Posted in America, Food, Humor, Ohio, Politics, tagged America, Congress, Dennis Kucinich, Food, Humor, Lawsuits, Ohio, Olives, Politics on January 29, 2011 |
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Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has settled his dental injuries lawsuit. Kucinich became the butt of jokes here and elsewhere for his decision to file a lawsuit seeking $150,000 for injuries allegedly caused by biting into a veggie wrap that included an olive pit. He apparently concluded, wisely, that pursuing the lawsuit would only expose him to still more derision — and if there is one thing a politician just can’t stand, it is being the subject of ridicule.
Dennis Kucinich and his upper bridgework
Before Representative Kucinich could go quietly into the night, however, he had to explain why he decided to file his ill-advised lawsuit in the first place. This was not a good decision. Kucinich’s explanation, available on his campaign website, reminds me of the lengthy, overly detailed description you might get if you ask an elderly relative how they are feeling. And you can imagine your side of the conversation, too. “So your tooth actually split and you didn’t know it?” “Yes, I can imagine that would hurt like crazy — it certainly was brave for you to go on working despite the excruciating pain.” “I’m sure you were concerned that the anchor of your upper bridgework was affected.” By the time you heard the part about the antibiotics causing an intestinal obstruction you would be surreptitiously checking your watch and looking for a way to hit the road. Kucinich gives more detailed information about the health consequences of his chance encounter with the olive pit than President Reagan provided about surviving an assassination attempt.
Kucinich’s experience should teach every politician a lesson. If you are smart, you won’t sue under any circumstances — and if you find yourself talking about your intestinal obstructions, you probably should shut up, already.
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Seeing what’s happening throughout the Muslim world recently and currently in Egypt I am reminded of the words by Imam Rauf (the man behind the community center near ground zero) in his book, What’s Right with America, What’s Right with Islam that I read earlier this year.
Imam Rauf pointed to key historical events that have caused the rise of Islamic Religious Fundamentalism, one of which was the fact that Muslims have a widely held perception that the United States has more often then not has supported undemocratic regimes in Muslim countries.
This I suspect is another one of those key historical events and we need to get it right this time. As Bob said in his blog “Find the Cost of (Egyptian) Freedom” the President is walking a fine line and you can listen to the president’s comments below.
The President numerous times spoke about the Egyptian people, their rights and the need for reforms both in the government and economically. Even Charles Krauthammer from Fox News an avid critic of the president said his comments were “perfectly fine”. I think we are doing the right thing as opposed to wholeheartedly supporting current President Mubarak as we have done in the past.
This protest is basically driven my young Arabians so let’s hope that this is in fact a moment of promise as the president said and that Egyptian people will in fact realize their dreams for a better life.
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Posted in America, World, tagged America, American Foreign Policy, Ayatollah Khomeini, Egypt, Egyptian Protests, foreign policy, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Shah of Iran, World on January 29, 2011 |
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Egypt is now experiencing its fifth day of violent street protests. The army has been called out, social media communications and internet access have been disrupted, and most recently President Hosni Mubarak has sacked his government and will be appointing a new one.
Egypt’s economy is mired in high unemployment with low wages, and the masses have followed the lead of Tunisia and taken to the streets against an unpopular leader. Mubarak, who has been President for 30 years and apparently has become increasingly tyrannical over that period, is trying to avoid being deposed. In these all-too-familiar scenarios, the crucial issue for the regime usually is whether the army can beat back the masses so that calm can be restored, or whether the army decides to side with the public, leaving the strongman President For Life unprotected, unsupported, and faced with a choice between arrest and trial or fleeing into exile. That decision point seems to be drawing near in Egypt.
In Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv, the wheels no doubt are turning. Under Mubarak, Egypt has been a moderating force that gave Israel one set of stable borders. Egypt was rewarded for that. It has long been one of the largest recipients of American aid. In 2010, Egypt received $1.5 billion in economic and military aid, second only to Israel.
I am sure that the realpolitick types in American government would prefer Mubarak to the unknown that might occur if he were deposed. It is possible, of course, that elections could produce a fundamentalist Islamic regime that is hostile to Israel and the Mideast peace process. Yet too much American support for Mubarak could quash American influence with a successor government if he ultimately is deposed. Iran may be a model here. America’s steadfast support for the Shah of Iran until the bitter end left America with no real influence when the Ayatollah Khomeini took over, and American and Iran have been estranged ever since — to the detriment of geopolitics in the Middle East.
Of course, geopolitical considerations and American foreign policy considerations don’t mean much to those Egyptians who are in the streets, protesting in hopes of achieving democratic changes and a better life. Why shouldn’t they have a real say in how they are governed?
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