Posts Tagged ‘Madison’

Tania Marie and Me: Equinox Visit and Cosmic Adventures with Our D’s ~ Part 2

Continuing on from where we left off in Part 1, Tania Marie, our Dave/David’s and I found ourselves at Cave of the Mounds — a stunning, prehistoric, subterranean world, carefully preserved since its discovery in 1939. You can see just a small selection of David’s photos from our guided tour below:

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Someone kindly managed to snap a photo of the four of us, quite the feat with everything either pitch black or brilliantly highlighted:

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Above ground we found butterfly and herb gardens, the top of a huge sinkhole we saw from below, and various trails “through time.” David caught Tania and me hamming it up as we “stopped to smell the roses.”

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After Cave of the Mounds, we faeries couldn’t resist going to nearby Mount Horeb, “the troll capital of the world!” Here we are on Trollcam, showing off Tania’s matching key tattoo:

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Since he missed our prehistoric peeps photo, we asked David to rest with us awhile on this kindly troll’s bench:

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Afterwards, we did some shopping, and then look who we saw on our way back home:

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We returned to their “Magick Bus” RV, where the guys took a Wisconsin brew break with New Glarus Indigenous IPA, while Tania and I enjoyed Live soda flavored kombuchas. Who knew cola and root beer could be so healthy?! Vegan pizza and salads followed at Roman Candle Pizzeria.

With our time together winding to a close, we realized we had not gotten any photos of baby Cosmo with “Auntie Laura,” so we all gathered again at the Magick Bus the next morning. Tania made smoothies from the greens I’d harvested from our garden, and we spent quality time with the world’s snuggliest rabbit. You could call this photo T.L.C.:

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Our 11 a.m. checkout time loomed near, so we said our goodbye’s and headed our separate ways — Tania and Dave West to Iowa, and David and me to meet our Madison friends for lunch before heading East to Goshen. We’ve already got some ideas in the works for the next trip, but with the four of us very much in flux and synchronicity so obviously at play in our lives, time and sync winks will tell where and when we meet again. I was telling David on the way home just how grateful and lucky I feel to have such a loving romantic partnership with him and such a deep, beautiful friendship with Tania … and now we both know and love Tania’s Dave, as well. So much laughter and love:

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Tania Marie and Me: Equinox Visit and Cosmic Adventures with Our D’s ~ Part 1

Best friend and faery twin Tania Marie and I are never apart in spirit. We keep in nearly constant touch via anything from texts to telepathy, and even if we have longer times without contact, we find our lives have either synchronously paralleled or gone into exactly opposite complementary experiences. Our own mothers have mixed us up in photographs, and our lives really do seem like those stories of twins separated at birth.

We both have our North Nodes (Destiny) in Capricorn, and we both have David’s/Dave’s with Cancer North Nodes. We’re roughly the same size and height, and our haircuts seem to parallel each other. Tania’s a two-fish Pisces, and I’m a twin Gemini. Tania has a special needs bunny, and I have a special needs yard. When Tania and her Dave downsized last year to start full time RV living, I simultaneously upsized by renting the house next door as an office/classroom/guesthouse filled with my David’s parents’ furniture they needed to move out of their old house. Despite the miles between Tania and me, we often giggle to discover we’ve made the exact same thing for dinner, or that one of us is out shopping for the very ingredient the other one just chopped.

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All these long distance connections and synchronicities go into life-changing hyperdrive whenever life permits a fun and magickal in-person adventure. We went to the San Francisco Veg Fest Together in 2008 carrying bunny Nestor’s ashes and then learned about a bunny rescue that eventually led to Tania adopting Joy; I picked up her Joy with Tania and held her on their first road trip together; we’ve had many Cafe Gratitude binge fests where the waitresses actually looked under the table to see where we’d hidden all our food; we braved a spooky and synchronous Halloween 2008 in Bodega Bay with our friend Karen; have enjoyed multiple vegan Thanksgiving’s together; took a crazy, wild, and life-altering visit to Mendocino in 2009; did a silly, but potent faery reclamation of Chicago in 2010; and had a joyful reunion and birthday celebration in Goshen in 2015 when Tania first got to meet my David.

