Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No, You're Secretary Clinton- President Clinton Was Someone Else

  Warning: this may appear to the faint-hearted as a Conservative rant.  It's NOT.  That's not really what I do.  It is actually just an anti-Hillary rant.  She is one of the most frightening human beings on the planet and it doesn't matter what her political views are or what her background is- she's just a plain scary individual, and someone had the bright idea to put her in power.  Unfortunately, she now thinks she's the President of the United States...most unfortunately...considering she's nuts.  She was literally in my textbook for the Psychology of Personality, as an example of personality gone awry.

Exhibit A:

Haha.  Sorry, that was uncalled for.  But I just couldn't resist.

In all seriousness, here she is as Secretary of State, pretending like she was actually elected to that position and likewise pretending that her position is much more lofty than that of the Secretary of State.  Yes, its still a very important position, but let's not pretend like it wasn't just a throw-back from Obama as a part of their bargaining so that he could become the President.

As a lovely example of her arrogance, here is a great quote:
                     "When I came into the administration {meaning, when I lost the support of my party and came crying back to the winner and was only accepted to get feminist support for the administration, not to mention I would have probably murdered whoever else would have been chosen if it wasn't me, and no one wanted that to happen} I was one of the few people who had a long-term positive relationship with President Karzai {meaning I was one of the few that had been in the same room as him before; forget the fact that Bush used to have regular video conferences with Pres. Karzai}."

Oh, but it goes on.  Since she has such a "positive relationship" with the President of Iran she showed up unannounced to his inauguration (ie, party crasher who couldn't take the hint of not being invited and LOVES traveling in the name of America, not just on the tax payer's dollar, but also to make herself look more like the President).  But this wasn't the jolly best buddy congrats-on-rigging-the-votes-can-you-teach-me-how kind of visit (although that conversation probably occurred too).  No, according to a senior US official (as reported by the NYT), she "bluntly warned Mr. Karzai to crack down"- yikes.  Some bff; some positive relationship.  Congrats on winning, I'm here to crash your party and threaten you since I believe that I basically have the whole US at my disposal, so fear me.

Gosh, she's bothersome.

Here's another good one.  She literally has her back to the President and has situated herself at the very top corner of the table, so its almost as if she's at the head of the table.

Typical Hillary.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Healthcare Humor

I laughed soooo hard when I saw this photo!  In light of all the healthcare drama, I just wanted to take a moment to say that I think it is a bold undertaking and that some serious reform is, in fact, needed.  As a student, many of my friends do not have health insurance because their parents have recently pushed them out of the nest, they already find themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt to student loans, and the last thing they want to think about is paying healthcare premiums.  Unfortunately, that means I've seen many friends NOT go to the hospital when they really should.  Even though I have insurance, that hasn't barred me from needing to pay $100 copays to have have a flustered and overworked doctor tell me to just take some Chloroseptic.  And when I injured myself on a rugby trip in Florida, I ended up paying hundreds of dollars for what turned out to be a misread X-ray.  Its absolute bogus.  And I don't even have a serious disease!   Think of all those who need costly treatment and medication in the situation of myself or my uninsured friends- its a frightening scenario and yet it is the reality for so many.  Even if we are not going to have the government provide their own medical programming, the medical profession needs some serious work.  I'm not sure how qualified a bunch of politicians are at regulating and scrutinizing the medical field, but I commend them for trying and I agree with their goals.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Vote is a Voice

I wish I could say that I was surprised when Hamid Karzai's run-off opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out.

I was thrilled when Afghanistan was finally looking to its Constitution, evaluating the importance of democracy, and realizing that fraud was worth the time and money and inconvenience to deter.  Voting is, nearly by definition, what embodies a democracy.  As soon as the votes of everyday people do not matter, you have lost touch with democracy.  It was incredible that the people and the leaders of Afghanistan had the faith to press forward in the noble cause of preserving democracy from corruption by holding a run-off election after there were almost a million fake ballots discovered.  However, Abdullah, the symbol of challenging the corruption of the standing Afghan government, has given up.  Fighting for an honest use of democracy was too much, too painful.  In an emotional speech, he declared, "I hoped there would be a better process...but it is final."  He gave in to the fact that if a million of ballots were faked before, there is little if any way of stopping the same thing from happening again.  I lament his admission of imminent defeat.   

At first I judged the Afghan government at large and was sure that this MUST be a pay-off.  Abdullah had to have been threatened by the powers that be, quite possibly the Taliban who were already threatening trouble if the election continued as planned.  I still have not abandoned this theory, but my criticisms of them have actually softened since I considered the parallels between this and our very own United States a mere 5 years ago.

Consider it: the 2004 elections were full of ballots cast on behalf of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.  Thousands of legitimate ballots were cast out because of hanging chads, pregnant chads, and otherwise expendable offenses.  Recounts were demanded.  Ballots invalidated and re-validated.  People were worried about changing the Presidency while we were engaged in a war.  And then at the last moment, the contesting party bowed out.  You can say it's because he knew he would have lost anyway, but you can also say that about Abdullah.  You can say that John Kerry didn't want to win amidst contention, but you can also say that about Adbullah.  And yet, with these striking similarities, one election we excuse, perhaps we are even grateful for how it turned out, and the other we demonize and criticize.

Was there a payoff or a threat of death for Abdullah?  Perhaps.  Was there a payoff for Kerry?  Perhaps.  We just don't know either way.  But we do know that the democracy of Afghanistan is new; it is fragile.

The Obama Administration is all fine and dandy Abdullah eliminating himself from contest because they initially backed Karzai, so now it looks like they won.  Is that really what it's about?  Looking good?  Is that really why we have politics??  Silly me, I thought it was to protect the public from chaos and harm.  Well guess what, everyone knows that this election was totally illigitimate, at least that is the perception, so how strong of an ally does our current administration  really have in Karzai's so-called victory?

A larger concern is whether or not the fragility of this government will survive such an early blow to its legitimacy.  I am concerned about the citizens who are questioning whether or not their votes matter and, consequently, whether or not they matter.  I am concerned for the women who finally have a voice in their communities, only to have it stomped on by the looming terror the Taliban still exerts over them.  May terror no longer be the motive for people to comply and act.  May people realize that sometimes liberty means more than life, and that bravery must be exercised in times of peril so that we can defeat (or at least do all that we can to challenge) evil.