Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Xma$

If corporate America doesn't have a merry, profitable Xma$, then the terrorists have won.

For even more fun, read the comments people have left.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays

If you who are reading this are, like me, fortunate enough to be experiencing happy, healthy holidays, please spare a thought for those who are not. Dec 25 is Christmas day but for so many it is just another day. Today in Uganda children will be walking countless miles to prevent being kidnapped, in Afghanistan warlords and insurgents will be killing and terrifying people, in Iraq unemployed and war ravaged people will be at risk of being killed by insurgents or Americans, in Pakistan those who lost everything to the recent earthquake will be working to rebuild, in Botswana men, women and children will be dying of AIDS, in North America and countless other places poverty, homelessness, and domestic violence is marring what should be a beautiful loving holiday. To all of these and to everyone else undergoing painful and traumatic experiences, I wish a day of peace would be possible, however unlikely.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Satire of the Day: The Average Iraqi is ecstatic

Satire of the day:
The Average Iraqi in Vietraq "is content – jubilant, even – in the knowledge that his smoldering, foreign-occupied police state is a gleaming symbol of Republican-invented FREEDOM®. "
Read how the average Iraqi has been weeping "FREEDOM® Tears", is thrilled to see new "Glorious McChurches throughout Iraq", but unfortunately has tired feet from dancing in the streets. Boy was I wrong about this.
More Iraq, Humour

So Iraq is better off... How?

No one questions that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, but invading a country and killing innocent people (who didn't ask for your "help"!!) isn't exactly the best way to improve the living conditions of Iraqis.

The recent election is being touted as a resounding success by BushInc. & Co. The propaganda is being laid on so thick it makes me feel ill just thinking about it. The reality is so far off of the official story. Just read some independent media, like this stirring article by Sabah Ali, posted on Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches (Both are independent journalists covering the Iraq war).

“You are filming our miserable condition so that Bush would pity us?! You want to soften his heart?” asked a tiny, skinny young villager disapprovingly, with obvious resignation. She was holding a very heavy cooking gas tube, trying to climb the river bank. After the only bridge which connects Rummana to Al-Qa’im was severely bombed, citizens had to cross by boat.

Not only have there been somewhere around 150,000 dead (and it is a crime that we don't even know the true numbers! More discussion here), but there is rampant unemployment, poverty, hunger, a destroyed infrastructure, lack of gasoline, electricity and water. There is constant threat of random violence. Schools, hospitals, shops, services are tenuously holding on, at best. The relative freedom that Iraqi women enjoyed under Hussein is being destroyed with the formalization of Sharia law in the new constitution.

Of course, to many who share my views, this is hardly news. However, there are a suprising number of people, who were once against the invasion, but now can be heard saying "Well, it is better for the Iraqi people this way". For example, Jon Stewart, after the first election this year, disappointingly considered "What if Bush... has been right about this all along?". It is for these people that I wonder:
Is it enough to show
How the nightmare works
so everyone will wake up? (Stereolab)

More on Iraq.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Aids & Racism are Intimately Connected

Today, as you may know, is World Aids Day. I have also recently discovered it is Blog Against Racism Day.

I believe the two are intimately related, and so they are sharing a post today.

How are they related? For one thing, according to AIDS Statistics, AIDS and HIV disproportionately affect non-white communities in the US. Now, I think very few people are hoping for some kind of Darwinian "culling" of non-white populations, but there is a tangible element of racism that is perpetuating the real suffering of people around the world.

A quick mental exercise
Imagine there was an AIDS epidemic among the white population of Texas, comparable to the one in Botswana. That means 37.3% of all adults, and a significant percentage of the children were infected with HIV/AIDS. In other words, based on current population data, out of 15,967,916 non-Hispanic white Texans, 5,908,128 would be living with HIV/AIDS. Can you imagine the difference in response to the crisis?

Even if we think we aren't affected, we are. They both harm us all, whether our skin is pink or brown, whether we are ill or healthy, we all live in the same world, and I'm sure we can agree that our world would be a better place without AIDS or Racism.

Let's fight both AIDS and Racism!

More on AIDS in Africa, The vulnerable not being protected