Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Cuban Immigrant's Warning about CHANGE

A Cuban Immigrant's Warning about CHANGE: “Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader, who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?”

The fact is that we do need to change. We need to evolve, working towards making this world a better world: a world of compassion and at peace.

The fact is we need a younger person who can lead and motivate young people to create the changes that are necessary. It will be motivated young people with a vision of the future, who don’t carry the baggage of antiquity and who are not yet tarnished and harnessed by life’s vicissitudes, who will create this change. Young people who have not yet collected a lot of baggage. We need young people for the same reasons the military needs them to fight wars. Now we need them, more than ever, to lead the battle for compassion and peace.

Now, it does not mean that someone who has made a longer journey into life cannot lead and create these necessary changes. However, it does mean that the man or women who will become President of the United States must have grown and evolved in his or her life, and who have left antiquated baggage behind in their journey. A man or women who has vision, wants to test new ideas, listen to ideas rather than preach them, has character, has compassion, can make good decisions, is concerned about America’s relationships with other countries, and is concerned about the welfare of you and me.

John McCain is a warrior. He is someone who carries a lot of antiquated baggage. He still carries the stigma of not winning in Vietnam. The translation of that stigma is we must win in Iraq. Win is the name of the game. He has old ideas about politics, governance, foreign relations, war, peace, diplomacy and negotiation, and economics.

The Friday night debate, September 26, 2008, was very revealing of the differences between these two men, not only in what they said, but also in their demeanor. John McCain’s body language was very condescending; Obama was very open, talking to McCain in a personal way. It is very telling of the way the next President of the United States will handle himself in discussions with others.

Now there is no question about it, Obama’s views are liberal and socialistic. However, McCain and conservatives employ de facto socialism in many ways. The bailout is a good upfront example of that. The conservative call for deregulation, letting markets operate without boundaries, has a great deal to do with our current economic quagmire. John McCain’s hero Ronald Reagan was the king of small government and deregulation.

We do need a small government footprint in our lives, but we also need compassion, and concern for lives and the human condition. In today’s world that means we must set boundaries on the ways and means of all transactions. I believe we can have both: Libertarianism with a compassionate concern for the indigent and for the average Joe and Jane, as well as everyone else.

With John McCain none of this can be accomplished. With Barack Obama there is hope. Barack Obama displays compassion, favors peace over war through negotiation, and is someone who can motivate others to action. Barack Obama will lead by example because he said America must and I believe him, and he has ideas with the ability to articulate them.

Barack Obama is absolutely correct when he said: “… that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington [McCain’s rhetoric]. Change comes to Washington [not in a new leader coming to Washington, but a bottom up change -- from the roots of our democracy – meaning you and me].”

"Each of us should choose which course of action we must take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes, but let it not be said that we did nothing." Ron Paul

“Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and painstaking work of statecraft, which peace, not war as being inevitable.” Dennis J. Kucinich

I believe that John McCain would maintain a negative position of Paul’s and Kucinich’s views, while Barack Obama would be in agreement.

America desperately needs change. McCain and Obama are both promising change. It’s Barack Obama who promises compassion and to work through negotiation for peace; it’s John McCain who promises only change in Washington and confrontation over negotiation.


Sunday, September 21, 2008


Monday, September 15, 2008
Readers comment regarding Capitalism

"The Americans want peace. The gangster government does not. The people you allude to are not capitalist's if you define capitalism the way Galambos does. Capitalism is the mechanism that best produces freedom. Freedom is the societal condition that results when every person is 100% in control of 100% of his property 100% of the time. Anything less is socialism. All forms of politics are criminal activities and will only produce total collapse in the end. These activities always employ coercion, either through force or fraud or both."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Posted by Horatio Green

If you purchase a beautiful new car in the color that pleases you and of a sleek new design, but the internal workings of that vehicle are faulty and not made of quality inner parts, than what is the factual value of that car?

The internal workings of capitalism (that beautiful car) are the capitalist (the car's mechanical parts). Capitalism is not working because capitalist are gumming up the system.

