Friday, August 29, 2008

One small question, can I vote for Barack Obama?

Funny cartoon i found in Time Magazine

The entire world is talking about him. Let me just say this. If i had a vote in the US, i am gonna vote for this guy. I have no relation whatsoever, i dont live in the same country as he is and pretty much dont like the country and its policies, but i can swear it, if i had a vote, i will most certainly vote for him.

I pretty much spent the last 5 hours watching various debates that i missed to see and also the speeches in the Democratic National Convention by various Democratic Party Speakers, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and of course Barack Obama. And also watched all the TV ads by John McCain.

As Bill Clinton said, "the heat in this election is so high, that i think it even contributed for the Global Warming". I am really looking forward to all the presidential debates. Past few weeks, John McCain have been hitting hard on Barack Obama on his various policies and his lack of experience. But this DNC looks like a twist. It shows that Barack Obama is ready to take on McCain and his complaints about Obama. That is a great start.

See this fairly lengthy article in International Herald Tribune about the speech of Barack Obama and what the future holds for the Democratic Party. The Speech by Barack Obama was just brilliant. "An Economy that honors dignity" is a dream. Which is currently a dream in all the countries around the world. The first part of a 5 part video is here. Watch the first and you will certainly watch all the 5. But i recommend the last part and so i have embedded the video here.

And also the speech by Bill Clinton, was amazing. "We have to show the power of our example, rather than the example of our power". At one point in time, Bill Clinton said something good about Obama and the crowd started chanting, "Yes, we can. Yes, we can"(Obama's party slogan). He immediately stopped them and said, "Yes, you can. But first, you gotta elect him". Great timing. I have pretty much watched all the videos of his speeches in youtube. He is most certainly one of the greatest American presidents( just for one min here, forget Monica Lewinsky). The first part of the three part video of his speech is here.

If you wanna check out various policies of Barack Obama, visit his Scribd page. If you dont know what Scribd is, it is the youtube of documents. Anyways, i also saw few ads by John McCain team and all the recent ones show Hillary Clinton saying something bad about Obama. Are you confused why people in the same party say bad things about each other? If yes, then welcome to American Politics. Hillary started lots of issues to beat Obama to win the Democratic nomination, and sadly the Republicans are using that against Obama now. See the video below and you can see why Obama didn't select Clinton as his Vice President. This should hurt anyone's feelings. Hillary said it once and McCain is now using it against Obama. It is definitely a little bit funny.

Biggest minus for Obama is his lack of experience and lets hope Joe Biden helps him with that. Biggest minus for McCain is his association with Bush and his policies.

Bush and McCain.
(This picture makes me laugh every single time. Sorry cant help it)

Before the debates, there is one other thing that i am really really looking forward to. I am waiting to see Bush and McCain in the same stage, in the forthcoming Republican national convention. Gotta wait and see what President Bush is gonna say about McCain. And what McCain is gonna say about Bush.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is America helping Afghanistan?

"If there is no law, and the government does not listen to people's complaints, then it is better to go back to the Taliban era. At least then we had justice." - Sister of a 11 year old child who have been raped in Afghanistan.

I am not a huge fan of American policies. During the past 7 years after 9/11 attacks, America literally stopped investing in herself and started attacking all the other countries. They have spent a trillion dollar in both the wars. And what have they achieved? Nothing. They have ruined the development within their country and also ruined the lives of various other countries, including Afghanistan or Iraq. I am not saying, the Afghans and Iraqis had a prosperous living before America entered their life. But at least they had a secure life. When America created a political vacuum in both the countries by removing Taliban and Saddam, the vacuum was filled by bad people. And that is the reason for this political failure. Read this article in "Time" Magazine, about child rape in Afghanistan and i am sure everyone will share my opinion.

American might be a world superpower, they might have the world's best army, navy, etc, etc, buts lets face it, they dont have the resources, to restore order in a country. They can march in and remove the Talibans and Saddam in a week, but they just cant restore order in a country. That is a tremendous task and America has failed in both these countries. They have to realize the entire world economy is swirling around theirs and should become more responsible. The lack of this realization is the reason why people are even talking about the emergence of another Super power.

The Civil Engineers society of America have calculated that the American government has to spend one trillion more dollars in the next 5 years to update the infrsturcture in America. Because there are nearly 10000 bridges in the US, that needs some kind of patch work to be done or all the bridges will become unusable in 10 years. Now, can you see the where the trillion dollars went? The tallest and attractive buildings are not in the US anymore. Can you see why the government was not able to upgrade the technology and infrastucteure in the country? They were concentrating completely in wars and the affected people are not just Americans. I hope atleast the next president will realize this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reflections on Olympics 2008

Today the Beijing Olympics officially comes to an end. This was a good Olympics. With 40 billion dollar budget, this is the most costliest Olympics. I read somewhere that the Chinese government has already did break even on the spending for the Olympics games. That is just brilliant.

I went to Beijing during the last year december, as a part of an "Exchange" program between Peking University and NUS. It was a good experience. I was the only non-chinese guy. I din understand a single word of Chinese. And the Chinese din understand a single word of English. It was a good experience.

(Can you see the "Birds nest" and the "The National Aquatics Center" in the background ?)

In all the meetings with the professors from Peking university and from the meetings with few beijing based companies, (Lenovo, Sohu, Aigo, etc) one thing was clear to me. The ambitions of the country was high. They had huge hopes for Olympics and they were looking to expliot all the opportunities to take their companies global. If you can remember, Olympics in Japan paved way for all the Japanese companies to go global and that is why their economy became strong. The chinese were also looking to do that. That was the first thing in Agenda.

The dominance of Chinese in this olympics is discussed a lot. Check this article, in the Washinton Post. The article titled "The Real China threat" addresses their dominance and what it means to the rest of the world and how their policies contradict that of the United States. Talkin about the dominance, read this article in Newsweek magazine, about "The post-American World". Pretty interesting.

One take-home point is, this olympics is seen as the beginning of the end of America and beginning of another era of Chinese Dominance in the world history. Lets see.

This olympics was good olympics for India too. We won 3 medals. Read this article in Newyork times, that made my blood boil. They call india as the "mysteriously nonathletic nation". That is kinda demeaning. But i hate to agree, that is the truth. Cricket is not a athletic game. You need more stamina to play soccer or Tennis compared to Cricket. (One thing that makes me laugh is, Beach volleyball is in Olympics, but not Cricket. Sorry Cricket fans)

The opening ceremony was just brilliant. If you missed it, see these photo galleries in "Time" website. Pretty good collection of pictures.

But few really bad things happened in this Olympics. First the lip-sync. say whatever you want, nationalism, Olympic spirit, but that issue doesn't look good in the eyes of the world. Similarly the fake fireworks issue. It just shows their desperation to make the opening ceremony into a big hit. Above all is the Gymnastics issue. I don't know if anyone can prove it, or if it is true, but that really gave a bad impression to China. It raises a question as to whether china won all the gold in the same way. Obviously that is not the case, but i cant help asking that question.

Anyhow, today is the olympics closing ceremony. Am eagarly waiting to see that live in Channel 5.