We’ve been planning this year’s gathering with “both our D’s” pretty much since Tania and her D took off in the RV. As timing and plans coalesced, we originally thought we’d meet over Samhain/Halloween as they drove East through Canada and then down through Michigan to Goshen, IN then wintering South and continuing their East Coast travels next Spring and Summer. These plans morphed all over the place until we finally decided to meet in Viroqua, WI on Autumn Equinox.

Yes, Wisconsin, the land of giant mice, cheese and brats:

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Readers of this blog might remember The Sunflower Saga, Synchronicity and the NAPC, the first time tried to go to Viroqua amidst massive redirection, dreams and another head injury. I tried a second time for David’s birthday this year, but life strongly rearranged itself to send us to Turkey Run State Park instead. Apparently, I have a “thing” with Viroqua — a strong pull accompanied by a major block. When making plans with Tania, I mentioned that I was still a little nervous about that location, even though I’ve always wanted to go there, but we reasoned that since I’d be there with both Tania and my David, I’d be fine.

And so we made our respective reservations. While I harvested and prepped food for an Equinox Feast, we all gathered and prepared various gifts for one another. The afternoon before our trip, just as Tania and Dave neared Viroqua, I felt a sudden “flood” of energy. It was so strong that it knocked me back onto the couch, even when I tried to get up. Whenever I thought of our trip, I felt this powerful force field of energy so strong that it felt like a rush of water pulling me deeper and deeper. I texted Tania to say, “Wow, really potent energy for our trip in Viroqua. Almost knocked me out.” Then I checked the weather there, only to find a “Flood Warning.”

Hmmm …. I texted her not to set up camp too close to the Kickapoo River, as it might overflow, but we continued with our plans. We figured the potent energy came more from the intentional ceremony we had planned for that evening, the first time all four of us would be together, with Tania’s bunny Cosmo anchoring the center of our Circle. I had copied, modified and highlighted an OBOD Alban Elfed ritual, so that the five of us could personify the four directions and “the cosmos.”

All proceeded according to plan until …

…what I’ve come to consider “my Viroqua hex” reared its powerful head again.

Early Equinox morning, I received hurried texts from Tania that she and Dave were being evacuated from their camp site. A flurry of texts and phone calls followed as I tried to see if they could stay in the parking lot by our hotel, but people on their end urged them to get out of town while they still could. “Mudslides and flash floods would make it impossible” for David and me to reach Viroqua, and the Sheriff advised Tania and Dave to go to Madison. I knew she had little signal, so I located a KOA in De Forest, WI, just north of Madison, and it turned out they had trailers for rent, as well as a site for T and D.

Originally, we would have been staying about twenty minutes apart since we could not find any accommodations capable of housing both parties. Our trailer option meant a very different sort of packing, but it also meant we would be about twenty yards instead of twenty minutes away from each other! It meant we could hang out with Tania and Dave in their “home on the road,” while David and I shared our homecoming to the place he and I first lived together. A place with loads of vegan food options. A place we both love and had planned to drive through on our way home anyway to have lunch with dear friends there. A place which increasingly seems to be some kind of Wheel of the Year vortex portal for us, as demonstrated further by our potent Winter Solstice 2015 in Madison.

In any case, our plans rapidly morphed, and the synchronicities suddenly catapulted into crazy high gear. All of us dodged potential injury or death that day, between the rising floods on T and D’s end, and a rogue white van suddenly crossing and stopping right in front of us on the highway. As the day continued, Tania and I began to feel forces strongly opposing our visit, while even stronger forces protected and redirected us to safe communion. We eventually arrived, quickly got settled and then gathered in their “Magick Bus,” where we did introductions, hugged, changed into fun “Equinox costumes,” held our little ceremony and then feasted on the garden fresh white scallop squash “faux”lenta, pesto, tomatoes, leafy greens, raspberries and Sun Oven Lammas brownies, I had brought. It was so yummy and love filled that we forgot to take any photos that night.

Tania and I noticed that we “floated for hours” in some kind of altered state as our guys slept. The next day, Tania received word from our friend Dawn that she also felt floaty and interdimensional that night. We all felt we crossed onto a different timeline or alternate reality, as things eerily fell into perfect alignment, despite all the sudden twists and turns. I received texts from others confirming similar sense of shifts the night of Autumn Equinox, so we’re curious if anyone has other info to share in the comments below.

