why I “wasted” my vote on Gary Johnson

It was no surprise that President Barack Obama won yesterday’s election. It’s disheartening, but most voters believed they only had two choices – incumbent Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The popular consenus among many voters was that the choice was between the “lesser of two evils” and voting for someone other than the Republican or Democratic candidate was a “waste” of a vote, but here’s why that simply isn’t the case.

Gary Johnson, the two-term former Republican Governor of New Mexico, was the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president. He has a proven track record of vetoing wasteful spending over 750 times, and was cited “best job creator” by National Review. His campaign was hardly covered by the mainstream media. I found out about Johnson through my “smart” friends, and I’m so glad I did. Upon researching Johnson’s stance on the issues and using interactive tools such as isidewith.com – I discovered that he was the candidate I felt most aligned with my own views. Johnson is socially liberal and fiscally conservative – which in my opinion, is exactly what our country needs right now. The damage done by the Obama administration is simply not sustainable: The federal deficit has tripled, the American dollar is hardly worth anything, and the unemployment rate is sky-high.

Johnson’s plan was to stop the spending immediately, audit the federal reserve and abolish the IRS. Johnson rallied to bring troops home and limit U.S. involvement in foreign affairs. He believes in keeping the internet safe and censorship-free. He also has been on a long-running campaign to legalize marijuana and to regulate it in similar fashion to alcohol and cigarettes. Johnson supports civil liberties such as gay marriage and abortion, issues on which the government shouldn’t impose, as well as the repeal of the Patriot Act. Gary Johnson stood to defend freedom, peace and well – liberty. He encouraged us to “Be Libertarian with me this one time.”

The more I followed Gary – on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook – the more his message resonated with me. I know that I wasn’t alone in feeling fed up with the venomous campaign messages being tossed back and forth between Obama and Romney, the endless flyers, the ridiculous debates. The two-party system is corrupt. Both of the main candidates were essentially endorsing the same things. Plenty of folks voted for Obama simply because of Romney’s pro-life and pro-marriage stance, neither of which have much weight if he actually were to be elected. Campaigns know which issues to press to sway voters. Gary Johnson spoke the truth, unlike either of the other candidates. Oh, and by the way: Johnson is an avid skier, marathoner and climbed Mount Everest.

If Gary Johnson had achieved his goal of 5% of the popular vote, it would have ended the two-party abuse, and granted the Libertarian party equal funding and ballot access. Johnson received a total of 1,139,562 votes, more than any other Libertarian candidate to run for presidential office. That is historic and amazing. He was America’s best hope. I couldn’t be more proud to have “wasted” my vote on him. I know I share that pride with the rest of the 1% who voted for Gary Johnson. I know this isn’t the last we’ll see of him. I can only hope that in time, more Americans will take notice of other candidates on the ballot, and have the courage to vote for who they truly believe in, rather than who has a “chance” of winning. I know I did.

“I am not a champion of lost causes, but a champion of causes not yet won.”
-Norman M. Thomas

homemade chicken and dumpling soup

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Perfect for a chilly fall day when you’re feeling under the weather. There are lots of versions of this recipe out there, mine is a combination of some I read as well as my own.

Ingredients:
1 box chicken stock
1 12-oz can chicken breast (you can cook a whole or pieced chicken, I just added this)
3-4 stalks celery
1 medium yellow or white onion
4 medium sized carrots
Rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper – all to taste
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Extra virgin olive oil

Dumplings:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
Salt, pepper, rosemary

In a small amount of olive oil and water, begin to cook the chopped vegetables until slightly tender. Then add the chicken stock, canned chicken and spices. Stir in cornstarch to thicken the soup, which should be on medium heat.

Next prepare the dumplings. In a bowl combine all ingredients until you make a sticky dough. Use a tablespoon to measure out even sized amounts of dough, then drop into the pot of soup one at a time. They should be imperfect. Turn heat down to low and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then it’s ready to serve. Enjoy!

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the sweetest november

I bless every heartache. Every bruise. Every time he didn’t call. Every time that I didn’t know what was missing. These are the lessons that lead me to you.

And you are the answer to every question my heart has ever asked.

Rapture
by Galway Kinnell

I can feel she has got out of bed.
That means it is seven a.m.
I have been lying with eyes shut,
thinking, or possibly dreaming,
of how she might look if, at breakfast,
I spoke about the hidden place in her
which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo,
and right then, over toast and bramble jelly,
if such things are possible, she came.
I imagine she would show it while trying to conceal it.
I imagine her hair would fall about her face
and she would become apparently downcast,
as she does at a concert when she is moved.
The hypnopompic play passes, and I open my eyes
and there she is, next to the bed,
bending to a low drawer, picking over
various small smooth black, white,
and pink items of underwear. She bends
so low her back runs parallel to the earth,
but there is no sway in it, there is little burden, the day has hardly begun.
The two mounds of muscles for walking, leaping, lovemaking,
lift toward the east—what can I say?
Simile is useless; there is nothing like them on earth.
Her breasts fall full; the nipples
are deep pink in the glare shining up through the iron bars
of the gate under the earth where those who could not love
press, wanting to be born again.
I reach out and take her wrist
and she falls back into bed and at once starts unbuttoning my pajamas.
Later, when I open my eyes, there she is again,
rummaging in the same low drawer.
The clock shows eight. Hmmm.
With huge, silent effort of great,
mounded muscles the earth has been turning.
She takes a piece of silken cloth
from the drawer and stands up. Under the falls
of hair her face has become quiet and downcast,
as if she will be, all day among strangers,
looking down inside herself at our rapture.