Posts Tagged ‘2012’

In The Face of Tragedy What We Focus On Will Define Priorities, Expand Consciousness

December 20, 2012

Waking Times

When we hear mainstream news reporting on violent tragedies at home or overseas, why is the only focus on the act itself and its perpetrator(s)?

Especially for those incidents where many pass on– why do we not place a greater importance in remembering those who gave their lives so we could learn, rather than creating drama and promoting the emotional burden of the event? The Earth is moving beyond dimensional realities that have restricted our awareness to polarity and victim-perpetrator relationships. Where we place our focus moving forward is paramount and will define our priorities while expanding our state of consciousness.

Our inner awareness of thoughts, emotions, memories, images all reflect in our reality. When extreme acts of violence occur within this reality, they may often be exploited and used to change or further reinforce our current level of awareness.

For example, there are thousands of innocent children who die every day in the midst of many wars and economic turmoil initiated by the same politicians who hypocritically demand the disarming of their own citizens due to mass shootings such as those that recently took place in Colorado and Connecticut. The lives lost overseas are just as cherished and significant as those on our own soil, yet the distortions in the media neglect to make those comparisons so that a segment of consciousness echo that distortion.

The focus is always on the perceived evil that men do. There is never an emphasis on remembering the actual victims or their names, only the gunmen and the image of how they are portrayed in the media. Despite many of these gunmen passing on themselves, they continue to be vilified, persecuted and chastised for months and even years after the fact. They represent the continuous creation of evil entities that serve as symbols for a malevolent purpose.

We have been conditioned to ignore the thousands of children who die every day at the expense of what politicians claim is freedom, yet an opportunity is never missed to exploit the deaths that can easily bind to an emotional objective and serve a political function.

The majority agree to these psychological tactics, otherwise they would not exist. With the consent of the majority, there are great powers on Earth that influence the movement of this psychological conditioning which ultimately defines human behavior and our culture. We have accepted this conditioning so that many souls on Earth may influence a change in their vibrational alignment.

The powers that be are also wise to our ascension. They are holding on to the old world because they think they can stop the wave of positivity that is surrounding the Earth. They can’t, but they still must try with the only tools they know creating choas, fear and control.

We have all programmed ourselves into believing that there are actually victims and perpetrators. All you are seeing is perspective. The entire universe is created from projected frequencies which change the vibrational states of all things including people. There are only transmitters of these vibrational states and their receivers. The finest components of our DNA are designed to receive these frequencies and our biology responds to them.

The vibrational universe empowers us. If we do not enjoy the status of our lives, we can transform how we think and feel and the universe will respond. In a vibrational universe, there are no victims, only matching vibrations. Therefore, the victim of a crime is as much responsible for the experience as the perpetrator. It may be an offensive and outrageous statement to many, but it is fully supported by the laws of the universe.

These universal laws continue to be aggressively denied, but the scales are tipping at a phenomenal pace. The only reason the mainstream media continues to have voice in the hearts and minds of people is that the great powers of Earth (of which we are a part of) understand how to manipulate a segment of mass consciousness into maintaining a specific vibration that suits the status quo, but that is reversing itself.

We are making huge strides in our ability to see beyond polarity consciousness and understand that we are all connected, including those who are the perpetrators of mass shootings and what we consider to be their victims. They are all a unit formed under a contractual obligation to provide services to one another–to expand consciousness on a scale much greater than ever imagined.

We May Not Need Any Drama To Change The Earth 

When will the next world war begin? When will the global economy implode? When will the next event occur that assaults human rights on a territorial scale? Perhaps all, some or none of these things will happen. We’re all deciding right now. One of the things many who are ascending have hoped for is drama. Many of us have thought that a match must be lit and a bomb must explode for profound changes to occur and the rest of humanity who we consider to be in an “altered state of consciousness” to wake up. Not necessarily…

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‘Useless, useless, useless’: the Palestinian verdict on Tony Blair

December 17, 2012

Former Prime Minister’s role as representative of Middle East Quartet comes in for fiercest criticism

The Independent 
Dec 17, 2012 

Palestinian officials say Tony Blair shouldn’t take it personally, but he should pack up his desk at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem and go home. They say his job, and the body he represents, are “useless, useless, useless”.

