Monday, December 17, 2012

Is The Unregulated Second Amendment Destroying The Social Fabric Of America?

With the recent shooting of 6 to 7 year olds by a deranged gunman that broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School, is the largely unregulated Second Amendment slowly destroying the social fabric of America?

By: Ringo Bones

Despite the very tragic set of circumstances that lead to the senseless shooting and deaths of 20 6 to 7 year olds in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, it seems that Second Amendment advocates in the United States seem to be clinging harder and tighter to their political stance – and the right to bear arms – even if innocent bystanders have to suffer. But why do a significant number of Americans clung on to the oft misguided belief that private gun ownership is all that it takes to keep the United States of America free from tyranny?

Sadly, in spite of the Second Amendment reminding and reiterating the Federal government that the establishment of a “Well-regulated militia shall not be infringed…the right to bear arms….” It seems that the “well-regulated” part of the Second Amendment is often the oft ignored stipulation of the Second Amendment whenever these “rednecks” exercise their Second Amendment rights and establish their own “not-so-well-regulated-militia”. A case in point is the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma back in April 19, 1995 where a misguided unregulated redneck militia led by Timothy McVeigh decided to dispense their own brand of justice on Federal workers who are only tenuously related to their grievances with the Federal government.

Assuming if the Second Amendment advocates are right when they oft “romantically” depict private gun owners as holding back a tidal wave of violence and crime in their neck of the woods, how come not a single Al Qaeda inspired sleeper cell was ever subjected to a Citizens Arrest action by a group of card carrying National Rifle Association (NRA) members since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks? More often than not, over eager white-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant Second Amendment advocates only hassle Americans of Muslim faith with no connection to Al Qaeda whatsoever. And does this make a significant number of card-carrying NRA members / private gun owners who don’t know how to well-regulate themselves more a liability – rather than an asset – when it comes to America’s over-burdened national security apparatus?

As of late, President Obama mentions of a “meaningful action” to prevent the tragic shooting deaths of schoolchildren in Sandy Hook Elementary School from ever happening again. By meaningful action mean tighter gun controls and oversight of the sale and private ownership of handguns and semi-automatic assault rifles by private citizens in America. And even though the top brasses at the NRA may be right about gun violence statistically on the decline in America since 1990 and gun ownership the lowest it has been in 40 years despite of a surge of purchase of handguns by pro Second Amendment advocates during Pres. Obama’s election into the White House back in 2008, tighter gun control and regulation could be the only meaningful action the President can act on in the foreseeable future to avoid a repeat of the tragic shooting deaths in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Even though gun related violence is on the decline since 1990, America’s children need not to suffer the country’s Second Amendment / private gun ownership obsession.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Looming Fiscal Cliff: President Obama’s Greatest Challenge?

Can newly reelected US President Barack Obama make a timely executive action to solve the looming Fiscal Cliff that could plunge America into another economic recession?

By: Ringo Bones

With reelection results that revealed a now highly politically polarized America, newly reelected President Obama could have his power seeped away from him if he doesn’t do a timely executive action to avoid the looming Fiscal Cliff that could not only plunge America into another economic recession, but could also increase the unemployment rate back to over 9 percent. With a seemingly insurmountable partisan divide between the president’s own party and the Republican controlled Congress, will President Obama succeed in solving his greatest political challenge of his second term – namely the looming Fiscal Cliff?

With less than two months to reach across the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans, the Fiscal Cliff might well be President Obama’s greatest challenge of his second term in office. The U.S. government budget’s 2013 Fiscal Cliff – also known as the U.S. Fiscal Cliff – refers to the effect of a series of enacted legislations, mostly during after the U.S. Republican Party took over Capitol Hill back in 2010, which if unchanged, will result in tax increases, spending cuts and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit. These laws include tax increases due to the expiration of the Tax relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and the Job Creation Act of 2010 – not to mention the spending reductions / sequestrations under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Just days after President Obama was reelected, Wall Street got spooked with a biggest sell-off that set back the DOW back to July 2012 levels. And leading credit rating agencies are threatening to reduce America’s Triple-A credit rating if both Democrats and Republicans can’t reach a consensus before the January 1, 2013 deadline in formulating a “streamlined” U.S. Government Budget with a lower deficit than before. Well, 600 billion US dollars worth of taxes and spending cuts are at steak and President Obama and the rest of the Democrats – especially in the US Senate – will only work across the partisan political divide if there are tax increases for the top 1 per cent of America who now controls over 90 percent of the wealth. That alone could serve President Obama’s greatest challenge for his second term in office.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Did Mitt Romney’s Politics Started A Meningitis Outbreak?

