JB: Wow. About Bucks County and Mary Ann Gould and Rob Kall, that's how I got involved with OpEdNews! I was distributing a documentary about electronic voting machines called Invisible Ballots . I had seen it in the summer of 2005 and thought that, given our very short attention span, a movie could be a great vehicle for raising awareness on this critical issue. I ended up sending a copy to the Bucks County organization that you all belonged to and one thing led to another and Rob invited me to be Election Integrity Editor. Life is so serendipitous! So, tell us a few of your pseudonyms. I love that you customized identities for each of your issues.
MS: Joan, what a small world it is. I never heard your name until I became involved with OEN. Pseudonyms? Posthumus T. Peppercorn inveighed against generic injustices, a grouchy old crank--probably my parents reimagined. He was an early one. Severina Grammatica wrote about grammar and Severina Linguistica, about language and linguistics. AC wrote about classics and then became Philhellenica Antiquaria. And so on. Severinagrammatica became my first email handle.
JB: I love it! Particularly the Posthumus T. Peppercorn.
MS: Thank you! Wow, Bucks County, where I first became an activist, is considered a bellwether of the national vote. It is so moderate as a whole: blue collar in the south and upper echelon in the north. We attended one event where kids were playing polo! Amazing. Mary Ann? An experienced and savvy political strategizer. The late Mardi Harrison (RIP--she died very recently, a dedicate attorney and progressive activist) held a gathering at her horse farm where two Democratic candidates for Congress were speaking.
It was at Mardi's event that I first met Rob and then visited OpEdNews. I immediately got into it and am amazed at the breadth of its coverage and the insights it offers. Rob never runs out of topics himself and his knowledge of the issues is global and all-encompassing. A great mouthpiece for the progressive movement. Mary Ann never ran out of devices to add depth and dimension to our projects. And what a spectacle we -- the Coalition for Voting Integrity -- were at the bimonthly Bucks County commissioners' meetings. Public discussion, input, and Q and A followed business topics and we always lined the front row, us "loud-mouthed broads," with our questions and protests. It is so enlivening to speak truth to power.
JB: It sure is! What thought would you like to leave us with, Marta, before we wrap this up?
MS: My involvement with EI has been such a positive force in my life--providing important perspectives on so many different levels of life and, uh, truth. My author page at OEN proceeds from simple blogs all the way up to the complicated and ominous present--there are so many of them: it contains a few out of hundreds of issues. I hugely advocate activism to all, whatever you believe in--that's what democracy is all about, and keeping it alive: speaking truth to power, acquiring power and then using it in good ways!!!
What do you think, Joan? Is that possible without taking bullets and dropping dead? Get active, America, and take back our lives and everyone's, throughout the world. Get active.Join EI! Find my book at freepress.org/store.php, or here .There are ebook versions out there and at Amazon, you can get it for your Kindle.
J B:You raise a good question, Marta. I really don't know if it is possible to speak truth to power without paying a price. But what's the alternative? Thanks so much for chatting with me. It's been such a pleasure. I love hearing about how you got to where you are today. I hope your tale will inspire others to take the plunge!
MS: Thank you, Joan, for your insightful and inspiring questions and for listening to all of my sagas. Plenty more where they came from!
JB: That's good to know. I'm looking forward to future installments. You're quite the storyteller. Stay tuned, dear readers!
Coming soon, Marta's new book: Democracy Is a Verb: Election Corruption and the Fight Back, 2008-2012 (Columbus: CICJ Books)