Getting in the Game
My adventures in the world and the inlfuence of Sports Night.


The media coming out party

Seems to be this weekend. Man these guys/gals plan well, my hats off to Antwaun Smith and the team of volunteers right now.

First, TalkLeft pointed us to an awesome OpEd piece by Gary Hart appearing in tomorrow's Washinton Post (if your in the DC area and can pick on up for posterity sake I'd owe ya). The OpEd is great mostly because it clarifies his position and the difference between him and every other possible Presidential candidate in the next cycle including the sitting President. He does not only lay out criticism for those he disgress with, but offers solutions, and thinks in the long term for foriegn policy. even George W. Bush has not laid out his overall plan for the United States place in the world, outside of the unversially degraded National Secuirty doctrine written by "radicals" as they are called even within people that support Bush's current positions (I'll give you the links later, right now all I got it in a hard copy of the current issues of Foriegn Affairs and The Economist, pick it up and read them you'll see what I am saying).

ALSO ...

Gary Hart will be on CNN on Monday. Here is the e-mail that the mailing list were sent:

On Monday (3/10), tune into two separate CNN programs to see former senator Gary Hart discuss the pending war with Iraq and homeland security:

* Inside Politics
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST
(an interview with Judy Woodruff)

* Larry King Live
9 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST
(on a panel with other former senators)

Check your local listings for the channel in your area.

Tune in'll be fun.

posted by Kevin | 3/08/2003 09:08:00 PM

My God ...

Buzzflash's analysis of the Bush press Conference just shocks me.

Do the Republicans suck so much they can't even hold a press conference. Once again my friends working for the RNC, White House, and any Republican should bow their head in shame and compare that mess to what they want to do with their lives.

They snubbed Helen Thomas and answered prepared questions.

Why does this piss me of? We are going to war ... and the WH is pretending to have Press Conferences and messing with my prime time schedule in the process. It makes my stomach turn to see such a mockery of democracy.

Which reminds me of my co-workers comment about why she is a Republican: "I think there is too much democracy in this country"

It looks like the White House agrees with her, and wants to export ours to Iraq.

posted by Kevin | 3/08/2003 02:11:00 PM

It's Gary Hart week at Getting in the Game

Anthony Trumbo, has pointed out a very interesting article in the LA Times. In it Gary Hart wades into the race a bit more by saying:

Hart said that within the next week or two, he plans to begin raising money through the Internet and through a limited direct-mail appeal. He will use the money to hire a small staff and to continue traveling the country "for the next month or six weeks" as he finalizes his decision.

This means two things, it coincides with what I have heard throught the grapevine, and most important, means anyone who wants a Hart candidacy, should get that credit card ready to donate today, even $20 will make a huge difference when the time comes.

posted by Kevin | 3/08/2003 01:36:00 PM


On My Membership in the Democratic Party

One of my student workers asked me a question the other day that I could not answer right away. I had explained to him that in 2000 I became disillusioned with politics and the Democratic Party after working for it and the Gore campaign. He intelligently asked me why I was a Democrat and what sparked my return to politics with such a passion.

I did not give him conclusion I reach in this article, because I could not explain it to him. So I thought about it and realized why.

I am Democrat and I am back in politics because: I was born a Democrats (loyalty), I agree with them more than any other political group (common goals), but most importantly, it is the party that currently represents the more liberal voter base. That party that has the one that has shaped this nation in times of crisis and produced some of our most impressive leaders: John Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR. As our history moves through its cycles, I want to be part of that transformation, making this country a better place to live and to be a citizen.

However, yesterday, I fell back on the minor reason: the fact that Bush is destroying the country and the world with broken promises, hidden agendas, and diplomatic bull-headedness. However, not liking the other guy should never be a passion in your life. As I explained to another friend of mine years ago, your career goals in life should not be devoted to obtaining a position or attached to particular event. When either is accomplished, you will be left with nowhere to go, with all that work; you will just be lost in forest.

