Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eroding state?

Is globalization eroding state power and shifting identity? Is the sovereign territorial nation-state going to be replaced by something else?
While globalization has made it hard for there to be a state especially in some countries, the state is not eroding. The people are identifying themselves with the diverse culture that is merging in many countries. A good example of the shifting identity is the US which is the melting pot of the world. More and more, people are starting to like the idea of being called American. However, with globalization some countries are facing problems due to the imbalance in the structure.
Is the sovereignty of state challenged? Yes. There is globalization of economy through the globalization of capitalism. The government is no longer in charge of trade because of the intra-industry trade whereby imports and exports occur within corporations. The government cannot raise tariffs because the corporations are affected and if they are, the economy of the state might be in jeopardy. In Iran, globalization is already starting to take over and in the process the politics are being undermined. The Islamic nation of course in concerned because there is some sort of a globalization of religion. This is why there is an enmity between Christians and Muslims, even thought they might not understand the history that goes with that.
This globalization does not necessarily work to the evil of the state. South Korea was the lucky country. With Japan, globalization has increased their wealth and made it possible to have a strong economy. This however does not apply to Cambodia and Sierra Leone in which both cases the NGOs are taking over providing goods to the people. In this case, the state just serves as a border whereby there are international world arenas where trade of all sorts is going on and the state has no power to control that. People are connecting through these arenas and migrations are taking place. However, the people still remain faithful to their own homes. It’s like being Joseph in Jerusalem and to register you have to go back to Nazareth. While the state’s power has not disappeared, the arenas have provided a way for people to connect with each other.
The media which is a huge arena for the trading of cultures is creating a seamless web of information. The availability of satellite television has made it hard for the state to control what goes out and what comes in. One of the major arenas is the internet. Trade goes on daily on the internet but the state cannot control what goes on there. Sites like YouTube has made it possible for people from all walks of life to get access to any kind of video that can be found out there. There is no state regulation on what is being said on the internet especially in blogs.
Because of this surveillance of technology, there are things that politically, the state cannot get away with. For example if this was a couple of years earlier, some events like the Tiananmen Square Massacre could not have occurred. Someone would have probably videotaped the event and made it known to the world.
While the sovereignty of the state is challenged, it still holds the authority. People like Bill gates might be the richest men in the world; however, they still have to submit to the state authority. The state has the power to use force both physical and emotionally and they have a say in some corporation’s way of handling things. Sometimes, in spite of this authority, it does not mean that the state can’t be bought. They are still the authority behind administrating justice and final say on the law

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zionism contradicting what Christians believe to be supporting

