Friday, December 12, 2008

puffington host

found this video on the huffington post. a little national airtime for BYU and YAs.

If they don't get Wicked, I say it's no big loss. it does seem like the gay ex-mormon is being pretty spiteful, though. but hey, who am i to judge?

Monday, December 08, 2008

little ones

excuse me, but i have the cutest little nieces and nephews in the whole world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dustin Lance Black

anyone see the new movie "Milk" yet? dustin lance black wrote it. turns out he is mormon. who knew? he was the only mormon writer on the first two seasons of 'big love,' which is one of the greatest tv shows of our time.

this interview is a pretty interesting listen. it is a pretty good take on mormonism, prop 8, and writing for film and screen. please listen to it now. it's essential for understanding this issue, imho.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

is that you, mitt?

where was this this mitt during the republican primary? this op-ed shows a mitt romney that knows what he is doing. nothing like the blubbering, pandering mitt that showed up for the republican primaries. while i still don't like most everything about his policies or the way he presents himself, this idea is good.

oh and btw, peter and emily are getting married in like three days. wild.


everything nate silver touches turns to gold. but this is particularly great. all i can say is i wish i were nate silver...please be warned that the transcript is not safe for work due to some language content...

Monday, November 17, 2008

prop 8

This is a very good look at why a pro-prop 8 vote doesn't necessarily equal bigotry. the article doesn't, however, justify such a vote. give it a look see.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


look at this. even faux news is calling sarah palin out:

Monday, November 03, 2008

gotv in pa

consider this my postcard from pittsburgh, pa. ima drive a van tomorrow getting people out to vote in oakland, pittsburgh. i predict a 5% win in pennslylvania, and a 6% spread nationally. electoral votes will top 320 for obama. what do you say?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the mac attack

looks like i'm an uncle again. way to go libby and the deej. very proud.

i stole these pics from paul and amy's blog. i will drive to pittsburgh this weekend to see the newest addition. also i will stay until election day so i can help mr. obama with getting out the vote activities. anyone interested in joining me? although, dj did say if i volunteered for barack, I wasn't welcome to stay at his, i guess if you come with me we can split a hotel room...

Monday, October 27, 2008

in loving memory

my tears dry slowly due to the passing of the second season of mad men.

pete campbell: you are almost likable!

don draper: you have emotions!

betty: i love you!

peggy: you are absolved!

joan: don't marry the rapist!

so until july, i will wait patiently and hopefully to find out what pete eventually did with the gun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

paul's blog

go to paul's blog for the d-bate live blogging.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


watch this video that was forwarded on to me by pablo escobar. today another friend sent it along to me.

i have a few things i would like to say. first, i consider this video, and the main guy depicted in it, extremely homophobic. second, i think it is naive to think that young students should not be taught about homosexuality. obviously you don't have to explain to the kids the technicalities of gay sex; however, explaining that sometimes two men or two women can find happiness together...? what's wrong with that.

an example. i taught second grade. i had to teach about homosexuality for two different reasons. first, two different students approached me to tell me their moms were lesbians. they wanted to keep it a secret because they felt they would be mocked. i sat the kids down with prepared lessons about homosexuality. i did explain that sometimes two women or two men found that they could fall in love with each other and even be happier that way. i don't see anything wrong with that. i also said that if your parents were like that, then there is nothing wrong with you. i also said that it was wrong to make fun of anyone who happens to be gay.

second, my students regularly employed homophobic slurs: gay, fag, lesbo, etc, etc. sometimes the terms were even applied to me (except for the lesbo one). at that point, you must sit down with the students and tell them why it is wrong to use those kinds of slurs. its not like you're telling the kids about something they don't know when you talk about homosexuality. they are all aware. being able to talk about it in a respectful way that protects the feelings and beliefs of all involved is a mark of a good teacher.

