Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Youth Vote Goes to.... Obama

"In South Carolina, Obama drew more under-30 votes than all Republican candidates combined, according to exit polls."
Time





Senator Claire McCaskill is the highest-ranking Democrat in Missouri, and Missouri picks Presidents. The Show-Me State has voted for the winner in 25 of the past 26 elections. This is why the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination fought so hard for McCaskill's endorsement. As her wary advisers helped her weigh the risks and rewards of siding with powerful Hillary Clinton or charismatic Barack Obama, neutrality began to look appealingly safe.

But there's something about an 18-year-old that can't abide careful hedging and cautious steps. The Senator's daughter Maddie Esposito had seen the way her mother teared up whenever she heard Obama speak. And now it was happening again as mother and daughter sat side by side on the family-room sofa in a suburb of St. Louis, watching the results of the Iowa caucuses on TV. "You know you believe in him," Maddie admonished her damp-eyed mother. "It's time to step up." The next morning, Maddie, a college freshman home for the holidays, added a threat: "You have to do it, or I'm never talking to you again."

McCaskill endorsed Obama — a big boost in an important Super Tuesday primary state. And the story of that endorsement is the Democratic-nomination battle etched in miniature. Kids like Maddie Esposito are the muscle of Obama's army. His campaign has become the first in decades — maybe in history — to be carried so far on the backs of the young. His crushing margin of victory in Iowa came almost entirely from voters under 25 years old, and as the race moved to New Hampshire and Nevada, their votes helped him stay competitive. In South Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 26, Obama's better than 3-to-1 advantage among under-30 voters more than neutralized Clinton's narrower edge among over-65s. Now, as the candidates shift to the coast-to-coast, Dixie-to-Dakota battlefield of Feb. 5, Obama is counting on a wave of Democrats experiencing their own McCaskill moments, roused to his banner by the fervent — if sometimes vague — urgings of youth.

Obama in California Photos


at the Kodak Theater


live blog from where the debate will be held tonight!

Sweet Mining Deal, Money for Clinton

Obama is not mired in all this kind of icky stuff.
and this blechy stuff.

and the republicans were so dreadful last night. like little children. worse.

he's some refreshment for you:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Obama in Kansas

another fab speech. obama tells the story of his grandparents of kansas.

Hallmark Meat Packing Horrific Torture of Cows

update feb. 18: this from the human society, take action.
update feb 17: meat recalled
update Feb. 15: cruelty charges filed
Update Feb. 6: The company's president was reportedly surprised that cows were being abused. Well, that's no surprise. he probably fired a few workers, looked stunned and promised to do better. Hallmark and Westland were temporarily shut down. but the companies shouldn't be let off the hook. take action.
here's what obama had to say.
factory farming campaign reports with videotaped evidence that Hallmark (and Westland Meat Co.) are brutally abusing cows, the ones called "downers," which are the sick ones. They're trying to force them into the slaughterhouse. the video is disgusting. and leaders of that company ought to be severely punished.
take action here.
CNN also is reporting this.
here is the story:

Undercover Investigation Reveals Rampant Animal Cruelty at California Slaughter Plant – A Major Beef Supplier to America’s School Lunch Program
January 30, 2008 Posted 10 A.M.

See video from the undercover investigation, and take action to stop this cruelty. WARNING: Very graphic images of cruelty.
Video evidence compiled by The Humane Society of the United States shows inhumane handling methods that may have endangered the health of children.

A shocking undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States reveals widespread mistreatment of "downed" dairy cows—those who are too sick or injured to walk—at a Southern California slaughter plant.

The investigation at the Hallmark Meat Packing Co., of Chino, pulls open a curtain on the scandalous treatment of animals slaughtered to supply the National School Lunch Program and other federal aid programs.

Video evidence obtained by an HSUS investigator shows slaughter plant workers displaying complete disregard for the pain and misery they inflicted as they repeatedly attempted to force "downed" animals onto their feet and into the human food chain.

