"Take the car keys out of your pocket, before you put your mittens on"
The Coalition of Evil
Israeli children, bomb signing
Today Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, hitting his lowest popularity level, was criticised by a government inquiry panel for "very serious failings," for being "overly ambitious," and for "a severe failure in judgement, responsibility and caution" leading up to the Lebanese invasion.
I know it isn't much. After all, he has been involved in war crimes, profiteering, and horrors that by no means is limited to just Lebanon, but what about the US?
Women, we may be outnumbered but we should by no means be quiet.These three things have been going through my mind lately:
1. Israel's "Modesty buses" should make it a lot harder for them (and their primary supporter the US) to criticize Arab and Islamic states for slow pace in updating women's roles in society. However, I do not think it will, and neither will these women leaders: Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Tansu Ciller of Turkey, and Khaleda Zia and Sheik Hasina Wazed of Bangladesh.
2. Is the US Supreme court ban on the partial birth abortion (I know they are especially gruesome) a start to an all out dissolve of a woman's constitutional right to an abortion? Meanwhile, today Mexico city, the capital of the second largest Roman Catholic country, voted to legalise abortions.
3. The US funding of abstinence only programs in Africa has been hurting the whole region in 2005, in 2006, and in 2007. It's kind of like watching the Iraq war, only with genitals and a slower mortality rate.
Once again, Washington correspondent Justin Webb is at it, trying to find self-gratifying excuses to why the world lies waiting to pummel America. This time, in his "Death to America" article he focuses on Venezuela and Latin America.
Suggesting much of the hatred is due to "the result of local attitudes to poverty, local attitudes to honesty in government, and local attitudes to the rule of law," he asks rhetorically "is anti-Americanism a smoke screen, a very convenient smoke screen, whose noxious fumes hide the reality of local failure?"(Notice that clever routing through a rhetorical question, he's not telling; he's asking, right?)
Perhaps due to criticism over the last installment, he does entertain both sides. But he does so by quoting Otto Reich, the former Bush appointed ambassador to Venezuela:
"The United States is the scapegoat. It provides an easy excuse for the failures: if something isn't working, blame the Americans. Scratch the surface of some of these anti-Americans and you find self-loathing."
And comparing him to Ms Golinger, a random Venezuelan and US citizen raised in New York:
"Hugo Chavez is a threat to the United States government but not in the way Washington portrays him, as a threat to democracy. He is a threat to US domination."
Though events like Venezuela's Bank of the South would point more toward Ms Golinger's conclusion, her quote might as well be attributed to a seaside fisherman who rides a bicycle to work. If a news agency like Democracy Now has no trouble getting into contact with Latin American officials, why should Justin Webb? Ms Golinger, a local gardener perhaps, doesn't quite qualify.
Finally, the overall conclusion of the article is that "one of the great features of the anti-American mindset is the blotting out of the positive and the accentuating of the negative." Apparently it would be more fitting for Latin Americans to spend time focusing upon positive aspects like the increased US military aid, training, and arms sales to the region. After all, Kennedy gave humanitarian aid to Latin America, and some still have his picture up on their wall. Bush gives guns. Be thankful.
Even more thankfulness is in order because, as Webb points out, Venezuela sells 39 billion dollars worth of oil to the US and also:
millions and millions of Latin Americans benefit every day from the powerhouse US economy - from relatives cleaning cars in Los Angeles, making beds in Las Vegas and picking fruit in rural Georgia. They send money home to places where economic development is stymied by corruption and government interference.
Overall, I'd like to hear more of his interview with that congress member, Augusto Montiel:
"They call it free trade when you shut up and against your dignity, your sovereignty, you lower your head and say 'yes' we will give you everything. That is not democracy, my friend, that is dictatorship."
I'm so glad I'm back in a land which goes by the word of Allah the Almighty. I just came back from visiting my male cousin who lives in the United States of Imperialism, and I'm very distressed. I attended his high school, where I was being tempted at every turn by the infidel students who attempted to lure me into the path of Satan with their bosoms and tight pants. But the part that distressed me the most was science class, forgive me for saying this Allah ...but I was told that your creation of man evolved from monkeys! I would have screamed a fatwa against the female teacher, but I was momentarily distracted by her exposed calves and forearms. Allah, my master, please sooth me with your non-contested words, do humans come from monkeys?
-Servantly yours, Muhammad Ibn-Saud
Fear not. The infidels, just as with their belief in Jesus, have the order confused. I did not make man from monkey, but I do regularly make monkey from man, as stated my Surah 2 titled "The Cow:"
"And indeed...you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. We said to them: "Be you monkeys, despised and rejected" (v2:65).
Not only are the Sabbath breakers warned, but also the Jewish and Christian disbelievers. They too will turn into monkeys. As stated in one of my unclean Surahs, titled "The Women:"
"O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed (to Muhammad)...before We curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers" (v4:47).
