Monday, June 21, 2010

Pray Baby Pray!!! Why God Isn't Listening Anymore.

Oh, thank goodness for twitter. If it wasn't for the otherwise useless social networking site (remember when they were just called chatrooms?) I would never have seen this fine example of Sarah Palin's mental state:

@SarahPalinUSA Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man's efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle.

Wow. Okay. Well, let us presume that Sarah Palin's version of a god does exist. I hope he or she does not, because the existence of any entity as interpreted by Ms. Palin is a scary thought.

Here is what I would imagine god saying to her call for a massive pray-fest:

"Look, you morons. I purposely hid the oil under rocks, under water, under anything I could find so that you idiots wouldn't get your hands on it. I knew that if you did, all hell would break loose. But, NO, you guys had to go poking around and start taking it out of my carefully planned hiding places. And now look what you have done with it. You have burned it to the point where people can no longer breathe, the climate is changing, and the plastic bottles you made with the stuff are choking streams and rivers. On top of that, you have been fighting wars over the stuff. I kept it away from you for a reason!!! You see why now? And, to make it worse, every time something goes wrong as a result of the oil that I took great pains to hide, but you still found and started to use recklessly, you pray to me to make it better! When people get sick from pollution, you call on me. When people head off to war to fight over it, you call on me to protect them. Now, you've gone and destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, and who do you call? Me. Of course! What do you want me to do? You caused this. I hid it as deep as I could to keep it away from you. As far as I can see, I did my part. I am not listening anymore. Good luck with it all! Find some other sucker to pray to"

At least that is what god SHOULD be saying.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What is Going on Here??

I saw this report on Al Jazeera International today. It left me with a sour taste in my mouth. So, I hunted down the clip on the internet (which wasn't really that hard, to be honest). Take a look:

Now, I am not in anyway doubting that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There clearly is. However, what worries me is that the baby being shown, who is obviously suffering from malnutrition, is being cared for by what appears to be a very healthy mother. Is there something I am missing? Am I wrong? What is the problem here? How can the mother appear to be so healthy, and the child be starving?? Maybe there is an explanation. I hope there is an explanation.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Desert Rednecks?

Now, being from Northwestern Ontario, I am very familiar with rednecks, and stories about rednecks doing stupid redneck things. I suppose one could say that this is a story of desert rednecks. It comes from the Gulf Times of Qatar .

Shepherd gets one year in jail over murder
By Nour Abuzant
Staff Reporter
A Doha court of first instance has sentenced a shepherd to a year’s imprisonment and ordered he be deported after serving the sentence for premeditated killing of a compatriot colleague, following a quarrel between them on who should ride the camel and a verbal dispute a day before the crime.
The family of the Sudanese victim had dropped their rights to blood money as well as any punishment and that can explain the “lenient” verdict that the accused got for such a serious crime, court sources told Gulf Times.
The victim was murdered on July 11, 2008 in the Shahaniya ranch where they worked. Both were in their early 20s.
According to the charge-sheet, “the accused hit the victim with an iron bar thrice in the head, back and chest.”
The court heard from witnesses that the victim cursed the defendant’s mother a day before the killing.
The defendant’s lawyer argued that his client attacked the victim ‘in a fit of rage’ and that the crime should be treated as beating to death and not premeditated murder.
However, the judge dismissed the claims, ruling that there was a time gap between the verbal dispute and the deadly assault on the next day.
The court added that the incident constituted a “classical case of premeditated murder.”
The court said that the suspect confessed to the charge during interrogations and told the police that the victim failed to apologise for his action (cursing) and that was the motivation for hitting him.
The judge ruled that the accused knew that hitting the victim with an iron bar on the sensitive parts might lead to death.
The judge said that he understood the anger of the accused on hearing someone cursing his mother, considering where he came from, “but the period between the dispute and the crime was enough to give the killer a chance to think calmly about the meaning of his action.”

Wow. Well, there you have it. I never knew that people could feel so passionate about riding a camel. I've seen plenty of camels in my time here, but haven't had an overly strong desire to ride any of them, let alone kill someone over wanting to ride one. Does that make me strange?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Giving Up on Israel and Palestine

