Friday, December 21, 2012

Theresa Spence and The Canadian "Spring"?

I don't know how she is doing it, but Chief Theresa Spence has been on a hunger strike now for I believe 8 days. She vows to stay on this strike until Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with her. The issues? Well, I'm not one hundred percent sure. As this is going on, the Idle No More movement has also kicked in, and the demands by this group seem to go a lot farther than Spence's demands. Spence seems to be focused mostly on living conditions for natives, which is a very fair issue. We all know, or at least should know, that often living conditions can be rather sub standard on some reserves. I mean, there are any number of reasons for this beyond just failures of the Canadian Government. But, regardless it is an important issue and Spence has a right to do what she is doing. I also believe that as a leader within her community, a Chief representing people under the watch of the Canadian Government, she deserves to be paid attention to by PM Harper.

So, here we are, in Canada, in (almost) 2013, and a leader in a community in Canada feels so desperate that she feels she must go on a hunger strike to be heard? This is insane. This should not be. This is Canada! This is a land of freedom, where we negotiate, talk and come to understandings, where we try to work together and work out our least in theory, at least in my mind. But what gets to me is that Harper doesn't seem to interested in meeting with her. Why?? I don't get it.

After declaring a state of emergency on her Northern Ontario reserve over the fact that several families were living in poor conditions, in sub par housing, she was attacked as being a bad leader who mismanaged finances. Apparently, based on people looking into things...she didn't. All the money she spent on the reserve was used in a way approved by the Canadian Government. That doesn't mean I think that all decisions made on the reserve were perfect, or that a few things didn't fall through the cracks. What it does mean is that she isn't the evil lady that many on the right in Canada and within the Federal Government portrayed her as. So, to say the least, she has a history with the Canadian government.

So, why on earth would Harper not meet with her to iron out some of the issues they have had and help to solve issues so that we can all move forward?? It makes no sense to me. It's especially difficult to understand seeing as the Federal Government is the one who is dealing directly with Native leaders in this country. There is no Premier to go to. There is no other local government. There is the Canadian government.

She also represents a growing movement of people that are sick of what has been going on. This is a country that, for whatever reason, has never fully been able to deal adequately with issues pertaining to First Nations peoples and things just seem to be getting worse. We have an unfortunately large percentage of Natives in Canadian jails, one of the highest suicide rates in the world, a generation raising children that are still haunted by the boarding school nightmare, and nothing appears on the surface to be getting resolved. Land claims court cases get backlogged for years and years, deals that have been made in the past have been broken, new development for extracting resources is causing major environmental damage and affecting the lives of Natives probably more than many other people in Canada because it impacts their lands that they use for hunting and fishing...and living on in general. So, there are issues that need to be addressed. Our Prime Minister however doesn't seem very interested in it.

So, now what? How long is this hunger strike going to have to go on before Harper actually has dialogue with Theresa Spence, and starts addressing issues that affect Natives all over Canada. Not only that, but issues, that in the end, impact everyone in Canada, not just Natives. It's just beyond my belief that this is happening. I'm saddened that this is the way it is in Canada. I seldom hear of hunger strikes outside of places that aren't run by dictators or very corrupt regimes, unless I am missing something. How can this be happening in Canada???

All I can say is that I wish Theresa Spence all the best and hope that Harper visits her before it's too late. I hope he understands the consequences that he will face if, for some reason, she is allowed to die. I can imagine riots, road blocks, and violence. Before it gets to that, let's have dialogue. Meet with her, Mr. Harper! It's the right thing to do. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sandy Hook: The Tip of an Iceberg of Global Pain.

There was no escaping the news today that 27 people, 20 of them young children, were killed today when a gunman entered a school in Newton, Connecticut.

This news has absolutely shocked the US, Canada, and people in many other countries. And it is horrible. It was a disgusting act that has caused needless destruction and pain. It has people talking about gun control again, it has people praying, it has people saddened, it has people shaken.


I do not mean to take away from the seriousness of today's news or undermine the feelings of people. I do not wish to downplay the feelings of anyone. But, I also feel that we should all be aware of something.

Obviously, I'm not the only one who has brought this up. Much focus has been put on these children. However, in many other places in the world that aren't the US, children died today in just as horrific ways. I look at Syria. I look at areas in Africa that are suffering from drought. There was no shortage of children who died today while being abused and mistreated. There was no shortage of children being trafficked, working in jobs they shouldn't be working in, dying of preventable, treatable diseases, being killed in horrific accidents or being caught in a war zone.

How often do we forget these nameless faceless children? Did they not die in a way that attracted a wide enough television audience? Are the lives of these children worth less than the lives of the children in Newton?

Again, this is no way is meant to be an attack on the people suffering greatly in Newton or anywhere where people are affected. This truly was a terrible tragedy. But today I hear words like "innocent children" or that these children have had their innocence taken away. There are children in the world who lost their innocence at a very early age that suffer greatly that we fail to see. Over and over again the question of "How do I tell my children?" came up. Well, how do people in far away places tell children when their parents are killed in war?

The truth is, there is more pain and suffering in this world than we care to imagine. It's sad and unfortunate. It will always be this way. There will always be pain. There will always be death. There will always be a loss of innocence at any age. All children who suffer anywhere are worthy of the same respect, honour, sympathy and empathy as the children in Newton.

Let's remember all those who suffered today, and be grateful if we were not one of them. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rob Ford's Weight

Look people, we all know that the ridiculously ridiculous Mayor of Toronto (or IS he? Well, at the moment he still is), Mr. Rob Ford is a large man. But COME ON, surely there are other things that people can focus on, like, maybe the fact that he puts his football team before, you know, the well being and inner workings of the largest city in Canada. Making fun of his weight? That's just silly, petty playground "bullying" kind of stuff.

In this day and age when we must fight so hard for body image acceptance, the first thing that people want to pick on when it comes to this incompetent buffoon is his weight. Look, he's a big guy, we all know that. We know that for health reasons it's most likely the best idea to lose some weight, but physically he is who he is. Attacking the guy based on his weight is much akin to attacking someone like Barak Obama for the colour of his skin. How does Ford's weight come into play here?

Please, people, the guy has enough ridiculousness surrounding him that there is no need to go after his weight. If there is one way in which we should accept him, it is as who he is physically, even if we don't accept his politics. I feel for kids who turn on the TV or go to "social media" or whatever they are calling it these days, and see people making fun of Ford for his weight. If they happen to be on the larger side, they read this, look at themselves and....well, I wonder what they think?

