Tag Archives: political commentary

New Hopes For Cuba and The U. S.

A child in Havana, Cuba gazes from his porch. Photo taken by User Jorgensen at HitRecord.org
A child in Havana, Cuba gazes from his porch. Photo taken by User Jorgensen at HitRecord.org

The Obama administration has made a giant stride in what could be the biggest diplomatic victory in recent memory by reestablishing connections with Cuba. There’s no reason why the embargo should remain enforced and by cooperating with the Cuban government, the United States can make bank and subtly encourage Cubans to explore the possibilities of pursuing a more direct democracy.

After more than 50 years of trade embargos, strict isolation to the Communist Island, and sour tensions over the Cuban missle crisis, the United States issued an intense trade embargo that has been documented as the most enduring embargo in modern history and it’s clear that such policy is officially a remnant of cold wars past.

By opening up and easing trade with Cuba, the United States can facilitate the commerce that American companies have been eager to pursue (The auto mobile industry is an appropriate example, Cubans have become experts at replacing old car parts due to our embargo of sending replacement automobile parts to them, The United States could also pursue automobile competition with The Chinese, who now hold most of the automobile trade)

On a separate front; opponents of renewed Cuban relations argue that by endorsing trade between the two governments, the United States would be officially forgiving and ignoring the human rights abuses committed by the Castro administration against the Cuban people. Opponents also argue that our trade with the Chinese government hasn’t made them any less repressive, so the same result cannot be expected to be reached in Cuba, and that the hopes of instilling a democratic mindset into the Cuban people through economic activity is a “long-term play”

This idea is understandable, but flawed to a certain degree. If history has taught us anything- it’s that the ideal “American mindset” that we’re raised with is an appealing thing not only for our citizens domestically, but for foreigners and hopeful emigrants abroad.

A “longer-term play” is better than no play at all. Right now there are more invigorated protesters and freedom fighters in China than probably ever before. It isn’t too much of a stretch to assume that our economic cooperation with them has  influenced the political mindset of most Chinese citizens to the point that many of them feel that democratization of their country is inevitable – and while this might not make the government “less repressive” – it will and has lessened the government’s ability to tame the wishes of their people, which democracy never hopes to limit.

Trade has the potential to open immigrants to the wonders of our democracy. What we’re seeing is the beginning of increased economic activity and ease of tension. What we can hope for is the beginning of the Cuban people’s liberation.

And it could all start here.

Maher’s Show Accidentally Teaches You About Media

Typically pundits and roundtables don’t work so well in the sphere of constructive conversation about current events, and especially not about foreign policy. But sometimes Real Time With Bill Maher mines up some real gems (most of which don’t come from Maher himself).

What happened in this Real Time with Bill Maher clip from May 2013 is a perfect example of the consequences that come from a society more engaged in shouting than examining. While many people (and you might be included in this) roll their eyes over the thought of discussing Benghazi situation, (that was how long ago?) Glenn Greenwald mentions something that most liberals couldn’t find themselves to come to terms with: That when government officials make untrue statements on the air despite whatever team they may be on – their actions and statements deserve investigation and retribution when they prove to be false.

While Maher continued to insist that he didn’t know what the scandal was, Charles Cooke of the National Review Online added very beneficial and constructive reflections of how the media and its audiences turned to partisan distractions rather than actually addressing the issue and while this is slightly off-topic and not on point enough for Maher’s question-beckoning, it is very beneficial food for thought which I will come back to later.

Glenn Greenwald came in and supported Cooke’s claim that the polarization in coverage proved to be more distracting than beneficial, and came out with this awesome statement at 1:26

The problem is that this arose about 6 weeks before the election when everybody was desperate to protect their side, so Fox [coverage] was ‘this is the worst scandal ever’ MSNBC [coverage] was ‘Obama did absolutely nothing wrong, he acted perfectly as always’ and the reality was something in-between which was:

A U.S. ambassador was killed (there’s only been 6 times in our nation’s history when that happened) The president went on the air and other people did too and made statements that proved to be untrue about why the attack took place- that it was a reaction to this film, when in rea- that’s just a reality, whether they were lying or just an error, the statements they made were- it was untrue.

Maher: It was a fluid situation

Glenn: No but it it still- when the government goes on the air and says things that prove to be untrue that is a – something that needs to be investigated and it was in a place where President Obama and NATO had gone and invaded and bombed and changed the regime, I’m not saying it’s a huge scandal, but there certainly are questions when the government and political officials six weeks before an election say things about a major event like that prove to be untrue. There should be investigations even if the republicans are doing it for political ends the same is true when democrats were investigating Bush officials and saying ‘these are the worst scandals ever’

Maher then goes off and brings in a statement made by Cheney that security at the Libyan Embassy was typically stronger during the 9/11 anniversary under the Bush administration, and while there is a fair amount of irony in that statement, it’s clear that Greenwald’s statement is still lost on Maher.

