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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Locke and Demosthenes' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
5:30 pm
ELECTIONS

By DEMOSTHENES

Sulaymaniyah is a Kurdish city in the mountains that is extremely excited for the elections. The Kurds are being given a uniquely powerful chance to become part of the future of Iraq in this upcoming election, especially given the contention over cities such as Kirkuk, where Saddam’s forced immigration of Arabs artificially created a Kurdish minority. Since the end of his regime, the city has become a point of contention between the Kurds who believe it to be rightfully theirs and the Arabs who have come to think of it as their home.

 

Why is this important? Because the decisions over the control and reparations in these cities have been postponed until the permanent Iraqi government is established, and the cohesive nature of the Kurdish people should help them establish themselves as important members of the new Iraqi government—the first time they’ll have an influence on Iraqi policy in almost 100 years.

 

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Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
5:25 pm
TIANANMEN SQUARE
by DEMOSTHENES

Following the recent death of Zhao Ziyang, a former Communist Party Leader who had been under house arrest since his refusal to endorse the violence used in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He died essentially of old age, following several strokes, but China must now find a balance between honoring a man who was extremely important (and still respected by many in China), but has been under house arrest for 15 years. Why the dilemma? Communist Party leaders' deaths are often widely honored, with highly publicized memorial services and lengthy obituaries outlining their contributions to the Party. The problem is that China doesn't want to open up debate over the military action in 1989 which they still defend to be the correct decision.

While this seems to be a simple matter of cosmetics, it touches on a more important issue, in fact the very issue that China wishes to avoid--the use of often unwarranted violence to "solve" political problems. Especially after the US involvement in Iraq, this question is highly relevant to current world politics. When is violence an appropriate and measured response to a policital problem? Is it ever okay to silence dissent with threat and military power? And most importantly, do the quicker, more temporary ends justify the often unsavory means?

Just some food for thought.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18695-2005Jan18.html
Tuesday, January 11th, 2005
4:20 pm
PEACE

PEACE

By DEMOSTHENES

 

Are there real developments towards peace in the Middle East?

 

After the death of Arafat, the Palestinian state has been steadily turning its eye towards a new, more moderate leader: Mahmoud Abbas. In the recent elections, this new leader has been elected in what some consider a surprisingly smooth election process.

 

The language in governments there is now a language of peace—some are calling Abbas’ election a “mandate to renew peace talks with Israel.”1 Indeed this does look to be what will happen next, as Prime Minister of Israel Sharon called Abbas to congratulate him on his victory. This marks the highest-level communication between the two states in years.2


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Thursday, January 6th, 2005
5:49 pm
Scoring Points for Free(throws)
Scoring Points for Free(throws)
By LOCKE

Players in the NBA have just announced their plans to donate $1,000 for every basket they score in one upcoming game to the UNICEF tsunami relief fund.1 The list includes Kobe Bryant, who is taking time off from having ambiguously consensual sex with 19 year-old hotel concierges to participate in this grand gesture.

Okay, maybe that was a little harsh. But you know what? Kobe desrves it; his plans are appalingly patronizing and reeking with cynicism. Kobe Bryant, who averages 28.6 points per game2, would donate approximately $28,600 to relief efforts; compare this to his yearly salary of $13,000,000.3 While his endorsement prospects did take a hit with his recent trial, he has held contracts with Nike, McDonalds, Sprite, Upperdeck, and Spalding--deals that have brought him hundreds of millions of dollars. His potential donation of $28,600 is therefore mere pocket change, and the entire plan seems to be a ploy by the NBA to make up for image points lost during the Ron Artest fiasco and for Kobe to rebuild his post-trial reputation, cynically exploiting the worst natural disaster in modern history in the process.

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Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
12:33 pm
ETHICS

ETHICS

By DEMOSTHENES

 

The current Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is uniquely suited to the idiosyncratic and liberal state in which he resides. Although he was elected as and serves as a member of the Republican Party, he was elected largely on his own merit and popularity, without much assistance from the National Republican Party. As a result, he seems to feel less obligated to listen to their ideas, and frequently comes under fire from his colleagues for his more liberal social agenda.

 

In the L.A. Times, the Rev. Louis Sheldon, leader of the Traditional Values Coalition—a collection of “concerned churches” across the nation—lambastes Schwarzenegger for his “unethical” and “morally deficient” social views. “But Schwarzenegger has shown he is a liberal. He is more committed to liberalism than he is to traditional Republican principles or the success of his party,”1 claims Sheldon. He condemns Arnold for supporting a woman’s right to have an abortion, saying that his willingness to compromise politically is a compromise morally, and that giving ground to democrats on these issues is both unnecessary and incorrect.


