Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fanning the Flames of Hate in Iraq

You don't have to be a jihadi to seethe in anger at photos like this.

Can you imagine this young Iraqi man to be your brother, your cousin, your neighbor? These people, these young brainwashed aggressive American soldiers would not stand it if anyone did this to them in their country, how can they not believe that the Iraqis are fighting back? These brainless automatons are cogs in the hate machine of our future, but that doesn't make them any less culpable for their crimes.

Shame on these soldiers and shame on all of the war criminals in Washington Dc, London, Geneva, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Islamabad, Amman, Cairo and yes, Tehran, and every other nation where a leader has condoned or failed to condemn this genocide in Iraq.

This world has a long long way to go before humanity is restored and justice actually has meaning. The Poop with his official visit to Turkey this week is rightly condemned by the Turkish protesters -- he is another world leader who has fanned the flames of hate -- the most unpunished crime in human history.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Relax: Water Flow Art

As always after a week of roughin' it with all the tough news, the Saccharinist likes to ease things down with a bit of light fodder. Check out these very interesting motion-captured images of water in motion -- sometimes modern photography really is ingenious:


Bushinejad Strikes Again!


Ah! It's good to see Bushinejad being so frank about their friendship -- despite all that quibbling over nuclear this and nuclear that, it's been a match made in almighty heaven. If any further proof was needed of these two's blooming relationship, it came to the fore today in the person of one Jalal Talabani -- "President" of Iraq by day, US agent by day and night -- and his glorious visit to the annals of Ahmadinejad's lair: Tehran, the city once known as the capital of Iran, now nothing more than an outpost in a land laid siege by fundamentalists of all shades and inclinations.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if Bushler's making his way to Jordan this week, it won't be in absence of secret or not-so-secret visits with Iranian officials, too.

Yup, this is new age colonialism and it hurts just as bad as the old kind.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Hudud’s Limits in Pakistan

Dr Shazia Khalid's rape is internationally known and is an example of the fact that rape in Pakistan is not just limited to the lower classes.

One of today’s top international headlines is that Pakistan’s upper house of parliament has today finally passed very minor amendments – but improvements nonetheless – to a set of laws which should actually be completely eradicated, regarding premarital and extramarital sex, as well as rape. The laws, called “Hudood” which is Arabic for “limits” basically follow sharia law in their governance of people’s private matters, as well as matters of criminal sexual conduct which according to various human rights groups both in Pakistan and abroad are in high numbers and increasing in Pakistan.

The amendments to the Hudood law include punishments that still fail to be in line with a universal standard of human rights:

--for those people convicted of having consensual sex (including those who are
indeed at the legal age of consent) there will no longer be a punishment of
death or flogging, however they are still subject to 5 years imprisonment or a
10,000 rupee fine (equivalent to approximately USD 160). It is worth pointing
out that the average salary in Pakistan, according to the Islamic Relief Agency is approximately USD 420 annually .

-- DNA and other scientific evidence can now be admissible in court for rape cases

--the great newsmaker is that now, according to the discretion of a judge, a rape case can be tried in either a sharia court or a civil court – the improvement being
that in a civil court a rape victim is not obligated to produce 4 male witnesses
to the rape in order to justify the fact that her life has just been ruined.

However, one wonders at the benefits of a law that would place major decisions on rape cases in the hands of men at all, for two reasons: rape is most often a crime against women, and rape cases against men are reported even less than women, especially in societies where any reference at all to homosexuality is extremely intolerable, even when it is nonconsenual. A close look at the situation of women judges in Pakistan indicates that, well, there aren't that many of them:

--Of the 77 judges in the courts of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human
Rights – which, by the way, doesn’t even have a Human Rights Court amongst its 8
different courts -- only 4 are women

--Of the 4 major high courts, only 2 of 78 judges are women: Lahore High Court (0/36); Sindh-Karachi (2/23); Peshawar (0/14); Baluchistan (0/5)

--Of the 8 judges on the Shariat court, all are men

The interesting thing about the Pakistan situation is that like many of its neighboring countries in the late 1970's, it fell prey to a US-backed religious dictator, in this case Mohammad Zia ul-Haq -- who was not only crucial to helping the US fight the communists in the region (Zia ul-Haq was a fundamental tool for the US-backed Mujaheddin forces against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan), but was specifically hand chosen by the US to implement a religious environment on his country.

Prior to Zia ul-Haq's Islamization of Pakistan -- wherein he created Shariat courts to rule the peoples' private lives, massively increased religious madrassah schools and religious training in the country, and overall imposed religious beliefs and practices in all levels of Pakistani life -- most Pakistanis were actually not very religious at all, except in the sense that they identified themselves as Muslims. This is the reason why, according to famed Pakistani intellectual Tariq Ali, most Pakistanis of his generation were very secular and today's generation (the progeny of Ali's generation) are so very religious. He has asserted time and again that it was not even a common practice for people to celebrate Ramadan or Eid-ul-Fitr back then, though today it is perhaps the most significant holiday of the calendar year.

