Vacation in the South

We have come down to the south to spend the Thanksgiving break, visiting friend and just spend some time doing not much of anything.

This is written on a iPod Touch -- to see if I could do anything serious other than reading and simple searching. Obviously I can. But it is extremely slow, even with the very helpful design of the iTouch keyboard.

We visited CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. At the end of the tour, I asked Georgia, our guide, whatever happened to Aaron Brown. She very diplomatically said, "I don't know. Everybody asks that question. But they don't tell us why they leave CNN." I asked if he just left CNN. To that, she answered, "I don't know." Throughout the building there are images of the current program anchors, which makes me realize how much CNN has been successful as a pop culture brand rather than a news organization. Aaron Brown's disappearance from the scene isn't surprising.

We went to Savannah today, late in the day. It is a very charming old town. We had dinner at the River House on the River Street. The food was very rich. The people are friendly. The whole place is much friendlier to visitors than Anlanta. Too bad we didn't get to spend more time there. This vacation is short, we should be able to come here for a whole week some time.

Enough with iTouch already. I think I would have to have something like a EEE PC class of device at the minimum. But for the ease of carrying around, the iTouch is hard to beat.



大选之后直到今天,莎拉·佩林还是在媒体上不断出现,晚间电视上说笑节目也对她热情不减。CNN 几个节目都说道许多共和党人把她看作共和党未来领袖。昨晚看 HBO 的«Real Time with Bill Maher», Paul Begala 说 60% 的共和党人希望莎拉·佩林成为他们未来的领袖,100% 的民主党人也这么希望。:-)

不过,我想保守派中不乏有头脑者,如果莎拉·佩林继续坚持作一个“抹唇膏的 pit bull”,共和党不见得会继续认同她作为领袖。从个人角度来说,我到很希望看共和党一意孤行下去,直至消失于荒野。但是对这个国家那并不是一件好事。


Proposition 8 in California

Personally, I must admit that I am not completely comfortable with homosexuality. I like the movie «Brokeback Mountain» as a nice piece of art work, but I don't care much about the same sex relationship in there either. Maybe that doesn't make much sense. But it is what it is.

Yet the passing of Proposition 8 which amends the state constitution of California is wrong to me. I agree with Bill Maher that religion has a lot to do with it. Most of the people who voted for the proposition are minorities in the traditional sense. They probably don't associate gay rights with other human rights related to race, gender and so on. I guess religion, like any herd mantality, promotes ignorance, although the same religions did promote equality between races in the past.

On the other hand, I am pleasantly surprised that both Proposition 1 and 2 passed in Michigan, allowing medical use of marijuana and embryonic stem cell research. Especially with so many signs and letters against Proposition 2 prior to election, I was afraid that it would be defeated. Its passing is a good thing for the state of Michigan.


John McCain is Wrong

John McCain's concession speech was graceful. But I think he is wrong in at least two counts.

He said that "the failure is mine." The failure is not all his, W, the Republican Party must bear part of the responsibilities.

He said that "This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight." The election of Barack Obama is much more than that. Barack Obama is much more than an African-American President. It is a victory of hope against fear and despair.

The Election is Over

The election is over (finally!): Obama 338 vs. McCain 160 on CNN as of now. Senator John McCain has given a graceful concession speech. President elect Barack Obama has given a somber victory speech to a huge crown gathered in the Chicago Grant Park.

Now the real work begins.

Notes from yesterday evening:

I voted today, for the first time in a presidential election and for the second time since I am eligible to vote.

I guess I mostly voted for the Democrats, as I don't know much about the other candidates in the local races. Even though I have studied the local issues a bit, I still didn't feel that I had spent enough time to really understand all the candidates. So I had to leave some blanks in the ballot. I guess it just shows that democracy is not easy.

As the day gets darker, polls start to close. We will know who is the next US president tomorrow morning, hopefully. So far, it looks like that the Republicans are going to get a shock and awe, which is what would delight me.

However, if Barack Obama wins the election, Americans still need to set the expectations right. Even if the Democrats gains significant number of seats in the Congress, human nature will determine that there will be disorder in their collective actions. The Republicans will try as hard as they can to assert their conservative convictions. Progress will not be easy. But whatever happens, hope is more uplifting than fear.


Election Day is Here

It is election day '08.

CNN has reported the first poll result in the country from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire: 15 Barack Obama, 6 John McCain, 0 for Ralph Nader.

On last Sunday's Meet the Press and a Fox News program, all predictions including one from Karl Rove gave 300+ electoral votes to Barack Obama, with landslide gains for Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Barring any disaster, Democrats will likely win both the White House and the Congress. That would be a historically significant shift of power and a sound rejection of Republican policies of the last eight years.

There was a letter to the Ann Arbor News a couple of days ago, in which the writer commented that the current and the last two economic recessions in the US all had been preceeded with eight years of Republican presidencies. I didn't know the US history that well. So here is a quick googling of US presidents: Calvin Coolidge (1923-29), Ronald Reagan (1981-89) and George W. Bush (2001-08) are indeed Republicans. The end of William Jefferson Clinton presidency (1993-2001) also saw a recession. But over all, the US economy grew significantly over the Clinton presidency. History never guarantees the future. But history is a good indicator.

The end of the election day is now only 16 hours away. Hope is within grasp.

Notes from 2008-11-01:

There is an article on Ann Arbor News today, front page, about McCain/Palin supporters being harrassed in Ann Arbor. I think I understand why those who did those things did them. Afterall, I myself have felt depressed for the last eight years by the stupidity, ignorance and arrogance so rampant in the administration. Then there are all those lives lost in the Iraq war. It's understandable that some people may have an ax to grind. However, such harrassing actions against individual are obviously just as stupid. Such stupidity only serves to divide the people in this United States.

On our way out of the house today, two senior African American Obama volunteers came to our door to remind us to vote. I told them that I was prepared to vote. I have been ready for a few years. This country is a bit too radical for me personally -- although they label themselves conservative. There is nothing conservative about racking up national debt in trillions while the individuals pocket hundreds of millioms a year. There is nothing conservative about going into a country, killing tens or even hundreds of thousands of people and then just calling them collateral damage. There is nothing conservative about labeling themselves compassionate conservative to fool the voters and turn around leaving them hanging in the wind to dry when disasters strike. Their behaviors have shown themselves to be radicals, repeatedly. As W himself quoted, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." A third time would be bryond shame for all.