Thursday, November 06, 2008


"Ah, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you"
My favorites are "sweet nothins". They're delicious, cost-free, and easy to maintain.


Anonymous Joe said...

Another great letter to the editor to share from Minnesota:

In Obama's face, awareness of his awesome new responsibility
November 5, 2008

Why so few smiles from President-elect Obama as he gave his acceptance speech? Why so serious at his moment of triumph?

As I reflected, I was driven to the bookshelf and to something F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the years after World War I. It's the eloquent last paragraph of a short story called "The Swimmers":

"France was a land, England was a people, but America, having about it still that quality of the idea, was harder to utter -- it was the graves at Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and the country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the heart."

On Election Night I saw a man upon whom solemnity rested because, as he tried to tell us yet again, "it's not about me." Perhaps Obama sees, in his own election, our willingness of the heart to become a better people, a more perfect union, and before the responsibility he bears he is humbled.


6/11/08 9:43 AM  
Blogger yeshe_choden said...

a man upon whom solemnity rested

That is poetry. Pure.

Thank you, joe for passing the letter on. I'll put it on my LiveJournal.

6/11/08 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Here's something else I found, source unknown. Maybe it's a song?

Rosa had to sit so Martin could walk.

Martin had to walk so Barack could run.

Barack had to run so our children could fly!

6/11/08 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joe. It's so great to come to RU and read what everybody puts in the comments. I learn so much.

Maybe you (or anyone else who would know) could answer this: what next for an unsuccessful President candidate? Could McCain be appointed to higher office by your new President? I'm really curious to see what will happen next.
I guess I can clarify that my question is more about rules, protocol, or some other reason that would forbid that happening (not so much a predictive thing).

6/11/08 10:34 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Joe, amazing that you posted this. I was so struck by his demeanor that I was going to do an article. I think it's important.

On Election Night I saw a man upon whom solemnity rested.

Yes, and beautifully said. Almost all of them paste those huge smiles on their faces and raise their arms. Obama doesn't do that. He waves briefly with one and smiles sort of perfunctorily. In the big moments, the first expression is one of humility and I've never seen that in a politician before.

This is one of the reasons I grew so fond of him. His complex emotional expressions woven with sincerity. The one thing I've never found in a leader before, and the main thing I've wanted. He has an intriguing face. The seriousness of his responsibility is one of the things that stands out the most.

Here is another view:

~When Obama took the stage, we saw a man embodying a complex array of feeling. He looked tired, of course, and who wouldn't be? A ten-year-old in the room, who hadn't heard of the death of Barack's grandmother, said "He looks sad." It takes a deeply integrated person to let his grief be visible on a night of overwhelming victory. This is a key to his personality, and bodes well for the future of his presidency. It takes enormous strength to let your vulnerabilities rest so comfortably in yourself that they can be readily seen.

~There was one emotion we're glad was missing from Obama and the crowd in Grant Park: any sense of triumphant glee.

~Somehow, despite all the adulation and glory (as well as the relentless attacks mounted by the other side) Obama still knows what he's known all along: he's one of us.

This is actually part of his difficult destiny. Personal glory should be his with his NN in Leo but he has to repeat his service to the collective first because of his SN. I'll get into it later.

6/11/08 12:09 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Chris, I don't know about the protocal. I think he'll just go back and complete his term in the Senate.

6/11/08 12:12 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Our new president is breaking the mold in many ways. It's confounding his opponents and baffling many others. It will take a good long minute to adjust.

The electoral map just changed magically and radically before their eyes and they're dumbfounded. Campaign financing in a way never done before. New colored skin and an outrageous name. Small hair. Genuine love of family. No hatred toward opponents. Actual answers to questions. On and on ....

People are still projecting stereotypes. Both sides are primed to do the ususal. The Right is doing their thing and the Left is waiting to pounce on him for being "centrist" or whatever. They're not used to someone projecting sorrow about the human condition and a desire to do something about it. Limited thinking due for expansion.

