Friday, August 14, 2015

My New Iranian Friend: Meeting the World One Person at a Time


A day without a smile is, well, kinda boring...

Today was a pretty normal day for me at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. At least, that's how it started.

I got my coffee and found a place in the fairly crowded coffee shop to sit, to write, and to read. At the same long table with me was my friend Arnold, who creates amazing flowers out of napkins and little else. Also, a group of about three or four people gathered 'round him, watching with awe and getting him to chat with them while he worked.

At long tables, you often get to meet new people. Today was my lucky day. Sitting across from me, also watching Arnold do his thing, was Ali*, an Iranian photographer and artist, visiting family in the US, along with his wife, whose name, I fear, has fled my memory, though I do remember thinking it was such a lovely name.

Anyway, I asked Ali about his camera, how good the video capacity was, and so on. We began to chat. I was amazed.

Ali lives in Tehran. He told me it's a big city, about 14 million strong. He said he loves his country and that he hopes we never have to go to war with each other. He also said that, in Tehran, and in Iran generally, the people really like America. Much more than, say, Europe or Australia.  Why? I asked.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What Do Bernie Sanders and Social Democracy Really Have In Common?

There has been a lot of rhetoric around what presidential candidate Bernie Sanders means when he advocates for 'social democracy'. But what is social democracy, exactly? Do you know? Does any average American know? Or do we conflate it with Communism? Karl Marx would not be happy!

The linked article from The Daily Kos sheds important light on the issue. Best articulation I've found so far.

Read and be informed. You will reign at your next gathering when anyone asks you about Bernie:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/07/1389039/-Bernie-Sanders-is-a-democratic-socialist-but-what-does-that-term-mean#



Monday, August 10, 2015

Powell's Books: Coffee, Chat, Charisma!

Powell's Books in Portland, OR, USA, is always a great place to see and meet interesting people, have a great cup of coffee, peruse great books and just be in the game!! 

It's been my home away from home since 1986.

When you're in Portland, don't miss it.



Watching my bookstore pal Arnold Drake World create his fabulous paper flowers.

More Than 28,000 Portlanders Welcome and Rally for Bernie Sanders

The Sanders campaign broke a one day record, set yesterday in Seattle--even though the rally was rudely interrupted there--by filling Portland's Moda Center with 28,000 Bernie Fans. 

Feel the Bern, Portland….