Archive for March, 2008
March 26th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
I know politics is a dirty business and I accept that, however after yesterday it seems to have found a new low with what Senator Clinton has said to deflect attention away from her “Sniper Fire” story. Soon after the story broke on the news and every network around the world was discussing it, even here in Ireland, she did what she does best which is to pick up the biggest piece of dirt (Rev. Wright) she had on Senator Obama and fling it right back at the media in hopes of it sticking.
Some of that dirt may have stuck but her tactic has failed to a certain degree but more importantly I hope the Clinton supporters will realize the kind of game she is playing with the Democratic Party. Look back at the last 3 months of campaigning, who was the first person to really start attacking? It wasn’t Senator Obama but it was the Clinton call for the media to pay closer attention to him that started the downward spiral of the democratic nomination process and the party as a whole.
I respect Senator Clinton as a person and a politician however I am constantly wondering here across the pond what is she thinking??? Here is a quote from an ABC article by Jake Tapper:
She will have to “break his back,” the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.
That quote refers to what Senator Clinton will have to do in order to win the nomination. Now let us imagine such a hypothetical moment and think about the consequences of such a potential action. The Democratic Party will be broken, simple as that:
- The majority of the Obama supporters will not vote for Senator Clinton because the nomination process has become so polarized they would rather sit at home and wait for the next election.
- Despite some of Senator Obama’s faults, he is a great man and a politician, destroying him will be something that will hang over any Clinton presidency or loss.
- Destroying Senator Obama would prevent him being her VP but we knew that was another lie anyway.
- No Obama supporters pretty much means we can let McCain start to be the next President today.
- Destroying Senator Obama would not only affect Americans but people around the world who are looking for a different kind of American President.
Lastly I did some quick photoshopping today to express my displeasure and incredulity at Senator Clinton’s statements yesterday:
March 24th, 2008 -- Posted in World Politics |
Well by the time I accomplished anything on Saturday, the Taiwanese election was over and the wrong candidate won in my opinion because he advocated closer ties with the mainland. Especially with current events in Tibet, I would have though that the typical Taiwanese voter would have made the logical choice and voted for Frank Hsieh who advocated and independent Taiwan (free from CCP influence). That being said, there was a referendum on the election where the majority of the Taiwanese people that did vote, advocated not joining the U.N also known as not declaring independence.
The China Daily reports that only 35.8% of voters cast their vote in the referendum which really doesn’t tell you much about how many people want independence for Taiwan. Here is an obviously pro-China quote(It did come from the China Daily after all):
Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Saturday that the result suggested that Taipei’s secessionist push has gone against the will of the people.
After President Ma’s election, many people expected him to take a trip to Beijing to cement a stronger relationship with the People’s Republic of China however he did not do that. I have also read somewhere (not sure where) that he does not advocate reunification which is some welcome news to myself and many other pro-independence supporters out there. The Taiwanese people will benefit from the election of President Ma because there will be greater economic cooperation between Beijing and Taipei which could only mean good things for the staggering Taiwanese economy (a slice of the pie so to speak).
Immediately after the election, stocks in Taiwan rose the next trading day on the election results as well as stocks in other countries like Canada who is one of Taiwan’s significant trading partners. The GOP is also happy because they did not want a candidate elected who would aggravate the situation with China. I have pointed out the hypocrisy of this position in an earlier entry so I won’t go into too much detail about it here but suffice to say I am disappointed by this response and hope that the next presidency will give greater support to the DPP and the people of Taiwan who want independence.
March 22nd, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
Who would have guessed this turn in the elections? I remember a few months ago when the democratic nomination was just heating up that people thought the competition would make for a better candidate however it is amazing how quickly these pundits have changed their minds. Every time I turn on the television, I see people talking about the downfall of the Democratic Party because of this fighting, with some polls coming out this week showing that McCain could beat Obama or Clinton in the general election because of this incessant in-fighting.
If anyone remembers the January polls, they showed that Senator Obama was the only person who had a chance of beating John McCain in the general election however with all the mudslinging that is going on, the democratic party and liberals everywhere have lost hope because they see no end in sight to the constant bickering. That being said I still think there is a good chance for their to be a democratic president in 2009 for a few simple reasons:
- President Bush has voiced his support for Senator McCain with people coining the term “McBush” which is not a good thing for the Senator due to President Bush having below a 40% approval rating according to recent polls. The last thing Senator McCain needs is to be associated with an unpopular president.
- The majority of the American people still want the war to end despite the alleged improvement of the situation in Iraq due to the “Surge”
- The Iraq War is costing the country a lot of money at a time when the United States is short on cash; check out the national priorities project on the right hand side of my blog because they have some excellent data on how the money could be spent elsewhere. Another good read is the “Three Trillion Dollar War” which is an economist’s view of the War in Iraq with some more impressive numbers.
