Democratic National Convention: Paying Tribute to the Old Guard

I was driving home last night, listening to NPR’s coverage of the Democatic National Convention when Caroline Kennedy came on to introduce the Ken Burns tribute to her Uncle.

I arrived home and sat in my car, listening to the tribute, and learned some new things and remembered some I’d forgotten about Kennedy’s life, mission and record as a Senator.

From his commitment to City Year and his unwavering dedication to fighting for healthcare as right for all
Americans, to his success in securing better armour for troops in Iraq. It gave me an insight and an appreciation for the tremendous achievements of this veteran lion of
the Democratic establishment.

Listening to his story, I felt moved once again by the potential for this country and its people to turn things around. I’ inspired once again by the hope embodied in Obama’s candidacy and the noble tradition of public service from which it springs; and I feel incredibly proud to call this country home.

A quick note – What about?

You know that this week we are going to see any number of people tell us what a inspiration Michelle and Barrack Obma are to the African – American community, and the world at large. Well it seems to me that there is nothing very special about them when you have already had the following people come through.

 

Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson Walter Williams, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others. I have not been waiting for Mr. Obama and his lovely wife. I have already had the inspriration that I needed.

 

Looking back at my list none of these people were media darlings. Black people need to be very careful about who and what they let lead them.

Mallika Chopra: Michelle Obama – A Role Model for My Daughters

Every night before we go to bed, my daughters and I talk about our
worst and best parts of the day. Today, we all agreed that the best
part was watching Michelle Obama’s warm and passionate speech, and then
seeing her girls come onto the stage. As a mom, I felt we were
experiencing a piece of history together…

The fact that today a smart, articulate, beautiful and accomplished
black woman from the South side of Chicago stood before seasoned
politicians, an audience of men and women, of whites, blacks, Latinos
(and did you see the Indian sardar on CNN!), and addressed the world on
national television, to celebrate the accomplishments of American
society through her own story, is something to be proud about.

When she spoke about being at the crossroads of a woman’s right to
vote and the anniversary of Martin Luther Kings “I Have a Dream”
speech, Michelle Obama recognized the accomplishments of the so many
leaders that came before her. Most importantly, she set a tone of
dignity and a reminder of what we are capable of as a humanity.

“And as I tuck that little girl and her little sister
into bed at night, I think about how one day, they’ll have families of
their own. And one day, they – and your sons and daughters – will tell
their own children about what we did together in this election. They’ll
tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our
fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start
dreaming. How this time, in this great country – where a girl from the
South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of
a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House – we
committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.”

As a mom, I was grateful that my daughters heard the words of
gratitude, hope, and pride from Michelle Obama. As I tucked my
daughters in tonight, Michelle Obama’s powerful, personal words indeed
echoed in our home…

 

Burning Man 2008: Has America Lost Its Mojo?

This week at Black Rock Desert, tens of thousands of people will converge for the annual radical art event that is Burning Man. The theme this year is the American Dream – and what has become of it – the underlying implication being, of course, that it is not what it once was.

Burning Man Theme

Many feel that the United States is now adrift. Its allies, once so numerous, begin to fall away and chart an independent course. Its citizens, more tellingly, have lost their faith in progress. Polls indicate they now believe their children can’t expect a better future. They distrust the institutions of government, of finance, and the corrupting power of large corporations. And yet, the native traits of any culture are deep-rooted. Freedom, opportunity, inventiveness, the power to transform oneself: these values and a love of self-expression still endure.

As an immigrant to this country, and a lefty Brit to boot, I feel somewhat torn about this assessment. I agree that America is not what it was, but domestic issues aside (and there are plenty of those) the reduction in America’s international standing is what saddens me most. It’s no fun traveling abroad these days as an American, you can’t step foot over the border without being on the receiving end of an enthusiastic analysis of everything that is wrong with this country and our actions overseas.

We don’t intervene where we should, we intervene where we have no business to. We focus our political energies on hot-button social issues whilst ignoring less polarizing but more fundamental concerns such as education and health care which never manage to compete on the national agenda.

Easy Foot Massage

Following is a simple foot massage you can do with a partner on one of those days when you’re too tired to do anything else. If you have the energy to stand up for a minute or two, you can do this massage. Ittakes virtually no effort, no skill, feels great, and you’ll bank somebrownie points for giving your partner a yummy foot massage.

Have your partner lie down on the floor on his or her stomach. Makesure you are positioned near a wall, or have a chair close by – you’llneed something solid available to hold on to for balance. Socks can beon or off. If your partner’s ankles don’t lie flat against the floor,place a pillow or rolled up bath towel under your partner’s ankles forsupport.

Stand at the bottom of your partner’s feet, facing up the bodytoward his or her head. Hold on to the wall or chair and step your toesonto your partner’s toes. Shift your body weight back and forth betweenyour right foot and your left, using your toes to massage yourpartner’s toes. Ask your partner if this feels comfortable beforecontinuing.

Next, work your way up the foot and massage the balls of the feetwith your toes. Continue shifting your weight back and forth betweenyour left and right feet. It’s really as simple as that. You’re kind ofmarching in place on top of your partner’s feet. Again, check in withyour partner to make sure the amount of pressure you’re using iscomfortable.

After working on the balls of the feet, move up the feet again tothe arches, and if you’re able, you can even try to get at yourpartner’s heels. Continue for a minute or two and you’re finished!

For a variation, try turning yourself around and using your heelsfor an even deeper foot massage, but do go in slowly as it could easilyend up being too much pressure.

Gotham Chopra: Democratic National Convention — Hillary, Go Home

Let me start by saying that I am Hillary guy. I really like and admire her for all that she has accomplished professionally and personally. I’ve gone to her fundraisers, met her in person a few times, and voted for her husband as many times as I possibly could. But, man, am I sick of her.

Seriously, the party’s over. Time to go home. You’ve over-stayed your welcome.

In all fairness, it appears it’s not so much Hillary that is causing all of this drama as much as her peeps who seem totally unable to accept reality. Look, I get it. I am a New England Patriots fan. “We” went undefeated last year during the NFL regular season, set all sorts of records, blazed through the playoffs, entered the Super Bowl as historic favorites against a “happy to be there” NY Giants….and lost.

Yeah, the Pats lost and it sucked and as a fan, you kept on re-playing it in your head and thinking to yourself “maybe if this had happened” or “what if that had happened” — that things would’ve been different. But you know what? What happened happened and that was that: They lost. Get the analogy?

Come the opening game of this season, it would be pretty ludicrous for the Pats to throw a tantrum or worse, just go ahead and pretend like they won the Super Bowl and anoint themselves the champs. I mean, they could live in make-believe land if they really wanted

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