Monday, September 29, 2008

The horrible, no good, terrible day

this past weekend was Isaiah's 2nd Birthday party. I am not much of a birthday party person (although I love birthday's) but I always try to make my kids parties special and a big deal. So on friday we cleaned the house from top to bottom. Had to take the clothes to the laundromat because our dryer went out (and yes, that is really as much fun as it sounds), I was able to get the mickey mouse ears painted on Isaiah's wall and i painted the kids bathroom (had to cause the dogs tore off the wall paper and it looked horrible) needless to say I just collaped into bed.

Saturday was a mad rush. Kaileigh was a big help (and we took some time out to go to the public library mommy daughter style) Between picking up the cake and blowing up balloons and wrangling a two year old that would not take a nap I was still finishing my makeup when Mike came to set up the bounce house we got for the birthday boy. It wasnt long and it was up and kids were bouncing. The party was fun (or so I think) and the most important thing was that Isaiah had a blast. He got so many mickey mouse things he did'nt know what to do. I fulfilled a lifelong dream of getting to climb inside the bounce house and jump. Silly, I know, but I never want to jump in front of adults and look like the big kid I want to be. So it was a hoot for me.

Later on that day we were all in the car.......and the enguine blew. Smoke and oil were everywhere. So I am carless. I did not care too much for that car myself so I was thinking (in my head of course) I am getting an answered prayer. No more driving an almost mini-van (however much it looks like a mercedes, it was still just a chrysler) And Dan of course had a fit and yelled and slammed things. I honestly don't remember the last time I have had an oil change and I guess that had something to do with it. And at this point it would cost too much to fix so we are not even gonna try to do that. Basically, I am without transportation. And we are left with just Dan's car (and for those of you that have seen Dan's car you are laughing right about now) I think he was most upset because I was not upset. I know that there are people in the world that only have one car and they make it work. There are people who don't live in the kind of house I live in or have the healthy most of the time happy kids I have and I am still blessed. Things have a way of working out and yes it will be tough and yes I will be inconvienenced but it will work out and I will be okay. So I told him to just go hang out with his friends. I just wanted him anywhere but at home. So he did, he went somewhere (could'nt tell you where nor did I care at the time)The bounce house was still there at 8pm and by then it was dark. All 3 of the kids and I climbed in and that truly was the best part of the day. Just me and my kids laughing,jumping, chasing each other and falling down arms wrapped around each other.So what was supposed to be a terrible,no good horrible day turned out pretty darn good.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just another crazy friday

Okay, so I am venting and forgive me but you can easily forgive me by clicking off and not reading my blog. This one is mostly about grandparents (and not my parents by the way). So I finally let emory go with her grandparents. They picked her up at the club after school and I picked her back up at 8:30 (which is her bedtime but I was being nice and praying it did not bite me in the butt later). I get her back and she has this new green vest on (???!!!??) She is carrying a new "my little petshop" playhouse and animals to go with it and doesnt want to come with mean-old, make me clean my room and go to bed mommy. So I drag her to the car and tell them thanks (Silently in my head I add.... for nothing) and we start the LONG trip back to Bentonville. On the way home we pass Red Lobster and what does Emory tell me, that they ate dinner there. Okay, so now I am kinda ticked. In one day they have taken her to buy a toy (that was already promised to her if she got her happy face stickers on her behavior chart at school) and out to eat at the place that was promised if she got her stickers on her chart at home. So in one fail swoop she has learned she doesnt have to work for anything if she gets to go with grandma and pawpaw. Thanks for that. How do I teach her anything when her grandparents are gonna go right behind me and teach her the easy way is right there too. And how do I tell them that while I know that they are trying to give her things, this is not the way. Consistency and Teaching and being in her life for more than one day a month is a good start. And stressing to her father to take care of her financially and emotionally is a really good start. I know the whole baby daddy issue is really tired. Everyone has a story and a complaint and automatically the mommy is crazy for even saying anything, but it just breaks my heart. It isnt fair and sometimes I just have to say that out loud. I know in my head that it is easier for her to not be around them and all. But I am the one that feels guilty if I tell them (him included) no. ugh. do I know how to pick em or what.I feel better now I can move on and get back to focus on what is important. them and that issue not being one of the things that are important.

