Tag Archives: obama

Politics 2012

8 Jul

There is a presidential election coming up.  Again.  If you’re one of the millions of loyal readers that I’m sure The Juno Blog has, you know that I used to post articles about politics.  I even endorsed our current President.

I haven’t been writing about politics in recent years though, and the reason is simple: I’ve lost interest.

This is, perhaps, Obama’s biggest failing.

Now I do not believe that he has been a bad President, and in fact I think he may be a really good President.  But I admit to getting a bit caught up in his rhetoric.  He wasn’t supposed to just be a good President.  He was supposed to transcend politics.  He was supposed to change the system.

He hasn’t, and honestly this is not a surprise, nor is it his fault (though the expectations that arrived with him to the White House are).  The system is designed in such a way that it cannot be quickly changed, nor can it be changed by one individual, even if he or she is President.

And I’m just not really interested anymore.  I’m interested in human beings.  I’m interested in the future of the world.  I’m interested in the evolution of humanity.  I’m interested in community.

I want a world where what each does counts for all.

This makes all things possible.

What each does counts for all, means everything can be done.

This means every individual does the work they love.

This means no one goes without.

This is the kind of thing that I want a politician to say.  I want them to be able to say this because I want the system to be working for this.  Then I would be interested.

CHANGE

23 Jan

One thing that changed on Tuesday, in addition to the President, was the official website for the White House.

It now has a blog.

At one point during the television’s coverage of Tuesday’s proceedings a broadcaster made some comment about how, to people of my generation, Obama’s election is historic not because he is an African-American, but for other reasons. This is true.

For me this is very true: I couldn’t care less about the color of his skin, where his father was born, where his mother grew up, what geographical region his ancestors lived in, etc. It’s simply not important.

For people of older generations, who lived through segregation, this may not be as true. For people like my grandmother, who resonated very strongly with Obama’s comment that his father wouldn’t be able to eat in a restaurant in DC a mere 60 years ago, that’s probably not as true.

But for me race is a false classifier. It is an outmoded, divisive, and dangerous human category that has been scientifically proven to not exist.
Obama marked “this day with remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.” I’m ready to mark this day with the vision of change which brings us into a new future. With a vision of who we will become and how far we will go. Where Obama remembers America’s tasting (and overcoming) of “the bitter swill of civil war and segregation” I’m ready to mark this day as the beginning of a new world where the old “bitter swill” of concepts like race and its underlying foundation, that view which is predicated on an us and a them as separate conflicting entities, is washed clean away, replaced with a new complete picture of our planet as host to a magnitude of gloriously complex and different individuals.

There will be no them. There will be no us.
There will only be individuality forming humanity in massive throng.

CHANGE???

22 Jan

For all the hope and inspiration caused by Obama’s election it perhaps feel a bit funny to include this criticism of him, but dissent is patriotic, and he has encouraged it.

“To those who cling to power through … the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

Ask not what your country can do for you…

Paul Krugman has an interesting post on his blog about the historical nature of Obama’s call for a “new era of responsibility.”

The Daily Show on Jan 20th had a brilliant montage of segments from Obama’s speech, and speeches from former President Bush. They were largely the same.

Obama is if nothing else a brilliant politician. While he campaigned on change, his speech demonstrates his talent for saying something that pleases everyone. The oldest political trick in the book is to simply say what those who are listening want to hear. When everyone is listening, you say everything. Obama did that.
The part of Obama’s speech which gave me the most pause is this section:

“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

This is fire with fire. This is us vs. them. This is not change. This is not hope over fear. This is more of the same.

Part 3 tomorrow.

HOPE

21 Jan

Hope, Not Change, and Change
A three part response to Obama’s inauguration speech
In late December I wrote down the following:
“Now that we have an intelligent President, can we stop believing that the very foundational concept behind a “war on terror” is anything but a fallacy? Terrorism is an ideology. “The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims” says the OED. I wonder how it defines war then?*
Terror is a feeling. An emotion. What effect will a bullet or a bomb have on terror but to increase it?
Fighting fire with fire results in a bigger fire. Fighting terror with war results in more terror. Can we perhaps fight fire with water?”

I ask and Obama answers, “we have chosen hope over fear.”

I managed to catch the end of Obama’s inauguration speech during my lunch break and was powerfully struck by how smart the man is. Perhaps it’s easy to appear smart in that venue in comparison to what had recently been there, but even so. My overwhelming initial response was a wave of gratitude for intelligence in power. Speaking of power (intelligently):

“our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.”

Watching the whole speech later on I was struck by the thing that’s always impressed me most about Obama in the first place: for whatever reason(s) the man can inspire the masses. Two million people were there to watch this man take a 40 second oath and give a 20 minute speech. Two million people. Two million people heard him say in person that

“The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.  The success of our economy has always depended … on the reach of our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”

Two million people stood in the cold and heard him say

“we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

Countless millions more heard and saw the speech on television, the internet, the radio, etc. Who knows how many billions of people heard him say that “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” All these people heard him present a nuanced and complex view of the state of the world, and America in particular. Even my mother, the devoutly pacifist hippie sex therapist, after hearing him say

“Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.  They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions, greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction”

was ready to enlist. Seriously. My mother told me that if Obama asked her to, depsite being physically unable to carry a gun, she would enlist and do what she could. If you know my mother at all, that may blow your mind a bit, as it did mine. She heard him give a message laced with a spiritual undercurrent of a changing world and a new inspired generation of Americans. She saw hope. So did I.

I see hope that humanity will move beyond tribes, beyond political affiliations, beyond countries, and beyond all but our humanity. I see hope that we will move toward a common good, a common humane state of being.
I hope for this “new era of peace” to be of a peace that is more than the mere absence of violence but the presence of the humane art of living.

Part 2 of 3 tomorrow.

* a state of armed conflict.

2 things

8 Jan

One: I’m a bit unclear as to how this new toy which actually for real teaches you to really using your actual brain waves and not by touching elevate a ball by really using The Force for real. I get that the headset measures your brain activity, and I get that when your brain activity is strong enough it activates the base of the ball tube thingie, which turns a fan on and blows the ping-pong-like ball up into the air… but… is there a wire connecting the headset to the base? Are they networked together with bluetooth or wifi or something? Does it actualy involve The Force?

Two: The Obama children are attending a private Quaker school in their new town of D.C. So now the family is Christian, Muslim, and Quaker?

anakin

He’s not wearing a headset here… hmmmm.