Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

President Obama's Oil Speech-Many Words, Little Substance, Little Hope

 The damage is done. The oil disaster in the gulf will not be stopped or repaired any time soon. People will have to suffer and toil for years to deal with the aftereffects. Ecosystems throughout the gulf will be negatively altered, wildlife will continue to perish, lives of families will be fundamentally altered for the worst, specialized local economies will be all but crushed, and the fossil fuel industry will continue its' procession of greed and carelessness, mainly unchecked and unburdened. Those are the facts before us right now.

As I have said before, President Obama has my support. Though he is not my ideological equal, we do share many of the same hopes and visions for the future of our nation and our world. With that being said,  I was very disappointed by the president's speech about the oil gusher, the government response to it, the investigations of wrongdoing, and the the vision for cleanup, restitution, and restoration. I was also surprised that he did not use this as an opportunity for mapping out broader eco energy policy or sending us toward a path with less fossil fuel dependence. Lastly, I was absolutely heartbroken to see him offer very little hope to the people in the gulf region of our nation.

He said the government was working on every level to resolve the issues of this disaster, that BP would pay for what it had done, and the people of the gulf would be helped. I'm sorry , but I've heard that broken record, after Katrina, from a wealthy, wannabe cowboy, with a Yale education, who held the same office. The people of this nation need action, protection, and hope from their executive branch. Last night all they heard were poll tested, empty words, and meaningless soundbites, masquerading as empathy. The devil used to be in the details; it looks like he's in the lack of details in this case.

I know President Obama is a good man and that he cares for our nation, and in a broader sense our world. I know he would like to correct what he can and help who he can. So why did the address last night so tragically fail, when it could have been a large triumph? That's simple. They aren't his words, his ideas, and they certainly didn't come from his heart. The address did not offer us the comfort of his of hope and it did not allow us to feel his strength. Right now we need a president to lead us, to guide us. Last night we got the sense that he is being led and that he is very detached from us. We need a course of action, detailed plans, and energy regulation. We need vision and leadership for future energy policy.

President Obama find your voice again, reconnect with your light, but above all else, don't make another mistake by giving us an another address like the one last night.

To read the transcript follow the link below.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Make Hope and Change A Continuing Part Of Your Life

With the media currently filled to the brim with nothing but the worst things that humanity has to offer, I wasn't sure what I wanted my my first post after my extended sabbatical to cover. For the past few weeks, it seems there has been nothing but a barrage of endless hopelessness coming from world's news sources(though that seems to be what the media specializes in now; it certainly sells). Whether the news covered unproductive and uninformative election clatter, the the ongoing wars in several regions, the crippled vision of many of our current officials, the somber violin song of the BP oil gusher, the gargantuan world unemployment problem, that no one cares to do anything about, or the continuing cycle of corruption, deception, and tyranny from the world's financial sector, nothing seemed a productive return to my blogging life.  I could write thousand pieces about those subjects and still not make a dent.

What should I talk about? Then it hit me, while going through my mail yesterday. There was an advertisement for life insurance in an envelope; what they were really selling was fear.  Fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of burdens, fear of sickness, and of course the fear of leaving Stan in those situations. Marketers, politicians, and power brokers rarely sell products or ideas any more. They sell emotions. They specialize in selling the darker ones. As human beings, we are constantly hit with messages that tell us different things. Some of the most benign just tell us to do fairly innocuous things; they tell us to eat, have sex, or just get more things. The worst tell us to be afraid, to be unhappy, to hate, and that we are powerless. When faced with unfathomable problems, that seem to have no solution, the best thing for progressives to focus on, is the one thing that has carried us this far; hope for a future that includes the changes we want, to build a better world for everyone. Hope. Such a small word and yet the concept  is filled with the promise and goodness of humanity.

I'm sure if you asked a thousand people how to fix any of the problems from the media above, they would have ideas for a course of action or be willing to sell you a "solution" in a second. The solution or course of action wouldn't work, more than likely it would continue to contribute to the problem or perpetuate the condition. We don't think about the future very often when we make choices. Humanity has developed patterns that lend themselves to that, and unless you are willing to go against the grain, it is hard to change the patterns or see things in a new way. Coming up with new ways to think about the world is relatively easy once you embrace hope and put your mind to making the changes. We need to look to the future for all of the choices we make and not allow ourselves to get pulled into the past or the drama of the present. Start small, but dream big.

    We don't need prepackaged solutions, from pompous windbags who have abandoned hope and who want nothing more than for all of us to stay the same. We need new ways to look at our entire existence and the new ideas need to come from the hope within all of us. We need to look forward. We need to be aggressively progressive. I'm not trying to be overly optimistic. Anyone who knows me knows how dire I believe things to be, but I rarely let the fire of my hope and my desire for change to be dimmed.  Every day I see people's fire go out and see their hearts go numb, as hope drains from them. It is one of the saddest things to witness in this existence. In the world's darkest hours it has always needed hope the most. We all need to make sure it is there for the next generation to pull from. Change has to become part of our everyday action, but above all else hope must be part of that forward motion. Me doing these things changes the world very little. All of us doing these things can alter the world, perhaps our entire existence, at a fundamental level.

    Allow hope to be your shield and armor and change to be your sword in the great battles ahead. 

    It is good to be back everyone. Keep the fire alive.

    Betty Knocks Them Dead-Again

    There is never bad moment to watch Betty White. This was just a short plug for the new show, Hot In Cleveland, and Betty managed to rock the house.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Betty White
    Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor

    Collection of Anti-BP Art

    Follow the link to see a terrific collection of anti-BP Art. My favs are #1, #2, #4, #5, and #7.