Last night as I was waiting for Emory's grandparents to show up with her I started getting texts from an old friend. I was really shocked by what she had to say and kindof relieved to hear it. It is like all the hurtful and negativity kinda melted and I am excited to see what happens. I told her I really thought I needed to go through this rough patch. I learn best by heartache, as sad as that is to say. But if you can hold on until I get back on track I always come back bigger and better. That is one good thing (I think) I have learned how to do, to land on my feet. And there is nothging worse than losing touch or falling out with a close friend. So the relief I feel that this was not the end is overwhelming.but in a good way. So we will see what happens, hopefully more mayhem and margaritas cause that girl is a blast!
I was actually juggling two text conversations at once (Alicia was taunting me about missing the first half of Grey's Anatomy. but don't fear my DVR saved the day again and I was able to catch up)I really wasnt as impressed as I have been, but like I told Alicia. there is always two weeks from now.

This has gotten long and I have events to plan so I am gonna get to work. Have a great day guys!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New book

Bastard Out of Carolina (Plume Essential Edition) Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is kindof touching a nerve. Maybe because I am a Bastard Child that is looking for her birthmother. Or because I had a child out of wedlock. Or because I have a child and I co-parent her with a member of the same sex as me (Were not expecting that one were you! No one gets it really but it is the way it is). I feel sorry for the main character and her mothers need to find her a father to be listed on her birth certificate. She goes through several and the one she settles on is not that big a prize. Not done yet with the book so I will update when I am.

View all my reviews.

Kinda intense for a book review but like I said this one is touching a nerve. Which is the earmark of a good book for me. Something I can identify and relate or not relate to. I have never really been a big fan of the cookie cutter perfect family picture. The fact that I have a blended family can attest to that. And the fact that all of my children have people in their lives that are just theirs (they don't share the relationships with each other such as godmother,) hell, none of them have the same father even which is itself a whole nother pot of beans I don't feel like cooking right now. :) I guess my point is that you can create your own family. You can find new sisters or brothers, and parental figures and co-parents. You can step outside of the box and be creative and best of all you can do what is right for you.

The Power of Friendship

Okay, so I must admit when I started to blog I did it because sometimes I just need to get it all out. But it was always to the same people and I was sick of saying it out loud and sometimes it is easier for me to write what is in my head and heart. So this was my outlet. To vent,dream,rant,praise,love,hurt,need,shine and just be me. Unjudged and uninterrupted.
Today I found out mostly by accident that an old friend reads my blog. That really made my day, because honestly I did'nt think anyone really read it. Which is okay with me because I do it purely to get it all out there. Not because I want someone to read it or even care what I have to say.
So thank you for taking the time to care about what I have to say and for reading my thoughts. I hope at least sometime they are as entertaining to you as it is to me to be living them.

Onto my thoughts on friendship and old friends. One of the things I like about facebook and myspace (and yes, I am a nerd and have both) is the ability to reconnect. To find the old and make the new. I love that my friends each serve their own purpose and have their own reason to be my friend. I can laugh with my Greenwood Girls and Make fun of my time in Ft. Smith. I rely on my Co-parent (sometimes too heavily but I know she would have it no other way) and I dream and cry and vent with my bestie. Each one is special and unique and I treasure them all. As for my old friends that I have lost touch with. I am sad about that. I miss a certain few and wish I wasnt so stubborn and had more time in the day to call her. It is kinda one of those things where it has been so long that I really don't know what I would say and if she would have anything to say to me. Guess I will put that on my wish list that I wish she would call me. (like anything is ever that easy) Anyway, I guess the point of all of this is that I am so blessed to have the friends in my life that are there. Did I make some mistakes or bad choices in friends yes, Did I have to walk away a few times because it just wasnt healthy-yes, Was I just plain in the wrong and too immature and proud to admit it and say "I AM SORRY"-okay,guilty, but like I say all the time I am a work in progress. So maybe there is hope for finding our way back to being freinds??

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spanish Heritage Month

Tonight we had an event at one of the four clubs I do special events for and even though it was not one of my events that I planned I wanted to go and support the club. It was so neat to go watch, and I was glad I took the time to go (even though I had to force myself to go and not cop out like I tried to all day). I am learning that even just volunteering your time can be enough to help out at an event. To the people that are doing it for the right reasons anyway.
This was a celebration for Spanish Heritage Month and it featured exhibits and food from other Spanish countries as well as a series of acts highlighting great achievements made by Hispanic people. I would like to think I am cultured and not prejudiced but that would be a half truth. I am in some (Okay, alot of ways, and this was one way I felt like I could work on that. I took Kaileigh and we got to taste food we NEVER would have come across in our everyday life. And these two little boys (I say little but they were prob. 10 or 13) danced to the Chris Brown song Forever which is not hispanic, but they had infused Spanish moves to a hip hop beat and I could not help myself thinking how proud I was to be working for an organization that not only gives these kids the chance to get up in front of their families and perform talents that they had been working on (and on their own I might add) but it is also an organization that says we recognize that you are not exactly like us and we celebrate that.