Cruelties that Defy Belief

In the video, workers are seen kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.

"This torture is right out of the waterboarding manual. To see the extreme cruelties shown in The HSUS video challenges comprehension," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.

"This must serve as a five-alarm call to action for Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our government simply must act quickly both to guarantee the most basic level of humane treatment for farm animals and to protect America's most vulnerable people, our children, needy families and the elderly from potentially dangerous food."

Beef Distributed for School Lunches and the Needy

Hallmark's Chino, Calif., slaughter plant supplies the Westland Meat Co., which processes the carcasses. The facility is the second-largest supplier of beef to USDA's Commodity Procurement Branch, which distributes the beef to needy families, the elderly and also to schools through the National School Lunch Program. Westland was named a USDA "supplier of the year" for 2004-2005 and has delivered beef to schools in 36 states. More than 100,000 schools and child care facilities nationwide receive meat through the lunch program.

Hallmark Meat Packing has no connection to Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Temple Grandin, a renowned expert on animal agriculture and professor at Colorado State University, called the images captured in the investigation "one of the worst animal abuse videos I have ever viewed."

A Demand for Action

The HSUS recently completed its six-week undercover investigation at the federally-inspected slaughter plant. Videotape evidence and investigative background have been given to law enforcement authorities in San Bernardino County, Calif.


©The HSUS

See the extended first-person investigator's video and take action to stop this cruelty. WARNING: Extremely graphic images of cruelty.
In releasing footage from the investigation, The HSUS demands that the USDA move swiftly to tighten its confusing regulations on the slaughter of downed cattle. Downer cows must not be used for food—plain and simple. As The HSUS video shows, this is necessary to protect animals from suffering. As science has made clear, this is necessary to protect food safety. The practice of slaughtering downed cows is especially troubling now that the link between downed cattle and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, has been firmly established. Of the 15 known cases of BSE-infected animals discovered in North America, at least 12 involved downed animals.

At the same time, The HSUS is urging Congress to intervene. The Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act (H.R. 1726) would set modest animal welfare standards, including humane euthanasia of any downed animals, for producers who sell food to federal government programs, and the Downed Animal Protection Act (S. 394 and H.R. 661) would ban any slaughtering of downed animals for human consumption.
here is the company address, phone:
13677 Yorba Ave
Chino, CA , 91710-5059
Phone: 909-591-0163
FAX: 909-590-3897

Unity Rally UC Irvine Friday Feb. 1

UCI canceled. 9:30 am Santa Ana HQ instead
find an event near you.

Edwards Drops, Giuliani, Who Cares

why in the world would john edwards drop out of the race just a few days before the big one? what kind of populist message is that? i feel bad for all those passionate edwards supporters. if obama dropped out i'd be madder than heck.
here's a great and entertaining analysis.
but perhaps edwards will join with obama, and perhaps edwards' voters will back obama. don't just vote for edwards anyway.
here's info on obama, for all you left without a candidate.

and giuliani ick. while all the others were in the snow and freezing rain, doing the work, giuliani was sunning himself in florida with the audacity (not of hope) of thinking he could win in that manner. giuliani voters should take a good hard look at themselves. harsh.

here's the obama news of the day:
Clinton gains Florida fillip after bruising by ObamaAFP -
Obama strikes gold in KansasNational Post
Obama Returns More Rezko-Linked CashABC News
Tony Rezko stays jailed despite explanation about $3.5 million ...Chicago Tribune
Obama explains, Clinton doesn't complain MLive.com - MI,
Clinton Wins Fla.; Obama Uses Life StoryThe Associated Press
Obama, Clinton and the warSan Francisco Chronicle
2004 speech made Obama a starKansas City Star -
Obama begins courting disenchanted RepublicansKansas City Star -
California dreaming: Clinton's grip shaken by Obama's young gunsGuardian Unlimited
Barack Obama draws overflow crowd at Denver rally
Ted Kennedy's Endorsement Changes EverythingBy Fred Soto
BARACK OBAMA UNITY RALLY
Is Barack Obama just a superstar?By con.coughlin@telegraph.co.uk
hilary clinton, john mc cain, barack obama or… us-election 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Obama in California, UCI and Hollywood

