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Monday, January 26, 2009

US envoy predicts 'direct diplomacy' with Iran

"UNITED NATIONS – President Barack Obama's administration will engage in "direct diplomacy" with Iran, the newly installed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Monday."

My response to this is that it is about time. I strongly feel that the only way to accomplish things diplomatically in this world is to directly interact with the states involved. Now this does not mean agreeing with everything that state does or giving in to every desire of the state. But, it means keeping the paths of communication open so that states can have access to each other to discuss issues that affect both them and the world. Even during the Cold War both the Soviet Union and the USA kept in contact. The cutting off of all official communication that the USA did with Iran in 1979 only served to make a bad problem worse. I would argue that relations with Iran are worse now then in 1979 when there revolution happened. Had we stayed connected with them in one legitimate form or another who knows what might have happened. As far as what this means for the future it is hard to say but I think this is a good step for President Obamas administration and I hope they continue to pursue diplomatic channels when there becomes a need to pressure some of these states.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today the 44th President of these United States of America was sworn into office. I think that, personal politics aside, it was a touching and important event. My hope is that the high level of esteem that President Obama is being held to does not come back and hurt him and America eventually. I am doing my best to not be cynical about this process and about the political process in America. So I am being sincere when I say that I hope Obamas presidency is different then the presidencies that that have come before. I hope for transparency and accountability. I hope that Obama is being honest in his stated desires for the office of the President as well as his desires for America. At this point all one can do is wait and see what happens and I hope what Obama brings us is actual change and growth.

Please, if you agree or disagree feel free to chime in. Let me know how you feel and why you feel that Obama is good or bad for the country and the world. Let me know your hopes for the future and if Obama can meet those or not. Lets keep the conversation going.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Riots in the streets of Oakland?

According to NPR "

Bay Area Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Man

Audio for this story will be available at approx. 6:00 p.m. ET

Talk of the Nation, January 8, 2009 · A BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) officer shot and killed an unarmed man on Jan. 1. After a peaceful protest at the BART station, the crowd turned violent and took to the streets of Oakland.

Demian Bulwa, a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, was at the riot. He reports police arrested at least 105 rioters for assault, vandalism, looting and arson."

While this is a grainy video its impact is not lessened but according to press reports and that of eye witness's it shows Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police shooting an unarmed man as he was being held down on the floor of the train station. As I write this there has been no response from either Oakland police or the BART authority. This is a horrible thing even more so because it appears to have not been a justifiable shooting. What the death led to was a protest that involved protesters destroying cars and vandalizing other things the majority of them being owned by private citizens with no connection to the people behind the shooting. The question for me is why attack and destroy things that have no connection to the incident that caused the riot or protest in the first place? I would understand attacking BART head quarters or a police station that would at least show some sense. But what good does random violence do? If you have been involved in a protest that turned ugly could you share some thoughts with me on the reasons why or if you just have a theory please feel free to join the discussion.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Modest Proposal

I have a thought, a modest proposal if you will. No not the one put forth by Jonathan Swift in 1729 that the Irish should eat their children. But as we move further into the recession the nutritional benefits of the young might be well worth looking into.

But my modest proposal is this one. What if working in Congress was done much like jury duty in this country? Your name is drawn and if you are able to meet the requirements then you do your stint and go back to your other life the one where you are not a public servant. What would the result be? Would they get more done because they would not be life long politicians but rather citizens who are doing their civic duty? Just a thought I had about something that I discussed with a friend when this whole Illinois Blagojevich scandal started. What do you think?