Democratic Party officials voted to approve compromise measures that would seat the entire Florida and Michigan delegations but give each delegates only half a vote, following a dramatic day of debate.
Democrats Reach Deal On Fla., Mich. Delegates
By June Kronholz
Wall Street Journal
The Democratic party's rules committee have agreed to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, but to cut their votes in half and even shifted a handful of votes Senator Hillary Clinton had claimed over to Barack Obama.
Sen. Clinton receives 87 votes out of the compromise to Sen. Obama's 63 votes -- a net increase of 24 votes for the New York senator.
The compromise increases the number needed for nomination to 2,118 delegates. With those new numbers, Sen. Obama now has 2,052 to Sen. Clinton's 1,877.5, according to the Associated Press. That puts Sen. Obama 66 delegates away from the needed delegates, to earn the nomination of the Democratic candidate for the 2008 Presidential election. But Hillary still carries the popular vote in a roaring
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Amazon Indians from the one of the world's last unontacted tribes aew photgraphed from the air brandishing bows and arrows. The photographs of the tribe near the border between Peru and Brazil are rare evidence that such groups exist. Brazilian officials believe the tribes are in increasing danger from illegal logging._ Funai-Frente de Protecao Etno-Ambiental Envira via Reuters
Brazil reveals 'uncontacted' Amazon tribe
Government decides to release photos to alert world to threats on Indians
updated 1:21 p.m. PT, Fri., May. 30, 2008
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazil's government agreed to release stunning photos of Amazon Indians firing arrows at an airplane so that the world can better understand the threats facing one of the few tribes still living in near-total isolation from civilization, officials said Friday.
Anthropologists have known about the group for some 20 years but released the images now to call attention to fast-encroaching development near the Indians' home in the dense jungles near Peru.
"We put the photos out because if things continue the way they are going, these people are going to disappear," said Jose Carlos Meirelles, who coordinates government efforts to protect four "uncontacted" tribes for Brazil's National Indian Foundation.
Shot in late April and early May, the foundation's photos show about a dozen Indians, mostly naked and painted red, wielding bows and arrows outside six grass-thatched huts.
Meirelles told The Associated Press in a phone interview that anthropologists know next to nothing about the group, but suspect it is related to the Tano and Aruak tribes.
Brazil's National Indian Foundation believes there may be as many as 68 "uncontacted" groups around Brazil, although only 24 have been officially confirmed.
Turning backs on civilization
Anthropologists say almost all of these tribes know about western civilization and have sporadic contact with prospectors, rubber tappers and loggers, but choose to turn their backs on civilization, usually because they have been attacked.
"It's a choice they made to remain isolated or maintain only occasional contacts, but these tribes usually obtain some modern goods through trading with other Indians," said Bernardo Beronde, an anthropologist who works in the region.
Brazilian officials once tried to contact such groups. Now they try to protectively isolate them.
The four tribes monitored by Meirelles include perhaps 500 people who roam over an area of about 1.6 million acres.
He said that over the 20 years he has been working in the area, the number of "malocas," or grass-roofed huts, has doubled, suggesting that the policy of isolation is working and that populations are growing.
Remaining isolated, however, gets more complicated by the day.
Closing in and converging on
Loggers are closing in on the Indians' homeland — Brazil's environmental protection agency said Friday it had shut down 28 illegal sawmills in Acre state, where these tribes are located. And logging on the Peruvian border has sent many Indians fleeing into Brazil, Meirelles said.
"On the Brazilian side we don't have logging yet, but I'd like to emphasize the 'yet,'" he said.
Road cuts deep into Brazil's Amazon
A new road being paved from Peru into Acre will likely bring in hordes of poor settlers. Other Amazon roads have led to 30 miles of rain forest being cut down on each side, scientists say.
While "uncontacted" Indians often respond violently to contact — Meirelles caught an arrow in the face from some of the same Indians in 2004 — the greater threat is to the Indians.
"First contact is often completely catastrophic for "uncontacted" tribes. It's not unusual for 50 percent of the tribe to die in months after first contact," said Miriam Ross, a campaigner with the Indian rights group Survival International. "They don't generally have immunity to diseases common to outside society. Colds and flu that aren't usually fatal to us can completely wipe them out."
Survival International estimates about 100 tribes worldwide have chosen to avoid contact, but said the only truly uncontacted tribe is the Sentinelese, who live on North Sentinel island off the coast of India and shoot arrows at anyone who comes near.
Last year, the Metyktire tribe, with about 87 members, was discovered in a densely jungled portion of the 12.1-million-acre Menkregnoti Indian reservation in the Brazilian Amazon, when two of its members showed up at another tribe's village.
Friday, May 30, 2008
May 30, 2008
Journalists Reveal Top-Down Pressure to Support the War
As a result of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s charges that the Bush Administration’s intentionally deceived US citizens leading up to the war in Iraq, journalists are speaking out about the top-down pressure they experienced to promote the war.
Jessica Yellin, a CNN journalist, admitted this week to being pressured by corporate executives at her previous network to support the Iraq War. In a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, Yellin discussed how she and other members of the press corps were "under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings."
Money Money Money Money Money!
In a recent Today Show interview, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Charles Gibson also noted pressure from the Bush administration to support the war, reports MSNBC. Couric recalled a threat from the White House Press Secretary to "block access to [the network] during the war" if she did not change the tone of her interviewing style.
Politics American-Style, Go Ahead Be Apathetic About it! NOT!!
Media Resources: CNN 5/29/08; MSNBC 5/28/08
As Published in the Houston Chronicle
May 29, 2008, 11:07PM
An Obama mystery at state meet
By RICK CASEY
Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Roy LaVerne Brooks is a superdelegate who endorsed Barack Obama in March.
The longtime party activist from Fort Worth is also running to unseat current state party Chairman Boyd Richie.
Imagine her surprise Tuesday when she received a disturbing phone call from a national Obama operative who is part of a group that parachuted into Texas to work on this weekend's state party convention.
Roy says the operative, Rudy Shank, told her that unless she drops her candidacy to unseat Richie at the state convention she will not be going to the national convention as a superdelegate.
A deal is offered
She said Shank politely told her that "if there was any way I could not run, it would be appreciated because they would like a convention without hurt feelings."
Shank told her he could make a deal with her. He said Glen Maxey, the former Austin state representative whom the Obama campaign hired as its convention director, told him that if Brooks gave up her vice chairmanship to run against Richie, she would lose her status as superdelegate if she lost.
State chairs and vice chairs are automatically members of the Democratic National Committee, which makes them superdelegates. Brooks' term as vice chair ends this weekend.
A quiet rule change
Brooks said that was news to her. About 20 years ago, then-Chairman Bob Slagle put in a rule saying that while the election for vice chair would take place at the state convention in June, the term would extend until the end of the national convention. The idea was that the vice chair should be rewarded with a national convention at the end of his or her term, not at the beginning of it.
Houstonian Carl Davis, who served as vice chairman from 1998 to 2000, went as a delegate to the convention in Los Angeles that nominated Al Gore.
"I remember seeing the rule in writing," he said.
But apparently the rule has been quietly changed in recent years.
Slagle says he recently learned of the change, though he didn't recall whether the rule was a written one or a "handshake agreement."
Under the new rule, Brooks would lose her superdelegate status if she fails to unseat Richie. But if she backs out, Richie could name her to one of three "add-on" superdelegate slots.
He is required to nominate at least two people for each of the three seats, to be approved by the nominations committee and then ratified by the convention. Traditionally, the nominations committee approves the chairman's first choice of delegates.
There are ironies in the request by an Obama operative that Brooks back off the chairman's race.
One is that she is an African-American. The state Democratic chairman has traditionally been a white male, with an occasional white female slipping in.
