Tag: war

Iranian spared from execution!


Amid global pressure from human rights organizations, and due to global protest, “Iran’s chief justice nullified the imminent death sentence of Makvan Mouloodzadeh”!!!!

This is FANTASTIC news. This restores a tiny bit of faith for me in humanity.

To everyone that blogged about it, and cast attention towards the issue, this shows that speaking up can make a difference! This is great news. I, for one, am very happy that at least this one case was changed because of global pressure. If we keep putting pressure on these people, hopefully, MANY more people can be spared!


some wins, a major worry, and a lack of perspective (yet again)

I want to high-five Dennis Kucinich; it does take balls to put forward something like the impeachment of Cheney (especially when we have been calling for it for so long). While it may not actually happen (boo!), I hope that it does; and I won’t forget that Dennis is the guy that got the issue actually going, which is a welcome sign that there are some balls somewhere in the house of Dem.

ENDA passed; which is a great step forward in the protection against being fired simply for being gay or lesbian. I hope that this signals more good things in store for the equalization of rights for all of us. No one should be able to be fired because their boss is a bigot, and now, it seems like they are a little safer. Bravo.

I blogged about it before, but please, don’t forget that there is a gay youth in serious danger of being hanged for being gay in Iran. This cannot happen. I am glad to see that the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is at least paying some attention now. This is a chilling reminder that gays and lesbians are NOT free in this world, and if one of us is at risk of being murdered because of who we are, we are all at risk. It cannot be allowed to happen, and Iran must not be allowed to conduct serious acts of murder and violence against any human. I certainly feel for this boy and his family. By keeping this topic in the news, we are keeping Iran under the microscope, and hopefully, it will lead to a stay of execution indefinitely.

Finally, I was amused when I read that this is what Bush had to say about the veto override the Senate exercised in the funding of projects to rebuild the areas affected by hurricane Katrina:

“American taxpayers should not be asked to support a pork-barrel system of federal authorization and funding where a project’s merit is an afterthought,” he said.

Wait, WHAT? All of a sudden, Mr. Bush is concerned what WE taxpayers are concerned with when it comes to government spending? Uh, Mr. Bush, you can’t have a blank check for your war on the middle east, and then get all pissy when we want money to rebuild parts of our own nation; it just shows how out of touch with the real situation he really is. Someone, please get this man a large does of perspective; stat. I love how it was “an afterthought”… uh, someone really needs to get him up to speed as to what is going on in the world right now; the man clearly has no idea.

Other than that… I am sure that there is a lot more SHIT going on in the world that is scary and evil, but it almost seems too overwhelming to deal with it all, doesn’t it? I mean, just look at the CRAPPER that the economy is in… we are seriously inching towards being TOTALLY fucked instead of just being fucked. When will the great America turn things around for herself? I just hope that we can.

remember, remember…

The fifth of November,
the gunpowder, treason, and plot,
I know of no reason
why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot…

The plot of Guy Fawkes is a good reminder that dissent may truly be the most ambitious, yet patriotic form of patriotism (which is paraphrasing the often thought to be Thomas Jefferson, but it actually wasn’t (?), quote). I believe, now more than ever, that it is imperative, given the circumstances of this country, this world, this existence, that we stand up and question what is being done. Things are out of control, and we can’t look the other way any longer.

We can’t let there be a time when recalling the events of this day include a time when no one stood up when they came for the others, and then, inevitably they finally came for us, and no one was left to stand up for us. All accounts of the events in the news indicate that in more ways than one, things are going from bad to worse, and I can’t help but think, “does it have to happen?”. Do we have to just follow? Why aren’t our representatives doing something about this? How bad does it have to get before we make it stop?

Remembering the bravery that it takes to stand up to the government isn’t enough, but it seems that it is all that there is right now. I hope that changes soon. I hope that our words and our actions can bring some accountability to where there is none. I hope that our pressure on our government can shed light on the theft that is occurring right before our eyes. I hope that we won’t be the ones that suffer for the blood money that those at the top are raking in.

