Archives for category: democracy inaction

washington monument

Listening to Barack Obama’s second inauguration speech, and remembering back to that freezing cold day four years ago when Mom and I jumped fences and barricades to find a spot overlooking the Mall, to listen to his first inauguration speech. Photos from Obama’s first inauguration.

Eric linked to this great article by David Simon about the changing demographics and ways of thinking in the United States, and how irrelevant certain factions will become (have already become?) if they continue the same broken strategies.

Hard times are still to come for all of us. Rear guard actions will be fought at every political crossroad. But make no mistake: Change is a motherfucker when you run from it. And right now, the conservative movement in America is fleeing from dramatic change that is certain and immutable. A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point.

This election marks a moment in which the racial and social hierarchy of America is upended forever. No longer will it mean more politically to be a white male than to be anything else. Evolve, or don’t. Swallow your resentments, or don’t. But the votes are going to be counted, more of them with each election.

My friend Lora posted a great essay written by Jeremiah Goulka. In it he discusses his move from staunch liberal Republican to former Republican, and the eye-opening experiences he had that caused this change. A few excerpts:

Then something tiny happened that pried open my eyes to the less obvious forms of racism and the hurdles the poor face when they try to climb the economic ladder. It happened on an official visit to a school in a suburb of New Orleans that served kids who had gotten kicked out of every other school around.[...]

My tour guide mentioned that parents were required to participate in some school programs. One of these was a field trip to a sit-down restaurant.

This stopped me in my tracks. I thought: What kind of a lame field trip is that?

It turned out that none of the families had ever been to a sit-down restaurant before. The teachers had to instruct parents and students alike how to order off a menu, how to calculate the tip.

I was stunned.

That notion [our Republican version of "individual responsibility"] is fundamental to the liberal Republican worldview. “Bootstrapping” and “equality of opportunity, not outcomes” make perfect sense if you assume, as I did, that people who hadn’t risen into my world simply hadn’t worked hard enough, or wanted it badly enough, or had simply failed. But I had assumed that bootstrapping required about as much as it took to get yourself promoted from junior varsity to varsity. It turns out that it’s more like pulling yourself up from tee-ball to the World Series. Sure, some people do it, but they’re the exceptions, the outliers, the Olympians.

via angie

I am the first to admit that I am ill-informed of current events. The thing is, while school is on, I’m happy to listen to NPR news the whole commute, and I like knowing what’s going on in the world. But I don’t generally seek out the news (although I’ve got the news on right now if that makes anyone feel better).

With that in mind, even I noticed that some shit seemed to be going down in Egypt. I just had no idea really what. Something about a terrible president and elections and turning off the internet and etc. The problem is, all the news reports assume you already know a lot of the news that led up to the new news, so if you come late to the party, you just end up confused. It struck me that a lot of people are probably in the same boat, thus I am stepping forward to say, “I have no idea what’s going on.”

As is my custom when wanting to know the whole story behind some political/current event, I asked Eric about it. In general, Eric is the most well-informed person I know, and would not only be more concise than the million articles I’d find with a Google search, he’d be more entertaining and probably provide visual aids.

So, as a kind of tribute to Liz Tells Frank, my friend’s website wherein she explains terrible movies and books to our friend Frank, who doesn’t have the time or inclination to watch/read them himself, I offer you this transcript of the IM conversation that I am unofficially titling, “Eric Tells Kara About What’s Happening in Egypt” (slightly edited since IMing is pretty non-linear at times, and yes, Eric and I both know that Europeans did not become totally stupid during the Dark Ages, so you can hold your comments to that effect).

Read the rest of this entry »

from the secret diary of (fake) steve jobs: hate-spewing “christians” need to listen up.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! over christmas i found out that my cousin (who lives in DC) and her mom are going to the illinois inaugural ball. after considering a trip to DC to just be in the city for the inauguration, and then rejecting the idea due to lack of job, financial responsibility, etc etc…i got a surprise call today that my mom is going to pay for my flight to DC and my grandma is buying me a ticket to the ball!! the ball! of obama’s home state! so he’s practically guaranteed to make an appearance! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG i can’t believe it! SOOO!!!! EXCITED!!!!!! BEST PRESENT EVER!!!!

via funny or die via pat.

best election ever! i can’t remember the last time i cared about politics or actually believed that things in this country could change for the better. i can only hope that everyone in the US, no matter who they voted for, will do their best to move the country forward, help neighbors and communities, and help to improve our standing in the global arena. congratulations USA!

damon weaver asks joe biden about the duties of the vice president. the voice over is amazing. the end is the best. this kid is MY homeboy.

apparently now the border of the US, and therefore the area wherein random (and otherwise illegal) searches are allowed to be conducted, now extends 100 miles inland all around the perimeter of the US. This means roughly 2/3 of the population of the US is subject to these kinds of searches. WTF. the 4th amendment suddenly doesn’t apply to 2/3 of the people living in the united states?! how are we allowing this to happen? i don’t even have words to express how outraged/disgusted/disappointed i am by this.

i encourage everyone to read cory doctorow’s young adult (but very relevant to all ages) book, little brother, which tells the story of a high school student and his friends in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on san francisco. they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, kids are tortured (waterboarding is torture no matter how the US government tries to sugar-coat it) and the whole city is stripped of privacy rights. frankly the whole book is pretty chilling because it’s so frighteningly plausible, and moreover – probable. you can download the book here.

finally, eric’s theory, accompanied by a handy visual aid.

via buzzfeed

i watched cnn all of yesterday evening, then pat and i went to big wangs after the gallery 1988 opening, just in time to see (although not hear) obama’s speech. numbers are still being tallied and each democratic camp is claiming the delegate win – i never thought i’d be this excited about an election!