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“From 52 to 48 With Love” is a cool and inspiring social/political/art project that encourages voters from any party to send in photographs of themselves reaching out to voters from opposing parties with healing messages.  It derives its name from the 52% who voted for Barack Obama and the 48% who voted for John McCain in this month’s presidential election.  Here is the original blog post from Ze Frank, the project’s creator, explaining his idea:

“i would love to have a place for obama supporters, mccain supporters and supporters of third parties (over 1%) to reach out in a gesture of reconciliation…

simple messages from individuals.

perhaps it is naive. the differences are real, i know. but we have to repair the damage done from this election cycle somehow…”

Ze Frank, Blogger

It’s a pretty neat project. Here are a few of my favorite submissions:

Frank began the project on November 5th, the day after the election, but since then it has grown and expanded.  You can take a look at all “From 52 to 48 With Love” submissions here, and perhaps afterwards contribute your own photograph to ze@zefrank.com.

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At 8 pm PST Tuesday night, celebrations erupted all over California as Barack Obama was announced the next president of the United States, but there were surely few better places to be to experience the excitement than on the streets of Berkeley.

(Understatement.)

Hundreds of students gathered in the streets of Berkeley after Sen. Barack Obamas victory in the presidential election Tuesday night.

Hundreds of students gathered in the streets of Berkeley after Sen. Barack Obama's victory in the presidential election Tuesday night. (The Daily Californian)

I will save the actual writing of the eyewitness account for Vivek, who was actually on Telegraph that evening and has graciously agreed to guest blog about what I’m sure he will term “a hella sick evening, like, HELLA SICK”.

For now, you should definitely check out The Daily Californian’s excellent photo slideshow that perfectly captures the spirit of the evening, or read more in Tess Townsend’s article “Berkeley Celebrates Obama’s Victory“.

A few weeks back, I posted an easy three-step process to become a vote-by-mail voter in the November 4 election, written especially for all you college kids. Have you done it yet? No? Well, you have only seven more days before the October 20th deadline passes and it’s too late.  So get on that.

Here’s the process again in case you’re a lazy dog:

  1. Fill out a short application to receive vote-by-mail status for this election.
  2. Mail the application to your county elections office.
  3. Start reading up on this year’s propositions.

Frequent Reasons For Not Voting Shot Down

pew pew pew

pew pew pew

Vote-by-mail ballots aren’t counted unless there’s a tie.

False.  Vote-by-mail ballots are, in fact, counted first.

I’m cynical and jaded about how my vote won’t affect the presidential election because the electoral college system means that all of California’s votes will go to Obama anyway.

I concede that this is probably true.  Rather than feed you some idealistic fodder about how it’s the principle of exercising your democratic rights that matters, I will give you a more pragmatic reason to vote: the most contentious ground in this election, and the one that your vote will certainly affect, is state propositions.

State propositions are abstruse and don’t affect me because I’m not really a taxpayer.

Do you care about a high speed rail system spanning across the state?  Do you care about the ethics of the treatment of farm animals?  Do you care about abortion for minors?  Do you care about whether same-sex marriages will continue to be recognized?

Yeah, I know you do.  If you are capable of pressing Ctrl+P, you can spell your name, and you can stick a stamp on an envelope, you can vote.

GOOD is having a bumper sticker design contest themed around voting.  Check out some of my favorite submissions, both visually and content-wise, for inspiration:

by Dan Swoboda, for the 2006 election

by Dan Swoboda, for the 2006 election contest

by Steven Blumenthal, for the 2006 election contest

by Steven Blumenthal, for the 2006 election contest

by Amy Chen

by Amy Chen

by Ben Murphy

by Ben Murphy

by Jim Ward

by Jim Ward

To paraphrase the words of one presidential candidate who is not my BFF, “See you at the election, bitches.”

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a spoken word piece by Gil Scott-Heron, who is widely considered to be the “godfather of rap”, and is probably Scott-Heron’s best known work.  Most of Scott-Heron’s work was centered around the political issues of his day; “Revolution” references Richard Nixon and the Watts Riots in L.A.  I like the references to slogans Scott-Heron employs throughout to make a point about rampant commercialism.  All in all, it’s a great song, as Dan reminded me the other day at dinner.

Screenshots from Apt Studio's video of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" to promote "Now and Then", a collection of Scott-Heron's poems and lyrics.

Screenshots from Apt Studio's video of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", to promote the book "Now and Then", a collection of Scott-Heron's lyrics and poems.

If you like the visual representation of GOOD’s “The Hidden Cost of War”, then you’ll find this music video of “Revolution”, created by Apt Studio, equally appealing.  It’s done in a different artistic style than GOOD, but it’s equal parts eye candy, especially considering it was created in 2001.  You can watch it on YouTube below, but I recommend watching the original on Apt Studio’s website for better quality and faster loading.

While you’re watching, here are the lyrics to “Revolution”, below; I excised the stanzas that this music video cut out, but the full song and lyrics can easily be found online.

You will not be able to stay home, brother.

You will not be able to plug in, turn on, and cop out.

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag

and skip out for beer during commercials,

because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox

in four parts without commercial interruptions.

The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon

blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John

Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat

hog maws confiscated from the Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the

Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie

Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.

The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.

The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.

The revolution will not make you look five pounds

thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May

pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,

or trying to slide that color TV into a stolen ambulance.

NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32

on report from 29 districts.

The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down

brothers on the instant replay.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down

brothers on the instant replay.

The revolution will not be right back after a message

about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.

You will not have to worry about a dove in your

bedroom, the tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.

The revolution will not go better with Coke.

The revolution will not fight germs that may cause bad breath.

The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,

will not be televised, will not be televised.

The revolution will be no re-run, brothers;

The revolution will be live.

Attention: What you are about to watch could quite possibly rock your world.

GOOD’s new video, “The Hidden Cost of War,” is without a doubt the best educational video I have seen since Professor Wesch’s video on Web 2.0, “The Machine Is Us/ing Us“.

Why you should watch “The Hidden Cost of War”:

In just under 3 minutes, it gives a comprehensive overview of how some experts have concluded that U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq will cost 3 trillion dollars, when both current debts and long-term costs are accounted for.

the hidden cost of war

Screenshots of "The Hidden Cost of War" from itsnicethat.com.

Plus, it has cool pictures.

The figures featured in the video are taken from the 2008 book The Three Trillion Dollar War by American economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes.  Stiglitz has won a little-known award called the Nobel Prize, and Bilmes teaches at a small university called Harvard.  So they know a thing or two about economics.  Even if you don’t agree with the political implications of or mathematics behind Stiglitz’s and Bilmes’s estimation, I think everyone can agree that it’s something to think about and discuss.

As you can tell from the capital letters and the middle initials, this is serious business. This ain't no "Goodnight Moon" or "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".

Here’s a YouTube version of the video, but I encourage you to watch it on GOOD’s website for higher quality:

GOOD is a Los Angeles-based magazine focused on social issues, politics, and sustainable living.  They use videos and other visual mediums to create what they call “media that matters” for “people who give a damn”.  100% of their print magazine subscription fees go to a charity of your choosing, from Kiva to Teach for America to Slow Food USA; they’ve raised over $850,000 so far.  Membership to the website alone is free, and the website itself is worth a browse to see GOOD’s other work.

Found on Digg; originally on Matthew Kendig's Flickr photostream.

Found on Digg; originally on Matthew Kendig's Flickr photostream. Dugg.

“Please tip; we are trying to raise $700 billion to help rich folks.”

Today is brought to you by the number 42.

Why is 42 so important today?  Sure, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything.  But I bet you didn’t know that 42 is also the number of days until the 2008 General Election.

Depending on your age, this may be the first presidential election in which you are eligible to vote, and you are of course doing your civic duty by doing everything a young voter does to be as educated as possible about the issues at hand.  You’ve watched The Daily Show’s coverage of Indecision 2008.  You’ve seen the YouTube You Choose candidate debates.  You keep up with projections on fivethirtyeight.  You’ve observed the venerated and unbiased political arena that is Digg.  You’ve become a member of the Facebook group of the candidate you most support.

The Best F***ing News Team Ever

The Best F***ing News Team Ever

In all seriousness, though, you might be forgetting something important.  You’re probably going to college outside of the county in which you registered to vote.  Have you registered to be a vote-by-mail voter in November’s General Election?

Fear not.  I have collected all of the necessary URLs for you to strip away the last of your excuses not to vote in three easy steps.  If you’re not a California resident, you’ll need to look up the equivalent forms for your state.

  1. Fill out a very short application to recieve vote-by-mail voter status for this election. You can also check a box to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter (voter-by-mail?), but if your college address keeps changing, I’d advise against it.
  2. Mail the application to your county elections office.
  3. Start reading up on this year’s propositions. You’ll get an official voter information guide in the mail as well.  Think you don’t care about state propositions?  Think again.  Do you care about a high speed rail system spanning across the state?  Do you care about the treatment of farm animals?  Do you care about abortion for minors?  Do you care about whether same-sex marriages will continue to be recognized?

If you’re not registered to vote, but you are a United States citizen who will be at least 18 years old on November 4, 2008, and you are not a felon or legally mentally incompetent, shame on you!  You can’t let all of the money both campaigns have spent on influencing our highly prized and elusive 18-25 demographic go to waste.  Besides, there are hungry kids in Africa who wish they had your ballot to cast.  Fill out a registration form online here.  They really can’t make it any easier for you people.

Registered to vote?  Submitted vote-by-mail status?  Awesome.  We now interrupt this program to bring you a nonpartisan message from Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

Click to see the SNL Palin/Hillary Open from SNL last week.

"I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy." "And I can see Russia from my house!"

The New York Times did an interesting visual piece earlier this month showing which words were used most frequently by Republicans versus Democrats at their respective national conventions.  I think it succinctly demonstrates which issues each party is focusing voters’ attention on, and it’s an interesting study in rhetoric as well.

//www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/09/04/us/politics/20080905_WORDS_GRAPHIC.html.Results are surprising: Despite what Jon Stewart would have you believe, Rudy Giuliani only mentioned September 11th once.

For a larger image, go to the original New York Times article.  I must also give credit to Digg for featuring this article a few weeks back.  Dugg.

I found these on Digg.  Dugg.

I found these on Digg. Dugg.