Jul 28 2008
Not since the first utterance of Mission Accomplished has a politician proved himself to be so breathtakingly out of touch with reality.
This is John McCain on “This Week” with George Stephanopolous:
Steph: But there was a fundamental difference regarding the original reason to go to war [in Iraq]. He [Obama] said it would inflame the Muslim world and become a recruitment tool for Al Quaeda. You said and you wrote that it would lessen antipathy in the Muslim world and that we would be greeted as liberators. Wasn’t Senator Obama right about that?
McCain: I don’t believe so. We were greeted as liberators.
Link to the vid here: http://abcnews.go.com/video/pl…
Jun 05 2008
“I want to publicly acknowledge Hillary Clinton for the outstanding race that she has run.
“She is a great senator from New York she is an extraordinary leader of the Democratic party and she has made history alongside me over the last 16 months and I’m very proud to have competed against her.”
—Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton
“I know Senator Obama understands what it is at stake here. It has been an honor to contest these primaries with him. It is an honor to call him my friend.”
—Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, two of the ablest politicians in recent memory, have declared an end to hostilities. Understanding that they share the same goals, with some respectful disagreement on how to achieve these goals, they are beginning the process of coming together to form a united front against John McCain in the fall.
As passionate partisans, it is now time for us to follow their lead and start the reconciliation process among the netroots so that our country can turn abruptly away from the edge of the cliff it’s been skating along these past few years of the Bush administration, and start heading in a direction that restores our values and reunites our country.
That’s why I say: Obama Me With Fries!
May 30 2008
Is this a Judas move? So asks Bill O’Reilly:
Milder reactions have emanated from the White House, ranging from being “puzzled”, intimating that McClellan didn’t write this book because it “doesn’t sound like him, it sounds like a left-wing blogger”, that this is an “out of body experience”, that McClellan was “disgruntled”, that “something dramatically has changed”, that the editor “tweaked some things in the past few months” and “wrote a lot of it”…
…and on, and on, and on.
But the process of writing is sitting in front of a blank screen, staring into one’s soul.
May 28 2008
“It was Soviet troops that liberated Auschwitz, so unless his uncle was serving in the Red Army, there’s no way Obama’s statement yesterday can be true,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. “Obama’s frequent exaggerations and outright distortions raise questions about his judgment and his readiness to lead as commander in chief.”
The above is a confident statement from a confident American political operative, working for a jittery party that senses its own demise. Desperate for any political traction, they grasped today upon Obama’s mis-statement that his relative liberated Auschwitz, and not Buchenwald.
For this small historical gaffe, the GOP would have us infer that Barack Obama is not fit to be President of the United States.
But what is the greater gaffe, mislabeling one of several Nazi concentration camps, or misunderstanding the lessons of the Holocaust as our country stumbles, and trips, and reaches for light straws of hope as we seek to restore our moral authority as the world’s leader on human rights after the abuses at Abu Ghirab and the ongoing detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?
May 27 2008
From the AP:
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was personally informed of her continued imprisonment by officials from the Home Ministry who entered her villa prior to the announcement, the official said.
The extension was issued despite a Myanmar law that stipulates no one can be held longer than five years without being released or put on trial.
The junta faced a deadline to extend Suu Kyi’s house arrest for another year or release her. Members of her National League for Democracy were marching from the party’s headquarters to her home when riot police shoved the group into a truck.
It was not immediately clear where the truck was headed or exactly how many people were detained.
According to this YouTube, “Dust In The Wind” has been adapted as a song of protest by Burmese refugees living along the country’s border (it’s YouTube, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt):
May 22 2008
“I’m quite confident we will be able to overcome this tragedy. I’ve tried to bring a message of hope to your people,” Ban said earlier as he made an offering at the country’s holiest Buddhist shrine, the Shwedagon Pagoda.
“At the same time, I hope your people and government can coordinate the flow of aid, so the aid work can be done in a more systematic and organised way,” said Ban.
“The United Nations and the whole international community stand ready to help you overcome this tragedy.”
Meanwhile pressure is building on the military regime to do far more to help the victims of the cyclone, and not all of the pressure is coming from outside the country:
May 21 2008
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is en route to Myanmar today, but already his presence in the region seems to have had an affect:
“We have received government permission to operate nine WFP (World Food Program) helicopters, which will allow us to reach areas that have so far been largely inaccessible,” Ban told reporters in New York on Tuesday before departing for Southeast Asia. His announcement was not immediately confirmed by officials in Myanmar.
“I believe further similar moves will follow, including expediting the visas of (foreign) relief workers seeking to enter the country,” Ban said, warning that relief efforts to save survivors of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis had reached a “critical moment.”
“We have a functioning relief program in place but so far have been able to reach only 25 percent of Myanmar’s people in need,” he said.
Progress can’t come too soon, as cyclone victims, desperate for food, beg by the side of the road:
May 20 2008
“For the vast number of Americans, if they just gave to some disaster far away and then another disaster happens, in their mind that’s clumped as ‘faraway disaster,'” Strahilevitz says. “So they will feel, ‘I just gave to a faraway disaster.'”
It’s no secret that Americans are feeling less fortunate than in previous years. Escalating gas and food prices, the mortgage crisis and a recent “economic recovery” that only positively affected the most wealthy among us have left families seeing their household budgets shrink.
But as tough as we have it, it is nothing compared with what millions of people are going through right now in Myanmar:
MSNBC reports that Americans have given $12.1 million to charities for Myanmar relief efforts, far short of the $1.92 billion the US gave to assist the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami.
May 19 2008
No one event triggered this devolution, but it undeniably was pushed along many times by the moral relativism of the last 50 years, when most of society’s widely accepted norms were undermined by the quicksand of nonjudgmentalism; when the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, were abolished in favor of differences that were to be respected if not celebrated, and codified when necessary to surmount widespread public opposition.
Paradoxically, people and institutions whose beliefs do not permit them to tolerate the most abhorrent differences were judged to be evil. Through rigid enforcement of increasingly fascist speech and thought codes, relativists turned America into a nation of lip-biters who with their silence condoned as normal behaviors and beliefs that are irrefutably unnatural and inherently immoral.
No, the [recent California Supreme Court] ruling merely answered homosexuals’ purely emotional plea for cultural acceptance by giving civil unions their proper label – “marriage” – the will of Californians, as democratically expressed twice, and the dark societal consequences be damned.
–Editorial in the May 17, 2008 Waterbury Republican.
Anyone who regularly reads my blogs probably thought to log in and find the latest news from Myanmar, or of the earthquake in China.
But today I want to write about something that underpins almost every headline here and abroad: human suffering. The answer on how to understand human suffering has been written about and expounded upon by far more eloquent and profound people than me. Everyone from Martin Luther King, to Gandhi, to the Dalai Lama agrees that compassion is the ultimate answer.
But what is the question?