Life around the world as seen from Sekongkang

Living in a sleepy little village on a remote island is peaceful and pleasant, but can give one a sense of isolation from the global currents.

United States

I spent Sunday watching the primary results on CNN.  This is the first election that has caught my interest since  I left American almost 19 years ago. I followed as much as possible of the Clinton – Bush campaign, but back in those days we had limited tv in the jungle and no internet so I didn’t see that much of the election. After seven years of Bush and an awareness of the process of voting for citizens who live overseas, I’m closely following the election.

I had a chance to watch Obama’s speech in Virginia. He talked a lot about his plans for education. Highlights for me were the raising of salaries for teachers, support for early childhood education to close the achievement gap, supporting high standards but not teaching to the test (just hearing that gave Obama my vote as a teacher), universal heath care and taking care of senior citizens so that they can live their senior years with dignity. The speech was powerful and his explanation of his politics of hope was excellent and moving – something that I haven’t heard in a long time after seven years of the politics of fear and greed.

 Pakistan 

As I’ve often said, I loved my four years in Pakistan and revisit those times often. I just found a cache of photos from my Lahore days which were wonderful reminders of a great time. I still keep in touch with some of my friends and students from Pakistan, and the recent events are tragic and troubling. I know my Pakistani friends are concerned about where the country is heading. The news today about another bombing and the beatings of lawyers just adds to mess (as a friend described the situation).

So a mix of good news and bad news today. Naïve or not, after almost 59 years I still can’t see why folks can’t let other folks live their lives as they want to. The people that I know here – Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist – just want to follow their religions, take care of their families, and enjoy life as much as possible. From their leaders, they want them to be believable, honest, and take care of the business of running the country. What’s so complicated about that?

 

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~ by drbrucepk on February 15, 2008.

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