Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Economic Theory of "It's a Wonderful Life"

Beyond the oversimplified, dichotomous models of free markets occupying one extreme on a continuum and command markets pulling at the opposite end emerges the idea of economies being basically fair to those who participate. Interjecting cultural mores into the discussion of economics is invaluable, I believe, if it is our intention to elevate human economic systems above the most primitive forms, such as the biological rules that govern bacteria. In those systems, organisms lacking nervous systems consume everything available without consideration of the overall bug population or long term availability of resources. Our public policy has enacted through unimaginably complicated formulations this most basic economic system: eat what's in front of you.

But this utter scarcity of an idea was not always the dominant one as illustrated by the film, "It's a Wonderful Life." Ideas of fairness are culturally prescribed and subscribed, unique to each nation and culture. When I imagine the film as being a kind of American dream sequence bringing to consciousness matters mulled over deep in the unconscious, I feel I have insight into the collective wish American citizens once had for a fair economy. And by fair, I mean one that protects the dignity of working individuals and their families because, after much hard-earned wisdom, the collective mind had determined this to be the most reasonable course.

In the movie, there were two characters used to establish a counterpoint to the protagonist's, George Bailey, position on fair economic systems. His friend from high school, Sam Wainright, went on to find his fortune in the big city. The other wealthy man was, of course, Mr. Potter, the crippled, perpetually geriatric character who haunts generations of the Bailey boys. As imagined as a kind of dream, I interpret these two characters, Mr.'s Potter and Wainright, as expressions of American's feelings about the way in which primal, even sexual energy is expressed through participation in the economy.

Mr. Potter is throughout the film confined to a wheelchair carved and decorated to resemble a throne. Though he is clearly the economic king of the small town, he is paralyzed from the waist down and so one assumes impotent sexually. He is described by other characters as "frustrated" and "sick in the mind and soul." He represents the neurotic psyche of one cut off from primal energy. Interestingly, this character's first and second chakras would also be inoperative. These represent the root chakra associated with connection to one's tribe and groundings in reality. The second chakra is seat to sexuality and individuality. Mr. Potter could be seen as representing the natural disconnect resulting from unchecked greed expressed through an economic system.

Sam Wainright, conversely, represents overly enacted primal energy within an economic system. He is the one who courts Mary, eventually Mrs. Bailey, via phone call from New York City. A heavily made up woman is touching and caressing Wainright while he is on the phone with another woman. One assumes she is a kind of prostitute, as she does not mind her apparent boyfriend is on the phone with another woman. Here capitalism is imagined as being prone to over-expression of primal energy and immoderate appetites. This character was more sympathetic in the end as he came through for George Bailey when he needed money. Wainright acknowledged the value of the modest, middle man, though he had larger dreams himself. Perhaps deep down we, as Americans, feel it is better to be a little loose with one's primal energy than stingy.

It is George Bailey who represents the accumulated dream of a lively but fair capitalistic system where a man of forceful primal energies moderates these appetites by directing them into endeavors of higher ideals. These as represented by Bailey's lifelong dedication to the savings and loan (which he accepted responsibility for only grudgingly), and the abundant fertility of his marriage to the love of his life. This highly idealized symbol can be seen as a representation of the feelings of the dominant American culture following the Great Depression and World War II. These were people who had lived through the crushing effects of a failed economic dream and the necessary sacrifices of protecting the better interests of the world under threat of fascism.

There was an expressed tolerance for the slightly overwrought libido of the capitalist Wainright, understanding that this energy can push development forward. But it was the intelligent understanding of Bailey, a symbol of passion and sacrifice of one's personal interests towards the higher good that brings forward to consciousness the unconscious wisdom gotten through hardship resulting from excesses in our economic system.

I hope we, as a people, return to this respect for moderated consumption and understand there is a kind of wealth enjoyed by those who work for the higher good of our community not measured in the GDP. At this time, we do not need a wild swing from one form of economic system to another. Instead, we need an economic system energized by possibility and grounded by a deep sense of commitment to each other.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Dream Analysis of "It's a Wonderful Life"

I was watching "It's A Wonderful Life" yesterday, one of my favorite holiday movies. My mom called while I was watching it and teased me for my undying loyalty to the film. She said it's a good movie the first several times you see it, but she couldn't understand why I would watch it every single year. Annoyed for being called out on my sentimentality, I got off the phone and returned to watching my Jimmy.

