Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Election Posters

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

At the beginning of this month South Africa had its municipal elections. This meant the city was plastered with campaign posters as a dozen or so parties completed for votes. I collected some photos of my favorite posters, and the winner seems to be the Pan African Congress for the catchiest slogans.

PACelectionposter

To see more: Collect the whole set!

NYTimes – Gossip Column style

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

hand kiss

This is a totally fascinating article. In a style that reminds me of a gossip column we get a little picture into what it would be like to be at the Pope’s funeral at the part of the service where you are asked to turn and shake hands with your neighbor. And just like any other stereotypical funeral, we see feuding elements of the family are forced to sit in the same room with each other.

“Well it was really easy to ignore how irritating Uncle Joe is when I never have to visit him in California, but now that we’re both here at this forced family reunion I guess I have to decide weather or not we’re on speaking terms….. hmmm…. ” Only! instead of Uncle Joe, it’s the president of SYRIA !! Sadly I’ve noticed though that generally after you all go home after the funeral not very much changes.

P.S. if anyone can find any more pictures of this nature, I would love to see them. I’ve been looking and I can’t find any.

Happy Inauguration Day !

Friday, January 21st, 2005

I posted a little while back about the Turn Your Back on Bush campaign. Since I didn’t want to leave campus today (a silly little thing called class was getting in the way), a group of us did a very small protest of our own here on campus. Generally speaking I feel that protest is most beneficial to those participating, so this was really for me. I found some people to come by and turn their backs on Bush as shown on the TV screen.

Here’s the best ones:

TYBOB1

TYBOB2

Inauguration Day Action

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

I have had a distaste for the marching, slogan chatting, sign waving form of protest. It always feels a little mob like and that can be scary. I also have some doubts about their ability to effect change in our country at this time. But at the same time I continue to feel the need to register my dissent in some way. For those reason’s this action caught my eye

I ran across the Turn Your Back On Bush site earlier this month, and I do have some doubts about the ability to pull this off, but even so it is the only thing I’ve found about Inauguration Day Actions that I think I would willing to be part of. Particularly I ended up looking at it today again because a friend of mine pointed me to it. He has a connection to some people working on the action, and helped calm my fears that it was just some random angry teen with good website design skills.

birthdays and voting

Monday, September 27th, 2004

Today is my brother’s 18th birthday. I am rather jealous that he gets to vote in a presidential election within two monthes of turning 18, whereas I had to wait two years. So actually my brother and I will be voting at the same time for the same election for the first time. It’s kind of exciting.

I’m planning on taking the bus home for the elections. Some people have been asking me why I would bother doing this when I could just send in an absentee ballot. I am voting in Massachusetts, where one more vote for Kerry is unlikely to make a big difference, so the questions seems to be why I’m bothering to vote at all. I believe that the reason you vote is not just about the power of the vote itself. It’s about being the kind of person who votes. It’s about being the kind of person who puts in the effort to be an active citizen. So wouldn’t it be more useful if other people knew you were the kind of person who voted? The benifit doesn’t just come from what you do when you check the box, but from the conversation you have with the little old woman who crosses off your name, the people you see walking to the polls, and the local state representative standing outside the townhall who says hello to you. Thats the reason I want to go home to do it. It just seems like it will matter more then.

Of course this is an idea that I picked up from my dad, so I don’t get all the credit for it, but I still think it’s important.

In other news, one of the slogans we’re using on campus to try and get out the vote is: “I can vote naked” which is true if you vote absentee.

welcome to the police state

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

I can hear sirens outside my window. Besides that campus feels idealic as usual. But just a few miles away in New York City things are far from idealic.

Roughly 1100 people go to my school… not that many, and this first week is all registration (a complex process of talking to all our professors and creating a personal program). This first week also happened to be the Republican National Convention, and being a politically active campus, that was a big deal. I know lots of people who have been in an out of the city all week for protests and such, and the stories that come back are getting uglier and uglier.

Yesterday 2 people I know (friends of a friend) didn’t come back from the city because they were arrested. We were told that they didn’t have ID on them when they were arrested, which made things worse. That was yesterday…. they’re still not back. Today I ran across a woman I know who had been arrested and been released. She was on her way to the deans office to try and get her hands of a list of the students who were in detention so she could get them connected with legal help. She said it’s estimated that 15 to 25 students from our school were in custody. The hope is if the school threatens to press charges, the police will let them go. The rumor is NYU succeeded with that.

Meanwhile, one of Annie’s dance professors told her about a march where the police baracked off the last 75 people in the peaceful march, closed in on them with motorcycles, and arrested people.

I don’t know how much of this is true, because there doesn’t seem to be any reliable news. Only one article of barely a dozen paragraphs in the New York Times. I do know that my friends haven’t come home, and that scares the shit out of me.

What kind of country am I living in that I am more scared of the police than anything else? A place where I have been frightened out of exersising my freedom of speech. It makes me sick to my stomach.

democratic dialouge

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

Last week I went to my first “show” at the New York Theater Workshop. I put show in quotes, because it wasn’t a play, or even so much of a performance as it was a lecture. It was called Patriot Act and was comprised of Mark Crispin Miller presenting a series of points about the present state of out country, interspersed with some humorous patriotically themed magic tricks. Mark Crispin Miller has written a number of books, so he certainly doesn’t need my validation, but he is a smart fellow. I always really enjoy watching really smart people do their thing.

Sadly I don’t feel like can do justice what he said with any form of summary. If you want to read some of his stuff check out his blog, which seems to be on a thread about Electronic Voting Machines right now. That was a big point in his talk, and something I hadn’t really heard a lot about in my campus bubble of a life. So check it out.

There were quite a few things that he said that hit me hard. One of them was a thing he said toward the end about becoming involved in the democratic discussion. He made a plea to his audience to become informed and not take all their news from the big media that is pumped into our homes. He said, “go out there, listen to foreign news, take advantage of the internet!” This really struck me. I don’t claim to be the most highly informed person when it comes to current events. Over the past few weeks a lot of my news has come from fafblog. Now, I don’t claim this to be a good or bad thing, it’s just true. But it was the thing he said about become part of the dialogue that really struck me.

I did a bunch of research for a class last semester on blogging as a phenomenon. A lot of the people I talked to about it had this rant they would go on about how blogging is going to change democracy for the better because it is allowing the average person to become involved in political discourse which may not occur in other forums. I’m not entirely sure if this idea can be backed up, but I am drawn to it as a person in love with the idea of democracy yet saddened by the way it seems to work.

I suppose this entry ought to wrap up with a point. This story is mostly a round about way of getting to explain why I wanted to blog. Or at least trying to begin to explain. I’ve gotten some flak from people about giving in to the pressures of the internet world, and the fact that the internet is really just a passive aggressive tool for saying things that you wouldn’t say to people’s faces (and I know some of you think that, even if you aren’t saying to me). Well. That’s not why I do it. I want to blog because I want a space to take my stories and opinions and say “I am not afraid to share this with the world. The whole world.” I want to be engaged in democratic dialogue. Can’t do that if I don’t at least try, right?

article to read

Sunday, July 11th, 2004

This morning through various other links, I ended up reading this article on the blog Obsidian Wings. It’s a rather personal piece about the things that have been happening in this country in the name of national security in the past two years. She says a lot of things that rang really true with me about accident of birth and the privilege of being relatively secure that I won’t be personally affected by these laws. It’s still scary, and perhaps scarier because it is so easy forget.