Staying Home Is Not an Option – Vote!

February 05 - Super TuesdaySuper Tuesday – thank God we’re moving on from the Super Bowl and back to the craziness that is American politics.

Connecticut is one of the 20 or so states participating in this humongous multi-state primary tomorrow and for reasons that escape me, the candidates seem to actually be paying attention to us. This is unique for me since usually they just skipped trips to Massachusetts. Hillary was in New Haven this morning and Hartford last week; Barack was in Hartford today. I’m not trying to keep up with the Republicans because, frankly, I don’t care. It’s not my party so I don’t have to worry about which of them to vote for.

I do, however, have to decide between Hillary and Barack. There are things I like about each and things that make me squirrely. Mostly I’m thrilled that we have two strong and viable candidates that break the mold from the past, and I know that one of them will be the nominee of my party.

I admit that I’m one of the people who really liked President Bill Clinton, Monica-gate and all (I thought it was a pretty stupid way for us to spend so much time, energy, and money). I’m not sure how he would do as a First Husband and I’m not sure I like the idea of “two for one” this time any more than the last. And I’m really not sure that I want 4 Bush years + 8 Clinton years + 8 Bush years + more Clinton years. That’s too many years with the same two families. We deserve better.

What we really need is for people to get out and vote tomorrow. Don’t stay home and say it doesn’t matter. If you live in one of the Super Duper Tuesday states (and you will know if you do because of the onslaught of political ads you’ve been living with), you need to go vote. Staying home because you don’t like your choice of candidates is cop out. You owe it to yourself, your family, your country, to pick one and vote.

Girl Scout Cookies for the Troops

I mentioned on Vickie’s blog that one of the options for dealing with girl scout cookie mania is to buy some to be sent to US troops overseas. She asked me for more information. Here’s what I learned from my supplier, er colleague who is selling them for his daughter:

Different girl scout councils, which are comprised of multiple troops in a particular region, can decide on charitable options for those who want to support the girl scouts but cannot or choose not to bring cookies home. One very popular national option is cookies for troops, but there’s usually a local community service choice, too. His daughter’s troop chose the armed forces and a local homeless children’s shelter.

Buyers who want to support those options give their order for cookies and pay their money to the girl scout (or her parent, whoever hit you up in the first place). Cookies for overseas are sent centrally by the council rather than the individual troops, since it’s more economical and eases logistics. I think the local community service cookie donations for each troop are handled by the troop itself.

Here’s some info from the Girl Scout Cookie FAQ:

Q: Can Girl Scouts donate cookies to military personnel serving overseas?

A: Girl Scouts of the USA will be following the guidelines (see below) issued by the United States Department of Defense (DoD). We are keenly aware and supportive of the widespread desire to show support for our troops overseas. Towards this end, we provide alternate ways to show support, such as helping out the families of service members within their own communities.

In addition, many Girl Scout councils with military bases or establishments in their immediate area have made arrangements with the local military personnel to arrange for the proper shipment of cookies.

Note: For Girl Scout purposes, “gifts” include donations of Girl Scout Cookies.

Gifts for Deployed Personnel: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
The DoD has requested that the public not send unsolicited mail, care packages, or donations to service members unless they are family members or personal friends. Such donations overload the DoD transportation and distribution systems and may pose a security threat to deployed personnel.

So it sounds as though this is possible in some areas and not others. If you’re interested, check with a local troop leader to see if they are participating in any sort of cookie donation program, whether for overseas troops or to fill local needs.

It’s been many moons since I did the door-to-door cookie pre-sale thing, all spiffy in my green uniform. In the old days I walked for blocks and blocks in every direction, knocking on doors and telling strangers how wonderful the peanut butter Gauchos and Thin Mints were, and why they should buy boxes and boxes from me. My mom was the cookie chairman for a couple of years and our basement was crammed with boxes and boxes of cookies. I think my dad secretly hoped some people would poop out and leave us with extra thin mints. Didn’t happen, Mom was too organized.

I want to support the local girls and am happy to be able to buy cookies without worrying about the temptation of having them in the house. While I could also simply make a donation to support the troop, why not use the same money to buy cookies that will brighten someone else’s day?