Pakistan, like Iran, like Afghanistan, like so many of these neighboring nations, has become a hotbed of not only religious fundamentalism but of intense religious moderation -- yes, the moderates are arguably more dangerous than the fundamentalists since they are more influential on a broader scale and since fundamentalism is initially rooted in moderation -- for one reason and one reason only: because the US wished it that way to fight off any chances of communist takeovers. Too bad the people don't recognize this -- that's how powerful religious brainwashing is.

It now remains to be seen whether the President decides to pass the amendments to the Hudood law too, though at this point it is a mere formality and he will almost certainly do so. However, human rights violations continue to be on a large and disturbing scale in Pakistan and there is still a long way to go before basic human rights are not only respected by the law but by the people themselves.

As I've always done, I like to put these things in perspective: Western and non-Islamic nations are hardly an improvement when it comes to equal employment for men and women. The US Supreme Court has only 1 of 9 judges who is a woman, for instance. However, in those countries there is one significant positive: a lot more of the basic human rights (as indicated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents) that all humans deserve are being respected. In places like Pakistan, basic human rights issues are years, perhaps generations away from being up to standard.

This is the issue at hand -- this is the reason why it is so easy for the West to condemn non-Westerners: because so many non-Western nations fail to meet basic standards of human rights for the bulk of their people -- though, to be fair, many of these non-Western governments are being led by ignorant, uncompassionate criminals placed and supported in power by Western governments. Nonetheless, on the face of it, this is why the West is so arrogant and condescending toward the non-West. But this is also why the non-West should get its act together, recognize its shortcomings and fall in line with progressive and logical standards for the treatment of people -- standards most often referred to as human rights.

A wise person once said that "laws are for idiots," meaning that certain things should just be common sense. Sadly, as we know, common sense is a rare commodity which is why there is so much stagnation in human advancement. Pakistan's laws have today taken a tiny step toward advancement, but the bigger question is whether Pakistan's people will take that step, too.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Marilyn Monroe: Brainiac

This year, the FBI has gradually disclosed large portions of Marilyn Monroe's files and besides the fact that young Marilyn was sleeping with the Kennedy's (JF and RF), which we all already knew, and the fact that her "suicide" was most likely anything but, one more extremely fascinating bit of news has peeked its head out like the tip of an iceberg that it is: Marily Monroe was a highly intelligent left-wing progressive who was a Socialist if not a Communist. (In fact, it is highly, highly probable that Monroe was murdered by the US government with the knowledge of one (RFK) if not both Kennedy's because of her Communist connections and affiliations.)

That's right. Marilyn Monroe was a hot brainiac who played a dumb blonde because she thought it would give her everything she wanted in life, even though it didn't: admiration, adoration, and love.

What is most interesting to the Saccharinist is not that Monroe might have been a Commie, but that she, like many women throughout the world was suppressed into hiding her intelligence in favor of exploiting her sexuality. She was the ultimate sex tool who sacrificed her true self for the pleasure of men. But why? What convinced her that intelligence is not sexy? What convinced her that she could not be both intelligent and sexy and still be admired in society?

Marily Monroe was the perfect example of the latent but equally disturbing and damaging sexual discrimination that exists in the West as compared to the East. There is no doubt that in the Middle East, in Muslim nations, in developing countries of all sorts, women are overtly accepted as 2nd class citizens -- open discrimination is unquestioned. But the West, as the Saccharinist has said time and again, is no better.

Sexual discrimination is veiled in the West, but it is harmful and degrading to women, no less. Women get paid less than men in the West. Women get less promotions at work. Women are emotionally and physically harrassed on a regular basis (what do you think all of that catcalling and staring is all about?). Women are treated as sexual objects -- just open up any fashion magazine and it will be as plain as day for you to see.
I doubt there is any place in the world where women are not pre-judged, harrassed, and held back because of their gender. It is bewildering how the world treats over 51% of its population, especially since sexual discrimination isn't just hurting women, but also the men who love them. I wonder when and if this destructive gap will come to a close.

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US Most Unfriendly


A global survey has found that "the US is the most unfriendly country for international travellers."

The survey, conducted for the Discover America Partnership organization determined that the main reasons for this were that those godforsaken Customs and Immigration employees who "greet" everybody at the wondrous gates of America are just too darn rude. The funny, or not so funny thing is that they are rude to everybody, including Americans.

"The survey shows there is more fear of our immigration officials than of terrorism or crime," says the executive director of DAP.

