healthcare

December 21, 2009

Congratulations Barack Obama for doing what you believe. Not perfect, but a huge step in the right direction. There are lots of people upset at you, but that’s the price of conviction sometimes.

Barack Obama no longer has to prove that he is American. He did so with recent war-mongering that will convince all but the most cynical of Americans – at least the type of American that hates liberals like Obama just for being Democrat.

Now if we could rationalize the Nobel Peace Prize and 30,000 new US troops in Afghanistan, life would be wonderful.

Nobel Peace Prize winners of the past: Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela. 2009: Barack Obama? Ironic that Obama was awarded the Peace prize on the day that he was meeting the Joint Chiefs of Staff about increasing military presence in Afghanistan and while he is tending two major wars.

I like Barack, but this is just embarrassing celebrity worship. Please let him accomplish something with some measure of consistency over time before presenting awards. This would have been a lot more meaningful after his presidency (depending on his actions of course). Or maybe it was just another way to take a shot at the hated George W. Bush. Obviously, worse people have won this award (think 1994 – Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin), but I hold the people I like to a higher standard.

obama in cairo

June 4, 2009

I haven’t seen the entire speech yet, but early signs are promising – Barack was as balanced as he could be and the speech seems to have generated a lot of conversations and buzz on blogs and television around the world.

Osama bin Laden criticized Obama’s speech before it even happened. The best result the world can hope for is that people like bin Laden becomes irrelevant to young people. This engagement and empowerment of young people can only happen when western countries make lifestyle sacrifices and consider the rights and welfare of all people. A new beginning indeed.

update: The link should work now. Looks like youtube had to deal with all the hatred that this speech brought out. It amazes me that Obama saying ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ (peace be on you) or quoting from the Koran is considered traitorous.

Don’t most speakers try to engage their audience with words and greetings in the local language and culture? Would they prefer if he said “Howdy-Doody Cairo”? Wow, I thought people were a little smarter than they are currently demonstrating.

update 2: I watched the whole thing. A lot of rhetoric and very preachy, but I still think he’s as progressive as America will allow.

Obama impressive so far

November 19, 2008

Barack Obama surprises me. So far he is better than I thought he could be. What impresses me the most is the way he has reached out to people who have been extremely offensive to him very recently. He has done it with control and humility, and without weakness, pride or naiveté. This is something that I hope to attain in my life.

To some these traits may seem trivial, but they have the power to transform relationships and conversations. People react much better to disagreement when their views are considered and when they are treated with respect.

I know that I am going to be disappointed and upset with some of his decisions, but the way he has carried himself so far gives me hope that he will be collaborative when possible and decisive when needed. I’ll keep watching and hoping that this isn’t too good to be true.

It was a bitter-sweet night on November 4th. Along with electing a president that defied all odds, parts of the US voted to deny equality to lesbians and gays. These types of decisions always beg the question: should the majority be able to take away the rights of the minority? I think it depends . . .

I don’t think many would argue with the majority taking away the Neo-Nazi’s right to promote hatred or the multinational corporation’s right to indiscriminately pollute the environment. That’s why it depends on what the issue is. I have a rule that has served me well so far – anything is fine as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

To add complexity to this situation, some in the LGBT community suspect that their support for Barack Obama was not reciprocated by African Americans when it came to defeating proposition 8 in California. The reaction of some is to blame Obama for California, Arizona and Florida. Others have turned to more insidious and divisive racism to pay back the blatant homophobia. I doubt that many of these people voted for Obama only to support African Americans, but the sense of betrayal still cuts.

I support Barack Obama who has broken enormous barriers by becoming the first black US president. I also support full rights to the LGBT community (and many other discriminated groups), and I feel that Obama should promote this publicly – even though it will not be popular. I do not support the divisive actions under the guise of family values or the reactionary racism that has entailed. People have to find a way to get together and find out how similar their plights really are. This is the time to unite – however painful that may be.

Barack Obama

November 7, 2008

I am so happy that Obama won the US election on Tuesday. We had a SuperBama party at our house – very similar to a Super Bowl party – good food, good drink, and a blowout by half-time.

What got my attention was how inspiring Obama is to so many people all around the world. Looking at the tears in Chicago, the jubilation in Kenya, the celebration in Japan, I stood in awe about how much a person can inspire, how much is expected of him, and how much desperation people feel.

I wish Barack Obama well in bringing the US back to the world. He can’t do everything, but I know that he is the best person for the job. Here is just one example of the new approach to thinking. He relates food security to energy and references “Farmer in Chief”, an open letter to the president-elect from Michael Pollan. I highly recommend reading both articles.