Friday, December 12, 2008

The Psychology of the Global Economic Crisis in Greece

In refusing to resign in the midst of the riots against brutality, corruption and greed, the Prime Minister Karamanlis in Greece says that Greece needs to focus instead on the global financial crisis.

Why is that? What's in it for Karamanlis if Greek citizens spend the next fifty years trying to make the financial markets work well for corporations and wealthy investors? What's in it for those power holders if Greek citizens join hands to secure and expand the power and wealth of the few at the expense of the many? What's in it for Karamanlis's government if he convinces Greek citizens to think globally instead of nationally? And what's in it for the citizens if he convinces them of all of the above?

The most crucial question people have to ask themselves about Karamanlis's statement: Why, in the midst of the riots, is he asking citizens to address the global financial crisis and not Greece's financial crisis? In examining Karamanlis's statement, we can learn a great deal about the alleged global economic crisis and its proposed solutions.

Even if we don't have access to the details, we can look at the psychological haze and the organized "webbing" effects such a statement generates.

The Psychological Haze

Karamanlis's extraordinary manipulative statement weaves together diversion, falsehoods and truth as it manipulates to help shape the growing cultural myth that we are one global economic system and all countries must join hands to maintain this system. The phrase creates a psychological haze around Greece's national economy, as if it's no longer relevant beyond its statistics.

Make no mistake, Greece is not alone. The "global economic crisis" is the new cosmopolitan buzz concept made up of underlying sinister webs. Across continents citizens in its grips are being quickly hurdled into psychological camps and force fed on the new perceptions that go along with this fashionable buzz word. Guided by fear and uncertainty, ordinary people are being asked to passively, willingly, and quickly put aside desires for justice, equity and freedom to help the power holders restructure national economies into a new global economy and make it strong. Ethics is put on hold.

For what purpose?

In Greece, is the concept hurled at the people just to divert from the horror of a single incident of police brutality by a weak government? In America, is the statement used by its elite rulers just to get the citizens to go along with the massive bailouts to banks and insurance companies? In Japan and England, is it used to make the stock exchange the binding quantifier between countries? To know we have to consider the psychological effects.

The list is long. Many reasons will get discovered as we slip deeper into this crisis. Tami Luhby at CNNmoney paraphrases George W. Bush as saying, "it is vital that countries work together so that their actions don't undermine others." But under the surface, the loaded statement seems designed to delude ordinary citizens into a web of global consumerism in which they are asked to spend money and take out loans. To accept finanacial hardship. We can't rule out an attempt to garnish obedience by shaping perceptions so that citizens believe the functionality of the world is dependent on ordinary citizens holding up the ship, with the very wealthy deciders inside eating ten-course meals, getting the best health care and education, and creating and maintaining self-created privileges.

To clear up the psychological haze, we have to understand we have many options to fix the crisis. We don't have to go along with the current system the wealthy group are trying to force on middle and working class people. We are smart and educated now. Not peasants who swear by superstitions and cower in the face of a demented hierarchy of power and privilege. The streets of Greece are showing a lot of people there understand government officials are managers and not rulers. They can be hired and fired for corruption and incompetence. The streets are showing many Greeks are not fooled by Karamanlis and what he represents. It doesn't take an anarchist to fight back.

What about the rest of the world caught up in this psychological web of staged hysteria on the part of world officials and wealthy corporate hounds? What will it take to root out the imbalances? Will consumers globally have to stop making their credit card payments to lower interest rates to 2 or 3%? Will unions have to call a general strike to demand higher wages, a lower work week, better working conditions and benefits? Who sane really believes today that one person's time is of more value than another's? That's a cultural myth that finds its roots in feudalism, which found its roots in slavery. Speaking of global togetherness, we could use a global think tank made up of extraordinary ordinary people who want to really balance the global economy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Riots in Greece

"The riots that have ravaged Greece's big cities - especially Athens - the last three days testify to the disequilibria of a society that over several years only went from being part of the Balkans to part of Europe. The December 6 death of a fifteen-year-old, Andreas Grigoropoulos, from police fire was the spark thrown into a powder keg primed to explode. Faced with thousands of young people who are conducting a veritable urban guerilla action - burning shops and cars, stoning the forces of order - the government seems incapable of restoring the peace.

