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The Way Forward with Dignity and Democracy

Rise, Hillary, Rise!

Rise, Hillary, Rise!

Part of “The Way Forward Series”

Sorry my posting have been a bit short for my usual style. Life is catching up with me and I needed to tend to real life matters. PS: Thanks for the wonderful B-Day wishes from everyone!

I love this Hillary photo so much, I had to post it twice. From Perez Hilton (yes, I read the Cuban Gossip Gangsta):

Hillary Clinton ditched the blocky pantsuit to glam it up in a conservative floor-length gown in New York City on Monday night.

She was honored at the Glamour Magazine Honors the 2008 Women of the Year event at Carnegie Hall.

[Image via WENN.]

The woman pictured above, the wondrous, brilliant Senator Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, wanted her voters to support President-Elect Barack Obama after she gracefully conceded her candidacy on August 26th 2008. Although a good percentage did, many of her voters decided to support the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain. I (like many of you reading this) did as well. Why? Why did lifelong Democrats take the plunge into “Red States-ville?”

For me, it was Democracy (as I stated in this Conflucian post). I cannot forgive nor forget how my vote was stolen in 2008 Democratic primaries which became collateral damage due to a DNC chosen symbolic presidency. Identity politics should never EVER trump Democracy, otherwise, any type of right which as Americans we are promised by as per the Constitution, will be erased thanks to the media and the multinational corporations that control everything in this country.

Living in Florida for the past 8 years helped me understand this: votes are stolen, misplaced, misinterpreted to benefit whoever paid off the media and/or global conglomerate who wants a return on their investment in XYZ puppet candidate. This is not the United States of America taught to us in our schoolbooks, nor the United states of America that my parents decided to make their new life as immigrants in, nor the United States of America our Founding Fathers/Mothers and brave soldiers fought for. But it’s the United States of America we are currently living in and I refuse to accept Democracy being thrown under the rug just because the media tells me to.

I like Will Bower’s recent Huffing Post’s proposal of Primary Reform but I’d add the elimination of all caucuses and closed primaries ONLY to registered party members. I’d like to see the elimination of superdelegates (since they can be too easily influenced by $$$ or forced to support a candidate by threatening their careers) and let the primary winner be decided by a count of the popular vote, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE. Even though some of you may disagree, but I really think that a voter registration card with photo identification included in the card (like a driver’s license except it’s a “voting license”) is vital to ensure the sanctity of one person = one vote. Anyone who’s that interested in participating in Democracy would be willing to register with a photo ID voter card – and/or anyone who’s willing to put up their picture on a MySpace or FaceBook account too.

Voter registration rolls on Excel spreadsheets (like I saw in FL at my polling station) is not accurate nor does it ensure a secure checkpoint, as early voters could vote a couple of days before Election Day and no one would be able to prove that they already voted. Human data entry processes would take several weeks just to update last minute early voters. I think scanning a voter ID card under a laser reader should keep count whether you already “early voted” or not. I can go on & on of the many ways Democracy can be ensured. Again, some of you may disagree and that’s ok. If you have a better idea, please leave it in the comments section. Anyone who’s interested in fair elections should be able to agree on some of these points.

Ultimately, I think we as that loud and hellacious group who dared defy the status quo of our Democratic Party should concentrate all of our efforts to ensure that the electoral process is guaranteed. No citizen in this great nation should be denied a voice in the electoral process. We have many battles to wage that falls under the Big Tent of Human Rights, but none of these will be achievable unless we have an indivisible and uncorruptable system for voting.

Cross posted at LiberalCrat

Conflucians Say: VotePUMA

If anyone thought the PUMAs would go away after the election, they are sadly mistaken.  We’re not done yet.  There’s still primary election reform, holding the party and media accountable for sexism and misogyny, and making sure that we elect people who represent a real progressive agenda.

So, where do we start?  Well, first we have to be able to keep everyone connected.  That’s where VotePUMA comes in.  Check out Sheri’s new site and register for updates.

And tune in tonight at 9:00PM EST for Conflucians Say.  It’s one hour earlier tonight.  Let’s talk about going forward.

Over the mountains of the moon


Edgar Allan Poe:

Gaily bedight, a gallant knight, in sunshine and in shadow,had journeyed long, singing a song, in search of Eldorado.
But he grew old, this knight so bold, and o’er his heart a shadow,fell as he found, no spot of ground, that looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength, failed him at length, he met a pilgrim shadow;”shadow,” said he, “where can it be, this land of Eldorado?”
“Over the mountains of the moon, down the valley of the shadow,ride, boldly ride,” the shade replied, “if you seek for Eldorado!”