Mr Blair became the representative of the Middle East Quartet – the UN, EU, US and Russia – a few weeks after leaving Downing Street. Last week, he visited the region for what he said was the 90th time since being appointed in June 2007. He spends one week a month based in Jerusalem or globetrotting on behalf of the Quartet. His office is funded by the Quartet members and his 24-hour security detail is on secondment from Scotland Yard but he receives no direct salary.

After four years of renting 15 rooms at the American Colony Hotel for his full-time staff, Mr Blair put down more permanent roots in 2011 by renting the penthouse of a new office building in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

Tony Blair

But senior Palestinian officials and analysts told The Independent the move was unnecessary – his sojourn in the region should be cut short. “The Quartet has been useless, useless, useless,” Mohammed Shtayyeh, an aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said last week. He suggested that its constant need to reach internal consensus among its warring participants had rendered it ineffective.

“Always the statement of the Quartet really means nothing because it was always full of what they call constructive ambiguity that really took us to nowhere,” said Mr Shtayyeh, who had just ended a meeting with Mr Blair. “You need a mediator who is ready to engage and who is ready to say to the party who is destroying the peace process ‘You are responsible for it’,” he said.

Mr Shtayyeh is not alone. Last February, the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution pronounced the body already dead in a report bluntly entitled The Middle East Quartet: A Post-Mortem.

“The Quartet has little to show for its decade-long involvement in the peace process. Israelis and Palestinians are no closer to resolving the conflict, and in the few instances in which political negotiations did take place, the Quartet’s role was usually relegated to that of a political bystander,” said the report. “Having spent most of the last three years in a state of near paralysis, and having failed to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking UN membership and recognition in September 2011, the Quartet has finally reached the limits of its utility.

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November 18, 2012

Ron Paul was someone who has helped pave the way for those who choose the path of liberty. He is someone to aspire to and has been a rare role model in a politic desert dominated by self and special interests. 

“It’s amazing, and honestly terrifying, that we had a man like this running for President – and we ended up with someone like… Obama. I work for the government but would happily lose my job if it was for the good of our country (why can’t our politicians do the same).” – Anonymous



November 7, 2012

Watch this stunning documentary – as this film crew gets exclusive access to the most isolated country in Africa, which has been victorious in recent wars against not one but two superpowers. Visits to the key historical sites of a nation with a 1,200 km Red Sea coastline across from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and talking to stakeholders about massive infrastructural investment in a nation, currently the subject of UN Sanctions. Eritrea has defied Western neoliberal economic, political and cultural agendas and our cameras record the self-sufficiency experiment that has made Eritrea one of the fastest — if not the fastest — growing economy on the planet.

Presenter Afshin Rattansi examines the complex issues that are at stake for Eritrea in its battle against U.S. hegemony — from its diverse religious heritage, the rebuilding of its health, education and urban/rural infrastructure to its cautious implementation of foreign investment strategy.


Will the ‘Star Wars’ narrative change now that Disney has bought LucasFilm?

November 1, 2012

‘Why the Old ‘Star Wars’ Formula Can’t Work in the War-on-Terror Era’

D.B. Grady
The Atlantic

To connect with a new audience, Star Wars needs to catch up with the modern political zeitgeist…

Emperor Palpatine

The unexpected news of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm and the plans to continue Star Wars are worth some consideration. The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber is right, of course—the saga will survive “whatever horrible thing Disney does to it.” But the timing of a new film, presently set for release in 2015, has implications beyond the state of CGI and digital projection. This isn’t just another Star Wars film; it’s Episode VII, which means we are set for the continuation of a story that ended in 1983. And life in the galaxy following the Return of the Jedi will have an interesting parallel with our world post-War on Terror.

George Lucas has long claimed that the Star Wars universe is heavily influenced by American foreign policy. According to Lucas, in the first film the Galactic Empire represented U.S. imperialism in Vietnam. (Which, carried forward, makes Princess Leia a member of the VC.) In Revenge of the Sith, the death of the Republic (and specifically, Palpatine and a corrupted Anakin) parallel an America post-9/11. (Here, there’s an uncomfortable implication of the Jedi as members of al-Qaeda.)

I’m not sure I really believe Lucas on either assertion. It seems more likely that he wants to be known for having strong political beliefs and for creating art with a resonance beyond Taco Bell cups. Empire-as-America is the most convenient trope, though it’s not really reflected on screen but for one ham-fisted “with us or against us” line in Episode III. Though the world really was enduring a hard grind during much of the prequel trilogy’s run, the films themselves never escaped a certain plastic gloss. They were hardly an escape because they were essentially about a war, but the war depicted was so inauthentic that audiences never latched on. Perhaps (in addition to so much else) the poor reception of the prequel trilogy can be attributed to a simple disconnect between events on the screen and events outside. They really did feel like something a long time ago, but not in the way anyone wanted.