On Friday, we toured some of our favorite spots in Madison, including Willy Street Co-Op, of special interest to my D and me for green juice, and to T’s D for … vegan scones and donuts! Oh, yes, Dave is not only a vegan author, speaker, and animal rights advocate but also quite the junk food vegan connoisseur! He kept us well supplied with goodies throughout our trip, a bit of a shock to my “just harvested from the garden” norm, but also a fun and welcome treat! We enjoyed chocolate bark, donuts, scones and lots of wonderful teas from his extensive collection. We took them to our much missed restaurants Himal Chuli and The Green Owl Cafe, as well as to Roman Candle Pizzeria for vegan pizza. Here we are below on our first full, crazy windy day there, overlooking Lake Mendota, on the UW Madison campus. The wind was so strong it started blowing off my jacket and shirt, but we did manage to snap this selfie before wandering into more sheltered woods:

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The whole trip continued to evolve moment-by-moment, and it seemed impossible to plan anything. Between road detours, missing emails, very specific weather guidelines, and more, we had no choice but to go with the flow. Saturday brought us to Cave of the Mounds, where we picnicked and then went on an amazing underground tour. I experienced such powerful and unshakeable déjà vu when we got there that I kept trying to explain it away by my early childhood visits to Pennsylvania’s Crystal Cave. The avalanche of synchronicities and slow motion time experience of our pre-tour time there convinced Tania and me that some other important time nexus or circular time event had arranged for us to be there right then. My David kept mentioning “the importance of getting you ladies deep inside the Earth so you can do whatever you need to do there.”

It truly was magical inside that ancient cave, but I’ll continue our adventure in Part 2.

Active Hope

Last evening, David and I attended a lecture by author, translator and activist Joanna Macy regarding her most recent book called “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” Co-authored with Chris Johnstone, this book takes an unflinching look at what Joanna describes as three streams: 1) the increasing fascism and control/destruction of individual rights and our environment; 2) “The Great Unraveling,” as these structures begin to suffocate under their own weight and insider exposures; and 3) “The Great Turning,” also called the Awakening, the new environmentalism, the Golden Age, and many other things.

Joanna’s talk discussed three aspects of activism, corresponding to these streams: 1) political/structural attempts to ” “slow down” the devastation, using the system to improve the system; 2) development of creative new ways to solve problems, such as the many eco-friendly and community-based start-up endeavors; and 3) a return to Old Wisdom and complete reconnection with Mother Earth — a recognition of our own hands as full of stardust and full of Earth.

Here’s the description we received from the Madison Area Permaculture Guild:

“Joanna Macy, world renowned deep ecologist and eco-spirituality elder, will be in Madison and present a public talk at First Unitarian Society. For decades, the octogenarian Macy has been spreading the word of the needed Great Turning from an Industrial Growth Society to a Life Sustaining Society. She teaches practices to help bring this about, starting with spiritual awakening.This is her first time speaking in Madison and an amazing opportunity.

http://www.activehope.info/index.html

“Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It offers tools that help us face the mess we’re in, as well as find and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

“’Books about social and ecological change 
too often leave out a vital component: 
how do we change ourselves 
so that we are strong enough 
to fully contribute to this great shift? 
Active Hope fills this gap beautifully, 
guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, 
interconnection and, ultimately, transformation.’ 
~Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine.


“At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding, and offering, our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for healing of our world, the mess we’re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.”

Amazon’s description of Active Hope follows:

“The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.”

We found ourselves recognizing a kindred spirit in Joanna, as she expressed so many of the ideas that David and I regularly discuss. In particular, she assessed that political and community activism and new projects cannot by themselves overcome the challenges presented to humanity right now. They can slow things down and sprout new ideas, but those new ideas will wither without good soil and an internal shift that changes the way we view our world. As within, so without. As a Buddhist, Joanna discussed how her faith has helped her to engage challenges, and she giggled at the irony of a Buddhist writing a book about “hope.” The concept of Active Hope as something one does, rather than just a passive wishing or attachment to results, brought a sense of groundedness, mindfulness and empowerment to her activism. She shared the idea that Active Hope occurs moment by moment as we choose which kind of world we wish to engage and nurture into being.