In other Arrington life, tommorrow is the big day. Isaiah is the big two years old.I ordered his Mickey Mouse Cake and can't wait to see him tear into it. I stopped for a second earlier (like I do often) and told God thank you so much for letting me be able to have this one more day with my kids. I hope not one person ever thinks that I take for granted my healthy, crazy obnoxious kids. I know there are many mommies and daddies that wish so desperately for the treasured moments that I will never take for granted!! I truly am blessed and don't I know it!
And as for Daniel Isaiah, I am so stinkin in love with that little boy.....almost makes me want another one. I did say almost did'nt I? LOL. I am now off to bed where my benedryl hopefully kicks in soon and I sleep so hard that when it is time to get up this stuff in my nose will have dried up. I know. TMI. Isnt that what blogs are for?

Letter From Home

So I am taking a page from Jessica's blog and going to write as I am reading.I am currently reading this book,

Letter From Home Letter From Home by Carolyn Hart

My review

View all my reviews.

So far I am really involved in it. My mom and I share an absolute LOVE of books and she for years has collected the reader's digest condensed collection. She gets a book sent to her every couple of months and it has four complete books in it. That is how I got to know and love every John Grisham, every Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Nicholas Sparks. I try to read every book I can finagle away from her, because 3 out of 4 times I find a new author I never knew about. Anyway, this book is about a child named Gretchen. She is working at a newspaper and living with her older grandmother during war time. Her life is changed when her next door neighbor(who is also a close friend) Barb's mother is killed, and her father is blamed. I am only half way through the book so who knows what will happen next but so far it is a really good book. I will up date this when I am done with it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself life is so good

So, life around the Arrington household is getting fun. Not that it's not always fun but...well, okay, it's not always fun, but it is right now.
I love this time of year! When the leaves are changing, things start turning yellows and oranges and reds,the air is full of yummy smells like pumpkin and spice and you could go to a carnival or holiday party every weekend if you wanted to. I have already gotten SOME of my fall decorations out (much to my husbands amusement). From now until January my house will be festive and holiday-ish. I am a one hundred percent cheese when it comes to house decoration. I love every bit of it and heaven help one of my kids if they smoosh, break or destroy one of my treasured pumpkins, santa or christmas tree. What can I say, everybodies got their something (as soapnet says)
Kaileigh started guitar last night. She walked in wide eyed and mouth shut (so you know i was getting a kick out of it cause that kid never has her mouth shut) Her teachers name is Mike and he is in a band. Enough said on that I should think. I was amazed when after removing Isaiah from the bathtub, what did I hear from behind Kaileigh's closed bedroom door? The LOUD sounds of a person strumming a chord that was almost recognizable. I was so stinkin happy I opened the door and kissed her forehead. I had already told her that if she wanted this it was something she had to do on her own, I could'nt do it for her. And I would not nag her to practice. And she is (at least for now) As I closed the door behind me, Emory poked her head out of her door and said "what did you get us into mother?" rolled her eyes and closed her door before I could respond.
I love those kids and am kinda glad I am stuck with em!!!!

Isaiah's 2nd Birthday is this friday. I can't believe the way he is growing up so fast. Daniel has started asking him "what is your name" and he tries to say Isaiah (you can almost tell what he is trying to say now too) but when I ask him if his name is Isaiah he says "no" so then I will say "Is your name Daniel" and he says "yes". I always wanted him to know he was named after his daddy and that his legal name is Daniel Isaiah (and that we just call him Isaiah to not get confused) so I started telling him that a long time ago so he would just be used to it. But maybe he is just thinking I am a crack head because Daniel calls him Isaiah and I call him Daniel. Maybe he just thinks I am mixing him up with his daddy and I don't really know his name.
Anyway, we have presents for him this friday and I will do cupcakes at school and then a cake at home (excessive I know but I can't help it) and then his party is on the 27th. Kid parties are kinda a touchy subject with me. I have some really close friends that come to every kids party I throw, which blows my mind. They come to my kids parties even when their kids are not the same age (and some of them don't even have kids at all and still come). I get very emotional when people support my kids. That means they really do care about me, because my kids are the most important thing to me and what person doesnt want their kids to have an amazing birthday party? And having people show up to your birthday party makes that kid feel like they are supported. I have stopped going to friends kids parties that don't come to mine. I used to go to every party that we were invited to, no matter the trouble or stress it caused me because I do believe in supporting others. But I had such a bad attitude that they did'nt come and support my kids so I just stopped going. Less stress and less bad attitude (and we all need less of my bad attitude trust me on that one) So now we have lots of fun at the parties we go to, and I try to make our parties fun since I know everyone there wants to be there. Petty I know but oh well, it's my life to be petty with.
Work is crazy busy. I am trying to get our ceramic art studio up and running (right now it is just sitting there being unused), We have a Sample Sale, Mini Grand Prix, Texas Hold Em,Chicks N Chili, and we have started planning for next years Golf Tournament. Sometimes I can't believe I am in charge of all of this and I get overwhelmed but I love my supervisor and where I work and have TONS of help so it's not that bad. This has been a really long blog and I still have more to talk about so I will post again later,

