Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trial by Fire.

Today TIME.com published an article titled "The Candidates' Test of Leadership". The article contrasts McCain's Maverick, "action hero" approach with Obama's careful and prudent one. And, indeed, what better vetting for these two candidates than an economic crisis?

Isn't it Ironic?

In my humble opinion, this meltdown, although undesirable, couldn't have come at a better time. It was always on the way as the irresponsible and risky lending was not sustainable. Ironic to think that the very people who heralded and profited from deregulation are now at risk of losing everything. Furthermore, this economic crisis they've caused may now have solidified Barack Obama's candidacy for president. Coincidence or Instant Karma? I'll let you be the judge.

From "Test of the Candidates": "In one sense, it was a good time for both men to be auditioning for Leader of the Free World, since the ones already on-stage were falling flat on their faces. It made for a sickening spectacle, watching the firefighters argue over the diameter of the hose as the house burned down around us. And President Bush, in a final countdown to oblivion and with sub-basement approval ratings, was hardly in a position to rally the public behind a plan that violated every economic and political principle he's ever espoused."

The economic crisis America now finds itself in, however- whatever the reasons, has proven to be a Trial by Fire for more than just Senators McCain and Obama. An even bigger question is what does this Crisis, and our handling of it, say of our Democracy? What does it say of the American people?

A Democracy Put to the Test

I am currently reading/listening to Barack Obama's most recent book "The Audacity of Hope". It is truly a great read. It gives invaluable insight to the inner workings of the political process and the vital role Hope plays therein. But it does something more than that. Obama, who also reads the book on tape, brings the US Constitution and the Founding Fathers to life. He has such a deep appreciation and reverence for our Country's beginning that you find your self falling in love with it too.

So, how has our still very young and still experimental government held up in this time of economic crisis? I would submit it has done wondrously well. The intricate, yet simple, system of Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers cleverly devised by Madison and the other Founding Fathers has, for the time, saved American tax payers from being saddled with a $700 Billion debt.

Bicameral Brilliance

Taken from the Wikipedia article on the Separation of Powers: "as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 51 regarding the ability of each branch to defend itself from actions by the others, "But it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates." Bicameralism was, in part, intended to reduce the relative power of the legislature by turning it against itself, by having "different modes of election and different principles of action."

By giving the legislative Branch the majority of the power but dividing it into House and Senate they did a brilliant thing. Because the Senate is smaller, the seats are more valuable. As such, Senators must also undergo more in depth, and more costly, campaign processes. This ensures that the Senate will be comprised of better educated individuals who, in the end, have the last say in passing a law- barring a Presidential veto that is. Becoming a member of the House is a bit easier which encourages a better mix of demographics to join. The Congress men and women are of all backgrounds and consequently are better equipped to be the true voice of the majority. They are truly the last chance for the masses voice to be heard.

So, it is no surprise to me that the $700Billion Rescue(Bailout) bill proposed by George Bush, didn't make it past the House yesterday.

A Sturdy Framework

In order to fully understand our government, it is important to realize it is still a very young one. America has never truly been betrayed by its government to the point of its having to be overthrown. As Barack points out in "Audacity of Hope", the Founding Fathers merely crafted a skeleton government which we have, and will continue to, add meat to and perfect in the crucible of dissent and in the never ending tug of war between good and evil and liberal and conservative philosophy.

In conclusion, it is safe to say the House that is the American Government will weather this storm, thanks in large part to the sturdy and rock hard framework provided by the founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence, drafted the US Constitution and later the Federalist Papers.

The American story is as rich as it is young. As my dear granny always said "This too shall pass". And it will. And, I dare say, America will emerge stronger and the better because of it. After all, it is not the fault of our government that greed infiltrated it- it was a sleeping nation which elected it.

Simmer Down Now America.

The Economic crisis we are facing is daunting. However, we must all remain calm. The worst thing Americans can do right now is panic. We must remember that to everything in life, and especially when you're talking about the Stock Market, there is an ebb and flow. The ebb we're in right now is bad, yes. However, we've seen worse times. Black Monday of 1987 and of course, the great crash of 1929... In fact, the Market opened higher this morning. Not lower.