Whose land is it? Does it belong to the Israelites or the Palestinians? Or is for the children of the promise? There is no easy answer to Christian Zionism. Does the Bible give right for Palestinian Christians to be kicked out of their land? I don’t think so. No matter how we all look at it, it all boils to one thing; control. The Israelites have no right to kick the Arabs out of the Land. The land belongs to the Arabs as much as it belongs to the Jews. In addition, the Christian Zionist has little to do with Christianity but more with the politics of the Middle East.
I always thought that Christianity was basically black and white with no gray areas. However, as I have grown as a Christian, I have found that this is not the case. There are a lot of gray area issues when it comes to Christianity. The land promises in Israel happens to fall in this category. Does our faith require that we support only Israel? As a Christian Zionist you would take a stance of supporting the Israelis through their endeavors. You would be inclined towards what Burge refers to as an expression of “spiritual faithfulness” (pp. 233). However, I disagree. Our faith requires that we support our brothers and sisters in Christ. This includes every Christian in the world, whether they are Arabs, Africans, Europeans or Jews. As Christians, we have an obligation to the Palestinian church because they are as much part of the kingdom as we are. Not supporting them and thinking that only the Jews should have our support is basically taking us out of the promises as Children of God. If the Palestinians do not have a right to the promises made by God, so do us because we are all Gentiles. To some extent, our faith requires us to take a stance. However, it is not a stance for the Israeli and against the Palestinians or vice versa. They are both children of God, none better than the other.
It is very easy to read one book or seat in a church pew and let the view of one individual craft our beliefs on Christian Zionism. This already happened when Cyrus Scofield took it upon himself to foretell the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Scofield wrote that before Jesus was to come back, the Jews would return to Jerusalem and claim their land back. Zionism is not a Christian movement and to maybe the Christians realized this. By adding Christian to Zionism, they seem to have made it okay to believe the way they do. Today, as Burge points out, Christian Zionists have a zeal for Israel and are willing to promote more or less political agendas” (pp. 241). Israel has used the media effectively to gain sympathy from not only the world leaders but the world church. The Christians outside seem to react to the media’s reports of what is going on in Israel. However they pay no heed to the fact that the country is letting the outside world know what they want. After the crusades, the Jews used the holocaust as way to gain sympathy from the land, and when that seemed to loosen its grip, they turned to the scripture.
Much emphasis is put on the fact that Israel belongs to the Jews. However, there is no much focus or much mention of the Land in either the Old Testament or the New Testament. Jesus was very much aware about the conflicts and beliefs about the Promised Land yet he did not pay attention or address these beliefs. Burge makes a statement that each Christian should take time to mull over. On page 171, he states, “If talk about claiming the land was central to Jewish consciousness, certainly Jesus gives us some hints, some suggestions that he understands the debates of his day. He too could read the Old Testament. He understood the land promises of Abraham. Did he not believe them?” Jesus never established himself as a political leader. He was coming for the fulfillment of the promises not to lead Israel to a new order. The Jews were so concerned about defeating the Romans that they missed it when the promised messiah came and went. The people who accepted Christ were not Jews but Gentiles. Then when He left, He ordered the disciples to preach the good news from “Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world”. Everyone was included into the new promises because by faith, the Gentiles were called the children of God.
Theology of Christian Zionism is attributing to the secular Israel by supporting them in their gains and control over Palestine. If the Christians are going to stand with the Jews, then they are supporting them completely even in their denial of Jesus as their Messiah. Christians can’t have it both ways. They are either for Christ or supporting the Jews in spite of their denial of Christ as the Messiah. Burge defends the Christian Zionists by saying that their support of Israel “has little do with history, less to do with politics… [their] commitment is grounded in sincere Christian conviction” (pp. 236). Although this is a good excuse, it is not acceptable. One question arises then. If we (Christians) support the Jews in their pursuits, aren’t we uniting them in their unbelief? Then how can we claim to be Christians?
Moreover, what about the brothers and sisters of the Palestinian Church? This is one question that Burge raises to the Jewish Christian. In the book, he includes an answer that he received from one from one of these Jewish Christians. To the question, the Jew replied, “’They are not really Christian as you might think…Arabs lie, they cheat in business deals, and they will give you their word one day and then deny it. They don’t seem to respect life or truth like anyone does’” (244). When asked about the rights of Palestinian Christian, the same Jew answered that “you have to keep God’s long-term plan in mind” (pp. 244). Basically the Jews are treating the Palestinians like the Samaritans. Does anyone have any right to judge on who the real Christian is and who is not? I believe that the final decision lies in the hands of God. Whether a person is a Christian or not is up to God to decide.
Palestinian Christians are suffering under the hands of the Jews and the world church chooses to ignore this in their ardent support of the so-called promises to Israel. Ironically, while the Jews and the Christian Zionists are using the scriptures to fight and persecute the Palestinians, the Palestinians Christians are using the scriptures to find solace. Burge tells of several scriptures in the Bible which meal a lot to the Christian leaders and their parishioners in Palestine. One of these scriptures is Luke 4:18-19. Burge says that “Jesus had the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed on his mind…God’s salvation would be complete, not just securing our eternal destiny but also giving us a life graced with deliverance from all evil and suffering” (pp. 196)
Studying this topic in class led me to do some more research about Christian Zionism. I went to the Internet where I came across an article by a Jew, who stated,
It was God’s plan for the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the children of Israel, the Jewish people, to be His example to all the nations of the world. We are destined to be the light unto the nations. It was for this that we were chosen by Him. When we stand up and fulfill our destiny we will enable all people to elevate themselves to holiness. This will eventually create conditions for true redemption and world peace under the rule of the living God of creation.

