Tag Archives: Elections

Kids and These Presidential Debates

trump

There was a moment in the middle of the Republican debate last night, while Trump was shouting, “Little Marco spews his crap about the size of my hands!” that I muted the television and asked my daughters, “Should we actually be watching this?”

We have watched, as a family, most of the Democratic and Republican debates. My girls and I watched Hillary Clinton at the Benghazi hearings. As a parent, I feel that these forums are allowing my family to discuss the issues, but also watch the body language, tone of voice, and how people treat each other.

My daughters are in 8th grade and 5th grade. They are intelligent, empathetic, globally aware children. As a family, we have always discussed difficult issues together whether it’s a girls right to go to school, the water situation in Flint, the lack of justice for the shooting of a young black boy or what it means to be a refugee from a war torn country. Our extended family is on a group text where we share articles and thoughts on current events. My 8th grade daughter participates in debate tournaments and is adept at researching both sides of an issue, gathering facts and cultivating sound arguments. My husband and I have never shied away from exposing our girls to hard issues – always mindful that we do it in an age appropriate way. At 14 and 11 years old, we have felt they are old enough now to not only process, but also participate in this year’s election.

Yet, the spectacle and degradation of last night’s debate made me pause. Just a few days before, Van Jones, a former Obama staffer and commentator on CNN, had an unbelievable interaction with Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, about the KKK. In his emotion, he mentioned that he felt it was no longer appropriate for his son to watch the media which glorifies the sensational statements of Donald Trump. Continue reading

Will the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Voting Rights Act Undermine Civil Rights?

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 2.00.41 PMToday the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 vote to eliminate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important civil rights laws of the 1960s. The Act essentially delineated the parts of the country that must have their voting laws overseen by the federal government – an attempt to prevent the most racially-discriminatory states from instating voting regulations that would further disenfranchise minority populations.

The 5 votes that won the ruling argued that such singling-out of certain parts of the country was unconstitutional and unnecessary in a greatly changed United States. As reported by Huffington Post, Chief Justice John Roberts refers to “current conditions” as evidence of the now-obsolete nature of the Voting Rights Act:

Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions…

There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act. The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process.

Thus in the same breath, Roberts calls the Act obsolete, but also admits to its effectiveness at changing policies and attitudes over the years. The question becomes, then, have we come far enough in the pursuit of racial equality that such measures are no longer necessary? Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights leader and former chairman of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), argues otherwise. In his opinion, the Supreme Court has “put a dagger in the heart of the Voting Rights Act” and undermined the efforts of civil rights activists who helped get it passed.

What are your thoughts on today’s Supreme Court ruling? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Unknown

Voting With A Patient Heart

“How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.”

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

We are an impatient people. In our hurry-up-and-get-it-done pace, which informs not only how we work and plan but also how we treat each other, we often hurry by what we have been looking for or give up too soon. Whether it is the misguided belief that time is money and shouldn’t be wasted or the even more insidious and silent value that we should be able to change our life situation at our whim, our collective disrespect for both time and process in life is rampant.

On a macro level we see our impatience playing out in our government at least every two years. An impatient and anxiety-driven electorate creates political movements that are not based on rational, confident decision-making and long-term planning. Instead these movements appeal to the collective impatience and anxiety to be the leader. We expect instant results from our cumbersome political process, even if the problems they are challenged by were created over decades. Not surprisingly we swing between parties at an ever quickening pace, not allowing either one the chance to work together.

Our impatience fuels our failing personal relationships as well. Most of us grow up with little education and value for the art and practice of a patient heart. Instead, our knee jerk reactions to the anxiety we experience when our relationships falter is to give up on the challenges of intimacy before we really know what is next. Too often we don’t wait, and in our haste to remove the discomfort, we dispense with our promises and relationships as though they are easily replaceable. We witness the deep repercussions of this false expendability within our family structures and even our connections to our community.

Looking around, it is easy to see the source of all this impatience. It begins in each of us, when our immediate gratification of our goals is thwarted or even just delayed; we leap to giving up instead of learning to wait. We seldom recognize the discouragement and failure we experience as a symptom of our own impatience. Our impatience with our own process and our intolerance of our own shortcomings multiplies in our personal relationships and as a part of the greater whole in our community and country.

