[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
[ << Previous 20 ]
[ << Previous 20 ]
|Tuesday, August 17th, 2010|
|Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening in the Middle East in the past 60 years, and how...
...it's affecting us.
Russia is currently in the process of giving Iran nuclear fuel rods for a nuclear power plant. This is bad, because spent nuclear fuel rods are the building blocks for enriched uranium. Enriched uranium is what nuclear warheads are made of.
Why is it bad if Iran has nuclear weapons? Well, the leaders of Iran have always maintained they don’t like Israel because it’s full of Jews. That’s because Iran is a radical, Islamic state.
As crazy as it sounds, a huge part of this comes down to religious differences. Pretty nuts huh? Well, it gets worse.
The United States did something kinda bad here. (And when I say “kinda”, I mean, “HOLYSHITWHATTHEFUCKWEREYOUTHINKING?!?!?”) After World War II, the Allied powers (England, Free-France, Russia, The United States, Canada, a few others) realized that they needed access to the oil in the Middle East. The easiest solution was to pretend to care about Jewish people, since they’d just been through the Holocaust and all… so we gave them this little piece of land called Israel.
As it turned out, we had no fucking clue how bad that idea was. We put a group of Jews on a piece of land that the Islamic community has always regarded as their Holy land.
(We also developed alliances with a few other countries as well… Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, just to name a few.)
But what about Israel and their Holy Land? They couldn’t really defend themselves against their sworn religious enemies, so we gave them all the military capabilities they could handle. We even gave them nuclear weapons. Looking back on it, it was a really bad idea. It made a lot of the Middle East hate the United States. (And for all intensive purposes, it was the REAL reason we were attacked on 9/11. The terrorists didn’t hate our freedom. They hated that we gave Israel their Holy land, and nuclear weapons to defend it with.)
Then, Israel started making some bad political decisions. They were already the most hated kid on the block, so they’ve never really tried to make anyone like them. Because of this, many of Israel’s neighbors have pursued nuclear programs. Israel has fought all of them, and won. This hasn’t exactly helped their situation.
Oh, shitfuck - then it got worse. For no reason at all, The United States decided to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. If you’re not familiar with a map, take a look at what’s in between Iraq and Afghanistan. Naturally, Iran felt a little (understatement) threatened, and looked to America’s closest thing to an enemy (Russia) for help in developing a nuclear weapons program. Russia, after being economically crushed by the United States during the Cold War, was more than willing to oblige.
“Gee Iran, you want to fuck with the United States? Hell yes we’ll help you out.”, Russia said.
Fast forward to today: Iran is one week away from going online with their first nuclear power plant, from which the spent rods will be used to develop and make nuclear weapons.
Now, the United States and Israel have to sit and wait. We have to wait, and hope that the leaders of Iran come to their senses. Is it likely? Hell fucking no. As long as U.S. forces surround Iran, there is no way they’re going to back down. Those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan look pretty fucking stupid right now, don’t they?
There are two possible outcomes now:
1. The United States attacks Iran next week.
2. The State of Israel attacks Iran next week.
What happens after that? No one really knows - but because of the complicated myriad of alliances between all these countries, religious ideologies, etc, the most likely scenario is this: The United States and Israel will fight Hezbollah (That’s “Party of God”, for those of you out of the loop. They’re based in Lebanon, but really, they’re all over the Middle East. To give you an idea of what kind of folks they are… their flag prominently features an assault rifle. Peace isn’t exactly their strong point.), and most of the Middle East.
Best case scenario: The United States and Israel fight a quick war, win, and things remain shitty in the Middle East.
Moderate case scenario: The whole world ends up being drawn into World War III, after Russia backs Iran, China backs Russia, and Southeast Asia follows suit. We fight a war that lasts a few years, killing millions. Ultimately, because the U.S./European forces have such a technological advantage over China/Russia/The Middle East, we’ll win… but when millions of innocent people die, there is no winner.