She also reminded us that we can never know our own ripple effect in the Universe. We can never truly know how those moment by moment decisions affect another person, animal, being or the entire, integrated collective. But we can know what feels better moment by moment, and we can continue to choose the world we envision and love. Joanna gave a call to Visionaries to hold the vision and to transform ourselves from within so that we’re ready to manifest that vision. We loved her talk, as did the packed sanctuary at the First Unitarian Society, also known as Frank Lloyd Wright’s home congregation.

We also loved the fact that she’s in her 80’s and continuing to travel around the world and inspire local projects. She acknowledged how Madison has sparked imaginations and hearts around the world, modeling peaceful, high vibe activism. She reminded us not to give up. Just because people experience a setback or a discouraging moment, doesn’t mean to throw in the towel. She exhorted those in attendance to keep going, keep shining, and keep bringing in the world we wish to create: “the world is watching Madison.”

Another highlight of the evening was Joanna’s reciting of some Rainer Maria Rilke poetry she had translated from the original German:

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

She finds poetry speaks to our times much more than prose and also recited a poem by Milwaukee resident Susa Silvermarie:

A Thousand Years of Healing

From whence my hope, I cannot say,
except it grows in the cells of my skin,
in my envelope of mysteries it hums.
In this sheath so akin to the surface of the earth
it whispers. Beneath
the wail and dissonance in the world,
hope’s song grows. Until I know
that with this turning
we put a broken age to rest.
We who are alive at such a cusp
now usher in
one thousand years of healing!

Winged ones and four-leggeds,
grasses and mountains and each tree,
all the swimming creatures,
even we, wary two-leggeds
hum, and call, and create
the Changing Song. We remake
all our relations. We convert
our minds to the earth. In this turning time
we finally learn to chime and blend,
attune our voices; sing the vision
of the Great Magic we move within.
We begin
the new habit, getting up glad
for a thousand years of healing.

– Susa Silvermarie

I will leave you with a video: Active Hope Show 1 – The Shambhala Warrior Prophecy

Joanna Macy tells the Shambhala Warrior Prophecy, twelve centuries old and from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Introduced by Chris Johnstone, this is the first episode of The Active Hope Show, which explores insights and practices that help bring out our best responses to the planetary emergency we face.

Aho!

Waking Up the World: Wisconsin

Another inspiring update from my Uncle Brad. This one shares some major breaks and leaps forward — reminders of what happens when people keep focused on what they know they want and need. Thanks to Brad Palmer for his tireless efforts and cheerful reporting:

Greetings, Believers–A very good day, indeed.

The rallies are daily now, in nearly every town on the map in Wisconsin. I went to Baraboo tonight to participate in a rally for the rights of working families. It rained, it was 34 degrees (Fahrenheit), cloudy and gray, a damp, windy chill in the air. Yet somehow, 60-75 showed up, most with signs, all ages, to march around the square, which is similar to Madison’s, though a fraction of the size in accordance with Baraboo’s population of 12,000.

Nonetheless, we marched some 10 laps around in bad weather, united, undaunted. Cars honked in approval as we walked. The local press was there for interviews and photographs. My friend, Scott, marched with us, despite a condition that made every step painful, to continue his participation in the cause of freedom for working families. Baraboo, like Portage, is no political town like Madison. There are no waves made there, no boats rocked–until now. And this demonstration has given rise to the next, for every alternating week. And it, too, is what democracy looks like.

News travelled rapidly amongst us about the good events of the day. Judge Sumi continued the temporary restraining order, preventing Walker and the Fitzgerald gang from executing their disgraceful plan. The Supreme Court election on Tuesday next looms large in our minds as a referendum on Walker’s arrogance. The Republicans admitted they may not have enough support if they now re-vote their workers’ rights eradication. The courts are awash in moves not only questioning Walker’s legality, but requesting the ringleaders of the senate to testify, since they are named as defendants, despite their heretofore advantage of immunity, which they still employ. One of the Republican districts has turned in its petitions, having garnered enough signatures for recall a full month ahead of deadline. Another district is calling for all petition volunteers to turn theirs in for submission.

