Of Irany and irony
Independence Day (July 4 Rule #1… never put fireworks in the hands of morons). I just love the smell of cordite in the evening. Reminds me of Baghdad… boom, boom, boom. Wooohoo.
So what has transpired recently? Well, Michael Jackson’s death continued to reign over the news cycle even though he wasn’t resurrected 3 days later as some expected. His death continued to keep Iran out of the news. Also victim to Jackson’s demise was l’affaire of the South Carolina governor, as was whatever is happening in the economy, and the coup in our neighborhood Honduras, got only a little airtime. And oh yes, the supreme court virtually overturned affirmative action with little more than a whimper from the people who should be bringing this news to our headspace.
Many people claim that the media made too much of the adultery by governor Mark Sanford. Normally I would agree, but this has special circumstances. Sanford is one of those holier-than-thou who plays up on his moral superiority. He was one of those leading the pack to impeach then president Bill Clinton for moral turpitude and that was not the only instance. A month before his own affair, he criticized another politician for a moral breach. So there is some irony there somewhere.
Sanford was also gearing himself to run on the republican presidential ticket in 2012. So broadcasting his affair is not about a private issue. It’s bad enough when a politician can’t keep his thingy in his pants… that’s something I can understand. People are imperfect. But when you profess moral perfection and you then turn around and have an extra-marital affair, then you deserve $#!+ hitting you in the face.
A recent FBI report states that Saddam Hussein’s bluff of weapons of mass destruction, was aimed at fending off Iran, rather than threatening the rest of the world. Which makes it all iranic that an American administration was the proxy warrior for Iran. The Iranians couldn’t have planned any better if they wanted. America… the stooges of Iran (run laff track).
Shows you how stupid American foreign policy can get.
And of course there is more ‘irany’ provided by vp Joe Biden who is in Iraq. He cussed out the long dead Saddam Hussein calling him a ‘sonavabitch’. He should instead have applied the offense to George Bush and his band of idiots… the zealots who by weakening Saddam, have strengthened Iran.
What these fools fail to understand is that people in the mid-east and in many other parts of the world, don’t go by the false borders set up by colonial overlords like Britain. They instead look at religious affiliation and much older boundaries.
Saddam had the majority shi’ites in Iraq under wraps… albeit using repressive means. The United States not only was fully cognizant of those measures, they colluded with Saddam to repress both the shi’ites and Kurds.
One must remember that the US gave more than tacit approval when Saddam attacked Iran. They gave weapons and military support.
Now Iraq has a largely shi’ite government which means the powers, influence and boundaries of Iran has expanded. Iran is not interfering in Iraq. They are protecting their own lands in the very same way that American Jews see Israel.
President Obama is caught between a rock and a hard place again, and this time he has done the right thing, kinda. The democratically elected Honduran president was ousted in a recent coup. The problem is that the ‘coup’ leaders are the military and right-wing upper-classers ‘friendly to America, who felt threatened by what they saw as the left wing president’s attempt at trying to extend his presidency for another term.
So, now Obama and Venezuela’s Chavez ironically, are thrown on the same side… both condemning the coup. Obama has done what other US administrations wouldn’t have done. Bush and even a Clinton administration would have ‘emmed and awed’ and found some way to ‘express concern’ at an illegal change of government, and eventually accepted the coup leaders… as was the case of Venezuela and Chavez some years ago. In fact with Venezuela, they totally bypassed the ‘emming and awing’.
As such, they would have found themselves in the morally repulsive and minority position in the region. But the proof of Obama’s positioning is in the tasting and we await the further moves by the administration. At the moment they have suspended joint military relations with Honduras, and condemned the coup. What is not sure is the status of US AID and IMF loans.
I’m sure that Obama is at odds with many in his administration (Clinton) who still carry the principle of accepting ‘the bad guy as long as he is our bad guy’.
The current story of Honduras is of the typical class struggle. The ousted president Zelaya came in as a moderate to right-winger but during his term moved towards what is considered a leftist position. He has been making economic reforms… code words for re-distributing the country’s wealth and power from the rich to the rural poor.
Those who ousted him, have the support of the country’s wealthy elite, who naturally prefer a state governed to their benefit.
Interestingly, there is another situation, very similar to Honduras… this time in Africa. Niger’s president Mamadou Tandja has been condemned by the United States for his attempt to stay in power beyond legal term limits.
Apparently, Tandja who was democratically elected in a country with a history of coups, improved the country’s finances and was seen to be leading the country to economic recovery. His supporters felt that term limits would halt the economic advances and wanted him to stay on, despite the constitution.
Tandja apparently agrees and is now ‘ruling by decree’ because ‘the people demand that I return’. The country’s constitutional court has ruled against him.
In his case, Tandja has openly exposed his ambitions. With Zelaya, his ambitions are mere presumptions by his foes.
The 5-4 decision which essentially rammed a big stick up the ‘arse’ of affirmative action, was taken last week. In a nutshell, the case was brought by 18 white and 1 hispanic firefighters … who claimed that they were discriminated against on the basis of race, when the city of New Haven, Connecticut threw out test results because minorities had overwhelmingly failed the test. 23 white firefighters and said hispanic passed the test.
Now I’m not sure I disagree with the decision of the court. I think the way the city threw out the results was definitely a case for a discrimination lawsuit. They felt it might lead to a lawsuit by minorities. Instead it led to a lawsuit by ‘majorities(?)’.
But on the other hand, the greater problem is the impact on hiring policies and other such tests. It is easy to say that minorities should be able to pass the same tests that whites pass, and if they don’t its their own fault. But not so fast my friend.
There are many ways to craft a test to diminish the test scores of minorities. But even before we get there, we have to understand that in this country, most minorities start off at a disadvantage. It is foolish to think that education is equal for all in the United States.
There are many ways to skew the educational system as it is to skew a test. One of the most prevalent, is that schooling in highly black populated areas, have the worst of almost everything… teachers, equipment, funding, books… everything.
Then there is the matter of the curriculum. When a book speaks about ‘as pure as driven snow’, then we can understand that a black youth might not feel comfortable with its lessons.
I’m not offering up excuses, but just pointing out to many who jump the gun, that all is not always as b/w as superficially seen.
This might be the end of affirmative action as we know it and we might just be left with nothing more than the argument of whether it was worth it or not.
Yaaaay… we are number 3 (Jamaica) and 114 (United States). This according to a survey by a British non-governmental group. The New Economics Foundation’s conclusions are based on an equation that weighed life expectancy, happiness and environmental impact… the latter being how well we work with the environment or against it.
Costa Rico was first followed by the Dominican Republic then Jamaica. The data is too long and convoluted to discuss here but readers can go to http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/happyplanetindex040709.aspx and flow through from there. Yaaay… #3, #3, #3.