Friday, June 22, 2007

John Howard to take over the United States

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, pointing out a damning report from 2001 about epidemic levels of child abuse in the United States, said that after six years of ignoring the problem he is going to outlaw alcohol and pornography in the United States and take over administration of the territory in order to enforce the new laws.

Sound asinine? He doesn't plan on a US takeover, but he has promised to this this for the aborigine community in Australia. There is no doubt that anyone would want to address the problem in that community and others. One wonders, however, why John Howard doesn't make it a national initiative all across Australia. That would be seen as a human or civil rights attack, whereas if it is done with someone brown, it's acceptable.

And, of course, he really couldn't enforce this in my fictional account of his efforts in the United States because we have self determination whereas the aborigine community in Australia does not.

During an election year, he easily wields old colonial powers without full study or even an attempt to work with the aborigine communities first.

"Won't somebody save the children" doesn't provide instant righteousness.

If anyone thinks this is a good idea, what should be done about the US ignoring a six year old report of epidemic abuse levels? What should be done about abuse in the white communities in Australia?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rushdie knighted - for something or other
"Salman Rushdie, who went into hiding under threat of death after an Iranian fatwa, has been knighted by the Queen.

His book The Satanic Verses offended Muslims worldwide and a bounty was placed on his head in 1989. "

In this whole article, all anyone seems to know about Salmon Rusdhie is that he attacks and upsets Islam. Some of his "intelligent" criticism includes "veils suck." This, of course, is an over reaching comment that assumes Muslim women everywhere are ruled by Taliban like regimes. Which isn't the case. The veil is typical of Western rhetoric regarding Islam. It is a piece of cloth that we get to argue against rather than engaging the women behind them. Many Muslim women have expressed disappointment at the discrimination they face in "free countries" when they choose to wear the veil. I wonder if Southern Baptist and other conservative Christian women face the same pressure over their roles and dictated clothing limitations.

All the writer knew about Rushdie is that he was known for irking Muslims. Which makes me wonder what the priorities of the British crown are these days when he's knighted for that.

Muslim Women (by Muslim Women):

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In working on sustaining food, creativity, knowledge and creativity, I like to think the underlying factor is a focus on individuals and families over time. A recent report by UNICEF measured the well being of children in 21 of the wealthiest nations in the world. The United States and Britain scored as the worst two places for the well being of children. Out of six categorie, the United States scored the lowest for “Health and Safety” and the second lowest in “Behaviours and risks” and “Family and peer relationships.”

At one point, there is an insinuation that that the wealthiest nations having such poor performance in caring for children may be a neglect that abuses children’s rights:

Pointing out that the Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on all countries to invest in its children “to the maximum extent of available resources”, Ms. Santos Pais said that international comparison was a way of testing this commitment - “A country cannot be said to be doing the best it can for its children if other countries at a similar stage of economic development are doing much better – and that’s what the league tables are designed to show.”

Many people are happy to have as much wealth as they do. Living in the wealthiest nation sometimes blinds us towards how we spend and where we focus that money. Political campaigns are run on the basis of how policy affects big business and we ignore how it affects our children and future generations.

The full report: An overview of child well-being in rich countries

No comments

Thursday, September 21, 2006

He ain't Kinky, he's a bigot

Kinky Friedman is a favorite of conservatives finally embarrased by the Bush legacy. I've always wondered about the quality of current Governor Rick Perry, who was number two to Governor George Bush. Number two to Bush..... I was especially disgusted when Rick Perry sent a blank budget to the Congress to "prove a point" about reformign school financing andf other budget issues. Absent of any ideas or leadership ability, he sent a blank piece of paper to settle a crisis. He is also the Governor who used Homeland Security forces to track down Democratic congressmen, something I personally believe is so abusive it requires impeachment or jail time. But I digress.

Kinky has a Negro problem. He finds the word Negro charming, by the way. And he also likes to demonize the already demonized Katrina population and brush off the concerns of minorities wholesale.

In his 1993 book, Kinky wrote "As a general rule of thumb, however, if you thought of New York as a Negro talking to himself and of California as a VCR with nothing to put in, you wouldn't be too far off the mark." (1993), A case of Lone Star. New York (Wings Books), 379. Frankly, I don't know what the hell he's talking about. I have seen plenty of homeless people talking to themselves in New York and even I have when in certain areas - better to be considered crazy than a target.

As a comedian, Kinky likes to be irreverent and I'm sure has made money on his audience love of irreverence. One of his band names was "Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jew Boys." Unfortunately, he is not running for comedian, but for governor. Which means he represents the concerns of the population.