"It is impotent because it is in decay, undermined for a long time by pork, corruption and cronyism. It had already demonstrated its incompetence during the wave of fires that enflamed the Peloponnesus and Attica during the summer of 2007."
Read the full post at Truthout, Greece Without a State, Le Monde Editorial.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Great Loss

The Amazing Miriam Makeba has died. Those who know her music or even just came in contact with it are sending condolences and celebrating her rich life. Some may remember her performances with Paul Simon.

Soweto Blues: live performance

Khawuleza 1966: live performance

The Click Song: live performance

Paul Simon: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Monday, October 20, 2008

Steal Back Your Vote

Watch the film

Read the article in Rolling Stone

Read the Comic Book.

Excerpt from comic book:

In 2008, they’ll be handing out provisional
ballots like candy, especially to
Hispanic voters. If your right to vote is
challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot
that will likely not get counted no
matter what the sweet little lady at the
table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan
sharks will. Demand adjudication from
poll judges on the spot; demand a call to
the supervisor of elections; or return with
acceptable ID if possible. And be a champ:
defend the rights of others.
If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted
early, you have Election Day free to be
a poll watcher. Run into trouble—
you’ve been caged or purged or challenged—call
Election Protection at 1-(866) OURVOTE.
Then challenge the challengers, the
weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bailouts: Another Rush to Nowhere

UPDATE: SEPT 25, 7:15 PM

It's true that my first reaction to anything coming out of the Bush administration is to mistrust it. I always start with the premise that Bush has an agenda of multiple wants, most hidden. That's Bush. As the son of an ex CIA head, he's comfortable with the covert.

That being said, Bush has tossed the public a new unsolved mystery. And here we go again. We are off. The new Bush crisis has as much urgency to solve as bombing Iraq--at least that's the alarm. We are doomed if we don't act immediately. That's Bush. Using reason seems to be for elite squares. Being a dude bully gets people's attention. I guess your approach depends on your motive. You can move faster in carting off the goods and eroding the Constitution (a elitist document that's boring to read) if you're a dude bully.

It's true the Paulson plan to get the economy moving is an outrageous attention getter. But why not? You go for the big catch. If you get 1/2 of what you're asking, you've come out well. If you get it all, you call yourself a god. Gee what a deal for us. For the next x amount of years, we'll hear the excuse we have to sacrifice to pay off this debt. There goes the neighborhood! There goes our children's college education! There go our roads and bridges! There goes health care. Thus at the foundation Paulson's plan is extraordinary unpatriotic to America but extremely loyal to Bush and the very wealthy class.

This condition is a real test for the American citizens. Are we going for a business takes all approach to solve the problem or are going for a we the people approach to solve the problem? Who comes first? It's really our call in the end. Do we want to be peasants carrying our bags of gold to the castle, or do we want to continue our work toward creating a true participatory democracy?

We have several options that aren't on the open table right now. Let's pause and take a look at the various solutions. There is never just one even if Paulson wants us to think it's his way or the toilet. We don't have to flush more money, more rights and more power. We should be protesting in the streets by now. We should be marching in Washington. We should be clogging the phones and emails of those in office.

Our first option: We could Just Say No. This is as much of an attention getter as Paulson's plan. And it's an excellent place to negotiate from. Saying no to the plan outright gives us position and opens up a lot of options between Paulson and we the people.

The economy isn't going to collapse in five days if we don't give up our hard-earned money for our schools, health care, parks and roads, medical research, science research, etc. It isn't even going to collapse by the next election cycle. And what if it did? In the worst case scenario, we would come to a short-lived standstill. We're a nation of smart people. We'd get up very fast. Keep in mind up to $100,000 in the bank are insured no matter what happens to the economy. Let the wealthy cut their profits and savings. Let them sell some of their gold seated toilets and some of those extra homes they own. Let them cut back on their vacations and get rid of a few zeros in their personal bank accounts. Put the entire burden on those who caused it and those who have made a fortune off the rest of us. Let the wealthy make the sacrifice this time. Let's consider people first. We need massive and continuous protests to get heard. Otherwise, we have been duped into acting like peasants: simply doing as we are told.

