Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Have a listen
It's just a day for some music

Saturday, November 26, 2005

In news that is hard to classify...should it go in the: 'it's so funny I'm having a heart attack' or the: ' what the $%?!!!! are you %!*&%!! Serious?? I need to leave the planet' file? :

Wait, don't tear out your hair just yet..let's get really pissed by first remembering all the beautiful things that make Michael Brown worthy of getting tons of money from a consulting firm about disaster preparedness...
  • The whereabouts of 6,644 people reported missing after Hurricane Katrina have not been determined, raising the prospect that the death toll could be higher than the 1,306 (USA Today)
  • In television interviews the Fema director said he was unaware that hundreds of people were marooned at the New Orleans convention centre. "Don't you guys watch television?" the exasperated anchor asked (Guardian)
  • On the day Katrina hit, his press secretary wrote of his appearance on television: "My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous -- and I'm not talking the makeup." Brownie replied: "I got it at Nordstroms. ... Are you proud of me?"
    An hour later, he added: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god." (Molly Ivins)
  • Brown blamed the victims, claiming that most deaths were the fault of “people who did not heed evacuation warnings”, although he knew that “heeding” had nothing to do with the lack of an automobile or confinement in a wheelchair.(Le Monde Diplo.)


I was on the roof trying to flag down helicopters. Nobody would stop. They would give us a thumbs-up and keep on going. You would see them going places. Looking around with their guns out the window, but they wasn't helping. I don't know who they was going to save, but there weren't saving us. They wasn't saving nobody around the neighborhood.Cory Delany

Shawls of Death

Yes it's a melodramatic title to the post, but... Do people really need to be reminded that indulging in a type of fur that is scraped off the skin of an endangered and very beautiful animal is a bad bad thing...Shops here are still trading in Shahtoosh...and people are enabling them by buying it and pretending to be cool and fashionable by wearing it...and I am sick of the 'oh it's soooo soft and warm and it fits perfectly into a small handbag' crap..There are alternatives and it's against the law so enough with the stupid excuses.

"International trade in shahtoosh has been prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1979.." Traffic Network
Which Kuwait Ratified in 2002

"with today’s increasing demand, contemporary poachers have devised innovative, cost and time effective ways to kill. At night, they shine bright lights at whole resting herds. The innocent animal, baffled by this new experience freezes, and thereby signs it’s own death warrant. The poachers let loose their automatic weapons at these sitting targets." Shahtoosh Campaign
What can we do?
  • Do not Buy Shahtoosh in any form-your money tells smugglers that it is ok to trade in endangered Chiru wool.
  • Discourage the sellers who offer you Shahtoosh from trading in it
  • Tell people about the terrible way it is poached
  • Report any shopkeepers who sell Shahtoosh to CITES and their representatives in Kuwait
  • Encourage alternatives and push for them being fair trade alternatives

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Includes references to :Suheir Hammad, Maysoon Zayid, Aron Kader, Amer Zahr, and Dean Obeidallah. Check out their sites, there are even some clips of them doing their acts.
Yesterday was Fairouz' Birthday..and we wish her many, many beautiful years to come..

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How many of us have been to the mustawsif and had the doctor write up an antibiotic prescription for something that a warm chicken soup and some vitamin C could have taken care of? Well the antibiotic-quick-draw talent doctors have here has never been a good thing..as we already know the more antibiotics you take, the more likely you will be to destroy your immune system and the more likely you will be to create a strain of bacteria that is the superman of bad bacteria that will come after you with a vengeance.
Well, as as if things weren't bad enough.. there's more news this week:

