A Very Good Save-the-World Software Development Idea. Please Help Yourself! :-)

Will some brilliant programmer please step up and design a google-type software program that can linguistically analyze and determine a speaker/writer’s cooperative tone and intent?


Your new program could identify and distinguish among those writers/speakers whose communications promote a sense of division, partisanship, negativity, polarization, blame, attack, incivility, rudeness, destructiveness, unfriendly competition, bickering and hate—and those promoting a sense of positivity, creativity, life-affirmation, support, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, productivity, civility, courtesy, equality of opportunity, caring, cooperation and unity.


Your software could have endless useful and profitable applications. For immediate profitability, please consider using your product for security purposes, to helpfully ward off unfriendly attacks and attackers (of whatever kind) upon individuals and enterprises (of whatever kind.)


Imagine leaders young and old in every field vying for their communications to be screened and certified via your software. Why not simultaneously award a “Truth-bearer” (or some other such logo) “gold seal of approval” identifying individuals and organizations as positive communicators, healers, light-bearers?


Your prestigious and desirable software “accreditation” could motivate many people to investigate and understand the important distinctions between peaceful and contentious communication purposes, and to recognize and encourage humanity-unifying goals as non-threatening and potentially beneficial to all earthlings, while discouraging communications with adversarial, hostile ends. Your software would also surely stoke national dialogue, while heightening awareness about the many distinct (although often confusingly-disguised) differences between helpful and harmful human communications. Your software would take care not to exclude any gentle, friendly, cooperative practitioner of any ideology, religion, political party, nation, organization, affiliation, etc.


One important goal of your software would be to educate. Hopefully, everyone would eventually become enlightened enough to merit universal inclusivity (by acting as good, positive communicators) according to your accrediting software, which might also be developed Wikipedically, or perhaps Amazon-style—i.e., open-sourced, by inviting motivated reviewers and voters opportunities not only to build your site, but also to offer feedback opportunities and provide needed talent to shape and debug upgrades and develop next-generation software.


Recipients of your approving nods (such as Nobel prize winners and mild-mannered third-graders) could proudly display and announce their cherished new affiliation and certification on their websites, on Facebook, business cards, in TV commercials and advertising, on coffee cups, tee-shirts, shopping bags….


Additionally, your software could assist web surfers to more-judiciously select helpfully-screened websites, products and opinions as the very ones they will most benefit from investigating. Perhaps your software could also eventually include a function which would recognize and refute inappropriate co-opters of your symbol of acceptance and stamp of approval—an iterative process that would call out abusers while encouraging more awareness and discussion.


Your software will stimulate lively dialogue; increase the impact and number of creative, thought-provoking, and controversial-but-civil exchanges; reduce (by virtue of indifference and neglect) the quantity and influence of divisive communications arising anywhere in the world; universally improve facility in verbal and mental processing of complexities, innuendo and nuances; and inspire us all to pull together cooperatively to resolve our common personal, local and global problems.


While you're programming, please give extra points for humor?


And if you're not a programmer, but merely a earthlinged, godlinged promosapient like me, please pass this idea on to any similarly-inclined programming/software folk or foundations, or to whomever might be interested!


Thank you…. 🙂


Nancy Pace





















































































Justice and Peace Are One Path

Peace and justice nourish one another, sharing their hope for non-violence and their concern for the interests of others. Wherever exploitation and oppression are ignored, peace and justice are illusive; wherever respect and support for human life become priorities, peace and justice are reborn.


Rule-of-law and justice are not always the same. Hopeless citizens who despair of working out their life-and-death issues within unjust legal, economic and political frameworks sometimes turn to crime, terrorism, and war. What goes around comes around. Those who work for equal opportunity and peace lift up their own lives with the lives of others, growing in understanding and acceptance of human difference, and increasing the sum of peace and justice.


The Golden Rule, the historical foundation for all moral and legal systems, and the basis for the “liberty and justice for all” to which we pledge allegiance, works so well because treating others as you wish to be treated becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Peace and justice are among the highest ideals and values enshrined in our proud founding documents, which extend equal protection for the peaceful, equitable goals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” even to “the least of these”—children, the elderly, sick, needy and handicapped, and all who struggle to rise from historical discrimination.


Angry media xenophobes and demagogues try to scare us into believing that the world is divided into a tiny deserving few of “us” vs. a vast faceless, threatening, undeserving “them,” urging us to abandon the goal of peace and justice for all, and to put power and wealth in the hands of a few self-interested fear-mongers who guilefully “guarantee” safety through militarism. Offering the opposite message are the great leaders of our past and present, urging us to love and help one another, to give and forgive, to risk peace instead of war, and to work together for respectful, supportive conditions valuing the sanctity of human life everywhere. Truly, we cannot avoid all injustice, but we can avoid adding to its sum.