UCI rally cancelled




Rally
Thursday, January 31 at 11:45 AM
Duration:
1 hour
Location:
UCI Student Center terrace stage (Irvine, CA)
University of California, Irvine

Fundraising reception with Obama

Jan 31, 2008
Where:
Avalon1735 N. Vine Street Hollywood, CA
7:30 pm
Cost: $500 per person - $2,300 per person
http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/4rc33#rsvp

Hillary Leading California?


nuh uh.


she may have the bulk of the latino vote, the older ones, but she doesn't have the bulk of the youth latino voters or the youth votes overall. that will be what puts him over the top. but he'll also get the independents. even dogs love obama.


an excerpt from Barackmania (see story below):


We love you Obama!" young women screamed from nearby dormitory windows. Obama,
who would be the first black president, hopes America's best-known political
dynasty will help him fend off rival Hillary Clinton, who would establish a
dynasty of her own if she took the White House eight years after her husband
Bill left it. Several in the crowd said they were turned off by the Clintons'
attempts to paint Obama as "the black candidate" over the past two weeks. "You
didn't need to bring that into the equation," said retiree Carol Belkin, 62, who
said she had planned to support Clinton until last week. "I want to see this
country brought together. I think the pair of them are divisive." "I thought it
was really below the belt," said Howard University graduate student Anita
Wheeler, 24. Obama's charisma and youth have drawn comparisons to the late
President Kennedy, who in 1963 delivered a famous speech at the same school
calling for a ban on nuclear weapons testing. Obama offered no new policy
proposals as he devoted much of his 15-minute speech to praise of the Kennedys.
But he also made sure to ask for the votes of those in the crowd — an unusual
event for a national politician in the capital city.

Bill Clinton's Smart Trip to Obama CountryYahoo! News


Barackmania: Obama gets rock star receptionTimes of India -


Obama Memo to Press: Florida Doesn't CountAlterNet


Obama wins backing of Kansas governorBaltimore Sun


Obama's Ground Game AdvantageWashington Post


Barack Obama in Kansas on family roots questTelegraph.co.uk -


Obama Wins Backing of Kansas GovernorThe Associated Press


A Frosty Moment Between Clinton, ObamaThe Associated Press


Obama Speaks to Jewish Voters on IsraelThe Associated Press -


Obama attracting California Republicans and independentsGuardian Unlimited


Caroline, Uncle Ted and Cousin Patrick endorse Barack ObamaBy sauer kraut


New supports for Barack ObamaBy babs22


Barack Obama KennedyBy hadar


Barack Obama Gets Mortimer And Ruth Caplin!?!?!!??By Monday Morning Clacker


Our Tech President Endorsements: Barack Obama and John McCainBy Michael Arrington



Bush's State of the Union

blah, blah blah, boring. dull. ignorant.

Obama's response.


kennedy on GMA

Media Not Necessary in Obama Campaign

another sign, obama is on the right track. obama doesn't need the media:

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 28, 2008; Page C01

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- When reporters filed onto Barack Obama's press plane after his acrimonious debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton last week, one thing was noticeably missing amid the wine and snacks on the Boeing 737.

There was no high-level campaign spinner to argue that Obama had gotten the better of the exchanges or that the verbal fisticuffs were part of some precisely calculated strategy. On the press bus the next day, mid-level aides dealt with travel logistics but made no attempt to shape the coverage.

In an age of all-out political warfare, the Obama campaign is a bit of an odd duck: It is not obsessed with winning each news cycle. The Illinois senator remains a remote figure to those covering him, and his team, while competent and professional, makes only spotty attempts to drive its preferred story lines in the press.

