Saturday, February 27, 2010

Be nice, Ms. Palin

Be nice, Ms. Palin

Friday, February 26, 2010

HAYDENVILLE - It is so vital that the issue of bullying is finally coming into the spotlight. It's sad it took a teen's death in South Hadley - and no doubt the deaths of many others unknown to us.

But we all should have seen the bullying epidemic coming and we need to recognize that it is everywhere.

On TV, shows like "Survivor" exalt a cunning, conniving Social Darwinism that has been the dark side of humanity since the beginning, something society has struggled to subdue. "Real life" TV shows send a schizophrenic message because they're not about real life. They exist to sell products, and social consequences of the programming are of no concern.

The programmers think that if it draws eyeballs and advertisers, it must be good. And viewers think if it's on TV and people watch and talk about it, it must be good.

Now, modern communications technology has given everyone a voice and the ability to speak to - or sometimes bully - large audiences without consequence.

Apparently 25 percent or so of our nation, people with "family values," embrace Sarah Palin. Yet it seems to me that she is a bully. She seems to attack for the sake of putting people down and offers little beyond name-calling and playing to the crowd. Nothing constructive. Nothing that informs. Just attack. Isn't that bullying? Or worse, isn't she inciting bullies?

Would one of the definitions of bullying be aggressively slighting someone with misleading or incorrect assertions? Ms. Palin says Obama is "pallin' around with terrorists" # "might be a Muslim" # is "creating death panels"# or "wants to kill your grandmother." Isn't creating fear a part of bullying?

Another definition of bullying might be to attack someone no matter what they actually say. Ms. Palin says Obama is "that charismatic guy with a Teleprompter," yet as Palin said this, she had three talking points written on her hand.

Recently the use of an unsavory word, in private and among friends, led Ms. Palin to call for the resignation of the President's closest advisor. She's trying to bully him into resigning. Yet Rush Limbaugh can say the same word, repeatedly, and he is left untouched by Palin.

Palin recently said she wasn't quite up on world affairs when she ran for the vice presidency. She said on a recent Sunday that "I sure as heck better be more astute on these current events, national issues than I was two years ago."

The nerve of this woman! To run for the nation's second-highest office. The former candidate says that as for her political future, she'll do what's best for the nation "and for the Palin family."

Oh, thank goodness. And for her to be so condescending as to mock American dreams and desires by calling them "that #hopey, changey' thing" at the Tea Party convention shows not just her juvenile approach to serious matters, but her apparent contempt for the voters' electoral choices.

It's no surprise she is adored by the Tea Party people. We are all concerned and disappointed with what has come out of Washington. We are alarmed about what happened on Wall Street after the GOP deregulated the financial world.

But some of us are also alarmed about this Tea Party movement. I am worried about its rising power and wonder what it is doing to our democracy. Tea Party people, in my view, reveled in having their bullying live on TV for all the world to see.

The incivility I see on display does not represent the best of America.

And now, just about everyone carries on personal conversations using devices that can easily be monitored. We carry electronic tools that can track our whereabouts, minute to minute.

Who is listening - and who is watching? Who really knows who? In the hands of bullies, what might this mean?

In these difficult and pivotal times, it is ever so important to have a fresh look at bullying. It's always been there, rearing its ugly head. But now I fear it's out of the bottle and in treacherous bloom.

It's no longer something in the school yard, to be outgrown as we enter the civil, adult world, but rather something to be admired.

It's here within us - and increasingly, it appears to be socially acceptable.

If we don't speak out, we are the bullies.

David Maxwell is a photographer and resident of Haydenville.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 MA Democratic Campaign Institute

The 2010 Democratic Campaign Institute, an intensive weekend training on best strategies and practices for organizing political and grassroots campaigns, will be held on February 26, 27 and 28 in Waltham, MA. For additional information and to register, go to and click on the DCI logo.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Democratic Campaign Institute Feb. 26-28

Democratic Campaign Institute: an intensive weekend training on best strategies, principles and skill development on how to organize a campaign and grassroots organizing. Experienced political strategists, campaign managers, and grassroots organizers will share their experience, strategies and best practices. There will be networking opportunities with Democrats from across the Commonwealth and information for Victory 2010. Folks and groups coming to present and talk include pollsters, data management gurus, grassroots organizers, fundraisers.

Check out registration options for February 26, 27 and 28th at then click on the DCI logo. Mass Dems contact is Training Director, Gloribell Mota at 617-776-2676. Below is the schedule for Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday with the workshop titles for Saturday underneath the schedule - amazing offerings! Sunday's Candidate session is a must if you are thinking of running, are in the midst of a race or a have a contest coming up - nothing can be taken for granted.


Friday, February 26th

5:00-8:00 pm - Registration
6:30 pm - DCI Opening Presentation
8:00-10:00 pm - Welcome Reception

Saturday, February 27th

8:00-9:00 am - Breakfast and Registration
9:00-10:00 am - Open Plenary session
10:15-12:15 pm - Track Sessions
12:15-1:00 pm - Lunch
1:00-3:00 pm - Track Sessions
3:15-5:15 pm - Track Sessions
5:30-6:00 pm - Closing Plenary
6:30-8:30 pm - Networking Reception

Sunday, February 28th

8:00-9:00 am - Registration
9:00-12:00 pm - Prospective Candidate Session

Organizing a Campaign Track

9-10:00am: Open Plenary
Winning Campaigns, Part I-Core Principles of Campaigning

Winning Campaigns, Part II-Planning your Campaign-Roles and Structure, Vision, Goals, Strategy and Tactics

12:15-1:00pm: Lunch
Participants should select topic based on their area of interest

Topic: Developing an Effective Field Plan- Voter Contact, GOTV, Field Structure, Volunteer management, recruitment and retention; List management

Developing an Effective Message and Media Relations-Forming your message, identifying your target audience, strategy, tactics and media relations.

