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Campaigning [Nov. 18th, 2013|09:35 am]
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I went to my candidate's shop Thursday and helped with paperwork associated with phone donations.  We sent out thank you cards for donations received, and did the usual bookkeeping associated with getting money.  Then he started making phone calls.
He makes the phone calls, I address the envelopes and type in the addresses and amounts (if needed) into the form letters.  Then I save the form letter under the addressee name, and later, he comes back, prints out all the letters, and stuffs the envelopes.
We also use a handy log form and put down the date of the call, whether we got an answer, how much they pledged, and so on.  If we don't get an answer, we mark that down, and those sheets go in a separate file for general callbacks.  If we spoke to them, but they asked for a specific date to call back, we put those in a file for that purpose.  It seems almost too simplistically detailed, but it makes it much easier when you have something pointing you in the direction you need to go, rather than running in circles.
They were planning on getting a group together to do some canvassing on Saturday, but I had plans, so I don't know whether they did or not. 
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THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL POLITICS [Apr. 5th, 2013|12:30 pm]
Lately, this topic has been a burr under my saddle.

Independents and Democrats (and even moderate Republicans) don't seem to be very interested in local politics anymore.   These are the same folks who will take the time to sort their garbage for recyclables, and to compost their grass clippings.  But they can't be bothered with paying attention to their local political situation.  They'll get out and pound pavement for their presidential candidate, but won't lift a finger to get their Mayor elected.  Or their school board representative.  Or their county commisioners, or their state senator/representative.  And then they wonder what in the hell is going on when the Kansas legislature attempts to slide back into the dark ages.  I'm as guilty as everyone else over this.  As soon as the Presidential election was over, I took a vacation from politics.  Haven't been to a meeting, barely even wrote anything on Facebook, let alone here on LJ.

Right wing Republicans, on the other hand, seem to take it as their God-given duty to help run their local politics.  They vote.  They donate time and money.  They attend meetings.  They campaign.  They run for office.  No wonder all the local elections have gone heavily towards the Republican side of the fence.  And not the good side of the Republican fence, either, but the side that believes that they are doing politics for the Glory of God.  We need to stop this.

The people who start out as our City commissioners, our mayors, all those offices I listed up above, are the same people who end up being our US Senators and Representatives in the next decade or two.  I don't think I want someone who believes I should be prevented from having an abortion, getting a divorce, getting the morning-after pill, or doing ANY DAMN THING I WANT TO LEGALLY DO representing me in Congress.  And yes, I know that description hits VERY close to home for nearly every Kansas National congresscritter right now.  They may not come right out and say it, but their voting record speaks for itself.

The thought is terrifyingly close to Gilead.

We need to get involved.  We have to get a (for lack of a better term) base of sensible center and center-left representatives built back up in our local governments, so we have people that have political experience ready to move up the ladder from city, to state, to national levels.  And we don't have that any more.

If you are a Democrat (heck, even if you aren't-they welcome independents at their meetings), contact your state Democratic Committee and find out who your reps are in your area.  Go to the local meetings.  Get involved in your city government.  Get involved in your school board government.  GET INVOLVED.  If you have the time to invest, run for local office.  It takes very little time to be a local Democrat committee person, and yet there are two positions for every voting precinct in the state-one man and one woman.

Autonomy is the price of sloth, and we are very close to finding that out the hard way.  What would have taken just a bit of effort a decade or two ago, now will take some serious work.  But unless we want to go back to the days that the right wing dreams of, where women couldn't get out of an unwanted pregnancy, or an unwanted marriage, or an unwanted life choice, we are going to have to get our collective butts in gear.
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(no subject) [Aug. 21st, 2012|03:14 pm]

That is all.
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(no subject) [Jul. 19th, 2012|04:33 pm]
The bad:  temps of 106, yesterday, today, predicted over 104 for the rest of the week.

The good:  IT'S RAINING!!
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Obama to tour areas devastated by fire in Colorado Springs [Jun. 28th, 2012|02:37 pm]
Originally posted by mountain_hiker at Obama to tour areas devastated by fire in Colorado Springs

I've lived in Colorado Springs for the past 35 years. This is undoubtedly the worst disaster that we have seen within my lifetime. It's going to be another hot, dry day here; we set an all-time record high of 101° on Tuesday (the day the fire really exploded). For the past five days, I've watched the fire grow from my window and hear the MAFFS as they fly over. I'm thankful that the President will be coming here tomorrow (6/29). I hope he'll authorize some federal funds to help the firefighting effort.