This is the popular rallying cry of the party right now: we are not Bush and he is the real ?evildoer?. Not only do I believe that this will not win the 2004 election, but even more importantly it will not solve the countries problems. To quote a fictional President "Bob Rumson's [most candidates' names here] problems isn't that he doesn't get. His problem is that he can't sell it ... These are serious times, and we face serious problems, and we need serious people to solve them." The Democrats cannot claim to be liberal and protecting American?s when they are following the Republican playbook of using fear as a leadership tool.

I am also firm believer in cycles. Time is not simply a straight line that moves in one direction, but it is also composed of cycles throughout history. Even our measurements of time are simply measurements of specific cycles: a year - our orbit around the sun, a day - the rotation of the earth, and even the frequency of microwaves determine the most accurate measure of a second.

Cycles measure time in politics too. It seems we have a major and nation altering crisis every 80 years or so. Each time the conservative wing of the 'political parties' are in power and the liberal party takes it, at the onset of the crisis. Examples: Revolutionary War - the Loyalists lost power to the founding fathers, Election of 1860 - Republican party created as the new liberal party takes power from the Democrats, 1929 and the Election of 1932 - The Democrats become the more liberal wing and take power from the Republicans.

Like the longer cycles of planetary movement, this is one we don?t often see, it is one that is directed by forces that are not measurable (generations, changes in technology, and the pendulum of democratic politics). However we always notice it when it is upon on us. Even the Republican are comparing the modern world to 1930s, in order to further their claims (though I don not agree with the similarities between appeasement and Iraq, I do agree on the similar times in cycles of history).

Once again we are on that same time in the cycle and once again the conservative party is in control.

As a New Yorker on September 11th, I did what I could, but they did not need more people at Ground Zero, and they had too many people giving blood; that night all I could do was donate some of my clothes to the victims.

So the next day I looked to my leaders to what I could do. I was told to shop.

One year later on September 11th, 2002 I wrote open letter to my parents generation. Asking for them to use me for something, anything, in order to make sure we respond to this threat and make sure that the world is a safer place for everyone.

There was no answer. My mom tried to send me a response and give me suggestions, and one of them hit home. Do your best, and figure out what you believe.

So I did. As I read I began to put modern events in context. I rebelled against the DLC not because it did not do a good job once, but because it has done its job. 1930's liberalism will not fly in 2003, this was proven by the Clinton Presidency and his strategy of triangulation. I have been trying to explain my theory of continuing that work in a different direction for a while now, but could not explain it in a way that would make sense.

However, when you consider the cycles of democracy it becomes clear. The Democrats took power in 1932 and have not really changed the basic direction of their policies since. The apex of this cycle was reach 30 years later with the LBJ presidency. Then came the decline, until Clinton the party only briefly controlled the White House and Congress was as George Stephanopoulos described the Congress from 1972 to 1998 by saying
our party had become a complacent feudal kingdom no longer bound by the fervent belief or fear of the king. Each member was master of a barony , each chairperson, lord of a duchy. Our Majority was more tactical alliance of autonomous factions than a political movement based on shared values and a coherent governing philosophy.

This describes the Democratic Party to this day, except we are no longer the majority, and another major difference: The Clinton Presidency.

Clinton took the Democratic Party to the right, he ended welfare as we knew it and declared the end of the era big government. Then he did something that had not been done since FDR, he won the Presidential election twice as a Democrat. In the process he dismantled much of what Democrats held dear for 60 years.
The era of big government is over, and a new era of a different type of government is just around the corner. Clinton's Presidency freed the party from its need to protect programs that have become outdated and positions that hinder us. Instead it has freed the party to engage in a new discussion about where it wants to go and what kind of programs it wants to support. Like a phoenix from the ashes of the entitlement-based system the new Democratic Party has the ability to live again and tackle the new challenges and opportunities we face with globalization, terrorism, the Internet, media control, economics, and our role as citizens.

This is my goal. To help the Democratic Party transform itself into a party that is not just one that attacks Bush, triangulates, or pushes programs of the past. Instead it can look toward the future and offer Americans real alternatives to the politics of fear and feudalism that exist today.

I thought until two months ago I stood without a candidate; without anyone who saw past Nov. of 2004.

