Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Gas Tax

Obama's awesome response  to the McCain/Hillary gas tax. Reason #245 why I am an Obama girl.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama on Fox

I read a story about the reaction of liberal bloggers to Obama's appearance on Fox. I didn't watch the interview, largely b/c I don't like to support Fox news. But don't find myself angry that he appeared on the show like some of the liberal voters in the story who are going as far as to withdraw their endorsement. Obama has to play the game, and if anyone thought that he can win the presidency without trying to appeal to the right, they are naive.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Please tell me we aren't this impresionalble..

Obama commented on Reverand Wright “He’s obviously free to speak his mind, but I just want to emphasize that this is my former pastor. Many of the statements that he has made both to trigger this initial controversy and that he’s made over the last several days are not statements that I’ve heard him make previously. They don’t represent my views and they don’t represent what this campaign is about.” People will understand that I am not perfect and there are going to be folks in my past – like Reverend Wright – that may cause them concern,” Obama said. “But, ultimately, my 20 years of service and the values that I’ve written about, spoken about and promoted are their values and what they are concerned about. That’s what this campaign has been about. And will continue to be about.” I think it is funny- not haha funny- that he is being pegged for agree with every person he has ever met. Like his connections with 60s-era radical William Ayers and Louis Farrakhan. I loved what he said in the ABC Debate on the 16th, "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.
And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense. The fact is, is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions. Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements? Because I certainly don't agree with those either. So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow -- somehow their ideas could be attributed to me -- I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't. " Word!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I have a crush on Obama..

I just had to post this, watch it.. I am sure you will agree. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is America ready for a black President?

There is a lot of discussion around me about this issue. Can a black man win. I have even heard friends who would otherwise support Obama comment that they fear that if he becomes president than he might be assassinated. (I bet that phrase just tipped off the FBI who is now monitoring my blog.) I want to believe that the fact that Obama is doing so well already is proof enough that the country is past race. But some of my family and mentors seem to think that Obama's blackness might be his downfall in the primary election. They argue that the proof of this is in the fact that Obama can't just out right take Clinton out in the primary. Afterall, Obama is in the lead with delegates and the popular vote; the only reason she is still in this thing at all is because the white and older vote is keeping her afloat. (Tradition- anyone ever read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson?)

I'll admit that I still find myself surprised when I see how much race still comes up these days. I heard a story the other day about a Mexican-American police officer telling a story about how when she found out her OBGYN was black that she walked out b/c "no ni**er is gonna put his hands" on her. Amazing to me from one minority about another. Shouldn't we be united?

So are us Obama-madness youth naive? Did we not learn our lesson from the last election? Is this where we get slapped in the face and while our elders shake their heads and remember the day they realized that "hope" is a load of crap. That the us regular folk don't decide elections- a select, "important" few do? Or is it us who will cheer in November showing the world that there is hope for change? I guess we will see.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OneVoice Israel/Palestine

Today I had lunch with an organization called OneVoice. This group is a conflict resolution org that has offices in Ramallah and Tel Aviv. They aim to "amplify the voice of the overwhelming but heretofore silent majority of moderates who wish for peace" and "demand accountability from elected representative and ensure that the agenda is not hijacked by forces of militant absolutism." They don't talk about everyone agreeing for the Israeli's and Palestinians definitely disagree about issues but they agree that the conflict has to end. One of the topics I got the most out of is the media. An Israeli student remarked that she was scared to go to UCI b/c she had heard it was anti-semitic. It is so sad that this is the reputation of us. I just don't see anti-semintism here at UCI, but I am sure those who argue for it will comment that I am not Israeli. But I have seen anti-Islamic activities on campus. I am not saying it doesn't but after the letter that UCI is safe for Jewish students and seeing all the pro-Jewish events on campus that are successful I really become sad when I read critical articles against our campus. It also makes me feel for the students who are stuck between their communities pressure, the everyday pressures of their age, and the journey of embracing their Jewish identity fully. This is why projects supporting the students are so important. (Especially my project, the Olive Tree Initiative!! ;) see for more info)

One of the OneVoice representatives, a Palestinian woman named Malaka, said something that struck me, she said, "When I go to heaven, God will not ask me if my neighbor did something to make a difference in the world, he will ask me what I did." That statement reinforced what I am doing in this business of peace.

"When I go to heaven, God will not ask me if my neighbor did something to make a difference in the world, he will ask me what I did."

Friday, April 18, 2008

McCain and Al Qaeda in Iraq

So I was reading a lot of articles on McCain and his rhetoric on why we need to stay in Iraq- to fight the terrorists. The problem I have with this is the blurring of 9/11 terrorists, those we are fighting in Iraq and Al Qaeda. It seems that McCain, like the Bush administration is assuming the public as dumb and unable to do their own research to discover the difference. And what is sad as that they are right in their assumption. Most of the American public just take smile and nod and vote in fear of terrorists who hate our freedom while the pro-Iraq war camp strategically blurs the distinction those who attacked us on 9/11 and the anti-American forces in Iraq. McCain states that we must fight "Al Qaeda in Iraq" — which, I might add, did not exist in Iraq until after the US invaded the country in 2003- before they take over the country. According to the most recent national intelligence estimates, the bin Laden led organization is now believed to be on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. This is quoted as a "dangerous generalization bc the U.S. isn't fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, it is fighting Iraqis- and many different factions. Obama stated in a speech that “the president would have us believe that every bomb in Baghdad is part of Al Qaeda’s war against us, not an Iraqi civil war. He elevates Al Qaeda in Iraq — which didn’t exist before our invasion — and overlooks the people who hit us on 9/11, who are training new recruits in Pakistan.” So, why are people so blind to all these facts. This is definitely an issue of the media's effects on politics and a sign of the lack of concern on the part of the general public to research these things before blindly throwing support for a campaign slogan spoon fed to the public tell they believe it. ((sigh)) hence BTW, the title of my blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Speaking of the debate....

