Practice What You Preach

If somebody asked me today why I was against the Bush Administration, I’d probably say “Because of the hypocrisy”. Bush is against gay rights but the VP’s daughter is a lesbian. He’s all for troops in Iraq, but has he ever fought a battle? And he’s totally anti-abortion, but if he got preggers, would he go through with the bun in the oven?


Although I don’t have much respect for republican ideals, I have found a republican who at least stands behind what SHE says. From watching the Republican National Convention, I’ve gained respect for how potential Vice President Sarah Palin’s political views are carried out in her personal life.


Palin, who’s pro-life, has a 17-year-old pregnant teenage daughter. Palin could have told her daughter that she couldn’t have her looking bad in the public eye and aborted it before the media even found out. Instead, she has backed up her beliefs by embracing her daughter’s pregnancy.


Palin is also for the “War Against Terrorism”, and has a 19-year-old son who deployed for training on September 11th. Palin could have persuaded her son that war was too dangerous, and that he had his whole life ahead of him, but she supports the cause so passionately that she is willing to let her own son fight.


But is Palin just supporting her views or is she being a selfish mother and formulating a larger ploy?


My point is, when Palin’s own children are so much in the public eye and doing controversial, dangerous things, she may not be the best mother, but she certainly supports what she believes in.


Palin vs. Zuma

By Unathi Kondile

Cape Town – Um! I’d like to apologize, in advance, to all fans of Sarah Palin and Jacob Zuma.

In South Africa we have a fella by the name of Jacob “bring-me-my-machine-gun” Zuma. See, our standing South African president was recently ousted, so Zuma now heads the ruling party, but is not currently the president of the country. He may be officially elected in 2009.

Zuma never went far academically, and is notorious for making precociously conceived statements, then constantly rectifying them. He’s a charismatic leader who aims for hearts as opposed to minds.

I could spend an entire day quoting some of Zuma’s diatribes, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll draw your attention to one Sarah Palin. And no, Palin isn’t South African and she isn’t part of Zuma’s party. But she might as well be.

Sarah “vice-presidential elect” Palin has wormed her way into South Africa’s press and we now know more about her than we ever bargained to know about any Republican. She too, like Zuma, seems to aim for the publics’ hearts rather than minds. Aside from being a former mayor somewhere in Alaska, and being dubbed the ‘Killa from Wasilla’ by environmentalists, Palin has proved that our embattled almost-state-president Zuma can eat dust when it comes to her.

Here is a person who has it in her head that homosexuals just need prayer to find their heterosexual purpose in life. She believes that abortion is not an individual right but rather a divine right that cannot be practiced by those who would want it. Palin is a person who believes abstinence is the only proper way for teens to approach sex.

So let’s say the Republicans win the election. John McCain is president at around the age of 73. In his tenure as president he suffers from some old-age complications and opts for early retirement. Who’ll take over? Aha! Palin.

I’m sorry, but I’d rather have a rape-accused, pending-corruption trial president in the form of our Jacob Zuma than someone who is far flung from reality, living in an isolated idealism bubble and lacks even the most basic parenting skill of distinguishing between right and wrong for her child. We know that Palin’s 17 year-old daughter is knocked up. How can she lead a country when she can’t even break down ‘the birds and bees’ talk? Is contraception totally out of the question for this anti-this-and-that vice-presidential candidate? Abstinence in this day and age is like trying to dissuade a pig away from getting dirty in a muddy pigsty – you can’t.

The more I think about it, I’m happy right here in South Africa. Happy with the prospects of the Jacob Zuma presidency. The American Dream can wait. Far from being a dream it now seems to be veering in the direction of The American Nightmare.

Are You Getting It All?

Full Coverage of the 2008 Democratic Convention at our Convention Blog.

John Edwards says he’s not the baby’s daddy

After denying the allegations of extramarital affairs on numerous occasions, former presidential hopeful John Edward finally admits to having an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter today, but has stated that he is not the father of her child. Although denying this claim, National Enquirer editor David Perel absolutely believes Edwards fathered Hunter’s baby. Edwards told ABC News that he told his wife Elizabeth, as well as others in his family, about the affair in 2006.