this video, then, i feel is extremely hurtful. if just for the fact that we can work to change some of these attitudes, i hope prop 8 does not pass in california. what is wrong with legalizing gay marriage and thereby removing some of the stigma gays experience? no one is saying that teachers have to teach it is 'moral.' however, they are saying teachers must teach it is legal. drinking is legal, but mormons still believe it is immoral. teachers in the public school system definitely teach that, when you are of age, there is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation. however, we are still able to believe however we want. why are we so threatened by the fact that gay marriage will be taught as legally acceptable in school? do we really believe our children's attitudes are shaped that strongly by our teachers? surely we can teach them what we feel is right at home, and they can be exposed to different ideas at school. how is that any different than what we believe currently about premarital sex, the word of wisdom, etc.?

in ten years, when we look back at this video, i really think most of us will be appalled at the prejudiced attitudes taken by many of its views. what do you think?

lastly, one other thing that is bothering me is the media that is coming out of, the website run by a coalition of christian churches. the mormons are one of the chief contributors to this site. i'm afraid it takes quite a partisan look at gay marriage and its advertising borders on fear mongering and misinformation. what do you think? do you agree? disagree?

oh, and one other thing. tomorrow is peter's birthday. we are getting together for a debate watching party, so i'm not sure we will be live blogging. but maybe. stay tuned....

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

nashville nastiness

here it is: the live blog thread for tonight. 9:00 PM eastern time. please come. feel free to post thoughts, reactions, etc.

Monday, October 06, 2008

the boom

here it is: in response to palin donning her heels and taking off her gloves, it looks like obama is now lowering the boom on mccain's record. enjoy this as you prepare for tomorrow night's debate. we will be live blogging it here, so prepare yourself...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

missouri madness

Here it is. The live blog thread for tonight's debate at 9:00 Eastern Time. Be here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thursday Night Thunder

All right people. Prepare yourselves. Thursday night brings Sarah Palin's arizona-prepped, expectation-lowered debate versus Joe Biden. We will be live blogging the whole thing right here. So, do what you need to do to find yourself in front of a computer and a television by 9:00 PM eastern time, Thursday night.

One thing that is bothering me about the upcoming debate is the media's insistence on replaying the jonah mcpalin camp's messaging. They have been lowering the expectations for sarah palin, thus making any performance by sarah palin in which she doesn't fall on her face and expose herself for a complete fraud translate into a 'win.' Also, after her horrible appearances on CBS and ABC over the past couple of weeks, her handlers are now saying she won't appear anywhere other than right wing talk shows and the like. I'm sorry, but I can't help agree with campbell brown; this approach to palin by mccain and co. stinks of sexism. Yesterday, when Palin and McCain were interviewed by Katie Couric, McCain jumped in to answer questions and defend palin. It definitely looked like an over-protective father keeping watch over his daughter. They need to unleash Palin and hope that her folksy life story will be enough to over shadow her complete lack of preparation for the vice presidency or possibly the presidency.

So, prepare your thoughts. Ready your typing fingers. Tell your friends. Tomorrow night we shall blog the trash out of the debate. Also, it would be nice to get some palin supporters to join the dialog. So, Gabrielle, Russ, Dad, Grandpa, Libby and DJ (?), etc. please join us as we thrash about in pure, debate-inspired bliss.

oh, and enjoy this sweet performance by the gov at the miss alaska competition:

Friday, September 26, 2008

friday night lights: open thread for the debate

prepare yourself to post your comments here as we discuss the debate in real time....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

jonah mcpalin

please forgive the following rant. i realize that political web logs are extremely tedious, and a lot of text hurts the brains of those of us who like to look at either pictures or bottles of adderall. but seriously, how can anyone even think about supporting mcain/palin after this last week? i understand (sort of) if you are not completely sold on b.rock obama. okay i take that back, i don't completely understand how you may not be sold on b.rock, but i at least can fathom it. but to still be supporting john and sarah? seriously? so, i'm going to list some of the reasons why (although i really think it's pretty obvious) one should vote barack over mccain.

