The selection of Governor Sarah Palin as a candidate for vice president reveals more about the intellectual process of John McCain than about any other factor in this race. The Republican nominee for president met Governor Palin once, held a conversation with her, and then made his decision. McCain supporters hail this process as one revealing his willingness to take risks and be decisive. Anyone who has participated in an executive search understands the need for careful investigation of the candidate through extensive discussions and posing them problems they will confront once in office. McCain may have “gut feelings” but, at this point, does he have any awareness of Governor Palin’s grasp of complex international issues? A Republican supporter of Palin last night on CNN responded to the question about her foreign policy knowledge by exclaiming: “Alaska is up there by Russia, of course she knows about foreign policy.” One suspects John McCain’s process of learning about her foreign policy knowledge is not much intelligent than this remark.
John McCain just made his first important executive decision and it revealed a man who is impulsive and lacks sound judgment. He probably never met a conflict or crisis in which resort to military action was not the solution. He has a tendency to go “with his gut,” an approach which can be correct, but also runs the risk of serious miscalculations. Senator McCain is 72 and has had numerous illnesses in his life. Given that background, one would have expected a more conservative and intelligent process of deciding who would be his running mate.
CNN last night presented numerous Republicans who gushed about Governor Palin’s “executive experience.” One could place Alaska in Brooklyn and have millions of people left over. Why didn’t McCain select the Borough President of Brooklyn, after all at least he has executive experience dealing with urban issues? There is no doubt Governor Palin has done important reform work in Alaska, but she has never dealt with urban issues, complex problems of the economy, interacting with people of diverse backgrounds, or international issues. Does she have an extensive background in constitutional history? What exactly does John McCain know about her knowledge?
The United States of America is at an historic juncture in its history. The Republican party has put forth an impulsive man whose reputation is one of anger and resort to violence when thwarted in obtaining his desires and a poorly educated and ignorant individual. Character is an important factor in selecting a president, but after the past eight years of incompetence brought on by individuals who acted on “gut reaction” it is time for an intellectual approach to complex issues.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Gender Issues, George Bush, Human Rights, Liberals, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged McCain, Palin, president
A new United Nations report by the UN Development Program(UBDP) reveals a growing disaster in the African nation of Swaziland which has been impacted by a 40% infection rate for the entire population. Swaziland is governed by King Mswati III who has thirteen wives and undoubtedly sets an example of sexual behavior. The UN report blames the rampant HIV-Aids problem on promiscuity, polygamy, multiple sexual partners, and extramarital relations. “If one sexual partner in such sexual networks is HIV positive and sex is unprotected the practice becomes an important dirver of the pandemic.”
Hopefully, once the Bush adminstration is removed in America, more money can be allocated to birth control efforts which include extensive use of condoms in order to ensure safe sex. It is doubtful in the short run if cultural practices such as polylgamy can be curbed, but the presence of a safe sex campaign can assist in dealing with the problem.
Many Israel leaders have been arguing over the past several years in favor of policies that present a tough stance regarding Palestinian demands on the assumption time is on their side. Instead of confronting the reality of restoring the West Bank, Prime Minister Olmert and others fight to protect the rights of West Bank settlers whose presence endangers any prospect for peace. Hizbullah has just announced they now possess advanced Iranian supplied missiles capable of hitting deep inside Israel. Hizbullah promises to use those missiles if Israel launches an attack against their positions. The militant group also claims its missiles are equipped with a special mechanism which increases the accuracy of the missiles.
The constant mistake made by Israel leaders is believing time was on their side. It never was and never will be because there are so many more Arabs than Jews in the Middle East. The presence of wealthy Middle Eastern nations ensures militant groups like Hizbullah will be supplied with weapons. To believe, “knocking out” the Hizbullah missiles ends dangers is to live in fantasy.
Posted in Iran, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Hizbullah, Israel, missiles
To those of us born at a time when a black skinned person was unable to drink from the same fountain of water or attend the same law schools as those with white skins, the nomination of Barack Obama is the change once dreamed of that has come to fruition. I entered the US Army in 1951 and wound up at the Headquarters of the US 7th Army. One day a friend and I were assigned the task of developing an Integration plan for the 7th Army and spent the coming months trying to ensure that all who serve our nation have equal opportunities to succeed. The moment seems so long ago and far away with the nomination of Obama to run for president.
After leaving the armed forces, I was frortunate to be in the class of Dr. Kenneth Clark who wrote the psychological brief for Brown v. Board of Education. We happened to have a class with Dr. Clark the day of the decision and when he entered the room we stood and applauded and most cried with joy. That day in May, 1954, Dr. Clark told us the battle to achieve the end of segregation would be long and most probably wound take at least fifty years. The dream of Dr. Clark and Brown vs. Board of Education has now been fulfilled. We are a new nation, one that has turned our faces to the future rather than to the past.
There are those who see only racism and hatred in America. They see the glass of freedom as diminished, but most Americans know the glass will soon be overflowing with the waters of equality. As Dr. Clark said fifty years ago, the fight to end racism is tough, it will not happen in a day or in one adminstration. Barack Obama’s election as president marks a beginning, not an end to the struggle to make this a society in which prejudice has no place.