Fireworks; Photo by Barbara Mattio

2012 fireworks; Photo by Barbara Mattio

Four More Years


While last night’s Democratic Convention was inspiring, we still have a lot of work to do. Work to get folks registered and remind them to vote. As we women know, 92 years ago we fought long and hard to earn the vote. It is a responsibility as an American citizen to vote. If you don’t vote, don’t even begin to complain about anything.

There are many issues at stake during this election. Yes, we want four more years, but not everyone does. We do need more jobs, we need to realize that this president inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. He saved the auto industry and a lot of that money has been paid back by Detroit.

Now every women can get health insurance. Being a woman is not a pre-existing condition. Life time caps are gone and children born with serious chronic diseases will be able to receive that treatment they so desperately need.

We must remember that the Republicans took the checks and balances off of Wall Street and drove us right off of the cliff. Thanks by the way, it was so fun for average American families.

There is a spirit of sexism and racism pervading our culture that is getting worse. Hate crimes and violence are on the rise. Guns are not an answer.
These next two months are going to be very critical for our country. Instead of reality tv, let’s participate in American reality. An election that will make it or break it for the middle class and poor, for women, and for those with health issues. This election will effect someone you know or perhaps even love.

 

Don’t sit on the couch and be angry, get up and out and make a difference

Our President Barak Obama

Ethics and the Heart


Presque Isle, PA.

I have been thinking about moral and ethical issues today. We get closer and closer to the election. We expect ethical behavior from our leaders and those who wish to be leaders. But, we who have private lives need to ensure that we also have ethics and good moral character.

I believe we should not shy away from raising a strong, clear, moral voice in these campaigns or in our personal lives. Jewish beliefs are that there are no short cuts to ethics and I believe that to be true. Moral principles have stood at the core of Jewish life.

The core of the Jewish people lead them to look to educate the children, to work in the community and to participate in all charitable acts. It is like breathing.

I have seen so many good works and true compassion and caring in the Jewish Community. Many Jewish teachings are very compatible with the teachings of other religions. Spiritual insights and wisdom have been passed down for centuries.

As a society, we need to teach our children character. We need to teach them to feel, to be outraged by injustice, show them dignity and an inviolable sense of self.

Whether you are Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sufi, we all have to be responsible to our communities and to the Divinity in this world to act morally and with ethics and to teach the young among our societies the concepts of heroism, justice, fairness, hard work and education.

These can make a difference in our world. These can make a difference in elections and can make a difference in the place of women in all of our countries. We each need to start with our own hearts and then allow the Divine energy to flow outward and the ripple will bring change. It does begin with each of us. And each of us can be an example to someone else. When we change, the people around us in this life journey change also.