"There's not a Red America, or a Blue America, there's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." ---Barack Obama, 2004

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another hero rises up: Tim DeChristopher

This article from the Daily Kos was brought to my attention by my helpful assistant...we need more people like this to rise up and monkey wrench the system over the next month to combat these eco-saboteurs.

Remember This Name: Tim DeChristopher Hotlist

Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:58:12 AM PST

Per UTVoter's excellent diary, "Holiday oil and gas sale & civil disobedience" and the Salt Lake Trib article, "Impostor disrupts lands bid: Civil disobedience » U. student drives up bids, may face charges", Tim DeChristopher is a hero.

Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy -- and he's not sorry.

"I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience," he said during an impromptu streetside news conference during an afternoon blizzard. "There comes a time to take a stand."

The Sugar House resident -- questioned and released after disrupting a U.S. Bureau of Land Management lease auction of 149,000 acres of public land in scenic southern and eastern Utah -- said he came to the BLM's state office in Salt Lake City to join about 200 other activists in a peaceful protest outside the building Friday morning. But then he registered with the BLM as representing himself and went to the auction room.

I would love to post the SL Trib's photo of Tim DeChristopher right here. If someone could post it in a diary, that would help bring this important person to the prominence he deserves.

Effective Action

Not only did he disrupt oil and gas lease sales, DeChristopher provided an important and effective example of modern civil disobedience. He came up with a creative, effective, pragmatic solution--one that would not disrupt, inconvenience or anger the general public on whose behalf he was acting--and then summoned the courage to act on it.

Legal Consequences

David Thoreau would be proud.

In addition to disrupting the sales AND providing a good example of civil disobedience, DeChristopher's may have a legal consequence, which is in fact a customary feature and one of the points of civil disobedience: to demonstrate against law of a state that would allow a particular injustice to take place.

Most acts of civil disobedience lead to a night or a few in jail. In DeChristopher's case, as the Trib article notes, the federal charges may lead to larger penalties. Only time and the courts will tell what the outcome might be. No matter what, however, the risk Tim DeChristopher took on behalf the current and future general public for having "monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday" was substantial, calculated and taken.

Responses

We owe Tim DeChristopher a great debt of gratitude.

  1. As we follow this story, we should consider and act to raise funds, as necessary, for the following expenses, if any:
* legal defense leading up to and during the trial, * legal defense during his prison stay * fines * loss of income (if any)

Whether or not these funds are needed, IMHO, he deserves a financial demonstration of gratitude, to him or in his name.

  1. This event is also worthy on many levels of a documentary:
* To expose the Bush administration's 11th effort to enable private entities to plunder public lands and wreak environmental havoc pursuing more carbon-based fuel. * To document the sale event itself: the preface, including public outcry, including voices such as Robert Redford's and Terry Tempest Williams; the event, including footage of the protest at the location, and a review of the transactions and DeChristopher's involvement; the aftermath, in terms of what happens to DeChristopher and the parcels he impacted with his action, what happens to the other parcels, and what happends to DeChristopher. * To shine a light on modern civil disobedience. This country is in definite of information and educaton; i.e., voting is not the only responsibility or answer. Direct action and civil disobedience also have had, have and should continue to have important roles in civic involvement.

I will be contacting the following and encourage you to do the same:

Geralyn Dreyfus, Executive Director, Salt Lake Film Center
Sundance Film Institute
Robert Redford
Marshall Thompson, "A Soldier's Peace"

I urge you to contact anyone/everyone you know who could help make a documentary happen.

  1. It might also be worth considering raising money over time to one day acquire a plot of land near Arches and put up a small monument commemorating and expressing gratitude for his act. This may sound over the top, but raising awareness for and inspiring direct action and civil disobedience is no trivial matter, especially with so many significant problems weighing on us. We need activists to spur and accelerate progress.

Thanks you, Tim DeChristopher.

Tags: Tim DeChrisdtopher, Civil Disobedience, Direct Action, Utah, Salt lake City, Arches, Canyonlands, Nine Mile Canyon, Federal charges, Federal gas and oil lease sale, fundraising (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush's Boot Camp

Check out this new video game for some shoe flickin' fun! You try to shoot the shoes as they're being hurled at the President.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's "SHOETIME," baby!!!

Applause! Applause! What a wonderful performance! Encore! Encore!

Monday, December 8, 2008

If it reeks of EVIL, and acts EVIL, then it must be...EVIL?!?!

Ahhhh, so THAT'S what he's been up to, apparently, in recent weeks since the economy tanked?

It turns out Dubya has a "legacy team" together, bec
ause rumor has it that it needs some assistance.

Just a hunch.


What a sad joke. This team can try to churn out whatever hocus pocus crap that it wants, but the American people -
and the world, for that matter - aren't stupid.

Bush's "legacy," if you even want to call it that, will be fodder thrown to the wolves...and if you beg to differ, consider this:
the former Presidents that have always been the brunt of the biggest jokes, before Nixon at least (who had positive attributes, but still abused his power), have been Herbert Hoover and James Buchanan. Come on...remember your grandparents stories about "Hoovervilles" during the Great Depression? There ya are.