The truth is that developing patience is an act of emotional generosity and a true measure of social maturity. When we allow others and ourselves the space and time for the process of learning to unfold, we agree to a life that can improve by degree. Patience is a form of continuous forgiveness, it offers the benefit of the doubt to ourselves, the people we care for, and the people we have trusted to lead us. By believing in the premise that we are all doing the best we can at any given moment, we accept a relationship with time that carries a wisdom greater than our own and are willing to let go of our own sense of timing.

Da Vinci, one of the great innovators of the Western world said this:

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”

Long seen as the companion of wisdom, patience is the one character virtue of humanity that has a big enough platform to build all the others. We have to learn to wait; we have to be willing to stay with a process even when it doesn’t immediately gratify us.

Adding the quiet power of patience to our relationships is a soothing balm that transforms them. The daily annoyances, the missed signals and miscommunication, the conflicting levels of desire and togetherness that characterize all long term relationships become part of an ongoing process that has its peaks and valleys. We don’t measure our relationship by the feelings we have at this moment, rather they become part of a process that has its own lessons and wisdom. We get to see what is beyond what feels impossible to us, because we have the heart to wait out our challenges.

This election day, make choices with a patient heart. Go home and offer the same wisdom to your family and friends. Start with yourself; give yourself the patience you deserve.

Originally published November 2010

photo by: Svadilfari

“Open Letter to the World – Iranian Artists in Exile”

In support of the strong message contained in this video and accompanying text, I am re-posting both in this blog entry.

The situation which is unfolding in Iran right now is not relevant just to Iran, rather it affects freedom-loving people throughout the entire world. The population of Iran has doubled in the past 30 years to just over 70 million people. Of the total population, a significant portion are under 30 as they were born after the 1979 revolution. They have been oppressed under the murderous Islamic fundamentalist regime and they continue to be punsihed and killed just for standing up and daring to express their desire for freedom and change.

This kind of treatment by a government toward its people is not acceptable anywhere in the world. It’s important for us, as human beings, to recognize the fact that we should focus on uniting with one another and supporting one another as a sign of solidarity with those who are denied the same basic freedoms which we are able to enjoy every day so that their struggles won’t be in vain.

Please keep the people in Iran, as well as those who suffer from tyranny in all parts of the world, in your thoughts.

www.youtube.com/watch

The video opens with a poem from a famous Persian poet, Saadi:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

– Saadi

Text which accompanies the  video:

This week Iranians turned out in record numbers not seen since the beginning of the Iranian revolution to change their current President Mahmood Ahmadinejad.

Their willingness to exercise their democratic right was both historic and uncommon in the Middle East. Iranians longed for change the same way people in the United States, and indeed worldwide, longed for a new beginning after the Bush years. They were tired of an increasingly delusional President who has thrown their country into economic turmoil and portrayed their country as a conflict seeking entity in the Middle East.

But today the same Iranian regime that has denied a dialogue with the world, denied human rights, denied democracy, denied the Holocaust, is blatantly denying the will of its people by committing massive election fraud to reelect Mahmood Ahmadinejad, and arresting journalists and opposition leaders in broad daylight.

Accepting this deception will be costly not only for the people of Iran but also for the people of the Middle East, with far reaching consequences worldwide.

As you read these words, the people in Iran have taken to the streets in nationwide protests. Despite brutal government suppression tactics the Iranian people are courageously fighting for their rights. As antiriot police batons crush the bones of demonstrators whose only protest is election fraud, Iranians are screaming for the world to hear them: WE DENOUNCE MAHMOOD AHMADINEJAD!

The people of Iran now ask for your support!

We do not expect you to fight our struggle but to help us fight it. We expect people worldwide to put pressure on their governments and politicians not to accept the legitimacy of the Iranian elections and the fraudulent presidency of Mahmood Ahmadinejad. Democratic societies worldwide must not leave the Iranian people alone now that they have risen to the challenge. Instead they need to align their policies with the will of the Iranian people.

Friends, we ask you not to let 70 million people in Iran be taken hostage. Any government that accepts Mahmood Ahmadinejad as the new president of Iran has betrayed the Iranian people, endangered world peace, and has no sympathy for human pain.

Asaram Bapu


Asaram Bapu’s Daughter BHARTI DIVORSED………….

