Showing posts from 2005

The 90 Minute Experience

(This is a first draft)

30: Team Building

- Introductions
- Personal Stories
- What was your past month like? What will your next month be like?
- Say one thing about you noone on the Team knows, if anyone knows it, you have to say something else
- Invite people to sign up for the Team Blog on the spot, have a computer with internet access ready

- Snacks
- $2 Donation for Snacks

60: Political Talk

Break into two groups

- National Politics
* Each person submit your 10 point program for 2006
* Synthesize
* Thoughts on Dean 2008

- State and Local
* Identify races and candidates of interest to team members

- Democratic Party
* Did you buy Democracy Bonds yet? It is just $10 a month.
* At 20, we split like amoeba, the group size stays at 10
* Train the next LinkUp host
* When we grow to 10 LinkUps, we have a Level 2 Meeting for the 10 LinkUp Organizers
* When we have 10 of those, we organize a Level 3 Meeting, and so on.
* The sky is the limit.
* Each Meeting has its own Team Blog.


- Arrange to have many pi…

Presidential Primary Reform

I was just reading an article in the Washington Post on the topic. The current system sure is skewed. So I proceeded to google the stuff a bit.

Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform ..... evidence suggests many Americans are turned off by the way in which the parties choose their candidates ..... found the public complaining of campaigns being too long and feeling disenfranchised, echoing sentiments of "my vote does not count." ...... The structure of the nominating calendar has made the inside baseball game decisive in presidential politics, with fundraising and early endorsements critical to success. ..... this increasingly closed system ..... troubled by the prospect of alienating vast pools of citizens so early in the process ..... Sabato's plan divides the nation into four geographic regions, each having approximately the same number of electoral votes. A few months prior to each election season, a lot…

The Spectrum On Gender

When I drew up the spectrum on race (The Spectrum/Dialogue Concept Is Key To Power), I hoped one or more of the power women at DFNYC will perhaps chalk out one on gender. I waited and waited and waited. But perhaps either my blog is not that widely read, or the spectrum concept did not fly. So here is my first attempt.

(10) You are the Buddha of gender relations.

(9) You are capable of relating to women in their numerous roles as members of families, and workplaces, as friends, as activity partners. As soldiers, as astronauts, as CEOs, presidents and prime ministers. You do not inherit, create and sustain glass walls and ceilings that keep women away. You can recognize them when you see them and are vocal about them. You do not differentiate between women of different cultural/ethnic backgrounds, or women in different age groups. You are extremely comfortable around women. You value their opinions, you seek them out.

(8) The women in your family, workplace and friends circles are mostly …

Pan American Desi Caucus: Brown Is Beautiful

Madhesi Jagaran has been about the Madhesi identity in Nepal for me. Democracy For Nepal (DFN) has been political work to do with Nepal. Democracy Forum: Americana has been to do with Dean 2008. But on the American scene it is about the Desi identity, the larger South Asian identity. The idea would be to build a pan American Desi caucus.

Reinvent the Democratic Party: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

It would be about immediate Desi pride and empowerment. But I think it would be more to do with the idea of spreading and strengthening democracy in South Asia. It would also be about helping America better celebrate its diversity.

Politics At The Speed Of Thought
Social Progress: Show Me The Money
Superpower Talk, Infrastructure Talk
DFNYC, 100,000 Strong, Scalable Organization
Pentagon, Hexagon
Blacks, Hispanics At The Core Of The Democrat Rainbow Coalition
The Spectrum/Dialogue Concept Is Key To Power

Nepal Message To Top Democrats

Video Clip

Mero Sansar: December 2 Protest Rally In Kathmandu (video)
Reinvent the Democratic Party: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7
Sign the Nepal Democracy petition

The Democratic Party is so totally out of power. The White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court. It has been a total sweep by the George W, Karl Rove machine at the federal level. They even have a lock at the state level. Although that tide might be turning.

They now got the Supreme Court for a generation. That is why we need to take over the Congress and the White House for a generation starting with the Congress in 2006. The goofy white males who founded the country referred to it as separation of powers. We progressives need a fundamental rethink. Like when Bill Clinton brought the Democratic Party out of the wilderness in 1992, and Tony Blair did it for Labor in Britain. But they can not be copied. Times have changed. New thoughts are needed.

Strong on defense is key. You can not cede the foreign …

Michelle Bachelet: Yet Another Woman

This Is What I Am Talking About
Michelle Bachelet: a break with Chile’s male-dominated politics ... Chile’s northern neighbour, Peru, faces a presidential election in April 2006 that may become a confrontation between two female candidates: the lawyer and Christian Democratic opposition candidate Lourdes Flores versus businesswoman Jeanette Enmanuel of the ruling Peru Posible party...... Across the Andes, in Argentina, Cristina Fernández, a leftwing Peronist senator and wife of President Néstor Kirchner, has become the most popular politician in the country, to the point of being named Reina Cristina in the local press. Fernández shares a similar political background with Bachelet, and they are close friends.Michelle Bachelet - [ Translate this page ]Sitio Oficial de Michelle Bachelet - [ Translate this page ]Chile's Michelle Bachelet Poised for Presidency

Lampson, Mistry, Dance-a-thon, LinkUp


Nick Lampson is running against Tom DeLay in 2006. He was in town. I went to his fundraiser last week. There were all these white men in formal attire. I was in my jeans and totally enjoyed working the room.

"Excuse me, it was nice meeting you, but I got to work the room."

And I took my jacket off, and a colorful shirt came up for air.

There was this one woman, maybe there were two, otherwise it was a white male crowd.

I struck a conversation with this lawyer who had offices in both DC and NYC. I teased him he had turned lawyering into a franchise concept. I ended up saying I was new in town, six months.

"That's new. Where did you move from?"


"That's a step up."

"It sure is. Indiana was too white for me. I appreciate the diversity in this city."

He looked like he wished he had a tan.

There was this one guy, amazingly happy, cheerful, almost bubbley, who was running for Congress from somewhere near Westchester. He said h…

DFNYC Socializing Is Circle 3 For Me

Social Concentric Circles

People have their own ways of seeing things. I have drawn this diagram that throws light on my idea of social reality.

Privacy is important. To me. It is very important.

At some level I am a loner. I have to spend a lot of time on my own. I have to read and write and listen to music. On my own. I have to surf the web, on my own. I am more like an artist than a politician that way. Or maybe I am a different kind of political worker than the stereotype allows for. My emphasis is not on shaking many hands. Although meeting people is sheer joy. But I think I am selective. I do it for the joy of it, not to please people. So I skip when I decide to skip.

And if you are someone I meet in circle 3, I am not going to pretend I am meeting you in circle 2. Circle 1 is out of bounds. Like Amitabh Bachchan once said when asked about his marriage, "And why am I discussing that with the world?" Some people can talk about their private life, or at least parts of it, li…

Mumzee's Kitchen

I just bumped into this blog: Mumzee's Kitchen. More specifically its latest blog entry that was posted at another site: Howard Dean And The Demo Money Problem.

She has some great stuff to say. And she is not exactly under 30. Here are some samplers.

..... there were many of us "small people" who were willing to dig into our very shallow pockets to donate whatever we could spare ..... The progressives among us became understandably gun-shy. We are holding our fire and keeping our little bits of money in our pockets until we are sure that it will be used on behalf of those policies which we espouse ..... The great majority of us who are at the bottom of the human food chain have had enough of the same old "kiss the rich and screw the poor" choices that we have had for the last 24 years! We are sick and tired of being required to choose "the lesser of two evils" on election day, of holding our noses as we mark our ballots. We want to support someone who c…

Soviet Health Care In America

The proof is in the pudding. If the health care sector in this country were driven by market forces it would be at the forefront of adopting information technology. But it is dead last. Even the pizza industry, especially the pizza industry, is ahead of it in that adoption race.

Health care reform in this country has to be about introducing market forces into the sector. Costs have to be brought down for all participants.

Expanding insurance coverage has to start with children. Once you can make sure it is there for all children, and while you work it, there will open up ways to see how it can also be expanded among the adult population.

There are many ideas out there, many good ideas. The sector is such a huge chunk of the economy, any reform effort necessarily has to be a rather large conversation. A large, inclusive conversation that is also near transparent, that is the model I have in mind.

The last good effort was Hillary's but it did not fare well on the transparency part. She …

Politics At The Speed Of Thought

I think it was in 1995, Bill Gates came out with a book called Business At The Speed Of Thought. It was before he discovered the internet, so right now I don't know what that book was about, but I think my recent blog entry DFNYC, 100,000 Strong, Scalable Organization can be called Politics At The Speed Of Thought. The proposal quickens the pace of progress. The productivity goes up.

Race: A Volatile Topic

It is a volatile topic, for sure. But is has to be dealt with. It has to be talked about. Avoiding discussions makes it harder, not easier. We can start with the gentle topics in race. Heck, we could start with our hilarious experiences in race. I have quite a few, some of them are predictably to do with Homeland Security. Do I look Arab? Like I was in this office setting in Lexington, Kentucky, a few month after 9/11. And I overheard this guy in this next cubicle relating to someone on the phone in a toned down voice: "There is an Arab in my office!"

Pyramid Of 10

At firs…

Social Progress: Show Me The Money

The Spectrum/Dialogue Concept Is Key To Power

America is the richest, most powerful country today because it is the oldest democracy. Nepal is two years older than America, but it is one of the poorest. Democracy creates wealth. Democracy is social progress.

After slavery was abolished in America, the country started out on a major industrial trajectory.
After women were granted voting rights, there was another industrial shift. The country took to the air and to the roads. The automobile industry got launched.

The end of segregation brought forth the second industrial revolution.

Bill Clinton's progressive thrust brought forth the dot com boom and the longest peacetime economic expansion in history.

Social progress has to be made on all fronts: race, gender, class. Every time a major leap is taken, it is like breaking a sound barrier. A whole, new positive reality emerges.

That is why we have to figure out the least disruptive ways of making social progress. For me it is almost like the…

Lee Metcalf Is A Naderite

I had a rather long conversation with Lee Metcalf at the DFNYC Mixer the other day. This was his first time at a DFNYC event. Some friend of his emailed him the link to the event at the organization's site, and he decided to show up. He is a Ralph Nader guy. Go figure.

I started out not knowing a whole lot about Nader, and that was in 2000. Then I made it a point to learn. A lot of my good friends were really into him. One friend of mine was on Nader's statewide committee for Kentucky in 2000.

What does he stand for? I find few things I disagree on in terms of basic policy. But I lose him on political reality.

Gore is not the greatest guy maybe, but who would you rather have protecting the environment, Gore or Bush? To me that is what it boils down to.

Lee and I honed in on two Nader issues: (1) Public financing of elections, and (2) Universal health insurance. I can not disagree on either. But both are statements of fantassy. What exactly is the policy you are offering?

As in, sta…

Howard Dean's Anti War Email From Yesterday

Dear Paramendra,I want to tell you about John Murtha. He's a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania. He's also a combat veteran and retired Marine Corps colonel. Murtha spent 37 years in Marine Corps, earned the Bronze Star, two purple hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. And for the last thirty years he's been one of the most respected voices in Congress on military issues -- universally respected by Democrats, Republicans and military brass alike. Until now. Republicans have disgraced themselves by viciously attacking John Murtha with such disrespect that not only veterans, but every decent American should be angry. What did Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, do to draw fire from a White House led by a president and vice president who evaded service in Vietnam? He questioned their management of the war in Iraq. Here's part of what he had to say:The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped…

Thanks David For Bringing Me Back To DFNYC

A Piece On DFNYC

I am glad at least someone associated with DFNYC is willing to discuss race as a topic. If you go to three DFNYC events, that is like a total of nine hours out of a month. That is not the major part of a month. So I guess it can be hip hop plus DFNYC plus the city plus Nepal plus other stuff. I guess I will keep my options open about showing up for DFNYC events.

David Michaelson

There is Abhi's Research Advocacy meeting in 10 days, and a LinkUp in 17 days. I guess I will keep my options open. I might or might not show.

Oh, and I just found out, there is some kind of a A five-hour Dance-a-thon benefiting GMHC, Also benefiting Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP). Last night I went to Webster Hall, and I could only go on for two hours, maybe a little less than two. Then I kind of just sat and took in the music, for hours.

I mean, I went to the Mixer Thursday evening, and it was great fun. As usual.
The concepts I cultivate at this blog, it is very much work in …