After reading this article, a few questions came to mind. First of all, according to this particular individual, they were to be our leaders to the ultimate peace. If they are to be an example to the world, then what example were they sending out? Or that hating our neighbors and kicking them out of their land was the way to achieve peace? If we follow the Jewish example of how we are to treat our neighbors, then this world will be full of chaos. If the Israelites claim to be the children of the promise, then they should live up to their name. The first thing they should do is live by the first commandment of loving one another. Second, they should live by the golden rule which is to love their God with all their heart, mind and strength. It they do this; there cannot be room for hatred for their Palestinian neighbors. In addition, the Gospel of Christ offers salvation not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. There is no where in the Bible where it says that the Jews are going to be more favored than the Gentiles. We have all received grace freely not because it is our birthright. When Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned” it does not exclude the Jews. They are going to go before the same judge as the rest of the Christians.
The promises made to Abraham in Genesis were fulfilled in Christ. Jesus was the Seed. While Jews will try to fulfil these promises by law, the promise of an inheritance is made to those who faith in Jesus. In Hebrews 12:18-28, the scripture points out that Christ became the mediator of the Abraham covenant. Through Christ the Gentiles have been grafted in the covenant. The Jews claim the land of Israel because of their inheritance and promises made to them. If this is the case, the Palestinians have a right to the land for two main reasons. First, the Palestinian Christians have been engrafted also in the promises. Burge states that, “If land promises come to Judaism by virtue of tenure in the land and biblical promises, Arabs who embraced Judaism gain these promises as well and their faith in Jesus does not invalidate their claim to the Jewish ancestry”(pp. 199). Second, if the Christian Zionists disinherit the Arabs because of their ancestor Ishmael, then they have missed a few facts. If you look closely, you will find that in Galatians 4:21-31, Hagar is associated with the Jews. Therefore, the Palestinians are as much part of the promises, as the Jews.
Looking at my stance on all this, I have to side with the Covenantal theology. The Israelites are always going to be an important part of the Church because that is where we trace our faith. Although the covenant was not replaced, it is not fulfilled until the coming of Christ. He became the new mediator of the covenant. With His coming, He allowed us all by grace to become part of His family. I believe that history is important to us because it tells us where we have been. While Israel’s history is important, it is no longer significant. Amos 9:7 states that Israel is no different than the rest of the world. They have received as much grace as any other nation.
There is no easy way to conclude. I can say read your Bible and then find the truth, and this would be a beginning, but we need to take it further. Instead of Christians trying to separate these two nations, we need to get on our knees and pray for our brothers and sisters in the Israel/Palestine area. Burge points that “no one is happy in Israel/Palestine. The Israelis are not happy. Their quest for security - haunted as it is by terrors of the past has made them to forge a state that makes few proud. The Palestinians are not happy. Their quest for nationhood has put them at odds with Israel and let to terror and strife that likewise has lost the esteem of many” (pp. 260). Instead of trying to fulfil God’s promises Christians everywhere should be praying for this nation. Pray that God will restore the trust among both Jews and Arabs. Pray that both sides will find healing from their past and that they can both go on without looking back and walk towards building bridges. As Burge points out, it seems that the Israelis want a separation from their Arab brothers. We need to pray for bridges of hope to be built because the last thing we need in the Middle East, is another South African Apartheid.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Asian Tigers Vs Africa