Another is that Brooks is casting herself as a "change" from the good ol' boy system, and Obama's campaign is all about changing the good ol' boy system. Brooks' chances of unseating Richie are enhanced by several thousand change-oriented newcomers who will swell the convention to about triple its normal size.
All of this begs the question: Why would the national Obama campaign involve itself in a state race?
Chairman Richie was not available for comment. Maxey promised to ask Shank to call me, but I didn't hear from him.
So I can only go with speculation. One possibility is that the Democratic establishment convinced the Obama folks that Brooks would not be a good enough chairwoman to help them if Texas should come into play. She would contend that Richie isn't a good enough chairman to help.
Another possibility is that a deal has been cut with Richie that could involve both his vote and the votes of the three "add-on" superdelegates.
Do you like conspiracy theories? Thursday night, two nights after Shank made his call to Brooks, Richie announced his endorsement of Obama.
Another possibility involves a "handshake agreement" Slagle put in place in the early 1980s, an agreement that has held ever since. It (accurately) presumed the chairman would be white, and alternates the vice chairmanship and the treasurer's posts between blacks and Hispanics.
"I think this is the year the vice chair is supposed to rotate back to the Mexican-Americans," Slagle said. "If it is a Mexican-American it would be for Clinton. There might be an issue there."
Maybe so, but if they're worried about losing even one superdelegate, manhandling Brooks may not help.
Brooks said she told Shank she would stay in the race.
"I made the comment that I may need to jump over to Hillary's side because I'm not going to be treated like a dish rag," she said.
I asked if she was serious.
"I'm very serious if they keep trying to get me out of the race and I learn that Obama is behind it," she said.
You can write to Rick Casey at P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I realized this morning, after reading even some of the posts concerning the Speaker of the House's ruminations that she will "step in" on this U.S. Presidential race: there really seem to be a lot of people who are subconsciously angry with their mothers!
Is it tactical on the part of the Speaker of the House to participate in a strategy of: "whatever it takes to get one's name on the front pages of the news?" One truly has to wonder when one actually is paying attention to the timing of such blatantly, unprecedented political staging!
In the chat rooms, on the message boards and in the streets, one listens to such a level of heedless rank; to disemboweled howling_ it gives rise to one major concern: Does anyone take any time, to consciously self-reflect during the campaigning process? It seems as though, when the "feathers start flying," this time about a woman running for President that what may be ignited is really about a level of insecurity that runs deep in the hearts and minds of this country. Such loss of self-control begs asking, from where is this level of angry frothing really coming? Is this sort of reaction-fest, rooted in primitive, unconscious resistance to change? To difference?
Or is it possible, people are only garden-variety unconscious, to the seeds of discontent sown in corporate and high-ranking back rooms throughout government, and other economically controlling elitists? Unconsciously prey to the repetitious ilk continuously funneled into the entire media network, with only an expressed intention of burrowing over months and years deep into the psyche, a sense of false helplessness. This old yet still masterfully potent game of control, mocks democracy, yet seems only to continue escaping conscious notice. Consequently, this "perpetual escape" undermines and plays everyone who does not step back to take stock. What is the incentive to continue ignoring this pattern of the hunter and the prey mentality? America, are we only unconscious fools to the masters of this sort of manipulation? Emotional reaction as logic and reason for what sort of change? To benefit which select group in America above all the rest, like it or not? Hello?!
Where is the embodiment of responsibility in the candidate, who is not only skilled; who is also one experienced at setting the right example? Setting the standard of unity-in-solidarity for what is needed rightly, in a nation's due political process at the time of campaigning, of making the case to be elected leader of a free nation? Go ahead fellow voter, think about what is actually needed and get clear about that.
There is a lot of raw, emotionally undisciplined ranting from groups who claim to have the answers. Instead what is ironically amplified at times like these, are the skills of the silent masters behind the scenes. Skills coming through the very voices of those who "appear" most independent but who may ultimately be controlled albeit unwittingly.
Ah-h conservative stealth, so adept at creating havoc and mayhem on the street-level again and again and again! After awhile, the conditioning takes hold and oppression does reach a threshold of self-maintenance. So no one has to "appear" responsible, let alone actually show up to take responsibility.
Truly, at historic moments such as this when what is precious in the psyche of a nation, is unconsciously given away by everyone whose attention gets predictably caught up in near complete distraction only with one another.
The strategy of pitting members of the same group against one another works, over and over and over again in this country, for all the world to see. "Why do they hate us?" Indeed. Britney, Lindsey, and you girls of a certain stage, etc., have sacrificially served the American insecure-psyche distraction-quotient, well_ for how many years now?
America, it is clear by our own collective behaviors in this race that NOT, "reading the directions" on how the steps of democratic process to elect a new president are supposed to work_ is the majority's standard!
It is called the "Electoral Process. " Google it, at the very least!
Learn! Understand how this process is supposed to function for us all!
In light of even basic education, what quality negotiation skills are responsible ones that each one can bring forward in themselves to this street-level debate? Only winning is NOT skill, but obsession that quickly leads to tight passive/aggressive behavioral loops. Not clear thinking.
Can we begin to see or hear then, a continuity of self-management from the particular candidate so vociferously defended? Can we begin to see or hear an embodied example of solidity? Of accepting differences in the basic human fabric really worth consciously embracing as a whole group? An entire nation?
In these current frenzies-of-distraction on the campaign trail spewed from voters one camp to the next, it is only passion out-of-control quite possibly at the expense of the election that can be seen again. At this rate, elite conservatism only has to perform light maintenance on the seeds of self-doubt, planted so long ago.
This truth in the psyche of our American fabric alone, continues to say a lot to those of us within this party, who watch and listen. Not to mention the rest of the world. The party to the right silently holds back watching. Watching as the soft underbelly and pulsing jugular vein voluntarily reveals itself once again. Unconsciously offering the shreds perhaps of a precious core sense of a historically united party, in virtual self-sacrifice to its rival.
The "enemy" then is only us, in moments such as these. We are fighting our way out of the proverbial paper bag, while drowning in two inches of water. Such self-inflicted spewing and sputtering deserves to be taken in hand. Can you not hear or see your own self? Such toxicity regenerating itself, deserves to be spontaneously advised: get a hold of yourself, as we each invest in this process. Do this with a grounded sense of responsibility, capable of keeping one eye on the longterm impact.
Here is another big mirror then: what muscles do each one of us desire to develop as citizens of a free nation? Is it only helpless, panicked atrophy? Those of adult children who beg to be parented by big business and big government? Or do we collectively value developing our own muscles, strong and solid in the higher quality of an accessibly nourishing, democratic education? A civic education that reflects conscious choices, unshakably rooted deep in the the hearts and minds of free citizens?! This seems to me the true antidote to elitist manipulation, and more accurately reflective of the Kennedy legacy, now exploited by vague reference and vague comparison so far.
Where are we each going to go live anyway the day after the November election?
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This is the Richest Presidential Campaign Process in Many Years! When the Feathers Fly, It Can Be Hard to Find Educated Sanity:
Forbes: Clinton must take the fight all the way to Denver
Michael P. Forbes, LOCAL CONTRIBUTOR
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sen. Hillary Clinton must take her campaign all the way to the Democratic Convention in August, and she must remain in the race until all of the convention ballots are counted.
It is those delegates voting at the Democratic Convention who shall determine the party's presidential standard bearer and no one else — no combination of primary state votes, no cluster of superdelegates, no orchestrated group of party leaders nor any collection of Democratic talking heads.
Idle chatter to force Clinton to prematurely abandon her campaign is being driven by pundits, partisan bloggers, hopeful job applicants and other favor-seekers with an obsession to be on what may be viewed through a narrow political prism as the winning side.
But is it the winning side?
The effort to push Clinton out of the race ignores the right of Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida to be counted after they were disenfranchised because their states moved up their primary dates. Their participation must come at the Democratic Convention in Denver, where Michigan and Florida — critically important swing states — most likely will be permitted to cast official ballots to pick a Democratic nominee.