All of this is extremely hilarious in the context of the latest bill passed in the Iranian parliament which requires that all US nationals entering Iran be fingerprinted and investigated.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?


KKKramer: Race Relations USA

As soon as this Michael Richards (now known in cyberspace as KKKramer) business came to light recently (if you've forgotten he is a rabid racist who also has severe anger management problems), the first thing everybody wanted to do was disown Michael. The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles even went to the trouble of immediately printing an unsubstantiated article claiming that he was raised Catholic, even though his publicist has come out and said this week that Michael Richards is in fact Jewish.

Well let's take a close look at the state of American race relations these days: a Catholic has bashed the Jews (Mel Gibson), a Jew has bashed the Blacks (Michael Richards). I guess there's just one thing left to complete this perfect circle of long-held simmering American racism: we're on the lookout for a Black person to self-bash.

Oh, wait, Condoleeza Rice is working that one.

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Iran-US Alliance Kills Iraq

It would be indecent of this blog to fail to mention the fact that Iran is very clearly cooperating with the United States to destroy Iraq. That's the problem with politicians, they're more obsessed with power (and not losing it), than with dignity. Come to think of it, so are many (if not most) people.

No wonder the nuclear BS has been under wraps for awhile and Bushler et al are handing Iran an olive branch to work this Iraq business out.

No wonder Khatami went on a farcical world tour last month to receive "honorary doctorates".

No wonder that Christian leader was assassinated in Lebanon this week.

Bushler's not gonna go down easy and neither is the Islamic Republic of Iran -- they're a match made in, well, heaven, while the rest of us have to endure their hell.

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FIFA is a Thief-a: Suspends Iran

It is a hypocritical and farcical state of affairs in Europe wherein they will engage in all sorts and ranges of business relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran yet will freely castigate Iran via the statutes of major European-based international institutions, i.e. the UN and FIFA. If the Islamic Republic of Iran is so bad (which it is), then why is Europe willing to overlook that when it comes to profit? And why does Iran allow itself to be played the fool in such a way?

Beyond the comedy of the UN nuclear stand-off with Iran, today we have a new item on the checklist of European hypocrisy toward Iran: FIFA, the international soccer/football federation which is based in Europe has announced that Iran is officially suspended from the organization since it failed to meet a November 15th deadline to follow a prescribed course of rules which FIFA demands, including the return of Iranian soccer federation president Mohammad Dadkan.

Officially, FIFA says that it has suspended the Iranian team because of "government interference in football matters." And as usual, the completely powerless President Ahmadinejad who is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the regime, has been at the center of accusations. The same thing has happened recently to Greece and to Kenya for the same reasons. But as we all know, in all of the nations where soccer/football is one of the major national sports, government interference goes without saying. So what is this really all about?

Well, first off, it's about sheer contempt: FIFA has suspended Iran just one week after Iran successfully qualified for the Asian Cup 2007.

But mostly, this is about a power struggle: Iran doesn't like to be dictated to and FIFA doesn't like insubordination or even the suggestion of it: Iran has been very open about its interests in controlling as much as possible of the administration of Iran's team within FIFA and FIFA doesn't like the sound of that, especially since they are quite keen on Dadkan and the IRI is not.

What will be the end result? Iran will not have been dictated to. FIFA will have exerted its power. Then Iran will follow the rules. FIFA will accept. Iran will be back in the game. It's playground stuff folks, but as we all know, it ain't easy growin' up!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dilawar Khan Found

It is with great happiness that I write that the BBC reporter who was abducted and missing in Pakistan has now been found alive and well, though somewhat shaken and bruised.

He made his way back to the BBC's Islamabad offices late yesterday after his gang of abductors/interrogators dropped him off in a wildnerness area outside the capital. Khan says he does not know who his kidnappers were but knows it was a large gang of people. They questioned his profession, his motivations and his actions as a journalist and most likely only released him because the BBC made an international stink of his capture.

As the Saccharinist has reported in the past, there are many media professionals who are targeted and attacked and sometimes killed for trying to bring the world awareness. Thank goodness Dilawar Khan survived yet again, though I fear this will not be his last brush with death, since it certainly wasn't his first.

Curiously, early reports by the BBC indicated that the Pakistani government refused to comment on whether Khan was in their custody so basically everyone in the world knows that the government was clearly behind the violent abduction of this journalist.

The question now is will Khan feel comfortable returning to his job after so obvious a threat against him and his work? It remains to be seen. What is very encouraging is that many of his colleagues have staged their own protests throughout Pakistan and the world, indicating that the Pakistani government cannot be allowed to impinge on peoples' rights without being condemned for it. Here's yet another stain on the reputation of a government that has little regard for democratic values or freedoms.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dilawar Khan Disappears

The BBC Urdu Service has issued a statement indicating its serious concern for the disappearance of colleague Dilawar Khan Wazir -- a reporter who covers the Waziristan and NWFP region of Pakistan -- a region that is under particular duress these days as the Pakistan army (with full support from the US government) has been attacking so-called "militants" and either killing or torturing them in an attempt to wipe out what the US sees as the real threat to their personal control of Afghanistan (and Pakistan).

Khan is one of a few journalists whose background and personal knowledge of this region allow him to relatively safely navigate through it on his own. He has lived with death threats for several years and even lost a younger brother to violence last year and has now been missing since Monday when he was due to arrive home after a trip to Islamabad.

Dilawar is Persian for "brave" and Dilawar Khan is very brave indeed to cover the news in a region that does not have much regard for an open press. It's journalists like Khan who make a major difference in this world by putting their lives on the line to bring news and information to the rest of us. What the people who've kidnapped Khan do not know is that he was also helping them in his news coverage: at least a local was covering the region rather than an outsider who is likely tainted with either prejudice or ignorance.

The Pakistani government has much to answer for if Khan is not returned safely to his home. Please don't let this be another case of violence against a journalist. Dilawar, you are in our thoughts.

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Entertainment Roundup

Celebrities -- those people who go beyond a 15-minute time slot of fame -- tend to offer us non-celebrities with entertainment on regular basis for one reason and one reason only: nobody's cool all the time and lucky for us, celebrities are constantly being recorded during their most un-cool of moments.

"Kramer" -- A.K.A. Michael Richards

First up today is the latest embodiment of pure unadulterated bigwig racism. Michael Richards, the actor who played "Kramer" on Seinfeld was videotaped (and the tape, as always is available on YouTube, though you'll have to register to watch it because it's considered inappropriate for some users) during a stand-up comedy routine at the Laugh Factory this past weekend in L.A. where he lost his temper at a couple of Black hecklers and responded with such atavistic racism that I don't think many of the audience members were old enough to understand his intital statement until he repeatedly used the N-word and thereby shocked and alienated the audience who shortly thereafter began to leave one by one, prompting Richards to just walk off the set.
His initial statement was a reference to the prevalent (and still ongoing, I might add, though less frequently) lynching of Black Americans (link warning: very graphic images -- very similar to the types of images the Western press abounds in these days from Afghanistan and other countries) a couple generations ago in the U.S.: "Shut up! 50 years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass!"
The video of Richards apologizing on the David Letterman show is very real and very disturbing. Unlike the apology that Mel Gibson issued during his anti-semitic rant recently, Richards truly seemed apologetic -- the viewer basically witnesses him crumble apart as he openly questions his own motivations and behavior and offers a warning to everyone out there to not let prejudice get the best of them. Everybody has prejudices, it's just that when prejudice starts to affect your judgment and behavior it's time to take a close look at the problem and resolve it so it doesn't cause any more pain.

Dubya Takes on Asia

"Ah hate wearin' a dress!" -- looks like ol' pigeon-toed Dubya will go to any length to convince East Asians that he's their friend. Too bad nobody seems to be believing him.

Tom "I'm not Gay" Cruise gets married to Kate "I am still a virgin" Holmes

Yep, they just got married this weekend. It's only a matter of time before even they get tired of this charade. But this post is not about lambasting people's joy, it's more about analysing the wedding photo these two have released to the public. Two things scream out right away: Katie Holmes is 5'10" and Tom Cruise is 5'7" (though it's probably more like 5'5") so how come she looks shorter than him here? Well, take a close look at her bended knee under the gown and you might figure out why. Why can't they just be normal? Which brings me to the next observation: that creepy fake grin on Katie's face is priceless. At least Tom's face is genuine.

Eva Longoria is Cool

The hottest lady from Desperate Housewives is the whole package, definitely. This beautiful and successful young woman is doing something very few celebrities and even fewer Hollywood ones do: she is being genuinely politically vocal. Referring to her character on this tv show, Longoria takes a jab at the re-elected Gah-vah-nah of California: "I'm here today to announce my candidacy for president. ... Oh, wrong speech! In the last two years, I've had an affair with the gardener and a teenager, I've faked a paternity test, my husband went to prison, and I threw him out of a window. I would probably win in California."

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Friday, November 17, 2006

UCLA Police Attack Student

Okay, as if YouTube has not been cool enough, it is now officially a tool for discrediting the police.

Check out this video of University of California Police Department officers as they repeatedly tase an Iranian-American student in broad public view even as other students ask for the officers' ID's and ask the officers to leave him alone and stop hurting him.

On Tuesday night 14 November, Iranian-American student (yes, there are thousands of them at UCLA, as we all know) Mostafa Tabatabainejad was a victim of police brutality when he was repeatedly tased by UCPD officers as he was exiting the university library when he refused to show his ID because he felt he was being racially profiled.