"Monster" Colorado wildfire rages; Obama plans visit

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - Firefighters struggled on Wednesday to beat back a fiercely aggressive wildfire raging at the edge of Colorado Springs that has forced at least 35,000 people from their homes and was nipping at the edges of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The so-called Waldo Canyon Fire, fanned by gusting winds, has gutted an unknown number of homes on the wooded fringes of Colorado's second-most populous city and prompted more evacuations as flames roared out of control for a fifth day.

President Barack Obama plans to pay a visit to the area on Friday to view the damage, the White House said.

The blaze flared Tuesday night with sudden ferocity and quickly overran fire containment lines, invading the northwestern corner of the city. But officials have declined to characterize the extent of property damage there.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown told Reuters that he had "a number in mind" for the approximate tally of homes lost in Tuesday night's firestorm but did not want to release that information until residents of those dwellings were notified.

The blaze left an orange hue over Colorado Springs, and a smoky haze hung in the air, so thick in places that the giant, roiling pall of smoke that continued to billow into the sky over the city was obscured from the ground.

Governor John Hickenlooper said after flying over the fire zone Tuesday night that he saw many homes destroyed in a "surreal," luminous landscape below, but did not give a number.

Pressed for an estimate of property losses on Wednesday, fire information officer Greg Heule said, "We've started the process of identifying the structures, but we haven't completed the inventory," adding "there's still active fire in there."

Brown called the firestorm threatening his city - in a metropolitan area of more than 650,000 people - "a monster" and said that flames were "not even remotely close to being contained."

The fire, which has scorched more than 15,000 acres in the shadow of the famed Pikes Peak mountaintop, was not as intense early on Wednesday as the day before. But thunderstorms hampered firefighting efforts by bringing erratic winds, whipping flames from one direction to another.

"I've never seen any progression like that," incident commander Rich Harvey said at a late-afternoon news conference. "The winds keep shifting on us. Again the winds are causing us problems out here."

The number of evacuees stood at 32,000 on Tuesday night. But after additional residents in and around the nearby town of Woodland Park, population 7,600, were ordered from their homes on Wednesday, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said the number displaced people had grown by about 3,000.
Rest of article for linkophobesCollapse )

A few dramatic photosCollapse )

Also: Photos: Before and after views of neighborhood burned by Waldo Canyon fire

How ONTD-P can help
Please consider donating to one of these organizations. Even if it's a few dollars, every little bit helps. With the new mandatory and pre-evacuations occurring in Woodland Park, I now personally know seven families who are now displaced (one or two may have lost their homes). Please help my city. :(

Help Colorado Now

Waldo Canyon Firefighter's Fund

Care and Share. Care and Share uses donations to purchase supplies (both food and things like socks) for the firefighters. In the "Please apply my gift to:" section, make sure to specify "Waldo Canyon Fire".

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UPHELD! [Jun. 28th, 2012|10:11 am]

Supreme Court Health Care Decision: Individual Mandate Survives

WASHINGTON -- The individual health insurance mandate is constitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, upholding the central provision of President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act.

The controlling opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax, although concluded it was not valid as an exercise of Congress' commerce clause power. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined in the outcome.

Link to the decision:  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf

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Autonomy is the price of sloth [Jun. 6th, 2012|03:07 pm]
After reading all the depressing posts today on my Flist, I wrote up a paragraph, then decided to post it as part of a separate entry on my journal, instead of a comment:

I don't know what went wrong in WisconsinCollapse )

The more we speak up, the more other like-minded people will be encouraged to speak up. And the more we show up to say NO to the right wing legislators and the plutocrats, the less drastic their attempts will be, as they realize that, like the State BOE officers that got voted out after the "Intelligent Design" fiasco, they too can be thrown out of office. 

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Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help) [May. 24th, 2012|04:04 pm]
Boosting the signal for pixie117:

Originally posted by pixiebelle at Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help)
The Story

On Sunday May 20th, I woke up and realized that my Great Dane, Annabelle, hadn't come in for her morning kisses like usual. As soon as my boyfriend and I start talking, we're usually joined by my giant dog with tail wagging and kisses to the face as she climbs in bed with us to snuggle for a few hours.

