31 August 2008

Palin's Foreign Policy Experience

George Stephanopoulos: But she has no national security experience.

Cindy McCain: You know, she - the experience that she comes from is with what she's done in the government.

And, also, remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So it's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here.

I don't really think I need to comment.

29 August 2008

From the Magna Carta

Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legal judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre.
Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus aut differemus rectum aut justiciam.

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or deprived or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.

From the Magna Carta, 1215
If only the Bush Administration would agree


From Alan Watts' What is Zen?:

There was once an Englishman and an Indian sitting in a garden together, and the Hindu was trying to explain basic Indian philosophy to the Englishman. So he said, "Look now, there is a hedge at the end of the garden - against what do you see the hedge?"

The Englishman said, "Against the hills."

"And what do you see the hills against?"

He said, "Against the sky."

"And what do you see the sky against?" And the Englishman didn't know what to say.

So the Hindu said, "You see it against consciousness."

McCain's reasons for choosing Palin

On McCain's election site, there's a piece detailing just why Sarah Palin was chosen. I can't believe how weak this whole thing is. Seriously, the more I research Palin, the more I'm confused.

McCain chooses Palin as VP

So, police state or not? What do you think?

This is from a CODEPINK rally in Denver:

The officer has been pulled from the protests. Here's to hoping this hater of free speech will be fired.

More from Rocky Mountain News

Sarah Palin? What the Hell?

In case you haven't heard, John McCain has chosen his vice presidential pick. Is it Mike Huckabee? Nope. Mitt Romney? Nuh-uh.

It was Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Yeah, I've never heard of her either.

But apparently, McCain thinks she's going to be a great asset to his team. God knows why.

Here's a rundown on Governor Palin:
  • She's a first term governor of Alaska, elected in 2006
  • Prior experience: City council member and Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (where?)
  • She has an undergrad degree in journalism
  • Opposes same-sex marriage (including support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage), teaching creationism in school (which means she doesn't believe in science), supports the death penalty, pro-life
  • She's being investigated over a possible abuse of power
  • She has NO IDEA what a vice president is or does:
    "I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?"
  • Palin supports drilling in the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • She wears fur (ok, obviously not a major issue, but it's important to me).
So what the hell was McCain thinking? Was it that he'll get women's votes? Because I'm offended that he thinks women are stupid enough to fall for this. And Hillary Clinton's female supporters sure aren't going to switch their vote to someone so far right of Clinton. Second, McCain is old. Really old. And if he dies in office, she will be our president. She, who has no experience in Washington at all, will be our President. *shudder* Third, John McCain is a hyprocrite. How often have we heard the argument that we should vote for McCain because Barak Obama is inexperienced? Fourth, Biden will undoubtedly win the debates.

But on the other hand, John McCain may very well have given the election to the Democrats. In that case, yay! for Sarah Palin.

Update: According to FOX News (I never thought I'd be citing them for actual information), "The state of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday." Screw the polar bears, right? I guess if you acknowledge polar bears are threatened you can't really deny global warming.

Another Update: It's impossible to find her views on a lot of issues. Due to people like me trying to find out who Sarah Palin is, her website is unavailable, so I decided to try the site On The Issues. There's no information about her position on foreign policy, drugs, immigration or jobs. So not only did John McCain choose someone who has zero experience, but he picked someone that, as far as I can see, doesn't have many opinions either.

Child Kidnappings In Haiti

Haitian and United Nation officials are becoming alarmed at the rising number of child kidnapping in that country. The kidnappings are being carried out by gangs who are taking the children on their way from school, in some cases raping and sexually abusing them, and then charging a ransom for their release (although there have been cases where a family paid the gang the ransom and the child was still murdered). According to the International Herald Tribune, in the last five weeks there have been fourteen kidnappings and one murder of children by these gangs.

This is not a new problem. In 2007, according to the UN, there were 80 kidnappings. According to Haitian officials, the kidnappers are now viewing what they do as a "business", especially since some ransoms can be as high as $25,000.

Although MINUSTAH, an UN mission inside of Haiti, have attempted to end the gang problem, there is still an obvious problem. According to Human Rights Watch's 2008 Annual Report, "Police lawlessness continues to contribute to overall insecurity. HNP [Haitian National Police] members are responsible for arbitrary arrests, as well as excessive and indiscriminate use of force." Haiti's legal system is also crooked, and "ranked as the most corrupt of the 163 countries surveyed in 2006 [by the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index]" (HWR Annual Report). So, as we can see, Haiti's government is not in a position to do much to help these children.

United Nations
International Herald Tribune

28 August 2008

Bush Administration to Loosen Rules on Endangered Species

Via USA Today:
The Bush administration is providing insufficient time for public comment as it seeks to loosen rules protecting endangered species...

an administration proposal... would allow federal agencies approving or funding dams, highways and other projects to decide for themselves - without input from government experts - whether endangered species are likely to be harmed.
Bush and his anti-Earth administration are obviously trying to pass this proposal without a lot of media attention and without giving people and organizations time to do much about it. Fortunately, members of congress, along with conservation groups, are calling for additional time. Let's hope it comes out on our side, because we know that those federal agencies responsible for such major construction projects are not actually going to stop one of their projects because of an endangered animal.

27 August 2008

Green v. Democrat

The Green Party has put together a comparison of the McKinney/Clemente and Obama/Biden platforms. Granted, it only really covers health care and the economy/trade, but it's worth a read.

McKinney/Clemente and Obama/Biden compared on health care, labor, the economy