Showing posts from June, 2008

snark as substitute for substance

By all accounts , the symbolism of Obama declaring victory in the nomination - at the same convention center in Minneapolis where the GOP will hold their convention in the fall - utterly swamped and rendered pitiful the simultaneous speech by John McCain. Even conservative pundits were forced to grudgingly admit that McCain was outmatched, and even petty. DailyKos has a compilation but of these, the one that stood out the most was by Amy Holmes at National Review (emphasis mine); McCain's speech was creaky, ungracious, and unnecessary. I never understand why politicians don't take the opportunity, when so easily presented, to simply be gracious and hold their fire. Watching McCain, I couldn't help but think of the astonishing contrast Barack's triumphant speech to a massive and adoring crowd will be. It was not a comparison McCain should have invited. It would have been more statesmanlike ‹ precisely the profile McCain is attempting to craft ‹ to acknowledge this hist

remembering Tiananmen - the place where China fell

A moving tribute and remembrance by banned Chinese novelist Ma Jian, of the events of June 4th, a date that will surely be as symbolic as July 4th someday in the annals of human freedom. I excerpt the beginning and the end; but the middle is what you must read. FOR three days last month, China’s national flag flew at half-staff in Tiananmen Square to honor the victims of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan. It was the first time in memory that China has publicly commemorated the deaths of ordinary civilians. Crowds were allowed to gather in the square to express sympathy for their compatriots. Despite a death toll that has risen to nearly 70,000, the earthquake has shaken the nation back to life. The Chinese people have rushed to donate blood and money and join the rescue efforts. They have rediscovered their civic responsibility and compassion. Their grief, shock and confused solidarity recall the hours that followed the Tiananmen massacre 19 years ago today, when the Communist Par