Friday, December 2, 2011

Fact Sheet: Democrats Abroad Argentina

Democrats Abroad Argentina (DA AR) is the official Democratic Party for the thousands of Americans living in Argentina. It is the goal of DA AR to advance the principles of the Democrat Party here in Argentina.

In specific DA AR works to keep Americans here advised of their rights, encourage involvement in the electoral process, assist the facilitation of voter registration regardless of party affiliation, and host events so that interested people can get together to meet and discuss their opinions of important issues.

Admitted into the worldwide congress of Democrats Abroad on February 5, 2008 as the 35th Country Committee and 7th in the Americas, DA AR represents all Democrats within the national borders of the Argentine Republic. In February 2008, Democrats Abroad Argentina participated in the first worldwide US presidential primary in which more than 100 votes were cast by Democrats residing in Argentina. This is the first time Americans in Argentina we able to do so with the support of a Country Committee.

Democrats Abroad itself is the overseas branch of US Democratic Party. We are Americans living in more than 100 countries around the globe with country committees in over 30 countries. Democrats Abroad works to keep Americans abroad informed of critical issues at home and abroad, inspired to build a better world through our own active participation and through involvement at every level of the political process – from overseas voting to serving on the Democratic National Committee with 11 delegate votes at the 2008 nominating convention in Denver, Colorado.

Samuel W. Warde: Chair
Heidi Mathews: Vice-Chair
Bill Hammond: Treasurer
Deby Novitz: Acting Secretary
Eamonn J. Donovan: Acting Counsel Read more!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I spend entirely too much time on Facebook. That being said, I have noticed a lot of disturbing status updates recently dealing with the elections in the USA yesterday. Instead of complaining and adding my own “two cents” directly on Facebook, I decided to address some of my concerns here, where among other things I have more space. So without further ado, here are some of my thoughts:

I think that the problems confronting the United States require a collaborative effort to solve. Personally, I am sick and tired of labels (liberal, conservative, conservative compassion, liberal pity, neocons, neoliberalism, whatever…) and I am even more distressed by the ongoing partisan nature of politics and its associated public engagement in contemporary American life.

Any moron should see that it took a collaborative effort to get us into this mess. A rather small leap of logic should indicate that working together is the only way out of it. And mind you, I am not singling anyone out in particular or pointing any fingers. It is just that a lot of recent status updates are concerning me as they are demonstrative of just how pissed off and separated from one another that Americans have become. I would have hoped that by this point in our lives that we would have evolved beyond simple name calling, the use of inflammatory language designed merely to inflame others, and behaviors which serve only to create divisions amongst ourselves.

The answer to our societal ails be they moral, philosophic, cultural or economic do not lie in the promulgation of unnecessarily hateful language, vengeful statements and other negative rhetoric. Those actions only serve to divide us as a people and to perpetuate the mental masturbation created by regurgitating the problem. I would prefer we talk about solutions for the more we wallow around in the problem the greater it becomes….

Clearly our current economic crisis is the number one issue confronting our country with the lack of an adequate health care system running a close number two. People can whine all they want to about socialism and health care; however, that merely serves to muddy the water. The fundamental responsibility of any government is to provide for the safety, the welfare and the quality of life of its citizenry and there is nothing more vital to the quality of life of each and every American citizen than the ability to enjoy a high standard of economic prosperity coupled with good health.

Enjoying good health and an adequate income is fundamental people. Don't you get it?

And you know what, the United States government, although of the people and by the people, has failed in providing improvements in our quality of life standards for a very long time (certainly the expanse of our own lifetime).

To single out any particular political party is ill-informed to say the very least considering that these quality of life issues have existed our entire lifetime. Those of us in the “40-something” age group are the first generation that was unable to enjoy the same quality of life most of our parents had. Most of us have smaller incomes (at least decreased buying power with what we earn), we have less job security, our wives are unable to stay at home and raise our children as any quality of life requires 2 incomes now… the list goes on and on.

These quality of life issues saw their creation long before we were born, and throughout our lifetime they have been gradually eroding through the course of 4 Democratic administrations spanning 18 years so far (5 and part of an additional year if you were alive during the end of JFK’s life) and 4 Republican administrations spanning 28 years.

Indeed, using a quantitative analysis alone one could reasonably argue that since the Republicans have held power for nearly 61% of our lifetime more of the blame falls on them than the Democrats. (Of course such an analysis his horse-shit, but an interesting point to consider nevertheless.) And if you want to look at the flipside using a qualitative perspective, the two greatest periods of economic prosperity in our country’s history occurred during our own lifetime and were presided over by first Ronald Reagan and then Bill Clinton.

There is a wealth of empirical evidence demonstrating that our overall quality of life to include our economic prosperity, our level of accessibility to adequate healthcare and our job security (if you have one) have been eroding at a consistent pace throughout our lifetime with very few "timeouts". Additionally, there is an equal showing that this gradual decline has continued regardless of which party was in control along the way.