1. the economy. obviously this is currently the leading factor in the election. so why go for obama over mccain? in my humble estimation, there are very few of us (politicians, layman, professionals) who actually understand what has happened with the economy or how to make it better. in fact, so much of what will happen with the stock market over the next while is based solely on perception. to have a president, then, that appears to be cool, calm, and collected is of great importance. we need someone we can trust to stay calm, not do anything rash (i.e. draft palin, suspend a campaign, cancel debates, make rash accusations ('let's fire cox!), or make false claims (the fundamentals of economy is strong)), and figure out a solution in a concentrated way. it's not so much whether that solution will be perfectly correct; rather, it's more important that we have a perception that our leader is going to do as much as he/she can to make the right choice and equally weigh all options.

2. temperament. mccain is crazy. isn't it obvious? he's so focused on the white house, that he has lost all semblance of identity. he blames the tenor of the campaign (his sleazy, lying ads) on the fact that obama turned down town hall meetings. then, yesterday, he ambushed obama with a press conference announcing he was suspending his campaign (today he has been running ads all across the country, and many, if not all, of his campaign offices are open ) to 'rush back to washington' to figure out a solution to the economic 'crisis' (something he denied was even happening at the beginning of the week).

3. do we really want another maverick in the white house? wasn't his pick of palin enough of a sign of his incompetence? please watch her performance on charlie gibson and katie couric to see that his lack of vetting made for a horrible choice for someone so close to the presidency.

4. i would keep writing, but it's time for me to leave this computer. maybe i'll add more later. maybe not.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

politico full of portent

look at this latest portentous article from

Thursday, September 18, 2008

attack of the....robots?

why is everyone talking about wall street and the presidential election? i guess maybe they've forgotten there are more important threats to our well being. that's right: robots.

Monday, September 15, 2008

making america stupid

if you haven't read it yet, here's thomas friedman's latest article.

Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of “drill, baby, drill!”

I’ll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — “Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!” — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”

Of course, we’re going to need oil for many years, but instead of exalting that — with “drill, baby, drill” — why not throw all our energy into innovating a whole new industry of clean power with the mantra “invent, baby, invent?” That is what a party committed to “change” would really be doing. As they say in Texas: “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”

I dwell on this issue because it is symbolic of the campaign that John McCain has decided to run. It’s a campaign now built on turning everything possible into a cultural wedge issue — including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America.

I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

In order to disguise the fact that the core of his campaign is to continue the same Bush policies that have led 80 percent of the country to conclude we’re on the wrong track, McCain has decided to play the culture-war card. Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences.

A Washington Post editorial on Thursday put it well: “On a day when the Congressional Budget Office warned of looming deficits and a grim economic outlook, when the stock market faltered even in the wake of the government’s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when President Bush discussed the road ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what did the campaign of Senator John McCain spend its energy? A conference call to denounce Senator Barack Obama for using the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’ and a new television ad accusing the Democrat of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read.”

Some McCain supporters criticize Obama for not having the steel in his belly to use force in the dangerous world we live in today. Well I know this: In order to use force, you have to have force. In order to exercise leverage, you have to have leverage.

I don’t know how much steel is in Obama’s belly, but I do know that the issues he is focusing on in this campaign — improving education and health care, dealing with the deficit and forging a real energy policy based on building a whole new energy infrastructure — are the only way we can put steel back into America’s spine. McCain, alas, has abandoned those issues for the culture-war strategy.

Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?

Sorry, but there is no sustainable political/military power without economic power, and talking about one without the other is nonsense. Unless we make America the country most able to innovate, compete and win in the age of globalization, our leverage in the world will continue to slowly erode. Those are the issues this election needs to be about, because that is what the next four years need to be about.

