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The Tally Ho

Thursday, January 20, 2005

All about dialogue

or, Letters to People We Can't Stand.

This morning I heard a great piece on 848 about a Chicago man who writes letters to the president every single day. He confessed during the radio interview that he's pretty sure Mr. Bush does not read and savor his letters daily, but hopes that there is some White House staffer in a sub-basement who is reading and enjoying the daily contact.

One of my colleagues in my virtual office writes this in her morning greeting:

Good morning, Hand doctor then Admin, It's a sad day when a war mongering, would be dictator can spend $4 million on a party when the DC public hospital is closed, our children are not learning what they need to souvive, teen birth rates are high, HIV is spreading like wildfire and our senior are choosing medicine or food. Shame on G. W. Bush.

In my daily semi-work-related surfing, I was delighted to find new content on abortionclinicdays, a blog written by two docs who work part-time in an abortion clinic and blog (in a HIPPA-friendly way) about their thoughts and experiences at work. There is ALWAYS a debate festering in the comments section between the pro- and anti- factions, but that debate has not yet risen to a shout in most threads. I have a lot of respect for the people on both sides who are able to express their opinions without petty verbal violence; many of the people I work with have given up on dialogue. I also have great respect for the authors, who continue to post despite the animosity they receive on a weekly basis.

And, 'cause I'm not always as mature as my links, I want to share Maureen Dowd's column today on how Condi can't do math. Divisive, yes, but funny.

Also in the Not Dialogue category: James Dobson and his group Focus on the Family are attacking SpongeBob SquarePants as being "pro-homosexual". A lawyer for the multicultural foundation that SpongeBob is working with states that Dobson and other critics "need medication". Way to help the children, guys.

True dialogue requires honesty. When I listened (briefly) to the president's inaugural address, I was struck by how pretty his words sound. Respect for all citizens, self-determination for oppressed nations abroad, safety and liberty, etc, etc. It took me a minute to remember that all his promises have been empty in the past. We have the same problem with this president as most liberals have with the war in Iraq: we keep getting talked into giving it one more chance before we give up on it.

Bush has been scratching open the same frustration I have recently felt at work, with my friends, and with my family: it doesn't count as dialogue if you're the only one talking.


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