Justice implies neutrality and fairness, but no judges are completely unbiased. We all see the world uniquely, based on our different backgrounds. In the face of the same legal arguments, natural, unavoidable bias is evident in the many disagreements among even our rigorously-selected highest justices.


Our current justices’ life experiences are for the most part grounded in privilege and wealth. A more balanced Supreme Court would include justices whose lives reflect struggles against prejudice, poverty or disadvantage, since, in common law legal systems like our own, justices at times “make the law” by overturning precedents, regulations and legislation, with immense implications for future generations.


Clearly we need to appoint judges with sterling records of excellence and impartiality. President Obama hopes also to nominate Supreme Court justices with a sense of what real-world folks go through, who know what it is to be a teenage mom or to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old, to have the system not work for you, to be vulnerable in the political process—an outsider, a minority, someone without a lot of clout.


In the five percent of hard cases where the legal language is not perfectly clear, and where legal procedures alone can’t lead to a rule of decision, President Obama believes that the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in a judge’s heart. May we find the peace and justice we seek there, and together with our good president, continue to nurture peace and justice in our own hearts, in our families, communities, businesses, schools, courts, churches and government, and in all our relationships with others throughout the world.



Please send questions and comments to njcpace@gmail.com. Thank you!

Lincoln Gathered INTELLECTUAL Rivals in his Cabinet: Can Hillary Match Up for Obama?

Not that Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t smart as a whip. Indeed, she emerged from college a cultural visionary. But is she, right now, really one of our country’s great intellectual visionaries, who can offer sound prescriptions for America’s future within a fast-changing world? Is she today one of our great leading political and social global thinkers?


Or is Clinton more a powerful partisan wonk, a good DO-er (and do-gooder) on behalf of her constituents, as well as her own political ambitions and legacy ? Because, if she is 'merely' a powerful, well-connected political operative, then an Obama decision to bring her into his cabinet at Secretary of State will be greatly at odds with, and indeed, will work against accomplishing what Doris Kearns Goodwin, in Team of Rivals, said that Lincoln himself achieved by gathering his own “team of rivals”–help in thinking through, in advance, the implications of his weightiest decisions.


During those pre-Civil War days, politicians gained national political stature through public speaking—that is: by composing speeches and then publishing them in the nation’s newspapers. These thoughtfully-wrought, persuasive intellectual arguments concerning the issues of the day included valuable original personal perspectives and prescriptions for appropriate responses to breaking conflicts and topics. Barack Obama himself has certainly fulfilled all such requirement for visionary intellectual leadership, having personally written two best-selling books during his relative youth, and having personally planned and executed an unparalleled national campaign that bent and shaped the ideas of the world through the sheer force of his intellect.


Unfortunately, Clinton’s previous particular strengths have not been in this department—with the exception of her global work for women and children.


Clinton has proved herself a very successful, bright, capable political fighter. Her greatest abilities have been in adversarial relations and political in-fighting. With Hillary as political strategist-in-chief, Bill could always outmaneuver his opponents. She has also done interesting work on her own political behalf, as well.


Admittedly, Clinton has evolved to becoming a global fighter for women and children on the world stage. Certainly she has met with many foreign leaders. But her global background and perspectives, and frankly, her previous interests in foreign relations have mostly been limited to improving life for her favorite two-thirds of the world’s population—women and children—along, of course, with their husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, grandfathers and male friends.


Hmmmm. Come to think of it, if Clinton will serve Obama wholeheartedly and loyally from this pro-family global perspective—and that’s a big if—maybe she’ll turn out to be a good choice for State after all, past ghostwriters be damned.


Clinton’s very loving heart could be wonderfully put to use in the very important role of new Senate Lion during the Obama era. Congress needs her many talents to negotiate the details and fight for passage of the coming torrent of new legislation so necessary to bring real change to America.


But Secretary of State? We definitely do not need a parochial street fighter in that role. What we need is a global visionary who will approach the world non-adversarially—not as a defensive women up against a world of men, not as an advocate of the interests of the United States 'against' the interests of 'the rest,' but as one with all others.


If Clinton has indeed evolved enough to work patiently with (and not against) all comers; if she can bring the world together to cooperatively solve our many common global problems; if she is ready to make the necessary evolutionary jump away from adversarial relationships toward cooperative ones; if she can come from her caring rather than her fears; then she could indeed be the right kind of rival for Obama’s cabinet team, and the right kind of U.S. Secretary of State to the world.


Actually, I had Al Gore in mind for Obama's Secretary of State, because of his green, global, cooperative vision and personality, and his demonstrated intellectual leadership through speaking, writing, and other political venues. But if Obama does offer State to Clinton, then I hope she will consider his offer with real humility concerning her motives and abilities perhaps gained from her recent hubris. And if she accepts, I hope she now comes from that so-necessary intellectual bandwidth which alone will determine whether both their decisions will look good to posterity.