As the US Republican Party often extolled the advantages of a small government and minimal to nonexistent Federal regulatory oversight as the foundation of the American economic prosperity, did it backfire this time? 

By: Ringo Bones

Sometimes I wonder if the meningitis outbreak inadvertently started by Mitt Romney can be handled by OBAMACARE – but did the US Republican Party’s obsession over the “perceived advantages” of a small and non-intrusive Federal government inadvertently placed public health – and even public safety at risk? Well, this is probably a textbook example.

During the days of his stint as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney stoically stood by the GOP party line of a minimal to nonexistent Federal government intrusion and/or oversight on private business activity is the very foundation that made the American economy the envy of the whole world. Unfortunately, with nary an oversight – not even a minimally lax one - from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on New England Compounding Co., a Massachusetts based pharmaceutical company managed to manufacture and stock meningitis contaminated operating-room surgical theatre drugs that had recently been traced as the source of the recent meningitis outbreak. Did the GOP’s politics betray the now US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during his stint as the Republican governor of Massachusetts?

Well, many now an undecided voter weary of OBAMACARE are now starting to wonder if “ROMNEYCARE” is even worse due to the former Massachusetts governor’s politics inadvertently starting a meningitis outbreak by putting company profits above public health and public safety precedents. This proverbial “October Surprise” might have been overshadowed by the tragic wake of Superstorm Sandy – but could this issue swing the scores of undecided voters in President Obama’s favor this coming 6th of November? Or will this be just another trivial factoid of the 2012 US Presidential Race?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tropical Storm Sandy: The October Surprise No Political Party Ever Wants?

Even though Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney never mentioned climate change and global warming during all of their Presidential Debates, will Tropical Storm Sandy be the October Surprise both of them don’t want to face?

By: Ringo Bones

Almost all concerned groups in the United States and the rest of the world had been really concerned about both Democrats’ and Republicans’ silence over the issue of climate change and / or global warming for much of the 2012 US Presidential Race, and yet Tropical Storm Sandy – since dubbed as “Frankenstorm” by the US press – had put a damper on both political parties’ campaign tour schedules. Is Mother Nature now “forcing” both parties to have a serious discussion on the climate change / global warming issue?

As to appear not self-serving to their respective political parties, both Obama and Romney suspended their last minute political campaign tours scheduled in the US East Coast. Given that such natural disasters makes everyone think that it is always one more death too many, the US Democratic Party candidate and incumbent President Obama even chose not to appear in his planned rally in Orlando, Florida scheduled for Monday, October 29, 2012 even though it was Tropical Storm Sandy that closed shut the weather window over much of Florida to have allowed for the Air force One to safely land as hundreds of scheduled commercial flights in the US East Coast had already been cancelled. Though former Pres. Clinton appeared there as scheduled.

Given that probably all leading career politicians in America are now inextricably beholden by “Big Dirty Coal” and “Big Crude Oil” lobbyists and special interest groups – the issue of implementing policies that would curb America’s industrial output of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by moving away from fossil-fuel burning will never be seriously discussed come election time. And even though this had been the very first time that the issue of global warming and / or climate change had glaringly never been discussed – as in the campaign period of the 2012 US Presidential Elections – nobody counted on Mother Nature to throw her very own October Surprise a week before the November elections.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mitt Romney Versus Big Bird: Strangest Of All Adversaries?

Even tough US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won the first round of the 2012 US Presidential Debates so far, should he have antagonized Sesame Street’s Big Bird?

By: Ringo Bones

Since 2010, the TEA Party movement has been attacking every American taxpayer funded education and arts programs that don’t cater to their draconian and literal interpretation of White Anglo Saxon Evangelical Christianity. Eager to capitalize on the “conservative American vote, US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney quickly seized the moment to denigrate the public money used to fund PBS. But is his decision to antagonize Sesame Street’s Big Bird just a bit over the top?