Asaram has no spiritual power this thing is you can see practically which was written by Gujrat Samachar news paper . If you can read Gujrati den read below if don’t know Gujrati den no prblm….Let me tell you…
Asaram cursed many of the ashram inmates who came to know the real picture of fake asaram. One among them is Rajubhai Chandak(Raju Lambu). Asaram cursed him when he was about to leave ashram, that Rajubhai will never be happy, asaram rubbed his feet on his photo and said in public that he will suffer a lot and finally die because he his going against his Guru i.e.asaram, even his family will suffer very badly. But the fact is that today after so many years also Rajubhai Chandak is living independently free and happily with his family in ahemadabad itself!! Rather, the sevak of asaram, Shankarbhai who lived in Disa, has gone mad with his family. After his leg being cut-off, his loving guru asaram left him on road in such a dangerous situation saying that now if he will eat in ashram then his good deeds will vanish?
The one who lived his whole life by massaging his loving guru asaram’s feet, named Ghanshyam of Sanand alias mama, he had cancer. Whole of his body was infected badly which can’t be seen and he was was about to die a terrible death and with this he his now out of ashram just alone.
Asaram’s own real elder brother (Jethamal harpalani, R/o maninagar, ahemadabad) expired due to liver cancer. If atall asaram has some spiritual power then why was he unable to cure his real brother?? Or say why he didn’t spend a bit from his crores of business to make him cured in hospital??
Today, here is a true news of asaram’s son’s narayan’s wife Shilpa, suffering from cancer.Asaram’s closest man angad-sevak who used to make food for asaram named, Naresh Trivedi (CID) was drowned in Rishikesh in front of asaram and asaram didn’t even uttered a word of help to save him, forget about to shout!
In ahemadabad, during some construction work of ashram three children died by collapsing under the construction that too in front of asaram, but he didn’t do anything purposely..
Three children died in his first shibir by drowning in the nearby Sabarmati river.
Asaram’s own daughter Bharti, divorced with Hemant Gulani, mother-in-law sarita gulani; is staying with asaram because asaram doesn’t want her go anywhere away from him as she knows the actual history of her father asaram.

for more pls visit ….http://www.scribd.com/doc/8077474/Asaram-Bapus-Daughter-BHARTI-DIVORSED

Gotham Chopra: To the Media — You’re Not Helping…

I forget — have I made it clear whom I am supporting this coming November in the Presidential elections?

More specifically, yesterday I watched parts of The View during which co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg took aim at candidate John McCain and lampooned many of his policies, his viewpoints and his selection of Palin as his running mate. Similarly on Bill Maher’s HBO show, Janeane Garofalo, clearly an accomplished and articulate activist, unleashed her liberal rage on a fellow panelist, a Republican journalist from The Wall Street Journal, at one point concluding that Democrats are simply better people than their Republican counterparts.

Everyone is entitled to their point of view, and certainly celebrities of every persuasion are free to express them on whatever exalted platforms they can. But it makes me wonder that if they truly intend for their candidate to triumph, do they really think they are helping when they say the things they do? There’s clearly a backlash in this country against the so-called “liberal media.” Whether such a thing really exists is worth the debate, but I don’t think there is any debate about the impression that exists. To that extent, a lot of times when I see the likes of the ladies listed above indulging in their rants, I wonder what are they thinking. Do they really believe they are influencing voters in a positive way, or is their own narcissism getting in the way of their intentions and having the opposite effect?
This country is at a crossroads. I know which road I want to take. I am not afraid to express it, nor defend it against those who feel strongly about the alternative road. I can distill my discomfort with McCain-Palin into a few simple things:
1) He’s old and has been part of the insider club for wayyyy too long.
2) There are over one hundred professional lobbyists employed by his campaign, which runs contrary to his reformist MO.
3) I find it disturbing how the Bush campaign questioned his integrity when they ran against him — his most redeemable quality — and how now he embraces them so visibly and supports so many Bush policies.
4) I don’t think Sarah Palin is qualified to be in the role she is being proposed for. I question McCain’s judgement for putting her there.
5) I don’t understand how Palin issues a press release about her pregnant teenager, brings her to the convention, parades her on stage, and then complains about the media covering it. As a parent and a voter, I just don’t get her.
There’s more but I’ll leave it at that.
On the other hand, I like Obama and what he represents. I admit that he has limited experience, and I understand those who are concerned on that front. But I believe he’s a smart, compassionate, and well exposed thinker with tremendous leadership qualities. I think he’ll surround himself with intelligent, diverse, creative thinkers who can lead this nation from the dark place it is. It’s a bet I’m willing to make.
But back to my main point: I am concerned that a lot of higher profile voices are not helping things when they take aim at the GOP. There’s no question that this election is going to very tight. Any small thing may make a big difference. Let’s keep that in mind.
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