Vote! Vote! Vote! and #ROW80

"I Voted"
photo from Flickr.com
from Evan Sims

I voted on Monday. Not saying for whom.

Most of my readers are Americans, and we have an important election this week–not just for president, but for state and local offices as well. Remembering that my great-grandmother did not have the right to vote always impresses upon me the significance and privilege of getting to cast a ballot in our nation’s republic.

Sometimes my candidate wins, sometimes not. That’s the way it goes. But even if everyone out there disagreed with my political persuasion, I would encourage them to vote. Because when you can democratically elect your leaders, they should represent the people’s voice.

38.4 percent of eligible voters in the United States did not cast a ballot for president in 2008. C’mon, we can do better than that!

If you haven’t voted already, schedule it for Tuesday. Treat it like your doctor’s appointment or lunch with a good friend or a job interview: You wouldn’t cancel for just any reason or forget. Check out this Honest Voting Ad from Jest.com to see how easy it is to make excuses.

Be heard. Be represented. Vote.

Editing: SHARING HUNTER, young adult contemporary novel.

  • Complete full rewrite. 3 more chapters marked up.
  • Revise using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system. Finished Margie’s lecture packet.
  • Deliver to beta readers. Waiting for first two.

Blogging

Writing

  • Write two short stories. Revamped one short story.

Learning

Reading

Non-writing goals

  • Exercise twice a week. Once. And once is not enough.
  • Sort through photos and complete at least one album. (I stopped scrapbooking five years ago, and it’s piled up into a big mess. Moving into digital albums.) Sorting through house, then photos. Made some progress.

How are your goals coming along? And have you voted? Put voting your calendar? Figured out whom you’re voting for?

And cast a vote of confidence for your fellow ROWers! Find them HERE.

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Bayard-Lamb 2012: Foxie with Moxie

As promised on Wednesday, I welcome Presidential Candidate Piper Bayard and her capable Vice-Presidential Pal Kristen Lamb to Deep-Fried Friday. Believe me when I say that their ideas have been beer-battered, fried for just the right length of time, and are juicy to the last bite. I’m sure you’ll find their campaign platform to be the political feast you’ve been waiting for.

Piper Bayard

Thanks, Piper and Kristen, for coming by on your worldwide blog tour. I’m so excited to interview you today. Let’s start with a question that’s particularly pertinent since the “Super Committee” should have those S’s ripped off their blue unitards about now.

In recent years, many special committees have been formed to tackle specific issues – such as military base closure and deficit reduction. What do you think about forming departments, committees, commissions, and other special groups to handle executive or legislative duties?

Kristen Lamb

Committees are nothing but a game of political Hide the Pickle. It’s a way of delegating things so that the “leader” never has to take responsibility for decisions. It’s the mark of incompetence.

Committees are grossly ineffective and are used to mask the fact that the leader is doing nothing. The saying “put together by a committee” is derogatory for a reason. Congressional committees do not come up with solutions, they come up with the legislative equivalent of Frankenstein. We’ll call it Frankenslation.

If we have to have a committee for any reason, we will lock them in a room and feed them nothing but MRE’s until they have finished their work. That way, they have to trade their M&M’s for Chicken A La King like the rest of us until they can show that they’ve earned something better.

What criteria would you use to nominate judges to the courts?

We’ll start with an EEG to make sure that the candidates actually have brain function. Then, we will check to see if they know the law and understand that it is the judge’s job to interpret laws that are passed by the legislature, and not to create law from the bench. Whenever judges create law from the bench, we will call in the Dog Whisperer to train them in pack behavior. We won’t reward them by letting them back in the courtroom until they are in a calm, submissive state and accept their relationship to the law and to the legislature.

How can we best develop and use our military around the world? What tasks should our armed forces take on?

As Piper stated in her original announcement, America is Simba the Lion. It is not Pumbaa the warthog’s cousin. In our administration, America will not pretend to be less than she is to bolster the self-esteem of countries that have not earned self-esteem on their own.