"There is no charm offensive from the candidate toward the press corps," says Newsweek correspondent Richard Wolffe. "The contact is limited. . . . They see the national media more as a logistical problem than a channel for getting stuff out."


As Obama's blowout victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary shows, an aloof attitude toward the media may not be a liability for a candidate with his oratorical gifts. Even the pundits' attempts to minimize his win by focusing on Obama's capturing a quarter of the white vote -- no small achievement in a three-way contest -- came after a week in which journalists talked about race far more than he did. But the contrast in his press strategy is striking, not just with Clinton's campaign -- which aggressively lobbies journalists around the clock -- but also with the Bush White House and the Clinton White House before that. And that, Obama aides say, is by design.

The Clinton camp, says David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, "is hyperbolic about it. What we don't do is spend six hours a day trying to persuade you guys that red is green or up is down. . . . Their own spin was 'We are the biggest, baddest street gang on the block.'

"We can't be pacifists and cede the battlefield," Axelrod says, but "what's powering this campaign is a rejection of tactical politics."

"That's the best spin I've heard all day," replies Clinton communications chief Howard Wolfson, inviting Axelrod to "send over some leather jackets." "My sense is the Obama campaign spends eight hours a day spinning." Clinton, for her part, abandoned her inaccessible approach after losing Iowa, scheduling far more time each day for interviews and press conferences. "She felt it was the best way to talk to the American people," Wolfson says.

The no-spin zone is part of the Obama campaign's identity, with the candidate stealing a phrase from John McCain in telling crowds he wants "a politics that's not based on PR and spin but is based on straight talk."

To be sure, the Obama camp stepped up efforts last week to challenge what it calls distortions of his record by Bill Clinton, perhaps the biggest media magnet ever to assume the role of presidential campaign surrogate. And some Obama strategists have been known to complain loudly when they think a story is unfair. But ever since Obama was embarrassed by a staff memo that assailed Hillary Clinton as the senator from "Punjab" (over her contributions from Indian Americans), he has ordered his team to steer clear of pejorative attacks not based on public actions.

All traveling campaigns have a bubble-like quality, but Obama seems unusually insulated. One moment of absurdity came Tuesday, when reporters on the press bus were asked to dial into a conference call in which Obama announced a congressman's endorsement -- even though the candidate was nearby and just as easily could have delivered the news in person to the bus captives. Obama answered a few questions, but reporters are generally placed on mute after they speak so there can be no follow-up. (Clinton held a news conference the same morning.)

That afternoon, as the candidate was working his way through a raucous. read the rest

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bush's Last State of the Union (Day)

let's count down, shall we?

Courage Over Ambition

indeed.

why do people want a politically experienced whiz to be president? that hasn't helped the current lot. isn't it much better to have someone who has leadership skills and most importantly, judgement.

wouldn't it be nice to have a president who is intelligent, who speaks well and is respected globally?

everything barack obama

Kennedy endorses Sen. Barack Obama for presidentCNN -

Obama 'Backer' Rezko Ordered to JailABC News

US author Toni Morrison endorses ObamaAFP -

Obama Ads Feature Prominent PoliticiansThe Associated Press

Hillary Runs Against Bush in Hartford, Not ObamaHartford Courant

Jubilant Obama wins Kennedys' endorsementIndependent

Obama Aims To Keep Race Out Of EquationForbes - NY,

Obama wins Kennedy backingGuardian Unlimited

WRAPUP 1-Obama receiving backing of key Democrat KennedyReuters

After race-laden contest, Morrison picks ObamaBoston Globe -

Barack Obama is the idealists' candidate

Remarks for Senator Barack ObamaBy media@politico.com

Barack Obama, walking on air not on water!

Teddy Kennedy's Speech For Obama: "It Is Time Again For A New ...

Senator Kennedy Supports Obama Video

Author toni morrison signs up for Obama.

"Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace — that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom."




