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An Open Letter to Women Who Voted for Trump

Jessica N. Pabón

Dear women who voted for Trump and have nothing good to say about yesterday’s marches across the world,
I hope you take the time to read this because just two days ago I didn’t have the energy to write it. I was completely spent from years of educating others as a queer Latina feminist scholar and activist, not wanting to build bridges between women who voted against themselves, tired of speaking with those who willfully refuse to listen. But then yesterday morning, I marched. Then I got home and watched millions of people march in bright pink pussyhats and went to bed energized and ready to keep doing the work.
When I woke up this morning, I read some comments on various social media platforms that left me with one question for you: What do you get out of tearing down other women? Pause on that for a second.
Men…

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Register Now for CoderDojo Metuchen’s January 21, 2017 Session

CoderDojo Metuchen

Registration for the January 21, 2017 session is now live. Register Now!

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Location: Metuchen Borough Library

Join CoderDojo Metuchen for another great afternoon of programming, learning, and sharing great coding projects for kids from 7 to 17 years old!

Registration is required in advance for all events. Children under 13 years must be accompanied by a parent. A limited number of loaner laptops may be available – if your child has a laptop to bring, please do!

Registration is limited to 20 participants, so be sure to sign up early.

Our Dojo is open to all kids 7 to 17, however, as with other events hosted at the Metuchen Public Library, priority is given to residents of Metuchen. If you are not a Metuchen resident, you may register and add yourself to the wait list. You will be contacted if space…

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Simple solutions to complex problems

It used to be when I’d listen to the politicians and governors discussing all the obstacles to progress, I’d think to myself – “Wow, it’s really not that complicated.”

I was wrong – many problems are complex. No fair calling a problem simple if it’s not.

But there’s always a simple solution.

And as a bonus that simple solution is both easy to do and easy to sell to the rest of the folks.

Go simple – you’ll be glad later.

 

Travel time…

It always amazes me how “travel time” moves so much more slowly than ordinary home time.

A friend once told me this is because of all the different things that happen when you are on an adventure. Each new thing seems like a new day.

But when home, each day is the same…

… or is it? 🙂

Well, yeah – they mostly are. But that’d be a good thing to change, no?

Every day is travel day! And a river runs through it.

 

One night in Vegas

It was many years ago – back in my twenties – when I first put a visit to Las Vegas on my radar. That plan got cancelled, I went to London instead, and ever since I’ve been telling folks that I intended to go someday – just to see it.

That day came.

Cool stuff. And crazy stuff. And I haven’t even seen much of any of it.

Yeah, I would come back – now that I have the lay of the land (a little?), I could plan a fun trip for a weekend that would be totally worth it. But I’d also be fine with never seeing it again. So it’s on the list of possible future vacations.

The most magical piece of it, though, was seeing a Michael Jackson tribute show done by Cirque de Soleil. Truly beautiful and magical. And makes me sad that I’ve never listened much to his music.

This morning we will try a true Vegas buffet for breakfast – the kind that we have always heard so much about. And I’ll get to measure it up against our fancy dinner last night!

Then, off to the desert for the drive back to Los Angeles for our flight home… 🙂

 

Vegas-Bound…

It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally having my trip to Vegas. It’s a place I have always wanted to see, and finally seeing it may finally get my wife to stop her good-natured chuckles when she hears me describe what I think it’s going to be like.

“It’s nothing like that,” she keeps saying.

There’s nothing like experience to inform opinion – and I expect walking around inside the spectacle of Las Vegas to give me just the kind of experience to allow me to have meaningful opinions about a slice of the world that right now is foreign to me.

 

Inter-Party Conversations

I’ve never been a big fan of politics – at least not the kind that causes divisiveness.

If anything, I remain hopeful that politics can be a way of uniting and finding common ground – rather than fighting to advance causes that are not universally appealing.

Since the 2016 American Presidential election, I’ve been seeing a lot of efforts to advance various political views, bring new life to partisan issues, etc… More people than ever – it seems – want to be a politician. At least in their second-life.

But how important are “issues”? Aren’t they just a way of identifying the differences among us?

Should the public care about issues at the expense of values, goals, and common bonds?

And if we *should* care about issues, does it really all the time have to be the ones that never seem to have any hope of progress, and always seem optimized for creating division?

I’m looking for the common bonds – I continue to believe that we all have more in common than we do different. I’ve been seeking out guidance and strategy for a way forward which focuses on bringing folks together around common goals.

And there doesn’t seem to be much out there in the way of guidance!

😦

My wife passed along an opinion piece recently:

Wanted: Leaders to Turn Interfaith Conflict Into Trust
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/opinion/wanted-leaders-to-turn-interfaith-conflict-into-trust.html

When we talked about it, I realized that the folks who have been working in inter-faith communities actually have a boat-load of experience with today’s political problems.

I mean, what better way to figure out how to get folks who disagree to work together than to do it by learning from successful work-together projects originating in communities which fundamentally disagree about the basic foundations of spirituality and existence?

So how can we apply the lessons learned from inter-faith work to the problem of inter-party work?

For starters, we can focus on the common bonds – which is where my gut feeling took me from the start.

In the article linked above, we have a story of a community which found common ground by caring individually for children who needed their help – putting aside the hot-button and divisive issues surrounding women’s rights.

Further on, we can commit – broadly and deeply – to finding ways to work together on our common values, goals, and projects.

With a deep commitment to putting aside differences in favor of embracing our natural unity.

When we do that, no party will win. But all parties will win.

Even a guy like me who’s not a member of any party! 🙂