Our district is VERY comfortable in its progress, with ongoing efforts the next two weeks. Volunteers are increasing, people are driving distances to get petitions signed. At least one other district is claiming proximity to goal. Other districts continue their work, none of them wanting to divulge their progress and weaken the momentum from complacency. And when we have enough by May 2, the REAL work begins. We must slate candidates, campaign, and win the recall elections in unprecedented numbers never before seen in Wisconsin. We are, indeed, writing history as we go. Posterity will read about these two years, the
actions of the people to re-claim their rightful ownership of government, and the unification of cause. And next we recall Walker with over 500,000 signatures required statewide–then the trash will have been taken out of our state.

A Chicago company has decided not to build its wind farm in Wisconsin — that would have created jobs, something Walker campaigned on — laying blame directly on the governor’s and legislature’s refusal to cooperate. Apparently, jobs for working families is not a priority, only Koch Brothers directives to employ low-waged labor.

Our support continues from all locales, foreign, local, and nation-wide. Sister states like New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Maine, and others whose rights are disappearing, like Tennessee and Oklahoma, carry signs saying, “We Are Wisconsin.” I want them to know this–we will succeed in Wisconsin, we will lead in Wisconsin, we will stampede in Wisconsin. And when our hard work is realized, and our state again truly becomes “The Badger State,” made of laborers, professionals, technicals, homemakers, volunteers, and all the other honorable professions here, and our schools are reinstated to quality institutions of education, and the corporations are required to pay their fair share, rewarded with the highest quality and ethics of working Wisconsinites, then WE will carry signs, saying, “We Are ALL Ohio,” “We Are ALL Indiana,” We Are ALL Michigan….”. History will write of Wisconsin, her battle to resist tyranny at the state level, the courage of her people to abjectly REFUSE to succumb to corporate takeover and scandal, who REFUSE to be sold in this second decade of the twenty first century. And every defiant face against Walker and the Kochs, whether in Wild Rose, Baraboo, or Madison, is our strength.

All the towns, villages, cities, and rural areas of Wisconsin are ringing with the unification of residents. Baraboo came out today, and will return with bigger numbers in two weeks. We have and will continue to out work Walker’s gang and their misinformed, dwindling numbers. I was amused when one of the Directors of the Recall Luther Olsen office told me the best news of the day to him was — Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Prosser, the current and soon-to-be-retired Wisconsin justice. Additionally, Prosser’s campaign co-chair — former governor Patrick Lucy — not only resigned today, but endorsed Prosser’s opponent, Joann Kloppenburg. These events come 4 days before the election. He also related that Wild Rose, population 734 and at the northern-most of our district, produced 300 recall petition signatures. Do you think Luther Olsen is cleaning out his office?

I believe the Republicans are suddenly concerned that our resolve is NOT imagined, that we will NOT go away, that we will NOT accept anything but accomplishment of our goal — take out the trash, make liars pay the penalty, and even more frightening to them, derail a nation-wide transparent plan to eradicate the middle class and make America a corporation. They are reminded, this government BY and FOR the people may have slept, but is now wide awake. And we’re not sleepy anymore.My hope is to be in Madison tomorrow, Sunday, and perhaps Monday (the latter being designated a “Day of Action,” though I may be unable to attend.) If so, Kathie will attend and her report will continue the reverberations of the Rotunda. (“Echoes,” versus “Report,” as you’ve correctly surmised, is dependent on my location; The Rotunda Report itself is always from Madison, Rotunda Echoes is from outside Madison.)

While the major networks, controlled by corporate news management, would lead one to believe the cause is fading by failing to report it, you all have proven you’re not so gullible. The net, progressive radio, similar reports like this one, web sites like http://www.MoveOn.org, http://www.Alternet.org , http://www.defendwisconsin.net, http://www.dailykos.org., are sending out the truth, and ALL of you are hearing it. That’s why our strength increases, why the rallies are more numerous, why the numbers of demonstrators at Walker’s speeches are larger than his audience, why the success of people like us–through toil, work, knowledge, networking, participating in any way–grows hourly. We will accept no less than the reinstatement of our rights and the removal of the perpetrators of this corruption. The Koch Brothers may have $43 billion. But they don’t have us. And that is their Achilles heel.

