Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful about. Just happy to have real stuffing etal on Thanksgiving! Afternoon chatting with my koffieClub friends! Pleased that Obama won! A life of teaching and interesting students! Look forward to swimming again soon! Open to all of the new opportunities ahead!
Remembering Harvey Milk who was assassinated just days after I moved to SF in 1977. Gonna see the new movie! Remembered my Mom (2 years passed now) and saw that her favorite Pope John XXIII shares the same birthdate! So pleased that almost a 1000 hits to the YouTube video I made on her! Remembering Macy's parades and the preThanksgiving parties at the Paradise Garage!
In solidarity with the people of Mumbai what with the latest horror attacks. Thoughts of the people of DR Congo and Haiti.
Just blessed to live in a country with an infrastructure, social programs and people who care. At times it can be a struggle but somehow it works out in the process.
Many blessings, peace, compassion!

photo: 1977 Tede, me, SF

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama visions

Have a calmness since the election of Barack Obama that fits within the spirit of an essay by Slavoj Zizek. In the London Review of Books (, he writes from a Kantian perspective on measuring true ethical progress in history. It helps explain some of my calmness in that we made history, lenses can change, possibilities are out there, history can become more progressive, i.e., democratic and fair. I do believe that there will be a paradigm shift.

I especially think in that way what with all of the economic and social problems facing the US and the world. I am not happy with the Prop8 etal votes, but I do believe that a President Obama is not with legalized heterosexism. My district leader emailed me about why should the AfAm community support lgbt people from some alleged ostracism of people of color. There are many worlds, but in my experience, most of the supporters of lgbt rights have been people of color. My hetero neighbors have been supportive of marriage equality whilst my gay neighbors have been real DL about it all. In particular, Obama has the history of talking to the AfAm church about being inclusive and respectful of its lgbt members.

I also trust the wisdom of George Soros and I hear President-elect Obama verbalize some of Soros' views. There is the talk of economic challenges but also that this is the time that new technology can lead us forward. He uses the wisdom of Susan Rice and Madeline Albright in his international policy views. Obama has lived in various countries and has multinational roots. I am particularly concerned with the violence in the DR Congo. Active genocide is ongoing as I sit in my highrise, with cable tv, some heat (lol), a notebook, and even a toilet (in a world where half of the planet does not have adequate toilet facilities).

Being a Columbia alum with a history of community organizing as well, I understand his focus on process and inclusion with an understanding of the social/political fields we live in. I just intuit and feel a zeitgeist! Of course, things could turn out wierder. There is a narrative to be written by Obama as there are narratives being written just now by others, including his detractors.

Above photo is a doddle by Barack Obama via the blog England for Obama ( So pleased to think of how one can imagine new possibilities, opportunities, progressive change ahead!
hugs peace compassion

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Viva Obama

Wow! Viva Obama! We won! so thrilled to vote for the first President that I really supported! My first vote was in 1972 Colorado for McGovern. I may have been excited but mostly by the first ability of 18 year olds to vote! So many reasons for my support of Obama. I like the latest idea out there, the "white grandmother effect". A romantic idea. Anyhow, I usually like grandmothers of any background, and loved my own! (love the gospel song, A grandmother who prayed for me!) In reality, I like Obama's style and ideas. As a fellow Columbia grad, I understand his motivation and commitments. I also did community organizing in NYC in the 1980s and understand the importance of engagement and change. So many identifications. Newark, NJ, via CCTV, voters in my building 4 Nov 08

In the days following his win, I applaud his appointment of Rahm Emanuel! Bravo to the 70%+ Jewish vote for Obama, but I also sense President elect Obama will bridge and educate about Israel and Palestine! I have Chicago family roots and admire the tenacity of Emanuel and those Chicago Democrats. My Mother (a Park Ridge, IL mom) was the first person to tell me how good Obama is! President elect Obama will need tenacious advocates like Emanuel. Of course, I worry about how our economic crisis will be handled. I so like reading George Soros, and applaud Obama appointing Warren Buffet to his team. As a former Citibank person, I am emailing a former colleague, now a senior executive to get her opinion, and hope she is helpful. President elect Obama needs all the help he can get.

In all, I just feel so happy and do not really have a critical perspective on his election and the road to the Presidency yet. After the election, wore my button, talked with my college students about the history and the advent of change. Endless talk with my neighbors and friends. My buddies in SF and Colorado spoke with me election night, Bravo Obama! I appreciate hearing the comments by so many of my African American neighbors of their pride in his achievement, and in fact, all of ours. My friends in Zurich emailed me with excitement! Relishing the zeitgeist!

The only downside is the loss of Prop8, marrige equality in CA. My sense is that this is still a new issue and it is being processed. I find in teaching issues about gays/lesbians etal, that my college students have seldom had much opportunity to openly discuss such issues. The media may have entertainment images but they are often of the rich white gay man, not the reality in fact. This semester I teach Ethics and the Family which has allowed the opportunity for the class to discuss issues about gay/lesbian families. Fascinating narratives as ever.

I am saddened by the uproar about Prop8 and African Americans. I dunno the outreach to all communities by no on 8 organizers but perhaps not enough done in all communities. I question the CNN methodology of 70% AfAm supporters. In short, African American supporters contributed but not the tipping point. On the other hand, the church has long been an institution in African American society and homosexuality not seen positively in most of the churchs. Although the Newark Episcopal diocese has been quite inclusive, interviewed a gay minister for a Bishop vacancy. At the same time, in Newark, I worked as a social worker in America's second largest HIV in-patient hospital program and witnessed the often homoignorance by staff, families, and the community, even in this first 2000 decade! There still is the stigma and shame about HIV. So, gay, lesbian, trans...... Well, Obama has always mentioned gays in his speechs!

I am not proud to see that gay identified voters were 27% for McCain, 7% less than for Kerry. Ugh. So many black/white/Latino gays supported Clinton and that may have been the revenge. I dunno why the no on 8 organizers did not involved Clinton to do some ads. Most importantly, the racial stratification in gay worlds is an issue to address. One sees it on Christopher Street everyday. All in all, much work to be done and I know President elect Obama will bridge and educate as he can.

I feel optimistic for once in my life about national politics. I admire President elect Obama's style and ideas. I have faith in his concerns about building bridges between communities for a shared better future. I really like his supporters. I am really excited by what our society may produce!
peace, hugs, compassion