Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Excellent local restaurant in Charlotte, NC

If you're in Charlotte, I recommend eating at Ratcliffe on the Green. It's a "farm to feed" restaurant, with most of its produce, fish, poultry, and meat coming from about two dozen local farms, and a menu that changes weekly.

Everything was excellent - from the buttermilk biscuits and a taste sweet pumpkin apple soup to start, to the goat cheese, pear, walnut, and greens salad to the wild rainbow trout with tomato-basil risotto. The ostrich (so I've been told) was also very good.

Ratcliffe also does lunch, if one if in the downtown Charlotte area during the day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Republican Party and Community Organizing

Last night at the Republican National Convention, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked and belittled IL Senator Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer. This was dispicable. Do Republican even know what community organizing is? Here's a definition from a good friend of mine who is a professional community organizer:

"Community organizers, as many of you know, have loads of
responsibilities. The biggest one is helping people educate and
empower themselves to have agency in their lives and fight for their
own interests and for a better world."

It's incredible that the Republican pary would take such offense at the this. What did the founding fathers do when they met in their homes in Boston and New York and Philadelphia and Virginia? Community organizing! How have women gained the right to vote? Community organizing! How did the marches and protests in the civil rights movement happen? Community organizing! G-d forbid people actually meet among themselves and think about what problems they have and how best they can work together to make a difference. And G-d forbid they ask someone with experience bringing people together and experience petitioning government to help them be more effective.

On a more specific note, you should read the middle section of Obama's first book (Dreams from my Father) about his experiences in Chicago as a community organizer if you haven't already. It's an amazing story of a young man who spent time talking to people on the South Side of Chicago. Not as a politician, but just as a guy interested in helping them fight for themselves. It's experience that I think makes Obama exceptionally qualified to be President of the United States. There are plenty of people like the residents of Wasilla, AK in the US. But there are also plenty of people like the residents of the South Side of the Chicago, and they need our help more than ever.

Obama's experience as a community organizer gives him an incredible perspective, and it's something to be applauded. It's a big reason to vote for him.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The speech Joe Lieberman should have given

"Tonight is a difficult night for me. For the first time in my life, I am speaking at the Republican National Convention. As a lifelong Democrat who had the priviledge of running for Vice President on the Democratic national ticket in 2000, I never thought I'd be so publicly supporting a Republican candidate for president. But, today, here I am, and here's why.

"I've worked with John McCain for twenty years in the United States Senate. He and I have agreed on many issues and collaborated on legislation many times. In the past few years, however, on terrorism and on keeping America safe, he and I have seen more eye-to-eye than I have with many of my Democratic colleagues, especially Senator Obama. I support our President's effort to make us safe, from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond, and John McCain and I stand together on that front.

"Many of my Democratic colleagues do not see the progress we have made in Iraq in these past few years, and many continue to oppose a surge that John and I supported that has achieved results. Another of my colleagues, Senator Biden, even wanted to break up Iraq into multiple countries. Unlike these colleagues, John McCain has held firm in his support for our efforts for peace in freedom in Iraq, and he will continue them as president.

"I also agree with John on other issues, from his efforts to reform immigration, campaign finance, and curb global warming. John has shown true bipartisan leadership on major issues facing our country, and for that I stand with him. I urge you to stand with him as well."