And unlike some leaders, I, Allah the most gracious and merciful, do have a timeline detailed in my Surah titled "The Repentance:"
"So travel freely for four months throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers" (v9:2).
I now order you to cleanse yourself by completing the holy pilgrimage, Hajj, through walking around and worship towards a black box where my fav prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) declared that people should stop worshiping idols there.
Washington Correspondent, Justin Webb, has been sitting too close to the Bush administration's War hoots, hollars, and Yosemite Sam-like excited gunfire when he wrote his article "Death to US: Anti-Americanism examined."
No, he doesn't examine the many international surveys conducted by organizations like the Pew Research Center that conclude that it is "policy not culture" that creates anti-Americanism, nor does he take into consideration the recent Iraqi polls that indicate the people view us as occupiers not liberators and want us gone. What he does do, however, is take the red white and blue temperature in Venezuela and France...yes France. (I thought America's freedom fries culture was just a right-wing joke. Perhaps Washington, correspondents and all, are still upset that they were right about Iraq.)
He cites examples directly referring to the "regime" of Venezuela and French intellectuals--seriously though I think people stopped listening to real intellectuals in the 18th century--and comes to the grand conclusion that is all centers "around intense dislike of what America is--not what it does."
Hmm, I could of swore it was because of our total apathy toward history, our "backing of authoritarian regimes," our interference with any sort of local democracy, our economic blockades, our timeless support for Israel, and overall double standards that helped finance people like Pinochet, Bin Ladin, Saddam, and the one and only Shah of Iran (just to name a few).
And as far as those French Intellectuals, I am starting to like that Huber Beuve-Mery:
"The Americans represent a real danger for France, different from the one posed by Germany or the one with which the Russians may - in time - threaten us. The Americans may have preserved a cult of Liberty but they do not feel the need to liberate themselves from the servitude which their capitalism has created. "
It's time to call out the injustice in the Mevludin Hidanovic case. Graeme, at Left in East Dakota, sent the following:
Mevludin Hidanovic needs our help. He was convicted (and sentenced to 18 months in jail) for his involvement in a fight last summer during the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo, North Dakota. There was a brawl, involving 20 to 30 people and a baseball bat. Mevludin was the one who got charged for fighting with the baseball bat (the bat has since disappeared). Mevludin has maintained his innocence since the beginning. Mevludin has also voluntarily taken a lie detector test (along with a witness and his wife). The evidence against him was shaky at best, it relied on one person who said they might have seen him there. But evidence (or lack there of) aside, after the trial a juror admitted that she found him guilty because of her past experiences with Roma Bosnians.
Here are a few statements from the juror's affidavit
"I used my own experiences with ethnic groups, specifically Bosnians and/or Gypsies, to influence the jury."
"I told the jury that I had personal experience with Bosnians and that they stole from my business and in the same experience lied to me regarding the theft and their conduct. Even though I had never met Mr. Hidanovic, or any of the witnesses, Mr. Hidanovic and the witnesses' race was discussed in a negative way."
"I interjected into the deliberations the concept that if Mr. Hidanovic wasn't guilty of this crime he was guilty of something else."
After this was made public, the judge STILL refused to grant a new trial. The Hidanovics have lost their home, car and faith in the justice system over this ordeal.
The Wife's Reaction Here is what his wife sent me after I wrote about the situation on my blog, and asked for a few more details-
"Well, basically Mevludin and I, along with our four kids, were at the fair the evening of June 24, 2006. We were playing games and watching our kids go on rides. We ran into my co-worker Annie (witness#1) spoke to her for awhile and went on our way. We also ran into out friend Nurija (witness#2) who begged us to go on a ride with him. He even paid for us. I am not a ride person, so we found the smoothest ride out there. You just lay on your stomach (it fits three across) it lifts you up, turns you a round a few times and brings you down. So Mevludin, Nurija and I went on the ride and the kids sat on the bench and watched us. When the ride was ending Nurija's phone ran and someone told him there was a huge fight and some of our family may have been hurt. The ride operator had to line us up to our show that were on the ground and it seemed like eternity. I got my shoes on; grabbed the kids and started running. My main and only concern at this time was Melvudin's little 12 year old brother. I knew he was there.
Now the scene was chaos. People were running in every direction. I just followed Mevludin. We got the the area where the fight happened and everyone had pretty much ran away. There were groups of people standing around talking about it. I saw no fight. I saw no injured people (perhaps they were transported somewhere). I, in essence, missed everything. We stood around for a few minutes and asked if anyone had seen our brother and no one knew. So we decided to leave. We packed up the kids and were driving home. That is when we finally saw cop cars flying towards West Fargo. A couple of days after the fair a police officer called Mevludin's phone and asked if he was at the fair and he said yes he was there with his wife and family. They asked if he fought and he said no. Then SIX WEEKS later; we are up watching the news. They showed Mevludin's picture saying he is wanted in connection with the fair fight. We were shocked! Everything that happened from that point on is unbelievable. I have ordered the copy of his actual trial because I want to read over it. It is just unbelievable. Basically there was no physical evidence (no bat at the trial) and eye witness testimony of no one that was positive it was him. I am an educated person. I actually went to school to be a paralegal and I cannot believe this has happened.