There is no strong leader without a strong country. And posing as one, to use the current vernacular, is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

dear dad

dear dad,

please watch this for thoughts on the rnc:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

any questions?

i think this should clear up any lingering questions or concerns any of you may still have.

in other news, i'm completely, head over heels in love with campbell brown of cnn.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

signs signs everywhere there's signs

my spam inbox from yesterday. creepy, right?

secondly, love him or hate him, john kerry gave a pretty good speech at the convention yesterday. take 13 minutes and watch it, if you dare.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

kucinich: one crazy [insert word here]

if you missed this from the denver convention, then you must watch it right now. kucinich is crazy and i think i might be in love with him. i'm not quite sure how to define what i'm feeling all over my body when he speaks like this. see if you feel it too and you can tell me if it's normal or not.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


several important things to note:

first, i was up at the time barack texted me to let me know about joe biden. i think that most likely makes me one of the first in america to get the big news. hooray. although i have to say that the texts and emails they keep sending me are getting cheesier and cheesier, which is a problem.

second, this new tattoo proves that my life is nearly complete. one thing about three fours that is particularly auspicious is that they sometimes look like three crosses. coney Island was the place of tattoo application. I don't believe there is a better place on earth than coney island. we attended the coney island circus sideshow and saw a nail driven into a nasal cavity, a lady walk on glass, another lady swallow swords, and the ganja queen (my personal name for her) breathe fire.

maybe you want a closer look? Fine, fine.

lastly, i don't know why, but i went to six flags great adventure on saturday. i believe this place is the downfall of america. although we did ride the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. but was it worth the wait?

Friday, August 15, 2008


ever since james kearl showed me this, I can't stop thinking that it won't be long until hal and his associates take over.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

square-jawed electrodes

our man mitt romney tells lies. Not only that, but the way he lies reminds me of my little brother lafe claiming he wasn't scared by the not-scary movie signs and then spending three weeks straight sleeping with his door open, the light on, and his room strewn with cups half full of water.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

of films and encapsulations

the best movie i have seen in recent history. please watch it if possible.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

like a rolling stone

the album cover that proves mr. olson knew the meaning of those visions of johanna.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

it's all over now, baby blue.

it turns out this web log has somehow found its way onto a list of blogs authored by my fellow 1999 graduates of spanish fork high school, which is weird. something else triggered my memory of high school last week. my junior year, i was privileged to be a part of the 'golden dawn,' a group headed by mr. michael olson, whose only aim, it seemed, was the downfall of tony johns (this was in retaliation to his constant assailing of Nathan Rees, or NR, in Mr. Clark's 7th (or was it sixth?) grade class). mr. olson was obsessed with the number 44. were he to ever encounter triple fours, it would be as if the oracle at delphi (a constant theme in his classroom) were calling down to give guidance and blessing. obviously then, it would make sense that almost all of mr. olson's essays were 444 words long. to be different, and to show my dedication to jesus, i would write essays 333 words in length. but, when a member of the g.d. showed me the fourth verse of this fourth chapter, i wrote all subsequent essays 444 words long. my high school email address quickly became landslide in honor of the smashing pumpkins' cover of fleetwood mac, and the 44 in honor of the naturally-occurring portentousness of the golden number. i think the only person i ever emailed from that account was the pig steve forsey.

what does this all matter? i came to understand the deepness of the universe, and my small, electron-like nature within it, when i saw this sign on broome street last week. mind you, i walked by this place every day for the past year. but it wasn't until last week, until the class of sfhs1999 came back to haunt me, that i realized the address was the only thing that really mattered anymore. and what was $10 to know what the rest of my life would bring me? tell me please, oracle of broome street, am i a pair of ragged claws? do i have a bald spot in the middle of my hair?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a classy volume concerning class

required reading to further comment on this web log concerning healthcare, education, poverty, welfare reform, etc.

in other news, peter emily and i went to boston over the weekend. peter, the master blogger that he is, posted on his family's password-protected web log concerning our adventures. my favorite part was tea-bagging boston harbor. hope petey doesn't mind, but ima plagiarize his web-logging skills and include it here. enjoy:

what better place than the birth of a revolution than bean town (which nick told me is now referred to as title town) to memorialize our freedoms? emily hadn't been to Boston since she was little and stevey and i haven't been in awhile. so thanks to the meticulously organized fung wah bussing business, we made a weekend out of our freedoms.

