Thursday, May 01, 2008

1. The World Public Opinion organization today released the findings of their poll on press and internet freedoms . They polled the following nations, the total populations of which represent 59% of the world: China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia as well as Argentina, Azerbaijan, Britain, Egypt, France, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Palestinian Territories.

The results of their polling on Iran was a surprise to me, I am copying some of their major points below:

-Only three countries express relative contentment with their press freedoms: Iran, US, and the UK. Majorities in Britain (59%) and the United States (52%) say that they have the right amount of freedom, as do 43 percent in Iran.

-Of the countries polled, the only two publics where majorities do not endorse full internet access are Jordan and Iran. In Jordan 63 percent support government regulation of the Internet as do 44 percent in Iran (32% favor unlimited access).

-On the question of whether the government should control potentially destabilizing information, a plurality in Iran (45%) supports government control under such circumstances (31% feel the media should be able to publish freely).

(for a country-by-country breakdown of the polls findings click here, the full report can be found here)

2. God knows how many friends and acquaintances I've alienated for refusing to worship the ground that Obama walks on, but now that I have gone this far, there is no sense in stopping now.

I was not surprised when Obama sold Palestinians and Muslims in general down the river, cow towing to AIPAC and fascist islamophobia. By the way, word around town is that AIPAC head honchos have reached a private consensus that should Obama win the nomination, they will back his rival. For all he did, it just wasn't enough (he didn't like, you know, threaten to obliterate Iran).

But while his betrayal of Palestinians and Muslims was to be expected, I did not think he would go the same lengths--indeed, even farther--with the black community in the United States. And I'm not just talking about the Reverend Wright stuff, as bad as it is. Too much of the wrong kind of attention has been paid to that saga. But what about Obama's refusal to go to Memphis to mark the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination? Or what about his strong condemnation of people who may protest the acquittal of policemen charged with shooting an unarmed black man 50 times without saying a word about police violence?

In an article I just read, an Obama supporter raising concern about Obama's positions on these issues pleads "Senator Obama, Please Come to Your Senses." I think my plea from now on will be "Obama supporters, please come to your senses"!