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Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:13 PM PST

Let America Be America Again

by BillyZoom

Not much of a diary, I know.

But if you're lacking in inspiration to do some work for Obama, consider this poem by Langston Hughes.

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 09:32 PM PDT

Fewer Homeless? Define Homelessness

by BillyZoom

Several years ago, the agency for which I used to work faced a crisis. HUD changed the definition of homelessness to exclude people who were doubled-up with others or who were couch surfing. They also required that people’s homeless be verified, which was easy to do for people staying in shelters. But if people  were sleeping outside, the new rules required that outreach teams visit homeless people in their camps before they were eligible to receive services.

Of course, the new policy cost homeless service providers a lot of scarce resources and ensured that many homeless people would not be able to receive services to help them end their homelessness.

It’ a dismal policy, but the new definition made it appear that homelessness was declining across the country.

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Sat May 24, 2008 at 11:54 PM PDT

Advice to the Graduate

by BillyZoom

My niece Taylor is graduating from high school this month. She’s a wonderful young woman who will begin her fine arts studies in the fall. I saw many of her paintings and drawings today for the first time and was floored by her talent. She has a great life ahead.

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Crossposted on Blog de Ford.

I was tired today. I got a late start to canvass for Obama and my feet were hurting after spending all of Saturday canvassing for Obama in a hilly area.

So today, I went to Indy's Central Township Obama office and spent a couple hours canvassing. It was positive experience, but again, I was tired, so I didn't spend as much time pounding the pavement as I should have.

But on my way home, on the stairs of the state capitol, I saw dozens of people holding Obama signs. I didn't know what was going on, so I parked my car and went to join my fellow Obama supporters.

Update: My first recc'd diary? Holy shit! Thank you. Hoosiers and Tarheels for Obama, you know what to do on Tuesday.

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As we know, Indiana could be decisive.

From the Indy Star:

Sen. Barack Obama holds a narrow lead over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana, with the outcome of the May 6 primary likely in the hands of a large number of undecided voters, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR poll.

The poll showed that Obama — helped in particular by strong backing from black voters — is leading Clinton 41 percent to 38 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. But given the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, this race is either candidate’s to win or lose.

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Crossposted on Blog de Ford

Last semester (I'm in my final weeks of an MA in Philanthropic Studies), James Morris, the former head of the UN World Food Program spoke to my History of Humanitarian Assistance class about his role in that program. He was an engaging, compassionate speaker whose best line was: "When I took the job, I was moderate Republican. I left it as a radical feminist." That line was in reference how hard the women of the world have to work and how much they have to sacrifice just to make sure that their families are fed.

He ended his talk with us on a hopeful note by saying how easy it would be to end world hunger. Wealthy countries would have to give so many billions of dollars (I can't remember the figures, so I don't want to make them up, but the amount was pretty low compared to how much the US spends in Iraq each year) to end global hunger.

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The debate on ABC last night really was a disgrace, or at least the first 40 minutes of it or so. Stephanpolis and Gibson spent the first half of the debate throwing right-wing talking points at Obama, which is not surprising considering that Stephanopolis got his questions from Sean Hannity.

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Do you remember this ad used against Howard Dean by paid for by the Club for Growth?

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Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:18 PM PDT

Roseanne Is Mad at You

by BillyZoom

Crossposted on Blog de Ford.

Why I do this, I have no idea, except that I really enjoy my irritainment. I do this for the same reason I read Free Republic, Taylor Marsh’s blog, and Townhall.com.

Of course, I’m talking about reading Roseanne’s blog. Yes, that Roseanne: the domestic goddess who had her own sitcom back in the 90s.

To read her blog when she writes about Hillary is to venture into a strange and unknown world where Hillary is the best thing EVER and where blog posts are usually no longer than a sentence or two and where capital letters are not welcome.

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:46 PM PDT

Krugman on the World Food Crisis

by BillyZoom

Crossposted on Blog de Ford.

I’ve been reading snippets about the international grain crisis here and there, but it hasn’t yet sunken in to the consciousness of American news consumers (probably because we’re too busy watching the Hillary and Barack show). It really should be a real concern to all of us as we think about our candidates, the policies they propose, our nation’s place in the world and our own lives.

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Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:15 PM PDT

Let America Be America Again

by BillyZoom

There won't a lot of analysis in this diary, but I thought it was important to post parts of Langston Hughes' Let America Be America Again in light of Obama's speech today.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Snip

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Crossposted on Blog de Ford

Interesting.

From Inside Indiana Business:

It is a big question in this year’s Democratic presidential campaign: Is America ready for an African-American or female president? The voices and votes of Indiana residents on this issue could be critical, as Hoosiers may still have a hand in determining the Democratic presidential candidate.

Snip

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