Covering Obama: A Cautionary Note to Journalists and Historians

Journalists who recently told the election tale in terms of a superior candidate emerging victorious over an inferior one risked a barrage of criticism from rightist pundits. And indeed, the salutations of the world’s moral and political leaders, and the tears of admirers everywhere, have crowned Barack Obama a peerless light-bearer, while John McCain, partly for the sake of a contrasting story line, has been cast in the evil emperor role.


Truly, it would be as misguided for liberal-leaning journalists to indelibly identify Obama as a permanent force for good, as for right-leaning journalists to gnash their teeth to nubs over their White Knight’s defeat by the evil Antichrist, because what keeps journalists working is their sure-handed avoidance of any final pronouncements on the rapidly-changing nature of the people and human institutions in the scene before them, in favor of reporting in medias res exactly what just happened.


In this particular case, what just happened was that a famously-esteemed public servant, John McCain, too often gave in to cynicism; attacked his until-recently unknown opponent; promoted fear; and acted the part of convenient tool of greedy and foolish party opportunists narrowly serving the interests of America’s wealthiest citizens.


What just happened was that voters rightly associated John McCain’s candidacy with the failed policies of today’s Republican Party, the party of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, Rove, and Hadley, who, together with Hannity, Limbaugh and their ilk, duped two highly-electable, ideologically “authentic” rock stars, Bush II and McCain, into fatuously selling, with fatal consequences to large swaths of Americans and Iraqis, a vacuous, greed-based ideology.


What just happened was that a Republican presidential campaign aligned itself with policies promoting U.S. hegemony; a dominion of haves over have-nots; a belief in the inevitability of a divided world; militarized solutions to political conflicts; and a continuation of institutionalized bigotry, hatred, ignorance and poverty as the optimal path to safety and prosperity.


Journalists legitimately pointed out that there were clear differences between the two candidates and their campaigns—two very different approaches to governing, two distinct philosophies, two methodologies, two visions.


Journalists rightly explained how and why most world citizens came together to embrace and applaud the more hopeful candidate and reject the more cynical one.


To be sure, John McCain is neither the devil nor the evil emperor. He is, however, a believer in the aggressive, violent, chauvinistic ideology of the Bush regime which preceded him. George W. Bush isn’t the devil either, but he did quite naively become falsely persuaded that his only choice was to unleash hell in the Middle East, thereby adding greatly to the sum of human suffering and injustices in the false hope of thus preventing some.


Many high-minded journalists very professionally told a story of how, in this one glorious instance, Americans courageously elected a man advocating diplomacy, global problem-solving, an end to class warfare, relief for the planet, a search for common interests and solutions, the education of all children everywhere in the necessary skills, ideals and values of citizenship and productivity, and a belief in working together to lift mankind up instead of tearing it down.


Barack’s victory was a victory of hope, love, and faith over cynicism, despair, and vengeance. Journalists telling his election story just exactly as it unfolded were right to tell the truth that for a brief shining moment, America once again welcomed the possibility of a promising new king ready and eager to reign wisely and well from a diverse, compassionate and representative roundtable.


At the risk of grievously mixing regal metaphors:  Make it so.




Please send comments to njcpace@gmail.com.

New Exciting Commitments, Time Crunches, Beloved Old Ones

My big question today is:  how will I manage to add on another new, time-eating priority (that is, taking mediation training, and then volunteering) while I’m already feeling over-committed to my many other current involvements, which I truly, dearly love and want to support, and continue, and finish?


I so love my husband and our life and time together. I love and am committed to supporting my children, parents, sisters, friends. I love inspirational and thought-provoking ideas and conversation, and having a regular spiritual practice.  I want to establish a Department of Peace. I want to get Barack elected, end the war, and help him succeed in achieving his amazing agenda.


I want to keep working out, almost-daily. I dearly love writing my quirky personal take on breaking news for this blog (and sometimes for the local newspaper) and I love writing my (coming-along-nicely) “heartwarming, funny, and astonishing” (my words) memoir assessing the various impacts and implications of a military brat childhood upon my life and family (and upon others, and upon culture in general.)


I love Master Gardeners and our mission and activities. I love Women in Black and our peacemaking activities. I love keeping up with news and issues, reading about politics, reading non-fiction books and periodicals in all my favorite fields, and delighting in art and culture via Netflix and television. I love my dog, my home, my garden. I want to cook more often, and more healthfully and artfully. I sometimes need (and even fruitfully use) unstructured downtime (and sleep.) I love staying in the present moment, and being available and responsive and supportive to those I love and strangers alike, available to listen and help when things come up. I love sponsoring family visits and happy holidays.


I want to be gentle with myself, and to resist picking on myself about spreading myself too thin, about not “being there” when needed. True, I do too many things hastily and half-assed, but why waste time and energy judging myself? I don't want to waste my life feeling like I disappoint everyone, or fretting about health issues, poor discipline, or advancing age.


My answer for now? Trust. Surrender.


