Monday, September 29, 2008
First of all, the bailout. It is exactly this sort of mentality that you can do whatever you want, including the market equivalent of making bad bets, and not pay the consequences. It's the idea that had run much of our economy for the past few decades, and it's exactly what got us into this mess in the first place. Over regulating the market causes people to try and get around the rules, and often has horrible results for those involved, in this case not only the US, but all foreign investors and their markets. With this economic crisis the government and the people will hopefully learn a bit of responsibility and common sense.
As for the crash itself, in a sort of twisted way I find it heartening. It is when people go through the worst times that they learn their lessons best and often become much better as a result of it. The most obvious example on a grand scale is the previous great depression which brought the nation to its knees. However, the very next generation is often called the Greatest Generation. It was they who launched us into economic prosperity, and what some of us consider the moral equivalent, despite the horror of the war they endured.
These are the ideas that mix in my head as I consider the current events. However bad it gets, I am hopeful that it will result in a new generation, unlike any before it. I hope that others, despite their diverse worldviews, can join me in this hope.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
McCain chose to not go to the Republican National Convention after the first news about Gustav possibly hitting the Gulf Coast came out. The convention was used as a platform to ask for support for the relief effort. McCain's wife and the first lady both appealed to people watching the convention to help support the victims of the hurricane. McCain went to a disaster relief center in Ohio to help pack supplies to be sent to the Gulf Coast. Republicans were criticizing Obama for continuing to campaign while the storm was approaching. However Obama wasn't oblivious to the storm, he via text and email urged his supporters to donate to the relief for the storm, and scaled back his speeches to return to Chicago and monitor Gustav and then decide what to do for the rest of the week. Obama also asked for people to pray for the victims of the storm. Both candidates are at least showing more thought for the people in the Gulf Coast than Bush showed 3 years ago.
This is one of the biggest tests the candidates are going to face over the next few months, so far they're both doing well, but there's a lot to be seen in the days to follow after this storm, and the rest of the storms to follow. Hurricane Hanna and Tropical Storm Ike are on the horizon, and they both pose a threat to this country.
The response to this storm was much better than it was to Katrina. Preparations were made way before the storm, and the evacuations of over 2 million people seem to have gone very smoothly. While no one will forget what happened during and after Katrina, it's nice to know that we've learned from the mistakes that we made then. Over 1,600 people died during Katrina, it appears that this time around the fatality rates will be substantially lower. And thankfully this time it looks as though New Orleans dodged a bullet.
It looks like we might be having another very active storm year, which brings up global warming once more to the front of the political atmosphere (pardon the pun). From what I know on global warming, it does exist, whether it's something that threatens us in the very near future has yet to be seen. The last 2 hurricane seasons were supposed to be very active, but they were rather dormant compared to 2005. It could be that this is just a cycle, but global warming might be effecting the temperature enough to where when an active season comes up it causes it to be even more than just "active", but like I say I'm not very sure on the topic.
I would like to ask for any of you reading this to donate to the Red Cross or any other organization currently helping hurricane victims (as I have done), during this time of need. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this storm, and to the families that have lost their loved ones.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
21 percent of American youths report being drunk in the last thirty days. European youths report 13 percent. Europe:1, America:zip.
Less than 25 percent of Euros report being intoxicated throughout their life, while in America with our safe drinking laws the number is over 50 percent. Europe:2, US:nada.
And now college deans and presidents are joining in. Down here in Texas there was never any question that 21 was a bad idea. When that law gets overturned, there will be a brief period of very drunk kids, a national hangover, and then after a few years drinking becomes no big deal for under-21's and we begin to get Europe's stats. Many people want to only lower it to 18. Personally I think we ought to dip a little lower. Say, twelve. If you get used to drinking before you can legally drive, you learn not to mix them. Funny. I never thought I'd find myself siding with the Europeans on any political issues.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sarah Palin was a mayor of a small town less than 20 months ago, and now McCain has chosen her for VP when it tears apart his argument against Obama. McCain has repeatedly said that Obama is too inexperienced to be our country's president, yet now he has chosen an extremely inexperienced person to take his place as the leader of this country if he was to die. And keep in mind that McCain (if elected) will be our country's oldest president to ever be elected, which puts his chance of not being able to run the country much higher than it would be if he were younger.
I'm also not very happy with the gist of why McCain chose Palin: to catch Hillary supporters. He might say he trusts Palin, and thinks she'll help the nation, but what are the chances that he would chose a woman to be VP in this election? It echos the point that Obama made in his speech at the convention, that McCain just "doesn't get it". The election shouldn't be about playing to peoples emotions or prejudices, it should be about showing who you are and why the people should elect you.
You should practice what you preach, I'm afraid McCain didn't do that here.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
As DNC is going on in Denver, what is your impression about it? How much the opinion polls will be influenced by the convention?
