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My friend and I huddled together as our shifts overlapped at work this morning in the October pre-dawn. Though she is 23 years younger, our hearts are usually in the same place. We like to laugh and cut up.....have fun in general. But today was different.

She has fears that sometimes seem irrational to me, usually concerning apocalyptic visions stemming from a rigid fundamentalist religious upbringing. This morning our fatigued conversation turned to the war in Iraq..and to the election. For once, I felt the same uneasiness that she feels. We both believe that this war is very wrong and out of control. We both said "Vietnam" before the first troops ever left the US months ago.

The news that I read today was real and true and scary. I have a mental picture of those 48 Iraqis being mowed down execution style. They were on the way HOME to their families after being trained to defend their country during the transition to their elections, which still seems like an unobtainable feat. Also of note: a piece in print outlining the scarcity of radios for our civilian reservists who were pulled away from their lives and homes to support this war. Additionally, there was a story about how Muslims worldwide increasingly see the US as the big bad wolf seeking to eat them up. Heads up America.....Us and the Brits are the only dogs in this hunt. With Ms. Hassan's capture and pleading, they will likely be shaken in their tenuous resolve.

These are the facts of life in this conflict. There is hatred toward us as a nation for putting our guns in another country's business. The citizens of OUR country are not united behind this effort. We vote and we grudgingly pay out the wazoo to a government that does not listen to us. They take our money and run to the nearest special interest........This is not much more of a democracy than what we are sacrificing our folks to attempt to build in Iraq.

Perhaps the best piece of literature I read today was an endorsement editorial by my favorite newspaper. Bottom line? We need different leadership. If Senator Kerry is elected, he will probably wish he had not been before the conflict is resolved. But at least he sees the focus of our efforts as something more homegrown and USA friendly like social reform. Sure, he will be left with damage control, but President Bush seems dead set on proving that he was "right" in his hasty decision to revisit the 60's. Sometimes, the strength of a man lies in admitting a mistake and correcting it. Call me cynical, but I don't see that forthcoming. If he did it, I might even vote for him.

We do have the right to vote, assuming that there are honest people somewhere to count them and our nation is prepared to live with the results....."work the program" so to speak. If that "program" happens to led by a party other than the one we LIKE the challenge is even greater than if our guys win.. It's kinda like the world series. You've gotta be good to get there. But to stay there, hmmm...well. You gottawanna.

Ain't democracy great?

Keep the faith y'all. ^j^

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