Friday, November 07, 2008


Ok - time to lay it out on the line, and make my opinions known - I support Barack Obama, and think his election to the presidency is a great thing. Now, for some of you this is a given, but for those of you surprised - hear me out, and know this isn't the typical 'left coast' allegiance and support of sweeping liberal swing in government. This is coming from an historically Republican/Libertarian/conservative voter. I've liked McCain in the past as a legislator, and appreciated the 'maverick' streak he stirred up within the Republican party. But even for someone like me, the Obama movement makes a lot of sense.
Firstly, it must be said - it's an incredibly positive, monumentally historic event to have the first African-American president. A discourse on race is way beyond the scope of this posting, of course, and this election had historic aspects all around - the Dems side came down to the first black candidate or the first woman candidate; Repubs had their first woman on the major ticket, and the oldest man ever to be nominated (with his mom out stumping for him - go Grey Power!). Well, let's just leave it at, "Democracy is alive and well."
As a leader, the U.S. hasn't seen the likes of Obama in a long time. Yes, the right wing rants have been, "all style, no substance", "an empty suit", "culture of celebrity." But no politician in a long time has been so inspirational, motivating, unifying, since, oh, can we say - Reagan, and Kennedy before that? Clinton was charismatic and smooth, but there was a reason he was 'Slick Willie'.
Next, the way the Republican attack ads rang hollow. This was, sadly, a war of personal attacks, and a deflection of the the issues. How many of you got FED UP with all the negative buzzwords flying around? OK - Obama had his bullet points that got annoying ("McCain voted with George Bush 90% of the time"). But for the McCain camp to run so many negative ads & angles : Ayers, 'he's a socialist', 'he's a muslim', elitist, Jeremiah Wright, 'Joe the Plumber'; were all facetious argurments, just petulant flailing when they realized he was so far behind in the polls, so late. None of it stuck, not like the allegations of clueless oversight or even outright abuse of power by Palin. A real disappointment, for me, because I was aware of who she was as a strong woman & mother, and the good things she had done in Alaska, months before the wide populace had even heard her name, and I was hoping she might be picked as VP. But then when she came under the microscope, it was clear she was not cut out for the office.
One quick note, about the "Joe the Plumber" - what a laughable backfire by McCain. The facts quickly surfaced about Mr. Wurzelbacher - he wasn't licensed, he was a tax evader - to which the right-wing cried, "Witch hunt!". Beyond that, he was an unfortunate poster boy : every independent tax analyst would say that workers like 'Joe' would actually pay less taxes under the Obama plan vs. the McCain plan, and be better off as a small business owner.
Then it comes down to the defining issue in my mind : the war in Iraq. Yes, the economic disaster was what really allowed Obama to achieve the landslide, but he would've won anyway. Skipping the basic fact that the Iraq war is an entirely illegal, ill-advised military occupation founded on lies and machismo, and has nothing to do with terrorism (indeed it emboldens and inspires extremists far more than it disrupts them) - McCain has no intention of withdrawing, maybe not even reducing, troops in Iraq. While the U.S. is engaged in this quagmire, there can be no chance for economic recovery, and no hope that American's global cooperative environment will improve.
One more thing about the Bush Jr. regime. There has hardly been a president so inept, corrupt, brazen. Say what you will about Clinton and his shady dealings, and extramarital dalliances, I'm not defending the guy, but how can anyone defend Bush and what he's done? Even conservatives - ESPECIALLY conservatives? He's betrayed many founding tenets of right-wing philosophy and spearheaded the dissolution of the Republican party, as well as warping basic American freedoms. I believe in many aspects of conservatism, which Bush does not : limited government powers, federalism, checks-n-balances of the 3 branches, fundamental liberties, free market (the banking bailout), military superiority (again, the mess in Iraq diminishes the valid mission in Afghanistan). So, good riddance. I, for one, along with a ### of other Americans, can hardly wait until January 20.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November & the future

Wow, realized I didn't post anything at all in October. Not much to crow about, I guess. But November - oh yeah, monumental change. Historical election, which has a lot of Americans really inspired again, and holds great promise for worldwide relations.
Firstly, a recap of goings-on. Finished my gig at ILM, which I mentioned last month. Been working at The Orphanage in San Francisco, on a commercial project (which is about 5 blocks from ILM). Definitely a different change of pace, and different workplace culture (and shoestrings) here... but interesting.
Halloween was OK - I had a wicked costume idea that came to me late. I usually don't do half-hearted costumes. If I have a grand plan, I'll go with it, but if it's half-baked, I'll skip dressing up entirely, or just do something ironic. Well, this one was cool : in one word, ossuary. 'What the...??', you may be asking yourself. Lexically, an ossuary is a collection of bones, usually in the open without confines of a coffin. In a more detailed explanation, it was a reference to the crypt of the Capuchin monks. Y'know, the famous piles of bones (more than 4,000 friars) in the Catholic church in Rome? Similar to the Sedlec Ossuary in Prague, or the Catacombs in Paris... My costume consisted of a typical monk outfit (robe, ropebelt, hood, cross necklace) + skull mask & skeleton gloves + a myriad of styrofoam bones sewn into the torso & I carried around a plastic skull. With the mask on, lurching around... I scared some kids, I tell you whut.
Other things happening this past month... went to a play by a small troupe in East Bay - "History of the Devil" by Clive Barker, produced by Ragged Wing troupe. They do a lot with very small budgets and limited space, we've been to a few of their shows.
Thought I could drop in my thoughts about the election, but I'll save that for another post.