The 75 faces in Baraboo tonight were no less determined than those of 150,000 in Madison. The faces of Baraboo reflected the knowledge that we are just and right, that what we do not only affects the rest of America, but our children and grandchildren as well. Those cold, wet, shivering faces that refused to lower their signs an inch were warmed by your support, your work, and the continuous endorsement of class strugglers in Poland, England, Canada, Ireland, the rest of Europe, perhaps further.

Tell your relatives, neighbors, and friends, Badgers, that Tuesday is MOST important. We MUST vote to remove Prosser, the Walker puppet. Thank you for your work.

Stand with Wisconsin.
Remain steadfast, fearless, strong.
We the People–Solidarity!

Brad

More Wisconsin Updates from Uncle Brad

Another post by Brad Palmer, who continues to send out his informative, inspiring emails all around the globe, including to me, his quasi-local niece. I’ve been busy contacting people about Monsanto, which has hired a lobbyist for Wisconsin. In case you missed my earlier posts about this, Monsanto is trying hard to preempt successful legislation for local food sovereignty like that in Maine and in Marin County. This same issue is up for vote in November in Sonoma County, too.

Essentially, while everyone’s busy looking at Japan, Scott Walker and Libya, Monsanto’s making a big push to make local food sovereignty illegal, so that they can come into states and control the entire food supply with GM Frankenfoods that continue to alter DNA and cause reproductive damage and other recently discovered (and still being researched) issues.

In ANY case, if you value access to organic foods, you really might want to get on this in your own town or state. Local food sovereignty laws protect towns and states from invasive monocrops and Monsanto thug intimidation tactics. (No, that’s not an exaggeration.) Oftentimes a bit of preparation, or in this case pre-emptive legislation, saves oodles and oodles of time and effort down the road. I’m not just a Lazy Raw Foodist. I’m kind of a lazy lots of things, so please consider this my heads up that it will be much easier to get your representatives to pass preemptive food sovereignty legislation than it will be to get Monsanto out once they’re in.

OK, off my Dr. Bronner’s Soap Box … and onto Brad Palmer’s report. Thanks, Uncle Brad, and thanks to everyone around the world and in Wisconsin — keeping the vibe high, but firm, and keeping the focus clear and positive. Much Love to everyone.

Hello, Street Fighters!!

OK, some of this is for non-Wisconsinites (we Badgers have already heard this good news), some of it for Badgers. The good news is, we won a round. Judge Sumi, the Dane County district judge that issued the original restraining order against the implementation of Walker and Fatzgerald’s (oops, another typo?), I mean, Fitzgerald’s ramrod of an illegal law, has issued a NEW restraining order to STOP any further implementation of the collective bargaining “law.” Sounds like the GOP pissed her off a little by ignoring (flaunting, really) her original order. They are, of course, going to fight this, but for now, a judge has ruled against them. The entire process is complicated, folks, involving who can publish the law to make it
a law. Walker said the Legislative Reference Bureau’s publication, bypassing the Secretary of State, made it law. By that reasoning, I suppose “Field and Stream” could have published it to satisfy them. Not so fast, thieves, even YOU have to obey the law once in a while.

I already emailed most of you regarding the Wisconsin signs in London’s huge demonstration, so we’re still international. Walker’s Janesville speech arrival tonight was greeted by “hundreds” of protesters who agree that they’ve had enough of him. They chanted for his recall. They outnumbered the guests inside.

My friend, Sheri, is sending these reports out EVERYWHERE, so while I’m humbled that such meager writings are making their way across the nation, I’m grateful she’s spreading the will of the people of Wisconsin, firing up our sister states–and countries; and getting some truth out there that the news media will not (for obvious reasons, they’re owned by corporations who pay little or no taxes–and they don’t want to.) Poland’s Solidarity organization sent support to Wisconsin via net a day or two ago. My personal thought is that even if Walker and his bandits somehow enact this hypocrisy, bad laws can be rescinded…..and we will do that. Oakland did so with a great song on YouTube, called simply, “Madison.”

