Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

important notice for americans voting from abroad

We interrupt today’s regularly scheduled What’s Cooking Wednesday (but do come back Friday for La Buona Cucina Americana and Mom’s American as Apple Pie!) to remind Americans abroad who want their voices to be heard, from the US Department of State:

If you haven’t received your ballot within three weeks of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, and you are required to return your voted ballot by mail, you should complete, sign, date, and send in a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  Make sure it is witnessed, if required by your state.  If you subsequently receive your regular absentee ballot, execute it and return it regardless of when you receive it. Court decisions sometimes require late counting of ballots voted by Election Day, but received by local election officials for a specified period of time following Election Day.

How can you get a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot?

You can find instructions here (PDF) at the State Department website, through the Overseas Vote Foundation here, or through VoteFromAbroad here.

Want something more interactive?

Check out this tutorial from the Overseas Vote Foundation:

And here is a great post from expat James at Wandering Italy on why he votes.

No excuses! VOTE!!!!!!!!

Sex, Lies, Handwriting, and Presidential Candidates

A few months ago, I was working on an article about graphology, or handwriting analysis, and I came across the website of Michelle Dresbold, author of Sex, Lies, and Handwriting: A Top Expert Reveals the Secrets Hidden in Your Handwriting. Dresbold is one of the country’s top experts on the subject of handwriting interpretation and analysis, and has been helping law enforcement agents solve cases for a decade.

In fact, go HERE to enter to win a free copy of Dresbold’s book!

Hurry! Contest ends October 31!

OK, I don’t know about you, but I find this sort of thing fascinating. I find it most interesting that people can’t really “fake” their handwriting consistently without their “true” handwriting revealing itself. No, graphology doesn’t predict the future, but it can reveal a person’s motivations, intellect, idealism, vanity, honesty, psychological strengths and weaknesses, and even emotional and physical health.

And all of this is nothing new. Confucius philosophized, “Handwriting can infallibly show whether it comes from a person who is noble-minded or from one who is vulgar.” Aristotle wrote, “Just as all men do not have all the same speech sounds, neither do they have all the same writing.”

So why am I bringing all this up now? Well other than to give you a chance to win a copy of Dresbold’s book, I also want to point you to some analyses that Dresbold has done on signatures that you might find interesting about now:

Barack Obama and John McCain

Joe Biden and Sarah Palin

Interesting, no?

Have you ever had your handwriting analyzed?

Pssst, Republicans: Comfortable Has No Place in Politics

I’ve stated here before that I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat.

Well, my YD status was severely tested this election season when the candidate I voted for didn’t win the Democratic primary. And neither did my second or third choices if you want to know the truth.

[By the way, click here to read more about and to sign a petition to impeach our current President and hold him and all future Presidents accountable for their actions.]

So I looked at McCain just in case I had been missing something. And once I went through the candidates issue by issue (which I encourage you to do as well), I decided to vote for Barack Obama and Scranton-scrapper (shout out to the Coal Region!) Joe Biden.

No, I’m still not completely convinced that Obama and Biden can or will turn the country around. I sure hope they do, of course, and I certainly feel the odds are a helluva lot better than if McCain, who voted with Bush 90% of the time during the past eight years and whose economic plans are strikingly similar to what Bush and his administration has been doing, took office.

I even considered not voting at all, but I simply can’t stay silent. By not voting, I feel that I would be telling the Republican Party that what they’ve done to the country is OK; that the way the world now sees us is fine; that health care isn’t a fundamental right; that the wealthiest Americans deserve more tax relief while the rest of her people struggle to keep their jobs, put gas in their cars, and put food on their tables.

Yes, I was probably going to come around to vote for Obama/Biden sooner or later anyway as my beliefs fall more in line with the Democratic platform (I *love* Biden’s insistence on a federal system in Iraq), but then the Republicans went and solidified my decision by picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for the VP slot.

I’m sure Palin is an interesting person—I know she can tell a joke!—and I have nothing personal against her. Her decision to run for Vice President with a 5-month old special needs child at home? All hers. Her 17-year-old daughter’s decision to have the baby she is carrying and marry the 18-year-old father? May they have a lifetime full of happiness.

