Tag Archives: politics

What if by Ron Paul

Ron Paul is one of those rare politicians who make sense more often than not but find it hard to make a big enough impact to actually change the status-quo. Why? I don’t know, maybe this whole democracy thing is a delusion, maybe you always need some special interest group behind you to win an election.

I found this speech by Ron Paul, a very thoughtful speech indeed.

These are the most interesting points I found in the speech.

  • What if we wake up one day and realize that terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others.
  • What if conservatives who preach smaller government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government.
  • What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empires eventually destroys all great nations.
  • What if Christianity actually preaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression.
  • What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes.

Ahmadinejad’s win

Contrary to the hopes of West and anyone like me who would not mind a saner regime anywhere in the world that maybe, Ahmadinejad have won the Iranian presidential election and in a landslide too. There are stories of vote rigging and many malpractices but you should always think twice when Western media report on Iran. Whatever the malpractices that were supposedly took place, the win is convincing enough for me.

What I was thinking was actually who would welcome Ahmadinejads win?Of course other than the public of Iran. Ultra nationalist Zionists of Israel could keep using Iran’s nuclear threat to come to power and keep refusing any reasonable middle ground regarding the problems of Palestinians. Neocons in USA who don’t want to see any dialog between USA and Iran would find a very good excuse. Then of course is the religious conservative, terror loving, ruling elite of Tehran, who could keep ignoring reforms and modernity for Iranians and continue on their imaginary revolutions and destabilization of their neighbors. It is very interesting how hardliners in opposite sides of the line could rely on each other for their survival.

The bright side of story? Looks like the majority behind the reformist opposition had been youth and students. Would the next generation be able to take Iran, a country with a wonderful History that had done so much for the human civilazation on a more secular, modern path? Time will tell.

Time for privatization again

We have a popular government at the moment. A government that keep on repeating that it doesn’t believe in privatization and that privatization is bad in general but a government that doesn’t believe in any of that. Those are just rhetoric to come into power and to stay in power. I firmly believe that when the need arises and when the hard reality hits these malfunctioning brains they will start with privatization. That is what should happen, and by looking at recently passed CEB bill and negotiations with the IMF for a whopping Rs 210 billion it seems like that is exactly what is happening.

Privatization is not bad. It amuses me when some people tell that private enterprise is good and the engine of growth is the private sector but that privatization is bad. How come that be? If private enterprise is good, handing the ownership of state enterprises to private sector should also be good. Having said that government retaining the ownership of some enterprises is ok. It should be case by case rather than privatizing all and everything or the complete opposite. If the ownership of the government doesn’t make any sense privatize them, those that have a direct impact on the public, retain the ownership but make them independent corporations. Have the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) which is managed by the government had any positive impact on the public? No. Have the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) had any positive impact on the public? Indeed yes. Have the privatization of Sri Lanka Telecom had any positive impact on the public? Of course. So why can’t we come into an agreement that corporations such as SPC  would not be privatized by any means but something like the petroleum sector would be liberalized and more competition be attracted and if the CPC cannot compete let it go bust. That should be one objective of privatization, getting inefficient businesses out of the market.

This government is in a historic position to challenge popular beliefs and take the country in a new path. If they have the will, they can convince the public that privatization is not so evil (as they also painted it some time back), open economy is the only way forward for a tiny market as ourselves, economic reforms are a must for an economic revival, our state sector is way too big and those cheap talks about an agriculture based economy were not very serious. They can declare they will privatize these institutions because of these reasons and they will not privatize these ones for these reasons. I see no better time for that than this. So gentlemen in the government, my vote is always open, dare to grab it?

They said that I am a libertarian – who would you be?

There is this political quiz which is supposed to be the worlds smallest political quiz. It has 8 simple questions which are divided into personal matters and economical matters. Once you have answered the 8 questions it would show you your points and list your political ideology. This is really nice you should try it out.