Our armed forces are for the protection of America and American interests. Under our administration, we will not deploy our troops and then tie their hands. We will allow our military leaders to fight any necessary wars as efficiently as possible with the approach that a fast knife to the jugular is far less destructive in the long run than bleeding out the enemy and the American coffers with a gut shots.

Do you have plans to curb the influence of special interests on governmental decision-making?

We have only one special interest, and that is the well being of the American people. If a special interest group would like to lobby us, it needs a transparent agenda simple enough to be understood on Facebook. No shady doublespeak between pages of legalese, and no monetary transfers. If they can get enough “likes” and prove enough people care about their agenda, we’ll pay attention to them. We’re here to serve the American people, and not the special interests.

Will communication and transparency be important to your administration? If so, how will you ensure them?

An administration is like a family. Some things are public, and some things are private, and it is appropriate that they be so.

There’s a difference between transparency, authenticity, and stupidity. We’re all about being authentic and transparent, but if the end result is to put American freedoms and safety in jeopardy, then it’s up to us, as leaders, to determine that and act accordingly.

Illegal immigration has been discussed at length in recent years. What comprehensive changes would you make to our immigration system and how would you deal with illegal aliens?

Unlike other administrations, we plan to enforce the immigration laws of this country, and we will start by cracking down on the employers of illegal aliens. Some big agricultural employers actively recruit illegal immigrants with promises of easy work, good pay, and beautiful living conditions, only to have them discover they are as much as enslaved and living in trash once they get here. That isn’t fair to them or to the honest Americans who need jobs.

It is illegal to enter this country without permission, just as it is illegal to enter anyone else’s country without permission, too. In so many countries around the world, illegal immigrants are shot on sight or jailed until Al Gore can come rescue them. We would not be that cruel. We would simply see that the laws that exist are enforced. It’s just common sense. You break the law; you get in trouble. You don’t win the location lottery.

If the laws need to be changed or interpreted differently, we will lock the appropriate Congressional committee in with their MRE’s, or, if necessary, we will send the matter to the judiciary as soon as the Dog Whisperer has them in a calm, submissive state.

Who is your favorite foreign leader and why?

Winston Churchill. He had serious cajones, and he was a brilliant speaker.

(Julie’s note: Winston Churchill also appeared twice in my post on The Perfect Comeback. Clearly, Piper and Kristen are able to deliver choice comebacks as well.)

How does your spouse or significant other feel about being First Gentleman? Or is it First Man? First Guy? First Dude?

They would like to be called First Mates. It has more military appeal, and it’s more comforting to them than being introduced as our First Husbands.

What will you wear to the inaugural ball?

Since it’s going to be a live, online tailgate barbecue party with America, we’re thinking flannel-lined jeans with some Patriot Panties underneath to maintain our shape after the pulled pork and pecan pie.

I toured the White House in 1993 when President Clinton was in office, and that place was glitzy and gaudy when I saw it. Any plans to redecorate?

We don’t believe any redecorating will be necessary as it’s rumored that Hillary Clinton took all that stuff with her when she left. We heard in that same rumor that we will be needing some new plates and silver, though, and that the rugs will need a good scrubbing.

Our deepest thanks to Julie Glover for inviting us to her blog for a campaign rally interview. We are honored to be here, and we’ve had a great time.

If you would like to host the Foxie with Moxie Duo (thank you, Julie, for that motto), please email piper at piperbayard@yahoo.com and set up a date. We would love to visit your blog. Help bring back some sanity to our nation.

Bayard/Lamb 2012 – Finally. A Pair in the White House.

Julie: Thanks so much to Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb. What a thrill to have you stop your million-dollar tour bus candy van at my blog!

Readers, I’m sure you agree that we need this pair in the house – the sooner, the better. for more information about their campaign, click HERE. Also be sure to check out Piper and Kristen’s campaign slogans HERE.

What other questions do you have for Piper and Kristen? Are you ready to cast your ballot for Bayard-Lamb 2012?

Slogans: Do They Get You Elected?

