politics

Obamanos

Tonight I left work a little early and went to the county Democratic headquarters to help Yara get volunteers on buses bound for New Mexico and Missouri to campaign for Obama.  I arrived around 6pm on a Friday night, Halloween, and there were at least 40 people in the office, most making calls on behalf of Obama.  I’ve been to that office five times now and every time it is packed with people working their asses off.  Every kind of person, young, old, hip, slightly-crazy, all colors and sizes.  It’s amazing, inspiring and humbling.  I worked about four hours tonight and then left to pick up bphenix from the airport since Yara couldn’t leave the scene yet.  We sent three buses off, filled to the gills with enthusiastic people willing to ride 16 hours in a bus with strangers and spend their weekend, their vacation days, to block-walk to get Obama elected.

While I don’t subscribe to the Obama cult of personality, (he is, after all, a politician, an incredibly savvy one) I am so hopeful that we may finally have someone at the head of our government who sees more of the big picture, of the real threats and opportunities before us.  Someone who understands that every barrel of oil we buy diminishes our national security, and every barrel of oil we burn harms our planet.  Someone who gets that spending money now on education will save us billions in social welfare and prison costs.  Someone who groks that investing in research and new technologies yields long-term benefits for our economy and for every person participating in it.  Oh, I am daring to hope.  I am.  I yield my cynicism for a short time.

Let it be Wednesday. Let this interminable election be over.

politics

Comments Off on Obamanos

Permalink

Latest Political Junkie Crush

A project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly, PolitiFact is my new fact-checking sweetheart. And it has a sense of humor!  My personal favorite: the Pants-on-Fire page.  Hurray fact-checking journalism geeks!

politics

Comments (2)

Permalink

Not-so evil schemes to avert soul-consuming anger

These last few months have had me designing a stock trading application for a major trading house.  To design this I spend my day looking at stock trading applications and financial tools online, which means I’ve had a very close (and mandatory) look at the recent financial meltdown, as well as the long run-up to it.  There has been a lot of election news interspersed with it and this, combined with my political junkie tendencies, has led to an ever-heightened feelings of fear, anger, incapacitation and sick glee at the rapid downward spiral of Things in General.

It has interfered with my sleep.

I went to Seattle a few weeks ago to see a play written and put on by an old friend and  to see my best friend play a noise show.  Steeping in all this creativity really put a point on it that I haven’t been doing shit but working and steeping in wretched political and financial news these last 9 months and that it’s no way to go through life.   I’m feeling rusty in doing community work and art.  So, I’m starting small.

My not-so evil scheme: register voters at the coffee shop next door.

Yes, that’s right, I sacrifice an hour each Tuesday and Thursday drinking tea, flirting with the cute staff and reading the paper, all while pestering every single person who goes into Progress about registering.  Oh, if all things were this easy.  So far I’ve registered 14 people.   For whatever reason, this has made me feel a lot better about this crappy election.  It’s nonpartisan, I’m not asking for money, it falls in line with my Iowan small-d democracy beliefs and I don’t have to deal with any nutjobs at campaign headquarters, which my braver and stronger friend is doing.

It won’t save the world, but I’m sleeping better.

geekery
life
politics

Comments Off on Not-so evil schemes to avert soul-consuming anger

Permalink

Failure

I just listened to President Bush speaking live from the New Orleans airport. It was pathetic, it made me weep.

“I’m about to fly out, but I want you to know that I won’t forget what I’ve seen.”

Yes, and neither will any of the people who have seen the rapes, murders, deaths, corpses and crying, screaming, starving babies. What has happened in Louisiana this week is beyond an outrage, it is racism in action, and it was completely preventable.

A damning article from National Geographic on the state of New Orleans’ hurricane preparedness: Gone with the water.

The war in Iraq is terrible. But this is fucking criminal. New Orleans looks like Haiti. This is in our country, these are our people. We are the richest, most armed, ballsiest country on the planet and this is our response to the horror and suffering in our own country? Sick. Pathetic. This administration was doing its best to ruin us overseas, now they’re doing a fine job of it on our own soil as well.

politics

Comments Off on Failure

Permalink

The Lights Shone into the Sky

Yesterday I got three copies of an email through various lists about the Texas legislature hearing on the anti-gay-marriage amendment that’s been proposed. LGRL had put the word out to turn out, saying the hearing would likely go past midnight. My work day sucked yesterday and I was stuck in a meeting until 7pm which left my brain mostly unglued. I wasn’t going to go. And then I got in my car and got really really mad. I was mad at The Man! Fuck the Man! The Man WANTS me to be tired after work and go home and watch tv and be a lazy slug. The Man wants me to believe that I won’t make a difference and someone else will go and sign in against the amendment. The Man does not get enough good sex, says me; it’s why he’s so cranky and always trying to deny the rest of us good sex.

Screw that shit.

I drove downtown, was blessed with a lovely parking spot just north of the capital and found the room easily, immediately running into my friend Marty whom I met at the Democratic state convention last summer.

The room was packed. They had been there since two that afternoon. The LGRL people estimated that a few hundred people had already testified, and only one person was there in favor of the amendment.

(There are actually two amendments, one with nastier language than the first, but both brought by predictable conservatives Warren Chisum and Robert Talton. Talton’s is the worse of the two, denying even the chance of civil unions. Chisum is consistent with his virulently right-wing bills since I’ve been following him.)

I sat down next to Marty and her girlfriend to fill out my form against the amendment, kind of half-listening to a guy talk about how hard it was to buy a house together as a gay couple. The committee looked glazed. It was hot. He finished up, and another fellow went up to the podium. He started talking about his wife (?) and then about his son: his 19 year old gay son that this law was going to screw over, by telling him yet again that he was not good enough, not equal, not accepted. It was very moving. Then his wife got up and gave an impassioned speech about their family and how she wanted such a family for her son and his children. She talked about how her son tried to take his life a few years ago after bullying and threats. There were a lot of folks wiping tears from their eyes in the room. And then their son got up. 19 and sweet looking and nervous, he knocked our socks off, saying he simply wanted to ask “Why? Why now? Why us? Why always us?”

I can’t do justice to this family’s moving and powerful testimony. The committee was obviously touched and one member spoke with the kid. I was so glad I’d gone. I don’t think my one little piece of paper signed against this amendment will change anything, but it was really heartening to see how many people turned out to speak against this injustice and to show their faces, the faces that would be affected by it. I don’t want to be dulled by my job and stupid, small complaints when there are larger problems that I can do my tiny part to try to rectify. I want to be awake, I want to act mindfully.

As I left the capital, I felt re-energized. It was warm and the bats were coming out, flying through the spotlights that shine up onto the capital through the night sky. There may be darkness, but light can easily pierce it.

politics

Comments Off on The Lights Shone into the Sky

Permalink