Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Don’t Care, and if You Do...God Help You

"This year, Cindy McCain sent in a recipe for oatmeal butterscotch cookies, while Michelle Obama opted for a very original and different kind of cookie from an old family recipe: shortbread cookies with a kick that contain lemon, orange, and Amaretto. So far Cindy McCain's oatmeal cookie recipe has been winning the hearts of Family Circle readers, but she could be facing a bit of a cookie controversy." many ways are there to make cookies? I mean, really now? I figured all these recipes were stolen from someone, but more importantly, I just don’t care.

Some Positive Developments

Since it is an election year, you will hear many a politician tell us feeble minded simpletons that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Thankfully the reality doesn’t quite match that assessment.

Support for terrorism and terrorist organizations is down in the Muslim world, and capitalism is broadly supported in Latin America, even in nations that have recently elected socialists according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

“The percentage of Muslims saying that suicide bombing is justified in the defense of Islam has declined dramatically over the past five years in five of eight countries where trends are available. In Lebanon, for example, just 34% of Muslims say suicide bombings in the defense of Islam are often or sometimes justified; in 2002, 74% expressed this view.

The regional analyses also shed light on other major issues. For instance, there is broad support for free-market economic policies across Latin America, despite the election in the past decade of leftist leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. In Africa, poverty and widespread deprivation have not diminished optimism about the future."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama: Bad for Korea

I am pretty surprised that a leading English daily in Korea has endorsed Barak Obama for president, when he has been making the following case continuously for a few months now. From Chosun Ilbo:
“The U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday renewed his attack on the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, which has yet to be ratified. In a speech he delivered in Flint, Michigan, Obama said the Korea-U.S. FTA is anything but a "smart deal." "I believe in free trade. It can save money for our consumers, generate business for U.S. exporters and expand global wealth. (But) unlike George Bush and (Obama’s Republican rival) John McCain, I do not think that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement."

"I don't think an agreement that allows South Korea to import hundreds of thousands of cars into the U.S. but continues to restrict U.S. car exports into South Korea to a few thousand is a smart deal."

I know many people are sympathetic to the things Obama is saying and with recent trade issues over beef in Korea, and the rampant anti-Americanism that has fueled a lot of it, and reconsidering trade agreements with Korea shouldn't be completely out of the question.

What Obama is advocating, however, will seriously hurt the Korean economy (and it won’t be good for America’s either). The last thing either of our countries need right now is a trade war. But what I found astounding is the way a Korean paper (an English one have you, but a national paper none the less) would throw their support behind a candidate that is basically promising to harm Korea’s economy (McCain has thrown his support behind the FTA). All that “hope” and “change” must have rotted that editor’s brain right out.

That, or mad cow from evil American beef.


Not everyone at the Korea Times is on board with Obama. (Hat tip Marmot)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When an “Endorsement” is Worthless

How weak is it to endorse a candidate after he has already won? If I were Barak Obama, that’s what I would be asking myself.
“Al Gore made his debut in the 2008 presidential campaign Monday night, encouraging voters to back Barack Obama because "take it from me, elections matter."

The former vice president's speech at the Joe Louis Arena was part endorsement and part blistering attack on the man who denied him the White House eight years ago.”

We expect you to advocate for Obama at this point in the campaign: he is your party’s nominee! Now if you came out swinging for Bob Barr, that would be something. Getting up on the stump and acting like you were pushing for his candidacy all along looks pretty feeble, seeing that Obama could have surely used that endorsement in the months in which he was battling Hillary Clinton.

Iraqis and McCain

Not surprisingly, Obama is the candidate of choice amongst our European comrades, but according to the WSJ, John McCain trumps his opponent amongst Iraqis.
“Constraints of time and money being what they are, I have not gotten round to phoning 1,000 Iraqis to get their views on Obama-McCain. But I did sit down last week with four key provincial Iraqi leaders, Sunnis and Shiites, who -- without actually endorsing Mr. McCain -- made their views abundantly clear.

"The Iraqis are really fearful about some of the positions the Democratic Party has adopted," says Sheik Ahmed Abu Rishah. "If the Democrats win, they will be withdrawing their forces in a very rapid manner."

Mamoun Sami Rashid al-Alawi, the governor of Anbar province, agrees. "We have over a million casualties, thousands of houses destroyed," he says. "Are we going to tell [Iraqis] that the game is over? That the Americans are pulling out?"

Bret Stephens goes on to write:
“A sense of incredulity hangs over the way Iraqis see the U.S. political debate taking shape. The governor tells a moving story about their visit to Walter Reed hospital, where they were surprised to find smiles on the faces of GIs who had lost limbs. "The smile is because they feel they have accomplished something for the American people."

But the Iraqis came away with a different impression in Chicago, where they had hoped to meet with Mr. Obama but ended up talking to a staff aide. "We noticed there was a concentration on the negatives," the governor recalls. "The Democrat kept saying that Americans have committed a lot of mistakes. Yes, that's true, but why don't you concentrate on what the Americans have achieved in Iraq?"

On this and that

It has been a slow week around here, what with my schooling picking up and my workload increased as of late, so my apologies.

There have been some fine posts by others in the blogosphere this week, and here are just a few of them.

Roberta Seid writes about Rachel Corrie
’s recently published diary at Commentary.
“The diaries demonstrate little introspection. Rachel Corrie rarely questioned herself, her opinions, or her motives. In her writings, she attempted no human portraits, except very brief ones of her first love, Colin, and even these are about how he reacts to her. Hers is a hermetic world, and her idealism was similarly focused inward -- an inchoate, vague passion that fastened on a variety of the progressive causes espoused by her family, home town, and college, Evergreen.

All this made Rachel ripe fodder for the ISM. This Palestinian-led organization callously recruited idealistic, na├»ve “internationals” to break Israeli law, violate IDF security zones, indoctrinate them with its peculiar version of the conflict, and to groom them as future speakers for its anti-Israel cause. While soothing volunteers by insisting that ISM engaged only in non-violent resistance, the organization nonetheless defended and abetted Palestinian violence (its website affirmed the “right to armed resistance against occupation”) and was committed to dismantling Israel’s counter-terrorism measures which were intended to prevent the mass murder of Israelis.”

New Centrist writes about the Goetz trial and some of its ramifications.
“Crimes that simply would not be accepted by the police or community are getting more frequent. It is in this context that a black Bernhard Goetz may potentially emerge.
The charge of “excessive force” against his assailants was often leveled against Goetz. But the level of force was necessary to let criminals know thuggery can be a hazardous occupation. Again quoting Cohen, “Goetz sent that message more dramatically than anyone in recent memory, and it was precisely the ‘excessiveness’ of the force he used that underscored it.”

Ryan Christiano writes at NeoConstant about the future of American foreign policy after Bush.
“This would be a foreign policy based upon a hybrid “Realistic Idealism”. The United States has the right, though not a duty, to intervene in tyrannical regimes that violate the natural rights of the individual. Future American Administrations should place diplomacy first and foremost, while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge the right of such governments as Iran’s and North Korea’s to exist. The principle of conditional sovereignty does not always result in regime change. Conditional sovereignty does insist upon the interjection of morality into International Relations.”