As Popeye says, I yam what I am. I accept forgiveness for myself, as I extend that acceptance to others who are also going 100% to do whatever most needs to be done, whatever most wants to be done.


I'll always do my best (which, granted, sometimes ain't so hot.) I'll focus on excellence in each small process, and I'll stay in the present so I won’t have to fret about my results, however wonderful, indifferent, or disappointing.


I'll make the time to start my day well, with humility, vision and heart.


I'll trust in God's strength and guidance to help me make healthy, loving choices, moment-to-moment, to help me live a good life.


I'll follow my love, energy, excitement. I'll remember that this approach generally works, if in characteristic fits and starts. (My husband sometimes kindly reminds me–as he goes, uncomplaining, to work each day–that no matter how many activities and relationships I choose—or how few—I’ll never get any of them “right”—to my satisfaction—because, after all, really, nobody ever gets anything or any relationship, finally, “right,” now do they? 


Oh, what a relief to not have to worry about that.


True, I do let people down sometimes, and I hate failing others' expectations. Sometimes I collapse in a familiar heap, and sometimes I run away and hide for awhile.


But I’m not going to kick myself anymore. I'm just going to keep making the best choices I can, moment-to-moment, keep doing what I do, and adjust, as needed, and let that be enough. I'm going to remember to love me too, by letting me be me, and not beating me up. (And mediation training would be such a nice present to me….)


After all, I wasn't getting as much done these days as at some other times in my life, probably because I’m currently feeling bogged down and overwhelmed and uninspired and unsure how to juggle my already-competing priorities. Probably an exciting new involvement, by its nature, will synergistically fill in important blanks, open new mental doors, create missing links, help me integrate, energize and prioritize all my beloved activities–inform all of them, support all of them.


Because, just as army brats must (eventually…somehow…) learn excellence, loyalty, perseverence, and FINISHING STUFF, we musn't forget meanwhile that we also simply thrive on jumping into new opportunities, taking risks, enjoying novelty, adventure, new learning, new friends, excitement, expanding our spidery souls by ceaselessly venturing, seeking connection, tirelessly unreeling our threads out of ourselves, casting filament after filament out into the universe, 'til they catch somewhere, O my soul*….


See? My decision to take on mediation training (which I've longed to do for ten years) has already inspired me to write this new blog! 


* inspired by and adapted from Walt Whitman's “A Patient, Noiseless Spider”. 



Please send your comments to njcpace@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Sarah Palin for Vice-President?

The McCain campaign would love for the American public to think this campaign is “about” being “for” or “against” Palin. It's not. It's about choosing between Obama and McCain on the issues that affect the American people. But the McCain campaign very much hopes we will forget about the issues, in the midst of all the Palin drama they'll keep stirring….

Palin will do a LOT to open feminism up to conservatives, so there is some good in that. She is in many ways a good, remarkable woman, just misguided and ill-informed. I admire her grit and her many abilities and accomplishments. However, I certainly do not agree with her politics, and she is in no way qualified to be either President or VP of the U.S. No major party would dream nowadays of nominating a man with such weak credentials, so they nominated her in part in hopes of stealing the women's and evangelicals' votes, and in part because she is a very talented, smooth political operative. I would not entrust such an important office to an unqualified woman, no matter how appealing, and I will vote for the ticket which is best-qualified and most likely to solve our many global challenges and right our economy, and make the rest of the changes we need here at home–Obama/Biden.

She knows almost nothing about national and international politics, and on several issues, she is a right-wing extremist clearly out of step with most Americans. Shame on McCain. His gambit may work, but it's cynical and self-serving.

The U.S. already twice elected a Palin lookalike–George W. Bush–a “pretty,” likeable, electable young face with an earnest, authentic voice, ideological convictions and good intentions, someone “real,” “like us,” who doesn't know much but you could have a beer with. And the American public trusted and hoped that those wiser would guide him as necessary. Consider where that got us.

Should Palin need to step up to the top job, her office will immediately be taken over by a committee of small, incompetent, warmongering political insiders who will once again run the country amok.

Palin is a good spokeswoman for Republican ideology, and certainly unique, and I wish her much growth. She has a bright future in conservative politics as a talking head for the powerful insider Rove/Limbaugh/Cheney puppeteer troupe (although they may find her harder to “handle” than Bush was–maybe not.)

But regardless of her politics, she is in no way ready to run our country in it's hour of greatest need.

Although admittedly, Palin is a big step up from Cheney…. 

Hillary and other feminists need to say, Yes, a qualified women for VP or President, but Palin is not qualified. I'm sorry, but Palin's face and style keep reminding me of Annette, the Mouseketeer. J-O-H   N-S-M   C-C-A-I-N! Sorry, Annette. But if it quacks like a duck….