ABC Philly Debate 4/16

I won't get into how biased and rediculous the questions were but here are some of my favorites:
"Senator Obama, Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?"What?"Mr. Obama, Do you believe in the American flag? I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't."

Okay, seriously? This is an issue?

Obama's reply:This is the kind of manufactured issue that our politics has become obsessed with and, once again, distracts us from what should be my job when I'm commander in chief, which is going to be figuring out how we get our troops out of Iraq and how we actually make our economy better for the American people.

When asked about Clinton's Bosnia lie- sorry- mix up- Obama said Sometimes that message is going to be imperfectly delivered, because we are recorded every minute of every day. And I think Senator Clinton deserves, you know, the right to make some errors once in a while. I'm -- obviously, I make some as well. I think what's important is to make sure that we don't get so obsessed with gaffes that we lose sight of the fact that this is a defining moment in our history."

Now, that's class.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Compassion Forum

I watched the Compassion Forum this weekend. It was interesting even to someone who wouldn't consider themselves extremely religious. Obama and Clinton talked separately about issues such as abortion, euthanasia, pverty, aids and other issues. Both candidates were asked about abortion and I have to say their answers were pretty much the same. They both said they thought that we should focus more on preventing teen pregnancies. I mean what else are you going to say to an audience of Pro-Lifers when you are adamantly Pro-Choice. Obama mentioned that he wanted to support single or poor mothers more so that they had more options- I think Clinton said something similar. It was interesting to me that the audience seemed to be much more responsive to Obama's answers than Clinton's. They clapped for him several times whereas they didn't clap at all, as I remember, for Clinton. This struck me as odd since I thought Clinton answered arguable as well. Obama discussed his positive experience with Islam in Indonesia. He described it as a "tolerant faith" in a society of multi-religions where woman had freedom. I thought these were important comments seeing as all mentions of Islam these days is accompanied by the work terrorism. I feel this is a step towards looking past that stereotype and we need a president who can do so and create a productive relationship with Islam since it is now the largest religion in the world, recently surpassing Christianity and continuing to grow.

Obama also spoke about his faith teaching him to act out of hope instead of fear which hits home to me who sees the Bush administration instill fear in the public in order to gain power. I really enjoyed Obama's discussion about science and religion not clashing.

Overall, it was a great forum and both candidates did well. If you missed it I am sure CNN is still palying it, over and over.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Obama and the Reverand

So there was a discussion in class the other day about Obama and this Reverend Jeremiah Write drama. Of course I agree that the statements made by the Reverend are crazy and frightening. But I do believe that Obama could have heard them and disagreed. I mean I hear things from respected religious figures that I disagree with all the time. I don't write them off completely. I think part of being education is that you don't take everything you hear as fact. You make judgments on your beliefs. I think it is clear that Obama doesn't truly believe the outlandish statements against "white folks" that were made in Write' sermons. And I loved Obama's response. I have friends who were walking a thin line between Obama and Clinton and this speech sold them on Obama. I can see why. This man can talk, he can inspire. Although, some wonder if that is enough. Also, I did hear about a woman who fully supported Obama until this speech that made her turn to Clinton. She said it was because he brought race into the campaign. I say it was the elephant in the room and thank God someone had the nerve to confront the issue. Like no one could tell the man was black- unless you are Joe Biden who was surprised a black man could be so "articulate". Who says that?! So will Obama be able to recover from this bad publicity. I'll admit it doesn't look good. I wonder, though, since Fox News and such is smearing all this over the place if by the time Obama gets the nomination it will be really old news. Will the GOP be able dig it up again and use it as strongly if the shock value is gone? I am thinking no.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cyprus attempts to reunite. Yay for diplomacy.

Cyprus breaking down the barriers. This is pretty amazing to me. I studied in Cyprus in 2006 and lived in the heart of Nicosia, the island's capital city. I remember staring over that barracade at the buildings trapped in the "green line." I thought of how people used to walk up and down the streets like it was one united country. There were shops and apartments stuck in limbo. I imagined what it would be like to have owned one of the shops and not be allowed to visit it anymore- just stare at it from over the wall- abandoned. The picture on the left is of a soldier who was guarding the wall. Looks thrilled to be there! haha.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So it begins..

So this is the first entry of my first blog. I am a little excited about this because I have been thinking about starting one for a while. I'll admit that this blog is a class assignment, but I am going to try to have fun with this. Honestly, I am at a loss of what I am actually going to write. The topic of this blog is politics and media, both of which are interests of mine but I would never claim to be an expert on either nor will anyone care what I have to say about it all... but here it goes....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Media and Technology

Even as an unperfected news form, blogs and citizen journalism have a great influence on media and it is undeniable that they are becoming competition for traditional media. (Edmonds; 2005) As bloggers and citizen journalists scoop and correct mainstream news organizations, it is no doubt this is a force that the news corporations have to embrace to survive. This does not mean that Internet media is immune to the ratings dilemma. The Internet is funded by advertising as well, the popularity of a site is instantly rated by the number of clicks it receives, and therefore online writers can become slaves to ratings and popularity. The world is seeing a new face of journalism; this is going to be a hybrid of the standards and ethics traditional journalism, improved in quality, more technologically advanced and accessible to a participatory audience. However, what is still in question is how media organizations solve the dilemma between quality and profit. "Lines blur in the new media world. The only line that doesn’t is the bottom one: profit." (Bugeja; 2005)