- McCain is still somewhat of a Liberal thinker and this is still dividing the Republican party to a certain extent which is good for any potential democratic candidate
- The biggest issue facing the United States in 2008 and for the next few years is the economy. Having read John McCain’s interview with the Wall Street Journal, I can see no difference between his plans and what the current administration has tried to do. The conservatives have run the country for the last 8 years with no real change in the economy leading up to the current financial crisis. Tax-cuts haven’t worked so why do people still think they will work in 2009? I am no economic expert but I think if something fails in the past, don’t you think its time to try something else?
Eliminating McCain, we are still left with the choice of Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. Senator Clinton expects to do well in Pennsylvania and I think she will do so due to the Rev. Wright saga but what the Obama camp should be aiming for is to limit her gain in delegates to a handful and still retain the overall lead. Despite her predicted success, there has been an increasing call among the media and other pundits for her to give up which at this stage which I believe is the right thing to do. Senator Clinton I hope you realize that the only reason you are doing so well and will win Pennsylvania is because of the Rev. Wright scandal but you must realize that the majority of the Democratic Party wants Senator Obama to be the candidate for the general election. Mark Halperin over at Time has a great list of things the Senator should be aware of at this moment in the nominee process:
1. She can’t win the nomination without overturning the will of the elected delegates, which will alienate many Democrats.
2. She can’t win the nomination without a bloody convention battle — after which, even if she won, history and many Democrats would cast her as a villain.
3. Catching up in the popular vote is not out of the question — but without re-votes in Florida and Michigan it will be almost as impossible as catching up in elected delegates.
4. Nancy Pelosi and other leading members of Congress don’t think she can win and want her to give up. Same with superdelegate-to-the-stars Donna Brazile.
5. Obama’s skilled, close-knit staff can do things like silently kill re-votes in Florida and Michigan and not pay a political price.
6. Many of her supporters — and even some of her staffers — would be relieved (and even delighted) if she quit the race; none of his supporters or staff feel that way. Some think she just might throw in the towel in June if it appears efforts to fight on would hurt Obama’s general election chances.
7. The Rev. Wright story notwithstanding, the media still wants Obama to be the nominee — and that has an impact every day.
8. Obama might not be able to talk that well about the new global economy, but she (and McCain) can’t either.
9. Many of the remaining prominent superdelegates want to be for Obama and she (and Harold Ickes) are just barely keeping them from making public commitments to him.
10. She can’t publicly say more than 2% of all the things she would like to say about race, electability, beating McCain and experience.
11. If she somehow found a way to win the nomination, she would have to offer Obama the VP slot, and she doesn’t want to do that.
12. This is a change election, and Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton can never truly be change.
13. Obama is having fun most days, and she isn’t.
14. Even though her campaign staff is having more fun than it has for a long time, there’s hardly anyone there who, given half a chance, wouldn’t slit Mark Penn’s throat — and such internal dissension won’t help her in the home stretch.
Now let me give everyone my take on the Revered Wright saga, I think what the reverend said was totally wrong and really casts a negative light on all the progress the United States has made in uniting people of different races and cultures. That being said this saga has become captive of the media’s attention on Senator Obama which has been mostly good until now and hopefully people will come to realize this simple truth: We all have crazy people in our lives or people who have some crazy opinions, that doesn’t mean we should kick them out of our lives. When Senator Obama gave his speech this past week, I was proud of what he did; he disavowed Rev. Wright but made everybody understand that the man has done a lot for him in his life.
I myself have a few people in my life who have some crazy views. A Muslim friend of mine in high school used to joke with me about sparing my life once jihad takes over the world and I used to equally joke with him that I would spare his life when America took over the world. That is an extreme example but let’s take my parents who have said some racist things in the past against Black people and Asian people. They have changed their opinions over the years but that doesn’t mean I would ever kick them out of my life. I hope people will look beyond this Rev. Wright Saga to the kind of man Senator Obama is and vote for him on the fact that he has sound judgment and is a man of good character. People have also said that he should leave his church; I think this is another crazy idea; Rev. Wright has retired so why should he leave his church? Would you want to leave your Church, Mosque, Synagogue or Temple because some crazy preacher said something you didn’t agree with a long time ago? I think not.
It’s also amazing how quickly the media were satisfied by Senator McCain’s denunciation of Minister Hagee who has also said some hateful things but surprisingly they have not occupied the media as much as Rev. Wright’s comments. I don’t think this is media bias in a big way but rather what I termed in the title of this blog post that there is an Obama Frenzy going on in the American and Global media so that any story about the Senator takes top priority of boring McCain and Hillary. This is just a theory but maybe it is something to think about ? (Have a look over at Swimming Freestyle which actually brought this to my attention)
Lastly I wanted to post another YouTube video about the “3am” advert of Hillary Clinton in which the star of the advert recently posted a rebuttal video which the media has not picked up on which is a shame and gives more credence to my theory of media bias. Congratulations go out to the young actress who has really made a difference in politics at such a young age.