The Asian Tigers have very strong states. They are very industrialized even thought they are not rich in natural resources. In addition, they have becoming some of the leading exports for the US and definitely export more than they import. Even though they are different in the policies in production and even government, these Tigers have risen from the ground and have made themselves known in the World Market.
The East Asian Tigers have five major points going for them. Education is the first key. You can always find some hard workers anywhere, but they will be useless if they do not have the knowledge to work. This is something the African continent needs to confront. The education system is poor. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to school. That is why their scientific systems and technology is less sophisticated. The lack of education has affected many different aspects of the state. To an extent, this has produced a kind of division between the different social classes.
The Tigers have already established quiet a saving system. They have also limited their foreign spending from other countries. The citizens in this country kept their money in the bank and with increases savings the bank could make loans at low interest. They have an emphasis on exporting and they are all trained as to what the foreign investors want. Therefore, instead of producing just anything, their production is based on the foreign need. However, for the African States, this is far from even becoming a reality. They import more than they export. Even then, what they export is not sold on a high price on the international market. The idea of Import Substitution Industrialization whereby countries in Africa would have their own production is not very workable. To have industries, one requires the resources and means to do that. Now the countries like Ghana are focusing more on the Export Oriented Industrialization where they can export things like cocoa and timber.
Another major difference would be in their production. The Tigers have a high rate of production. They started by producing Textiles, then steel and eventually, they are one of the leading producers of autos if not auto parts. Meanwhile, Africa’s rate of production is very low or rather declining. Due to lack of education and proper means to take care of their lands, droughts, deforestation and overgrazing have taken toil on the soil and makes agricultural exports or production to be at a minimum. This makes ISI even more impossible because the resources for industries are not available. When it comes to natural resources, Africa has more advantage than the Asian Tigers. However, to be able to have their own industries for the rubber, diamonds, gold and other precious resources that are found there, it would take more money that would be added to their enormous debt already.
Debt is another major difference. Africa has a large debt especially since 1960. They borrowed money for imports and even try to develop. Therefore, the export industry that the African nations have is mostly to pay for this debt. The Tigers on the other hand had their support from the US. From a capitalist’s view, this would be seen as the semi periphery. For the high investors, countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are the middle points for the Capitalist beam balance. The African nations would be on the other end and since there is less production, the high investors sometimes overlook them.
While both regions experienced some sort of colonialism, one would think that they would have emerged to be on the same level. However, this is not true. The Tigers have stable governments something that is deteriorating in Africa. This would explain why there is no emphasis on education. Kleptocracy is not very heard in the Asian Tigers. There is a political system that supports their rate of production and economic growth. The government is involved in the production and actually emphasizes on some industries for success. On the other end, Africa’s political system is deteriorating. When the imperialists left Africa, they left borders that are not ethically sound. A good example would be the division of Burundi and Rwanda a people who speak the same language and same culture yet divided into two countries. Rivalries and ethnic wars have become common. These wars have hindered the economic growth by hindering government operations.
Japan which is the mother of all the Tigers has become a role model in these parts of Asia. The other countries had some sort of path to follow, something that Africa lacks. In addition, Africa’s population is high and rising. Medical care which was a problem when there was lack of thereof has become a problem for the African people who have a high mortality rate.
Globalization might explain some of the success that the countries are experiencing. However, there are other precursors and maybe an explanation as to why Ghana has not moved high from there were in 1960. Africa has to develop their own path of success. EOI might not necessarily work for them just because it worked for the Tigers. The achievement of success can be attributed to factors like education, healthcare, and a good investment and production system. Therefore, these factors should be in place before Africa tries to rule the world.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missiles crisis was one of the major events in both American and World history. More than 200 million lives both American and Russian could have been lost, that is not taking into account the Cubans. Had war began; this could have gone down in history as one of the worst catastrophic events that could have brought another world war close to hand. How did these two states, which were allies during the Second World War, become bitter enemies? A better question yet- how did Kennedy and Khrushchev manage to put their competition behind to come to an agreeable outcome? There exist no black and white answers to these questions, but more puzzling is what appears to have been negligence for the Cubans whose lives could also have been affected if war was to break out. This crisis taught the world that the little powers or states do not matter in the long run. While Cuba might have gotten the protection and a promise of no future attacks, this was not about them. This was about two superpowers still in a non-combat struggle termed as the ‘cold war’. This is why to the Soviets; it was not a Cuban crisis but a Caribbean crisis. Fidel Castro realized too late that he was not the key player in the crisis. He realized that, just like the Bay of Pigs invasion, this was another crisis that he had to deal with, henceforth the name October Crisis. It was late before Castro discovered that, Cuba was a lynchpin, on what was an ongoing strife between the Soviet and the US. Kennedy walked with the glory, Khrushchev walked away with his convictions and shame, and Castro remained in Cuba still facing US’s antagonism.

It was obvious that after the crisis, the Soviet people were unhappy with the situation with the US especially when it wasn’t long before Khrushchev was demoted from power. The Soviet and the US were in constant argument especially about Berlin. The US considered themselves as the ally of Germany’s future and USSR was seen as holding back the progress. Therefore, events like the Berlin Blockade only intensified the tension between the Soviets and the US. All parties involved felt misunderstood especially when there was a lot of history between them. During the crisis, several rights were broken, like the right for the Soviets to trade with Cuba, which was violated by Kennedy’s blockade. In the face of the international community especially in the west, it was Kennedy who was much credited for the peaceful solution of the crisis. However, the real man behind the solution was Khrushchev. He is the one who made a choice to not go into Cuba through the blockade and when he was given an ultimatum, he made a choice that was a suicide to his political career.