With a sharper eye, I observed the movie with my mom's question in mind, "Why do I keep watching this movie?" After a few minutes I understood that this film is, in my estimation, a kind of dream of America. Viewed from the psychoanalytic perspective, the movie is fecund with symbols that emerge from the greatest depths of our cultural collective unconscious and, when analyzed, bring a great deal of clarity to the questions of what it means to be an American, or perhaps more accurately, what we hope it means.

In fact, I saw so much powerful symbolism in the movie I was inspired to write about it and realized in considering the topic I would need a few entries to do the subject any justice. And so this will be the introduction to three, maybe four, entries for the holiday season investigating "It's A Wonderful Life" using my skills as a therapist to understand the film as a kind of manufactured, unconscious expression of some of the hopes, dreams and social mores that work to create the American Dream.

The first entry will focus on the symbolism used to communicate normative statements about economics and the highest expression of our free market system. The second entry will look at the division of labor and relationships between the sexes. The final entry will be about the American version of the hero myth as personified by the main character, George Bailey.

The current economic situation we find ourselves addressing this year and perhaps, for years to come, makes this movie and its deep symbolism particularly pertinent. I hope you enjoy the upcoming blogs and respond if you feel like it. I updated my blog so that bloggers can give anonymous input (as long as everyone is well behaved about it). I hope everyone reading this is finding themselves if not abundant this year, then safe and healthy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Bizarre Butcher Job

Broadcast news sources today have been looping the video of turkeys meeting an unpleasant end via an industrial bleeder on camera during a recent Palin interview in Alaska. I feel it necessary to defend the woman on this one. When I tell people in the lower 48 that things are different in Alaska, they don't seem to gather my meaning. This video shot of a farmer shoving the wobbly, broken head and neck of a large turkey into a funnel-like machine while Palin rambled on about something, though I admit I wasn't really paying attention to her statements, may have been a bit jarring to outsiders.

Indeed, vegetarians and vegans probably felt more like witnesses than viewers when that came on the screen. But this was a nice example of the difference between many Alaskan's mentality and the rest of the nation. Perhaps its the harshness of the climate, or the extraction-based economy, or the temperament of those drawn from elsewhere in the world to Alaska, but there is a clear-eyed way about those people (despite what their absurd political dramas indicate). Palin and some other Alaskans would figure that the reality of eating turkey on Thanksgiving is someone somewhere raised then slaughtered the bird. Having footage of reality might not seem like a big deal to many Alaskans, even if that footage happened to have the state's governor giving an interview in the foreground.

In fact, the press reported Palin's office was notified before broadcast about Nightmare On Turkey Street and they didn't mind it being in the shot. Of course, the story was about Palin granting clemency to one turkey perhaps lulling the viewer into wrongly assuming it was a fluff piece. But in an uncharacteristic nod to reality, Palin went ahead and allowed the truth to be demonstrated in the background, the bloody, bloody background. If only she'd been that intimate with reality when campaigning for VP. What kind of footage would they have gotten of McCain in the background I wonder?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Must See & A Must Read

I viewed "Taxi to the Dark Side" last week and highly recommend that all voting, adult Americans view this documentary. The piece follows the Bush administration's policy of torture from the White house to the detainees. Any understanding of American image abroad must include this information, as horrific as it really is.

Also, I read "The Forever War" by Dexter Filkins recently. Filkins was a New York Times journalist in the Middle East and Iraq specifically for years. This book tells many stories of his experiences as a journalist there. It gave a very intimate sense of what it was like for him to see what he saw and know what he knows.

The sources have really added a lot to my sense of what the hell has gone on over there. I also found both sources to be balanced and fair to those involved, especially the soldiers implicated in the Abu Ghraib horrors.

I hope very much our new administration holds those responsible under real legal scrutiny. The people of the Middle East and those at home deserve at least this follow up to the illegal, immoral goings on of the past eight years.

Hillary as Madam Secretary: How to Neutralize a Rival

The announcement of Hillary Clinton as the possible appointment as Secretary of State under the president-elect Obama left me, like many, baffled. In the ensuing days, the backlash of liberal bloggers has made the news. However, I've been sitting back with a wait and see kind of attitude. Obama and his extremely politically nimble team are up to something. Of course, what that is would probably be utterly clear if I'd read "Team of Rivals" by Dorris Goodwin about the political strategy of Abraham Lincoln. Reportedly, Obama and his folks have read this and are taking a lot away from it. I'm number 11 on the wait list for this book at my local library. Damn highly literate Minnesotans, it'll be next year before I see a copy of it, let alone John Updike's latest novel.

