Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This is Why I Like Barack Obama...

Today I realized that Hilary should have run in 2004. She would have beaten Bush for sure and she would have made a terrific president then. Now, however, after a double dose of Bush we need more than pragmatic, "experience", and traditional political processes, we need what Obama (and Edwards) offers/offered, HOPE, INSPIRATION, A DREAM WE CAN BELIEVE IN AND WORK FOR. There is so much shit to clean up that just rolling up our sleeves isn't enough. We need the DESIRE to do the work and Obama is creating that desire like no one else would, or could right now. He is the man of the hour, he is the person we need, he is our candidate, the antidote to Bush!

If you agree please donate to his campaign. Barack Obama is not taking a single penny from lobbyists, it's all from regular folks like you and me. Send him what you can, let's take our country back!

Donate here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What Started in Texas, (2000) May End in Texas (2008)

Presenting the ANTIDOTE to George W. Bush and his politics of fear, hate, and greed:

If you like what you see, and you want to join the effort to truly change America, join the MoveOn "Yes We Can" calling party near you on March 2, 2008!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Presenting Artist Walter King

Today I'm pleased to feature the art of Walter King. He submitted work to the blog via a call for art that I sent out in Benny Shaboy's wonderful Art Opportunities Monthly. I highly recommend this listing of exhibition, residency, and other options for artists. Here's a bit from Walter King's bio:

Walter King was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1952. His family left the ethnically diverse city about the time the Civil Rights movement was beginning to heat up in 1959 moving to Lawton Oklahoma and later to Tulsa in 1965 around the time that Viet Nam was becoming a serious issue in the news. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1970. He particpated in activities connected to the first Earth Day celebrations.

His family ran a small Arts and Crafts store and frame shop where he organized a corner gallery to show his own work as well as the work of a few friends. He also began experimenting with a variety of artists’ materials and used the back room late at night after business hours to teach himself to paint.

Chains © 2008 Walter King

About Chains:
This is from a series of drawings for larger paintings. The image of the man in a somewhat embryonic/catatonic pose began to also suggest the prone position traditionally assumed during prayer. The stacked figures began to feel like a multitude of Muslims confined while they were praying. The immediate suggestion to me was the prisoners at Guantanimo. My feelings about torture, habius corpus and the fact that their imprisonment without trial has done little to quell the rise of Al Qaida recruits ready to bring harm to themselves and others. - Walter King

More from his bio:
Tulsa in the early 70’s was a booming music town. Walter often designed posters for local singer songwriters-- the only other artists he knew at the time. Leon Russell built his recording studios which attracted national and international level musicians like JJ Cale, Eric Clapton and even George Harrison. In 1972 Walt had his first solo exhibition at a large night club called “The Power Plant” where he met JJ Cale one night and other studio musicians from Russell’s entourage. His work from that time included elements that have stayed in his art over the years, ladders, windows, over-layed patterning with figures and the use of spray paint and stenciling.
Most of that work burned up in a fire sometime later. But his penchant for complex compositions with multiple images had already begun. Source

Culture Wars © 2008 Walter King

About Culture Wars
This piece was in part inspired by the relatively recent theft of several works by Munch in which the thieves took the works off the walls in front of numerous gallery goers in broad daylight. Today in our diverse and ever changing culture there are those who are trying to pull us back to an older mindset, a set of values that prefers a wealthy/corporate oligarchy over democracy. It is a dominantly white-Anglo Saxon old-school mindset that places war in the forefront of international policy for the protection of oil supplies thereby propping up an environmentally unsound petroleum economy. They cannot or do not see the weakness of this viewpoint and have fallen prey to the designs of international terrorists. Wars follow them wherever they go. Source

White House © 2008 Walter King

About White House:
From a series of four images of houses. This one is a symbolic suggestion of the relationship between Washington (the house suggests a shorter fatter Washington Monument) and the military industrial complex that both George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower among others warned us about. Source