Tabatabainejad was an inspiration to us all as he shouted accusations against the farcical P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act and continued to make a scene as officers brutalized him 5 times for up to 5 seconds each time with a taser that has been known to kill at least 148 victims in the US alone since 1999. No wonder he couldn't get up each time they demanded that he stand up: he was mostly paralyzed by the shock as is usually the case with these weapons. Can you imagine a weapon being used in your university library? It's unbelieveable.

And how did all this happen? In a "random" selection at the library, Tabatabainejad, who is a US-born American of Iranian descent, refused to show his ID because he felt he was singled out for looking Middle Eastern. When he shouted "get your hands off of me" to an officer who took ahold of him, that's when the taser was brought in. UCPD should know better than to harrass Iranian students considering how high their numbers are and how influential Iranians are in L.A. Besides, they should have known better than to behave this way in open view of the public at a university that is well known for its film school where so many students walk around with recording equipment. Well done, Mostafa. And well done to the brave young filmmaker who filmed this and put it on YouTube.

What's next? You guessed it: a law suit. Isn't America great?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Al Jazeera England's Network

Today is the launching date of Al Jazeera's English-language satellite news channel. It's been a long time coming and for those of us who don't understand Arabic, has been a curious wait. I haven't much faith that it'll be any less corporate or biased than the BBC (yes, the BBC), CNN and other propagandist news outlets, however, at least we will hopefully have a view from another side this time -- and the more views the better, I say, even though the one nation that should have access to this network, the United States, has a government that has gone to great lengths to prevent its public from viewing the network. Thanks to the wonderful internet, however, the channel can be viewed on its Internet stream.

Anyway, like most major news outfits, Al Jaz will probably turn into a mouthpiece for inhumanity and elitist profit once it's established itself and its viewership -- if, that is, it isn't right from the beginning.
As promising as that seems, I can't forget what a Western friend once told me about his experience working at the English online news office in Qatar just a few years ago. He had gone with his then-girlfriend, also a journalist, in the spirit of independent (read: Non-Western) newsmaking and found the environment highly sexist and close-minded. "There's no telling how they would have treated my girlfriend had I not been there because she suffered enough even when I was." Again, not surprising, considering the cultural shortcomings in gender relations in that part of the world.

Besides, it seems Al Jaz's staff is largely comprised of Brits and ex-BBC journalists -- rings too much of colonialist journalism to me. No wonder the network decided to change its name from Al Jazeera International to Al Jazeera English -- it makes more sense! Just look at who David Frost has invited to be his first guest on his much-touted news show: one Tony "Evil Eye" Blair. Hmmm...having a war criminal and international human rights violator as one's first guest is not exactly encouraging. Maybe Frost will call a spade a spade and actually address Blair's criminal activities in the interview. Or maybe not.

Not very promising at all. Still, let's wait and see what happens: the world needs to take baby steps towards improvement and this might just be a tiny little baby step toward more well-rounded journalism.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Iranian Sex Tape Tragedy

It didn't take long for my last post to be proven, and proven horribly. The latest news from Iran is another tidbit exemplifying the nadir of human relations that exists in a society that is run on Islamic law, where a religion so anti-human as to consider women unequal to men is embedded in the day-to-day culture and life of the people.

The story of Zahra Amir Ebrahimi is a tragedy of personal liberty, of privacy, of individuality, of decency, of humanity -- it is a story that has repeated itself in various guises throughout all close-minded and religiously-inclined societies millions of times over.

25-year-old Amir Ebrahimi is a beautiful and talented actress, or should I say was, until her jealous and mean-spirited ex-boyfriend decided to release a personal video they had made together onto the internet just last month. It is still not clear whether she authorized the making of the tape, or whether it is even her in the video -- but what is clear is that she is in deep deep trouble in a society -- like all societies where religion plays a key role in the culture and morality of the people -- where pre-marital relations are not only prohibited but considered a criminal offense.

The Saccharinist never thought a reference to Paris Hilton would be made in this blog, but it seems now is the time. As many readers may know or recall, Paris Hilton's career was made thanks to her boyfriend's unauthorized release of her sex tape -- a tape which clearly indicates Hilton's knowledge of the ongoing taping. America is a prude and increasingly religiously fundamentalist society, but what happened to Hilton is a supreme example of the difference between a society where the individual is respected and personal freedom is actually something of value and a society where those things are meaningless. Hilton's career skyrocketed to success. Amir Ebrahimi is now fighting to stay alive.

The worst thing about religious societies like Iran is that the men are not even aware of how prejudiced they are against women -- they are totally oblivious to how strongly they have been conditioned against a mentality of gender equality. It seems impossible for them to see the other side of the coin on that issue.

