Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good Campaign Ad

Would that we'd see more campaign ads like this one. No sneering, sinister, disembodied voice offering half-truths and innuendo. No slamming one's opponent for things that have no bearing on his/her suitability for office. Just a simple, straightforward challenge to debate the issues.

"Melissa" is Melissa Bean, the Democrat incumbent in the Illinois 8th District.
Actually, Mr. Walsh has probably won the "debate" already since an ad like this is going to be seen by far more people than a debate would. If Ms Bean continues to evade a debate that in itself is going to turn off a lot of voters who are already fed up with politicians who have forgotten to whom they're supposed to be answerable.

Liu Xiaobo

The Nobel Peace Prize committee, after inexplicably squandering its prize on Al Gore and Barack Obama, has this year bestowed its Peace Prize on someone who actually merits it. The recipient is the Chinese freedom advocate and political prisoner Liu Xiabo. City Journal says that:
Liu Xiaobo is only one among many so-called Chinese dissidents, but he happens to be the most articulate and the most unbending. He has been offered many opportunities to leave China and live comfortably on some American campus. Liu, however, knows that the good fight must go on, and he has no desire to lose contact with his fellow Chinese citizens or squander his legitimacy by going into exile. Moreover, Liu has articulated most explicitly what many Chinese want: a normal life in a normal country. What Liu calls “normal” is genuine democracy and free markets, not the corrupt Chinese version of those concepts.
The Chinese apparently have a very attenuated sense of irony. Outraged that one of their political dissidents should be given international honor they've now retaliated by confining Liu's wife to house arrest.
You can read about Liu's fight for human rights here. The bio will also give you a pretty good idea why you should not allow yourself to think that China is on the way to being anything like a free and open country.

Brave souls like Liu and so many others whose names we'll never know struggle in anonymity to bring a flicker of the light of freedom into the nightmarish darkness of oppressive regimes like those in China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and much of Africa. Most of these people will never be recognized in this life, but they are heroes and saints all the same. What Gore and Obama ever did to be ranked among them is something I'll never understand.