Benny's World

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An Open Letter to Senator Obama

Here's something I wrote to my senator, Barack Obama, inspired by an idea by Don at the DU:

Dear Senator Obama,
I see that President Bush intends to resubmit the name of John Bolton for UN Ambassador. Mr. Bolton has performed poorly as an appointee. He appears to be an adversary of the UN, and not worked well with his colleagues there. There has been no movement in terms of what to do with Lebanon and Israel, and certainly, nothing has been done about peacekeeping in Dafur.

But rather than just voting against Mr. Bolton, I read an idea today that presents a more positive alternative which would be very bi-partisan, which is for your committee to suggest to President Bush to nominate someone else that would be more effective: your colleague, Senator Lincoln Chafee. Senator Chafee would be congenial and I believe someone who can bring people together and talk about our serious problems, and hopefully reach for a multi-lateral solution for Iraq in order for us to start the process of withdrawl, and peace.

Thank you for reading my suggestion.

Tags: United Nations, UN, ambassador nominations, Lincoln Chafee, Barack Obama, Senate Foreign Relations committee, benny's world

Thank You, Soldier

I borrowed this from blogger One Voice.

I was just watching C-SPAN in seeing where Personal Effects of the wounded or killed go--in Maryland. Our soldiers' belongings are well cared for and detailed lists are checked three or four times. That includes each CD, DVD, etc. Clothes are laundried and respectfully folded. Photographs, jewlery, etc are placed in a special bag, depending on the military branch.

What isn't sent back? are porn-related or anything open, such as personal hygiene products.

I also saw that the US army, which does all of this, is humane in keeping facial tissues handy for all. As one service woman said, it can be hard to look at all of the personal stuff because she hates war.

To all who have sacrifaced for our country, Benny's World salutes you.

Tags: Veterans, Veterans Day, benny's world

Thursday, November 09, 2006

E-Mail from JRE about his new book, Home

Dear Benny,

There are lots of folks who have a stake in reminding Americans about the things we disagree about -- and we've certainly heard from them over the past few weeks. But what really makes America great is this -- our differences are outweighed by the things we share in common.

And for most of us, that common ground starts in the place we first called "home." Whether it was a small apartment or a mansion, in a city or on a farm, home is where we learned our values, took our first steps into the larger world, and began to become who we are today.

My new book, Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives, is filled with the stories of American homes -- all kinds of homes, from well-known Americans to wonderful people you'll be meeting for the first time -- together, their voices reveal an inspiring story of a country united in its hopes and aspirations.

Home comes out next Tuesday, November 14th; I'm donating all the proceeds to charity. Right now, though, I wanted to give you and all the members of our online community a chance to read a little bit of Home before it comes out. You deserve it -- because Home wouldn't exist without you. You may remember that my daughter Cate asked all of you to nominate people for the book about a year ago. Well, we received thousands of responses -- and the stories we got from you make up about half of the 60 stories in the book.

As I mentioned, some of the contributors are well known and it's fun to read about their early lives. Steven Spielberg talks about making his first movie while living in his boyhood home. Hank Azaria tells about the impressions he used to do in his bedroom late at night. Maya Lin discusses some of the places where she first found inspiration for her architecture. There are stories from Donna Brazile, Tommy Franks, Barry Switzer, Vera Wang, and Rick Warren, and many more.

Click here to be one of the first to read an excerpt from my book.

Other contributors are from the One America community. Gregory Vasquez, a field auditor from Newton, Iowa, writes about how his widowed mother raised him and his brothers in a house with no indoor plumbing and an outhouse. A young woman named Mary Catherine Brouder tells us about growing up with her parents and two sisters and a brother -- seven in all -- in a four room apartment in the Bronx.

Every story is remarkable for its honesty, insight and warmth. But what really struck me is how, despite all the differences in background and circumstance, every story is remarkably similar. The memories are similar -- sitting around the kitchen table, parents coming home from work, finding ways to have fun -- but, even more important, the same values and the same dreams live in every home.

This excerpt includes a little bit of my introduction to the book, Danny Glover's story of life in his boyhood home in San Francisco, and Robert Carr's story of growing up in three different structures, including a sheep camp, on an Indian reservation.

Even if you're busy right now, I hope you'll take a moment to get your excerpt of Home. Read it over a cup of coffee when you have time. Then let me know what you think, and share your own memories of home.

