As happenstance would have it, last Friday, April 25, 2008, I came upon a rally for Tibet that was held in Union Square in NYC. Sometimes, just putting one foot in front of the other, intuitively following one’s nose, will land one in the best place. I was walking to the subway after hearing a book talk at East West Books, followed by trip into the Guitar Center for a thumb pick, which led into sampling steel string acoustic guitars, then following my stomach to a recommendation for frozen yoghurt down the street.
It was the Tibetan monks chanting that drew me in. I’d heard it before in a fabulous and moving Gyuto Monks world tour when they performed in Berkeley, CA. Such a grounding eye-opener that keeps you riveted, feeling the depths and spans of culture in their throat and belly-sourced tones and robes. Moving in closer, this early Friday eve, I then saw the candles, hundreds and hundreds of them in simple clear plastic cups, spaced evenly to spell out FREE TIBET, with several large peace signs below. The monks sat cross legged in burgundy and saffron robes, encircled by hundreds of Tibetans in support. The rally to remember the ongoing and recent atrocities by the Chinese who have been persecuting this ancient wisdom religion, was occuring on the nineteen birthday of their exiled leader, The Panchen Lama.
I’m attempting without success to post some of the video I took with my little Canon 8mp digital camera, for now here are a couple of stills from the videos.
Before you think I’ve gone completely complacent, I’m a few days late, and many dollars short, before it’s ancient and not just old news, I wanted to highlight Jamie Rubin’s CNN Late Edition appearance last Sunday, April 27. (I’m not actually able to embed it, and pardon the commercial, but I haven’t found it elsewhere besides CNN, so here it is linked.) Call it what you will, here was one Dem man who refused to be bullied and insisted on shaping the conversation.
Perhaps I feel this way, because I went into a slump after Hillary won PA. Something inside of me just wouldn’t let me celebrate or open the bubbly like so many others. Perhaps I could hear the impending steps of doom from down the hall. Perhaps, I knew instinctively like Hillary seems to that the battle is still on and always will be.
And sure enough, after a slight nod to her blow up punching clown ability to keep popping back up after each slug, they began slugging her again after her 10 point win in PA. “But she can’t really win, can she?” And they keep on, but Rubin refused to be dumped in that box and came out swinging, pulling no punches. Same ole, same ole slice em dice em politics, you say? For once, and maybe only for that one time, it felt good to hear a surrogate who had grown some, and was willing to use them in service of our gal, (who has an impressive set herself), refusing to succumb to another round of Obama surrogate spin. Oy vey, a set of what? What am I saying? Knockers. Don’t hate me. I’m still respectful and have some myself. Wouldn’t it be great to have a President with a set of those for once? Tee hee.
John Lennon took a step back in his life to really enjoy and meditate on the world he was indeed living in. Yet he was a political guy, who tried to create change by his actions, using his voice in many ways, in the end dedicating his life to peace and love. He left us with the very sweet, zen-like, “Watching the Wheels” where he portrayed his new life of “householder yogi,” as we used to call it. It’s one thing to go live on a mountain top, another to live amongst your family, the day to day world, and remain centered, calm, kind, get something done, and enjoy your life while doing it — despite or because of the expected or unexpected.
I wrote in an earlier entry that Hillary was like me, only somewhere our roads diverged, and I took a more hippie, country, back to nature, creating a hopefully better society path to “saving the world” than did our gal Hillary. She took the route of attorney serving those who were unjustly treated, confident woman action figure, heroine route. To restate, how does she do it?
I’ve mentioned, I’m a new blogger who began in March 2008, and am also new to even reading them. I’m learning the technology — I still don’t have buttons and badges and bells, oh my — I almost grok what they mean and what they’re used for. I’ve been on a big learning curve with all that, and got quite wrapped up in it. Is that being addicted? Maybe a bit compulsive. Hmmm. It’s true whatever I do, whether it’s writing, reconciling my checkbook, or using the power of the pen, computer, and internet to stump for Hillary, I just have to do that project whole-heartedly. I focus and go all out, and my cleaning, food shopping, running my business, exercising all fall by the wayside.
