Friday, November 28, 2008

Cry, the beloved city

The attacks in Mumbai are heart-wrenching. Since I have been reading Shantaram, I was already feeling very connected with the city. So much of the book takes place in or around the areas just hit. My heart goes out to all those affected by the attacks. While I never met the Rabbi and his wife while I was in Mumbai, I met so many Chabad emissaries like them. There was a poignant piece in the NY Times today. May the G-d of compassion and mercy, found in all faiths, give comfort to those affected by these horrific crimes.

This is a link to the piece I wrote about Mumbai's Jewish community.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day

After a long slog to the airport last night, that was accomplished via metro then flyaway shuttle, I arrived to the airport way too early. I cleared customs around 7:30pm for an 11pm flight. Ugh. Figured the traffic would be bad and the security lines to be worse. Neither materialized, so I spent hours in the muzak hell that is the airport waiting area. I napped on my bag, and caught myself drooling on my backpack. Got an extra hour delay for good measures.

But in the end, I did arrive home to the winter chill of Washington. My LA friends always remark that they miss the seasons. F' that. So now I am spending my turkey day with my family. Tis such a pleasure to be home with the fam, causing mischief among my siblings and taking in the turkey. There is one noticeable absence at the thanksgiving merriment. This is the first year that my grandmother isn't around. She is missed.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it has no religious meaning, no patriotic fervor and no commercialized gift giving. In short, it can simply be enjoyed with friends and family, offering simple and secular thanks as well as thanks above.

There were disappointingly few poignant op-eds to post on Thanksgiving this year. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. So instead I will offer a thanksgiving memories from years past. Last year in Buenos Aires, and the previous year in Lhasa. Both of those entries had distinct longings for home("ghorba" in Arabic), so I am simply thankful that this year I am no farther than where I am presently located.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Democracy is...

Our 504 project this week was to come up with a 3 minute public diplomacy video for the Democracy Is contest. This was our submission:

video

We won, but it was a tie. We split the contest with another group, and each won $1,000 to actually produce the video for the contest.

Monsoon Season

I biked down this morning to get a membership at the LA Central library, and to pick up a membership and some books for my final paper (a fruitless search). On my way back, the heavens opened up on me. I peddled my way home through puddles, as I got drenched to the bone and my wet clothes stuck to me. It was a joyous affair as I rode through the rain with my tongue peeking out from under my hood to collect the drops.

"What makes the water holy she says is that it's the closest thing to rain."
Josh Ritter, "Wings"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let Paul be Paul

I had been suffering from frustration over not being able to come up with a topic for my final paper for my Historical PD class ("topic block"). I had debated looking at the British pd campaign during "the Troubles," to writing a pd playbook for the Obama administration based on updating old campaigns to a slew of other topics- all with little success. Topics were either too amorphous, ambiguous or ambitious. As I was walking out of my house to head to the library, the thought popped in my head to do my final paper on Let Poland be Poland. Just as the thought flashed in my head, it started to rain above. It never rains here! I ran to catch the shuttle to school as the light shower came down. And like that, my topic block passed as the rain trickled down and washed away my frustrations.

Let Poland be Poland was the USIA program created to show solidarity with Poland after martial law was declared. The glitzy show, the brainchild of the showbiz hound-turned-USIA director Charles Z. Wick, was hosted by Charlton Heston, Glenda Jackson and Max von Sydlow, and featured messages of support from Reagan, Thatcher and Helmut Schmidt. It also featured music by Abba, Bob Hope showing what radio jamming sounds like, Frank Sinatra crooning a Polish folk tune and Kirk Douglas waxing poetic about the land his family left. It even had Orson Welles doing a rendition of John Donne's "No Man is an Island," and a choir singing the show's namesake to close. I have to get a copy to see if it was really as cheesy as it sounds.

two ships passing in the night

I thought this was an interesting disconnect:
See how the NY Times and Al Jazeera cover the same story, to complete opposite conclusions.

