Monday, April 9, 2012

That Is Like Thinking Baseball Is Boring--Baseball Isn’t Boring, But People Who Think Baseball Is Boring Are.

Article Analysis Assignment

First, read a news story from the newspaper or the Internet.  Answer the following questions regarding your news story: 1) What is the main issue, who are the main actors being discussed;  Then, choose one of the assigned articles you read for this week.  Answer the following questions regarding the assigned article: 1) What are the basics of this article (who, what, when, how, why, etc.);  2) What is the overall main point the author is trying to convince you of?  3) Do you agree with the author’s argument?  Why?  Why not?   Finally, tie together your news story with what you learned from the assigned article, textbook readings, podcasts, videos, etc. for this week.  Type your answers in the box below using your own words, no outline or bullets, complete sentences and paragraphs, single-spaced, full-page. 

This week I choose an article from the conservative-leaning British paper, the Telegraph, where the UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, in regards to the Treyvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida by George ‘Skittleless” Zimmerman, says she believes an investigation into police conduct surrounding the case is necessary. Law is to be followed equally in all situations, else it quickly loses all meaning, and there are many questions regarding the police work, and the motive of their apparent laziness in the case. This is a bit of a microcosm of the UN/related groups as viewed by the “common” American, or citizen of the world, for that matter: so what? Now what? Is there any enforcement power in her words? And who is she to say what should happen here? Many believe the UN (and surrounding bureaucracy) to be only expensive fancy words; in my view, that is like thinking baseball is boring--baseball isn’t boring, but people who think baseball is boring are. Of course that is an arguable point! The mandates and resolutions and debates and peace-keeping missions are not just fancy words…but neither is cooperation or coercion; cooperation does not rise from surrendering to force, it rises from shared opportunity in a “secure” civil society. Without a few fancy words, no-one will know what the standards and laws are. Cooperation is deciding to compromise for the sake of not missing an opportunity none can afford to miss. Regulated capitalism in mixed market economies (United States, China, et al.) is that opportunity, and so we have the UN mandate to promote growth and development. Cooperation requires each player in the game to recognize and follow the same rules. What of non-sovereign MNC’s who play Oligarch: Large and In Charge (it’s the new Monopoly!) with the global economic structure, particularly though outright manipulation of political events? They have no literal voice in the UN, but these MNC’s demand much and could do more to lead the way in ensuring a more decent standard of equality under law applied globally through our UN partners (regional IGO’s).  I would like to see what an international investigation into the patterns of political behavior when it comes to race, crime and punishment here would describe, and while I do not believe that direct interference in our sovereign affairs is appropriate, I do think we would be wise to see ourselves as part of a larger, also sovereign, global community. I will close this loose, rambling missive with an idea or two about how to connect a reduced number of players more vitally to the goals of all, and with the cooperation of everyone required for legitimate enforcement. That the UN can play a reasonable role anywhere does not need to threaten our American sovereignty, however.  We need to remember the intent of the UN is to avoid war through development and growth. We already use conditionality, mediation, assistance, and a focus on rhetorical engagement to get other nations on the Security Council to come along with us on a host of issues to this end. We already agree! America continues to argue over which economical path to take while another miniature Crystal Night has pushed many in our population right up to the edge of outright racial animosity (see: poll), what with the KKK rather proudly patrolling the streets of Sanford, acting on police information apparently. Of course the international community wonders how we as a people will react here. We have a loud voice that if we choose to shout “Enough!!!” with, the world just might hear! The American Legislative Exchange Council, a group funded by donations from many, many American-based MNC’s, pushes a Libertarian Randian-based Nativist Christian-Revisionist agenda in their models for the legislation taken up in so many states. Large, non-sovereign Multi National Corporations, like Pepsi and Coca-Cola have jumped ship from ALEC, and the philanthropic stalwart Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has broken ties as well. Well, good. I see this as an opportunity to point to what can be done in a new and innovative method to draw in citizens to be more involved- because enforcement comes down to involvement, right? So let’s get Coke and Pepsi and the other major donors to fund this investigation, and others, to fund in every state (and country they sell or serve in) voter involvement projects. Let’s have these MNC’s do more than declare what they are against; let it be that they take part, in a more public way,  in what we all are for. It is not enough to be against today