thanks, america

Fool voters once, shame on Bush. Fool voters twice, shame on the American electorate.

Well done America. Thanks for another four years of crusades grounded in religious fanaticism.

This is what I don’t like about democracy; too many uneducated bumpkins who can’t tell left from right end up skewing the vote. Only in America is intelligence considered to be an undesirable trait in a President. Monkey see, monkey do. What else can I say?

right or left?

Cheney ripped on Kerry today because Kerry apparently took a poll to gauge the American public’s reaction to the new Osama Bin Laden tape. Or, in other words: “Kerry chose to consult his electors, the American public, rather than acting on blind conviction.”

This is the story of the whole election year. On the right we have a candidate called “blind faith; act based on rigid convictions” and on the left we have a candidate called “consult the American public before embarking upon reckless policy”.

On the right we have the side who says that “you’re with us or against us” and on the left we have the side who says “we want to build genuine multinational force, not a ‘coalition of the willing’, where the US does the grunt work and has a few ‘allies’ tacked on for the sole purpose of perceived legitimacy”.

On the right we have the side whose sole criterion for making any decision is whether something is “good or evil; right or wrong” and on the left we have a side that attempts to engage in some level of cost-benefit analysis to arrive at policy decsions based on rational thought.

On the right we have the side who has attempted to quash the freedoms of the American people, and has offered false hope of freedom to those abroad. It is the side who wants to ‘strengthen’ the Patriot Act by enacting a second bill and eliminating all sunset clauses on the first. On the left we have the side who is open to re-examing the Patriot Act, and will stand up for the individual rights of all Americans, especially those falsely accused of terrorism.

On the right we have the side who has attempted to polarise the public using the (irrelevant) issues of homosexual marriage and abortion. On the left we have the side who chooses to respect the individuality of Americans and focus on substantive issues.

On the right we have George W. Bush. On the left we have John Kerry. You know what needs to be done; vote Kerry!

UPDATE: Also of interest is a simulation done by Jesse Ruderman, which calculates that only 22% of the popular vote is technically required to win a US presidential election (based on census data for 2000).

thoughts on undecided voters

This whole election deal in America has been going on forever. Everybody has heard so much about Kerry, Bush and others that surely at this point, nobody cares to hear any more. If only that were true. Apparently, some fickle minded people are still undecided.

What’s wrong with these people? Seriously, if you’ve not heard enough about the candidates in the last year to make a decision, what in the world makes you think that by November 2nd you’ll have figured it out? Or maybe they’re waiting for some divine revalation. I wish these people would decide already, and that tomorrow was November 2nd. Campaigning in the US starts way too early, and by August, everybody is already sick of it. I want it to be over. But noooo, all these weak-minded undecided voters have to spoil it for everybody because they’re being indecisive.

In short: people who are still undecided suck. They get all the attention. Why? Because they’re fickle losers.

protesters in new york at the RNC

A friend sent me a link to another friend’s post about protesters at the RNC who are being arrested by the NYPD for doing pretty much nothing. It’s worth a look, since none of the major news outlets are picking up on it. I know I’m in China and the police here are known for being somewhat totalitarian, but it’s not like the American police are much better.

should gay marriage be unconstitutional?

Usually when I’m browing Yahoo! News, it’s more for the sensationalist, people-pleasing, and often humourous headlines that they offer. Today, to my surprise, I came across a very well written piece on gay marriage. The piece talks about the difference between Dick and Lynne Cheney’s views on gay marriage, and more importantly the difference between the Republican and the Democratic candidates’ views on gay marriage and whether or not it should be constitutional.

The article makes it pretty clear that both presidential and both vice-presidential candidates are against gay marriage as an institution. However, the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is that Kerry and Edwards, although they are personally against gay marriage, support the rights of gay couples to share the same benefits as those men and women who marry the opposite sex. I think this speaks volumes about the relative importance that both parties place on the separation of church and state.

I really believe the Democrats have it right here. Although I’m personally against gay marriage, I believe that the state has no place telling people whom they can and cannot marry. Although I believe that the definition of marriage is necessarily dependent on the union of a man and a woman, there is no reason why those who do not share my beliefs should not be able to derive the same legal protections and benefits that opposite-sex married couples currently enjoy. And that’s why, even though I believe marriage is an institution of which gay couples cannot be a part, declaring gay marriage unconstitutional would be wrong and dangerous. Otherwise, where is the real separation between church and state? What real ‘freedom’ would America offer?

the israeli wall & thoughts on peace

The World Court ruled today that Israel’s unilateral construction of a wall separating Israel and Palestine is illegal, and that the wall should be dismantled.

Of course, this means nothing. Why? Let’s look at some choice quotes from the usual suspects:

“The only decision that matters for the government is the verdict of the [Israeli] supreme court”.
Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid

“This is going to go to the UN General Assembly. They can decide anything there. They can say that the earth is flat. It won’t make it legal, it won’t make it true and it won’t make it just.”
Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

“We do not believe that that’s the appropriate forum to resolve what is a political issue. This is an issue that should be resolved through the process that has been put in place, specifically the road map.”
US President George Bush’s spokesman

“We have underlined that the wall not only results in confiscation of Palestinian land and causes untold humanitarian and economic hardship, but also could prejudge future negotiations and hinder a just political solution to the conflict.”
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana

Once again, the United States stands firm in its irrational stance of pandering to the Israelis while ignoring the humanitarian crises that the rest of the world sees, including the EU.

Israel’s strength is the United States, without which it is nothing. As long as Bush (and American politicians in general) continue their Judeo-Christian crusade, Palestinians will continue to suffer. Years later, when people reflect on our times, I have no doubt that the unqualified American backing of Israel will be considered as one of the largest injustices of our time. This unqualified backing has caused far more damage and suffering to an entire population far more severe than Americans can even begin to contemplate. The 9/11 attacks don’t even come close (though many behave as if they were the most tragic events known to humankind).

As for a peaceful resolution, I think the road ahead is difficult. I don’t have a magic solution. But going ahead, what would I like to see? I’d like to see a peace which is respectful of the Israelis and Palestinians both, equally, with shared control of Jerusalem. A peace where neither side needs to live in fear of persecution by the other. A peace that is wanted, appreciated and respected by both sides. I don’t know how to get there, but I hope we do.

The reason I’m upset about the situation now is that Bush, the one man who really has the ability to influence and to set the tone with both sides has shirked his responsibility to do so. Instead of pushing for a peace of the type I described, he has wholeheartedly backed the efforts of Ariel Sharon to create a “peace” where the Israelis are “safe” from the Palestinians, but doesn’t address any grievances that the Palestinians have. This kind of “peace” is meaningless, and certainly not viable.

musings on theology

Gerv recently posted an update after his recovery from appendicitis (and we’re glad you’re back!). Many well wishers left comments on his blog, and while he thanked them for their sentiment, he went on to say that most of them were wasting their time, which I thought was more than slightly distasteful (and probably incorrect from a Christian standpoint as well). After all, the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims is the same God. The differences exist only in how the respective religions are practiced.

jesus_X of MozillaNews has posted a somewhat lengthy but insightful blog entry in response to Gerv’s post. While I don’t agree with everything jesus_X says, I think its worth reading, because he raises some interesting and valid points.

fahrenheit 9/11

I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 over the weekend and I came out rather impressed with what Moore had done. I was expecting baseless propaganda, and was pleasantly surprised to see that much of the movie was grounded in facts. Having said this, I would certainly not rely on this movie as the gospel truth.

I’d highly recommend that everyone goes to see it and form their own opinions. It should come as no surprise that I support Kerry in his bid for the White House. Not because he’s such a great guy, or a wonderful candidate, but because the alternative is far worse.

This November, Americans get to choose between bad (Kerry) and worse (Bush). Hopefully they’ll go with the lesser evil. What America really needs is another Bill Clinton.