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Posted by: Helen Philpot | October 24, 2008

But then I met Sarah Palin…

Today I got this email:

Dear Helen,
I found your blog today thanks to a friend. I need your help!  My grandparents (both in their 80’s) ripped up their ballots this week when they received them in the mail. (We’re in a state where we mail in our ballots) They generally vote democratic but evidently didn’t want to vote for an African American. I’m embarrassed that they are so racist! Is there anything I can tell them to convince them that they need to vote (for Barack)? Should I bother or maybe it’s a lost cause? I thought maybe since you are of their generation, you could help me.

Thank you,

Well Jennifer, my first instinct was to tell them to pull their heads out of their asses and start living in the 21st century.  Life is too short to be hanging on to stuff we learned when we were young and didn’t know any better.   But I remember those days.  We didn’t know any better and some of us cling to yesterday out of fear and ignorance.

So, as an old lady who has been around the block of few times, here is what I think: Sometimes elections can be about great things… about changing the world. Think Lincoln.  Think FDR.   I started out in this election supporting Hillary Clinton because I believed our country needed a women’s point of view in the Oval Office.  I truly believe that women approach education, war, healthcare, the environment, poverty, etc. differently.  Of course then I met Sarah Palin and realized that some women are just bitches who only want to change their wardrobe and your religious freedoms.

So tell your grandparents this instead:  Imagine what the world looks like on November 5th if America elects Barack Obama for President. We will have finally closed a chapter on American politics and moved into the 21st Century realizing that hatred, fear and bigotry is a waste of time and energy – both precious commodities of limited quantity. What respect we would get from around the globe.  Why wouldn’t your grandparents want to be a part of such a historic moment?  Why wouldn’t any of us want to be part of this historic moment – a moment when we profoundly change the world for the better?

But remember we grew up in a different time.  We grew up during a time when this country didn’t understand the depths of its hatred.  Don’t blame them.  They don’t know any better.  It is a part of who they are.  But if they ignore you, you have my permission to do what I do when Harold doesn’t listen to me.  Put laxatives in their pudding.

Thanks for stopping by Jennifer.  I mean it.  Really.

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  1. шокер

  2. Gosh darnit (wink), they tore up their ballots!

  3. Helen, your blogs are great. I was wondering if you ever thought of something thats been on my mind a lot lately.

    The GOP “god fearing” “pro-american” “country-first” ticket has something, deeply disturbingly, in common with islamic terrorists. These terrorists also used “God” as a reason for attacking innocent people. Now Ms Palin says the war in Iraq is gods work, or gods command, whatever she said. Isnt that exactly what the terrorists believed when they attacked us on 9/11? I am not suggesting that the GOP are terroroists but when I hear GOD invoked as a REASON to kill thousands of innocent people (whether americans or civilians in other countries), my only thought is that we need to make sure these wack jobs dont get elected.

    GOD is about faith. The level of ones faith is a personal business. Separate church and state? Yes I agree. Why should war be any different? Why is it un godly to have an abortion and godly to kill innocents in a war?

    Just becasue I am a Hindu means I am not a god fearing american? I went to a convent where I prayed in church everyday for 12 years of my life. To this day if I see a church anywhere, I always go in an kneel and say a thank you for all the blessings in my life. Compared to that I have visited a Hindu temple maybe once a year, if that.

    Am I any less American?

  4. My niece is married to a black man, one of my sisters is married to a man who has yet to be able to immigrate from China, a niece was married to a man whose parents moved here from Iran to escape the tyranny there and her 2 kids are 1/2 Iranian. I live in middle-America. My husband and his family are Republican and I’m voting for Senator Obama. Sarah Palin cannot cannot be VP and/or the incumbent.

  5. This blog rocks! I cannot get over how insightful this woman is and I love reading her posts. Power to the People! :)

  6. Helen,

    I love you blog and the way you call things as they are. Keep up the keen observations and you great wit.

    P.S. Your blog traffic is amazing!! Congratulations.


  7. Helen,

    Just wanted to say, “You rock!”

    Susan K. Morrow

  8. helen & margaret – AND jennifer –

    if you haven’t seen this yet, i really recommend it. it is priceless and, even if it doesn’t work :), it’s a laugh.

    i’ve got it with the “book cover” at http://www.howlstudios.com too. as well as links to helen’s blog!

    peace out from texas

  9. You’re too much!!! :)

    My mom admitted to me very recently that she was taught to be racist when she was little but here I am, mixed race. She said she stuggled all her life to get over the racism that was instilled in her at a young age and she’s so proud of herself for kicking that racism to the curb. She was leery of Obama a little (still). But she looked past gender (she thinks Palin’s a big ragin’ b*tch too) and she looked past skin color… she voted early and she voted Obama.

  10. [...] usual, the new-old blogger, Helen, puts it oh so well in responding to this situation.  Check out her blog from the other day, have a chuckle, and then shed a tear or two that we still have to deal with [...]

  11. Helen….you are spot on AGAIN!!….I can’t get enough of you…

    funtowatch you are so right, just today 2 skin heads were arrested for plotting to assasinate him…good lord, keep him safe from these nuts…

    Obama/Biden 08!!

  12. HEADS UP: John H. Johns, a retired brigadier general who has known McCain since studying together at the National War College in 1973, had this to say about McCain: “His hawkish views now are very dangerous. He puts military at the top of foreign policy rather than diplomacy, just like George Bush does. he and other neoconservatives are dedicated to converting the world to democracy and free markets, and they want to do it through the barrel of a gun.” (as quoted in RS, 10/26/08)

  13. No matter what you think of Barack Obama, you have to give it to him for standing up against all odds to be president. He must get hundreds of hate mails and death threats daily and still remains poised to be president.

    i really admire his courage.

  14. http://drbuzzieboombatz.wordpress.com/

    I thought that appeared automatically. I’m learning.

  15. Wow CO Almost Native…I thought the SAME thing about McCain’s “navigational” skills…LOOK OUT! LOL!

    I want Obama to win the election ASAP, but some of this stuff is toooo funny and I can’t resist making my little cartoon replies on my blog!

    Please check it out for a giggle or two or ten! LMAO!

  16. nextgen08 and jennifer-

    This is way down the list of comments, but I told my well-loved, but thick-headed stepmom, who argued with me over McCain: I will never vote for a candidate who is in favor of a war, but refuses to pay for it now- it is immoral to pass these costs on to your grandchildren. That made her think and shut her up. (I’m not sure it changed her vote, but it made her think- and that’s a good thing.)

  17. Joseph-

    You are voting for McCain because of his military experience? He crashed five (yes, five) expensive military jets! Anyone else would have been drummed out of the AF- except his dad and granddad had pull. (My very experienced military friends have explained this- and, no, they are not voting for MCain). He was one of the first to jump on the Iraq war bandwagon. That kind of experience we can do without.

    Take a chance on the future- vote Obama.

  18. Jennifer,
    They had a comedian on the radio here in MI. When asked how did he feel about race being part of the issue? He said “Americans, if you don’t like the black side of him vote for the white side of him.” I thought it was humerous yet very true!

  19. D and Juneau Joe-
    Holy Mackeral – The reach FOX/Murdoch has in the media in this country is worse than I thought!
    I don’t have TV but the coffeeshop I used to go to, most mornings, started playing FOX news all the time when the Iraq war started. Between the Bush insistence on limiting reporting and FOX’ cheerleading for the war, my wonderful donut and coffee turned to acid and cement in my stomach and I quit going. ( To any rat out there tempted to jump in and say that the reporting limitations were for the safety of the troops- My father was a submariner in WWII. I grew up knowing there is a real line between responsible reporting and shooting off your mouth in a way that could get our young men and , now, women killed.)
    We do NO service to ourselves nor our military- and we certainly do not protect our soldiers -by following the FOX mantra of unquestioning devotion to mere cheerleading .
    Like Mr McCain, some part of me is forever stuck on the image of the last American troops being lifted off rooftops in Saigon as the Vietcong marched into the city… Unlike him, it makes me unbearably sad, not angry. When I traced my cousin’s name – the closest I ever had to a brother , with my fingers, on the Vietnam Wall- I cried for him and all of them… those neighbors and classmates… we asked to stand up for us without really knowing what we were asking…
    We didn’t BELIEVE our government would bomb civilians -willy nilly- until we KNEW at least 20,000 had died at our collective hands…
    We promised, afterwards, that we were going to follow the Powell Doctrine – to make sure we didn’t do the same damn thing all over again…didn’t we?

  20. spdbeagle-living in the sunshine state: I have fears. We recently had a recount on a local election.The Acorn flap seemed designed to set the stage for contesting the election.

  21. spdbeagle – that is my biggest fear!

  22. As a European woman my only wish is that you could convince ALL Americans with your sight on life and politics !

  23. P.S. I forgot to mention that the egg in the female and the sperm in the male are LIVING cells. However, if they do not unite, they slough off and die.

    So actually when DOES life begin? Long before conception.

    Aloha again!


  24. Joseph D., reading your response to Trey made me laugh when I read ” One of the greatest leaders in out country’s history, John Adams “. Really, Joesph, get a book and read up on Mr. Adams. He was hard-headed, obstinate and not open to suggestions; especially from his famous wife Abigail. What did he do as President that was so wonderful? Just curious. S

  25. I feel sorry for Mamaneeds2rant! Check out Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow for news. The Fox bunch like to make stuff and distort to an unbelievable degree. They have a way of ignoring important stuff regarding Palin or McCain.

