Saturday, June 16, 2012

Politics and Poetry: Around the world

A weekend sampler platter from around the world - mind the sassy American fare and the Russian herring - could be cause for indigestion.

Rose Garden Rogue Reporter: Obama announced new immigration laws yesterday that would allow illegal immigrants who entered into the US as children, to stay as long as they meet certain criteria. Many conservatives, and well, Americans in general, are rolling their eyes at this election year "hand out." One such man is Neil Munro, a conservative blogger for the site the Daily Caller. Wearing a temporary press badge, he interrupted Obama while he spoke, asking: "What about American workers who are unemployed while you employ foreigners?" Obama didn't appreciate the interruption and made it blatantly clear, chastising the reporter before ignoring the question and waiting till the end of his statements to respond, saying how much these young immigrants contribute to our country, from building businesses to serving in the military. Once he answered that question, he quickly turned his back and walked away, taking no further questions.
Now, Munro claims that it was certainly not his intention to interrupt the President, that he was merely trying to get a question in at the last moment, knowing how seldom Obama takes questions at these events. He also, however, told CNN: "I have to ask the questions that you all won't."
Now that, I agree with. No one is asking questions here, at least not ones that matter. In a way, Munro's question is kind of a non-starter as well. Here's one I'd like to ask: "What happens if/when this law is overturned by subsequent administrations, as is often the case?" or "Why has it taken this long to come up with something you feel is so obvious - why now, in election year?"
I'd wager a bullshit response for both, but if a question is going to be aired to the nation, those are more valid, I think. Munro's question is a clearly aimed torpedo at the left with "fuck you, from the right" painted on the side. It's more of the same left/right banter and hectoring that always happens in an election year, a 8 or 9 month pissing contest that ends like a bad prom night: broken promises, faded dreams and a lingering hangover.
I'm with Munro on wanting to ask questions regardless of whether the President is ready for them or not. Propriety be damned. This nation needs more action and less pomp and circumstance.

Just a red herring: US intelligence (wait, don't stop reading yet) believes that Russia has deployed a ship with weapons and troops en route to Syria. According to who's who, the ship has been sent to protect Russia's naval base as the situation in Syria continues to plummet into utter disaster and mayhem. The worry is that Russia has other plans for the troops and weapons once in Syria. This news comes after flying fur between Secretary of State Clinton and Russian officials over Russia shipping attack helicopters to the fascist regime. Russia claims that the helicopters are not new and are simply part of an outstanding contract between Syria and Russia. The director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in New York, a Kremlin-backed, non-governmental organization (which means a government backed, non-government backed organization) argues that Russia is opposed to sending troops to Syria, understanding that it would prompt other countries into responding with force, something Russia doesn't want to get in the middle of. Never a dull moment, eh? Here's my problem with this - the two issues are not mutually exclusive. Let's say you send the troops to protect that base, vital to Middle Eastern operations for Russia. OK - let's say that Syria takes that as a threat, or even if they don't, introducing large weapons and troops into that kind of situation doesn't speak of tea parties and sit down conversations. If and when the base is attacked by Syrian forces, Russian forces with fight back. And then, there you have it. They weren't meant to start shit in Syria, but oops, that gun I have just kind of did what it was meant to and here we are now - civil war turned outright international war. Now, I'm not a big fan of our ambiguously spineless stance on Syria but I don't want 18 year olds sent to Syria when they should be at home interrupting Obama in the Rose Garden. The UN has already pulled its observers, there to check on Kofi Annan's peace plan (sorry, but that was a joke from the start). Children are being used as human shields, doctors killed for aiding the wounded. If you're going to show force, show force. Don't send in UN observers, and don't tease a rabid animal with 'protecting your naval base.' Do something or don't. Half assing it does no one any favors, least of all, the dying civilians on the inside.

A mile in our shoes: Egypt will vote this weekend between "the lesser of two evils," a Mubarak man or an Islamist brother. It seems that their democracy is faltering before it has a chance to stand - somewhat like ours, only that ours is crumbling from a self made pedestal. Either way, the lesser of two evils argument is a well known one. Many Egyptians feel that they're back at square one, in fighting and disillusionment rampant as the imminent hand over of military to civilian rule draws nearer. The fear is that the military will not relinquish power, thus forcing a violent end to the attempted democratic proceedings. As polling began Saturday, a third option arose that seemed quite the popular choice: boycott. Still, Egyptians are showing up to vote, one man explaining his choice as "the best of the worst."
Another issue is that polling takes place with no parliament or constitution in place, just the military. The new president has no clear cut role or description, only that he will answer to the military leaders until a constitution is drafted and parliament elected, two things that have no set deadline as of now.
Unrest simmers, but the streets remained relatively quiet in comparison to a year ago. I, for one, hope that unrest doesn't fizzle into apathetic acceptance. Though both our nations can relate to choosing between two steaming piles, at least they seem to be concerned about that predicament.


I won’t go where you are leading
Your two faces are deceiving. 

Whip me, beat me with your faith.

Freedom tastes of chains and death.

Bottom line’s your holy scroll
Greed soaked tyrants find a home
Liberty, justice take the stage
Figure heads in your crusade.

Schizophrenic hypocrites
How dare you kill in our name
Democratically insane
We all lose while you few gain

Here we go
Follow me...follow me...follow me

Divide et impera
Democratia fide est

God Bless America
Defend Freedom

Divide et impera
Democratia fide est

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