Archive for Politics

Book Review: “The Audacity of Hope”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by amson

At times I had to remind myself that this was Obama’s book and these were Obama’s words, and not the thoughts and words from an historian or philosopher. Or maybe Obama should just be added to the list of such people…

I don’t think it’s difficult- after reading this excellent book- to realize Obama’s capacity to be visionary, pragmatic, bi-partisan, bold, and forthright in his assessment and action on a whole host of important issues facing our country (and the world for that matter). I surely don’t doubt his love and passion for our great country.

I approached this book in the summer of 2008 with calculated caution- I was an Obama supporter, but wanted to put his thoughts and politics through their paces- so that I may discover not only his true stance on the country’s direction, but also probe my own thoughts and premonitions on just how I felt about him as I headed into the voting booth. He seemed to be treading closer and closer twards the “no mans land” of politics- which is to say that as the election loomed closer he would steer his rhetoric and statements back towards the safer and less argumentative middle ground. I felt as though this was hurting his chance of being elected, and more specifically hurting the chances that I would vote for the man. So, I started the book in early August with the guarded intention to cast my ballot in Obama’s direction… but with the intention to make his book the final decisive factor in the process.

I took several weeks around the election off from reading the book; on one had I didn’t want my visceral reaction from what I was reading to influence my vote- seeing as this book was written a few years prior to current days- and on the other hand I was sort of experiencing Obama/ political burnout. I needed a break, and also wanted the natural and exciting flow of the approaching election to help influence my decision. In short, I wanted to measure what I had read from Obama against what I was hearing, seeing, and feeling from his final campaign push.

I’ll relent and guard against retelling my election story…

Talk is cheap, even for someone as stable and well spoken as Obama. That is why I had my skepticism about his words at times. It seems though, that he’s provided enough sound insight and examples- both private and public- to make the case more and more that he “gets it”. I like his tone, and his ability to seemingly reach across any divide to offer help or to act with empathy.

The fact that Obama is a former Constitutional law professor makes me feel confident that he not only understands the laws of our nation well, but also has the presence of mind to respect those laws and constraints no matter the situation. He doesn’t seem like he’ll start bending every amendment or tacking on a signing statement to every piece of legislation like the Bush administration has made so commonplace. His discussion of the Constitution made me feel safe and secure.

“There are stories you miss, I thought to myself, when you fly on a private jet.” This quote is the last line from Chapter 5- and it perfectly represents that Obama understands the ease with which politicians can become disconnected from their constituents. But it also seemingly underscores his ability to realize that phenomenon and make the necessary adjustments to alleviate the circumstances. (read: not fly on a private jet 100% of the time.)

Overall, I’ll say this:
Obama’s world view, his appreciation for history, his understanding of right and wrong, and his seeming willingness to be questioned and always be pragmatic… are inspiring. He proved those qualities in this book. Weather it be his thoughts on local politics, foreign issues with North Korea and Iran, race issues all across the country, family ties and structure, our Constitution, or the role that faith does and should play in our politics, he’s proven to me that he has the capacity to lead in a hopeful and straightforward manner. I’m a believer now…

This was a good book- once which I highly recommend. The whole way through I felt like I was having a warm and personal conversation with Obama… perhaps a “fireside chat”!

Go read the book!

Peace

AM Son

President-Elect

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by amson

Congratulations to Barack Obama, who yesterday was elected to be the 44th President of the United States of America!

Lets put aside politics and partisanship for a moment… and regardless of political party or doctrine, there’s got to be a sense of immense satisfaction in every American citizen today.  Without hesitation, I can say it’s an historic day in America.  We should all stand tall and proud, because history will forever show that it was on November 4th, 2008 an African American was elected to the highest office of our great nation… and to be frank, this man will lift our nation from that of world power to that of preeminence!

Congratulations Sir, your campaign and this event have moved me to the purest of joy and pride!

Thank you, and best of luck Mr. Obama.