Wins by Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois have largely divided up votes cast in the Democratic primaries over these many months. And there are 795 superdelegates whose presidential preference is not locked up until votes are cast at the nominating convention. Neither candidate can claim the requisite number of delegates to be the nominee. That happens in balloting when Democrats meet in Denver.
It is Clinton who managed to win those critical primaries so necessary to a Democratic White House victory in November — in states like Ohio, New Jersey, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The senator from New York had more than 14.5 million popular votes cast in her favor. She dominates with a core Democratic voter: blue-collar workers, those without college degrees, and older voters. Clinton must give voice to these constituencies.
Clinton, like Obama, is waging an unprecedented campaign of historic proportions; she as the first woman to be within reach of the Democratic nomination for president. The precedence alone of their campaigns dictates that Clinton and Obama present to convention goers not just their primary wins but their credentials, experience and ability to win the general election for Democrats.
As the last primary votes are cast on Tuesday, some will want a coronation before the will of the Democratic Convention has been adjudicated.
There will be very loud and very determined illegitimate calls for Clinton to bow out. They will cry of suspect pleas to party unity and ill-conceived suggestions that a prolonged nominating process — one that rightfully should go to decisive balloting for president at the Democratic Convention from August 25-28 — is harmful to the party.
That's baloney. The excitement of this Democratic primary season as attested to by burgeoning party coffers and unprecedented levels of voter participation serve to reinvigorate the national Democratic Party after 12 years of Republican reign in Congress and eight years of a very unpopular Republican president. With daily reminders at the gas pump and in the grocery store of an ailing economy and two wars abroad, Americans are more than ready to put Democrats back in the White House.
A national dialogue that continues all the way to the Democratic Convention on the attributes and abilities of Clinton and Obama and who is the Democrat most competent to be president is healthy for the political process and advantageous to the nation.
Forbes, who lives in Round Rock, was elected to three terms in Congress representing the 1st District of New York. He was the first member of Congress in 27 years to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party.
Some people in this world arrive on fire and see nothing else but the nature of their own work in this world. I have met some of those inspired beings in my lifetime, from the local to the international level.
This man is one such person!
In his won words, Jeremy Gilley tells the nature of his inspired work:
I founded Peace One Day in 1999 to document my efforts to create an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date. In 2001, POD achieved its primary objective. United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/Res/55/282) was unanimously adopted by UN member states, formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace, fixed in the global calendar on 21 September – Peace Day.
With the Day in place, POD’s main aim is to raise awareness of Peace Day 21 September. POD is a non-profihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gift organisation, impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion, corporation or religious creed.
Last year on 21 September, 27.6 million people from 200 countries did something for Peace Day. I hope you’ll make your own commitment for Peace Day and log it on this website. By working together there will be Peace One Day. We look forward to hearing from you.
With thanks and best wishes
Clinics across the country need your help now. We are currently preparing to help clinics that are being targeted by anti-abortion extremists this summer.
Every summer extremists target clinics. This summer we are expecting more. Please donate now to support emergency clinic defense organizing, law enforcement briefings, and training of volunteers. One of our first priorities this summer will be Atlanta and Denver clinics.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1988 anti-abortion protests at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Operation Save America is planning to return to Atlanta to protest at the city's clinics in July.
What's more, Operation Rescue, Missionaries to the Pre-Born, and the Christian Defense Coalition have announced plans to protest at the Democratic National Committee convention in Denver this August. We are working to prepare for these planned demonstrations, but we cannot do it without your help.
We are also at a crucial junction in the fight for Dr. Tiller's clinic in Wichita. Dr. Tiller has been locked in a legal battle with a grand jury that anti-abortion extremists groups petitioned to convene. The Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled to limit the power of the grand jury to engage in a fishing expedition, but did not quash the subpoena for the confidential medical records of some 2,000 of Dr. Tiller's patients.
We have launched a massive public outreach campaign to alert the country and to organize support for Dr. Tiller. His clinic is the last resort for women all over the country seeking late term abortions for fetal anomalies, for severe illness, and to protect their very lives. We will not allow Dr. Tiller's clinic to close as the result of a mean-spirited, anti-abortion attack.
The Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Access Project will be on-site to help these besieged clinics this summer.
We cannot allow any clinic to be closed. Without clinics, there is no choice. Please donate today to support our National Clinic Access Project, the nation's oldest and largest such project, which has been on the front lines helping clinics stay safe for twenty years.
For Women's Lives,
Director of Law Enforcement
Executive Vice President
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This is a picture of me at local Hillary Campaign Headquarters where I live, NOT the psychotherapist whose letter to Norma Fisher Flores, a Superdelegate from Texas, speaks to her own concerns about our electoral process in this post_ got all that?!
Viewpoint of a psychotherapist - Nancy Sigafoos, MA, LMHC, Olympia, WA
Dear Super Delegate,
I'll be brief. I'm sure you are buried in e-mails regarding the nomination.
Barack Obama cannot defeat John McCain. I sit and listen to people's most private thoughts in my work. I work with the full spectrum of clients, from very conservative to ultra liberal. Senator Clinton speaks to the middle; that vast group of people who will vote in the General but did not participate in the Primary. Folks are turned off by Obama but they won't say it publicly.
They will express it privately, in the voting booth.
Please endorse Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate, or we will have 4 more years of Republican domination.
Nancy Sigafoos, MA, LMHC
Go to this website to participate and volunteer for Hillary!
Three of Burma's homeless find refuge in a shelter set up at a school in the village of the Irrawaddy Delta, the region hardest hit by Cyclone Nargis. The storm left more than 133,000 people dead or missing.
Photograph by : Getty Images
I keep repeating that one of the greatest acts of Political Solidarity anyone outside of this country can do, is to verbally, and in writing recognize it's historical identity: the name of the country is, BURMA. The name the junta now in its falsely seized state of power has co-opted has named the country "Myanmar." This is adamantly NOT correct!
Yet found in the miracle of Mother Nature, the great equalizer here on this wondrous planet, when too many of her earthly children become too engrossed in states of overwhelming power struggles, one of her powerful responses is to flood open the doors of possibility for: inquiry, investigation and opportunity. Possibility, for restoration of balance in human consciousness, as we collectively struggle to wake up to our true nature. A true nature we are each here to learn to consciously recognize while we are in human form in this earthly garden, life experience. Hello, without judgment or attachment_ wake-up...
For those who can make monetary donations, in order to aid those who are directly providing physical aid for the country of Burma and her people's recovery, you can become aware of this site and simultaneously contact: Bill Proudman and Pam Shelly, 2943 NE 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
This information was emailed to me through my local Buddhist sangha and I pass it on, in my capacity to help widen the net of support for aid needed by the Burmese people NOW.
***Don't forget Darfur in the Sudan as well.
Blessings for us all, all over the world!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Go to superdelegate, Norma Fisher Flores website here:
and particiapte in this citizen call for unity from the DNC and responsibility in the actions on the part of some of the Superdelegates' voting behaviors!
Sandra G. Blundetto
Attorney at Law
103 Hawley AvenuePort Chester, New York 10573
May 21, 2008
Governor Howard Dean
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Rules and Bylaws Committee Members
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Re: All votes must count
Dear Chairman Dean and Rules and Bylaws Committee Members Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Martha Fuller Clark, Ralph Dawson, Hartina Flournoy, Donald Fowler, Carol Khare Fowler, Yvonne Gates, Alice Germond, Jaime A. Gonzalez, Jr., Janice Griffin, Alexis Herman, Alice Huffman, Thomas Hynes, Harold Ickes, Ben Johnson, Elaine Kamarck, Allan Katz, Eric Kleinfeld, David T. McDonald, Mona Pasquil, Mame Reiley, James Roosevelt, Jr. Garry Shay, Elizabeth Smith, Michael Steed, Sharon Stroschein, Sarah Swisher, Everett Ward, and Jerome Wiley Segovia:
I am writing to you on behalf of myself and other women who believe they are not being factored into the decision making of the Democratic National Committee (the “DNC”). If you want my continued support and vote in November you will demand that no one declare victory until all of the primaries are over and until everyone has had a chance to vote and until all votes from Florida and Michigan are counted.