    You might even try out The Daily Show or the Colbert Report: They are honest fake news but still much more accurate than Fox.

    Vote Obama!

  26. Alaskan Pi- Thanks for taking that one. I saw the posting but was not in the mood to take it on this evening.

    One thing that I find to be funny (interesting) is that this week’s assigned reading for my Soc. class involves prejudice and discrimination. The apartheid in South Africa was one of the examples of ignorance used in my text.

    Oh, and it should be noted that Rupert Murdoch’s company, News Corporation has the following assets in television, cable internet, and periodicals:

    FOX Broadcasting Company
    FOX Television Stations

    FOX Business Network
    Fox Movie Channel
    FOX News Channel
    FOX College Sports
    FOX Sports Enterprises
    FOX Sports En Espanol
    FOX Sports Net
    FOX Soccer Channel
    Fox Reality Channel

    Fuel TV
    National Geographic Channel United States National Geographic Channel Worldwide
    Stats, Inc.

    Big League
    Inside Out
    donna hay
    News America Marketing
    Smart Source
    The Weekly Standard

    New York Post
    The Wall Street Journal
    Dow Jones

    So, it is possible to read and watch only Murdoch-owned material.

  27. Dear Helen,

    I thought I would respond to Namdual Siroj in the Netherlands on the question of abortion. I figured I could take some of the heat that your blog is likely to get from the Right to Life folks.

    Dear Namdual Siroj,

    Welcome to the Wonderful World of the American Political Circus! A few years ago we visited your lovely country. We found your delightful people to be friendly, kind and helpful.

    For what it is worth, here is the opinion of a 79 year old broad from Hawaii.

    Traditions provide stability to a society and become the impetus for the adoption of laws. Yet, culture is often a much stronger force than the law and for sure, technology is WAY, WAY ahead of culture.

    Funding for Science and Technology are OK for developing high tech weapons to kill and destroy but not for birth control WORLDWIDE in order to protect the life, health and well being of women and thus the children the women already have to care for. But…..

    It is all about this primitive Law of Supply and Demand going back to the Cave Man Days. Hunters have always needed the Gatherers to produce more Warriors!!!!

    Different societies around the world have varying over-population problems. These are examples of two countries and how they have and are addressing the questions. India, a democracy and the second most populous country on the planet, has had a two child policy. FINALLY, it is illegal to test for or to abort girl babies solely on the basis of gender.

    Communist China had its one child only per family policy to address its huge over-population problem. When we were in China, our guide told us that he had an older sister. His parents had received a government dispensation to have one more child so they could have a son. I understand that China has relaxed that policy somewhat now, but poverty and the high cost of raising and educating children prevents large families. Many, many Chinese have never known a brother let alone a sister.

    It is permissible in China to abort a pregnancy if ultra-sound and/or amniocentesis determines that the fetus is female. Here’s what has happened though. After more than a generation of that policy, there is now an excess of young men with their raging testosterone energy and not enough young women of marriageable age to go around. That has turned out to be a rather monumental OOPS!

    Here we have the clash of generation after generation of cultural thinking (the preference for sons rather than daughters) as opposed to the technology to produce or not produce the desired outcome.

    Abortion should not be used as a method of birth control, but only in circumstances to be determined by a qualified physician and the woman with her WELL-INFORMED partner.

    Regardless of the philosophical debate over the origin of life at conception, an embryo/fetus is not viable outside the uterus until well into the second trimester. Technology has yet to perfect a “test tube” to care for and nourish an embryo/fetus to anything near full term.

    A single ear of corn has perhaps hundreds of kernels, each with the potential of becoming a mature stalk of corn. Without soil, sunlight and water however, not one of those kernels can grow into a plant.

    With the possible exception of some post-coital pills, an abortion is an invasive surgical procedure. It is not without risk to life and health. A tooth extraction is a surgical procedure. (The old string on the doorknob works for loose baby teeth, but impacted wisdom teeth????) One would seek the advice of a licensed dentist or oral surgeon before proceeding.

    Aside from medical personnel and the fun parts, MOST MEN are APPALLINGLY IGNORANT of female physiology and health. On the abortion issue, politicians and clergymen are not trained and qualified physicians and, to put it politely, would do well to butt out!

    Regarding sex education in the schools and the controversy over teaching abstinence versus birth control, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. Should it be left out of the classroom and remain with the authoritative sources where it is and traditionally has always been – during recess, over coffee, at the water cooler and the corner bar?



    The moral of this

  28. Well mamaneeds-
    If, when deciding to vote , Mr Biden’s gaffes mean more to you than where and what Ms Palin came from ( since no one but we Alaskans had ever heard of her) I guess FOX news IS the place for you.
    Honestly, we just want her back. We have business with the guv- you will have missed on FOX that , contrary to what Ms Palin says, the Branchflower report does NOT vindicate her. You will have missed that there are serious concerns that one of the 2 major accompishments since she came into office -the AGIA- may be flawed in terms of narrowing the bid process so finely that only 1 company could meet the criteria. The gov, against good legal advice had contact with officials in that company… I can’t even remember all the rest tonight…Happy FOX hunting!

  29. Alaska Pi: We watch several news stations and read a variety of news stories–and it’s amazing what the Main Stream media just won’t tell you. They ignore Biden’s gaffes but make a huge deal over every little thing Gov Palin does–even going back to her high school days! It’s just like Russia’s Pravda. Thank God for FOX. At least we get to hear what’s really going on in the world.

  30. You, go, girl!! Keep it up, Helen. I agree with your views on this election. I have book marked your blog and shared it with others. I know women in AK and they, too, are anti-Palin. Which country are you going to relocate in IF the Maverick and his side kick win?? I’m still searching around…

  31. Oh, for heavens sake mamaneeds !
    Mr Obama is not a socialist nor does he associate with terrorists…
    Think about this:
    When South Africa was still organized under apartheid south African Security forces opened fire on small black schoolchildren… We saw it on the TV here in america. WE could NOT understand why the white people in South Africa could stand to have anyone’s children blown away!
    It was some time before it became clear that a censored press NEVER showed those same films to white South Africa!
    IF you ONLY watch FOX News and read weirdo( and long ago debunked ) emails you are NEVER going to KNOW anything about Mr Obama…Please- by turning your back on Mainstream Media you are NOT getting a full picture f anything…
    Keeping such a narrow newsbase is SELF censorship …Read and watch something else… won’t set your hair on fire nor burn your fingers… while we are a mess in this country , there are some pretty wonderful things going on that you WILL NEVER SEE ON FOX!

  32. Spdbeagle-
    I can understand that. We don’t have paper receipts to back up our votes in my state. I do believe we should have that as a measure. Part of the problem is the Electoral College. If McCain loses the popular vote, but gets in thanks the the Electoral College, reforms will have to be made.

  33. Hi D
    I have the same concern as JuneauJoe.
    My vote has already been cast….electronically. To tell the truth, I’d rather have cast it on paper and with a blue (or purple) thumb. Unfortunately, I do not have great faith in the process. It will be restored if Obama wins.

  34. A lot of people are not voting for Senator Obama because they’ve learned that Socialism does not work. It punishes the productive and rewards the lazy, which ruins the entire country. Also, many of us are quite scared of the terrorist friends he associates with. I love this country and want my President to love it also, no matter what color he may be!

  35. Spdbeagle-
    I take Sen. McCain’s “guarantee” with a great grain of salt. Politicians are like car salesmen. Some of them are better than others. However, Sen. McCain ranks up there with a seedy used car salesman. So, unless Sen. McCain has a picture of every election judge screwing a goat, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Just make sure you get out and vote.

  36. Thanks for making me laugh. :-)

  37. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he can “guarantee” a win on Nov. 4 in a squeaker victory that won’t be clear until late that night.

    I hope this is just wishful thinking on his part. But I’m actually scared that he may get it if the election is rigged. I certainly think that’s how W got it in 2000.

    A few months ago W was quite confident that his party would again win the election. Too confident!! I began to have my concerns then.

    I’m curious if anyone else is concerned about this as well.

    Your thoughts please???

  38. Counteveryvote: Ten years ago, I would have said it was not possible – not anymore. I think Carl Rove, Bush and Cheney have done a lot to suppress and change the votes in democratic areas.

    I talked to a programmer from Diebold and he said it is possible and we need paper ballots to ensure an accurate vote. The programmer said, it takes a few chosen folks at top to make the changes.

    I would like to think that a vote is a vote is a vote but after Bush/Cheney/ Rove/ McCain and the win at any cost mentality, I have sadly changed my mind.

    If McCain gets elected, I would have serious questions about the legitimacy of his win.

    Vote Obama: Have a wide enough vote spread that he cannot be denied. The Bush legacy of failure is so sad.
    Vote Obama!

  39. Grandma Helen,
    I’ve had a difficult time talking to my grandparents too. They seem to thank that since John McCain was in the military he should be Commander in Chief. What ever happened to civilian control of government? Anyway, I’ve just given up on trying to persuade them. I have that luxury because I live in Washington state. My state always votes Democratic. I’m not suggesting that other readers should give up because their state is a Democratic state though. This election is going to be a lot closer than people think. Good Luck to your reader and God bless you Helen. Have a great week.