I can identify with the knight in that poem, because I feel like I grew old during the 2008 Deathmarch Campaign, and now we are looking at years more effort.  I know what you’re thinking, the Petulant Clown is being a little f*cking ray of sunshine again, but stay with me a minute, okay?

Continue reading

Tuesday: Who do you think you are?

Square dancers in New Mexico during The Great Depression

Square dancers in New Mexico during The Great Depression

I can’t quite put my finger on the point when I knew that Ira Glass of This American Life was not an Obama fan.  Maybe it’s because unlike Terry Gross, who is sufferering from Kool-Aid edema, Glass has never seemed like the typical latte sipping, obsequious toady that most public radio personalities have become.  Glass, who broadcasts from Chicago, is the kind of radio personality who isn’t afraid of getting into the weeds of human experience.  If Glass wrote a book, it would be an anthology of stories, some funny, some pretentious, some heartbreaking.  I frequently find myself thinking about one his collection of stories days after it broadcasts. Last Sunday’s broadcast was a good example.

The show was called “Who do you think you are?” and was described as “This week we bring you stories of privilege and the lengths that some people will go to maintain it.”  There is a rather long episode in the middle about Studs Terkel recording people who lived during the Great Depression.  Terkel died last week after his parts gave out.  When I hear Terkel talk, I recognize that trace of soft Irish lilt that sounds like my grandfather’s voice, the sound of the beginning of the 20th century before the talkies rubbed the edges off our heritage.    Terkel is like a hypnotist who takes his subject to a moment of time and then releases them to talk, almost without interruption, about what they see, feel and experience.  The subjects talk almost in stream of conscious mode about soup lines, migrant work and fresh milk, and omnipresent poverty.  What we get from the interview is a sense that in times of stress on such a epic scale, we can find a kind of solidarity that will bind us together and see us through.

In one of his last interviews in October, Terkel spoke about Obama.  He supported Obama with conditions:

Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel

I’d ask Obama, do you plan to follow up on the program of the New Deal of FDR?

I’d tell him, ‘don’t fool around on a few issues, such as health care. We’ve got bigger work to do! Read FDR’s second inaugural address!’

The free market has to be regulated. And the New Deal did that and they provided jobs. The government has to. The WPA provided jobs. We have got to get back to that. We need more reg-u-la-tion.

I was just watching Alan Greenspan, he’s an idiot, and by the way so was Ayn Rand!

Community organizers like Obama know what’s going on. If they remember. The important thing is memory. You know in this country, we all have Alzheimer’s. Obama has got to remember his days as an organizer. It all comes back to the neighborhood. Well I hope the election is a landslide for Obama…

So you know what? Obama can’t be a moderate! He’s got to remember where he comes from! Obama, he has got to be pushed!

“I’m very excited by the idea of a black guy in the White House, that’s very exciting,” Studs said as we said goodbye. “I just wish he was more progressive!”

Yes, indeed, we all wish he were more progressive.

But it was Glass’s first episode that clued me in that he was not necessarily the world’s biggest Obama fan.  The story is about a woman’s crusade in Hoboken, NJ.  Hoboken has some of the most draconian parking ordinances in the country.  If you are half a millimeter out of alignment with your car in Hoboken, you can get a ticket.  That is, the ordinary person can get a ticket or more like a ridiculous number of tickets per year.  But if you are a semi-famous actor or a municipal employee, you can park wherever you want, whenever you want without penalty.  It infuriates this woman that some people are held more accountable than others and that they seem to feel they are above the law and that it is OK to cheat.  She makes it her mission to blow the whistle on the violators.  She confronts one of them in a bar and at the end of the exchange, the violator says, “Get a life”.

Get a life.  Sound familiar?  How about “Get over it”.  Ahhhh, that rang some bells, right?  It sort of reminds me of how the Clintonistas saw violation after violation during the primary season go unchecked.  No one was held accountable and suddenly, we see Hillary cheated out of the nomination.  What did the Obamaphiles say?  Get over it.  Yes, yes, very familiar.

And who among us wouldn’t like to get over it?  It’s hard on the system to keep this up.  I woke up late this morning and I’m going to be late for work again but I know I can’t give up yet.  It would be so easy to let it all go, get with the program, succumb to the Obama induced megasomacoma.  But that way lies apathy.  That is what the Obama crowd would like.  That is what they spent $600,000,000 to produce.  They would like their “movement” to be so overwhelming, inflexible and pervasive in every aspect of American culture that the rest of us just give up and “get a life”.

Now the message in Hillary’s speech in Denver takes on a whole new meaning.  She asked us to “keep going” no matter what.  What she was saying is no matter what the odds are against you, do not succumb to apathy.  Do not just “get a life”.  Work hard for the life you want to have.  Push Obama to become the next FDR.  Join in solidarity with your fellow Americans and fight for accountanbility and never give up.

Keep going.