The National Enquirer initially reported the allegations in October, and reported a new story in July when the tabloids encountered him at a Beverly Hills, Calif. hotel, where Hunter and her child were staying.

I must say it is quite sad hearing this story, involving a charismatic and loving politician. Being that his wife has been suffering from an incurable form of cancer, adds fuel to the fire. Like Hillary Clinton said during a campaign stop for Senator Obama when asked about the scandal, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family…”

Obama chooses Stadium over Convention Center

Barack Obama announced today that he will not give the traditional speech accepting the Democratic nomination for President at the Pepsi Center in Denver, site of the Democratic National Convention. Instead, on the last night of the convention Obama will speak at INVESCO Field, a 75,000-seat stadium that normally hosts the Denver Broncos, in a huge (and free) rally of his supporters.

Barack has made it clear that this is your convention, not his” the e-mail from the Obama campaign said. “On Thursday, August 28th, he’s scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination in a speech at the convention hall in front of the assembled delegates. Instead, Barack will leave the convention hall and join more than 75,000 people for a huge, free, open-air event where he will deliver his acceptance speech to the American people.”

Considering this is a politician that prides himself on being different from others, this move seems fitting. Obama gained popularity and financial support from his huge rallies, so it makes sense that he would want the most important speech to be in front of 75,000 people, and not the (large, but not 75,000-seat-stadium large) crowd at the convention. But an important and critical question remains if Senator Obama plans this rally in an outdoor stadium: how will you do the balloon drop???

Fighting the Internet Rumor Mill

The Washington Post told the story last week of Finlanday, Ohio – a small town where voters have based their visions of Barack Obama on mostly untrue rumors flying around the internet. The Post describes how many residents have been given two very different images of the Senator. They hear of him on the news and from campaign volunteers as a person “born in Hawaii, [who] is a Christian family man with a track record of public service.” But his identity according to some Finlanday residents is that Obama was “born in Africa, [and] is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.”

This is the downside of this “Information Age” we are now living for. Sure, it affords us incredibly important abilities to find the truth – we can, for instance, track down every single vote Barack Obama made in the Illinois Legislature and the US Senate. But the downside to having millions of sources of information online is that the blog spreading blatantly untrue stories about Senator Obama is given the same weight, in some people’s eyes, as the politics page of the New York Times. And because it is so easy to plug these “facts” into the internet, fighting those rumors can be a nearly impossible job.

What the Obama campaign needs to combat these rumors is not just a way to stop false accusations of its candidate. We used to have newspapers and television to do that: the reputable sources were well-established enough to be the trusted sources, and anyone else who tried to report and didn’t have the network’s stamp of approval wouldn’t be taken seriously. But the internet has leveled the playing field. Anyone can post anything they want, and it will be on the same platform as some of the highly-produced and fact-checked research from trusted news sources. What the Obama campaign – and all of us – need is a way to separate the reliable reporting from the unreliable, which might not be possible.

Let’s not do this again…

Over the past few days, some on the left have begun questioning John McCain’s service in the Vietnam War. There were, of course, retired general Wesley Clark’s comments on Face the Nation, and there have also been rumblings about it on left-leaning blogs. One, titled, “Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the Military,” says, “If McCain is going to play the ‘I was tortured’ card every five minutes as a justification for electing him president, then he shouldn’t throw a hissy fit any time any one asks to know more about his military experience. Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience.”

You would think that Democrats – with these guys still a fresh memory – would be the last to question the service of someone like John McCain. But now, they seem to be using the same tactics that were so reviled back in 2004, when their candidate was the center of a line of attacks. It’s only July, and already this election has a “swift boat” on its hands – give the campaigns four more months of this, and we can expect some pretty nasty things to be said about both candidates. So if I may, I’d like to propose a ground rule: no going after people’s wartime service. The right crossed that boundary in 2004, now the left is doing the same, and I think it’s time for all of it to end.