from the desk of Colin Nicholls

Category: Politics (Page 1 of 2)

Discriminating Taste

[Ferraro] ignited a flap by telling a California newspaper that
"if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

"And if he was a woman he would not be in this position.
He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is
caught up in the concept," Ferraro said.

Source: Clinton supporter defends Obama race remarks

What a load of bollocks. I think there might be reasons
other than being Black in Obama's case. However I think the only
reason Clinton is still in the nomination race is because she's a
woman.

Disturbances

I found a couple of things on the 'web today that I found disturbing*.

The first is a short, amateur produced documentary on what really
happened in Portland, OR, in 2002, when a supposedly peaceful
demonstration was broken up by Police. At the time it was reported as
"the demonstration turned violent" but somehow the producers of the
film got their hands on the authorities' own videotapes of the
incident. Narrated by someone who says they were there at the protest.

This is What A Police State Looks Like

The second is the results of the New Hampshire Democratic Primary
election. Many people have commented on the variations between exit
poll numbers and actual vote counts when comparing manual counting with
the results reported from electronic voting machines. The fundimental
points are:

  • Why should exit polls be reliable result indicators everywhere except where electronic voting machines are used?

  • Why should the EVM results be biased in favor of any particular candidate?

We ignore questions like this at our peril. It doesn't have to be
conspiracy but we'd better know what is really happening. I have no
opinion on whether there was any actual vote rigging taking place. I'm
not qualified. However it is really encouraging to see people from
around the country collaborate online on ad-hoc analysis projects such
as this one:
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/1/12/191247/981

So that was New Hampshire last week or so. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, they can't even get the machines to accept votes:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5579

It is clear to me that electronic voting machines should not be
used, ever, because while they are in use we will never be free of this
crap.

* Only 2? Clearly I'm not looking hard enough.

Bright Side

If there is anything – anything at all – that could be said to be positive about Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans, it is that it might drive home to people that actual terrorist attacks are really way down on the prioritized list of things that can impact the safety and security of American citizens.

Here’s another thought: the fluctuations in supply and price of gas and diesel over the next month that will be a consequence of the disruption to the refineries in the gulf coastal regions will be a preview of what things will be like when the oil starts to run out. Maybe the right people will take notice and direct more funds towards preparing for this.

Riverbend: The Maelstrom

Detainees coming back after weeks or months in prison talk of being forced to eat pork, not being allowed to pray, being exposed to dogs, having Islam insulted and generally being treated like animals trapped in a small cage. At the end of the day, it’s not about words or holy books or pork or dogs or any of that. It’s about what these things symbolize on a personal level. It is infuriating to see objects that we hold sacred degraded and debased by foreigners who felt the need to travel thousands of kilometers to do this. That’s not to say that all troops disrespect Islam- some of them seem to genuinely want to understand our beliefs. It does seem like the people in charge have decided to make degradation and humiliation a policy.

By doing such things, this war is taken to another level- it is no longer a war against terror or terrorists- it is, quite simply, a war against Islam and even secular Muslims are being forced to take sides.

Source: Riverbend’s latest post

Riverbend gets a dress code

“Please dress appropriately next time you come here.” The man said to me. I looked down at what I was wearing- black pants, a beige high-necked sweater and a knee-length black coat. Huh? I blushed furiously. He meant my head should be covered and I should be wearing a skirt. I don’t like being told what to wear and what not to wear by strange men. “I don’t work here- I don’t have to follow a dress code.” I answered coldly. The cousin didn’t like where the conversation was going, he angrily interceded, “We’re only here for an hour and it really isn’t your business.”

“It is my business.” Came the answer, “She should have some respect for the people who work here.” And the conversation ended. I looked around for the people I should be respecting. There were three or four women who were apparently ministry employees. Two of them were wearing long skirts, loose sweaters and headscarves and the third had gone all out and was wearing a complete “jubba” or robe-like garb topped with a black head scarf. My cousin and I turned to enter the room the receptionist had indicated and my eyes were stinging. No one could talk that way before the war and if they did, you didn’t have to listen. You could answer back. Now, you only answer back and make it an issue if you have some sort of death wish or just really, really like trouble.

Young females have the option of either just giving in to the pressure and dressing and acting ‘safely’- which means making everything longer and looser and preferably covering some of their head or constantly being defiant to what is becoming endemic in Iraq today. The problem with defiance is that it doesn’t just involve you personally, it involves anyone with you at that moment – usually a male relative. It means that there might be an exchange of ugly words or a fight and probably, after that, a detention in Abu Ghraib.

If it’s like this in Baghdad, I shudder to think what the other cities and provinces must be like. The Allawis and Pachichis of Iraq don’t sense it – their families are safely tucked away in Dubai and Amman, and the Hakeems and Jaffaris of Iraq promote it.
At the end of the day, it’s not about having a Sunni or Shia or Kurd or Arab in power. It’s about having someone who has Iraq’s best interests at heart- not America’s, not Iran’s, not Israel’s… It’s about needing someone who wants peace, prosperity, independence and above and beyond all, unity.

Source: Riverbend gets a dress code

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