    Jerame Clough
    -Next Gen Politics

  40. Helen, I’ve been reading your blog each morning, and have found that it helps to start my day smiling and in a better mood. Thank you!!

    On another note, I recently came across this video about vote tampering that I thought people should see. I would be curious to hear your (or your nephew’s) and other’s perspective on it. Hopefully I can post the link correctly. I’m not very tech savvy! This is the second of a 2 part video. Thanks again!

  41. Helen, I love you! You Rock! You are da bomb. You keep blogging what’s on your mind!

    You go girl! I am in awe and a true admirer!

  42. I am sick of hearing how, if you dont support Palin, that somehow you are sexist–uh?

    If I dont support Men who want to take away my rights as a woman, doesnt that make me sexist too?

    I dont support Palin because her position on issues that are important to me, as a woman, and a mom of two daughters–are unacceptable.

    She keeps reifying my feelings and impressions of her ignorance and bigotry like a broken record in the background.

    The whole Fruit Fly thing was over the top. Fruit Flies have been one of the foundational experiments for Genome projects regarding phenotypes, disease and defects since at least the late 70s.

    They are one of the few species whose genetic record can be monitored because they reproduce so quickly and the outcomes are mostly predictable, giving us something that looks vaguely like a constant in the Wack-a-Mole world of Genetics.

    What a Maroon! Palin should be forced to sit through 3 consecutive semesters of remedial 3rd grade biology before allowed to resume her office in Alaska–or anywhere for that matter. In fact one should throw in a healthy series of Women’s Studies, African American History, and American Government to boot. And Bible Colleges Dont COUNT! NO ORUs or Liberty or Bob Jones–otherwise that would be NIL. And while we are at it, can someone please make Shrubya sit through Poly Sci and AM Govt 101 too? And maybe English Comp?

    The illiteracy in our nation’s leadership is downright nightmarish.

  43. I just stopped by for a visit after a strong endorsement from Bobbie of Almost There and I sure am glad I did. I love your blog and have added it to my favorite sites on my side bar. I agree with you 100% I know Barack is ahead but I can’t rest easy. I know how much prejudice is out there. I’m also thinking there are people who are embarrassed to admit they are prejudiced so will say to pollsters that they are voting for Barack but will change their vote when they get into the voting booth. Have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for a terrific blog.

  44. “Obama is a well-educated man with a cool head in a crisis. I hope he will surround himself with knowledgeable people who can give him sage advice. But he is still just an ordinary mortal who cannot walk on water. So let’s give the man a break. We all know what it is like to clean up after a big Thanksgiving dinner. It takes a lot more time and effort, and is certainly a lot less fun, than it was preparing for it!”

    I love this paragraph! It is so true. SAGE ADVICE, this has been the missing element for sooo long.

  45. jennifer –

    i’m not very sophisticated at this computer stuff. my kids are trying to drop kick my arse into the 21st century, too. but if you go to http://www.howlstudios.com and see the top photo and click on it, that’s my message for your grandparents. i hope it helps.

    they are lucky, whether they fully realize it or not, to have a grandaughter like you. just like helen is so blessed to have a grandson like matthew.

    you and your grandparents share the same cell memories somewhere – see if you can’t help them awaken. if not, you’ve awakened a whole hell of a lot of others by asking helen your question in the first place.

    peace out from texas

  46. Check out this. It shows how the world outside the US feels about our election.


    McCain got Burundi, Iraq and Albania — Barack got the rest. The world is watching us folks.


  47. This is a gem of a blog and a delight to read. I also enjoyed reading the comments as well and definitely will return for more of your commentary.

    As a special needs parents, after listening to Palin’s policy speech-completely dismissing fruit fly research as something wasteful -and then in the very same speech, turn around and believe she is an advocate for special needs.

    Fruit fly research to discover the genetic links and problems with nerve pathways in autism is necessary as well as for birth defects. I knew she was not qualified, but this was completely irresponsible and completely showed her ignorance.

  48. I just found your blog through another blogger friend and I’m so glad I did! What a hoot! And you are so right on! I’m pretty new to blogging and had one crash and had to rebuild, but I hope you’ll come for a visit. I agree with you totally and I love the laxative idea, gonna have to try it!
    I posted a piece today, an article by a former Republican who has written an interesting book, but article talks about what Obama can mean to this country and it is a great article.

  49. Read this opinion from the Anchorage Daily News
    It says vote Obama and explains why.


    Vote Obama!

  50. I am LAUGHING at your new T-shirt sayings!! TOO FUNNY!!!!

  51. I stopped bugging my grandmother to make sure she was registered when I realized she probably wouldn’t vote the way I want her to. You see, she watches Fox all day long. There’s little I can do for her…

  52. From the autor, David Sedaris on undecided voters:

    To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

    To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

  53. great blog some how i found you when i was looking for stuff on our son and his birth defect on esophageal atresia such a great blog site you have i wish you all the best.

  54. I was just on the “why blog” page where Matthew explains setting this blog up – while reading comments there ran across a post by Alexia on Oct 21 at 6:28p.m said her grandmother also has a blog mk.mythoughts.blogspot.com the last entry title Republican Party what happened to ya.
    I beleve many on this blog would enjoy reading it. I did.

  55. The vet who did not vet is quite good in a Dr. Seuss way.


    Hey, Helen, It is snowing in Juneau, Alaska!!!

    VOTE OBAMA!! (I already voted – yeah.)

  56. Great Blog.
    < href=”http://www.latenightpundit.com”Late Night Pundit

  57. I agree that Palin is the worst Vice President candidate for a lot of the reasons others have already referred to. BUT the main concern that I have is this really really scary TRUE information. Her husband, Todd, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party for seven (7) years. He ended his membership when she ran for governor! The party wants to secede from the U. S. – actually rip their star off the flag ! Sarah has attended many of their functions, is friendly (pals around) with the members, appointed some to government positions, and even taped a video for their 2008 convention. Do they belong in the vice-president’s mansion, or worse – in the white house? I can’t believe people aren’t horrified about this ! This should be on all the networks ! Google Alaska Independence Party !

  58. [...] 82 year old Helen Philpot is a blogger and she is Awesome! [...]

  59. Good luck, Jennifer. There’s nothing like trying to rehydrate concrete! But don’t despair, just use love, logic, and reason and hope for the best.

    Thanks Helen and Margaret for giving us all this gathering place for shared commentary and hope for the years to come!

  60. Dear Helen,

    As most of your readers have come to expect, your advice to Jennifer was superb!

    Unfortunately, there are many, many people of all generations who never bother to question whether what they were taught as children may or may not be valid in today’s world. Social ostracism can be a powerful force if they do dare to think or speak differently.

    With all the foolishness going on now in the waning days before the election, I hope more people will look ahead to what our country will be like WHEN Obama is elected. The bitterness and divisiveness of the campaign has got to go! I hope that McCain is enough of a gentleman to get on board and encourage his supporters to do the same. Hey, this is not a sporting event where one ‘team’, wins and the other ‘team’ loses! ‘Victory or Defeat’. The future wellbeing of our country is at stake. The unholy mess we are currently in is the result of the old adage, “The inequality of ability and the equality of greed.”

    Arguing over minutia of who said what in a heated moment isn’t going to solve the monumental problems we have going. I can’t for the life of me wrap my brain around all the zeros when they are throwing BILLIONS of dollars around.

    Obama is a well-educated man with a cool head in a crisis. I hope he will surround himself with knowledgeable people who can give him sage advice. But he is still just an ordinary mortal who cannot walk on water. So let’s give the man a break. We all know what it is like to clean up after a big Thanksgiving dinner. It takes a lot more time and effort, and is certainly a lot less fun, than it was preparing for it!

    Of course the right wing talk radio and Fox News will continue to rave and rant. Most of the American people are smart enough to see through all that bullshit. It is interesting to note that they are already breaking ranks with the ‘Republican Party’ and calling themselves ‘Conservatives’. Rats deserting a sinking ship maybe?

    Lets get out, vote, and play fair!



  61. Hi Ladies,

    I just couldn’t resist your tee-shirt “Old Ladies Speak Their Minds – Deal With It.” I just bought it (for my mom) from your Cafe Press Website! My mom is 74, and as long as I can remember my mother has spoken her mind, and I am so grateful that she didn’t fill my head with ignorance and racism! I am forever grateful to her for arming me with a bullshit meter! Carry On Ladies— to benefit all the women who weren’t lucky enough to be raised by mothers like mine!

    Best wishes,

  62. Ladies, I love what you are doing- and my hope is that one day, in another 20 yrs., that I will have just as much candor, wit and wisdom as you guys! I’m getting there, one step at a time.

  63. Hmmm, well, I’m like the politicians – I’m not touching any of that with a ten foot pole either. But your point is well taken, that here in the US, we have hot button issues that the rest of the world tackles all the time without all the drama that we create for ourselves.

    mormonsoprano, I appreciate all that you said. But I did what you suggested and read and listened and came to the conclusion that the only right vote for me was for Obama-Biden.

