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Democratic limbo

This is a short post, and it doesn’t directly have to do with teaching and learning in Philosophy or Arts One or generally (but yes indirectly).

I am staggered, horrified, utterly floored by the executive order about immigration and refugees to the U.S. that was signed yesterday. And I found myself wanting to do something, lots of things (which I’m already starting…more on that later, probably). One of those things was to contact lawmakers and ask them to respond, to resist. But I realized I’m in democratic limbo.

I am an American citizen who is a permanent resident in Canada. I live in Canada, and have since 2004. I don’t have a representative in the U.S. Congress anymore. I can vote in U.S. Presidential elections (and I always do), but I can’t vote for Congress members.

[update!] — turns out I was wrong about that. I CAN vote in federal elections, which includes not just for President but for members of Congress. Okay, so time to step up!


How about contacting MPs (Members of Parliament) in Canada? A tweet I saw this morning suggested Canadians do so:

But I can’t vote in Canada; I’m not a citizen. What is my legal status in terms of MPs representing me? Some web searches are not helping me. I mean, I can still contact them and all, but it’s also a question of: if I can’t vote, do they, philosophically, represent me? Beyond the crass question of whether they care what I think because my vote can’t help or hurt them, are they theoretically beholden to represent permanent residents?

Or am I in a democratic limbo?

I am not at all suggesting that my limbo is anything like the limbo that some people who can’t get into the U.S. are experiencing right now. It’s their situation and my extreme anger about it that led me to this question, and my drive to do something about it. There are many, many things I can and am working on doing, but the calls to contact representatives and MPs is leading me to wonder what the status of immigrants who are not citizens in Canada is, in regard to such efforts.

In the meantime, I’m starting work on a few other avenues of resistance. Stay tuned.


Forest sanctuary, safe from zombies

(I’m playing #tvsz this weekend — In short, it’s a game on Twitter with zombies and an emergent storyline and ever-changing rules. A great way to do digital storytelling and learn the power of Twitter at the same time. Plus, you can make new connections to people with similar interests (at least, people who also think playing zombie games on Twitter is a good use of weekend time!) I had to write this post on my phone because I am camping, and writing a post on the phone  is quite challenging, actually. This post is part of the game, so it will likely only make sense if you’ve played or check out the website above.)


After finding safe haven in Rhonda Jessen’s (@rljessen) safezone for awhile this evening, I had to run when the zombies found us, and I lost track of my companions: Rhonda, Nana Lou (@NanaLou022), Brendan Murphy (@dendari), and Robin Bartoletti (@robinwb).

Fortunately, Nana Lou had found her way back to her place, and Janine DeBaise (@writingasjoe), Rhonda Jessen and I ran as fast As we could to join her. Nana Lou had fresh baked bread and backwoods brew, and we hoped the cows might roll over onto any zombies that came by. We also had brew bombs on fire ready to throw if needed. But the zombies found us and there were too many; the cows and we gave a valiant effort, but in the end we had to flee again.

I then found myself back in the forest, in a place very similar to where I spent last night. During today I managed to break into an abandoned home and found a tent and some water. Out back I found a few pieces of dry firewood.

Found tent!

Found tent!


Found firewood!

It’s so peaceful here, I almost think the zombies are gone and life can return to normal. But I know better. And the tent is big enough for quite a few of us! Now, I know what you’re thinking. A tent as a safezone? Really? We can’t keep the zombies out of it, but we can fight them off before they get near it. There are plenty of big sticks and we can set those on fire. Plus, there are no signs of them here. We can keep the fire low to keep them from seeing us. It’s still light here so the light won’t attract them. We do risk the smoke being seen, but this is such a vast forest it’ll be hard for them to find us. I brought some homemade bread from Nana’s place, so there’s food here too!

It should keep us safe for long enough for some to rest and get warm, at least. Welcome to the #forestcamp #safezone!