Also an interesting piece on the Citi bailout. I would make a snide comment, but Citi is fronting the bill for grad school and I am a little worried about next semester's tuition being forthcoming. Also, they are my bank. Not that I have to worry about FDIC biz, they can cover my pittance. However, I specifically picked citibank because they didn't charge me fees on overdraft protection. That was, until the present credit crisis and the tightening of credit. They completely changed their policy a few weeks ago with nary a letter, but simply a posting on my bank site to let me know that they would charge me an usurious rate of $10 a day that I am overdrawn. As they say, it's a recession when it affects your neighbor; it's a depression when it affects you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dewey defeats Truman




Paul 's Dewey Decimal Section:

613 Personal health & safety

Paul = 6112 = 611+2 = 613


Class:
600 Technology


Contains:
Health, agriculture, management, public relations, buildings.



What it says about you:
You are creative and inspired to make the world a better place. You can work hard on something when it catches your interest. Your friends have unique interests in common with you.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com





Paul 's Dewey Decimal Section:

997 Atlantic Ocean islands

Paul 's birthday: 1/7/1980 = 17+1980 = 1997


Class:
900 History & Geography


Contains:
Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.



What it says about you:
You're connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You've had some conflicted times in your life, but they've brought you to where you are today and you don't ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The world's most traveled man

I can't figure out if I have a new idol or enemy. Check out the most traveled man on the planet, who sadly isn't moi.

So I procrastinated and checked out where I ranked on the website World's Most Traveled People. Out of roughly 3,000, I am ranked #464. I am at the "senior ambassador" level. However, for my age group (20-29), I am ranked #20! And among my nationality for my age group, I am ranked #11.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LA Times L2E

I had a letter to the editor published in today's LA Times related to the idea of a co-Sec o' State.

Despite what I wrote, I think if I am going to give any job to Hillary, it would be Sec o' Defense. I think she is tough enough to wear the pantsuits in the Pentagon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who by fire

Figures I would finally find a place I could conceivably settle down in and it goes up in flames. I guess what doesn't get you by fire will get you by tectonic plate shifts...

For a little news roundup, a great piece by Frank Rich. It seems that Republicans just don't get it. They don't seem to realize that their narrow-minded coalition just isn't big enough any more. They can't attract any other segments of society with their myopic world view. And rather than trying to reach out, the conservatives are blaming their loss on not being conservative enough rather than realizing that their views have alienated any possible partners within the American mosaic. Go ahead, draw inward and get more conservative and banish any little bit of inclusivity to the wayside. Makes for a grand coalition for the grand old party. I will just sit back and snicker.

Also a great piece by MoDo on the "Team of Frenemies."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Falling

I'm finding myself falling more and more in love with the Angels. I really like it here. I'm taking better advantage of the activities at school, and I am exploring the interesting nooks and crannies that the city holds.

Thursday night I went to the symphony at USC. It was the USC symphony, and it was free for students. The concert was wonderful. The first song was called "Angels in the Architecture." It was a more irreverent song, with the use of tubes to make whirling songs and rondos to signify darkness and light. There was another piece with a a violin soloist who was ridiculously good.

Friday I biked down to the LA Central Library to work on my paper on Qatar's use of conflict mediation as niche public diplomacy. The library was pretty and a nice change of pace from the student library at USC. For lunch, I biked down to Phillipe's, the place where the french-dip sandwich was born.

The place was packed, with all sorts of clientele. Businessmen on lunch, tourists and the regulars all chowing down at wooden tables. Phillipe's was a rarity in that exceeded expectation. The french-dip sandwich was incredible: delicious roast beef, on crusty french bread made soft from the roast beef gravy, slathered with a sinus-clearing tangy mustard and side of potato salad. It kind of reminded me of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, where the Buffalo Wing was invented, insofar as the place that invented the creation really did it better than any one else.

I biked back to do some more work at the library, then to USC to do some free printouts of material for a seminar I am participating in this week with Benjamin Barber. He wrote Jihad vs. McWorld. We received some materials to review from his new book, Consumed, about how capitalism is infantilizing adults and corrupting children. Really interesting stuff, I will post more about that next week. Anyway, I had shabbat dinner at my friend Tabby's place. She had all the Jews in our program over for shabbat dinner, a yummy Persian affair.