Amir Ebrahimi's ex-boyfriend is now a criminal on the lam -- he has escaped to Dubai and his identity has been forbidden to be released by the authorities. But the Saccharinist strongly disagrees -- this horrible adult's name and identity must be made known. This criminal -- like all criminals -- should be exposed for who he is and what he has done because the public's scrutiny is a powerful source of justice against the horrible people amongst us.

Dear Readers, if any of you have any information whatsoever about this criminal's identity, please email the Saccharinist on saccharinist@gmail.com If bloggers unite and take a stance against this criminal, we can make a difference in at least one person's life.

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Most Adults Are Bad

This blog came into existence because the Saccharinist was fatigued with all of the horrible news in the world and the complete lack of honest evaluation of it on a regular basis by anyone in any mainstream or even off-the-cuff-mainstream media. Everyday the news, sadly, is bad.

So now I wonder, from all my experiences in life, from all the people I've met -- whether for a moment or longer -- are most adults bad? I mean, a newborn child is born with no anger, no hate, no meanness, no resentment, no jealousy. But his or her life from that moment on determines his/her happiness, day by day, moment by moment.

Sadly, and I think most people would agree, most babies grow up into bad adults. Bad means unloving, unhelpful, unkind, unpleasant, dishonest, inhumane in the most basic but compassionate sense of the word. In all senses, "bad" is a weakness -- a failure to be upfront and genuine in human relations. And most adults are guilty of this.

Everybody knows this -- it is not shocking or untrue. The bigger question, then, is why? Why are adults so inhumane toward eachother? Why are adults so bad? Why don't adults respect eachother and themselves? Where, as John Lennon and others before him and since have said, is all the love?

The answer comes easily in the Persian language: oghdeh or in another word, kambood. These terms describe a "perceived lacking" which is different than a real lacking. Most adults look around them at the other people they see, they meet, they interact with, and covet. They covet what other people have. They somehow feel that the things that others have -- as varied as wealth, beauty, education, success, talent, charisma, anything at all -- are things they also want to have, and as a result their feelings of lacking these things makes them mean-spirited. It is a matter of envy. Of jealousy. But it's wrong, it's irrational, and it's not true.

The old phrase "money doesn't make you happy" is a valid analysis of this problem: happiness is in the heart, not in the hand. Happiness is an attitude, it is a frame of mind. Nothing and nobody but yourself can stop you from being happy.

This is not about perfection: you can't be nice to and like everbody all the time, that's a fact. An old friend mentioned last night that one should be wary of those people who are friends with everybody: "someone who's friends with everybody is really friends with nobody." And that's true because you can't please everyone all the time without losing out on yourself, without being dishonest. And you can't be happy when you're living a lie. But the fact is, most adults are un-nice, for no sensible or genuine reason whatsoever.

So will people change? Will the good people someday outnumber the bad? It seems unlikely in these days of capitalistic greed, religious brainwashing, and political disingenuousness. Love, kindness and humanity has taken a backseat to pretense and profit. But there is still one positive that remains in human relations: there are still good people out there -- few and far between as they are.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Updates: Borat, Darrell Hair, The Queen

There are some news items that never go away: criminal activities funnelled through government sluices, human rights violations in developing countries and underground human rights violations in "developed" countries... The list is endless and unfortunately it includes such terribly annoying elements as Borat, Darrell Hair and Frau Queen herself, the matriarch of English national thievery? Ah, blogging is so much fun.


First off, Borat... As the Saccharinist has reported in the past (here and here), the comedian behind Borat, a Mr Sacha Baron Cohen, has conveniently and cleverly fooled millions of people around the world into accepting the fact that in these times of religious prejudice against Muslims, there is nothing wrong with an Orthodox Jew openly mocking Muslims. Borat, and Ali G, if you recall (Baron Cohen's two biggest moneymakers) are indeed blithering caricatures of Muslim stereotypes. What's so hypocritical about Baron Cohen is that he portrays himself as fighting prejudice, but limits the fight to anti-semitism while at the same time propagating prejudice against Muslims. Doesn't really highlight his human rights credentials now, does it?

But enough with the bigotry, let's get on to more pressing issues along the lines of this blog -- is it any surprise to anyone that Mr Baron Cohen is in fact half-Iranian? Yes, indeed, as the UK Guardian (amongst thousands of other sources) published awhile ago, Baron Cohen's mother Daniella Weiser is in fact an Iranian Jew who was born in Israel. What a shame that she never got a chance to grow up in her own country where Iranian Jews are content to live as the largest population of Jews in the Middle East, outside of Israel itself. Guess she missed out big-time!

