Tag: america

An Open Letter to Barack Obama, from Alice Walker

Reposted from the owls & the angels:

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people’s enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people’s spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to “work with the enemy” internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker


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http://www.change.gov – the official site of President-Elect Barack Obama

I love it!!!

screenshot from betanews

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nov 5 2008 latimes.PNG

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Sketch 39

It’s been a heck of a week.  Two more major banks have fallen (or at least been sold off at a discount).  The White House and Congressional Leadership have proposed a financial bailout package, that failed when it went to the House floor for a vote, and the first presidential debate happened (a draw for the most part).

In my neck of the woods…I had my car towed to the mechanic to find out what the damage would be from the car troubles I mentioned in my previous post.  Turns out it was the more expensive of the two options the mechanic mentioned over the phone.  So I had to call my dad to see if he could spot me the repairs for a few weeks while I deal with all the moving expenses.

Not much else has been going on as I prepare to move to my new place this coming weekend.  I did catch a screening of The Lucky Ones (another screening presented by Creative Screenwriting Magazine).  A nice take on the road trip movie and the disruptions of military life on families.

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America’s Strength

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power.”

–Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention 8/27/08

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Towelhead (the movie)

Last night I went to an advance screening of the movie Towelhead.  The movie is directed and adapted by Alan Ball from the novel by Alicia Erian.  The story is about a young Arab-American girl, coming of age during the time of the first Gulf War, in Texas.

The movie was pretty amazing.  It was uncomfortable, funny, hopeful and disturbing at various times.  I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised coming from Alan Ball, who didn’t shy away with uncomfortable topics in American Beauty or Six Feet Under.  I was actually kinda bummed that I wasn’t able to stick around for the Q & A session after the screening (it was late).

Its going to be interesting when this film is actually released.  From looking at the official website for the movie, it looks like they are going to be doing a bunch of screenings around the country before its wider release.  Of course the title of the movie is going to be controversial.  The film makers (and original author) address this a bit on the website, which I quote beneath the cut.  I encourage ya’ll to see this movie when you can, its the best movie I’ve seen all summer.

Continue reading

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a new beginning?

Today I hope is a new beginning for the United States.  Voters have made a loud and clear statement of unhappiness with the direction of our country.  The balance of power has clearly shifted in the House of Representatives and currently looks to swing in the Senate as well.  However, we will not know the results of the final Senate race for probably a month.

The results of the elections were good news in its own right.  However even better news came this morning.  Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down as the Secretary of Defense.  Perhaps now, the military leaders can actually implement strategies that will help end the conflict in Iraq instead of inciting conflict.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/a-new-beginning/

Who is This America?

The scandal developing around former US House Rep. Mark Foley just blows my mind.  First of all, the breach of trust by the congressman is staggering.  But perhaps even more unsettling to me is the spin being put on this by the Republican leadership.  I’ve seen spin at first trying to down play the seriousness of the emails to even claiming that Foley was a “victim” of the 16 yr old boy. WTF? are you kidding me.  What is even more surreal about this whole thing, is that Foley helped craft the legislation that more than likely will should land him in jail.

Here is an excellent post on some of the aspects of the Foley scandal from Glenn Greenwald’s blog Unclaimed Territory: Various Foley Scandal Items 

What should be even more troubling to the administration and Republican leadership, is that it increasingly looks like this scandal could consume the upper echelons of the Republican House leadership.  The current Speaker of the House and House Majority leader have both been suspected of trying to cover up the Foley matter.  For details read this post from Greenwald’s blog: John Boehner = Denny Hastert plus Key Questions for Tom Reynolds.  Even the conservative Washington Times is calling for Hastert to resign.

So three high ranking Republicans were at least at some level involved in a cover up.  At least until the evidence was to great to overcome.  Then it was on to spin city.

I really don’t know what it means to be an American right now.  I’m really not sure it is something to be proud of.   I wonder if it is possible to restore what we’ve lost as a country in the past six years.

Update: This is ridiculous! According to Mr. Foley’s attorney, Mr. Foley was abused by clergy as a child and is gay.

So now the spin is trying to make this a “gay” issue.  As I read on another blog earlier, they are right, in one way it is a gay issue.  The fact that this man had hide who he was, be ashamed of who he was, because our so called “Christian” nation looked down on him is deplorable.  However, whatever may have happened to him as a child is still no justification for his actions.  His actions would have been just as disgusting if they were directed to a female congressional page.

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