All three sides wanted to avoid war that seemed inevitable. Cubans wanted protection from the United States, and the offer of help from the Soviets was much welcome. However, Castro realized that he had provided the US and the Soviet another warring ground. Kennedy and Khrushchev, being described as men of integrity, despite their advisers saw this as a bargaining chip. At a time that both political realms had been taught to distrust each other, these two world leaders decided to take a chance and trust each other’s word. In the process, they were able to prevent a war that could have resulted into casualty numbers worse than both of the world wars combined. The Soviets were quite aware of the relationship between Cuba and the United States. They chose to ally themselves with the very same regime that the United States was trying to eliminate. There were also the missiles in Turkey and Italy under the control of the US that were pointed to the Soviets. To add to this equation was the conflict between the soviets and the US in Berlin. Through out the negotiation, US promised to not attack Cuba and secretly remove the missiles in Turkey. In the end, the Soviets got what they wanted. Khrushchev in front of the Supreme Soviet stated, “At the request of the Cuban government we shipped arms there…Our Purpose was only the defence of Cuba’” (Allison, 47). Therefore, while Khrushchev lost face in the global platform and his own state; Kennedy got the glory. However, Soviets (Khrushchev) objectively got what they wanted namely, Cuban protection and the removal of the missiles in Turkey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Partisanship is a necessary Evil?

AKA...give Obama some breathing room and enough time to mess up. After all, Bush was given EIGHT years. Did I mention that Bush was able to turn the world against the US, and also turn two countries into a blood bath?

Okay on serious note. I was affronted by a person, that I lightly call a friend. He and I have been in political debates for over five years now. He knows where to jab me, and I have learned the right sentences to send out there. This particular friend does not like Obama. is safe to say that he actually think Obama is the Anti-Christ and the is in contract with the devil. But this person delights in pointing out that since I don't hate Obama, I am going to be going to hell pretty soon.
We got to the topic of why the US is really in trouble....and my simple answer was Partisanship.

While the US is very united in attacking other countries, when it comes to domestic policy, they are very divided. I can think of only one President who was able to make both sides see that they could reconcile their differences for the betterment of the US: Johnson. And that was the end of it. Now, both parties are fighting like cats and dogs, wanting nothing to do with the other.

True, Partisanship is what democracy is made of, but the US is not a democracy, it is a republic. Study the difference, and you will find that, for all the cries of democracy, there is lack of it in the US. However, there is something to be said that these parties have not killed each other, realistically speaking.

Partisanship is what everyone seems to "think" they know or stand for. The Conservatives hate the Democrats and vice Versa. It is very hard to stand in the middle with these kind of politics where being a Democrat means so much more than being an American.
There is a third party in this whole chaotic mess: The Media
It is not two major opposing parties with differences in principles and ideology. Media brings much of the ugliness, and hate to Americans. It is true the major media is Liberal, but the conservatives are so much more to blame. They actually use the churches, which is probably worse, but I have never been one to listen to them.
Here is my problem with Partisanship,.....
The big problem is that people battle with their brain on two issues... for example, Homosexuality and Abortion. And then on the third issue eg terrorism, they don't follow what they know is right ... because their "interest group" is going the other way. Why vote for a Democratic president if you do not agree with what he is representing? or even so, why Vote for a Republican if he has one right and ten wrong?
Partisanship is short-cut ideology. It has provided a way you can vote and do your "duty" without having to understand everything that's being battled.
Politically speaking, the more the Republicans can defeat, the better they think they will do in the 2010 elections, and the democrats think that if they bring about major changes, the public will want them for another 4 years. However, it is interesting that both parties neglect the individual, neglect the powers of the state government, and wish to enlarge the federal bureacracy....yet have the guts to fight about how one wants government regulation and the other doesn't. Soon enough, you find libertarians everywhere.
Experts claim that Partisanship is necessay, and maybe so. It might be that we need to have these different parties...but when it is doing more harm than good, isn't it possible Bi-Partisanship on some issues could be a better solution than partisanship?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How much more Blood would you like?