Your friend,



I read the first excerpts. Each shows a childhood home, then writes about her/his experiences living in the home. One of the excerpts was composed by a native American. It's cool.

My copy arrives on Tuesday. Have you ordered yours?

Oh, JRE is going to be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on November 14th and on the David Letterman Show on Friday, November 17th. Should be entertaining.

Tags: John Edwards, Home: Blueprints of Our Lives, book tour, benny's world

RIP Ed Bradley

From the NYT, a half-hour ago:

Ed Bradley, an anchor on CBS’s 60 Minutes, died today after suffering from leukemia, CBS News reported. He was 65.

Mr. Bradley joined the broadcast during the 1981-82 season. He was awarded 19 Emmys during his career, including one for a report on the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till, CBS said.

Mr. Bradley also won an Emmy for his 60 Minutes interview with condemned Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in March 2000. Its was the only television interview given by Mr. McVeigh.

Rest in Peace, Ed. You served us well during your tenure here.

Tags: Ed Bradley, obituaries, CBS News, 60 Minutes, benny's world

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Be a Good Patriot

--Did you? Go vote if you haven't!

Tags: US 2006 Congressional Elections, patriots, voting, benny's world

Monday, November 06, 2006

Iddybud Journal

Fellow blogger Iddybud has moved to a new place, still in the Blogspot community. She calls her new place, Iddybud Journal. It is a lot faster to load, but she has retained her identity as one of premier bloggers who writes about progressive ideas related to politics, faith, and justice. I'm flattered that she considers Benny's World as well as blogrolling one my other favorite places, Chancelucky, as one of the Friends of Progress on Iddybud Journal.

Enjoy! She has a nice photoblog piece about a rally she attended for her congressional candidate yesterday.

Update: I forgot to mention that I'm still part of the Idea Consultants group, along with Iddybud, Anonymoses, Coturnix, Aldon Haynes, etc.

Tags: Iddybud, progressive ideas, benny's world

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Will we vote and how we vote? Clues

Despite our "freedom" loving democracy, US is one of worst about getting out and voting. Here's an article about it.

Personally, I think we either need to make Election Day a national holiday, or better yet, vote on Sunday.

And it appears that not only companies look at our consumer choices for offering new products; campaigns do it to sell politicians.

I would love to see the complete list of "democratic" vs "republican" products, not just where the products are sold. It was my spouse's idea to buy our Toyota Prius 2 years ago, and spouse bikes 3100 miles a year. What do political strategists think how my loved one will vote?

Tags: political economy, 2006 elections, consumer products, voting demographics, benny's world

John Edwards Returns to Cleveland

Yellow Dog Sammy of the Ohio 2006 blog was one of the attendees of a rally at the Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland. He captured all of the speakers, including Edwards. The first part is really cool--the audience is singing some gospel. JRE liked it.

Part One here:

Part 2 here:

There were about 250-300 folks there. I've heard this speech many times, but sounds like the audience had not, and I'm posting these here in other BW readers haven't heard JRE speak about national security and leading with moral authority in the world.

Thanks, Yellow Dog Sammy!

Tags: John Edwards, Cleveland, Ohio 2006 blog, 2006 Congressional races, Yellow Dog Sammy, benny's world

Political Trading and Polls

For a long time, Tippie School of Business' Iowa Electronic Markets, in which students, faculty, and in some instances, outsiders of the academic realm, can trade with money and it is a predictor of political election outcomes.

As of Friday, it looks as though the Republicans will lose control of the House. Here's the graphic:

Since the Senate graphic wasn't as up to date, I will post it on Tuesday when it will be, but as of last Wednesday, it predicts the Republicans will hold there, but there will be some losses. My sense is that while Iraq is the main issue, the House flip indicates more of a move towards the middle in how we spend our money; too much on Iraq, junk spending at home, and too many tax cuts for the top 1%.

Another place I watch is Tradesports. If you look at today's bets on the Senate races, you see Claire McCaskill ahead in Missouri and sadly, Joe Lieberman in CT also ahead.

I am pointing these out because they mirror what is happening in the MSNBC polls released this morning.

Tags: Iowa Electronic Markets, political economy, 2006 Congressional Races, MSNBC polls, benny's world