Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Obama campaign

This presidential campaign has become more interesting when Obama started talking thoughtfully about what concern Americans, what pains them and where they are looking for remedies and relief if only psychological.

This candidate's sincere thoughtfulness and interest in examining the problems rationally has impressed me. He apologized for his choice of words - when he shared his thinking about what people in small towns turn to when their expectations of successful life are economically threatened. He said that they cling to guns and culturally divisive issues like gay rights and immigration policy. This is a plausible hypothesis and the fact that he expressed it in public shows that he is willing to have a rational conversation about it.

The objection raised by Clinton and McCain that he is elitist is absurd. It is Clinton and McCain, along with the foregoing and ongoing Democratic and Republican dynasties, that have behaves in a patronizing way toward the American people. They kept telling them how resilient and brave Americans are so that they could do without a sensibly functioning government. Indeed suffering a government that delivered favors to corporations while refraining from reasonable normalization of health care market and creating a most complicated tax system on earth. The traditional Democrat and Republican is indeed a patronizing elitist while Obama is willing to engage thoughtful, rational genuine dialog with the public.

I am really glad that this Obama incident happened because it shows the real Hillary Clinton as a one of the dynasties of power - politician Clintons, businessmen Bushes, McCains with the generations of military service to American empire. I am not attacking people for where they come from but these here seem to really align themselves with their family traditions.

My opinion is very much supported by the new book by Kevin Phillips who blogged at HuffPo
and published a book talking about the disastrous innovations of financial industries that were enabled by laws passed under the Clinton administration. While I cannot disavow capitalist innovations wholesale, indeed I am furthest from that as a free market supporter, there may have been grave errors committed by the government (legislative and executive alike) who is responsible for defining and enforcing the rules of the free market.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Children of Men - a film

Just yesterday I watched this film that got a lot of people's attention a few years back - perhaps in 2006 or 2007 - not that long time ago.

The story is of a worldwide crisis that happens in near future. Britain is the only country that tries to maintain a degree of law and order while the rest of the world is gripped but chaos and violence. London and Britain are host to a large number of refugees and immigrants most of whom are deemed illegal criminals and treated like exterminable vermin. The scenes of abuse of human beings by armed agents of government reminded me of Schindler's List. Citizens are subject to abuse alike as only a thin line - drawn at the discretion of a fascist police agent - separates them from the illegals. There are huge systems to contain the illegals - fences allowing for passage of citizens to the train stations while heckled by the immigrant mass and protected by their police. There are constant attacks and ambushes in the city and country - by the illegals and by actual guerilla underground bent on changing the political system that is stuck in the mode of war.

The worst thing that happens is that no children have been born for 18 years due to an inexplicable plague of infertility. The opening scene of the film is the death of the youngest person on earth aged 18 years and some months. In this situation, caused by nobody knows what, the population discovers a certain new decadent attitude of hopelessness and indifference to whatever the future carries. Anything that can be done - evil committed or good created - can not be bestowed on any future generation. Our actions have no meaning if their consequences are not transmitted to our children. We are destined to become silent dust. The game of life is a game of who will die last. This new principle causes all our acts to be devoured the indifferent monster of meaninglessness.

The protagonist is by accident induced to helping and protecting a young woman who is miraculously pregnant. She gives birth in an immigrant holding camp where an uprising breaks out the next day and she and her protector navigate a perilous war zone where troops battle an urban intifada reminiscent of both scenes from Gaza and Warsaw ghetto. He saves her and the child by bringing them within reach of a mythical 'Human project' operation where the young family will presumably be saved.

Watching this film I was reminded of the teaching of the Catholic Church justifying its opposition to abortion. In the view of the Church abortion is not just a murder of a human being - it is a crime against hope. Hope is all the possibilities of the future that arise from within a life of a human being. In this sense murder is also a crime against hope but in case of killing a fetus that component reaches its pinnacle. This principle is brought out with its full intensity in this film where murder and violence against humans is part of everyday life and it is visible how people get used to it and are hardly shaken by it because the light of hope extinguished all around.