Anyway, that's it. That's all. I don't like Rob Ford. I don't like his personality, his politics or his politics and his personality....and definitely his personality....and politics. But I accept him for who he is physically and don't believe that it plays any role in his personality....and politics. Leave him be on the weight issue people! Let's love our bodies for what they are! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

No More Rockets, No More Hamas!

I woke up a few mornings ago to see that prominent Hamas armed wing leader Ahmed Al-Jaabari had been assassinated when an Israeli missile hit his car in the Gaza strip. Blammo. This has come after at least a week of escalation in violence between Israel and Gaza militants that had seen an increase in rockets being fired into Israel and then retaliation by Israel. Hamas has a missile problem. They like to randomly fire these things into Israel with seeming no rhyme or reason and with no particular destination. Sometimes it is in retaliation, sometimes it is for....I have no clue what reason.

Anyway, since then, of course, all hell has broken loose, with rockets being fired wildly into Israel, some reaching Tel Aviv and at least one reaching Jerusalem. Meanwhile, in Gaza, Israel has bombed the snot out of several hundred targets, which they claim are key militant sites which, for the most part, I tend to believe. However, clearly the population of Gaza are getting the brunt of the destruction with at least 16 dead and a hundred injured. Seems not all of the bombs are hitting their mark, and/or the dense population of the strip means that injury and death is unavoidable. If Israel is, for some ridiculously stupid reason, intentionally targeting civilians, then clearly they are idiots. I don't believe however that this is what they are doing. Regardless, people in Gaza are dying and being injured and it is a sad, sad situation. At the same time, the Israeli death toll is at three. Of course it's not as high, but these deaths as well are very sad. The fact that anyone is dying here is unfortunate.

So all of this leads me to ask: Hamas and Islamic Jihad (and whatever other militant groups there are in Gaza), may I ask, how has firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel working out for you and the people of Gaza? At what point will you see that these rockets you insist on shooting off are suicidal? How many times must Gaza be struck by Israel before the point is made that the rockets achieve nothing? How many people must die? For some reason, there are those in Gaza and those who support Palestinians who believe that these rockets are justified and show strength and determination or some crazy thing. They are seen as an act of defense instead of what they really are which is an act of offense that leads to retaliation. And, when Israel does retaliate because rockets are fired at them, the world screams “Israel is attacking Gaza!” Well, no kidding! They are trying desperately to stop these rockets! You can’t fire rockets into Israel and expect no response. Whether you like it or not, Israel can outgun you! Be reasonable!

The common argument is that these rockets are just small, crude devices and Israel is showing disproportionate force. The answer is, don’t fire rockets! There seems to be an implication that Israel should just accept rockets being fired into it because, meh, they aren't that big of a deal. That is completely unrealistic. There are those who say that Gaza has been treated like a concentration camp and that their grip on power over the strip is inhumane. Yes, I can see that. However, the grip tightened significantly, and understandably, when Hamas took over power of the strip. Hamas has virtually dedicated itself to the destruction of Israel. Can people not see the connection here? Again, what is Israel to do? At what point will people see that Hamas is not helping Palestinians as a whole in any way shape or form. They are not offering security, that’s for sure. They are not offering a better life for the people of Gaza. They are offering war and destruction. And for all the talk of Israel’s iron grip, there is little mention of the grip Hamas has over its people. Somehow, Hamas gets a free ride in how it treats it's own citizens at times and the way it has dealt with Fatah, it's rival in the fight over control of Palestinians. Their actions against their own citizens, such as a heavy crackdown not long ago against protesters in Gaza that dared to call for peace and reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah makes me scratch my head at how anyone can not see that Hamas are a bunch of dicks!

Am I a firm supporter of Israel? No. I do support its existence. I do see it as an independent country. I see Israel as a move by Jews to have an independent state where they were no longer at the mercy of the rest of the world, including the Muslim world. It seems that as long as Jews were under Muslim control, paid their taxes to their overlords and knew their place everything was cool. But when Jews said "enough is enough" and declared independence, that's wasn't cool. The fact is, many Jews have also been expelled from "Arab" lands, having their property taken and being sent off, generally as refugees to Israel. Over 50 percent of the population of Israel are Jewish refugees pushed out of "Arab" lands. This seems to be forgotten for some bizarre, strange reason.

But at the same time, I believe that Israel has done many wrongs over the years that are intolerable and disgusting. Israel is no angel that is for sure! In the saga of Israel/Palestine, there truly are two sides doing ridiculous, horrible things. But for Gaza, I believe strongly that the answer to progress is to get rid of Hamas, get rid of Islamic Jihad, get rid of rockets and work on becoming a state that Israel can live beside peacefully, like it does with most of its other neighbours. At the same time, Israel has a responsibility to stop expanding beyond its borders and to not be quite as heavy handed as they can sometimes be. It would be nice to see the blockade and sanctions against Gaza lifted, but how can they be as long as Hamas is determined to destroy Israel? At the same time, should all in the strip be forced to live in an intolerable state because of Hamas? Can Israel afford to lift the blockade? Can Israel afford not too as public opinion sways against it?

I have little faith that we will see peace in the Middle East anytime soon. Divisions are so deep, polarized and steeped in a cycle of violence that it is entrenched in the societies and cultures. Both sides in the Israel/Palestine situation are stubborn and hot headed. There are solutions. I believe I have presented a few. There, however, is much more to do beyond that. But, as long as rockets are being shot off into Israel indiscriminately and Hamas is in power, there is little hope of peace, little room for negotiation. It’s time for Gaza and Palestinians to step back and rethink their futile strategy. Then, hopefully, life can improve for Palestinians.

Friday, October 12, 2012

With All Apologies to Kyle Petty

Oh man, social media, you can be a harsh mistress.

So, here's the story. Yesterday, I see a tweet to a driver/broadcaster/charity dude and member of one of the biggest families in motorsports, Kyle Petty. A lady, or a gent, not sure which, asked Mr. Petty what year he started his charity motorcycle ride. Mr. Petty sent a brief answer: "95 or 96". When I saw that, I laughed, and I laughed and I....well, okay, I'm exaggerating. I just had a chuckle. That's a pretty short answer, right? Am I right? I'm not the only one thinking that, right? Please tell me that I'm right on that one? Right?

