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Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'm angry and disappointed.

Just picked up a copy of this week's Globe and found myself seething as I drove home from the library! Wanted to go back and pick up every copy and put them into the trash barrel! Should have asked to see the copy once edited, but felt that the first segment had fared fairly well and it was alright to assume that the rest of the series would do likewise. It's a disaster.

What started out to be a column on the tragedy of withheld respect of a people turned out to be an attack upon Henry J. Kaiser. The intent of the article was lost by the editor's need to fit copy to available space, I'm guessing. Had I thought this might happen, I'd have asked that the column be held back a week. There was no reason to run it at all if 50% had to be "cut to fit." That's about what happened. The entire meaning was eviscerated and what was left made a statement that was not intended. Now I know how real writers feel about their work.

Will talk with the editor later today and ask that the balance of the pieces be pulled unless I have the right to see the edits before publication. There are two more to go. I submitted them all at the same time (error #2).

I'm aware that I've begun to withdraw into myself in anticipation of the upcoming national election. I'm afraid... .

Always in the past I could feel the adrenalin coursing through my veins and by now I'd have my windows rich with signs and my datebook blocked out with polling data and phone banking appointments. Not so this time. I'm quietly in dispair -- and have no idea how to deal with it. I tune in less often to the news -- except for CSPAN -- and worry that, though I've probably contributed more of my meager funds to political campaigns this year than ever before in my life (again to MoveOn.org this morning), I fear that it simply won't be enough to balance off the stampede of the Bush supporters to the polls.

Maybe old age is finally settling in, though I doubt it. Lack of interest in all things political? No. I continue to believe that this is the best country in the world and that we are all essential elements in its greatness. I firmly believe in the democratic process, but this time there are the obvious signs of facism embedded in the mix with its many faces hidden within the climate of greed that has always been evident in our system of capitalism.

I long ago lost faith in organized religions and there seems less and less reason to re-think that position. The current administration's craven use of the faith community to bolster its claim to the black vote is maddening. Watching the simplistic appeal to simplistic religionists while complexity goes unaddressed is frightening. Our lives may well depend upon more than 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers intoned while fingering a rosary. It will take more than prostrations -- a bow to the East at dawn, or the sprinkling of holy water to get the homeless off the grates of the country or unwanted children out of questionable foster homes and juvenile halls across the land. It will take much more than the burning of a few ceremonial candles to find the cures for HIV-AIDS and/or the one-in-four children now suffering from childhood asthsma and diabetes. And, it will take more than George Bush's "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" while on his knees in the Lincoln bedroom to get the guns off the streets of the ghettos and barrios, yes, and from suburban school lockers. It will take more than gregorian chants, the burning of incense, or the lusty rhythmic singing of gospel songs to protect our ports and harbors from a suitcase dirty bomb or anthrax attack.

I guess my deep fear is that -- our leader is clueless about the complexities of life as it is lived in most of the world. I suspect that his measure of an acceptible level of existence is limited to everything within five miles of his ranch in Crawford, Texas!

About Kerry?

The most important things about this man may be that he has a handle on what he doesn't know and an impeccable sense of where he might find some of the answers. I suspect that he is highly intuitive. My guess is that he has enough humility to see himself as only one part of the whole, and that he will seek proper counsel in order to match the challenge of the office of the presidency. That is - if this country has the collective wisdom to elect him to our highest office.

Maybe that's all I demand of this man. The rest is buried in media-speak; gets garbled in "style" and "delivery" and "spin." But I'm gambling on the fact that what we need is there ... to be slowly unearthed in the years to come as he and his cabinet strive to recover a country that we have all but lost to those who would sacrifice this wondrous experiment in governance to greed and an insatiable lust for power.

Too strong? Perhaps. But it's precisely how I'm feeling this morning. I feel better for having choked it up, and maybe now I can get out the tape and hang my signs, and join a phone-banking team tonight. After all, I have a city council member to help to get elected ... .

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