I also think we need someone who will be a 24/7 President, as Obama has promised. He has pre-arranged the excellent care of his children with his wife, in-laws and friends, and they are counting on him to show up and be Daddy on occasion, but not to have any family responsibilities other than being a loving father, husband, friend. He does not have five children, one a special-needs infant, one heading to Iraq and one young, unmarried, pregnant and vulnerable.

Clearly, Palin's husband will be playing the traditional parent-at-home job, and I suspect he'll be good at it. If Palin is willing to turn the raising of the family over to him and others, as Barack has done, and leave herself only the responsibility of showing up to be loving Mommy on occasion, as Barack does, then she can be a 24/7 leader. Otherwise, we're gonna get cheated.

Both candidates should of course be with their families during major family crises, which arise more often in families of five children than of two children (see above). Presidents are also needed on-the-job during world crises. Enough said. I welcome the national dialogue that will occur on this issue, about just how much responsibility any parent of either sex can reasonably take on simultaneously at home and at the office, and still perform “equitably,” satisfactorily, laudably

Obama's judgment and patriotism is so evident in his choice of Biden, and McCain's seems ever more unstable, imprudent, impulsive. Certainly Palin was not thoughtfully vetted.

We desperately need national leadership, and we need a clear vision of where we are going and how to get there, not partisanship. We need someone who can give us good reasons to pull together, not someone whose extremism will tear us apart. McCain is all about scaring people into voting for him, and about making people think this election is about Palin, and not either-Obama-or-McCain.

By insisting that the media is to blame for critically vetting Palin, the Republicans are setting themselves up to excuse Palin from future unscripted media dialogue, interaction, and risky exposure. Palin's a maverick, it's true, but a maverick we know little about, who should not be protected from the press, nor left to cut her pretty teeth on the Presidency.

By the way, I understand McCain will soon be shipping Palin back to hide out in Alaska to prepare for the upcoming VP debate. She desperately needs uninterrupted time to bone up on all the national and international “stuff” that she has remained happily clueless about for forty-four years. She'll also be able to stay safely away from the pesky (i.e.,”unfriendly”) press scrutiny and risky unscripted media events Barack has been subjected to, for the last nineteen months (not counting his previous four campaigns for public office, and his public service.)

When the only tool you know well is a hammer, all problems look like nails, and McCain's most familiar hammer is the military. None of the national and global problems the next President will face can be solved militarily (or by a rookie testing out her learning curve.)

I once enjoyed hunting too, my daughter was a very competitive basketball player, I admire strong, ambitious, talented women and I love to see them get ahead in politics. But really, Vice President? I don't think so…. This is a big decision, folks. Let's all do some serious thinking about its implications. Our lives, and our children's lives, our money, the fate of the nation, the world, our very planet, are at stake.

“ClaremontObserver” recently wrote:
> Only in Republican America would a black man with
> Bachelors degree in
> International Relations from Columbia University,
> a law degree from
> Harvard Law School, 10 years as a professor of
> Constitutional Law at
> the University of Chicago, 12 years in politics,
> four years on the U.S.
> Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of
> one of the most
> impressively flawless and forward thinking
> presidential campaigns ever
> not be ready for the presidency while a white
> female evangelical with
> 19 months in politics and a bachelors in
> journalism is considered
> “ready on day one.”

I copied this off a comments thread on www.realclearpolitics.com . “Claremont Observer” has a website called www.ClaremontObserver.com , so check it out! I thought the above was the most important observation on Palin of the day.




Obama's Vice Presidential Nominee Will Be Mark Warner

Just for the record, I still think that every one of Obama's descriptive hints about who will be his VP choice have pointed right at Mark Warner, and that Warner will be his VP nominee.

I think Obama has wanted Warner all along (for years) for all the best possible reasons, including clinching winning in November and getting his agenda for change done over the next eight years.

Because of their many differences, I suspect Barack will have had to do some pretty persuasive arguing to win Warner over to his ticket, but Barack is a pretty persuasive arguer.

I think that (1) for the good of the nation, and (2) Virginians, and (3) the Democratic party, and (4) Warner's own family, as heirs to what happens in the world over the next eight years, and (5) because of the fierce urgency of now, and (6) due to Barack's amazing leadership skills, serving as VEEP will trump Warner's sincere desire and alternative political path and ambitions and plans to serve as Senator of his beloved state of Virginia. 

Those three darling teenage daughters who asked Dad to put off his national ambitions until they were all in college, and Warner's great wife too, will let him off the hook and give him the go-ahead, if taking the VP job is what he is finally convinced is, after all, best for all concerned (that is, all the people in the world.) Warner's a pretty persuasive arguer too.

Virginians will be momentarily devastated if Warner accepts the VP nomination, but they will quickly readjust when they realize that the popular Tim Kaine can serve them ably in the Senate, that they have many excellent Democratic options to replace Kaine as Governor and to be the next Governor, and that a beloved Virginia favorite son will not only serve in the White House as Vice President for eight years, but will also be the next U.S. President.

The Republicans will be dismayed. “Two Harvard Lawyers” is the worst that they can do with this pair….