I’d see perfectly sunny and newly budding Spring days pass into twilight, darkness, and 3am, while sitting in this chair, impassioned by Hillary’s capacity to stave off countless slings and arrows, fueled by my observations of Obama and his followers, feeling my common sense of fairness being trampled, needing to write to express it all — I read up on news stories and other blogs, felt my emotions flow and ebb, my body contract, my breath shorten, and I wrote out my heart, as I figured out how and where to cut and paste an embed, or how to increase my traffic and join this fast-paced world. While some blogs get thousands or millions of views, it felt quite heady to go from seven to two hundred thirty views in one day, as an author, imagining even that many people reading my work.
In the real world, I try to live by practicing what I preach, which would be living a balanced life. Well, okay here goes, I’ll admit that after one month of attempting to run this blog in the above manner, I had hemarrhoids, probably from sitting on my ass so consistently some days without even a walk around the block, or a ride down the elevator to get my mail. I got a sharp stomach cramp that lasted for two days, and had to miss our family’s Passover Seder, which is for me basically unheard of. I’m a sucker for a Seder, it’s a freedom holiday, after all. And I wouldn’t be here, had the Jews not gotten out of Egypt, ‘lo those five thousand plus years ago.
But there I was lying in bed, a victim of my own blogging addiction. You did hear of those three blogger guys who had heart attacks, two of whom died, right? Techie NextSTEP had some lovely tips in her April 8, 2008 piece promoting blogger relaxation that I recommend. It helped me immediately, mind you I know all this stuff, but somehow, as I’ve been saying, lost my body in all this.
My hats go off to all bloggers, especially the non-paid, the women I read at The Confluence, Taylor Marsh, The Democratic Daily, and yes the men too, who maintain sites like Hillary Clinton Forum, and to all who have company and corporate jobs, in some cases with kids still at home (mine are off and grown), go to rallies in other states, and research and resource their topics in-depth, are up on the latest, and produce a prolific turnout of amazing words and opinions. There are so many more blogs and websites, linked on all these sites, that I can’t even keep up with them.
Anyway, after all this, I return, but will be taking a bit more laid back approach to my writing commitment here. In politics, gossip, innuendo, outrage, and slinging will always be an igniting force. I remember feeling politically indignant as a kid for the first time when Adlai Stevenson lost, feeling that there was an injustice being done to the world. But I also have my own little mission and corner of the world to contribute to, and it’s not politics: I’ve a book to write, and people to help in my domain of work. Additionally, there are some other recent happenings that I want to report on or highlight through this, my cultural and political blog.
Let’s all om, breathe, keep sounding our voices, and remember to visit, support, campaign, contribute money, or whatever you feel moved to do to support HillaryClinton.com, our lady of the left, linked here on the right.
Here’s the petition I’m called on to sign by moveon.org, an organization I previously supported until they came out with a members’ poll early this year in order to endorse a candidate. I voted for Hillary. They endorsed Obama. I wrote to them at that time, protesting their insistence on calling for an early endorsement.
“Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”
Instead of signing, I replied to moveon.org with the following note:
Absolutely not!!!!!! No I won’t sign. For the first time, Obama wasn’t given a pass. I watched the same thing you and the other pundits watched. Hillary had clear plans with specifics re: Iraq, Iran, crime, the economy, greening, etc. What were you, the biased media, and other messiah hopefuls watching? Poor Obama didn’t know what to do, because he can speak AT the public, and ATTACK Hillary, but can’t think extemporaneously or speak clearly to any plan, policy or issue. Unfortunately, as a lifelong Dem, previously loyal moveon.org member, I see that you’re so wrong and so blind about your early endorsement of Obama, that you can’t even see that he’s not qualified, not ready, nor vetted, nor competent to be President of the US.