Bush's failures eclipses all th
ree of the aforementioned leaders, IMO.

Nixon, from my vantage, was simply a tortured soul who thought the Presidency was untouchable. He thought he could get away with anything, and was proven wrong as he was forced to resign over Watergate. He was an extremely insecure man who generally didn't like people and was out of touch as President. He would have fared much better as a college professor.

Nevertheless, Nixon still performed some tasks that are commendable, such as ending Vietnam (after waging a secret campaign in Cambodia, of course), signing into effect environmental legislation, and his foreign relations abilities were amazing -- as evidenced by how he handled China -- and are the standard by which all who follow him are measured...and despite it all I still do an impeccable impression of him, as he's the former President that entertains me the most.

Hoover, FDR's predecessor, sat like a deer in the headlights while the Nation slid deeper into the Great Depression...he was ill-equipped to handle the crisis, and stood in a mental prison of the cowardly ideology that "it will all work itself out," as Bush has essentially done today.

The only thing I will say, in his defense, is that this President was dealing with a situation that had no precedent...yes, I intentionally typed that so I could write President and precedent in the same sentence (yuck yuck yuck).

Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln's predecessor, sat idly by without any effort to intervene while the Civil War began...and while it can be argued that he didn't start that war per se, and that the issues of slavery and the related economics had grown into a bubble about to burst, he certainly didn't help matters by either doing nothing or fanning the flames as 1861 approached and the nation unraveled -- literally -- as southern states seceded and the war began leading right up to Lincoln's inauguration.

That being said, and despite having the lessons of history at his disposal, somehow Bush has managed to channel the legacies of Buchanan, Hoover AND Nixon at the same time, and in some ways SURPASSED their failures.

My first reaction would be to think "Isn't that pretty hard to do?" Maybe not...not if you have no tendency to see yourself and your decisions in retrospect, as that obviously seems to be a trait that Bush lacks.

Nevertheless, it is what it is...the economic collapse and Bush's policies speak for themselves...and while Iraq has not been a civil war fought within our borders -- in which Americans have bloodied each other up -- thousands of Americans, and untold numbers of Iraqui civilians, have still died. George W. Bush has lots of blood on his hands.

In addition, Bush has presided over the turbulence of this first 21st century decade thus far, and only fanned the flames of the deepest divisions in the nation since the 1860s...but the gravity of the American Civil War is made up by the fact that Bush ignited the Iraq War all himself, through mass deception, with some advisement from his cronies. Sure, blame Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove too...they share it...but the buck stopped with Dubya.

Then, when he's not deceiving the planet, he spends his time thumbing his nose at everyone who disagrees with him or "dares to question him." No remorse, no willingness to listen...only arrogance...just intoxicated with power.

If that's not evil, I don't know what is.

So I rest my case. Bush's horrible legacy will be the "new low" in terms of the low bar set for Presidents of the future...and he'll be the brunt of jokes for generations to come...that's just how it works.

I don't believe he's in denial of these emerging facts, as a team designated for the task of "rewriting history" would seem to indicate...and if arrogance wasn't bad enough, he's making every effort to go out with a middle finger to the American public by selling our environment down the river to mining interests, and appointing new public officials who seemingly can't be fired...intentionally making things that much more difficult for the new Obama Administration.

So...as far as that new Bush library goes?

I can't wait to relieve myself in a few years when I visit Texas...I'll be sure to drink lots of water and have oat bran for breakfast before I stop by.

And as far as the Bush team's efforts to try to "rewrite history?"

Uh, good luck with that.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

An Obama Thanksgiving 4 U

Here's links to all the latest and greatest in our new reality known as the BARACK OBAMA UNIVERSE...and yes, his universe has universal appeal...aren't I punny?

The following should give you something to gnaw on besides a turkey leg. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah unleashed!

So how's that Fleetwood Mac song go?

"Sara, you're the poet in my heart,
Never change, and don’t you ever stop..."

Wrong spelling of Sarah, but you get the idea...anyway.

She's the gift that keeps giving. She's the mustard stain on the tie that won't come out. She's the termite infestation that keeps returning to eat away at the foundation, despite continued efforts to exterminate...she simply refuses to go away.

...and I couldn't be more amused!!!

Sarah Palin might very well be the greatest bomb to go off in the face of the GOP...and as a Left-leaning Independent, I'm just crackin' another beer and kicking back to enjoy the show.


I really, really hope Sarah Palin keeps talking and blabbering away.


The more she opens her mouth, the more the oxygen is sucked out of the Republican room...and the more she sandbags the GOP's efforts to get breathing room to retool and strategize.

Like, for example, today...when she totally hijacked the Republican Governor's meeting and steered the biplane right into King Kong's swatting fist.


I love how she chases her tail in the spotlight, being the self-proclaimed "pit bull with lipstick" that she is...just chasing her tail...going faster...and faster...and faster! Until all the china crashes all over the floor!!!

I can hear Republicans seething with every word that comes out of her mouth. Even if Republicans start telling her to shut her mouth, that will only rile her up even more and spin her into new heights of "Sarah unleashed."


