As Glenn Greenwald points out in his blog today, William Kristol was wrong once again- making him 0 for 1 in his NY Times writing career. Not only was his opinion piece in the NY Times wrong in saying Hillary Clinton was done, but look at the cover of the weekly standard (his main job); it’s a picture of Bill and Hillary with a sign that says, “the rise and fall of the Clintons”. Now, a good reporter – or a plain old honest person – would see the results in New Hampshire and admit that he was wrong and will try to do a better job next time around; not Mr. Kristol. Willie went on FoxNews and said the reason that Hilary won was because of the tears she shed the day before. A day after most of the media was going around saying that the tears are going to cost her the presidency (no one wants a president who’s going to cry when it comes time to blow another country off the face of the earth) they spin it back around and use those same tears to explain her victory. I am no Hillary fan; I think she is completely fake, way to close to the right on most issues, and would not provide much of a difference from what’s going on now. However, I would really like to know at least one reason why conservatives seem to hate her so much.
I think part of the hatred stems from the fact that she has brought up the detested topic of universal health care. The right-wingers have it in their head that if all their fellow USian human beings had free health care – if people who do not have a lot of money were allowed to get the same medical treatment as those who do – our whole society would collapse in on itself. They say that other countries, like Canada or France have universal health care and no one is getting decent service. There was a study done ranking the 19 most industrialized nations and their per capita preventable deaths; guess who came in last? We did. There are some issues where I can understand where the other side is coming from, but issues like this – issues of equality – really confuse me. Maybe if I was born with money and brought up to think that the reason I have it and other people don’t is because I somehow came into this earth deserving it more than they did, I would understand it a bit more. Do people think that if some homeless guy with cancer was able to get treatment and survive for a few extra years, it would somehow prevent them from getting what they need? I really don’t understand how we became this society full of people who only care about money and status and fear any change or difference.
Maybe I shouldn’t say that we as a society fear change; it seems as if this election is based solely on who will provide the most. Obama seemed to be the candidate who spoke the most about it, but then yesterday Hilary pointed out that she represented change simply because she is a woman and ended up winning New Hampshire. It is pretty obvious that most everyone in this country wants some kind of change from what has been happening over the past 7 or 8 years (or even the past seven or eight hundred years if you’re like me), but what kind of change is the question. Jonathan Schell wrote a good article talking about change and how it doesn’t really mean anything. He points out that the person who created the most change in our worlds over the past couple decades is none other than George W Bush. Now we want someone who is different than him, but different how? Different like John McCain who wants to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years or different like John Edwards who wants to pull them out as soon as possible? What exactly are these people who are preaching change (and it’s pretty much all of them now) going to change? They are not going to change the system, they are not going to change the flow of money, and they certainly are not going to change US hegemony; all they are really going to change is the face behind the desk controlling all of our lives. If a candidate really was pushing for major change most of us wouldn’t ever have heard of him or her.
With all the focus on the pointless primaries, the Iranian speedboat situation has not been getting the attention that it deserves. I have read numerous articles claiming that there is a video tape that has been released, featuring the boats coming close to the US Navy ship and an accented voice threatening the ship, however none of these articles either show nor link to this video. I’m not saying the whole things was stage (yet), but the whole thing seems a little strange; what would the Iranians have to gain by committing such a provoking act towards a country that has been threatening them for the past few years? All this does is strengthen Bush’s arguments that Iran is a threat to US Interests, especially on the eve of his Middle East trip. No matter what really happened or whether the people in the boat were part of the Revolutionary Guard, this is something that should be getting much more attention than who wins a primary ten plus months before elections are held.
Things have taken a turn for the worse in Kenya, after a few days where it looked like violence would end and a compromise would be reached. After promising to talk about a unity government, President Mwai Kibaki named 17 members of his cabinet and his Vice President; none of who are members of the opposition party. Because of this, there was renewed violence and rioting by members of the opposition, who say they are refusing to recognize the Kibaki presidency. If Raila Odinga really wants to go down that road, there are ways he can do it without killing and looting. Odinga says he refuses to recognize that Kibaki is president, so what he should be doing (and encouraging his followers to do) is refusing to recognize that Kibaki is president. As soon as Kibaki named his Vice President and cabinet members, Odinga should have named his Vice President and cabinet members. People who agree that the election was fixed and Odinga should be president should simply act as if that is the truth. If a large chunk of the population refuses to recognize Kibaki or any of his laws and instead acts as if Odinga is the one in charge, things will change. Things haven’t totally broken down and they are not as bad as they were in the days following the allegedly fixed elections, but they are still pretty bad and action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.
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