P.S Dear Senator Clinton and Obama, please stop fighting each other so stringently and focus some attention on Senator McCain.
March 17th, 2008 -- Posted in World Politics |
I came across these video’s on Youtube but I wanted to point out the difference between the Chinese government handling a protest and the American government handling a protest. All credit goes to the people at Digg for finding this great video and of course to the relevant uploader.
Video 1: LAPD at March 15 Anonymous Scientology Protest
Video 2: Tibet Protests Grow
March 14th, 2008 -- Posted in World Politics |
I was originally going to write a long article about the American economy today especially considering that Bear Stearns is in such big trouble however after watching a short snippet about the Tibetan situation on CNN, my mind was drastically changed. I am very angry because of the simple revelation that since the 1950’s, China has been encouraging the majority Han to move to Tibet so that the native people (Uyghur’s and Tibetans) there are now the minority. This is an insidious plan on the part of the Chinese government to literally gain control of a region by simple numbers of their own loyalists.
The Han Chinese are currently the majority in Tibet which ensures that the local people find themselves in a dangerous situation when they want to protest their political situation. Though it wasn’t until 1950 that Chairman Mao’s troops actually invaded, China regards Tibet to have been a part of its land since the Mongol dynasty extended into the Himalayan region some 700 years ago. This was formalized in the 18th and 19th centuries when Tibet was made a protectorate of China. Tibet achieved autonomy of sorts when it unilaterally declared independence in 1913. This independence was short lived as China reclaimed their territory soon after by invading Eastern Tibet. A year later, the two countries signed the “Seventeen Point Agreement” guaranteeing Tibetan autonomy and freedom to practice Buddhism, but agreeing to the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters in the capital, Lhasa.
The greatest sadness of the Tibetan crisis happened in 1959 when thousands were killed during a full scale rebellion where the Dalai Lama was exiled to India. I have never met the Dalai Lama but he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his efforts to seek independence for Tibet. The situation at the moment is such that the Dalai Lama does not even want independence anymore but mere cultural autonomy, I understand this decision because it is a compromise that can ensures that neither side loses too much. What I find regrettable is that such a compromise had to be made because of the antiquated “One China” policy. The Dalai Lama made a policy decision to save the lives of his people at the expense of indepedence for Tibet however I firmly believe that he still desires indepedence for Tibet which hopefully China will allow in decades to come.
Tibet has been in the news recently because they are protesting once more for independence and once more the Chinese government is not dealing with these protests in the best way as demonstrated by the picture below:
Look at all these policeman required to restrain a single monk (a man of peace) who has no body armor or a single weapon? How do these policemen justify these actions? It irks me to such an extent that I do not even want to write anymore about the issue but throw my 19′ monitor out the window. I will continue to write about this though because I feel that this issue warrants attention especially because no one in the West is doing anything about it. Governments in the West should do more than wrap China over the knuckles and support the people of Tibet in their struggle for independence.
BBC has a great article on their website with some comments from people who were actually there during the protests:
“I was in Tibet from the 6th to the 12th of March, and was also witness to the monks fleeing from Sera Monastery and being beaten by police. Our group was denied access to the monastery, and we were told that all the tourist access has been cut off. We were told not to take any photos by our Chinese guide, and there were police staring at us as we waited in our bus watching the monks trying to get out of the monastery.” - Leslie, Canadian Visitor
The whole crisis is even more appalling because China has told News organizations around the world that they cannot go into Tibet to show us what is really going on. We have to rely on photographs and second hand accounts of the whole situation, what do the Chinese government have to hide? I think a lot…
So what can be done about the situation, realistically? Western governments need to stop bowing to Chinese pressure and do something about the plight of the people in Tibet. This action can involve economic pressure or at the least stronger rhetoric than what has been said already. If anyone has heard my last global political podcast, I mentioned how India stopped people from marching to Tibet in protest of China’s occupation. This was another questionable gesture by India as a democratic government to appease the will of the Chinese government, I don’t understand why they do it since they are of equal economic and military power so where is the need to get down on one knee?
I will say this much… I know alot of people love the Olympics and Beijing has put significant effort into the whole show but I will not be watching a single minute of the Olympics because the Chinese government has gone down the path of no return. They believe that their economic power gives them the right to do as they please which is true given the past week’s events but I will not be someone who sits by and encourages this ignorance of China’s wrong doings by supporting the Olympics.
I feel really strongly about this and I hope some of my Friends will do the same. The final photo was taken by Reuters and show’s the carnage over the past week: