Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Yusuf Resigned Because He Failed... hmmm....
Now that Somalia’s president, Abdullahi Yusuf has resigned, what major turns will transpire in the heart of its chaos? Who knows?
I didn’t see this coming, but perhaps I should have… Somalia is and has been in a state of anarchy for quite a while, and now that a spotlight is blinding Somalia’s coast due to the escalation of piracy, targeting foreign vessels, the international community can only put pressure on the only place it knows to, it’s president. However, what is a president of an anarchic country to do when he can’t pull his own country together and the rest of the world is breathing down his neck? I guess he quits hunh?
In his speech broadcasted on national radio, according to BBC, Yusuf said, “When I took power I pledged three things. If I was unable to fulfill my duty I will resign. Second, I said I will do everything in my power to make government work across the country. That did not happen either. Third, I asked the leaders to cooperate with me for the common good of the people. That did not happen.”
This speech got my “wheels to turnin’” this morning. I don’t know enough about Abdullahi Yusuf and his efforts to unite his country to form an opinion of him as a person, one way or the other, but I started thinking about all of the politicians during their campaigns and the promises they make and don’t keep. We talk about it – rant and rave and roll our eyes and blow our breath when their names come up in conversation, but do we really put their feet to the fire? I’m afraid not. At least, not often enough. But what if we did?
What if we called our politicians on everything they said, every stance they took and then backed down from and called on their resignations with the passion of a responsible nation when they failed to fulfill their responsibilities i.e. their promises to the people that elected them? The state of our nation would be quite different wouldn’t it? People wouldn’t be running so quickly to gain a position in office for power because they would know that it could be stripped away from them in a heartbeat.
Perhaps we should consider this line of responsibility a lot more seriously. The power needs to be back in the hands of the people. Somalia does have something to teach us after all.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It’s raining here in Southern California, and I couldn’t be happier! The clean crisp air will allow us to see the snow covered San Bernardino Mountains once the rain is gone. This is as close to a “white Christmas” as it gets for us. I’m not complaining. Christmas here has always been a little different for me: palm tree trunks wrapped in white lights; opening presents, then heading out to the beach before visiting family; wearing scarves purely for fashion rather than function….
While this is the season for sharing, we’ll most likely be sharing a little less this year…although; it doesn’t have to be. I have an idea. After sharing hugs and gifts or cards and a dish of macaroni and cheese with our folks, we should be sure to share a moment of truth. Tell someone about the Federal Reserve Bank being a privately owned bank, and not a government bank like many believe. Tell your aunt about HR 1955 and how they define homegrown terrorism. Tell your nephew how they put fluoride in the water and how it’s better for his health to drink filtered water.
I don’t recommend blathering on and on about the state of the world. It’s Christmas, after all. Be full of holiday cheer and enjoy the merriment with your family, but share something that they will take away with them long after the year is over. They don’t need a lecture. All you have to do is drop a few seeds and then watch the game or the kids play with their toys…or your drunken uncle make a fool of himself.
To all the readers of The Wrighter: I wish you a very very merry Christmas and a SMASHING New Year!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Bush Shoe-Thrower: Beaten or Not Beaten – Someone is Lying
There have been two days of rallies across Iraq, calling for the release of 28-year-old Arab journalist, Mutadar al-Zaidi, who threw both of his shoes at President Bush during a press conference, and shouted, “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog.”
Brother of Zaidi, Dargham, has told news agencies that Zaidi suffers from a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding. However, a spokesperson for the Iraqi military says the allegations are false and that Zaidi is in good health.
The conflicting stories need clarification immediately to restore confidence in the Iraqi government for both Americans and the Iraqi people. The story also needs to be set straight due to many Arabs eyeing Zaidi as a hero for expressing his discontent to a very unpopular American President. Injury to Zaidi behind his outburst may fan flames of American contempt.
Speaking of Zaidi’s popularity, the former coach of the Iraqi national football team, Adanan Hamad has offered $100,000 for the thrown shoes, and a Saudi citizen has offered $10 million.
Zaidi, a graduate of Baghdad University, was kidnapped in November 2007 by unknown assailants for three days before being released after they questioned him about his job.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Shut That Darn Thing OFF!!!
The ills of television are no secret to anyone because for years, studies have proven that television does more harm than good, especially with children and young adults. Even the great Ronald Dahl wrote about its dangers in a song sung by pygmies, dedicated to a TV addicted boy humorously named Mike Teavee, in his famous book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It rots the senses in the head!
It kills imagination dead!
It clogs and clutters up the mind!
It makes a child so dull and blind
he can no longer understand
a fantasy, a fairyland!
His brain becomes as soft as cheese!
His powers of thinking rust and freeze!
He cannot think–he only sees!
Besides the obvious scientifically journaled reason to shy away from television, I’ve listed nine additional reasons to cut the darn thing off.
1. It sucks up all of your remaining energy. This is why it is so easy to watch two or more television shows back to back. Once you’ve watched one show, many times, it takes twice as much energy to pull yourself away from a second.
2. It is dangerous to go in and out of a zombie state.
3. You become susceptible to media messages rather than using your own independent thought. It’s like hypnosis almost. You believe later that you’re thinking independently but the astronomical forces of television has literally shaped or reshaped your entire mind, and more often than not, it’s not in a good way.
4. There is a force that wants to keep your entertained and distracted. Until you can come up with a solid justifiable reason to watch TMZ, The Hills, or My BFF, there is no reason to waste your precious time, because your government is turning you into a slave behind your back.
5. Because the water you’re drinking is slowly and systematically making you sick with fluoride and other toxic chemicals and you should be figuring out how to correct this.
6. Because chemicals are being released into the air through certain airplanes, using what is called chemtrails, designed to breakdown your immune system and cause deadly diseases and you should be doing more research about it.
7. Your government is passing laws to take away more and more of your freedoms and you should be figuring out how to fight back.
8. Because you haven’t been doing enough meditation or reflection to clear your head and explore the inner mysteries of yourself.
9. Because you haven’t seen the video series, “Sound the Alarm,” that helps to explain a lot of what’s going on in the world, and you need to find out how to get your hands on it.
If this isn’t enough to get you, at least, thinking about your television usage and the world you live in, then I’m afraid you might already be brain dead. I’m so sorry.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
A Picture Of Our History
On CNN.com, Katherine McIntosh shares her story about surviving The Great Depression, because she, at the age of 4, was photographed in one of the great iconic photographs depicting the era with her 32-year-old mother and syblings.
"I wanted to make sure I never lived like that again," says McIntosh. She will be 77 on Saturday.
The article is timely as McIntosh provides her own words of wisdom about how to survive the current global recession that is taking a toll on everyone. McIntosh says if there's a lesson to be learned from her experience it is to save your money and don't overextend yourself.
But what will the iconic photograph of our recession be? It most likely won’t be a migrant working mother and her two young children. Could it be another picket line? Or a home with a foreclosure sign on the lawn? Maybe even a long line at the unemployment office next to a retail store advertising a “going out of business” sale.
At any rate, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents had the strength to go through it then, and now is our time to learn from their struggles and survival and weather the storm now.
Our worth should not be valued by the gifts we buy this Christmas, but instead our contribution to the fabric of our country and the world beyond. This Christmas should be the most meaningful Christmas you’ve ever experienced. Now give THAT as a gift.