we took the morning bus up there on friday and had most of the day left to explore a little bit. we walked through the boston common, where stephen spotted a pond that reminded him of ducks from some children’s book that landed there or something. i was chastised for being the son of a elementary school teacher and not know the name of the book.

after some putzing around newbury street for shopping and dinner, we followed the crowds to the charles river. we found a spot on mass. ave bridge and listened to the worst public program ever for a couple of hours before the fireworks started. it was pretty sweet, cause people could take their boats (motor, canoes, or row) right out to the barge from where they launched the fireworks. it was a pretty rad show.

the next day, we endulged emily and walked the freedom trail. stephen was jealous of the dude with the tights and the three-cornered hats everywhere. but we didn’t need them. with a few keystokes on the (almost obsolete) iPhone, we pulled up a wikipedia fountain of knowledge on any/every building or site that piqued our collective curiosities. along the way, we even commemorated our despision of king george III by throwing our own british tea bags in the boston harbor. all in all it a was a pretty good day, capped off with maybe the best ice cream i have ever had in my life at this place in cambridge that one of stevey’s photo friends took us.

if you look closely, those are actually english tea bags we're about to cast into the sea for taxation without representation...

this morning we went to church at Park Street Church right between the boston common and the cemetery that graves benjamin franklin, paul revere, samuel adams, and the more important john adams, where we sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” 177 years and 2 days after the public debut in the very chapel of said debut. on the program insert, it was written that 24 year old samuel F. smith, an Harvard (of course) alumnus, wrote this “unofficial national anthem” on a scrap of paper in less than 30 minutes and debuted on July 4, 1831 in Park Street Church.

the sermon was pretty interesting (at least for the first 25 or so minutes). he talked about how old testament prophets had to be counter-culture and against the grain to prevailing opinions that were contrary to their beliefs just like us today in an increasingly secularizing society. at the end he gave some “witnessing” (protestant talk for testifying or missionary work) take-home tips, not too unfamiliar to what you might hear in sacrament meeting or sunday school on missionary work.

1) keep a bible on your desk at work, as a symbol/reminder of God’s work and also as a conversation starter.

2) when you write cards (sympathy or whatever) to coworkers, add a verse of scripture and mention that this verse helped you during a hard time.

3) when people are having a difficult time, ask permission to pray for help for them with your friends at your church.

simple enough.

all in all in was a pretty good independent weekend.

oh yeah. and did i mention that i can hold emily in the palm of my hand... err. i mean, the top of my thumb.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

revelations of officialdom

peter, emily, and i took a trip to boston this weekend to celebrate the birth of our now-imperialistic country. we found this:

a general hooker exit may be somewhat more advantageous?

it also turns out we make pretty good evangelical christians.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


i really don't know what to say. see more here, where the subtitle is "Hillary Voters for McCain, not Hussein."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

mormons. mormons. mormons.

um...haven't you ever heard of the mormons? apparently, a little organization called The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has. they just completed a little survey of the u.s. religious landscape and they have some tasty little delights about the mormons. so, with no further introuduction, ima give you my favorite sections.

the first section shows how ridiculously conservative mormons are. we aren't even close to any other religious group when it comes to how conservative we are.

the second section, i guess, also has to do with the mormons' conservative principles: views on homosexuality and abortion. the one thing that is troubling for me, is that the question had to do with society accepting homosexuality, not just gay marriage. only 24% of mormons think that we should accept homosexuality? i could (almost) understand that point of view when it comes to gay marriage, but just accepting homosexuality? not very tolerant of us, i think.

the next section shows that the mormons are, next to the JWs only, the most dogmatic about their religion. i was somewhat surprised that only 58% of mormons thought that their religion was not the only way to eternal life.

and lastly, we see that besides hindus, the mormons are the group with the highest percentage married. no wonder so many singles in the church feel marginalized.

so...your thoughts? surprised by anything? happy about anything? saddened by anything?

and, if you made it to the end of this post, then i leave you with a photograph of petey and me keeping it real at the pride parade in the village this past sunday....