Does anyone have any news or rumors on McCain's choice for VP?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
1) Companies like Coca Cola, General Electric, and Anglo American are being prodded for their support of the "Genocide Olympics".
a) This prodding has gone to create the "United Nations Global Compact and the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights", a conference dedicated to the tie between big business and human rights. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if China wasn't turning a blind eye on Darfur, which brings me to my second point...
2) China has turned a blind on the Genocide in Darfur. Although many countries haven't jumped up and done something (*cough cough* United States *cough cough*), China has only recently mentioned the problems to the Sudanese Gov., although China is heavily connected to Sudan, with Sudan hosting Chinese oil refineries on Sudanese soil, with the result of 279,100 barrels per day being exported back to China.
3) China is changing their look for the outside world, which will get a rare first hand look at China's poverty, injustice, censorship, and questionable human rights. Some examples:
a) Recently, through a combination of flooding, mining accidents, and a lack of political funding to smaller townships, many individuals are not be compensated for health problems, (which leave them out of work). An estimated 10,000 people have flocked to Bejing, for hopes that the Supreme People's Court will provide justice. Bejing on the other hand is sending them back to their towns, without compensation. China does not want the world to see it's underbelly. In the last month alone, China has created blockades to, well, block the protesters. In a few accounts, police have even razed the slums where protesters live.
b) I'm sure most Wikimedians know about this, but recently, China opened it's Internet services to zh.wikipedipia. Most sources say that this is an attempt to lower the censorship issue while Bejing is internationally watched and that after the Olympics are over, it will return right back to censoring the internet. The censorship is big enough, and so well known, that the Wikimedia community had to take action.
Those issues are frequently brought out there as reasons for any company that cares about their public relations to distance themselves from China. On the plus side, these complaints are causing some good for places like Darfur and Tibet. In fact, because of the heightened sense of the public, companies that are supporting the Chinese Olympics are also "covering all their bases" by helping out Third World countries and other good causes. Coca Cola for instance has supplied Sudan with fresh water and has held conferences, albeit the records are unreleased, that are said be about how to help Darfur.
And what does China have to say about these claims? In a CNN news report (below) Wang Hong Yi of the Chinese Institute of International Studies says that the Olympics should not be tied to political issues, and that this is the "worldwide consensus".
Interestingly though, some facts point in the other direction on the issues of China's connection to Darfur. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's arms transfer data for 2007, China only gave Sudan 8% of hits weaponry, while Russia provided 87%. An even more interesting fact is that, according to the CIA, Japan received 48% of Sudan's exports, while China only received 31% (with South Korea lagging behind with only 3.8%). An even more alarming note is that the UN does not consider Sudan, and subsequently Darfur, to be involved in acts of genocide. In a UN report, released in 2005 (It's a PDF, with no HTML version to be found. The closest is a critical analysis by an independent journal), section II clearly states that, "The Commission concluded that the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide." But, like my personal opinion, it also states that, "The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the Government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control, should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes perpetrated in that region. International offences such as the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed in Darfur may be no less serious and heinous than genocide." Although we may be getting off track, it is important to know that (1) China is not giving large amounts of weaponary and resources to Sudan, and then that (2) Sudan is not commiting genocide. Heinous and horrible yes, but not genocidal. Thus, China is not funding genocide. This, of course, does not exempt them from concerns of human rights violations, censorship, and societal distortion.
P.S. Thanks to Voicer, from the comment section of the Economist article. Though I checked his/her links for accuracy (Thanks Wikipedia for the reference paranoia >_< ), they look good, and bring up some very valid points for any counterargument.
Friday, August 8, 2008
It's, basically, quite a complicated situation.
The situation has been escalating for just over a week after Georgian forces stormed South Ossetia in the hope of claiming the territory. Several paramilitary troops from South Ossetia were killed early on in the conflict.
Things took a turn for the worse when Russia decided they would press though North Ossetia, across the Russian-Ossetia border and towards the south—perhaps an understandable move considering there are many Russian citizens in the area. Moscow, specifically President Medvedev, has stated that:
"According to the constitution, I, as the President of the Russian Federation, must protect lives and the dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are. Those responsible for the deaths of our citizens will be punished."
Now, I can see where President Medvedev is coming from on this one. The Georgians acted pretty irrationally and spontaneously, bar the permit by NATO at Bucharest, over an area which they knew Russia would retaliate over. It really does seem like a little bit of a suicidal plan for Georgia. Let's give some perspective on that with a brief comparison of military capabilities (taken from the Wikipedia article):
Population of Georgia: 4.6 million
Population of Russia: 140 million
Standing army of Georgia: 18,000 personnel
Standing army of Russia: 1,037,000 personnel
Georgian tanks: 128
Russian tanks: 23,000
I think you see where this is going. If anyone can offer rationale behind the Georgian's tactics, please feel free to explain. In fact, let's make that a question to you all.
