10 Observations

1. Wall Street is rigged in favour of the elite. They are already on the inside, in the know, in position before things happen. The public in general only gets a few crumbs, or are left holding the bag.

2. The Bilderberg Group / Trilateral Commission / Council on Foreign Relations: 3 non government, non public think tanks, are calling the shots around the world. The Project for the New American Century ( PNAC ) was the overt, neo-conservative think tank, during the Bush II administration. How they call themselves conservative, by killing people, is beyond me.

Turkey. EU hopeful Erdogan challenged on his ties to Iran

In a bid to edge closer to EU membership Turkish leaders like to portray their country as the gateway between the West and the Middle East. The argument is that Turkey sits on a geostrategically important position that EU and the West needs in order manage its relations with the Middle East. Underlying the argument is that Turkey is only willing/able to perform the role  as broker if they are admitted into EU.

In a bid to edge closer to EU membership Turkish leaders like to portray their country as the gateway between the West and the Middle East. The argument is that Turkey sits on a geostrategically important position that EU and the West needs in order manage its relations with the Middle East. Underlying the argument is that Turkey is only willing/able to perform the role  as broker if they are admitted into EU.

Meet the Press, Crossfire, Face the Nation

I do not normally watch any of these shows, but “Meet the Press” was on while I had breakfast this morning and I had an amazing revelation.
First a brief description about these shows. It seems the formula that works is to put opposite views (Republican, Democrat) on each side of the table and then they debate various topics such as Iraq. However, what occurred to me is that they are always different American views! The revelation was that I have never ever seen a citizen of the country being debated actually participate!!!!!
In this age of technology, wouldn’t it be great to have differing views from citizens of the country in question included!! As there is no representation now, even two college students would do. From my experience abroad, I am always awestruck when I learn about how the other side thinks and what they teach which is always completely different from information I received in America. Take Vietnam for example,, even though I spent a large part of my life in American education I never once learned about the positive aspects of Ho Chi Minh and why he believed what he did. It was always one sided. The debates these shows have are simply two sides of the coin from the same American viewpoint. I’m sure a debate between educated Iraqis’ about the American invasion would prove so much more enlightening than people in Washington DC defending the Republican and Democrat viewpoints and would garner a huge audience.
The only time I can think of that an extreme opposite view was given the chance to speak was that of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at Columbia University. The fact that he was even allowed to speak was EXTREMELY controversial and to play well with the home audience the President of Columbia University disparaged Ahmadinejad before letting him speak.
This quote really drives my point home.
“Think of the irony,” said Mitch McConnell. “Columbia University, home of the core curriculum that prizes an in-depth understanding of Western civilization and the free exchange of ideas, is bringing to its campus a state sponsor of terror.”
Think of the irony of using that statement and “the free exchange of ideas” then saying it is wrong to allow the President of another country to express his ideas. Mr. McConnell apparently does not understand what the word “Irony” means. It would be “ironic” for an institution that values “the free exchange of ideas” to NOT allow the ideas of an individual to be expressed!!!!!! But perhaps the telling phrase here is “an in-depth understanding of Western Civilization, which therefore only includes Western ideas and not that of any other. In which case his use of “Irony” would be correct in that “the free exchange of ideas” only encompasses those ideas which come from the West and therefore does not include any ideas from Iran.
To be sure, the President of Iran doesn’t seem like such a good guy and the people of Iran hate their own government but he was democratically elected and the mantra of the USA has been to promote freedom and democracy. It just doesn’t work out very well when the “free people” elect a baddy. I’m sure the politicians in Washington are at one moment very pleased with themselves and then after the election is over are quite consternated. At that point it would seem much better to revert back to the other quiet policy of supporting an American friendly dictator like Musharraf (Pakistan) who overthrew an elected government!!!
Message to the creators of these shows:
You would do well to include citizens of the countries you debate in your shows. To me, it currently seems like you include people who have achieved PhDs’ on the subject but neither speak the language nor have ever been to the physical location of the subject of their studies. To simplify, it would be like a non English speaking Japanese who has studied about San Francisco but has never walked one of it’s many hills. Why would I listen to him???