Mevludin has maintained his innocent and belief in our system the whole way through this. He was offered a Misdemeanor and 30 days in jail and didn't take it because he had nothing to do with this. Now he is sitting 18 months! Our system has failed us. I have no hope. I have no one to listen and help us.
Whatever you can do I appreciate. I was even happy to see your website addressing the issues at hand here.
Thanks, Chanda Hidanovic"
Mevludin did not receive a fair trial. He was convicted because of his race, not because of his actions. The Hidanovics cannot afford to appeal this case. He is going to go to prison and then be deported. Besides an appeal, I really don't know what his options are. The only thing I can think of is public pressure.
If you have a blog, please post about it. If you have a ton of people on your email list, let them know. Awareness is key. The local paper doesn't seem to concerned about the whole situation, (they haven't printed any "letters to the editors" his supporters have sent) so we have got to spread the word.
This is the email for the Cass County State's Attorney:
I'm still grappling with the idea of how a country with a low global population (let's say the U.S.) gets the highest voting power (16.78%) out of any other country in an "international" monetary "fund."
I guess some people think that makes sense. With the voting power at the World Bank and IMF determined by the level of a nation's financial contribution, it is a good way to keep the poor poorer.
Share of Global Population...............Voting Power U.S...................... 4.6% ...............................U.S................. 16.78% U.K......................0.9% ................................U.K................... 4.86% China................ 20.4% ...............................China................. 3.66% India..................17.1% ..................................India................ 1.89%
Brother Graeme at "Left in East Dakota" was kind enough to listen to both the sweet tune of his heart strings and the 99% similarity in his Genome to evoke a special form of nepotism, he nominated us as a "thinking Blog."
In accordance with the rules hereby handed down:
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. 1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think, 2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme, 3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.
I will commence with the difficult process of tagging five blogs that haven't, to my knowledge, been part of this virtual symbiosis (blogs are listed in Reverse Alphabetical order):
1)We Love America More than Anyone: Minnesota based and focusing on everything from punk rock to the fact that Bill Kristol looks--with good reason--like a flaccid penis, JasonC always denotes a raw chuckle. 2)Neil Shakespeare: Neil's got photoshop skills and he can write...thoughtfully. It's always a good read.
3)Morning Martini: Because in many States it's illegal to serve alcohol before noon, you know Pissed Off Patricia is a rebel. Because of her many reader-centered posts and the fact that she lets her cat post on Fridays, you know she's a thinker.
4)I'm Sorry World: with her stream of consciousness prose and an epilogue of quirky links, Azgoddess reminds us that its ok to smile when battling those systems of indoctrination.
5) An Angry Dakota Democrat: Brent's a fellow Dakotan (1 of 4 with internet access I think), and he's pissed. Due to his insight on local and national politics, he's also a thinker.
So there they are: hard choices, hard thinkers.
Nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.
Thinking and pummeling in the name of the Lord at my Christian Tae Kwon-Do class, I couldn't help but agree and also wonder how we got this far. In particular, how the Lord's Armies, both the US Army and the Janjaweed, went astray? And what possible passages Mr. Bush was looking at to lead us into the heart of darkness.
A few came to mind:
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. –Exodus 11:10
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Exodous 12:29-30 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.--6:19
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.--Genesis 19:24-26
And Mr. Bush's new-found Personal favorite Passage:
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.--Numbers 11:1
Beware Veterans for Peace!Your days are numbered.
Good Friday and the Death of an American Worker, the small guy
The French Revolution retold via former chief Justice Roy Moore
Labor vs. Virtue (there's a choice?)
This weekend as you celebrate the miracle of Jesus through marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies (preferably solid), and cleverly hidden eggs, don't forget to remember that he most likely would be a member of the unemployed philosopher's guild and wouldn't be collecting royalties on any holiday candies named after an ancient goddess, Eastre.
Also, think back to how far we've come since May 4th 1886, the Haymarket Riot. We've lost our eight hour work day, are slowly loosing any real benefits, and have a "terror" scare that has many seeing red.
I don't know about you, but I want my French Revolution.
"I will never harm a living Creature or an Inanimate object"--Ahmadinejad
I'm skeptical, and I have three broken chairs and two smashed jars of tahini to back me up. However, a history of UK and US interference, Operation Ajax, and 15 British navel personnel may testify for the defence.
Q: My vagina is too pale/dark, has bumps, is kind of veiny, has bigger labia on one side than the other, sticks out/in, is too puffy/flat, has a mole, makes a lot of discharge, or otherwise seems weird. Am I normal??
A: Yes! Vaginas and vulvas can be all those things and way, way more. They come in all kinds of colours and shapes and it is perfectly fine and beautiful for yours to not look like the simplified anatomical diagrams in sex ed.