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Showing posts from August, 2008

Sunday morning poetry and music

As I sit to try and write something for this morning, I realize that rather than having anything meaningful to share, I'm needing some nourishment myself. I've spent alot of time this week watching the convention and thinking about electoral politics. And as Nightprowlkitty and Jay Elias so beautifully captured - some of us have experienced a journey between head and heart...and it has been draining for me.

In addition to that, we know that Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. That not only brings concerns about the welfare of people who are most vulnerable in that region, it rekindles memories of all the horrors of Katrina.

Finally, I am deeply disappointed already in the gestapo-like tactics my city seems to be employing to deal with potential protesters at the RNC. Due to the nature of my work over the last 20 years, many of the people involved in the city, law enforcement, and courts are friends of mine. I had hoped that they and my home town would rise above what we ha…

The Ovarian Lottery

Seems that some enterprising reporters have managed to find Barack Obama's half brother in Kenya.

The Italian edition of Vanity Fair said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut in a ramshackle town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Mr Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender.

"No-one knows who I am," he told the magazine, before claiming: "I live here on less than a dollar a month."



I'm sure that if the MSM really picks up on this, we'll see all kinds of stories insinuating that it is Barack's responsibility/fault that his half-brother lives in these kinds of conditions. I doubt, however, that many reporters and pundits would take the perspective of kyledeb from Citizen Orange - even though I think he got it just about right.

I think a huge part of what motivates me to develop myse…

Saying goodbye to comfort

For years, my co-worker Mary and I have gone to the same Chinese buffet every Thursday for our weekly lunch meeting. One day, another co-worker teased us about being in a rut. When we came back at him with the fact that he has lunch every Monday at Subway, he said, "Oh, that's not a rut, its a tradition."



I think traditions are important for all of us as human beings. And for me, there are certain things (like where I go for lunch) that are much more easily decided by being in a rut than they are by having to devote alot of time and attention to them on a regular basis.

On the other hand, those I work with also tend to refer to me as a "change junkie." I've often thought that my addiction to change is a result of the fact that from birth to my 30's I moved across this country 8 times and overseas twice. Its kind of hard to get in much of a rut when you're constantly facing the challenge of "starting over." So, being in a leadership position …

What does it mean to be "an American?"

I think its wonderful news from Beijing about Henry Cejudo winning the gold medal in freestyle wrestling. In case you haven't heard his story, his mother raised he and his six siblings in the US after coming here from Mexico as an undocumented migrant at the age of 14.



By Henry Cejudo's count, they moved at least 50 times. Sometimes they moved across state lines: California, New Mexico, Arizona. Sometimes they moved downstairs in the same apartment building.

Sometimes Henry's mom and his six siblings didn't even bother unpacking their bags.

Yet no matter where they were at the moment, no matter how many places they lived, Nelly Rico's message didn't change.

"My mom would always say, 'Whatever you want to do, you can do. You want to be an astronaut? You can be an astronaut. You want to be a doctor? You can be a doctor.'"

With tears streaming down his face following his victory Tuesday over Japan's Tomohiro Matsunaga in the 121-pound freestyle wr…

Enough

In these days when the news is filled with young athletes competing to be the best and fulfill their dreams, my mind is grappling with what feels like a paradox. You see, I was raised with the ultimate kind of commitment to what we often call the "protestant work ethic." My grandfather, who was an inventor and entrepreneur, lived by the following motto:

If you take on the possible and accomplish it, no big deal.

But if you take on the impossible and accomplish it...then you've really done something.

So since birth, I was nurtured on this.



There IS something glorious about that kind of quest. And its probably why many of us blog and engage in political activism...we see a better world and no matter the challenge, we're committed to doing whatever is necessary to reach for that impossible dream.

But there can be a problem with always living for impossible dreams.



I don't know about you, but part of me sometimes feels like saying...enough. I think this is a concept that e…

Blog Voices

I thought I'd revive my tour around the diversosphere this week because I've run across some pretty interesting stuff lately. Lets jump right in and I'll tell you what I've found.

The first one is more about a process than a particular story. A few months ago, I wrote about the coming together of bloggers to form The Sanctuary. Other than being a one-stop-shop on the issue of immigration reform, these bloggers have organized in some pretty effective ways.

Recently they put together a questionnaire that was sent to all the candidates running for President. Obama responded and McCain did not. They have not yet released Obama's answers, but this kind of organizing has gotten a good bit of media attention. For example, Kety Esquivel, one of The Sanctuary founders, has been on CNN twice to discuss their efforts. Here's video of her second appearance.



This is a wonderful example of what bloggers can do when they are focused and organized!!! Check out kyledeb's recen…

The Blade

Like everyone else, I was stunned by the events of 9/11/2001. But pretty quickly I felt very alone in my reactions (that was pre-blog days) as I continued to feel stunned and sad. It seemed like it was only days before the rest of the country moved on to anger and the need for revenge. I couldn't go there. Perhaps alot of that was because I didn't understand what had just happened. And I felt the need to understand.

So I did what I usually do to try and understand things that are outside of my previous experience...I read. Specifically, I read what I knew would give me the "behind the scenes story" about times and places that are different from my own...women's stories.



Here's a few of the books I read:

Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom by John Follain and Rita Cristofari
Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson
The Sewing Circles of Herat by Christina Lamb
Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jord…