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Monday, 21 January 2008

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The Iowa Caucus was one of the few times in my lifetime when I felt proud to be an American. Let us remember today what Martin Luther King started so many years ago - the journey towards working together to solve our mutual problems.

'Besides the miserable weather, by the middle of January working people are tired of holidays. Most employees have had at least four official days off in the preceding seven weeks (New Year's, Christmas, and two for Thanksgiving).'

Tired of holidays? That is one of the more bizarre things that I have read lately...

That's funny.......I had you pegged as a Kucinich-ite.

As that little wise man one said. "Be the change you want to see in the world"

I'd be just fine with with Edwards as President for a while. I think the world would be a far different and better place if Obama was.

That's funny too...I thought I remembered you being a libertarian. Well, I'm glad you are not.

I haven't been paying that much attention to politics lately, but you are right about Iowa/Obama and thanks for pointing that out.

I wish Obama (and all the others) would get their ecology houses in order. Ethanol? Come on.

That's funny too...I thought I remembered you being a libertarian. Well, I'm glad you are not.

I haven't been paying that much attention to politics lately, but you are right about Iowa/Obama and thanks for pointing that out.

I wish Obama (and all the others) would get their ecology houses in order. Ethanol? Come on.

"Greatest" is ridiculously loaded and subjective, but whenever I consider the idea of the "greatest American" it's always Dr. King I think of first.

I'm a little surprised at the sudden proudness with the country. It's not like the first time a black person ran for president. While I like the idea of changing MLK to August, I don't see it happening unless Labor Day goes away. Fat chance you're gonna get two 3 day weekends at the end of summer. ;) And I consider the quote of Chris Rock in the United Press article to be itself racist.

Well, I think that the first time I was aware that I was an American was sometime during the day, Sunday Dec 7 1941. I was 7 years old at the time, about to turn 8. I have been, blessed, happy and very proud to be an American every day since and I will be until the day I die. E. (Conservative Republican with Libertarian overtones.)

I fear Iowa is not representative, but I also was pleasantly surprised at Obama's 2nd place showing in NH. However, I am also an Edwards supporter.

Mike,
I think it's undeniable that this year's race is a historic one, owing to the fact that it includes a woman and a black man (actually, half black, to be accurate). But while I'm happy that we've reached that point in our history, that fact alone isn't enough to determine my vote, nor to make me gush with enthusiasm. I'll decide my vote based on competence and qualifications, not blood lines or reproductive plumbing. I'm a bit amused (and more than a bit alarmed) by the number of people who seem to have based their support for Mr. Obama largely on his racial background. Dale

I think we're closer (a lot) to the day a black man can be president than we are to the day when race has nothing to do with it.
I'm from Denmark, about as close as you can come to a "color blind" country, and yet even I find it hard to dismiss skin color from my view of a person, simply because it is continually pushed in your face how extremely important it is to so many people in most parts of the world.

I too felt the same pride but I wonder that if Obama's campaign is all about him being black, maybe people are flocking to him for exactly the wrong reasons. When this country can vote for the best candidate REGARDLESS of race (when race is no longer an issue at all), only then have we achieved MLK's dream.

The next hurdle will be when we don't have to refer to Obama as the "black" candidate, but rather as just a Democrat presidential candidate from Illinois.

Jessee Jackson helping to define MLK's legacy? That's rich. For those of you not from Chicago, as I am, I think that asking Jackson for input on the civil rights movement is like asking Don King to defend boxing regulation. Jackson's sons didn't get Budweiser distribution by accident. King was personally flawed but socially visionary, and courageous. But Jackson? Divisive at best. It just rankles me to see his name in the same paragraph as King's. But he's worked hard at it, to be sure.

Interesting commentary aside, it's always good to see Camilo José Vergara's sociological-leaning images getting more exposure. While he's sometimes more a documentarian than a pure artist, he's done some beautiful and important work....

I have been an Obama supporter from the beginning of his candidacy, and his is the only campaign that I have contributed to. Several acquaintances have asked why do I bother, since he has no chance. It is precisely comments like that why I bother.

It may be worth seeing more of Camilo Vergara's photos related to Dr. King in a slide show at the New York Times:

http://tinyurl.com/38mvkv

I met Camilo when he was in Los Angeles several years ago for a show of his work and later to negotiate a sale of his archive to the Getty. I was impressed with the simplicity of his technique - as much as by his own low key unassuming personality. He was carrying around hundreds or maybe thousands of slides taken with an "ordinary" SLR and probably a 50 mm lens. No fancy gear, no pretense at esoteric craft. The collection could be called "boring" by someone looking for the usual technical fireworks. But Camilo was "never clever" as that photographic aphorism goes.

He was never a "tourist" passing through the ghettos of the world either. He never saw poverty as the photogenic subject it sometimes ends up in so many fancy "Leica portfolios". His was a gut level commitment to what he felt he needed to document.

In the midst of all our talk of sensors and buttons (and bokeh, oh my!), his pictures remind me of what it takes to build a worthwhile body of work.

Bravo for MLK day in late August. Nothing much gets done in the business world then, and people like to vacation. Europeans know better how to vacation than Americans, and they usually go in August. BTW, reference the UPI story at the link, Jesus Christ may be the only person honored with a holiday for his birthday, but it is not ON his birthday. All the experts on the period seem to agree based on astronomical data, etc., that December 25 is not even nearly the correct time. It appears it was picked to coincide with a long existing pagan holiday of some sort.

"December 25 is not even nearly the correct time. It appears it was picked to coincide with a long existing pagan holiday of some sort."

"Long existing" is the right term there. :-)

The birthday of Mithra, Saturnals, Meán Geimhridh... or any of the other contemporary or even earlier holidays celebrating the winter solstice.

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