The statewide prediction for the April 5, election in Wisconsin that pits Kloppenburg against Prosser is a 20% turnout. We have to do better than that, we can’t just rely on Madison. Compacency is our biggest enemy. We need to get EVERY eligible voter out there for Kloppenburg–not because she would rubber stamp everything we’re asking for, but because a Walker troglodyte would be ousted, and a message sent that the Republican senators are next, then Walker and the Republican 2012 representatives.

And so, my fellow democracy lovers, the battle continues. The recall effort has been heavy and tireless, and it continues with vigor. The recall elections will be even more difficult, for we must have viable candidates and successful campaigns. The Walker recall will require enormous support and work from us. BUT….we SHALL impose the will of the people of Wisconsin on the capitol, in Madison, and then all around the country. We can do this, we will do this…..because as you all know by now, WE ARE ALL WISCONSIN!! And so are you! Thank each one of you for whatever you do, you make up our strength. Just keep Wisconsin on your lips, and watch what we do. We’re going to make history.

Stay Strong, truth is our ally.
Be tireless and fearless, Walker and his ogres will not turn back unified Wisconsin.
We remain resolved….Solidarity.

Brad

800,000 Protestors in London: Inspired by Wisconsin

I just got this email from my Uncle Brad. Yay, Wisconsin … teaching the world how to keep the vibe high and change reality into one that makes just a weeee bit more sense to the vast majority of people on this planet:

Hi–Just a quick note, I’ll include this in a more extensive email–but
wanted you to know. A co-worker’s son was in a demonstration in London yesterday. It was NOT reported by any major new network, had to go to Free Speech TV and the internet to get it. 800,000 people demonstrated in London against cutting health care, labor unions, wages, while allowing large corporations to pay no taxes. A multitude of signs, according to the eyewitness, referenced “Wisconsin”. They also referenced Egypt and Lybia. LONDON demonstrators calling to Wisconsin, using Wisconsin to lead the fight. WISCONSIN for God’s sake!! The world, the nation is watching. NOW is the time to stay strong.

Thought you should know this, Wisconsin pride, Wisconsin strong.

“Believing is halfway to flying.” (Charlie Brown)

Solidarity!!!

Brad

Madison Rotunda Report From March 18

Another guest blog post by my Uncle Brad! This one covers some of the personal stories of people he’s encountered during his activism. It also shares some interesting tidbits about Karl Rove and some behind the scenes Republican scrambling. As always, thanks so much to Brad Palmer for his passion, great storytelling and general good humor in this microcosm of what’s taking place or due to take place around the country:

Hello, Fellow Truth Seekers (borrowed that from Mike Malloy)–In short, the capitol area turnout was sparse tonight, less than 100 people. I’ve found that Fridays are lightly attended, because people are planning on demonstrating on Saturday. Also, I didn’t arrive there until 7:30 PM. We’ll see what occurs tomorrow. Many of the small towns and cities in Wisconsin are holding their own demonstrations, and working tirelessly on recall efforts of the Republican senators. I’m also going to include some periphery stories that have occurred, some to inform in-staters, some to inform out-of-staters.

I walked the square three times, encountering some fellow marchers. I overheard one of them saying to another, “OK, then, I’ll see you tomorrow.” I’m hoping that means a march, and we’re represented by several thousand. One man had his two small children with him. I thanked him for getting the children involved. He replied, “It’s important.” I then walked up to the capitol building itself, talked briefly with two police officers who didn’t know what Saturday would bring to the square. I re-met the man and his children, made two cycles around the capitol to see many of the window displaying signs like, “Walker, your pink slip is coming,” I purchased a “Stand With Wisconsin” sign from a vendor for $2. I wished him well, hoped that he was making some money. We both mentioned how nice it was that merchants were seeing increased business from this.

The area around the capitol is very clean except for people minding their signs. I stood at one of the stoplights for about 15 minutes with my signs, got some “Democracy” honks, some regular honks, some cheers, some solidarity fists in the air. A large city metro bus came up from State Street and made a circle around the capitol, honking support all the way. Think he’s union?

