Yes we can

Barack Obama won the presidency in large part because he mobilized sections of the electorate that had either never voted before or didn’t feel called to do so. Many of those voters were young people. Some like me who are young at heart and a bit geeky use technology like Facebook and LinkedIn. Thanks to my daughter I’ve become an avid text messager for nearly three years now. I once considered text messaging a ridiculous pastime. I’ve come to appreciate the folly of that  outlook.  I’ve been authoring a blog for nearly three years and reading blogs for nearly eight years. I get the majority of my news from RSS feeds from the blogs that I regularly read. I rarely watch CNN, Headline News, Fox News, CBS, NBC, or MSNBC.  Reading has always been key to my world.

Given all of that I was watching my new HDTV this afternoon. I had it muted as I was reading Huffington Post and as I watched this news show, one after another of talking heads appeared on the screen, each had a BIO next to their name. There were Republican strategists, Democratic strategists, pundits, you name it. The purpose of the show was to analyze the election results and perhaps to spin their own version of how it happened.  Here were people analyzing an election that redefined the electoral landscape and they were missing the point.  These folks were attempting to define something they don’t understand. The net generation is not left of center or right of center. We don’t need Wolf or Shawn or anyone helping us to understand the news. We’re getting our news not from the old sources but from the net. Barack Obama connected with us on Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and elsewhere. He spoke to us directly at HuffingtonPost and elsewhere without the media filter. We got face time from the man. Barack had to buy television time to get face time with the other folks who aren’t net connected yet.

This election was won in part because a man of vision was able to get his vision out without a media filter and directly to his constituents. Used to be you needed money and sponsors to get on television. Nowadays you need a computer, a webcam and a connection to UStream,, Youtube, or Google Video. Traditional media is done. They don’t realize it yet, but professional journalism is being radically redefined all across the web. In April the Christian Science Monitor will publish its daily edition on the web only. A once a week print edition will serve its more traditional readership.

President-Elect Obama is going still further in his leverage of the web with It’s an open invitation from the Office of the President-Elect to be part of the Obama-Biden transition and it leverages the web.

An ever increasing number of people aren’t getting their news from Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, or Chris Matthews. Their getting all the news they need at Huffingtonpost, Talking Points Memo, Andrew Sullivan, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress, Commondreams, Alternet, FiredogLake, DailyKos, Altercation and many more. Many of the reporters are folks just like me, some are more familiar names but the stories are being told. Editorials are being written on blogs. Traditional new sources are dead.  Someone had edited Barack Obama’s section on Wikipedia before midnight on election night with the up to date information.

Marshall McCluhan was right, “the medium is the message.”


This is a special night. This is one of those watershed events in history. This campaign reminded of the campaign of John F. Kennedy in 1960. I remember that. I was a seven year old boy. This campaign just concluded has surpassed that one in the sense that not only have we elected a new president, but we have done so conclusively. I wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought of such an event.  I am filled with gratefulness and happiness. This is the end perhaps of a long dark night in American politics and policy. I hope that President-Elect Obama can bring our nation together. I am weary of politics as usual and I think that is what President Obama will bring a paradigm change. I believe he will be a consensus builder.

We face a very uncertain future. These are times that will require special leadership and I believe that the creator has heard our prayers.  I’ll write more as I’m really tapped out from all of this. I feel very tired tonight, a bit feverish. For nearly eight years now I have been praying for peace, walking for peace, running for peace and just trying to be at peace. Good night. Pax vobiscum.

Prepared for heartbreak

I’m not watching the news and I can’t even look at the blogs I normally read because tomorrow and more importantly is the night when my heart will get broken one more time.  I’ve been pulling for Barack Obama and our local congressional delegate, Eric Massa. I’m prepared however for the Republican dirty tricks department and another stolen election. Through every form of subterfuge they will attempt to steal the election. They stand to lose too much money if the people win.

As I ran this morning I thought of another man from Illionois who did win the presidency and he did it at a time when the country was equally fractured. There is irony in Lincoln and Obama. Lincoln was the first Republican president and he wanted to save the union, just like Mr. Obama. Just like Mr. Obama he faced the dividers and haters who wanted to tear our union apart.

Now, 148 years later they’re trying to tear us apart once again. This time its not over slavery. I wasn’t going to vote this year. I was going to sit this one out. Obama’s win in Iowa changed that for me. His eventual nomination sealed my duty for tomorrow. I cannot bear the heartbreak of another stolen election.

Kay Hagan defended

Hat tip to Campbell Brown of CNN for unmasking a phoney advertisement being run by Senator Elizabeth Dole to claim her opponent is Godless. I had more respect for Senator Dole, but it looks like she’s lost her own self-respect in her desire for yet another term. Her husband, whom I voted for in the presidential election of 2006 was once a fan of term limits. Maybe this egregious advertisement will limit Mrs. Dole’s time in the senate. Let’s hope so for the sake of Kay Hagan and the people of North Carolina.


A video is worth ….

It’s often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. How much more is a video worth? Barack Obama had a chance to talk directly to the citizens of the United States without the filter of the media. If you missed this as I did then here’s your chance to see his message. He is a leader that comes along only once in a lifetime. The man brings tears to my eyes. Not everyone does that.


According to each one’s need

Much has been made of Senator Obama’s plan to tax the rich and give it to the middle class and poor in this country. Senator McCain and members of the Republican party are calling Senator Obama a socialst, marxist and in some circles a communist. Actually Senator Obama’s plan is more akin to early Christianity when Christians still acted like Christ.

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.–Acts 2:45-46

The party of family values and supposed Christian ideals are actually attacking a man over a principle found in the Bible. We’re supposed to be helping each other here on the planet. It’s not all about making money. The message of Jesus is about radical mercy and forgiveness. It’s not about judgment and condemnation and grabbing all you can for yourself and to hell with the other guy.

Where do you stand?

A co-worker sent me a link to GlassBooth. This is an interesting way to see how close your core principles and issues are lined up with the candidates running for President this year. I’m grateful that they’ve chosen to include the independents as well.

Glassbooth is a nonprofit organization that is creating innovative ways to access political information. An informed and interested democracy is a powerful thing. As an organization acting in the public’s interest, we are very serious about our core principles:

Peanut butter and jelly

John McCain is losing and now he’s pulling out all the stops. He’s accusing Obama of being a communist and recently I’ve seen that some of the right wing talk show hosts are insisting that Obama is a marxist.  This short video clip of Barack is quite funny and I’m looking forward to having an intelligent, thoughtful and humorous person at the helm of our government.


I ought to mention that I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday for my lunch on Monks Bread.  Unlike Senator Obama I rarely share them. They have been my lunch time staple for years dating all the way back to my days at St. Pius X School in Delevan, New York.

Sir Charles endorses Barack Obama

I’ve long been a fan of Charles Barkley. I’ve enjoyed watching him when he played on the Sixers with Doctor J. I’ve seen him in person when he played with the Phoenix Suns at the end of his career. He’s always right to the point and I enjoy that.


Third wave

In 1995 or 1996 I read a book by Alvin Toffler that was entitled, “Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave. It was a very interesting book at the time and one of the salient points that Alvin Toffler made in the book was that American politics and political campaigns would continue to be negative until someone came along with a vision. When the visionary appeared the masses would flock to him or her and the old politics and policies would be undone. Ironically the forward of that book was written by Newt Gingrich. I believe Barack Obama is the first candidate to really tap into that wellspring. Just yesterday Senator Obama spoke before a crowd estimated by the local police in Denver at 100,000 strong. Police are usually conservative and the crowd could have been larger. Obama has drawn crowds wherever he’s gone because there is a real hunger for something new. There is a general distaste for campaigns that highlight the negatives of an opponent and nowhere is that more evident than in the campaign of Senator McCain and Governor Palin. The tired rhetoric of division is actually backfiring on the political operatives and they are mystified by Obama’s meteoric rise.