Count Dooku and Yoda dueling in a spiritual war in a galaxy far far away.

There is a direct comparison with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, whose first film premiered three months after 9/11. That trilogy found success in no small measure because it worked as a prism through which Western audiences could evaluate their newly fragile world. (The second part was even called The Two Towers.) Yes, principal photography had wrapped in 2000, and the novels were first published in the 1950s. But in theaters, audiences were imbuing the films with meaning and finding favorable comparison with events of the day. Here we had a nebulous evil thrust upon an unsuspecting group, and a consequent hard task and eventual obliteration of innocence. Sometimes the evil caused otherwise good people to do terrible things. And the world as masterfully portrayed by Peter Jackson was cold and challenging. The Lord of the Rings was dark, unrelenting, and very serious.

None of those things can really be said of Star Wars, whatever Lucas wants us to believe. Not for a moment would any clear minded moviegoer point to a screening of Attack of the Clones and say, “Geonosis is just like Afghanistan!” Rather, the prequels told a perfect story for the 1990s, when war was pretty much entirely bracketed by the imaginations of filmmakers. Obviously Lucas couldn’t have foreseen the catastrophe about to engulf the planet, and so his story derailed. Later planning and regrouping wouldn’t necessarily have helped—Lord of the Rings, certainly, would have been diminished had it been conceived and filmed as a statement on the War on Terror. The prequel story was simply incongruous to the times, however it was retrofitted.

With Episode VII, however, the disconnect may be righted. Already, we have a good idea of what the world post-War on Terror will look like. In lieu of big military offenses or visible progress, we have sanitized drone wars and covert actions. Gone is a monolithic enemy—that’s been replaced by al-Qaeda, personified by Osama bin Laden. Here to stay are scores of loosely affiliated and undefined groups, each with its own goal. The horror in Benghazi might be a one-off, but it might also be a glimpse at the new normal. Gone is a president whose first act in office was directing the closure of Guantanamo; here to stay, whoever wins in November, are secret kill lists and four-part tests to decide when it’s okay to assassinate American citizens.

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Boeing Successfully Tests Microwave Missile That Takes Out Electronic Targets

October 26, 2012

CBS local

AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (CBS St. Louis) — Boeing successfully tests a new missile that can take out electronic targets with little collateral damage.

The aerospace company tested the microwave missile last week on a two-story building on the Utah Test and Training Range where computers and electronic systems were turned on to gauge the effects of the missile’s radio waves, according to a Boeing press release.

The missile, known as CHAMP (Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project), fired a burst of High Powered Microwaves at the building, successfully knocking out the electronic systems and computers, and even taking out the television cameras recording the test.

“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works, said in the press release. “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.”

Seven targets were taken out in total during the one-hour test which left no collateral damage.

Coleman believes this can be a huge advancement forward in non-lethal warfare.

“Today we turned science fiction into science fact,” Coleman said in the press release.

James Dodd, vice president of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, is hoping to get these microwave missiles in the field sooner rather than later. Members of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate and Raytheon Ktech also took part in the test.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security division is headquartered in St. Louis.

Protesters Dressed as Nazis parade through an Athens ruled by Brussels banksters, giving Nobel Peace Prize to EU is beyond satire

October 13, 2012

Editor’s Note: The Nobel Peace Prize has been a ridiculous joke for a number of years now – most notably when the elite committee awarded Barrack Obama the prize in 2009 before he even got started as President (they claimed it was to ‘encourage him’ to deserve their pre-award), but it’s latest gaff has signaled its dive off the edge of reality – proving that the Nobel Institute exists to shape public perception, and has no relation to what is actually happening in the world. One would expect the EU to return the award, and give it someone more deserving, but will it? Of course not, no one does such things these days – they will take it and run. It is a corrupt institution. What an embarrassment to humanity in the year 2012.

Max Hastings
Mail Online

The Nobel Peace Prize is the sacred elephant of the liberal establishment. It is sometimes awarded to good people who have done great things, but equally often to unworthy recipients as a gesture of pious hope.

