"Karl Rove, founder of one of the biggest Republican groups, American Crossroads, recently said the group would spend $32 million to keep the party’s House majority. The group intends to spend money on research, direct mail and calls, and polling, along with ads."
~ from an editorial in today’s NY Times. American Crossroads is a Super PAC. That statement alone leaves me agape at the fact that people really believe this is a democracy. One worth replicating in other parts of the world no less.
from an editorial in today’s NY Times. American Crossroads is a Super PAC.
That statement alone leaves me agape at the fact that people really believe this is a democracy. One worth replicating in other parts of the world no less.
I’m currently in Dehradun and posted this over at the FJP this morning.
Daughters Are Precious
My morning reading in the Hindustan Times today. A new column by actor-activist Amir Khan. He writes:
Every conceivable reason that I have come across during our research of people explaining why they want a boy and not a girl as a daughter does not seem to make any sense to me. For instance, “if we have a girl then at the time of her marraige we have to pay dowry”, or “a girl cannot perform the last rites after the death of her parents, or near and dear ones”, or “the girl can’t take the vansh, or family forward”…All these are man-made reasons. We have created dowry and are now killing the girl child as if she is responsible for it. We have decided for ourselves that girls can’t perform last rites and then we say the girl is to blame.”
FJP: Agreed, approved, and happy to see this in a newspaper.
It’s a document with a pretty intimidating name, that’s for sure. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan early Wednesday local time seemed loaded with mystery — few knew he was there until he was actually there. He was there to sign a document that many watching the news had no idea existed until today. And the document itself is the definition of how a long-standing war will finally end, thirteen years after it started — at least as far as combat troops go. This document, just eight pages, was so important that the White House had to release a fact sheet to explain it to the average joe. What does it mean to you, anyway? Here are three things you should take from the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement:
- one The U.S. government will continue to help the Afghan government train its security forces even after combat troops leave the country in 2014, with the goal of giving the entire region stability.
- two The U.S. will continue to fund security and development efforts in the country, but not by default — the president has to ask Congress for a new round of funding each year.
- three This effort goes both ways — Afghanistan is on the hook to improve the transparency and effectiveness of the government, while respecting the civil rights of its people. source
» So what’s the end date? The end of the document says this clearly: “It shall remain in force until the end of 2024.” (It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time this end date has been bandied about.) Which means, at that rate, the events around the Afghan War will be completely said and done 23 years after it started, though combat troops should be long gone. Hopefully.
"But for younger voters, especially first-time voters, many are proud of Zay Yar Thaw, one of the four pioneers of Hip-Hop music in Myanmar, who won a seat for NLD."
~ Myanmar voters celebrated in the streets while netizens on Facebook are expressing their elation over the by-election results which saw an unprecedented landslide victory for the opposition. The world rejoiced over the victory of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi but for many young voters in Myanmar, another reason for celebration is the election victory of one of the country’s hip-hop music pioneers. (via globalvoices) (via globalvoices)
Myanmar voters celebrated in the streets while netizens on Facebook are expressing their elation over the by-election results which saw an unprecedented landslide victory for the opposition.
The world rejoiced over the victory of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi but for many young voters in Myanmar, another reason for celebration is the election victory of one of the country’s hip-hop music pioneers.
"The reality is that there have never been as few wars as there are today. Humankind has never been as healthy or as wealthy. Our contemporary techno-media wonderland means that whenever a disaster occurs, almost anywhere in the world, we know about it within hours. Only recently, we heard about a cruise ship sinking off the coast of Italy, a shooting incident in Belgium, and a bushfire in Western Australia. Our brains are not really wired to accommodate such a proliferation of bad news, regardless of it happening thousands of miles away. One disaster after another compounds, and increases feelings of helplessness. Does that mean that on some level we’ve lost our way? Absolutely not. But what it does mean is that we need to realize that with the ever-increasing media outlets, we must be vigilant in maintaining our own personal view of happiness."
"Journalism is a manifestation of a basic human urge to know and to communicate our knowledge to others. Such an essential impulse is impossible to fully repress."
~ Joel Simon in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Annual Report. Via The Atlantic
CPJ’s findings reflect a profound shift toward reliance on Internet advocacy. “Blogging, video sharing and text messaging from cellphones now bring news from some of the most oppressive countries to the rest of the world,” the annual survey concludes, “Yet the technology used to report the news has been matched in many ways by the tools used to suppress information.” In Syria, for example, CPJ says, there is a practice that computer experts call “rubber-hose cryptanalysis,” which means, bluntly, the use of force to extract critical data from activists, including passwords and log-in details. As 2012 unfolds, the likelihood is that the governments and regimes where civil strife continues will keep up the pressure on journalists, and social media will defy the attempts to suppress it.
Joel Simon in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Annual Report. Via The Atlantic
The snapshot above shows mainstream news coverage of the famines currently ravaging the people of Somalia and the Horn of Africa. The data, taken from Google, contrast the media attention paid to recent incidents such as the Norway shooting, the phone hacking scandal in the U.K., and the Congressional battle to raise the debt ceiling.
Some 500,000 Somali children are reported to be on the verge of starvation, due to the most severe drought conditions in the region in two decades. Today The New York Times ran a graphic photo of a starving child on its front cover, with executive editor Bill Keller telling Salon, ”I know many readers found the picture disturbing. That’s good. The deaths of thousands of Somali children ought to disturb us, at least.”
With the debt fight over, will a shift in the media’s attention be enough to help the millions of vulnerable Somali’s and their neighbors avoid a starvation tragedy? Judging by the response so far, the outlook is grim.