Darrell Hair

Speaking of Bigots...let's move right along to one Darrell Hair...As the Saccharinist reported in late August, Herr Hair is a professional cricket umpire who has been openly known for years for being racist against South Asian players. This Australian's hatred and prejudice has been so intense and so persistent that it was a well known fact. The question is, or should I say, was, why Herr Hair was allowed for so very long to exhibit his racism publicly in such an unsportsmanlike fashion? Very simply: why was the racist Darrell Hair allowed to continue in his job for so many years? There is no acceptable or honest explanation for that.

However, as karma has it, there are two kinds of bad people in this world: those who are diplomatic and those who are not. See, the (really underhanded) diplomatic ones have a posse of "friends" who protect them because there's no harm in it, the undiplomatic ones eventually run out of support. Mr Hair fits in the second category and finally this week he was relieved of his duty (i.e. the world was relieved of his dooty) and fired from his job umpiring international cricket. A small victory long-time coming is better than no victory at all, I suppose.

Frau Queen

And finally, to round off our update on international bigots, who better than the Queen herself? These days she's all over the English and Commonwealth press because it's Veteran's day (actually, the English call it Remembrance Day) tomorrow -- a day when she parades around town and tabloid attempting to show the world that she gives a toss that thousands, millions of soldiers lost their lives so she can hold on to a bounty of wealth, land, and power she neither earned, nor deserves, nor does anything positive with. She is, after all, a grand thief whose personal expenses alone (including her royal ass-wiper -- em, arse-wiper) could eliminate poverty in most African nations overnight.

Besides, as the Guardian newspaper (amongst others) has reported time and again, the "English royals" aren't even English, they're German. Fancy that! How sympathetic is a German whose family has proven Nazi connections, to soldiers most of whom died in the wars against Germany in the last century? Exactly.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good Riddance, Dumsfeld

It is with a lifetime of crime against humanity, lack of any dignity, and no choice at all, that Donald "Deathmonger" Dumsfeld finally finally finally, has been thrown out of public office. Let's hope that others like him will follow.

Yesterday's US elections have won another victory. The American government is finally reacting to the public's outcry that this War on Iraq and this farcical Wart on Terror needs to change its bloody course.

Will other criminals replace Dumsfeld? Surely. Will Bush continue his war path? Undoubtedly. But at least one sociopath has been tossed in the rubbish where he belongs. We the ones who care for humanity and human rights, civility and common decency, must count our victories, large and small.

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Results: Republicans Swept Out

The results are in, and even the Saccharinist is pretty impressed with the American public today: they have managed to toss out a 12-year long Republican majority in the US Congress, making Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the first-ever female Speaker of House. Senate results are still pending but are less significant now.

For the Saccharinist, what is most remarkable about this election is the categorization of political affiliation: Republicans = Conservatives, Democrats = Liberals. As we all know, these demarcations are just not accurate and we need new labels for better understanding candidates' and peoples' political inclinations. Why? Because people who are socially or personally conservative -- who impose rules and demands on their families or societies -- are sometimes actually liberal and democratic in their politics. And vice versa. A true small-d democrat is someone who is not only politically inclined to democracy and progressive values, but is socially and personally the same. Sadly, the world is still brimming with conservatism: a lack of respect for individual freedom and for progression of ideas, values and traditions. That is the tragedy of politics today, not just in America, but worldwide.

And what breeds this unbelieveably high level of conservatism worldwide? Closemindedness. When people do not open their minds to new knowledge, to humanity, to understanding their fellow human beings, they remain stagnant and, for some bizarre reason, demand this stagnation on others. That is the danger of conservatism, because there is no tradition, belief, custom, or culture that is not worth re-examining.

Here are some quick election highlights a la the Saccharinist:

--The United States gained independence from Britain in 1776 but it took 230 years for a woman to finally become speaker of the House and contrary to worldwide and American trends on female leadership where the women tend to have to be even more scary and conservative than the men (see Condosleazea Rice and Ang-Hell-a Merkel for the latest incarnations of this), Pelosi is a progressive politician who supports fundamental social issues (such as abortion and immigrant rights) and has been very vocal against the war in Iraq. This is also the closest a woman has ever come to being President of the United States: the Speaker of the House is 3rd in line for the Presidency after the Vice President.

-- The US now has its second-ever Black governor now that Deval Patrick has captured Massachusetts. Still, it's shocking that in a nation where over 13% of the population is Black, and in certain districts that percentage is way over the majority, there has only ever been two Black governors.
--The first-ever Muslim has been elected to the US Congress. He's a Democrat, and he's a Black Muslim, no less. He won in Minnesota which is a harsh commentary on Michigan since it presumably should have been the state to vote in the first-ever Muslim candidate considering its sizeable Muslim population.
--Rick Santorum, whose name has found its way into English dictionaries in a most unpleasant way, has finally been kicked out of the Senate. Maybe now he can start the road toward admitting his true sexual orientation since we all know that the greatest homophobes tend to be homosexuals themselves.
--Contrite former KKK leader Robert Byrd has won a record 9th election as Senator of West Virginia -- he is now the longest-serving member of the US Congress and the longest-serving Senator: 47 years. In his old age, he is finally realizing that some of the horrible things he used to believe in were wrong and he has made a genuine and respectable effort to be vocal about progress, as best he can.

--Iowans have finally voted that lump Jim Leach out of a Congressional office he has been molding over for thirty years. Leach was another example of a person who would relent to progress on a few fronts but still could not totally accept that open-mindedness and progress are the way forward for improving life and society. Good riddance to another on-the-fence politician.

--In bad news:

The Governator has inexplicably won again in a state where both Senators are Democrat and now one of its congresswomen is set to be Speaker of the House. The question remains: how is this bigot winning elections in the most racially, nationally, and religiously diverse state in the nation?

Joe Lieberman has won back his Senate seat which is bad news. But the good news is he is no longer masquerading as a Democrat.

Hilary Clinton has won back her Senate seat thanks to years of modifying her politics to meet the needs and interests of extremely wealthy donors.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well Awl Be: A Terrorist!

And, just to add a little flair to the election day festivities, a recently-released nutcase right outside of Berkeley, California (yes, for those of you who've ever been there, it is indeed difficult to differentiate the nuts from the bolts in that town) has demonstrated what minorities of all shades and backgrounds have been grumbling about all over the world since September 11th happened: the ridiculousness of excessive security probes.

You see, a completely naked 33-year-old John Sheehan was peacefully masturbating himself in the middle of a town where most people openly smoke marijuana and still think it's 1968, when police surrounded him and attempted to arrest him for what was presumably indecent exposure, only to be struck with fear at his next admission: that he was carrying a concealed weapon!

Shock! Horror! and...the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act.

Turns out ol' man Sheehan was concealing his weapon in the only place he had left to conceal anything: his rectum. Moments later, hero that he was, he saved the Bay Area and most likely the world from horrible terrorist destruction when he pulled out a 6-inch awl from his ass. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Thank goodness for invasive security measures!

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Selection Day

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Today is election day in the land that decides the world's fate.

Today, Americans will not only prove to the world whether they are the digital age's greatest victims of political and media propaganda in a free society, but whether capitalistic democracy -- in an age of epic greed and outright hate -- is waning or as strong as ever.

As Michael Moore said to his subscribers today, this is not an election about voting for individuals -- as recent past US elections have been -- but about voting strictly and shamelessly along party lines: the Democrats, though they are as useless, conservative, backward and ignorant as the Republicans, must win today because George W. Bushler's party must lose. "This election is nothing less than a National Referendum on George W. Bush and his War," Moore writes.

And boy do we know it! What a surprise that Saddam was "sentenced to death" just yesterday -- strange that a trial that has taken years to come into existence somehow manages to pull itself together just in time for the last big election of Bushler's presidency. (All of the major newspapers of the world, even including the so-called Independent, pandered to this ridiculous "news" by putting it on their front page.) Political theatrics or human rights victory? Hmmm...I think the answer to that is best characterized as they said in the 2004 documentary, "Control Room", about Al Jazeera's coverage of the Iraq War: "if there's only one Iraqi left when this war is over, it will be Saddam Hussein."

Polls close at around 9 pm in most states. The world watches. Waits. Hopes.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Dirty American Politics

As the fanfare and farce of American pre-election backpeddaling and mudslinging reaches its zenith, few people are pointing out the most obvious result: George W. Bushler will still be in office come next Tuesday. Yes, the Bushler is only half-way through his second term which means there are two more terrible years ahead of a world on its haunches.

Two more years of pre-emptive massacres...

Two more years of thievery and high stakes crime...

Two more years of fooling the American people into overlooking the fact of their miserable lives...

None of that will change next Tuesday. And speaking of nothing changing, that overgrown chin John Kerry has managed to succumb to playground taunts from the Republicans again. The first time around, they managed to convince not only the public, but him, that being a Vietnam war veteran is a crime punishable by an election loss.

This time, a paltry, pale-faced point he made about the nature of US military recruitment has thrown him back into the shadows of politics, even though he wasn't even running for office but merely trying to help the Democratic vote! Kerry's horrible words? "If you make the most of [education], you can do well. If you don't, you can get stuck in Iraq." Kerry stating the obvious: that those little 18,19, 20 year old American privates that are dying left and right in Iraq only ended up there in the first place because they didn't pursue their education and instead had no where to turn but the military. The result? Bushler's camp has actually forced an apology from Kerry and he has squirmed back into his blackhole of political impotence.

Another victory for Bushler's dirty tricks campaigns. When will this awful Western end?

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