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


Heal This Nation.

Because we love America, almost as much as we love Sally Field.


No Poverty in Politics.

My viewing and reading of political discourse is pretty constant these days. I am beyond jazzed about the prospect of Barack Obama being our next president. I am even more excited that there are no more debates to sit through. I have grown tired of yelling at my TV. One of my friend's mentioned in her debate blog her dismay that the poor were never mentioned in the debates, overtaken by our concern for the middle class, in which the majority of us reside. I went yesterday to Pennsylvania to do canvassing for Senator Obama's campaign and sat in on informational conference calls and read stacks of policy material/propaganda. During our canvassing debriefing, we were told to go back again and again to the message that "Barack Obama will never betray the middle class," with no mention of what must be done for the poor.

So I've been thinking about this alot. If you Google Obama on Poverty, you do get a comprehensive policy statement, but this is not something that has been talked about in any of the debates or on any of the mainstream media new programs. And I guess this is because the majority of American's place themselves in the fabled Middle Class. We are used to our concerns being heard, because we are the voters that can make or break you. We need to know what you will do to make our lives easier and to help sustain our way of life. Nothing is less popular than the times when one of the candidates have talked about the potential sacrifices we will be asked to make during the current economic crisis, or the tax hikes that may be necessary to fortify our infrastructure, or to work toward expanding healthcare or improving schools. But people who live in poverty are not used to being heard. They are used to being uniformly blamed for society's ills without consideration of how these supposed ills came to be.

It is as if these people do not matter. As though their voicelessness means that they do not deserve to be heard. It is imperative that we address these problems for the people afflicted. For most of us it is difficult to believe or understand that there are people living mere miles from our homes who do not have enough to eat, who are in constant danger of becoming homeless, who are more likely to die from treatable medical conditions because they receive inadequate medical care, if any. And I feel that this is inexcusable.

Now if you look at the policies of the nominees, there are things there that will affect the poor. Raising the minimum wage, extending and improving educational policies, striving for universal health care, job creation, etc. But these things are not presented as a war on poverty because we are more concerned for our own economic recovery than we are for providing relief for people who have never had anything. I have difficulty reconciling this. I, as with all things, would like for the nominees to just come out and acknowledge these injustices, and to say what they strive to do to repair them. But maybe that is too much to ask.

An Endorsement.


Act Up.

I daily get a million or so e-mails from political organizations and organizers. So a few important ones for you today...

First, from my friend, Aydrea in L.A....I had a conversation with a client of mine last week about things he did in his life as an activist working with the Black Panthers and the Weatherman (those words just ruined my hopes of ever being president). We discussed the fact that he had never thought he would be sitting there, sharing so much information, in such a vulnerable spot, with a young, White woman. I, after a while, tried to reassure him by letting him know that I have read about his fight in the 60s and am dismayed that any of it ever had to occur and that it continues to occur, and that he underwent such trauma because of the color of his skin. And it made me think of this letter.

Second, from my friend Paul in San Francisco...Vote No on 8! Despite the fact that the California Supreme Court declared a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional last Spring, there is now a referendum up for vote in November to change the California constitution to make marriage exclusive to heterosexual couples. I have a difficult time really explaining why this is so important to me. But after my dear friend's wedding this summer, it became known to me how important it is that he and is partner being allowed to be and stay married. State by state things are changing...just last week, Connecticut changed their policies. New York, due to the conservative pockets outside of New York City, will not change anytime soon, but our governor enacted a policy that recognizes marriages made legal in any state...a step in the right direction. So, it's important that California not go back. Most of you don't live in California, so you can't vote on it, but you can read about it and donate money to the fight.

And then a last one, received in a e-mail today. There is a campaign to develop a National AIDS Strategy. This is necessary for the U.S. government to appropriately address the problem of AIDS as it effects people in the U.S. Read about it here, and take the opportunity to lend your support.


Long Overdue.

I was reading a blog a used to read today and found myself linked there. It reminded me of the power of joy in small things. So, three beautiful things for today...

(1) Nonsensical conversations brought on by nonsensical VP debates...about pork bellies. Everyone likes pork bellies. What's so wrong with pork bellies?

(2) Having had the same conversation with the same people so many times that you have a script in your head. Sounds monotonous but really it's just terrifically efficient.

(3) The first sweater and scarf day of fall. Hooray!