ABC moderators asked relevant questions that went to character. Just because Obama finally got pegged on what Hillary’s been going through over the last year, eight years, and fifteen years. Gee, moveon.org didn’t mind when the &*?@ was slung at Hillary. You weren’t sick and tired of it then. You didn’t holler when Obama spewed back at Hillary last week for showing the contents of his mind in the form of gossip about others. That’s new politics? Moveon.org is new politics? I used to think so about the latter, but no longer, as your outrage is uneven and only applies to when “your” candidate is wounded based on his OWN POOR LIFE CHOICES. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Here’s their petition letter in full, complete with references! Okay, all fall in line. Hell, no, I won’t sign.
Dear MoveOn member,
If you missed the Democratic presidential debate on ABC last night, Editor & Publisher called it “perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years.”
Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about—verbal gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channeling Karl Rove, they directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously.
Enough is enough. The public needs the media to stop hurting the national dialogue in this important election year. Can you sign the petition to ABC and other media outlets and pass it on to friends who are also fed up? Click here for our must-see video with excerpts from last night—and to sign the petition:
The petition says: “Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”
We’ll deliver petition signatures to ABC and the networks hosting future debates. And if we reach 100,000 signatures, we’ll reprint the petition in an ad campaign targeting the networks on this issue.
ABC’s natural inclination will be to ignore their critics, so we need to go above and beyond to show them that the public is truly outraged. So, please, think about some friends who may be fed up with 2008 media coverage and forward them this email. If thousands of us do that, it’ll make a huge difference.
The reaction to last night’s debate has been very consistent:
“A stinker, an absolute car crash—thanks to the host network ABC…[It] ran the gamut from banal to inane. At the end of the debate members of the crowd appeared to be booing moderator Charlie Gibson.”—The Guardian’s Richard Adams2
“Halfway through the debate, not a single question on any policy issue had been asked.”—OpenLeft.com’s Chris Bowers3
“For the first 52 minutes…Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.”—Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.4
“We’ve revisited bitter. We’ve gone back to Bosnia. We’ve dragged Rev. Wright back up onto the podium. We’ve mis-spent this debate by allowing Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos to ask questions that skirt what in my mind is what we need to know now.”—Philadelphia Inquirer’s Daniel Rubin5
Shame on ABC for letting voters down with last night’s abysmal debate. Bad debates aren’t just painful to watch—they actually hurt the country by distracting voters and politicians away from big issues of the day.
Please send a message to ABC and other media outlets that we need our national dialogue to focus on the real issues facing Americans. Click here to sign the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
–Adam G., Patrick, Anna, Peter, Justin, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Thursday, April 17th, 2008
1. “Clinton-Obama Debate: ABC Decides Top Issues Facing Americans Are Gaffes, Flag Pins and ’60s Radicals,” Editor & Publisher, April 16, 2008
2. “Worst. Debate. Ever.” The Guardian blog, April 16, 2008
3. “Philadelphia Debate Thread,” Chris Bowers, OpenLeft.com, April 16, 2008
4. “In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC,” Washington Post, April 17, 2008
5. “The Debate Debacle,” The Philadelphia Inquirer blog, April 16, 2008
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Hillary sure showed her stuff and guff in the ABC Debates at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center Wednesday night. She had specifics on everything. To be honest, she had so many ideas and such grasp of them that my attention wavered, and I began cleaning house while listening. However, let’s not attribute that to her being a boring candidate (vs. a messianic, charismatic one.) Dude! That’s what I want to hire her for!!! She knows this *$%^+@g stuff. She can spout it out anytime on a dime, no rehearsed speech about policy here. Try it lately? In front of millions of people? In any domain that was posed, the chick has a grasp of the problem, has a plan, a program, ideas, and solutions to solve it. She’s better at and has a much better grasp of this stuff than any of those now or formerly running.
Okay, I called it wrong. I thought George S. would give Obama a safe, but George and Charlie Gibson were both very hard on him, to where I began saying to the TV, okay let’s get to the issues. Please! But, it was great to see the candidates side by side under fire and how they handled it. As Mrs. Clinton said, she’s used to it by now.
As baby boomers, I’d say that Hillary and I are cut from the same cloth. She’s big boat, mahayana as Buddhists say. The difference is that we took a separate fork at the turn. I couldn’t stomach political and went hippy, whereas Hillary was trying to figure it out and went political. Doubters might wonder, how’s that ‘big boat’ for half of a couple who earned over $100 million over the last eight years? Well, they gave $10 million to charity. How many people can claim that? (I think that’s why that revelation didn’t have legs for very long.) They make, they give back. The Secret, Laws of Attraction. Very popular over the last year or so, right? The Clintons know how to attract money, I certainly was earning more during the Clinton years. Don’t we want that? Taking our country from recession after the Bushs’ first war to a projected surplus of $3 trillion in eight years. I’ll take more of that.
How else is Hillary big boat? She said she’ll do everything she can to make sure that one of them is the President, that Dems will close ranks. As far as her plans: she’ll get us out of the war, had steps and a plan for that, and explained that the President is Commander in Chief and must ultimately make these decisions, not the military. She talked about capital gains, energy independence, and was strong on calling together other countries to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and protect Israel from obliteration. That’s big boat. No one sails until all of us are aboard.
Oh, and where was the other guy–Obama, I mean? Looking a bit tight and uncomfie in his body to me, he faltered on a night when he (finally) didn’t get a free ride. His answers floated around without alighting firmly on the ground about: who should win the election, his 20-year allegiance to Pastor Wright, his “bitter” remarks about PA, an unrepentant Weatherman associate, and the, um, ISSUES and his POLICIES.
Hillary is always better in debates. As she thinks and speaks on her feet, I increasingly see her as a better problem solver and uniter of all sides (she made some pointed barbs, but was always the lady) while under pressure.
I can’t wait for tonight’s debate. Hillary is so great in debates, clear, concise–versus Obama’s hemming and hawing, quite different from his speechifying persona.
However, I’ll admit I’m a bit concerned that Hillary is walking into the lion’s den. For someone who helped get Bill elected in 1992, debate co-host George Stephanopoulos has been excessively cold to the Clintons ever since he left the administration during the first term. Like Bill Richardson, despite Richardson’s denials, Bill Clinton made Stephanopoulos the wunderkid a household name. On today’s Good Morning America, George brought us the new negative numbers for Hillary from the ABC/Washington Post Poll showing her lagging and commenting about all she has to do is lose the next three and it’s over.
How can it be that a candidate like Hillary, who repeatedly provides a platform of programs that show deep understanding of people and our country’s situation on all levels, is seen as less attractive than a candidate who belittles others, refuses to admit he’s wrong, attacks others for his own missteps, and flip flops (oh yes, I did) on issues from trade deals with Canada and women’s choice to name a few? How can a candidate who talks to multi-millionaires, and raises $2.9 million in one day, while gossiping about the (common) people not invited to the party be seen as honest and having a “new way” of doing politics?
When I worked in corporate America at Turner Broadcasting, one of my first jobs straight off the commune, I (finally) learned how companies work, (read: most anything in the world): Everything starts at the top. Whoever the top guy is, however he sees and interacts with the world, is how he’ll perceive it, and therefore will hire the person under him, and so on down the chain based on that vision.
Perhaps that explains why, when I e-announced my concerns about media bias against Hillary to my list of long-time women friends, a few flamed me. I received several all caps emails with slurs about Hillary, saying she’s a liar, showing a list of her “accomplishments” that looked like she’d attended only teas and never sponsored or passed any substantial legislation. When I read them, my impression was that she could have done them while she was getting her hair done. They were insulting and meant to be so. The hate mail came from women who make their living in the body-mind-spirit domains, which made their spewing all the more shocking to me. Okay, they’re not really my best friends, but I’ve known one for 35, the other for 15 years. This was about 1.5 months ago when I first began blogging. Although we’d agreed to disagree, they continued to push at me, sending me Hillary hate mail, until I said, “Okay, I get it, you’re trying to convert me. Please stop sending me this stuff.” They got it.
