Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Midnight News -- 8/23/06

The Congolese finally heard the results of their historic election, and they did not like the results at all. Riots and inter-party violence broke out when it was announced a runoff would be required between incumbent President Joseph Kabila and former rebel leader and runner-up Jean-Pierre Bemba. Kabila received 45% of the vote to Bemba's 20%. The European Union has sent troops to quell the violence and support UN peace keepers, and President Kabila is begging his army to remain in their barracks. Much of the capital Kinsasha has shut down. The greatest disappointment in the election is that it failed to unite the country and that much of the voting fell along tribal lines. It is foolish to have expected a Switzerland to erupt after a single election.

We should not be glamorizing the functionaries of the state. This is how we go from a government of public servants to one of courtiers and mandarins.

Much controversy ensued in Scottsdale, Arizona when the Pink Taco restaurant chain moved to town. Now, the family behind the chain wants to purchase the naming rights for the new Arizona Cardinals stadium across town in Glendale. They've pledged 30 million dollars to indicate their seriousness, but I have no doubt their only goal is to keep their company's name in the headlines. As successful as they have been, they must be smart enough to know that the lead-in to a televised football game could never begin: "Coming up, the 49'ers take on the Arizona Cardinals, live, from the Pink Taco in Glendale, Arizona."

No comments: