This evening as the sun sets I went for a very long walk – in part to divest my spirit of the hatefulness that has marked this day. The tragedy in Colorado is unspeakable beyond written words, of course. My deepest hope is that we as a nation cope, even as we grieve.
Still, it’s Michelle Bachmann’s vitriol that surpasses even that incident, in part because it is an incident, the act of a mentally disturbed individual who has wreaked havoc on a community and some very good people. Still, it is an incident.
For me, Representative Bachmann’s outbursts, representing her deep-seated convictions, are even more disturbing. They are not only the inane and misinformed utterings of an ambitious woman. They are words chosen to fuel the flickers of fear that reside within the souls of good people who deserve far better from their leaders.
Bachmann’s ugly comments cause particular pain as they spew forth on the eve of Ramadan, the most peaceful and loving season in which Muslims everywhere celebrate love and generosity and friendship. Bachmann’s is a mean-spirited slap in the face that speaks volumes of the venom within the Representative and her fellow travelers.
Wiser and more articulate observers of the political scene will eloquently refute Bachmann’s misguided rants. Though I endorse their views, I am not willing to commit precious time and energy to bashing those who don’t deserve the attention and who will be cussed out by those more articulate. My thoughts turn instead to those who may be lured by the falsehoods she espouses – and to my friends and neighbors who must rise above – again.
My hope is that this Ramadan season will remind us all, including Michelle Bachmann, of Mohammed’s wise counsel: “Much silence and a good disposition, there are no two works better than those.”
Though I’m more than a little irritated at Michelle Bachmann’s bad-mouthing our climate in her vote-getting tour of Florida, her real omission was to fail to mention that Spring and Autumn are the activity seasons in Minnesota. She also omitted the fact that we are also among the most creative folks she might have never known. In autumn, theaters burst forth, art crawls are ubiquitous, writers share their works in bookstores, libraries and a rich array of venues – I understand the Vikings even re-enter the scene.
We are stressed by the fact that we can’t get to every meeting, ethnic festival, art crawl, museum exhibit, reading group and more!
The flip side of this is that Fall and Spring are the best times to explore the possibilities. On any given day during the Fall, the state resounds with ideas. Lots to think about during the winter months to come. It’s a fine time to store up fresh thoughts that just may germinate – who knows when the fertile homebound environment will nurture a thought that will bear great fruit.
So, take in every festival you can get to, store thoughts and memories, plant them and wait for them to flourish in Spring 2012. We had a really bad winter last year – it’s got us all thinking about Florida, Arizona, depression and other escapes. Not so if you harvest the brilliance of the Autumn of 2011 and, as with those root vegetables and apples, nibble on it during the inevitable – and quietly beautiful – season to come.
The intrepid crew from The Uptake hit its first bump in the transparency world this week when the Edina Chamber of Commerce banned all video and audio recording from Wednesday’s debate between candidates Erik Paulsen and Jim Meffert. Not a major hurdle for the folks from The Update who have covered and shared a daunting roster of candidate forums, debates, town meetings and more during campaign 2010.
When the dust settles it will be interesting to learn just how many miles they’ve covered, camera in hand – From the Clinton visit to Blaine and Obama’s U of M appearance over last weekend to La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles in South Minneapolis, Farm Fest, the rambunctious Oberstar/Cravaak debate in Duluth and scores of other sites. The Uptake crew covers the event live if possible, then records and posts the full program on The Uptake website. They even offer fact check back up that is endlessly illuminating.
Today, Tuesday, The Uptake provides live coverage of the much-vaunted debate between Michele Bachmann and Tarryl Clark taking place in St. Cloud. The enterprising Uptakers suggest that viewers watch the debate live from home or office, then contribute the cost of the gas saved to The Uptake.
At this point in the campaign every Minnesotan is burned out on sound bites and TV spots well-funded by a mix of vested interests. The would-be informed voter might do well to take a breath, settle into an easy chair, and take time to view and listen to the candidates themselves – uninterrupted, on the spot, recorded by The Uptake.
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Posted in Immigrants in Minnesota, Minneapolis, Nonprofits, Open Government, Politics in Minnesota, Things to do in Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
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