DO NOT assume that women who have been ignored will vote with the party come November. I, like many women who support Senator Clinton, will not vote for a Democrat in November if all votes from Florida and Michigan are not permitted to count and if everyone is not permitted to be heard.
I am very upset over the message you are sending by condoning the actions of some senior Democrats. Mr. Kennedy’s countless calling for Senator Clinton to pull out should not be condoned and I cannot continue to be a member of our party if the DNC permits men of stature to disregard women.
Mr. Kennedy adamantly supports Mr. Obama, even though Senator Clinton overwhelmingly won Massachusetts by fourteen (14) points. Mr. Kennedy has repeatedly called for Senator Clinton to pull out of the race, yet when he was running for President he took his battle for the Democratic nomination to the convention floor, trying to change the rules to unseat Jimmy Carter even though Carter had the requisite delegates to win the nomination. This party is condoning Mr. Kennedy’s and other senior members’ flagrant disregard for women, and we have a clear message to each of you, “Women do not want to be left in the water.”
We poke fun at the Republicans but at least they permitted Mike Huckabee to stay in the race even though he had no chance of winning. The Republicans did not disenfranchise their own voters.
It appears that the senior members of our party believe that the rules for women candidates are not the same as the rules imposed upon male candidates.
Let me remind you that the DNC has every reason to worry that white women voters, three times larger than the combined black vote, will either stay away from the polls in November or vote for McCain. I cannot believe that my own party is attempting to disenfranchise women – the very group that can elect a Democrat but will not vote for one if they are not heard.
I read yesterday an article written by Dr. Lynette Long who reminded me of what Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, said in 1969, and I quote “Of my two handicaps, being female put more obstacles in my path than being black.” The DNC, Mr. Kennedy, John Edwards and senior members of our party have been more sensitive to racism then to sexism in this election. Let me remind you that many women are educated and hold offices of high regard and take issue with your condoning the behavior of Senator Obama who refers to women as “sweetie.” Nor are women “typical,” a phrase Senator Obama used to describe his “typical white aunt who would not cross the street if she saw a black person on the other side.” Senator Obama’s comments are racist and sexist. Does our party endorse racism and sexism? Racism and sexism of any sort should not be tolerated.
Women are not irrelevant. Women are not typical. Women are not second-class citizens and it is wrong to condone pervasive insidious sexism. Our vote matters. Women will determine who will win in November. Women comprise more than fifty percent (50%) of the vote and white women are the largest race/gender voting block in the country.
Voters who support Hillary are not racist. We are every color and of every religion. We support Senator Clinton because she is the more qualified candidate and the only one who can beat Senator McCain. In fact, Karl Rove’s electoral maps prove Senator Clinton can beat Senator McCain but guess who can’t beat Senator McCain? Electoral maps put together by the consulting firm helmed by Rove, and obtained by ABC News, show Senator Hillary Clinton to be a stronger general election candidate in a hypothetical general election match-up against Senator McCain, than Senator Obama.
The Democrats will be defeated without Senator Clinton as the presidential nominee on the ticket. History will show that you condoned a flagrant disregard for women in this election and that the Democratic party caused its own defeat. You are ignoring the largest voting block. Why are we Democrats?
Women will have no choice but to adhere to the moral imperative to leave the Democratic party or ensure that a Democrat is defeated. Only then will women be respected and never again be ignored. When women vote, Democrats win.
If you want my support in November you will let everyone be heard and you will count each and every vote from Florida and Michigan. We simply cannot ignore the fact that a record 2.35 million voters in Florida and Michigan went to the polls and exercised the most fundamental of all rights – the right to vote. If we stand for nothing else we must stand for the principle that every vote counts and that every vote is counted. Florida and Michigan will be crucial states in November and we cannot afford to alienate voters and should not aim to handicap our nominee. We cannot permit Floridians again to be disenfranchised and I do not want to belong to a party that disenfranchises anyone under any pretext. A decision must be made by May 31st so that the Florida and Michigan delegations can have a meaningful participation in the Democratic National Convention. Voters in Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico are waiting to cast their ballots and we need their support.
Senator Clinton is the stronger, more experienced candidate. Senator Clinton can and will win in November. Senator Obama cannot defeat Senator McCain.
Every single vote from Florida and Michigan must count! Please, I beg you, do not cause our own defeat by disenfranchising voters.
Sandra G. Blundetto
Attorney at Law
cc: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Senator Ted Kennedy (Via Federal Express)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Among the other open letters to the Democratic National Convention and the Superdelegates I really liked, is this one from my state:
To Every Super Delegate:
The voice of the people is the bedrock of our democracy. We do insist that you hear the collective voice of the people. Count every, single vote honestly and allow the Democratic nomination for president to be decided the same way.
In a Philadelphia Inquirer article this past week, columnist Jonathan Last, noted how Senator Clinton, "has the numbers." Continuing to state: "Lost in the excitement of Barack Obama's coronation this week was an inconvenient fact of Tuesday's results: Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter.”
We are part of that quaint circle. We are also among those who began this primary season with hope and now vacillate between outrage and despair. How painful to witness what, at best, historians will view as another shameful period in our history and, at worst, the demise of the Democratic Party. You have the power to prevent that. Please, in the name of fairness, use it wisely.
And please, please open your eyes. The quest for the democratic nomination was supposed to transcend and herald the beginning of the end to bigotry. Instead, it has unveiled wide, perhaps insurmountable chasms, including the brutal, insidious misogyny that pervades our culture. It has also revealed rock solid maneuvers to blame the victim.
We at least pretend to be 'shocked, shocked' ...that racism still exists in this country; yet sexism is considered so unimportant it is practiced with regularity and glee: Tee shirts telling a presidential candidate to go cook some guy's dinner. Members of her own party ignoring landslide primary victories, insisting she step aside, and admonishing her supporters not to waste their votes on her and/or their money by contributing to her campaign. Pundits calling her a bitch, a murderess and worse on national television and accusing her of "pimping" out a daughter who chose to campaign for her. Let her make an historical reference to the campaign process, and members of her own party she twist her words into exploiting the Kennedy family's tragedies or plotting an assassination; yet there was absolute silence from democratic officials when media pundits accused her of being willing to settle for the Vice Presidency in order to do Obama in.
Subject Obama's every move or word to the same twisting and daily diatribes launched at Hillary, or substitute Afro-American for the sexist invectives, and the outcry of virulent racism would be swift and well deserved. Yet where is the outcry when a woman is the target of denigration? And why is it justly accepted that Obama's supporters believe he's the best candidate. Yet, as if it's unthinkable any woman could be thought of as the "best qualified," Hillary supporters are dubbed losers and/or racist and their motives are questioned and negatively psychoanalyzed.
And why did no super delegate or member of the DNC challenge CNN's declaration that democrats wouldn't dare deny an African-American the prize in a neck-in-neck race. The party's silence speaks volumes begging the question, what about women?
The answer is that many women voters take Hillary's mistreatment personally and many life-long democrats of both genders consider their party complicit in a media-driven misogynist holocaust. They demand fairness, which will never be achieved by over-riding the will of the majority with the will of the few_ particularly even the super few. Nor will fairness by achieved by a pretense of party unity. We have to look at these problems honestly and openly, work to solve them and allow every voice to be heard.
Even if the decision goes all the way to the convention floor, as long as it reflects the voice of the people, the party will come together. Otherwise, if Hillary is denied the nomination by numbers manipulation or some pretense at party unity, many of her supporters intend to re-register as independents and/or write in her name, vote for McCain or not vote at all. The Democratic Party would be unwise to underestimate the intensity, determination and power of these voters.