I have been observing this election closely, or more specifically its impact on us as a people who engage with one another either in person or online, and I find myself increasingly saddened by the never ending negative rhetoric on both sides. As children we are taught that “united we stand and divided we fall”. We are taught the “Golden Rule” - to treat others with the same compassion and understanding we hope to receive in our own lives. Yet, when it comes to politics both of those seeming “self-evident truths” fall by the wayside and to me that is the most distressing issue our country is facing in the long run. Times of economic prosperity come and go. Times of social unrest come and go. Times of military conflict come and go. But those qualities that make the human experience worthwhile are timeless: love, compassion, understanding, sympathy, empathy…..

Along with our jobs, our economic prosperity and our potential for continued good health are we to forfeit those qualities which bind us as humans as well? My hope is that we can get out collective heads out of our asses. My hope is that we can see the results of this election for what they really are: a cry for help coupled with a mandate for change. My hope is we can halt this petty "schoolyard bully" mentality that has prevailed for all too long. For I truly believe that united we just might stand a chance to create a brighter future for us all. However, I am convinced that divided we will sure fail and fall!

Peace... out.
Read more!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eva Peron Dies: From the BBC, July 26, 1952

Eva Duarte de Peron, wife of the president of the Argentine Republic, has died from cancer, aged 33.
She passed away at 2025 local time at the presidential residence in the company of her husband General Juan Domingo Peron.

Her death was announced by the Subsecretariat of Information at 2142.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Dr Campora, immediately submitted a bill to Congress, declaring 26 July as a national day of mourning from now on.

The government has announced that it will observe official mourning for 30 days.

'Brilliant and devoted'

The Queen sent a message of condolence to the Argentine president.

It read: "I extend to you my deepest sympathy and that of my people for the tragic loss which you and the Argentine people have suffered in the premature death of your brilliant and devoted partner."

Argentina's most famous first lady, who was recently proclaimed "spiritual chief of the Argentine nation" by Congress, was born Maria Eva Duarte on 7 May 1919 in the village of Los Toldos.

She was the youngest of five children born to Juana Ibarguren and Juan Duarte. Her father died when she was seven and the family struggled to make ends meet.

Before she was 20 Eva had moved to Buenos Aires to pursue her theatrical aspirations.

She met the then Colonel Juan Domingo Peron in 1944 when he was vice president and secretary of war and the couple were married in 1945.

The following year General Peron became president. His wife devoted her time to the poor, or the descamisados (shirtless ones), of Argentina and over the next seven years brought the working classes into a position of political power never witnessed before.

She organised mass political rallies and spent millions of pounds of public money on the poor. She got women the vote and legalised divorce.

But the Peronist years were controversial.

Although hailed a social champion and adored by the working classes, Evita, as she became known, was feared and loathed by the military and the upper classes. They regarded her as a threat and believed she was using her public position to further her own personal aspirations.

In 1951 she was nominated for vice-presidency but was forced to withdraw after pressure from the military.

Her last public appearance was on 4 June this year when she stood beside her husband in an open motor-car during the inauguration ceremonies for his second presidential term.

Her body, dressed in a white evening dress, has been taken to the Ministry of Labour and Welfare, where it will lie in state for two days.

It will then be transferred to the General Confederation of Labour.

Read more!

Monday, July 20, 2009

On Frank Almeida of Sugar & Spice

As many of you may have noticed, I have remained silent on the recent posts by and about Frank Almeida of Sugar & Spice that have been popping up on local forums, blogs, websites and social networking sites. I have since decided that I want to share a few words with you regarding my thoughts on Frank, his company and his involvement in the community. In my opinion, there are three types of people involved in a community: those who are members of a community, those who participate in a community and those who help create a community. Frank clearly falls into all three of those categories. However, when I think of the last group, those who strive to build something greater than themselves, Frank immediately comes to mind as both a leader and a pioneer.

I know from firsthand experience that Frank has striven to contribute in a significant way to assist both the local and the expatriate communities. As many of you are aware, I am involved with several organizations here in town working within both the expat and local community. Frank, along with Sugar & Spice, has been there nearly every step of the way. He has offered encouragement, support, time, energy and on several occasions has either catered events or offered items for raffles which were intended to promote a greater community than the one we arrived to participate in.

Throughout history there have been those who have cared about the world around them. There have been those who wanted to create a better community, a greater world. There have been those who have tirelessly given of themselves, their time, and their talents. And unfortunately, throughout the ages these people have met strong resistance. However, I believe in people and in the power of community. And I also believe in the power of light to conquer the darkness.

In the instant case, I am reminded of the words of Haile Selassie excerpted from a speech he gave before the United Nations in 1968:

“...until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and goodwill; until all [of us] stand and speak as free human beings, equal in the eyes of the Almighty; until that day, [we] shall not know peace. We ... will fight if necessary and we know that we shall win as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”

Frank is one of the best men I have ever had the privilege to call friend. I admire Frank. He has my respect. And he has my full support and that of those who I hold most dear. 
Read more!