"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


The Great Debate.

The debate is not over, but it has already enraged me. I don't believe that there will be any winners tonight. They are not really answering any questions, but simply restating their difficulties with each other's policies and providing one another with quotes for new attack ads next week. Equating hope with naiveté, each believing that his experience and the people that he knows make him more qualified, denying each other the right to speak without interruption. Pronouncing the names of countries with differing levels of correctness. I do understand that if in response to questions about the war, Mr. Obama were to give the answers I want, he would not be elected. In the deepest, darkest, most idealistic inner-recesses of my heart and mind, I want one or both of the candidates to throw all their notes aside and say, "F-this. I am so tired of talking in circles. This is what I really think, and this is what I want to do in the deepest, darkest most idealistic inner-recesses of my heart and mind." I imagine that some of the inner recesses of my heart and mind match up with Senator Obama's, and that Senator McCain's inner-recesses would either make me cry or make my head explode, but I still want to hear from it. So, knowing very well that McCain and Obama will read my blog, I pose the following questions:

(1) What would achieving 'victory' (and I would use the air-quotes) in Iraq look like to you?
(2) Why is Israel so much more important and deserving of our protection than all of the countries they have threatened and brought great devastation upon over the last 60 years?
(3) I recently read on Reuters that the decline in sectarian violence in Iraq was not due to the troop surge, but due to ethnic cleansing that occurred against the Sunni people before the beginning of the surge. How do you respond to this?
(4) How do you feel that maintaining an ever-expanding an 'Axis of Evil' will move forward the prospect of peace in the world?

*Pause* Mr. McCain would you please stop invoking the name of Ronald Reagan. It just pisses me off and I can't really concentrate. Thanks.

(5) It has been proven time and again that young people living in abject poverty are more likely to turn to terrorist activities in response to the rage they feel of being forgotten and seeing their countries destroyed by the greed of wealthy foreign powers. Really there's not a question there...just a statement I would like you to hear.
(6) You speak often of the American people. Who are these American people, and where did you meet them? I've got some who would like to have a word with both of you...when you get a minute.
(7) How do you believe we can solve the problems of poverty within our own nation?
(8) And just out of curiosity, have you read each other's policy statements? You seem to keep getting stuff wrong. Do we need to take a break?
(9) What do you perceive as the dangers of diplomatic talks with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, the Castros, and other foreign leaders in nations who have not traditionally be allies of American State?

That's all I've got right now. Get crackin' boys.



I am a restless person. I come by it genetically I think, as is evidenced by the fact that by the time I was 12 my family and I had moved about 10 times. This comes as a surprise to people who don't know me well, or who have been kept at a distance. I, over the past few years, have come to understand how stress and chaos effect my health, so I try to surround myself with quiet, peaceful people, and keep myself from as much of the chaos of the world as I can. I have tattooed my body with peace in the form of dove, and with hope in the form of a command stamped on my arm, trying to remind myself that these things do exist. This is why I don't watch the news any more, or watch scary or violent movies. But no matter how much I fight it, it always catches up with me. So I try to fight restlessness with action. In my healthier moments, this has led to therapy, introspection, exercise, and acupuncture. In my less healthy periods, this has led to bad company, a bit of self-destructive behavior, switching apartments and jobs. I fight with all my might to not go back to those places. I do not like it there. But it is so much easier, and a much quicker solution.

As you can tell by my time stamp, I'm in one of these periods. I'm blaming work, and the state of the world, my constant viewing of the political conversation, and too much time spent alone. I find it hard to sit still, and to sleep. And when I do sleep, my dreams are crazy, sometimes disturbing but mostly just chaotic. And so now I am searching for what to do. And I really have no idea. I tell myself in these times to pray for peace. But my unquiet mind makes this difficult. So I try to sit, and breathe, and rest, and hope that my message is received.



In an attempt to be somewhat balanced, though I am fairly sure that's impossible, I've made it a point to watch the RNC this week. Last night I turned it on and made it through about 5 minutes of Fred Thompson before I could stand no more and had to turn if off. And tonight I managed to sit through the majority of Rudy Gulianni, who surprisingly only mentioned 9/11 one time, though his backdrop was the downtown skyline of New York City. And then came Sarah Palin, who made an impressive show, whose shoes were much better this time around, who has proudly towed her party line of affluence for the already affluent, and endless violence over the possibility of diplomacy. As she spoke of drilling in Alaska to bring about energy independence, I had this picture in my head of the point in the Lion King when Scar has taken over and all the trees have been destroyed and the herds have moved on. I know that none of this is far or balanced, and I have drank entirely too much of the very tasty Obama Kool-Aid to feel any differently. But I do have some serious, serious problems with all of this. They are as follows....

First of all, days late, I am terrifically insulted that the Republican Party would presume that one woman candidate is as good as the next, and that the women of America are so naive to believe that Governor Palin and Senator Clinton can be compared in anyway beyond their apparent political aspirations and their anatomical features.

(2) In my line of work, you meet alot of veterans. People who thought it was their duty, who were poor and enlisted for greater opportunities, or who were drafted and had no out, who fought in Vietnam or Desert Storm. Not one of these people who I have met believes that this war should continue. They know all too well the toll of war. This was one of the reason I was so supportive of John Kerry 4 years ago. He was someone who had fought in an unjust war, and who had had the courage to step back and to say so. Though his ordeal there was nothing compared to Senator McCain's, he knew what he was talking about when he said that this should not continue. It is not cowardice to believe that we should end the war before all important victory is attained...whatever victory even means anymore.

(3) I am very insulted by the disdainful and mocking tone tonight's speakers used when speaking of Senator Obama's experience as a community organizer. They have never seen the need for such organizing as they have apparently never been a part of a forgotten community. Community organizers are the people who begin the fight for better schools in low-income neighborhoods, for better opportunities and higher education for young people, for health care and housing for poor and marginalized people. When you insult their advocates, you are once again forgetting millions of forgotten people.

It is frighteningly apparent that the people who develop the party platforms for the RNC are speaking to a very small piece of America. They do not speak to the millions of unemployed or uninsured Americans. Or the millions of people living on the streets. Or those living in seemingly endless cycles of poverty and despair. I am terrified at the prospect of the country being put into the hands of people who see no need to give people hope and who mock those who try to do so. Because quite frankly, hope is all some people have right now.