Saturday, August 30, 2008

Little Girl Giant

Speaking of puppet strings, this is what a friend to me:


Little Girl Giant Plays in the Park from XINERGY on Vimeo.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to the lower 48

Well, the Republicans could not let the Democrats savor their moment of state spectacle, now, could they?

And so, now, we have Sarah Palin as VP choice for the McCain campaign. She's the governor of Alaska, a working mother of five children and her eldest son has enlisted in the army.

Frankly, I like the choice- on principle. I like the fact that a plucky, nervy woman who is also a working mother was picked as an veep-choice. I like the fact that she is an evangelic Christian and that her values has not stopped her from being a politician. I like the fact that she is not from the South, but from the West.

I don't like the fact that the Senator of Alaska is under indictment for taking grafts from the energy industry in exchange for favors. I don't like the fact that Sarah Palin herself is under investigation for possible ethics breach. I don't like the fact that she has been governor for just 1 1/2 years, and will be sacrificing valuable time away from her young baby.

Here's what I want to hear from Ms. Palin over the next couple of days: her understanding of working women, and what the Republican party intends to address the needs of working women. I want to hear her talk about the need for special assistance, whether through tax allowances or municipal set asides for all special children and their family needs. I want an intelligent discussion about possible drilling in ANWAR, the quality of the oil crude (light sweet is what we are looking for) and how to uphold treaties with the First nations tribes up there. I want defense talk ( Alaska is across the bay from Siberia) and I want talk about how to address the needs of rural communities.

No, I don't think that this was a silly choice. ( So what if she was a beauty queen and a journalist? Not all of us can go to Harvard, and you have to start somewhere!)This woman has ambition and potential, and she is as good a choice, if not better than the "more experienced' members of the GOP- she is young, a true family conservative and a politician- and a lady.


Good move, McCain.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Amazing. Utterly, completely amazing!

In Denver, thousands upon thousands of people stood in the hot alpine sun to get into Invesco Field. Once inside, they were treated to speeches, songs, videos, and general good feelings. From my screen it looked more like a really sweet summer festival- without the hashish and beer, of course!

Chills went down my spine when Dr. MLK JR's children came out. They looked like well to do, ordinary, friendly Americans. Which is the point; which was what her father and so many others suffered and died for. It was a wonderful reminder, the tribute to Dr. MLK, that all of us- Native, white, black, Latino, Asian and any combo thereof- are here partly of the immense sacrifice of people we don't even, people who did not even make it into the history books.

We all stand on the shoulders of those before us.

I loved Al Gore's speech { and loved the fact that 'Let the Sunshine in' from Hair played- perfect!}And Oh. My. God- Stevie- bloody-Wonder!

Let me say that again- STEVIE WONDER!

And, then, and then- Barack Obama's speech.

It was a combination of boilerplate and truly inspiring, truly soaring rhetoric. Just brilliant. Of course there will the pundits- those who make lots of money and who have benefit from the entertainment as news in this last decade- who will concern troll about how it was partisan.

Well, course it was partisan- it's the DNC,the nominating convention, fer chrissakes. It was an opening volley into the frantic Election Season we will have!

People were crying, and cheering and revved up- all under a now darkened Alpine sky. And when it drew to a close, instead of balloons ( not environmentally cool for a outdoors venue) There were brilliant pops of fireworks.

What a beginning. Just Wow.

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State Spectacle- The Olympics

It seems interesting that the Olympics, the DNC and the RNC all came within weeks of each other- it is all hue and cry, signifying a great deal.

If you were a home viewer for most of the Olympics here in the USA, you probably preoccupiede a bit by Russia's invasive manuvers ( I was) but you most watch sports in which there were USA atheletes. For all of the talk of China putting on a show for foreigners, NBC did put on an equally jingoistic show for USA viewers. The scmaltzy mini-documentries, the aggressive, loud pop music, the repeated refrains of 'Team USA'- all unofficial, rather ridiculous drumbeating for the USA Olympic teams, who did not need it and yet need to fake appreciating it.