This really makes me think; where is V when you need him? I think that I will be watching V for Vendetta tonight… and hoping for some bravery to stand against our ever-increasingly-oppressive government. Want more? Check out this remembering article.

britney, 9/11, and kathy griffin – thoughts

So apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought calling Britney fat was going too far; but isn’t it interesting that it came from the same source? Perhaps they realized they struck a cord with the fat comments, especially considering she couldn’t be farther from it. Who knows. Either way, it is in the past now, and we can focus on more important things, now can’t we? (Like waiting for her CD release! LOL)

Or, Like today. 9/11. I don’t need to say anything about what happened on this day, and I don’t think that I will. What I will say, is that I hope that the memory is enough to stir passion in people to end the war in Iraq. I hope the passion extends pity and remorse into a call for change, and a call for action; a call for us to get out of Iraq, a call to stop the destruction, and a call to stop the loss of lives.

I, for one, hope that this day can symbolize something more for America, something more than a memorial; I hope it can symbolize a day that we come together, and understand why peace and freedom are so important. I hope it can be a day that we realize that we are all on this planet together, and somehow, we have to make it work together. In fact, that’s exactly what I want this day to be about, HOPE.

Unrelated side note: First of all, a huge congrats to the well-deserved Emmy for Kathy Griffin! Secondly, I can’t believe that an obvious joke about Jesus is getting so much press and the threat of censorship. Seriously, it was clear she was making a joke (especially so if you have seen her stand up or the show), and obviously the Emmy committee (hee, a rhyme!) totally got that joke. Let it go already… not everyone takes Jesus and religion so seriously, and some even have the ability to make something funny out of something that people clearly take far too seriously. I think even Jesus would laugh at the joke for crying out loud! Most of all, I am appalled that an organization that has a history of violence, molestation, and condemnation could call this joke a form of “hate speech”. Seriously, Catholic church, if you want to talk about “hate speech”, I think that you should listen to some of the things that your organization is saying. Gee whiz.

a boring tuesday

Today has been painfully boring; meetings and not much else.

I still find it incredibly strange that people still deny that our involvement in the process of globalization has, in some ways, affected the situation we find ourselves dealing with in the middle east. If you cannot holistically grasp the concept that America is not all bread and butter, and in the many years that we have been stomping around carrying our big stick, that we have smashed a few houses, and gotten pretty dirty in our quest for wealth, then there is no need to argue with you anymore, because you will never understand the truly holistic nature of the situation. I suggest, for people that find themselves in this place (lacking the ability to wrap your brain around the FACT that America is partly to blame for the fact that we are so hated by so many in the world) take a few courses in anthropological theory, applied anthropological methods, and read up on the epistemological backbone of cultural anthropology. It may change your world (hopefully). If not, continuing to believe that you are right (that there is only one, or two reasons that we are hated and are being threatened), then there is no need to continue to bring that argument here; I got it. Move on. I am going to continue to share my opinions in a rational, holistic, and thoughtful manner, and this is obviously not something that you will be able to understand, comprehend, or agree with. Strange? Yes. Have to continue listen to it? No. Feel free to state your opinions if you wish, but realize, that just because I don’t buy into A+B=C, realizing that there is also a D, an E, a W, and a Y (not to mention potential others) that contributes to the answer, it doesn’t make my ideas radical or incoherent; it shows that I have the ability, and frankly the duty, to think about things holistically, searching for the entire meaning before I act on what I believe to be the cause of a problem.

Other than that, I have been entering in my DVDs on this website called DVDSpot, which I heard about from Brian. This is pretty cool, because it is another way I can organize and keep track of my growing collection, which shows statistics, and is downloadable. It is also pretty cool that the website lets you put in reviews (slowly… I know I know), and even estimates your collection’s value. Neat stuff. All free too! Thanks for the heads up Brian! When everything is entered, I am sure that I will add a handy dandy link over in the links section, so stay tuned!

monday ramblings…

Not much going on today, other than slowly trying to get into the week, after a delightful weekend. We hung out with friends on Friday and Saturday, and had dinner with a lovely couple last night, one of which was someone that James met this summer. They were quite nice, and I look forward to hanging out with them again. We don’t know very many long term gay couples, so it is good to meet one more.

