i got a lot of responses to the Voting Guide message i put out a couple days ago, which is great! A key feature of the feedback was some very strong and intelligent arguments AGAINST the Indian Gaming propositions (94-97). in light of what was shared (detailed below), i'm changing my own vote to NO on 94-97 and am recommending the same (although with some hesitation...am i a flip-flopper?) of course i urge you to vote your conscience...and to VOTE at all!
Find your polling place here.
ps: i'm being very mindful of not abusing your Inbox...i just thought that this was important and time-sensitive. Your next action email will be on Voting Day, Feb 05 and will have some exciting stuff in it!
President of the United States
Although i personally am continuing my support for Dennis Kucinich with the commentary
that even when he's not running he's the clear choice of conscience for me above all the other candidates, the following letter in support of Barack Obama comes from Clive Leeman:
I've been supporting Barack Obama since his announcement of candidacy a year ago on the steps of the Springfield Capitol before 30,000 people standing in freezing rain. I realized then that he is the kind of gifted leader who only comes along perhaps once in every 50 years.
He has a superb creative intelligence and gift for empathy. Each one of his major speeches is different from his other speeches--always original, graceful, and philosophically challenging, rather like Martin Luther King's.
The best piece on Obama I've read is "Barack Obama's unlikely political education. The Agitator." by Ryan Lizza, The New Republic, Issue date: 03.19.07. It explores his years as a community organizer in Chicago's South Side, a job he took instead of one of the $500,000 corporate positions offered top Harvard Law School graduates.
I came away from reading that article in a state of awe about the man. It concentrates on his years as a community organizer when he excelled at inspiring demoralized communities and became the best local grassroots organizer in living memory. During his successful run for the state senate, he demonstrated that he had a spine of steel and unerring political instincts.
The South Carolina primary has shown that, in a groundswell, more and more Americans are recognizing his presidential capacities, even his authority. I hope and pray he stays safe for our sake and the sake of history.
During the campaign, Obama, a strong supporter of Israel, has spoken sympathetically about the Palestinians, running the risk of antagonizing the pro-Israeli lobby.
He has even more directly defied another powerful lobby (anti-Castro Cubans) to say he will meet with Castro once he's President.
Obama is the only one of the candidates except Kucinich to have spoken out against the war before the occupation of Iraq. I support him partly because of my own antiwar principles.
Some of hls more recent statements on the Iraq war and on the Middle East in general, however, have disappointed me and his health insurance plan is not as strong as I would like it to be (single payer). And, although he has refused to take money from corporate lobbyists, raising millions of dollars from ordinary people online, he does not seem to recognize the criminal nature of U.S. corporate foreign policy (see John Perkins's Confesssions of an Economic Hit Man).
But my policy disagreements with Obama have not prevented me from understanding that he has become an extraordinary presence on the political landscape, a force for good; that he has come to us in the midst of MLK's "fierce urgency of now"; that his transformative gifts are just what we desperately need after the dreadful desolation of the Bush years; that, in journalist Laura Flander's words, he has the capacity to be a "charismatic optimist" as president, just like
FDR, who began as a moderate but, through his sympathetic connection with the people, was able to carry out the most radically significant legislation in U.S. history.
Measures 94, 95, 96, 97 - Indian Gaming
While some people close to the Native community see the casinos as the only life-blood that has provided them with hospitals and schools, many of you cited very intelligent and relevant concerns over the compensations of casino and hotel workers, environmental impact of huge new facilities, and social concerns over increase gambling as among the reasons NOT to approve these new gaming compacts (a NO vote simply allows gaming to continue under the existing compacts). One great resource/analysis is the San Francisco Bay Guardian, with thanks to Kenley for sending it!
in addition, i originally cited my concern over putting so many of our State's economic eggs in the single basket of indian gaming facilities, as well as it seeming like a cheap and easy "fix" to the problems of poverty in the Native community. Even if these compacts DID address workers' rights and the local environment in satisfactory ways, i'd STILL think we collectively are not being very sustainable or creative in our economic and social solutions. i'm not into settling for mediocre incremental legislation...if it can be done right the first time, let's go ahead and force that to be written.
Vote In Peace!
Ojai Peace Coalition
A Season for Nonviolence
Jan 30 - Apr 04
Yesterday was January 30th, 2008. It was on this day in 1948 that Mohandas K. Gandhi was shot and killed in Delhi, and it is on this date that we begin the Season for Nonviolence. This 64-day period between the memorial dates of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. (April 4th) and is used globally as a time for personal and community reflection on the healing and transforming power ofnonviolence and the contributions towards Peace made by these two greatleaders.
In this spirit the Ojai Peace Coalition presents our handy, consolidated, easily-printable, wallet-fittable, fun-to-foldable 64 Daily Reflections Card to keep with you so your commitments to Peace and Compassion are never more than a glance away. Enjoy!
Our first week of reflections are:
Jan 30: Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me.
Jan 31: Today, I will look at opportunities to be a peacemaker.
Feb 01: Today, I will practice nonviolence and respect for Mother Earth by making good use of her resources.
Feb 02: Today, I will take time to admire and appreciate nature.
Feb 03: Today, I will plant seeds--plants or constructive ideas.
Feb 04: Today, I will hold a vision of plenty for all the world's hungry and be open to guidance as to how I can help alleviate some of that hunger.
Feb 05: Today, I will acknowledge every human being's fundamental right to justice, equity, and equality.