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News from a battleground state

jamestaylor.jpgSinger/songwriter James Taylor returned home to do five free “Change We Need” concerts here in North Carolina this week, and last night I went to the one on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Thousands of people gathered to hear JT, one of North Carolina’s favorite sons, and to join him in support of Barack Obama. James Taylor doesn’t live in NC anymore but he grew up in Chapel Hill and as he told us last night, he still considers himself a Tar Heel. He said that it's so wonderful for North Carolina to finally be a battleground state and that the fact that we are on the cusp of turning it blue is “truly miraculous.” I'm grateful to him for coming home to help "get out the vote." The message of the night was “vote early” so that the lines won’t be too long on Election Day (since long lines might impact people who have to get to work and don’t have time to wait in line).

JT opened with a lovely version of "America the Beautiful" and then sang many of his best and most famous songs (Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James, You Got a Friend). He led the crowd in this cool Obama chant with a funky gospel vibe,which was lots of fun. He doesn't look quite the same as he did on the album cover above (which my parents bought in the late 60's and I actually still have) but his voice is just as sweet and beautiful as ever.

He saved the best for last: "Carolina in My Mind," the greatest song ever written about North Carolina, and just a perfect heartfelt song about that bittersweet yearning you can have for a place you love. I've alway loved that song and it's even the title of one of my blog categories!

So the whole evening was wonderful and inspiring, and I left feeling a lot of hope.

And then…

…this morning, I learned that yesterday, someone shot a bear cub and dumped its body on the campus of Western Carolina University in the mountains of North Carolina. Its body was covered with Obama stickers.

What sick #%^#$! I can’t even express how angry and sad this makes me. I literally feel sick on my stomach when I think about it – it’s the same way I felt when I watched that Palin video showing the wolves being shot from airplanes. Heartsick.

Change We Need” – is it possible to change the minds and hearts of people who do things like this?

Last week, there was some violence at a Palin rally here in North Carolina. A journalist was assaulted by a McCain/Palin supporter, who kicked the journalist and knocked him down. Then this past Sunday after Obama’s rally in Fayetteville NC, thirty Obama supporters returned to their cars and found ALL their tires slashed.

And now there's the bear cub.

Seems that NC is a battleground state in more ways than one.

I'm sorry, but I blame McCain/Palin and the Republican party for part of this. They are doing everything they can to appeal to the deepest fears of these sick and ignorant people. They are actively trying to rile them up and it’s just wrong. They should have to buy all those people new tires, in my opinion. But then there’s the bigger picture – what is wrong with the hearts and minds of people who engage in such senseless violence? Is there anything we can do about it?

The Daily Kos suggested making a donation to the Obama campaign in memory of the bear cub. It’s is a nice idea but it isn’t going to make me feel better about this crap.

Two more weeks. I hope that we will be celebrating but do we need to be looking over our shoulders in fear while we do?

Here's a photo of the crowd before the JT concert:

JT%20concert.jpg

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Comments (8)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, I am so sad, shocked and disgusted with who ever killed that innocent bear cub! That is so upsetting to me and someone in the McCain-Palin campaign should have immediately gone public to all of their supporters to denounce those actions in order to discourage any further similar actions. I really hope no further violence (taking of life) or other vandalism occurs.

That was so nice of James Taylor to perform those benefit concerts in North Carolina and very cool that you were able to attend. It sounds like it was a very special and fun evening. And I hope the concert's positive message and vibe carries on to the polls on November 4, 2008.

I'm still finding it so hard thinking about who could have done that. I hope they catch them.

Chiocciola:

Wow that is a lot of stuff happening in your state. I had read about the incidents separately and not realized they were all in NC. How sad is that. I have showed your early voting post to a lot of people, it is very inspiring!

I am also very disturbed with all of the hatred and violence. I have not heard about the bear cub. Is find it so ironic that the so called people with the "real American values" are those who are participating in these violent and hateful acts and are trying to divide this nation?? Colin Powell said it so well in his reasoning why he is not supporting McCain.

On a happy note, I am thrilled that you were able to see James Taylor. I am also a huge fan of his. He sang during the opening ceremonies of one of the World Series games in Boston last year. He is a huge Red Sox fan. I saw him a week or so ago on the Colbert Report. He definitely does not look like the photo on your blog anymore. Glad to hear that he is taking the time to support Obama! Thanks for letting us know how the concert went.

Thanks to all of you for your comments. I'm so grateful to have kindred spirits reading my blog!

Kathy, I agree with you about hoping the positive vibes continue on!

Chiocciola, thanks for sharing my post! That is very cool.

Girasoli, loved your early voting post too! I didn't know that JT was a Red Sox fan though it makes sense since he's lived up there for so long. He's such a wonderful singer.

Jane:

Annie, that is absolutely awful about the bear cub--the sickness of minds that would do something like that is very scary and makes one wonder what they are capable of doing to a person.

I agree that the Republicans have stirred up some bad stuff and have done so willingly and with purpose.

This is a sad time in the midst of such hope.

Keep on talking!!

Jane, thanks! It IS such an emotional roller coaster between hope and despair these days. I'm trying to stay focused on the positive but it's hard. And I'm trying not to fret about what the "pro-America" crazies might do next...

sandrac:

Annie, that is really horrible about the bear cub. The level of hate and violence in society is so alarming and this campaign (and I have to say, with Republican encouragement) is bringing out some really ghastly people. Shooting wolves from airplanes is almost as sick and uncalled for. I know there are arguments for culling wolf populations but I have never been able to accept any of these arguments.

One positive election note that I read this morning, was Colin Powell's suggestion that even if Obama was a Muslim (which he isn't) who cares? As Powell said: "But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?," Powell continued. "Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America," concluded Powell.

Well said, I thought.

Sandra, thank you for your comments. I LOVED those thoughts from Colin Powell; he is so right on. It was the perfect answer but one that McCain didn't even think about giving to the woman who said that Obama was a Muslim.

And yes, if there really are valid environmental reasons for needing to cull a population, there has GOT to be a more humane way to do it instead of terrorizing the poor creatures!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 21, 2008 2:48 PM.

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