Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Hope

It has been quite a week: first, 109 nations approved a treaty banning cluster munitions, and second, the democrats now have a presidential nominee who may actually ratify such treaties. In the past large arms-producers have opposed similar treaties; however, these can still have an effect on the big guns, e.g., although the U.S., China, and Russia did not sign the 1997 landmine treaty, none of them have used landmines since. The above article has a good graphic on how cluster munitions work; in order to comprehend the extent they can damage an area check out this documentary where a virtual minefield has been created by unexploded bomblets. (I'm glad to see Dan Rather has moved on to better things).

I have been surprised about the relative vacuum on reports of Obama's crossing of the threshold (2,118 delegates, including pledged super delegates). Perhaps, the media's belief was suspended, like mine; I couldn't believe the Clinton/Obama race was over and that he's the Democratic nominee. Most of the news has centred on Hilary, e.g., secret meetings, her as vice president, will she concede. All of these stories have come and gone and we'll see if she fades from the limelight after Saturday and her concession speech. I am glad that she aims, at least on the surface, to unify the party, but I am wary of her as V.P. First, as Carter notes it's a bad decision. Second, some nut case would probably view assassinating Obama (something I worry about enough) as a good way to get Hillary in.

Despite all the focus on Hillary there's been some good reporting on him: the Guardian released a story on his Kenyan roots and a video which compiled his answers to various interviews. He's so down to earth. I love when he says that talking to his grandmother drove the fact that he had won home. After watching Katie Couric's interview of him I think he deserves the nomination for gracefully responding to her annoying questions for almost half-an-hour after such a long day. Obama makes so much sense and offers so much hope, "I think they [the American people] will select who they think can best lead this country into a safer more prosperous future. ... They will make a decision based on, is this the guy who can make our health care premiums lower, is this the guy who is actually going to break the addiction we have with foreign oil, is this somebody who can responsibly get us out of Iraq and allow us to invest those billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure here in America? ..." (from Couric's interview, in response to her question on racial bias). Brian Williams is a much better interviewer:

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