Here’s a short little ditty for your consideration…
My youngest sister once asked my mom what the difference between a republican and a democrat was.
she answered with this story…
Apr 21 2008
Somebody once told me that yawning was a sign of contempt. So pardon me while I yawn about the Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana primaries and any other ones that might be coming. And pardon me while I yawn about those anti-democratic superdelegates and their views And the polling. And the delegate counts. And the diaries about people who won’t vote for Obama. Or Hillary. And the diaries about how wonderful Hillary is. And Obama. And the speculation about the remaining endorsements (Al Gore, John Edwards, Mr. Magoo). And the talk about the recent ABC “debate.” And the talk about the brokered/open convention. This stuff has turned into something stronger than SominexTM. I’m yawning uncontrollably. I’m amazed, however, that my yawn apparently isn’t triggering widespread yawns across the country, throughout left Blogsylvania, and beyond.
I have intense, incurable primary fatigue. My span of attention expired weeks and weeks ago, when it was clear to me that Obama would and should be the nominee and that Hillary was too powerful with insiders and attachment just to stop campaigning. I don’t care if it was clear to the candidates, because despite the obvious circumstances Hillary isn’t dropping out of anything. And so, she slogs on. Slogging tomorrow through Pennsylvania, and on to the next bog. And those of us in the typing classes, what about us? She can slog all she wants,but I’m done with this. Done until there’s a nominee. Finished until after the convention. And I don’t want to hear anything more about it until the primary race is over.
I’m yawning so hard my jaw and my temples hurt. And so I’m going on to the next things. Of cours, I’m inviting you all to come with me. In that way this is a Hello Cruel World Diary, a diary in which we step back from the screen and look around at the world outside it.
*Baseball season is underway. When you watch or listen to the game, it’s about balls and strikes and mostly about making outs. The strategy has been the same for a century. Let’s play ball. Going to the ballpark is great. Even sitting in front of the TV is fine. Listening on the radio is old school. And you know what? They never mention the primaries. Perfect.
*I’m returning to reading short stories by Jorge Luis Borges. Two I love are The Zahir and its opposite, The Aleph. These are particularly good now, because last week, unbeknownst to us in the US Buenos Aires was smothered in smoke. We didn’t know about this, did we. Why? Well, it’s the primary season and our world view (like the Zahir) appears to have become locked on Pennsylvania to the exclusion of the rest of the Universe, especially Argentina, which we ignore even on a good day.
*I’m stepping away from the keyboard and going for a long walk. With my dog. Yesterday, I heard a bullfrog for the first time this Spring season. If I had been sitting at the keyboard, as I am now, I would have missed this. Or forgotten it. Or assumed that it was just something else I wasn’t paying attention to. Yesterday, I was wondering why my dog seemed slightly forlorn. Maybe it was because she doesn’t give a damn about the primaries and would rather look for rabbits. And to do that, she prefers to have me along to stir them up.
*For now, I’m avoiding all essays and diaries about the candidates. I’m going to go back to reading and writing about other stuff. Latin America. Torture. The law. Anything but the primaries.
I invite you all to join me. Enough is certainly enough. I know I can be
a good an excellent Progressive by turning my attention elsewhere. And I’m going to do just that.
Apr 21 2008
There is still no word regarding the whereabouts of Jamyang Kyi, the Tibetan journalist, singer and author who has been detained by Chinese authorities according to her husband:
Her husband, Lamao Jia, told The Associated Press she was first detained on April 1 and has not been seen since April 7. He said he didn’t know who had taken his wife into custody.
Described as “apolitical”, Jamyang Kyi focuses on the issues of Tibetan culture and women’s rights. This YouTube gives on a flavor of the type of creative work she produces:
Reporters Without Borders has issued a statement calling on the European Union to intercede on her behalf: http://www.rsf.org/article.php…
While Jamyang Kyi uses the language of song to try to build cultural understanding, Duke University student Grace Wang, from Qingdao, China, attempted to use the language of reconciliation and understanding to bridge the gap between pro-Tibet and pro-China groups on campus.
She is now the victim of a vicious online attack for speaking out.
Mar 26 2008
With every speech Bill Clinton and Hillary count their wins and in that count is Michigan and Florida. Is it not a bit delusional to count those contests? And of course the Clinton campaign wants it to appear that the DNC is screwing the people of those states out of their votes. But wait! Is not one of the tenets of politics is that the we take responsibility for out actions? If so then these states have NO ONE to blame but their own state apparatus. They tried to call the “bluff” of the DNC and they will lose.
When will the Clintonistas gonna realize that Bill is a blow hard (no pun intended) and a con artist. He was as prez and he is still that con artist. The voter needs to place the blame where it belongs, with their state DNC. Clintons are desperate at this point and will try any tactic, and I mean ANY tactic to try and close the gap on Obama.
Bill is trying tho foment rebellion within the party by saying such delusional crap as “the Party is dumping on the Florida voter”. Sorry people their state reps dumped on them, please place the blame where it is deserved. Bill keeps shouting his arrogance at the people that it will be their fault if Hil loses. That they HAVE to win. Or anything similar. It is him saying that it is their birthright to be in the WH.
I will wait and see if the American people are as gullible as I hope they are not.
Mar 26 2008
Today Tom Hayden, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Barbara Ehrenreich and Danny Glover published a open letter to American progressives urging them to join them and support Barack Obama. Why? Because Obama’s campaign is a movement.
We intend to join and engage with our brothers and sisters in the vast rainbow of social movements to come together in support of Obama’s unprecedented campaign and candidacy. Even though it is candidate-centered, there is no doubt that the campaign is a social movement, one greater than the candidate himself ever imagined
I think this is a very important letter and I’ll take a deeper look at it in this essay.
Mar 22 2008
8 weeks ago today in a blog on DailyKos and many other sites I posted a proposal for a Obamathon fundraising drive to help Barack Obama win in the first Super Tuesday (February 5th). Since then 896 people have donated $48,771 dollars via that page and Obama has gone from a underdog to a clear front runner within reach of the nomination.
But there is still work to do to get there. Obama has to run two campaigns at once. He still has to win the Democratic nomination and also he has to run against Senator McCain. He is facing a two front battle. It is still a uphill fight but it can be won.
So I’m relaunching the Obamathon as the Obamathon 2.0 (real original name I know) and setting a new goal of $100,000 by April 22, the day of the next primary.
Feb 21 2008
David Sirota has a very interesting article in the February edition of In These Times. It is also available for viewing online.
While I don’t agree with everything he says in it I think it is a good point to bring up and a fascinating article. In it he talks about why “Empowering Capitol Hill progressives is just as important as presidental campaign platforms.”
It is a good start to the broader discussion of what the end results of each canidate would be. A discussion that should not only include congress and platforms but also electoral coattails and working style among other things. But those will have to later. In this essay I will just be focusing on the arguments Sirota makes.
Feb 20 2008
Over three weeks ago in a posting on DailyKos and other political blogs I launched the Obamathon. A drive to help Barack Obama win on February 5th. Twenty-two states voted that day so it is hard to firmly say who won and who lost but when this campaign started over a year ago I never would have dreamed that we would do so well. Since then eight states have voted and every single one has handed Obama a victory. Now we are hearing that Obama will win Wisconsin, we will see how that plays out. Later tonight the polls will close in Hawai’i and we will see how Obama does there.
But no matter what the final results of those states are one thing is clear. We must March 4th Together for Barack Obama. What does this mean? It means on March 4th four states will vote. Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas. It means whatever happens tonight and until then we must keep it going, we must March 4th. And we must do it together. That’s why I’m relaunching the Obamathon as the March 4th Together for Obama fundraising drive.
Feb 16 2008
Barack Obama quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr a lot on the campaign trail. Particularly he says a lot about how he is running because of what Dr. King called the “the fierce urgency of now.”
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood-it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.”
Those were the words that Dr. King spoke in his address delivered at Riverside Church in NYC on the 4th of April, 1967. The speech was entitled “Beyond Vietnam.“
Feb 15 2008
Crossposted at Daily Kos
Just as trouble was brewing in Fort Sumter, South Carolina — and consistent with her style to explain complicated issues to the nation and soothe inflamed passions — President Hillary Clinton made an important announcement from her weekend retreat just across the Patawmack River in the beautiful Ballston section of Arlington County in the State of Virginia.
According to the Disassociated Press
Washington, DC, March 4, 1861 — After careful deliberations, President Hillary Clinton has concluded that the designation of United States as presently comprised of Northern states, Southern states, and Territories is not what the founding founders of the country intended.
She will address the United States Congress tonight at 9:00pm to give her reasoned, well thought-out, and intellectually coherent speech.
Several surprises are expected. Her supporters are calling it the ‘A-House-Divided-Against-Itself-Can-Stand Speech.’
The Disunited States of America in 1861
Feb 14 2008
This is a potential wave of change that can sweep the nation, and it would not be possible on this scale without the two movements scratching each other’s backs. However, because both movements are roaring, we stand at the brink of a transformational moment in American politics. -Chris Bowers
Today at OpenLeft Chris Bowers has a very good post. It’s about what happened yesterday and what it could mean for the progressive movement and America. Yesterday progressive champion Donna Edwards defeated corrupt incumbent Al Wynn in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s fourth congressional district and Barack Obama rode a wave of new voters to overwhelming victories in Maryland, Virgina and DC.