I went shopping at Garden Ridge yesterday, and got a lot of awesome decorator things… I think that the decorating bug has bitten me a little harder than I expected. I will be posting some pictures of the new decorations when things are all put together and posh like I like them.

Other than that, there isn’t much to say, but I do have a few thoughts on a few things. Check these out:
Iraq’s Prime Minister says we can leave anytime; they don’t need our help. He also agrees with me, that our presence is driving more people to join up with al Qaeda. Do we still think that our presence is in their best interests? It’s becoming clearer and clearer each day that we are there to take something that we want; which is sickening. Come on America, when are we going to actually be decent people, and act like the “example” of “democracy” that we are shoving down the throats of every oppressive government in the world? We have got to practice what we preach before we will get anywhere that we could ever consider a positive place.

To sort of piggy back on that thought, I guess it is true that diplomacy is actually a viable option, one that should be explored before war. Apparently, since we came to an agreement that we were both comfortable with, North Korea decided to shut down their nuclear reactor. No more threat of nuclear weapons for N. Korea? It is probably not that simple, but it is a good step; one that we came to with agreement, and more importantly, peace. Why don’t we try something like that with Iran? I mean, a lot of the reason they are so angry with us, is because of our presence in Iraq, so perhaps we should start listening to what is going on in that region. Perhaps if we stopped talking long enough to listen, we could get somewhere… peacefully. Here’s hoping.

Not that I really needed another reason to think of him as completely despicable, and completely devoid of the ability to consider the real needs of American citizens, Bush is promising to veto a bill that would increase funding for providing uninsured children with health coverage. Interestingly enough, this will come at no expense to anyone other than smokers, many of whom, in my opinion, owe a bunch of these kids health care anyway; I know my parents smoked right in my face my whole childhood, and I am not at all in doubt that this is at least somehow linked to my bad allergies. I can almost guarantee that there are kids out there that are affected even more negatively by smoking parents; who would be paying for the uninsured kids out there that aren’t lucky enough to have parents wealthy enough to pay for health care.

If, by adding a tax to cigarettes, more children can have access to health care, can you please explain to me HOW is this a bad thing? Seriously, if you can give me one viable reason as to why this is bad in any way, let me know. (Just so you know, “more people will take advantage of the system” is a BS answer, before you try to shove that one down my throat again; there are regulations, standards, and qualification requirements on this program, which should eliminate MOST of the “free loaders”. That kind of mentality (which is apparently where the Bush camp is coming from) really makes me wonder why people don’t have more faith in those that are less fortunate in this country. Just because someone is poor doesn’t automatically make them a crook, a freeloader, or someone looking for a free ride or a handout. Have a little faith in people!). I for one, hope that he considers that these children are in this uninsured situation because of the way our economy works against the working class, and the poor; but I am sure that some one will be quick to step up and call them lazy assholes, rather than acknowledge that situations and circumstances are different for everyone, and not every homeless person is too lazy to get a job.

What has happened to our country, that we have lost all faith in people’s ability to be good? Do we live in such a culture of fear and hate that we will always blame, rather than consider the circumstances? Perhaps that is part of our problem in Iraq… and unfortunately, people all over the world see that we are being like that; whether we want to acknowledge it or not. I just wish things could be better; because I know we are capable of it.

Ugh… I guess that is a lot of thought for a Monday, but alas, there it is. Hope your day is going well!

so let me get this straight…

Despite failing benchmarks, and continued violence escalation in Iraq, our president has said that “a precipitous withdrawal would embolden al-Qaeda” (source), yet, it appears that our occupation of Iraq is THE CAUSE of their escalation and emboldening strategy. According to what is being reported, al-Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq before we went to Iraq.

Since our presence, they have done nothing but grow in number, and in power.

Wouldn’t that make you think that the connection between their growth and power may be at least somehow intrinsically linked to our attempted occupation of Iraq? Even the overarching al Qaeda terrorist network that exists outside of Iraq (which operates practically autonomously from Iraq’s al Qaeda network), is focused on combating American occupation of Iraq, and are threatening escalation as a result of our presence in Iraq (as well as telling other Muslims to go to Iraq and kill us there).