Monday, June 23, 2008

exponential is her name

*update* barbara ehrenreich, the author of nickel and dimed, has a new book out and was on wnyc today. listen to the show, and then join me as we finally get libby in on the debate...

i guess since all the cool kids are doing it, i too will give you a little something something about the latest book i read. back when i taught for america, i worked with this person named liz vandlick. i guess she won't care about me using her name, seeing as how she never reads web logs, and every time we talk, she makes fun of me for updating mine. whatever.

she suggested that i read this book called Nickel and Dimed. so, i did it. the author went under cover in florida, maine, and minnesota as a homemaker re-entering the workforce. her goal was to see if it is possible to live on wages from places like wal-mart, nursing homes, and restaurants while searching out a housing, etc.

i'd write more about it, but to tell you the truth, i don't really have much to say. the book was eye-opening, but her style of writing was annoying and she spent half the time telling how she had to find a way to flush the marijuana out of her system in order to pass the multiple drug tests that were requisite to get a low-wage job in minnesota.

the main thing i found interesting was the outdated method the government uses to define the poverty level. they haven't changed the system since 1955, and it's based on the price of food tripled (assuming, then, that 1/3 of all expenditures goes toward food). this isn't the case anymore, and really doesn't make any sense. there's a bunch of other stuff too, but why don't you just go read it? mostly i'm just putting up a web log post because uncle ron requested it via peter.

i guess, though, i do have one thing to say. paul called me last nite and asked me my thoughts about barack dropping public financing. i do have to say i'm disappointed. this does hurt barack's brand that he is different than your regular politician. i, of course, saw it coming and knew he would do it--he would be stupid not to with the amount of money he is raising from small donors. but still, in the back of my mind, i was holding out hope barack would come through.

this is not to say i am disillusioned about barack. he is still the best-qualified for the job, etc. he is still far better than john mccain in many (if not all) ways. and his fund-raising apparatus is impressive and (perhaps) represents a sort of public financing hitherto unattainable by conventional politicians. perhaps this is excuse enough for him to drop the public financing? i know peter would say it is.

so there you go, paul. now you know that while barack is still the one, i will not defend his every move regardless. now i turn the ball to you to list some of john mccain's many faults....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i previsioned it

remember this? it looks like my man thomas friedman (who is never wrong about anything) is backing me up.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Spoiler alert: this entry will be quite boring if you don’t like playing the politics game; if you do like playing the politics game, this entry will probably also be quite boring. I would like to address this entry to people like my mother—people who are still unsure their choice of candidate come November. This is not directed toward those who have already made up their mind and are antagonistic toward one candidate or the other (I guess by definition, this post is not for me). In other words, Gabrielle, Matt, and Paul I am not trying to convince you to vote for my candidate; rather, I’m trying to sway those swing voters (Madre, Jonny, Libby (?), Melinda, etc.) into joining my ranks. I guess for those who have already made up their mind, this will serve as my justification and rationalization for my vote come November.

As I see it, America has one big problem: a damaged brand name, both at home and abroad. Many, if not most of our problems stem from this badly wounded image. I hold that if we are able to repair our brand at home, our economy will right itself, Americans will find a restored faith in their country and this will help us find answers to tough problems. I of course don’t envision this happening over night; however, I do see it reversing a trend of disappointment in our own country’s actions. When we are able to again restore our faith in our leaders, then many of our problems will be surmountable.