I bet some small change on my Mark Warner prognostication a few months ago on intrade, where Warner is now standing at around 0 odds (or something similar) so evidently lots of people on the inside know reasons I don't know about, why this VP match wouldn't work just fine. Considering I know nothing about anyone in politics except what I read in the papers and on the net (and much of that is, of course, nonsense), the knowledgeable folk at intrade who put their money on the line will probably prove me wrong for the many good reasons I know not of. 

I'll be sad though, if I'm wrong, and in this particular case, losing the bet money will have nothing to do with it. (In fact, the odds may go up with this blog, who knows?! Stranger things have happened….) But everyone likes to “be right,” especially me. And it was just fun to take the leap on something that would be so wonderful. Obama/Warner would be an amazing ticket, and an unbeatable, truly great and historic sixteen-year run.

By the way, I hate gambling in general, am uncomfortable with it in person, and played only nickel slot machines during a week once in Las Vegas that I was forced to endure. I don't even buy lottery tickets. But this was a sure thing (LOL), so I couldn't resist.


Because Barack is smart and good, and because Barack gets what he goes after, and, well, as far as I can tell–which isn't that far, as I've explained above–Warner would be the smartest, best choice for America, for Barack, for the Democrats, for the average working voter, for the economy, for the environment…well, so it goes, on and on. 

Read my previous blog about Mark Warner for VP on my website, www.epharmony.com, for the reasons why I like Warner for this spot (there are many more), if you want to know my rationale. It hasn't changed.

I also like many of Barack's other outstanding VP options. My first VP pick, after Warner, in order of who I think would be best and who Barack would pick, is Evan Bayh. After Bayh, I'm guessing Biden, Richardson, and Casey. There are several more good possibilities too, for various reasons. But Warner and Bayh fit his clues best. Hillary fits some of his clues too, but I don't think she's a good fit for VP (though a great public servant) and I doubt that Obama will think so either.

But if I'm trying to think like Barack and decode his priorities and his signals, I'm guessing/hoping it's Warner.

And yes, if this post looks wildly foolish tomorrow, it will be easy to delete this post…. 🙂  After all, I'm not famous (yet….) 🙂

Please send your comments to njcpace@gmail.com. Thank you!







Obama and McCain Tell Us What “Rich” Means

According to John McCain, only those Americans with incomes of $5 million or more a year are “rich.” That leaves the other 99.99999% making only $4,999,999.00 (or less) merely middle-class. It's hard to impress this guy!


Barack Obama thinks that families who makes $250,000 or more are “rich”–one-twentieth of John McCain’s assessment. He's a bit more in touch with reality….


John McCain has made it clear that he will not raise taxes even on the “rich” except to pay for endless wars. Barack says he will raise taxes on the 3-4% of the American people at the top, who need the money less and have already disproportionately benefited from living in this land of opportunity, to fund his plans for change. He’ll lower taxes for families making $100,000 or less.


So, without raising money, how does McCain plan to solve our country’s huge problems, that individuals and private enterprise can’t resolve on their own, the ones that require national planning and support? How does John McCain plan to level the playing field for all Americans, giving those born with disadvantages, deficits, and barriers a chance to lead healthy, productive lives?


The hard sad fact of the matter is, John McCain has no such plans. He doesn’t plan to level the playing field at all, or to solve our critical national problems. His primary business is taking care that the rich stay rich. He thinks the private sector can handle everything necessary if he just keeps government out of the way. His only plan is to use the bully pulpit to inspire us all upward and onward to greater individual achievement. Aside from that, we’re on our own.


Some of the critical national/global problems which John McCain won’t be solving because he won’t raise taxes to fund plausible government-wide national action plans, are: war prevention; energy and other scarcities; lawlessness; poverty; human and workers' rights; educational access; weapons proliferation; infectious disease; health care; environmental degradation; mass migrations/immigration; infrastructure; disaster relief; the national debt, deficit, and trade imbalance; a failing economy; addiction; hunger; a culture of violence; and prejudice.


McCain's conservative supporters put their faith in volunteerism and enterpreneurism by the wealthy cream of American society who they imagine have risen to the top only through their superior moral qualities. Barack will require such fortunate Americans to pitch in disproportionately to find and fund national solutions to common problems, to help their American brothers make it up to the starting line, and to help “the least of these” who are struggling in difficult times.


John McCain’s presidential vision is a fearful, frightening military one. Like George Bush, McCain will spend whatever amount is “necessary” on war and the military to protect Americans—militarily only—from Islamic extremists; beyond that, none of our common problems will be solved, and it’s every man for himself. Barack will work non-violently, diplomatically, and cooperatively to keep us out of harm's way and to prevent and address conflicts.