Peace

AM Son

Do Your Duty…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 5, 2008 by amson

Go Vote today!

What if…?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 10, 2008 by amson

How would things be different today?

Peace

AM Son

Dickerson, You Comic!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2008 by amson

Setting Bush

Bush’s last (yippee!) “State of the Union” address last night was just another pothole in the long winding one way path called Bush Street- a path we’ve been traveling down for 7 years now. He spoke with the same disgusting rhetoric and jingoistic flippancy that he’s been lecturing us with for far too long. He seemed to- as usual- have a penchant for entertaining and speaking mostly to his “base”, while saving snarky and blunt criticisms for the “other” side of the room. I’m going to save energy and not pick apart the entire speech (I think most of you know how I feel).

But, what I’d like to do is link you to an article that summarizes my feelings quite nicely. A Slate journalist named John Dickerson whom I read frequently has written a compelling, witty, and evocative article about Bush’s little ditty from last night. I’ve sectioned out my favorite part of the article- as I think it offers a perfect glimpse into the mindset of this irreverent and irresponsible man we call our President.

For Democratic lawmakers in the audience, perhaps the most irksome item was the president’s tough new approach to congressional earmarks, those little projects lawmakers insert not into the text of bills presented to the president but in reports that accompany them. He says he will veto spending bills this year unless Congress cuts in half the amount of money earmarked for lawmakers’ pet projects, and he will order agencies to ignore future earmarks unless they are explicitly listed in the text of legislation.

I am all for this. Legislators should have to be honest about what they’re trying to get us to pay for. Bush is playing a political angle here. He’s picking an election-year fight with Democrats who control Congress to make them look like big spenders, and he’s also trying to rehabilitate his reputation among Republicans as a spendthrift. But there is chutzpah in George Bush, who perfected the use of the signing statement to circumvent Congress when it worked its will, targeting earmarks because they circumvent the regular congressional process. “If these items are truly worth funding, the Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote,” he said. Next, Bush will offer executive orders that demand better elocution from public officials and ban smirking.

Dickerson does a tremendous job of articulating the way in which Bush decided to essentially change policy positions on the fly in order to elicit applause from that “base”. Not only is he changing policy position, he’s flat out lying- he’s been the most consistent abuser of some of what he claims to be against. I also like the example given and shot taken at Bush’s oration skills- it’s not only fitting and true, it’s very funny!

Thankfully, the sun is almost at its midpoint in the final year of the Bush regime. My vision of an approaching Bush setting sun have me giddy and anxious, and articles like this only fan the flames of my disdain for and disappointment in this junta. Yes, I said junta!

Peace

AM Son

Obama!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 4, 2008 by amson

Although I’m still wholly undecided in the 2008 political arena, I take great pleasure in the fact that Barack Obama took Iowa! I just don’t feel comfortable with Hillary Clinton- I don’t like her tone when she speaks, I don’t like the fact that she resembles and embodies the “establishment”, and frankly I don’t like the conservative stances she has taken on some of the important issues.

So, does this mean much? I don’t know… but it’s a good start for the “change” candidate!!
Again, I’m still not even sure of the candidate whom I fully support just yet- but nonetheless, congrats Obama, now let’s carry the momentum over into NH and onward.

Peace
AM Son

Open Source is back!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2007 by amson

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Great news- my favorite radio show/ podcast- Open Source– is back from a summer hiatus! In an attempt to gain funding and start anew under different parameters, Open Source Radio is back “online”!

Christopher Lydon, the host of this great show, is an engaging and brilliant man. He, along with Bill Moyers of PBS are unparalleled in the world of public education outreach and commentating (journalistic) vision.

If you’ve never experienced Radio Open Source, go check it out either on public radio or as a podcast. If you hunger for knowledge and thirst for a good conversation, you can’t go wrong here.
Finally, my podcast playlist can be complete again!

Peace
AM Son