Has anyone noticed that blood has become cool? or rather the drawing of blood.
There is no day, that vampire stories are not being told. True story, a while back in June, I got the AM newspaper, and it was talking about night walkers aka Vampires. I was so taken back, and part of me was freaked out. This is a NYC paper so there is no doubt that if there were vampires, they would flourish in this city. The subways are not exactly the safest place, and they are dirty, and dark enough for any creatures to hide there.
Anyways, Vampires are becoming a "thing". media rages about them. there are movies, there are TV shows, websites. I mean, vampires are being taken as another form of romance. I grew up being scared out of my wits of Dracula. Seriously, this is the guy who is supposed to suck your blood and kill you. Or if you are chosen, you walk and live in the dark. What is romantic about that?
Did I mention the blood?
What is it with humans and wanting blood shed? Off course some of us squirm at the sight of blood, or if you are like me, the sight of blood just makes you sick, and the thought of lives lost just overwhelms you.
So why is it that everyday, blood is shed?
Wars and the fact that they are taking place is no news any longer. But have we stop to think that for those of us who have been blessed with liberties, and all that is good we are actually like ticks, sucking blood from someone. For those Nike sneakers, there is a child in china who probably lost a lot of sleep, and their freedom so that you could get the sneakers not only cheaper, but at prime conditions.
Blood diamonds...forget the movie, it is real. There are people who have lost their blood, their loved ones, so that the couple visiting De Beers can have the perfect diamond, the perfect cut...
For the oil that fuels energy, someone in Iraq is paying for that, someone in Nigeria is paying for that.
So most of the time, people should just ask "how much more blood can I offer you?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nobel Peace(Hope)Prize

Politicians are Liars by definition. Even Obama could do no better than lie.
Now why people thought he would be able to save the US from the 8 years of Bush is very much beyond me. Plus, he has congress to contend with. You see, people should be really mad at Congress not Obama. Sometime, he is just the pretty face behind the politicking. (Side note here: he is on the top of the list of world leaders who are decent to look at.)

The recent chaos was brought on by his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. The beef was off course that he was nominated after 12 days in office. Now I could go into some theory here of keeping him up the bar while his popularity votes dwindles...but that is not necessary. In a personal opinion, he did have the guts to take office after Bush...that had to be something worth recognition. Although I think that the Norwegians were more likely giving Obama the prize as a way of Europe thanking him for ending the Bush Era. But then off course it doesn't do well for Obama, especially since most of Europe is socialist in nature.
Before people get all their wings bend out of shape...lets not forget that he is not the first to bring to question the minds of those who chose the nominees.
le Duc? (as we call him "the Duke")
So those are some of the questioned marked winners. When we start mentioning nominees, the list includes Mussolini and Stalin. Oh and it has also been discovered that Hitler was a nominee.
All this to say, I wouldn't put too much weight on the prize just because it carries the "Nobel" beside it. In Jagland's words, "The committee wants to not only endorse but contribute to enhancing that kind of international policy and attitude which [Obama] stands for,"

The prize, with the hefty sum that it comes with, is a sign of hope. That is the only explanation. It is a sign that maybe, in spite of the mess that the world is in, there are people who are willing to stake their lives and reputation to try and do some good. I sound like an optimist, and that is probably the softer side of political hopes.
By the way, lets keep in mind that the first person who commented on the prize was a fellow winner...and a Polish-Lech Walesa. (Don't forget that the Poles and the USgvt are not exactly in good terms).
Like many things, the Prize is a political tool. It is also, sourced by media. The Controversy is just another way of seeing how people can be so gullible. I am not sure if people are mad that Obama won? or that a democrat won? or that an American won? or if they really care that the prize means nothing but words on a peace of paper...or if they actually care that peace or the idea of peace has lost its meaning. Alfred Nobel's intention was that the prize would go to a person whom " during the preceding year... shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses" Which makes me think that, we are way off with this. Mother Theresa, yes, King jr...Yea. the UN, questionably yes....Kissinger? No

World peace...what a nice concept. Even nicer when it is spoken by a blue eyed, or dark haired beauty in a sequined dress, full of make-up and straight teeth smile. But lets be honest with ourselves, we say we want peace, but our actions, our greed becomes our enemies. If for anything else, Obama can have the Prize for trying, or taking some baby steps towards engaging the world-which is more than can be said for many other leaders.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Health Surgery