John McCain’s idea of leadership is to cheer us on comfortably from the sidelines, while using his most familiar tool, the military, to put bandaids on erupting conflicts and force the outcomes he desires.  Barack Obama will organize and galvanize us to take the necessary effective national actions on our problems. He will spend our tax money wisely, keep us out of costly wars, get us working to solve our problems, and get us where we need to go, together.


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Hillary’s Concession Speech Was So Characteristically Hillary

I’m afraid I didn’t see in Hillary’s speech what others saw. I thought it mean-spirited–for a concession speech. Mockingly dressed in funereal black, Hillary seemed full of sound and fury, conceding nothing.


Most glaring was what Hillary didn’t say, what any generous endorser of Barack who really wanted to help him would have articulated clearly: I like this man, I respect this man, I trust and admire him, I’ve worked with him and know him and think he’ll make a great president.


Far from giving Barack her wholehearted endorsement, Hillary continued to aggrandize her own status, and left her followers confused. She mentioned Barack's strength, determination, grace and grit, but overlooked the special qualities that gave him his win–his brilliance, his organizational and leadership talents, his judgment, integrity, fine record of service, vision, and patriotism. 


Hillary chose to endorse Barack at her own venue, in front of her own screaming supporters, while all of Barack's other endorsers have courteously shown up at his events. In this instance, the winner, Barack, even had to seek out the miffed loser just to gently ask her for her endorsement. What does this tell us about Hillary? That she's afraid. And when Hillary is afraid, she stops focusing on others, on goodness, on her goals, and mostly just worries about herself.


She hasn't really quit. She's only “suspended” her campaign, not “ended” it. She hasn't released her delegates. And she said loud and clear in her speech, “(N)ever listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.” What's wholehearted about that? If she plans to campaign her heart out for Barack, I haven't seen it yet. I hope I do. So far, it all looks like waiting and hoping and being ready for a quirkily different outcome to miraculously appear.


Over and over, Hillary said only that her supporters “must” or “have to” (i.e., against their will and better judgment? kicking and screaming? for no good reason other than that Barack is a Democrat?) support Barack if they're going to realize Hillary’s dream. Hillary so wanted to be a Queen, an Eva Peron, bestowing generous favors upon her twentieth century flock. Barack is so twenty-first-century-beyond such pettiness, so ego-less (but not ambition-less.) 


I am grateful that Hillary didn’t take advantage of this staged opportunity to cry over the nasty black spider who sat down beside her and so rudely spoilt her party. I have no doubt that Hillary, like the rest of us, sheds real tears in private, but not in public yet. That's too bad–her heart is by far her best asset, far better even than her excellent brain. Whenever she's being authentically Hillary–loving, focused on others, lifted out of her fears–she's truly great. But when she's scared, angry and confused (and that's too often), well…she's like the rest of us (not good enough to be president.)


Hillary has never seemed quite comfortable being a woman, nor does she feel comfortable trusting any man, sometimes with good reason. But her lack of of a reliable and completely trusting faith–in herself, in others, in the love that works so brilliantly through her when she lets it work, in God, in life itself–that lack of faith keeps on hurting her and holding her back. I trust she will notice soon how far her faith has carried her already, and trust it more to take her the rest of the way. And I hope she will turn her back once and for all on her insecurities and fears, for we all greatly need Hillary's greatness.


She has been a courageous, pioneering feminist during a confusing time, but her continuing confusion about the whole feminist and gender and leadership thing continues to be shared with the rest of us. I recommend A Woman's Worth, by Marianne Williamson, to help her identify more consistently with her own authentic faith, love, and femininity.


Hillary has fallen far in recent days from her formerly-visionary, mighty-heroine status, to act so small, but it's only temporary. Hers has been an amazing journey, and we've loved watching her grow along with us. Hillary relentlessly stretches and challenges herself, and thus sometimes fails greatly and publicly, always a great test of faith. But even absolute power cannot corrupt absolutely. 


The corruption we're all heir to is the temptation to escape to fear, to veer away from our goal of loving oneness. Fear is the only explanation for Hillary's attempt to hold Barack back, the one person today who can lead us all over that bridge to the 21st century, the bridge she once worked so hard to build. Hillary will find the love necessary to let go of her small need to be “right” about her belief that she could have won the election, and that Barack couldn't, her wish to look back and be able to say “I told you so.” Instead, she will find the faith necessary to support him in accomplishing the goals she's been working toward her whole life.


Hillary's failure to win the presidency was not a failure of sexism belonging to all women everywhere, but a failure of faith that goodness could indeed work consistently through her–not to mention the emergence of an amazing challenger who so far has proved to be a clearer, more consistent channel for positivity. Sexism cannot explain Hillary's loss when her opponent displayed clearly superior leadership traits, and losing like a petulant child has not helped to establish her creds.


With friends like Hillary, so far, Barack hasn't needed enemies. Yes, I’m being churlish, feeling mad and sad that Hillary's speech offered only the minimum required to save her political neck and to further her (indeed selfless) agenda. But Barack needs all of our best help to make the changes we so desperately need to begin. Yes, I need to get over it and find my own faith again.