Ok then it comes to my libertarianism. I was said to be a libertarian by the quiz. I don’t identify myself as a libertarian. No way. I would place myself between liberalism and libertarianism. I believe in the individual liberty. I believe that what humans do with their lives and property is their individual right. I believe in a society where people tolerate the behaviour of others and accept that the society could be different from the way they like it to be. I believe that the free market economics would deliver us prosperity.

But I’m not naive enough to think that taxation by the government is theft, I’m not stubborn enough to believe that the government is always bad in business, I’m not self deceiving enough to believe that the society is equal in opportunities. Ron paul once, in a ‘google candidate interview’ came up with the idea of abolishing the income tax. No wonder the Navy man won the candidature(I have high respect for Ron paul, probably would have supported him if I was an US citizen. I support obama considering the historical aspect).

Anyway the libertarians managed to get me into their side, in the quiz that is. What was your result?

McCain comes up with a useless proposal

The last time sen John McCain said something that caught my attention I had some respect for the guy. When sen Obama and sen Clinton were busy blaming globalization and china for the loss of jobs in america John McCain said straight forwardly that, jobs that were lost are lost and they would never come back.

Now McCain had proposed that $300 million would be given to anyone who would develop an automobile battery that would cost only 30% of a present day battery and one that would perform far better than the current ones. The reason is to lessen dependence on oil. It would seem a very encouraging thing but it is a downright useless proposal.

To lessen the dependence on oil, the battery been developed would have to be economically viable. So the person or the organization that would develop a battery would make a good profit anyway. So why does the public have to first award the developer $300 million and then buy it from the same developer? I am sure most of the car manufacturers would be researching in this area with or without the award because it is very attractive right now. It is better to use this money for R&D rather than awarding it to someone that would have developed it anyway.

Sana’s inclusion to the team – Typically Sri Lankan Decision

First Jayasuriya was dropped from the team not because he was the only one who didn’t perform but because he happened to be old. No one performed well in Australia except Sanga and Jaysooriya was dropped from the team becuases Indians beat Australia by a very young team. Now he’s back in the team not because the selection team wanted him but his innings in the IPL had entertained our sports minister. This is not about whether the inclusion of jayasuriya is right or wrong. This is about what is obviously wrong. Political meddling in decision making.

Isn’t this simple? The cricket board maintains a panel of experts to select the cricket team because they are the experts, they monitor the domestic cricket arena and they have a plan for the future. What is the expertise of the sports minister to decide who should be in the team and who is not? Is the sports minister supposed to be an expert of team selection? What’s the meaning of approving the team selected by experts by someone who is not supposed to know about cricket?

We can see this trend everywhere in our country. The president decides which Highway to build over the plans of the RDA. (That’s why we couldn’t build the Katunayake – Colombo highway for 30 years. It is in no one’s political agenda, only in RDA plans). Politicians decide where to build the next international cricket stadium. Ministers decide which films to ban, not by the required authorities. For example the Engineering Faculty of University of Ruhuna was situated not in Matara University premises but in Galle. The Education Minister at that time happened to be Mr. Richard Pathirana who is from Galle. I don’t know whether there were any fair reasons for situating the faculty away from the university. But I guess it should have been done purely because the minister wanted the faculty to be in his district. Apologies if I am wrong.

These things have continued for so long that people think these kinds of meddling are right and are part of the system. People think that it is useless to fight against these kind things and it happens everywhere. It is very frustrating to see people applauding the wrong thing done by the sports minister. It is not enough for the decision to be right. It should be from the right person. What if the sports minister wants another player to the team and another and another? Then people will realize how screwed up this procedure is.

A Sri Lankan is running for an election in United States

Sanje Sedera a Sri Lankan born, is running for the state legislature elections in Nevada, United States. He has moved to US in 1992 and now is a successful businessman in the gambling city, Las Vegas. It is needless to say he is the first Sri Lankan to run for an election in the united states. I don’t know what this State Legislature is. So i don’t know whether the election he’s running is a very important one. Anyway all my best for him to add some more diversity to the USA election map.