This week we are focusing on Election 2012! Today’s Amaze-ing Words Wednesday topic is campaign slogans, and for Deep-Fried Friday I will be interviewing Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb, presidential and vice-presidential candidates with a marvelous slogan and governing ideas you’ll want to hear.

So how about it? Do campaign slogans really matter? How powerful are words in getting a candidate noticed, taken seriously, and catapulted into the spotlight? Do we care what the bumper stickers say? Does it make a difference when we cast our ballot?

Some past campaign slogans do stand out in history as being particularly memorable. Let’s take a look at a few:

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too! – William Henry Harrison led the first modern-day campaign with slogans, songs, and a populist feel. Harrison was formerly a commanding general who led American forces in the defeat of Native American enemies at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. His running mate was John Tyler. The slogan conveyed confidence in a commander and had rhyme and rhythm.

Ol’ “Tippecanoe” indeed won the office as the first Whig president in his campaign of 1840. However, President Harrison served only 32 days of his term. He died of a respiratory infection contracted while delivering his 1841 inaugural address in chilly weather without a hat or a coat.

Give ‘Em Hell, Harry! – This popular slogan was never the official one for Harry S Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign. He was elected Vice-President alongside President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 but assumed the presidency when Roosevelt died in April 1945. The end of World War II only weeks later did not bring immediate peace and prosperity, but rather the difficult task of rebuilding after the war.

The slogan came during a 1948 speech which President Truman gave in Harrisburg, Illinois. As Truman decried his Republican opponents, a staunch supporter yelled out, “Give ’em hell, Harry!” Surprisingly, it stuck. Truman was not a particularly popular president, though, and it was predicted that he would lose the 1948 election. His victory was so unexpected that the Chicago Tribune had already printed the front page saying “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

I Like Ike – Irvin Berlin wrote the song “They Like Ike” for the 1950 musical Call Me Madam, starring Ethel Merman. The musical tells of the appointment of a Washington woman to be American ambassador to a small fictitious country. Dwight D. Eisenhower adapted the song for his 1952 campaign for the presidency. It was also a popular slogan on many campaign buttons. Here’s the commercial which was featured in Eisenhower’s successful campaign:

It’s Morning Again in America – Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980 was not due as much to effective slogans as Americans’ sense that incumbent Jimmy Carter had been an ineffective president. In 1984, however, the reelection campaign focused on reminding people that things had gotten better in the few years since President Reagan had taken office. Thus, the tag lines “It’s morning again in America” and “Leadership That’s Working.” Voters agreed with these encouraging sentiments and re-elected Reagan in a landslide with 49 of the 50 states.

Putting People First – That was the official campaign slogan of Bill Clinton in 1992. However, the internal slogan which campaign manager James Carville posted in the headquarters was the one which caught on: “It’s the economy, stupid.” After a while of George Bush (Sr.) saying things weren’t so horrible, Clinton’s focus on the sluggish economy was refreshing for many Americans to hear. Along with Clinton’s assurance that “I feel your pain,” this slogan captured the attention of voters, and he defeated Bush to gain the presidential office.

Change We Can Believe In – Perhaps you don’t remember that full slogan, but Barack Obama successfully used the word “change” again and again in the campaign. For a nation that had lost confidence in the current state of things, change was what they were looking for. Obama also had campaign ads featuring his photo with either the word “Hope” or “Change” underneath. But these slogans don’t begin to compare to the more memorable chant that cropped up in the campaign and throughout candidate Obama’s appearances: “Yes, we can!” Barack Obama became our 44th president with a theme of change and a can-do attitude.

For more campaign slogans, there is a good list at Tag Line Guru.

What campaign slogans do you recall? Which ones have you liked? Do you believe these soundbites impact election results? What do you think would be an effective slogan for Election 2012?

Be sure you come back here on Friday to see the terrific campaign slogan for Bayard-Lamb 2012. I will be interviewing them as part of their Election 2012 blog tour.

Sources: PresidentsUSA.net, Miller Center – University of VirginiaInternet Broadway Database, Tag Line Guru, Wikipedia, The Living Room Candidate

I Like You, But I Hate Your Politics

It’s Deep-Fried Friday, and my crunchy/juicy topic is politics! Am I crazy or what? Wait, read on.