The world applauded when it was presented to Martin Luther King in 1964, to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, to Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk two years later.

Sensible people sighed when the prize went to Henry Kissinger and Viet Cong leader Le Duc Tho in 1973, who stitched up a charade of a Vietnam peace deal as a figleaf for surrendering the country to the Communists; to Egypt’s leader Anwar Sadat and his Israeli counterpart Menachem Begin in 1978 for their Middle East deal which brought no lasting peace; and to Barack Obama in 2009 for his commitment to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which are still mired in bloodshed.

In all these cases — and many more besides — the Nobel Committee was obviously seeking to say to the winners and to the world: ‘We welcome what you are attempting to do, and hope that giving you the Prize will make you try even harder for the cause of peace.’

These are the sort of decent, woolly-minded sentiments that country vicars unleash on their flocks every Sunday. But the consequence is that too many Nobel Laureates are honoured for aspirations rather than achievements, for proclaiming objectives which go unfulfilled, or for displaying an illusory semblance of virtue.

Switched-on Greeks demonstrate the true nature of the bailouts and austerity forced upon them by the bankers in Northern Europe.

However, this year, the 93rd in which the award has been made, the committee has surpassed all previous follies and travesties. The peace prize has been given to the European Union. The award, it is said, recognises six decades of commitment to the advancement of peace, reconciliation and human rights.

If the judges think the EU is a worthy winner on these criteria, we might start fantasising about the other candidates who probably crossed their minds.

Presumably somebody spoke up in favour of Russia’s brutal Vladimir Putin. There must have been a strong lobby for Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, for her splendid diplomatic efforts on behalf of Las Malvinas.

The Beijing government cannot have gone unnoticed, for its doughty efforts to start a war with Japan in the East China Sea.

A good case might be made for President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, for promoting harmony among his six wives. There might well have been some especially deserving leader of the Taliban who attracted the interest of the Nobel Committee.

But, in the end, the winner obviously had to be the EU. If one is going to have a laugh, one might as well make it a big one.

After all, the judges could take into account rioting in the streets of Greece, Italy and Spain in protest against eurozone austerity measures.


Hugo Chavez Defeats Henrique Capriles in Venezuela Election

October 8, 2012

Juan Forero
Washington Post

CARACAS, Venezuela — Fighting for his political life, President Hugo Chavez overcame a vigorous challenge by Henrique Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election, receiving another six-year term that will give the populist firebrand the opportunity to complete the consolidation of what he calls 21st century socialism in one of the world’s great oil powers.

The victory, announced by the National Electoral Council late Sunday, gave Chavez the win with 54.4 percent of the vote, while Capriles took 44.9 percent. In winning his fourth presidential election since 1998, Chavez captured just over 7.4 million votes to 6.1 million for his adversary, turning back what had been a determined battle by Capriles, a 40-year-old former governor.

“I congratulate the opposition and the directors of the opposition, because they recognize the victory of the people,” Chavez told throngs of supporters gathered outside the presidential palace. “That’s why I send them this salute and put out my arms to them, because we are all brothers in the fatherland of Bolivar.”

Half an hour later, Capriles conceded at his campaign headquarters. But he signaled that the support of millions of Venezuelans showed that his proposals had struck a chord. And he asked that Chavez, who often mocks his foes as oligarchs and lackeys of U.S. imperialism, take the opposition’s needs into account.

“I’m convinced that this country can be better,” Capriles said in a halting, emotional speech. “Being a good president means working for all Venezuelans.”

Chavez’s victory touched off wild celebrations in the capital, where crowds of the president’s red-shirted supporters — the “Chavistas” from the poorest barrios who have been the backbone of his movement — set off fireworks and blew horns.

“You can’t do better than this president,” said Miguel Guevara, 77, who sells books in the streets and voted in a poor barrio whose support helped bring Chavez to power. “The only one who has helped the country is named Hugo Chavez.”

The president of the electoral council, Tibisay Lucena, said more than 80 percent of the country’s nearly 19 million registered voters participated in the election.

“To the participants who didn’t get victory, consider yourselves victors, too,” she said in making her announcement to loud cheers among Chavez’s supporters. “To participate in an electoral process like this one, in democracy, is a victory for the whole people of Venezuela. The entire country has won.”

Chavez still faces a host of challenges that were highlighted by Capriles’s focused, well-organized campaign, in which the youthful lawyer — known as “Skinny” to his followers — hammered the government daily for the country’s decaying infrastructure, increasing dependence on oil exports and inability to control one of the world’s highest homicide rates.

