Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Democracy--Texas Style

Despite being indicted and relegated to the backbenches, Rep. Tom DeLay's political stock remained strong enough with the folks back home for him to win Tuesday night's primary election in his Houston-area district. He will face Democrat Nick Lampson in the general election. The former congressman lost his seat in an adjacent district in 2004 after DeLay and his allies pushed a controversial reapportionment plan though the Texas Legislature, making Lampson's district more Republican.
Lampson, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, is expected to put up a nasty fight for DeLay's seat.

In pondering DeLay’s primary victory, one should ask the glaring question, why? Or better yet, how could this happen? A friend of mine once said, that people view Congress in general as corrupt, but their congressman as incorruptible. How then does one explain, when faced with the facts, the voters still chose to vote for a corrupt man to represent them in Congress. A man who with two associates are facing money-laundering charges for their alleged 2002 roles in funneling $190,000 in corporate donations from a political action committee to Republican candidates for state government, circumventing a Texas law banning corporate donations to political campaigns.

The rule in a democracy is for an informed electorate, in every democracy, especially in the worlds leading democracy-the United States. This primary victory and probable reelection in November indicates one hopes, the exception to this rule.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Religious Wars

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed for calm after a series of bomb explosions rocked the northern city of Varanasi on Tuesday.
The government said the main concern was to ensure there was no flare-up of communal violence in the city, an important Hindu holy site. Security has been stepped up with extra police patrols around the bombed areas of the railway station and a temple.
At least 15 people were killed in the blasts and some 60 others were injured. Senior politicians, including Home Minister Shivraj Patil, are travelling to the city. Officials fear the blasts could trigger inter-religious violence.

Though one should take a moment to ponder those who lost their life and look to the politicians to talk tough and attempt to punish those responsible the fact remains that from Iraq's prelude to civil war, the holy-land, on-going civil war in the Sudan and elsewhere in Africa to now once more the Indian sub-Continent, war against society is taking place.

Society not in the philosophical or abstract sense, but society represented by the children killed while going to school, woman murdered at night and men tortured during the day, hourly mortar attacks on market squares and the destruction of holy sites. As is all too often the fact, a minority rules the majority. It is time, finally time, that the majority stand up in every country and say with one voice STOP. It is finally time for the majority to take to the streets and overpower the shouts of protests, rioters, and those who think terror is the correct action. I do not advocate violence, but rather a show of strength that sends a clear signal that violence through intimidation has not worked.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fighting Bob's Death

In the State of Wisconsin, once the beacon of Progressive politics, reform, and ideas saw that very idea killed Tuesday night.
Not surprising, Democrats were very vocal on Tuesday night, saying Republicans were only using the marriage amendment, as a way to drive more conservatives to the polls, though opposition came from some Republicans too.
Supporters of the ban said after the vote that they weren't worried at all about the bipartisan opposition, because of all the bipartisan support for the ban.
What was interesting was not this result; hypocrites and bigots seem to be allowed more time to expell hot air these days, but that the "progressive" or liberal paper of the capital city, The Capital Times side-stepped the issue completely, choosing instead to discuss the potential plight of Wisconsin aged, who co-habitat, but are not gay.
What should be uncomfortable for anyone paying attention to this issue is how the legislature and a single political party is reaching into the state constitution and citizen's lives, forcing an issue that most Wisconsin citizens would rather not worry about. Once upon a time, politicians who achieved this type of self-centered, single-issue advocacy found opposition in men like Bob LaFollette, his son and an army of progressive citizens that dominated state politics during the early 1900's. Tuesday night indicated that all that remains of progressive politics is the myth. As for the state constitution, let this battle for Wisconsin's future, now begin in earnst!

Coca & Curry

President Bush’s visit to Afghanistan and India highlight the fact that areas of “peace” are not as secure as they should be and “allies” have more than a difference of opinion with the Bush Administration.

Bush's first visit to Afghanistan comes as Karzai's fledgling government struggles with a stubborn Taliban insurgency. In violence since the start of last year, more than 1,500 people, including dozens of U.S. soldiers, have been killed.
Meanwhile, waving black and white flags and chanting anti-Bush slogans, tens of thousands of demonstrators protested in New Delhi against Bush's visit to India, which begins on Wednesday afternoon.

The continued violence in Afghanistan and the protests in New Delhi showcase more than an untamed country and standard anti-American sentiment. These events show current strategy against al Qaeda and mutual support with Afghan citizens still needs refinement and strategy with India’s government spanning sectors of business and defense, the two often intersecting, needs more consideration of the people (citizens) that said policies affect.