From Walter's Artists' statement:
I find myself often making commentary on the post modern society in which I live therefore bleeding over into political subjects from time to time. In a sense all art is political in this way at some level even if all one is doing is a painting of a beautiful landscape. The context of that landscape in this current environmentally unsound age sets up a political comparison perhaps without intention or pretension. I also take on illustration assignments from time to time although not so often as I once did years past when I made my living as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer during the 70’s and 80’s. My work has been published in Oprah Magazine, Tulsa Magazine, by the United Friends Action Committee, the American Illustration Annual and web site, the American Institute of Graphic Artists Annual, the catalog for the 40th commemoration of the Hiroshima bombing called “Peace“ and a magazine in Hungary called Industrie-Technik. My paintings have been exhibited in the U.S. as well as the Hiroshima Museum in Japan, the Kulturrathaus in Dresden Germany and the Centro Cultural de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Good and Bad Government © 2008 Walter King

About Good and Bad Government:
A simple premise in which good government props up the society for the greatest good of all while bad government climbs up on the back of the society for the benefit of itself and its allies. The inspiration for this piece comes from a Renaissance fresco in Sienna Italy by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. It is called Allegory of Good Government: Effects of Good Government in the Country. 1338-40. Fresco. Palazzo Publico, Siena, Italy. Source

About his artistic process:

I often use a stenciling process in my work that is very similar to silk screen printing. It is also a technique championed by contemporary graffiti artists. The iconography I use-- simple figures often repeated or woven together in chains or brocades allow me to see them in various arrangements and meanings. It has become a vital and fertile symbolic language. I use auto body primers and colored spray paint, charcoal, pastels, and on larger works on canvas both acrylics and oils.

Breathing Underwater © 2008 Walter King

Breathing Underwater

by Walter King 2008

That the witch drowned
did not make her guilty
-or the inquisitor smarter.

The question is not a line
between empty or full...
but who can breath underwater?

And so the Burka and blindfold
become equally blind.

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Art in the California Desert

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

I just returned from a week-long trip to Joshua Tree, California. It was my fourth trip to this lovely area in the past few years. I went, as I did last October, with a group of fellow ArtCar artists. We went to attend Kate Pearson's art opening. The reception was held at True World Gallery run by the fabulous Bonnie & George Kopp. Last October ArtCar Fest co-founder Philo Northrup had a show at the same place.

Joshua Tree is a National Preserve, a geologist's dream landscape, and a haven for many artists. Each time I've visited, Bonnie and George have taken our group of ArtCar artists on a tour of cool and funky art sites. This time we visited Shari Elf's Art Queen Gallery and Crochet Museum...

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

And Perry Hoffman's Tile House...

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

Plus Jeff Hafler's Beauty Bubble.

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

Enroute to and from Joshua Tree our caravan visited Martin Sanchez's restaurant Tio's Tacos with its own homemade chapel and lavish folk environment in Riverside, CA...

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

We revisited Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Forest in Oro Grande, CA...

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

And stopped for a photo shoot at the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, CA...

Photo © 2008 Emily Duffy

You can see a bunch of photos from our trip HERE!. Take a little time out for some fun and friendly art. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Difference Between

I just got back from an ArtCar road trip to Joshua Tree, CA and I'm working on getting some of the photos I took up here. In the meantime I thought you might appreciate seeing...

the difference between Barack Obama

And John McCain:

Monday, February 04, 2008

Vote Today to TAKE IT BACK!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Yes We Can!

Artist Shepard Fairey is allowing free downloads of a black and white version of the wonderful print above. Print them out HERE and plaster them wherever you can!

What follows are excerpts from a heartfelt blog entry by a local activist who goes by the nickname kid oakland. He posted it on DailyKos I hope you find it as inspiring as I do:

You have probably by now heard about the inspiring Yes We Can video by Jesse Dylan and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas based on the New Hampshire election night speech by Barack Obama.

It's worth a look for everyone, because it says something essential about Senator Obama's campaign and this moment in history.

In that light, I'd like to start this diary with a message, not advocating any candidate, to all the readers and participants here at Dailykos regardless of who you've supported in the primary...

