This article in the New York Times gives an interesting perspective on China and the Internet, specifically pointing out that as much as supposed Chinese cyber-attacks are trumpeted in the press and by our government, China themselves are dealing with the exact same issues. And because so many of the government computers are said to be running pirated versions of Windows, those computers do not have access to the latest security patches and, therefore, are much more vulnerable to outside attack.
The article also explores the use of social tools like Twitter as vehicles to stir unrest, foment revolution. Fascinating reading…
Yesterday, Republican Scott Brown was sworn in to the US Senate, taking over the seat of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown has vowed to be an independent voice in a bitterly divided Senate.
What’s fascinating is the story of how he came out of nowhere to single-handedly derail the Democrats’ filibuster-proof super-majority. The democrats can no longer simply script an agenda and vote along party lines to push something through the Senate. Suddenly, this single election changed everything in politics.
This article from the New Yorker (sent in by my brother, Stu) tells the story of the origins of the movement that, some might argue, led directly to Brown’s election.
Here’s a slightly slanted wikipedia page that covers the Tea Party Movement, whose main focus is the opposition to using stimulus to spend our way out of the recession.
A fascinating look at an important chapter in our political history, well worth the read…
In 1962, a man named Tommy Douglas gave a speech that he called Mouseland. His goal was to raise the consciousness of the people of Saskatchewan, Canada, but he really was talking about politicians everywhere. His grandson, the actor Kiefer Sutherland, joined a group of people who added a bit of animation to the speech. I think the result is brilliant and worth a watch…
I try not to get too political in this blog, but this is a big deal. No matter your view on our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, please take a minute to read this article. It is not long, and I believe is an important sign of the times in which we, and our children, find ourselves. I am not espousing a particular viewpoint, but I think Hoh was in a position to see the war in a way that I cannot.
A rare breach of protocol, indeed. Wonder who shouted out “You lie!” during Obama’s speech last night? It was the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Joe Wilson:
Lots of interesting things about this episode. First, I find it fascinating how quickly the netizens took umbrage and action. Within minutes, someone hacked his wikipedia page, adding this sentence:
“He is a (expletive) that called the president of the United States a liar on national television and has no respect for the office he holds.”
That entry was removed, others followed, and eventually the entry was locked, due to “vandalism”. Here’s what his wiki page now says about last night’s episode:
During the September 9, 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress by President Obama, Wilson pointed and shouted “You lie!” as the President said there would be no coverage for illegal immigrants in his health care plan. Wilson left the House chamber immediately after the end of the speech. After the session, appearing on Larry King Live, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) said, “Totally disrespectful. No place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately.” Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, predicted that Wilson’s outburst would have consequences. James Clyburn stated that Joe Wilson took SC state’s reputation to a new low. He said the he had thought Mark Sanford had taken it as low as it could go, but this is beyond the pale.
Later that night, Wilson attempted to call President Obama to apologize personally but instead ended up speaking to Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Wilson then issued an official statement saying, “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.” House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said the remark was the latest in a long line of political attacks by Wilson.
Sad day. Whether or not you agreed with his politics, there’s no question that Ted Kennedy was a tremendous force for change and, in some people’s minds, one of the greatest Senators in US history.
Before he died, Kennedy wrote a letter to the Massachusetts political leadership, asking them to amend a state law passed in 2004 that called for a special election in the case where a Senate seat was vacated for any reason. The problem was the election would not occur for a minimum of 145 days. During that time, the Senate seat would remain vacant.
Clearly, Kennedy was thinking of his own worsening health when he wrote this letter. He asked the leadership to amend the 2004 law to allow the governor to pick a temporary replacement to serve until the election. Typical of Kennedy. Though he had less than two months to live, his concern for his home state and the political process was foremost on his mind.
This article in the New York Times talks about the struggle behind the scenes as two sides vie against each other for the political future of Iran. On one side are two obvious players, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the winner of the highly contested election, and the “supreme leader”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. One person on the other side, Mir Hussein Moussavi, the former prime minister who ran against Ahmadinejad for President, is an obvious opponent. But what’s surprising is the pushback from the senior clerics, who have softly refused to back Ahmadinejad as the legitimate winner of the election.
As the Times article puts it, there’s a power struggle grinding on behind the scenes. Iran is at a fork in the road. On one side is a push to eliminate elections altogether and to embrace a more dictatorial political model. On the other side is a push toward a more democratic state. Fascinating to me. And, I believe, emblematic of the struggle of many countries with a similar political structure.
The Iranian election is very hard for me to talk about. This makes me so angry, reminds me of our own stupidity and the selfishness we’ve endured for the past eight years. Politicians who say they are for the country but are only interested in maintaining power.