It is not news anymore: The US heatlthcare system needs surgery. As to what kind...well that is debatable. It is true that some people in the US can receive Healthcare with no problems but not everyone is so lucky. For Starters according to the Commonwealth Fun, there is an estimated 100,000 deaths per year in the US that could be easily preventable with access to healthcare.
Now I don't know about you, but that is huge number.
This past couple of months, this topic has been the subject of every media outlet. Don't forget Congress and Wilson's outburst in congress. That was sadly poor display of behavior for a seasoned politician. They twisted it, and chewed it, churned it and spit it out. This country was turned into a socialist, and turned back to what it is supposedly it- which by they way, I am not sure anyone knows what that is. I do not think that anyone knows what is going on with the bill anymore. If they do...then Brava!
In all fairness, the Healthcare Industry would not want any kind of major surgery on healthcare. For one, they are bribing politicians by the $327 millions that they contribute to campaigns-yes including Obamas. Oh and change means that these industry CEOs might not be able to milk out the big Check from the unsuspecting. In his letter to Colonel Carrington, Thomas Jefferson said "Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder term... to the general prey of the rich upon the poor."
When I first read this, I thought it a bit harsh...and then I found it to be really quiet true. The rich exploit the poor...and they take vacations while the poor are dying.

Anyways, the way I see, Congress has three choices:
1. things stay as they are. (can't be worse than Africa or other periphery countries)
The Health Insurance Companies will be happy, but people will continually die, and things are bound to get worse.

2.HR.3200- America's Affordable Healthcare Choices Act of 2009
Obama gets his foot on the changes he wants. The democrats are happy, and the Republicans are pissed. The Health Insurance companies will be able to be act responsible and not overcharge people for minor treatments. There would also be a public option government run insurance, which would enable more people to be insured.

3. HR. 676 United States National Health Insurance Act.
DUH! Most US citizens seem to want this. But this sounds more socialistic than anything that Obama has proposed. The Health Insurance companies will definitely be screwed.

So here is what it is... 46 million people have no insurance but the Insurance Companies made $13 billion in profits last year. I would say this means that any action is better than none.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

How Africa became a Dystopia

I am always weary of writing about African politics. There is really no simple solutions because no one cares. Albeit you hear about all these politicians rising up and blah blah blah...but really, no one gives a care on what happens.
The African leaders are happy to steal from the people and the International Community
The african people elect leaders that give them nothing but trouble
Africans would rather see a freedom fighter in power, rather than an intelligent leader.....
The IC does not care as long as they have a charity case to make themselves feel better.

But today I cannot resist. You see, there are independent reports about African leadership. There are two ratings that came out last week, and according to both, Mauritius is on the top and Somali is on the the worst governed stated. (actually Somalia should not even be there because they really have NO leadership)
Okay there is off course contention on why there are two ratings. Basically an American and an African got together, and each one wanted credit, so they parted ways and came out with two different ratings. thats the end of that.
My interest is in the fact that Bostwana is on the top 10 list and then off course South Africa joins in, even though Thabo Mbeki was a leader for a whole couple of years. These scores are based on
1. Safety and Law
2. Human development
3. Sustainable economy opportunity
4. Participation and human rights

So basically, any country in that sense loses out. seriously, Mauritius is a small country, there can't be too much going on in there for mayhem. And Egypt??? Seriously, this is the place where people with PhD are driving Cabs....
I will give them Ghana, because this country has improved, and might yet be the salvation of Africa, if and if...Qaddafi does not drive the AU insane and actually declare himself kind of Africa.
Word of to those living in Sudan, Somalia, Chad, Zimbambwe, CAR, Congo, Cote D ivoire and are Get out and move to Mauritius.
My only comfort is that Burundi is not on the bottom of the list. It is #39, just after Nigeria. lol (well this is according to the Americans, the africans say that Burundi is #38, but Nigeria doing much better)...

This is how Africa became a dystopia. Leaders decided on African socialism, and gained too much power and turned the countries into a mayhem. The End!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A modest Proposal

Unlike Jonathan Swift, I am not about to write my own satire here. That kind of intellect I am afraid is beyond me. It appears that more people have read and are threatened by this work more than thought. Plus, I don't think getting rid of people is the answer to anything.
A modest proposal in health care....
There have been a lot of talk out there about this particular issue. You know somehow, I wonder if people believe the crap they are writing. First, yes, there is need for health care reform. The poor suffer while the rich get richer...huh, then you have to wonder if this is indeed justice at all.
The modest proposal is this, what if people would just pay for their own health care?
Oh, and how about minimizing costs from insurance companies? Or instead of employer based about Individual insurance becoming cheaper, and the tax bill becoming equal, instead of one having to pay more because they have individual insurance.