So in the meantime, I've had to try to figure out this latest bold move by Obama without the help of an expert. It seems to me this was an ingenious proposal by the team (we assume this was Obama's idea, but many of his greatest ideas are adopted from the good thinkers he is in conversation with). In one move, he put himself in a possible win-win position. Although Hillary is not known for her foreign affairs acumen, she reportedly has been to over 80 countries. Her presence reminds those in countries around the world of a time when U.S. foreign policy followed a discernible logic and when American leaders were willing and able to learn from mistakes.

Further, insiders have always noted how likable she is in person. She is known as being friendly, open and very caring, the kind of friend who remembers to send a card when you're sick or injured. Having a genuinely concerned person in this role might prove really helpful when working to disarm violent enemies and talk other leaders in helping us with said task.

Critics who fear she and/or Bill will go hillbilly rogue haven't been paying much attention to Hillary's way of being a political animal. If anything, she has been too eager to go along with the boy's club. Her vote to authorize a shitty war that stunk before we had a chance to pull up our boot and take a look swayed me away from Hillary support for president before she formally announced. I do not believe the Obama camp would have to worry about Hillary towing the party line. She very good at that, sometimes too good.

Rumors have it that she is reticent to accept a job that puts her under a clear chain of command, she does what Obama asks her to do as Madam Secretary. Instead, so the rumor goes, she is serious about staying on as a senator and accepting as her boss the much broader authority of a voting district. She reports to herself and her people in this scenario. And frankly, this may be where she is able to exercise the greatest power over the longest period of time. This is an arena for her to fight for her favorite causes and part of me hopes she stays put.

Whatever the outcome, the Clinton political machine has been sated. Offered a highly prestigious job, the victor extended a friendly hand and acknowledgment of how important the Clinton's appear to believe they are. If she accepts, Obama's policies get the face of a popular politician that goes a long way in appeasing constituents and folks abroad. If she refuses, the offer was still made and she may be more likely to help out the administration in the halls of congress.

Nice move Obama.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Palin Not Really A Drag Queen

Sarah Palin attending the Republican governors meeting today smacks to me as being something akin to Madonna performing in a drag show. Although there is an obvious communion of ideas around image, there are differences so fundamental as to make the entire endeavor absurd. The sad thing is Madonna would know she is not really a drag queen, just as the drag queens would know this. Considering the respect and support Madonna has shown the gay community in her career, Madonna's drag show would likely be one of ironic humor and friendly acknowledgement. From the echo chamber being formed around the Florida meetings, the real Republican royalty does not appreciate this wanna be.

What Palin doesn't seem to realize is though the traditional Republican party goers may support gun rights, they have no intention of shooting wolves themselves. They may support right to life positions, but their privileged teenage daughters would be making a discreet visit to the family doctor, who would safely take care of the matter-no shot gun weddings for these folks. They may go to church, but they're not looking for an obvious sign from God to direct them to their next career move. Palin is not one of them. The Republican party may purport a whole host of every-day-man positions, but they have been a party that increasingly dedicated itself to the protection of the consolidation of power and resources into the hands of a very few. The rest of the platform was pomp for the masses because in the end, there was enough of a democracy left that the Republicans actually had to convince millions to vote for them.

The future of the party is not radical populism where Jo the Plumber is invited to policy meetings. This is image only. But Palin doesn't seem to be in on that one. When interviewed this week, she continues to espouse concerns that she did on the campaign trail about William Ayers and Obama's fitness to make military decisions. The Republican elite did not really believe any of what they accused Obama of, they were just trying to sell it to the unsophisticated masses, of which Palin is clearly one. You're not part of the show, Palin, those heals and dresses are borrowed!

The Republican party does need to regroup and balance themselves out. The extremes of their philosophies were truly expressed and the damage done is unimaginable. They will go more towards the center and it will not be Palin who becomes the figure head. She was used as a gimmick and has yet to figure out her gimmick role. My bet is on Pawlenty and Jindal.

These guys are centrist right not weirdos hanging out of helicopters with guns for fun. The real threat in 2012 to the Democrats will be the Republicans going back to more moderate traditional forms of representation. These ways cannot lead us where we need to go, but the Republicans may manage to convince many Americans that a conservative, return-to-yesterday approach will be adequate to save our planet, our economy and our standing in the world. They will get out their old Beatles LPs and sing along, "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away...I believe in yesterday."

