I Met Elizabeth Edwards.  

Posted by Jessica in

She is kind, gracious, intelligent, honest, and forthright. Word to the wise: be careful who you ask to take a picture because if you ask the first person you see, this is the result:


Posted by Jessica

It's been weeks, maybe months, since I updated my seeing, hearing, loving, and loving sections. Check it out and let me know if you have any comments or any recommendations for any of the sections. One commenter, sage word, gave me some good advice on the New England area (suggesting I visit Vermont, which I intend to do) and I am always open to suggestions on tv shows I can rent or buy on dvd.

I usually fall asleep to Arrested Development, which can be hard because it is so damn funny, but I need some good suggestions on tv shows. I can list some of my favorites to help guide suggestions, if needed. :)

MTV/Myspace Presidential Dialogue with...  

Posted by Jessica in

John Edwards happened yesterday at the University of New Hampshire. I was able to attend and was placed on the front row (even though I had 2 Iraq War Wrong Way stickers on and a Code Pink, Women for Peace t-shirt). I am in a lot of the camera shots and some of the others in the audience put on some of the Iraq War Wrong Way stickers that make it into some of the camera shots. One of the students who asked a question had a sticker on but the camera shot is such that you can't read the sticker-LAME, but I understand.

After the event, a few of us talked to one of the MTV VJ's and he mentioned my sticker and asked me about the war. I will try to see if that footage is online somewhere and if so, post it here, but don't count on it, I am sure it ended up on the cutting room floor.

It was fun being at this event and feeling like a college student again. Can I be young forever? Please?

I am anxious to see the other candidates participate in this forum through MTV/Myspace. Edwards was the first, and as such, at a great disadvantage. But he did well, though his answers were a bit too long. The students at UNH were very perceptive and got what attracts people to Edwards-he is real, genuine, and he cares.

If you want to watch this (MTV has cut it up into several segments) you can go here. Look for me in the first row in a pink shirt, sitting in between two students wearing black, so I am easy to spot.

Choice and Accountability  

Posted by Jessica in

We all make choices we regret, sometimes we regret not making a choice, and even sometimes we didn't have a choice and regret that. But nevertheless, we are human and mistakes happen. I have tried awfully hard to not dwell upon mistakes in my past, as there is very little you can do about them besides try better. And while Maya Angelou's statement applies here, "You did what you knew how to do. And when you knew better, you did better", sometimes we know better but don't act with that knowledge.

Today many things happened which have been continual reminders about how, when faced with a choice, we must make the right choice, and if what we presume to be the right choice turns out to be wrong, be willing to be accountable for that choice. Too often we are quick to pass the buck, ignore the responsibility of our actions, or simply live in ignorance and keep making bad choices (such as McCain supporting the escalation), instead of looking foolish, if even for a brief second, while we admit we made a mistake.
These reminders today can be summed up in this picture with its caption. Let us hope and pray none of us are found to witness such atrocity, such pain, such suffering and not do everything in our power to eliminate it.

In case you can't read the caption, it basically states that the picture was taken by Kevin Carter, which won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. The photo depicts the 1994 Sudan famine where the vulture is staring at the helpless child who is about a kilometer away from the United Nations food camp. Kevin didn't help the little girl who had collapsed and cried out from crawling to the food camp.

3 months later after Kevin took the picture, he committed suicide due to depression. Before he killed himself he stated, "I'm really, really sorry I didn't pick the child up."

Extreme Ways by Moby  

Posted by Jessica

The state of my blog and whether I endorse.  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

My page hits/views is not where I would like it to be. Not that I blame anyone who gets annoyed with my sometimes infrequent blogging. I think leaving Idaho also caused me to lose some readers. I am still listed under leftyblogs as being an Idaho blog, though that isn't entirely accurate. I haven't cut very many Idaho ties and my interest in local politics is still very strong, but I understand why some Idaho readers have left. I am hesitant to list this blog under any other state because when I do blog about local politics, it will be about Idaho and sometimes New Hampshire.

On a different note, let me tell you how I have been struggling with whether or not I want to publicly, as just a blogger, endorse a presidential candidate. I think many of you know who my #1 choice is, but I still love all of the others and want to be able to write about the 2008 race without appearing too biased, though I admit some bias.

So for now, I will not endorse and I will come up with some way(s) to increase my page hits/views!

Cold Mountain and random musings about the war and work...  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Since arriving here on September 10th, I haven't had a day off, until today (though I have to email in my hours everyday)...I usually work a 9am-9pm type of shift, sometimes working later, though it isn't hard intense labor, though often times emotionally taxing, it's the reality of campaign work--long hours. So my blogging isn't as frequent as I would like, nor is it the most meaningful posts.

Last night I was able to watch Cold Mountain. If you haven't seen this movie, you must. There are many wonderful parts in the movie, but one part with one quote from one of the characters, always sticks with me. Ruby, who plays a laborer who helps the main character, Ada, states, in regards to the Civil War, "They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'"

Do I even need mention how this quote applies to the Iraq War? If you still aren't quite getting it, check out this quote from the Retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, "It's pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others, who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war, see it another.... We are about to...ignite a fuse in this region...we will rue the day we ever started."

The fuse? Oh, it's ignited and now there is a religious civil war in Iraq and I have to wonder how we can win a religious civil war in another country that we ignited by invading and occupying a sovereign nation. Please, tell me, 'cause I don't know how it is possible.

This next paragraph really deserves its own post, or a series of posts, but let's not forget the costs of this war. Cold Mountain was a grim reminder of what we lose when we engage in war. A mother who buries their child in the prime of their life. A wife who becomes a widow because her husband died in combat. A child who will never hear their father and/or mother call for them again. Sisters and brothers who lost that older sibling who provided so much wisdom and guidance. The cost of this war extends beyond the monetary costs ($10-12 billion a month!) and the non-monetary costs are what is most important and most costly to this country.

Indeed, the loss of one life is much too costly.

Associated Press runs story on my sister and I.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Award Cut in Mormon Church Abuse Case

SEATTLE (AP) — Part of a $4.2 million award in a sexual abuse-related lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been overturned on appeal.

A three-judge panel of the Washington state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday that the church still owed slightly more than $1.2 million to two sisters who said a Mormon bishop had kept one of them from reporting sexual abuse by their stepfather, Mormon high priest Peter N. Taylor.

More here.

Seattle Times article:

The state Court of Appeals has overturned a portion of a 2005 civil court verdict that found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints financially liable after a church member sexually abused his two stepdaughters.

The appellate court ruled on Tuesday that while the Mormon church still owed the two stepdaughters a little more than $1.2 million because a bishop kept one from reporting the abuse, the church was not financially responsible for the stepfather's liability in the case. That decision will reduce the amount that was awarded to the girls in 2005, although attorneys were not immediately sure by how much.

More here.

Also check here for more papers running the story.

College Democrats, Our Future.  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

So last night I traveled to Durham, New Hampshire, which is pretty close to the seacoast here, but home to the University of New Hampshire, which has a gorgeous campus. I spoke to the College Dems there about the campaign I am working on and was pleasantly surprised to see around 30 college Dems. UNH is comparable in size, or so I have been told, to Idaho State University and while the political makeup of Idaho and New Hampshire is different, it made me realize there is no reason why the ISU College Dems can't get more members. I just wanna say how impressed I was with this group and that I wish college Dems groups were treated better.

I had heard that when Howard Dean was in Pocatello the College Dems helped out and I was hoping that would mean really cheap or even free tickets to see Howard Dean but they were still asked to pay $15. That isn't a lot of money, but to some of these College Dems it is. The reason any of them showed up was because the President of the College Dems at ISU paid for people to go knowing many wouldn't because of the cost. This cannot happen. No event such as this, especially where these kids helped out, should be inaccessible because of the cost.