According to how Obama consistently reacts, my act of pointing out this hate would be seen as an offense and worthy of counter-attack. To me, it’s the same kind of backhanded dig he made when he said, “Uh, she’s alright,” about Hillary. I know high school snubs when I see them. I guess these are Ivy League ones that the big boyz play.
But I can’t end without telling about an exchange that happened recently that caught me off guard . . . again. A young friend in his twenties whom I’ve known since he was a child, visited me recently, and couldn’t believe that I was supporting Hillary. He repeatedly blamed her and Bill for the poor current economy, and said what a liar and how disgusting Hillary is. We went around for several rounds, until I finally said he wasn’t going to convince me of anything and vice versa, pointing out that he was blind to his automatic sexist brain-washing. He protested, “but you know me, I’m a good guy.”
What shook me up actually was several times during our debate, he said, “I wouldn’t be caught associating with Hillary if I were you. I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be supporting her, you know, when the *@#! goes down.”
Now what was that? What’s going down? What’s going on here?
On the far sidelines of Friday’s Today Show an estimated 100-150 Hillary Clinton supporters expressed their voices, “carrying signs” to protest the media’s misogynist treatment of her. What a dedicated, resourceful crowd, brought together by pro-Hillary bloggers from NYC and North Carolina, spearheaded by Murray and KittyNC respectively.
The event’s press release contained quotes of some of the unconscious commentator clips from the YouTube video in my April 10, 2008 post. I have the press release and was going share some of those slurs here, but as I began typing them in, I lost the desire to repeat them, and send them out into the Universe one more time. Maybe another day. You can watch the video and catch them all.
I’m coming around to this: If there’s nothing glaring, I’m going to switch my focus, at least I’m going to try. Yes, I’m a stickler for fairness. But I think it’s more important, and healthier too, as so many great bloggers do, to promote Hillary’s accomplishments, platforms, and programs than it is to be a media victim. I did say “nothing glaring,” AND I will try to accentuate the positive.
On the other hand, I’m a child of the sixties and practice both seemingly contradictory yogas: I will never stop protesting. I will always want to make love not war.
Thanks to a sharp commenter on TaylorMarsh.com, we’re aware of how unaware the DNC.
On their website “partybuilder” (is that a new oxymoron, kids?), there’s an event announcement and sign up for: NATIONAL RALLY FOR BARACK OBAMA!! Here’s the rest of the announcement from democrats.org:
April 12, 2008 – 12 noon
Please help get the word out. Tell all your friends. Send text messages, emails, and make phone calls.
This is a nationwide rally to be held simultaneously across Amercia…all over the country, in all cities and states to send a unified voice in support of Barack Obama. The event will be coordinated to occur everywhere at the same time !
See for yourself. (shaking my head) Just doesn’t seem right, doesn’t seem right.
I was so shocked (what’s wrong with me?) to see the call to action right there on their website that I didn’t think to write a comment to the poster. I did, however, write to the DNC:
What is the DNC thinking?
I’m a lifelong, dedicated Democrat. As far as I can find, the DNC is not hosting any voter numbers nor tallies of the popular or delegate votes here on its website. You ARE, however, hosting a partybuilder event that’s sponsoring a nationwide Obama day! What a sham! I can’t believe this obvious bias and why this announcement wouldn’t be moderated! The DNC won’t get a cent of money or support from me until they clean up their act.
I’ll admit that last part sounds pretty hateful. Over the years, my support has primarily been at the volunteer rather than monetary level, so no loss to them. Do I sound defensive? It’s more bark than bite. Call me naive; I can’t believe each new low to which the DNC seems to go. Have they/we chosen a candidate yet?
Is it just that I finally feel old enough to bitch about this stuff? Yes. A result of technology? Yes. Or is it that everything’s so crucial right now? I won’t take this #@*! standing down, baby.
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