No doubt, Hillary's speech was her best effort, for now—and to be sure, her best on any given day is impressive, far more impressive than I am capable of on my best days. But I do so hope Hillary regains her faith, strength and loving authenticity, and then uses it to support Barack wholeheartedly. She has grown greatly before. Hillary can be as big as she can be small. I hope she decides to act on her love and her faith instead of on her fears and resentments, for a long long while.


Hillary and Bill have unfortunately cast themselves into the role of Democratic Party “old guard,” a role they once fought hard to overcome in others.Tragically, Hillary isn’t even aware that she's done this. She ran for president so that she could to complete her and Bill's very impressive joint-60s-vision-of-the-future, but Barack has laid out a much more complete, better, stronger and longer-range extension and enlargement of that vision which will take America assertively into mid-century. Hillary's present resistance to Barack's leadership hasn't done her any favors, but perhaps it has done Barack one or two; Barack will have so many world and national “enemies” to deal with from now on, so many fence-sitters to co-opt, that perhaps it's a blessing to have cut his teeth on a very tough old “friend.”


I pray that Hillary will regain the (very feminine) faith, love, and authenticity which brought her to the brink of success. If she will rededicate her many talents in service to Barack's vision, she will greatly serve herself, Barack, America, and the world.



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Mark Warner A Good Vice Presidential Running Mate for Obama

Re: the Veepstakes short list: If Barack picks Warner for his VP, Kaine (who has to step down in early 2010 anyway) can run now for Senate, and they all (Jim Webb too) can support Rick Boucher for governor….

Here's some more rambling on the subject….

My only hesitation about Warner was not knowing what Barack thought about him. If the ticket appeals to both of them, Warner will offer Barack a winning teammate–someone he likes working with, a thoughtful, persuasive and energetic campaigner, a very good debater and speaker, a good balance in lots of ways to the Obama ticket (so they’ll win,) a good possibilitity for future President when Barack moves over to the Supreme Court (or whatever) in eight years, and most important, Warner is someone who really knows how to get things done and how to run a government. 

It ought to be evident by now to informed voters that Barack has an in-depth interest and expertise in foreign policy, if not extensive experience, and I’m sure that Warner has been boning up in this area as well, for his Senate (or Veep) race, during the last year anyway…. I think Barack will make mincemeat of McCain in foreign policy debates, and I'll bet Warner can impress folks on that subject in a debate too. Probably he's made some foreign trips and met some key people in the last year or so, too? I mean, what has he been doing for the last year besides studying up…? I don’t think many people really think Barack is unprepared to handle the presidency, the 3 am calls, etc. Two Harvard lawyers with brilliant publicly-accountable records of service ought to count for something…. Warner knows his way around Congress too….

I think the public will love a ticket with 5 beautiful young girls gracing it, headed up by these two rock stars…. This is 2008, after all…. Their wives would be great friends–both are remarkable women and good campaigners. Warner would help to bring in Virginia and Indiana (his birthplace) and would attract all Republicans, Independents and centrists/rural folk too, because that's the way he is.

I can't imagine women not being drawn to these two remarkable men…. I wish Warner were a Hispanic woman, but you can't have everything. I think Hispanics will vote for an Obama/Warner ticket over McCain and ???.

I won't go into all the ways Warner's expertise offers depth to the Obama ticket, but Warner is especially strong in managing government and money/budgets/taxes, strong in his business abilities and connections (he was a founder of Nextel), very good at improving education, a strong record in transportation work, the environment, energy, health care, the war, a competitive economy, infrastructure, health care, technology…. All in all, a great record of interests and accomplishments. So great in fact, maybe Barack won't even consider anyone else at all…. 

Warner seems to have great integrity, great judgment and superb political instincts. And he's not one to put his foot in his mouth….

Warner's politics can't be tooooo far from Barack's because Warner cut his teeth on politics as a young man working for Chris Dodd. I suspect Barack and Warner have a great number of common goals for change…..

Warner’s wife might help bring in some mlitary voters (she’s a brat) and may help with Texas too, where she went to grad school (in Austin.) She's bright and attractive and capable (graduate degree in public health, a great field.)

When voters and the media get to know Warner–who has earned the warm affection and great respect of 80% of the Virginians in both parties, that is, all who know him–they’ll all be thrilled with the ticket. Warner is so funny, just so appealing, just like Barack (except different, of course.)

Does anyone remember how much fun it was when young(ish) Bill and Al hit the campaign trial? Just their energy was an amazing contrast…. If Barack believes in this centrist, then I do too…. Having Warner on the ticket will convince more people that “Yes we can” GET IT DONE….. If Barack picks Mark Warner, then this ticket feels great to me…. They certainly have similar visions, values and approaches. I'm happy Barack may have found someone deserving of running and working beside him as he brings real change to America….