News programs are already abuzz with constant discussion about the next President of the United States. From now until next November, presidential candidates, political pundits, media outlets, blogs, co-workers, friends, and neighbors will be discussing Election 2012.

I am blessed to live in a country where we can elect our leaders and speak freely about our political opinions, regardless of how astute or loony they might be. However, I recently threw up a post on my personal Facebook page with what I thought was a rather tame political comment, and a flurry of comments ensued. After things turned too sharp-tongued for my taste, I deleted my post and ceased the conversation.

What I realized is that I love my family and friends too much to start arguments over politics. I know people left of center, right of center, smack-dab in the middle, and so far left or right that the mere sight of each other might cause a fist fight.

The reality is that most of us care about our country, our families, and our communities. We want the best for all of them. We work hard, pay our taxes, give to charity and/or volunteer, and try to raise good kids with values. We happen to have a wide variety of ideas for the role of government in all of that.

It’s wise to avoid stereotypes, name-calling, and yelling if you decide to discuss politics with a family or friend. Before you even start that conversation, ask what you’re trying to achieve. Do you merely want them to understand your position? Are you trying to persuade them? What is the likelihood of being able to make headway or find areas of consensus with this person? Is it worth it?

Three more things to remember as we edge closer and closer to choosing our next president and other leaders of our nation, states, and local governments:

Start making a difference where you are. Since we all want the good of our nation and society (however we think we can achieve it), we can start where we are. Volunteer at your local school, a charity, or even a political campaign, if you are moved in that direction. Consider giving money to a charity that represents your priorities –whether an animal rights organization, a cancer research fund, or a military family assistance project. Check out Amber West’s #gowithoutcampaign.

If you know of someone in need, cook them a meal, lend an ear, or slip them a few bucks. Be sure to cast your vote whenever elections occur in your area, but go an extra step and do something tangible to make our country better by reaching out in your own area.

Remember that people are more than their politics. Unless your life is devoted to lobbying for a specific cause, you are likely engaged in plenty of other activities non-political. You take your kids to little league games or dance lessons, see the newest films or TV shows on the weekend, hobnob with co-workers at a restaurant after work, or head to the lake or beach.

Guess what? Those people sitting next to you, interacting with you, or acting on the screen for you do not all share your politics, and yet they are part of making life enjoyable. You really don’t know how each and every delightful person you come across voted in the last election. And you might be surprised if you discovered who voted for whom; it isn’t always what you predict.

Treat others with civility, respect, and kindness. The surest way to have a society none of us wants to live in? Start verbal and physical brawls with everyone around who differentiates from your brilliantly-composed viewpoint. The ends do not justify the means.

You may be right, but if you are a complete jerk about it, few people will be persuaded by you and many won’t want to hang out with you. Yes, it is possible to passionately state your views, and I’m in favor of that. I am talking here about descending into name-calling(e.g., “idiot”), applying negative adjectives at will to their intentions (e.g., “heartless”), or labeling (e.g., “Nazi”). It’s the principle I tell my kids often: Treat others they way you want to be treated. (Yes, that’s the “Golden Rule”!) Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, also says it well with the habit of “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

This gets us nowhere.

By all means, slap a bumper sticker and a sign in your yard touting your favorite candidate. Call into a talk show and give your two cents. Write your congressman and let them know what you think about this bill or that one.

But if you want to have a lovely Thanksgiving, I suggest sticking to the topics of fond family reminiscing, cute things your kids are doing, Black Friday shopping, and sports. Then again, if you live in Texas where I am and have fans of Texas A&M and the University of Texas present, you might end up with an even bigger brawl on your hands.

So what do you think is the secret to keeping good relationships with people whose politics make you want to scream? Have you ever had a bad experience with family and friends when you discuss elections or policies? How do you handle it?

By the way, I’m happy to support the campaign of Piper Bayard-Kristen Lamb for Election 2012. These authors got it goin’ on.