though not entirely endorsing Obama in the upcoming election, i did want to dig a little into the whole "I will stand with the Muslims" quote taken from his book. The whole quote is as follows:

"Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

i don't think the WWII reference needs any explaining; i think we should be ashamed by our country's actions.

but why did he single out Pakistani Americans? well according to K. Alan Kronstadt, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Pakistan, after 9/11, was enlisted "as a pivotal ally in U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts." Furthermore, "U.S. policy interests in Pakistan encompass a wide range of issues, including counterterrorism, nuclear weapons and missile proliferation, South Asian regional stability, democratization and human rights, economic reform and market opening, and efforts to counter narcotics trafficking." I'd say all those things are pretty important, and keeping good relations with Pakistan involves Pakistani Americans. If our country was seen as targeting that group, our relationship might suffer accordingly.

now that he has essentially clinched the nomination, its time for the deep digging on Obama and McCain, to separate fact from internet fiction. back in 2000, it was smeared far and wide that McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh was illegitimate, and black to top it off. there's always 2 sides to every story.

i don't know if i'll go out and buy obama's book; i have other books i'd rather read--like rereading One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. there's lots of time to get to the facts, its just hard wading through it all...i mean, have you looked at 3 years of voting history (of course McCain's is even longer)? it looks like votesmart.org has a fairly easy-to-understand database of votes, though the history only goes back to 1995 and i'm not sure if its every vote, or just major ones.

that's politics for ya. i hate election years. its almost as annoying as car commercials.

on a light note, this week's beers are Laughing Lab from local favorite Bristol Brewing. i had missed it on my travels! and something new, Mothership Wit from New Belgium Brewing, a certified organic wheat beer. just remember to pour unfiltered wheat beers to get the full flavor. i'm working on the Laughing Lab right now, saving the Mothership Wit for last, right before we leave.

AND, back to the heavy stuff, we'll be going to our 3rd funeral this year....Laura's grandmother (on her dad's side) passed away in her sleep last night
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