Mitt Romney got the obligatory political flack during the past few weeks after that notorious hidden camera footage of him denigrating the 47% of America as “freeloaders” who are too dependent on US government handouts in his own private fundraiser ceremony went viral on the internet. Already in trouble for being a “rich aloof” and uncaring towards the poor, this is something Mitt Romney doesn’t need so close to November’s elections. But should the Republican presidential hopeful pick a fight on Big Bird too?

To American voters aged 60 and younger, Sesame Street’s Big Bird is seen as an revered and venerable educator and an entertainer that had been with them during the tumultuous years of their childhood. Given the recent unrest in the Muslim world over that notorious anti-Islam film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, it seems like the US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is trying to incite a riot among America’s late baby-boomers and generation X-ers. Will this political gaffe eventually hurts his prospects for the 2012 US Presidency? 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Imelda Marcos’ 3,000 Pairs Of Shoes: Monument To Despotism?

Seen as the scope of plunder for those of us on the disadvantaged side of the 20-year long dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, are the 3,000 pairs of the former Philippine First Lady a fitting monument to despotism?

By: Ringo Bones

Given that the rate of extreme poverty more or less remained the same since one of Asia’s most feared dictators by the name of Ferdinand Marcos was booted out on that famed relatively bloodless EDSA Revolution of 1986, the recent BBC coverage of that notorious Imelda Marcos’ 3,000 pairs of shoes falling into disrepair due to recent floods and years of unchecked termite damage since their sequestration by the PCGG only raised more questions about the method of the former Philippine First Lady’s madness when she decides to have a runaway shoe fetish when most working class Filipinos can barely afford an extra emergency pair of shoes, never mind three square meals a day. With all that’s been said and done, will this make Imelda Marcos’ 3,000 pairs of shoes nothing more than an anachronism of the long-gone decade of the economic excesses of the go-go 1980s, or a genuine monument to despotism?

Given the very terrible civil war currently going on in Syria could have happened here in the Philippines if the Marcos Dictatorship had stubbornly clung on to power, the news coverage of the shoes being renovated as just a mere trivial curiosity from a conspicuous consumption at the expense of the poverty stricken from a bygone age only raises painful memories to those who have endured through the Marcos Dictatorship first hand and to the younger generation of Filipinos who had never experienced first hand how it is like to have their whole village secretly massacred by government soldiers under the behest of a bloodthirsty dictator. I just hope that this won’t devolve into some historical footnote written by delusional war criminals that managed to evade prosecution and now has inexplicably managed to acquire their own political constituency. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cuban Missile Crisis – 50 Years After

Billed by historians as the 14 days that almost brought the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon, did humanity ever learned vital lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Strange as it seems to the younger generations who just heard it being billed by historians as a very important milestone in the Cold War era superpower struggle between the United States and the then Soviet Union, for the rest of us, the Cuban Missile Crisis is more than just a “minor geopolitical inconvenience” that ruined everyone’s Halloween celebrations back in 1962. Even though the bulk of that iconic historical event lasted 14 days, the crisis reached its peak on October 27, 1962 – and to those who had experienced it first-hand, it seems like the closest humanity has ever came to an all-out nuclear exchange between the Cold War era superpowers. But are the vitally important lessons learned from the Cuban Missile Crisis still register in the consciousness of everyone 50 years later? 

Like the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis might only get a low-key 50th Anniversary observance this Halloween of 2012. And given that Al Qaeda does not yet have a Military-Industrial-Complex that rivals that of the former Soviet Union, the younger generation that can be bothered to Google it on Wikipedia will probably harbor the perception of the Cuban Missile Crisis as a rather unique but quaintly esoteric event of the second half of the 20th Century that pales in comparison to the current threats that we face in our day-to-day post-9/11 world. But is it really nothing more to our younger kin than a thrilling historical backdrop of the movie X-Men First Class or some other elaborately produced video game? 

Imagine yourself making plans for Halloween which will arrive in two weeks time back in 1962, and then on the evening news, the press just dubbed the geopolitical “commotion” in the Caribbean as the Cuban Missile Crisis and Def Con 2 has just been sounded and if you live near a US Air Force base, the roar of those older, noisier turbojet engines revving up can be quite hard to ignore. The crisis escalated within the following days when the Soviet Union and the new Fidel Castro’s Cuban government repeatedly deny the existence of intermediate-range nuclear ballistic missile bases in Cuba that had just been established by the Soviet Union despite a few high-altitude reconnaissance photos taken by U-2 spy planes proving the contrary. And the Kennedy administration drew a line in the sand declaring that it would not tolerate the development of Soviet bases with such offensive military capabilities in the Caribbean just 90 miles from US soil. 

