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Entries in politics (4)


The great debate - VP divide

There has never been a VP debate like this one, probably never will be again. I cannot remember any  VP pick at all (other than Al Gore who went on to be a environmental hero). Why? Because normally no  one really cares about the VP pick. In this case they do because she's a woman, and that means they can question her intelligence, record, history, family,  role as a parent. They have never done this with a man. I'm confident when I say there must have been so many VP picks in the history of America with less brains and experience than Palin. I  am not supporting either side. I can't vote anyway I'm not American. I' m one of those who think it will make little difference who is chosen. Because politics all works it out in the end. As Geraldine Ferraro Said to a sexist Bush snr. " Don't patronize me because you know more about this issue than me". Well it seems that in a "free and fair" democracy like America a women must always have a man lording it over her and get her yahoo account hacked into. Maybe next time. Click here After Bill Clinton put his weight and personality behind supporting Obama I have my money on them winning. Maybe I'm wrong, but a woman won't figure in that winning vote. Economics is a man's arena. Have an opinion? send it to us in a message. Please read the other comments first before you respond that way this becomes a conversation and not a repetition of the same old lines. Wisequeen

Democracy or idiocy?

Yesterday the dumbing-down of American society came full circle. Around the world, I and others like me, were tired of "America" telling us how they were the country of free speech, the world's engine of economics, the decider on who would have or use nuclear power.  blah blah blah! I was one of those who tired of Americans calling other Americans unpatriotic if they dared question or criticize their values, governments or laws. Is this freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is  Borat a British Jew, a comedian, coming to America to make a documentary/movie about how ignorant of the rest of the world, and it's countries and peoples many Americans are. Only Americans actually believed he was from Kazakhstan. So as crass and offensive as this movie clearly was,  it showed the inconceivable  naivety, ignorance and bigotry of a large part of the population in a humour-fueled and non judgmental way. This made Americans very angry. The America where racialism, sexism,  and discrimination have been eradicated. PLEEEASE! So let's get back to those markets, us friends of America. What Americans have now been forced to see, not by some invading terrorists, but by their own incompetent rich men in power is this: They haven't a clue how or why the markets work and are as mystified as middle America is as to why they are having their noses rubbed in the .... they created, by their own insiders, who have turned on them in a partisan pub fight. A woman can never call men on their sh..it, without getting bitten badly and dear Nancy got bitten and along with her all of those who wanted everything to get sewn up nicely before Monday's markets closed. Every dog and his monkey suddenly had a soapbox to shout from. So because the election is swinging and hanging and spinning on this tenuous thread, the big  government boys are at last in the bathrooms sweating, fidgeting and biting their nails. Surely anyone in congress or government should and must have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of finance, and if not, be intelligent enough to shut up and get out of the way, or go back to university? I feel for the man on the street who gets spoken to like a moron by his leaders. Nursery school tone has become the norm when the media speaks to the electorate. Fox T.V. specialises in this brand of dumb speak. And why ask Trump what to do? He keeps banging on about oil dropping like a rock. He's feathered his nest for so long, as his dumb mates in government watched while he and the other profit-takers took. Here's a clue America, don't vote for anyone who condescends to speak to you, that's on your municipality, school committee, apartment committee, local government or wherever, demand to be spoken to like an adult. Get back to common sense and look around you. America is not the only place where democracy is upheld and honored. I feel for all those hardworking, intelligent and courageous Americans, my friends who will be hurt by this idiocy. Have a viewpoint? let us have it in a message. Wisequeen

Can a woman lead? a country or anything else?

Now the debate raging over Sarah Palin, has become interesting to me. Call me a smart-ass (as my man did), but I wasn't the least bit surprised that McCain got a woman in to steal some ex-Hilary supporters. In fact I was expecting it, but apparently the press and many others were surprised, and in some cases even amazed. Well, ces't la vie. I am not going to bore you with my political views here, and nor do I want to hear yours. I'm not interested in Sarah's position on abortion or anything else for that matter, for the purposes of this discussion. Which is this. Why were her fiercest critics women, both in the press and the public. Why? This harks back to my post two months ago, about women supporting each other and competing fairly instead of smacking each other down. You can read an except below and others opinions or go there. Now I'm not suggesting that all women should agree with her rather conservative opinions on major issues, but why go for the jugular, why suggest that she can't hold office and have babies. We all know men don't get ask these questions that's not surprising. What is rather sad however, is that the people landing her with these dreadful names, bad mother, ambitious, liar, were in the main Women!!! Women who themselves had to claw their way to wherever they were in the press or normal life, and hadn't got where she has, and were not going to let her escape, without a good lashing! So let's Shame her, blame her. It's not men who did this mind you, there may have been a few, like Obama himself who refered to her as a pig, by saying " you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig". apparently Hilary did have something to complain about when she said he had to control his mouth. But in the majority it was women who did this, and will continue to. This is what happens in the corporate world every day. Put a whole bunch of ambitious, formerly-held-down women in a room and unleash their tongues, and you get what’s called a catfight or a smack down, you choose. Men have always protected each others sins and pleasures. Women don’t. Ask any women who her fiercest critics have been, and you have your answer. It’s the reason men rule the boardroom, we women are so competitive and “mean” to each other to use your own words, that I’d rather work in a room full of man eating lions than in corporate. girldom. We claim to not want divisions based on gender and then have “blogher.” Why not flogher? And, if anyone of us, ( even those like me who try to support women s’ efforts where-ever I go), can say they don’t commit the sins you list below, regularly, then I’ll eat both my hat and shoes. Sex in the city wasn’t a hit just because of the sex, it was the sharp competitive girl chat that made it a hit, competing for the attention of men is what makes us bring out the claws. Please leave your opinion on woman supporting or attacking each other below. Wisequeen.