Our second option: We could go into the real estate market. Sweden did it in 1992 and succeeded. We could own those companies and not just their debt. We could own everything we buy. That means absolutely no bailout money to the current owners.

A Variation of this Option: In 1992 Sweden took a more rationale approach and tried to put taxpayers and not the CEOs of banks first.

That strategy held banks responsible and turned the government into an owner. When distressed assets were sold, the profits flowed to taxpayers, and the government was able to recoup more money later by selling its shares in the companies as well.

“If I go into a bank,” said Bo Lundgren, who was Sweden’s finance minister at the time, “I’d rather get equity so that there is some upside for the taxpayer.”

Sweden spent 4 percent of its gross domestic product, or 65 billion kronor, the equivalent of $11.7 billion at the time, or $18.3 billion in today’s dollars, to rescue ailing banks. That is slightly less, proportionate to the national economy, than the $700 billion, or roughly 5 percent of gross domestic product, that the Bush administration estimates its own move will cost in the United States.

See complete article.

Our third option:
We could demand a severe drop in all interest rates (that includes credit cards) to try to get people to stay in their homes. And we could demand banks sell foreclosed homes back to the people who lost them with a one year "return" plan and a locked in rate. In offering people the same interest rates they bought at, the economy might start to stabilize. At the same time, we can demand a patriotic drop in oil prices, food prices, and other stuff prices. Let's see business roll up its sleeves and show their support for country first and not profits first.

The Bush administration wants to inject the credit system, so we will feel good again about shopping--on credit. But is more credit really the answer? I can't help but think a part of Paulson's deal has come about because the banks want to increase interest rates--a lot--right now but can't because of all the foreclosed homes and other unpaid debt. That is not our problem. It is not our problem that CEOs can 't make as much money as they would like to.

How about removing the temptation to raise interest rates today? How about putting a moratorium on interest rate increases across the board no matter which plan is finally adopted? How about a ten-year plan? That should lift confidence among consumers.

Such a plan should demand a severe decrease in credit card interest rates and a decrease in home mortgage and home equity interest rates to what they were in 2004-2005. With lower interest rates, people would have money to pump back into the economy. How's that for unclogging a market stuffed with an abundance of credit debt.

And let's not forget that people can't pay these outrageous credit debts because of their low wages. Credit is not a substitute for decent wages. Credit is not a second income.

There are multiple solutions to this problem. The knee-jerking solution is not the only one and rarely the best one. It's the quick fix one, the one that hides the real problem in hopes it will go away. It's a kind of cover up approach in itself. While the Bush administration seems hopelessly addicted to these kind of behavior, Congress should pause and let the next administration deal with the issue.

And then there's the timing of this crisis. It's so clearly a planned crisis event for reasons having nothing to do with what we think that we really should stall this one out. First, Lehman Brothers pretends to be going down at the time of sale to another company. Second--oh wait this was first--the government tests the waters to see how the public will react to Freddie and Fannie. When that seems to be okay, it lets the AIG lord demand its gold bag from us. Is Wall Street the New Feudalism? Is this how Feudalism gets transformed in a democracy? Our the enormous corporations our lords? And are we the peasants whose only duty to the lords is to work and hand over our gold in the form of wages to the markets?

The Bush/Paulson plan is destined to fail because it doesn't address the real issue. It skirts it and hides it. Moreover, it gives Wall Street another drug injection to continue its lordship role and demands we the people wait for another eight years for our services while the next administration tries to pay off the debt created by the current administration. Perhaps we need to empty part of the bank accounts of the corporations to pay off the debt. Now that's something of value they could produce.

Tell me, when the Bush/Paulson plan fails, who will be asked to foot the bill to save the next crisis the wealthy class gets themselves into because of the addiction to power, money and lordshipness?

Let's prove Abraham Lincoln right when he said, "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Gloria Steinem speaks on McCain

Gloria Stienem's perspective on Palin. Steinam gives an excellent analysis of Palin as a female candidate.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's the Constitution, Stupid!