Additionally, intelligence is saying that just because we stop the small arm of al Qaeda in Iraq (which was not connected to Sept. 11, but IS connected to our 2003 invasion of Iraq), which, keep in mind, is what our troops are there and are supposed to be doing, we will still be posed with the threat of the Qaeda terrorist network, which exists (and is growing) outside of Iraq altogether.

So, the president is saying that if we pull out, things will get worse. What is happening, is that by us being there, they are upping their forces to combat us.

The president is telling us that the overall al Qaeda network (which did attack us on Sept. 11) is connected to the Iraq arm of al Qaeda (albeit only in shared belief and value, the Iraq al Qaeda operates autonomously, and are a response to our presence). He is saying, that al Qaeda (the big one, not the on in Iraq) poses a current threat of attack to us in the US; yet, since we are only focusing on Iraq, it is clear that we are not focusing our forces on stopping them. Again, it is being said that even if we get the bad guys in Iraq, we still have the big dogs to worry about, and our presence is pissing both of them off, more and more each day.

With the al Qaeda network growth being a direct response to our forces being in Iraq, it sounds like our exit isn’t what they want either; because our presence is bringing more people over to support them, which is strengthening their network overall. We are making the small network of forces that are dangerous in Iraq stronger because of our presence. That sounds like a BAD thing to me, but what about to you?

Like I said, even if we get the guys in Iraq, we still haven’t begun to focus on the actual terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11; even though Bush is saying that they are one in the same, yet they are not. If we get the al Qaeda in Iraq, we still have not stopped al Qaeda, who he is telling us is our direct threat. Sounds contradictory to me; to want to take out al Qaeda, yet we focus on cutting off its hand, rather than going for the throat.

To be completely honest, the whole thing frustrates me. It just sounds like people are using what facts they want to justify the actions that they want to take, all the while, mixing in some scare tactics by making claims that can’t be backed up with intelligence (and in many instances, are being proven inconsistent with the intelligence that is being collected).

I say go after the guys that attacked us 9/11 if they are the threat, as Mr. Bush said they were again this week (and has been increasingly stressing over the past several weeks). If they are a threat, then what are we doing in Iraq fighting with their little cousin (who is growing every day into a bigger and bigger bully)? Additionally, if our presence is what is motivating them to fight us, wouldn’t it make sense to stop giving them a reason to mobilize more forces? If we did that, we could go after the terrorist network that existed before our occupation (not the one we are fighting, which was, again, created because of our occupation), and seriously focus on the actual threats that Mr. Bush continues to refer to. It sounds like the president lacks focus on the real issue, and instead, is manipulating facts like he did at the beginning of the war (Saddam connection with Iraq = not true, unlike he said it was).

Well, if you ask me, it sounds more likely that there is something in Iraq that we need to have in our hands, rather than in the hands of the Iraqis(specifically the al Qaeda Iraqis), and we don’t really care about the outside (more dangerous) al Qaeda network, other than to use the outside to get an opportunity to stay in Iraq. I wonder why we can’t go after the entire network, rather than staying in Iraq until we secure that thing? Perhaps “that thing” is the real reason we are in Iraq anyway, and the al Qaeda forces in Iraq are trying to stop us from having it… Hmm…. I wonder what “that thing” is… maybe it is oil?

Regardless of our real reason for occupying Iraq, and the real effect it is having there, it just sounds like there is a serious gap between what is actually happening, and what we are being told is happening from the mouth of Bush.

While I don’t agree with a direct pull out with no plan, it seems pretty clear that our occupation is making it worse, and the longer we are there, the worse it is going to get; at least there in Iraq. Hopefully, the outside al Qaeda network won’t continue to grow and get pissed off (like our intelligence says they are), because we are currently caught up in Iraq. What is needed, is a serious look into a different plan or strategy, which at least sounds like a better place to start (rather than the ultra liberal take of “LEAVE TODAY!”), if we are truly serious about protecting ourselves; more serious, that is, than securing the oilregion of Iraq. If we can’t get out of there, we have to do something different; because what we are doing is NOT working in our benefit. And Condi, 4 more months isn’t going to change that; this has been 6 years strong, babe.
(another source)

some scattered links and thoughts

I have seen some interesting things today, so I thought to myself, “hey, that should be my post!”. So, here are some links to interesting things, and my thoughts on them. I will try not to let this go on too long, but this stuff is quite interesting folks; check it out and feel free to share your opinions as well.