We have a choice. You have a choice.

It's not solely a choice between candidates, though it is that, I won't pretend it isn't, but it's about more than that, it's a choice about whether and how each of us will help the Democratic Party choose the direction it will follow for years to come, about what message we send to the nation.

Our Democracy works better the more people who participate. The Democratic party is stronger the more of us who communicate, voter to voter, person to person, across the United States. This is one of my core beliefs. It's why we're all here at dailykos.

There has a been a revolution in participation this primary season. We Democrats are setting records in state after state. Young people have come out in record numbers to canvass and caucus and vote. That is so good for all us. Pragmatically, millenials are the future of our party, and they have sent us a powerful message this primary season with their actions and their votes.

Whomever you support for the nomination of our party for president it is better for all of us if you choose to take action this weekend in some way, large or small. It's better for all of us the more people who vote, who participate, who further this debate. Participation and engagement is what the Democratic party is all about.

When all is said and done, after this Tuesday all of us who take part in the process of our democracy the coming days will know that we will have sent a powerful message to this nation about who we are as American citizens and as Democrats.

Now, I do have a message today specific to folks who have been persuaded to support Senator Barack Obama for President. These next four days are crucial to his campaign.

They say a week is a lifetime in politics, but this weekend is something else entirely.

What I'd like to convey is that, if you support Barack Obama, and like me, are not someone who runs around bouncing off the walls at the thought of attending a rally or talking to people in a big group, there is still so much you can do. Visibility, helping at the office, getting signs out, driving people around, attending a rally with friends.

Or, even if you choose, like me, to overcome my natural shyness and to call people, to knock on doors, I think you will find that participating this weekend will be something that you will be able to tell people about for the rest of your life.

How can you get involved? It's simple.

If you're interested in participating in this effort to help elect Senator Barack Obama President and win the Tsunami Tuesday primaries and caucuses, you should click on one of the two links below:


Clicking on EVENTS is a no muss, no fuss way to get involved. You can RSVP or, in some cases, just show up, but you don't have to sign up for anything. This is a way to participate and find out what level of participation is right for you.

Clicking on VOLUNTEER will take you to a page that explains the volunteer philosophy of the Obama campaign and allows you to register as a volunteer at my.barackobama.com.

This is the most powerful thing you can do this weekend, wherever you live in the country, to get involved in electing Barack Obama President of the United States.

That's it. It's that simple.

Now, I know that not everyone supports my candidate, that not everyone will choose to participate in this primary weekends deliberations in quite the same way as me.

I can respect those decisions, I can respect that choice. That's what our democracy is about. We are richer for it.

But, for myself, I'm throwing my hat in with the optimists, the ones looking to the future, the ones moved by a man with a powerful core message:

Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change. -Barack Obama, New Hampshire, January 8th, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Are You Registered as a "Declined to State" Voter?

If so, you won't be able to vote for a presidential candidate unless you request a ballot from one of the political parties at the polls. If you want to vote for Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton you will need to request a Democratic Party ballot. If you want to vote for a Republican candidate I'm not certain if they are allowing voters who are not registered as Republicans to vote in the primary. It may vary from state to state so you'll need to check with your Secretary of State on that.

Come Super Tuesday, don't let this happen to you (compliments of the Courage Campaign):

MoveOn.org Endorses Barack Obama!

Barack Obama in Santa Barbara, CA (September 2007)
Photo Source

You may not know that I've been a MoveOn.org Uber-volunteer for the past 8 years. Anytime someone writes an email to MoveOn a small group of us dedicated Support Corps Volunteers do our best to answer it.

