Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pennsylvania - screaming downhill out of control with 30,000 pounds of bananas

Whenever I think of Pennsylvania and politics I think of this song about an out of control truck by Harry Chapin. The music video below is a version recorded on German TV and the audience never gets interested. The best version of the song, complete with alternate endings and his brother's comment - "Harry, it sucks", was recorded in Greatest Stories Live.

Harry's wife, Sandy Chapin, has strongly endorsed Barack Obama for President. In the last years of his tragically cut short life Harry Chapin was working on the presidential commission to end world hunger.
I am so excited about Barack Obama as a candidate for President of the United States that I am compelled to share my thoughts with you. I learned from Harry that when you really believe in the power of individual people you can accomplish great things. I learned that when you are young with boundless energy, initiative and sheer determination to pursue the impossible dream you can empower others to galvanize their own energies, ideas, and determination. Remember, Harry said that out of every six or seven tasks he tried, “I might fail at three, but if I hadn’t tried I would have accomplished nothing.”

Harry founded an organization to end hunger at home and abroad with the realization that he must not compete with, but partner with all the existing, dedicated anti-hunger groups and he would make a life-long commitment in order to ride on past the occasional hurdles that lead to doubt and despair.

I have been waiting a long time to see someone light the fire to inspire individuals to act, to see a universe beyond self-interest and to fulfill his potential to be the best that they can be.

Yes, I believe Barack Obama is like Harry- standing tall for his country with intellect, stamina, and desire from the depths of his being, not to divide and conquer, but to seek a better tomorrow. I believe Barack Obama defines compromise, not as concession, but as seeking and combining the best qualities out of differences. I believe Barack Obama defines strategy, not as tactics, but as preparation plus imagination. Imagine what we can do, acting all together, doing our best!

Yes, my intuition says Senator Obama is a new kind of leader who can lead us, as Harry said, “Onwards and Upwards.” But I have also read and watched and listened and studied and I believe Barack Obama is the best person for this new era of a new generation, a new economy and a new world order. He understands our disaffected youth are a generation starving for direction and for a sense of purpose. They want to address the huge gap between the rich and poor caused largely by the explosive power of special interests. And they are more aware of the profound and complex issues facing this new world where we are intricately bound whether or not we choose to be. He is the best person to enlist a majority of citizens to address the new economic order – no longer the 19th century where a factory owner with tax breaks in his pocket would buy new machinery and hire more workers. It is workers who alleviate poverty; it is workers who are the engine of the economy. Workers with incentives from government can repair our collapsing infrastructure, can assist in teaching the under-schooled, can develop the new companies for energy efficiency and innovation. And I believe Barack Obama can move America into its appropriate relationship with the rest of the world, a position that has been essentially altered during two terms of George W. Bush....

Some people called Harry Chapin a visionary. He knew that you had to have a vision, to stretch toward a goal, but you had to engage in the streets to structure the best plan to achieve it.

This is a pivotal election. Our country is crying out for change. We need Barack Obama to lead us back to our roots in the constitution and moral character and forward to active and responsible citizenship in the nation and the world.

-Sandy Chapin
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