Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama in Retrospect - Don't Stop Believin'


Before we break for the night on this inaugarition, I just need to share this with you. The last two years in retrospect. This is a time of desperate hope, summed up in one song. Don't Stop Believing.

Sunday Sites 12: Obama Edition 2

Okay, so it's not Sunday, but its the ****ing inauguration!


Three news links about the inauguration.

http://tinyurl.com/84lgrc Yahoo! Photo slideshow about the inauguration.

They shoulda kept it at Obama street...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ Change has come to America, in the form of a fresh, new website. The bad news: you don't get Bush anymore when you look up "Miserable Failure" on Yahoo! Search.

Well, that's it for coverage on the inauguration of Barack Obama on My Back Pages.

Eight Years in Retrospect: Part 1

In Fall of 2000, I was six years old and Barack Obama was not even a senator. I barely knew who Clinton was and Monica Lewinsky was just another name that would hold little meaning at all. At that time, two names would appear to me, one of which I would hear over and over again. Al Gore and George Bush were those names, and at that time, I couldn't tell the difference between the two. I knew that the two men were competing for the presidency, and that was it for that time. Controversies over Florida appeared all over the news during that election, and besides that, I remember little.

As I matured in age, so would my view of the world. Then, one day, a defining moment in the early 21st Century would occur. When my mother woke me up to tell me that airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York I thought she was joking. But going to school that day would confirm my fears. I remember school was empty on that day, all the parents were afraid that something terrible would happen again. For me, it felt unreal, like something that would happen in a book or a movie, it still feels pretty unreal now.

When I discovered that President Bush declared War on Terror, I was afraid. Of course, I didn't know better at that time, but I seriously feared that soldiers would march the San Franciscan streets. Also, at that time, the No Child Left Behind act was passed. A measure that I understood back then and oppose today. Through a drill and kill method of teaching, NCLB teaches to the tests, not the children.

Stem cells and abortions would also be huge parts of my understanding of current events at that time. I was always a proponent of science and technology since I was a toddler, and I remember annoyance at the government for opposing such research. As I learned more about the nature and use of stem cells, my opposition to its banning would only grow. Banning stem cell therapy causes people to suffer, which is always unethical.

The Iraq War would surface very quickly. My classmates, teachers, friends and family were all opponents of the war. Protests would appear all around San Francisco. Lives were lost and families were destroyed in what would soon become the most divisive topic in modern times. It was a major reason to why many of my classmates would support Kerry in the election that would come soon afterward.

After a bitter election where I was introduced to blogging, JibJab and Internet campaigning, I was ultimately disappointed. As a ten-year old I would see my classmates threaten to move to Canada and shout curse words at the government. Not thinking about the future, I would see it only get worse from here.

Seventy Miniutes into the Obama Presidency


Well, we've made it, change has come to America! Walking into the capitol with one message for us. That the government encourages us and that here, anything is possible. This message goes across party-borders, being part of the self-interests of all people, as well as racial, religious and ideological barriers. Who wouldn't agree?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Five More Hours

Originally uploaded by Jef Poskanzer
Normally, this would be photoblog material, but, just five hours until he's gone. To think I was only six years old when I first discovered him, it feels far longer than it actually is.

Barack Obama: What I Want to See

On January 19, National Service Day, I ponder what I want to see in the future in Obama's time. To-morrow is the inauguration. So, what do I want from him? Read on.

  • Repeal the ban on same-sex marriage nationwide. (Before we look at economic parity, lets take care of social parity)
  • Start up the economy, (Yes, I know the problem won't be solved immediately, but we can at least get to work on it.
  • Encourage people to buy American and refrain from outsourcing, which will help the economy
  • Reduce taxes
  • Get out of Iraq (For over five years, my main concern about the nation was the lives being lost in Iraq, and frankly, I still am concerned)
  • Insure long term national security, while not profiling.
  • Open up trade with Cuba, and clear up foreign policy
  • Promote more social freedom and promote large amounts of economic freedom
  • Put unemployed citizens to work on public facilities and works
  • Protect areas of ocean and rainforest outside of America, and preserve monuments in the nation through national parks and such
  • Make immigration laws more open
  • Legalize Stem-Cell Research, people shouldn't suffer
  • Legalize Abortion, make it the choice of the mother
  • Give us hope for the future. (The government cannot do this alone, nor should it, it is the responsibility of the citezen to change his country should he be displeased with it)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why Ban Gay Marriage?

Don't get me wrong, this is a parody.

17. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

16. Gay culture is a new fad created by the liberal media to undermine long-standing traditions. We know this is true because gay sex did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome.

15. There are plenty of straight families looking to adopt, and every unwanted child already has a loving family. This is why foster care does not exist.

14. Conservatives know best how to create strong families. That is why it is not true that Texas and Mississippi have the highest teen birthrates, and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire have the lowest. This is a myth spread by the liberal media.

13. Marriage is a religious institution, defined by churches. This is why atheists do not marry. Christians also never get a divorce.

12. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why our society has no single parents.

11. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

10. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

9. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

8. Gay marriage should be decided by the people and their elected representatives, not the courts. The framers checked the courts, which represent mainstream public opinion, with legislatures created to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Interference by courts in this matter is inappropriate, just as it has been every time the courts have tried to hold back legislatures pushing for civil rights.

7. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because "separate but equal" institutions are a good way to satisfy the demands of uppity minority groups.

5. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

4. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

3. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

2. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.


Courtesy of Jake Aron

Sunday Sites Eleven: Obama Edition

As this is the week of the historic presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, this week's Sunday Sites will focus on our forty-fourth president.

Two years ago, I had no idea who Barack Obama was, nor how did he look like. Yes, I was uninformed back then, but that has changed.

The very first campaign advertisement for Barack Obama's campaign, a controversial, changed one that was very unconventional and unofficial.

http://www.one.org/blog/category/people/obama/ The One Campaign's list of posts about Barack.

A three year journey is chronicled in this Wikipedia article.

What will happen in the first 100 days? Well, I hope it's going to be something amazing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living in a Fast Food Nation

Reading a page in Stuff White People Like, I discovered that "all white people have Fast Food Nation". This wasn't the first time that I heard about that book, puzzled, I decided to check out what the fuss was about. Having watched Super Size Me, I expected something similar. Luckily, I found something far more persuasive and disturbing which I would proceed to finish in one night. While Super Size Me did indeed frighten me to stop eating fast food, Fast Food Nation put the nail in the coffin.

While Super Size Me focused primarily on the health effects of fast-food, Fast Food Nation goes deeply into the ethical, social and economic issues tied with fast food. From the appalling workplace conditions of slaughterhouse workers, poorly paid teenage workers to the health effects of fast food, such as e. coli poisoning.

A month ago, I wrote a post titled Ten Books to Save the World, which listed powerful books. Now I find that Fast Food Nation should be on that list. It is a precisely written book that is filled with nausea-inducing facts and figures that will persuade even Arnold Schwarzenegger to become a vegetarian. Not because of concerns over his health, but rather, moral concerns over wheter it is right or not to support an industry that puts its "disposable workers" in deadly conditions, suppresses culinary creativityand takes advantage of children through "cradle to grave" ad campaigns.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Sites Ten

Well, to start Sunday Sites for o'nine, let's hit the most important social issue to be discussed in this new year. That is same-sex marriage.

The spearhead of the pro-same-sex marriage effort. Join the Impact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage The usual background information on the issue, a great resource for finding facts to back up your arguments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_homosexuality_laws.svg Much of the opposition against same-sex marriage comes from long-brewing homophobia. Which must be eliminated through knowledge before more significant advancements can be made.

http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/should-marriage-for-same-sex-couples-be-legal But then, why do they hold their views? What rationales do they have?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why so many New Year's Resolutions Phail

Today is the fifth of January and, thus, the festivities, celebrations and hangovers of the holiday season have officially ended. Many have made goals and New Year's Resolutions to keep throughout the upcoming year. However, it is frequently pointed out that many, many people fail to meet these goals by March, (should they be remembered at all). I myself have failed in keeping resolutions in previous years. After analysis, I think I know why.

The lack of organization and thought put into goal setting is annoying to me. To many times, people make unrealistic goals for the sole sake of announcing them to their friends to insincerely impress them, which, after, are not even considered again. Subjectively defining their goals and not putting any thought into how their lives would be changed within 365 days time. The solution is simple, simply stop making resolutions for the sake of impressing others and start planning your year for the sake of your own self-improvement.

So what to do with this year's resolutions? Don't make one. Instead, open up a fresh new document in whatever word-processor you use. Make bulletpoints of goals you want to accomplish by next year, and in parentheses, write out your plan of execution. Should you have difficulty thinking of a plan of execution, erase that goal from your sheet. Prioritize your goals, those that would yield the most benefit for you and those which you want to complete the most are the ones which you must allocate the most time and effort to doing. Most importantly, your goal sheet must not be made for the sake of impressing others, rather, it should be a comprehensive plan to significantly change your life by the end of the year.

Thus, without further ado, I print out my sheet of goals, which I will not ignore. Make goals that interest you, as that is how you keep goals in mind, by never being bored by them and loosing interest in that pursuit. I will place mine on my desktop, where I will not forget about it.