Following a dramatic speech by President Kennedy in which he delivered an ultimatum to the Soviet Union and declared a “quarantine” of Cuba, the Soviet Union eventually acknowledged the existence of the bases and agreed to the removal of the missiles after a 14-day standoff that almost sent the entire world to the brink of an all-out nuclear war. Complicating the events, then Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was almost ousted in an attempted coup by a bunch of disloyal high-ranking Soviet military personnel. But as judged by history, cooler heads did prevail – though the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 did cast a long shadow for the rest of the Cold War. 

During the Carter administration, the progress of a second round of strategic arms limitation talks – called SALT-II back then – in the US Senate was brought to an abrupt halt when in late August of 1979 the Carter administration belatedly discovered a Soviet combat brigade in Cuba. U.S. – Soviet tensions reached their peak once again in September 1979, when the United States strongly protested the alleged combat brigade of 3,000 Soviets in Cuban soil. The USSR replied that in fact no Soviet combat units were present in Cuba. What the U.S. intelligence reports had disclosed, said Moscow, were the same military advisers that had been openly training the Cuban armed forces for 17 years. Members of the US Senate and Congress were skeptical of the Kremlin’s reassurances back then. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Versus The 47%?

Despite being unrepentant of his somewhat disparaging comments made on the 47% of Obama Voters during his private fundraiser, will this hurt the prospects of US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s chances of being elected as the next President of the United States?

By: Ringo Bones

According to early coverage of the story on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, the hidden camera footage of the US Republican Party’s presidential hopeful Mitt Romney caught making disparaging comments of the 47% of the voters – which he referred to as “Obama Voters” – as being too dependent on US government handouts was first uploaded on the Mother Jones website. More controversial still, Romney also made comments about how he would have a better chance of being elected to be at the helm of the White House if he had been born Mexican. But will this political faux pas caught on tape disparaging US government welfare beneficiaries ruin chances of Mitt Romney winning the US Presidential Elections this coming November 2012?

Even though President Obama previously made such – though of a polar opposite – strongly worded speech about his political opponents during his campaign trail back in 2008 on how ultra-conservative right-wing Evangelicals stick with their guns and religion, Mitt Romney’s political gaffe will be perceived by more people as much more serious – even by non-Americans – because Romney and his conservative constituents had been unabashedly telling more level headed Americans and other level headed people elsewhere in the world how to live out their lives with scant regard to their present situations. Worse still, Romney’s latest campaign speech faux pas only proves of the prevailing perception of the “47%” of him as being an aloof rich guy who doesn’t care about the very poor in America. Maybe Mitt Romney needs more time to hone his rhetoric to even rival that of Ronald Reagan.

Islam Versus The West: A Deadly Kultur Kampf?

As the protests sparked by the latest anti-Islam film has now sent 12 people to their deaths, will the Kultur Kampf between the Christian West and the Islamic world ever be resolved?

By: Ringo Bones

To everyone who worked with him in the rebuilding of the post Gaddafi Libya, Ambassador Christopher Stevens – the US Ambassador to Libya – seems to be the highest profile victim of the widespread protests caused by the uploading of an ant-Islam film to the internet that eventually caused offense to everyone in the Muslim world. Though Ambassador Stevens was friendly to the Libyans he was working with in facilitating to improve their country after 40 years of the Gaddafi dictatorship, many now wonder if Stevens is just one of the unfortunate bystanders in these current clash between Islam and the West.

This is not the first time that an “artistic” work created in the somewhat liberal West had offended the generally conservative sensibilities of the Islamic world. First of these that gained worldwide press attention was Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses – a work of literature that disparages the Prophet Muhammad that eventually made the then Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a Fatwa against the author. In our post 9/11 world, there was that controversial Prophet Mohammad caricature that was published by a Danish newspaper that sparked widespread anger and protest in the Islamic world a few years ago. And the latest one was a low-budget anti-Islam polemic style documentary that was made by an Egyptian born Coptic Christian living in the US who was a few years ago convicted of a real estate fraud and whose posting of the controversial video back in June 2012 supposedly violated the offending filmmaker’s parole.

