Saturday, 31 January 2009

Until now, I've been reluctant to comment on this whole octuplet story. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I don't know where to begin my rant.
When will the free world start to speak up about child hoarding? We condemn people for hoarding too many animals, say that they are psychologically ill, but when it comes to children, well, people are entitled to have as many as they want? Even if, financially, a parent is able to shoulder the burden of raising 14 children, he or she cannot possibly be able to meet the psychological, developmental and emotional needs of each individual person. Isn't that automatic neglect?
As for fertility clinics, they are as unethical and unnatural on the other side of the coin as those "pro-lifers" say that abortion clinics are. If people are so intent on letting nature run its course, then they shouldn't be implanting multiple embryos into wombs.
And now, especially now, when scientists are screaming for people to quit having large families, how is having one anything but unethical and selfish? The reason for this woman's desperate fertility clinic visit in the first place? She wanted "one more girl" to complete her collection. Something is not right here. In light of everything that is sacred about life, something is not right with these people.
So now, here we are. This woman will eventually unleash her under-stimulated, undernourished children into the world and allow for them to use up natural resources and pollute the Earth, just like Echidna and her demon spawn. You know, sometimes I think that Greek mythology isn't so far off from the real world.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Hail to the Chief

There are unexplicable times when history falls neatly into place, as if it were crafted by divine hands of some sort. Inauguration day, the day when we welcome our 44th commander of the United States into his office, fell right into step between a day honoring another great leader, and a month which again honors that leader and others who sought peace and solidarity.
As for the negative nellies who want to focus on things like Rick Warren, or the obstacles surrounding our current leader, I think they've set their scopes on the miniscule and have neglected the point. We, as Americans cannot rely on one sole person to bear the burdens of our nation. It is a movement and it takes a village to get these things accomplished. That movement, the mobilization of communities to help others in need, is the change about which Obama speaks. That change is fueled by the hope and inspiration of our President's speeches, which is why we so thirsted for someone of his caliber.
Those individuals who insist that President Obama's ideas are grandiose and simply a political chess move have yet to open their eyes and to see things as they really are. After seeing the massive ocean swells of mini flags flapping, the tears, the joy, the school gymnasium chants of "Obama! Obama!" how can a person deny that at least something the like of which we have never seen in recent years in American politics is happening in this country?
In this country we've learned not to be too optimistic. Cynicism crosses everyone's mouth because we've been scorched by too many lies and too many let-downs. But there's something about this rosey side of the blackened cloud that's appealing. Perhaps a little hope, naive or frivilous as it may seem, is the perfect prescription for our ills.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Mideast peace and mainstream media responsibility

Every day the fighting in Gaza, headline after headline, yawns over mainstream news websites, television programs, and looms behind every radio program and podcast. Danger, red alerts, alarms sound, hate and violence are everywhere you look. If you never looked outside of your own door, you'd think that's what the world had amounted to.
Over the past month or so, I've been following people who have a different agenda: grassroots organizations, individuals and scholars who are looking for an end to the fighting. What amount of glory do these people get in the news? Not one blurb, mostly. It seems as though none of these peace-seeking missions deserves coverage, according to the press, because, it just doesn't quite get the ratings that bloodshed and violence do.
Thankfully, bloggers who care about these causes do exist, and journalists like me, who managed to get one article regarding The Mind of Peace Experiment, a revolutionary project that no one seems to know anything about, yet has received attention from heads of state and scholars from all over the world. How much attention will it take for the world to see that publicizing peace is just as important as publicizing war?

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Peace in Gaza

Over the past month, I've had the fabulous opportunity to be in a front row seat to an amazing experiment for peace in the Middle East. The article is posted here in the St. Louis Beacon, and I will continue to follow it in upcoming months.
There is hope!

Fear-mongering: wrangled by yrs truly

A Myspace friend, to my dismay, posted this bulletin:
----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jan 8, 2009 1:59 AM

10 - Obama has gone back on his word to punish the Bush administration for war crimes.

9 - Obama has appointed former Sec. of Energy, Bill Richardson (from the Clinton Administration), as Sec. of Commerce. Richardson's tenure at the Energy Department was marred by reports of security lapses in nuclear laboratories. During one contentious hearing, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia told him "you would never again receive the support of the Senate of the United States for any office to which you might be appointed. " So how is rewarding ineptitude change?

8 - Obama's Vice President elect, Joe Biden, is endorsing a bill that ends net neutrality as we know it and will take away much of our freedom on the Internet, the last safe haven for people of truth and honesty to tell their stories before the dark ages are re-instated.

7 - Obama is considering with Rahm Emanuel (his Chief of Staff) a "Universal Civilian Defense Program" which is a new propaganda and public relations term for the already existing National Guard militia. In other words, he is re-instating the draft. If this sounds familiar, it should. A similar program was proposed in 2007 by former Republican Congressman and former Nixon administration Sec. of Defense, Melvin R. Laird.

6 - Obama is NOT reversing the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act, any of the unconstitutional changes in all the Defense Authorization Acts, and the Military Commissions Act which took away our right to Habeas Corpus, one of the MOST IMPORTANT and VITAL pieces of legislation that made this country great!

5 - Obama supported the Detroit bailout - which was completely against the majority's requests. This should come as no surprise because Obama voted FOR the Financial sector BAILOUT bill. Not much of a "change" from what we've had!