Neither can the party delude itself that passions will cool by November and everyone will fall into line. The will of half a party's voters cannot be ignored without repercussion, no candidate can win with massive demographic defections, and when people perceive their party has abandoned them they vote with their feet, regardless of the consequences. Only by counting every vote; discounting prejudice and the media, and selecting the nominee at a fully represented convention, will the Democratic Party have a chance to heal its rifts. Otherwise - and the thought is terrifying -- the election will be handed to McCain on a silver platter.
Glennie & Barry Feinsmith
Ashland OR 97520
Friday, May 23, 2008
Here is what the campaign is saying on Emily's List:
Show some respect for women!
Talking heads on cable news using vile, sexist language that insults and degrades women.
This time it's GOP consultant Alex Castellanos -- purveyor of a racist attack ad on behalf of former Sen. Jesse Helms -- appearing on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday, May 20.
Commenting in a discussion about a comedy routine characterizing Hillary as a "white b**ch," Castellanos said, "...and some women by the way, are named that and it's accurate."
(Use the form below to tell CNN that it's time to stop condoning sexism and start showing some respect for women.) You can go HERE to do this.
I say, don't fill yourself with the toxicity by watching what you already know exists. Just confidently respond from your own voice!
Here is my reply:
Wake up men! You have not lived in a world of your own making, in your own image, under your own control for a very long time if ever, really!
Wake up men! The facts that The Women's Movement now has thirty-plus years in self-help, self-examination, enlightenment work, etc., is obvious when a man continues to presume to shoot off his mouth like some, "Oh I don't need to read the new curriculum (since the 1970's!) because I am the curriculum with an attitude!"
As an upright hominid, you all sound truly a lot more ignorant than the great and noble apes. The generally portrayed evolution of men as only selfish, self-centered, needy boy-children, insisting on the security of a Moma at home just for them, is a general picture of men that really can afford to evolve into socially conscious beings now. I would give you permission, but you have to learn how to do that for yourselves.
This IS where the women are: out in the world, making the world a safer place to be! You can come out of your neediness to be taken care of a little more differently now_ WE women are making the world more safe for you to be out here, with no more chest-pounding antics.
Want a cookie?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Quitters Never Win
By Ellen R. Malcolm
Saturday, May 10, 2008
When I was growing up in the 1960s, I wanted to play basketball. In those days, the rules said girls could dribble only three steps and then had to pass the ball. To make sure we didn't overexert ourselves, we weren't allowed to cross the half-court line. It's a wonder our fans (our mothers) could stay awake when a typical game's final score was 14-10.
It's remarkable that my generation of women entered the workforce and began to compete in business, politics and the hurly-burly of life outside the home. How did we ever learn to locate, much less channel, our competitive instincts in a world that made us play half-court and assumed that we would be content staying home to iron the shirts? It's a tremendous tribute to women of my generation that we sucked it up and learned to compete in the toughest environments.
Which brings us to Hillary Clinton running for president. This brilliant woman believes that she can compete for the most powerful office in the world. She believes that she can do a better job than any of the men running to lead our country through these challenging times. And millions of Americans, women and men, believe that she is correct.
Yet over and over again the media and her opponents have claimed that she is defeated -- it's over, she can't win, she's a loser. And over and over again -- in New Hampshire, on Super Tuesday, in Texas and Ohio, in Pennsylvania last month, and in Indiana this week -- female voters poured out of their homes to cast their ballots for her. They know that women can compete, and they want to make sure that women, especially this woman, can win.
It's not surprising that low-income working women are the cornerstone of Hillary's success. Many of these women live on the edge of disaster. A pink slip, a family member's illness, a parent who can no longer live alone, a car that won't start or a mortgage rate that goes up -- all are threats that could devastate the family. And yet these women do what women have done for ages. They put on a confident face, feed their children breakfast and get them off to school. They don't quit. They suck it up and fight back against whatever life throws their way.
They see in Hillary Clinton a candidate who understands the pressures they face. As they watch her tough it out against all odds, refusing to quit and continuing to compete against whatever the media and her opponents throw her way, they see a woman as tough and resilient as they are. They clearly want her to win. Her victory, I believe, is their victory.
So here we are in the fourth quarter of the nominating process and the game is too close to call. Once again, the opponents and the media are calling for Hillary to quit. The first woman ever to win a presidential primary is supposed to stop competing, to curtsy and exit stage right.
Why on earth should one candidate quit before the contest is finished? Democrats need not be so fainthearted. Both of the party's remaining candidates have raised tens of millions of dollars. Both have the respect of Democrats nationwide. Each has a progressive agenda that stands in stark contrast to Sen. John McCain and his adherence to Bush administration policies.
So why are some Democrats so afraid? We simply need to count every vote, let the remaining states have their say and see the process through to its conclusion.
Hillary Clinton certainly has the right to compete till the end. But I believe Hillary also has a responsibility to play the game to its conclusion. For the women of my generation who learned to find and channel their competitiveness, for the working women who never falter in the face of pressure, for the younger women who still believe women can do anything, Hillary is a champion. She's shown us over and over that winners never quit and that quitters never win. We'll cheer her on until the game is over. And we hope that when the final whistle blows, we will have elected the first female president and the best president our country has ever had.
The writer is founder and president of Emily's List.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Humans are so-o-o disappointing when they only continuously shirk their own courage to live their own lives, no matter the consequences. Today, I am letting my feelings of utter letdown spill forth, in an effort to release the toxic build-up. A build-up connected to my hopes and beliefs over twenty years of good faith in my generation. To release my profound frustration and disappointment today after the Oregon Primary.
Vulnerability is the seat of true personal power folks_ wake up!
Here is the ugly secret about Portland, Oregon as I am experiencing it so far, after returning to live here again twenty-eight years later: it is dominated by young people with good credit and a lot of energy. What that means is, the wisdom, vanity, self-indulgence, life-experience, and willingness-to-take-creative-risks of the OLDER sixties generation who still do, is only co-opted and generally treated as an object of denial. A reflexive vibrational, all-too-common quality from this generation's voice. Covert defiance_ insecure, in the individuation process on their path to maturity. It is beyond boring!
So, where am I in all this fomenting over the loss of MY candidate? The loss of a primary election that had the potential to send a VERY POWERFUL message to the entire rest of the world? An important message about America's enlightened capacity for female leadership?!
I am in disbelief at how unenlightened and self-indulged a job my generation has accomplished in raising only meek, corporate-conforming and resentful, materially-indulgent brats_ now home-owning, baby-boomer, generation-three-building, voters!
I brought my own sixties/ early seventies idealisms forward. Where are you people?!
Why didn't you do the therapy? It is possible to find one's "own space," to cultivated one's own identity. I have raised my daughter completely alone in an artistic, intelligent and culturally vibrant, feminist household. She is healthy and likes me!
Remember trusting the momentum of the ERA? That one act put the quality momentum under my life since the year I graduated high school, just as much as my generation's phenomenal cultural inspiration to influence this country for the better, in spite of itself.
This is what Cultural Creatives do, damn it! Bridge disparate groups and form new hybrids. Combine robust expressions of possibility out of differences. Uplift! Inspire! Courageously! Against the odds!
Now, I am out here in mid-life and you? I am ready to create something new and yet the landscape has no momentum. It seems only to be littered with a noisy, self-centered, material ugliness reflected in my generation's failures to liberate historical shame. Instead passing it on unconsciously from one generation to the next; an abuse that is again all too common an expression of familial love!
No. No. No. Where is the real courage? Not dependency on illusive security! Where is the idealism? The trust?
My life depends on this, what about yours really?! I cannot go forward alone anymore in a social landscape where my peers have only brought forward avoidance, denial. Flat out ignoring what is possible, to another's very own face_ because attention, priority, intention, value are all unconsciously materially distracted_ ONLY tied up in making money. You don't even know what money is?