The outrage caused by the offending anti-Islam film seems not going to die down anytime soon as the security arrangements of US and other Western embassies in Muslim majority countries around the world are beefed up in anticipation for protests that may go out of hand. Given that it can be very hard to separate religion and politics in the Islamic world, such incidences of a “Kultur Kampf” will continue to happen because Western style freedom of expression will never be compatible with the conservative sensibility that is part and parcel of being a devout Muslim in the Islamic world.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bettina Wulff And Her Google Problem

The slight “quirkiness” of Google’s famed search engine used to only affect Rick Santorum with “shameful” search results, but now, is the former German First Lady getting street-cred that she doesn’t need?

By: Ringo Bones

A few days ago the news that the former German First Lady Bettina Wulff is suing Google for defamation because the famed search engine’s autocomplete function “hints” that she had a somewhat “racy” past – as in suggesting that she used to be a high-class escort. As the wife of the wife of the former German President Christian Wulff, such quirky Google search results suggesting that she has a “racy” past is just the kind of street-cred a woman of her stature doesn’t need. But is the Google “overlords” at Mountain View or Palo Alto at fault?

A few years ago, a prominent gay rights activist in America launched a campaign to make a GOP homophobic politician by the name of Rick Santorum have his surname to become the latest word in the American English lexicon signifying the “nastier” aspects of male gay sexual intercourse. Maybe it was the work of internet-savvy “hacktivists” not employed by Google who tweaked Google’s famed search engine via esoteric search engine optimization tricks that if you Google search Santorum – the search result, more often than not, is something that should be reserved for ages 18 and above. But is such web-based trickery also at work when it comes to Bettina Wulff’s latest “Google Search Problem”? 

During his tenure as the German president, Christian Wulff – as I know from news coming out of Germany – never got to any fight with internet-savvy German or Eurozone based anarchists and their ilk. And based on the still developing story on Bettina Wulff’s Google problem, it could be that this “smear campaign” could be the work of one lone internet-savvy cyberstalker who knew a thing or two about high-level Google search engine optimization tricks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Ronald Reagan 3D Hologram: Political Eye Candy?

Supposedly to be unveiled in the 2012 Tampa US Republican Party National Convention before it was “upstaged” by Hurricane Isaac, was the Ronald Reagan 3D hologram nothing more than mere political eye candy? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Some dyed-in-the-wool US Republican Party diehard might have been hoping that it might steer the general public’s general impression of the GOP away from the Congressman Todd Akin legitimate rape controversy, but a high-tech 3D holographic version of Ronald Reagan was never unveiled at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Rumor has it that the GOP’s top brass are too afraid that the 3D hologram of Ronald Reagan could upstage a rather one-dimensional Mitt Romney or the GOP top brass responsible for getting insurance for the high tech equipment used in the 3D Ronald Reagan didn’t had time to get one. And there’s even a GOP insider who voiced out that the 3D hologram of Ronald Reagan could be used for partisan purposes given the current fractious political climate in Washington, D.C. But to the public at large, many of them now wonder if the Reagan 3D hologram slated to appear in Tampa is really more advanced than previous 3D holograms? 

To older folks closely following advances in 3D video technology, they could safely assume that the Reagan 3D hologram truly represent the current state of the art in 3D holography because back in May 24, 1991, NASA used its newly developed 3D laser scanning technology on a happily retired Ronald Reagan in his home in Santa Barbara, California, making Reagan the first ever US President to get a 3D holographic portrait. Sadly, the GOP top brass remains silent on whether or not any of the 3D holographic data obtained by NASA on taking Reagan’s holographic portrait was ever used on his 2012 3D hologram slated to appear in Tampa. 

But according to the New Scientist magazine, the technology used on the Ronald Reagan 3D hologram was the same one used on the Tupac 3D hologram used on his posthumous Coachella show. It is called Pepper’s Ghost projection technology and it has been around since the 1800s. 3D imaging data was obtained via CGI and live footage then processed by 3D holographic technicians at Digital Domain – James Cameron’s visual effects company. Pepper’s Ghost technology works by partially reflecting light off a piece of glass from a hidden room. In practice, this 3D video projection technique only works best in exhibition halls and room not too brightly lit by ambient sunlight. Though 3D holography may represent the latest in political campaign gimmickry, they can’t improve the image of a one-dimensional politician. This belongs to the eye candy bin. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Sino-Indian War 50 Years On

Even though it happened 50 years ago does the Sino-Indian War still has something to teach us here in the 21st Century? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The Sino-Indian War, also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict was a military engagement between The People’s Republic of China and India. The initial cause of the conflict was a disputed region of the Himalayan border in Arunachal Pradesh, known to the Beijing government as South Tibet. Fighting began on the 20th of October 1962 between the People’s Liberation Army and the Military of India. The first heavy engagement of the war occurred when a Mainland Chinese attack on an Indian patrol north of the McMahon Line. 