Anyway, so I sent back a twitter message saying "That's going to be a short story!". Now, Mr. Petty sent a tweet saying "No! its about me, NOT you... that would be short.." Ouch! Okay, you still following me with all of this? So to sum up what we got at this point: Writer asks Petty for info for a story, writer gets short answer which is understandable on twitter, me thinks this is funny, me sends ill thought out tweet, me get reply back, me obviously been misinterpreted.

Now, really, in the grand scheme of things, this ain't a big deal, right? And, I'm sure all participants involved except me have forgotten about it, or don't care, which is understandable. But, you know when you get a tweet from a celebrity who has been part of your life, from a distance, but still, part of your life for as long as you can remember, and it's for all the wrong reasons because your tweet was misinterpreted? I'm not the only one, right? I'm sure others have had this terribly agonizing dilemma  no?  It has to happen a million times a day, correct? Work with me here people! Validate my concerns!

So, how does one deal with such an embarrassment? A blog post! Voila, here you have it! Now, with all of this stated, to make this terrible mistake right, I would like to formally, and publicly apologize to Mr. Kyle Petty for this misunderstanding. I don't believe a story about his endeavors would be short. I also believe that it would be quite interesting and worth reading. As the original tweeter pointed out later "[My story is] at nearly a thousand words and I haven't even gotten to his off-track endeavors with charity and music." Aha! There you go! See! Plenty to write about there. I will not deny that! See? See what I'm saying here? Thank you. I appreciate the understanding.

And now my mind is clear. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mhamad (Mohamed) Eskandar and HELEM Montreal

Oh MAN, why do people have to be so overwhelmingly horrible at times? I came across a well written letter by HELEM Montreal. I have never heard of HELEM until now. This is what the organization is about, and based on this and everything I read about them, I like them and they have my support:

HELEM Montreal is a Lebanese Canadian LGBT, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization registered in Quebec since 2004. We lead a peaceful advocacy movement for the liberation of the Lebanese and Middle-Eastern LGBT community from all sorts of legal, social and cultural discrimination. 

Now, they have great concerns, for good reason, about one Mhamad Eskandar coming to Montreal and Ottawa to perform. ("... at Place Vertu Center on September 1, 2012, and at restaurant Mazaj in Ottawa on September 2, 2012."). Said Eskandar has a history of writing writing and recording homophobic and sexist songs. One that has, in particular, raised concerns is Dodd Al Ounf. According to this video, helping mom do the dishes when you are a kid and wearing high heels for two minutes turns you gay. According to the letter linked above:

"Mr. Mhamad Eskandar released in 2012 a homophobic song entitled “Dod El 3enf” which translates to “Against Violence”; a slogan commonly used by the LGBT community in its advocacy against discrimination. The title was purposely used to ridicule the LGBT cause and advocacy efforts. The song starts by depicting two parents fighting because of their son’s sexual orientation and blaming the gay son for the disputes and separation of his parents. The song then describes the son as a “lover against violence” who resembles a female. Although he looks like a man, he displays the mannerism of a woman. The song also provides that from the time men stopped enlisting in the army, they became contaminated with a “disease of softness” and lost 50% of their masculinity. It also encourages the physical abuse of boys displaying any femininity."  

Ya, that ain't cool buddy. In fact, that's being a complete asshole. Anyway, this kind of crap pisses me off, as you probably know from previous posts on the subject. Why do assholes like this wish to perpetuate stereotypes, dehumanize gays and put "Machismo" above anything else?? It's bullshit. And, I feel very bad for LGBT folks in the Lebanese community in Canada who want to stay away from this homophobic crap by living in Canada, but have an idiot like this follow them to play near them. I mean, this kind of homophobia is bullshit regardless of the community it is negatively impacting. I'm not calling for him not to come. But, I am pissed off that people actually want to see this idiot perform. I mean, his music is utter and complete crap anyway to start with. But, then when you combine the fact that he has a long history of homophobia and sexism, you can't help but question who would pay to see this guy. And, I hope he is met with protests and I hope that people everywhere are made aware of the content of his lyrics and his views. It's just ridiculously stupid that a grown man is so sadly homophobic and misogynistic. Grow up, dude.

As a Canadian, I am saddened whenever I hear about homophobia in this country (or anywhere for that matter). But, when it's being imported, it pisses me off that much more. Fine, come to Canada, make your money off of your crappy homophobic music, leave with a smug smile thinking your hot shit because you have an "international" following. Whatever. Plain and simple, your a dick and I'm disappointed you will be performing in Canada.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Again! Oh, Masterpiece Cake Shop, You Leave a Bad Taste in My Mouth.

Oh come on. This is getting ridiculous. As the story goes, and it seems to be confirmed by a number of sources, Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado refused to sell a gay couple a cake for their wedding. Really? Seriously? Come on. You can't even make a cake for a loving couple to share on their wedding day because you have some kind of issues with same sex marriage? Let it go. This is not right. It's exactly, EXACTLY the same as not selling a cake to someone who is black. Once again, as if it really needs to be stated again (though it appears that it does have to be), sexuality is not a choice, just like you don't choose your skin color, of your eye color. Why cause a loving couple who wish to celebrate the love they have for one another grief by discriminating against them? Discrimination hurts. That's not a nice atmosphere to plan a wedding in.

Now, there are plenty of people who are going to back Masterpiece Cake Shop because they "stood up for what they believe in" and weren't "bullied by those trying to shove homosexuality down peoples throats". It's sad that people have these views and attitudes. How would they feel if they were discriminated against? They wouldn't like it one bit, and would probably be the first to scream about it. Remember the golden rule: do unto others as they would have them do unto you. It's not nice to do this to people.

I'm disappointed to hear about yet another story of discrimination towards couples who just want to celebrate their love. Masterpiece Cake Shop, I have to be honest, your actions disgust me. Ya, your rights, bla, bla, bla, your free to serve whoever you want, bla, bla, bla, whatever. Just, make your stupid cakes and enjoy your righteous homophobia or whatever it is that is going on with you guys. It's sad that this stuff is still happening in society. Get with the program folks, the world is changing for the better, and your trying to hold it back. Please don't. Your just going to get trampled. Don't be the people who still think the world is flat and dinosaurs hung out with Jesus. Be the kind of people who help celebrate love, unity, friendship, commitment and happiness. You might find you feel a whole lot better about yourselves and your cakes will taste better as well! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

GCC Dress Codes: Part Deux

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the current campaign going on in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) encouraging locals and foreigners to wear more clothing in public areas. I feel that I only managed to make half the points that I wanted to make in that post, hence a second part to my contribution on the debate.

