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      We’ve raised just under $6,000 so far, which means we’ve reached the first goal at $5,000 – five linked articles in a series about political concepts and how to actually use them. Most people learn political and economic concepts, but the knowledge really does them no good, since they no on explains when they work […]
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Prayers to Light Your Way – for BJ

empire-state-chanukahThe Empire State Building, lit up for Chanukah

in NYC’s first snow storm of the year, December 19, 2008

Dear Readers,

Chanukah, the festival of lights, more than any Jewish holiday I know of, celebrates miracles. In ancient Judaism, circa 168 BC, the second temple was destroyed in a war between the Jews and the Syrian-Hellenists, when they forced Jews to assimilate. Although the sacred items of the temple’s altar were decimated, enough oil was recovered to light the flame of remembrance for one night. But instead of lasting for just one night, the flame burned for eight days and eight nights. It was called a miracle and Jews made a holiday, and with that, of course, they/we eat.

In remembrance of this time in history — when what seemed like the darkest hour, light emerged, propagated by a small flame. Jews celebrate by lighting candles and partaking of delicacies fried in oil: latkes in the US and doughnuts in Israel. The Jewish calendar is lunar, thus different each year, and this year, the winter solstice coincided with the first night of Chanukah. On the shortest day and night of the year, where darkness prevails, the light of hope was kindled. And now, the year has turned and daylight will continue to increase. In that same vein, may our ability to produce good in the world, in the “square inch field” and in the grand scheme of things also increase.

In this spirit, I ask that you to turn your attention and prayers to one of our own PUMA family members who’s in need. I’ve been sending prayers and thoughts toward BettyJean Kling, her daughters Louisa and Denise, and her whole family since hearing of their horrible family tragedy.

Last week, Louisa was violently assaulted by her sister Denise’s estranged husband. Riverdaughter stickied her poignant vigil post that described the situation: Louisa, who had been caring for Denise who is in an advanced stage of cancer, is now in the hospital fighting for her own life and brain function. If you want to read more of the story, you can find it here. And, last Friday night, December 19, Sheri Tag broadcast a special interview with BettyJean on Puma United Radio that you can listen to here. The show had me reeling, shaking my head in disbelief. It’s hard to believe that such assaults occur in our world, but indeed, they are all too common.

BettyJean welcomes all prayers. She asks that “no infection take hold, and may the left brain take over for the right with some time, God willing.” The latest update gives us more hope: on Monday night Louisa squeezed BettyJean’s finger and the doctors are now concerned with brain function instead of removal from life support.

Great Spirit, please provide strength and healing to Louisa, Denise, BettyJean, and her entire family. Amen.

Please take this time to click on and play the Moody Blues track below, listen to the words with your eyes closed, let the music inspire you, and try to contact Louisa, and anyone else in your circle that you’d like to send energy to or connect with.

Thank you for all you do! With love, and may the lights of Chanukah and Christmas shine upon you all, and brighten your nights, LBNYC

I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

[. . .] The words that I remember
From my childhood still are true
That there’s none so blind
As those who will not see
And to those who lack the courage
And say it’s dangerous to try
Well they just don’t know
That love eternal will not be denied

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

Yes I know it’s going to happen
I can feel you getting near
And soon we’ll be returning
To the fountain of our youth
And if you wake up wondering
In the darkness I’ll be there
My arms will close around you
And protect you with the truth

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

[cross-posted from LadyBoomerNYC]

(It’s Not Easy) Being PUMA

As Sheri Tag, host of “No We Won’t” on PUMA UNITED RADIO said on BettyJean Kling’s inaugural BlogTalkRadio show, “Free US Now“:

It’s not easy being PUMA.

So right you are, Sheri, and congratulations to BettyJean on her new show.

Just like Kermit, we may not be as flashy-sparkly as the others. For us, our opponents appear to have so much going, with their money and their trappings. (Huh, didn’t that used to be the Repubs?) But we are heartfelt, true, and committed to our cause.

Paula Abeles, tireless co-founder of Real Democrats, aptly states the case about the crux of our protest: the right to free speech and the right to vote. In this video from their latest canvassing in Ohio, Abeles proffers our beef about ACORN, Obama’s nosing Hillary and us out of her nomination, and his attempted Iraqi October surprise (oh, no, Mr. Bill!)

A case in point. What’s interesting, and very sad for me, is that after I published my first version of this post on Lady Boomer NYC, about it not being that easy to be a PUMA, one of my dearest friends wrote a response to the comments on my blog. She felt like I was separating myself from her and my friends, even inciting hate. Whereas, I feel it’s the other way around, because the Democratic Party has marginalized, alienated, excluded, and demonized us—and our candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton. In these final ten days, you can betcha, the juice is up. People are getting even more inflamed and coming from a place of fear.

Because of the volatile atmosphere we face, I, like many in our movement, have chosen to go underground and separate my political from my personal identity. I have been extremely careful to not speak my views in “mixed company.” For that reason, in addition to being friends for over thirty years, her words stung me deeply.

Is friendship based on shared beliefs? Sometimes. but hopefully it’s bigger than that. How do individuals have differing beliefs and still stay friends? —especially, once the election is over. It is my hope that even when we have hurt feelings, we can move beyond them and work toward the common good. That’s why I have thrown my lot in with PUMA, The Confluence, For Democratic Reform, and others.

Our charge is to continue to support each other and keep the faith in the face of personal and public attack. How do we support each other, given that we’re not supporting McCain, but are working to change the process? Given our protest, and regardless of the winner and the loser, the democratic process needs to be changed. It is my commitment to see that fight through to the end, to realize the reforms that we need in the Democratic Party and the election process.

No matter who wins the Presidency, it’s obvious that we have our big work cut out for us. Buckle up, kids! So we say, it’s not that easy being PUMA, but we like it. Given the situation, we would not and could not be anything else.

Paraphrasing the late, great Joe Raposo’s “(It’s Not Easy) Being Green” —

It’s Not Easy Being PUMA . . .

And PUMA could be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When PUMA is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But, why wonder “why”?
Wonder
I’m PUMA
And it’ll do fine
And it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be