Let's not buy the Republican's lie that Joe Biden fills gaps in Barack Obama's resume. Let's get the Obama-Biden partnership right. Biden seems decent enough as a public servant. He has foreign affairs experience, and he has a list of stories about inside Washington to tell. He's got the ambition to rally voters to bring the troops home from Iraq and excite voters enough to vote. But let's not overdo it. Obama doesn't have gaps in his resume. Voters trust he has the ability and knowledge to pinpoint and fix what's broken in Washington, to strengthen America's international dealings and its posture, and to repair the decay in our cities and rural communities.

So as Democrats let's not be so quick to push Biden into imaginary holes in Obama's resume to appease voters who might turn and run. Let's have more confidence in our own ability to decode distortions and misrepresentations about Obama's credentials and make them public. Let's dig out and expose the Rovish tactics of projection, empty one-liners, faulty conclusions, ads full of hype, and deliberate misinterpretations.

So what about Biden? What is his most promising role as vice president?

It's the Constitution, stupid! Biden's previous experience as head of the Judiciary Committee is pretty priceless. Not because of anything he introduced, but because he knows his way around the Constitution. And, he did a few good things: he kept Bork away, for example. Another plus, like Obama, Biden is an adjunct law professor of Constitutional law. His teaching keeps him up-to-date on the Constitution.

Why is extensive knowledge of the Constitution important? Every decision made to fix this country must get filtered through the Constitution if the solution is to be representative of America's principles and ideals. To be an effective president of change, Obama must begin with examining each change made under Bush. The damage caused by Bush has to be reversed before it spreads deeper into our economy, educational system, political system, international relations, and our public and personal lives. Obama, with the help of Biden, will have to make sure that our Constitution is the Constitution of "We the People" and not the Bush-Cheney Constitution of "We the Wealthy." Obama has promised to take a look at the changes made by Bush.

Obama's choice of Biden should tell us that Obama is not just determined to recover America, but that he also understands the path to do it -- through the Constitution. As experts in Constitutional law, they can work together as a team to restore, elevate, and maintain America's finest principles. As part of the team, Biden can revisit some of his anti-privacy legislation. Now hungering to change Washington and the county's direction under the inspiration of Obama's vision, Biden, who has a lot to give as a public servant, can start by re-examining his positions on surveillance.

Now imagine the McCain-Palin ticket in the Oval Office with the Constitution nearby. Imagine the candidates in a conversation about the Constitution. How knowledgeable are McCain and Palin? During the Republican convention the Constitution was never brought up. At the Democratic convention, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden brought up the responsiblity of upholding it and protecting it during a term of governance. What little do we know about John McCain's attitude toward the Constitution? We can get an idea from Conservative George Will, who thinks he knows.

He quotes John McCain:
``I work in Washington and I know that money corrupts. And I and a lot of other people were trying to stop that corruption. Obviously, from what we've been seeing lately, we didn't complete the job. But I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government.''
See full article.

I guess we know John McCain at least knows of the First Amendment. We can also infer if it stands in his way or if actions falls under his definition of corruption, he'll ignore it. Sound like someone else we know. That someone also thinks laws are meant to revised to fit his needs. And Sarah Palin? What's her position on the Constitution? We know she is against Roe vs. Wade. We also know she believes the war in Iraq is God's will and so is drilling in Alaska. Both candidates emphasis corruption in money matters. But the Constitution is much, much bigger than a vehicle to protect people's money.

There is no indicated that McCain in power will not continue the Bush-Cheney pactice of treating the Constitution of the United States as if it were a corporate handbook open to revision by executive privilege. We can even call the document the "Constitution of Convenience in Progress.

I don't know if Nancy Pelosi had it right in saying that McCain has the wrong experiences. But I do believe that what's wrong with McCain's experiences are McCain's perceptions of his experiences. What's wrong with his perceptions of his experiences is they extend to world affairs, women's rights, union rights, the economy, the war in Iraq, civil rights, and the Constitution. This is a man over 70 without political wisdom. He's worn down by ambition and wrong turns not a wise politician.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Should Hillary be VP

Based on the available choices, why shouldn't she be Obama's VP?

Is Hillary the only candidate who can help Obama turn the corner? Not at all. But who else on the shortlist is better to pressure? Picking a candidate to win a state belongs to the old way of doing politics. Choosing a candidate that deflates or challenges the platform of change seems regressive. Candidates such as Daschle, Nunn, Bayh, Kaine and even Biden and Sebelius have not excited the ticket. In the course of her primary campaign, Hillary Clinton transformed into a better politician, a woman who seemed to grow a small third ear that heard the needs of the average American, especially of women. Her problem was reaching that stage too late. She needs a position to grow her new ear.

