Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Redistricting Game

Just wanted to pass this on - The Redistricting Game.

This game effectively explains the issues concerning redistricting, and it is kind of fun to boot.

Judging from the gerrymander-looking districts in Texas,, it looks like legislators could stand to learn a lesson in creating fair districts.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Democrats Talk about God???

Being overseas, I have been a bit out of touch with what is going with the presidential campaigns. In an attempt to get up to speed, I watched the video from the Presidential Forum on Faith, Vales, and Poverty. It was interesting to hear the three leading Democratic candidates (Edwards, Obama, and H. Clinton) speak on their faith and how it would influence their actions as president.

To me Edwards seemed the most comfortable of the three in talking about his faith. He was also the most convincing, talking about he actions he has taken over his lifetime to combat poverty. He is clearly committed to acting on his faith but I am not quite convinced that his convictions will translate to effective policies. He mentioned his intention to encourage unionization more than once, and from what I have learned in economics this seems counterproductive to encouraging economic growth and prosperity.

Obama was also at ease talking about how his views are shaped by his religious morals. Repeating the phrase "I am my brother's keeper," he pointed out that we could end a lot of problems in the world if we all just took care of each other. Unfortunately he did not state how he would translate this feel-good mantra into policy. He did say that if elected he would put a high level person in charge of New Orleans and request daily reports on progress there.

Of the three candidates, it was most unusual seeing Clinton talk about her personal faith. I was quite surprised how comfortable she looked as she talked about how prayer had gotten her through various crises (including Bill's infidelity).

Again, I felt that Edwards was the most convincing, but I'm not sure he would be the one I'd be most likely to vote for. I will need to do more research on the specific policies that all of the candidates (from all parties) are proposing. In any case it was refreshing to hear these candidates talk about how their faith has shaped their convictions. Hopefully this trend will lead to creative solutions from both parties for issues such as poverty and health care.

I recommend watching the whole forum if you have the chance.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Travel Map

Thanks Angela for passing this on...

There is a lot of white space on my map. Maybe I should take a job in South America or Africa. I'm also looking forward to going to Iceland and Greenland, which is the becoming a new tourist "hotspot" due to global warming. (Ah, who doesn't love a good global warming pun? Take that Al Gore!)