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Inauguration – We Made It January 20, 2009

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Travel.
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Well, at long last we made it. It took us about 5 hours to actually make it to the mall, but it was worth it. Just got interviewed by The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

We’re currently standing just in front of the WWII memorial. This crowd is electric.

Inuguration Day – Waiting To Get Into The National Mall January 20, 2009

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Travel.
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It’s 5:35, and we’re on the courner of 3rd and Indiana. There are thousands of people waiting to get into the mall and no one seems to know when they’ll let us in.

Update 7:05 – still not letting us in.

The Inauguration Concert – We Are One January 19, 2009

Posted by Robert in Election 08, inauguration, Music, Politics, Social Commentary, Travel.
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It was cold, dusty and there were several people who would have fit in better in the parking lot of a Dave Matthews concert, but for a proud Obamite like myself, it was Woodstock.

We arrived at about 11:30 and the National Mall was packed already.

There’s one at every show.

Steve Carell

That kid’s chin is ready for change.

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuce!

Marine One?

So it would appear.

Security was tight, but very polite and not oppressive.  Snipers?

US Boarder Patrol.  They must have pulled every uniformed officer into DC.

DC’s Finest.

The American Communist Party.

These guys were popular.

Later we realized that they were probably playing this because George Lucas was in the front row.  Seriously.

“That was good chanting everybody!”  Thanks Elmo.

Lots. Of. People.

Garth sorta brought the house down.  “American Pie” into “Shout”

U2 – Pride In The Name Of Love, one day before Dr. King’s birthday.

U2 – City of Blinding Lights

Pete Seger and Bruce Springsteen – This Land is Your Land.  The whole crowd was singing along.  This was one of the more moving parts of the day for me.

Someone decided that Beyonce got to do the finale.  Ah well, I would have given it to Pete and Bruce.

Smilin’ Joe Biden’s Speech.

Barack’s speech.  He’s just warming up for Tuesday.

The streets out of The National Mall were absolutely packed to the gills with people.

We’ve arrived! January 18, 2009

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Travel.
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Well, we made it to DC. After a wonderful day in Baltimore we woke up this morning and headed to silver springs to take the metro to dc.

The national mall is packed full of people anticipating the concert today. All in all everyone is in great spirits. There are a couple of people who keep getting mad that people are walking so close to their blankets on the ground, but they back off when you remind them that this is public space and they are not mayor.

Security is tight but not oppressive. They searched all bags and made you open your coats. Their are armed plain clothes officers around but nothing that I wouldn’t consider overkill.

Yes, we can. Yes, we have. Yes, we will. November 5, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Not Political, Politics, Social Commentary.
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american-flag-2a

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the 44th President of The United State of America.   I had the privilege of watching the results from Rockefeller Plaza in Mid-town Manhattan.   It was absolutely packed to the gills with humanity.  Yes, it was overwhelmingly a Democratic and Pro-Obama crowd, but if you were there it seemed like more than that.  The word catharsis comes to mind.

Congratulations to John McCain, who ran a strong race and gave a moving and unifying concession speech.  He gave me hope that the John McCain that I grew to love and admire 4 years ago is still in there somewhere and will hopefully reemerge as a stalwart of the senate that all Americans can look to for a cool head and an honest opinion.   His party did not let him be himself during this election, but now that it’s over, I hope he goes back to answering only to himself.   That’s the McCain I loved.

Tonight, my wish was granted.  Now lets see if we, the American People, can stand up and answer my prayer.

In closing…

Top 5 songs for when Obama Wins (and 5 for if he doesn’t) November 4, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Social Commentary.
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highfidelity460

So depending on when you’re reading this,  Barack Obama may have been elected as the next president of The United States of America.   Or, John McCain may have defied all the odds and pulled this out.

If Obama has pulled this out and secured the presidency, then I give you my top 5 songs to celebrate an Obama victory.

1.  The Times They Are A Changin’ – Bob Dylan

This song is just as relevant as it was decades ago when Dylan wrote it.  Sadly the times didn’t exactly a’change as quickly as the song promised.  But, now that our country has elected the first African American president, hopeful some real change is headed our way.

2.  Growing On Me – The Darkness

This gem from the short lived neo-arena rockers The Darkness is a perfect song for those that didn’t vote for Barack, but soon realize that he’s everything they’ve ever wanted in a president.   Don’t be afraid McCain voters, he won’t bite.

3.  Black President – Nas

Um… Really? Do you need an explanation for this one?

4.  Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake

This one is for all of the Haters you will no doubt hear that say an Obama presidency will be the end of this country as we know it.  Only the chorus is relevant, so I recommend you put that part on loop, crank up your system and drive around anyone’s house that still has their McCain/Palin sign in their front yard.

5. A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

People get ready.  Yes We Can has become Yes We Did.  Love it or hate it, change is on it’s way.

That is, unless…

John McCain has won.   If he has, you will need these 5 songs to get you through the next administration.

5.  B.Y.O.B. – System of a Down

“Why don’t president’s fight the war? Why do we always send the poor?”  Good questions that deserve answers.

4.  Take the Power Back – Rage Against The Machine

These next 4 years might seem like a long time, but you can make sure your voice is heard long before the 2012 elections.  If you disagree with policy, let your voice be heard.  Demonstrate, protest and make sure those in power know that they work at your pleasure, not the other way around.

3.  Push – Pharoahe Monch

“Sometime you might fall down, but you get back up.”  “If you represent the struggle than PUSH”

2.  Fight The Power – Public Enemy

“Our Freedom of Speech, is Freedoem, or Death”

1.  List of Demands – Saul Williams

“I ain’t afraid of you.  I’m just a victim of your fear”   Don’t let them scare you into submission.  Fear is the first weapon used to get people to fall in line en-masse.  Fear is what got this country behind a false war.  Don’t let it happen again.


