Wednesday, November 08, 2006

There is a God

Rumsfeld has resigned. Oh man, oh man, oh man. I am so super excited to be in America for this. This is huge. This is enormous and I am so happy about this.

Christmas has come early this year.

I hope the euphoria of today actually continues and does not become something that I will look back on wistfully and think how naive and hopeful we were in the first hours after this election.

Montana has come over and we are just waiting to hear about the Virginia race in terms of the control of the Senate. It looks good for the Dems right now.

This is amazing. I love politics. Hopefully, soon, I will have time to actaully write about all this cohrently and not in the haphazard manner I have been. Some of this stuff has been posted on already and man, I cringed when I aw it. It is unedited and raw but I have the issue of poverty reduction to simultaneously be battling. And to that I go....


Ok, not only did my home state of New Jersey recently say it was ok for gay marriages, we just elected a Democrat to the Senate. Thank God.

I should really tell people more about New Jersey but it is ony recently that I have come to admit that I am from NJ. I still say Brooklyn since I do feel like that is home as well, but that is more an adopted home. I was born in NJ and went to school here. I actually did two years of college here as well. Hmm.

NJ is a small state. We have the NJ turnpike which people know from the Simon and Garfunkle song. We are known as the Garden State. We have beaches, Atlantic City (smaller Vegas), Six Flags Great Gdventure, Hershey Park, Wild Water Kingdom, a huge Ikea, no sales tax on clothing, an ivy league school, close to NYC and Philly, sweet corn, awesome tomatoes, Thomas Edison used to live here, Kaavya Vishwanathan of Opal Mehta plagarism fame also grew up here.

We have also not elected a Repulibcan Senator since 1972.

OHIO you are redeeming yourself. It might be since gays are not on the ballot this time around. Democrats have picked up a seat there. They need to pick up 7 in order to get the majority as well keep the ones they have already. NJ is a kept seat since the incumbent won and there we go, one pick up and how sweet that it be Ohio.
Virginia is the big one to watch. Allen Carr of macaca fame going against this ugly guy but a Democrat, Jim Webb.
CLose close close race.

Another Senate pick up for the Pennsylvania...nasty Rick Santorum is out, THANK GOD. I am quite connected to Pennsylvania since it is the neighbouring state to NJ and I did live in Philly for two years. And all my sports teams are Philly teams. Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers.

Another Senate pick up in Rhode Island. Beat the incumbent. We need three more seats. CNN can hardly hide their glee. Neither can I. GO AMERICA, GO! WE can do this. This Democrat has actually beat a moderate Republican. An incumbent who did not vote for Bush in fact in the last election. Or for the war in Iraq. Poor guy. Chaffey is his name and he actaully seems like a nice guy. He's on the wrong team.

I hope the world is watching..well fuck the world (how American of me), I needed this. I needed to know that America does not really suck, it doesn't. The tide is turning and let's hope we can make this momentum and keep it going and make something of this.

Wolf Blitzer is an idiot too. I wonder if the other channels are also going ahead and projecting as soon as CNN is. Supposedly they have some formula on exit polls (which is silly since that is what we thought we Kerry and exit polls that he was going to win, but guess what, he didn't, which of ocurse lead and add credence to theories of corruption in elections esp in Ohio with electronic voting).

An exciting election show I cannot WAIT to watch is a one hour special where the Daily show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert will do a joint election special. I love John Stewart as I have said over and over and over again.

My dad, a Republican for most of his life but not so starting four years ago, just pumped the arm of the chair he is sitting on and said GOOD! This is not a demonstrative man but it seems there is a local race for the House in Pennsylvania that the Dems just won away from the incubent Republican.

I love how this is creating such an energy and a buzz.

Governor succeeding Jeb in Florida is Republican named, Crist. Perhaps his running away from Bush when he came down helped. Crist is the dude I was mentioning before by the way. I just figured out his name.