Thankfully, the majority of Congress is doing their jobs. Just yesterday the House successfully shut down what Bush and McCain, and the rest of their cronies, thought would be an easily passed rescue package. Lucky for us, the majority of Congress saw the bill for what it was.

I personally hope that lawmakers completely throw out Bush's proposal and craft one of their own from scratch. Bush can't be trusted- why should we believe he will spend this $700 Billion responsibly? Now is the time for prudence and attention to a well-thought-out and bi-partisan plan. If Congress is able to work together they can find the best solution. One that will come to the aid of our financial market as well as make the greedy people at the top help pay for it.

Exhale. Inhale. Take a long deep breath America.

Related Links:
Sen Obama urges Calm- Video: Town Hall in CO
TIME: "Anatomy of the Bailout Breakdown"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vampire Weekend, Raccoons, and Slaughter Lane

Adam and I just returned from camping/festival going and exploring in Austin Tejas.
What a week.
My adventures in blog form coming soon...

Friday, September 19, 2008

From Mouths of Babes.

There is a quiet truth and dignity to the ideals and beliefs of the young innocent mind.

Anna, age 9

If I were president I'd be nicer to animals.
A president should be kind and generous. He or she should work hard to make peace.

Diarra, age 10
I'd help the poor and raise money for the cities and towns. I also would help kids stay in school and make a law that kids can't drop out.
I think the president should be a good person. And also a smart and helpful person.

Borrowed from Kids for President- PBS.org

Maybe adults just over complicate things... makes you think doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Austin City Limits T- 1 week!!!

out with the old in with the new.

Our Country is in a time of great transition.

At this moment, I would like to introduce into the conversation the often underestimated elements of Hope and Inspiration.

The internet has given us the gift of knowledge and knowledge is power. It also offers the gift of a reality with no gatekeepers and no media filter. As a result, there is a new political party of well-informed and wired citizens emerging. Lucky for the future, and unlucky for the old politicians of yesterday, we don't see race and we aren't distracted by religion or party lines. Like Barack Obama, we see the pressing issues- a faltering economy, unregulated spending, war, healthcare troubles- the list goes on. Our Goal: undoing the wrong we've been powerless against for so many years.

In the distance, we can faintly hear the words of our founding fathers. We can almost see them rolling over in their graves. Their voices are merging with ours and the sound will soon drown out the mindless pundits, the out-of-touch politicians and the greedy lobbyists. The Republican and Democratic parties are dying simultaneously; all trust has been lost; all ties of loyalty severed. They have for too long now, been the voices of the minority- on both the far left and the far right. The majority's voice will now be heard.

On November 4th, this once silent majority will rise up. We will be One party, One Voice, United for Change, United for Good and Prosperity for All. We won't always agree, mind you, but at our core we all share the same values. We won’t be deterred .

Most important, America is remembering what it means to be a citizen again. We understand the road ahead won't be easy, but we're ready to roll up our sleeves and work. There are communities to restore, wounds to heal and empathy to rediscover. We will work as our ancestors did when they built this great country with one common purpose in mind: Freedom, Liberty and Justice for All. Those words will no longer be meaningless. They will once again be the cornerstone of our great Democracy.

As we rebuild this country, I'd like to believe that we'll think to ourselves "what a lucky time to be alive" and we'll tell our grand children one day of the great Election of 2008 in which the fate of the free world hung in the balance and how ordinary citizens pulled together and made the impossible possible. And we shall speak of a young, wise beyond his years, leader- civil, intelligent and, above all, genuine- who stepped up to lead us. A leader who made us remember the values of empathy, neighborliness and the value of community. And, most important, that a single voice can do more than we ever dreamed. Or, as he puts it- "that ordinary people, when they are working together, can do extraordinary things."

Lead on Barack. We will be right behind you.

God Bless the New America

Monday, September 15, 2008

Most anticipated film at the moment....

