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Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

O for…

I picked up this tag from NRIMaami. Write about ten things that you are passionate about, starting with the letter ‘O’. She also assigned me ‘L’, just in case ‘O’ became too tough. Well, I like a good challenge(lol), so here goes:

1. O for OM
It is auspicious, it is powerful, and it is divine!

2. O for Oxygen
Not the channel, but good old Oxygen, the element. The element that enables life on earth. What would we all do were there no oxygen?

3. O for Osmania University
My Alma mater. My undergraduate university. Where I found my life partner. How can I not be passionate about this place?

4. O for Organic
The first organic grocery we regularly used was milk. This was thanks to The Corporation, which shows how cows are treated in common milk farms, how they are given growth hormones so they are produce tens of gallons of milk everyday. It also showed that cows that stop giving milk are sent to slaughter houses. Organic milk comes from cows that are not given any growth hormones and are raised on organic, normal produce, unlike cows in normal farms that are fed meat. Slowly we started venturing into organic produce also. Unlike their non-organic counterparts, organic produce is smaller and tastier(at least we think so.)

5. O for Oprah
This might sound shallow, but I ‘heart’ Oprah. I admire her for what she has accomplished in her life, in spite a not so great family background. I love watching her show, not for all the mushy mushy stories, but for her trademark verve and enthusiasm.

6. O for orkut
Haha, a shallow passion again. I am hooked to it. Status updates, photo updates, testimonials, scraps, the whole shebang! My sister and I communicate via Orkut most times and both my parents are on it too.

7. O for Organizing
I love to think of myself as the Monica of Friends, only sometimes. When the Monica bug bites me, I am on an organizing spree. More than anything, I love organizing the folders on my laptop!

8. O for the Office
One of our friends lent us his copy of a taping of the BBC series, the Office. By then we were already watching the American version on NBC. We were a little unimpressed by the way NBC was handling it. Most episodes were repeats, even though they were very amusing. The BBC version was remarkably fast and we were hooked. We watched the whole series in a day and were also humming the song all day. The humor hits home hard and it has become one of my favorite humor series!

9. O for Oranges
Not the American ones(which are actually Mosambis), but the Indian ones(which are called Tangerines, here in the US.) I can have lots of them at one go(and I mean LOTS.) Whenever we got a box of these, we are on an eating spree. I like eating mine completely cleaned of the threads and the inner part of the peel that sticks to them.

10. Last but not the least, O for Obama.
This was my first election season in the US.
I had heard him speak a few times, during the very first of presidential debates on Fox and I barely saw him, because I was more interested in what Hillary Clinton had to say. The very first time I took notice of Obama was when he was addressing his supporters after he won the Iowa caucus. Since then, I have been hooked to his speeches and his progress in the Democratic race as well as the general election. I have had many arguments with people(that includes my husband) when they have questioned his intents, and made fun of the way everyone was idolizing him. I took it very personally when he was made fun of as a ‘latte sipping, Birkenstock wearing elite’, and was very worried when it was hinted that he did not love his country as much as some of his ‘conservative’ counterparts. But, all’s well that ends well, and now we can all call him Mr. President!

Now, those of you wanting to participate in this very interesting tag, please leave me a comment and I shall assign you a letter. Alternately, if you have an interesting story of your passions to tell by way of a particular letter, do take it up!

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This was a phrase used by James Carville, who was advising Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign. Well, in 2008, “It’s the Economy, Stupid”! And I want to say that to both the campaigns, although I want to give credit to Obama for consistently keeping the focus on the economy until this week. As soon as Sarah “Barracuda” talked about her “opponent palling around with terrorists”, and the McCain campaign started slinging mud, he rolled up his sleeves and went into the mudpile with them. The day before, there was a documentary from Obama about McCain and his association with Keating in the 1980s. Then there was an ad by McCain(gosh his name is tough to write fast….m, c, c, a, i, n) that said Obama is dangerous and cannot be trusted blah blah blah! Its the Economy, STUPID! There, now its in bold and caps, will you, atleast now, talk about how you want to steer the economy when u are in office?
Will you stop talking about judgment, Israel, old associations for a minute and talk about the economy? People are losing jobs, their 401K’s are losing value, their homes are losing value, there are 2 wars that are draining our resources and killing people and you are worried about who has worse friends and who asked for less earmarks?
I saw this in the VP debate too. Biden tried to talk about the economy a few times. Palin’s repertiore of answers when confronted with a question was limited to “we are a bunch of mavericks”, “hockey mom”, “dont talk about the past” and a lot of other empty words like “like”, “doggone it”, “you betcha” and a few winks and creepy smiles. (Did you all hear, she says “nucular”? That reminds you of someone?). Lady, tell me what your “maverick” runningmate is going to do about the economy? He doesnt even understand his own healthcare plan. Is he taking those $5000? Can I more across statelines and avoid that tax? How? Does $5000 cover all medical expenses for a family of 4?
I think a part of the problem, my friends, is that no one is asking those questions. Yesterday’s debate put me to sleep. Did the people in that room appear even remotely interested in what the two were saying? And all the media talked about was how one was hostile to the other and who won. Well, I say no one won! I say the people lost. Why? Because it is the economy, stupid!

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I am sure there is no one left who has not heard/seen/read what the “reverend” Jesse Jackson had to say about Obama when he thought the microphone was off. Seeing that, three things came to my mind:

1. Jackson says sorry and says he said those things thinking the mic was off – what does that mean? That it is ok to say things as long as no one hears them? Also, is he apologizing because he means that he is sorry or because he got caught?(I think its the latter). Would be have talked about his had the conversation remained private?

2. This is the most important take away for me. So in this tape Jackson seems livid that Obama is lecturing black fathers about being absent from their kids’ lives. Jackson thinks O is talking down to blacks! Ok he has the right to get angry…..but wait till you know that Jackson had a child out of wedlock a few decades ago and apologized to the black community and to his family about not being loyal to his wife…HA! So i think all this rant was a guilt trip for Jackson and that he was taking O’s comments really personally. I wonder, is Jackson’s illicit child well looked after? Did he have a good childhood? Was Jackson ‘present’ in his life?

3. This one is also important in the present context of a new generation of voters/leaders etc. Jackson represented the past of the black movement when blacks were looked down upon and needed someone to ‘fight’ for them. Times are changing and blacks have taken their fate in their own hands, but the Jackson types have remained with the same mindset and misused the issue to their advantage for decades. All this would change with Obama’s rise and thus would make Jackson-types irrelevant. Could it be that Jackson’s real anger and fear were about his own relevance?

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Barack Hussein Obama!

In the first week of January 2008, back when the democratic presidential nomination had barely started, I had a discussion with my colleague at work with whom I car-pooled. She wanted to know if I had any favorites among the presidential candiates and parties. I told her as a matter of fact that I would love to see Barack Obama nominated, and then elected as the President. I instantly felt that she was uncomfortable with my answer. When I asked her what she thinks, she immediately quipped, ‘Anyone but Obama’. When I asked her why, her answer was simple, that he was a muslim. This was my first ‘political’ conversation with someone in the US and here I was confronted with what to say. I just smiled. But I realized one thing at that moment. If this person, a colleague of mine with a graduate degree from a prestegeous American University, someone who has access to the internet and all the fact checking resources believes against all evidence that Obama is a muslim, what about thousands of Americans who have no access to information but radio talk shows that are inundated with narrow conservatism? While its a personal matter to like or dislike or select or reject a candidate, to wrongly assume something without even bothering to use the tools available at ones disposal is being absolutely lazy, in my opinion.
Well, as time passed I forgot about this issue and continued to be interested in the democratic party political process keenly. But somewhere at the back of my mind was the thought about the various rumors doing the rounds, like Obama is a muslim and the like and how the Obama campaign was vehemently denying he was one and then he going on talking about this Christian faith etc. The question I am bothered by is, So what if he is a Muslim? Doesn’t the US constitution say that there has to be religious tolerance in the country? Didn’t the founding fathers say that US is NOT a religion-based country? Have Americans become Islamophobes? What are all the Islamic Americans thinking now? Are they sad that being a ‘muslim’ is a slur these days? Being from India, I am used to the radical views of other religious groups against Islam but I could never understand how being a Muslim could cause someone to be looked down upon, or be less qualified for something. Is it because the people who brought the WTC down on 9-11 were muslims? Does that mean we should hate Christians because of the crusades they waged against the other religions? Does that mean we can hate each other just because we were hurt by someone who happened to be of the same religion?

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