Hope your day is going as good as mine, that white chocolate mocha from caffinity really was a good morning motivator!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Making memories

So today was another one of those reminders of how our lives have changed so drastically. Kaileigh is 11 yrs. old now. She really had to grow up with me and in a lot of ways I feel like I have let her down. She has never taken dance lessons or gymnastics or been in girl scouts, she has never played a sport other that the year she got to be in t-ball when she was 6 (and that was only because it was here nana’s idea and she paid for it all). I could never bring myself to ask for help paying for that, because I needed help with so many other things, like food and medical bills. For Pete’s sake, my life dream used to be to fill my gas tank up and get a Dr. Pepper at the same time.
So today, I got to walk into Ben Jack’s Music store (with Kaileigh) and let Kaileigh proudly tell the clerk that she wanted to sign up (and pay for) guitar lessons. She saw the guitar that I had given her for her birthday (and I saw the $548 price tag) and was overjoyed. Of course I did not and could not pay that much, but I was not about to tell her that. Her dream is to learn the guitar and be Taylor Swift. And to her being able to take guitar lessons is going to bring her that much closer to her dream. And as a mother I believe with my whole heart that she will be Taylor Swift and so much more. Writing her own songs and singing them and being whatever she wants to be. And if she takes lessons for two weeks and decides she does not want to play the guitar than that is okay. It is about being able to give the option. To be able to persue her dreams and be allowed to fail, or to be able to change her mind. I know that so many kids don’t get the chance do that. And now my kids does.
It did cause a fight when I got home, because my husband does not think that I spend money to get us out of the whole we are in.(which is not that deep and it's not like half of America is not in a whole at one point or another. Life is about the moments and not about whether or not you have tons of money in the bank) And to be truthful I don’t. I spend money according to what I think is going to make a lasting and life changing memory for my children. Like Taylor Swift concerts, or ponies at birthday parties, Disney Vacations and guitar lessons. To me that is what is important and the rest will work itself out. I feel like eventually we will pay our way out of whatever debt we are in, but if we don’t have any good memories for our children to look back on than what is it worth? And if he can’t live with the memories I am trying to make that he needs to just move on and be with someone else. Cause I don’t apologize and I won’t change. I will always be all about my kids and what their childhood is like. I will always put myself in debt to make sure they are spoiled and happy. No question and no regrets.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am now a registered voter

So I figured that since I am 30 and all, I could start voting (and since I am somewhat attempting to be interested in what is going on in the world of politics).
I have a ladies auxillary meeting today, so I was already dressing up and I decided to get my driver's license updated while I was at it. I waited in line at the DMV, which in itself is no fun, and they slowly called my name to go up to the front. She did'nt end up taking my picture ande just updated my address. Then she handed me my new license. I have been married long enough that I should be used to using my last name, but I am so proud of it and proud to be his wife that I do still get excited hearing his last name with my first. (Is that silly?)
Anyway, next it was time to move over to the computer where she asked me a series of questions and voila, I AM NOW A REGISTERED VOTER!!!! I thought it fitting that I do it on September 11.
On kindof the same subject (but kindof not), as I was driving this morning Jay and Brock were talking about 9/11 and about what they were doing 7 years ago. They started spouting off statistics about all the victims of the trade center disaster and they said that only 58% of the people had been identified. I was all caught up in the moment 7 years ago and I wholeheartedly agreed with Bush and the thought of "making the sob's pay" as I am a firm believer of natural consequences. But now, 7 years later it has turned out (in my opinion) to be a vendetta that in Bush's peoples terms "is not working". So now what? We have gone over there and killed people (innocent and not) including lost the lives of our own soldiers, turned several countries upside down, and worst of all divided our own country. I love where we live. I value the freedom and the individuality and the love for each other that I feel like is strong here. And I agree sometimes you have to defend that with force. So while I am pro-war, I think you have to choose your battles wisely, for there is no way to win them all. And I don't know if we did such a great job.
Anyway, this turned out to be waaay more political than I intended, I just wanted to report that I can vote now.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Being an Impactful person