As of right now Dems are 45 in the Senate and Reps are 46. House is more complicated than that but Dems are picking up seats. 7 as of now, 6 from the Reps and 1 Independent seat. Vermont by the way seems to have a lot of independents and the cool thing is that Joe Lieberman who did not win the Democractic primary (he is of Vice President fame by the way, running with Al Gore in 2000) (The primaries are within party elections to see who will represent the party in the full on election)...So Lieberman, though a Senator for years now, did not win the Democratic party and lost it to what people are calling the first YouTube candidate, Ned Lamont. Joe decides to run anyway and goes on to win as an Independent. Here is what is interesting...more Republicans voted for him as an Independent (35%) than Democrats (25%) and then there were voters registered as independents (38%) and others who voted for him.

Lots of sports people end up running for office. Interesting.

Fifteen minutes left to the Comedy Central Daily Show/Colbert Report Election BONANZA. Actually they call it the Midterm Midtacular and it is LIVE!!!

By the way, for the friends of mine who are reading this in the USA and esp in NYC....I know I haven't told you im in town but that's because I am in NJ and writing a paper and thus not seeing or tlaking to anyone and I might as well be in London. I will try and see some of you though on my way out. So, you are not allowed to get mad at me.

Lots of scandals and dumb things have been going on in this race...esp with the incubents. In Florida we have that guy running away from Bush and we have Mark Foley who is still checked into an alcohol rehab center. He was sending explicit messages to male pages. Since then his aides have said, he is gay, has an alcohol issue and was molested by a priest when he was an altar boy. Not sure why that third thing needed to be added, but I suspect it was for good measure.

There was the John Kerry joke that backfired....basically it was translated to Kerry saying the troops were dumb.

We have Pastor Ted, head of the Evangelical Church national group, saying he was gay since he was outed by a gay prostitute who was having moral issues that pastor Ted was not cool with gay marriages. Pastor Ted also bought speed but says he threw it away. He has ties to the White House but now of course everyone says they don't really know the dude.

My hero and the love of my life is now on TV. John Stewart.

OK, it is now the next day and I went to bed after watching John Stewart....not very good, but whatever.

In the end, We have indeed taken over the house. Nancy Pelosi is making history as the first ever female Speaker of The House. We are still nto sure how the Senate since the votes have been too close and can therefore be re counted. Virginia and Montana are both up for grabs. Right now in Virginia, the race I am following more, Webb is leading Carr by 6000 votes. Carr actually thought he was going to sweep in and win this handily and also then run for president in 08. HA HA. you don't say bullshit like macaca to a minority, asshole.

I am excited to start reading news from around the world to see what the world thinks about this. Has America redeemed itself in some shape or form?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I cannot believe there is so much excitment around mid term elections. It is like having a secnd chance to show the world that we as Americans are really not bad and in fact, we have a bad president, a one who has been divinely appointed but a bad one still.

It is exciting. My first election that I can recall was in Pakistan actually. General Zia, the dictator, had just been blown up and all of a sudden, everyone came out of the wood work for rallies, speeches, votes, you name it. We went to a political rally and got in our car, got two huge MQM flags (Muhajir Qoumi Movement) and joined up and went out. To this day, I do not understand how my parents let us , three girls and the two of them, get into a car and go to a political rally in Karachi, but I suppose there was a euphoria in those days that I did not realize since I was so young.

School was let out for two days and my mom came home with a blackened thumb (she can write, you assholes who think she can't) and we camped out in the TV room with sleeping bags etc watching election TV. Election TV was amazing since I am talking about the days in Pakistan, not so long ago, when there was only one channel on TV and no satellites to escape to. TV would end at like 11 pm or so but on election night, it went on ALL night and they had these special programs. I can't recall most of them but I know I fell asleep that night feeling like the world was a good place.

Our party lost.

Two years ago I was in Houston. David, my then boyfriend, later fiance and now someone who I think hates me, had a bottle of champagne and we went to Boz's house a dear dear friend and basically the only other person I would hang out with in Houston. David and I had driven down to New Mexico the weekend before so that D could vote in the swing state and the place he was registered to vote. We missed Halloween since we did. We dorve something like 24 hours that weekend. Insane but we got the vote in.

We lost that one too.

I went to work the next day and that is when it hit aren't in NYC anymore, Dorothy. This was Tex-ass and no one seemed to care that Bush had won, that the world had turned black, that we were headed to hell in a hand basket. I walked around depressed and everyone else aroudn me acted as if it were just another Wednesday. I took half the day off and went home and got into bed thinking how nice it would be to never get out.