...inspiring a government that can be good again...Patrick Kennedy

...fortunately there is one candidate that offers that same sense of hope...
Caroline Kennedy

...appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the american dream...extraordinary gifts of leadership and character... he understands what dr. martin luther king called the fierce urgency of now...
Ted Kennedy

Obama Grass Roots Documentary



i've never been more happy to fill in a box than on this ballot.








Documentary Chronicles Obama SupportersThe Associated Press - NEW YORK (AP) —






Kennedy to Endorse ObamaNew York Times -
Obama landslide in South CarolinaRadio Netherlands - NetherlandsColumbia









Barack Obama Victory Speech Thread IIBy georgia10 Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (as prepared for delivery). South Carolina Primary Night. Saturday, January 26th, 2008. Columbia, South Carolina. Over two weeks ago, we saw the people of Iowa proclaim that our time for change has come. ...Daily Kos - http://www.dailykos.com

Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Caroline Now Ted Kennedy

Sen. Ted Kennedy backs Obama
the numbers from wsj:

With 99% of the precincts counted, Mr. Obama took 55% of the vote, largely due to his strong support among African-American voters who make up half of all registered Democrats in the state. Mrs. Clinton followed with 27%, and John Edwards, a South Carolina native, won 18%.


A CNN exit poll showed that 82% of black men and 79% of black women voted for Mr. Obama, many of whom reside in the largely black districts of Columbia and Greenville.

Mr. Obama also gained 25 Democratic National Convention delegates, Mrs. Clinton won 12 and Mr. Edwards eight. Overall, Mrs. Clinton has 249 delegates, followed by Mr. Obama with 167 and Mr. Edwards with 58.

With this wave of momentum, Mr. Obama moves to the coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 delegates. South Carolina shows that Mr. Obama couldn't only make a strong finish in largely black states like Georgia and Alabama but also in important states with dominantly white electorates like Illinois, California and Mrs. Clinton's home state, New York.

Mrs. Clinton still fared well in her core demographic of white women, 44% of whom voted for the former first lady. Mr. Edwards played an important part in Mrs. Clinton's finish, taking 43% of the white-male vote and 34% of all white women. The former North Carolina senator dominated in Seneca, the town he was born in.


Another analysis
hillary's concession

Friday, January 25, 2008

Don't Spend Your Tax Refund!

isn't it odd that americans have negative savings and yet it's up to us to boost the economy? what kind of economy is that? we're being given money so we can spend it? that makes no sense.
save it! pay off your debts!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Barack Rocks


Photo By nobody@flickr.com

Obama's Flickr photo stream: DSCN2462

Obama's Free Ride?FOXNews
Mo. senator calls Bill Clinton's statements about Obama 'flat ... USA Today
Clinton or Obama?New Zealand Herald
Obama: Campaign's Tone Is FineThe Associated Press - KINGSTREE, SC (AP)
Obama takes on the black community's homophobiaGuardian Unlimited
Obama Hits Back on SC RadioWashington Post -
Obama said he goofed on votesHouston Chronicle Bill Clinton defends his attacks on ObamaLos Angeles Times - CA,
Obama faces a third Clinton on the campaign trailReuters
Super Tuesday Won't Decide NominationsThe Associated Press
DSCN2462By nobody@flickr.com
Barack Obama is on the airBy Zack
Will Barack Obama Stand for Change Really, Or Just Rhetorically?
The Greenville News endorses Barack Obama in Democratic primary

Beyond Iraq

Here is Dr. Martin Luther King's "Vietnam speech." So fitting.

Beyond VietnamApril 4, 1967. New York, N.Y.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements, and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don’t mix," they say. "Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?" they ask. And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment, or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church—the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate—leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.

Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years, especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, "What about Vietnam?" They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, "Aren’t you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957, when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:
O, yes, I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read "Vietnam." It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that "America will be" are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.
As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964. And I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the brotherhood of man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances.
But even if it were not present, I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me, the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men—for communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved His enemies so fully that He died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place, I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood. Because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.
They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954, in 1945 rather, after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China—for whom the Vietnamese have no great love—but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all of this was presided over by United States influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.
So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation’s only non-communist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.

Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers.

Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists"? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of a new violence?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.
So, too, with Hanoi. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954, they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered.

Also it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred, or rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores.

At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:
Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:
Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.

Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.

Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.

Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government.

Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement. [Sustained applause]

Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary. [Applause] Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible.
As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. [Sustained applause] I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. [Applause] Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. [Sustained applause] These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing.
The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, [Applause] and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. [Sustained applause] So such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investment accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." [Sustained applause] Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken: the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin [applause], we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. [Applause]
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say: "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. [Sustained applause]
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. [Applause] War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, [Applause] realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. We in the West must support these revolutions.

It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; [Audience:] (Yes) the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I’m not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: "Let us love one another, (Yes) for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us." Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood—it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message—of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.
As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:
Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever ’twixt that darkness and that light.
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ’tis truth alone is strong
Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. [Sustained applause]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Masters Freed on DNA Evidence

an argument for why the death penalty should banned:

GREELEY, Colorado (CNN) -- Tim Masters often drank heavily before he was
imprisoned for murder in 1999, but he said he's sworn off the stuff in an
interview Wednesday, his first full day of freedom in nearly nine
years.
"Just because I don't look angry doesn't mean I don't have a whole lot
of anger inside," Masters said. "I don't want to get drunk. People get drunk,
they have no self control. I don't want to get mad or do anything stupid or say
something stupid. I'd rather just stay sober."
The anger he fears unleashing is aimed squarely at the Fort Collins Police Department, which doggedly pursued him for almost 12 years before charging him with the 1987 murder of Peggy Hettrick -- a crime he has always insisted he didn't commit.

Obama's Fact Checker

need to check a fact, the obama campaign is prepared:
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/factcheckactioncenter/

10 F-16s in Texas

that's what cnn is saying -- the big as a wal-mart ufos seen by 40 people were 10 F-16 fighters. why did it take the air force so long to admit it? is it true?

Obama's South Carolina Speech

this really rang in my head.

We haven't come this far because we practice survival of the fittest. America is America because we strive for survival of the nation – a nation where no one is left behind and everyone has a chance to achieve their dreams. That's
who we are.


news of the day:
Obama hurls new anti-Clinton broadsidesAFP -
Obama Criticizes Clinton's CandorThe Associated Press -
Obama Camp Complains to Nevada DemsThe Associated Press -
'Special Report' Panel on Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and PowerFOXNews -
A Look at the 2008 Presidential RaceThe Associated Press -
Obama cannot beat Republican attack machine, says ClintonGuardian Unlimited -
Obama's Rezko problemBaltimore Sun -
Clinton-Obama feud heats up; candidates grapple for handle on ...Hindu
The Clintons Double-Team ObamaTIME -
Gloves off as Clinton and Obama class on TVScotsman

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Obama and Reagan

obama's flickr photos

everything barack obama

Fact Check: Obama and LobbyistsThe Associated Press -

Obama, Reagan and the InternetNew York Times -

Clinton leads Obama among California DemocratsReuters -

Just try to understand delegate totalsAtlanta Journal Constitution -

Obama Speech Focuses on Economy - And ClintonCBS News -

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama Get Personal At Testy DebateMTV.com -

Obama: Clintons will "say anything" for political advantage Baltimore Sun -

Obama's Relationship With Alleged FixerThe Associated Press -

Clintons lying about Obama's Reagan remarkBaltimore Sun -

'Special Report' Panel on Barack Obama Taking on Bill ClintonFOXNews -

Obama's Store Is More Affordable Than Clinton's

which candidate's online store is "for the people?"
Obama's!
his prices are cheaper. take a hooded jacket. at hillary's store it's $60. at obama's store it's $35 (and sold out because of demand). he's even got "gear for less," which offers bargain prices on shirts and other stuff.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How Do Black Women Vote?

if the election is all about race and gender, what's a black woman to do? how foolish of the media to make the presidential election out to be a matter of race and gender. nice headlines, but we're so over race and gender (of course, there are always exceptions). ignorant writers and broadcasters need to quit it. stop going for the easy story.