Zimbabwe the last resort

Here's a letter I received that marks the end of the Mugabe stranglehold. My hopes are now that this country can now begin to heal and even flourish. Yesterday the deal was signed. It has been a tough 8 years to get here, but at last we are there! The reaction to the news has been muted in Zimbabwe – some have celebrated, others have wept with relief and still others have just mused quietly at the cost in lives lost and disrupted and destroyed. I walked into my office the morning after the deal was agreed and one of my senior staff was sitting there looking at our “Roll of Honor” – the names of all those in our leadership who have died violently since 2000 in the struggle to regain our dignity as a Nation and our freedom as individuals. Many were friends and colleagues; I knew just what he was thinking. It is sad that the agreement had to be negotiated in this way at the insistence of Thabo Mbeki; there has been no transparency, restricted consultation and no democratic buy in. People do not know any details and simply have to accept what was agreed behind closed doors. Not a great start to a new dispensation. But there was no alternative, we had to have a power broker and we had no alternative. Today marks the end of Zanu PF hegemony over power. From today every decision on how the government conducts itself and goes about its business has to be by consensus with the MDC. This is not going to be easy for anyone. We in the MDC must now work with the very people who have ordered our arrest, beaten and even killed our colleagues and abused our rights. We have to put the past behind us and work together in designing and implementing a new dispensation for Zimbabwe. The agreement is very African in character. In many respects it reflects our culture and traditions. On Tuesday last week Morgan Tsvangirai requested a one on one meeting with Mugabe, this was arranged and in the meeting he said that if an agreement was not reached, it would have dire consequences for everybody. He then proposed that to break the deadlock that they look at a revised proposal with a Council of State, headed by Mugabe as State President and supervising the work of Cabinet, and headed by Tsvangirai as Prime Minister. The concept received tentative acceptance and they then saw Mbeki. He welcomed the idea and Mugabe was given 24 hours to think it through and discuss it with his senior officials. At the next session be baulked at the concept saying it left him in a largely ceremonial position. Mbeki then produced the arrangement that was finally accepted by both Parties. Under this new set up, Mugabe is head of State and Chairman of Cabinet. However, the concept of a Council of State was retained by changed slightly to a Council of Ministers, Chaired by Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and responsible for the day to day affairs of government. In effect therefore Tsvangirai is Head of Government. All policy and other decisions by the Council – once agreed by consensus, will be then considered by the “Cabinet” , the same group of people plus the President who sits as Chairman of those sessions with the Prime Minister as co-chair. Cabinet then must endorse the decisions of the Council of Ministers and the minutes be signed by both the President and the Prime Minister before they can take effect and be implemented. People who know something of Shona culture will immediately recognize the arrangement as similar to the one that is used in traditional society here to manage the affairs of a tribal community or clan. The clan recognizes individuals who become members of the “Dare”. This group makes the decisions and the Chief is then called in, has the decisions explained to him and he then announces them to the people concerned. I have been privileged to be allowed to sit in such gatherings – in my own case it was the Dare of Chief Njelele. The old man was a bit of a drunkard and when the Dare (or Council of Elders) met to consider an issue that was quite important or complex, they often ordered the Chief locked up until they needed him or he would be too far gone to perform! There was no disrespect in this and he did not seem to mind the indignity of it all. He would then join the Dare, hear the decisions with great dignity and then explain them to the people concerned. Very democratic, very people centered and a good way to resolve the many issues that confronted the community. Can this sort of arrangement work with a modern government? I think it can but it will require extraordinary skills of leadership by Mr. Tsvangirai and determination by all the Ministers who will be working with him, to get down to business, recognize that, like or not, they are now in government and must work together. So team building in the early stages is going to be essential. The only other thing I can say is that our team is ready. We had prepared for victory in 2000, then in 2002, then again in 2005 and finally in 2008. So we have had several “dummy runs” at this. We know what is needed, what has to be done and have given a great deal of thought as to how to do the operation. I think the Zanu PF people are going to be surprised at the extent and depth of the preparations that have gone into this New Start operation. The international community will be cautious, but as President Kikwete said to President Bush in Washington a few weeks ago, give us space, allow us to negotiate and then implement an African solution. This is now in place and we on our part must now demonstrate we have the capacity and the will to make it work and to deliver a better quality of life in all respects to the people of this country. Having just had the triumph of the agreement in Harare, President Mbeki must now return to business in South Africa where he faces fresh challenges in the form of a resurgent Zuma campaign for the Presidency of South Africa. In my own view Zuma is now almost certain to be elected President next year and for us he takes assumes office a critical time. Much more than Mbeki, the MDC has a friend and colleague in Zuma and we might need his help in the rough waters that lie ahead, but at least now, hopefully, we are all paddling in the same direction. Eddie Cross Harare, 16th September 2008 Leave your comment below Wise queen