I’m voting for Barack Obama

Obama-Forward

On Tuesday I am going vote once again for Barack Obama.

He’s one of the rare few who have become more than a President, a true Commander in Chief.

Did he magically solve all our problems and reach across the aisle to convert recalcitrant foes to allies? No, he did not.

Did he act decisively and wisely to stave off what could easily have been the 2nd Great Depression, exercise a calm and firm hand in the face of a host of foreign policy challenges, and accomplish far more than you would expect given an opposition who decided that the purity of their party was more important than the health of our nation. Yes he did*.

We’re standing at the the doorstep of the future and more than rising water and raging weather are coming to our door. I for one want a proven and tested leader who has demonstrated honesty on a constant vision rather than an opportunistic and shadowy operator who stands wherever the people he’s talking to want him to stand.

*For those who feel that he’s done nothing, I give you whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com.

 

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Arab Spring

H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show had a very interesting interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan about Arab Spring and the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. One thing that struck me was the fact that we’re watching a bunch of nations go through the same tumult that the U.S., France and others struggled through over a period of decades and somehow expecting it to all be wrapped up by the next news cycle.

Arab Spring is a world-shaking phenomenon and it makes me feel a bit better knowing that thoughtful & rational individuals like King Abdullah and President Obama are on the job right now. I hope you get a chance to watch it!

H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein is (according to his website) a 41st-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad who assumed the constitutionally based monarchy of Jordan in 1999.

The photo of King Abdullah was taken by Monika Flueckiger at the 2008 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. See 42 years of their pics right here.

Warren Buffett calls his own bluff … by not bluffing I guess

Warren Buffett with Fisher College of Business Student

“I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions.”
~Warren Buffett

Late last summer, Warren Buffett broke ranks with most of the other dedicated men and women of Occupy the Top 1% and called for more taxes for top earners. Senator Mitch McConnell, a millionaire in his own right and champion of the uptrodden, said that if Buffett was feeling guilty about his tax bill, he should send in a check. Senator John Thune rushed to the rescue with the cynical Buffett Rule Act, placing an option on tax forms allowing people to donate more in taxes to help pay down the national debt. In an interesting new TIME interview with Rana Foroohar, Buffett says:

“It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that [the deficit] can’t be solved by voluntary contributions,” he says with a chuckle. So Buffett has pledged to match 1 for 1 all such voluntary contributions made by Republican members of Congress. “And I’ll even go 3 for 1 for McConnell,” he says. That could be quite a bill if McConnell takes the challenge; after all, the Senator is worth at least $10 million. As Buffett put it to me, “I’m not worried.”

I wouldn’t be worried for my money if I were Buffett either.

The photo is by Aaron Friedman.

The Impulse to Supress

I don’t know who made the original. Found it with hundreds of others on the peppersprayingcop tumblr.

Gawker reports that UC-Davis Officer John Pike, the Pepper Spraying Cop is now a meme (see this one for sure)

Regardless of whether or not Davis – a campus police officer - is representative of anything other than a dude with authority, firepower and poor judgement, I think it’s really strange how polarizing the issue of police violence is.

For my own part, I can’t fathom the situation where a non-violent protester deserves violence in a free society. I am surprised by how many do feel that way.

Mainly for my own future viewing, here’s video of the situation.

Yes In My Backyard … Vote for the good guys (and gals)

Idiot brigade

Election day is tomorrow. Here in Traverse City, it’s pretty much a local affair, and if the stats that Gary Howe lists in Occupy This! Local Politics Need a Jolt of YIMBYism are any guide, voters will likely honor their amazing opportunity to shape their community by staying far away from the polls. Gary suggests that to counter the dominant “Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY) mentality, we need a younger YIMBY (Yes-in-my-backyard) electorate that is engaged in the most basic aspect of community democracy – voting. He highlights a telling stat:

The under 40 crowd represent 42% of the potential voters and only 6% of the 40 and under crowd cast a vote in 2009.

Put graphically:

That’s an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs that simply must change if we are to work our way out of the dark corners of climate change and vanished prosperity we find ourselves in globally, and also the challenges of re-designing our communities to meet the needs of the modern world locally. He explains that the under 40 bloc is critical because:

The under forty crowd is more enthused about collaboration over competition. They don’t start with “no” or by asking “how much?”. Instead, they are wired to find amicable solutions that make our community more inclusive and connected. The mantra is, “yes! Great idea, how do we make it better? Wouldn’t this be a great addition?” We trend towards the YIMBY. We need a touch of NIMBYism to balance that, but the current climate is out of balance.

In organizations/communities where negativity, or worse, indifference, is strongly perceived, YIMBYs lose enthusiasm and retreat. The otherwise neutral activity of politics is then tarnished and becomes something to avoid. Saved for a time, or age, when we simply want to protect something. The younger demographics, seeking a positive experience, are thus more prone to becoming disillusioned and disengaged. This is unfortunate because politics isn’t bad– bad politics is bad. And, it can be changed with numbers.

Here is a civic lesson: when you don’t like how something is proceeding, increase your numbers.

I’m a YIMBY and I vote. I will vote next Tuesday for the most immediate representation I have– City Commissioners. Please, do the same regardless of your age, but particularly if you are under forty in human years, dog years or simply in heart and mind. As a friend likes to respond to questions of age and voting, “I believe not enough people vote within any age bracket.” I appreciate her optimism that, “more people voting can only help the good guys.”

The photo is Idiot brigade by protohiro. He works at Flickr and you can see his most interesting photos on Flickriver.

#occupywallstreet

Check out the livestream channel via Adbusters. The images look like they might have come from any of the protests that are sweeping the world. Do you think we’re heading into our own “American Spring”?

Here’s a photo from the occupywallstreet slideshow on Flickr.

Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33

The photo is by David Shankbone who has his own photographic coverage. On his blog he writes:

The cops arrested over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters today, and the people on this post are the kinds of people they are slamming around. Today Zennie Abraham said in a video posted on the San Francisco Chronicle‘s website that the Goethe girl photograph above has “signaled the start of a movement”:

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has something the Tea Party could never claim to have: hot chicks at its protests quoting Goethe. This woman, photographed by David Shankbone during the protest at Wall Street, looks like a cross between Laura Croft and Norma Jean. It’s possible to see a whole line of fashion spring forward just from this photo – the latest in protest wear.

Additionally she, whoever she is, totally alters the image of the female protestor: gone is the dirty-haired earth girl with hairy arm pits; fashion models take to the streets.