What is perplexing and frustrating is that Maher, just like the left-leaning outlets that Greenwald and Cooke mentioned, refused to acknowledge that the government should be held liable and answer for the inaccuracies in the statements they were providing.

And therein lies the biggest problem that we can see in modern media reporting.

With no tenacity for the truth or expectation of accountability for themselves or from the government, the media turned to partisan talking points and bile-quality reporting because doing so covertly plays it safe when compared to turning press conferences into interrogations.

While ‘interrogation’ might seem like a strong word to use for this situation, is it not appropriate? Lately there’s been a shift in tone when it comes to the usage of that word to imply some type of malice or harsh-intent, but at what point should media and society break away from accepting non-answers and expect their elected leaders to not only answer honestly to questions from the press, but to also answer for their misinformation?

We see this happen in debates where candidates don’t answer questions directly and veer off course, or when they cite statistics that are unfounded, debunked, or misleading

As Glenn pointed out, the statements made by the President and elected officials at the time proved to be untrue, and at the time they didn’t answer as to why. The fact that the media never asked them shouldn’t be reason enough to not address an accidental dissemination of misinformation. I understand that when constituents are harnessed in by the party-line tactics, it’s hard to expect quality journalism to take hold, but where media fails, journalism– true journalism should never falter- and I believe that Glenn was advocating for that in his statements.

As Charles Cooke later mentioned, “The Scandal here is that the media, as it did during the Bush years sides with power, the media did not want to investigate this and so it reported a process story right from the beginning Mitt Romney attacks the President

After Maher persists in claiming ignorance over what the scandal is, he goes on to cite supposed interferences and limits to what the administration can take on, saying

“What’s the crime? Something bad happened in the world. Obama is supposed to micromanage everything that happens in the world? He’s got four million people under his charge.”

Glenn later interjects and adds,

“You don’t think that when the U.S. ambassador is killed and there are people within the state department saying that they were asking for help and not getting it and that the U.S. government went onto the world stage for a week and made claims about what happened that turned out not to be true, that that doesn’t merit any investigation?

After minor interruption by Joy Reid of The Miami Herald (Reid didn’t seem to share the same skepticism as her Herald colleagues Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay) Greenwald, Maher and Reid’s voices collide together and Maher cuts off the conversation, sputtering in:

Okay, Alright, Alright let’s move-no, wait I don’t. I don’t and I’m bored with it let’s move on.”

Glenn smiles and sips from his cup, Joy Reid says OK- laughs and sits back, and the audience applauds enthusiastically from being saved from their duty as citizens that Glenn almost reminded them of.

If information is the currency of Democracy as Ralph Nader once said, it would seem that American media is doing its best to pick apart the collective piggy bank themselves. As hard as it may be, it’s up to us-the citizenry to count up what’s been exchanged and forged, otherwise the money that comes out of our mouth will never be any good.

About OurDailyBlaze (OBD):

OurDailyBlaze is a political commentary and social criticism blog created with the uninformed reader in mind.

   Sure, some people might have seen the “news”  on cable stations or sensationalized headlines

…But true coverage goes beyond talking heads and sensationalized gibber-gabber:

Luckily for you, that’s not really our style.

OurDailyBlaze is (Y)OurDailyBlaze- Meaning that we want our readers and our publications to provide top quality analysis, depth, and attitude to every topic.

With that being said – many posts will seem to be derisive and in bad spirits by some; but don’t be dissuaded.

I follow multiple media outlets, candidates, journalists, and movements- all of whom fall short in different ways. I understand that no one is infallible, that this blog will be far from perfect- and that some media outlets legitimately try their best to inform their readers; but part of why I created this blog and this endeavor was to highlight commonalities in media that have become, in my opinion, far too frequent and far too careless.

It’s become a new American custom that prospective candidates and officials face no consequence or castigation for lying to spectators and audiences through  microphones and monitors across the globe. The assumption that a candidate would seek to defend their honor while maintaining candor and integrity has become a long lost remnant of optimists past.

What’s worst of all is that the watch dogs of those in power have surrendered their potential to create productive and meaningful change within our political climate- and in doing so they’ve sold out their loyalty to the uninformed and have disgraced the image of modern journalism. These actions: whether they be through intention or ignorance- are unacceptable.

OurDailyBlaze is committed to pointing out the ugliness of media coverage and metastasizing social mediocrity so that their perpetrators and perpetuates know that there’s a change a ‘comin

And  it’s spreading like wildfire

Welcome To The Blaze.

Photo Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=19796
Photo Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=19796