What to put under the tree? Give the gift of Audacity & Dreams – the works of Barack Obama: 44th POTUS

I have followed the trail of this man even when Hilary Clinton refused to step aside in the face of overwhelming support including the white caucus of the Democrats (No, I do NOT think she deserved to be Secretary of State, but he had to hold out a shiny bauble for her to stop running like Atalanta); his resoluteness in the face of incredible odds and to achieve the impossible has done nothing but to inflame my undying support for the 21st Century’s first real multi-national hero.

I am sure Oprah’s Book Club endorsed these books already and have probably mentioned them again, I even see today’s Sunday Sun has them touted in a Christmas Gift Supplementary magazine.

What better way to empower your children this Christmas than to share the knowledge of this amazing man – you have two choices in Barbados (There’s a third new one in the USA) and I say go for both, because one over the other is difficult like a parent with two exceptional children…

Pages has both hardcover and trade paperback editions of Dreams from My Father and the Audacity of Hope, each a testament that Obama is not only great at speeches and developing policies but more importantly – writing! Taken to essential terms, Audacity is his manifesto and Dreams looks at his racial heritage and what is the USA’s own racial heritage and how they can move fwd.

In The Audacity of Hope, he sees his own mother-in-law as a partial impetus in looking at the lack of proper day-care for seniors and children;-

{Pg. 342} …Marian decided to cut her hours at the bank so she could pick up the girls from school and look after them every afternoon. For many American families, such help is simply unavailable; in fact, for many families, the situation is reversed – someone in the family has to provide care for an aging parent on top of other family responsibilities…

…In contrast to most European countries, day-care in the United States is a haphazard affair. Improved day-care licensing and training, an expansion of the federal and state child tax credits, and sliding-scale subsidies to families that need them all could provide both middle-class and low-income parents some peace of mind during the workday…

In the same book, you’ll find in the first chapter his growing concept of using GOP, Democrat and Independent movers and shakers to draw America out of its socio/political-tribal miasma; Obama also considers how the Sub-Continent and Middle Kingdom are gradually becoming Informational giants as the USA is rapidly getting dwarfed by the technology it seeks;-

{Pg. 158} …America can’t compete with China and India simply by cutting costs and shrinking government – – Like those who came before us, we should be asking ourselves what mix of policies will lead to a dynamic free market and widespread economic security, entrepreneurial innovation and upward mobility… In other words, we should be guided by what works.

That book was released two years ago, and the only thing more popular on sale now is the brand of shoe that was pelted at his outgoing counterpart recently! In the opening words of Dreams from My Father he looks at the irony of his existence was the result of what was considered a crime in 1960 – miscegenation was a felony in over 50% of the United States of America back then, for a black man to even wink far less share his phone number could get both parties time in jail back then!

Stunning lucid insight is gained where Obama’s ability to see both sides of an unnecessary divide lays bare the racial conundrum he faces every day;-

{Dreams of My Father – Pg. 195}…all the records of courage and sacrifice and overcoming of great odds, hadn’t simply arisen from struggles with pestilence or drought, or even mere poverty. They had arisen out of a very particular experience with hate. That hate hadn’t gone away; it formed a counternarrative buried deep within each person and at the center of which stood white people – some cruel, some ignorant, sometimes a single face, sometimes just a faceless image of a system claiming power over our lives. I had to ask myself whether the bonds of community could be restored without collectively exorcising that ghostly figure that haunted black dreams…

Powerful words as a powerful message for a powerful time of the year. Can these books be sent to those we love? The reply is a resounding “Yes we can!

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  1. Obama Is A Hawk

    In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger reaches back into the history of the Democratic Party and describes the tradition of war-making and expansionism that Barack Obama has now left little doubt he will honour.

    By John Pilger

    14/06/08 “ICH” — -In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” What has changed? The terror of the rich is greater than ever, and the poor have passed on their delusion to those who believe that when George W Bush finally steps down next January, his numerous threats to the rest of humanity will diminish.

    The foregone nomination of Barack Obama, which, according to one breathless commentator, “marks a truly exciting and historic moment in US history”, is a product of the new delusion. Actually, it just seems new. Truly exciting and historic moments have been fabricated around US presidential campaigns for as long as I can recall, generating what can only be described as bullshit on a grand scale. Race, gender, appearance, body language, rictal spouses and offspring, even bursts of tragic grandeur, are all subsumed by marketing and “image-making”, now magnified by “virtual” technology. Thanks to an undemocratic electoral college system (or, in Bush’s case, tampered voting machines) only those who both control and obey the system can win. This has been the case since the truly historic and exciting victory of Harry Truman, the liberal Democrat said to be a humble man of the people, who went on to show how tough he was by obliterating two cities with the atomic bomb.

    Understanding Obama as a likely president of the United States is not possible without understanding the demands of an essentially unchanged system of power: in effect a great media game. For example, since I compared Obama with Robert Kennedy in these pages, he has made two important statements, the implications of which have not been allowed to intrude on the celebrations. The first was at the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the Zionist lobby, which, as Ian Williams has pointed out, “will get you accused of anti-Semitism if you quote its own website about its power”. Obama had already offered his genuflection, but on 4 June went further. He promised to support an “undivided Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital. Not a single government on earth supports the Israeli annexation of all of Jerusalem, including the Bush regime, which recognises the UN resolution designating Jerusalem an international city.

    His second statement, largely ignored, was made in Miami on 23 May. Speaking to the expatriate Cuban community ? which over the years has faithfully produced terrorists, assassins and drug runners for US administrations ? Obama promised to continue a 47-year crippling embargo on Cuba that has been declared illegal by the UN year after year.



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