A Huge Mixer: Happy New Year
Last night I showed up for the DFNYC Mixer. It was huge. It was bigger than the one for Ferrer (Mixer For Ferrer). I kept asking people, why did so many people show up, who are these people, is something happening that I am not aware of, bla bla. At least half the people were folks I had never seen before, and I have been to every Mixer and MeetUp since I have been in town. Perhaps this means the base is all fired up to take back the Congress. Most of these people were veterans who have been with DFNYC much longer than I have. The zinns are coming out of the woodworks. The author of To Catch A Mocking Bird says he likes "watching cats and politicians." Cats are okay, but I do like watching politicos. Larry Ellison prefers cats to dogs. Dogs are too obedient for him. Cats don't go pick up the ball when you throw it: he likes that out of the box, going against the tide thing. (Career Talk)
I wish I had my camera with me. I could have captured a few minutes of video perhaps. It was also a new year celebration. And 2006 is a major election year. And in Spitzer DFNYC will finally end up with a major winning candidate.
I showed up about three minutes early. That makes you the first to show, almost. Since noone was around, I went downstairs to the restroom. Lewis Cohen was there in the den. The glass is half full: Lewis Cohen is one of the few people who actually read this blog. The glass is half empty: he gets all worked up with what he reads. He was not happy with my latest: The French Revolution And DFNYC. He felt the DFNYC's local character was not being sufficiently appreciated by me. (How The Blogosphere Can Help The Democracy Movement In Nepal) By then we had walked back upstairs, and as soon as we entered the premises he said, "We don't talk business." Mixers are supposed to be for socializing.
So I ended up with a group of a half dozen guys who were talking Democratic prospects. There were two Gregs, one Arnold, and one Stewart. Greg said gerrymandering is where politicians choose voters, and so the prospects for taking back the House are rather bleak. And he thought McCain might bag 2008.
I walked up to say hello to Leila. I wanted to say sorry I was not able to make it to your Leecia Eve event. I did not have the money! It was a fundraiser. I just launched an online talk show, pay per view, to target the 100,000 Nepalis in America. Give me some time. I just need a few hundred to tune in to take off.
"But did you get the news?"
SPITZER'S SURPRISE Yahoo! News Word that Spitzer - the sitting attorney general who presumes to the executive mansion - had tapped Paterson, the most powerful African-American in the Legislature, set off a real buzz on Monday....... "When Eliot Spitzer, the world's smartest man, is telling me that he has picked his candidate and knows that his candidate can win, who am I to question the world's smartest man?" snarled Rep. Charles Rangel ....... Rangel - along with three other elder black powerbrokers, David Dinkins, Percy Sutton and Paterson's own dad, Basil Paterson - had already thrown their support to candidate: Leecia Eve (whose dad, Arthur Eve, a former assemblyman from Buffalo, is also allied with the Harlem regulars)..... Mr. Inside picked Mr. Even--Inside .... Spitzer has also stuck his thumb in the eye of upstaters - by seeking to share the ticket with a fellow Manhattanite...... So much for Dems' legendary (if wrongheaded) calls for representatives who reflect their constituents' demographics: Leecia Eve is not only from Buffalo, she's female - perfect for filling the Dems' traditional quotas..... the rift the AG has now ignited in black political circles
Spitzer's choice for No. 2 lays bare his priorities
Leila introduced me to some guy who is the top dog for someone running for Congress in the Rochester area, some millionaire Democrat. He gave me a brief talk on "keeping American jobs in America." I can see how that might have great relevance in upstate New York. Only minutes before a lady had engaged me into a talk on the debacles of "outsourcing." And she was off on a trip to Nepal in September. When I was with the Bay Area Bob Jacobson's online Dean Issues Forum during Dean 2004, I used to draw a lot of fire on the issue, not from the neocons, but from some fellow Deaniacs (Bob Jacobson).
This economy has always lost old jobs and created new ones. That is how it went industrial from agricultural. Now it has to become an information age economy. (Takes Two Arms And Two Legs To Swim)
There was a Southern gal from North Carolina exuding Southern pride, talking barbecue, and vinegar stuff. It was refreshing to hear that.
Just floating around the room I bumped into Bernard Whitman. He is a pollster. He was involved with the Ukraine campaign in 2004. And he was very aware of what was going on in Nepal. He had me hooked. Of course, this is what he does for a living, but he sold me on the idea some major work could be done for Nepal in Washington and Brussels. The richest Nepali I know lives in Toronto. He is from my home district in Nepal, we have a lot of mutual contacts, and we briefly e-corresponded once. Aditya Jha. He sold his company to Sun Microsystems for a huge sum and promptly started another. The richest Nepali in the world though has his base in Eastern Europe. Upendra Mahato. He struck gold right when the Soviet Union collapsed and has not looked back since. "I am not rich, I am very rich," he once corrected someone. I heard that story from someone I know very well, who knows Mahato very well.
I guess the Whitman plan would entail getting Jha and Mahato to cough up some money. No Nepali is New York has that kind of money. There are several in the upper middle income brackets, but that's about it. The average Nepali in America works below minimum wage.
I told Bernard I have been taking the Ukraine name forever. But I do not wish to raise his hopes too much. So far the diaspora has been big on just extending moral support, not logistical support.
I have had a hard enough time raising smaller sums of money: Project Nepal Democracy.
And I have also been more into extending moral and logistical support to the people who actually get out into the streets in Nepal. Democracy is not going to be an export. It is going to be born locally.
"Do you talk to the leaders in Nepal?"
"I talk to all the top leaders in Nepal."
Kentucky Martha looked in good spirits. She had been home for Christmas. Kentucky is curious. I really struggled with the social conservative elements when there. But it is like this huge bonding element between me and the likes of Martha. Just Martha, really.
"I lived in Lexington for six months."
"I grew up near there."
There you go.
Dan Jacoby indirectly shared some family history, of a flower power mother.
"Do you talk to her much?" the other person asked him, this lady who was happily divorced at 37.
"Not much. Since she has been dead 15 years!"
Dan is running for office.
Abhishek Mistry was in element. Looks like this year is going to be hectic for him with his Ph.D work. I will be seeing him again this evening, at his Research Advocacy group meeting, "Cosi, downstairs." (Abhishek Mistry, Dan Jacoby)
Tom Weiss dropped by. He is running for the US Senate against Hillary. I wish him all the best, but I doubt he can garner any support at DFNYC, especially if he were to not stop acting bellicose with the leadership. (Primitive Liberals Need To Stop Attacking Hillary)
About an hour before I left for the Mixer, I got a call from a lady reporter at Newsday. Of the three MeetUps I have been trying to organize in the city, one is kind of taking off: A NYC Aspiring Entrepreneur Meetup. Looks like she wanted to maybe cover the event. She said she had the address for the venue, but can she please have the name. Sweet & Vicious. It is not that far from the location of the venue for the Mixer. A curious coincidence, I thought.
I am not really looking into entrepreneurship as my primary career. My Nepal work has convinced me I am cut for politics, although I moved into the city with the stated goal of cultivating my business ideas. But bills have to be paid, eating into savings is like the finity concept in mathematics, and I do not desire to get a job. That is where entrepreneurship comes in. Also at my entrepreneurship MeetUp, a few Desi professionals show. It is a good idea to build that network too. You might end up having to do a fundraiser somewhere down the line.
In America, that is who I am, I am a Desi, like blacks are black, and Hispanics are Hispanic. And a lot of Desis are in good shape financially. They could contribute. When a lion spots you in the jungle, he sees food. We politicos see open wallets walking around.
A few days back I launched my talk show. If it is 25 cents a video clip for 15 minutes, and I have 400 visitors, and it is two times a week, that is $800 a month. That does not exactly make me a dot com millionaire, but that pays all my bills, and it gives me room to expand. I am not a big spender. I like things like conversations, broadband, music, movies. Things I like are cheap or free. I live in Kensington, Brooklyn, with two Estonian roomies, great guys, we really get along, but every time I cook my food, they feel compelled to open up the window! It is a great neighborhood, low in price, 25 minutes from downtown.
But the entrepreneurship ties into the politics. I think in terms of progressive entrepreneurs. Because of the internet, you don't have to pick and choose. You can dabble in Nepali politics and American politics. You can dabble in politics and business. You don't have to get a job or start a major business, and you can still make dough.
|12:35||Independent Network Operations, Albany, United States|
|19:44||Southern Illinois University, United States|
|02:31||Road Runner, New York, United States|
|07:28||Wanadoo France, Reims, France|
|12:20||CTX Mortgage Company, Dallas, United States|
|15:47||@Home, Tilburg, Netherlands, The|
|07:13||Shaw Fiberlink, Canada|
|12:06||Orange County Dep. Education, United States|
|02:41||Inktomi Corp, United States|
|04:48||NTL Internet, Portsmouth, United Kingdom|
|04:49||Sky Internet, Philippines|
|06:23||Tiscali, Netherlands, The|
|12:27||Smart Telecom Holdings, Ireland|
|13:26||Road Runner, Cincinnati, United States|
|19:38||Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States|
|19:44||RCN Corporation, United States|
|02:28||Hong Kong S.A.R. (infolink.hk)|
|04:45||Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan|
|07:03||Hewlett-Packard Company, United States|
|07:14||Southwestern Bell, United States|
|11:52||New York University, New York, United States|
|13:34||Philadelphia, United States (dechert.com)|
|16:32||University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States|
|16:45||University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, United States|
|02:24||Sify Limited, India|
|11:44||State of Minnesota, United States|
|12:47||Hathway Cable and Datacom Pvt Ltd, India|