  • We say that we want to rebuild Iraq, stabilize the country, and make it better for the citizens of Iraq, right? Well, why, then, are they suffering from a 60-70% unemployment rate, when our contractors are steadily filling jobs that the citizens themselves could do? If an engineer can’t find a job, there’s a problem. But, we have their best interests at heart, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
  • Hey intelligent design fanatics, can you please explain the presence of vestigiality, and how it fits within your non-evolutionary explanation of how we got here? mkthxsbbye. Methinks the evolutions are reals, y’all!
  • I have written about global warming before, and one of the biggest arguments presented as evidence that we were not the cause of our current warming trend was the so-called warming of the sun, and its effects on our atmosphere. Turns out, that is wrong, wrong, wrong. Apparently, the sun is actually not warming at all, and temperatures are currently lower because of the sun being in a period of low activity. Interesting. Methinks the humans are causing the global warmings, y’all! Dude, science is fucking awesome, isn’t it!? 😉
  • Apparently, and according to our president, when you get sick, or the fact that you are uninsured, it is your fault. Shame on you for purposefully breaking your arm by falling out of that tree, little Jimmy! You are such a twat, because now it is mommy’s fault that you can’t go to the hospital to get it fixed! Fucking people and their getting sick on purpose. It’s so weird, Mr. president, how we actually do have government medical programs like Medicare and Medicaid that actually work, and could provide those “sick-doers” some coverage; but I guess it is easier to blame people for their problems than it is to actually help them.
  • To piggyback on the last thought, if you really think that there isn’t a problem with the current health care situation, and that the government shouldn’t (or couldn’t) do something about it, be glad that you aren’t this guy; because if you were, you would be in debt up to your eye balls. But then again, I guess it was your fault, right? Ugh. I hate living in this country some times, because people really love to point the finger and place blame without thinking about those that suffer.
  • And finally, this (not sure if it is credible or true, but one can hope) is pretty awesome news: Drinking not only doesn’t kill brain cells, but it may actually be good for you!! Holy shit! Moderate drinking promotes good health! I’m in heaven!!! Who wants to come over and drink some wine?! Woo hoo! *glug glug glug… ah!*
  • UPDATE: I almost forgot to mention it; Sara Bareilles will be performing on Craig Ferguson tonight!! Make sure to catch this performance of this amazing artist! I know I keep going on an on about her, but she is amazing, and there is NO REASON that you should continue to ignore me, and go one more day without hearing her beautiful music, and experiencing her massive talent. Also, don’t forget to get her CD, Little Voice, which is not only MAGNIFICENT, it is out now!!

Well, I tried to keep it short. There it is kids, soak in up, take it in, swish it around a bit, and let me know what YOU think about it. Interesting stuff in the news, I tell ya!

hopeful of change for Iraq, and some other interesting things

So, the surge, you know, the one that I said wouldn’t work (because the many before it didn’t either), apparently isn’t working. Oops… I mean, we should have known better right? Wait… WE DID! Well, you would think at this point we would have gained a better perspective on things, especially regarding foreign policingpolicy, but alas, we aren’t making the changes we need to. But if you want to continue to believe that we are not causing any problems, and that genocide of Iraq and Iran is the answer, please, bury your head back in the sand, and let those of us that know the truth, strategize in peace.

However this goes, I have ultimate hope that this is true (that picture makes me want to vomit): apparently, given the dissension of his cronies, Bush might actually give in and compromise on a pull out strategy for Iraq. It is becoming clearer and clearer each and every day that we are doing way more harm than good by being in Iraq, and it is good to see more people coming over the that truth; even if it has taken this long. (Apparently, even though they aren’t doing what they need to do to get better, the Iraqis don’t agree that a pull out is good… hmmm, aren’t they already in a full blown civil war? Yeah, so stop using the “threat” of that as an excuse.).