The conflict eventually widened to include the region of Aksai Chin – which the People’s Republic of China regarded as a strategic link via the China National Highway route G 219, between the Beijing-administered territories of Tibet and Xinjiang. The war ended when the People’s Republic of China captured both disputed areas and unilaterally declared a ceasefire on the 20th of November 1962 – which went into effect at midnight local time. 

The Sino-Indian War was notable for the harsh conditions under which much of the fighting took place, entailing large-scale ground combat at elevations over 14,000 feet or 4,267 meters. This presented numerous logistical problems for both sides – not to mention the thin-air, cold and arid conditions experienced by the combat troops. Even though the conflict officially ended in 1962, from time to time, major skirmishes between Mainland Chinese and Indian troops do occur. The last major one happened back in 1987. 

To those too young to experience the war first hand – either by being actually there or in live news broadcasts, the Sino-Indian War of 1962 was often used as a clever literary device by science fiction and TV series writers. The most famous ones are by Gene Roddenberry which a later, larger-scaled conflict, served as a backdrop for his Earth: Final Conflict TV series and on Prison Break, where an environmentally sustainable form of large-scale solar power generation threaten to restart the Sino-Indian War of 1962. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin: Misogyny In The US Republican Party?

With his insensitive gaffe against women rape victims that even offended President Obama, is Republican senate candidate turning the GOP into the political party of misogyny? 

By: Ringo Bones 

In one of his televised campaign tours across America, US Republican Party senate candidate, Todd Akin manage to unload a hitherto unprecedented “gaffe-bomb” in which he said that women can cope with “legitimate rape” with relative ease. The unconventional “Pro-Life” statement supposedly a declaration of Akin’s supposedly conservative Evangelical Christian anti-abortion stance horribly backfired into a unabashed declaration of misogyny, further reinforcing the perception harbored by most women in America that the US Republican Party is currently conducting a “war on women”. 

When President Obama made a televised statement on his disappointment over such unprecedented thinly-veiled misogyny disguised as a conservative Evangelical Christian Pro-Life stance, many now wonder if the 2012 US Presidential Elections are just merely about the GOP dominated Congress blocking President Obama’s economic and unemployment relief plans. Whether Republican senate candidate Todd Akin’s views on “legitimate rape” / “genuine rape” / “true rape” will become a fodder of late night talk-show comedians or on Saturday Night Live is anyone’s guess at the moment. Even Piers Morgan got pissed when Todd Akin apparently became too ashamed to appear on his talk-show on CNN. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pussy Riot: Politics of Russian Punk Rock?

Given that punk rock had been pigeonholed as an inherently political music genre, did the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot ever have a chance of a fair trial in Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

By: Ringo Bones 

Punk rock aficionados will be sure to agree that it is a highly political genre of music since it gained a modicum of mainstream fame during the mid 1970s. Who can ever forget the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen – a somewhat harsh polemic of HRH Queen Elizabeth II that became an anthem for “Generation-X”? But the question now is, will the Marxist-Leninist Socialism inspired protest against social injustice in Vladimir Putin’s Russia by the Russian punk rock band called Pussy riot forever shape the perception of how the international community sees the inherent lack of freedom of expression in Russian society this day and age? 

The rather harsh sentencing of the three members of Pussy Riot over their anti Vladimir Putin protest inside Moscow’s main cathedral had attracted international condemnation not just of Pussy riot’s loyal fans but also of the British and US governments and also of the EU. Guilty of hooliganism or not, one is left to wonder whether sentencing the three members of Pussy Riot to two years a harsh labor camp could eventually put a dent on Russia’s tourism revenue. With an inherent lack of the rule of law, who knows what passes as “hooliganism” in Vladimir Putin’s Russia these days? Prospective tourist could be steering clear of Russia from their travel itinerary in droves. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Politically Correct Olympics?

