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From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

ac·tiv·ism
Function: noun
: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue

When did the word “activism” become such a dirty word? From the above definition, it sounds like activists come from both sides of the coin, regardless of the issue. So, when did the idea of activist judges become something bad? Aren’t judges supposed to take action on controversial issues? That’s why the issues are in court in the first place: a decision couldn’t be made between two parties, thus the need for a third, non-biased (well, supposed to be non-biased) party to intervene. Apparently, when the decision is against what President Bush thinks, that makes the activism bad. I’m sure that when Roe v. Wade is overturned (thanks, South Dakota), the Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn it will be considered “sensible” as opposed to activists.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was considered a civil rights activist. I pride myself in the fact that I can be considered an activist. Let it be the dirty word of our generation, just as “feminst” has been for the past 20+ years. Let’s just hope that someday these “activist judges” will be looked on with the same amount of respect given to those in our past who have fought for equal rights of all human beings.

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Not to beat a dead horse, but please please please vote! Here is some vital information for Illinois and Chicago voters:

—> Don’t know where your polling place is? I didn’t either. When I was a resident of Lake County, they printed it on my voting card. Not so lucky in Cook County. Thankfully, the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago can help you here.

—> Wanna know what your ballot will look like? Check out Vote-IL.org for a preview of what will end up on your ballot.

—> Too many referendums to count? This lovely pdf gives you all of the referendums on the ballot for Chicago, and it’s broken down by ward and precinct. If you don’t know your ward and/or precinct, you’ll get that info at the Board of Election Commissioners site.

Big thanks to the unknown guys on the Chicago Critical Mass listserv who sent out this info.

Elections are just 15 days away! I’m trying very hard this year to be an informed voter, and I’m finding it’s increasingly difficult to sort through all the commercials and debates. Has anyone ever noticed how candidates seem to just attack their opponent’s stance instead of stating their own? Here’s an incomplete list of things that hang in the balance with this year’s elections:

– gay marriage bans in many states, including my neighbor Wisconsin
– an almost full abortion ban (including cases of rape an incest) in South Dakota
scandals abound with the Illinois gubernatorial race
– party control of both the House and the Senate

I feel like it’s so unbelievably important for everyone to get out there and vote. I’ll probably stand on my soapbox a lot in the next two weeks, but when it comes down to it, as long as you vote, that’s all that matters. I’ve spent time in countries where the idea of voting is still foreign to them, and many would actually rather have someone else make all of the decisions for them rather than vote. Their choice of candidates is even worse of a “Lesser of two evils” situation than here in the states. Please exercise your right to vote!!!! To make things easier, here’s a site that breaks down the elections happening on both the federal and state level:

http://www.uselections.com/

Ah, the ever-popular first post. More to come soon.

What Is This Girl Talking About??