Abroad, the current administrations’ actions have badly imaged our international brand. Immediately following 9/11 we had the support of the world. However, following a badly botched invasion, secret prisons, Abu Ghraib, cowboy diplomacy, and general disregard for the international communities’ opinions, many abroad see America as a broken country. The value of the dollar is in free-fall. Foreign countries will soon come to collect their debt. We are seen as a dangerous occupying force throughout much of the Middle East. The Bush administration has greatly reduced our stature and standing on the international playing field.

How then do we repair our damaged brand? How do we restore faith in America, both at home and abroad? In my mind, this is the overlying issue come November. Everything else is almost moot; at the same time, everything else also helps build our brand as a compassionate, fair, intelligent, complex, democratic, free and tolerant country.

Barack Obama will fix our brand. He will repair our image domestically and internationally. He will do this in three ways.

First, as a person of a mixed-race background, he gives hope to all of us who, for one reason or the other, have felt the oppression of odds stacked against them. 50 years ago, about the time when Barack was born, it was unimaginable that a black man (Barack is really biracial, and it seems strange that he is automatically labeled by so many as black, when he is as much white as he is black, but that’s another issue) would be a viable candidate for president. By overcoming such odds, Barack will repair the image of America to millions of Americans who have been, are currently, or ever will be oppressed because of their identity, be it religious, racial, sexual, or otherwise. Of course, I realize his mixed racial background, in and of itself, is not sufficient enough reason to vote him into office. It is, however, a contributing factor.

Second, Barack represents a person who is, in my mind, not a conventional politician. I know Paul will disagree with this and argue that he is playing the game just as much as any other candidate. I do agree that Barack has run a savvy campaign. I disagree, however, that he is a conventional candidate. His way of looking at issues, dissecting the components, debating the policies, and arriving at a position is impressive. He sees change as something that will happen over time. He thrives on policy debates. It is true that I do not agree with him on all the issues; however, I respect the way in which he arrives at his positions. This kind of deliberate and open evaluation is refreshing. He approaches issues not based on political expediency (obviously there will be exceptions to this, and I’m sure through this campaign he has occasionally done things out of expediency), but on principle. To illustrate, I look at two things that both Hillary and the right-wing attack machine have continually harped on: the flag lapel pin and Reverend Wright. I respect that Barack decided a long time ago to not flaunt his patriotism on his sleeve. The silly antics of Washington that dictate a flag pin somehow equals patriotism are insulting to the intelligence of Americans. As for Reverend Wright, I think this has been a very personal thing for Barack, and he has shown great compassion and sympathy as he has dealt with the an issue that would have sunk any lesser candidate.

From the very beginning, I have expressed my own dismay that I personally so ardently support a politician. While in Utah, Paul also expressed dismay that I am following the ‘trend’ as usually I am one to react to the ‘in’ thing. He’s right. I usually do. You would think that the second I saw that silly Yes we Can video, I would have run for cover. For some reason, however, I find the hype surrounding Barack believable. As cliché as it sounds, he speaks to me as someone who is real, as someone who truly believes what he says, and as someone who wants to do good things and make a difference for those who are hurting. Does that mean I agree with every thing he says? No. Does that mean I think he’s never wrong? No. But it does mean I like the way he says what he says. It does mean I like the way he arrives at his positions. It does mean I like his thought process. For all of the above reasons, Barack is not a conventional politician.

Third, Barack will repair our brand in international circles. He represents to the rest of the world someone who is both cosmopolitan and distinctly American. He represents the true strength of America: its diversity. Aside from his identity, his policies are a complete reversal from the failures of cowboy diplomacy. He will wield a large microphone instead of a big stick. Under his guidance, we will begin to remove troops as quickly and as safely as possible, giving responsibility back to the Iraqis (where it belongs) and freeing our troops to focus on Afghanistan. His decisions are not rash; rather, he is deliberate in determining foreign policy.

A restored faith in America will help the dollar. It will help our allies. It will help the economy. His leadership will be a large contributing factor to repairing out standing in the international community. Does that mean I think all his foreign policies are perfect? No. But I do know that upon his election, the value of America in the eyes of the rest of the world will dramatically rise.