I went to check on her and she was on the floor, which is odd since she's a comfort creature who usually prefers the couch. I went up to her and barely got a response. I called Kevin in and normally she can't contain herself with excitement when he enters the room.

Nothing. Her eyes could barely even stay open and she looked uninterested in everything.

We got her to stand up and realized she was not putting her right foot down at all. We tried walking her; she couldn't walk. So we ran her to the emergency vet (since it was a Sunday). My boyfriend had to carry her because she couldn't walk.

The day before she was her normal goofy self. Playing ball at the dog park, and even rough housing with a new Great Dane puppy. She came home and was fine that night. It all happened between when we went to bed and when we woke up.

At the emergency vet, her fever was 104.7. She was a very sick dog. They kept her all day on Sunday until her fever went down. He said her paw looked to be injured but that it likely caused an infection (she had elevated red blood cells). He sent her home with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medicine for the injured paw. Original bill was $900 which I didn't have. I burst into tears because she is my baby and the wonderful vet lowered it to $600.

Sunday night my boyfriend and I slept in the living room because she couldn't move and I didn't want her being too far from me. He slept on the floor and neither of us got much sleep.

I took Monday off and luckily I did because her paw did not stop gushing blood. I had never seen so much blood just gushing without stopping. Obviously, I couldn't let it continue so I took her to my regular vet. She thought it was foxtail that had weaved it's way into the paw, we scheduled Annabelle for surgery the next day and all should have been well.

This was how swollen her paw was before the bleeding even started. It has only gotten worse from here.

However, things turned ugly the next day. When they opened the bandage up, they found that the whole on her paw had grown to twice the original size and her flesh was rotting around it. The vet called and said she felt it was either a brown recluse bite or flesh-eating bacteria (such as MRSA).

I took her in for a second opinion with the emergency vet who saw her on Sunday and he said her tissue was liquefying. It was one of the worst cases he'd seen in a very long time. He was leaning more toward flesh-eating bacteria, but said a brown recluse bite could still be possible. He did say that with aggressive veterinary treatment, she would survive. She might lose part of her foot, but that she would be fine if we did everything the vet is asking of us.

Sadly, we still don't know what we are dealing with.

We just know that her skin and tissue is rotting at an alarming rate. She went from playing catch with us on Saturday to us looking at her dying within the week if we couldn't get this under control.

Today is Wednesday and from the massive amounts of a variety of antibiotics, she's doing better. The wound hadn't grown any larger for the first time since this whole ordeal. It's not reversed yet, no healing is present, but the fact that it stopped spreading the way it had is a good sign.

Her clotting tests came back normal showing that her body is healing the wound.

Everything is pointing to good signs if we keep up treatment.

The issue is cost. I have spent $2,000 since Sunday. That's over half my monthly salary. I pulled money from my IRA to pay for services and I am running low over there.

Today alone was $870. Tomorrow? Another $300. And until she shows healing, it could be $300 a day to hospitalize her. Then it will be regular vet visits with special bandage changes ($55 a day - I am hoping to negotiate or learn how to do this myself at home). Once she starts healing, she will need surgery to remove to dead tissue and to either stitch/graft or amputate as needed depending on the damage that is done. This could add up to a couple thousand more depending on the course of treatment.

She requires all of this to survive. Right now, it's looking more and more like a flesh-eating bacteria. A super bacteria of sorts that got into her injured paw and is killing the tissue. It's crazy how she can go from being fine on Saturday to having her foot rotting away on Tuesday. It's mind-blowing and terrifying.

How she is today (Wednesday)

For a dog with flesh-eating bacteria on her foot, she's almost back to normal personality wise. The antibiotics seem to be working on the internal infection, it's just the wound that needs to heal up. While at the vet this morning, she climbed up in the chair next to me like normal. When I came to pick her up this afternoon, she pulled the vet tech down the hall to get to me. She's now putting a little weight on the paw which means the pain is subsiding. She's happy to greet my roommate once again, and she even begged for food last night (which I spoiled her with two hot dogs because she's been through a lot).

She's on the mend, the treatments may be working. Though without knowing what the bacteria is immune to, it's going to mean a lot of trial and error to get this under control for good.

