Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Flashback: President Obama Visits Ghana

I’m feeling sentimental. Or is it that I’ve just agreed to join another group of undergrads travelling to the continent of Africa this summer? As they say, third time’s a charm.

This video is a flashback to President Obama’s trip to Ghana last July. I’d never seen it before. I love the horns that open the video, playing under Obama’s welcoming speech to Ghanians.

“I have come here to Ghana, for a simple reason,” Obama remarks. “The 21st Century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome, or Moscow, or Washington. But by what happens in Accra as well. Africa’s future is up to Africans.”A far cry from the colonial legacy of the past.

One of my most memorable images from my recent visit to Uganda was a thin necklace worn by one of the orphans that we spent time with in Kiwanga. It was made of a series of dark beads, with a small rectangular tile as the centerpiece. Religious jewelry? Actually, a photograph of Barack Obama adorning his neck. A sign of Obama’s impact around the globe.

It’s also a reminder that President Obama–despite occasional stumbles and criticism (including from me, in a recent post criticizing his policies on DADT)–can be a rock star once he hits his stride. He’s certainly been in top form over the past few days; on Friday, he stepped up to the plate and directly addressed the GOP leadership (on their own playing field, nonetheless) at a Republican retreat in Baltimore. Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and Chris Matthews had a great recap of Obama’s head-to-head with the Republican leadership that’s worth checking out. I love the moment when Maddow acknowledges the Q&A could be either: a.) disastrous, or b.) worth taking out the popcorn.

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Filed under: africa, obama, politics, , , , ,

Iranian Soccer Players Rebel, Day of Mourning Explained

Rachel Maddow provides an insightful overview of the people’s protest in Iran: the brave political rebellion of the undenibaly recognizable Iranian soccer players competing in the World Cup (the world’s largest sporting event, rivaling the Olympics); the division among top cleric leaders; and the importance of today’s Day of Mourning events.

Opposition leaders including Mir Hossein Moussavi will convene the hundreds of thousand civilians in a national Day of Mourning today–the sixth straing day of protests–in an attempt to martyr those who have been killed in suppression by the Iranian government. Interesting to note that these leaders are attempting the same strategy that they used successfully in the 1979 overthrow of the Shah.

Let’s hope that today’s actions make an impact.

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Filed under: global justice, world, , , , , ,

Maddow: Republicans are teabagging and want you to teabag, too

2009-03-18-tea_bag_dems

Last night, whip-smart (and comedienne-in-training?) Rachel Maddow reported on the new conservative movement to teabag Washington on April 15.

Ostensibly, the goal of the GOP loyalists seems to be to rail against taxation without representation. After all, it’s been a whole ten weeks since the Democrats have been in the majority. The solution?

Teabag.

Teabag Obama! Teabag the White House! Teabag the liberal dems before they teabag you!

As Maddow implies, with all this “non-consensual teabagging action,” the conservatives seem to have no idea about the many meanings of the term “teabag”. Later in the segment, Ana Marie Cox of Air America Radio, asks, “Well who wouldn’t want to teabag John McCain?” and “You know, it’s gonna be teabagging 24/7 when it comes to midterm [elections].”

Enough said.

Filed under: economy, politics, , , , , ,

Ah, glorious, glorious competence.

55368649The best one-liner of the day–a funny stab at the Bush administration–comes from The Economist in this article praising President-Elect Obama’s nomination of New York Fed president Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary. After eight years of failed policies that got us into this economic mess, Geithner represents strong international experience, working with economies in Brazil and Thailand, for example, more than “any other policymaker in office today.”

In contrast to the Treasury secretary appointment, however, comes a note of irony from Rachel Maddow on The Conan O’Brien Show, when she points out that Hillary Clinton’s appointment to Secretary of State may not exactly represent the change that Obama hoped for (I love Rachel Maddow, and not only because we own the similar black glasses).

Filed under: government, politics, , , , ,

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BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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