Sex, drugs, and a rock-and-roll history to be ashamed of, huh? This is all you thought your past life, your pre-family life, your youth meant? You are ashamed and that is all?! That's all? WAKE UP! I am not advocating living in a mis-spent youthful past. I am talking about HOW all the dots are connected.
Looking back ask yourselves, HOW did so many people in "our generation" erupt into such pervasive, simultaneous spontaneity all over the country during our youth? WE did NOT have the iPods, text-messaging, or internet. We did however, help invent and perpetuate this junk in the pursuit of money, damn it!
Never-the-less, something truly powerful happened when we were younger, without technology! Something in human consciousness found its way into expression in our collective spontaneous human experiences then! Leaving it all behind just with a sense of shame is just plain foolish folks!
Some of us eloquently now embody our magnificent era, and still want to make something of ourselves with you, and with your children who are now out here in the marketplace with their technology, good credit and no life experience to speak of! Talk about a license to drive!
I need your help, and we all need each other's help in point-of-fact.
My particular work combines making beautiful art, empowering courage in others through body-centered work, and living consciously in the body through real knowledge of organic nutritional health. Materiality is better with this. Materiality takes on its own proper perspective when these areas are emphasized as the definition of quality of life.
This is how I feel today: I am not going to just be left behind in this damned country. I have worked my ass off alone for a very long time. I say, you owe it to yourself to respond in kind to my challenge here! Try supportive and brave ways of responding for the constructive "change" you "say" matters to you, because people like me have never strayed from that desire for change we already set into motion as a generation in the sixties and seventies. I can help you! Your damn money, and people like me who have intelligently held up the long-term adherence to social, political, cultural, economic ideals. Arrrgh! GET UP!
Whew! That feels better and I mean it too!
"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton
- Unfortunately, this may only be a really low standard to have for oneself as a woman and human being! Good men and good women can prove me wrong anytime_ I am ready.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Every young person who is now 18 to 20, of voting age and registered to vote, was between 6 and 8 years old in 1995 when Hillary spoke at the UN International Women's Convention! You might do some research to find out how or why an International Women's Convention even came about!
The following comment was left on the NARAL blog in response to their recent endorsement of the other Democratic candidate. It makes the case historically for everyone, to carefully review just where your own decision in voting for the candidate for president is truly, clearly coming from.
In the following, first there are the individual person's own comments framing their intention to comment, and then the history to clearly (re)consider folks!
(I have paraphrased this quoted material only slightly for the sake of focus here:)
'How many of you were involved first-person in attempts to pass the ERA, and win equality for all women?
I was, my wife was, my two teen-age sons were, my mother was, my father was, as well as my two grandmothers.
Our efforts are documented in all publications and our histories are the torch run, and convention.
At the time, women had a chance to support other women and themselves by speaking up for passage. Women by sheer numbers and unity could have forced passage of the ERA.
However, mulitudes (such as Phyllis Schafly, the Eagle Forum, as well as others willing to reap the benefits but not fight the fight) yielded to male influence and domination, and were not willing to stand-up and demand an equal voice and protections as afforded to all males at the time, (circa 1972).
They subjugated themselves, allowing their constitutionalized and institutionalized inferiority to men to stand. The ERA would have brought complete equality. Instead bits and pieces of equality have been "granted" through various "Title programs". Full equality does not exist under the law to this day. (*see Mary Francis Berry argument below).
As written in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment simply stated the following:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
The fifteen states failing to ratify the ERA were the ten southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, along with the border states of Missouri and Illinois, and the three western states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
(Constituting, with a few exceptions, Obama's "stronghold" and base.)
Then as now, many women "sold" other women out in favor of the male bastion. Just as they are doing now regarding Hillary Clinton and we life-time activists for women's and minorities' issues.
When we began working on civil-rights in the 60s, Obama was not born. When we struggled in our attempts to pass the ERA, he was a child. Yet now there are those choosing him as the savior of women's rights.
No public figures have ever worked harder for women and minorities than Hillary Clinton and that record is out there for all to see.
* “We Lack a Firm Constitutional Basis for Equal Rights on the Basis of Gender,”
Mary Frances Berry Argues for the ERA:
In the years following the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment extending voting rights to women, the National Woman’s Party, the radical wing of the suffrage movement, advocated passage of a constitutional amendment to make discrimination based on gender illegal. The first Congressional hearing on the equal rights amendment (ERA) was held in 1923. Many female reformers opposed the amendment in fear that it would end protective labor and health legislation designed to aid female workers and poverty-stricken mothers. A major divide, often class-based, emerged among women’s groups. While the National Woman’s Party and groups representing business and professional women continued to push for an ERA, passage was unlikely until the 1960s, when the revived women’s movement, especially the National Organization for Women (NOW), made the ERA priority. The 1960s and 1970s saw important legislation enacted to address sex discrimination in employment and education—most prominently, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act—and on March 22, 1972, Congress passed the ERA. The proposed amendment expired in 1982, however, with support from only 35 states—three short of the required 38 necessary for ratification. Strong grassroots opposition emerged in the southern and western sections of the country, led by anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schafly. Schlafly charged that the amendment would create a “unisex society” while weakening the family, maligning the homemaker, legitimizing homosexuality, and exposing girls to the military draft. In the following 1983 House committee hearing, Mary Frances Berry of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights argued that the ERA was still necessary due to the lack of clear constitutional guidelines for court decisions and enforcement efforts regarding sex discrimination legislation.
"We believe that one reason sex discrimination persists is that we lack a firm constitutional basis for equal rights on the basis of gender."
Now, people who are opposed to ERA say, “Well, you have got the 14th Amendment and that is all you need.” But the Supreme Court of the United States has stopped short of applying the same 14th Amendment standards to sex discrimination that they do to race discrimination. And part of the reason why Justice Powell says, is that there is no ERA, and that is why we don’t have to make sex a suspect class.
What he said is ratification would “resolve the substance of this precise question.” Of course, without it the result is a “catch-22.”
Women are told they don’t need ERA because they have the 14th Amendment, but they can’t have the 14th Amendment’s full protection because they don’t have ERA. So you are caught however you go.
As we have said before in the Commission on Civil Rights, the chief advantage of an ERA as opposed to other kinds of reforms is that it would provide stronger protection. And in the absence of a formal constitutional foundation for gender equality, a hostile legislature we know, could wipe off all the antidiscrimination laws that are now on the books. So what we would do is just put women’s equality into the Constitution.
TESTIMONY OF MARY FRANCES BERRY, COMMISSIONER, U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS...
Source: Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary, Equal Rights Amendment: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st session. on H.J. Res. 1, July 13, September 14, October 20, 26, and November 3, 1983, Serial No. 115 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990).'
I filled in my ballot last night. Yes, I wavered about my original choice for about a week, however during that time, I looked very closely at the two Democratic candidates side-by-side. This morning I woke up happy with my decision for all the reasons I have believed in from the start only more so, especially because of the passage of time on the campaign trail.
What I want to say to younger women, is that when you become a woman who has lived life and been faced with just how tough life does treat us, many of you will learn how to get back up and choose on purpose not go away. Meanwhile in a poignant momentary consideration, it is funny how those who bring life into this world, are still the least valued even in the 21st Century particularly by other women.
Women in their twenties and thirties generally do not understand this while approval couched in sexual tension, is a developmental reality. A reality thrust on the female psyche from subtle and gross influences within the best of intentions in a patriarchal society. One simply does not emerge firmly into individuated identity to recognize this social reality typically until the 40's, and even then, it can be until the milestone of reaching age 50 that a woman often truly steps into her own autonomous skin at last. Life is the teacher. One day eventually rather than sooner, we all come to know this truth more concretely within.
In the meantime take no privilege for granted, no matter how "boring" it feels when a differently life-experienced woman shares her wisdom with you. This is life as a human being. On all levels, in the big picture and in the subtle daily details of life, knowing come with maturity... knowing self, knowing how consciousness is working around, with and through us all the time. Knowing how this all fits together in the context of consciousness evolution. We do not understand before we are actually ready to face that we do not understand. Meantime, everyone does the best each one knows how...
In my lifetime as a witness and participant to all of human history I have lived, my choice is for the women to take the lead reigns. It is time. She is experienced enough, we are in a crisis, she is tested enough and she does not back down or go away.
Women are ready in your mother's generation, no matter how that impacts the fragile ego sense of (your)self. That impact to ego identity is secondary to reality, because maturity for the quality change that is appropriate now is present in the life-experienced woman, and not quite ready in the younger man. He can grow and participate in valuable and important ways in the meantime, and then come back with greater seasoning for having lived, be tested, learned and matured a little bit more.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Edited March 11, 2012: I still seem to be approaching everything in this life at my own expense; learning the hard way over and over. Here is what I think I know by experience so far: there is no true support in the socio-economic or political environment of the United States, for a human being to be too literal about the course of action required to build a foundation under one's own life_ let alone how to realize one's own dreams with an assumption of reasonable access in the land of the free. Is that only cynicism?
Naïveté? Just confusion?
Allow me to indulge the moment_ for every hardworking effort I have accomplished over the past twenty years, my life has been caught in this loop of no steady employment; for the past eight_ it has NO employment! How does this happen? As a newly released, once full-time, single parent to a young person now away at college, I am now more adrift than ever before.
Not single-parenting full time alone anymore, is not the bad part. Those years were hard, but not bad. Why did I feel the need to do it that way, you may ask? That would be another post.
Sure, there are major life-transitions to make right now: learning what comes after no longer having the full time job of parenting; leaving the role of taking care of another human being full-time; leaving a larger household to run; all the decisions needed to be made with no input and no relief from the day-to-day, ("Hi honey, I'll get pizza for dinner." Just never walked through the front door of our family's life.) The accumulated lack of energy now present in the interim transition, after years of attending to all the details, every day to keep everything going forward.
The bad part was and is, not being able to even reasonably reach my own life monetarily. (How many of you reading this have just 'gone away' by now?)
Even with a college degree, a ton of skills ('over-qualified' is not a term based in reality!), perhaps not consciously coupled to an equal passion to pursue my own personal interests, yet, I may therefore remain isolated! This part seems too easy to maintain.
Adding to this article, a few years down the road, I now know I owe some brief recognition time for all that has gone well in my past experiences of having done it all myself!
From where I am standing, America is in desperate need of returning to a humanist-centered government and culture. To gain skills of self-reflection without self-indulging folks.
John McCain, much like Bush cannot even pronounce the terms that speak to cognizantly caring about others, let alone understand what this means, or how it translates into action out in the world of the United States of America. Very sad standard, folks!
Still who does? Do any one of us comprehend what it takes to allow people to have a choice, & risk all implications associated therein? To have inclusive access to the choices each one deems right for themselves, for loved ones, their own families? Pragmatic access folks, not historically unconscious privilege. Can the psychologist name what we are playing at? Can the traditional theologian be trusted anymore? Could they ever be, really? How do we wake from this dream? This habit of sleep-walking through a very stale definition of socially defined, yet historically unexamined life, limited to the human ego of nightmarish proportions_ can we wake up collectively yet?
Are we really supposed to have leaders anymore? Is it time for everyone to be consciously responsible for this worldly experience together? What does that look and feel like? Or am I still too early with this kind of questioning?
Here I am today, working on this presidential campaign instead of looking for a job, at least today... yet, from one day to the next, I continue trying everything to make connections take shape!
When I did earn my degree somewhat recently, the dot-com bubble had just burst the year before, taking my savings and investments with it overnight! One year later, Bush was not elected, but was in the White House anyway. I was perimenopausal. In response, I promised myself I would take none of it personally. I had my degree, a family to set an example for, and my dreams. I still do.
Along with a huge and mounting debt load, an inability to even literally keep a roof over my own head at this point_ Ty Pennington, or Oprah that's your cue! I am sleeping on an air mattress, exiled in guysville!
Please note that the current state of my life can almost fulfill the prerequisite for complete sentimental exploitation! Are you awake?!
In piecing together my next round of employment searches, I am just trying to figure out who the next president could possibly be best, to attend to the real needs of this country for the better. A 'better' in this country, like we have not seen or experienced for a very long time. Do we have real choices out there on the campaign trail, or is only politico-media manipulation from one election "event" to the next anymore?
I want to stand on my own two feet in this life, and in the process a body does need reasonable HELP!
How really, are we connected_ one to another?
Leave no consideration, scenario, potential out... It is now 2012, and I have worked several more of those unstable jobs. Yet, even more recently, another gap of hard unemployment filled with lots of volunteer experiences, I am employed in something that holds opportunity to build on! Likewise, I have become more informed about resources such as these: http://unconventionalguides.com/wfy.htm
How is it going for you? What can you add? Drop me a line here on the blog, & thanks for reading this post all the way through.
Monday, May 12, 2008
What is it in this article from Ghana, about our presidential campaigns that makes sense_ besides the need for good editing?
12 May 2008
Posted to the web 12 May 2008
Godwin Yaw Agboka
"Hillary Clinton has vowed to fight on, even though the odds are hugely against her.
She is behind Obama in popular votes, pledged delegates, and states won. What is more, more than ever, pressure is mounting on her to withdraw her candidature from the Democratic race to save the party from a chaotic convention due to take place in Denver later this year.
Last Tuesday was an apt opportunity for Hillary to prove to the superdelegates and the leadership of the party that Obama is, indeed, vulnerable; that several questions remain unanswered about Obama; that Obama does not connect with middle class, blue-collar workers; that he cannot win the big states, and that he is elitist. This point, she could not make at the end of the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. When the votes were counted, Obama won North Carolina by a 14-point margin in North Carolina, and, almost denied Hillary victory in Indiana, where the demographics favored her.
Let's face it; Hillary Clinton has run a terrific campaign. She began the race as the most established, experienced, and most formidable brand. She was-before the process-and still is, the most popular woman in the US. She had the Clinton machinery well in place for her, and she made good use of it. Consequently, during the debates, she stayed above the fray, refusing to answer some questions, and always presenting herself as the candidate for the '08 campaign. She led by huge margins in most of the states, according to most of the polls- even before some of the other contenders dropped out.
Hillary's tragic mistake was that she ran a general election campaign-not a campaign to win her party's nomination. She presented herself as the invincible candidate destined to go to the White House. Thus, while Obama was amassing grassroots support, soliciting as little as a dollar from donors, Hillary was already living the life of a president. Thus, as Obama developed into a movement, the Clinton machinery could not rise to the challenge.
It was stunning how the Illinois Senator, Barrack Obama took the Democratic race by storm. He won ten contests in a row after Super Tuesday, picked up high profile endorsements, and closed the gap in the number of superdelegates won. He looked unstoppable after Super Tuesday, and, as things stand, he has ruggedly broken the aura of invincibility around Hillary Clinton, and provided tough answers to the question of electability, raised by Hillary Clinton.
Obama appears to have a magic wand that appeals to the youth, independents, and liberals. For the first time, in many decades, the expectations, among voters, are reaching boiling point-call it a crescendo. Voters seem to want things to change in Washington. Obama represents the change they want. Forget about the fact that he is black. Obama has transcended race. He talks about hope, and believes that "there is nothing false about hope." He knows how to say the right things at the right time.