My Cousin Won't Be On the Ballot

sen. obama shows his humor
"the name of my cousin, dick cheney, won't be on the ballot."

Obama's The Great Need of the Hour

this is one heck of a speech:
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: The Great Need of the Hour
Atlanta, GA January 20, 2008
The Scripture tells us that when Joshua and the Israelites arrived at the gates of Jericho, they could not enter. The walls of the city were too steep for any one person to climb; too strong to be taken down with brute force. And so they sat for days, unable to pass on through.

But God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city, and on the seventh day he told them that when they heard the sound of the ram's horn, they should speak with one voice. And at the chosen hour, when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

There are many lessons to take from this passage, just as there are many lessons to take from this day, just as there are many memories that fill the space of this church. As I was thinking about which ones we need to remember at this hour, my mind went back to the very beginning of the modern Civil Rights Era.

Because before Memphis and the mountaintop; before the bridge in Selma and the march on Washington; before Birmingham and the beatings; the fire hoses and the loss of those four little girls; before there was King the icon and his magnificent dream, there was King the young preacher and a people who found themselves suffering under the yoke of oppression.

And on the eve of the bus boycotts in Montgomery, at a time when many were still doubtful about the possibilities of change, a time when those in the black community mistrusted themselves, and at times mistrusted each other, King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today:

"Unity is the great need of the hour" is what King said. Unity is how we shall overcome.
What Dr. King understood is that if just one person chose to walk instead of ride the bus, those walls of oppression would not be moved. But maybe if a few more walked, the foundation might start to shake. If a few more women were willing to do what Rosa Parks had done, maybe the cracks would start to show. If teenagers took freedom rides from North to South, maybe a few bricks would come loose. Maybe if white folks marched because they had come to understand that their freedom too was at stake in the impending battle, the wall would begin to sway. And if enough Americans were awakened to the injustice; if they joined together, North and South, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, then perhaps that wall would come tumbling down, and justice would flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Unity is the great need of the hour -- the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it's the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country.

I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans.

I'm talking about a moral deficit. I'm talking about an empathy deficit. I'm taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.

We have an empathy deficit when we're still sending our children down corridors of shame -- schools in the forgotten corners of America where the color of your skin still affects the content of your education.

We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick.

We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others; when our children see nooses hanging from a schoolyard tree today, in the present, in the twenty-first century.

We have a deficit when homeless veterans sleep on the streets of our cities; when innocents are slaughtered in the deserts of Darfur; when young Americans serve tour after tour of duty in a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged.
And we have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion; when it takes a terrible storm to reveal the hungry that God calls on us to feed; the sick He calls on us to care for; the least of these He commands that we treat as our own.

So we have a deficit to close. We have walls -- barriers to justice and equality -- that must come down. And to do this, we know that unity is the great need of this hour.
Unfortunately, all too often when we talk about unity in this country, we've come to believe that it can be purchased on the cheap. We've come to believe that racial reconciliation can come easily -- that it's just a matter of a few ignorant people trapped in the prejudices of the past, and that if the demagogues and those who exploit our racial divisions will simply go away, then all our problems would be solved.

All too often, we seek to ignore the profound institutional barriers that stand in the way of ensuring opportunity for all children, or decent jobs for all people, or health care for those who are sick. We long for unity, but are unwilling to pay the price.
But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won. It starts with a change in attitudes -- a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts.

