An epilogue to the aforementioned dance project is in order. Greg sent me these thoughts on his experience:
My dear friend Greg is participating in a dance project called Freedom of Information 2008, where he and dozens of people in other states will attempt to stay awake, moving, blindfolded and ears plugged, for 24 hours today.
From his email to friends:
while i don’t know all the meanings this will have for me or anyone who sees its presence, i hope something will come through about how to be in this world where we live – about staying conscious, about getting information, about movements, about connections between people who can’t see each other and don’t know each other.
this is both a performance and a ritualized protest/meditation. taking a day to focus my attention on the displacements, shifts, and deprivations in this political context i expect will change my perspective on what i think i know and don’t know, and may create a greater (humbler?) potential for myself and others to understand the relevance of what we are creating in the world.
To me it evokes the form of torture known as sleep deprivation, you?
“[A] more benign view on parts of the religious left casts Warren as the evangelical best positioned to lead moderately conservative white Protestants toward a greater engagement with the issues of poverty and social justice, and away from a relentless focus on abortion and gay marriage.…
“People always say, ‘Rick, are you right wing or left wing?’ I say ‘I’m for the whole bird.’ ” Many liberals hope — and a lot of conservatives fear — that the rise of “whole bird” Christianity will break up right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community….
Obama wants to encourage this move, which would be good for him and good for progressive politics. Fear that Obama’s analysis is exactly right is why so many conservatives are so angry with Warren for blessing the new president’s inaugural.
Although I support same-sex marriage, I think that liberals should welcome Obama’s success in causing so much consternation on the right. On balance, inviting Warren opens more doors than it closes.
Of course it’s easy for me to say, not being the target (well, mostly not) of his homophobic bigotry, so I think anyone who feels angry has every right to.
A debate with similar features is perpetually waged in Quaker circles: whether liberal Quakers should cut ties with the more-or-less heterosexist organization Friends United Meeting. Recently Kody Gabriel wrote an impassioned open letter to his yearly meeting which has been getting a lot of attention. The main point, for me:
“Hearts and minds change through relationship, not rhetoric.”
This photo is based on ancient news, but it was recently revived by Hillary Clinton’s awful chief strategist Mark Penn, who claimed in a GQ interview last week that Hillary was undone by “latte voters.” It’s true that we “coastal elites” were a major block of Obama’s support, but that doesn’t explain why he did so well in the mountain west.
For example, Wyoming:
There’s a chance a very bad bill will be passed by Congress this week, which would say that corporations can get away with breaking the law as long as they’re “just following orders” from a power-hungry president. Because that mindset wasn’t problematic in Germany last century, of course. If you write your senators/reps about nothing else this year, write them about this.
The text of the sample letter at that ACLU link sums it all up well:
According to media reports, Congress may soon take up a FISA bill with meaningless judicial review. Courts would be directed to look only at whether telecom companies got a note from the president, rather than considering if these companies actually broke the law.
While this plan is designed to make it look like there is a judicial process for companies accused of illegally handing over millions of phone calls and emails to the government, it really turns the court into nothing more than a rubber stamp.
This plan is completely unacceptable. It is not a compromise on immunity; it’s blanket immunity. I urge you to reject it.
PS, if you’re in New England, the numbers for your senators: ()
It was with some trepidation that I suggested on one of xJane’s posts that Obama actually embodies certain desirable “feminine” qualities more than Clinton does, though we might agree that he has an unfair advantage considering that the culture makes it easier for him to do so.
I half expected someone (not necessarily xJane) to give me the third degree, but instead, she linked to a another post where she makes essentially the same point. And now we have Clinton’s former spiritual advisor chiming in:
Ironically, Clinton’s problem today, Houston said, may be that Obama has given better voice to that new pattern of possibility — that he embodies a more female, inclusive approach to problem-solving, while Clinton has become mired in proving herself capable of emulating the male model, which requires combat and the demonization of enemies.
Woodward wrote that Houston tried to steer Clinton away from her “warrior mode” and “the need to have enemies who could symbolically be singled out to embody the opposition.”
“It’s a shame the warfare model is still there,” Houston said. “If she could have moved to the next level, she would be the next president.”
I don’t meant to pile on Hillary, but I find the whole phenomenon interesting.
I’m not sure about the last claim. I suspect she would’ve won the primary but lost the general that way, unless she pulled a classic primary/general pivot, acting macho only after she got the nomination. But then instead of people forwarding around scandalous videos of Rev. Wright, this summer they’d be forwarding scandalous videos of Hillary talking about her feelings
From his column today — Obama isn’t flawlessly honest, but “there are some inner guardrails that prevent the spin from drifting too far from the truth.” Which I think is as much as you can hope for in a politician.
(I.e., because it’s fly.)
He sighs, and says it’s hard to know what to think. The Communist Party tells the Chinese that the Dalai Lama is a “conspirator,” but Western media outlets say there is a big crackdown by China. The important thing is for everyone to live in peace. Both parties need to understand each other’s intentions better, and perhaps the atheistic Community Party should learn that religion is important for most people in the world.
He mentioned a YouTube video (perhaps this one) that claims Tibet was, is, and will always be a part of China. He and his friends find it funny, because the video lacks evidence. We are civilized people, he said, and when we say things there should be some evidence for them — otherwise it’s just propaganda.
Another person asked him why he’s come here to study politics. He said he feels the biggest challenge in China is political reform, and that the Chinese need to know more about other systems of government, e.g. democratic ones, so that they can, perhaps, join the free world sometime — which he said with a smile.