Well there you have it.  Good music to play no matter how things turn out today.

On The Eve of The Election: An American Prayer November 4, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Not Political, Politics, Social Commentary.
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Good Day America.   I write this post not as an amateur political pundit or an avid supporter of Senator Obama’s Candidacy or a wack-job, bed-wetting liberal.  Although I know that depending on who is reading this, you will inevitably group me into one of these 3 categories.

I write this as an American, in prayer.   Not a hypothetical “prayer” either.  An actual prayer that I will be praying tonight to the being that I call God.   The Catholic God of my childhood if you want details.   The same God that I’ve prayed to thousands of times before, be it the night before a spelling test in 3rd grade or for the recovery of an ailing loved-one or for a friend that I knew was going to be in harms way for a while.

I won’t be praying for the victory of a particular candidate,  God knows who I’d prefer to see win the Presidency and he knows that I feel very passionate about it (if you’re offended by my referring to the Judeo-Christian God as “He” my apologies.  Feel free to replace it with whatever 3rd person pronoun you prefer).  My prayer tonight will be for my country.  A country that I know will be in desperate need of some long overdue healing come Wednesday morning (at the very earliest).  My prayer will be very simple and very short.

Despite what you think about  the way this country has been handled in the days, months and years since George W. Bush was elected by electoral vote,  you would be hard pressed to point to a president that will leave office with a more divided country.    People are angry.  They are angry because they see a country that deem it unnecessary to provide equal and adequate health-care to all citizens.  They are angry because they see a country that allows women to terminate their pregnancies for reasons legally.   They are angry because to them, large sections of the country do not seem to have enough pride in our nation’s military.  They are angry because they see a country that is capable of rigging elections.

Whether or not any of these concerns are well-founded is up for debate.  What is not, is how bad this country needs to heal.   I don’t care if you live in Birmingham, Alabama or The Upper West Side of Manhattan Island,  you’ve undoubtedly overheard people talking about this election and what they plan on doing if the person they don’t want to win, wins.  You’ll hear everything from “I’m moving to Mexico” to “Well the Republicans/Democrats are already cheating so it doesn’t matter.”

I’ll be honest,  I am worried about what will happen to this country if Barack Obama loses.   I am in stark disagreement with Senator McCain on most issues and I haven’t exactly been vague in my criticism of his choice for his running-mate. To be brutally honest, she scares the ever-living hell out of me.   But what worries me more is the prospect that no matter which candidate wins, this country is going to continue to hate half (give or take) of itself.

Therefore, tonight I invite you whomever you are to join me.   Before you fall asleep tonight I hope that you will take a moment and say a prayer or wish upon a star or talk to yourself.   Just give a thought for this country and remember that even if the side you want to win doesn’t, that doesn’t mean this country is incapable of bettering itself.

In case you’re wondering, my prayer is only one word long.

Unity.

What do Jeremiah Wright and Voldemort Have In Common? October 30, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics.
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Apparantly both cannot be named.  Watch this guy squirm.

Grow a pair, McCain surrogate.

Can you imagine being married to this? October 23, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Social Commentary.
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My. Sweet. Lord.

How do these people think for a second that this kind of hatred and bigotry can hold up to biblical scrutiny.   If nothing else, Christianity is supposed to represent forgiveness and charity, not this neo-christian brand of hatred and fear mongering.

This woman represents everything that is wrong with this country.  She needs to be reminded that there are Muslim-American citizens who are fighting and dying for this country.   Her close minded/open mouthed attitude is scary, but useless as a weapon against the sweeping referendum that is coming to our country.  

Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.

This photo is part of a photo essay by photographer, Platon. Orignally printed in The New Yorker.  Source.

During his endorsement of Barack Obama for President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell mentioned how foolish it is that some American’s think that Obama is a Muslim and how foolish it would be to fault him even if he was (which again, he is not).   Soldiers like Kareem R. Khan gave their lives to protect this country.  Anytime these philistines claim that there is something wrong with being Muslim, they’re not only making themselves looks stupid, they’re besmirching the entire Armed Forces, this country and it’s Constitution.

Shame on you Ugly Woman on Youtube who’s name I can’t locate.

Shame.

McCain Campaign Muzzles Muslim McCain Supporter October 21, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics.
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Meet Daniel Zubairi, a grassroots organizer for the McCain/Palin Campaign.   Above you’ll see Daniel bravely speak out against the hatred being spewed by one of a bunch of bad apples that have been making the McCain rallies sound a lot like some other rallies that you can find in old news reels. 

Daniel confronts 2 people that are handing out stickers and spewing lies about Barack Obama being connected to radical Islam and Communism.  As an Muslim and a McCain campaign organizer, Daniel really sticks it to them and says in no uncertain terms that they do not represent the views of the campaign and the campaign does not condone their actions.

Wonderful!  This is just the kind of straight-talk that I would expect from the McCain campaign.  The only problem is, the campaign is not allowing Daniel to speak to the press. 

Wow.  Just when they get a chance to allow an official representative of the campaign to speak out against hatred, fear and lies as a campaign tactic, they muzzle him.

I thought McCain said he was proud of the people at his rallies? I agree that it’s foolish to judge a candidate based on the lowest of his supporters.  I’m sure that Obama has radical Islamic supporters just like McCain has White Supremacist supporters.  But I’m positive that if the press wanted to interview an official member of the Obama campaign that confronted a group of radical Islamics at an Obama rally, they would be allowed.   Why is the McCain campaign extending it’s theme of press black-outs?  It hasn’t worked with Sarah Palin, and it’s certainly not going to work with a like-able character like Daniel.

Let Daniel Speak!