"Who knows a reasonable explanation for why Georgia would actually try and fight against the Russians?"
Sunday, August 3, 2008
As a starting question for any Brits out there:
"Do you believe the British government has the capability to reform the NHS?"
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I'm actually not focused on Omert here, but rather his imminent successor. Tzipi Livni has an impressive political background behind her and I find the BBC's comment on lack on military expertise to be false. However, I am unsure as to how much good she could do as PM. Livni seems far too cold to do much good in Palestinian talks and I find her far too ambitious and disloyal to her PM. She has done more than simply distance herself from Olmert, but openly lashed out at him and at the same time prop herself up as a much better candidate than him. It is my belief that she has stayed within his ministry solely to execute her power. While she has been untouched by scandal, her downright refusal to come to Olmert's aid at all (whether he is guilty or not) shows that she is unwilling to get her hands even the slightest bit dirty. As Sharon's former protégé, she is fiercely aggresive and I believe her to find scandal and compromise as and unhuman (more likely, un-Israeli) thing and one-hundred percent unacceptable. If she can downplay these, it is my hope that she isn't forced to live in Golda Meir's shadow.
I realise many of these are good in a leader but still lean slightly against her premiership, though there certainly isn't a better candidate right now.
What do you think of Livni as Prime Minister of Israel?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
What do you think about our economy right now? Which candidate do you think will help solve the crisis, and why?
Friday, July 25, 2008
Technically, the answer is Harriet Harman (Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal, Minister for Women and Equality, Labour Party Chair and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party). She fills in at Prime Minister's Questions when he is unable and would become Acting Prime Minister in the event of his death. However, at the beginning of his term there was talk as to why she had not been named Deputy Prime Minister, First Secretary of State or both and Brown stated that she would not fill the deputy role she is now filling.
My second candidate is Jack Straw (Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice). There was significant talk at the beginning of Brown's term that he had given Straw both right hand positions which were later refuted by both Brown and Straw. While I was in London one headline really caught my eye amongst the hundreds of adverts: WILL BROWN BUT STRAW'S LOYALTY WITH DEPUTY JOB?
Next on my list is the next most mentioned minister, Alistair Darling (Chancellor of the Exchequer). Darling holds Brown's former post where Brown held the most power but Brown doesn't seem to be giving Darling the power he had while he was under Tony Blair. The chancellor is known to be one of the positions whose power is determined by who the Prime Minister is.
Fourth is someone who I recently switched with the below. Jacqui Smith (Secretary of State for the Home Department). Not very well known among many of the others on the list, after speaking with several people, I have been told the the Home Secretary is one of the most powerful positions in the government, bar none. One Londoner told me that Home Secretaries are generally an unofficial deputy.
Fifth is the man who I descended after seeing how little he is mentioned even though he does hold one of those godly positions in Cabinet: David Miliband (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs). Despite his position, he I have rarely seen him in news and don't consider a powerful man.
To round out the list is Des Browne (Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Scotland). He is simply here because of his high positions.
The could go on but beyond these men and women, the rest of Cabinet's status among each other, the ministry, parliament and the government as a whole are very difficult for me to understand.
Who do you think the positions should go to?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In order to not bore anyone, I pose a question:
"Has the U.N. failed at its goal?"
Feel free to define goal as whatever you wish, but be sure to back it up.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
These are some rather eye-opening facts.
Since the start of the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sacrifice has been enormous. In the time period from the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 through today, we have lost over 3,000 military personnel to enemy action and accidents
As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics: The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:
1980 ........ 2,392
1981 ......... 2,380
1984 ......... 1,999
1988 .......... 1,819
1989 .......... 1,636
1990 ....... 1,508
1991 .......... 1,787
1992 .......... 1,293
1993 .......... 1,213
1994 .......... 1,075
1996 ......... 2,318 Clinton years @14,000 deaths
1997 .......... 817
1998 ......... 2,252
1999 .......... 1,984
2000 .......... 1,983
2001 .......... 890
2002 .......... 1,007
2003 ........ 1,410
2004 .......... 1,887
2005 ...... 919
2006.......... 920 Bush years (2001-2006): 7,033 deaths
If you are confused when you look at these figures, so was I.
Do these figures mean that the loss from the two latest conflicts in the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during Mr. Clinton 's presidency; when America wasn't even involved in a war? And, I was even more confused; when I read that in 1980, during the reign of President (Nobel Peace Prize winner) Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities!
These figures indicate that many members of our Media and our Politicians will pick and choose. They present only those "facts" which support their agenda-driven reporting. Why do so many of them march in lock-step to twist the truth? Where do so many of them get their marching-orders for their agenda?