The College Democrats are the future of this country and of our party, they must be nurtured and treated with respect, even when they aren't the most reliable, when they can't be counted on for everything you ask, and especially when they say and/or do things you don't agree with. We are kids, we like to sleep in, we like to goof off, and we sometimes tell you we are gonna do something and then we don't.

I still remember us attending the Frank Church banquet in Boise and not being treated very well. I had two College Dems with me who come from other states (Utah and Nevada) and they both noticed the treatment and I was embarrassed that they noticed and I hope for future events, our College Dems aren't ignored and treated as if we are an inconvenience. However, some people treated us very kindly, like Allen Anderson and Rep. Sue Chew.

This isn't a bash session on the Idaho Democratic Party nor is it a bash session on the Bannock County Democrats, this is simply a warning that you can treat us as if we are stupid, you can treat us as if we don't exist, and you can continue to make fun of us, but do so at your own peril because we love our party and we love our country and if we don't want to help you, we will help someone else, just not the Republicans!

Please come to Boston?  

Posted by Jessica in ,

So this campaign ends December 15th, and after that I will be unemployed and homeless again. I have been thinking a lot about where I want to go, what I want to do, and all of those insanely important questions about my future.

About the only answer I can come up with is that I want to go to Boston. Will this happen in December? I don't know. I do know that when I want something, I get it, and there is nothing that will stop me. However, I am not opposed to going to other places and continuing to see this beautiful country. I like not being tied down to a particular location, and I like the type of work I am doing, but I also know that I can't do this forever and one day I will have to grow up and settle back down. Will I ever return to Idaho? Perhaps. Does everyone ask me about Larry Craig when they find out I came here from Idaho (kinda)? Yes. I am getting kinda tired of talking about Larry and the whole situation and I worry for my gay friends that this will make their fight for equal rights even harder.

I like New Hampshire but there aren't a lot of young people here and that may be the sole reason I am not really considering New Hampshire as long-term location.

I do realize I have some more postings I need to do about my road trip here and I promise those will be forthcoming.

When Dreams Come True.  

Posted by Jessica in

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had an obsession with Maine. It has been a dream of mine for a long long time to go there and that dream came true the other day. I present pictures from Maine, the York Harbor and Kittery, namely Fort Kittery.

I Met John McCain!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

He was very nice but his speech was just horrid. He stated that the troops want to win in Iraq (duh) and we should let them (how do you win a religious civil war in another country????), and then one of the Veteran's there said you can only support the troops by supporting the mission (barf). Everyone bitched and moaned about this Moveon.org ad and I just loved it, so much free publicity, thank you! However, they are detracting from the issue, which is the distortion and lies surrounding the surge. The surge failed, period, end of story.

So, here is the picture of Senator McCain and I. Little does he know....haha.

Cross Country Road Trip Part 1  

Posted by Jessica in

I left Pocatello at 2:48am last friday morning. Oh it was so sad to say goodbye to my friends and my storage unit with 80% of my belongings...But the world was waiting for me and I knew I had a long journey ahead.

I drove until I got to Malad, Idaho and then pulled over for a nap. I slept for about 2 hours and continued on my journey to Las Vegas. I got into Vegas early in the afternoon and was able to take a cat nap, pack my belongings and head over to my friend's house where he is keeping some of my things while I am chasing my dreams in the east. He made dinner and for the first time in over 2 months I had a home cooked meal. I then said my goodbye's and headed back to North Vegas where I loaded my car and started my journey.

I hadn't slept very much, even when I was on vacation in Pocatello, so when I got to St. George I slept in my car for about an hour and a half, then in Cedar City for another 2 hours. Here is a picture I took of the St. George temple.

Finally, I was back on the road and headed east. Utah wasn't as hideous as I thought it would be and my breath was taken away at the San Rafael Swell. Here are some pictures.

I then continued on my drive until I got to Colorado...

Colorado was simply beautiful and I spent a few hours there napping and enjoying the scenery.