Today, I went for a bike ride. I went down Vermont through the Byzantine-Latin Quarter, stopping to grab a back of fresh fruit including oranges, pineapple watermelon and cucumbers, covered in salt, chile and lime. I went through Koreatown to Los Feliz. From Los Feliz, I stopped in Little Armenia for lunch at Arax Falafel. I had a shwarma that was oozing tehina and was terrific. I munched it down with the tangy pickled turnips and little yellow hot peppers and biked my way back down Normandie. In total, about 12 miles. Now, off to the library for some studying and writing before I head off to a birthday bowling party for my friend Kenya.

Friday, November 14, 2008

EU PD

We had an interesting class today in my contemporary Public Diplomacy course. Prof. Gilboa had us read a few articles about the EU's public diplomacy effort. One interesting piece noted that the EU's favorability in the Middle East was barely higher than that of the US. Meanwhile, in Latin America, Spain was viewed as the most democratic country in the EU. "And God made man in our image." As for other places it was France in Africa, the UK in Asia. Interesting. Not related to this piece, but polls by Khalil Shikaki showed that the democracy Palestinians most wanted to emulate was...Israel. That survey is for a different post.

Another article was the EU's account of its activities for the 50th anniversary of the EU, painstakingly detailed in agonizing dryness. Luv the EU for its dedication to details. While Germany might have been formed in blut und eisen, the EU is being fashioned in bureaucracy and red tape.

So how do you sell the EU? Not in EUrocracy that is the current norm of EU PD. Boring or nonsensical stuff. We watched a nonsensical clip of EU branding, and came up with a much better idea ourselves. Stephanie in my class mentioned the idea of the American pd campaign after 9/11 of different Americans from different backgrounds stating, "I am American." The idea was noted of a similar campaign for the EU's 27 member states. I'm off and running with the idea:

A simple, short spot of different people of different ethnic varieties, standing in front of the various landmarks, holding their flags and stating, "I am Europe." Quick imagery, perhaps with German Turks, Dutch Moroccans, Senegalese Spaniards, French Orthodox Jews, etc holding the flags and stating the simple phrase. Maybe not, maybe a more traditional representation. Ending with a little montage of the EU's motto "United in Diversity" in the different languages of Europe. I think it's catchy.

Anywho, for now, we have this cute spot from EUTube on climate control:

Two for one

I am thoroughly enjoying the guessing game for who will staff the Obama cabinet. Names like John Kerry, Bill Richardson and Richard Holbrooke have all been thrown around to run Foggy Bottom. Richard Cohen had a great piece on why it should be Al Gore for the position. I heard a name of a certain vanquished Democratic nominee being mentioned. I will trump that. For Secretary of State, I propose Billery Clinton. That's right, a co-Sec 'o State. It would be the perfect combination for the position of charm, experience and panache. It is the two-for-one we never fully received. Seriously, think about the possibilities of it. Moreover, it is the shrewdest move Obama could make; talk about keeping your friends close, enemies closer and the Clintons, um well....

Meanwhile, I am scuttling the notion that a Republican should be Secretary of Defense or National Security Advisor. It sends the wrong message that somehow only Republicans are qualified to run the national defense, when in reality they have behaved like elephants in a china shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Split decision

We had an interesting 504 Pub D simulation this week. The topic was religion and public diplomacy. We were supposed to come up with a program to pitch to our respective embassies. One group was Nigeria, another was Bosnia, and my group was Sri Lanka. We decided to do a camp, and wanted to run "Camp Liger" since the symbol of Sri Lanka's Sinhalese majority is a lion, and the Tamil group are the Tamil Tigers. They apparently chose the symbol as contrast to the Sinhalese lion.

We ended up deciding to pitch a component for Seeds of Peace camp to include Sri Lanka. Camp o' Conflict added its South Asia component in 2001, and the State Department's South Asia bureau helps fund the component. We decided to have the State Department open up a Sri Lankan program at camp, and work with religious affiliated NGOs for programming on the campers return. Our presentation was a little ad hoc, as we hadn't been able to catch up very often, but it ended up coming together nicely (better than expected). I presented on the SOP component, and got to wear my Seeds t-shirt.

The Nigeria group wanted to run a film festival to show tolerance in Nigeria. Apparently, Nigeria has the third largest film industry (Nollywood, who knew?). The Bosnia group had some religious dialogue sessions. The murderboard ended up giving the decision to Nigeria, because they were worried about our ability to offer protection for the kids upon their return (what are we supposed to do, send in the Marines?). However, our professors chose my group's presentation as the best. This led to my declaration that we were "the experts' pick." They liked the fact that our project was far more practical and feasible, and that we were piggybacking on programs that already existed. Next week is human rights, and my group is murder board.

PS: Mazal tov to Brian and Natalya Dean for popping out a 8lb baby boy named Tristan John (TJ). Brian is one of my oldest, best friends, and now I am "Uncle Paulie."
For you Brian, a Pashto saying:
"You are not a man until you give your love, truly and freely, to a child. And you are not a good man until you earn the love, truly and freely, of a child in return."
-Shantaram

Brazilian Obama

With Professor Cull away, my Public Diplomacy class had a guest lecturer from our Diplomat-in-Residence Mark Smith. His lecture was more a fascinating talk of anecdotal stories of doing press and public diplomacy work from the US Embassy in the USSR. He had some terrific stories of KGB intrigues and other assorted tales from the Cold War.

After class, I attended a USC Center on Public Diplomacy lecture with Paulo Sotero, who is director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He had some greats words to say about Obama's election, calling it the best Pub D act ever. He discussed Brazil's public diplomacy efforts, its role in South America and its oft touted potential that is finally being realized. The Obama issue as a game changer came up a few times, and during Q&A, I asked about that related to Brazil. My question was:
"Since you noted Obama's public diplomacy value, and given Brazil's own multi-racial society, when can we expect a Brazilian Obama (also considering that Lula was somewhat Obama-esque)?"

He had an interesting answer, noting that America once had "separate and unequal," whereas Brazil has "unequal and together." He mentioned that Brazil had far more inequality issues than race issues, something I saw from my time there. His conclusion was that Brazil doesn't currently have that person but democracy produces it. He also had an interesting point about the greatest thing for Brazil in the recent past has been the recovery of her self-esteem, and through that, she is able to be more assertive on the global stage.

PS: New Pics up
From San Di & TJ

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Between Redemption, Refuge and Poland

I'm currently admiring my new view of LA. The tree outside my window was cut down and I now have a clear view of the neon lights of downtown.

I had an interesting day yesterday. I had work at Marketplace, then studied in the beautiful Doheny Library. I caught a lecture by Dr. Meir Seidler, a visiting professor at USC/ Hebrew Union College. He was speaking on the anniversary of Kirstallnacht and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He was giving a lecture entitled, "The State of Israel: Between Refuge and Redemption." In his lecture, he discussed the cross currents of Israel being a place of refuge for the Jewish people and that of it being its redemption. He compared writings of Rabbi A.I.Kook and Herzl, and their respective thoughts on a Jewish state's role as place of refuge vs. medium for redemption.

From Rav Kook to serve as food for thought, from his 1933 Rosh HaShanah sermon:
We find that there are three categories of shofars that may be blown on Rosh Hashanah. The first category, the optimal shofar, is the horn of a ram. If such a horn is not available, then the horn of another kosher animal may be used. If no kosher shofar is available, then one may blow on any horn, even from a ritually unclean animal...

These three shofars of Rosh Hashanah correspons to the three shofars summoning the Jewish people to return to their land. The preferred shofar is the 'shofar of redemption,' the divine calls that awakens the people through holy motivations- out of faith in G-d and sanctity of the people of Israel...

There exists a second shofar though, a lower level of awakening. This shofar calls out to the Jews to come to the Land of Israel...in order to live as a free people in our homeland....

There is, however, a third type of shofar. The least preferred shofar come from the horn of an unclean animal. This shofar is a wake-up call that comes from anti-Semites of all nations, Haman, Petljura and Hitler are blowing it. This shofar blow warns the Jews to escape while they still can and flee to their own land. Enemeies force them to return to their land. They sound out the trumpets of war, bombarding them with deafening threats of persecution and torment, giving them no respite...Whoever failed to listen to the calls of the first two shofars, will be forced to listen to the call of the last shofar."

In the Q&A, I mentioned the idea that in its own way, Kristallnacht, which began on November 9, 1938 (9/11 by Euro standards), started a period of "bondage" in Europe that didn't end until November 9, 1989- the night the Berlin Wall fell.

After the lecture, I went with a friend to the Bovard Auditorium on campus and caught the Polish Independence ceremony. The program was celebrating 90 years of Poland's independence, I thought it was rather apropos to attend. Ironic in its own way, because I had never thought of Poland also as a state reborn, but it too disappeared and only to re-emerge later. I find Polish history fascinating, ever since I read James Michener's Poland. I came just in-time for a concert of music by Wojciech Kilar. He did the theme of "The Pianist" among a few other beautiful musical scores. Also, my friend Krysta did an amazing soprano solo performance. After the event, we dined on yummy Polish fair, but I was (deeply) disappointed there was no Belvedere wodka.

PS: Great piece by Harold Meyerson on a big thanks to Fix Noise

Monday, November 10, 2008

From Oliphant and others

I was awoken this morning from a call from my friend Anne, who called to go hiking. She picked me up in her convertible and fed me bagels which she had purchased for an event she thought was today but was a week off. We went hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, on a beautiful and clear day. The clouds painted shadows on the mountains in the distance as I got to clear my lungs with some fresh air. After hiking for a few hours, we grabbed pinkberry. I had never tried it, first time is always special. Pinkberry is a frozen yogurt craze out here- I guess I am officially an Angeleno. I had tart frozen yogurt with mangoes, kiwis and pineapple. Yum.

For our Public Diplomacy...



A poignant article about Blacks and the White House. And another moving piece by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

And, as has come to be expected, a great piece by Frank Rich.

"For all the attention paid by the news media and McCain-Palin to rancorous remembrances of things past, I sometimes wondered whether most Americans thought the Weather Underground was a reunion band and the Hanoi Hilton a chain hotel. Socialism, the evil empire and even Ronald Reagan may be half-forgotten blurs too."

Nicely said.

And since we can now move past the election and focus on other things, a nice piece on Mumbai.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

LA observed

Interestingly, it felt more that the loss of my bicycle was more debilitating to my transit than the loss of my car. I had been searching out for a "new" (used) one, but couldn't find anything cheap enough. The cheapest used bike I could find was $55, and that seemed too much for a second-hand cycle. I finally found one this week on Craig's List for $20. I took the metro all the way down to Redondo, and picked up my new bike. All it needed was to have the tires filled.

With my trusty-rusty tryke, I went around LA this morning. I bicycled downtown, through the historic old town center with its Art Deco grandeur and past the jewelry markets. I stopped for lunch at the Grand Central Market, a wonderful collection of different ethnic foods and fresh produce. There were shops of chilies and beans, of fruits and meats. The floor was covered in sawdust, and the air was filled with delicious smells of different varieties of Mexican fare, Thai cuisine and Persian kabobs. Out of the myriad options, I settled on ceviche de pescado (1/2 pint-$3.50), which I munched down on tostadas with salsa and limes. I sipped horchata (cinnamon rice milk) and snapped pictures of the market.

From there, I headed over to Little Tokyo to have desert of nanju, black-bean sweets. I wandered in-and out of tea shops, unable to find my favorite sweet shop. I had to get myself fully lost before I could find what I had originally found when aimlessly wandering.

I headed back from Little Tokyo, riding past Skid Row and the Midnight Mission. The neighborhood changed quickly, and I was surrounded by what looked like something out of Day of the Dead. The air was filled with the smell of urine and depression as people staggered aimlessly like zombies, while the Salvation Army fed the lines and Korean missionaries tormented the hungry with carols.

Just a block down, the ambiance shifted as I entered the flower market. The street was filled with the fragrance of flowers; maybe all Skid Row needs is a strong cross wind. On my way back through the Fashion District where yellow parasols covered the bargain shoppers who searched the racks for clothes, and back home. I like LA for a few simple things: its weather, and its variations.

Shaking off

The thing that is so fascinating in the post-election revelry is this feeling of weight lifted off our collective shoulders. It was if we shook off so much. It feels as if the weight that sat on America's promise has been lifted. The weight of our fears and history was for once lifted off in the weightless hope of change. At some point, reality may drag us back down; for now, I am enjoying soaring among the clouds of what could be.

A terrific piece by Judith Warner of the NY Times. Be sure to see the picture she references, it gives chills. Also, read the comment section. This has been my favorite in the post-election discussion, the outpouring of emotion in this cathartic shaking off of all that bogged us down.

On another note, I had a thought about the election and South Africa. By South African standards, our dear President-elect is not black but rather "coloured." Coloured is the designation for anyone who is neither wholly black nor wholly white. I met coloureds who were white as snow, and dark as pitch. It is sadly unlikely that a coloured person could currently be elected in South Africa, as they are often subject of discrimination. Among other places in the world, Obama would have a difficult time being elected in the "beloved country."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pride after the fall

I'm still beaming. I have seen a lot of people talking about pride. How proud they feel to be American. It has been too long since we were able to express those words with such full force. A pride in the changes we can make. A pride at the outpouring of happiness around the world. As if we can hold ourselves up a little straighter and feel that we have hope for the future. For what feels like the first time in a long time, I feel that pride.

Last night, I was at a concert for Salman Ahmed, the lead singer of Junoon. Junoon is a Pakistani rock band, sufi rock. I have seen them a few times, at Brandeis and in Houston. Salman Ahmed was talking about the Obama victory, what it meant for the world and the walls around us coming down. He sang a song that I really liked called "Bulleya":

Bulleya ki janan mein kaun
Na mein momin vich maseetan
Na mein vich kufr dee reet aan
Na mein paakaan vich paleet aan
Na mein Moosa na Firaon
Bulleya ki janan mein kaun

Bulleya, who am I?
I am a non-believer in a mosque
And I have no pagan ways
I am not pure. I am not vile
I’m no Moses and I’m no Pharoah
Bulleya, who am I?

Closing Thoughts

Some closing thoughts on what seems like a period of forever. Success has many fathers but failure is always an orphan. Time to heap it on lil orphan Johnnie. Failures such as McCain's choice of Palin, and the shift that caused in the election away from a fight for the center to a base charge. Meanwhile, the Sarah pick breaks the Hippocratic rule of vice-presidential nominees: do no harm. She will rank up with Eagleton as a drag on the ticket that helped sink the ship.

But blame itself comes down to Mr. McCain for not being himself. I respected Sen. McCain a lot more before all this. He is a good and decent man, who kept company with scummy Republicans and let them run his campaign. He had a real opportunity to run a non-traditional Republican campaign, one that was honorable and about the real issues. He instead chose to run a very traditional Republican campaign of fear, and fling faulty allegations at a good man. Painting or allowing your supporters to paint Obama as a socialist Muslim terrorist was truly sad, and I had hoped for and expected more from Mr.McCain.

But more importantly, this is about Obama and it is about us. Kudos to Obama for running a flawless campaign: our very own Jackie Robinson just hit a home run. Kudos to the American people, for choosing content of character over color of skin. I have never in my life been prouder to be an American. I have felt myself well-up a few times in the last 24 hours. With an eye on history, and seeing it in the beaming faces of African-Americans casting their votes. At seeing Jesse Jackson crying. At reading the outpouring of support from every corner of the globe. Our friends and neighbors all over the world who wish well of us and want us to return to the fold. This is something I have long known, but it is vindicating nonetheless.

A few other kudos are in order. To Chairman Howard Dean for his role in implementing a 50 state strategy. He had enough foresight to know that if the Dems wanted to be a national party, we had to compete nationally and not on the swing state liberal fringes. Kudos to Hillary Clinton for making our baby boy a much better candidate. She helped build this organizational juggernaut by her fierce competition.

I will end this with a recap at a site called "This f'ing election" and also a final post of the very best political ad of a very long political season.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

!הר הבית בידינו‎

In the immortal words of Gen. Mordechai Gur: Har ha-beit bi'yadeinu- the Temple Mount is in our hands!

"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
-Victor Hugo

D-Day!

I'll let Mr. Dylan end this campaign season:

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
-Bob Dylan

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

America is waiting for Obama

Back in his run for Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin ran under the slogan "Israel is waiting for Rabin." In one of his more memorable speeches, the leader of the Israeli left held a rally in a traditionally right wing town. In his speech to voters not usually inclined to vote Labor, he said, "you can't keep letting them spit on you and tell you it's raining."