Archive for the ‘2008 elections’ Category
Today’s NY Times presents a bright future starting July 4th, 2009:
Change is upon us!
Resident Voting Cart Documentation is also on YouTube:
VOTEMOS.US an online initiative that questions how the 2008 United States Presidential Election would differ if all residents of the United States could vote, takes to the streets in the form of a voting cart by which participants may take the voice of either McCain or Obama as they make public a hypothetical vote for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections.
Special thanks to Jason Jones (cart fabrication), Charles Rittman (bust chiseling) and Not An Alternative for helping me realize the project.
I discovered an over the top illustrated love story between George Bush and John McCain by artist Ethan Persoff. The title page states that the material is for adults only and it is in the vein of R. Crumb. So if you’re ready for some dirty humor following a convention of Republicans in denial, check out “The Adventures of Fuller Bush Man and John McCain in ‘Obliging Lady'”
I write Republicans in denial, because after watching the major speeches of the RNC, I was appalled at the rhetoric employed to try to put the blame of the state of this nation internally and externally on someone other than themselves. It was befuddling to hear the declarations that they will clean out Washington of corruption and establish a transparent government, when we’ve had eight years of a Republican presidency and they’ve had the majority in the both the House and Senate during the first seven years of this Republican White House! (Of course the denial is aided when the current Republican president and vice president are kept far away from the convention.)
As the U.S. Presidential Elections near, artists are preparing creative critiques and shedding light on alternate perspectives by utilizing every media vehicle available. Two online projects that combine sound and the social aspect of the web are Another Protest Song and Voices of America. Both projects rely on contributions from across the globe to establish an archive of audible dissent.
Valerie Tevere and Angel Nevarez have asked musicians, artists and song writers to contribute their contemporary protest songs. Another Protest Song questions “What does a 21st Century protest song sound like?” and seeks to establish an online archive of musical outcry today.
Voices of America a collaborative effort between Lee Azzarello, free103point9 and Sarah Kanouse will investigate the sound and reach of the US government broadcasting service Voice of America, heard on radio across the globe, but not in the United States. Voices of America asks contributors to upload recorded election coverage from over-the-air Voice of America stations to then be downloaded and remixed by anyone online. The site launch is immediately following the Democratic and Republican conventions, but the site is now open for participation.
Both projects rely upon the participation of the online masses to generate content that reflect nuanced elements of today’s political arena.
VOTEMOS.US the site that questions what the 2008 U.S. presidential elections would look like if all residents in the U.S. could vote will now feature weekly video interviews with U.S. immigrants and Mexico City residents concerning the presidential elections and general relations between the United States and Latin America.
Although VOTEMOS.US is a Spanish-language site, the videos have English language subtitles so that U.S. citizens may have an insight into the views of their Spanish speaking neighbors within the country as well as those south of the border. The weekly video interviews are available on the site, as a podcast or rss feed:
This week Argentine Jose Antonio Lazzari relaxing in the park Alameda Central located in the historical center of Mexico City states that he would not vote for Obama, Hillary or McCain and he questions who the leftist candidates are in the U.S… Jose Antonio goes on to point out that the United States is controlled by the transnational companies that are making a fortune in Iraq.
We had a lengthy conversation with Jose Antonio Lazzari, a theater actor and educator who runs a free school in Argentina. Sections of this conversation will be published over the next few weeks. Past interviews with NYC undocumented resident Raymundo are also available and all videos will be archived on the site.
The NY Times has run a good story on the complexity of immigration in relation to national elections – “The Border and the Ballot Box”. The author David Leonhardt points to historical reoccurence of xenophobia and national identity disorder regarding immigration as we like to think of ourselves as a nation of immigrants and yet we fear new waves of immigrants. The article suggests that although immigration remains a national issue, it has not and will not present a primary platform for presidential candidates. Personally the story is interesting because it presents a brief index of the historical national attitude toward immigration.
The article sites the 1850s anti Irish Catholic immigrant movement – “Know Nothings”, the 1882 “Chinese Exclusion Act”… However the article attempts to consider both sides of the issue and mentions the fact that illegal immigration undermines the notion of a nation and that the contribution of illegal immigrants is exaggerated when considering the overall effects.
But as it nears conslusion, Leonhardt points out that “No matter how it happens, the country will almost certainly need an influx of new arrivals in coming decades. The baby boomers are about to start turning 65. Someone will have to take their place in the work force — and help pay their Medicare and Social Security bills. ” Read the story.
Straight from Texas and gearing up for a big Tuesday – an Obama ranchera presented by Amigos de Obama
Thursday, January 3 is the Iowa Caucus and the 2008 U.S. presidential election year begins! With ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a dropping dollar, increasing foreclosures of homes, fear of a recession and an incredibly negative international view of the United States, it is time for a change! And in a country built by immigrants who better to bring change than the country’s immigrant population, legal and illegal.