what you were for last week- our future survival requires another commitment to (yes, radical, even) change. If you don’t believe the lie, you know we are not broke (Vicky Bruce). There is more than one way to tax a chicken, as it were. I say we need to see a non-mistakable effort from non-sovereign MNC’s with quite clear political goals, MNC’s who want the rights of the free market to start kicking in quite a bit more to protect that market. Election monitoring is one clear example of how the UN is working, and working well enough to help me scoff off the idea that the UN is irrelevant. Where monitors are, democratic elections lead to more inclusive democracies. So let it not be enough for us as a public, as citizens, as consumers who must consume, to see withdrawal from “oligarchic” organizations. The ideology ALEC feeds on has already grown six other heads! They and their corporate partners have more than one lever with more than one effect, all with the goal of creating a less inclusive society (basing this on the perpetual inequity in actual wealth between average citizen, rising economy, and non-sovereign MNC, a problem the UN has more than one committee looking into) So, maybe we can mitigate their power by requiring, in return for the “right” to hire, invest, advertise, or claim tax exemptions that they also publically take a larger role in election monitoring efforts, overseas and here. If these MNC’s wish to operate in conjunction with regional IGO’s, or want the benefit of working with Doctors Without Borders, let them also pay for the economy they wish to use. If they want the advantage of one loophole, one exemption, one subsidy, one worker, one regulation—this is a lever to pull.  Conspiracy is illegal, after all (see: Problems of Dr. Spock). Use Section 51, allowing even preemptive action against a hostile state  if need be, as these MNC’s acting in tandem clearly hold the interests of their “real people” (owners of majority stock) above the interests of Real People (those whose rights are declared by the International Declaration of Human Rights).  MNC’s already feel entitled to our labor and our dollar just as we feel entitled to their jobs and products…together we depend on a web of state and international laws to help avoid war between partners and non-partner alike. We already agree! We need each-other! I want to see incentives attached more to doing good than in the avoidance of doing bad. If you wish to take part in the effort to monitor elections, you must allow election monitoring. Jobs for everyone! Local jobs, too. But if we can commit to a set of solutions, and enforcement is the problem, how then can we encourage participation in the solutions? Here’s my idea, let’s use Election Day here as an example, which ought to be a National Holiday, with paid days off for everyone, fireworks, the whole deal—but that’s a different conversation--: Make it less of a reward to not take part than it is to take part instead of a mandate to vote or a punishment for not voting, or the current no-consequence abandonment we see…example: 10% off of some product or service offered by the state if you do vote, 5% off if you do not—and not voting in three consecutive elections would mean paying 15% more instead, while voting in five consecutive elections is rewarded through a lottery. I dunno. But more innovative solutions are necessary, solutions that allow for individual sovereignty while recognizing and protecting state’s and nation’s rights. Count up those who have not voted come census—draft them (or citizens from all tax brackets in the states with the lowest turnout) into my new International Election Monitoring Project as a service to their country (and the global neighborhood). It is not enough—and I do not suggest we use force to somehow further action—but it is not enough to say “We do not wish to be seen as taking part in voter suppression or in pushing radical pro-gun laws and religious exemptions for anti-bullying statutes.” We need to begin to demand more from those corps that take our real dollars, because they are increasingly seen as real people, and as such, have increasing power. If globalization is corporate, then interdependence is more personal. That is where we can capitalize- finding where we already agree. Use norms and evolving standards to evince participation. A non-answer is an answer---allowing bigotry is also not fighting bigotry…case in point—we advise, through the state department, to travel with caution to Uganda if you are a LGBT American citizen. But we don’t advise the same when traveling to states with ALEC-dominated legislatures in America…should we? These are the same groups at work…different heads of the Hydra. If we remain unable to admit the usefulness and the problems that come with more and more dependence on the UN as a World-Oversight/Activities Director, we haven’t a chance to overcome our own interests. That’s what groups like ALEC are counting on, that we need what they offer more than we desire our liberty and our freedom and our sovereignty, both individual and American—that we will focus on what is sure to be seen as UN incompetence/interference, or Syria/Iran/N. Korea,  or partisan bickering in the media over historical voting blocs, or Congressman Ryan’s Darwinist Budget versus the President’s Math—anything other than our own task at hand: ensuring justice through due process for everyone, thus allowing for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


notes for next article analysis:
· · ·

No comments:

Post a Comment