With a lot of the preparation and execution done just right by present standards, will the London 2012 Olympics go down in history as the first “Politically Correct Olympics”? 

By: Ringo Bones 

They may have been some “bad” aspects that plagued the preparation of the London 2012 Olympics – the private security contractor failing to hire enough qualified security personnel that got exploited by a far-right fear-mongering US presidential candidate. Scores of unoccupied seats on the more popular events during the first few days, not to mention the main sponsors are peddling unhealthy products that can cause chronic health problems to their unwary consumers. But I think that enough good has been done to make the London 2012 Olympic Games to go down in the annals of history as the first ever politically-correct Olympic Games. 

London 2012 was the first time ever that all of the Olympic events were open to both men and women – which make it score highly in the political correctness stakes. All of the Olympic facilities that had been constructed didn’t involved evicting some disadvantage ethnic minorities from their ancestral homes, as in not a single Druid was evicted during the construction of the London 2012’s main stadium. Unlike what is currently happening in the preparation of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and during the Beijing Olympics back in 2008. And London 2012 did manage lower Britain’s unemployment rate. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The 2012 Mitt Romney Political Olympics: Too Self-Serving?

With his gaffe that almost “overshadowed” the shortcomings of the London 2012 Olympics, is the US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s “2012 Political Olympics” too self-serving for the rest of us?

By: Ringo Bones

Forget about the controversial G4S private security contractor failing to hire enough security personnel for the London 2012 Olympics (which tend to only “scare” anyone who just seen a warts-and-all documentary of the PLO terrorists killing Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics – or too occupied with the politics of a post-9/11 world), forget about the empty seats in the supposedly sold-out since May 2012 popular events of the London 2012 Olympics. It is the Mitt Romney “Gaffe Olympiad” that managed to steal the “political” limelight of this year’s Summer Games a day before the opening ceremonies.

US Republican Party presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s comments on the city of London not supposedly ready to host this year’s Summer Olympic Games – which is more about the US Republican Party’s somewhat insular (and Evangelically warped) perspective of the post – 9/11 world than the issue of the private security firm G4S not hiring enough security staff – is primarily what irked British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson. Romney questioned both of them on the city’s security preparedness ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games – which 80,000 of the folks who first heard Romney went on to the nearest social network to err their grievances of the visiting American. Even HRH Queen Elizabeth II is not amused. At least the GOP presidential candidate’s gaffe will make the 2012 US Presidential Elections several notches more interesting. 

Is Mitt Romney’s view on the “unpreparedness” of the city of London to host the 2012 Olympics just too politically self-serving for the rest of us? Apparently so, because it is not that long ago that Mitt Romney manage to absolve himself from all responsibility over the “fiscal malfeasance” of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics with the help of the US Republican Party’s “political machinations”. Well, at least Mitt Romney is off again to visit Israel in order to fulfill the US Republican Party’s on-going mission to use Hebrews as pawns in their war against the Muslim World.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Will Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad Use Chemical Weapons On His Own People?

With the top UN human rights groups officially declaring that Syria is now in a full-blown civil war, will Syrian strongman Bashar Al-Assad be eventually be forced to used chemical weapons on Syrian’s who don’t pledge allegiance to his rule? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The recent interview by the BBC on the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq – Nawaf Al-Fares, currently the Bashar Al-Assad regime’s highest-ranking defector – suggesting that the Assad regime will be forced to use chemical weapons if his rule is threatened. Not only that, Nawaf Al-Fares also heard reliable testimonies that chemical weapons has been covertly used in the Syrian town of Homs months before. Will this be a repeat of the late Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein ordering the use of chemical weapons composed of Sarin, mustard gas and hydrogen cyanide in a mostly Kurdish Iraqi town of Halabja back in 1988? 

Given that the truth that troops loyal to the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad won’t hesitate to use chemical weapons against disloyal Syrian insurgents, many now wonder who might become Syria’s own Chemical Ali – that notorious Iraqi general who executed Saddam’s orders to use chemical weapons on the disloyal Kurds in Halabja back in 1988. Or will the casualties might be unacceptably high on both sides given that Syria’s Sarin gas delivery system is probably unlike that of the one currently used by the United States’ Department of Defense’s GB-1 binary nerve agent via a BLU 19/B23 GB bomblet – i.e. the Syrian military are probably still using older Soviet-era – and largely unsafe – ordnance filled with ready-to-use chemical agents.