All in all, I a bit tired of this whole scheme. If the reform does not work, then revert to old ways...besides, I doubt that Obama will be elected again given the circumstances of his presidency. So when the next president comes, he can just make things better....(if that is not an option, then suck it up and make the best of it)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

So...Iran has technology to make a bomb?

Sunday mornings usually do not constitute of me having to go around prancing for what could be juicy news. AKA reading the new york times.
I save that pleasure for the evenings.
So front page story. Iran has Data to make a Nuclear Bomb. To which my reaction was....yea? really...well hello!
Once again, it is interesting how Israel keeps getting into this little disputes with Iran. I mean, its Germany, Britain, France the US, and...Israel? It provides a good laugh really.
On the other hand...Iran keeps calm claiming that all documents contrary to the official statements are fraudulent.

I am not much into gloom, but I feel like there is a potential ticking bomb here. If I was the UN, I would be careful on how I proceed.

Friday, October 02, 2009

What is US getting from Israel?

I have the habit of picking up interesting topics in the New York times...and since I have a whole hour in the subway, I catch up pretty fast with the news.
So today's topics range from Iran/Israel/ and off course my favorite...USA
So first let me comment on the fact that Republicans with their "holier than thou" religiosity have managed to enter into too many scandals that well, its embarrassing for them. catching up to the democrats? it might be that, Republican politicians have always been in the deep end, they just covered it well, and since they are "Christians" they learned to cover for each other. I don't know if this goes well for them at all.
Anyways, now to the most intriguing of topics...
Iran met with the Big Five,- what Qaddafi calls the "terror" council. Apparently they have agreed to have some inspections done, and if all fails..gues what, the US will do what they do best...SANCTIONS! for all the smart people that the US has, and for all the "good intentions" that they have. Oh not forgetting that they are all about human rights...they really know how to violate all three. Santions are in a way the most horrible act of international politics. They put sanctions on a country...and guess who feels the affects...THE PEOPLE. And you wonder why the US is not oh so popular with the world. The leaders will keep eating, and dressing like kings, and the people will not even have bread to eat. All because the US felt it necessary to "punish" the gvt. As I said, for a country full of intellectuals...there is a very skewed view on this.
So back to Iran. They promise that they are not building weapons and the wold will leave them alone. Well here is the catch, No one believes them. and by no one, I mean the US. If Iran complies with the IAEA...then they are off the hook for a while. However, there is a suspicion of more uranium to build nuclear weapons. Now here is where Iran makes the mistake. They have the not so popular leader in they keep singing about NDA which is not smart on their part. They should just keep quiet and maybe the rest of the world will leave them alone. The scare is that Tehran will leave the NPT and actually build the weapons. Its actually laughable if you think about it. The permanent members of the UNSC are all armed with weapons. Yet, here is a country that can attain it, and well under what I would say to be US pressure, they cannot abtain that. Wanna bet that Israel has something to do with this?

Speaking of Israel!! favorite country when it comes to International arena of politics. Really...its fun. There are these recent reports of the fact that in the recent attacks, both Israel and Palestine violated human rights. So what do you know, the Palestinians seat and wait for the judgment, but Poor poor oh so poor Israel protests. I was reading this with tears in my eyes because I was laughing so hard. It did not take a genius to figure out that the US was behind the delays in further action. I mean, if this was another country, the US will be pushing for trials and arrests quicker than anyone can say Amen. But since this is Israel, there had to be independent researches, and reporting...which delays further action.
So in sight of this,you have to wonder- What is it that Israel has that the US wants? or what are they getting from each other....?
I am past the whole "Israel needs defending". If the Arab nations came together to attack Israel, it would take the hand of God to prevent that, and the US's mighty hand would only be a stick. If Iran wanted to bomb would only take a discreet involvement with Hamas to make that happen. So really, US is not protecting Israel. Plus, Israel is not poor. At least no to the standard that the US would be giving them money year after year, ending up in the hands of military.
It is certainly not because US feels guilty. if anyone gives this reason, it would be laughable. It is much as republicans shout it "because they are a chosen people"...that is hogwash.
So what is it? Why is US protecting Israel, even though we all know that Israel is guilty as sin when it comes to Gaza?