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Thursday, December 30th, 2004
10:14 pm
"Stingy Nation"
STINGY NATION

By LOCKE

The tsunamis that smashed into Asian coastlines last weekend have claimed, in addition to over 120,000 lives, another casualty: whatever paltry sense of decency the Bush administration had left over from the Iraq war.

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Tuesday, December 28th, 2004
12:00 am
UNDER THE RADAR
UNDER THE RADAR
By DEMOSTHENES


Recently, the major American media has been focused intensely on the conflicts in Iraq, the recent presidential election, and prominent social and economical policies at home. While other important international issues have slipped under the radar, they will most certainly begin to surface as their long term effects become more evident in the next few years.

The United States is usually seen as the “rogue superpower” in today’s international theater—we’re the largest economic and military power in the world, largely unchecked by trading embargos and not since Russia has the US had opposition on the global economic stage. This makes Europe uncomfortable. While the European Union is slowly gaining its own economic foothold, and the different countries within it become more comfortable merging their economies and promoting free trade, it will grow as a player on the world stage. But what of a more immediate solution? The recent friendship between France and China seems to indicate a French agenda to recreate a “multipolar” world in which the United States would no longer stand unrivalled as an overbearing “hyperpower.”

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2004
8:18 pm
THE FIGHT FOR IRAQ: VICTORY IN DEFEAT
THE FIGHT FOR IRAQ: VICTORY IN DEFEAT

By LOCKE

On 7 November, Iraqi interim authority declared a state of martial law in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah. For an indefinite period of time, any male between the ages of 15 and 50 encountered outside his home would be considered hostile by US forces. The next evening, US Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment1 advanced through the city’s mostly deserted streets. Fallujah, fought over since Babylonian times, was once again the site of a fierce battle.

Nine days later, on 16 November, a senior American Marine officer reported that Fallujah was under the control of US and Iraqi forces.2 The thousands of insurgents, thought to be holed up in the city, had not materialized; in the days preceding the battle, they had slipped away. Now, US and Iraqi forces must face them elsewhere in the country, as it is only a matter of time before the insurgents regroup.

Indeed, it may be impossible for the US military to ever secure Iraq. A thousand successes such as Fallujah may lead only to a thousand more, and so on. This cycle may be self-perpetuating: the United States may have to fight an endless series of battles spurred entirely by the presence of the very force it has designated to lead the fight—its own. There is but one way for the United States to win the fight for Iraq, and that is to leave.

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Tuesday, December 21st, 2004
6:28 pm
TROOPS AND THE DRAFT
By DEMOSTHENES

The United States Army is getting itself into trouble. The Bush administration's decision to expand the American military effort and lower taxes at the same time has put the US into a bit of a financial quandary. Our military options in Iraq are quickly becoming limited as currently deployed troop units keep getting their return dates put off.

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
6:03 pm
The Power of Soft Power
The Power of Soft Power

By LOCKE

It was 5:00pm on 22 October, 1962. Dean Acheson, under the order of John F. Kennedy, approached French president Charles de Gaulle at his official residence at the Elysée Palace in Paris. Not far away, Parisians gathered along the Champs-Élysées, pouring in and out of the city’s most famous cafés and luxury shops. Approximately 4,800 miles away, Soviet nuclear missiles awaited deployment in Cuba, within immediate striking distance of the United States.

Acheson told de Gaulle of the Soviet missiles, spotted by an American U2 spyplane on the morning of the 14th. He reached for his briefcase containing top-secret photographs of the missiles:

"I would now like to show you the evidence, the photographs that we have of Soviet missiles armed with nuclear weapons,"1 said Acheson.

De Gaulle immediately declined. “I do not wish to see the photographs,” he insisted, “The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me. Please tell him that France stands with America."2

Today, such an exchange between a French president and an American official is nearly inconceivable: the United States has lost all semblance of the soft power it once enjoyed.

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Thursday, December 9th, 2004
4:55 pm
From The New York Times
Locke's Thursday column will be delayed until next week.

In the meantime, please redirect your attention to the following article by Thomas Friedman, which appears in today's addition of The New York Times:

This article has been reproduced without expressed permission from the New York Times; under no circumstances can it be used for commercial purposes.