    I won’t comment on the racism, except to say that I was watching something last night on one of the news shows (I get lost trying to keep track of which ones anymore, as I tend to watch more than one). They had two different groups, with the main difference being that one group was white (male, female, supporting both candidates) and the other group was black/Asian/Hispanic (male, female, supporting both candidates). They showed each group the same speech clips or news clips and then compared the reaction. The white voters didn’t hear specific racist undertones, while the other group heard “code” for racist remarks. It was easy for me to see their point. I am white, but my daughters have had many friends of other races/cultures, so it’s something we’ve discussed in our house. My oldest daughter was married to a man who is Asian. There is a lot in some of the comments about why Obama isn’t the best choice that has that “code” so the person doesn’t have to admit (even to themselves) that the real reason is race.

    At age 59, having lived through all the 60s civil rights changes, and being old enough to remember what it was like when restaurants and the movie theater were segregated, I find it very sad that we haven’t moved farther forward in accepting people for who they are. I remember, as a teen, I found the words or Kennedy (both of them), and Martin Luther King so inspiring. And I still do. It just shocks me when I learn there really are people who still can’t get passed the color of a person’s skin, or the sound of a person’s name.

    As for the age bias. I really don’t think it’s an age bias with McCain so much as a realistic look at what his age of 72 means. Apparently (and I wish I had the source), there have been studies done that show that those who were POWs have a shorter life span, especially when the length of time was longer, as it was for McCain. He has also had recurring problems with skin cancer that can mean some very serious problems could arise if that comes back. There’s the surface kind and there’s the kind that is deeper, and it’s my understanding that his is deeper, meaning more serious. All that translates to the higher possibility that McCain won’t finish his 4 years. Which then leads to his successor, Sarah Palin. So she does deserve the scruntiny that she’s undergone.

    I find her wanting on every point. Being the mayor of a very small town, leaving that town with a larger debt than they ever had (oh, wait, they had no debt before her), building a sport complex that cost way more than Wasilla could afford on land they didn’t have clear title to, and then being governor of Alaska for a short time is just not enough to qualify her.

    I don’t see her as a good mother, quite frankly. She has a lot of children, but that doesn’t make her a good mom. She has hauled those children all over, especially Trig, whose health as a Down syndrome baby is more fragile. The rest should be in school, so I hope that they are travelling with a tutor, but nothing has been said about that. Who knows? Anyway, back to the baby. She has no idea what is in store for her as he grows older. So she can’t use a 6 month old as proof that she understands special needs children.

    I was lucky enough to be able to stay home while my girls were in school – all the way through school. I realize that is a luxury that not all moms have. However, I have to wonder if Sarah Palin’s five might benefit from having mum at home rather than off running for a job she doesn’t even understand. She’s had several chances now to answer the question of “what are the duties of the vice president?” and she hasn’t gotten the answer right yet. THAT is highly disturbing. While it’s possible she might not know all the intricacies of life as a VP, she at least should know the job responsibilities for the job she wants.

    Religion? Hmmmm, I’m a Christian – a Presbyterian, to be more exact. I live my life according to the teachings in the Bible, but I do realize that there are those in our country who don’t share my beliefs. So when it comes to government, I wouldn’t presume to push my views or Christian values on them. Nor should anyone else. I don’t think that Sarah Palin, given what we know of her church affiliation, will be so generous with the rest of us.

    And who knows what McCain really believes? Just the other day on NPR I heard a clip of a speech from McCain back in 2000 when he said he didn’t want anything to do with the religious left OR right. He promptly lost that support when he called them the fringe (and he might have said lunatic, or something similar – I don’t remember – but that was his implication).

    It’s not that I judge someone on age or religion in general. For me, it only becomes an issue when THEY make it an issue, and McCain and Palin have done both.

    The more I listen to Obama, the more convinced I am that he will lead the United States in a positive direction as well as restore the world’s respect for us. I don’t think the rest of the world would see McCain as being any different than Bush, no matter how much McCain tries to distance himself. And I think that Palin must scare the rest of the world as much as she scares some of us.

    So, while I respect your point of view, I feel that I have honestly already dealt with all the issues you brought up, and it was so clear that I could only vote for Obama – Biden. Actually, I did already. My husband and I both filled out our absentee ballots and are ready to put them in the mail.


  64. Hello Helen,

    I am from the Netherlands, so not a US citizen.
    I would love to hear your opinion on same sex marriage and abortion.

    I’m asking because—to an outsider like me—those issues seem to be very central in contemporary US politics, as far as voting goes at least.
    They seem to be so contemptious that no candidate dares to touch them with a ten foot pole.

    That is very hard to imagine for someone from my part of the world. We have politicians and citizens who object to both, of course. But any politician who would suggest that either right should be legally limited or prohibited is basically laughed out of parliament.
    These rights are firmly embedded heer, and are seen as feats of the sexual revolution of the 60s.

    I’m curious to hear your point of view on these subjects in relation to the coming elections.
    I don’t mean to put you in a position that you don’t want, so if that’s the case, please ignore my question.

  65. Helen, I need one of your shirts in 3X. Are they available???

  66. Dave…
    And your point is…?
    Can’t speak for other posters but I have to squint, even with my glasses on, to read the TEXT here. All I can see in that itty-bitty picture of Mr DeCarlo is a kid with a ballcap on…

  67. Joe…I don’t necessarily agree with your point of view, but you are one damn goodlooking man and I, who appreciate damn goodlooking men, would love to sit across from you over coffee and listen to your POV…

    I know this isn’t the point, but it had to be said. You were all thinking it, don’t lie.

  68. After watching Chocolate News clip (posted by Judy in CA 10/25 at 1:43 a.m.) Jennifer just ask your grandparents to vote for Obama’s white half. Enjoyed reading most of the posts since I was last here. Even adds flavor (like cleaning ones palate) when the few ranters come aboard. Joe DeCarlo (Joe the Blogger) so glad you have not left us for good. Thank you Joe for contributing here – it is not good if all you read and or hear is just from your side of the debate. What is your blog about maybe some of us can return the favor and read your blog too.

  69. Nice to meet you two…….and not only do I agree, but I am reading onwards……..

  70. Joe seems like a really nice guy and he is certainly entitled to his opinions. But, it’s a shame he isn’t checking out the blogs of Vietnam Vets, & other veteran sites. There are huge numbers of Obama supporters, who have served in the military. McCain has not had important high level military leadership experience. This country needs a president that can impress the other countries in the world, not scare them. We have weakened our global standing and ally relations.

  71. Helen, I’ve never been to your site – but enjoyed reading your sassy post. I don’t agree with all of the opionions you expressed, nor with all of the comments – however, I appreciate the civility here, and the diversity of views. Joseph DeCarlo has made some good points, including that we need to focus on the President we are electing and not so much on the vice president.

    I think any way we look at this election and these candidates – the choices are really difficult. The lines of demarcation are fuzzy. There are many pros and cons to each, there have been wins and losses on the debate rounds, and each have their negative and positive aspects. I think we need to give due respect to each candidate for their success and leadership in life.

    What I find interesting in this race is that so often Racism is getting all the attention. We must take great care stepping over many other landmines of bias and prejudice. What about Ageism, and Sexism, and Religious Bigotry?

    Ageism: Many people are just naturally assuming that McCain will die in office due to his age, and that it is a given Palin will rise to the oval office. Being in our 70s these days is not a death sentance. My grandparents are still going strong in their late 90s. Something could just as easily happen to Obama by accident or design, and Biden would be taking over (after all, younger men die every day).

    Sexism: In my opinion, our country still expects a woman in office to portray the ‘battle-horse’ – with her non-descript conservative wardrobe, outspoken and ‘intelligent’ conversation, and work-a-holic image. Indeed, it seems she has to be more well spoken than her male counterparts, and avoid all girlishness and ‘womanliness’ in order to justify that she belongs in the ‘man’s world’ of Washington. As some have pointed out, Palin has very poor Washingtonian political skills and less than ideal communication skills on issues under pressure, however we do have to give her credit for being very driven and successful in her sphere. Generally, I really think she is a sincere woman, a good mom and a patriot. (acknowledging she holds tightly to her girlish grinning pageant training).

    Religious Bigotry: A lot has been focused upon the disturbing and questionable pastor choice of the Obama Family, and the ultra-Christian voice of Palin…but should religion really matter in politics? This was a very unjust plague for Mitt Romney.

    To Ponder: If we do not think that Racism is acceptable – then we cannot accept Ageism, Sexism or Religious intolerance to influence us either. So – how do we make the choice between candidates? We can study their health-care proposals, budget plans, military knowledge (the Commander in Chief’s prime obligation), how they handle pressure, tough questions and tough decisions, and international diplomacy. Yes, this is a great challenge – the media gives us only sound bites. We have to be willing to move beyond the YouTube offerings and the 5 minute CNN synopsis. Read their websites, look up their Senator voting patterns, and review their lives and what they bring to the table from their personal experience. This is hard for most Americans who are leading busy lives trying to work and raise families and pursue hobbies and deal with complex personal issues.

    So, we are all doing the best we can. We can say a prayer and vote our conscience. (or, you don’t have to pray – your choice) And we can be respectful of each person’s choice. Perhaps it will feel we vote for the “lesser of evils” in this one. Or, perhaps we feel fervent about one or the other. But, as Helen and others have reminded us – it is critical that we make a choice, and we vote. Thousands of innocent lives have been given for us to have that privilege. It should not be taken lightly.