All this resulted in USA missing some rather interesting sports- fencing is fast, elegant and smooth, yet because a majority of peopel who take part is European, most people did not get to see it- even though it was an American woman, Mariel Zuganis, who became the gold medalist. The same with archery, badminton, equestrian, shooting, and flatwater ( canoeing). These are all elegant, truly outdoor summer sports, where accuracy and skill is needed. In addition, they are all legitmate sports.

But again, it is was not dominated by Americans, or not fast, an USA viewer did not get to see these sports. We got loud, fast, Coke is it spectacle, complete with loud, unnecesssary commentary and not enough cultural inputs in place. The relief came with the Jamaicans, who were incredibly fast, humble and quite sweet in their efforts.But then, this type of coverage was about signifying USA NUMBER ONE, not about dedication and beauty.

I hope that Olympics improve with more, less biased coverage of a more diverse field of sports, and more attempts to dive in culture and art of the host country. It will be easier - Vancouver, BC for teh Winter Olympics and London for the Olypics 2012- but I am still hoping. After all, the Olympics was started not to show who can be the fastest or the best. It was stated to show the importance of cultural understanding and exchange through Sport and Art, something that NBC did not deliver this time around.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC- Michelle and Dennis Kucinich

I have been watching the DNC convention for the past couple days. Basically, the speeches have been really good, really surprisingly forceful. I loved that we saw Ted Kennedy, with his hair half shorn, looking like a lion in winter. I love the very flattering, very glamourous over view of Michelle Obama. And it was far too cute with the Obama children!

But I think the most spellbinding speech so far has been has been that of Dennis Kucinich, with his 'Wake up America' speech. It had me cheering - and it had the crowd on their feet.

Awesome- when you can, tune in via C-SPAN or over the internet via msnbc.com or cnn.com.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well, really?

Wow, well, how is this news? The NYT has a piece today about how Russia envisions a new order in Eastern Europe, which looks suspiciously like the older, more Soviet order that was there before.

Well, duh. Sorry super leftwingers- despite getting Louis Vuitton salesperson Mikhail Gorbachev to write, ever so sincerely of course, that realy, Russia did not want a war, it seems that everbody else seems to be gettiong the clue that many people forsaw, including the bastard Neocons, for weeks now: Russia planned this invasion for the start, and used the movement of the Georgian troops in South Ossetia as an excuse to invade and put a choke hold on Georgia. Of course, super left wingers wil assume because the USA has behaved like asshats that give carte blanche to everybody else acting like asshats. Even though said asshats has, at last count, been responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people.

Last century. We're bad, but crap, we are not that bad.

So, thanks, George Bush, for leading into a unnecessary and stupid war where, had we simply been engaged in Afghanistan, the Russians would not had even dared.

Up to you, Europe. Who are you and what do you believe?


*

Yes, I should blogged more about the Olympians, about Usian Bolt, the fastest brother in the world, and Michael Phelps, who is part dolphin, and Mariel Zagunis, Beaverton's own (yay!). About the gymnasts, who tend to look like shortened girls, and the Decathlon, which is my favorite. About the women volleyball team, who were absolute monsters- or goddesses, I can't which.

So, I will do an Olympic wrap up in the next coming days, with my home viewer reflections. But for now, frankly, our crappy, greedy, ugly, destructive world does not deserve such passion or beauty. We have alray shown we refused to be saved by it.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And now, a word from Mikhail Gorbachev

Lovely!

So now, port wine stain himself, Mikhail Gorbachev, is now the mouth piece of the Soviet Union, er Russia! Yay! Hereis the illuminating artcle here at The Old Grey Lady (NYT).

The jist of the article is:

1) Georgia was the attacker;

2) It's the West's fault for supplying aid and weapons ( otherwise known as trade) to the Georgian goverment;

3) Russia is powerful and rich and should still be in the G8 and should be included in the WTO. If Russia is 'isolated', then who cares, because Russia is rich, anyways!

4) The Commision had better say nice things about working with Russia, or else, somebody's gonna get hurt?!

Nice.

After reading the article, you just have to shake your head and giggle. Really. Who does Gorbachev think he is? The former head of the Soviet Union, that's who! At one time, he and his sucessors could summon umpteen millions in land war. That was when hey countrolled all the different stans, and Ukraine, and Poland, all the rest. Now, all those people want their own states and own determination, and would not give a flying rat's toot if Russia needed umpteen millions to defend Moscow. I would doubt the Russian speaking South Ossetians would give a right damn.