This is the first time in all these years that a majority of MoveOn.org members have agreed on endorsing a candidate. In the past no candidate has received the required 2/3 margin of the membership's votes. With Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and now John Edwards dropping out of the presidential race MoveOn.org members have mostly switched to supporting Barack Obama, by a HUGE margin:

Vote results:

Obama: 197,444 or 70.4%

Clinton: 83,084 or 29.6%

Read On...
MoveOn Endorsement Throws Progressive Weight
Behind Barack Obama

3.2 Million Members Nationwide Mobilize to Get Out the Progressive Vote for Senator Obama

Group Has Over 1.7 Million Members In Super Tuesday States

In a resounding vote today, MoveOn.org Political Action's members nationwide voted to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President. The group, with 3.2 million members nationwide and over 1.7 million members in Super Tuesday states, will immediately begin to mobilize on behalf of Senator Obama. The vote favored Senator Obama to Senator Clinton by 70.4% to 29.6%.

Senator Obama accepted the endorsement stating:

"In just a few years, the members of MoveOn have once again demonstrated that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up. From their principled opposition to the Iraq war - a war I also opposed from the start - to their strong support for a number of progressive causes, MoveOn shows what Americans can achieve when we come together in a grassroots movement for change. I thank them for their support and look forward to working with their members in the weeks and months ahead."

Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org's Executive Director, issued the following statement on the group's endorsement:

"Our members' endorsement of Senator Obama is a clear call for a new America at this critical moment in history. Seven years of the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration have left the country desperate for change. We need a President who will bring to bear the strong leadership and vision required to end the war in Iraq, provide health care to every American, deal with our climate crisis, and restore America's standing in the world. The enormity of the challenges require someone who knows how to inspire millions to get involved to change the direction of our country, and someone who will be willing to change business as usual in Washington. Senator Barack Obama has proved he can and will be that President.

"With 3.2 million members nationwide and over 1.7 million members in states that vote next Tuesday, we'll be able to immediately jump into action in support of Senator Obama's candidacy. We've learned that the key to achieving change in Washington without compromising core values is having a galvanized electorate to back you up. And Barack Obama has our members 'fired up and ready to go' on that front.

"We congratulate Sens. Clinton, Dodd and Biden, former Senator Edwards, Governor Richardson, Congressman Kucinich and former Senator Gravel on running tremendous campaigns. We thank them for their contributions to the important debate that has gripped our nation and for their ongoing engagement with our members. We're looking forward to working together to bring progressive values to the nation's capitol and to end this disastrous war in Iraq. MoveOn members are committed to putting a Democrat in the White House in 2008 and ushering in a new era of progressive values no matter who wins the nomination."

MoveOn members' comments in the vote reflect the reasons they support Senator Obama:

"Obama's grassroots organizing experience and unifying message combine to show he will work for working people and speak to a broad cross section of the American public. We need this," said Linda Blong of Penngrove, CA.

"There are defining moments in our nation's political history and this is one of them. Barack Obama appeals to the very BEST of the American Spirit," said Estina Baker, Hackensack, NJ

"Barack Obama represents CHANGE in so many levels. He brings HOPE that America can, again, be respected by the rest of the world and that Americans can be proud, again, of our leaders!" Isabelle Mollien, Denver, CO

"Obama has the ability to draw people to him, to energize people who generally don't vote, to create an atmosphere of long-overdue possibility around himself and what he could bring to the office. It is my belief that he can re-establish the lost connection between the American people and their leader, and put our country back on course to be a positive force in the world." Matthew Smith in Columbus, OH

MoveOn's endorsement means a fresh infusion of people-power for Obama in the critical days before Super Tuesday. MoveOn will immediately connect thousands of progressive activists into the Obama GOTV volunteer operation. It will also use the same cutting-edge computer-based phone program that made 7 million GOTV calls for Democrats in 2006 to allow MoveOn members to call other MoveOn members in Feb. 5 states and encourage them to vote for Obama.

Today's endorsement is the first time MoveOn.org has endorsed a candidate for President in the Democratic primary. Over the past year, MoveOn surveyed a rotating sample of 30,000 members each week to determine their membership's preference in the Democratic presidential primary. For months, MoveOn members were divided among many candidates -- as many waited to see who would take bold progressive positions on the issues. As the primary race has gained momentum, the polling showed a consensus forming and, with Senator John Edward's withdrawal from the race, members made their decision in favor of Senator Obama. The vote took place from Thursday, January 31st to Friday, February 1st.