We need to see this one coming and do what we can with our current opportunities to get going into the 21st century.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Capitalism Can Still Be Good

As the three big U.S. auto makers are doing the swirling whirly around the big toilet bowl that is our current economic condition, I have taken pause to consider the wisdom of capitalism as a method for creating and distributing resources. Despite the occasional suggestion by a family member that I'm a communist, this is not true.

I do believe there are areas of the economy that should be left to the government to manage. I believe in public education, public works like roads and sewer systems, a national military, and hopefully soon, the development of universal health care. The idea of pure capitalism should be the exclusive domain of eleventh grade boys in the high school philosophy club. But I don't think these beliefs make me a communist, or even a socialist for that matter.

I believe capitalism is an ingenious system for motivating human behavior. Ask a child to make his bed for the good of all then compare this reaction to the one inspired when there's a quarter or half dollar on the line and you'll understand what I'm talking about. There are enormous environmental and domestic challenges facing working age Americans right now. Imagine effectively harnessing that motivation seen in a little kid frantically pulling those blankets straight to get his reward towards the end of green energy. For me, the big tasks facing our nation and world seem more manageable with this in mind.

Of course, that motivation to get the quarter can easily be misused by big kids (otherwise legally known as adults) taking shortcuts in making their figurative bed and in the end entirely failing at the task they set out to do. Back to the American auto makers. We have known for many years carbon emissions are a big problem for the future of our planet and, therefore, the quality of life or likeliness of life for our children and grandchildren. Further, we know most of our oil is pulled out of politically unstable countries that acting on our economic self-interest has further destabilized. These are very big problems.

But in pursuing the extremely restricted guidelines of personal self-interest, our big auto makers have been mass producing monstrosities of vehicles known as SUVs for years. And apparently taking a cue from the auto makers, consumers have been buying them up like madness. Driving into the parking lot of my child's school, I would guess more than 75% of the vehicles are massive gas guzzlers. These vehicles and their production were always going to be unsustainable and we are now seeing the inevitable outcome.

What democracy depends on most in order to harness its power and direct it in more positive directions is leadership. Just as the child has little interest in the big picture of why its good to keep one's living space tidy, apparently millions of fully grown individuals must also be directed to live and produce in responsible ways. I include myself in this point. I enjoy the inspiring effect and momentum-building qualities of good leadership as much as anyone. I need it as much as any other American.

It looks like we may finally have some good leadership nationally. Lets build on it. I have been looking into a program called RePower America, which promotes a goal of all green energy in ten years. If any of you reading this want to check this organization out or let me know about others you have discovered that are looking promising, let me know about it. Share it with everyone you know. Let's use our incredible gifts of technology to spread positive ideas.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dylan Quote

This morning I found what looks like a more accurate recall of the Bob Dylan statement from the show Tuesday night. According to journalist Greil Marcus writing on, who was reportedly also at the concert, Dylan told the crowd, "I was born in 1941, the year they bombed Pearl Harbor. I've been living in darkness ever since, but it looks like things are going to change now."

Even better than how I remembered it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tangled Up In Blue and Loving It

Last night, upon the excellent suggestion of someone who knows how to spend an election night, I attended the Bob Dylan concert at the U of M with two of my fellow progressive Minnesotans. We were among like minds in that hall. There was a kind of assumption between fans of Obama support. I asked a couple people how "he" was doing and these strangers immediately understood me to mean Obama, then gave me whatever new info they had. One man told me "he" got Ohio and I was confident of victory then, though I was feeling pretty good after Pennsylvania went blue for "that one."

Dylan and his band played a phenomenal set tearing through his meaty newer blues cuts and popping along the crowd-pleasing oldies. The show itself was deeply inspiring as a man heading into his 70s directed some of the finest rock n' roll musicians I have ever heard through truly great works that keep coming after fifty years of writing music. The set had a cool stylized compass on the floor encircled by a yellow band. Dylan played keyboards, harmonica, and for a few moments, an electric guitar on one side of the stage while his band formed a semi-circle facing him. The only musician facing the crowd directly for the entirety of the set was the drummer.

Dylan and his musicians were in an incredibly beautiful, musical conversation clearly being directed by Bob. I read an interview a couple years ago where Dylan said he knew his musician's abilities better than they knew themselves and he could get outstanding performances out of them. I remember thinking at the time this was an apt description of good leadership. Being able to watch the maestro in action creating a kind of sound vortex of deeply creative measure in the space between himself and the other musicians was a real pleasure for me.