Then I began to read Gary Hart's speeches. Then, in one sitting, because I did not have enough money to buy the book, I read Restoration of the Republic in Barnes and Noble. Then he made his policy speeches.

Gary Hart has outlined that vision. His vision shares policy and philosophical background with Jefferson, Clinton, JFK, and FDR. From IDAs to international cooperation, Gary Harts framework is consistent with the lessons of past while offering a realistic vision of the future.

Many people interrupt me and argue, "He can't win. Think about Monkey Business" etc. So that should keep him from running? If people tell you can't change the world should, that stop you from trying?

Gary Hart has handed the liberals in America (Green, Democrat, and Independent) something to work for besides hating a man that would lose to an an Unnamed Donkey 48 to 45.

I want more out of someone that I want to follow, than fear and attacks.

We have a chance to re-define the country and make re-establishment of the Democratic Party a smooth and easy process. The more we delay this discussion the harder it will become, and the last thing this country needs is the Democrats to become the Whigs and allow a mess on the scale of the Civil War to occur on a global and national scale.

I agree we need Bush out in 2004 in order to save lives, but Bush-lite, NotBush, and Unnamed Democrats will not complete this cycle. We will have the same problems if America does not have a serious discussion about its priorities.

So today I declare that I support Gary Hart as candidate for President of the United States. I will in a series of four similar articles explain the path and cycles on the four areas that Senator Hart has spoken on, and how he has developed policy that can both regenerate the Democratic Party and is realistic enough to be accomplished. Before those, I will post my analysis of the current field of candidates including George W. Bush, tomorrow afternoon. In that I will explain why the vision and that Gary Hart puts forth, is not only the right thing, but a winning strategy for the party not only in 2004 but the years beyond.

We cannot separate our decisions from the paths of history that have brought them to our feet, instead we must embrace where our problems have originated and use it as strength.

That is how to lead.

We cannot lead only those who agree with us whether they be conservative or liberal. We must reach out to strike a dialog with everyone we can, even those we do not like or respect, to understand who we are leading.

That is how to listen.

We cannot listen if we do not give people a reason or the ability to speak. We must silence the large microphone of money and deregulation and hand the power to change local communities to the people who live in them.

That is a republic.

Gary Hart is doing all three. Read a bit, you just might agree with me..

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

posted by Kevin | 3/07/2003 07:27:00 PM


The Reason for War Against Iraq We Rarely Hear

Many people keep asking the Bush White House questions: Why are must we invade Iraq now? Why are we confronting Iraq and not North Korea? What are we going to do in Iraq following the war?

The administration has a lot of answers, but little clue as to the motivations of their decisions. PBS's Frontline did a great job giving us a timeline and background, but still it didn't seem like enough to me.

Instead the Administration is obviously taking the advice a few thinkers that see globalization and its factors of connection as the most important thing in the world to protect and grow. This theory is based on assumptions that remind me of our hurtful Cold War Foreign Policy that while successful in preventing Nuclear Winter, it wreaked havoc around the 3rd world for 50 years, often drawing the lines of the haves and have-nots in the Post Cold War world.

I am sure an article with this title could be a book and contain hundreds of reasons, but the one I am most concerned about is contained in the analysis of the Assistant for Strategic Futures, Office of Force Transformation Tom Barnett. His job:

defining new international security environment post-9/11 and relating that vision to need for defense transformation. Current product is brief: "A Future Worth Creating: Defense Transformation and the New Security Environment," along with several published articles based on brief.

Essentially his job is to figure out what our long term goals and foreign policy framework is in regards to the military. He was featured in Esquire this month in which the editor had this to say about Mr. Barnett and the article in Esquire:

He puts the world?especially the parts of the world where terrorism and unrest are brewing?into context. He does this for the Secretary of Defense, and he draws conclusions about how best to avert or engage conflicts?and thus how to keep our country secure ... For the first time, someone with a position in the government explains what we're really undertaking when we go to war in Iraq. It's not just about disarmament. Rather, the United States is redrawing the map of the region, we are shrinking the Gap (to use Barnett's term), we are changing the course of history by adopting a good-offense-is-the-best-defense strategy.