Well, I'm completely done with the Gaza freedom flotilla story that has been so prominant in the news as of late. You probably know the one, where Israeli commandos boarded ships headed to Gaza, and the end result was a number of dead activists. I've had it. Enough is enough. There has just been too much propaganda, too much finger pointing, too much confusion, too much crap...and not enough actual information. No more. It's useless. It's frustrating. I have no clue of who or what to believe. To be honest, I almost want to give up on the region as a whole. If these folks can't make peace, what the heck can the rest of us do?? Nothing. It's just never ending. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I feel for the people in Gaza, I really do. And I don't like the Israeli blockade that Gaza has been under for several years now, BUT, will arms be the first thing that starts flowing into Gaza if the blockade is removed? How much of the humanitarian situation in Gaza is thanks to their own government? Will Israel ever stop building settlements, using collective punishment, and using what I see as excessive force from seemingly trigger happy and overzealous soldiers? Will rockets ever stop being fired into Israel from Gaza? Will the regular people of Gaza who are just trying to survive ever get the humanitarian aid they desperately need? Will Turks who justifiably condemn the violence that happened on the Mavi Marmara, the boat in the Gaza freedom flotilla where the deaths of activists occurred, ever look at what is happening in their own country and condemn it with the same amount of vigor? Will the Turkish government even allow the kind of protests seen over Gaza happen over the plight of the Kurdish in the south east of the country? Will Israel ever come forward with the truth about nuclear weapons? Will they ever release the video and photographs taken by activists on board the freedom flotilla? Will Israel ever acknowledge their own wrong doings? Will the US ever condemn Israeli actions when they really should be condemned? Will every action that Israel take ever not be seen as unjustified by the opposing side? Will Israel ever stop playing the role of victim? At the same time, will they ever not be a victim, in some senses? Will pro-Palestinians ever not be seen and referred to as terrorists? Will the siege on Gaza ever come to an end? Will the wall being constructed around the West Bank ever come down? Will there ever be peace?

It would be nice to be optimistic, but, I'm not. I am not at all. I hate to say there is no hope, but frankly, I don't think there is any hope. There is just too much division, too much bitterness, too much hatred, too much boiling blood, too much history. This incident is just another in a LONG list of incidents. And, the rhetoric never changes. The results are seemingly all the same. And progress doesn't seem to be ever be made. It's sad, it's horrible, and it's ridiculous. But, that just seems to be the way it is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

High Seas Drama: The Slaughter of Truth by Israel, Turkey, and Pretty Much Everyone Else.

You know what I'm tired of? PR folks thinking that we are all morons.

So, you may have heard about the little incident involving Israels infamous IDF, and the Gaza Flotilla headed to, well, Gaza. Nine people were killed when things went horribly wrong. What exactly happened, we may never know. But, it sure didn't take long for the "spin" to kick in as, again, PR, representatives, politicians, etc. seemingly assured themselves that we are all complete and utter idiots who will just buy anything anyone says as long as they say it enough times.

The event that happened on the Mediterranean was bad enough, but to hear the post event rhetoric has just been excruciatingly painful, and fraught with hypocrisy, over the top exaggeration, confusion, accusations and finger pointing and, for the most part, just out and out crap. Israel says it was doing what it did in self defense, and the people that were dropped onto the ships in international waters were justified in killing 9 people. Turkey's Prime Minister has called the event Turkey's 9/11 after the killings occurred on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship. Turkey's 9/11?? The condemnation from Turkey is understandable and all, but completely hypocritical given their own dismal human rights record. So, as Turkey tries to spin this into the greatest disaster that may have ever happened, Israel is insinuating that these boats were essentially filled with terrorists, they had to act in self defense and the killings were justified. And WORSE, there are claims that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip! DAMN YOU ALL! Quit talking to us as if we are complete morons and idiots! Stop with the PR propaganda. It's INSULTING! Let the facts come out, would ya? Let us get a relatively TRUTHFUL understanding of what happened! Don't keep feeding us your well planned, well rehearsed, polished and pretty prefab pablum! Let us find out the truth. I don't believe we will ever know the complete truth, but, as long as we can get all of the PR crud out of the way, we can start to piece together something relatively CLOSE to an unbiased, impartial look at the events. Just spewing the same lines over and over and over and over and over again with the belief that people will just stop questioning and accept what is being spewed out is arrogant and disgusting.

No more propaganda! And that goes for you too, big corporations, governments and special interest groups everywhere. Every time anyone tries to push their biased crap, question it. We are constantly bombarded: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on "terror" in general, the killing of Tamils civilians in Sri Lanka, the crisis in Darfur, the problems in the Gaza strip, the Catholic church sex abuse...oh, the list goes on and on and ON. Toyota has a brand new advertising campaign showing how much the people who build Toyota vehicles LOVE the product they are building and care so much about your safety! It is painful to watch. They are only saying it because they got BAD publicity when they screwed up with their cars. But, they want to turn their image around and protect their "brand". Screw the brand. Protect the people. I don't want to hear about the "brand" anymore. I'm tired of PR. I'm tired of spin. Quit treating us like idiots!!!