It's not easy to stand in somebody else's shoes. It's not easy to see past our differences. We've all encountered this in our own lives. But what makes it even more difficult is that we have a politics in this country that seeks to drive us apart -- that puts up walls between us.
We are told that those who differ from us on a few things are different from us on all things; that our problems are the fault of those who don't think like us or look like us or come from where we do. The welfare queen is taking our tax money. The immigrant is taking our jobs. The believer condemns the non-believer as immoral, and the non-believer chides the believer as intolerant.

For most of this country's history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man's inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays -- on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.

So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others -- all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face -- war and poverty; injustice and inequality. We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late.

Because if Dr. King could love his jailor; if he could call on the faithful who once sat where you do to forgive those who set dogs and fire hoses upon them, then surely we can look past what divides us in our time, and bind up our wounds, and erase the empathy deficit that exists in our hearts.

But if changing our hearts and minds is the first critical step, we cannot stop there. It is not enough to bemoan the plight of poor children in this country and remain unwilling to push our elected officials to provide the resources to fix our schools. It is not enough to decry the disparities of health care and yet allow the insurance companies and the drug companies to block much-needed reforms. It is not enough for us to abhor the costs of a misguided war, and yet allow ourselves to be driven by a politics of fear that sees the threat of attack as way to scare up votes instead of a call to come together around a common effort.

The Scripture tells us that we are judged not just by word, but by deed. And if we are to truly bring about the unity that is so crucial in this time, we must find it within ourselves to act on what we know; to understand that living up to this country's ideals and its possibilities will require great effort and resources; sacrifice and stamina.

And that is what is at stake in the great political debate we are having today. The changes that are needed are not just a matter of tinkering at the edges, and they will not come if politicians simply tell us what we want to hear. All of us will be called upon to make some sacrifice. None of us will be exempt from responsibility. We will have to fight to fix our schools, but we will also have to challenge ourselves to be better parents. We will have to confront the biases in our criminal justice system, but we will also have to acknowledge the deep-seated violence that still resides in our own communities and marshal the will to break its grip.

That is how we will bring about the change we seek. That is how Dr. King led this country through the wilderness. He did it with words -- words that he spoke not just to the children of slaves, but the children of slave owners. Words that inspired not just black but also white; not just the Christian but the Jew; not just the Southerner but also the Northerner.

He led with words, but he also led with deeds. He also led by example. He led by marching and going to jail and suffering threats and being away from his family. He led by taking a stand against a war, knowing full well that it would diminish his popularity. He led by challenging our economic structures, understanding that it would cause discomfort. Dr. King understood that unity cannot be won on the cheap; that we would have to earn it through great effort and determination.

That is the unity -- the hard-earned unity -- that we need right now. It is that effort, and that determination, that can transform blind optimism into hope -- the hope to imagine, and work for, and fight for what seemed impossible before.

The stories that give me such hope don't happen in the spotlight. They don't happen on the presidential stage. They happen in the quiet corners of our lives. They happen in the moments we least expect. Let me give you an example of one of those stories.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organizes for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She's been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and the other day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

So Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who's been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he's there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."

By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we begin. It is why the walls in that room began to crack and shake.
And if they can shake in that room, they can shake in Atlanta.
And if they can shake in Atlanta, they can shake in Georgia.
And if they can shake in Georgia, they can shake all across America. And if enough of our voices join together; we can bring those walls tumbling down. The walls of Jericho can finally come tumbling down. That is our hope -- but only if we pray together, and work together, and march together.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot walk alone.
In the struggle for peace and justice, we cannot walk alone.
In the struggle for opportunity and equality, we cannot walk alone
In the struggle to heal this nation and repair this world, we cannot walk alone.
So I ask you to walk with me, and march with me, and join your voice with mine, and together we will sing the song that tears down the walls that divide us, and lift up an America that is truly indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. May God bless the memory of the great pastor of this church, and may God bless the United States of America.
The MLK video:


obama news today:
Obama accuses Bill Clinton of 'fact twisting Times Online -
Hillary, Obama attend church servicesXinhua -
New Obama Ad The Associated Press -