Thursday, 19 June 2008

Lack of confidence in world leaders (but is there hope?)

Who's the best world leader?
Well, if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is counted, then he's the world leader with the highest confidence rating — 35% — according to a new study in conjunction with the University of Maryland. As Newsweek reports,

On average, only 23 percent of foreign respondents express "a lot of " or "some" confidence in Bush, and only Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does worse (at 22). ... Then comes [Russian President[ Putin at 32 percent, [UK Prime Minister] Brown at 30, [Chinese President] Hu Jintao at 28 and France's Nicolas Sarkozy at 26. The results aren't much different if you tally them country by country: in only two states (Nigeria and India) do a majority of people express at least some confidence in Bush. Putin and Hu each come out ahead in just five nations, and Brown in just six.

Meanwhile, respondents from most countries in a separate Pew study seem to adore US presidential candidate Barack Obama. Let's hope that, come November, most of America will think the same of him.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Say no to offshore drilling

In a move of populist pandering in an age of high gas prices, President George W. Bush...

has called on Congress to end a 27-year ban on drilling for oil in US coastal waters, to reduce dependence on imports.

We should not greatly endanger the environment when we should be looking for real solutions to the energy crisis. Offshore drilling -- like the loosening of gas taxes, or increased oil production -- is not a long-term solution. It will only make Americans more dependent on oil, and more dependent on something that destroys the environment in many more ways than one.

John McCain has made a complete U-turn on his offshore drilling policy, now following Bush in saying he supports it. His electoral opponent Barack Obama opposes both offshore drilling and the opening of ANWAR in Alaska.
Senator Obama dismissed Mr McCain's call as "political posturing" that would not bring down petrol prices and could endanger the country's coastal environment.

America's coastal environments have already been put in enough danger as the government takes a step back from regulating polluting industries. We have seen the vital role the coastal environment plays in protecting against hurricanes (New Orleans' natural defenses were down when Katrina hit) to soaking up what we pollute.

We shouldn't revert to old policies of drill-and-spill. I fail to see how this Republican ploy will do anything but hurt the United States in the long term. Isn't it time we moved beyond oil anyways?


Hey readers, sorry I haven't posted in a while. I will try to squeeze in a few posts in the coming days, but on Friday I leave for a two week trip to London. Expect July and August to be good post months!

Firefox 3 released!

The newest version of Firefox is out. Go get it (8 million people already have) — and set a world record!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Meet the next Democratic presidental nominee

Barack Obama!

According to CNN, Obama has passed the threshold of 2,118 delegates required for the nomination (no surprise as many superdelegates switch over). While Hillary Clinton says she will not make a final campaign decision tonight, it is clear her end has come. However, she mentioned recently that she is willing to be Obama's vice presidential candidate.

This should end months of fracture in the Democratic Party between these two heavyweights. Obama will have to immediately jump into the race and Clinton and Obama supporters will have to get over their differences to beat John McCain in November. We cannot have effectively four more years of Bush-like foreign policy.

The South Dakota and Montana primaries are still ongoing, with Clinton looking to win the former while Obama takes Montana.

One more thing: For all those on the far right screeching that Obama is a liberal socialist, he's not. He is, at most, a left-leaning moderate. I only wish he was more liberal; but, alas, in a country like America, "liberal" is a dirty word and the right dominates more than its fair share of the mainstream.

P.S. The timestamp should be 10:14 PM not 9:14. Blogger has issues with DST.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Who gives a damn about what McClellan has to say?

While McClellan is cashing in on his new tell-all book, which tells us nothing new by a man who didn't shape Bush administration policy in any way but merely communicated it, Christipher Hitchens points us towards a book by former White House policymaker Douglas Feith...