Trailer: Humboldt County

Peter is a medical student about to graduate and begin his residency. When his professor fails him, he winds up in bed with an actress and singer named Bogart rolling through Los Angeles. He accompanies her to the northern most tip of California, where he encounters her eccentric family of pot farmers. But when Bogart runs away without a word, Peter is thrust into the picturesque and bizarre world that is Humboldt County.

Excellently cut Trailer. Can't wait to see the movie.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Views gangs up on McCain

VIDEO: The gals from the View zing McCain

You know it's bad when the View gang is coming down on McCain, and to boot he can't even hold his own.


McCain is a liar. liar. pants on fire.

here come the debates. All aboard the freedom train.

The Conservatives have taken Chrstianity Hostage.

One of the biggest political strokes of genius known to man was the Conservative ownership of the Christian Religion. Once this was done, the Liberal party became, by default, the Anti-Christian party. They knew the Liberals could do nothing because to claim one religion as their own would be to defy the US Constitution as well as everything America stands for.

It is clear to me that those at the Top of the Conservative Party USE Religion as a weapon and nothing more. Their voting record is anything but Christian. To illuminate my point, here are some passages from the Bible on caring for the Poor. After reading, I challenge you to determine which political faction is actually the more Christian...

God's commands concerning the poor:

Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

Mt. 5:42
. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Blessings on those who serve the poor

Is. 58:10. "And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail."

Consequences of not serving the poor

Is. 10:1-3. "Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who continually record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights... Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar?"

Luke 1:52ff. [Mary's Magnificat.] "He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were hungry. He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed."

Luke 6:24. "But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full."


Excerpt from Bill O'Reilly Interview on Sept 9th:

"OBAMA: Well, but the problem is, if I am sitting pretty, and you’ve got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it if she can’t, what’s the big deal for me to say I’m going to pay a little bit more?

O’REILLY: Because it inhibits…

OBAMA: That is neighborliness."

Senator Barack Obama is a man of God, a man of the People, but Most Important- a man that respects and reveres the US Constitution.

My point is this- the Conservatives have taken the Christian Religion hostage. And those of us who believe in God and also want to help out the less fortunate, those of us who believe in the importance of neighborliness want it back and we want it taken out of the government too- just as an added bonus and nod to the Constitution. :)

Many Conservative politicians, specifically, use it as a way to get into office and then when they get there they do nothing to further Christian initiatives which won't directly benefit them- such as helping the poor. I see John McCain, just as I saw George Bush, as one of those Conservative politicians.

There are of course, good conservatives. I feel I am a good Liberal. All the good liberal and all the good conservatives are good citizens. I know the debate between us, any debate about policies that will affect our nation, such as where to take our decaying health care system etc- should be about our thoughts on policies that will affect our nation - a specific religion should not enter into the political equation. It can only be used as a tool of distraction. If we begin to debate about things that really matter- as Senator Obama will do but having many differing opinions in his cabinet, not just his own, we will begin to rebuild this country together. And rebuild it into the best that our collective minds can come up with.

Bible excerpts taken from The Bible on the Poor

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Live Healthy. Be Healthy.

Only 3% of Americans have the 4 Basic Good Health Habits:

1. no smoking, please.
2. BMI between 19% and 24%
3. Minimum of 5 Fruits and Veggies/day
4. Exercise minimum of 3 times/week

are you at the top?

More webisodes on alternative health at MedicalRenaissanceSeries.com

Turltes have problems too.

Palin's Media Circus-

The Great Trojan Moose

"The point is that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are simply a bountiful collection of small lies deliberately designed to distract the country from one big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is committed to continuing.

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain."
~Arianna Huffington

This Wasn't a Dream

Change is ready.

Monday, September 8, 2008

George Bush in Lipstick?

Palin-Bush Comparison

"She's not a pitbull in lipstick," said one female Democratic operative, referencing a line from Palin's convention speech. "She's George Bush in lipstick."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Obama, The Little Organizer that Could.

The Nation
Obama's Community Roots
By David Moberg
April 3, 2007


"As a presidential candidate, he frequently refers to his community organizing, asking supporters to treat his campaign as a social movement in which he is just "an imperfect vessel of your hopes and dreams."

"He was more comfortable in dialogue with people. But challenging power was not an issue for him. Lack of civility was."

Interviews with people who worked with him during that time elicited few complaints--virtually everyone described him in glowing terms, including dedicated, hard-working, dependable, intelligent, inspiring, a good listener, confident but self-effacing. They expressed admiration for him as an organizer who trained strong community leaders while keeping himself in the background and as a strategist who could turn general problems into specific, winnable issues."

"One day a resident at Altgeld Gardens, a geographically isolated public housing project surrounded by waste sites, brought a notice about planned removal of asbestos from the project manager's office. Obama organized the community to find out if there was asbestos in their apartments. They persisted as officials lied and delayed, then took a bus--with far fewer people than Obama had anticipated--to challenge authorities downtown. Ultimately, the city was forced to test all the apartments and eventually begin cleaning them up.

In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, Obama writes that the bus trip changed him in a fundamental way, "because it hints at what might be possible and therefore spurs you on.... That bus ride kept me going, I think. Maybe it still does."

"Now the Rev. Alvin Love, whom Obama recruited to DCP, looks at his candidacy and says, "Everything I see reflects that community organizing experience. I see the consensus-building, his connection to people and listening to their needs and trying to find common ground. I think at his heart Barack is a community organizer. I think what he's doing now is that. It's just a larger community to be organized."

Distress the wood, make it shout

Thao Nguyen's Tiny Desk Concert- NPR

Friday, September 5, 2008

If you're ever feeling down-

Barack Obama 2004 DNC Speech Part 2


Resistance is Futile.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. ~Woodrow Wilson


So I had the epiphany last night that our current Political conflict is only normal. The times they are a-changin' and of course- the richest of rich in America are holding on to the money they've stolen in the past 8 years for dear life.

This resistance to Senator Barack Obama by the leaders of the Republican/Conservative Parties has nothing to do with abortion, religion, race etc and everything to do with Maintaining the Status Quo and thereby Maintaining Their Wealth.

But rest assured my Fellow Americans- there is a growing number of Americans who will not be detoured. We
have been shown the light and on November 4th- Things Will Change.


More words of wisdom:

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson

It's the most unhappy people who most fear change. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Stubborness does have its helpful features. You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow. ~Glen Beaman

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. ~Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin

Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history. ~Joan Wallach Scott

When you are through changing, you are through. ~Bruce Barton

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Can't Stand the Heat, Get out of the Interview.

: McCain cancels appearance on Larry King Live b/c of Tough Questions about Palin, Obama schedules appearance on O'Reilly Factor
(this Thursday Night - Sept 4th- 7pm central- on FOX Noise).

What more do you need American Public?

Related Articles:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Your Story


Why Obama?

I have been volunteering for a while now for Senator Obama. I have been hearing stories from people in my community here in Springfield that are being echoed across the country. The biggest being health care problems, decent families on the brink of utter collapse because they can't afford doctor bills. We should all be ashamed.

I will be voting for Barack because I understand that he will help to bring the change we desperately need in our country. He has for the first time in my life, made me realize that I can help bring it too.

I will also be voting for him because of the inspiration he has been to me and millions of other Americans. He has made me realize this:
America is my country and if I want change I have to get out and work for it. Barack has made it abundantly clear to me that if every day Americans like you and me don't get involved in our politics then we will lose our government. He believes if we all work together to effect change we can make it happen.

McCain was a great soldier- and I respect that. He is now, unfortunately a pawn for lobbyists. Most of McCain's campaign is run by lobbyists- most of his donations come from lobbyists.

Barack Obama is an outstanding person and citizen. He was raised by a single mother who instilled in him a sense of compassion and empathy that is rare these days. He took that need to help his fellow man with him to Harvard (where he later taught Constitutional law for 10 years). He also took it to the inner city streets of Chicago where he was able to register 120,000 new voters. Then he took it to the US Senate and soon he will take it to the White House. He believes in us. He believes in the American dream.

He understands that it is up to us to make change- he knows he can only do so much. We have to make this government a country BY the people again.