I was more proud of myself than I should be that I made it to church three Sundays in a row, but what can I say. You go so long without going and then it becomes the norm. I want to make a new norm. When I just go every sunday and don't know how many sundays in a row it's been because I have been going for so long I could'nt even count that far back. Anyway, I am rambling and I need to get back on track.

Today's message was relevant to me because it was on- the need to be a high impact,low maintenence person. I really liked the definition for IMPACT (as it was presented to me it means the following)


You will never motivate others untill you inspire them. You can only impact if you participate and apply the teaching of the one you have connected with. We are not conformers we should be transformers. To be a christian is not for the weak. You have to be strong in spirit because the flesh is weak. Line up your flesh with your spirit.

Okay, so that was the extremely condensed version of a (sometimes) VERY long sermon that almost lost me a couple of times but the overall message touched me. I want to be an impactful person. I always have been that way of thinking. But I always thought i would touch people because i was a no-holds barred, pull no punches, tell it like it is person. I thought people would respect me and want to be around me cause I told it the way it is. I got in lots of fights and told lots of people what everyone thought of them. But I realize now that really all I was being was a b*tch. I don't know any other way to say that accept to use that word. And that is not an excuse or cop out. I did'nt know what the word meant and I did'nt know that was not a badge of honor. Now my biggest badge of honor is the smiles on the faces of my three healthy and crazy kids. I love every minute of my life and all the lessons I have had to learn (albeit the hard way) to get to where I am.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Gloria Steinems article on Sarah Palin


Palin: wrong woman, wrong message

Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

By Gloria Steinem
September 4, 2008

Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge.

Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

For the record I don't know who I am voting for yet

I am of the opinion that change is a good thing. And I believe that one person can bring about change,and that as a human being it is your duty to help out if you can. It is selfish to sit and do nothing or to wait for someone else to do it. That in itself is a testament to myself of the personal growth I have gone through, because my mentality previously has always been, if it does'nt affect me in the here and now, why should I care?
At this point I can't say that I know enough about the candidates to sound intelligent so I usually don't say anything at all. That is not to say I am not interested because I am. And for the first time in 30 years, I plan to vote. Right now I am leaning towards Obama. I know that this disturbs the McCain supporters (my parents and a couple of close friends are cringing as they read this) but that is just my opinion. I do respect that everyone has their opinion and mine certainly is not set in stone. I just "feel" that Obama is saying some things I can stand behind. I don't know if ANY candidate will ever believe 100% the way I do.
I will admit that after I read Sarah Palins speech last night, I really don't know, because I like what she had to say, and the way she says it. I don't know if I want a woman with 5 children (one of them an infant) to be my Vice President. Call me selfish, but I think that job requires all of your focus and how can she give that without taking it away from her kids? But I guess the same thing can be said of Obama, as he has two small kids himself. It has given me alot to process, I will say that.
Really, all you have to go on is how they make you feel, isn't it? Whether or not you believe the person is going to do what they say they will do. I am researching the way each candidate has voted in the past also (to see if there is a pattern of saying one thing but doing another)but it really makes me wanna say, don't bother, when people try to "persuade" me to change my mind. They get all worked up and pissed off that someone would acutally believe differently than them and I don't see the point. If you have a point you want me to hear, just tell me, and if it is valid and makes sense to me I will support it. It's not that hard. Don't berate me and tell me how stupid I am for thinking a certain way, when I flat out said I don't know enough about the topic to really talk about it. Of course I am gonna say this is how I feel, cause that is all I have to talk about. I am researching, and like the rest of my life my headline should be:To be determined at a later date.

Sarah Palin's Speech at the Republican National Convention 2008

St. Paul, Minn. — Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for vice president of the United States ...

I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.

I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election ... against confident opponents ... at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions ... and met far graver challenges ... and knows how tough fights are won - the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.

And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow - September 11th - he'll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.