We live in a multi-millionare two party republic with a gigantic near slave-wage labor population that helps keep this country going, the United States should give all its hard working residents a vote! Votems.us – Mexico Decide does so by presenting a Spanish language portal to the US presidential elections and allowing users to register, vote and give their opinion on the US elections.
“In 2005 the percent of U.S. population that are migrants is 12.86%” the highest in the history of the country.” – Farhana Hossain, “Snapshot: Global Migration”, The New York Times
“The U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute approximately $8.5 billion in Social Security and Medicare funds each year.” — National Immigration Law Center, “Paying Their Way and Then Some”
“The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has determined that undocumented immigrants paid almost $50 billion in federal taxes from 1996 to 2003.” — National Immigration Law Center, “Paying Their Way and Then Some”
Votemos.us also features parts of an interview with Raymundo, a Mexican immigrant who left his home in Puebla in 1984 to come to the United States. He discusses the pointlessness of the border fence, that it is merely a political act that will not slow illegal immigration, after all most people pass through the border entries. He also recollects his own crossing of the border and the reality that although he has been living and working in the United States since 1984, he remains without his resident papers since he never had his birth certificate nor the means to acquire his residency because he doesn’t speak English or have money.
Votemos.us goes on to propose that Mexico have a vote in the U.S. elections. The United States has had a powerful influence in the Mexican national elections, now it’s time to turn that around. Between Mexico and the United States exists a constant circulation of people, product and capital so there is plenty of reason to give Mexico a say in who will be the next U.S. President! Mexico should be part of Super Tuesday, February 5th when California and New Mexico, two states that were once Mexican territories go to the caucus.
I originally planned this web site for Transitio, the video and new media festival in Mexico City that happened this past October. With the help of John Kuiphoff, votemos.us has a content management system that allows visitors to register with the site, vote and write an opinion on the elections; anyone may view other’s opinions and write their own reaction. The goal of the project is not only to point to the fact that within the US border lives a very active Mexican population that contributes to the national economy and is not allowed to vote, but also to present a repository of information and links to the Latin American community (within and beyond the U.S.) concerning the US national elections and to establish a public space to share their views.
How can a hopeful presidential candidate be so insincere as to collapse immigration and terrorism? These are two entirely separate issues, after all none of the 9/11 terrorists were illegal immigrants. And I don’t think that this is an ignorant man making naive comments concerning our society. Giuliani is collapsing the separate issues of immigration and terrorism due to his political platform as mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attack. I’m making these comments after watching a video clip of Giuliani speaking to an audience in Des Moines:
“I’m not saying that all of them are terrorists. They’re not. Most of them probably aren’t.” “MOST OF THEM PROBABLY AREN’T” I can hardly believe this sort of statement. If there are about 12 million undocumented migrants in the United States and if amongst them there is a large percentage of terrorists, this country is doomed. This is an incredibly false and insincere statement. It’s political hyperbole and the sort of statement that people are tired of and can see right through. Giuliani is actively suggesting that any Mexican or Latin American who may not speak English or does not appear to have assimilated to the U.S. culture could very well be a terrorist. Can this sort of rhetoric actually carry any civil weight? Not only is it insincere, it is racist.
“Freedom, democracy, respect for human life… you believe in these things, you’re an American.” Well then, I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of the approximately 12 million undocumented migrants to the U.S. believe in these three ideals and these are the reasons that these people come to this country. These are the reasons that they have been able to grow to approximately 12 million. These are the reasons that they represent an incredibly important work force to the U.S. economy. These are the reasons that major corporations, farmers, suburban and urban families and individuals hire these people, because they believe in freedom, democracy and respect for human life. So according to Giuliani the approximately 12 million immigrants are good Americans.
Toward the end of the video clip he continues into racist territory with his discussion of immigration and assimilation. In a globalized world, it is incredibly short-sited to promote a population that only speaks one language. And yet Giuliani makes a point of doing so.
If Giuliani understood what is necessary for security he would not naively or insincerely collapse the issues of immigration with terrorism. Also in outlining his solution to immigration, he is repeating the Secure Fence Act that Bush signed in 2006, but has failed to recieve funding.Â So he’s not proposing anything new or a working solution.
At least the video portrays how poor of a public speaker Giuliani is as he drops sweeping phrases such as “not to have to have these killings” in reference to other countries in comparison to the U.S. He makes this statement without any context or point of reference as to what countries he’s alluding to or what killings he’s talking about. I get the sense that he’s talking about suicide bombings and killing of innocent, but this is following an extended discussion revolving around building a wall along Mexico and cracking down on undocumented Latin American immigrants. Watch the Giuliani video clip and make your own call.