Voting in the US

There are a lot of opinions about something one only does every couple of years or so. The opinions tend toward the stupid more than they tend toward the strongly held. I’ve seen more rambunctious Harry Potter vs. Twilight Saga debates.

I never thought much about voter ID when I lived in Michigan. I went to my polling place before work, showed a nice old lady who had been my neighbor for years my voter registration card, she ran a highlighter across my name, I got a ballot and voted. Simple enough.

Then came the move to Maryland. I have stopped voting on the principle that I will not lend my support to either the Democrat or Republican party machine. My previous posts explain in more detail. However, my wife still votes. She walks into our polling place and is asked her name. She looks down at the wide open roll book, contemplates saying one of the names she can clearly see (reading upside down is not a magical feat), says her name instead, gets checked off in the book, gets a ballot and votes. She returns to the car and we contemplate going to another school and voting again while we drive to wherever we are going to have lunch.

Now comes the great voter ID debate. They fall into three categories.

The first and, by far, the smallest category are the sensible people. They think it is not an earth-ending event to ask for that voter registration card you got free when you registered to vote for free.

The other two categories are easily identified by whether the worship the ® or they worship the (D). The ones that worship the ® are hot to require picture ID thus allowing YouTube videos of people who have difficulty getting the required ID. The ones that worship the (D) are all about no ID required and anybody should be able to vote and by anybody, I mean anybody. This is two party machines working to get the vote either into or out of the hands of those who they think will win them elections. Both parties are wrong. Both parties are the problem.

You can argue disfranchisement vs. voter fraud all you want. It won’t get anywhere because both sides of that argument are correct therefore neither side will or should win.

“I have just turned 71 and this is an issue that has been living with me since I embraced Islam some 50 years ago, and that’s how women are treated in our mosques. Women are feeling totally disfranchised in our mosque communities and we feel like second-class citizens in our own spiritual spaces. We have documented this through statistical analysis that there is a very deep decline in the number of women attending the mosque. They need to feel that they have a place in the mosque that they have a right to be in the mosque and that the community needs them in the mosque. Scholars need to hear this message that this is not tolerable any longer to tell women that they are not allowed in the mosque or to be put in the basements or the closets or undignified place.”

- Aisha Al Adawiyyah at the 2015 Muslims For Peace Forum in Abu Dhabi


The National Association of Colored Women is an organization that predates the NAACP and was founded in response to vicious attacks on the character of African-American women by Southern journalist, combined with the spread of disfranchisement, lynching, and segregation, and the desire to “uplift” the race, black women organized a club movement that led to the formation NACW in Washington, D.C. in 1896.The organization’s founders included some of the most renowned African-American women educators, community leaders, and civil-rights activists in America, including: Harriet Tubman, Frances E.W. Harper, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Margaret Murray Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell, who became the organization’s first president.

The NACW adopted the motto “Lifting as We Climb." 

The NACW wanted to improve the lives of impoverished African Americans. Terrell stated in her first presidential address in 1897, "The work which we hope to accomplish can be done better, we believe, by the mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters of our race than by the fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons.” Her agenda for the organization focused on job training, wage equity, and child-care. The NACW also called public attention to issues such as lynching, peonage, prison conditions, and segregated transportation. 

The organization helped women and children suffering from poor health, lack of education, decent clothing, and housing. It raised funds for kindergartens, vocational schools, summer camps, and homes for the elderly. It also adopted an elitist attitude saying, that it was the responsibility of “privileged” to help those who were “socially inferior”; some felt that the habits of poor blacks gave the race a bad name. The NACW not only supported the right of black men and women to vote, but supported the women’s suffrage movement two years before the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a club organization for white women. The NACW helped mobilize voter registration drives for blacks on a local level. It also promoted cultural events, including music concerts and poetry readings. By 1916, the organization had 300 clubs as members. Its high point of activity was in the 1920s and 1930s, after which it began to decline.- Richard Wormser


Anders mulls over his fears. Fluff and slight angst.

A touch at the back of his neck made Anders flinch. His skin turned to goose flesh, his pupils contracted and his mouth went dry. A primal fear response kicked in, one that had been hammered into him with disfranchisement and deprecation. His muscles tensed, preparing themselves for a fight.
    "I’m sorry, I did not mean to startle you.“ Hawke’s voice was playful. He ran the intruding fingers down to Anders’ upper back in a gently sloping motion and sat down next to the rebel mage. Soft but confident, his other hand guided the healer’s gaunt chin towards himself for a series of kisses, brief and yet sweet, in rapid succession.
    Once they parted, Anders locked eyes with the burly, ruggedly handsome man who was puckishly grinning through his teeth, flustered like a schoolboy who’d just confessed attraction to his first crush.
    "I’d say you made up for that,” Anders returned the smile and reached his hand to toy with the full beard, delicate healer’s fingers getting lost amidst the coarse hairs, studying the texture.

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