My Situation

I won't go into my sob story great length since this is about Annabelle. But I left a really bad relationship about 2 years ago, moved out to California for a job opportunity to be in my field... and Dang, it's expensive out here. Rent takes up half my monthly salary and I wish I was exaggerating. It's tough. I have barely been able to save up anything and I live very frugally to make ends meet. My pets always come before me, their needs get met before mine and I make sure they eat better than I do. They are my world.

I had to get Annabelle spayed last August, and because she is a Dane, I also had her stomach tacked to help prevent bloat (You can Google it. It's a Great Dane issue). I used Care Credit to fund that. She had sickness associated with the surgery which required a lot of vet visits, and Care Credit came into play again. Then my cat got sick a few times... and my Care Credit is maxed out. They can possibly raise my limit, but I will know in 7-10 days.

I don't have 7-10 days. I am running out of money and the vets I have found don't take payment plans because they push you to Care Credit. They require money up front, which I don't have anymore of. I've dug into my IRA and will deal with penalties later. The $1000 I pulled out yesterday is already gone to the vet, I am broke once more.

My family is poor, I can't get it from them. My savings are burnt up from this. I really don't know where else to go. I am so ashamed to be asking for help, and hope no one thinks poorly of me for it.

Help Needed

I hate asking for any help, but this girl is my baby. Anyone who knows me knows that this dog is my world. I talk about her nonstop, I take her everywhere I go. I make sure she has the best possible life I can give her, and I go without in order to give it to her.

I have had a rough few years and she's been able to bring me so much joy. I seriously can't imagine life without my giant beast of a dog. She's a cuddle buddy who loves nothing more than being loved on by a human. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body and adores everyone she meets.

(This is a photo from a month or so ago. She's snuggling in bed with Kevin on a Sunday like we do every Sunday until this last one shook us all up.)

If you know of any charities that would donate to the vet on behalf of Annabelle to get her the services we need, please let me know. I am researching it a bit, and doing my best to find help that I can get right away. This all happened so fast and needs to be treated fast. If you know of a vet in the Orange County, CA area that would take payments or help me out, that would work great too. I just need it quick.

Knowing I can save her if I just had the money... I have to at least try. I have to at least ask.

Don't feel any obligation whatsoever, especially if you have helped me in the past with anything whatsoever. I don't want to be greedy or pushy. Several people have asked to help me with the vet bills and I am passing this along because I can't deny that I need help. If you can't help financially, but want to help out somehow, then feel free to pass this along. Pass it along anywhere you can think of, I don't mind.

Anything. Any little bit will help here. Even your thoughts and prayers mean the world to me since I believe in the power of positive energy. So keep those coming as well. Or just pass it on even. Maybe someone out there can help me in a way I never would have thought of on my own. You just never know.

Thanks everyone. I will try to make sure everyone gets at least a personalized "thank you" card if I get your address (so please consider leaving that. I may include a photo of Annabelle once she's healthy once more). I am more than willing to repay the favor in any way I possibly can. Never hesitate to ask.

For more about Annabelle, here's a video and a public post I wrote up about her. You can see that she really is a terrific dog and I love her so much.


If the link doesn't work, my paypal e-mail address is kristenrericha@gmail.com. Apparently people are having issues there. I apologize for that :/

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Help Us Support Planned Parenthood [May. 9th, 2012|04:29 pm]
Originally posted by theljstaff at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)
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Kansas Caucus [Apr. 4th, 2012|11:51 am]
Kansas Democrats are gearing up for the 2012 Presidential Preference Caucuses being held on Saturday, April 14th. Registration begins at 1:00 pm; caucus meetings will begin promptly at 2:00 pm.

This year’s caucus is an ideal way to bring Democrats together, meet local Democratic candidates, and kickoff the 2012 elections. 

President Obama's leadership has proven that he shares Kansas Democrats’ commitment to education, opportunity, and responsibility.

Statewide, caucuses will be held in 50 different locations. Caucuses in Kansas are organized by Kansas Senate Districts.

The Kansas Democratic Party's caucuses are open to all Kansas residents, but participants must apply to register as a Democrat before they may participate.

A complete list of Kansas Democratic Presidential Preference Caucus locations, along with many more caucus details, can be found at http://www.ksdp.org/content/delegate-selection-process-2012.
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