I won't pretend that I know Islam well. I have been trying to learn, as it is a fascinating religion, although I must confess, I am not what I would call a religious person (agnostic with heavy leanings towards atheism). But, from my understanding, part of Islam is living a life that does not get wrapped up in material items. Living modestly is more than just's about everything around you. At least, this is my understanding/interpretation. Okay, fine. So, now we have this campaign, with religious undertones, trying to tell people that they should dress megalithic, lavish, overpriced, materialistic malls!!! Does anyone else see the irony here?? I mean, Dubai is hardly what I would call an Islamic city in any way, shape or form. It's known as a glitzy center of overindulgence and extreme material wealth, and a party, tourist destination. I don't believe Dubai fits into what Islam is asking for in the slightest. So, why, with all of this extreme, insane material wealth, is the focus firmly put on what people are wearing? Where are the calls for less elaborate buildings or a more modest skyline?? This seems overly selective to me. Obviously, if one of the main focuses of this campaign targets people in malls, these "modest" individuals are shopping in these materialistic Mecca's (pun intended). Is this not hypocritical?? Yes, I believe it is. I believe this is called Cherry Picking your cultural battles. And, of course, when this issue is raised, I have repeatedly been told that I am envious of the wealth and success of the UAE. I am going to be completely honest here: No, I am not. I have been wearing the same t-shirts for the past three years, and I like it that way. I am not exactly a fancy dresser. In Canada, I own a 1999 Saturn, and am thrilled with it. Sure, I like the looks of a Ferrari, but I see no practical use in owning one, or owning an item of clothing that would cost me the price of a vacation. No, I am not jealous. I hate malls. I try to avoid them like the plague. They are filled with piles of useless stuff that I don't want, in generic, bland stores, playing generic, bland autotuned pop music!! No jealousy here at all. In fact, most of the time, I feel more Muslim than most of these folks who claim to be Muslim.

The next big issue to me are the moral judgments that have been going on with this campaign. The underlying message, by many supporters, ranges from "Dressing immodestly shows that you have little class and think poorly of yourself", to out and out implying that people are sluts and whores asking to be raped by wearing the wrong clothes. Yes, this bothers me. Look, if you, individually feel it is important to dress a certain way based on YOUR moral ideas, that is fine. But judging others character and morals on what they choose to wear is just wrong, in many ways. It's cruel, it's mean, it's uncalled for, and it makes a complete mockery of the campaign and instantly loses my support. If someone is not dressed the way you like, covering up for sensitivity reasons is one thing, while covering up because people are implying that you are of poor moral character is a complete other ball of wax. And sadly, over and over, supporters have stated that women who wear provocative clothing are asking for sexual harassment or worse. This really pisses me off to no end, and I really wish someone would start a Slut Walk campaign or something to challenge these ridiculously misogynistic, and outright dangerous ideas! And, again, I must ask, is THIS what their religion is teaching these folks?? If so, it makes Islam look very unappealing from my perspective. So, once again, we have a specific campaign calling for people to be respectful, while showing absolutely little respect for others.

Finally, there is the issue of culture. I am in no way against the idea of preserving culture, but why are clothes the main focus here? Much of the culture has been decimated by fast food restaurants, giant SUVs, attempts to constantly build the world's tallest buildings, bars, malls, you name it. And, then there is the fact, as mentioned in my previous post that the overwhelming vast majority of the population aren't even from the country! That helps to kill culture pretty quick, regardless of what dress codes some wish to implement by law. Clothes really are superficial in this equation. Culture is far deeper than a few inches of cloth. And the frustrating thing is, Emiratis seem to like all of the fancy buildings and great stuff that gets built or comes with all of these foreigners, but there seems to be a general feeling of resentment and dislike towards the foreigners who are building all this stuff or bringing in things that are desired. Of course this doesn't apply to everyone; not all in the Emirates think this way, obviously. But, in the end, if the Gulf drastically decreased the number of foreigners coming in, stopped building like crazy, started making sure that jobs that foreigners are doing are being done by locals (including construction, taxi driving, menial labor, service jobs, etc.), regulated the number of chain stores and restaurants, and more, THEN, we are talking about preserving culture in a far more meaningful and effective way. Is that happening? No. Instead you have a group who feels that preserving culture is by telling people what to wear.

Again, I do not live in the UAE, or, thankfully, in the Gulf at all anymore. I am presenting my opinion. This opinion really doesn't matter. These are just my views on this subject, which strikes a chord with me because I have been, until just a few days ago, living in the Gulf. I am still rather absorbed in the issues and current events in the Gulf. This is why I have taken such an interest and have developed strong opinions. But, when all is said and done, that is all they are....opinions. 

GCC Dress Codes: To Support or Oppose?

When I first heard that activists in the United Arab Emirates had started a campaign to educate locals and foreigners about proper dressing and being respectful of the UAE dress code, I thought, "I can back this. I think cultural preservation is a good thing." Perhaps it was partly out of that thing sometimes referred to as "white guilt" where you can't help but want to distance yourself after centuries of colonialism and all the issues that has caused on the planet. "Yes! Let's preserve culture! I support you!" And so I started to follow the #UAEDressCode thread on Twitter where information about the campaign is spread.

And then, my views began to change...

You see, the folks who are calling for this dress code to be monitored, enforced and even turned into law are the very same type of people I would oppose pretty much everywhere else on the planet: Social (religious) conservatives who are more concerned about how others dress than actual important issues. In this case, the religion is Islam. But, it happens with all religions. So, no, I don't support this. And then I see locals in the UAE who are against laws that would impose a dress standard. Then, I thought, "Wait a minute, the UAE is NOT just made up of conservatives. It really is a diverse place and not everyone acts or thinks the same way, and by ME supporting this dress code, I am saying it's okay to have rules imposed on people I would normally support!" Why on earth would I do that?

The vision of the UAE Dress Code campaign is outlined in their twitter profile: "Freedom and Respect are given as long as you are not abusing them. Support #UAEDressCode for decency in public and for the UAE." One of the key words for me is Respect. Okay, respect. Sounds good. But, whoa, wait a minute. Respect? Okay, let's stop here. Now this is a country well known for it's abuse, mistreatment and exploitation of migrant laborers and domestic servants (check out this Human Rights Watch report for starters. Or, this article as another example among many that can be found). Where is the respect here? How is this continued mistreatment of workers showing any amount of respect? And the answers from Code supporters when this issue is raised? Consistently the same: "These people are being paid, given security and a good life. They can go home if they don't like it here." What?? The reality is, there are millions of people who have come to the UAE and the rest of the Gulf who have worked 10 plus hour days, often for much less than 7 dollars a day, 6 days a week usually in brutal conditions, such as extreme heat. Too often they end up living in worker slums. They often have their passports taken away until they have paid off the debt that they went into to try and get to the UAE to get the good job they were promised, which basically turns out to be a lie. And, while there, they have helped build the country, the whole REGION, virtually by hand, doing jobs that locals find too demeaning. Yes, workers are desperate to get to the UAE to try and make some money to help their families at home. That doesn't give the UAE or any other country the right to use, abuse, mistreat and exploit this source of labor. Too many people are dying of heat exhaustion, abuse or suicide as the result of these actions! And the Coders don't seem to care or understand this! Furthermore, these are supposed to be Islamic countries. Where in Islam does it say that this type of treatment is acceptable? This is NOT Islamic. So, when this campaign talks about respect (in a social and RELIGIOUS context), all they really care is about respect for themselves, and that is it. There is no respect in the Gulf if you are a migrant laborer, period. All you have to do is spend some time in the Gulf to know that this is true. And I have written about it before in a previous post as well.

Now, I do not live in the UAE. Until the other day, I did live in the Gulf and I have to be completely honest to say that I am very happy to no longer be there. Ultimately, of course, I have no say, and my opinion is just that, an opinion. My views will have no impact, and I understand and am perfectly okay with that. Because I have been living in the Gulf I have been more aware of and informed about what has been going on there than I have been my own country these days. What I saw while in the Gulf disgusted me. I have never seen such a level of racism, social and economic apartheid, exploitation, abuse, cruelty and lack of empathy or understanding. Now, of course it has been raised that my own country of Canada has not had a stellar history when it comes to how Native Canadians have been treated. I can't argue with that at all. It's true, and it is an issue that continues to haunt Canada. So, yes, there is some hypocrisy of my own as a Canadian when bringing up issues of human rights. But, I feel at least I, and many other Canadians, acknowledge that great wrongs have been done (though there are many who, sadly, don't). I know there are people in the Gulf who also can see the human rights abuses there and have concern. But, thus far, in communicating with people who support "The Code" I haven't found anyone who even cares, or is willing to admit the hard work and sacrifices that many have given to build a country that it isn't even theirs! Why??

So, between wanting to control fellow locals through religious and social conservatism and completely disregarding the idea of respect for a vast majority of the UAE's actually population (it is estimated that over 85 percent of people in the UAE are foreign workers with a massive number of these being migrant laborers and domestic servants from poor countries) I can't help but look at this campaign with a certain amount of disgust and frustration. All I can say is, if you demand respect, then it's a good idea to GIVE respect FIRST to the majority of people who aren't receiving it at the moment. If you love the UAE, great....thank a laborer, thank a nanny, thank a driver, thank one of the many who have given up so much (including their lives) to create the UAE that you love. Respect!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BDS hits Cirque Du Soleil by Qatari Activists Over Tel Aviv Show

So, Cirque du Soleil is coming to Doha, Qatar. Okay. Fine. Then I see this petition. Wait, what??There is a call for a boycott of Cirque de Soleil by Qatari activists because they will be playing in Israel after Qatar. Excuse me, but this smacks of extreme hypocrisy and these folks have a LOT of nerve!!

 Now, while in Qatar, CdS will be playing in a venue built by virtual slave labor, people who can't even afford a ticket to go into the venue, and even if they could they would most likely not be allowed in the venue. This is a place where workers are segregated from the rest of society, stuck in labour camps. If you have never been in one of these camps, trust me, they are often truly horrible slums. Human Rights Watch just published an extensive, scathing review of the issue! This is a country where outsiders cannot get citizenship, where residence permits can be taken away at anytime and people can be deported, where you need an exit permit to be able to leave the country, and they can be denied for any reason. Unions are banned and workers rights are minimal. Domestic work is overused, exploited and often face sexual and physical abuse. Escaping from this abuse can get you in serious trouble for "absconding". Racism towards Asians is very common. This is not a democratic country. Homosexuality is illegal. I could even, theoretically, end up in jail for writing this if it is perceived to be insulting to the government, and most definitely if I were to insult Islam. Protest and decent is not allowed (although there have been some regulated protests that happen to correspond with national interests).

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? This infuriates me. It's not that I support all of what Israel does. I don't. I believe in speaking out against their actions when they do wrong (and likewise pointing out when they do right). BUT, I most definitely believe that this campaign is ridiculous, at best. Come on! Look at your own country! Look at what is happening here! Can you not see? Are you so blinded by the constant focus on Palestine/Israel to see what is happening right here?? Sadly, YES, that is too often the case. The question should be, should Cirque du Soleil even play here in Qatar.

Friday, May 25, 2012

One Million Moms Hate GAP Love

So, GAP has this new ad campaign, and One Million Moms, a whatever kind of group they are, in the US isn't happy about it. What kind of group are they, anyway? It's one of those "Think about the children!!!", must protect kids from knowing their are gay people out there kind of groups. They are part of the American Family Association. Why is it that as soon as the word family ends up in an organizations name, you know there is going to be trouble? Anyway, they are so lovely and helpful that on their website they have a form that you can fill out, with a handy pre-written form email about how disgusted you are with GAP over showing two gay men in an ad. Fortunately, the form email can be erased! So, I erased it and put in my own message. Now, this email is supposed to go to the CEO and some other big wigs at GAP. Will mine make it through, or do the Million Mom's screen the messages that go out from this form to make sure people aren't doing what I am doing. Anyway, this is the message I put instead of their fancy form email. 

As someone who is thoroughly disgusted by, I am writing to say congratulations on your billboard ad campaign! Good work!   
It's unfortunate that those at OMM are fighting against you for what is really a very beautiful billboard. I wonder, if they focused a little less on being outraged by the billboard and focused a little more on their driving that it might actually be far more effective in keeping their children safe. LOL! I can just see a million moms out on the highways of America, seeing the billboard, the veins in their heads and necks throbbing, fixated on what they see as something horrible (they seem to hate the idea of love) and then driving right into the end of a sewage truck or something. Oh, those wacky million moms!  
Anyway, good luck with the campaign! Can't wait to pick up some shorts at Old Navy! I'm wearing a pair right now!