In our family, it's two boys and three girls in between - my strong and kindhearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

That's how it is with us.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. Todd is a story all by himself.

He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ... a proud member of the United Steel Workers' Union ... and world champion snow machine racer.

Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package.

We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he's still my guy. My Mom and Dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town.

And among the many things I owe them is one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.

My parents are here tonight, and I am so proud to be the daughter of Chuck and Sally Heath. Long ago, a young farmer and haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency.

A writer observed: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity." I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.

I grew up with those people.

They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America ... who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better.

When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.

And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests.

The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it.

No one expects us to agree on everything.

But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good ol' boys network.

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve.

But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up.

And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

I also drive myself to work.

And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef - although I've got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending - by request if possible and by veto if necessary.

Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest - and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

Our state budget is under control.

We have a surplus.

And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes.

I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged - directly to the people of Alaska.

And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.

As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.

I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history.

And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.

The stakes for our nation could not be higher.

When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil.

With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies ... or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already.

But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines ... build more new-clear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources.

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. I've noticed a pattern with our opponent.

Maybe you have, too.

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state Senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much ... he promises more.

Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses.

How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy? Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election.

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things.

And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk ... the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America. Senator McCain's record of actual achievement and reform helps explain why so many special interests, lobbyists, and comfortable committee chairmen in Congress have fought the prospect of a McCain presidency - from the primary election of 2000 to this very day.

Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party.

A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely.

There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death ... and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country.

It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made.

It's the journey of an upright and honorable man - the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home.

To the most powerful office on earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless ... the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God ... the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome. A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pinhole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" - as if to say, "We're going to pull through this." My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.

For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

If character is the measure in this election ... and hope the theme ... and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.

Thank you all, and may God bless America.

Obama's Speech at the Democratic National Convention Aug 2008

Barack Obama, Illinois
Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 08:00 PM

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ecclesiastes 3:1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Every day I am learning to like not knowing all the answers. I like the fact that each day holds something new and different for me. And if that something is negative or painful, than I can learn from it and move on. I don't have to focus on it or react negatively or feel entitled to be a victim.
I do feel like I wish I could take back some of my not so bright and shining moments and mean spirited, hateful or complaning attitudes. I would treat certain people and situations differently, but I guess I was'nt ready to be that person yet.It pains me to think of the opinion that some people have of me. When I wasnt acting like a true friend, or sister, or daughter. That is a cross I will have to carry knowing that I prob. can't change that. But I will pray about it and who knows, miracles do happen don't they?
One thing I have learned is that I don't have a very high opinion of myself. I always thought that I did, but being loud and obnoxious is not the same thing as being comfortable with yourself and liking who you are. And I will prob. always struggle with that. Hopefully I can forgive myself one day, and be okay with the good things and blessings that I have in my life (and there are plenty) Someday when I say I deserve good things too, I will believe it. And for now, I am okay just knowing that I am a work in progress and that I don't have to be "THAT" girl anymore.
It has taken awhile. And the rides not over yet, in alot of ways I think it has finally just began to get interesting. I know that only I can make this real, and not just a phase. Only I can not let myself get comfortable and fall back into my old web of drama and negativity. Let me remind myself that I cannot live in peace until I live at peace.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

me being shallow

So, tonight I sat down to catch up on my DVR'd shows (cause that is the only way i get to watch tv anymore) and to my suprise i found a one tree hill episode i had not seen. so i decided to click on it and see what i had missed. My oh my, to my suprise i discovered ONE TREE HILL SEASON 6 HAS STARTED AND I WASNT EVEN AWARE. Those that know me know that Grey's Anatomy is my end all be all favorite show, and i almost feel like an adulterous mate to say that One Tree Hill is my new fling.I am so overwhelming happy that it's fall and all my favorite shows are coming back on starting with this one hour i get to escape to. I love the colder weather and pumpkins and yellow orange and green in neutral colors. I love the candle scents that come out in the fall and our yearly trip to Mississippi to visit my in-laws. Grey's comes back on soon and Meredith and McDreamy are getting back together. And for now i get to watch Lucas and Peyton decide to get back together and get married.YEE WHO..... maybe there is hope for true love after all. Cause if the two of them can find their way back to each other than maybe there is hope for my marriage. Cause Dan and I have never watched the other one get shot, have a heart attack, almost get married (twice), had two moms die, have their father shoot their uncle who was like a father. So if they can survive all that, I can survive 3 kids and life.which by the way is feeling pretty good right about now. :)