    We are a strong country despite the difficult times. We are still the wealthiest nation on earth. We have gone through much worse and weathered the storm. We have survived some pretty shaky Presidents to say the least (hey, he isn’t a dictator – we have Congress). The goal, I think, is for all of us to stay calm. We need to take ownership in our country and our personal choice to be good citizens and not leave policy up to the politicians or our neighbor. We have a voice, and we need to use it responsibly.

    I hope my comment doesn’t offend or incite anger or get you sidetracked. I really appreciate the intelligent and calm conversation here.

    So – there’s my $0.02. (ok, it was long – more like my $0.50). Thanks if you read it.

  72. Joe, in a way I agree with you. Career service in the military seems to instill personal discipline and integrity in many veterans. Discipline and integrity are two qualities that have been missing in several of our recent presidents. But I don’t think that military service should be a prerequisite for the Oval Office.
    I disagree with your observation that Sen Obama has been ‘wishy-washy’. He has, in fact, been remarkably consistent with his message throughout his political career. His consistency was one of the reasons Gen Powell gave for endorsing him. Gen Wesley Clark has also cited Sen Obama’s consistent message as a reason for supporting him.
    Davy, if you would replace “Obama” with “McCain” throughout your post, then I would agree with you as well. You should attend an Obama rally if you can. I had to wait in line for a long time to get into one. The crowd waiting with me was very diverse, everyone was very friendly and everyone was smiling. I had a great time just talking to all the different folks as we waited. If anyone can unite our country, Sen Obama can.

  73. Wow, you ladies really caught on fire today, didn’t you?

    As far as the hating, I saw an interview on tv with some grandparents who were schlepped to, and the grandma had already made up her mind to vote for Obama. She said, at first she wasn’t for him because, well, “we are different…colors.” But then she said to herself, oh heck, people are just people.

    So true!

  74. Davy- You still out there? Wheew! You are articulate and write well enough you might make a living writing science fiction thrillers. You want to write about politics you maybe better talk to some real people.
    If you are one of those folks out there whupping up the working poor trying to get them to vote against their own best interests, shame on you!
    WHY do you think anyone here would buy that your remarks are colorblind, etc? Your tone is a more articulate version of “eskimo” ( posted here under ABOUT) -rotten fish covered in white sauce- or for the more articulate- white person with hate in their heart.



    Mr DeCarlo- If your mama ever had moments of despair about whether you would learn to mind your manners in public, I hope she is resting easy now.
    I’ve been hyperventilating so much the last few days I’ve run right up and stuck my toes into un-civil territory a couple times. You are a kick butt reminder about what all this hard work is supposed to be about. I don’t agree with you young man but my guess is we could sit down and chat for a few hours- flesh out our differences and find our common ground. You are the neighbor I want my grandaughter to shake hands with- across the many fences we have built- you are our future!

  75. I disagree with the premise that racism is “a part of who they are”. Racism is a sin. Racism is mostly just about hating people because they don’t look the same as you do. God created everybody and everything. So, I’m positive you can’t go to heaven if you are a racist. If your grandparents are religious (nearly all elderly grandparents are), then I would appeal to their religious beliefs, such as “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

  76. wow. that is a great post. I somewhat have the same problem with my dad. Only thing is that he will be voting and he is voting for McCain. But something he said to me just made me realize that my father is not only voting for McCain solely on his stance on issues and his policy, but also because Obama is black and his supposed relationships with certain people. Before this election I knew there was still some type of racism, but I didn’t know that in certain area’s it was still so strong. For me, it is a bit frustrating because race, ethnicity should not be the bases of voting one way or another.

    – Colette


  77. Thank you Pat and Joseph for the avatar website. Here’s hoping my avatar will appear with this post.

  78. Yep, some ladies are just bitches. No matter how old they are.

  79. Helen, what a great blog!

    Look at the bright side! If the grandparents can’t be persuaded to vote for Obama and would instead tear up their ballots, I’m thinking maybe this is a good thing! They obviously have enough savvy to recognize that the alternative of choosing the confused white guy with bimbo side-kick offers an even “worse” choice. In a twisted way, they’re actually acknowledging their own racism – just not ready to walk across the room. Hell! They’re only in their 80’s! There’s plenty of time yet for them to open their hearts to our wonderful diversity!

  80. Helen,
    Great blog as usual.

    Obama’s message has always been consistent — bring people together and find ways to work together to improve our country. Let’s leave the hate and division to others. That has been his message for years — no flipflopping at all.

    I too appreciate Joseph’s thoughtful comments. I am not sure how he sees Palin as qualified as he didn’t elaborate, but my concern with her has to do with her attitude. Not just her anti-women ideas, but her arrogance. When she spent $50K to redecorate the mayor’s office and people complained, she said “I can do what I want, I’m the mayor”. My fear is she will do horrible things as VP (or god-forbid POTUS) and say ‘I’m the Pres, I can do what I want”. She is ignorant of many things, but doesn’t appear to be getting educated about the world around her. She still inaccurately represents the role of the VP. She disregards science (those pesky EVOLVING fruit-flies couldn’t help people, could they?) and believes her God directs her. However, her God is not most people’s God, and she doesn’t seem to understand the importance of separating Church and State.

    Lastly, my husband served in the military, as did my father. I worked on military bases. I respect people who serve their country. However, it’s a poor reason to choose a president.

    Vote Obama!

  81. OMG, Helen, I am laughing so hard at your pudding suggestion that tears are coming out of my eyes!

  82. I love this blog! Thank you, Helen, for allowing all of us to drop by!
    Of course it is great to hear so many people share the same thoughts on both parties/candidates. It is even interesting to hear opposing views when they are presented in a respectful manner.
    To Davy (Oct 25 @ 5:16 am), I believe your scenario couldn’t be farther from the truth. If the country would be so deeply divided, there wouldn’t be so many non-blacks who support Obama. Listen (read) posts on this blog alone made by people from outside America. Sen Obama is respected around the world. I heard a discussion on one of the news talk shows about a week ago (sorry, can’t remember which network, much less which show – I try to listen to a variety of them) on which someone brought up an interesting point. Osama bin Laden would prefer to see McCain win because he would continue Bush’s war, thereby continuing the drain on America’s financial resources. Also, Bush is so hated by so many around the world, it is easier for terrorists to recruit new members. A few months ago, I saw a story on one of my local news stations about video tapes made by Osama bin Ladent that whad been found by some of our troops. There is a language professor in a University in northern CA who had translated them. On the tapes, bin Laden said that one of his primary objectives was to destroy America financially. I’m not implying that bin Laden caused the financial disaster we are facing now, but I’ll bet he is vey happy about it!
    Sen. Obama is a very intelligent man. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. On the other hand, John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 from Annapolis Naval Academy. I believe Sen. Obama is the only choice to get us out of the mess that Bush has gotten us into.

  83. LOVE the T-shirts!!! Thank you!!!

  84. A vote for Obama is a vote for humanity

  85. Helen, I’ve shared the link to your blog with everyone I know; not because we share the same politics, but because you amaze me, amuse me, and most importanly, you make me *think*.

    You rock!


  86. Don’t forget to vote for Margaret and Helen for best political blog
    : http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/19

    Keep it real Helen!


  87. (Seems we have more than one Pat, so I’ve added my state to my name, to avoid confusion.)

    Davy, how on earth do you think that anyone would see your comments as colorblind? Are you joking?

    Yours, as others have pointed out, are spouting just the sort of fear mongering that is sinking McCain’s campaign. Only McCain hasn’t figured out that is the problem either. There’s no reasoning with some people, I guess. I should be thankful that McCain is sinking his own ship, I suppose, as I’ve never thought he’d make a good President. If I had any doubts before this election, he has proved it with his own words and choice of a running mate.

    I really wish that the Republicans had more people voicing their views like Joseph, who has to be commended for bravely hanging in here where he’s clearly outnumbered. We still disagree, but after all the mudslinging that’s been on TV, it’s nice to hear normal conversation – Joseph’s, that is.

    Davy fits in the other category, and that sort of retoric is what I find truly frightening.

    Pat (*waves at British Pat*)

  88. Hi. Judy Kenju sent me. I’ve just read your previous posts too, and would have commented, but this one “only” had 80 comments ahead of mine.

    What great posts! And what a great amount of comments! It really makes me feel better about the world. There are that many people out there who more or less agree with my thinking. OK. It isn’t the world – it’s ME it makes me feel better about. Maybe there are enough of us to put Mr. Obama into office and brush off the terrible twosome. Please God!

    Thank you!

  89. Please don’t blame their age. I am in my late seventies, am British and was horrified by the inhumanity that black people suffered decades ago. Obviously I don’t have any say in American politics but I hope you all make the right decision and the past can redeemed.
    BTW my friend Kenju sent me.

  90. Ladies, I love your blog, your views, your voice!! This is my first visit and after playing catch-up, I feel like this is where I should have been starting my day :)

    You’re on my blogroll now so I definately will be!

  91. Sarah Palin is Anti Scientific Research: She made a major address and I can only assume that it is backed by McCain. Palin is ignorant! Please see and read the commentary:


    Vote Obama!

  92. Jennifer, Leave some brochures lying around from various nursing homes. Put a post-it note on top:

    “1. Talk to Grandma & Grandpa about election;

    2. If successful in convincing them every vote for Obama is important for everyone, toss the brochures;

    3. If they continue being hard-headed, give Grandma & Grandpa the brochures.”

  93. I have one more thing to say (after going back and reading comments!)

    My fiance and I have gone back recently and watched some of Obama’s past speeches. What has truly amazed me is the consistency of his message. One that we watched last night – it was from about one year ago – could have been live! It had the same consistent message and the same policy points that he has carried throughout his campaign. I personally see no wishy-washy, and no flip-flopping from him. I would hope that others of you who might question his stand would go back.

    Watch his speech on race, watch his speech at the 2004 DNC, it is amazing to hear him speaking even before he got into the race, and bringing a consistent message. Truly.

    Yes, I am a supporter of Obama, so I do have a bias, but I have tried very hard to be open to both sides. I watched all of the speeches at both conventions! I have firmly made up my mind by being informed. That is what everyone should do! Have open conversations about the issues! Make an educated choice that YOU feel good about!

    I will be seeing Obama speak in my hometown tomorrow and I couldn’t be happier. I know that I will hear the same message that I have already heard, and that is a GOOD thing.

  94. Helen: as usual, what a great post. I’m not sure if there’s any changing certain people’s minds, but the compassion you show here is the best way to try.

    Jennifer: as Susan said, just be thankful they tore up their ballots. Better no vote than one for McCain. Though I am curious if they decided not to vote for any of their local officials because of Obama’s color…

    Joe: as many have said here, thanks for presenting your views in a respectful way. I don’t know why our politics has to turn into us/them, wrong/right. We are all different and have had different experiences that shaped our political views. We’ll all learn a lot more from each other if we stop shouting talking points and start having civil discussions. So I appreciate your points. I disagree :) but I appreciate them.

  95. Helen – great post as always. Your paragraph about imagining what the world looks like on Nov. 5 when Barack Obama has been elected president actually brought tears to my eyes. I hope we get the chance to know what that is like – and to realize all the things you mentioned!

    Thank you!

  96. Hey Joe I don’t agree with you either, but you are more respectful than alot of other McCain supporters.
    I appreciate when a person can get their point across without bad mouthing others. Maybe you should be running for the Republicans.

  97. Davy,

    We need Obama. Bush/ Cheney/ McCain have been in charge for 8 years. We now have 12 Trillion dollars of debt. THE US RUNS ON OIL!! Oil is produced in Russia and Iran. THE PEOPLE WITH MONEY HAVE A LOT OF INPUT!

    Remember when Bush said during an election: ‘HE IS TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR SUV!’ That was about Al Gore. Stolen votes and a loaded supreme court crowned GW Bush – not the people. Reagan took off the Solar Panels which Carter had put on the White House. He did not like to offend the oil industry. Cheney had ENRON and the OIL boys make the present energy policy. RESULT: OUR COUNTRY IS BANKRUPT!!!!

    We need new thinking to get us out of the QUAGMIRE which the Republican elite got us into.
    McCain is another Bush. Palin is a joke.

    We need to move to green energy.


    Dave, Go back to sleep… The last 8 years have been a nightmare caused by GW, Cheney and McCain. TIME FOR CHANGE!

  98. Helen, I really like this bit of writing; and Joe- I am glad you came back for another visit;but Davy you have been disrespectful in a way that excludes discussion …I follow the nightmare you have conjured;but what would be different in your scenario if your choice were elected?Would his military history and savvy scare others into behaving differently?I am curious

  99. Davy, go back to the Alamo..Global view? You have no qualifications to make even modest, sane predictions, let alone the insane drivel you have just posted. The world is moving on from this sort of scare-the-people politics.

  100. Here’s a comment I hope you all will think is colorblind to race, religion, and politics, but I seriously doubt you will. Like Joey Biden said, “Mark my words”, mark this:

    If Obama is elected, you will see a deeply divided country grow even more divided. You will see an acceleration of civil rights taken away from people, and you will see the Russian bear and the Iranian madman move forward with their agenda without any action taken from the rest of the world. North Korea will reassume their quest for nuclear weapons and Israel’s enemies will feel emboldened. It’s no good to tell you to get your damn heads out of the sand and take a global world view at the ramifications of electing someone like Obama, because you’re too eager to show your friends and yourself you can vote for someone without racial prejudice.

    “Grandma”, this election has NOTHING to do with closing a chapter of American politics. It has EVERYTHING to do with keeping a man out of the Oval Office who has no businesss being there.

  101. I have always heard the view that Americans will never vote a female or a black person for the presidency.

    I hope this time Americans will vote for positive change.

  102. Thanks Helen. I never knew three of my grandparents, but I do know you now. Unfortunately in olden times (20th century) with wars and depressions the good tended not to live long – hang on, that sounds like now. I have American republican cousins who have scales so large on their eyes they sound even worse than Joseph (poor boy, to have a brain so uncluttered by useful thought and still have so much of your life ahead). My family were in the military during the 1st and 2nd WWs – there’s nothing to boast about. Just had to be done – well the second one anyway. Let’s hope the vast majority America isn’t like poor dog-in-the-manger Joseph. The world is waiting. We’ve cancelled everything, our holidays, well the pound-dollar ratio did that.
    You can do it America!

  103. THANK YOU !

    Meet Palin its not good.


  104. Oops… I guess Pat beat me to it. *grin*

  105. Thank you Cindi, reader, Maddie, Spdbeagle for you kind comments. I have my own blog and have never posted or commented on a political issue on anyone else’s blog before now. I must say, I was initially really disappointed in the way others chose to react to my comments, but am glad that I returned to read your fine responses.

    Spdbeagle, you can assign a picture to the email address that you use to respond to a blog. This only works on blogs that support gravatars. It’s free and you can sign up here (http://en.gravatar.com)

    – Just another Joe in the world.

  106. Spdbeagle, to get your own icon (avatar) with your post, go to this site, create an account, upload an image and it will show when you post using that email. (It’s easier than it sounds and it works on lots of different sites.)



  107. Helen, you are funny and insighful. You make my day. Please keep entertaining and inspiring us. You are like the Fruitcake Lady only smarter.

  108. Here is a better link – hilarious video!!


  109. Right on! He’s half white and half black. I’m Latino so I will vote for the colored half, and you white people who are scared of colored ones like me, vote for Obama’s white side. At least we’re evenly represented, 50-50, fair enough with me.

    Viva Obama 2008!

  110. Love it, Helen!
    Jennifer, as David Alan Grier (fm Chcolate News) said, “Barack Obama is half black, half white, vote for the white half!” Here is a link:


    BTW – I am a 61 yr old grandmother, and I can’t understand why anyone would NOT vote for Sen. Barack Obama!

  111. I hope we all decide based on how each of the candidates stand on issues. Foreign policy is one issue we need to look at. But to me the more pressing issue is the economics, energy independence, healthcare and education. Obama made a good point on all these issues. So what if he doesn’t have resume as thick as McCain’s? John McCain has an equally thick medical records compared to Obama’s one page so that cancels it out. And contrary to Joseph’s views of Obama being like Bush or Clinton who hasn’t served the miltary, I bed to disagree. Obama will not run this country like Bush did because unlike bush, Obama has that intellectual curiousity that McCain and Palin do not have at all. I’m done with the dumb president that we have. Cheney basically turned him into a doormat these past 8 years. Haven’t we learned our lessons yet? What more does it take?

    Despite the fact that he graduated Cum Laude from Harvard, and is the president of the Harvard law review, he still has that humility to seek advise from other experts. I am assured though that at the end of the day, Obama will have the intelligence to make good judgement on various issues. And if worse comes to worst, Biden is ready to take over.


  112. Joe, I have to agree with reader and I wish you would continue to post here. Admittedly, I don’t completely agree with you, but I applaud you for your thoughtful comments and expressing your opinion without trashing McCain, Obama, Biden or Palin, or trashing anyone else here. Finally, I honor you, SeeingEye and everyone else on here who has served and is serving in the military – God bless you all and thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

  113. Wow!! Love your Post!! Thank you, Helen!!! :)

  114. I have to ask those of you that have a personal icon by your posts……how do you do that??

  115. To Joe if you are still checking in here – I commend you for reading the posts here and responding intelligently. As opposed to the ranting of other McCain fans.

    I listened to republican talk radio today while out doing errands. They all sound so angry – all they say is same thing we hear from McCain/Palin. What is ‘wrong’ with Obama’s plan, all the false or half truths regarding Obama.
    For example the troop surge bit — it has been proven that yes he voted against it because that bill did not include a time line. Then McCain voted ‘against’ it because the second draft did have a time line.

    They never mentioned anything about what McCain’s plan was. All I heard was scare tacts – trying to scare people into voting for McCain. That is sad to me.

    I am only concerned about McCain’s age because of his choice for Vice President. Can’t even image her representing our country on the world scene. I can hear her saying to the Pope after he spokesuring is visit to the States “Good speech Pope” like Bush. Not to mention her understanding of how our system of government works. She said the VP is in charge of the Senate and helps make policy. She comes across as someone who is not educated, and is under read. Any question she is asks is answered with only a talking point which consist of why Obama is wrong. She is not qualified, in my opinion, to hold any position in government. Not even in Alaska.

  116. I love my Helen, that for sure! First blog I check everyday!

    But I have to say this to Joe DeCarlo:
    I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona, through all of the 1980s, when John McCain popped onto our political scene. I have watched his politics for years, even after I moved out of AZ to WA in 1989. He’s not the man we want at the top, no way. HE is the wishy-washy one, HE is the King of Double-talk…I don’t think he knows what “straight talk” means! HE is the one that is not reliable in his word. I could continue, but I won’t.