4 - Obama has now completely reversed his position on TAX breaks for the rich and now has stated, after giving it some thought, he will keep this policy he campaigned against which helped him get elected. I guess he CHANGED his mind.

3 - Obama has picked a Republican drug warrior (and recovering alcoholic), Jim Ramstad, to be his "Drug Czar". It looks like the "War on Drugs" will continue without change.

2 - Obama is keeping the current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates (a Republican), in that position! Gates should feel right at home - with the new Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel who is outspoken in his SUPPORT for the war in Iraq. How is this change?

1 - Obama is slowly going back on his word about getting us out of Iraq (who had NOTHING to do with 9/11) and has publicly said that all options, including nuclear, are on the table with Iran (who also had NOTHING to do with 9/11). Obama continues packing his cabinet with the most pro-war Democrats AND Republicans that he can find.

For many who supported Obama, his level of betrayal has quickly growing - and he's not even in office yet!

As MANY Libertarians had predicted, there may be VERY LITTLE, if any, difference between Obama and Bush. So meet the new boss... same as the old boss.

To which I replied:

Friend, I'm really surprised that you posted this. First, Obama isn't even in the Presidential seat yet, so most of this stuff is pretty much grounded in speculation. Also, the majority of this is under-researched fear mongering, which I always go out of my way to de-bunk for the good of every good-intentioned human being in this country.

10. This one is STILL open, and no conclusions have been made. Congress doesn't want Obama to look into this stuff right away, because he has other issues to focus on, like rescuing the economy and foreign policy (not to mention that they want to take the heat off of themselves in all of this), and Obama has not made any declarations. Public interest groups, however, are pushing Obama to conduct investigations. Read what the Detroit Free Press has to say about it in this most recent article:

9. The Richardson incident was true. You can read about it here: However, what they don't tell you is that many of the problems that Richardson had with security predicated his arrival on the job. At any rate, he's not even going to be a part of the administration, so this one is pretty much moot at this point.

8. Oh yeah, Joe Biden, going to take away our freedom in the Internet? Really? There is WAY too much money to be made on the Internet for that, and we haven't even chipped the iceberg: . He's an old guy and maybe doesn't quite understand the potential of the movement and. Apple, Yahoo, Google all those bigwigs will fight this one. Here are his past positions, straight from Wired Mag: His main concerns with the web are to protect children fron online predators, actually, and have little to do with hindering civil freedom. Here's another article about him: Besides, Obama didn't pick him for his technology smarts, he picked him because he is ace on foreign policy, has and for his stance on the war.

7. As for this one, it's Rahm Emmanuel's non-military idea from a book he co-wrote in 2006 It hasn't even been drafted into a bill. There has been absolutely no discussion of this plan since 2006. The only places I've even been able to dig up any information are from extreme right wing bloggers and, again, fear-mongering web publications, like this YouTube channel:

Obama said he doesn't support the draft, and, though maybe he believes that young people need to perform mandatory community service, until I see something in writing, I'm going to take him at his word.

6. I'm just referring to B.O.'s website here:

5. Well, this is just anti-Democrat propaganda. Nobody was happy about giving a bailout to anyone, but all of the evidence provided to Congress said that, if we didn't do anything, the consequences would be catastrophic. Let's NOT forget who got us into the mess in the first place. With the car companies, it wasn't fair. They shoved their workers out into the line of fire, and then begged the government to rescue them. What could they do? It blows, it really does, but the Dems are the labour party of the US, and therefore obligated to help these people.

4. He has said nothing about retracting his tax hike for rich people, but I think his focus now is to get EVERYONE spending money. His economic recovery plan is very, very basically outlined, so we don't know the details yet. We wont' know, again, until he gets to office. Plus, this was a HUGE sticking point with even moderate conservatives in the election. People wanted to hang onto their money. So, uhm, dontcha think, if he wasn't going to do this, he would have said so during his campaign? It would have made it a lot easier for him, and Joe the Plumber wouldn't be going to Israel!

3. This one's true. I think it was a bad pick as well.

2. I dont' know what this one's supposed to get at, really. Obama wanted a diverse cabinet. Besides, Gates is a moderate with years of experience, which is what Obama needed most.

1. What they don't say is that Obama inherited a friggin MESS in Iraq, caused by the Bush admin. I'm SURE the neo-cons and crazies are just waiting to pin all of the residual diarrhea from the Dubya legacy onto Obama's coattails. If he does stay there for any length of time, it will be because the place has gone to Hell in a handbasket.

So, that's all I have to say about this stuff. Although I was an Obama supporter, I saw the dude, looked into his eyes, shook his hand. I have no delusions. The guy is a human being who has taken on a tremendous task of saving the world after one person mucked it all up. I think that, while yes, we should keep an eye on anything that might affect our civil liberties, we shouldn't be unduly paranoid before the guy is even sworn in. It won't be perfect, there will be some crap we don't like, but unfortuntely it takes time to move from an extreme right-wing government to a more balanced one. I'd give the guy somewhat of a break.


Honestly, I hate this kind of nutso propaganda. If you're not willing to get your facts straight, don't circulate this stuff. It's great to be aware of what's going on and to look deeper than face value, of course. But, in this age of ridiculous accusations, net spam and boogie boogie man stories, let's get real. Show me the facts, I'll face them. Until then, let's unify a little, okay?

Just my opinion, but ya know...