Live from the Hive – Bee Waterer

I was live on Periscope earlier today talking about my bees and the waterer I made for them. I also took a tour around my vegetable garden and plugged my book at the end….all while in my bathing suit! (It’s a hot day and I was cleaning the swimming pool when I decided to make the video.)

I’ve put the video on YouTube to make it easier to view here. Check it out!

Time for Peace in Politics

I wrote a personal essay a few months ago about the toxicity of the confrontation-style of politics in America today, and the need for balance in our lives and positivity in our civic engagement. I wrote then about the negative consequences of being consumed by the political fight. I’ve been thinking a lot about that topic again today, in the wake of the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Virginia assailant appears to have been an extreme case of someone who was totally emotionally consumed by the political fighting. He was so wrapped up in it that he slipped the bounds of reality into a clear state of insanity. While his is an extreme case, his story holds a lesson for us all.

It’s time to end the nasty “us versus them” confrontation-style political engagement that has become the norm in our country. It’s not good for our country, and it’s not good for us as individuals. Let’s focus our efforts on positive forms civic engagement to make our communities and country better. Let’s come together and help each other and help our country.

We are all Americans.

I’m not going to go on and on here, but I hope you’ll check out the links below to pieces I’ve written in the last few months on this subject.

Striking a Positive Balance: Political Self-Help in the Age of Trump The Daily Beast   (A similar draft is also posted on Medium with photos…including one of President Trump and me.)

It’s Time for More Positive Civic Engagement HuffPost

Thanks for reading. Be kind to each other.

Live from the Hive — Kathy Griffin Edition

I like to sit by my beehive in the garden and do my thinking. It’s my thinking spot. Every now and then, I’ll fire up Periscope and share some of what I’m thinking about.

Earlier today, I made this video with some thoughts about the recent controversy regarding Kathy Griffin, positivity, the upcoming Comey hearing on Capitol Hill, and of course, my bees! Check out the video. Here’s the YouTube version. ->

 

Disaster Action Team

Yesterday was my first day as a American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer. Storms moved through western Kentucky on Wednesday night, and several families had damaged homes and they needed help.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to be able to help those folks. Both families couldn’t have been more grateful, and both families couldn’t have been more in need of the help. Neither had the resources to be able to recover without assistance.

My first thought when the Red Cross office called to see if I could go out and help was that I didn’t think the storms were that bad. Of course, they could have been worse in other areas, and indeed they were. The other reason the affected families needed help was that they just didn’t have shelter that was sturdy enough to weather a strong storm like that.  Continue reading “Disaster Action Team”

Striking a Positive Balance

It’s important for all of us to find a positive balance in our civic engagement and our lives. I hope you’ll check out the the essay I posted over at Medium today, Striking a Positive Balance: Political Self-Help in the Age of Trump.

UPDATE 4/1:  My essay has been published at The Daily Beast. (I sent it to them before I posted it on Medium…didn’t think they were going to run it, so I went ahead on Medium. Anyway, it’s both places!)

There is so much division and fighting in politics today, and all of that negativity isn’t good for us as a country or as individuals. I know, first hand. In my book, NO HOPE: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too), I wrote about my experience in politics. I described what I was thinking and how my political thought evolved through that experience. What I didn’t write about then is the negative effects that my being totally consumed by the negativity of the political fight had on me personally, emotionally, physically, and materially. My essay today is the first time I’ve talked about those things, and how I set out to change my life and the way I engage in my civic participation.

I’m going to be writing and speaking out more about the need for all of us to strike a positive balance in our activism, humanitarianism, personal enrichment, and diverse ways to help people and change the world. Stay tuned…..

In the meantime, I hope you’ll read what I wrote today. AND at The Daily Beast.

The Red Cross

Most of you know that I spent a lot of my life working as a professional activist and political strategist. I still do a fair amount of political work, but my personal and professional life is more diverse now.

My motivation in politics has always been to help people and make our country better. I haven’t always felt like I was accomplishing that while being engaged in the never-ending political fight. I have sometimes lost sight of the fact that not all of the answers can be found with government and realized in the political arena. That’s kind of hard to remember when you get completely consumed by the political fighting!

I’ve decided that if my goals are really to help people and make our country better, then I should look for diverse ways to do that, in addition to engaging in politics. So I recently signed up to be a Red Cross volunteer! Nobody does more to help people who need it than the American Red Cross. I haven’t even done any training yet. I have just signed up and gone through the background check, but I’m excited to get started!  Continue reading “The Red Cross”

What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It

While we should doubt the authenticity of some of John Podesta’s emails that were stolen by the Russian government and leaked by Wikileaks, we have learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in Clinton-world from them. This week’s story about Clinton insider Doug Band and “Bill Clinton Inc” confirmed for political outsiders something that we have always known. The political and economic elite work to enrich themselves and their friends.

I’ve never met Doug Band, but I suspect he’s like most insiders who have made it in the establishment system. I’m sure he’s never had an original thought or idea, but he knows the right people. He’s an inside the box thinker who plays by all the rules, and kisses all the right asses. He’s the embodiment of what most Americans hate about the political and economic system.

The Doug Band story will hurt the Clintons politically because all politics is personal, and the story really hits home of a lot of us outsiders. It’s personal for us because we know that well-connected people like Band rake in millions, while the rest of us struggle for survival. The story reminds us of the barriers that slam us every day in our quest for the American Dream. We are reminded of all the unreturned phone calls and emails, and all the job applications that aren’t even acknowledged. It reminds us of our desperate search for a break that seems like it will never come. The story reinforces our belief that only those in “the club” will ever succeed in this country.  Continue reading “What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It”