Gorbachev's article read like the particularly spoilt, arrogant rejected suitor:

"Hunh! I'll show her!"

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Melissa

Yet more stupidity with Russia. The Times had the Foreign Minister of Britain basicaly saying that while Georgia may hae been utterly stupid to try to use military force for the crap provinces of South Ossetia, that Russia's repsonse is nothing but an excuse to show off- and that Russia has much more to lose than to gain by this stupidity. Read Foreign Minister David Miliban's well written article. It is clear, concise and logical, something I was not in my blogging.

Yes, I do have Olympic fever but it's a hard thing, to watch some of the most exquisite humans on Earth play the games and show passion for sport while the world insists on war for wars'sake alone. Zimbabwe, Russia, Nigeria, Sudan- all places that simply feed on chaos, violence and deprivation even as it grows ever richer on oil and gas revenues. One wonders if increase energy efficency and alternate sources of energy will enable these countries to simply chill out or will they insist on destroying themselves?

Here's a video by one of my favorite bands, Porno graftti. The song is called Melissa:

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Really, Andrew Sullivan?

Now, it looks like President Sockpuppet Dmitri was lying the other day when he agreed to the cease fire. Looks like the Russians have decided that they can do whatever they want, and have invaded Gori and have also bomb Georgian military installations- in addition to killing civilians. Luverly!

Andrew Sullivan says that this is not a return to the Soviet Union days. He is also shocked that so many Americans do feel sympathy and understanding for the Georgians, and the response has been so very visceral- yes, even amongst those who are Obama supporters, and why yes, Obama himself (who, as a good Senator, supports Bush/Condi Rice's insistaence that Russia quit the fooling around).

Part of Andrew's misunderstanding comes from the fact that he is an Englishman, I think. He grew up with the memory of Empire, and was probably taught in school that Britain gave India the postal service, railroads, parlimentary law and all that.

Most Americans, on the other hand, were taught that this country was the result of a band of people protesting against an Imperial power who treated it's own wealth generating subjects like second class citizens. The protesting against this arrogant power turned into a declaration of war, and a desperate search for aid- to the Dutch,the Polish, the Austrians and to the powerful, wealthy French- who gave money, weapons, generals and strategic military advice.

That Imperial power was the same power that Andrew grew up as seeing benevolent. No matter how wealthy, how arrogant Americans may seem to others, part of our legacy is that remembering how nasty, how utter degrading being a client nation can be, how enraging to be treated as a second class being , how angering an Imperial power who stomps on you can be.

Yes, we lost a lot of our way with the Iraq war- and by having corrupt practices and breaking our own laws in regards to torture it ios hard to protest Russia's nastiness. But Andrew needs to understand that this is not the point.

The point is, a democratic country, who has set about it's way to be an independent, Western country, is being stomped on by people who have tradition seeing other countries as nothing more than toilet paper. Their European neighbors has cowardly chosen oil and cheap coal over liberty, and this country is asking for help. Like
France in the 1770/80s, we are embroiled in war. That does not mean we cannot give aid, moral support and if necessary freezing out Russia in key economic deals.

The memory of a faded Empire vs The Empire who stomps on you. That's Andrew's misunderstanding.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Russians are A***holes. Period

Wow, kids, look, it's the Soviet Union! It's back!

Here are bits and pieces I was thinking today:

1) Holy sh*t. Didn't World War I start because of Archduke Fernidand?

2) Where's Condi Rice? Isn't this is her speciality? Why isn't she on the news? Is she on a plane to Moscow or Tbsili?

3) Russians are assholes. Yes, they are. They were assholes when they defected to the West, they were anti- semitic assholes protesting the Gulag which they created and worshipping the Tsar who they murdered in a dark wood. They were assholes killing Jews and other ethnic minorities They are assholes today, with the buying up of London, and Putin snatching control of private enterprise. Russians are assholes, people. Wake up.

3b) Russians are assholes, except for Shostakovich, which show beauty behind the assholery.