I believe it was deeply kind and utterly appropriate for Dylan, a true genius and leader in his own right, to come home to Minnesota last night and musically mirror what was happening in our nation. Barak Obama saw in his fellow Americans a capacity for fairness, intelligence and democratic competence many of us were afraid to imagine. For myself, my hope was constrained by that looming possibility of disappointment. But last night, I was not disappointed.

Most of us were not disappointed. Our nation's next leader said to us simply and persuasively, "Yes we can." And for a moment we were able to bend our minds around that simple statement. Like the vortex of genius sound between Dylan and his band, the space between Obama and the American citizens became fecund with possibility.

Before the concert, we had a good idea Obama was winning while we filed into the hall and bought our beers. But it was Dylan who told us without telling us, a truly Minnesotan skill. While watching the band return to the stage for the encore, I wondered if Dylan and his band had been listening to the radio backstage. It seems so as Dylan, in a profoundly uncharacteristic move, talked to the audience for an effort other than to introduce his band. I cannot recall his exact words, but essentially he told the crowd that he was born in 1941, the year Pearl Harbor was attacked. He said it has been a dark world ever since but tonight it seemed change had come.

Dylan and his band performed just a few songs for the encore then released us to learn the election results from our personal electronic devises and more convincingly, from the enormous screen displaying CNN outside of the hall in the foyer. There were those who were disappointed, but they were in a stark minority. The vast majority went nuts in joyful expression. I did not cry, but moved my face in all manner of unnatural contortions to avoid it. I saved my tears until I got home and shared them, the hundreds of them, with my happy husband.

There is a genius in our system of government and it is this: a way through to second chances. Ours has been an often ugly country with hateful expressions many times overpowering our loving ones. But in America, at least for now, we have a mechanism by which to redeem our better selves and create an opportunity to make good on our highest ideals. We have that opportunity. Now lets get to work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Patty's Pet F$@#*ing Peeve From Canvasing

I completed canvasing yesterday, leaving the remainder of the get-out-the-vote efforts to my fellow committed Dems in suburban Minnesota. Despite popular myth, Democrats are a powerfully motivated bunch when they have a group of candidates and a platform they can stomach promoting.

Hats off to you all: the college-age organizers who have been sleeping in unfurnished apartments in cities hundreds or thousands of miles from home being paid a stipend that pays for food only and no beer. Thank you to the thousands of Boomers who have seen the financial results of their generation's hard push towards individual freedoms come back and bite them only a few years before they are scheduled to retire. Or rather, thank you to those Boomers who have seen this happen and are now fighting hard to correct the problems for their own benefit, and perhaps even for the benefit of others.

Thank you to the racist old Swede who told me two days ago, "I don't like Blacks and for good reason, but I'm voting for Obama." I felt torn in hearing that statement, wrenched between pain at his boldly stated racism and impressed by his willingness to consider the ballot rationally despite his racism. Thank you to the working class, White guys in Minnesota who are abandoning the Republican Macho-Making-Machine-Mentality for measured reason and intelligent choice towards economic self-interest. And thank you to the millions of African American and Hispanic American voters who will be the King Makers in this election while White folks continue our cultural battle between xenophobic yesterday and an emotionally intelligent attitude of a shared world for today.

I'm sure I have more thank yous, but that's where I'll leave it. Now for my Pet F#$@!ing Peeves.

My biggest peeve for this election year is most defiantly the White "Independent" voters. My guess is never in history have we seen so many Independent voters. I'm sure there are those who are and have been Independent voters for many years and to those I have less criticism. But from my experience actually talking with these "Independent" voters, they seem to have few answers, many criticisms, a need to seem responsible as a citizen, and some unexpressed "thing" going on inside. My guess is that this "thing" is a palpable resistance to voting for a man with skin darker than theirs, a man married to a woman who is also, oh shit, African American, as well.

This self-labeling "Independent" seems to give people a sense that they are good, earnest, powerful Americans who can't be pulled by a major party, so fierce is their autonomy. In reality, many of these people seem more like the kids on the playground who have lots of toys, don't want to share, and who run away, tiny arms and fists clutching their stuff, when a grown up tells them to share. In Reality World, we need to work with the problems we face, which are big and scary and not going anywhere. This means intelligent reasoning, compromise and working together.

