Archive for the “politics” Category

Does Art Change Anything? (audio podcast)

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Heather conversates and games with game designer Jane McGonigal, author Kirk Read, star beatboxer Kid Beyond and the whole room spurred by KB’s soul searching about his own work.

Looks like your typical chat show doesn’t it?

Scrambling with Scrabble, originally uploaded by

Give it a listen. (about 90 minutes)

video: Canada invaded

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

News from the Future: Canada invaded by Narizonavadamexico in Water Wars.

Jews and East Indian Americans

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

My pal Tony tipped me about a recent NYT article entitled In Jews, Indian-Americans See a Role Model in Activism.

The article talks about Jewish influence in modelling community centres like the one where I developed my talk show, but then careens into politics and foreign policy. It says a lot about the New York Times, the author, perhaps the “mainstream” Jewish and East Indian American communities and certainly American culture and politics that the analysis of what brings people together and creates their advocacy is what they’re afraid of.

“The Hindu American Foundation is among those who contend that Jews and Hindus are natural allies because of the common threat Israel and India face from Islamic terrorists. “

Forget external enemies. Jews and East Indian Americans are natural allies because of their neurotic, anxious parents.

Dear Governor Schwarzennegger

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I wrote you last year to ask you to sign the genter-neutral marriage bill. I am writing again to ask the same thing. I hope I do not have to keep writing you.

I am a gay Californian and registered independent. I am marrying my fiancee in San Francisco next June. Unfortunately we have to have a second wedding in Canada so that we can be legally married. My fiancee and I (and the many other same-sex couples in California) deserve equality and the many legal rights that come with legal marriage, or unions or whatver it is you or the people in your focus groups feel comfortable calling it.

Given that this legislation keeps passing the California legislature, it is obviously the will of the people of California. The only thing I ca see you gaining from vetoing it is help within certain parts of the Republican party in the rest of the country.

Please have some courage and do the right thing. Gay marriage in California is inevitable. Signing this bill now would make history and be an act of true leadership. You were elected by promising not to just be another politician. Please prove it. Take a stand for equality and sign this bill.


Heather Gold
San Francisco, CA

Yes, this is really the letter I sent.
Please write him too. The bill is Gender Neutral marriage AB000043.

How did you prepare for your wedding?


Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

A subverted travelogue of our adventures in France, Spain and America which turns out to be a pretty wonderful place.

Iraq war 2.0: Transparency hits forced prostitution

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

How different is it to be forced to prostitution to survive by economic necessity than by a beating?

The cunning realist blog discovered that all sorts of folks share tips on the Internet and form community, even johns who view women like this:

Heading over there myself in a week or two and am 50 / 50 on local action. Have been defense contracting for years (Egypt / Jordan / Yugo / Germany / Italy / Hungary) … never had an issue finding good quality locals for dirt cheap.

More of this crap here. I’d thought lit theory in college used up any interest I had in naming things misogynist, racist, colonialist etc, but what else do you call this? Most succinctly: dehumanizing.

The commenters on his blog, like this one named Matt Connolly, say things like:

So what’s new? I was in the service in Japan in the early ’60s and it was the thing to do to have a young Japanese woman as a mistress for the 13 month tour and then to return home to the wife in America. It has been forty years plus since then and we seemed to have endured. We also did the same in Vietnam.

What’s new Matt? More media. The Internet. And that means more transparency. And that means more people seeing the reality of the crap we do. Specifically in this case: that men do to women, that moneyed are doing to poor, that America is doing to Iraq, that sexual shooting galleries do to hope of meaningful connection and genuine intimacy.

Tip of the toque to Andrew Sullivan.

Supernova 2007 – politics + democracy

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
  • “The majority of the politial blogosphere, the data shows, are educated, whitem males.” – panel

    They needed to do a survey to learn that?

  • “I’ve learned from doing tech through the boom that you tell everyone about the new stuff, but you spend your time with people who really want to do something about it.” – Greg Elin

    General conclusion, (stated by Andrew Rasiejbut generally agreed by all) that the existing top-down mode of politics won’t really change out of fear (of what their opponents will say about them etc). Don’t look to Presidential politics (who use the Net to raise money but not civic engagement). Those who grow up with the Net as the norm will eventually demand and expect this.

    So the Net>political openness is like Gay marriage. We;ll get it for certain once the older set dies off.

  • Guess which project has finished on time + under budget in Iraq?

    Thursday, May 24th, 2007

    British colonial India
    The now largest building in Baghdad. The one place the US has been able to get independent generators, sewage, lighting, and air conditioning working.

    The US Embassy. It’s built to house 625 people.

    I heard it on The World on PRI.

    I’m getting images of 19th century British compounds in India. Except there’s Bud and pork rinds instead of cucumber sandwiches.

    Socially-Conscious Capitalism 2.0

    Monday, May 21st, 2007

    How can entrepreneurship can make the world a better place?

    I believe it can:

    • serve, don’t sell (selling is expensive, inauthentic and analogized to battle)
    • no one can own community, only serve it
    • this creates accountability for those serving it
    • community is the only cost-effective way to deal with marketing and advertising in the digital era
    • universal access to publishing promotes transparency
    • social + digital networks (built with the intention of sincerity, since openness is necessary for them to be sustainable) make scalable collective problem solving possible
    • fun+play attract attention and collaboration
    • business must be humanly sustainable to stay competitive
    • solving problems that make a meaningful difference in the world are engaging problems which attract talent and collaboration
    • imposing a tether of social responsibility on business is an unattractive battle and a sad binary
    • social consciousness is necessary to create a working web 2.0 business. The social awareness is integrated and organic.
    • we are entering an era of integration

    At this point, I’d rather focus on what I can do, and on working with others who are focussed on making real things happen than on either political party. You can read why in yesterday’s post.

    For co-sponsors Stuart Skorman Associates and Social Venture Network, I’ll be hosting an intergenerational conversation about this tomorrow night (the 22nd) in San Francisco at The Hotel Rex. Details are here.

    Is anyone running for President saying anything truthful?

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    I’ve become a regular reader of Andrew Sullivan’s excellent blog.
    Andrew is a proud conservative and I am not, but I’m finding his blog a better way to track politics than even the New York Times. He’s struggling with principle against the creeping fascism and pro-torture position of his party, the Republicans.

    I wish I had the same level of interest in the details of politics to be as effective a voice about the Democrats. I consider myself an independent and registered that way. How deep are the Democrats problems? They couldn’t get a Jewish lesbian Canadian immigrant to register Democrat.

    The truth is that I really am not so attached to what I call myself. I never have been. My sense of myself is deeper an probably more complex than the “tags” lesbian, straight, bisexual and politically I don’t find Republican or Democrat appealing.

    I am concerned about honesty, integrity, caring, intelligence and effective problem solving wherever it rears its head. I don’t believe any one group has a lock on truthfulness or a right way. To be attached to that is similar to the kind of religious fundamentalism that has created such pain in the world in the name of the safety of those who will blindly agree there is only one right way.

    Perhaps that’s why I find myself drawn to the Ron Paul clips Andrew Sullivan has been posting. He’s running for the Republican Presidential nomination. I disagree with a lot of Ron Paul’s political views but at least he seems genuine, human and principled, rather than a brand created by marketing team. I would love to see someone within the Democratic nomination race speak as plainly to that party.

    And I would love to see, more than anything, government stop being a broker for round-trip (decidedly unfree market) financial deals, whether it’s through debt financing a developing country or creating a massive wealth transfer via war.

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