And I’m also, for the moment, putting aside:

(1) whether I believe Palin is qualified to be VP when she was the mayor of a small town in Alaska just a few years ago (during which time she introduced a new position to Wasilla, hiring a City Administrator to manage city affairs) and has served less than two years as governor of the 47th most-populated state;

(2) whether I think the Republican party is (offensively) pandering to women thinking Hillary Clinton supporters will vote for any candidate with ovaries;

(3) whether I find it troublesome that Palin has at the very least courted (and possibly even been a member of) the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), which wants Alaska to secede from the United States of America and whose founder Joe Vogler once said, “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. . . . And I won’t be buried under their damn flag” (her husband, Todd, incidentally, was a registered member from 1995-2002);

(4) whether I was disgusted by her RNC speech, full of sarcasm and condescension (particularly offensive were her knocks on Obama’s community manager experience from his first few years out of college (see Obama’s response here) and the fact that the room erupted in applause when she ridiculed Obama for defending reading rights to those accused of crimes–yes even *alleged* terrorists); and

(5) heck, even whether Palin has ethical problems or has abused her power as governor or mayor, because, eh, she’s a politician. It happens, right?

But you know what is bothering me the most about this pick?

Palin will not be available for interviews until she’s “comfortable”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but are you frackin’ kidding me?

We are less than two months away from choosing the next so-called Leader of the Free World as well as the person who would step in and take over should something happen to him, and we have to wait until she’s “comfortable” to hear her formulate (or at least express without a teleprompter) her own opinions on all the important issues?

If I didn’t think McCain was playing a joke on the American people, not taking the position of VP seriously, and displaying a genuine disrespect for voters before, well, I can’t possibly avoid that conclusion now. Sarah Palin could be President in a matter of months, and we’re not even allowed to talk to her? Because it might make her uncomfortable?

Wow. Just. Wow.

The arrogance of the Republican Party just may have reached an all-time high here–no easy feat, mind you. Now they are telling us that after eight years of what they’ve done to the country, not only should we give them four more years, we should also simply trust their judgment on the second-in-command–she who would serve with a 72-year-old man with a history of serious health problems.

After all, McCain did meet Palin for fifteen minutes and then chatted her up on the phone once too. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t hire a dogsitter based on that level of contact.

Then again, maybe the decision against interviews is a good one in light of how McCain recently performed with Charles Gibson.

Well, I have to say, all this is just making me a little too *uncomfortable.*

This Yellow Dog is now barking mad, and I’ll be contributing to a political campaign for the first time in my life, financially and otherwise, and doing everything in my power to help put Obama and Biden in charge of America.

Yes we can.

Some of my favorite links on this topic:

Keep an eye on electoral projections at:

P.S. No, I’m not turning this into a political blog, and if you’re interested in why I felt like I had to write about the election, read my response to Vita’s thoughtful comment here.

berlusconi singing for his cena*, sort of

Well you can’t say Silvio Berlusconi, who turns 72 next month, isn’t entertaining.

No seriously. He entertains.

This former cruise ship singer, media mogul, and–oh yeah–Prime Minister of Italy is currently producing a CD of canzoni d’amore (love songs) with Neapolitan** singer Mariano Apicella.

Actually, this will be Berlu’s second set of compositions released by Apicella; the first was out during Berlusconi’s second time around as Prime Minister in 2003 and reached Italy’s Top 50.

The duo hope that the CD will be released in December (just in time for Christmas shopping!), but Apicella admits “it won’t be easy given all the (prime minister’s) responsibilities.”

Oh yeah…THOSE! Glad someone’s thinking about that.

Will you be buying the Berlusconi-produced CD?

And my *real* question:

When are we going to see Obama or McCain’s greatest hits?!

*Cena (CHAY-nah) in Italian means dinner/supper.

**Why isn’t it “Napolitan?” It’s not Neapoli, it’s Napoli! If anyone has answers, please share. This has always bothered me.

Happy Liberation Day Italia!

Today is one of Italy’s biggest holidays: la Festa della Liberazione or Liberation Day, celebrating the country’s liberation from fascism thanks to Allied troops at the end of World War II.

Read on...

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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