Topic: Netroots, New Media and Campaigning Online

Fundraising and Budgeting

5:30pm-6pm Closing Track
Assessing Campaigns-Defining features of Winning--and Losing--Campaigns

Grassroots Organizing Track

9-10:00am: Open Plenary
The Power of Grassroots Organizing-How Organizing from the Bottom Up is Creating Change

Participants should select a topic based on their area of interest

10:15-12:15pm: Session 1
Topic: The Essentials of Fundraising, Events and Being in Compliance

Strengthening your Democratic Town Committee

12:15-1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm-3:00pm: Session II
Topic: Running an Effective Campaign-Strategies, Tactics and Using New Media

Volunteer Management-Building, Developing and Retaining your Volunteers

3:15pm-5:15pm: Session III
Topic: Volunteer Management-Building, Developing and Retaining your Volunteers

Data Management: Best Practices, Tools and Examples

5:30pm-6:00pm: Closing Plenary

Spanish Language Grassroots & Electoral Organizing Track- Organizando La Base y la Campaña Electoral:

9:00 - 10:00am Plenaria de Apertura –
Presentation on the state of Latinos in Massachusetts- Presentación sobre el estado de los Latinos en Massachusetts

10:15-12:15pm- Sesión 1
Taller: Los Elementos Esenciales para Desarrollar una Campaña Enfocada en Asuntos de Interés/The Essential Elements of Developing an Issue Campaign

Los Elementos Esenciales para Desarrollar una Campaña Electoral/The Essential Elements of Developing an Electoral Campaign


1:00-3:00pm- Sesión 2
Taller: Cómo Desarrollar una Campaña Efectiva de Base Comunitaria Enfocada en Asuntos de Interés-How to Develop an Effective Issue Based Campaign

Cómo Desarrollar un Plan Efectivo para el Campo de la Campaña Electoral-How to Develop an Effective Field Campaign

3:15-5:15pm –Sesión 3
Taller: Recaudación de Fondos para Principiantes/Fundraising 101

Cómo Reclutar, Desarrollar y Mantener a sus Voluntarios/Volunteer Management, Recruitment and Retention

5:30-6:00pm- Plenaria de Clausura: Podemos Hacer una Diferencia en el 2010/Making a Difference in 2010

Unauthorized posts on this blog

Dear South Hadley Democrat:

We have made the settings on this blog as tight as are allowed.  Nevertheless, a spammer was able to make two posts on February 7, which I deleted, of course.

Sarah and I monitor the activity on this blog.  However, if you see something that does not seem right, please alert either of us right away.

- Bob Judge

Monday, February 1, 2010

What is a Caucus? Why should you attend?

Dear South Hadley Democrats,

I've had several people respond to my e-mail about the Caucus, asking for more information, so I thought this would be a good way to get the word out to everyone...

The town caucuses being held in February are the times when each town elects its delegates to send to the Democratic State Convention, which is being held on June 5th, 2010. The delegates go the Convention to nominate the Democratic candidates for various offices. This year, we'll be nominating for the Governor, Auditor, and Treasurer's offices.

To become a delegate you must be a registered Democrat in South Hadley as of December 31, 2009, and be nominated and elected at the Caucus. Last year, for the first time, if all slots were not filled after the election process, those who have expressed interest but are not able to be present at the Caucus, could be elected. Except for last year, all slots were filled by those present.

This year, South Hadley has been slated a total of 14 delegates: 5 men, 5 women, the Chair, and 3 alternates. We'd love to get all those slots filled, so if you have any interest in going to the Convention, please join us at the Caucus on February 13th! The Caucus must start promptly at 12:00 PM, so you need to be registered by that time in order to vote or be nominated.

Once again, the important info:

Saturday, Feburary 13: South Hadley Caucus

Registration begins at 11:30 AM, Caucus begins at 12:00 PM

Held at the South Hadley Public Library on Bardwell Street

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Winter Wonderland Sponsored by KYT - Click HERE for more information

For Democrats who need a break from changing the world!

Saturday, February 20th from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Ledges Golf Course

Know Your Town has organized a Winter Wonderland to acquaint residents with the Ledges during the winter.

Cross country skiing       skating     sledding      snowshoeing
Activities are FREE             Bring your own equipment

The restrooms will be open, and a concession stand will offer hot dogs, popcorn, desserts and hot chocolate for a minimal charge out on the deck.

A Snowman Building Contest will be organized by the High School Leo Club.

Wagon rides pulled by Belgian horses will be offered for a small fee.

Please find attached above a volunteer sheet.  KYT needs your help for this event.   Call Margaret Jodoin 532-0856 to volunteer.

 Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Cancellation notice will be given by 8 am at Know Your Town or by calling the Ledges 532-2307

Good reading for Massachusetts Democrats - Click HERE