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Our “Independent” Dependence: Why Romney’s Plan Doesn’t Add Up

September 29, 2012

Editor’s Note: The energy policy debate is always front and centre in the run-up to any US Presidential election. Indeed, Mitt Romney will pander to Big Oil as patronage for their promise to help put him in power. But it’s clear in 2012 that fossil fuel strategies still shape US foreign policy, but now need to take a back seat to a multitude of alternative solutions now emerging in the 21st century. No real progress can be made however, until Washington is released from the stranglehold of industrial and petroleum lobbyists – and that’s why the debate is likely end in another stalemate. The technology for automobiles to achieve up to 100mpg has been available for the best part of 100 years, but it has been suppressed, as has more rapid developments in other technologies, thus allowing the oil cartel to fix prices and consumption numbers for maximum profit and environmental damage and in partnership with the government who seeks to maximise tax revenues on all fuels. Here’s a bigger problem: more than a decade on from the ‘Enron revolution’, rising energy costs are presently killing American household budgets, yet, the technology exists today for every home to be at least half self-sufficient and independent of a central energy distribution grid (currently eating up a large portion of low to mid income earners’ living costs) – at a fraction of the cost. The ruling system needs a re-think its planned obsolescence and political operating procedure first, if real reform and benefits can be realized for the next generation. We can, and should do better.

Kristina M. Johnson
Huffington Post

The Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Annual Energy Outlook forecasts on page 170-171 that North America can produce 3 million barrels per day of liquid fuel from unconventional sources such as energy crops, coal, natural gas and bitumen (oil sands). This will add another 1.1 billion barrels per year of production, still leaving the USA and its territories .6 billion barrels short of projected demand (7 billion barrels) in 2020.

That means, even if the USA consumes all the oil produced in North America in 2020 from conventional and unconventional sources, we would still need to import .6 billion barrels from overseas.

If Mexico and Canada’s consumption is included (roughly 1.7 billion barrels), then we would need to import 2.3 billion barrels, or 33% of our oil from overseas.

That’s why a fossil-fuel only energy strategy doesn’t add up.

In Governor Romney’s nomination acceptance speech, he referred to a five-point plan for America. The first point calls for making the U.S. “energy independent” by 2020. I’ve read the “Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class: Energy Independence.” It just doesn’t add up.

The Romney plan would still have the U.S. relying on imported oil — from Mexico and Canada — to meet our projected oil needs in 2020. However, according to the Energy Information Administration 2012 Annual Energy Outlook, the total U.S., Mexico and Canada combined annual oil production from conventional sources (roughly 5.3 billion barrels) is still 1.7 billion barrels short of estimated U.S. projected consumption in 2020 (roughly 7 billion barrels). Furthermore, the Annual Energy Outlook projects that the total petroleum production from conventional and unconventional (energy crops, coal, natural gas and oil sands) sources will total 6.4 billion barrels per year in 2020. This is still .5 billion barrels short of the total demand of the U.S. and .6 billion barrels short of the U.S. and it’s territories. If the oil consumption of Mexico and Canada is to be met with North American production, we would be 2.3 billion barrels short, requiring us to import 33 percent of our oil from overseas. Not exactly energy independence.

If that bad math doesn’t disqualify the Romney “energy independence” plan, its simplistic “bet-the-farm” reliance on fossil fuels surely does. Oil takes hundreds of thousands of years to form. But with his plan, it won’t take very long at all to burn up our children’s and grandchildren’s natural resource inheritance. Future generations probably won’t be better off with fossilized, business as usual policies.

President Obama’s plan — not just proposed but underway as we speak — emphasizes energy efficiency and conservation. It utilizes natural gas as a potentially good bridge to alternatives including nuclear and renewable energy. Whereas Romney’s plan reads like a potpourri of delicious treats for the Big Oil lobby, President Obama is actually working with industry to make progress with his “all of the above” energy strategy. Just last week the administration and automakers established a new fuel economy standard for 2025 of 54.5 mpg. And the much-maligned Obama “stimulus” program for energy is laying the foundation for lightweight, hybrid and electric vehicles. These policy and technology innovations allow cars to go farther on a gallon of gasoline, helping to close the gap between North American oil production and consumption, thus making our energy use sustainable. So how can Mitt Romney blame President Obama for high gas prices and do it with a straight face?