Perhaps Sarah's fire will burn out, but it doesn't look like that will occur anytime in the foreseeable future.

I'm beyond amused with this gift known as Sarah Palin that fell out of the sky. Sarah! Sarah! Keep talking! Don't stop! Go on, and on, and on, you little energizer bunny! Don't leave us anytime soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Revisiting MLK's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech

I find that many of us have heard about it, and have heard it referred to numerous times over the years...and many of us may have referenced it ourselves.

...but have you actually sat down to watch the entire thing?

You should...it's some of the best 17 minutes of your life you'll ever invest in.

It's ESPECIALLY interesting following Obama's election to the Presidency. You can see what Obama has referenced to in his speeches; especially in his DNC acceptance speech last August. it's fascinating to see where he's channeled MLK and borrowed lines from him, such as "NOW is the time."

Check it out here, all 17 minutes of it...actually, we should know the entirety of this speech by heart. It's arguably the most critical, transcendent, sweeping speech in our nation's history.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The healing has begun

As the dust settles from the historic election several days ago, my thoughts have been all over the map on the hope and possibilities that lie ahead for America.

More than anything, I keep going back to the complicated issue of race relations, and where we stand today. The lives lost in the Civil War and the family trees that could have been... the bloody and insanely protracted history of racism since... the civil rights movement and Dr. King's martyrdom... the misconceptions and gaffes I had growing up in Seattle, arguably the least racist part of the States... the Rodney King riots and resulting destruction that I witnessed firsthand... my conversations about race with black fraternity brothers in college... witnessing racism firsthand in Tucson against Latinos and confronting it... everything. Everything I've ever read about, heard about, discussed, or witnessed firsthand.

...and now what having an African-American in the White House means.


It means everything, especially for black America. I'm hoping it starts putting many of the issues I just touched on to bed, and accelerates the healing.

As Sheri Shepard said on The View, "No more limitations." A black mother or father can now look their kid in the eye and tell them that they can become President --- and mean it. It can't be questioned. It's indisputable. We can point to proof.

I believe Barack Obama has the ability to heal this nation in ways that we can't begin to imagine...even in ways that HE can't begin to imagine.

The light is shining in...let the healing begin!


Here's Sheri Shepard from The View, see below...but have a handkerchief ready, this is powerful stuff.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Relive the Obama Presidency victory announcement on CNN

Here's a video of CNN, covering the last minute before Obama was announced as the President-elect.

I'm glad someone put this out there...I have to say I missed most of the coverage after the announcement due to a bizarre reaction I've never had before...a combination of hysterical weeping and laughing at the same time...what one might feel, perhaps, if their team won the intergalactic Super Bowl.

A personal message from Obama

Checking my email today, I got this message from the Obama Campaign last night.

While I realize it's just something routine, it's the message I've been waiting to read...I can't believe that I'm seeing this...dear God, this day tastes sweeter than I could have ever imagined!!!


Sweva --


I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Barack

A chessboard sweep in Seattle

Last night was a FANTASTIC night up here in Washington State and in the Seattle area.

The following took place:
  • Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire got reelected...and I think we dodged a HUGE BULLET on this one, as Dino Rossi would have been an utter nightmare, like another Bush. He's such an ass...it's the second straight election loss where the guy's refused to concede...and this time he got his ass handed to him. So then, Dino, GO AWAY.....
  • Prop. 1 passed, which extends the light rail lines to Bellevue and moves toward completing a light rail corridor that links Everett to Tacoma. This is a massive, massive, move in the right direction for the region to alleviate traffic congestion...we have some of the worst in the nation.
  • Initiative 195 failed...which would have made our traffic woes even worse...it was a citizen-based initiative driven by our local village idiot, Tim Eyman. Let's just say it's a long story on that scab that's not worth going into.
  • Washington passed a death with dignity law. It allows terminally ill patients to get prescriptions from their doctors to end their lives if they have less than six months to live (from a severe cancer diagnosis, etc.).
  • The House Rep race between Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert still hasn't been called...we'll keep our fingers crossed on that one. Go Darcy!
  • ...and last but not least...Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America!!! Woohoo!!!

What a glorious day today is. These sorts of victories don't happen very often...but last night was a massive, massive victory night!!!

Puget Sound residents have invested in their future, and invested wisely...now let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Obama's win is an indescribable feeling

It's difficult for me to absorb the feeling I had when I woke up this morning, or even to describe it.

As I awoke, all I could hear were victory trumpets going off in my head...you know, like the ones from King Arthur, being blown by those duke dudes in tights with feathers in their hat?

Shut up...you know what I mean.

I opened the window and all the little creatures in the woods were waving at me as they danced in a circle holding hands.

Not really...but it certainly feels that way!

It's a beautiful day...my heart feels fuller than it has in a long, long time. Hope has prevailed.

It's a feeling that's been hard fought and won. After knocking on all those doors...after raising more than $1,500 for Obama's campaign...after representing him as a 41st District representative in the primary...after all the caucusing...after all the days of frustration...after all the days of not knowing what the future would bring...after pining over the future of the planet...after suffering the loss of a classmate in Iraq...after the thieves left us standing in our living rooms with an empty bag in our hands in 2000...after a razor-edged steel toed kick in the balls in 2004...after screaming in anger and pain all the way to work the following morning the day after...

...after going through all that...all that garbage...after being beat down so hard again, again, and again...so hard that you can't look up anymore...

...IT'S THAT MUCH SWEETER.

The dawn of a new day has come. I have a little more steam in my stride today.

Oh, and when the sun rose today, it looked like the Obama logo coming over the hill...how about that?

Not really.

Now the REAL WORK begins...let's get busy! Hop to it!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

HISTORY


The vote has been cast...

Here it is...the vote!

The day has finally arrived!

...and not a moment too soon.

What you see here is my actual vote for the U.S. Presidency from my absentee ballot, which I scanned before dropping it into the mail last week.

Tonight (God willing) we will have a new President-elect. Someone to hopefully lead us out of the mess we're currently in.

Better days lie ahead for this country and the world...I know this...I can feel it.

Let's just keep our fingers crossed and get the damn thing over with!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toots and my hair stylist: on Election Eve, it's all about them

Going into the last day before the election, things certainly aren't short on drama.

First, Obama's grandmother, who's lovingly referred to as "Toots," passed away today, hours before the election.


My condolensces to Barack Obama and his family...and I like to think she has a higher calling right now...somehow she's needed to help with tomorrow.

However, I can't imagine what's going through Barack's mind right now, and the strength and resilience he's putting on display. As if the road to Election Day isn't difficult enough to begin with, the guy loses his grandmother the day before...sheesh.

Be strong, my man...I know you are. We're all in this with you.

Then there's the story of my hair stylist, Brenda, who I've been going to for about 4 years now...not that she "styles" my hair, as all I require is a basic cut.

So...why speak of these individuals in the same post? What do Toots and Brenda, both who never met nor know of one another, have in common?

They share the same dream: to see Barack Obama elected President of the United States of America.


This is how I see it: Toots shaped Barack's upbringing and brought him to this moment to -- through a chain reaction, or network if you will -- inspire people like Brenda, who is a Taiwanese-American who was born in Asia and immigrated here with her family some time back, and finds herself now voting in her very first election.

Not only is Brenda voting in her first election, which was triggered by her registering to vote in just this last month, but she has engaged numerous family and friends in the voting process.
By educating them, she got them to send in their voter registration last month in time to vote in tomorrow's election.


...and why this election? Why now for Brenda? Why, in 2008, at this point in time, is she so engaged in the future of America?


Perhaps it involved a conversation the two of us had about six weeks ago about the future of America, the last time she was cutting my hair. We spoke of Obama and how we liked him, but in the conversation I discovered that she wasn't registered to vote...and with a bit of a perceived language barrier, or lack of knowledge of the process or where to go, she seemed a bit too busy or distracted to do anything about it.


So I decided to bring the process to her.

Following the haircut, I stopped by a library and put together a packet for her, with some registration forms and Obama propoganda that I printed from online. I even included a reader's digest version of the issues between the two campaigns as they view them, to provide both the Democratic and Republican perspectives.


A couple days thereafter, when I was passing by her work, I dropped off the information for her...I had no way of knowing what she'd decide to do with it.


It was only until I went in today, on the eve of the election to get my hair cut, that I found out the efforts she had made in the last six weeks, and all the other people she got registered to vote.

I told her the greatest feeling I have as an American -- as a free individual exercising my right in a democracy -- was when I vote.


She plans on going to her polling place tomorrow morning with her sister to experience that feeling for the first time. She expressed excitement about the prospect of voting in her first election as a free American.


I couldn't be prouder of her. LET FREEDOM RING!

Toots --> Barack --> me --> Brenda --> her family = 6 more votes for Obama.


GObama!!!

Now let's go out and win this thing!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's greatest hits...watch it!

Having been a political junkie over the last couple of years, and after following the Obama campaign's every move, last night's infomercial seemed like more of "Obamas greatest hits."

However, for those who were getting familiar with Obama for the first time, it was perfectly crafted...check it out here...it's the most valuable 30 minutes you'll ever invest in.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The new party: the G.O.D.

Call it the Grand Old Dissolve...G.O.D. Fitting, huh?

I never thought I'd live to see this. The Republican Party is splintering apart -- literally -- before our very eyes. It's happening from top to bottom, and everywhere in between.

EVERYTHING is catching up to them...FINALLY. The campaigns of divisiveness and racism...the corruption and putting special interests ahead of the American people...the manufactured wars and lies...the shitting all over the environment...the political hubris...the self-righteousness and arrogance...the hijacking of elections, God and Christianity...the lack of compassion...and the lack of a moral compass.

Coming off the heels of Dubya is setting the table for a perfect storm...and then you add John McCain, who the party can't seem to decide to stand for or against...and factor in how his campaign refuses to tackle any of the issues facing Americans, and all the racism oozing from their campaign while in the world spotlight...THEN bring in the grand 'ol crook, Ted Stevens...THEN factor in allegations (some already proven and some not) of local races such as the Washington State Governor's race, in which Dino Rossi's campaign is being looked at for illegal contributions. Have I left anything out?

Yes, I believe I have.

The largest factor seems to be the great divide over Sarah Palin...either you're for her or against her. Interestingly enough, a hockey mom from Alaska could represent the final blow to usher in the dissolve of the Republican Party as we know it.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the Republicans to cleanse their party and salvage what soul they might have left.

There's serious questions now as to whether or not we'll be working with a two party system after this election cycle. So what do I say to this?

Stand back and let it play out...LET THE PARTY BURN TO THE FUCKING GROUND.

I'll happily throw gas on that fire as I dance around it...but I say it with a little bit of sadness, in that the Republican Party in my eyes is attached to Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President...but it has become something that wasn't what he envisioned: tolerant of racism.

The Republican Party was founded on those principles of ELIMINATING SLAVERY...so it seems to make sense to me that if that same party has become tolerant of racism, IT SHOULD DISSOLVE. Essentially, it has run its course.

America no longer has room for racist diarhhea anymore...so anything that embraces it SHOULD GO AWAY.

So, as Democrats and Independents, what is our job through all this?

Embrace national unity. In my opinion, we should give moral support to our colleagues as they go through the process of the G.O.D. and receive true defectors with open arms. When things start to reform, we should extend a helping hand to include people in the decision-making process.

While it's obviously a democracy, an attitude of trying to achieve a consensus would be refreshing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Biden signs my book...thanks Joe!

I ended up at a rally today in Tacoma, Washington for Joe Biden...well, the rally was really for Chris Gregoire, Washington State's Governor, who's in a little trouble and needed a hand from the Obama campaign.

Well, I finished the event with a prize that I certainly didn't anticipate: I got a signature from the man himself.

As the start of the day, I didn't even expect to be attending the event due to 12 hours of moving furniture the day prior...and with a lower back that seems to have a mind of its own these days, I wasn't even sure I was going to get out of bed.

However I made it...in time to park and get in line...at a place called Cheney Stadium, no less!

I thought I'd add one more important detail about the voyage there...on my way out the door, I figured that I'd grab Biden's book Promises to Keep in case he'd be willing to sign it...that is, if the opportunity arose. I was partially kidding myself, thinking that there was no way such a thing would happen.

We arrived there around 11:30 and waited in a long line to get through security and in the door. There were no signs of protesters. Once we were in we made our way onto the field, and stood about three rows back from the podium on the grass.

There were over 14,000 in attendance at this rally today. You can see how close we were through the photos!

After Biden was finished, I tried to find a position ahead of the line he was progressing on to get a chance to say hello and hopefully have him sign the book.

I was right near the railing holding out the book at he was approaching, when a Secret Service Agent took the book from my hand without a word.

I didn't know what to think at first, wondering if perhaps they thought it represented some kind of threat to his safety (as if I was going to bop him over the head with it). I waited around the area for the next 10 minutes.

An official from the campaign finally arrived with a book and a banner in his hands...he handed the book to me, and I opened it to find Joe's signature on the inside page with the date of "10-18-08" written underneath...which was actually yesterday, but I'll give the fella a break as I'd imagine it's all very difficult to keep track of when you're in perpetual motion on the road in the last couple of weeks of a campaign.

What a cool guy.

Forget that I agree with his politics...the fact that he took the time and care to sign that book -- when he could have been using his time to address many more important matters -- is totally astonishing.

I have to give him TONS OF CREDIT especially for thinking of dating the book, which calls out a date approximately 2 weeks before the election...I take it as good energy from one thoughtful man to another... I was in gleeful shock and this made my day, to say the least...especially considering I woke up this morning not knowing if I was going to be attending the event.

I was personally very moved and touched by Mr. Biden's kindness. Very cool stuff...thanks Joe!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Does Joe the Plumber wear lipstick?

I just had to ask...

...but then I got my answer when I took a second look at his photo today.

The answer: NO. Apparently only pigs wear lipstick.

CHECKMATE


Obama secured the election tonight.

When McCain belittled the health exception with regard to abortion, in addition to his angry demeanor, HE BLEW IT.


...and we're not angry John; many of us are scared, worried, and depressed...so go shake your fist at another cloud...or go make more Halloween faces like you're doing in the pic here...nice costume, by the way.


Game, set, match...and Barack that's not being cocky, that's reality...so you be quiet too!


Barring something unforeseen, it's over...I CALL IT NOW.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coping with racism towards your candidate

As we near election day -- and McCain's campaign stops seem to only get uglier with racist rhetoric -- it's something every Obama supporter's going to be forced to manage for themselves.

It's the stain on America that doesn't seem to want to go away...the skid mark that won't come out after 10 bleachings in the laundry.

It's called RACISM. And right now, it's no joke.

While we've known all along that it's been inevitable in this presidential race, part of us has wanted to simply wish it away -- just hoping that it won't rear its ugly head back, and therefore won't need to be dealt with.

Unfortunately that's naive and wishful thinking...and I'm as guilty as the next person.