What is the grand strategy that Barnet is presenting and explaining all over Washington, the military and the intelligence community?

He states it simply:

That is why the public debate about this war has been so important: It forces Americans to come to terms with I believe is the new security paradigm that shapes this age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger.

I do think a lack of connection with other countries creates conflict. History almost proves this argument without much of a incident to the contrary besides Switzerland, and not every nation can be Neutral.

His basic thesis I completely agree with. However, it is where he takes this conclusion and how he uses what should be mandate for justice and partnerships into a weapon against poorer nations and oppressed peoples.

Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and most important, the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap.

Once there was the 1st world and the 3rd world distinction that separated countries and was defined by their wealth and power in the 20th century where balance of power ruled the day. No Barnett has made a very well reasoned argument for new definitions, a binary set that leads us into an extremely sad us vs. them. He goes on to argue:

The reason I support going to war in Iraq is not simply that Saddam is a cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years. The real reason I support a war like this is that the resulting long-term military commitment will finally force America to deal with the entire Gap as a strategic threat environment.

With this statement, Barnett and I depart each other ways of thinking severely. I agree there is a gap (I don't agree in any way that you are one of us (integrating) or one of them (non-integrating)) however, what I do not agree with what so ever is the assumption that it is the citizens and even the government of a non-integrating country that is at fault for their position in globalization.

There are whole books on how globalization is not being handled well so I will cover how this theory has an entrance price that is not only biased, but also most importantly not morally neutral.

This is show of force and a message to the "gap" countries. The US will use the military to bring those that will not be integrated. Barnett talks about the American empire and more in his various articles. To be honest the fact that this man is explaining the world to our government may scare me, but also explains why Bush's foreign policy is so warped. It is not even taking in all of Barnett's analysis, at least then it would be intelligent, coherent and wrong. Bush's policy is just wrong.

In the end, we need to keep watch on this guy, his opinions, and more importantly. We need to find a viable alternative to this analysis of our security concerns. Gary Hart seems like the best chance.

Otherwise no matter who is the next president this kind of thinking will co-opt their presidency like it did Clinton's and now Bush?s.

Globalism is not wrong, but it is being done wrong, therefore how can we even expect people to join a completely unequal partnership.

Barnett and Bush have the answer: Make them by force if necessary

posted by Kevin | 3/06/2003 05:53:00 PM


What were they thinking?

It seems that people from Upstate New York are not even from the same century as me. According to CNN a man was arrested for wearing a Peace t-shirt in an area mall

The kid sent home from school was one thing. This is scary.

According to the criminal complaint filed Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.

"I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall," said Downs.

When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing "in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises," the complaint read.

Downs said police tried to convince him he was wrong in his actions by refusing to remove the T-shirt because the mall "was like a private house and that I was acting poorly."

First this is not even inflammatory and the shirt was already on the premisses, so why does he have to leave EVEN if you think the mall has a right to ask him (which they don't). This is what many people say including myself said probably would not happen, but the mood in the country is getting bad, and this is evidence of it.

Second this is a symptom of our society emphasis on private over the public. Even if you think that the protecting the private sphere is more important, you have to have a public sphere in order to even have a private sphere. If economic ownership dictates where the private and public sphere begins and ends then the public sphere is not only small but shrinking. This is an alarming example of the backwardness of that thinking of protect the "private" at all costs.

Of course the most important problem in this, is that the ADA at night court should have stopped this, the judge should have stopped it, the police should have stopped this. There is no case against him, in fact they have cost the taxpayers and the patrons of the Crossroads Mall (that I have been to) money and more important some of their freedoms.

Everyone involved in this situation ought to be under review and sanctioned if not fired. Assaults on freedom must be taken seriously and police officers must be encouraged to protect our rights, not requests of mall owners that will let the shirts be sold, but not let them be worn.

I am ashamed to live in the same state with everyone but Mr. Downs. Who I thank with every bone in my body.

posted by Kevin | 3/04/2003 10:52:00 PM