Responding to Your Comments from the "I Voted" Post

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU 11 timeTHANK YOU~. I chose to wait until all the comments were in before responding to each of your comments. Seeing that my comments in response to your comments will be lengthy, I'll post them here as a new blog, rather than trying to fit it all in the comments section.

I am such a sop; I cried as I read each comment out loud. A large part of what has been so incredibly exciting for me in this election is the feeling of camaraderie I've had with all of you and the other millions out there who cared so much and took the election so seriously and the many who worked so hard to make it happen. I really believe that we did make a difference this time. Of course, Obama being the quintessential "Community Organizer" that he is, knew how to effectively lead the proverbial "grassroots" effort and make it work and work it did. He did it. We did it. It has been done. HALLELUIA!

Now for a few specific responses:

Farm Girl....what a happy surprise. You never told me that you had a blog here. Will wonders never cease? I'll drop by your blog now and again to see what my book toting, farm working, politically correct religionist is up to. My polling places, both in Lake Hiawatha and Morris Plains are also "hopping" when there are five voters there at the same time. You were not the only one who commented on the question of reliability of our senior citizen poll workers. I wonder if this should become an issue. It seems that it would come across as being ageist, but it is an important problem.

Ken B....thanks for responding to my call for commenters. Yes, I guess most of us who live in the suburbs and rural parts of NJ have similarly "easy voting" experiences, even at this time when city voters stood in lines for hours and hours. What impressed me about that fact was that people who might have otherwise "just left" seeing long lines, didn't leave, but waited to do their civic duty because they knew this time it really, really mattered. Shalom back at you.

Alicia....I appreciate that you took the time to comment. Like Ken and many of the others in NJ, our voting experiences are similar. Of course, what you represent is the "Youth Vote", albeit, the upper end of it. (: and as such, you and the others like you who are committed to progressive politics at a young age, are the hope of us more seasoned voters, for the future of progress in our country. Do you remember we worked together that one day for the Kerry campaign?

Becky...You and my other good friend, Diane S. from the now defunct blog The Unfound Door, are the sole representatives here from the very red states of Oklahoma and Texas, respectively. I love love love your exuberance. I remember we shared that child within us enthusiasm when we were students together at Wichita State University all those many years ago. I could see you standing there on your voting line as your mind was in a gliding pattern. You express yourself in a "gliding pattern' and it never ceases to refresh me. I am so glad that though we haven't seen each other since 1974, we remain "soul-sisters" in our politics and in our lives in general. Thanks god for the Internet. I wonder if Obama could feel your pride in him? I bet he could. So glad that your students could share in your enthusiasm for "our man" Obama.

LG...I am lucky to have a few people in my life who act as cheer-leaders for me and you lead that pack. Thanks for that. And thanks also for your "proxy" vote for Obama. I know you were a strong Clinton supporter and I appreciate that you believed in your friends dedication enough to vote for Obama. I hope and pray you will be forever glad you did.

Audrey...What a great tradition you have of voting with your family members. There are so many people in our country who don't generally vote (though not this time) and I think parents who have influenced their children to be voters have something to be proud of. Who'd have thought back when you were designing the decorative part of my daughter's and then my son's Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, that we were in the same political boat and that we would have this shared experience of anxiety ridden anticipation and then exultation around the election of 2008?

Len....I don't know anyone who votes at City Hall, but come to think of it, that seems like the most obvious place to vote. I'm used to fire stations, schools and VFW halls. Actually, Ken's library was a first for me too. I think the being mobbed by dozens of people and waiting longer on line adds to the excitement of it. Of course I share in that feeling of joy and pride. I know how you appreciate your relatively cheap ride from Boston to Chinatown in NYC, as do I since it gives me the chance to see you every once in a while, so I'm glad this momentous event also allowed you to share your "secret".

Penny....You didn't sign your comment, but we established that it was you. Paid off it did!! Having you as my comrade in progressive arms, has been a god-send for me.

Diane S.....I know just what you mean about making Election Day special and significant. I don't necessarily don any rhinestones, but I do make sure that I am given that "I Voted" sticker, which I then wear with pride and a hint of sentimentality for the rest of the day. I actually still have one from a past election on my computer and this years on the stick shrift in my car. I guess maybe your town isn't as "oh so white" as you thought, but perhaps instead, the minorities hadn't felt the urge to get out to vote before. What were the new machines like? We have touch screens and then a lever that you click at the end. Did you notice that there was much less discussion about the voting machines? I would like to see consistency of machines used throughout the country. Diane, thank you for being my closest friend who I've never met and with whom I share so much in common in sensibilities and outlooks on life. Oh, and one more thing. Do you know Farm Girl or were you just being "neighborly"?