Yup. I am wearing Old Navy shorts as we speak. What a coincidence! They are so comfy! You should go pick up a pair!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Iran? Eurovision? Give me a break!

What the hell are you doing Iran? Are you this ridiculously ridiculous? Today you pulled your ambassador to Azerbijan because the country is holding Eurovision this year, and you see it as a big gay pride parade? Are you guys really this crazy? I mean, you are the same country that also is pissed off because you think that one of the Olympic logos is a Zionist symbol. Look, the world knows that you guys can be completely moronic even at the best of times, but give me a break. Then, you wonder why the international community is against you having nukes. Because you guys do insane and stupid things like pull your ambassador from a country just to show how much you hate gays. It's not bad enough that you hang them to death. Then you are seeing things in logos that aren't there? No, no way. In no way should you have nuclear weapons. Who knows what things you'll be blowing up with them. If a diplomatic row can occur because a neighbouring country is hosting an event that you aren't even part of and you perceive it as being so way too gay, then you have an overreaction problem and should be kept away from not only nuclear weapons but sharp objects, shoe laces and glue. Now shut up, Iran. Sit back, turn on the television and watch. Who knows, you might even like it. I don't know, I've never seen the event, and frankly have no desire too. But, that's besides the point. You guys clearly need a bit of break from all this brain-storming and think-tanking you have been doing that has been bringing you to make such brilliant decisions. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Homophobic Madness Continues.

And the madness continues in the wake of President Obama stating support for same sex marriage. Although, lately, it's been a busy time for the issue, given North Carolina's vote to ban SSM, and Joe Biden making his statements in support of SSM. A report on Facebook by CNN International on same sex marriage has garnered the usual flurry of comments. Sadly, once again, many of the most vile and vicious have come from Africa. What is it about Africa and it's extremely horrible issue with homophobia? Anyway, here are some of the comments...

Wright Crown: Once u are get attracted to ur gender...believe me,u are on ur way to hell fire in which u are already in doom as long as u marriage is purely satanic...indulge in it...God will punish u himself...repent & accept God as ur lord & personal savour...

Chinedu Stanley Elastic: Be the gay u want 2be, but if u get close 2me i'll blow ur brains off......i'll hunt them like ghosts

Savonita Douglas: Mayb gays can't help the way they are, let's work on that. We, that r straight, mus go down on our knees and pray for them..mayb they don't wana b gay, but can't break the chains of it all by themselves..nothing is impossible with God. Let us all pray 2 whom ever we believe in..

Omosalewa Peter: America is sodom and gomorah, I wonder why animals think better than human beings. Can u exist if people in the world was gays and lesbians 200 years ago. Homosexualism is what some people called education, the word of God can never be amended,be prepared for total destruction,it's bitter truth. I don't care if u are a christian or not.

Faith Geh: Usa is not a country to look upto! A country where people sleep with dogs animal of any kind and now man on man and women on women. If God want it so he would not creat a woman from man. God is perfect. The bible is our guide & spirit of God is our witnes.

Kenneth Okereke Kentalky: Obama n same sex. Wonder y he is married. May be his 2 daughters wil get married 2 each other. Lol. End time.

Rasal Mohammed: i ll HATE gay marriage im not a annimel

Muhammad Shamsuddeen M C: Obama that's the end of you, even animals don't do that unless you and your people are worst then animal fool.

Mercie A. Christine: What are the root causes of these unnatural acts? Remember this acts are only physical manifestations of a much deeper problem in the human heart.

Jibril Abbas: Obama u ar a devil 4 sopporting same sex maraige. May Allah destroy u and d people dat ar practicing such devlish act. Insha'Allah u wil lose ur election lyk SAKORZY.l

And it goes on and on and on and on and on like this. It really does scare and repulse me. It saddens me and takes away some of the hope I have for this world. It further undermines my respect towards religion, as most of these people claim to be Christian or Muslim. It saddens me to see that so much of this rhetoric does come out of Africa, although, of course, homophobia exists everywhere, as we continue to see. So, I end this post with a heavy heart and a feeling of anger with my fellow human beings. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hating on Gays, and Dire General Trading in Dubai.

So, yes, as anyone who has read my blog before, one of my big issues is LGBT rights. Okay, so, since President Barak Obama of the United States of America (you may have heard of him and the country) said that he is cool with the whole same sex marriage thing, this internet thing and the social media stuff that it has on it has been pretty active with comments and opinions. Some of them are not very nice, as tends to be the case with this particular subject. On Facebook, I have pressed the like button for "BBC World Have Your Say" and "CNN International" among many others. Both of these have had a number of stories focusing on this issue. Both have a tremendous number of comments on these stories. Both have brought out the best in people....and too often the worst. And too often, the worst appears to come from posters from Africa. Now, it's hard with this issue, because I definitely don't want to be racist, but whenever BBC or CNN posts a story about homosexuality, there is a flood of responses from African listeners/viewers/followers condemning homosexuality with vile, mean, cruel and often violent rhetoric. Of COURSE all African's do not think or feel this way. Africa, afterall, is a massive continent made up of many countries, cultures, religions, languages and all the other things that fill a massive continent such as Africa. And, of course there is plenty of homophobia and hatred towards gays and lesbians elsewhere in the world. I just can't figure out why so many people from Africa are so determined to post such things on these two particular Facebook groups? What kinds of things? Well, one particular guy stood out for me. His name was Simon Tsegay. Now, to be honest, there have been people posting far worse things, but this guy was sort of trolly as well as hate filled, so he erked me, and now I am writing about him. He's from Africa but is working in Dubai (UGH!) as a salesmen at a place called Dire General Trading. So, what did he say? Here are some of the posts:

Homosexuality is as bad as Pedophilia. 

(Oh, that's just LOVELY. That's hardly offensive or cruel.)

How do you know, if we let one immoral act against nature, that many won't follow to destroy this world. Gay people are already destroying the beauty of this world by exhibiting their disgusting acts in public.

(Wow, that's pretty extreme dude. Destroying the beauty of this world? That's a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of LGBT folks)

Soon pedophelia will become legal too, in this sick country poisoning people and leading them into total oblivion.

(No, no it won't.)