Kathie and I went to the recall office, which was again busy. I noticed one staffer manning the counter, one in back with papers, two at computers, one assisting as a “go-fer.” I mentioned to Kathie, “This is ALSO what democracy looks like.” The office was fairly busy. We canvassed some apartment buildings that cater to the elderly. A number of the residents there were disabled or retired. We knocked on perhaps 25 doors, half of whom were out. Of the rest, we got eleven signatures. Important stuff coming here….a woman answered the door, and after Kathie stated our purpose, she said she would absolutely sign the petition, yes….and did we have one for Walker? Kathie explained that would be coming in November.

The woman said, “He ruined my life.” She is disabled. She receives $777 per month and doesn’t work. Her daughter is a nursing assistant for a public school. (I did that for two years before graduating as an RN–it is VERY hard physical work, and the average pay right now is around $11/hour). Her daughter was told her health insurance was going to increase by $250 per month because of the “budget repair bill” Walker is trying to force feed us. As tears welled up in the woman’s eyes, she said she had her cable TV disconnected. I looked at the TV, the cords were wound up and dangling. She said she did that to help her daughter pay the insurance, and that she would find a way somehow to pay for her daughter’s insurance out of her $777.

We don’t know her daughter’s circumstances. But this story will play out all over this country if WE don’t stop it. She thanked us for “doing what you’re doing.” I told her she could do more than we could ever do by just sharing her story with everyone she can. She asked if she could hug us. We did, and my heart cracked a little. This kind of thing happens while Koch Industries makes millions at her expense, and Walker gets to be a lobbyist when he leaves office–which WILL BE SOON!

Another couple who were disabled said, “Thank you for doing this. Without you, we don’t have a voice.” We told them they have one now, and they’d have another when we bring Walker’s recall petition around in November.

Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi ruled today that Walker’s union-busting bill was enacted illegally. So that “legislation” ( a term I use VERY loosely) has been at least temporarily stopped. Dane County executive Falk has also filed a legal complaint against the Republican fiasco.

We heard an interesting comment from John Nichols (“The Nation” magazine) on Madison Progressive Radio. An organization (Democracy Now, I think) has been monitoring Walker’s visitors to the capitol daily since the first 50 protesters were out. After week one, Karl Rove sent in his point man, who spent the day with Walker. Apparently, the public face the Republicans put on was VERY different from the private face–that is, according to Nichols, Walker’s administration was in “crisis mode” from the start. Obviously, this has now blown up on him, and the hearts, minds, souls, feet, and VOTES are against him. On Wednesday there was a rally in NYC with signs proclaiming, “I Stand With Wisconsin,” “We are ALL Wisconsin,” and, “We Are
Wisconsin.”

In Washington DC, the Hall of States (where Walker also has an office) had a demonstration, characterized by many, many signs saying, “Stand With Wisconsin.” I am SO proud to be among these people, these hard working Wisconsin residents who, prior to Walker’s regime, we’re pretty much unrelated and uninterested in any common way to each other. Now we are one solidarity movement, growing, organizing, working outside of jobs to right this wrong. Please, my neighbors, keep fighting, we have 40 days left to get all the signatures, and failure is NOT an option here.

In this same regard, Walker has opted NOT to simply re-convene the legislature, modify the court’s objections, and vote again, this time with a quorum, to presumably pass again the end of collective bargaining. Why? Conjecture is that with the massive and continual demonstrations, and the seemingly well-run recall efforts against the Republicans in office, there is a fear that some of the Republicans may break from Walker and actually vote against the bill. Is there dissension in the ranks of the “emperor with no clothes?”

If anyone is interested in seeing the video of Kathie’s interview with channel 3, albeit very short, go to http://www.channel3000.com , go to the video section, then search, then type in “Portage protest.” I don’t know how long it will be on, but it’s there tonight; a previously dormant group of Portage citizens awakened to the common cause of fairness and freedom from corporate domination as dictated by Walker. Rallies all over America are starting to happen, all peaceful, all firm, all with some homage to Wisconsin, where I’m proud to be a resident.

Keep working, talking, reading, watching. Sheri is sending out emails regarding hour to hour information in our progress here, elsewhere, and background on Walker and his gang of thieves. Wisconsin is leading the way, the cause is growing everywhere. Hear this–Wisconsin remains STRONG, and is getting stronger daily.

One day longer, one day stronger, my friends. Solidarity.

Brad