Friday, November 7, 2008

Spain and football

This strikes me as utterly crazy and illegitimate: The Spanish state prosecutor has recommended an eight-year jail term for a Marseille fan detained after the French side's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid last month.

Reading up accounts of what happened suggests that much of the problems were caused by Atletico fans, and that Spanish police were v. one-sided in their response.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new era

Good crazy

Today was a good day

I had this thought too

In the end she came through.

No fireworks


Navigating the dynamic

One thing I am looking forward to is seeing how President(-elect) Obama navigates the political nuances of the fact that one of the greatest and strongest shared values of his followers is a belief in individual liberties and the right to one's self.

Basically, how will American society change, now that we are beginning to (re-)embrace the long forsaken notion that we are all in this together, while at the same time our commitment to personal freedom is, if anything (given the erosion of personal freedoms over the past eight years) stronger than ever before?

Now, as we stand on the threshold of a new political era, is a good time to reflect on the unfulfilled aspirations of the past, and to weigh these aspirations when calculating and reflecting on our own. I am thinking in particular of FDR's four freedoms which discussed frankly the tenuous position America found herself in at the beginning of 1941 with the rest of the world at war and concluded:
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception--the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions--without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound!

Henry Louis Gates, Jr on the election.
We have all heard stories about those few magical transformative moments in African-American history, extraordinary ritual occasions through which the geographically and socially diverse black community—a nation within a nation, really—molds itself into one united body, determined to achieve one great social purpose and to bear witness to the process by which this grand achievement occurs.

The first time was New Year's Day in 1863, when tens of thousands of black people huddled together all over the North waiting to see if Abraham Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation. The second was the night of June 22, 1938, the storied rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, when black families and friends crowded around radios to listen and cheer as the Brown Bomber knocked out Schmeling in the first round. The third, of course, was Aug. 28, 1963, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed to the world that he had a dream, in the shadow of a brooding Lincoln, peering down on the assembled throng, while those of us who couldn't be with him in Washington sat around our black-and-white television sets, bound together by King's melodious voice through our tears and with quickened-flesh.

But we have never seen anything like this. Nothing could have prepared any of us for the eruption (and, yes, that is the word) of spontaneous celebration that manifested itself in black homes, gathering places and the streets of our communities when Sen. Barack Obama was declared President-elect Obama. From Harlem to Harvard, from Maine to Hawaii—and even Alaska—from "the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire … [to] Stone Mountain of Georgia," as Dr. King put it, each of us will always remember this moment, as will our children, whom we woke up to watch history being made.

Reality Checks

John Scalzi offers a good one.

"I love this guy."

That was Chris Matthews' comment about the Mayor of Newark's comments on the election. Cory Booker is inspiring, and could represent part of the new generation of politicians that raise in prominence in Obama's wake.



Assuming Indiana and NC hold up: Obama's tally will be 364.

That is not counting Missouri, which is too close to call, or Montana, which will most likely go for McCain.


Obama's Victory Speech

Coupled with McCain's gracious and American concession, will stand as a document, a declaration of principles which will guide the next twenty-forty years of America.

The Daily Kos Scoreboard

Is awesome. Kudos!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An African-American Family in the White House

A new Cosby Show.

I expect high ratings.

(Nat Cole, here's looking at you.)

McCain concedes

His concession speech is helluva classy.

If only his campaign had been.


News items

Strange Portal Connects Earth to Sun. How can something be strange if it happens all the time?

Bizarre espionage case in Miami
. Two suitcases full of money, weeks of flim-flam.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A reminder...



My bet: Obama with 297 electoral votes.

Hopefully more.

Go vote tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Humor is humor

McCain was hilarious on SNL. Well worth a watch.