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M a c r o M a y h e M

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Islamism Trumps Arabism, are we next?

Here is what I mean...

Arabic countries have seen the rise and fall of dictators and and kings - the Pan-Arabic movement has not had widespread success, due to the political nature of their tribes, cultures, and geography. Islam at this point pervasive - Sunni or Shia they are banding together and finding that Islam is what unites them, rather than nationalism, kingdoms, or democracy (short lived if you ask me...). This is scary for us, but exciting for them. Who knows if they will have a Theocracy to rival our own Democracy, and unite their states much like ours. Joyous for them, but scary for us. Will they be tolerant, peaceful, and willing to compromise?

"Hezbollah’s perceived triumph has propelled, and been propelled by, a wave already washing over the region. Political Islam was widely seen as the antidote to the failures of Arab nationalism, Communism, socialism and, most recently, what is seen as the false promise of American-style democracy. It was that wave that helped the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood win 88 seats in Egypt’s Parliament last December despite the government’s violent efforts to stop voters from getting to the polls. It was that wave that swept Hamas into power in the Palestinian government in January, shocking Hamas itself."

What is more scary is our situation at home. We have a 19% approval rating of Dick Cheney. We have a 20% approval rating of our Republican Congress. We have a 33% approval rating of our President. People have lost faith in our Democracy and its ability to handle our problems. Voter turnout is low and corruption is high. Now more than ever, I've witnessed two changes. A change in our our politics work, and a change in religion. Our politics are now more partisan. Republicans have always been proponents of small, power checked, and underfunded government.

But Republicans have changed. Now they control the Congress and the Executive branch. It's natural to expect that dissatisfaction with our government is now at an all time high (short of civil war). The Neo-conservative meme being pushed is that our government is bad and doesn't work - but they are in control! How can this be? This segues us into my other perception that religion has changed.

Christianity branding has gone wild. In the media and politics religion is being brought to bear some kind of part in all this mayhem. Not as an instigator, but as a solution. This is what frightens me. The new Conservative movement is almost pushing failure in our government, and providing religion as an solution. Are Republicans pushing us to accept religion as a solution to Democracy's partisan problems?

Is not the same thing happening in the Middle East? Do the people of Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon (Israel for that matter...) perceive that government has failed them as well? Are we (both nations) giving up on government in place of religion willingly? Is this not the penalty for playing politics as a contact sport, rather than fair competition? Both nations are being pushed to accept demogoguery as a solution, rather than participate in their own governance.

If that is the case... God help me.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mel Gibson says horrble things...

This re-enactment is brought to you for your viewing pleasure...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nealo: Freedom Concert

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Transactional Lobbying AKA I buy your vote, 20 dolla?

Found this NYT article over at Crooks and Liars and Words Have Power. I guess I'm in good company when I say this kind of stuff BLOWS.

"Mr. Wilkes had set up separate meetings with the lawmakers hoping to win a government contract, and he planned to punctuate each pitch with a campaign donation. But his hometown congressman, Representative Bill Lowery of San Diego, a Republican, told him that presenting the checks during the sessions was not how things were done, Mr. Wilkes recalled.

Instead, Mr. Wilkes said, Mr. Lowery taught him the right way to do it: hand over the envelope in the hallway outside the suite, at least a few feet away.

That was the beginning of a career built on what Mr. Wilkes calls 'transactional lobbying,' which made him a rich man but also landed him in the middle of a criminal investigation."


WHP also notes that Abramoff and Doolittle did bad stuff. It is REALLY bad. More news on Dump Dolittle and TPM.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lehto to oversee Busby/Bilbray Recount Effort in 50th.

Recount is going ahead... What else will happen?

"No sooner had the votes been counted than a massive irregularity was uncovered. Election workers in the 50th had taken voting machines home with them overnight, days and weeks prior to the election. The Registrar of Voters sent the machines home for these “overnights” on nothing more than a signature. This was uncovered by local election reform advocates and investigated in depth by election reform advocate and information provider Brad Friedman of BradBlog.Com. Friedman's in depth reporting has been a key element in keeping the 50th district election problems in public focus..."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Nealo: Voting Issues