Category Archives: Politics

Political commentary and junk

Never forget

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
A stick or a stake for King James’ sake
Will you please to give us a fagot
If you can’t give us one, we’ll take two;
The better for us and the worse for you!

or

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Democracy alive and well

From http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5963751,

Young voters at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. have already been targeted, with students reporting that flyers have been posted around campus warning that undercover police will be at the polls on Election Day looking to make arrests.

The flyer reads like a friendly letter to fellow students relaying a warning from an “Obama supporter”: “He informed me that on the day of the election there will be undercover officers to execute warrants on those who come to vote based on the anticipated turnout,” writes the anonymous student in the letter which was later posted on the Drexel College Democrats website. “He advised me if I had any outstanding warrants or traffic offenses I should clear them up prior to voting.”

Hey America – You guys have to let me vote as well

We approach the American Presidential Election, in case you hadn’t noticed, and we’re down to the last two runners.  America, you have to let us vote as well.

I wonder how many Americans realise their choice of president affects the rest of the world as well as their own country?  It really does make a difference.  When America delicately involves itself in world affairs, the choice of president has a huge effect on how that involvement plays out.  Who’s the government ruler of Belgium?  Anyone?  How about The Netherlands?  Who can name whoever has been elected in Australia or even Canada?

I can’t.  Sure, I could find out, and if you live there I bet you have a good chance of knowing.  And if you follow world affairs more closely than I do, I’m sure you’ll know.

But who’s president of America?  Who’s in the running?  I bet plenty of people all over the world know those names.  I admit, much of that is because American news companies dominate international news production, but it’s also because it is going to affect us.  It does affect us.

The issue that I think some Americans don’t realise is that there are only a few countries who’s leadership choice has a potentially truly global impact.  Have a think about those countries, if you live in America, have a think about the company you’re in.  Russia, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, America.  You’re not just voting for your own president.

You’re voting to tell the world how America will place itself in the next 4-12 years.  How America will behave in the international arena.  How America will handle conflict.  How America will handle global issues.  You’ve amassed a fortune in people, resources and power.  Now you have to learn how to use it responsibly in a global stage.

Good luck.  I hope you make the right choice for yourselves and for everyone else.

Maybe I won’t go to America on holiday after all …

From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/content/article/2008/08/01/laptops.html?hpid=topnews

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Security at what cost?

Constantly Amazing Ignorance

I’m constantly amazed at how little I know. I was reading the BBC News site about what’s going on in Darfur at the moment, and followed a few links and ended up reading about the ICC (International Criminal Court). Last week I was reading about the Paris Club. I find it amusing that people worry about ‘secret societies’ running the planet when there’s so many obvious ones who aren’t secret and who are running the planet.

Anyway, the most interesting thing about the ICC to me is that America didn’t sign up (or they did, but then unsigned). I’m sure there are arguments as long as the earth is round as to why, and I’m not political analyst, but I wonder if you look at the countries which objected and didn’t sign and see what kind of company you’re in, and look at the ones who did sign and see what kind of company they are, and look at yourself and decide where you want to sit.

Let’s not be fooled, the majority is not always right, sometimes the lone voice has to make a stand and be heard, but when offered the question ‘do you believe we should form a court which has the right to prosecute war crimes when the nation in which they take place or causes them can not prosecute them for some reason’ and you say no, and one of the few other countries who said no are China you may want to check who’s on your team. As it stands, 106 states are members, another 40 have signed it but not ratified it and only a handful said no. In truth, America signed it, but then said they wouldn’t ratify it (in a process they call unsigning). But that’s still a ‘no, not yet’.