Mathematically, it is impossible for Hillary to get the Democratic nomination. The only hope she has is to court (and win over) superdelegates, who are the tie-breakers in the Democratic process. Unfortunately (maybe, for Hillary), there is no tie in this case. The problem with allowing the superdelegates to decide the winner of the race, especially now that Obama has a huge advantage is that it will be a recipe for rancor, animosity, and division in the Democratic Party. It will be a disaster! That will be against the will of the people who voted, en masse, for Obama. Don't forget, also, that the many blacks who have turned out for Obama will feel the nomination has been 'stolen' from them. Blacks are a core voting group for Democrats.
Obama currently leads in pledged delegates and in states won and he is ahead in the popular vote, even if Florida were factored into the equation. Votes from Florida and Michigan were not counted because the states were penalized for moving their primaries up in violation of party rules. Thus, all the aspirants agreed not to contest there, even though Obama's, Clinton's, and Kucinich's names were on the ballot in Florida. In Michigan, however, Obama's name (and those of the other candidates), except Clinton's, was not even on the ballot.
Obama has won a total of 1,846 delegates out of which 1,588 are pledged delegates and 258, superdelegates. Clinton has won a total of 1, 685 delegates, out of which 1,419 are pledged delegates and 266, superdelegates, but a candidate will need a total of 2,025 to clinch the nomination. Furthermore, Obama has won twice as many states as Hillary. However, neither candidate is expected to win the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination by June 3, the end of the primary season. The final decision will most likely fall to the 796 superdelegates who are Democratic governors, members of Congress and party officials. That is where Hillary wants to cash in.
Even if Hillary Clinton won the remaining six contests, she cannot make up the difference (in delegates) between her and Obama, because the number of delegates for pick up is not as huge as it was in (say) Pennsylvania or even North Carolina. In fact, for Clinton to come close to closing the gap, she needs to win about 70% of the popular votes in all the other contests-a task which is impossible. Unfortunately for her she is about 500,000 votes behind in popular votes.
However, even though the odds are against her, Hillary believes she can still pull a surprise; in fact, she wants to re-live or re-enact the story of her husband who staged a major comeback after he lost Iowa about sixteen years ago when he was seeking the Democratic nomination. The challenge Hillary faces, however, is that she's had a lot of comebacks in this race-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, etc-but the odds have always been against her. She can't simply catch up!
The New York Senator makes an argument about why she is more electable. She argues that she has won the bigger states that matter to Democrats: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey. In fact, no Democrat became President without winning Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. These states have a lot of blue-collar workers who have been behind the pockets of successes Hillary Clinton has chalked in this process. Obama has failed to connect with these voters, and has often performed poorly whenever these voters come into the equation. He has won more of the small states which are also swing states.
What is more, recent polls about how the Democrats will fare against McCain have shown that, in fact, Hillary Clinton will beat McCain in a general election match-up by about 5 points, while the match-up between Obama and McCain is statistical dead heat. What these polls fail to do, however, is that they can't project into the future. They can only show the present. Is voter behavior static? Can't voters change their minds? Also, if Hillary argues that she is more electable, what is the best assessment of electability? Isn't Obama beating Hillary in the current process? Who is more electable?
The point the Clinton campaign misses, even regarding blue-color voters, is that these blue-collar voters who have been the backbone of Hillary Clinton have traditionally voted for Republicans, so that is not necessarily an Obama problem. It is a problem Democrats have had, and still have. Democrats have always struggled with this group of voters in the general elections. Thus, it is not a given that these voters will vote for a Democrat in the general elections.
The challenge Democrats face with this long, drawn-out process is that the White House might elude them. Even though the race has brought as much excitement to Democratic voters, it is also dividing the party. The Republican nominee, John McCain is already running a general election campaign, while the Democrats tear each other part. If recent polls about reports of division within the Democratic Party are an indicator, the Democrats are in big trouble.
According to early exit polls, half of Clinton's supporters in Indiana would not vote for Obama in a general election matchup with Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A third of Clinton's voters said they would pick McCain over Obama, while 17 percent said they would not vote at all. Forty-eight percent of Clinton supporters said they would back Obama in November.
Obama got even less support from Clinton backers in North Carolina, where 45 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for him over McCain. Thirty-eight percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for McCain while 12 percent said they would not vote. It appears Obama voters appear to be more willing to support Clinton in November. In Indiana, 59 percent of Obama backers said they'd vote for Clinton, and 70 percent of Obama backers in North Carolina said vote for her against McCain.
It will be difficult, if not impossible, for Hillary Clinton to clinch the Democratic nomination. It's almost over for her! Obama looks poised to become both the nominee and the first black president of the United States. He has one foot there, and he should be worrying over who will partner him for the December elections. The best Hillary Clinton can do is to graciously quit the race to save the party, her image, and to brighten her chances towards the pursuit of her political career. It is as simple as that!"
When my first choice for president Dennis Kucinch dropped out of the race, I vowed to stay in behind Hillary all the way to the primaries. Once Thomas Friedman's article was published in the NYT, I found myself doing some digging and research on line to better understand what he was plainly saying. It was then, about ten days ago that I found myself beginning to waver, to the extent that I posted my own call for Hillary to call the race, and drop out.
Today, with my Oregon ballot in my hand, I am really stuck in my decisions, for whom to vote!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Ever since the article in the NYT, (see: Dumb As We Wanna Be, By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, Published: April 30, 2008), every American who has been open to the opportunity to see_ the truth is Hillary's campaign for the nomination for US President is tanking. Maybe it is karma, but her recent personal investment of $6,000,000 to help the campaign stay afloat is sad. In retrospect and the bigger picture however, I think it's been the decisions made to have Chelsea crisscross the country on her mother's behalf, to cover that history of both Bill and Hillary having financial skeletons in both their closets...
Hillary, let your daughter stand on her own two feet, separate from the hard and dirty lessons you and Bill have had to go through. Lessons maybe still in the learning. This country wants to fulfill its democratic commitments; ideals and commitments to our constitution. Even in the face of a momentum of greed that took on speed during eight years of the Clinton White House. NAFTA, being just one example.
A momentum of greed that has only escalated to nightmare proportions during eight years of the Bush regime and crimes against humanity, both here and abroad.
Hillary, it would bode far better for you to turn your campaign rhetoric into serving the common, collective good of our democratic nation. In this work can you be seen in the proper context and hence recognized as the noble accomplisher. Choose to throw your fighter's energy and your formidable political experience, skill and clout into helping with the huge clean-up that is post-Bush. A clean-up that is bulging from the wings as we turn toward the elections this fall. THAT job will require a courage on the scale that is only right to the task. There are very dark and sinister personalities now who must be brought to justice. We all know this.
To this country who are registered and will vote democrat, to those who are registered republican and will vote democrat in this election, to those who are registered to vote, whether you choose to or not in the coming election, I also raise a voice. Put the responsibility of political health for the constitution of this nation back where it belongs! What do you want? What do you want? What do you want?
Do you only want to be parented by your own nation and government? Do you want to only sleep-walk through your very own life? Is Democracy to truly die on this watch of currently living humanity?
To the Democratic Party as a whole_ voters, media personnel and politicians alike, will you be a participant in the implosion of our historic political process? Well, will you? Will the marketing of egos not subside proportionately enough, to allow our own history to survive this harrowing lesson in humanity? What does it really mean to actually live together? Does anyone really know? To learn what is required of each and every one of us. Can you answer? What is the value of our rich heritage of differences in the new century?
It is time America and Senator Clinton, to get in behind the next presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket.
It may very well be that Barack may be what is right in the NOW, for a much needed change. A change of true benefit for the entire country. Our children after all have a right to their own ideals.
Mr. Obama, just make sure to put all those bright and shiny stars, who have sacrificed their six figure annual incomes to campaign for you, in the proper perspective. To serve the overall good of this country, for this entire country. Don't be just another new president beholdin'.
Call it, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is time.
Oh, and thank-you T. F. for holding up a light, on what sparked a challenge to my own priorities and perceptions.