musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Have a Happy thefacebook.com Birthday!

So, do people really get credit for "remembering" your birthday if they just saw it on the right-hand side of their thefacebook.com home page while stalking their cute co-worker or posting more pictures of themselves getting trashed like it's 1999? I don't really think so. I guess it's the thought that counts. My girlfriend points out that, in essence, I'm complaining that I have too many friends, which leads me to another point: are my thefacebook.com friends really my friends?

Absolutely. Thanks guys for another thefacebook.com wall-post-filled birthday! Until next year...

Ode Mut F*ck Mc Turk

A poem from my good friend Stephen:

Today is the day a turkey was birthed.
This is the day no one wanted ham,
roast beef didn't dare
and for salami no one gave a damn.

For a long time ago
In a far away land
a fur ball was born
that turned out to be a man.

This was more than your ordinary turkey.
He knew early on that he could not be sliced.
The world was calling to him.
On him, there would be no price.

He came to this country,
soccer ball in hand,
befriending everywhere he went,
traversing all the land.

He was quite the successful turkey.
In his studies he could not be beat.
He charmed the ladies with his turkish rug,
and he even liked to to cook to meat.

This turkey has such a future,
the stars definitely burn bright.
He will change this world somehow,
We know his life will bring light.

So on this day of jubilation
we think of you my turkey friend
I wish you the best on this day
and know that my love for you will not end.

Happy Birthday.

PS: I forwarded this message to the Department of Homeland Security. It is being scanned for viruses as we speak.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stupid Show

Don't start watching Lost. It has to be worse (i.e. more addictive) than drugs.

Just Say No.

To the People of Iraq...

To the people of Iraq...I pray for your country, on behalf of my own. We made an awful mess and now are trying desperately to clean it up. But ultimately stabilization requires your full commitment. I have no doubt that such a proud, historic people will bounce back eventually; my hope is that you can do it sustainably, ethically, and sooner rather than later.

For your children's sake, I pray for your safety and the stability of your nation. Your future is uncertain, but I truly believe that economic development is your only hope. In the long run, we can not provide that for you. We can only give you the tools that you need to help yourselves. This is the work of community development, of not only handing out aid, but helping you figure out how to make our blood, sweat, tears and dollars work for you for years to come.

Your children will be there long after we leave. Let's work together to make their inheritance worth more than ethnic conflict and economic strife, more than devastation and foreigners in kevlar. Let's work together to make Iraq the model of development, community engagement, and economic progress that you so desperately want it to be.

To the people of Iraq... you are your future.

Obama Mamba!

Let me preface this by saying that I am not an overly political person. I enjoy watching the primaries much like I enjoy watching a good game of college basketball. The differences between Republicans and Democrats depend on issues that are not black and white to me. I choose no party and because of this I am your classic "independent" (or libertarian, but I prefer not to be bucketed, so we'll stick with independent for now). In our undeniably centrist country, I usually vote based on the person, or simply don't vote out of silent protest (2004).

That having been said, 2008 is shaping up to be a different experience for me. It could be that I now live in the center of all things political, Washington, DC, but seeing as how it seems that everyone else in the world is watching as closely as I am, I don't think I'm alone. Normally, I look to political candidates as puppets with fantastic speech writers, born to say the "right" things people want to hear under the right spotlight at the right time. Normally, I look to political candidates with a certain sense of contempt. That changed for me when I first heard Barack Obama speak.

Obama defines what I want in a leader and, more importantly, who I think the US needs in the Oval Office after a damaging few years of mistakes and good 'ol boy-ness. The "young" and "inexperienced" criticisms heaped on Obama by critics simply do not stand up to "inspiring" and "gifted" in my book. After a bit of a rough patch in my overt patriotism, listening to Barack Obama speak (without a teleprompter) to a stadium full of fresh faces in Madison made me proud to be an American again. It even led to me posting on my blog for the first time in months... now that's saying something.

I worry that he will be unable to overcome Washington, DC, a tough city full of vindictive and power-hungry people, waiting for the opportunity to smile to your face then stab you in the back. I doubt it's much different in other capital cities of the world; the center of politics is also undoubtedly the center of malpractice. Those with power often fear losing it more than using it effectively to make everything around them better. Such is my fear for Obama. He is so fresh, so inspiring, so un-jaded by it all... I hope he never looses that honest look and the ability to to rally those around him much like another young president did at the height of the Cold War.

Despite these worries, I have faith that Sen. Obama will overcome. He will hiccup, he will stumble, he will misstep. But after it all, he will emerge the face of an America that so badly needs a fresh look.

Although I don't think a single person reads this blog, let it be known that I, the blogosphere's most reluctant blogger, am endorsing Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. (aka I Barack the Vote)