Showing posts from November, 2005

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 …

A Piece On DFNYC

I held many leadership positions at both my high school and college, but both robbed me of my sense of belonging, in Nepal for being a Madhesi, in Kentucky for being non-white. My anger is not of some looney lefty. I have seen the system from inside out. And in both places there are people in powerful positions whose fantassy it is to have a cup of tea with me. They can not behave when they had a chance, they will not apologize when their moment has passed, but they want to just hang out, which is their idea of cementing the social structure that was what was offensive in the first place. And my goal is not of revenge. I stake out policy positions. The relationship between racism and me is the relationship between cancer and a doctor. My approach is scientific. I am a progressive. There are people I care about, like the dollar a day crowd. It is more a delight in ideas than any anger at anything that drives me.

I moved to NYC with great hopes. And I am not disappointed. This is the cit…