Our Mainstream Print and TV media, and many Politicians like to slant; that these brave men and women, who are losing their lives in Iraq, are mostly minorities! Wrong AGAIN! Just one more media lie!
The latest census, of Americans, shows the following distribution of American citizens, by Race:
European descent (White) ...... 69.12%
Hispanic ........................................ 12.5%
Asian ............................................... 3.7%
Native American .......................... . ..1.0%
Other ............................................ ... 2.6%
Now.. here are the fatalities by Race; over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom:
European descent (white) ...... 74.31%
Hispanic .................................... 10.74%
Black ........................................ 9.67%
Asian ........................................... 1.81%
Native American ........................ 1.09%
Other ........................................... . 0.33%
You do the Math! These figures don't lie, but, Media-liars figure and they sway public opinion !
(These statistics are published by Congressional Research Service, and they may be confirmed by anyone at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf
Now ask yourself two questions:
"Why does the mainstream Print and TV Media never print statistics like these?" and
"Why do the mainstream media hate the (world wide) web as much as they do?"
Submitted by Roy B.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
For example: John Taylor Bowles of the National Socialist Order Party has a campaign that most likely violates several laws on discrimination and hate crimes.
Róger Calero was born in Nicaragua. I happen to think that the constitution should be made to say that a person must have lived in the United States for a certain number of yers to become president, but the constitution as is doesn't allow him to ascend to office even if he's elected!
Then filling up the list of Republicans and Democrats are Hugh Cort, John Cox, Daniel Gilbert, Alan Keyes and Ray McKinney and Dal LaManga, respectively. Now it may just be me, but I think a candidate of the major two parties shjould have at least held an elective office of substantial proportion. New York is a city of substantial size that their mayor might stand a chance. The mayor of Helena, Montana wouldn't so why do these guys think they can? The
Liberatarians and the Greens are seeing this and have set two former Congressmen as their candidates and the Constitutions are the final major third party to not do so. Even when it comes down to it, these extra candidates do nothing but steal votes (Nadar being the real reason Bush won, not Harris). So why do they run?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
- At the United States/Mexico border there is just a little bit of fence, but it is mostly patrolled by border agents. For those who think the fence is a crazy idea, we have found that in places where we built the fence along southwest has worked. One of the top areas for illegal immigration was the San Diego – Tijuana border. After the installment of the triple fence, illegal immigration in that area decreased by 90%. Even the crime rate in the San Diego, California area dropped by 53%.
- Just in 2005, 155,000 people were caught crossing that border, who were not from Mexico, but from other faraway countries like China, North Korea, and Iran. People know how easy it is to both get to Mexico and slip through the Mexico-U.S. border. Why should we invest so much money in airport security if it is so easy to slip through the Mexican and American border?
- The cost socials services to these illegal immigrants has 1996 will soon reach 400 billion dollars. These is all paid by taxes of citizens here in the United States. People who are here illegally do not pay taxes. A lot of this happens through anchor babies and education.
- Mexico's biggest import is the American dollar (according to RC-0722)
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The most swinging States that Obama could win are, in my opinion, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. I actually don't think that he can win Florida, Ohio and Colorado, all three States were McCain will be a strong canidate, and if he wins the three remaining States, McCain will win the general election with 269 e.v. over the 268 e.v. of Obama.
Moreover McCain could easily retain those three States mentioned and win a few more States Mr. Bush did not win in 2004 among Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In these States Bush was close to victory and McCain will be a strong candidate. If he retains all the States Bush won in 2004 and wins some more States, he will win by a landslide.
It seems to me that Obama is the strongest Democratic candidate in Southern and Mountain states (states that McCain will definitely win, although with a smaller margin than Mr. Bush in 2004), while McCain is the strongest Republican candidate in the North-East, in industrial states (like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan), in the Mid-West and in California.
It will be a close race, but it seems to me that Obama is actually gaining strenght where he doesn't need it, while being weaker in swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and so on.
It is too early to make forecasts, but I definitely think that it will be a close race in much more states than in 2004 and that, in that kind of race, McCain is a strong candidate. Obama has much to loose if the red-blue scheme disappears in November. The 50-states strategy will help Mr. McCain, not Obama, who needs not to loose any of the states which Mr. Kerry won in 2004.
(Images: McCain: top, Obama: below)
Monday, June 9, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Obama's VP/Running Mate
Sen. Barack Obama (D) recently became the presumative Democratic nominee by earning enough delegates. As said before, John McCain hasn't chosen a running mate and we made a poll for you. The same is to say for Obama. We might put a poll up if approved, after this poll is over.
Hopefully, the vice president that Barack Obama chooses, become a candidate in the 2012 or 2016 election for President. Maybe John Edwards?