Likewise, in a democracy its people are the working inner parts. While democracy itself might be a beautiful concept, its working inner parts are a failure. If the government does not want peace, and they prefer war over peace and non-violent resolution, then it's the people in that democracy using the tool of a democratic republic, the inner workings and mechanics of a democracy, that also do not desire peace.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Readers comment regarding Capitalism

“The problem is you are using a different definition of capitalists and capitalism than Galambos which is fine. It just means the arguments are not reconcilable until you agree on using terms which both parties understand to mean the same thing. You are saying capitalism is a faulty mechanism if I understand you correctly. Yet if you use capitalism in the sense that Galambos uses it, it is not faulty. What you have been experiencing is not capitalism at all, it is National Socialism. And as socialism produces poverty more and more socialists blame capitalism for the failure and scream for more and more government intervention i.e. socialism. And your getting it. Soon the whole economy will totally collapse and Adolph Hitler will come out of the woodwork to "save you' and the mob will clamor for him. Congratulations the mob will end up marching off to the death camps singing songs to freedom.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2008
Posted by Horatio Green

I am saying that in theory capitalism and free market may be beautiful economic systems. The problem with the system is not its paradigm or its ideology, not its framework, but its working parts, which is the capitalist; capitalist, the human beings that do their work within the capitalist system called capitalism.

And you are absolutely right; the system as we know it is qua socialism because of government intervention.

Capitalist, working within a manipulated, yet unregulated environment, have been free to develop and implement “creative” accounting practices, “creative” lending practices, and “creative” ways to avoid risk, within a free market. If the latter does not define a discombobulated system, then I wouldn’t know of how to otherwise define it. But, perhaps I am wrong; I guess it must be capitalism: if you use syllogistic logic in that capitalist support capitalism and work within capitalism, they are capitalist; therefore it must be capitalism at work.

Capitalist are profit motivated, for profit is the core value of the capitalist system. There are absolutely no human values associated with capitalism. Capitalist do not have a sense of responsibility for the human condition. Government and capitalist strive to understand praxeology, and the human condition, so that it can be utilized to manipulate human conduct for monetary gain.

America’s strange mix of corporate oligarchy associated with quasi-socialism and quasi-capitalism is quite a paradox. A system that fails to benefit the average Joe and Jane.

Our capitalistic, quasi-socialistic economic system is based on a Reaganistic “trickle down” ideology, where wealth is achieved at the top, and therefore those at the bottom consequently will do well because that wealth eventually trickles down to them. The government wins, large corporations and their governing leadership win, but it never substantially trickles down to the folks that really make it all work for them in the first place. It is not a win-win for all, only for the high rollers.

Within our current economic crises, the helping hand fundamentally is given to the investor, and not to your average Joe and Jane. The average Joe and Jane only gets lip service and feel-good so-called solutions, along with an unacceptable amount of blame when things go wrong.

The system should be based on free market, where demand energizes supply and therefore there becomes a need to produce the goods and services to satisfy the demand, a bottom up system.

But the problem is that capitalist will create demand. Some will come up with flim-flam confidence games in promotion, advertising and selling. Many folks do not have the where-with-all to filter out these shenanigans, to know a shameless self-promoter who is working on their confidence for the sale. Many do not have the ability to come up with good choices that will benefit themselves or their family.

Our economic problem all boils down to one keyword: avarice.

It is avarice, the unquenchable quest for unreasonable get-as-much-as-you-can profit that is the problem, and capitalist, as well as every American that I know, are responsible for that.

That is the reason capitalism is a faulty system.

In our quasi-socialism, government intervention always comes too late. America has a history of being reactive instead of proactive in economics, foreign relations and in other ways, of which the response to our current economic crisis is an outstanding example.

I don’t mean to ramble on, but when are Americans going to work on improving our national character, common decency and compassion for all people? Now I don’t want to hear that I am an egalitarian, utopian, that it is a Kum ba yah view, or be condescending as if it’s a liberal view, because that’s not what this is all about. National character, common decency and compassion are not irrelevant to a discussion of American Capitalism.

Congressman Ron Paul said it best: "Each of us should choose which course of action we must take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes, but let it not be said that we did nothing."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Ways of Thinking: Spirituality

There is so much that can be developed about the relationship between spirituality and music, as there can be developed between spirituality and science.

I believe these disciplines can contribute a lot to our understanding of spirituality, of that which is transcendent and of which we do not have sufficient vocabulary to fully express. Music insights can be the perfect metaphors for assisting in the creation of that understanding. Inarguably through music, beneficial insights can be gained of other cultures.

The entertainment industry, particularly music, is the most culturally diverse of any other industry in the world. Because of that multiculturalism there is a lot to be learned. Learned not just through the music in-and-of itself, but of musicians and how they socialize as well as work with each other. We can gain perspectives of how musicians reach out to other cultures to understand their culture and music, and then incorporate that music with their own. Of course, Dizzy Gillespie comes to mind with his influence of Afro-Cuban rhythms, which he introduced to the world.

In the music industry there has evolved an apparent social confluence that cannot be ignored.

A musician does not give a hoot whether or not you are a Harvard or Yale graduate, a PHD, physician, engineer, or that you graduated from Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, Julliard, whether or not your rich or poor, or whatever; they don't care about the color of your skin; they don't care if you are Muslim, Jew or Christian; they don't care what political affiliations you have; they only care about the qualities that you can bring to a musical performance -- musicians only care if you can play your ax! This attitude is not just a professional attitude but an enculturation that is imbued in their very being. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part prejudices are marginalized.

Recently I posted to my blog: "New Ways of Thinking: The essence of who you are." Trevor Harden read the post and responded: “I really like the way you have found that link between music and spirituality. I appreciate your wisdom. I was wondering if you would have any interest in allowing us to repost "New Ways of Thinking: The essence of who you are."
Trevor Harden is part of the founding team for a new multi-faith website,, which explores "the crossroads of music and spirituality. On his website there are many other examples of new ways of thinking. “My post of September 8, 2008 on a new way of thinking may be read there, as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

“Obama’s Willie Horton”

Concerned over Obama's 'Weatherman' Connection?

Recently, I was told that one of the reasons Barack Obama would not be considered for President was because:

Obama announced his candidacy for President in William Ayers’ home: False, “Springfield, Illinois (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama stood before a cheering crowd in his home state Saturday and announced he will seek the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.” “… the first-term senator addressed thousands packed into the Springfield, Illinois, town square on a chilly day in America's heartland.”

Ayers was the founder and head of the Weather Underground Organization: True, Ayers was a 1960s-era political activist and co-founder of the Weather Underground.

He is a criminal convicted of terrorism: False, he was never convicted of a crime.

In the Vietnam zeitgeist of the late 60’s, I encountered the Weathermen. It was at a demonstration in protest of the Vietnam War that the National Action Coalition (NAC), and of which the Weathermen had joined for this protest, had organized at the MIT laboratory, located on Osborne street, just down the street from a Polaroid satellite unit where I was a manager. It was a protest against MIT’s “imperialist war research.” NAC announced that “We are people engaged in a struggle to win withdrawal of all US troops from Vietnam.”

Earlier in the day, MIT and the community were told that the Coalition was taking extensive measures to insure that all members of the Coalition, including the Weathermen, will maintain the Coalition discipline and not initiate violence. NAC did not intend, however, to permit police to arrest demonstrators without resistance.

Police briefed Polaroid personnel that they might expect forceful entrance by the Weathermen into our facility where they would cause chaos and havoc, use offensive behavior and language, throw punches at people and urinate on the floor or on tables. This never happened.

The NAC came well organized, and the demonstration turned out to be anything but peaceful. Cambridge and State Police units threw canisters of gas (I saw the smoke, but I assume it was probably tear gas) at them, came in with clubs, dogs, and Gestapo tactics. You would think you were in Nazi Germany. Police marched with arms linked in full battle regalia, boots and all, after breaking up the demonstration, down Osborne Street to clear the street. The police were in such a mindset and adrenalin induced hyperactive furor that they would have trampled and beat-up anyone who stood in their way. The police were more of a problem than the demonstration, and their warnings to us stirred up a lot of unnecessary fear and resentment.

I do not support violent action, but do support non-violent action. I believe if it were not for such violent as well as non-violent action Vietnam would have gone on and on, and we may even be fighting in that conflict today. Who really knows?

Nevertheless William Ayers was a man who stood up and took action for what he strongly believed.

The Washington Post: “There has been a sudden spate of blog items and newspaper articles, mainly in the British press, linking Barack Obama to a former member of the radical Weather Underground Organization that claimed responsibility for a dozen bombings between 1970 and 1974. The former Weatherman, William Ayers, now holds the position of distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Although never convicted of any crime, he told the New York Times in September 2001, ‘I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough.’”

Bill Ayers responded to the “We didn't do enough,” statement, a sound bite echoing ad nauseam through the media.

He says: "It's impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being.

"During the Vietnam war, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.

"When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough …. But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement; it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.'”

"The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn't do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative.”

It is possible that "William Ayers, in the age of terrorism, will be Barack Obama's Willie Horton." --Former counterterrorism official Larry C. Johnson, The Huffington Post, Feb. 16, 2008.

I certainly hope not.

Georgia: a McCain connection

This writing is in response to this article, Russia Europe USA and Fundamental Geopolitics By F. William Engdahl, of September 4, 2008 mailed to me by a friend as a result of an email I had previously mailed.

He wrote: “In light of Kennedy's speech, which I reviewed, what do you think of this revelation?”

The American University speech of John Kennedy fell on deaf ears.

There is no desire on the part of Americans or the world to seek peace. There is not significant profit in peace, whereas with war all the elements for significant profit are in place. Capitalist, in cahoots with government, are warmongers, they are in control; they breed on corruption, chaos, waste, and destruction, creating for themselves huge profits. In order for this oligarchy to work it is necessary to create a culture of war; so they sell Americans a bill of goods that war is necessary to protect their freedom, which America buys hook, line, and sinker. Americans are the ultimate suckers in all of this.


According to Jack Beady, senior editor of Atlantic Monthly, who on a NPR On Point Week in the News broadcast stated that John McCain received $800,000 in contributions from Georgia (1). If this is fact, no wonder McCain is hot on Georgia, and this relationship in consideration of the effort of the U.S. for Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO should be a concern. The Philosophy of NATO is that an attack against one member is considered to be an attack on all.

Just follow the Yellow Brick Road and you will find the reason for the high geopolitical interest in the small country of Georgia. Just look at its Eurasian geopolitical position, and location just outside of the Middle East hotspots, separated only by Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea, and let us not forget the oil line it hosts from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.

“The West is vitally interested in the Caspian Basin and its neighboring territories, which Western experts and politicians expect to be the next century's most productive oil producing area. It goes without saying that the West (the United States being no exception) is searching for secure transportation routes for Caspian oil. It is also worth noting that this issue touches on Western policy toward Russia and Turkey as well as Iran and the Gulf area.” - The Caspian Sea By William Ascher, Natalia Mirovitskaya, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Scientific Affairs Division


Russia’s axial, its international border as well as its heartland, strategically is really something to behold. There is not a military in the world that would not have this strategic position on their wish list. As Engdahl quoted Mackinder, “The Heartland [Russian] is the greatest natural fortress on earth.”

Russia’s concern of missile defense system in Poland cannot be factually criticized; it is legitimate. I certainly am as concerned, as well. After all, Poland is right next door to Ukraine and with Georgia in favor with U.S. policy, therefore securing U.S. support, Russia is certainly at risk. Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus (who does not have favorable relations with the U.S.) comprise Mackinder’s heartland. As Russia realized there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

In 1963 JFK said, “… let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims -- and I quote -- "of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war."

America, under the Bush Doctrine, embraces the concept of “preventive war.” And, there are significant facts today that: “that the political aims -- and I quote – ‘of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war.’" As it turns out, the U.S.S.R. [Russia] in 1963 were ostensibly correct.

We are in trouble because no one has bothered to heed John Kennedy’s caveat, and sadly America does not seem to care.

These are ominous threats to world peace.


Top McCain adviser got money from Georgia
By Pete YostAssociated Press
Article Launched: 08/14/2008 01:30:54 AM PDT

WASHINGTON - John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks "the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world."

April 17, a month and a half after Scheunemann stopped working for Georgia, his partner signed a $200,000 agreement with the Georgian government. The deal added to an arrangement that brought in more than $800,000 to the two-man firm from 2004 to mid-2007. For the duration of the campaign, Scheunemann is taking a leave of absence from the firm.

"Scheunemann's work as a lobbyist poses valid questions about McCain's judgment in choosing someone who - and whose firm - are paid to promote the interests of other nations," said New York University law Professor Stephen Gillers. "So one must ask whether McCain is getting disinterested advice, at least when the issues concern those nations."

McCain has been to Georgia three times since 1997 and "this is an issue that he has been involved with for well over a decade," said McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Ways of Thinking: The essence of who you are

Spiritual leader and author Eckhart Tolle’s belief mirrors mine in many ways. My insight into his philosophy of who we are and our purpose in life can be metaphorically expressed within the music genre of Jazz; the improvisational jazz of musicians such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane ….

As Eckhart Tolle says, “words are so useless …,” and they are, because human beings have not achieved an advancement level in their evolution where we have achieved enough knowledge about consciousness, our spirituality, to develop the symbolic or metaphoric language to explain it adequately.

The following is an excerpted quote by Eckhart Tolle, “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now,” taken from an interview by Krista Tippett of American Public Media’s Speaking of Faith.