April 15, 1947

First, I want to go back in time...to a day that occurred over 60 years ago...April 15, 1947. The place: Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, New York. Some of you out there know where I'm going with this.

That was the day that the color barrier was broken in baseball by Jackie Robinson. It was seen as more of an issue of curiosity at the time among whites...and while it meant everything to the black community then, today its meaning is viewed as monumental as any event in the course of human drama.


I wouldn't say I'm a student of Jackie Robinson...however I believe I have a sense of his character, and I am certainly aware of the hardships he went through in the process of integrating baseball.


I go on the record stating that I am full-blodded Anglo, just so you know the source...but also bear in mind that after having worked in a tribal setting for 4 years, I understand what reverse-racism is...and that being said, I still know that IT'S NOT THE SAME THING. So take that for what it's worth.

At the time Robinson came into baseball, it universally understood at the time that -- in the saddest and most horrible of phrases -- he had the weight of the black race on his shoulders, so to speak. Branch Rickey, the GM of the Dodgers, chose Robinson to do this based not only on his abilities, but mainly his character. However, he had to promise Rickey that when he was antagonized by other players that he wouldn't fight back for 3 years.

The abuse and pressure on Robinson during this process was unrelenting. Robinson experienced racism in many different forms...the heckling and name calling from dugouts and the stands...a black cat that
was released onto the field right before a game...and the way runners would slide into the base with their spikes in the air, laying open Robinson's thigh.

What Jackie Robinson successfully endured -- keeping his dignity firmly intact while others around him stooped into the darkest of places -- was probably the most unfair burden put on any human being in modern history...bearing that unimaginable pressure essentially killed him...he didn't live long after his baseball career.

That's why we see #42 hanging from the rafters and walls of every ballpark, an honor that was granted on April 15, 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson taking the field.

Watching and living with Jackie through his pain and struggles, it's probably fair to say that mostly blacks bore the brunt of those times...so that being said, I want to fast forward to the present.

November 4, 2008

I believe, whether or not we see it, that Obama bears a similar pressure to that of Jackie Robinson...whether he wins OR loses on November 4...but most definitely if he wins the election.

I parallel what Obama is doing right now with what Jackie Robinson did back in 1947...there's some obvious differences, such as one setting involving baseball while another involves presidential politics.

If you look closer at these scenarios, however, you'll see that they aren't really that different. In both scenarios, a color barrier is being broken for the first time...and don't tell me that Robinson's debut in Ebbett's Field wasn't political. It was simply macro politics on a different stage. It still represented, as does Obama's accomplishments, accounts that embrace the advancement of our society.


There's one big difference this time, however.

Instead of just focusing on the black race, the effects of racism now involve all of America. Nobody's immune anymore. Accounts of racism against Obama are felt from all of Obama's supporters, and then some.

How do we deal with it?

Contending with racism is tough stuff for me and others that I know -- I know and maintain friendships with whites, blacks, Asians, hispanics, and native Americans -- who think of racism as a crock of diarrhea, which it is.

It's a dark, dark place for a person to go...but people go there, whether it's blatant or cloaked. Like it or not, be it family, friends, co-workers, someone on the street, or someone at a campaign rally, YOU WILL BE CONFRONTED WITH IT.

So what are the tools we should use to deal with it?

At first, you want to take on racism with a biting rage and anger, to snuff it out and shame it...maybe even pound it into the ground. These circumstances we are seeing, however -- racism bubbling to the surface in the media spotlight on a macro level -- are something new...and we have to adjust to the reality of what's happening, and understand why it's happening.


Here's my theory. The specter of an Obama presidency feeds deeply into the fears of some in this country. Some folks see a black president as a reflection of our country's identity being "tainted black" if you will...again, another sad statement. While I would like to believe most of these sentiments are harbored in the South, it's probably more realistic to assume they spider out to any area that was affected by the Civil War (that's based on personal experience...a conversation for another day).

For those of us who aren't racist and believe in Democratic values -- we just need to take a step back -- and take a deep breath. We do everything we can to receive the ugly divisiveness and racism of a losing campaign, and whatever comes after it, as something we should try to understand and respond to with patience and understanding -- with great practice...and great patience.

Don't get me wrong...these are exciting and historic times. There's some incredible things happening right now in our lifetime, and I feel honored to witness the increasing possibility that a black President will enter the White House...it's really cool, cool stuff. Spine-chilling cool.

...but as we take each blow with Obama as yet another nut job pipes up, I believe we will eventually -- I don't know when, but eventually -- turn a corner on the issues of racism that have plagued this country for years...and arrive to a place where we've never been before. A GOOD PLACE.

However, it might just be a bit painful getting there...and we have to prepare ourselves in how to react to racism when it confronts us. I believe we must listen to those who are fearful, and let them speak out. We should try to understand what drives their fear, and turn it into an ongoing conversation.

If we listen to each other and if people feel like they're being heard, then we can keep a conversation moving in a positive direction...and that puts us one step closer to knowing a world where racism is a thing of the past.

We must keep talking about this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

BURN BABY BURN! How 'bout THEM APPLES!

