Champagne or Hemlock? Election 2012

Today’s the day and tonight’s the night!

“Why don’t you come over to our house? We’re going to have both champagne and hemlock so we’ll be ready!”

Today in the United States ballots have already begun trickling in from east coast to west. All eyes are glued to television and computer screens as we watch Wolf Blitzer appear in hologram, listen to pundits with bald heads, and enjoy our own commentaries in the privacy of homes or in public venues like good dive bars. The champagne/hemlock reference was said to a friend of mine by her dad as they made plans on where to watch the election results.

And that about sums up this last year. Judging from the vitriolic, heated comments and responses from both donkeys and elephants, half the country will end up drinking champagne while the other half takes hemlock!

And the world will watch, because policies and politics of the United States affect a great many people — either for good or for ill.

And with that I’ll sign off and leave you to ponder our Champagne or Hemlock election – the election of 2012 where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face off.

Happy election day 2012. May the odds be ever in your favor! Now – Let the games begin!

If you haven’t already seen this 20 second video, I think you’ll enjoy this 4-year old speaking for the world.


I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; to speak no evil of the person they voted against; and to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side — wise words from John Wesley penned on October 6, 1774.

The Galilee Scandal (aka Swimming Nude in the Sea)

Israel, Sea of Galilee (Lake of Tiberias)

Along with Todd Akin’s asinine choice of words we have ourselves another scandal – only this one is so much more fun!

Enter the Swimming nude in the Sea of Galilee Scandal of the Summer.

After a long, hot day in Israel, Republican lawmakers along with some of their families and staff decided to jump into the Sea of Galilee. Many jumped in fully clothed but one free-spirited Republican bared more than his opinions, stripping down and swimming sans clothes in the beautiful sea. He may be the first elected official from the United States to do so, but believe me – swimming nude in the Galilee is a bipartisan activity that has been enjoyed by many.

One group in particular comes to mind. The Middle East Studies Program that began in 1993 under my husband’s leadership brought students from all over the United States to study in Egypt for a semester. Included in this study abroad program was a trip to Israel/Palestine. A good motto for one most semesters would have been “What happens in Galilee stays in Galilee”, for it was a bit more racy than fishes and loaves. On a night with clear sky, a slivered moon and twinkling stars the guys in one group decided to experience the sea in a more intimate way – they swam nude (skinny dipped if you want to use the vernacular) While one of the women in the group guarded their clothes, the men enjoyed a memorable evening. It should be noted that their fearless leader was a full participant in the scandal.

So what do I think of elected officials doing the same? Good for them! Personally I don’t equate nude bathing to having affairs and sending pictures of private parts to anonymous ladies that you meet over the internet.

These people live under a microscope, their every word and sentence questioned, parsed, and diced. Within one day their lot can change– so argue their politics all you want, but for God’s sake let them frolic in the sea! Who on earth did they hurt?

And if, in the process one of them brings back some drops of water for a baptism, good for him! It’s a story their child will never forget.

Prides Crossing Politics

Partisan Politics

As I sifted through headlines this past week I felt this picture was a “must post”. Pictures paint a thousand words and perhaps this one belongs framed in the house and senate. The benches are at the Prides Crossing MBTA station on the North shore of Boston and as a local landmark have provided much laughter and discussion through the years. As you drive by on Route 127 they present a great photo-op, while at the same time you can stop by Prides Crossing Confections.  The message is that chocolate makes partisan politics more bearable!

My friend Isabella wrote this on her blog yesterday:

“This Canadian is fascinated by the politics of our friends to the South.  I don’t pretend to understand the complicated voting process, despite repeated explanations from my American friends. I’m bemused at elections that take months and years rather than six weeks. And I’m amazed at the colourful personalities and characters that walk the politician’s stage. And, yes, I wonder how some got there in the first place. (Not that we don`t ask the same question of politicians in the great white north!)”

She goes on to say:

“But you can laugh at reality for only so long. The sobering reality is an ever-increasing polarization between Republicans and Democrats. For every calm, level-headed politician trying to promote dialogue and compromise, there is another greedily seeking the day`s sound-bite to prove to voters that she or he will not waver from their principles. The current debt ceiling crisis shows the dangers of defiantly digging in your partisan heels. Refusing to work towards a compromise produces a stale-mate. Refusing to dialogue deepens the divisions formed by vitriolic debate.

There are lessons for us all as we watch the drama unfold….”

Thanks Isabella for a thoughtful post!

Bloggers note: For more posts from Isabella take a look at Catholic Dialogue. It has sometimes served as devotional and other times served as catalyst in my faith.