In this manifesto of support for Barack, I did not defend him against specific attacks. I did not defend his every policy position. This election is less about specific policies, although these are extremely important, and more about the general direction in which America is heading and how Barack’s presidency will make this much better. My support for him has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat. It has nothing to do with liberal/conservative. My support is based on the need to repair our brand both at home and abroad. Barack is the candidate to do this. His election will signal a turn in America politics and will give millions of American and non-American people (I know it’s cheesy to say it, but I can’t resist…) hope.

(oh, and this is peter being money--much like barack will be money come next january)

genius electron nieces: abigail and bekah

if you don't think these two are the cutest things ever made, then i don't know what to tell you.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

genius video electrons: a democratic update

for those of you who don't know what has happened in the democratic race, here's a deep, complex, and in-depth look.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

in honor of pediatrics

cousin: this is for you; now you know hillary's chance of winning the nomination.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

thing for thing for thing

i have two things today.

first, will hillary clinton never give up? although i don't particularly like slate, this article wasn't so bad. maybe this will make your day go somewhat better.

second, for those of you that don't live in new york city, this may not apply to you; however, you may be interested to learn car etiquette as it applies in manhattan. as you may or may not know, a majority of kids my age do not own cars. i did it for the first two years in the city, but what with my recent move downtown, i had to rid myself of the my beloved ride. because the subway is slow, hot, and sometimes not pleasant to the nasal section, people always warm to the idea of hitching a ride with someone who does own a vehicle. i would just like to post a few rules for would-be carpoolers. first, a car is expensive in nyc. if you're hitching a ride, pay up. one subway ride is $2. you should pay at least that for a ride in a car. second, never assume you are welcome in a car. always 1) ask permission or 2) wait until invited (preferably wait until invited). third, no talking on your cell phone while in the car (marc fehlberg). i will think of more soon and keep you updated. i have to leave work now.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

my fifteen (anonymous) seconds

as some of you may know, I have a slight obsession with brian lehrer, the wnyc public radio host. today i had my fifteen seconds of fame as he read my post to kick off his open phones section of his show. i know you may not think it's that big of deal, but it's enough to keep me going for the next couple of weeks (sad, I know). listen to the show and read the post here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

to breed lilacs out of the dead ground

why is it we like april so much? who told us so? once, when i was eighteen years old or so, a friend and i would lock our doors and walk away, letting thomas stearns do our talking for us. he knew everything there was to know about april.

to tell you the truth, i'm not quite sure what I should even say on the web log. there is just a wealth of incredible information surrounding this world wide web, and i'm not sure i can keep up. there are just so many worthwhile and important things going on, that i'm not sure i can find time to give my thoughts a voice. i don't even think my thoughts matter, considering all the deeply charitable and kind people that are making our world the great place it is. so for now, just remember that winter kept us warm, covering earth in forgetful snow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the one

read this then let's talk.

Monday, March 03, 2008

i am the heisenberg principle

if you haven't already, stop watching whatever you are watching on television and watch this show. it is almost enough to compensate for the ending of the greatest show ever beamed across the wires of televised goodness.

Friday, February 29, 2008

campaign genius

this is the most amazing ad i've seen in a long time. watch it. memorize it. live by it.

this next one is not bad either. please enjoy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

movies galore

today I went to this movie, and followed that up with a trip to this gallery. this is my report, and i'm sticking to it. sometimes i realize that i enjoy living in this city and this is one of those times. for now, please take a look at this deer head:

and this one:

if you have any questions, please call me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

the midwest diva

this will solve all your life woes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

yes we can?

please go here to do the right thing. you know you want to. you know you should. just do it already.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

don't need a weather man

i guess it's time: visit here to see what i've been doing over the past couple of months.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

this is our problem

not the gender breakdown, but the age breakdown (this is california's info, but stil)...

Friday, January 11, 2008

scotch mist

if you haven't yet, spend some good solid time with this video.

all my love,


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