Worst case scenario: We find out where all those missing Russian nuclear warheads ended up at the end of The Cold War… and we all get to find out if we picked the right religion or not. The End.
Folks, whether you realize it or not, you might be looking at the end of the fucking world, so take a look outside, because this could get REALLY, REALLY ugly, REALLY, REALLY quickly.
|Sunday, May 16th, 2010|
I stole this but I love it...
"Welcome to Holland"
By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
|Thursday, December 17th, 2009|
|Just cuz its been a while
Graduated High School.
Got so drunk you passed out.
Rode every ride at an amusement park.
Collected something really stupid.
Gone to a rock concert.
Watched four movies in one night.
Gone long periods of time without sleep.
Lied to someone.
Failed a class.
Taken a college level course.
Been in a car accident.
Been in a tornado.
Done hard drugs (i.e. ecstasy, heroin, crack, meth, acid).
Watched someone die.
Been to a funeral.
Burned yourself. (By mistake.)
Ran a marathon.
Your parents got divorced.
Cried yourself to sleep.
Spent over $200 in one day.
Flown on a plane.
Cheated on someone.
Been cheated on.
Written a 10 page letter.
Had a best friend.
Lost someone you loved.
Been to jail.
Got in trouble for something you didn’t do.
Stolen books from the library.
Gone to a different country.
Dropped out of school.
Been in a mental hospital.
Watched the “Harry Potter” movies.
Had an online diary.
Fired a gun.
Gambled in a casino.
Had a yard sale.
Had a lemonade stand.
Actually made money at the lemonade stand.
Been in a school play.
Been fired from a job.
Taken a lie detector test.
Swam with dolphins.
Gone to sea world.
Voted for American/Australian Idol
Read more than 20 books a year.
Gone to Europe.
Loved someone you couldn’t have.
Wondered about your sexuality.
Used a coloring book over age 12.
Taken a taxi.
Seen the Washington Monument.
Had more than 5 IM’s/online conversations going at once.
Had a drug or alcohol problem. (according to the law)
Been in a fist fight.
Suffered any form of abuse.
Had a hamster.
Petted a wild animal.
Used a credit card.
Gone surfing in California.
Did “spirit day” at school.
Dyed your hair.
Got a tattoo.
Had something pierced.
Got straight A’s.
Been on the Honor Roll.
Known someone with HIV or AIDS.
Taken pictures with a webcam.
Started a fire.
Had a party while your parents weren’t home.
Gotten caught having a party while they were gone.
|Monday, November 2nd, 2009|
Something has got to give....
Didn't get the job that I was promised after working for the hospital for 3 years
The state is again threatening to cut the daycare assistance I get...
Without Sam I would have crawled under a rock this week....
|Saturday, February 14th, 2009|
Please god just let me cry when no one else can see it...
|Friday, February 6th, 2009|
|Wednesday, November 5th, 2008|
Rosa sat, so Martin could walk…
Martin walked, so Obama could run…
Obama ran, so our children can FLY!
|Tuesday, November 4th, 2008|
Tonight I am proud to be an American!
|Tuesday, October 7th, 2008|
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....
If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.
If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.
Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.
If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the
Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking
If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all
within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married
the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth
control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex
education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.
If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college
education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.
OK, much clearer now.
Enter Sarah Palin, stage-right, dandling an infant swaddled in an American flag and dragging behind her the eviscerated carcass of a moose. Two weeks ago, Alaska’s preposterous governor was less well-known than the last man in the Kansas City Royals bullpen. Today, she’s the universally acknowledged dominatrix of the Republican party’s influential Magical Christian wing and the presumed savior of its presidential hopes.
More populous than the GOP’s powerful Save the Millionaires faction, Magical Christians read Jesus’ ambiguous admonition to “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,” to mean that God has uniquely blessed us with pious leaders such as George W. Bush. He takes a keen interest in American elections.