Now I'm also a fan of multi-party systems. Many democracies other than ours have many parties represented by their governments and this is often a very good thing. I would be in full support of all those so-called "Independents" working hard, and I mean as hard as the Democrat organizers have worked this year, towards getting broader support and representation to the Greens, the libertarians and new parties as well. Even the Alaskan secessionists have a place at the table in my opinion. But unfortunately, from what I've seen, this "independent" vote seems to be mostly disenfranchised Republicans not willing to take responsibility for the horror that is the administration they put into power, and who are DOING nothing to heal this country and this world.

I very much hope that the "Independent" voters jump on the Big Ship Reality with the rest of us in recognizing no person, neighborhood or nation goes it alone and that when mistakes are made we need to do what we can to make them right again. And if those who are calling their racism "independence," then I hope their twisted and fractured thinking leaves them so empty and exhausted they cannot manage to make it to the polls tomorrow.

I hope very much that Obama's likely victory tomorrow will bring in a new culture of responsibility to our country where citizens recognize the necessity of participation in democracy and commit themselves to it. For those who are actually "Independent," I hope very much they commit to doing the work necessary to bring forth new parties, strengthen older ones and deliver to our nation additional representation in our local, state and national governments beyond the narrow agendas of our two party system. Calling oneself an Independent so you don't have to commit to doing anything for either big party is just plain lazy.

A lot of energy has been raised that has renewed our democracy. Lets keep it going beyond tomorrow and remake ourselves into a 21st century democracy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last Push to Election

I was out for several hours canvasing yesterday and will be heading out in a short time to do it again today. Although Minnesota is shown to have moved from an undependable pale blue to a solid blue over the last week, I continue to feel compelled to work on the get-out-to-vote effort. I guess I'm feeling like I need to see it to believe it. I need to talk with my fellow suburban Minnesotans to hear their rationale and gauge their enthusiasm. Also, I need to do something, anything in these final remaining hours before the election.

I admit it, my anxiety is high. As I have written in past blogs, I feel the middle class dreams of America are being stripped away by large organizations with enormous power to wield over our modest financial lives. When describing the current financial burdens of health care, energy, education and housing prices to a young Swedish man during our trip to Argentina last week, his jaw literally dropped. He is married to an American and they are considering their future plans, which include moving back to the states to be closer to her family. Their time line may be altered by my husband and my description of our lives as a young family. Just describing the costs for having our second son, a mercifully healthy process beginning to end, led the young Swede to proclaim repeatedly, "That is outrageous, that is outrageous!"

While changing airports going in and out of Argentina, the drive around Buenos Aires brought home to me the fundamental difference between first and second world country status being one of the health and opportunities for the middle class. Flying into Buenos Aires, there are many mansions peppering the landscape illustrating to me the fact that Argentina has enormous national wealth. This wealth apparently isn't generously shared as driving through Buenos Aires one sees a city of innumerable high rise slums. Despite wealth and a healthy number in their educated class, they are a country who has suffered a "dirty war" in recent decades and only several years ago a complete economic collapse.

Many Americans like to kid themselves that this could not happen to us, that we are somehow protected from the worst of the natural results of corrupt government. This is a silly illusion, but a very painful one when it is stripped away by reality. We have our own high rise slums and the hellacious aftermath of Hurricane Katrina tore back gauzy illusion to expose the gangrenous rot of poverty and social injustice. One place where the people of our nation are already suffering a second and third world nation lifestyle was broadcast worldwide. One of many shameful situations we have as a nation revealed. And of course, the very dirty techniques ordered from the highest levels for treatment of prisoners in the current war where our government has enacted exactly what it says we're fighting against. Thank you John McCain for supporting that Bush/Cheney policy.

As Garrison Keillor wrote recently, anyone not supporting Barak Obama for president at this point cannot be convinced by any use of the English language. There is no point in trying to convince anyone of anything at this point in the game. Undecideds are likely just those who know it is folly to vote for McCain/Palin, but know in their hearts they will not vote for a Black man who supports populist policies.

We, the Obama/Biden supporters, simply need to get out there to vote on Tuesday, or earlier if possible. And additionally, we need to get every single Obama supporter we know out to vote as well. If this requires making phone calls, knocking on doors or even driving someone to the polls, do it. Do this for your country and your countrymen. Washing the polls with Obama/Biden support is our patriotic duty at this time.