So how's that Hail Mary pass treating you, John?

Huh?

What?

What was that you said?

Oh yes, that's right.

So you and your staff did absolutely nothing to vett your Veep nominee before giving her the nod, and now IT'S COMPLETELY BITING YOU IN THE ASS.

Today is a day of serene beauty and poetic justice.

A state legislature report in Alaska just determined that Gov. and Republican Veep Sarah Palin abused the power of her office.

You can follow the developing story HERE at CNN.

Needless to say, this is damaging to the McCain campaign. Palin has now officially become more of a liability than an asset...as if she still had any value as an asset left in her to begin the day, she certainly isn't ending the day with any.

You know? This ride to election day is becoming most entertaining and fun...let's just see if we can riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide this wave through next week.

The queen has just been captured...the king's in check again, and we're moving closer to "checkmate."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

McCain's Temper

It's worth your time to check this out...another reason to not put McCain in the White House.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ELECTION COUNTDOWN -- T-minus 4 weeks!


Four weeks from today, we will vote for a new President. It's shocking, really, that it's that close...we're less than a month away. It will be here in nearly the blink of an eye.

Also just as important, we will also vote for new Senators and new Congressional seats.


If the polls maintain in Obama's favor the way they have over the last three weeks, it might make sense to focus on the effect you can have for Capitol Hill and filling those seats with Democrats and left-minded Independents.


If you don't know already, find out who your Senators and Representatives are and see what you can do. Every little bit matters, and you can have a much greater impact as an individual with those races.

Saying you're too busy or don't have time is NO EXCUSE. That's total hogwash. You can make time.

You do the math...can you spend the next four weeks investing in your future for the next 4-6 years? Because that's essentially what you're doing...you don't really need to crunch the numbers...so seek out your Senators and Reps and make some calls to ask how you can help.

Good luck, my fellow electioneers, and go out there and start doing your stuff!

Keating Economics

The video about McCain that EVERYONE should see...grab a cup of coffee and check it out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saucy Sarah sasses...AND GETS CLOCKED

What was that? The gloves are off? Oh no, look out now! We didn't see that coming now, did we?

Sarah, you're sooooo sauuuuuuucy! Or is it sassy? Can you be saucy AND sassy at the same time? She can, I guess.

Keith Olbermann was on total fire tonight! Here's the link to the Huffington Post, showing the MSNBC video and his
"special comment" on Countdown.

Nothing like seeing "Saucy Sarah" get clocked with a cream pie in the face.

Oh Sarah, quit your sassin'.

Hey Sarah Palin! I'm so F@%kin' scared of you...

We'll see if I can embed this properly....

Yahooooooo! Enjoy.

P.S. - R-rated for language!

If McCain wants to go nuclear, BRING IT ON

There's less than a month left before the election, and the never-ending horror movie that is the economy continues to spin out of control...even after nearly ONE TRILLION of our tax dollars have left our pockets to be pissed into the black hole.

Oh, and for the record; when it comes to presidential campaigns, the GLOVES ARE OFF. Palin said it herself...nothing is off limits now.


So that being said, I guess I have to take my gloves off too. When it comes to campaign issues the McCain campaign loses on EVERY SINGLE FRONT, such as:
  • Fresh ideas.
  • The debates.
  • Not calling your wife the C word.
  • Adultery...repeatedly.
  • Character. (uhhh, you think?)
  • Intelligence.
  • Senility.
  • Sanity.
  • Veep candidacy.
  • Veep scandal investigation interference.
  • Judgment.
  • Temperament.
  • Truthfulness.
  • The economy.
  • Reacting to the economy like a calm leader should.
  • Age.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Drug addiction.
  • Good intentions.
  • Not saying "Doggonit!"
  • That's a list off the top...there's more and more and more...
AND I'M BARELY WARMING UP. STAY TUNED FOR MORE IN ANOTHER POST SOON.

So...let's think about this. If you're running for President, and you're facing that sort of deck being stacked against you, what do you do?


You go nuclear and bark at everything like the local junkyard dog. You fire all your missiles blindly and erratically into the dark at anything that moves; perceived, real, or imagined through the warped kaleidoscope of delusion...and without considering the future cost to your own political career.


Only there's one thing: YOU BETTER BE SURE.


You better be sure you know who your opponent is. You better be sure you know the level of his determination, intelligence, savvy, preparedness, and resourcefulness...and that of the people he's surrounded himself with in his campaign...oh, and the same might be said about his supporters too! ;>)

If you live in a glass house (or seven of them), you better be prepared for lots of broken glass if you start throwing rocks.
You better be five steps ahead of your opponent, with numerous alternative strategies waiting in the wings...oops, that's right, the McCain campaign has only ONE option.

Again, if the gloves are off, then it goes both ways...NOTHING is off limits.

If the McCain campaign wants their opposition to focus more on just the issues, I'm sure they're happy to do that...but only if they and the GOP decide they want to move in that direction first, which doesn't appear to be very likely.

So if you decide to go nuclear when your king's in check and your time is running out, you better know what you're doing...and do it really, really, really well...and really, really really accurately...and really, really, really fast.