Dave...Oh, Dave! It took me a while to realize whose comment I was reading. If it hadn't been for the "eh" and the very sad news about your mother, I may not have known at all. Politics aside, my heart ached when I read that your mother had died. You know I met her a few times and I thought we "connected", as it were. As for Politics, how happy I am that you did in fact vote and that you voted for the BEST CANDIDATE, OBAMA! He'd have done the same for you! (: I guess after the onslaught of Sarah Palin you decided it would make more sense to move to Canad than to Alaska. Not a bad idea. I know what you mean about missing the metal levers and hefty handles; they made you actually, physically feel the importance of what you were doing. As for legalizing marijuana, I suspect Obama has a few weightier matters to deal with first; but you never know! Will you ever legally partake with me if he does?


Book Club for Liberal Thinkers


I don't think I have ever blogged about the book club I started in May 2005, so here it goes. In 2004 I took a "sabbatical" from work and devoted much of my time to the politics of the day, that is to say to the failed election of John Kerry. In so doing, I became involved with MoveOn.org (com, pac, take your pick). Though all of my adult life I had been left leaning in my politics, I had never really become "involved" in any meaningful way short of signing a few petitions and writing my representatives a few letters. Bush changed all that for me (and for millions of other Americans) and MoveOn played a major role in helping us to have a voice and find a way to express it meaningfully. Through MoveOn, I hosted several "Political Parties". Each of the 6 or 7 parties drew from 10 to 20 people. A few became forever online friends and three became actual friends.

Kerry lost the election in 2004, but the fight was just starting and continued on for four years leading to the wondrous and hopeful conclusion of electing Barack Obama as our next President, but I digress. The second most important result of MoveOn and its many influences was the creation of Book Club for Liberal Thinkers, whose members included myself, my three MoveOn Party friends and about four other friends or friends of friends. There have been a few who have left us, one who left and came back and the political party friends have remained throughout. This is why and how the club got it's name. We don't necessarily read political books, though we have read a few, but a meeting doesn't go by when besides for discussing the book, we don't also
"talk turkey".

OK, enough with history and explanation. Here is a list of the books we have read. I have added an asterisk or 2 or 3 for the books that I really liked and would recommend.



1 The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

9 The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates *

10In Cold Blood by Truman Capote ***

20The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (very interesting)

25Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (interesting)

26Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (interesting AND won Pulitzer)

36. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

37. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan*

38. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates*

39. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Laheri*

40. Suite Francais by Irene Nemirovsky*

41. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortens

42. March by Geraldine Brooks***

43. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout*

44. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

45. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler*

46.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows**

47. Dune by Frank Herbert

48. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

49. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*

50. Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave**

51. The Gilead by Marilynn Robinson

52. The Hamlet by William Faulkner

53. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

54. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

55. A Mercy by Toni Morrison

56.  Interpreter of  Maladies by Jhumpa Laheri*

57. Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

58. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

59. 41 Stories by O. Henry

60. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

61. Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

62. Another Roadside Attraction  by Tom Robbins

63. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

64. The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht

65. Summer by Edith Wharton

66. The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa

67. Netherlands by Joseph O'Neill

68. Room by Emma Donaghue

69.  The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

70. The Lover by Marguerite Duras

So, my friends, go forth and READ.....................................



November 4, 2008. I just got home from voting. I live in Parsippany, NJ. At 10:40 AM. my polling place was more crowded than I've experienced in my voting history in Morris County NJ, but not so crowded as to necessitate lines. However, the poll workers said there had been lines earlier this morning. The parking lot outside of the firehouse location is small and it was filled. Many of the cars in the small lot were of the larger, non-foreign variety, not your average Democrat's cars. In fact, I live in a mostly Republican part of New Jersey and have often felt a little out of place in my local voting places. I was hoping that the Obama decals on the back of my car were an appropriate distance from the door.

Still, I felt the historic quality of the moment and despite being the agnostic that I am, actually said a prayer as I gazed down at Obama and Biden's names with the little red check next to them. I wasn't leaving anything to chance. A few tears accumulated in my eyes as I got back into the car (no big surprise there). I drove home thinking about how profound this election has felt to me and thousands, maybe millions of others over the last year, in our country. I have felt to be in the best of company as I canvassed in Philadelphia,made phone calls here at home and sent and received hundreds and hundreds of emails with petitions, requests for donations, keeping us up to date and informed and some of THE BEST YouTube videos ever. One more piece of personal information regarding the significance of today's date. My son's birthday is November 4th. This is the second time in his now 23 years that his birthday coincided with an extremely significant event. The first was November 4, 1995. the day that Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was fatally shot. That was a tragic day. Today will signify the election of either the first Black President of the United States or the first Woman to become Vice President. On this momentous day, I will cast no dispersions, but I will say that if Barack Obama wins the Presidency, the significance will be even beyond breaking racial barriers (and that is of HUGE significance). It will mean that we will have a president with so much promise and even more capability to bring our country back up to the high standards that we desire and hopefully deserve.

I would love to hear about your experience as you voted today for the 44th President of the United States.

I invite you to comment here, even if you have never participated in blogging before. It's easy to do; you don't have to have a blog address. Simply sign in as anonymous, but then sign your comment at the bottom, so I will know who wrote it.

Thanks....Peace....oh and for one LAST time.....GO OBAMA!!!!!