Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Netroots Nation opening night: Howard Dean, the Tech Museum & magical thinking
Today, when I drove down to San Jose to attend the opening night of the Netroots Nation bloggers' convention, you would think that I was getting ready to go off to the moon or something -- not just 40 miles away. And when I got down there, all I wanted to do was take a nap -- I had jet lag?

But my hotel had a refrigerator so I went off to Trader Joe's to stock it with kale-cranberry salads and yogurt and tortilla chips.

At 7:30 pm, it was time to go off to the Tech Museum. Howard Dean is going to speak? Really? I love Howard Dean. He's my favorite. Imagine if he had won in 2004 instead of just having Bush and Diebold steal the election. We would all have single-payer healthcare right now, and one out of nine American bridges wouldn't be about to fall down because all our money is being spent on bombing Syria, etc. instead.

"When's Howard Dean gonna speak?" I must have asked at least a hundred people.

"I don't know."

"He already spoke!" finally said the 150th person I asked.

"What did he say?"

"I don't know," she replied. The Tech Museum has a lousy sound system. But finally I found someone who had heard what Dean said.

"He said, 'We are the change.'" Really? I coulda said that. But there sure are a lot of people here at this opening night. Plus there was lots of free food and I got to tour the Tech Museum and get my photo taken in a fake astronaut suit

PS: How will change for the better ever come? Here's my latest theory: Magical thinking. "But, Jane," you might say, "magical thinking changes nothing." Yeah it does. Just ask the GOP.

Inside each of our rational adult selves, there appears to be a very small, very scared kid. And the best way to reassure this small, scared little kid is to tell him or her some magical-thinking fairy-tale stories. 

A little kid can't tell the difference. A little kid actually thinks that magic works. So you tell the little kid inside all of us some magical fairy tales. That's what the GOP does. Big Bad Wolves and ogres and stuff. It's Fox News' bread and butter.

Magical thinking.

"We are the change?" Sure. Why not. Progressives could use some magical thinking too.

PPS: Human beings only really thrive when they have problems to solve. So here's a problem to for us to solve, a Big problem to solve: World peace.

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl with a problem...." Fill in the blanks about how she solved it. Super powers? Magic wands? Or just being the change that we want to be.


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If anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"


Need someone to help you throw out stuff? I'm really good at deciding what needs to be thrown out (starting with all those corporate-owned bums in Washington!)


Need an actor to play an older woman in your movie?
Then I'm your man! I can portray all kinds of older women -- from judges, business execs and other insane zombies to bag ladies, cancer patients, kindly grandmothers and dying patients in rest homes. I've played them all. So send me a script and let's do this. Hollywood, here we come! Here's my reel:

Are you a plaintiffs' attorney who is tired of writing those pesky personal injury settlement briefs all the time? No problem! I can write them for you. Years of experience. And pay me only if you win the case.

I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here:


"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here:
"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds."
You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: