Archive for the 'Obama' Category

21
Apr
09

This Bobolee Is Getting A Serious Beating, Boy!

Yesterday morning, the hit counter on my blog stood at 25,000 hits.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!  At this sentence, the count stands at 25,106 unique hits.

boboleepicture

A Good Friday Bobolee in Trinidad.

[Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull]

This is a major milestone for me, and for my blog.  Actually, this is my 2nd attempt at blogging.  I used to have a MSN Spaces page at one point in time (http://spaces.msn.com/bluesoapbox was the URL) which I discontinued as I didn’t feel too comfortable sharing my inner thoughts and feelings with the whole wide world at the time.  What got me started again was the 2008 US Election campaign.  I was really appalled some of the things that were being said (and done) during the campaign, and at the same time, I was really captivated by Barack Obama.

A few friends and I were discussing the campaign issues online and one posted a Slate picture slideshow entitled “The Soiling of Old Glory”.   Those pictures invoked memories of a trip I’d made to a Southern US state in the 1990’s.  Those memories helped me write “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, a recollection of the day I met Jim Crow for the first time.  That’s the most widely read and referenced post on this blog to date, with close to 1300 views to date.

I’m really fortunate to have made a few acquaintances thru this second blogging stint; acquaintances I hope turn into friendships as time goes by.  My blog stats tell me that my blog posts have been read from as far west as Alaska to as far east as China.  That really… I don’t know… has me in awe?  I really don’t know how else to describe it… how that makes me feel.

My blog will be a year old on May 24th.  With any luck (and time) I’ll share some more facts and figures then.  In these eleven months (approx), I also started Bobolee Pix, a space for me to share a few of my pictures.  I’ve been stymied with my photography efforts though: someone sniped my camera last month and I haven’t gotten myself a replacement as yet! 😕  Really a shame… I loved taking photos, and my camera and I had just gotten used to each other’s quirks.  I hope the new owner likes it as much as I did! 😕

I’m not a learned scholar, an author, a writer, or a journalist.  Just a simple dude with an opinion (and a way with words, apparently).  I have to warn you, I’m not always able to post as I like due to my real-world commitments!  I wish I could do nothing else but share my thoughts and observations with you each and everyday… and I probably could, but I’ll have to leave my currently well-paying 9-5!  At least, now with my Twitter feed,  we can still share and communicate thoughts on a more impromptu and frequent basis.

Thanks a lot for visiting, thanks a lot for linking, thanks a lot for critiquing, and thanks a lot for sharing!

thank-you

Peace and Rice,

jw

18
Apr
09

I Lost My Twitter Cherry Today

Blame it on @aplusk. Blame it on @Oprah.  Blame it on @CNN even, but yes, I’ve finally decided to join the Twitter brigade.

Twitter is a site where users post 140-character messages that are distributed to groups of people/users who follow their every post… they’re known as “followers”.  The service allows users to “tweet” (post) as well as “follow” other Twitterers.

http://twitter.com/boboleechron is where you’ll find me… and I’m just getting my “sea legs” around the service.

I first got introduced to Twitter during my daily tech readings a few years ago.  Then Keith, a friend and fellow blogger of mine, started using it.  I didn’t seem to think I had the time or the “content” to start a “microblog”.

The recent race to a million Twitter followers between CNN and Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) got my attention… as did the fact that Oprah Winfrey became the latest celebrity to join the service.   Kutcher said that:

“I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter,” Kutcher says in a video, which was shot from inside a car and was posted on Qik.com.

“So I just thought that was just kind of an amazing comment on the state of our media, and I said that, if I beat CNN to 1 million viewers, then I would ding-dong ditch Ted Turner — because I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

My first thought was that he was right… Twitter is a great equalizer for the masses.  The people now have the means to reach others and to spread their versions of the real story.

Then I started to think again… just who is Ashton Kutcher?   Besides the fact that he’s an actor and the husband of a famous actress, who is he?  Why would a million people choose to get their “news” from @aplusk as opposed to CNN?  In a sense, his winning the race to a million followers is symptomatic of the problem being faced by all media carriers, especially the traditional press: the masses are no longer interesting in reading yesterday’s news.  Advances in communications and internet technologies are blurring the dividing lines between us all.   The global village is now, and we’re all sitting in the same cafe with the same access to the same gossip about what “Mary” got herself into last night… as soon as she updates her online status.

I read online that some view this race to a million as further proof of the dumbing down of America, and by extension, the globe. I disagree.  A million people wanting to find out more about what Ashton and Demi wore to lunch as opposed to wanting to hear more about the economic plans of the Obama administration isn’t dumb…

No, I don’t think its dumb at all.  Its escapist. Life today is stressful.  People have lost their houses, their jobs, their live savings… its getting harder to afford the basics for most of us as our salaries stay the same or go kaput whilst prices skyrocket.  The comings and goings of celebrities help people tune out of the world for awhile… put a smile or a smirk on a few faces everyday… entertainment.  Besides which, why buy the newspaper cow when the information milk is free? 😆

I hope, if anything, that I get to interact with more of you folks… and even make a few more friends via Twitter.  I’m a later adopter by nature when it comes to technology… I know someone always comes along with something better, faster and stronger on short notice.  Feel free to follow my feed and to post your own in the comments, if you wish.  I promise not to be a spammer, and not to tweet (or retweet) crap!

Peace and Rice,

jw

07
Apr
09

Wrong Country? No Love…

You know something’s really wrong with the US economy when not even the “local” girls want to marry American men!

india-bachelor

Ineligible Bachelors: Indian Men Living in U.S. Strike Out

The Wall Street Journal article points out that:

Vikas Marwaha would normally be considered a good catch by Indian parents seeking a husband for their daughter. The 27-year-old software engineer earns $80,000 to $100,000 a year and comes from a family “of doctors and engineers,” according to his profile on a matrimonial Web site.

But Mr. Marwaha works for a start-up Internet phone company in San Francisco. And because the U.S. economy is wobbly, that’s a problem. Many Indian parents now are balking at sending their daughters to the U.S. to marry.

Interactive Graphic

Check out this interactive “Indian Singles” ad at the journal!

Until recently, overseas candidates would quickly elicit 10 to 15 responses from young women, says Smita Seth, 55, owner of Manpasand Marriage Bureau in Ahmedabad. But in the past few months, she has had to coax parents to even consider overseas grooms; they prefer men from their own towns instead.

In order to find a suitable bride, many Non-Resident Indian (N.R.I.) men leave their successful US jobs, try to find suitable jobs at home and begin the search for a bride, anew… where they’re being confronted with the fact that its pretty hard these days to find a “bride who is smart, fluent in English, and ‘simultaneously, docile in the house’.”

I wonder how other bachelors from other cultures worldwide are coping… the potential brides too!  Someone should do a study on this… it seems that the general trend is reversing.  People are leaving the US now, instead of flocking to it!

The reason? Pretty simple actually… as the Mighty Sparrow succinctly put it in one of his classic calypsoes:

Pic from Afrobella: A young Mighty Sparrow

[Afrobella]

“No Money, No Love”

Peace and Rice,

jw

PS:  Here’s one N.R.I. male who shouldn’t have any problem finding himself a bride… 🙂

Democratic Convention[Chicago Sun Times]

I want to wish you all the best in your new job, man!  8)

10
Mar
09

Trinidad Carnival 2009 Part Deux

Hey, folks… here’s the second part of my 2009 Carnival picture collection.  Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I wasn’t out for very long on Carnival Tuesday, and for a short time I had the bad luck of being caught in a bad position when a great band was making its way across the stage… I was facing the sun.

Anyway, I didn’t let that deter me from the mission at hand… which was to capture a little piece of the bacchanal that is Carnival to share with you.

The bulk of the pix are from the band Legends, led by Big Mike and his partner Juliette.  The rest are from Trevor Wallace.

Most of these were taken on Ariapita Avenue in Port of Spain, close to the NCC Judging point at Adam Smith Square.

Peace and Rice,

jw

05
Feb
09

Dollars and Sense

Could this (below) be a reason why the World Economy is in the tank right now?  I certainly hope not!

Video from http://failblog.org/2009/02/04/verizon-math-fail/


political-pictures-barack-obama-my-stimulus

[Pundit Kitchen]

Peace and Rice,

jw

28
Jan
09

Bits Of Brilliance

…to brighten up your day!  I borrowed the title of this post from the RS article below.  Enjoy!

~~~

Dear World,

The United States of America, your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage.

Bye Bye Bush

Bye Bye Bush!

[SFist]

The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located. Replacement components were ordered Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, and have begun arriving. Early test of the new equipment indicate that it is functioning correctly and we expect it to be fully operational by mid-January.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage and we look forward to resuming full service and hopefully even improving it in years to come. Thank you for your patience and understanding,

The USA

[Rolling Stone]


political-pictures-former-president-george-bushpoliticial-pictures-floatin-shoe-looking-for-gw-bush

political-pictures-republicans-refuse-appearance-bush

political-pictures-walk-away-casually

god-bless-joe-biden

Chappelle Press Secretarypolitical-pictures-open-the-door-hillary

[All of the pix above came from PunditKitchen.com]

Peace and Rice,

jw

20
Jan
09

The Politics of Inspiration

Good morning, folks!

Firstly, let me take the time out to wish you and yours all the very best of health, wealth and happiness for 2009 and beyond!

Yes, I know its been a looooong time since I graced the pages of my own dang blog, but my new year started out with a big positive bang for me, and I’ve just been riding the wave of my good fortune.  No, I didn’t win the lottery!  If I did, I would’ve quit my job and devoted more time to blogging!  Just lets say that I realised that if you want something, you have to really put in the work and make the relevant sacrifices to get it.

Here are some interesting links that I hope you find interesting.  They’re mostly Obama related:

fr-henry-charlesFr. Henry Charles’ commentary in the Trinidad Guardian- “The politics of inspiration”. Notable quote: “We often think that youth are motivated only by transiency or by careers that promise the most lucrative returns; but a truer picture is that they respond to credible summons that demand the best of them. When such summons comes clothed in the lineaments of an admirable person, there’s no limit to their zeal. This is what defined the Peace Corps, that initiative of President Kennedy’s, that propelled droves of college graduates to the far corners of the world to help in equipping less privileged peoples with life-enhancing resources and skills. If youth appear today more apathetic than eager, more self-regarding than socially committed, the reason in large part is that the summons to do better or be better has never been sounded by less credible seniors. Obama didn’t try to suck up to young people, or for that matter see them as the latest of lost generations.”

Sinfest Web Comic — Hall of Justice. President-Elect Obama as Clark Kent paying homage and respect to those Super Heroes who paved the way before him and opened the doors to the corridors of power he now walks.  Then, transforming into Superman, taking his place as leader, ready to lead the team from day one.

Hall of Justice

This was originally published in November 2008, but I think it most relevant given the undeniable significance (and closeness!) of Martin Luther King Jr’s 80th birthday and the Obama inauguration… and his impact of MLK (and others) on the Obama campaign. Plus, it appeals to the comic book geek in me! 🙄

CrackBerry — Obama chooses BlackBerry over the Presidency!!!

Obama Chooses BlackBerry!

This is a joke, of course! Its making reference to the fact that Obama will not be allowed to use his favourite techtoy — his BlackBerry — for official business in his role as POTUS.  He’ll still be the first president to have and use a laptop in the Oval Office though… and I bet he’ll use a Mac… though as he’s trying so hard to reach across the political and ideological divides, he’ll probably have a PC as well. 😕

On a serious tech note though, there’s been an upsurge in spam capitalising on the worldwide interest in Obama’s inauguration by spreading lies about him ‘quitting’ and ‘refusing’ office before he’s sworn in later today. Please read the above link, and don’t open or forward the spam email if you get it!!!  If you do open it, don’t click on any links that may be contained in the message!!!

LA Times — Black ‘Firsts’ Share Their Challenges “With Obama set to become the nation’s 44th president, Lee, Wilson, Ashley and other Jamaican Chess Grandmasterpioneering African Americans were asked to reflect on the challenges and lessons of being a ‘first.'” I was really intrigued to read about the stories of these pioneers who had to do so much to break the barriers that opposed them on their way to the top.

Additionally, I had no idea that the first black Chess grandmaster was Jamaican!  I thought he was American!

Comedy Central — An Excellent Illustration of the Current Economic Situation


taxpayers bankers

Well, a picture always did speak a thousand words!

Peace and Rice,

jw

12
Dec
08

Throwback Friday: Dave Chappelle’s “Racial Draft”

Whoa.  Its been a looong time… and I’m still not out of the woods yet!  I will be soon, though…

Anyway, I was thinking to myself tonight (admittedly, an unwise course of action at times)… wouldn’t it be really great if Dave Chappelle could “update” the skit shown in the video below, given all that’s happened with Colin Powell, Barack Obama and O.J. Simpson in the last few months, weeks and days?

I don’t want to say too much more about my reasons.  Just watch the video and (hopefully) enjoy!

😆

So long, fried rice!

🙂

jw

(Edit: The video has/uses slurs that may be offensive to some.  Please be advised.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

13
Nov
08

A Lincoln Moment

Its been a tough time for me, trying to keep up-to-date with all the happenings around the world.  These days with the workload on my plate, I hardly even have time to read the local newspapers, which, if you know me, is something I try to do everyday… at least!

Anyway, yesterday I got a chance to read November 10th’s Trinidad Guardian, where I happened upon this article by local Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Henry Charles.  Fr. Charles graduated from law school a few years ago, and he usually puts an interesting, well researched and written spin on the news of the day.

Last Monday’s column was no different. I’ve copied it here for you to read.  If you click on that last hyperlink, you’ll be taken directly to it.  As per usual, I’ve tried to illustrate the column with appropriate images and hyperlinks.

########################################################################################

A Lincoln Moment

by Fr Henry Charles.

Trinidad Guardian, Monday Nov. 10, 2008.

Bounce With The PastIt may be just coincidence that President-elect Barack Obama represented the state of Illinois, the same state as that of Abraham Lincoln, but no politician, black or white, in living memory resembles the great American president as much as he.

During the campaign his opponents strove to make his gift of oratory a liability. Hillary Clinton remarked at one point that while she and John McCain brought experience and achievement to the table, Obama brought a speech.

This denigration of speeches was mind-boggling, when one recalled even such a figure as John Kennedy, but most especially when the giant called Lincoln came to mind. Most people who can recall Lincoln’s Gettysburg address or the second inaugural know little of his programmes or policies, but none can quote either locution without experiencing an immediate elevation of the heart and mind.

Obama may have won the presidency through a disciplined campaign and a comprehensive ground strategy, but in my estimation he won it especially though his words.

Larger Than Life

Lincoln had other speeches, lesser known but no less significant, which addressed divisions as grave as those inherited by Obama—a fact he himself recalled on his victory night. “We are not enemies, but friends,” he said, quoting Lincoln at the close of his first inaugural. “We must not be enemies.”

“Though passion may have strained,” Lincoln went on, “it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely as they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

The immediate context of this appeal was a divided society in the wake of a bloody civil war, but the sentiments speak, as Obama saw, as much to divisions in contemporary America (and we can add) as to many other societies around the globe, including ours. “The better angels of our nature.”

Politicians rarely summon us to the transformation implied in that vision. We are more used to divisions being solidified and exploited. We have become used to having enemies. It is something the global community, and not America alone, is summoned to go beyond. This is surely one of the principal challenges laid down by Obama. Admiration alone is not enough.

McCain attempted to define Obama as a radical in the last days of the campaign, and in a sense he was right. In fact, Obama proposes a change far more radical than McCain and his most diehard supporters could imagine: a transformation. The politics of Obama is the politics of faith in the prospect of democratic renewal; in the dream that divided peoples could unite around common purposes and lower partisan barriers to make possible dramatic shifts in the way a society relates to itself and the world.

We Support HimThe anticipation of a differently-united diverse society was most evident in the character of the celebration that greeted the closing of the polls in California. The power of the moment was something everyone felt, not African-Americans alone. Who would ever have thought to see a day in America when white people would cry with joy over the elevation of a black man? It was a moment of astonishment and vertigo.

For African-Americans though, as Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post reminded, the moment was also personal. Obama is not a president for black Americans but for all Americans. And yet it would be historical myopia of the worst sort not to see in him a miraculous culmination of black hope.

What would Frederick Douglass, WEB De Bois, Booker T Washington, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and The Road to the White HouseMartin Luther King Jr have said, Henry Louis Gates asked, “if they could know what our people had at long last achieved (after) all those slights and rebuffs and recriminations, all those rapes and murders, lynchings and assassinations, all those Jim Crow laws and protest marches, those snarling dogs and bone-breaking water hoses, all those beatings and all those killings, all of those collective dreams deferred…all the unbearable pain of all those tragedies?”

Obama’s victory is not redemption for all this history. It is rather the symbolic culmination of the centuries-long struggle for freedom, the grand achievement of a great collective dream.

People now quote a saying of Robert Kennedy’s that there would be a black president by 2000. According to Gates, the award for prescience goes to Jacob K Javits, a liberal Republican senator from New York. In an essay entitled “Integration from the top down” (with the subtitle “The ultimate colour line”), printed in Esquire magazine in 1958, Javits wrote:

barack-usain-bolt-obama“What manner of man will this be, this possible Negro presidential candidate of 2000? Undoubtedly, he will be well-educated. He will be well-travelled and have a keen grasp of his country’s role in the world and its relationships. He will be a dedicated internationalist with working comprehension of the intricacies of foreign aid, technical assistance and reciprocal trade…Assuredly, though, despite his other characteristics, he will have developed the fortitude to withstand the vicious smear attacks that came his way as he fought to the top in government and politics…”

In the same essay Javits predicted the ascendancy of the first black senator (Edward Brooke in Massachusetts since 1966) and the first Supreme Court Justice (the great Thurgood Marshall in 1967).

This was very keen prescience. When we consider Obama’s many-sided, extraordinary gifts, it’s remarkable how accurately Javits hypothetically drew his background and character.

Obama’s presidency will not wield magic. The number of teenage pregnancies will not diminish overnight, nor will the levels of drug addiction in the black community. His achievement will not make black children learn to read and write as if their lives depended on it, though already not a few of them have drawn great inspiration in the moment.

One thing is unquestionable. A barrier has been crossed, an iron ceiling shattered. A man whose cultural and genetic heritage is so secure, he can transcend it, has become the leader of the free world. His victory means not just another “morning in America.” In the words of the black spiritual, it’s one “great getting’ up morning.”

10
Nov
08

Obama Election Victory Cartoons

Taken primarily from:

(Thanks to Frolin & DefCon)

Enjoy and celebrate!

Peace and Rice,

jw




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