Karmic Reverberations

Politics, human rights, and current events

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Archive for October, 2007

Wendi Murdoch

Posted by karmalily on October 31, 2007

From China Digital Times:

On Tibet: “I don’t think anyone got killed there! I haven’t been there recently, but today, everybody in Tibet have mobile phones and the ability to send a message.” – Wendi Murdoch, wife of Rupert Murdoch


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Business of Death

Posted by karmalily on October 31, 2007

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Primaries v. Caucuses

Posted by karmalily on October 31, 2007

With voter turnout as low as it is, you’d think states would be willing to change in order to make it easier to vote. One of the reasons they could do this would be to change from caucuses to primaries in the presidential election. According to Living Democracy, a college-level American government textbook, “Turnout in primaries is generally about 15 percent of eligible voters, and attendance at caucuses rarely gets beyond 5 percent.” Why in the world would a party still want to use caucuses? Well, part of the reason is that certain people can choose their nomination without the masses having a say in it.

I personally think that certain parts of the election process need to be reformed. When the framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College, their plan was to stop the “common man” from voting; they were scared that the lower classes would outnumber the wealthy and, essentially, take away their money. Between the electoral college and caucuses, the average citizen does not feel as if their vote counts.

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"Hitler was a vegetarian" arguments

Posted by karmalily on October 31, 2007

One of the terrible things about being vegan are the arguments that your omnivorous peers always want to start. The most useless (and wrong) point they usually bring up is the “Hitler was a vegetarian” argument. First of all, Hitler was not a vegetarian, and I’m not sure why that rumor started. Second, and more importantly, what does it matter? Who would care if Hitler was a vegetarian?

It isn’t just vegetarianism that the Hitler comparison is used for. How many times has George Bush been compared to Hitler? I’m not saying there’s no comparison, but what I do want to get across is that using Hitler for comparison is just a form of fear-mongering. And it degrades every discussion it’s used in. When I’m debating with someone and they say something like, “Well, that’s what Hitler did”, I completely dismiss their entire argument from that point on.

If you’re argument is so weak that you have to use Hitler, just stop arguing. It’s time to do some research.

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Tibetan monks punished for celebrating Dalai Lama’s award

Posted by karmalily on October 29, 2007

Chinese authorities in Tibet have detained three monks and are questioning more than a dozen others after the monks tried to put up prayer flags celebrating the award of a U.S. congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama, local sources say.

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Westerners being tracked in China

Posted by karmalily on October 29, 2007

I’m fascinated by China’s culture, although I’m not too happy with current political leadership and the human rights infringements. As of right now, I’m pretty much planning on studying abroad in Hong Kong, and I could see myself working in China some day. Obviously, for a Westerner moving to China, there’s going to be a lot of differences, primarily in censorship and freedoms (say, for example, using Google). But the level of tracking in this article is scary.

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Burmese Prisoners

Posted by karmalily on October 29, 2007

“Around 1 or 2 a.m. they would start interrogating. They said, ‘Tell me your father’s name. Tell me your mother’s name.’” ‘I heard, ‘Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. Kill, kill, kill, kill! Kill them dead. Kill them dead!’ They shot. They really shot at people. They really beat people. We saw all of these things. I can’t forget these sounds. The things I saw will not disappear from my mind for the rest of my life.”

This is a striking account of the Burmese official’s harsh treatment of their prisoners.

Detainees Describe Burmese Abuses

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Images are powerful

Posted by karmalily on October 28, 2007

This is a fantastic collection of unforgettable images from around the world. Must-See: Unforgettable Photos

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China, the US, and Climate Change

Posted by karmalily on October 28, 2007

On climate, Hu’s leading whom? (Great article)

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If vice president is a step down, why not president?

Posted by karmalily on October 26, 2007

Recently, Barack Obama told an audience about Al Gore, “I can promise you that as president I will have him involved in our administration in a very senior capacity in his role… having won the Nobel peace prize and an Oscar that being Vice President again would be probably a step down for him.”

For Gore, being someone else’s vice president again might be a “step down”, but being the president wouldn’t. If Al Gore decided to run for the 2008 Presidential election, he would win, hands down. Clinton, Obama, and the other candidates wouldn’t have a chance. People love Al Gore.

Despite the obvious advantage he has with the general public, Al Gore is (as of right now) not in the running. However, as far as I know, he hasn’t definitely said no. It wouldn’t surprise me if he announced one day soon that he’ll run for president; it also wouldn’t surprise me if he won.

Personally, I would love to see Gore run, even though I’m an strong supporter of Kucinich. It would be great to have a leader who understands the problems faced by the environment and knows what to do about it. Global warming really is the most important question posed to the candidates; after all, if things continue the way they are right now (which most scientists agree they will), within a decade or two we’ll start to see the beginnings of the chaos that climate change is going to bring, like starvation, refugees, violence over resources, and more.

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