They accuse him of everything projecting characters on him endlessly and still he remains himself, whatever that is.:-)

"Who is Obama?" they ask. Good question. I hope it takes 8 years to find out, since I love the odd with my Venus-Uranus conjunction. An oddball for president. A dream come true.

6/11/08 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

And still more wonders courtesy of a friend of mine over at LiveJournal. Make sure you look at all four pictures.

6/11/08 4:37 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Oh, joe. Omg.

6/11/08 5:10 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Already to work. The promise of internet communication.

Office of the President-Elect.

6/11/08 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Wow, the Senate race in Minnesota is *still* undecided! The incumbent has 41.99% of the vote and his top challenger has 41.98% of it. Just 236 votes separate them, and the mandatory recount is underway.

I sure wonder how Neptune is involved here...

6/11/08 8:01 PM  
Blogger yeshe_choden said...


The LiveJournal photo page is beyond words wonderful!

Kind of like this whole few days.

And -- marvelous. They are on it.

6/11/08 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Helena said...

jm, I find the Hendricks's posts interesting. As for analysis of "visual politics," BagNewsNotes does a great job.

joe, those beautiful photos speak volumes to the "willingness of the heart" and how far we've come.

Still have work to do though on marriage equality for our gay friends. My bet would be 2010 with the Jupiter transit in Pisces to the Uranus Pluto square.

6/11/08 9:21 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Your Senate race, joe. Fascinating. You are absolutely right. Minnesota has Neptune and the north node in Pisces.

Transiting Neptune is exactly square Mercury retrograde at 21 Taurus right now. And get this. The full moon in Taurus coming up is at 21! Hard getting out of ruts with Minnesota Sun, Jupiter, and Uranus in Taurus too. Maybe Franken will get it.

6/11/08 10:55 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Marriage equality will come when the time is right. There are cultural hurdles to get over first and good political organizing is needed. Sexuality and politics is a tough one.

6/11/08 10:59 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Exit polls suggest that a majority of black voters in California were opposing marriage equality. It's the influence of the more conservative religious background, probably. But setbacks are fluctuations; the overall social trends are positive.

A black friend was so incensed over the apparent setbacks in several states that yesterday he said that he was livid, and declared that this felt like a "pyrrhic victory." Meanwhile, his non-black gay/bi friends are pleased with the election result. It's funny, because he's straighter than I am.

I wrote to him:

It's like this for me: I could appreciate the celebrating young people in Union Square on Election night, but at the same time it did not escape the scope of my attention that huddled shapes slept on park benches, apparently unconscious to the loud revelry a dozen yards away. This is not an end point.

I am pleased for the many good things from this election's results. The setbacks will pass. Best thing is to channel the energy of emotional reaction into positive action.

For marriage equality, there are still some advantages. If it comes down to a Supreme Court ruling in the end, then this election result has helped prevent the Court from being overwhelmingly stacked with conservatives. If legislative achievements are part of the picture, then New York may be up soon, as the power of conservative legislators to obstruct here has fallen with this election.

Last week, Obama said in an NBC interview that he preferred justices who believe in a right to privacy. He said, "I think all of us assume that if a state decided to pass a law saying, 'Brian, you can't marry the woman you love,' that you'd think that was unconstitutional. Well, where does that come from? I think it comes from a right to privacy -- that may not be listed in the Constitution but is implied by the structure of the Constitution." He knows very well the implications of what he said when he reminded people about their right to marry.

7/11/08 11:00 AM  
Blogger m.p.k said...

I spoke with a gay colleague about the overturn of prop 8 yesterday. He was philosophical about it. He said that the gay community needs to do more outreach. That gay people have congregated in urban areas for protection but now need to reach out in other communities. He was philosophical about the loss and mentioned that younger generation supports the gay community and with time CA prop 8 will be overturned.

7/11/08 12:33 PM  
Blogger yeshe_choden said...

OK, now I have to go on a hunt to find out where I first read this --

-- that although the conservative supporters of Prop 8 think they've "won," California state law requires a Constitutional Amendment to be ratified by a 2/3 majority in EACH of the legislature's two houses, and THEN get a 2/3 majority in a popular vote.

Think they can expect that?

7/11/08 1:46 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

I'm under the impression that the 2/3 majority thing has to do with proposing an amendment.

Wikipedia states that "a simple majority of votes cast is sufficient to enact it." Its source is

7/11/08 2:38 PM  
Blogger jm said...

He said that the gay community needs to do more outreach.

100% correct. They failed on the political end of this and that's why it's important to get active. It will be overturned and as a result better things will happen in society. The path to get there will bring this about. I should probably do an article on it, since people are missing some of the realities.

7/11/08 3:31 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

There are? :-) Why, the long-term outcome is not in doubt. The big picture is clear.

Separation then reintegration. In the pre-Webbified past, gay people had to migrate together to have any real political strength at all. Probably some older gays were disinterested or ambivalent about the institution of marriage. Nowadays, there are gay couples moving away from urban centers and buying homes, just like straight couples.

And it is couples who began suing for marriage equality in various states while gay rights organizations preferred to first ensure fair treatment in other ways and areas. It's all part of the process. It helps the national discourse on this issue that there have been successes in the courts.

8/11/08 6:54 AM  
Blogger jm said...

For any marginalized group seeking laws in its favor, it's a long and arduous process. If the majority is disturbed, the people have to be influenced in small, steady, and positive ways through organizing, outreach programs, cultural efforts, such as books, movies, and tv programs depicting the minority as accepted. It gradually builds until the desired goal becomes natural.

Often groups discriminate against others for reasons and it helps to know something about them. In the end familiarity and intimacy bring the best results, even after the courts rule.

Gay marriage is not accepted quite yet in most of America, but it is in some places. Gays do best by not assuming they are hated and being persecuted because of this, because it's not true. While time does its work, I think civil union laws in states are the immediate answer. Gays in relationships can still get benefits while the religious and legal aspects of marriage evolve.

Marriage is a sacred contract as well as a financial arrangement, and these things have to be redefined. People have to also accept the fears of others and work to alleviate them.

It helps the national discourse on this issue that there have been successes in the courts.

Actually the more gradual the better so society can really change and accept universal marriage. The ban is probably a good trigger for alteration. Now it's beyond parades and signs - it's political organizing and street commitment. They'll be motivated as a result of 8.

Churches can be partly the cause of fostering prejudice, but they can also provide the solution as people go into the community churches and have a dialog with the groups that are troubled. Even working together on projects. Common goals work wonders.

8/11/08 7:28 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"In the end familiarity and intimacy bring the best results, even after the courts rule."

Definitely, and this is the larger process within which the courts have operated.

I have no concern over non-gradual change, as it is basically impossible. It's not a controlled process. People must make the best use of the moments and opportunities.

8/11/08 7:37 AM  
Blogger jm said...

I have no concern over non-gradual change, as it is basically impossible.


People must make the best use of the moments and opportunities.

I think they eventually string up to create change.

8/11/08 7:54 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

I tend to not view the things that happen as necessarily either-or. I think that there are some things that pretty much happened the way they did because they had to happen that way.

I think that it is important to remember that any court victories have been made possible because of the larger ongoing shifts in society -- for example, as gay people have come out to their friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, religious affiliations, etc. It seems to me that this is in fact the core argument that the vast majority of gay people have making and living out for a long time, that ultimately change comes through the personal relationships.

8/11/08 7:54 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"I think they eventually string up to create change."

Moments of time like bright beads on a necklace.

8/11/08 7:56 AM  
Blogger jm said...

ultimately change comes through the personal relationships.

Well we certainly have enough of them to work with.
Problems come when politics enter in. I had an in-law living in rural North Carolina - very Baptist, very Republican - who talked about her next door neighbors, a gay couple living an ordinary life. The two families became intimate and have been enjoying dinners and good times together.

This is happening all over America. When the political fights start, people get riled up and afraid, so it has to be done consciously. People are probably more accepting than realized, especially individually. Or given a chance.

The idea of church marriage is just plain weird to many of them at this point but in time it won't be.

8/11/08 8:09 AM  

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