The critics may have been too hard on the Republicans when they said last week’s convention failed to produce clear messages about what the party wants to do and a clear portrait of its nominee. I think it’s clear. Whether it’s the Romney promise to “empower states to control on-shore energy development,” or letting the states decide if poor people get health care through what is now Medicaid or how to best compete with China and India, to mention two, in educating our young people, there’s a very simple way of explaining it. It’s just outsourcing by another name. But as President of the United States, you can’t outsource leadership. The person occupying the Oval Office must implement a comprehensive energy strategy that is focused on achieving energy security and a cleaner environment. This will require a stable, national energy policy.

Kristina M. Johnson is the former Under Secretary of Energy, United States Department of Energy and currently CEO of Enduring Hydro, a clean energy company focused on hydropower.

Obama Promotional Offer: Proof That Politicians Will Do Just About Anything for a Bit of Dough

September 25, 2012

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Sept 25, 2012

I am not one for playing sides in party politics, and this year’s highly uninteresting and vapid US Presidential race-to-the-death will certainly not change my feelings on partisanship.

When I was a child, I remember my first airline flight. It was on a Delta 747. On my way into the cabin the pilot kindly gave me a miniature model Delta plane. I recognized it immediately, knowing full well that it was about the coolest thing a kid could’ve had at that time in his life. Before take-off, I found a thick white paper bag in the magazine pocket in front of my seat. It had an odd wax coating around the interior. Then my father informed me what it was – a sick bag. For a 7 yr old, an airplane was probably the coolest place one could possibly be. “Why would anyone need a sick bag”, I thought.

Here’s one possibility…

In 2012, we’ve become so acclimatized to accept that 21st century politics will deliver more than its share sick bag moments. It’s that all too painful reminder of a plastic politician’s drive to fill the campaign coffers, and that slimy feeling one gets when one realizes that politicians – even incumbant US Presidents, will do just about anything for a bit of dough.

Until last month, I honestly felt that Obama’s rather disturbing “Seal Team 6 – ONE CHANCE re-election advert was this year’s political sick bag moment. It was an ad where the President pretends he hunted down and killed a cartoon terrorist who, by most accounts, passed away a decade earlier. That was embarrassing, but I never realized just how desperate these clowns were to fill their campaign pockets until I saw this latest “promotional offer” entitled, ‘Dinner with Barack’.

As staged PR events go, it has all the charm and sophistication of a Tony Blair book signing. You’d think that the President of the United States would already be cool enough, or powerful enough, not to have to resort to common viral contests to pull in the dollars. Is his support base in that bad a shape, or is this something else?

It’s not just the condescending celebrity marketing. It’s the affirmation that these days, even the President of the United States struggles with basic decorum, and appears to have no limits as to how tacky a campaign gimmick can be. The air of desperation in this particular marketing push boggles the imagination, and almost makes you want to vote GOP, if only to restore some semblance of order and dignity to the White House, even as you are fully aware that Mitt Romney will also come up short on that score too. This is as bad as it gets.

Dinner with Barack’s promotional ad lays out the contest rules: “No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by September 25, 2012. You may enter by contributing to Obama for America here, by signing up for Quick Donate here, or click here to enter without contributing or signing up for quick donate. Three winners will each receive the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations for winner and a guest; and dinner for winner and a guest with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or age of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official rules and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.”

Begging for Dollars

Barack’s bingo moment – one of those moments when you cringe, even if you’ve never been a fan of the First Family. But it’s a fair cop to ask what is it we are looking at here? Is it a contest? A lottery? A raffle? Can you enter at Wallgreens? 

Someone paid a DC or J Street PR firm a lot of money to come up with this one. If this ad is viewed as a holographic representation of the US political system as a whole, then there can be little doubt that the White House has lost the plot.

How this advert ended up in my box, I have no idea. Maybe it’s the change Barack was talking about in 2008 – lowering standards, lowering expectations seems to be in vogue in 2012.

Truth be told, Obama’s Applebees-style promotional ad does make one feel a bit exposed – like the feeling you get when you come home after being away and have 20 pizza flyers stuffed through your letter box. So it’s natural to feel a little cheaper having seen it.

And the disclaimer to die for…

Contributing will not improve chances of winning…”

NOTE: Quite generously, though, Barack and the wife have offered to cover the airfare for the winner.