The Suicide Supply Chain
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

"...America's greatest intelligence failure in Iraq was not the W.M.D. we thought were there, but weren't. It was the P.M.D. we thought weren't there, but were. P.M.D., in my lexicon, stands for "people of mass destruction." And there were far more of them in Iraq than anyone realized. The failure of U.S. intelligence to understand what was happening inside Iraqi society during the decade-plus of U.N. sanctions that preceded our invasion is the key to many of the problems we've encountered in post-Saddam Iraq."

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Tuesday, December 7th, 2004
5:16 pm
READ THE NEWS
READ THE NEWS
by DEMOSTHENES


Despite being the proud champion of individual rights and democracy around the world, the American public is a startlingly inactive member of the system. Everyone knows people who don't vote. If 50% of the eligible voters actually turn out to vote, it's an amazing turnout. A while ago, CNN talked about how people who watched the Daily Show were among the most informed politically according to a survey quiz. That is, according to the quiz (which can be found in the news story), people who watched the daily show knew more about politics. Look at those questions! It's an embarrassment.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2004
10:47 pm
DO WE WANT DEMOCRACY?

DO WE WANT DEMOCRACY?

By DEMOSTHENES

 

Liberation of the Iraqi people and the security of the United States were at the forefront of America’s reasons for war. But does the United States really want democracy to spread throughout the Middle East? Though democratic governments may help eliminate the current prominence of terrorism and violent politics, it wouldn’t necessarily serve the interests of the US any better than the current governments.

 

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Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
3:23 am
Notice
Because of certain circumstances, this tuesday's article will be appearing on Sunday morning.

We apologize for the incovenience,
The Polyeidus Team.
Thursday, November 18th, 2004
8:17 pm
FREEDOM FRIES AND FREEDOM LIES
By LOCKE

Everyone’s familiar with today’s rhetoric; how many times have we rolled our eyes at expressions such as, “Freedom is on the March,” “We’re not turning back,” “Stay the course,” or “Flip-flopper?” These terms—along with other buzzwords that once carried real meaning, such as “Terrorism”—have been repeated far beyond ad naseum.

And yet, some still seem to resonate, and indeed have come to define very broad perceptions held by the American people. Principal among these is this: “The terrorists are evil and hate freedom.”

Al Qaida may be evil. This, perhaps, cannot be denied. But there’s something people need to realize: The terrorists do not hate freedom, and until we face this fact, we’re not going to win the war on terror.

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
1:30 pm
THE PATRIOT ACT

The Patriot Act
By DEMOSTHENES

Is a buzzword. In fact, along with “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and “War on Terror” it might even be put into the “zombified word” category. But it’s always better to have a more informed opinion--so, just what is the PATRIOT act? What does it do?

The USA PATRIOT Act, which stands for the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act”. This act is a huge document containing some fairly large modifications to the structure of US national security--but there are a few sections which are perhaps more prevalent than others.

The issue that concerns people most: privacy.

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Thursday, November 11th, 2004
9:10 pm
Increasing access
In an effort to facilitate greater access and increased discussion, polyeidus will no longer be friends only. Entries will also no longer be placed behind on LJ cut.

Suggestions for continued improvement are welcome!

-The Polyeidus Team


[EDIT]: LJ-cuts will be returned to entries. Thank you for your input.
8:38 pm
CONSERVAPHOBIA
If recent voting statistics are any indication, we can assume that 55, 949,407 Americans suffer from conservaphobia—the irrational fear of conservatism, George W. Bush, and anything remotely related to Republicans, rightwing Christians, or Dick Cheney’s unparalleled mastery of the Dark Arts.

Have the Liberals lost their mind?

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2004
9:36 am
THE HYPOCRISY AND THE HATE

In California, in Washington, in New York…the cry goes up: “Move to Canada!” The Democrats agonize over another four years with George W. Bush in the White House, and the hyper-liberals condemn America for bull-headed stupidity. The blind and selfish nationalism of Republicans is sickening—a disgrace to our country.

 

…Right?

 
(...)

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Thursday, November 4th, 2004
6:39 pm
LEFT BEHIND
When the term, “liberal,” first entered popular discourse, as far back as the 1300s, it was used to define those arts or sciences considered worthy of study by a ‘free man.’1 Centuries later, during the age of flourishing international commerce in pre-Imperial Europe, it became a term to describe open, laizzes faire, trade economies. In twentieth-century American politics, “liberal” was an identity, a person who favored the political philosophy of progress, reform, and the protection of civil liberties.2 Today, to 51% of the country3, “liberal” is a slur.

The American Left is in grave danger of being left behind.

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