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Showing posts from January, 2009

Limbagh Reads Alinsky

I normally ignore Rush Limbagh's rants as the garbage that they are. But here is something he said last Monday in response to Obama calling him out that I found intriguing.

This is a political play and a lot of people I think are misunderstanding this. ‘He's frightened of Limbaugh.' I don't think he's afraid of anybody. He's the president of the United States. This is a political play to marginalize me so that Republicans are afraid to associate with my ideas or any of us. He wants conservatism, mainstream conservatism to be thought of the way you and I think of communism. He wants it thought of as the most foreign, the most offensive, the most extreme manner of belief possible... This is a Saul Alinsky radical rule number 13: Pick the target, me, isolate it, polarize it... That's what's happening here. This is a purposeful effort to get rid of conservatism as a mainstream way of thinking forever in this country, make no mistake about it.

So Rush…

A Journey in Song

Pink - Conversations With My 13 Year-Old Self


Joss Stone - Right To Be Wrong


Shania Twain - Juanita


KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See


Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Take My Chances


Bonnie Raitt - I Will Not Be Broken


Tracy Chapman - Be And Be Not Afraid


Norah Jones - One Flight Down

Releasing the grief

Over years of watching and listening, I've learned just a bit about the many large and small ways that people of color in this country have to swallow the rage they feel and experience on a daily basis. It seems to lay there just below the surface. But as Clarence Paige wrote, people of color are taught from a young age to not show their color when they're out and about in the world at large.

If you listen, sometimes you can get hints of the emotional burden people of color bear. Like the time a few months ago when an African American mother told me that she made her son cut his dreadlocks when he turned 13...she was afraid of the attention they might draw. Or the young African American man who still has his dreadlocks and tells me that he gets pulled over by the cops about once a week for "driving while black." The burden of rage and pain is built one brick at a time and must be managed in order to survive in this culture.

But recently, I've been trying to listen…

Organizer-in-Chief, 2.0

A couple of months ago I wrote about Obama as the Organizer-in-Chief, noting how he incorporated his experience as a community organizer in mobilizing millions of people all over the country into a grassroots movement to win the election.

Many have been speculating since the electrion about what Obama will do with this movement once he got into office and how being an organizer will affect the way he governs. On Saturday, we got some initial word on that.



The details of what this means have not been laid out yet - this is just an introduction. But the whole idea raises very interesting possibilities and challenges.

From Peter Wallsten at the LA Times:

The organization...is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country's most potent political machine.

Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with th…

Finding wisdom and inspiration

Some days, you just don't have much to share. This is one of those days for me. I've been facing some challenges in the "meat world" as they say, that are related to this awful mess that's known as our economy. So rather than have anything useful to say myself, I've been reading and watching around the tubes.

I know alot of what we read is hard and sometimes negative. But what has struck me in my recent wanderings is the depth of wisdom that's also out there. So I thought I'd share a little of that with you today. It comes from an interesting mix of sources.

First of all, here's some truth and perspective from one of our elders. Friday night, Bill Moyers commented on the situation in the Middle East. But its mostly a reminder of who it is that pays the price when "life and death become abstractions of policy."



For those of you who can't watch a video, here is a partial transcript (scroll down to the last few paragraphs from Moyers), but…

Blowback

The term blowback was initially brought into political discussions by the CIA in predicting the results of US involvement in the 1953 coup in Iran that deposed Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq and his cabinet. Although the neo-cons are loath to admit it, US involvement with the coup and our subsequent support of the Shah, led to the blowback of the Iranian (or Islamic) Revolution in 1978.

But blowback isn't just about Iran. The more we use force (either overt or covert) in the world to gain access to the resources we want, the more blowback we'll see in the future. In his book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Chalmers Johnson discusses the ways in which our country's misguided policies are planting the seeds of future disaster.

Blowback is obviously something Bush and the neocons didn't take seriously when they invaded 2 countries and utilized things like torture and rendition in their war of terror. But my guess is that the blowback from these cr…