Dec 23, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! May the New Year Bring More of a Progressive Culture of Life.

Ah, this is a great time for celebrating. The colder weather--at least here in the northeast--requires a cozy atmosphere. The winter solstice just took place, so the "new sun" will rise higher and higher for the next 6 months, but every season is nice to experience... all because our earth wobbles like a drunkard! ha!

Enjoy life and don't waste your time with pettiness and unnecessary grief.

This is an 0ld time favorite.

Dec 12, 2008

The President-elect is Stuffing his Santa Bag with Goodies & Coal

As we progressives look at the president-elect's choices for his cabinet, it's a mixed bag of goodies & baddies. This election was about change, and Obama has promised to usher a new era of healing and true progress--a progress in science & technology, civil rights & liberties, and caring for the world & our fellow humans. That is a very tall order, but, as I've maintained here, it is imperative that the new president steers the USS America in the correct direction. The speed on which we travel remains to be determined.

One of the most important powers the president has is the power to convince. He is the center of attention, so his choices set the national agenda. Impressions also matter as they set the tone. Take for example his choice for Energy Secretary, Dr. Chu. As a energy-hungry nation we need to make the right choices today and this a nice way to start by having someone who knows lots about this subject.

Now, on the other hand, what the heck was BO thinking when he chose Rev. Rick Warren to deliver some voodoo during the innauguration? Yes, I said, it's voodoo, because it's prejudicial, superstitious, and does not reflect a truly enlightened society. Obviously, Mr. Warren thinks he's praying to a god that wants the gays, Jews and Muslims to burn in hell, women not to have reproductive choice, and all sorts of other nonsense, like the soul existing in a petri dish--hence, the religious nuts opposing stem cell research.

I understand that this country is religious, but it wasn't necessary for BO to pick anyone like this backward-looking "reverend." There are plenty of much better choices out there that have more progressive views. If the new president wants a godly approach, he should pick people whose gods are more humanistic. After all, if BO is intent upon carrying out his social, pro-"main street" policies, he shouldn't be so accepting of people (like Warren) who call such approach marxist!

"Like every candidate, Obama must appeal to millions of voters who believe that without religion, most of us would spend our days raping and killing our neighbors and stealing their pornography. Examples of well-behaved and comparatively atheistic societies like Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark--which surpass us in terrestrial virtues like education, health, public generosity, per capita aid to the developing world, and low rates of violent crime and infant mortality--are of no interest to our electorate whatsoever. It is, of course, good to know that people like Reverend Wright occasionally do help the poor, feed the hungry, and care for the sick. But wouldn't it be better to do these things for reasons that are not manifestly delusional? Can we care for one another without believing that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is now listening to our thoughts?

Yes we can"

Sam Harris, What Barack Obama Could Not Say.

Dec 7, 2008

Of Sunsets and Unicorns

With the new president-elect being more visible and active that the sitting president, much has been said about Obama's choice regarding his cabinet and other high posts in his administration. I've been part of endless discussions about Obama scorning the progressive community that played a huge part--especially early on when he mostly needed the money and the ground troops--in his campaign for the presidency. But let's see what this man does when he has power.

Reaching to the established powers and even across the aisle is less important than the actual policy implemented. If, like he recently re-affirmed, he is the author of new policy, then I don't care who implements it. Of course I have issues with, say, keeping Gates in the Defence Dpt. This reinforces the notion that Republicans are stronger on defense! And, the economic team does not include Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, the one who has progressive ideas on economic and warned us about "free market fundamentalism."

Perhaps this is Obama's way of saying, I'm mainstream, but will nevertheless push for progressive politics. The other reality is that Obama probably feels that there's no option for failure. The country is quite messed up, domestically and internationally. This is a chance for redefining the role of government and re-arranging our national priorities. This is a chance for a non-traditional leader to show that certain ceilings & barriers should be demolished for good.

If there's progress regarding health care, access to education, the environment, science, and smarter foreign policy, I'd be ecstatic! Let's see what takes place.

PS. You might find this opinion on The Washington Post interesting. David Corn criticizes BO for his early picks.