 If i had a nuclear weapon, i would nuke ... ( you know who ) 

(Yes, yes we know who)

 TRUE or FALSE? Homosexuality defies logic


Now we need Iran or Russia to destroy the US. Gay people are just doing us a favour. From now one, i will support the pedophiles to rape children too. ONLY IN US THAT IS.

(Ouch. That's....not cool.)

Oh, Simon. Simon, Simon, SIMON. The things you say, especially when you have linked your profile to your employer: Dire General Trading LLC, Dubai, Naif Street, 41029, UAE. Now, knowing the Gulf region as I do, I am guessing that this isn't going to be a big issue. But, if you happen, in your travels or your dealings, come across these guys, and you agree with LGBT rights, or at least are repulsed by his statements, be sure to let him know. Dire General Trading, LLC, Dubai, Naif Street, 41029, UAE. I just had to write that again. That was fun. I know, I know, I'm a jerk. And I know this comes across as a jerky thing to do, but, hey, it's all I got. That's how I can express my anger and disappointment in statements such as those made above. So, there you have it! Dire General Trading. Got that? I do. 

A Poorly and Hastely Written Review of Jon Ronson's book, The Psychopath Test

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness IndustryThe Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, I just love this book. Very entertaining read. A lot of interesting information about psychiatry and those suffering from mental illness. Plenty of laughs. Plenty of personal reflection. Just an all around great book. Jon Ronson is a wonderful writer, and his books are so easy to read. He's an excellent journalist and does some pretty interesting interviews, and finds the interesting people. Anyway, my verdict is that this is a great book!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Palfest Facepalm

So, the Palestinian Literature Festival, or Palfest, was scheduled to run May 5 to 9 in Gaza. Good. This is good. It's a travelling festival of Literature focusing on Palestinian issues. It also seems to be quite insistent on pushing the idea of cultural and academic boycotts of Israel. The festival has been running since 2008, apparently. It has been trying to get into the Gaza strip since then. This year became the big year when they were able to do that. It also seems to be quite insistent on pushing the idea of cultural and academic boycotts of Israel.  It took a while to get the required permits to go into Gaza from Egypt, to begin with. It has been reported today, via twitter by folks that were at the event, and the event organizers themselves that, low and behold, the event was shut down by Gaza police. Interesting indeed. From @Palfest:
We've been shut down by the police. #palfestgaza 
Everyone has left the event. Police were aggressive. We're staying together, have put as many people on the bus as possible. 
Everyone back at the hotel - will carry on here. Probably wont talk about books right now, though. 
Correction: The final #PalFestGaza was shut down by Gaza Police and the armed policemen stood in the entrance and on the stairs of the venue
Hmmmmm. I do feel for Palestinians, I really do. But, when the biggest obstacles to putting on an event with the partial motive of showing how oppressed Palestinians are by Israel, and to point out why Israel should be boycotted, are from Hamas, who governs over Gaza, and Egypt, who are Arab allies, then something isn't quite right. If it were up to me, I would be changing the goals to boycotting Hamas in a hurry. Hopefully, the next Palfest will focus on ALL issues that affect Palestinians beyond just looking at Israel. Palestinians deserve freedom from oppression, including oppression from groups like Hamas. Israel is not the only source of pain and heartache for Palestinians. Too often it is their own neighbours, fellow Arabs and fellow Muslims that add to the overall problem. It's time to look at the big picture, people. 

Another Day, Another Post!

I'm now patting myself on the back! I've actually been posting. It hasn't been much, and I haven't had much to say, but at least it's something, right? Right!

Good job, me!

I think that earns me some chocolate. Bye!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Not The Only One!

Hey people of the internet. Well, I guess I'm not the only one not updating their blog. It seems that a vast majority of the blogs that I follow have not been updated in a while either. I think the internet is a wasteland of abandoned blogs, twitter accounts and funny cat pictures that are past their prime.

Anyway, in my quest to do some more blogging, I have been changing things up a bit. New header, new description. What won't change, of course, is the always questionable content. You can always count on that. No matter how slick and good this blog may end of looking, you can be assured that what I write will be mediocre at best.

Boy do I suck at self promotion.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Should Never Shut Up, But...

...I promised I would shut up about something recently, and I regret it. But, to make life a bit easier for us, I did. Damn it!

Sorry, this is somewhat of a cryptic blog post that I am writing basically for me to get this off of my chest, although, generally speaking, that's what this blog generally is always about, right? Right.

I'm also mad that the W key on my keyboard keeps sticking, but that's going off topic too far...

Where was I? Oh, ya, shutting up. Boy I'm mad that I did that, and mad that the guy I promised it to. I don't like the guy, I have to be honest. I don't like him. I mean, I don't wish him ill will. I never wish that on people, even if I don't like them. I should stress that....

I did it again, didn't I? I went off topic a bit...

Anyway, on to a different topic anyway, although somewhat related. Boy am I tense! My whole body hurts. I hate massages, but feel as though I could use one. But, I really don't want one, because I don't like massages. So, don't even try to offer me one. Why am I tense? Well, it's a tense time. Tell you more, you say? Well, where do I begin?

So, we are living in Doha, Qatar at the moment. My wife is working for a University. Her contract is up. Neither of us have jobs lined up. Or a home. We leave in less than two months. Yes, this is a tad stressful, as you can imagine.

And, there is more....and I shall write about another time....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Much Neglected Blog

I know what you've been thinking. "Does this guy ever update his blog?" The answer to that lately has been, no. But I hope to rectify that. Soon. Not right now. But soon. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sunglasses in a Mall??

Why would you wear sunglasses in a mall? I was at the mall the other day, much to my dismay, and there were people walking around with sunglasses. Is there something I don't know? Are the mall lights dangerous to the eyes? Are there a lot of people here with sensitive peepers? Is this one of those fashion things? Cause if it's a fashion thing, it's a pretty ridiculous fashion thing if you ask me. Slap on a pair of sunglasses and go walk around the mall!? Nah.

And that is my negative, thing I hate today rant!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Aliah Bishr, the Homophobe: A New Path?

So, I made a comment on a youtube video where some religious dude was going on about gays and homosexuality, and I commented on what an arrogant, misinformed dick he was...or something to that nature. Then, via twitter, of all places, I got a response from someone, for some reason. And it goes like this:

@aliahmuslimah Homophobic yes and proud, but arrogant, misinformed? Hahaha I laugh, (@YouTube

The link from her twitter profile goes to her facebook account, which was nice.  According to her picture, she is a baby boy. I can never figure out why people use pictures of their kids for their facebook profile picture. It just seems...creepy and weird. Anyway, that isn't the point. Neither is the fact that she has an Etsy store where she sells handmade crocheted items. No, the point is, if you are going to send me a tweet that goes on about how proud you are to be a homophobe, I'm gonna write about it, dammit! Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I ain't gonna let that pass by me!

So, Aliah. You are a proud homophobe. I urge you to cast off the shackles that bind you to homophobia. It appears that in this case, it is your religion. Well, that religion is a yoke, and with that yoke you are carrying two large pails of religious manure. It's time to bid farewell to your religious yoke. You have taken a path that is destructive and mean spirited. It has tainted you and led you astray. It has led you to judge your fellow human on the basis of their sexuality, and I say that you must repent! You must look your god in the face and say that you will not accept his wicked insistence on homophobia. No god worth his weight in gold would hate based on sexuality. This god should be abandoned! Cast out! Tossed aside! Ridiculed! Shunned! You must take a close hard look at your life and the direction you are going in and realize that you are going down the wrong path, one that will lead you to misery and pain. It is a road paved with hatred that must be abandoned. You have chosen wrong, my dear. You must come forth and ask for forgiveness for your sin of homophobia. It is a terrible sin, a disgrace and a shameful act. You must look beyond the hate your god is pushing. You must open up to the reality of the world, toss your religious texts aside, and be to understand! You must move into the now, a time when we know so much more than we did many centuries ago. I feel sorry for you and the path you have taken, which is taking you on the wrong side of history! It is taking you on the wrong side of humanity. You are listening to the wrong guide through this world, one who is leading you desperately astray. But, it's not too late! You can steer clear of the gutter! You can repent! You can change! You can become a better person! You can become normal! You can be free! It's time to say, "Adios, (insert name of deity here)!" You deserve to move into the real world, one of reality. You know longer have to be shackled and chained to religious nonsense and malarky. You, too, can be free, and live a rewarding, fulfilled, and proper life. You can learn to see the world clearly, and make sense of what is around you. You will find guidance, love, life, light and insight in the world outside of the bubble your god keeps you in. Follow the right path. Follow the path of love, light and understanding. Repent! Atone! And welcome, to a new and wonderful, homophobic free life.

Homophobia is nothing to be proud of. It is a failure on the part of some humans to not grasp the reality of what sexuality is. Take a look at this article that I wrote. You may find it very interesting and it may open your eyes and help you to start to see clearly! I hope that you can overcome this character flaw that you have. It is within you to do. I have faith! You can change!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Screw You, Engle.

Oh geez, this guy. I wish I had more energy tonight to waste on this, but I don't. So, I'll just let this giant egotistical mouthpiece spew his bile and be done with it. Why does he always sound like he just got off of 4 day bender in a motel, where he smoke and drank everything he could get his hands on? He probably woke up an hour before this, groaned and remembered that he had to go yell at some punk ass kids for a while about something that he will make up in the car as he goes. Why do people listen to this guy?? And what's with his little bobbing and weaving WWE wrestler thing he has going on sometimes? He really should be wearing spandex or something, no? I expect him to take out a folding metal chair any minute and start wacking people with it. Boy do I loathe this man.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whitney Houston News Now....

I wrote this the other day and sent it to someone at a mock news blog. They didn't use here it is:

This morning it was announced that singer and “actress” Whitney Houston passed away from still undetermined causes. Within minutes of hearing of the death of the 48 year old, executives from her record label quickly booked an emergency meeting to explore all ideas on how to fully exploit the situation for maximum profits. “So far, we are pleased with the results….I mean, devastated by what happened. We have heard the body has cooled considerably, making her come back less likely….er, I mean, we are saddened to hear,” stated one record company employee. Already, editors have begun pasting together a shoddy, full length, 3D Imax concert/biography movie. Work has also started on assembling a CD box set of all her music, including many “lost” tapes and “never heard before” tracks that have mysteriously popped up out of nowhere. And several reworked and remastered editions of “The Bodyguard” are being prepared, with extra footage, hilarious outtakes and an intimate concert experience with Kevin Costner. 

As funeral arrangements are being made, the Jackson family is reportedly trying to figure out how they can capitalize on the event. Tito has written a song which the family is calling, “The greatest anthem to Whitney ever written.” Rumours are for a planned wardrobe malfunction to bring further attention to the family whose spokesperson stated, “Any press is good press, right?” As well, civil rights icon, Jesse Jackson is writing his speech in which he is set to talk about how inspirational he was to her. Al Sharpton is also expected to attend and ramble on about something. As well, reports are that an illegitimate daughter has been found in Texas who is being groomed to make a “tear jerking” speech that is “sure to bring the house down.” Already, the Westboro Baptist Church has made plans to picket the wedding saying that, “She once knew someone who was gay and didn’t chastise them properly enough about it, and this is why she died! God hates gays and people who aren’t assholes to them!” 

Tabloids have begun to seek out photos of the death scene and any embarrassing or stunning facts surrounding the death for print as soon as physically possible. If anyone, from anywhere on the planet, has any idea whatsoever of what may or may have not happened to Whitney in her final “dramatic minutes” before her death, they are being advised not to contact police, but to contact local tabloid offices.

UPDATE: They used it. Thanks goes out to them. Here it is on their site:

Friday, February 3, 2012

BBC News - Google changes enable 'per country' blog takedowns

BBC News - Google changes enable 'per country' blog takedowns

Et tu, Google and Blogger? This gives me some incentive to leave Blogger altogether sadly. Not that I have been an overly great blogger, either in frequency or quality, and they would probably be happy to see me go. But, that's beside the point. The point is, I really wish these companies would stop pandering to every country with a complaint. This is just giving countries more controls over their people and what they want them to see and experience. It is not a positive thing. People everywhere deserve the freedom and opportunity to read what they wish to read, or enjoy whatever content they wish to enjoy, no? This only gives governments the freedom to restrict the freedom of their citizens.

Sad move, especially on the heals of Twitter tweets being blocked in certain countries now. As far as I am concerned, the only tweets that should be blocked are Justin Bieber related ones. That will truly help society as a whole!

I'm (Sorta) Back

Goodness me, it has been a long time since I posted on here. Well, enough of that! I shall start again! First post back!

Okay, well, that's all I have to say.