See the full article on this at the Huffington post.

Not in the Huffington artcile are the additional ideas in italics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

General Election

I'm a registered democrat for this election cycle and will probably stay one, but I consider myself an independent. Why? Candidates from the major parties always emerge from a broken system; they spin their wheels trying to fix that which cannot be fixed with solutions that forefront the maintenance of big business practices. Thus, I did not have a political crush on Hillary Clinton or on Barack Obama during the democratic primary.

A friend said, so, who did you vote for in the primary? Most people I know thought I rallied behind Hillary Clinton because I think it's critical that the female voice, even if it's a significantly mute female voice or a male centered voice, get heard through the political microphones. A woman who has been silenced by men can still evoke the desire in other women to rediscover themselves and their sense of selfhood. An absent voice can still stimulate the imagination and fill in the gaps or, even better, began the search. One day, a woman will, in fact, emerge with a voice that comes out of female political wisdom.

In the end, I supported Barack just a little more. It was based on at first a feeling that his administration would clean up the mess of the current administration a lot faster. Such speed would alleviate suffering for a much larger group of people. And I felt that it would be easier for the voters to pressure him because he stated he wanted to open the doors to we the people and keep the doors open. Hillary never offered that option. She still showed the same timidity she did when she gave up on her national health plan as First Lady. But she did grow a third ear, or half ear--and that's the main reason I now support her as Obama's running mate, especially since his other chocies will have little impact on the lives of voters. Better choices? Hundreds. How about Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nadar or even Barbara Boxer or Bill Richardson.

I was taken by Barack Obama's promise to include the voters and the needs of the middle and lower economic classes in decision-making. He has opened the door to the voice of the voters, and I think we should push that door open until we can get through it. Of all the candidates, he seems the one most desiring to make history by rearranging America's political molecules so less people are suffering.

Coming Soon: General Election
Why Hillary should be Obama's running mate

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Credit and Interest Rate Issue for the Election 08

This marks a very different election year because of the Internet. Never have voters been more involved in voicing their ideas, emotions, preferences and shared information about the issues or the candidates. Not all candidates were prepared for this kind of voter participation. Some of them have been left behind because dated approaches.

While several issues have been circulating, credit and interest issues have not been given the kind of attention needed. Many of us are overspent and underpaid. The government tells us to go shopping as an act of patriotism. No comment on such orders. I think it's more important to look at the credit card and interest rate as a failed substitution system for real income. While credit has helped many of us buy homes, cars, college classes, clothes and even our food; in the long term, credit has led many of us into serious problems, including financial instability, physical illness, or mental stress. It's clear that we need each candidate to address how he or she plans to force a dramatic increase in wages, so we can go shopping without relying on credit cards, so we can buy homes without falling victim to loan sharks, so we can take a vacation without the stress of financial burdens.

We also need commitments from each of the candidates on what each plans to do about the runaway interest rate. Some of us are locked into 30% interest rates on our credit cards. These rates must be lowered to 3-4%, so people are not paying mostly interest only each month. Some of us will never catch up at this rate.

Finally, we need the government to bail out homeowners who can still get back into their homes. And we need banks to lower all mortgage interest rates to below 5%.

If America is going to follow its Constitution, which includes the right of each of us to pursue happiness, the basic criteria for doing so must not be legally stolen from the people whom the Constitution is designed to protect.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Vote for Clinton and for Obama

None of my friends, family or associates knows who I voted for in the race for the democratic nomination, and I plan to keep it that way—at least until after the election. In an open world of constant surveillance, in which the government can’t trust you unless it can see inside your armpits and underwear, my silence in this seems anti-present, anti-social, anti-friendly, and anti-American. So be it. Most of the time my cell phone is shut off as well. I like what my silence says about me and others. The truth is it’s enough I’m supporting the democratic party at all, and am doing so only because the election and political coup by the republicans changed America’s political vocabulary so that words such as freedom, votes, torture, profits-making, ethics, news, enemy, citizens, friend, credit, terrorist, and rights took on new connotations, maybe even new denotations. The Constitution itself lost power and was redefined as an enabler of terrorism.

What I would like to talk about on this blog are the issues we so desperately need to talk about: election fraud, political coup, health care, women’s equality and safety, children’s opportunities, education, corporate power and profits, homeland security, the environment, the high cost of credit, the loss of dignity among young and old alike.

Before I set up the issues, I would like to give initial reasons why I would vote for and accept either democratic candidate as the nominee. Feel free to respond with your own reasoning and intuition. This is not a dissertation. I’ve kept it short. I think.

Why I Vote for Hillary

First, I don’t believe a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Bill Clinton. If I thought this were true, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary as the nominee. I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton when he ran for office, and, in retrospect, I find his presidency pretty ordinary. He ruled in the interests of the rich. Most presidencies have. It takes a lot of backbone to stand up to money entitlement. That is, all presidencies of the 20th and 21st centuries have been continuations and maintenance driven; and maintenance of the status quo in favor of the rich, I believe, is one reason a lot of people have fallen asleep before reaching the voting booths. Of these two centuries, only two presidents—Roosevelt and Johnson—have bent the system somewhat to extend our country’s obligations to a larger people. Limitely. Let's not get carried away. Both the New Deal with Public Works Program and the Great Society were good enough bends. Neither went far enough. Now there’s a chance for a woman to do a little bending. The Internet, in particular, has forced voters to shake themselves awake a little and take a second look and pay attention. A feminist is running for office.

Do I think Hillary will swing in a different direction from previous presidents? In broad fundamentals, I’m a skeptic. She’s pretty embedded in Washington. But I will vote for Hillary because she is a woman, and because we have to start someplace. This primary season has pushed her to find a voice within her that pressures her to pay better attention to voters or to face historical humiliation. That’s the way it is with minorities and women; they have to come through on promises more because they aren’t given as many chances to make mistakes. The public is more eager to turn on them for errors. I do believe she will address some of the needs of women and allow other women to stand on her shoulders. How strong those shoulders will be will depend on many factors, including on Clinton’s awareness level, on the goals of women themselves and on which doors get opened (forced or not) in communities. The good news, Hillary is no Thatcher, who I find as hollow a historical political figure as is George H. Bush. Hillary still breathes out the words that she will fight for people with little power—such as single mothers—even if the initial words are stated to enhance her image. But it won’t be anything she says. I think that just the presence of a feminist in the White House will make a difference in women’s lives. As a feminist, Hillary will take women to the next step in terms of opportunity and in terms of image. As a First Lady, she was beaten into silence. As a senator, she coaled forward the status quo to build up power and trust. That’s what she had to do. Do I agree with her political positions? Not many. She doesn’t go far enough in any direction for me. Do I agree with how she’s running her campaign? Not much. She’s got poor advisers and I see a lot of temper tantrums. But I do think once she’s in office, she will attempt to curtail the standard practice of herding Americans into befuddled conformity in the name of patriotism. I think she wants to fill a void in history as someone breaking with the mold. Do I think she’s redefining her level of experience to her advantage? Well, yes. She’s still trying to shape her accomplishments in terms of patriarchal values. She’ll get to her own kind of problem solving experience in time. Besides, no one person runs a government. It’s a start. If she is elected and doesn’t come through in reversing the extensive damage caused by the republicans, we’ll be in the streets making our demands or back in the voting booths in four years. It’s a process. We must start someplace.

Why I Vote for Barack Obama

First, I believe Barack Obama if elected faces the same dilemma Hillary Clinton faces: if he doesn’t come through on the changes he proposes on his platform, he will face public humiliation. His can’t be just another presidency designed solely for political maintenance of the status quo. Does he embrace the status quo? Too much for me. His plans don’t yet go far enough to make significant dents. He risks the humiliation of skating on the ice of the issues until his next term. In this sense, he needs atypical experience, and he seems to have it. And he’s a newcomer, which works to his advantage. He will have to stand up against entitlements. Not easy. Better not to have strong bonds. His proposed changes must start the day he arrives. What attracts me to Obama is probably what attracts a lot of people: his approach to making the needed changes in government include his demand people participate in their own change. This shows great judgment. Obama can right the priorities of this government with the right advisers as well as the continued support and involvement of ordinary citizens. In fact, it is the only way a president can do so. His campaign slogans suggest a debt of citizen participation collectable during his entire term. We will ask him to pay up. And I believe Obama wants a popular presidency more than he wants a historical presidency.

So, do I think Barack will be able to disentangle and free democratic principles from the web of deceit and manipulation set in motion by the insane and incredulous “so’s” of Cheney and the political sadism of George Bush? It is not as hard as it looks. Supported or pressured by the people, a definite yes. Unpressured, probably not. No one person can. Do I think he can put an end to the wars in the Middle East while promoting human rights and helping to create safety for women and children in these countries? If he unites other countries to join in this cause, a big yes. Feminists in and out of office can also help here. Do I think he will take racial and ethnic difference to the next level of acceptance? His biracial presence in the office will do so. Do I think he’s experienced enough? In the kind he needs, yes. No one person runs a government. I’m willing to give Obama the chance to try it. It’s a start. If it doesn’t work, we can head into the streets or back to the voting booths in four years and make another choice.

Let’s not forget McCain. One of these two will run against him. Let’s not unleash the extension of McCain’s kind of experience in the Oval Office. Let loose, his policies on war and on economics could easily lead the country into bankruptcy.

So am I fence sitter in the nomination process? We can only support one candidate in November. I will vote for the democrat. Don’t ask me to do more. I like both Obama and Clinton enough. And I do respect everyone’s right to fight for his or her candidate for nominee.


I undertook a little experiment to get a better understanding of the fight and the frenzy over one political candidate or the other and to get a better feel for blog writing. How? I decided to venture out into the Blogosphere anonymously and participate. I’m pretty private, so the anonymity helped me jump into the fire of discourse. The anonymity was the key. You get to see your spontaneous reactions and even flawed reasoning without too much shame because your name isn’t attached. I can’t say enough how valuable this experience of blogging anonymously was in trying to understand not only blogging and the ideas of the campaigns, but seeing the direction my own voice took in joining public discourse.

The experiment gave me the opportunity to think through how to approach this blog. It took a little getting used to the anonymous vitriolic yelling on these public blogs, but in the end I appreciated and embraced it rather than discounted it or cried foul—even though I think I succumbed a little to the crying foul. We are our discourse. In any case, I will talk further about that invaluable experiment after the general election.

Welcome to my blog—where we journey through culture revisited.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Political campaign for president
I published the following on the presidential elections at the Feministe site:

LD JANAKOS says: January 30th, 2008 at 3:42 am -
I’d like to see Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama run on the same ticket. Now that’s a ticket that has the potential to break down a lot of walls and ceilings. Kick through a few doors.
I don’t stand by any of the mainstream candidates enough, but I believe you have to start someplace. Who can beat that ticket? It’s the kind of surprise that comes with a pause, the right kind, the opposite kind of pause you stand together in just before the storm breaks or you’re waiting for the bombs to drop. I trust my feeling that this duet in office will turn the corner.
( With these two candidates on the same ticket, we will all get universal health care within a short time. With these two candidates, we will put borders around the power of some of the major corporations. With these two candidates, we will increase the chances of women and minorities here and in different parts of the world to gain a better lifestyle or access to freedom. This list of our demands is long and we must start someplace. )
Here’s the real two for one: Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
What a fine ticket for the Democratic party, a place for it to turn a corner, to get out of this treacherously predictable time in history when assassins run the world; and yes, with all due respect, the chance for the new face of the Democratic Party to poddy train itself in harnessing its political shit and piss, so it can be recycled as rich fertilizer on the fields of We the People.
This ticket may double the chances that the Democratic Party can provide us the momentum to get away fast from the Republican’s pursuing car of accumulation about to run over us on its way to its next conquest: our homes, paychecks or savings accounts. Not to mention those of persons living or dying in other countries. Who can fight against the current monstrous momentum sucking us dry of our money and our imaginations? We should hire these two to cultivate the voices of the people long repressed in this country, We the People, who are capable of taking back our country.
In fact, we ought to demand they run together, whichever way it goes at the end. That’s my ticket. Which one heads the ticket is up to the election process. I have my favorite but I can go either way.