“I use the word God rarely because it's been misused so much by the human mind. It has made the timeless, eternal, that which cannot be named, the vast mystery of life itself, when you say God you make it into a mental idol. It becomes a thought form. And then you think you know what you're talking about. But of course that's the misuse of the word God. But what ultimately it points to is the essence of who you are and the essence of what everything else is. The underlying essence of all life. Words are so useless when we talk about this.

The ultimate thing is the realization of the formless essence of who you are because if God has any reality in this world, it cannot be separate from who you are in your essence. And finding that in yourself, really, I see as the purpose of human life. And then the external world, the temporary world, the world of forms, also changes as a result of that. But the essence is finding who you are beyond form, beyond time.”

The quintessence of who you are is in fact the essence of what everything else is or whatever can be, because the being of your every here-and-now is in fact of your creation. Just as an artist, a musician or painter create; humans create the universe, world, circumstances, and everything that is in their life. Its profundity contributes to that which is transcendent, our consciousness, and as its extension, our soul.

In jazz, “the essence of who you are and the essence of what everything else is” is metaphorically analogous to a musician who must be conscious of their performance being confluent with each other’s performance. A jazz musician exploits every melody, harmony, tonality, harmonic, counterpoint, rhythmic cadence, and musical nuance in such a way that each musician collectively contribute to the texture, the color, and the flavor of the music. It is the distinct listening, assimilating, evolving and transforming, and then developing through their instruments not only the music in-and-of itself, but also the transcendence of the music. Their performance takes place in their here-and-now, the here-and-now of every other performer, creating and contributing to the here-and-now of everyone in the audience, and in turn the audience to each other. The metaphorical soul of jazz is the essential, evolving, conscious soul of all life: “… finding who you are beyond form, beyond time,” “the underlying essence of all life.”

A jazz performance utilizes a diverse grouping of many instruments, and many different modes of instrumentation. More important than the instrument is the instrumentalist. He or she brings out the qualities of the instrument they play: the quality of the sound, the particular skills they bring to playing their particular instrument and their particular interpretation of the music, phrasing and articulation. In music, as in life, diversity is also an attribute to the soul of the performance.

I believe the heart and soul of jazz, what occurs when jazz musicians are deeply engrossed in an authentic and completely improvised performance, where what is observable by those listening also comes from transcendences of which the audience is not aware, but very much a part of the performance, has similitude with human life.

Our experiences provide the object, and transcendent, forms of life: micro experiences (communication we have with every fundamental particle and every cell in our body -- every unobservable assimilation) to macro experiences (every apprehension, thought, emotion, participation in an event or activity, every one of life’s ups and downs, and every being we encounter in life – every observable experience). These experiential forms contribute to our praxeology, our consciousness, the core of who we are. They have the potential of leading to sea changes in our way of thinking: new ways of thinking about what we symbolically call God, and new ways of thinking about whom we are, our relationships to each other and to the natural world, and of life’s purpose.

As Eckhart Tolle states: “if God has any reality in this world, it cannot be separate from who you are in your essence. And finding that in yourself, really, I see as the purpose of human life.”

The purpose of life is its evolution.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Unrealized Dream

There were two significant events that happened in my life where sea change occurred in my way of thinking. Both of these events were momentous in my evolutionary journey, which has resulted in entirely new ways of thinking about the way humans relate to each other, and war -- it changed my life.

An impetus for change in my life ensued while traveling as a road musician in the south in the late 50’s and early 60’s, where I witnessed first hand, and very much to my chagrin, the discrimination and hatred that King was speaking and writing about. An impetus for change ensued during the years of the Vietnam War; the war, in all of its political, cultural, and military context, significantly changed my thinking about our government, society, the real reasons we wage war, military leadership, and of war itself. Racism and militarism had become, for the remainder of my life, my life’s passion. I now have an unquenchable need to speak out against racism and war, and to promote diversity and peace.

That is why this particular election for president is essentially important to me.

In my lifetime, there have been two speeches that I consider to be the most poignant, and significant. They are: “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963; and the American University commencement address of President John F. Kennedy, June 10th, 1963.

The unfinished year, an article by James Carroll, ties the importance of these two iconic speeches of 1963 to today “like a time capsule”: “The thematic commitment to the future required a revisiting of the past - a specific time in which this nation's still unrealized dream was born.”

I invite all to take the time to read the American University commencement address of John Kennedy, and the “I Have a Dream” address of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If you are familiar with them, please read them again; if you are not familiar with them, it will be a disservice for you not to read them. They are significantly and meaningfully important concepts for Americans as well as our world.