The American Presidential Race

As I’ve grown older and more informed through various media sources I cannot help but be very disappointed in how we in America appoint our leaders. This race for the presidency seems so absurd, so childlike, yet is for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world. This post could easily turn into a rant about the idiocy of the American media and the stories (stories = a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events) they report on the race. However, it is best to go right to the source and the media has become little more than a biased parrot (both sides) that simply repeats what the village idiots (politicians) are saying. The following are issues that have been giving me a severe headache and have turned me completely off any news unless it comes from the BBC, NPR or the Economist. Others such as CNN or Fox are simply tabloids and I’ve ranted enough about them before.
1. Sara Palin – While I still maintain a small modicum of respect for McCain, that too has nearly dissipated in his choice for running mate. A lady that stands up there and speaks like Ned Flanders (okaly dokaly, golly gee) in such a slow, dumb manner makes me want to jump off a building. I suppose the rouse is to “connect” with the idiots in America. If we are looking to rebuild our image in the world, it simply will not do to have a VP who thinks she knows foreign policy because “Russia is close to Alaska.” I can just imagine it now how she would explain the problem of Iran to her supporters. “Iran has been naughty-waughty and my son is in the military so if you don’t support my son who is fighting the baddies then you hate America!”
Just thinking about her conjures up an image of some 40 something blond bimbo in an SUV who agrees we should attack everyone so she can buy cheap oil to take her litter to soccer practice and believes that her faith in Jesus justifies that America is correct in everything it has ever done.
Living abroad has been so beneficial yet such a curse because those that have experienced other cultures can see very clearly how stupid our leaders can be.
I about blew a blood vessel when I read the headline “Sara Palin accuses Barack Obama of associating with terrorists.”
So to sum up the Republican argument
a. If my son is in the military, you better support it or you hate America
b. America has never and will never do anything wrong.
c. Jesus loves America
d. We Deserve to have big houses, big cars and will go to war to ensure it.
e. If you don’t agree with us, you are a possible terrorist
I have posted about this before, but just to refresh, I find it very sad how in the American mind, any country that has religious leaders is usually considered a “fanatical” country. Yet, Palin is an Evangelical Christian (see crazy ass) and often refers to her faith. I see no difference between crazy religious leaders of another country or our own.
2. Rush Limbaugh – Just saying his name should make people roll their eyes. I listed from time to time just to get the blood going. Last I did, he was talking about news reports that said John McCain’s stay at the Hanoi Hilton “wasn’t all that bad.” The media interviewed the director of that prison who said he had “amiable chats with McCain,” and “McCain often gave him impromptu English lessons.”
He was speaking in Vietnamese and Rush’s argument was “if that’s the case, why doesn’t he speak in the so called English McCain has taught him.
Letter to Rush.
Dear Fat Ass,
As I’m sure you cannot speak any other language I’m sure it would be very hard to comprehend through that fat skull of yours the difficulty of learning another language. Just because many immigrants have learned English rather easily does not mean that it is easy to do so. They have achieved it because they are surrounded by it day in and night for years. A few “impromptu lessons” will simply not do the trick and anything learned would most likely be forgotten in 40 years.
Your entire career has simply been to speak English while you grew fatter in your chair while fantasizing about what you could do to yourself with that microphone. You have spoken English everyday of your life so of course English seems easy to you. If you could complete three sentences in any other language you might be forgiven and no “Yo quiero Taco Bell,” Mi cumpleanos es…” or “Mi nombre es..” does not count.
You are a fat biased prick and should I ever become president, my first act will be to deport your sorry ass to Antarctica.
3. OHIO – The Republicans of Ohio have been acting up lately and trying to deny people the right to vote. They finally got a boot put in their ass by the Supreme Court and “praise Jesus” for that. Just goes to show how vile that party has become when they resort to taking away liberties afforded to every American. I fail to see the difference between that and the tactics some dictator countries use. The Republicans won before by not counting votes and are trying again.
For me, the issues do not even matter anymore. I’ve clearly seen how evil the Republicans can be and no matter how many times they try to scare me by using the word terrorist, I will never vote for you again. In fact, I don’t care if Gandhi comes back to life and runs for office,,, if he is a Republican I will not vote for him. From this day forward, I’m voting only for Democrats on every single issue, in every single campaign. I will join the Communist party before I vote for another damn Republican.

America, Angry and in Despair

Another article I read in the IHT was about the Iranian minister’s comment that Americans are angry and in despair about current events. It’s true things are not going well from Irak and Iran to North Korea and so on. It’s also true that these are rough times. But if we look back has there ever been a time when America is not in peril? The only time I can think of when America was at it’s greatest was after WWII. The politicians have us convinced time and time again that everything will be dandy after just one more war and after it is done, then there is just one more to go, yet things never turn peachy for long.
The world is also losing it’s favorable opinion of America but in my opinion it’s still not as bad as it seems. Most countries do not like the current administration’s actions, but realize that America as a whole is still a land of opportunity and full of good people. Some Americans are afraid of traveling abroad but should you wish to travel, I would highly encourage you to do so. Other countries still welcome Americans and welcome you on an individual level. I just wouldn’t advise that you wear a “Go Bush!” sticker. I have even met many people who have visited Iran and say the people there are very kind and welcoming. Every government everywhere pisses people off (especially their own) quite often, but on an individual basis, people are still welcoming and curious about you and your culture.
I often get questions from Americans about the Vietnamese and how they feel towards Americans. I can tell you that Vietnamese are masters of the forgive and forget mentality and just want to get on with it. There is no hostility here at all and most are concerned with doing business than the “revolutionary movement.” In fact the government it quite concerned about this for their young people. Even though many Vietnamese still suffer from Agent Orange and other debilitating effects from the war, they just want to get along with their lives and improve their situation,, not continually blame others for their misfortune which is highly commendable.
So I guess the message is this; Traveling abroad is the best way in the world to get an education. It is unfortunate that America has become polarized into two camps and world events have been catagorized into the simplistic “good vs. evil” ideology. Living abroad teaches you to understand both sides of any disagreement and usually come up with a conclusion in the gray area.
Most Americans are excellent people and have fought for what they thought was right. But so were the communist fighters of Vietnam, and so are Israelis’ and also Palestinians. It is horrible that both Israel and Palestinians commit horrendous acts against each other, but it seems inevitable if you can understand the immense hate from having their families blown up by the other side. I sincerely believe that most of the world’s problems comes from a profound lack of understanding the other side. If a class were offered on understanding instead of the ideology of one side or the other I think the world would be a much better place.
Unfortunately there is not a class offered in this and thus we have our current “we are righteous” and God loves us side vs. the other “we are righteous” and God loves us side. For an omnipotent being to see his creation in humans continually squabble amongs themselves, tribes against tribes, former tribes turned nations vs. other nations, it must be extremely disheartening and we as humans must be seen as failures.
Those that cannot see this must still cling to the belief that if we just blow up a few more people then the world will be dandy.
From my travels, I have learned that most people are good, until corrupted by hate from whatever terrible acts have been put against them. Humans are a good creation and I hate how people are vilified by governments who caracterize the other side as “sadistic, souless creatures,” or by the Church who teaches us we are born bad and must continually ask for forgiveness from only their institution.
It does appear that there are checks and balances throughout history with religion counterbalancing governments. Governments often go bad and oppress people. Religion tries to limit senseless violence and at it’s best times preaches love and acceptance. Unfortunately religion in both the Christians and Muslims seem to be preaching a lot of hate lately and are in arms with governments. This alliance turns out very bad for the people who simply want to raise a family and be happy. One cannot be happy with blowing up the other side if they are human.
Even though America is going through a rough patch, I would tell Americans to not despair or be too angry. America is still the only country I can think of that most people of the world would really like to visit and most Americans are very welcoming. American has been in tough spots before, but on the whole, things usually get better after the storm.