Very soon after, I left the country, went to Sri Lanka and started saying things like, I can't go back and live in the United States till Jan 09, once Bush leaves.

I went to the UK recently, which is where I live now. Man, America, you are great and you just need some help is the conclusion that I have come to. Perhaps I am being naive and hopeful again only to have my hopes dashed but I do feel that these mid term elections, which are getting SO much attention and in fact voting is at the rate that it is in national elections (for those of you who don't know, mid term elections is for Congress (made up up House of Representatives and Senate), I feel that these mid term elections will make a difference since instead of voting on local issue, it is about National issues. There have been some great stories that have been coming out of this (like this guy in Florida who invited Bush to come and campaign with him and then ran in the other direction, which many republicans have been doing...trying to distance themselves from him).

Please please please America, let that voice be heard so that the rest of the world knows we don't sreiously suck ass.

Watching CNN coverage of this while I try and get my reading done so that I can write about Debt Relief. I am home this week, reading week at school.

Anderson Cooper, a CNN correspondent, of Hurricane Katrina fame and the son of Gloria Vanderbilt and author of the book Dispatches from the Edge and host of show: Cooper 360, is an idiot. I had expected more of him. I think fame has gone to his head. He is hot...rumor has it he is gay as well.

Publishing this post now and will come back to more election news, perhaps, later. I hope everyone who could vote today, did. If you did not, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gaps and other things

Man, it has been way too long. I know this. I have been bad. My computer has been bad as well. London has been bad and the internet at home has been bad. All this badness has added up to zero blogging. And to be honest, I was unable to articulate much for the first couple of weeks and so, again, another justification and reason for not blogging. Not like I was all that regular before I left. I have been weird about being here and try and get every opp to go home (been home once already and going again!) and I dont think I am giving London a chance but when I think about it, I wonder why I feel as if I have to. I don't have to fall in love with every single city I live in.

That's life boy-o.

For those who I have been in touch with, I have been saying this ad nauseum so bear with me and let me get everyone else caught up. London is a multi cultural city that is badly integrated and man, it sucks to be brown (specifically Pakistani and even in that, Mir Puri's who are in Manchester. I think Manchester is five driving hours away and I have no idea where the fuck MirPur is in Pakistan...first I ever heard of it but sounds like a bunch of dirty nasty fuckers who don't want to educate their kids or themselves....all hearsay...from the other Pakistanis here, by the way....). So it sucks to be brown and there is no such thing as brown or desi or South Asian. It Asian and as my flat mates mom and ex boyfriends mom have said to me (from the same social class), there is Asian, which is brown like me and then there is chinese.

I did laugh at that.

There is no brown solidarity either. This Pakistani boy asked me where I was from and I thought he might have thought I was middle eastern or Italian or Spanish, which has happened and I said, Oh, I'm brown too.

That is not an answer. Brown from where is what they want to know. How do I explain that as an American who calls Brooklyn home, with parents born in India, emigrated to Pakistan, who had to leave Pakistan for fear of religious persecution, I, their child who though American born and bred has lived in Karachi for seven years, feels more at home in India than in Pakistan.

I opted for the easy answer. I'm Shia.

A run down on the privilege thing. Brown people in the USA, privileged. I worked agasint this privilege in the way I dressed, acted, spoke walked, talked etc. All lip service it turns out. I am not from a privileged class here and god damn, Do I miss my privilege or what?
I miss it since I would rather be the one to turn it off or no as I would like. So awful of me. At least I have recognized it.

I am contending with the ideas of class for the first time. I am contending with a lot of things for the first time, but only since they are in my face....theoretically, I knew about all this. Words, words, words.

Not so happy with all the contention when it comes down to it. Discovering disturbing things about myself. And yes, a cliche, but about the world as well.

School is getting better and better and for all ye dev people out there....GO TO SCHOOL. And go earlier than later since even with my little one year experience, the first three weeks were painful since I felt like I was wasting my time. I am not. Esp sine I am doing Political Economy of Dev, which is indeed, kicking my ass, but totally worth it. Go to school, go to school, go to school. Or getting reading lists and read this shit.

I am not happy about the academic/practioner divide. I am not going to be able to solve it so I will not talk about it. Perhaps later. It is frustrating is all I can say about it right now.