Regardless of ones view of King or Kennedy, the messages delivered in their speeches are inarguably moral, and deserve America’s best effort for their fruition.

Barack Obama’s 2008 democratic convention speech is also full of meaning and significance. Senator McCain said, “Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, 'Congratulations.'" Obama’s message too disserves America’s best effort for its fruition.

We have not heeded the vision of these men and the significance of their messages. Sad to say, although America’s attitude toward race seems to have improved, there nevertheless continues to be an undercurrent of de facto racism in our country. Factors of race are still influencing our daily lives and our decisions.

Kennedy said, “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.” This statement certainly has no meaning in America today -- we have broken that sacred vow, and it cannot be changed. We place more importance that our President have the attributes to be commander in chief than we insist that the man or woman who is running for the presidency of the United States be of moral character, and who will also attend to the societal needs of our country.

If we in fact want meaningful change, not just another face with the same old attitudes and beliefs, we must heed the messages of King and Kennedy. If we don’t, we are doomed, because America’s commitment will continue to be to a nation of militarism, hate, despair, inequities, and the capitalist ethos of chaos, waste and destruction.

The change I expect is not as Fred Thompson expressed it: Thompson said he believes McCain and Palin will "take the federal bureaucracy by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shaking”; the change I expect is the kind of change expressed by Barack Obama in his Democratic convention speech.

Not one of the candidates for president of any party satisfactorily spoke out against war. No one promoted the benefits of peace as the way to authentic freedom. Many spoke out against the Iraq War, including, in an admirable way, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, but none took a hard stance for peace as opposed to war.

America needs a conglomeration of ideas and concepts of governance and economics as presented by Ron Paul; the heartfelt opposition to war and dedication to peace of Dennis Kucinich, not just Iraq but all war; the societal consciousness, leadership skills, gravitas and charisma of a Barack Obama, who can frame that ideology and present it in a logical and convincing way, with the understanding that this is achievable over time.

The Republican convention was all about war: McCain the war hero. It was primarily all about the glorification of war. Those of the generation who did not live through the zeitgeist of the 60’s and 70’s must critically think about the Vietnam War. Vietnam was a disaster. McCain, not someone who was conscripted, a career officer, voluntarily flew missions at altitudes of 18,000 to 25,000 feet (three to five miles) while making bombing runs over North Vietnam. He did not have to engage the enemy one-on-one where targets were more specific, but simply drop bombs. B-52’s dropped their bombs at altitudes of 35,000 to 40,000 feet. These missions took skill and there were risk, but they were not, to a certain degree, very courageous; a grunt on the ground needed less skill, but certainly took more risk and needed a higher degree of courage to be effective. These bombing missions were designed to terrorize North Vietnam, and those missions killed more civilians than military specific targets.

John McCain did serve his country and did what this country expected of him. He was not naïve, ignorant, or uninformed, and he certainly understood the risk and the probabilities of being shot down with the subsequent loss of his life or of being captured. In this sense, the sense of dedication we ascribe to those who fight wars, he is a war hero. However, John McCain stands as a metaphor of what we need to change in America.

I don’t want a maverick, nor do I want a conformist for President. I want a man or women who have character, gravitas, and charisma, who can make decisions based on the facts and then who can deliver that judgment in a message to America in an honest and coherent way.

McCain and the republican party claim the mantra that above all “Country First.” In view of that mindset, the following is an interesting quote by Adolf Hitler: "It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole...that above all, the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual...we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man.”

I believe ones family must come first. By putting your family first you are putting your community and your country first. This is the only way our country will be strong. It is families that bind and interlace communities together in common cause; communities are the bedrock of America.

America must ignore the tomfoolery and obfuscation of this presidential campaign, and concentrate on the candidate that considers you and me as the most important consideration of an American President.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot [the Lincoln Memorial] to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The “fierce urgency of Now” is upon us. The time and season to make epistemic and factual change is Now. We do not have “to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” in the sense that this statement was made, but we do have to begin a process that over time will accomplish the goals of King and Kennedy.

The best choice we have Now for a candidate for president who will work for diversity and inclusion for Americans, as well as for peace as opposed to war by working on our behalf to achieve peaceful outcomes, is Barack Obama.

As Senator Obama stated about change: through grass-roots initiatives change will not come from Washington; it will come to Washington.

The time and season for change is Now, and it is all up to you and me!