When I got into Vail I didn't take any pictures because I didn't think I could begin to capture the beauty of the area with my camera. So, courtesy of google images, here ya go:

The next part will include more of Colorado and Nebraska. I didn't take a ton of pictures, so you will have to forgive me for that.

I drove across the country...  

Posted by Jessica in ,

and it was simply marvelous. I think the highlights were the San Rafael Swell, Vail, Colorado, Lincoln, Nebraska (I got to see a friend there), the state of New York, including Palmyra, Massachusetts, and finally getting into New Hampshire.

I stayed in Concord last night and will, at least temporarily, stay with a host mom in Concord, so I am no longer homeless.

I need to get going but I promise to blog all about the drive across the country (Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire).

Now where?  

Posted by Jessica in

Many of you have been following my blog and seeing all of these random locations I could be moving to. If you think it was bad enough reading about a different location, a different job, and so on and so forth every day, trying living this!

It's all but completely official as I will be moving to Manchester, or thereabouts, New Hampshire this weekend. I leave for Vegas tonight or tomorrow to pack up my car and then I will head across the country!

Any advice or anything about the move, the drive, Manchester, the east, anything? Uncle Rick, are you out there?

Iowa, New Hampshire, or other?  

Posted by Jessica

Well...I thought that by now I would be leaving Las Vegas and on my way to Iowa, but lo and behold I am still in Pocatello awaiting a phone call as I might be going to New Hampshire. I will keep you all updated but as of right now I am not sure where I am going.

Why Edwards?  

Posted by Jessica in

"Because he rejects neoliberalism. Because he preaches enlightened populism. Because he's running to the left. Because he would fight the amorality of the Market with the morality of progressivism. Because he opposes the Global War on Terror. Because he's getting better and bolder. Because he's capable of outrage. Because he's proud to be a progressive.
Because he would win.

"But one reason rises above all others: the stated and demonstrated rationale of his campaign is to fight inequality."

Hell yeah. More here.

This Seattleite girl, who lived in Idaho  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

for eight years and then Vegas this past summer is moving to Ames, Iowa this week. I am sticking with the current campaign I am on and headed to Iowa to organize there. I will be there for approximately 4 months and then I will be....?

This wasn't the original plan as I accepted a job with a presidential campaign but decided to stick with this current campaign and told the other campaign no thanks after I had given them a yes a few weeks ago. Ahhhh life, so unexpected, so crazy, and doesn't it make perfect sense that I am moving to the state that people can't separate from Idaho? Seriously, how many times have I told someone that I live in Idaho and their reply, "oh, Iowa?"

Bush is losing the Mormons!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

The title of this blog entry is something I've thought about before, namely when Cheney was going to give the commencement address at BYU in May and thousands of people expressed their displeasure. I can say with certainty that I have never been more proud to be a Mormon than when I saw the petition and read the comments from people who just couldn't let Cheney visit without a fight.

With Bush's abysmal approval rating, we all know how displeased Americans are with the job he is doing as President. Yet he still has around 30% of the country supporting him, many of whom are Mormon. So you can imagine how reluctant I am, when I go to church, to get into my job situation. I don't need anyone making me feel bad for my current job as someone trying to end the War in Iraq, as a leader in a local ward in Vegas did my first time at church in Vegas in July.

So today, when someone asked me at church (I am in Pocatello for a short vacation), what campaign I was with for the last two months, I was surprised to hear her interest. I briefly explained that a surge had occurred in Iraq and that we need more members of Congress to change their votes so we can bring our troops home. She then stated, and let me paraphrase here, "You know the Dixie Chicks? And how the one said what she said a few years ago? Well, I totally agree with her." This is a girl who is obviously paying a bit more attention than most (as evidenced by some conversation we had that I didn't include in this post) but someone who isn't too involved politically and she is totally ashamed of George W. Bush. I was surprised, elated, and relieved that more and more Americans are realizing the complete disaster this President is.

And it was just another sign that Bush is losing the Mormons and when you've lost the Mormons as a Republican, you've lost almost everything.