The clock's still ticking...we're 10 more seconds closer to Nov. 4...oh, there's 5 more seconds.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

There's No Good Reason NOT to vote for Obama...

Have you seen this guy's video about voting for Obama??? (The video is below...It is 7 minutes of time well spent.) This union guy is full of fire and passion for Obama and he is addressing the very real possibility of his union workers' racism translating into not voting for Obama.

Richard Trumka just skewers those racist notions! There ARE no good reasons not to vote for Obama....Mr. Trumka gets so fired up and that even brings a tear to my eye toward the end. I made Mr. LunaGirl watch this video this morning----and he could appreciate the impact of this man's words to that audience.

I think here in the Pacific Northwest we are a little removed from the overt racism in the rust belt and can feel good that most people we know, white and otherwise, are voting for OBAMA with enthusiasm and pride. 30 days!!!

Props to you, Mr. Trumka! GObama!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blind Spots

Today's a good day.

While it seemed like a rather uneventful debate last night with no knockout punches or serious Palin goofs, I believe it represents more than meets the eye.

I give the debate to Biden on the substance...Palin had no substance, and I could tell she ran into what I call "blind spots."


Blind spots, in public speaking terms, usually occur when you either need to cram for an engagement, are overloaded, caught off guard, unprepared, or just plain nervous.

I know about this from my experience in my early days as a city planner, when I was uncomfortable with public speaking and had to go before the planning commission and city council in public hearings. You get to the podium, and draw a complete blank on certain subjects that aren't in your notes...or a question catches you off guard...so you tend to conjur up what you know, and keep going back to it.


I could see that happening to Palin last night...I could see it in her face, in addition to what she was saying (Colorado Jyms calls these "software loops" over at The Rant from Boulder).

The only difference between my job experience and Palin's debating was that I didn't have the luxury of going off-topic, and I had better know what I was talking about. I didn't have the luxury of knowing what questions I was going to be asked in advance of the meeting...and I didn't have the luxury of spewing fluff out of my mouth. If I goofed big, my job could easily be on the line.

The Obama campaign scored a BIG victory in the Veep debate...by all accounts, Palin had very little if no impact...and now the focus shifts back to the front runners, and Obama is up in the polls with a month left before the election. He has the wind of the economic issues blowing his momentum from behind.

The specter of a McCain presidency seems to keep slipping away, day by day.

Today's a good day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Watch CNBC if you're worried

If you have any interest in what's happening with the recent stock market collapse and its domino effect on markets around the world, watch CNBC.

The U.S. collapse is affecting markets all over the world. Banks all over Europe are failing and needing to be bailed out...the most recent action of stabilization I'm seeing is from the Belgian government.

Why this is happening at the depth it is in Europe, I don't really understand why...I don't claim to be an economist or understand this stuff.

It should give you an accurate pulse on that theory that "when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold."

...but sit back for a minute and ask yourself: "Why is this happening? What are we witnessing? Where is this headed?"

If you're worried about what's going on right now, talk to your financial adviser...and if that adviser is your common sense, then follow that adviser.

Pay off all your debts...that means student loans and credit cards...then it's commodities and bonds, baby.

I'll see you when I'm on the rooftop of my place sitting on a pile of cash with a shotgun in one hand and a bottle of Jack in the other.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friendly reminder to GOP: No earpieces in the debates, please.

The subject of whether or not Dubya was wearing an earpiece at a 2004 presidential debate with John Kerry is certainly in question, as you'll see in this video.

Note his head & shoulder mannerisms, and how he proclaims (after saying nothing at all, except for fumbled words): "Let me finish!"

Hello? Aren't there rules at these things? It's all VERY suspect, if you ask me.

If it's ever proven that Bush did in fact wear such a thing in one of the debates, it could guillotine an already destroyed legacy...however where it begs an interesting question is with the upcoming Veep debate.

If Palin is as clueless and flustered as she appears to be in a simple interview, it might be something to look for in a debate with Joe Biden...something to think about. Everyone bring your radio jamming devices!

Remember! McCain's health is still in question.

Colorado Jyms over at The Rant from Boulder posted this last Thursday, and I thought it was important enough of a reminder that I should put it up as well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's McCain's next stunt?

If your brain hasn't already popped a blood vessel from the theatrics of this week, here's another something for you to ponder over...from a website begging the question about what McCain's next stunt will be!

What will it be???

1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.
2. Offers the post of "vice vice president" to Warren Buffett.
3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.
4. Learns to use computer.
5. Does bombing run over Taliban-controlled tribal areas of Pakistan.
6. Offers to forgo salary, sell one house.
7. Sex-change operation.
8. Suspends campaign until Nov. 4, offers to start being president right now.
9. Sells Alaska to Russia for $700 billion.
10. Pledges to serve only one term. OK, half a term.

Do you have an idea for McCain's next campaign stunt? Send it to us at NextMcCainStunt@gmail.com, and we will publish the best ideas. E-mails may be quoted by name unless you indicate otherwise.

Gotta go...time for the first Presidential debate! S