Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pedro Martinez and his "culture"

Pedro Martinez, Juan Marichal filmed at cock fight

New York Mets Pitcher Pedro Martinez is seen in a You Tube video at a "Cock Fight" in the Dominican Republic, where it is legal. Cock fighting, which is similar to dog fighting, has been claimed to be a part of the "culture" of the island nation. Martinez says that, "I understand that people are upset, but this is part of our Dominican culture and is legal in the Dominican Republic,'' Martinez said in a statement issued by the Mets. "I was invited by my idol, Juan Marichal, to attend the event as a spectator, not as a participant.''

This is very disgraceful. While it may be legal in the Dominican Republic, it is NOT legal in this nation. And in the eyes of many, it is seen as a disgusting activity. Using the excuse of "its part of the culture" is lame. In other parts of the world, euthanasia is part of the culture. In some Muslim nations, it is part of the culture to punish the victim (if she is a woman) for being raped. In some regions of Africa, Clitorectamies of young girls is a part of the culture. Just because something is "cultural" does not make it right or good.

I know some have said that the US should not "force our morals" on other people around the world. But this has nothing to do with that. Martinez is an employee of a team in the US, pay US taxes. If he is unhappy about how he will be viewed or his lack of desire to ascribe to the US way of life, then he shouldn't be here. In this nation, we have a strong desire to promote good and condemn evil. No matter what anyone says, cock fighting is a form of animal abuse, just like making children in Muslim countries be suicide bombers is considered a form of "child abuse".

We need to stop letting people run around and use excuses such as "tradition" and "culture" for inappropriate and immoral behavior. We are all born with an understanding of right and wrong. If you are sneaking around doing something, then it is probably wrong. If something is done in secret and denied in public, it is probably something wrong or bad going on. We as humans naturally are proud of the good things we do and are embarrassed about immoral and "bad" things. Pedro Martinez, along with many others, need to get beyond "culture" and start admitting right is right and wrong is wrong. Our society needs to stop making excuses for such behaviors and activities. We must start standing for good and against evil before evil takes hold to the point that we loose our moral reasoning. Every "great" country and nation that has lost its moral reasoning have all fallen. The Roman Empire is a prime example.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Romney Ends 2008 Presidential Bid=Quagmire

Today, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has announced he is ending his bid for the Republican Presidential Nomination. This changes the race for President in numerous ways.

1) Republican Nomination: The race has totally changed. Only two candidates have any real chance at winning the nomination. For Republican votes, the choice is between a moderate Republican (John McCain) and a Social Moderate Conservative, Fiscal Liberal (Mike Huckabee). Huckabee did not do bad on Super Tuesday. Huckabee won 5 states on Super Tuesday (6 overall). McCain won 9 states on Super Tuesday (12 overall). While McCain is the likely nominee, Huckabee could make the road very difficult. I am unsure if Huckabee can truely fill the "anti-McCain" shoes of Mitt Romney. This "lack" of choices while alienate many voters and force other to pick a candidate who does not stand for their beliefs (similar to Dole in 1996, Ford in 1976). This election will change the Republican party one way or another, causing it to be more or less Conservative in the long run.

2) Democrats: Romney was the candidate who Democrats attacked and spoke the most ill of. He also was the candidate who had the strongest contrast on issues with the Democratic Presidential Candidates. The same cannot be said about McCain and Huckabee. McCain and Hillary Clinton have similar voting records and positions on several issues (Education, Bush's Tax Cuts, Illegal Immigration, Veteran's Benefits, etc.) Huckabee, while staunchly Pro-Life, is against school vouchers, is not very conservative in his fiscal policies, and his socialistic approach to get America "healthy" (National Smoking Ban, Limiting what children eat at school, taking away health care/benefits from those over a certain weight). Sure, McCain is a seasoned politician and Huckabee is funny, but they lack the charisma (Obama) and political machinary (Clinton) of the Democrats. The lines are also more blurred now so whoever the Democratic Candidate is must be able to seperate himself from their opponent while grabbing votes from the moderate Republican ranks who "dislike" the Republican Candidate. Obama could probably do a better job at than than Hillary, but she may appear more "tolerable" than Obama on certain issues to some moderates (Foreign Policy and Health Care).

On top of all this, there is already discussion about another Presidential bid for Romney in 2012. This would only work if Romney continues to stay active in the public eye. But this leaves the 2008 Presidential election in a quagmire because there are no "sure" choices, but flavors. Instead of making a decission between Pizza or Cheesesteaks for dinner, we are making a choice between Pizza toppings, but still getting pizza. Th race will only get more rediculous if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg enters the race as an independent candidate. The only choice between him and the current candidates (if I may continue with the pizza analogy) is that he is white pizza compared to the others. Its still pizza.