    I want to also be clear that I’m not against him because of his time in the military…I voted for John Kerry, for crying out loud…but the military has not made McCain a better man. I don’t think his military backround is a plus…it’s a minus in his case. It has made him more narrow-minded and fostered his angry side. Not qualities I want in a leader!

    Please, don’t trust McCain. He doesn’t deserve your trust or vote. Take it from someone that was happy to leave AZ and get away from his “representation” and policies.

  117. I love your post today!!!!

  118. Helen, once again, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your response. My mother, if she were still alive, would be 96. She was a life-long Democrat, but I’m not sure how she would have voted – though I do know that she had no use for McCain, and highly doubt that she would have thought much of Sarah Palin.

    What I do know about my mom, however, was that the older she got, the more her old views came out. While I was growing up, she was always very respectful of all people, and went out of her way to instill those values in me. I remember being surprised in the 60s at her attitude about the race riots. I was outraged at the treatment the marchers received at the hands of the police, while my mom made comments that just didn’t fit with what I thought she believed. Surprised and dismayed, frankly. There were opinions that she had that I’m not sure she even realized were really racist. It was the age in which she grew up, and some things are very hard to change.

    I do think that the suggestion of listening to Barack Obama speak without watching is the best. The first time I heard him was several years ago on the radio, without knowing who he was. I was so struck by his sincerity, his intelligent views, his reasonable approaches to our problems, his compassion, that I knew I was listening to someone that I would vote for, given the chance. It was much later that I learned that he was African American. So that, for me, has always been a non-issue.

    This is too long, but I want to second Opinionated Old Broad’s sentiments about Joseph. I hope he does return, and I hope that we can all be as respectful, without the name calling, as he was. That unwillingness to talk to those who don’t share our views in this election is one of the problems we need to overcome. Most of us agree that the last eight years have been something of a disaster. We need to heal those wounds so we can all move forward. Name calling, by either side, won’t do that. Talking and really listening, will.

    I do agree with others, though, Joseph. I don’t see military experience as a necessity or even as a positve qualification for the Presidency. But then you and I don’t agree on those Raegan years either – I see that as the start of the decline that we are now in. The time when we were all told that it was all about “us” and as a nation, we stopped thinking about how to really help those who can’t do for themselves. It was the time when the rich got a lot richer and the poor got even poorer, and the middle class started to disappear.

    McCain is part of that problem, and Palin can’t even answer the question about what the job of the Vice President is. She is so unqualified for her job that it is truly scary.

    And that’s certainly more than my 2 cents worth, I’m sure. (I’ve probably used up a whole dime.)


  119. Helen,

    Through this most anxious of times, your blog and the responses to it have soothed my troubled heart and helped allay my fears–misery loves company? I, like many others, was directed here by my son; and I became an instant admirer.

    I’m new to this blogging thing, but I have been appalled at the lack of civility I’ve observed in many of the other sites I’ve visited in my quest for comfort. This blog has really appealed to me because responders have been civil–and, for the most part, polite–even when dealing with people who do not share the predominant opinions displayed here–case in point “robsteeler” who just kept coming back for more!

    I disagree with Susan at 5:24 p.m., I’d like to see Mr. DeCarlo come back He stated his opinion without being condescending, intolerant, or snarky about other’s opinions. In his $.04 reply, he still refrained from the name calling and nastiness that is endemic on other blogs.

    Please everyone, we have got to start listening to well-reasoned, clearly expressed opinions that may not match ours. We don’t have to agree, but we may learn something that will give us a “Huum, I hadn’t thought of it like that,” moment to strengthen our own beliefs or add another weapon to our argument arsenal. Is it too noble to believe that one of us may give Mr. DeCarlo a positive “huum” moment about Mr. Obama?

    Enough of the soap box.

    Jennifer, have your grandparents check out AintFunny.org for some older American views that might appeal to them.

    And to Helen and Margaret, thank you for your venerable insights, wisdom, and enduring example of friendship.

  120. I love your writing here, I’m so glad that I found your blog. My grandmother and great aunts (about ten years older than you) were very close as sisters and I adored spending time with them. They were feisty and opinionated and loved to argue. I only have one great aunt left now and reading here gives me a much needed dose of some of what I’ve been missing so terribly. You make my day better every time I see a post.

  121. Another (20 year) veteran here to that agrees with SEC and D. I appreciate your .04 but totally disagree with you Joseph.

    Veterans for Obama

  122. One more Post.

    Racism, and Classism are huge issues in this campaign, and there are days when the media seems to downplay those things if not ignore them altogether.

    Just seeing the level of intelligence and care in discussing these subjects here, just about made me cry in relief. I am not the only one! Someone else Sees it!

  123. SEC- Amen. I served with a ton of jackasses when I was in.

  124. BTW, I was in the military too. I served with some real fine people who were smart. I served with fine people who weren’t smart at all, but good at heart–and then I served with some total, opportunistic jerkoff criminals–People that I couldnt believe, passed the psych Eval to even make it into Bootcamp, or OCS.

    A military Record is not a good indicator of Intelligence {present Commander and Chief as the example} or of Morals, Ethics, or even an understanding of the laws and diversity that make this country great. {IBID}.

    If McCain had been running the election he had in 99, I would have been working on his behalf. But the fact is, he sold out to Darth Falwell and Darth Dobson and became a proponent of Christian Supremacy {not to be confused with normal expressions of Christian Faith}. And he picked Palin–Things that you said about her here on this blog–many of the same things I have said on my blog–things that make her unacceptable as a leader of this country.

    The thought of HER controlling our Military just makes me shit myself in terror. I am not ashamed to say it. I would love to have a woman in office. But I would rather her be of the calibre and intelligence of Madaleine Albright, rather than Ms Piggy.

    Sorry for double posting but I had to go back and read the other comments. I had some things to add to my orignal thoughts.

    Keep Blogging! I have you on my blogroll so others can come here and read your awsome Stuff!

  125. Helen, I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. You show the young people that getting older is nothing to be afraid of. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. You are an inspiration.

  126. Helen, Your comments are racism are great!

    Laxatives though: I got ex-laxed by my siblings when we were young. They spend the day outside the bathroom door laughing while I was on the toilet wondering what was happening. They thought it was funny. I was so mad at them but could not get off the toilet long enough to get back at them.

    Jennifer’s Grandparents: VOTE FOR OBAMA! The Laxative treatment is the small reason for voting for him.

  127. Dear Margaret and Helen. I am only 37 but when I grow up, I want to be just like you. When are you two running for office because I want to go door to door just for you. Your blog makes me feel a lot less lonely, as a crazed liberal SAHM in a Red State.

  128. There weren’t enough laxatives in the world for my paternal grandfather!!!! He reminded me of Hitler and crotchety as hell. While he was alive, I made sure to vote… to cancel his out.

  129. Helen,
    Thank you so much for sharing your views with everyone. I no longer have my beloved grandmother on this earth anymore. She was a strong, proud woman and you remind me of her. Thank you for giving me moments where I feel close to her. You share her fire and strength, but with more colorful language than she would have used.

  130. I’m bringing my 81 year old mother her absentee ballot tomorrow. She’s re-habing a broken leg but would insist on crawling to the polls in order to vote for Obama. She also thinks Palin is a nut-job.

  131. Thanks Helen, for being right on the mark about racism in the senior generation. I am so inspired by your attitude. All of my life, I’ve been at odds with my mother over her racist thinking. Until this year, when she told me she — and most of her friends — are voting for Barack Obama. The best part is they are voting for him, because of the person he is — a leader, a thinker, a caring soul and so inspiring. They totally overcame that color bias.

    You are the best.

  132. Helen, I’m ordering from your store as “Holiday” gifts! You are a Hoot!!
    I mean it. Really. :-)

  133. Great advice for others of your generation…thank God I don’t have to worry about convincing my 79 and 82 year old parents to vote for Obama…they think he’s the best choice to be our president…they originally didn’t have the faith in our country that it could happen, but are so happy that it is a very real possibility. I feel so lucky to have been raised by these two wonderful people! I could have been raised narrow minded, hateful, bigoted, judgemental, clueless, selfish, etc……………thanks Mom and Dad!!!!!!!!!

  134. helen, wonderful post. i have a question for jennifer: are you sure that it is a race issue for your grandparents? you said you thought it might be; i think it would be worth asking. in my experience with “ripened” xenophobic individuals, a little education can go a long way (as previously mentioned). if that fails try to bear in mind that when you know better, you do better, but if your grandparents aren’t willing to learn there is just nothing you can do. it may not be a total lost cause but you can lead a horse to water…you know the rest.

    thank you, helen!

  135. If I could applaud and type at the same time I would be doing so! Very well said! Really.

  136. I love you, Helen!! I like to pretend that you are my grandmother, rather than the crazy fundamentalist christian grandmother I have. Hope you don’t mind! =)

    Keep blogging, you’re the rockin’ granny!!

  137. As always, you are spot on. When I read the post I thought of my parents, who were they alive would be in their mid-80s. They were good people of a different generation. And as much as they tried, they were products of their upbringing.

    I do hope that even thought Joe won’t post anymore, he will read along with us. The concerns he has of Obama, I have of McCain. I guess we all see things a bit differently, don’t we.

    I hope we are smart as a country and don’t repeat the failures of the past. Now is a time to look to the future – and make sure we don’t repeat our mistakes.

    Thanks for continuing to post. Really. I mean it.

  138. [...] http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/but-then-i-met-sarah-palin/ [...]

  139. Amen.

  140. Helen,

    You are awesome! Just wanted to put that out there.

  141. Thanks, Helen!

    I’m proud to state that my 84 year-old father and 82 year-old mother have cast their mail-in ballots for Barack Obama!

  142. Ohh, Jennifer, be grateful they tore up their ballots and didn’t vote Republican. Be thankful for that.

  143. Oh helen,
    You’ve done it agian, being the voice of reason I mean. I wish more people of your generation were as informed as you are. My grandparents get it, but I know many who only vote the way the churches would like them to. I am so sick of the one issue voters. Big picture people!

    Rock on Helen!

  144. Thank God Joe, you won’t comment any more! We have heard enough from the Joe’s of the world.

  145. We certainly don’t need anymore military leaders in Washington. We’ve got plenty. We need a man of great intellect not a man who can drive a tank — or a woman who can shoot a moose.

  146. Trey,
    I do not think that being ex-military should be the only qualification for president. If that is all you took from my comment, I am disappointed. Clearly, I failed in getting my point across. One of the greatest leaders in our country’s history, John Adams, never took a step in a military uniform.

    Let’s look at the last eight years. President Bush made some really poor and questionable decisions concerning our military. I think it is imperative that we follow up our delicate military situation with experience and wise choices.

    That being said, I think John McCain offers much more than military experience and his choice in Sarah Palin was a calculated one. There is little chance that a republican will get elected in the aftermath of W. Couple that with the democratic choice of a charismatic black candidate promising a lot changes, and the damaged population will flock to him.

    You may think that Palin was a poor choice for a running mate, but I disagree. I am mostly agnostic and don’t agree with her ultra-Christian approach, but Sarah Palin is qualified to do the job. Her problem is that she isn’t a good politician. Because of that and our media’s liberal bias, she will always be criticized.

    I think either candidate will offer change from the last 8 years. Just be cognizant that just because the situation has changed, doesn’t mean the situation is better.

    Ok… now I am up to $0.04. So regardless of responses, I will most likely not reply as I don’t want to turn this blog post into a debate any more that I already have.

    I do want to compliment Helen on her technology savviness. I think it is great that you are expressing your views in such a wide reaching manner (even if I don’t agree with them).

  147. It really frightens me to think of a candidate who’s been in the military. I’d much rather they had not served. For one thing, I think that changes their view forever. I don’t want war, and people oftentimes who’ve been in the military feel they have to explain their reason for being where they were. (Secretly, I think they’re trying to explain it to themselves so they don’t feel it was a waste of their life.) And so they’re pro-war. I want as far away from that as possible. We don’t have the right to police the whole damned world. We need to get that notion that we do out of our heads so the rest of the world stops hating us.

  148. OMG Helen, I love you!

  149. Joseph’s comment: He has changed his views and public personae throughout his campaign. He uses double-talk frequently. It has been very frustrating to try to evaluate a candidate who doesn’t say much. And the things that he does say seem to pander to the public

    applies directly to John McCain himself in so many ways. Talk about pandering! He bowed to demands from so many different sides trying to say whatever would work to get votes.

    And thankfully, it’s NOT working!

  150. Hi Helen,
    Just came across your blog and its really nice and refreshing to read. I’m not an American so I’m really on the outside looking in. I’m taking a keen interest in this election because the choice Americans made in 2000/2004 has impacted the ENTIRE planet in so many ways, I feel like I needed to look pay close attention this time.

    To not vote for Obama simply because he’s black is disappointing to me. I am really surprised at how far America has NOT gone since the Civil Rights era. I know some gains have been made, and Obama is living proof of that, but I’m surprised at some of the things being said about him in different quarters.

    If you choose to not vote for him for specific reasons then that’s fine, but when I look at what John McCain has offered the American people (let’s start with his choice of running mate for example) the decision is really simple!!…
    Obama/Biden 08!!

  151. Hmmm. If serving in the military is the best requirement for becoming President… we’re in trouble. Take a leap of faith Joseph. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  152. Helen, It is such a treat to read your blog. You have a wonderful way with words and I hope to read much more from you.

    Thanks for speaking your mind. Really. I mean it!

  153. Helen,

    This is the only entry I have ever read in your blog, but I wanted to chime in.

    I am not afraid of change, nor am I a bigot. I think that America is ready for a black president, however, I am not ready for Sen Obama to be it.

    It has nothing to do with him being a democrat, or a black man, or his father being from Kenya. It has to do with the fact that he is wishy-washy and I don’t trust him. He has changed his views and public personae throughout his campaign. He uses double-talk frequently. It has been very frustrating to try to evaluate a candidate who doesn’t say much. And the things that he does say seem to pander to the public. Of course 95% of us want a tax break, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do for the economy. Of course people are tired of being in Iraq and it was Bush’s bad decisions that put us there, but we ARE there…I don’t know that withdrawing as soon as possible the right thing to do.

    I can tell you what I am tired of, I’m tired of having Commander in Chiefs that have never served in the military. That goes for Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Having served in the military, I can tell you, it gives you perspective that is difficult, if not impossible, to get without having done it.

    I am not a fan at all of Palin, but that is more because I don’t agree with her views, not because I don’t think she can do the job. I am also tired of people using the age/die-in-office excuse to vote against McCain. So he would be the oldest president…so what? Ronald Reagan was only 3 years younger when elected and served our country for 8 great years.

    If it is a choice between a bad president with a good vice-president and a good president with a bad vice-president… I’ll have to go with the good president with the bad vice-president every time.

    My $0.02

  154. Will you be my grandma?

  155. dear grandkids and talented nephew. love the helenandmargaret store. suggestion? put a link back to margaret and helen blog from the store????

    helen – you might also want to mention to jennifer that she could offer to get them two more ballots and exercise their right to vote for them.

    seeing as how i don’t want big brother to come arrest me for voter fraud (i live in austin too – it’s not past ‘em) let me just say that in reference to paragraph 2, i’m kidding.


  156. I just discovered your blog today and have to join in the chorus of voices saying that you guys are totally awesome. The world needs more female role models like you.

  157. Helen,

    I’ve been reading your blog for two weeks now and I must say,” You are an inspiration!” I can only hope I’ll be as hip as you are when I’m your age. So bright, witty, and intelligent. Keep on keep’in on!
    Tell it like it is……….

  158. Helen, that was beautiful. I’d send it to my Grandma, if she went online. Maybe I’ll have to print it out and mail it to her.

    I always love reading your posts

  159. Helen,

    I have been reading your posts for awhile and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you. You are delightful! You’re my Mom’s age and she’s pretty cool too, but I can’t imagine her writing like you. I’m going to encourage her to stop by and visit with you.

  160. Some people cannot be untaught “hate”. Sometimes even children who do not know any better have the same hatred that is taught. What I do believe, as Helen says, we are about to make history that I, as a Black woman, thought I would never witness.

    I see someone who is ready to listen to the “people” not stand in his high office and forget what he had to go through in life to get there. I am tired of all of the aches and pains from the past 8 years (maybe longer than that in some instances) and I’m ready for CHANGE. Then again…some folx are afraid of change.

    Helen I am adopting you as my new grandmother. If any of mine were alive, they’d love you!

    Thank you for being YOU!

  161. … Whether you end up putting laxatives in their pudding -or not- don’t forget to thank them for who YOU are.
    I have a friend whose Mother- now gone- could NOT get over her childhood training… to cross the street and walk the other direction if she ever saw any of the Catholic girls in town out and about. This woman told her kids she couldn’t get past it all- though she knew it was wrong somehow – BUT she expected her children and grandchildren to pick up the torch and shine a light on WHAT was wrong with her ideas… and “move on up past her…You are your Grandfolks’ move on up”… Congratulations to them!

  162. I was just made of aware of your blog. Quite frankly, this might be the best blog ever. Just WOW!

    “But if they ignore you, you have my permission to do what I do when Harold doesn’t listen to me. Put laxatives in their pudding.” = Best Quote Ever.

  163. Rock on Helen, rock on!

  164. Helen, you are beautiful!

  165. Jennifer:
    It’s probably a lost cause… but you can’t give up! talk to them about his biography, his education (compared to McCain/Palin!). Show them the scary clips of Sarah being completely clueless! Get one of Barack’s great speeches on video, and ask them to listen to it BLINDFOLDED!
    If all fails, vow to never see them again!…

  166. For me one the most precious things is to see people remain in the game of life until the end. Seeing grandmothers and grandfathers graduating from college for example brings me to tears. It always gives me hope that I will never be too old to learn and in learning, hoping. Some folks get stuck and no amount of persuation will unstick them. Helen you’re quite an inspiration, thanks.



  167. Damn woman, that was a funny but wise as heck post. Thanks for writing it.

  168. To Jennifer,
    I highly recommend you show your parents the following website:


    Particularly the under the talking points section “He’s Black, let’s talk about it':


    That section addresses many of the objections that your parents can’t get around.

    I don’t know if it will help, but it couldn’t hurt.

    Good luck!

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