Love those silly, silly men.

I should be honest. When I wrote, "Please register to vote," (see below) I probably should have added the clause, "if you're voting for Obama."

See, I'm really not concerned with your civil liberties if your politics swing right-ward. In fact, I might slash your tires on the morning of the election.

That said, Kate turned me on to a Palin I'd consider voting for. This guy:


Please register to vote.

Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues and great voice of the modern Feminist movement, has this to say about the scary lady with awful hair:

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a p...
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a p...


Where I grew up.

In Pennsylvania, the early autumn wind carries memories. I spent years dying to get out of here, looking west. Sometimes, looking around this place and these people, I think I blew it.

Well, no. I needed to go. The west was all I could see. It blinded me to opportunities here – to people I should have gotten to know better, to dear friendships I’ve let wane.

If I’d stayed here, I’d lack the perspective I’m sitting with now, the perspective that has me shaking my head in wonder at what I didn’t see – what I couldn’t see – a decade ago.

I remember his house - the bed he made from a pine tree, a velvet quilt the colors of autumn that had warmed his family for generations.

He was the first person I knew who bought produce at a farmer’s market; who made a real effort to shop locally. He had apple cider in his refrigerator and drove an old Volvo station wagon. His dog rode shotgun.

And there he was, interested, available. I remember a night hike in Shingletown Gap, feeling overwhelmed and young, feeling like he saw through me. I knew he was good – a man to get to know, to fall in love with. We walked carefully up the gap, negotiating the tree roots and rocks and making small talk. I was embarrassed to talk about my classes and homework because he was so much older than I; he was done with that. Even so, I could easily imagine what it might look like to be with him – studying on his sofa, making dinner together, walking to Zeno’s, listening to live music.

It’s past midnight, and I’m sitting on the sofa in my parents’ den. The backyard is dark and I’m cringing at my reflection in the French doors, remembering being 19, trying to date someone in his early thirties. I tried to act nonchalant when I called him from my dorm room.

I knew it wasn’t something I could do. It wasn’t fair – he was too kind and too together - but I knew I’d always adore him, because he was so worthy of it.

Recently, exchanging emails with a friend, trying to describe my attachment to this area, I said, “It’s part of me; it’s safe. It curves into hills and valleys; it protects itself.”

And he, who lives in our college town, said, “The mountains in this part of the country are so much older than the western mountains. I think this is why we connect with them much differently. It is kind of like a grandfather or grandmother.”

And suddenly it made sense, why I love this place like I can't love the west. I return to Pennsylvania to visit my family and spend five hours talking over a bottle of homemade wine, and I return because these mountains have known me from the beginning. They’ve seen me grow up and change course a thousand times. They’ve seen me leave, and they’re still here, standing sentinel, at my return.


Chalk Up Another Victory for Abstinence-Only Education!


Apparently withholding condoms and sex-ed from teenagers leads to exactly what everyone wants: marrying off your knocked-up 17-year old as you try to convince the nation that you're mother of the year.

And this Levi fellow, what a Prince Charming! A self-described, "f---ing redneck who loves snowboarding and riding dirt bikes," Levi enjoys "shooting the shit" with his friends.

Here's the thing, though, Obama made a very classy statement about how we should leave families out of this discourse, how it's not really fair to be attacking the choices of a teenager.

As always, a wise and fair and charitable thing to say. It smacks of progress, of kindness, of peace and understanding.

So even though I'm dying to say, "See? My blog was RIGHT! I KNEW there'd be a scandal!" I'm not going to gloat. Because let's face it: when you're 17, it's bad enough to fuck up and get caught by your parents. Imagine if the whole nation was coming down on you.