This whole issue is like beating a dead horse, and we really just need to go ahead and bury the corpse already; it has gone beyond stinking. Stop the war, stop the killing, and stop trying to steal oil from another country. Let’s focus on us… that would be a good place to start.

Also, I don’t know how I feel about this, other than to say it pisses me off that people can generalize things so ridiculously. So let’s see, since SOME people get prescribed anti-depressants who are not depressed, it must mean that everyone is just seeking a “freebie” or an “easy out”? Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. I know for my depression, I was in therapy a good 3 months before I ever even brought up the word medication, and I didn’t want to go on it, because I was not sure I needed it. I sought help for my depression, and as a result, have gotten a lot better. If I would have kept going down the road I was on, who knows what would have happened. I have said it before, and I will say it again, this sort of turning a blind eye on the need for mental health (as one sane doctor in the article calls for more of) is dangerous and just plain wrong. I hope that people continue to seek help if they need it; because even with the drugs, it isn’t an “easy fix”. Getting over depression is a daily struggle, and those drugs don’t take care of that for you. Shame on the people that are lumping and splitting all people on these medications in that way.

I also found this an interesting read. It seems pretty compelling that there is enough of a case to believe that perhaps Kurt Cobain didn’t kill himself. That really gets me thinking, especially because I remember when it was reported that he died. It really hit a lot of people hard, and it did seem a little out of place. Hmm… perhaps something will come of this? Either way, it was interesting to read, so I thought I would share.

That’s enough for today, I guess. Stay cool… it’s hot as fuck out there.

absolute power? wait a second…

I didn’t comment on the fact that Cheney and Bush (with a comment about where they work) believe that they are not required to follow laws, and as such, are not subject to the regulations and sanctions that those laws require; but this is hilarious. Since Cheney doesn’t think that he is a member of the executive branch, they are introducing a bill to limit the funding his office gets from that branch. LOL. Can’t have the paycheck if you don’t work there, buddy.

Additionally, it just really gets my goat that not only are there people still think that the war in Iraq had something to do with 9/11, but the cover ups and perjury that has been going on for the last 6 years is still not seen as real. I just don’t get people. If Cheney and Bush are not held accountable for the crimes that have been committed under the guise of “executive order”, what message does that send to the rest of the world? The people of the world are already tired of our BS, and if we just keep letting the president’s office rape the middle east, we are certainly going to lose some of the fledgling sympathy they have for those of us that don’t agree with what he is doing. I think that, even if it is just a slap on the wrist, and no one is actually removed from office (oh, but how awesome would that be), they should both be impeached. I mean, if you commit a crime, you should have your day in court, right? Why is it then, that the president and the vice president are immune to that? They aren’t, and I am crossing my fingers that someone with the balls to do it is going to step up and make it happen.

We seriously need to ask ourselves what we are gaining by staying in Iraq. Seriously, what do we seek to gain? Are we preventing violence in the Middle East? No, we are causing it to become more concentrated and organized. Are we saving the people of Iraq? No, we caused a civil war, and we are killing them to get them to stop it. Are we helping the people of Iraq, Palestine, Israel, or Iran do anything to better their lives, and enrich their countries? Not that I can tell, because we are making ourselves more and more of a threat each and every day. It becomes clearer and clearer to me each day, that Iran, Iraq, and the other “dangerous” nations in the world aren’t the threat; we are. We are doing to them exactly what we want to prevent them doing to us. It doesn’t change that fact, just because you call it something else, like “helping them rebuild”. Whatever.

While I think that it is important to help prevent violence in the world; when is the time that you actually investigate what your role in that prevention is? When everyone is dead? The whole thing just frustrates me, which is probably why I haven’t said much about it lately.

I can only DREAM of the day that politicians aren’t elected because of their donations and campaign contributions, and as such, we have have a true democratic government that is built by, and for, the people. Until then, none of OUR best interests will ever be in the forefront of anyone’s minds other than our own. That’s enough to make you want to just move somewhere secluded, where you hope you can remain untouched by all of this corruption, greed, and thirst of power. We will be the cause of our own demise, and watching it happen is sickening; especially when we have the ability to stop it.

I guess the greedy really will ruin it for the rest of us that just want to live, breathe, and be happy. Gah.