On CNBC recently, Kinky told us what he thought we should do with sexual predators. "Throw them in prison and throw away the key and make them listen to a Negro talking to himself." Is this clarifying his image of Negroes?

Maybe this will help. During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the media spread unsubstantiated reports of widespread murder, rape and other crime (including cannibalism). Outside of a few isolated incidents, these were proven false. Needless to say, the press didn't correct themselves as vigorously as they promoted the image of a Black population run amok. And so, the false rumors followed them.

Kinky Friedman has taken to referring to the Katrina victims in Houston as "crackheads and thugs." At first he was fully unapologetic, but now he has explained that not all of them are. He's still firm on not pandering to ethnic groups though. He affirms "I'm not a racist" so there is no mistaken he has a distinct view of the Negroes involved in his comment. He has been basing his assessment on the "fact" that there has been a 20% increase in homicides in Houston since 250,000 Katrina victims arrived. The media has reported that 18% of these murders" involves a Katrina evacuee as suspect, victim or both." That's like saying 3,000 of the murders in New York in 2001 "involved aWorld Trade Center employee as suspect, victim or both." It's asinine and purposefully demonizing.

Surely 20% is a number worth inspecting though? After all 250,000 evacuees landed in Houston. According to the Washington Post , this involved 26 murders. Fifteen Katrina victims were suspects. Fifteen out of 250,000. In response, Kinky wants to spend $100 million and add 1,200 police to the street. Kinky Friedman is demonizing a population that is victim to our nation's largest modern natural disaster and is creating policy based on what 0.006% of a population does.

He's a funny man. Unfortunately, I'm Black.. er. Negro.. and his vision actually impacts me. Imagine 1,200 police put on the streets with the mandate of "cleaning up post-Katrina crime." What is the face of that largely fictitious crime? And if you're not Black, consider that Black friend of yours and how well Kinky is planning on representing them. If nothing else, he is planning to spend millions of dollars and creating overhead for years to come in reaction to 0.006% of a portion of a population. If you don't care about how Kinky treats victims of natural disasters or the poor, consider his impact on your wallet and basic sense of judgment.

And for the record, when you use a disparaging description for a whole population based on the actions of 0.006% of their actions, that's either bigotry or blatant idiocy.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Shining Xenophobia by Tony Blair

London was shocked to find out the recent bombing was performed by British instead of foreigners.

The response of the Prime Minister?

Let's keep out foreigners.

"We will look urgently at how we strengthen the procedures to exclude people from entering the UK who may incite hatred or act contrary to the public good, and at how we deport such people, if they come here, more easily,"
Full Article

Much like the reactions in the US - they have little to do with the actual event. Another shining example of what peril we are in is reflect in his initial comments after the bombing.

"Where there is extremism, fanaticism or acute and appalling forms of poverty in one continent, the consequences no longer stay fixed in that continent, they spread to the rest of the world."

Of course the bombers were fairly prosperous and British.

We are fighting a war based on stereotypes and rhetoric instead of reality.

Monday, May 02, 2005

When Technical Errors aren't

The U.S. military issued a report this weekend on the killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq. Classified parts of the report were blacked out, but computer users were able to access sensitive information about U.S. military operations in an online version of the report.

This was not a technical error. It was wither incompetence or planned. This same thing was done in 2003 and made pretty big news. After this incident, it became practice to black out, then scan the black outed versions.

Here is the site from the 2003 incident:

Friday, March 25, 2005

Culture of Minority Life

This past weekend, President Bush interrupted his relaxation at his Crawford, TX ranch and flew back to Washington DC in the middle of the night to sign a bill to allow federal courts to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of brown lives go ignored.

Unfortunately, Bush has recently had opportunity to lead or comment on tragedies affecting all of Asia, African Americans and Native Americans. Those communities saw his reactions as apathetic, cynicism and silence.

Native American leaders are openly condemning President George Bush after his continued silence on the school shooting ranking only behind Columbine in casualties. Ten Natives died in Red Lake this week and the pain from the silence has been agitated by the very public and vocal intervention in the Schiavo case.

We can also see an apathy when comparing the subdued response to the more than 100,000 lives lost in the tsunami affected several Asian and African nations. Bush remained at his Crawford ranch and only made substantive remarks and more reasonable donations to aid after he thought he was being criticized as stingy.

In another series of events giving many the impression of cynicism or a total devaluing of Black life, is when President Bush tried to drive home the point of Social Security reform affecting African Americans. He and his staff have repeatedly mentioned that African Americans don't live as long as whites and so they don't collect as much Social Security. His conclusion was to fix Social Security.

African American groups, however, seem to think improving longevity might be a more noble goal.