Archive for the 'Soapbox' Category

Vote Yes on the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment!

Posted by Karen in Politics, Soapbox.
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 at 11:55 am

Hey Minnesotans – this Tuesday, November 4th you will have the opportunity t20081102095331_vote_yes_logo.gifo vote on the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment.  Dutoeam asks you to consider the following information, and please vote yes on the amendment.

All is not well in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Forty percent of the waters we have tested are polluted, and most of our lakes and streams have not even been tested. Funding for water, parks, and wildlife habitat remains near historic lows, and we are losing access for swimming, fishing, and wildlife watching. We have to act now, with this amendment, to protect our state’s many water sources—-for our own health, and for that of our wildlife, before they are lost forever.

The amendment would increase the State sales tax
by three-eighths of one percent. This amounts to only about $1 a week and $56 a year for the average Minnesota household – a small price to pay for protecting our clean water, wildlife habitat, and natural areas.

While the latest polls show that Minnesotans are strongly supportive of t
he amendment — 59% say they will vote yes — we also know that many people who haven’t heard about the amendment may leave that question blank, and anyone who doesn’t vote on this question gets counted as a "no" vote. As a result, it appears the vote will be VERY close.

This amendment is about protecting our WATER RESOURCES, LAND, AND NATURAL AREAS.
There is tremend
ous growth in Minnesota: over 1 million acres of wooded lands, natural areas and farmland will be lost over the next 25 years, as Minnesota continues growing faster than any other state in the Midwest. We want to make sure that while we grow, we are protecting and preserving our natural areas for recreation, which is so much a part of why we love it here, and protecting our lands for game habitat, wildlife, fishing, hunting, and hiking. The amendment will also help to fight global warming by protecting forest lands in Minnesota.

This amendment is about preserving our CULTURAL RESOURCES.
Minnesota has a long and proud tradition and history of arts and culture. A
20081102100321_spoon_bridge.jpgrts and cultural education are critical not only to our children’s future but also to our state’s economic well-being. Like our natural resources, our states cultural resources are an important part of our tourism industry and our great Minnesota quality of life.

This amendment is about FUTURE GENERATIONS.
Things as important as clean water are well worth protecting in our Constitution, and worth creating a permanent funding source for – especially when future generations rely on our actions today.
Acting now to ensure that we properly protect our water, parks, wildlife, and arts and cultural resources for our children and grandchildren is an investment well worth making.

For more information about the the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment, check out the Vote Yes! website at Click on "FAQ’s" at the bottom of the page for some great information about the amendment.

Thanks in advance for your help in seizing this incredible opportunity to leave a healthy Minnesota to future generations! Please spread the word!

What to do?

Posted by Nate in Politics, Soapbox.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 9:37 am

The RNC here in St. Paul comes to a close today with a final party hosted by Google at my place of employment.  Whoa.  Somehow my invitation was lost in the mail, but it’s cool – I’ve got other plans tonight.

Ironically, being this close to the RNC and watching their speeches on the public TV channel has gotten me more riled up than the whole DNC.  I just can’t get over my jaw-dropping disbelief as I see these people rise from their seats again and again, cheering for the most blatant, hateful, destructive lies and plain old mean-spirited attacks.  Their massive disconnect from reality, their permeating sense of self-importance and holier-than-thou attitudes just make me crazy… and sick.  Because these people aren’t going to stay home on November 4th, and they’re not going to stop trying to spread their bile to anyone who will listen.

So what’s it gonna take?  I’m finally realizing that I live in a protected political bubble, surrounded by like-minded people, and there are actually citizens out there who are barely aware of who the two candidates are – let alone the first thing about their policies.  And it doesn’t help when Palin repeats her brazen lie about saying "thanks, but no thanks" on the bridge.  No fool, she knows 30 million people heard that line and only a fraction will do the homework to realize she’s lying — the swooning media certainly won’t call her out on it.

Is there a way to reach these people?  I’m writing off those who’ve already made up their mind – it’s not going to change.  But if there are really people with no idea who they’re going to vote for, how can they be convinced?  And who the hell ARE they???  Anyone?

Meanwhile the big brains at the Obama campaign think they know who they are and what to do to convince them, so go give them some love.  And by "love" I mean "money".  And by "some" I mean "lots".  Seriously.


River Blogging

Posted by Karen in Soapbox, Work.
Thursday, February 14th, 2008 at 11:18 am

All 3 of my dedicated Freshwater Stew readers have probably been wondering what the heck happened to it and why I haven’t posted since June of last year.  Well you know what, I’m gonna tell you what happened.  That blog was born out of excitement over my new awesome job, but also out of a desire to show my new employers and coworkers how cool a Friends of the Mississippi River blog would be.  You just can’t be married to an internet genius without eventually spouting off about Internet 2.0 and online community-building and all that hoo-hah (even if you only half know what you’re talking about).  So the big awesome news is that it worked!  At least a little bit.  We don’t have a comprehensive FMR blog (yet), but we do now have a blog for an FMR program, one which I spend most of my time working on, the Gorge Stewards program. 

Though my employers and coworkers are supportive, it is pretty much my baby.  I created it, I am currently the only one posting on it, and I feel a wee bit of pressure to make it a raging success.  And so friends, family, strangers, I give you:

Read it, comment on it, link to it, spread the word far and wide!  I know, those of you who don’t live anywhere near the Mississippi River may be thinking, I don’t live anywhere near the Mississippi River, why should I care?  To this I say, why do you hate 18 million people?  Because that’s how many get their drinking water from this river.  This here is the 3rd largest river in the world (can anyone name the 2 largest?  Anyone?), and drains 41% of the continental U.S – 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Birder alert:  Yes twitchers, it’s true, there is already a bird post!

Super Tuesday

Posted by Nate in Politics, Soapbox.
Friday, February 1st, 2008 at 11:02 am

I recently rediscovered an old favorite band, Enter the Haggis, and particularly their free-to-stream-online album Soapbox Heroes.  (I’ll wait for you to open that in another tab and start listening.)

Their fiddler, Brian Buchanan, says regarding the title, "Soapbox Heroes refers to all the millions of people who make the mistake of thinking that holding a strong opinion about something is as good as doing something about it.  …. Apparently it’s hard to reach a ballot box from a soapbox." (Referring to voter turnout in the US and Canada.)

Now, I know that the regular readers of this blog have very strong opinions – in fact, probably well to the left of the two Democratic candidates remaining…  What’s a progressive to do?  Luckily, Chris Hayes has written the progressive argument for Barack Obama.  If there are any undecided voters out there, please give it a read – I think it’s the best argument I’ve come across.  (Also check out his endorsement by XKCD for another view.)

I hope this is preaching to the choir, but don’t miss your chance to go from soapbox to ballot box.  Super Tuesday, baby!

Birds and Bees

Posted by Nate in Ideas, Soapbox.
Friday, June 22nd, 2007 at 6:37 pm

And that’s why I’m a dog person…  Interesting link to the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in there – I remember going on that a few times with my dad, but somehow it didn’t occur to me until just now that there’s obviously some amazing data being gathered in that event.  I mean, it goes back to the 1920s!

Stupid cats.  And I was about to write "no offense, cat people", but…  I mean, come on, they make me sneeze, they give you cat-scratch disease, and toxoplasmosis is linked to all kinds of freaky shit.  And they kill birds.  You don’t want to kill birds, do you?  Or make me sneeze and puff up?  Get a dog.