Showing posts from September, 2005

A Not So Little Norman Fact

I only learned yesterday Norman Siegel is Jewish. I mean, how do you know? I can't tell from his first or last name. I can't tell from his looks. There are people in my neighborhood who wear their cap, and have that hairstyle, and the Jewish clothes. That I can tell. But Norman?

All I knew was DFNYC was fanatically behind him. And I watched a debate where he scored real well for the most part: I think he won. And my earlier blog entry was not in any way designed to put him down. It is not adulatory, but I think that entry makes him look like the most deserving of the candidates.

A Little Siegel Incident

I met him yesterday, thanks to Tracey Denton, and I liked him a lot. We made small talk.

"You went to school in Georgia, I went to school in Kentucky."

"Really? Where? University of Kentucky?"

"No, a small school 30 minutes south of there. Berea."

"Oh, Berea. I know Berea. It is a good school."

That practically makes him a southerner. I mean, if …

Dean Was In Town Yesterday

69 Photos.

I just got back from my sister's. The event was on the West Side on the 85th Street, and she does not live that far north from there, and so I decided to drop by her place: I had not in months. I just wanted to drop by for dinner. I would have had to go back to my place and cook anyways, so why not let her do it, she is better at it. But then I ended up spending the night on her living room couch. And this morning over leisurely coffee, as we were talking, she proceeded to talk about my car and, bam, it hit me: my car was parked on the wrong side of the street. Today was Wednesday, cleaning day. I hurried back up. At least it did not get towed, but there was a ticket and a big, fat, ugly sticker on the side window that basically said, don't you want a cleaner New York, and you can remove this big, fat, ugly sticker with warm water and a scraper.

Dean was in town yesterday. Tracey introduced me to him. Tracey, you have no idea how much this means to me. She must have k…

A Great Mixer

Yesterday was the best DFNYC event ever for me. Too bad noone was dancing. Loud, fast, simple music. Large crowd. That is my idea of a cocktail. But I did dance on my own before leaving. Lewis: "We should make you the official DFNYC dancer." Is that a mascot?

Mark Green shows up just like that. "Mr. Green, Paramendra Bhagat, new in town." "Mark Green, old in town." And one member - Marion Ms. "Both Lewis and I were born in Manhattan" - works at Kofi Annan's office, and got to meet Richard Gere when he dropped by. (When people ask me what religion I am, I am prone to say, "I am a Buddhist, like Richard Gere." A-n-y association is good.) And a guy in advertising who had a copy of the New York Times, the Arts section, for the 25th! And Dan Jacoby finally learns my name. And Ms. Sunshine birthday girl Heather Woodfield claims her cheerfulness is just a "facade." What a twist. And queen Tracey Denton is all humble about DFNYC. …

Bloomberg Is No Democrat

Bloomberg has come out swinging against the Roberts nomination for the Supreme Court. That is a cynical attempt to play the NYC sentiments. Considering he has paid more money to George W. than any other individual in the solar system, and considering George W. has a clear track record of listening to people who bribe him, I bet Bloomberg could arrange for a breakfast, lunch and dinner with W. all on the same day. Well, why does he not do that? And tell the president, "Remember when I gave you money, lots of money? Payback time. Now listen to me. Take Roberts out of this nomination process. Please."

But Bloomberg will not do that. You know why? Because he really does not oppose the Roberts nomination. He does not care one way or another. He is opposing the nomination in an attempt to play to the gallery. He is being theatrical. This man belongs on Broadway, not at City Hall.

On all the social issues, he sings the right tunes. If he has such fierce disagreements with the Republi…

Fernando Ferrer

The primaries are over. In this Pacific blue city, the Democratic primaries can be dizzying. It was for a newbie like me. But my DFNYC comrades - brave people - stayed spirited and engaged. Even when some of our endorsed candidates did not make it, the spirit was not down. "I put my efforts into a good cause, and I feel good about it." That was the spirit. I was like, wow.

Now the picture is a little clearer. Democrats are rallying behind Fernando Ferrer for Mayor. I have not looked into the details yet much, but the Republican incumbent Bloomberg seems to have a wide edge. He is way ahead in the polls. I wonder why.

I think he manages to deceive the New Yorkers into thinking he is a Republican in name only, and he manages to sing all the right tunes on the social issues. For example, he is against the Roberts nomination for Supreme Court. Not even many Democrats in DC have come out swinging like that. And he was a lifelong Democrat. He became Republican just to run for Mayor.…

To: The Good White People In The South

Dear Good White People In The South.

I grew up in Nepal being thought of as an Indian, and when I showed up in Kentucky for college, some people asked me if I was from New York because I spoke so much faster compared to their leisurely southern drawl, and I moved to New York City a few months back, and some friends welcomed me as a man from Kentucky. Just so you know where I am coming from.

I write to you today because ever since I have become involved with the group Democracy For New York City, and have thought about national politics in a serious way, the South keeps banging on my mental screen in a big way. If the Democrats were to make a serious bid for the Congress next year, and for the White House in 2008, they better carry some southern states, or they are in trouble.

So what is it about you? I consider myself more a social scientist than a diplomat. And I will try and be clear on this one.

I think you should abandon those who appeal to your baser instincts that get you caricature…

Eric Cesnik For District 5

Andrew Kling, Eric's Campaign Manager, who I met at my very first Democracy For New York City, DFNYC, MeetUp in the East Village, singled me out to take me to the after MeetUp MeetUp, where DFNYC MeetUp organizers from all over the city gather afterwards. More importantly, he singled me out saying, "I have just the campaign for you." He had Eric in mind. And I met Eric at a Mixer. And it all gelled for me.

Too bad Nepal has been taking all of my time: Democracy For Nepal (DFN). For the first time in 10 years, permanent peace feels possible in Nepal. And I am basically telecommuting into the peace process. There are Nepali democrats also in the city, as the country at large. And we all put in our efforts. Our recent success is the king cancelled his trip to the UN and it was partly because of the huge protest rally we were going to organize on September 16 near the UN building. The rally will still happen, but now the goal is to move and shake world opinion on behalf of Ne…

A Step-Up For Barbara Bush

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas."

"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this is working very well for them."

"Almost everyone I've talked to says 'we're going to move to Houston.'"

Mrs. Bush toured the Astrodome complex with her husband, former President George Bush, as part of an administration campaign throughout the Gulf Coast region to counter criticism of the response to the storm.

The person who reminds so many Republicans of their mothers and grandmothers has stepped up to the plate. She also happens to be the wife of a president who voted against the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s during his days in the Congress. And the mother of a president who is a creationist. (See: Dumb And Dumberer: Creationist Bush)

The Barbara Bush remark puts her in the same category as Trent Lott.

These inse…

A Little Siegel Incident

Before I moved to NYC, I had never heard of the term Public Advocate. Of course I had never heard the Norman Siegel name. Then I move to the city, and Siegel is the biggest name the DFNYC is attached to. He is running for the biggest office at stake, and he actually has a good chance of winning.

I am not a voter. I am not much into city politics: I am a total novice. So largely I have stayed away from the fray.

But then I showed up to watch a Public Advocate debate that was a DFNYC event. I just wanted to get a feel for the guy that DFNYC was so behind. And I actually liked most of what I heard. He was easily the most passionate about the job. He came across as someone who really wants to be your attack dog. But primarily because he was endorsed by the DFNYC, I had this tribal feeling of extending my moral support to him.

But then there was this one Rick Lazio moment in the debate that kind of froze me for a little bit. He cornered the woman - I never got her name - who holds the office …

Dean-Hillary-Obama Ticket

I think that would be great.

Howard Dean for President.
Hillary Clinton for Vice President.
Barack Obama for Secretary of State.


Democracy For Nepal, DFN

Yesterday I renamed my Nepal blog, now it is called Democracy For Nepal, DFN. DFNYC has been my homebase since my move to New York City. And this renaming has been inspired by my association with DFNYC.

My involvement with the movement in Nepal is easily the most important political work I ever did. I am doing it for emotional reasons, but it curiously also has global ramifications. I think it has major ramifications for US politics also.

When Howard Dean ran for DNC Chair, he said he has no plans to run for president again in 2008. And ever since then I have figured the 2004 candidacy was his last one. But then I revisited my impression yesterday after I renamed this blog. Democracy For America. Democracy For New York City. Democracy For Nepal. It started gelling for me.

When Bill Clinton ran for re-election in 1990 in Arkansas, he pledged he will complete his four-year term. A year later he went on a listening tour across the state to seek permission from his voters to run for presiden…