4) Since we understand that Russians are assholes, why do people think Russian would care about the 'relationship with the West'? The Russians simply don't give a crap about their relationship with the West- they never, ever did give a right royal damn, no, not even when they flirted with Western ideals of the Enlightment. Oh, they liked the surface all right- the literacy and the hygiene and the opera- but the very substance of Western thought- democracy, freedom of expression and worship of God, equality between humans and nations- no, not for Russia, not ever. Glasnost was a phase, a waiting period for the Russians to figure out what to do after their soul killing Communism was shown to be a farce and their unwise military spending bankrupted them.

See, that is the key. The Russian want the Tsarist glory back- all the priests with their black robes, all the gold gilding, all the face stomping and murdering, all the pogrom loving, all the peasant and poor worker exploiting, all the authoritarian iron fist smashing Empire back. Pity poor Russia, who murdered millions of their own people and ethnic minorities, more than even Hitler did in all of WWII, being bankrupt and having to rebuild their country. All the states that were under their sway had independence and democracy. And so Georgia, which had gotten mouthy and uppity, simply had to be invaded and smacked down.

This is about Russia being superior. This is about Russian pride, damn it all, and kicking a smaller, weaker country dowon while it is trying to have a democratic country is one way show how superior Russia is. Yeah, Russia, rock on, baby!

5)Dear Georgian President:
Yeah, you went to Harvard, had your Rose Revolution, got the young people educated and working and all. You had it going real good. You did all the right things, and you fervently believed in the United States and George Bush II when no one else did. And so, when Russia started rattling it's sabers yet again, using South Ossetia, which I understand is a ghetto where the Russian Mafia rules its' fellow Russian assholes, you went to NATO for inclusion, and you went to the EU in Belgium for the fast track ( which you should have because, sorry, Romania?)in order to have the backup for your troubled, struggling but vitally alive democracy.

You thought that by using force on what you considered to be your territory, you would get backed.
You did not get that support. I am so, so, so deeply sorry. You should have waited until next Spring, when either President Obama or McCain would have been in a position to help your country. Going into the Russian Bear trap now, with the US in a war on two fronts and a lame duck president, was foolish enough to use force in front of saber rattling Russia. Damn it all, we owe you guys. Please know that some of us in the USA love you guys, and understand what is going on.

6) Putin is a snake, a murdering KGB snake, a soulless golem. He is the puppet master here; Dmitri Meydeve or what ever his name is nothing more than a sock puppet.

7) Ukraine is looking for a NATO bid. Coincidence? I think not. And who's next? Poland?

8) The EU and THE USA will have to really, really understand that the Russians are utter and complete assholes. The bullying, the cutting off of energy supplies, the assasination by radition poisoning and now the warmongering: No more looking the other the way for appeasment, or because your country is dependent of Russian gas. This shit happened at the end of WWII, where Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe was basically raped by Stalin and his ilk.

What a lovely mess.


Edited: The president of Georgia has real, true courage. He has declared that Georgia would leave the apparently useless Comonwealth of Independent States, an alliance of the ex-Soviet states. The idea was to have trade and diplomacy like the British Commowealth. It has not worked- in fact, by having this Commonwealth, it may have given Russia the idea it can bully the other Comonwealth countries around.

President Sakozy and PResident Dmitri what's his name have annouced a six point cease fire and of course the Russians, in classic doublespeak, describe Georgia as 'the agggressor' and think that the Georgian President should 'step down'.

Lovely.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

On the Beijing Opening ceremonies

My.God.

Awe Inspiring. Stunning. Utterly beautiful and exquisite. Amazing.


And don't bs me about Tibet. Ripon College hosted a Tibetan priest in the 90s, and we all prayed with him, and helped constructed a mandala. I still support autonomy for Tibet, and answer to it's continuing degradation.

But the beauty, the awe inspiring power of the opening ceremonies, the sheer technological prowess, was simply breathtaking. To not watch it is to not be able to seperate China as the oppresive power and China as the cultural holder for over 1/6 of humanity, for the last 5,000 years. China is both, and if we are to engage China, we should recognise both.

Oh, you still want to talk about the bullying of a larger nation towards a smaller nation with a smaller ethnic group? I have a few words for you: The United States and Cuba.

No, I will not talk about the whole Edwards affair. No.

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