How anybody professes to interpret riddles literally remains a puzzle, but Palin herself goes further. Witness her appearance at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June, her former congregation. As seen on YouTube, Palin asked the faithful in disconcertingly girlish tones to pray that it be “God’s will” to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline her administration wanted to build. Moreover, she warned that her efforts could fail “if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God.”
Palin also hinted that God sent our brave soldiers into Eye-rack, not President Bush and an easily stampeded Congress as the unholy believe. So was it the Lord who cooked up that phony intelligence of Iraq’s non-existent WMDs, rather than Ahmed Chalabi and Dick Cheney? Does Palin think of the war as “a task that is from God”? As she put it, “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for—that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
That this happens to be precisely what Osama bin Laden tells his own deluded followers, that American “crusaders” seek the destruction of Islam, needn’t detain us. Except to notice, as Middle Eastern scholar Juan Cole points out in Salon, that theocrats commonly “confuse God’s will with their own mortal policies.” Citing chapter and verse on a broad range of social issues, he asks, “What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.”
But hasn’t Alaska’s one-time “Miss Congeniality” a right to believe anything she likes? Absolutely. But the rest of us are not compelled to take her views on Biblical “prophecy” more seriously than rival forms of soothsaying, such as Tarot card reading, crystal ball gazing, or examining the entrails of sheep. Persons who practice such rites, whether in the wholesome suburban confines of the Wasilla Bible Church or a cavern in the tribal areas of Pakistan are either frauds, fools or both. It’s time the rest of us quit being polite about it.
So is Palin merely Elmer Gantry in a bathing suit? Let’s put it this way: A Miss Alaska contestant who falsified her credentials would be asked to turn in her sash and tiara . Consider Palin’s dramatic claim to be a bold fiscal reformer. “I told Congress thanks, but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere,” she claimed. “If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we’d build it ourselves.” At issue was a proposed $223 million span to connect Ketchikan, Ak., (pop. 7,500) to an offshore island with fewer than 100 inhabitants—a useless boondoggle if ever one was. So useless that Congress actually canceled the earmark in November 2005, a full year before Palin, running for governor, vigorously championed the project. It wasn’t until she took office that Gov. Palin reneged on her campaign promise. She kept the Federal money for other projects. Why am I not surprised?
—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award
|Monday, September 29th, 2008|
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Tim Wise
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin’ redneck," like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re "untested."
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.
And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
|Thursday, September 18th, 2008|
|Wednesday, July 30th, 2008|
|Wednesday, June 18th, 2008|
I should learn not to expect so much from people, then I won't be disappointed.
|Sunday, June 15th, 2008|
Today is one of the days that really makes me miss him...
|Friday, May 16th, 2008|
I've decided that I don't like "dating", I don't find it fun and exciting. In truth I find it nerve racking and nauseating. I've never been very good at it and I especially don't know what to do now that I have a kid. I feel like I'm supposed to tell him that I don't expect him to be Chloe's new dad but deep down I do kind of want that. It's funny I've thought about getting married, like the process of getting married. and the one thing that really sticks out in my mind is not the guy but I can see standing in front of a crowd of people and I can see Chloe in the arms of whoever it is I'm going to marry. It's almost a Jerry Maguire kind of moment.
|Friday, March 7th, 2008|
"Fairytales do not tell children that dragons exist children already know that dragons exist, fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed." G.K. Chesterton
|Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008|
Dear Michelle Williams
I know how you feel. Ive been there before, and its not your fault.
|Sunday, January 20th, 2008|
School starts again on Wednesday. So not looking forward to it. This semester is psych and maternity. Eeek. After this semester Ill be half done with school. Another year closer to moving back back to Baltimore. I'm still debating whether or not I should work at Westchester for a year before I move back.
I think I'm going to start another diet. and I really need to start going back to the gym and stick with it. I would like to lose another 10-15 pounds. I need to start running again too.
Here are my goals:
Run 5 miles by my birthday
Find out about invisalign or braces