Rounding it up to the nearest decimal place

Forgive me for the stupid title. It merely means I’m combining a lot of ‘thoughts’ into this one post.

In the last few hours, I read a number of (Malaysian) blogs posts concerning the US election. Most of them weren’t happy with the result, while some were pretty pleased.

Some might question why we Malaysians even bother talking about (and express disappointment) at seeing George Dubya Bush securing re-election. After all, we’re not citizens of the US of A, we don’t pay American taxes, we don’t vote in their elections, their President’s not accountable to us in any way, etc… so why do we care?

We care because what America does affects us.

When Bush chose to pull America out of the Kyoto protocol, any hopes the rest of the world had for reversing some of the effects of decades of pollution went up in smoke. Now, the US just happens to be the world’s biggest polluter:

The US contains 4% of the world’s population but produces about 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions. [source: BBC]

If all that pollution would simply stay in the US, I wouldn’t give a damn. If the ozone layer around the States disappear, fine. I have no problem with that.

The problem is that real life is not like that. Nature doesn’t see itself divided into political spheres. Planet Earth is one big mutha, and if you mess with one part of her, the rest of her will be in pain too.

Then there’s Iraq, Afghanistan, increasing terrorist activity around the globe, Osama still wandering around somewhere, the increasing volatility of events in the Middle East….

And don’t forget reality TV! Paris Hilton! I blame it all on Bush!

There’s more, of course, but my point is simply that what America does impacts us. Directly and indirectly.

OK, enough of that incoherent rambling.

If there’s one thing I thought was pretty cool about the elections, it’s reading about Barack Obama‘s rise in American politics. This handsome, African-American Chicago lawyer has a certain charisma that many Democrats simply lack at the moment, and his political ascent continues with his latest achievement:

The Illinois Democratic state senator’s career has taken another step upwards easily winning a seat in the Senate in the November election. He will be the only black member among 100 senators when Congress convenes in January and only the fifth African-American to serve there. [source: BBC]

Read the BBC Profile, watch this BBC documentary, watch/read his speech at the Democratic National Convention, read the New Yorker’s review of his memoir, and check out his campaign blog! Maybe you’ll see why some Americans are thinking (and hoping) that they’ll see a black man in the White House soon – and I’m not talking about Morgan Freeman.

Finally, on a completely different note, Liverpool defeated Depor in Spain! We had chance after chance after chance, and the fact we couldn’t put any of them away worries me a little (the winning goal was an own goal by Depor’s Jorge Andrade). But other than that, we were awesome! Rafa my man, forget about going too defensive away from home, because when we go out there in attacking mode, there aren’t many teams who can stop us! Yeah baby, Champs League hopes still alive!


12 thoughts on “Rounding it up to the nearest decimal place”

  1. Not to mention how the US economy seems to have quite a strong influence on ours which would then affect us all in some indirect way or something. And how some of the world’s best scientists are restricted in their research because of certain policies supported by the US president. They’re too big to ignore.

  2. I never denied the realities behind the truth that his GOVERNMENT’s policies do affect us – I don’t think Bush singlehanded did the stuff that he did but what the heck – but at the end of the day, our opinion doesn’t really matter to his administration.

    I’m not happy about the Iraqi sanctions, the proposed drilling in the Alaskan wildlife reserve, Kyoto Protocol, the WTO summit, support East Timor…I am not peachy happy about all those things but I do realize one thing: I didn’t vote. And I understand the situation in America, and behind this year’s elections.

    So I do the next best thing, I try to change – I do my best even though I am just one person. Global warming increasing? Okay, I try to cut down on fuel consumption, use green energy and etc. I don’t like free trade, so I support companies with fair trade.

    At the end of the day, we still have to go on with our lives and figure out way to better the world we live in despite the existence of some big bad apples.

    On the home front, I one day hope to see an Indian or Chinese as prime minister and a change in our society before we start trying to change our world outside.

    *keeps her fingers crossed*

  3. Mei: You’re right. Americans voted for Bush for other reasons that I don’t care about, since I’m not American. Absolutely right.

    Maybe my frustration is not so much that American policies affect so many others on this planet, but it’s that we let them affect us. And sometimes, it seems we have no choice but surrender to their whims.

    We need ASEAN to be stronger. We need all Third World countries to get our acts together. We need the EU to stop bickering and forge a REAL united coalition.

    We need a strong counter-balance to the US political and economic might. We cannot afford to simply bend over every time the US decides on anything that affects us and the rest of the world.

    I’m well aware of how this comment sounds : naive and idealistic. Maybe I’m just in denial.

    Once again, America, I wish you all the best.

    *joins Mei in crossing fingers too*

  4. Keat: Mankind wouldn’t have had much of a history if they weren’t benign… đŸ˜‰

    And how about the win in Spain, dude? w00t!!

  5. Benign? Mmm annexed Philippines from the Spanish, entered the Vietnam war for the wrong reasons, terrorist hunting with no results, launching the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq but “where is the WMD?”, docile towards North Korea’s WMD threat, ignoring world problems for Us favour, biased on middle east dealing etc.


  6. I also like to think that my concern with the presidential election outcome has to do with the fact that people I’m very close to will be affected by four more years of Bush. But on the other hand, is our interest also because there is little or no sense of voter efficacy back home that, in turn, makes us more interested in elections abroad? The US presidential election was a circus, but people came out to vote because they cared about issues, and I rather envy them that.

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