Using antibiotics more than 10 times in childhood increases the likelihood of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that affects the body's lymphatic system, new research suggests.
remember antibiotics can be in the meat you eat if the source is not organic. So that 10 times doesn't just come from a prescription.
Parents, keep your kids warm and eating healthy so that they don't have to get a cold every other week..and a cold is not the flu, and some vitamins and tlc are better than the quick fix you get with antibiotics when you don't need them (there are certainly infections that require antibiotic treatment. You and your healthcare provider decide which ones, with care)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Next time you are in the City of cities, be sure to flag down one of these..
Common Dreams had an article about a very interesting city in Brazil, called Curitiba...A model city...famous for their super efficient bus system..you can take a look at their fantastic Opera House ..Their beautiful parks...and just hope that one day we can have something useful to be proud of here..
MoJo has a map of the world's hotspots..it's pretty...and pretty scary too..
Rolling Stone has an article called Billie Joe vs. The World/Working Class Heroes
(for Greenday fans)
Read this and see what one man can do...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Outraged yet? Tired..and by that I mean sick and tired of the violence yet? Some kind of human committed the disgusting attacks on the hotels in Jordan and robbed families of their loved ones, robbed the world of people like Moustapha Akkad and all the other precious souls that went up in flames...Enough...whoever they are and I'll be damned if i know who got together with whom to send this filthy message to the world...(And what message that would be depends on where you take your theories from)...but whoever you blame and whatever the reason you assign...the point is that it's been time, for a long time now, to say enough... Not the kind of enough that means it's ok for me to bomb the hell out of you, but not for you to do it...the kind of enough that says all violence, no matter what slimy mask of 'just cause' has been plastered to it's horrorible face, is unjustified...there is a 7/7 or a 9/11 or an 11/9 happening somewhere all the time..in Iraq in Colombia, in Chechnya in the DR Congo ... in the ghettos and the slums and the hands of the working poor... in occupied territories and forgotten places.. in the secret prisons and the not so secret ones and in the noose and the injection that we use even when we know that the system that metes out your judgement is flawed..in the way we choose to make someone different...in the landmines lying quietly in wait for the next child to lay small feet on them... in the hospitals filled with people who will die of preventable diseases because of choices made by the dead heart of big business..in the bodies of people who are ravaged by the poisons we continue to pour all over the planet and ourselves, knowing full well there are alternatives... you don't have to strap a bomb to yourself and be a militant to take part in murder...you just have to choose to be silent..to ignore...and when is it that we start to really look, and really act? How much more has to happen before we get off our comfortable behinds and do something useful? Does the horror of what we have become as humans really have to come and knock so close to us and our loved ones before we take notice?... and don't we already know it will be too late then...What are we doing to make this world livable? I am so tired of asking.
CND--Int. Campagn to Ban Landmines--Hague Appeal for Peace--Adopt a Minefield---Desmond tutu Peace Foundation--Int. Fellowship of Reconciliation--The Ghandi institute---Albert Einstein Institution ---nonviolence.org--Martin L. King Institute--- Amnesty--Liberty-- FAIR--Project Censored--Mid East roups--David Suzuki Foundation--MSF---RAN
whether long range weapon or suicide bomba
wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
whether you're soaraway sun or BBC 1
misinformation is a weapon of mass destruction
you coulda Caucasian or a poor Asian
racism is a weapon of mass destruction
whether inflation or globalisation
fear is a weapon of mass destruction
whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone
greed is a weapon of mass destruction
we need to find courage, overcome
inaction is a weapon of mass destruction
my story stops here, let's be clear
this scenario is happenin' everywhere
an' you ain't goin' to nirvana or far-vana
you comin' right back here to live out your karma
with even more drama than previously... seriously
just how many centuries have we been waitin'
for someone else to make us free
an' we refuse to see the people overseas
suffer just like we
bad leadership and egos unfettered and free
who feed on the people they're supposed to leadi
don't need good people to pray and wait
for the Lord to make it all straight
there's only now, do it right
"I must forgive so that the desire for revenge does not corrode my being." ArchBishop Tutu

Friday, November 11, 2005

Call to all you people out there..

Nazzal directed me to an article by Ralph Nader about Malaria which gives us all a heads up about on a few events and touches on a topic that should just make you a little angry and fired up to help.
First things first (before getting to the interesting ways you can help):

  • Malaria Kills 1.3 to 2 Million people per year...
  • The equivalent of 7 jumbo jets full of children die every day from malaria
  • The disease threatens 40% of the world's population
  • A $5 net over a bed can mean the difference between life and death (how many nets can be bought with how much we spend on a watch, a mobile phone, a second third or fourth car..one night's dinner?)

  1. For swimmers out there: There is a World Swim for malaria that you can get people you know (family, friends, classmates and your co-workers) to take part in..All you need is a pool or a beach, and we have lots of those available here...you know how this is done..you get people to sponsor you with a few KD (or a lot) and you pledge to swim a certain distance..You can register your swim here..the worldwide swim is happening Dec 3rd, and if you have access to an indoor pool you can take part on that day BUT you don't have to have it on that day..you can choose to do it in the summer...as of today there are no registered swims for Kuwait..who's going to fill up that page?
  2. For basketball fans: There will be a Dunk Malaria I event on March 19. It's the same idea, you set up a dunk contest and raise money and awareness around the issue of malaria. C'mon school teams out there..yalla.
  3. For unsporty types who still want to help in some way : You can pledge money to people you know are swimming or dunking, and also rustle up all the participants you can think of and get them to swim/dunk/pledge...you can also donate money to the Global Fund and to Doctors Without Borders
  4. For those with access to the press: Turn the spotlight on malaria..it is a preventable killer..get your paper/show to cover any of the events taking place, like the swim/dunk events..

Malaria: from the words mal=bad and aria=air in old Italian. It was thought that you caught the disease by breathing the bad air around swamps..now we know it comes from the bite of a mosquito and they tend to live around swampy wet areas..

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Background to the Paris/France events this past week

Naima Bouteldja has written an article explaining the reason behind some of the unrest that has manifested in violence and anger these past 12 days in France:
"Clichy-sous-Bois, the impoverished and segregated north-eastern suburb of Paris where the two men lived and where the violent reaction to their deaths began, was a ticking bomb for the kind of dramatic social upheaval we are currently witnessing. Half its inhabitants are under 20, unemployment is above 40% and identity checks and police harassment are a daily experience."
"Four days after the deaths in Clichy-sous-Bois, just as community leaders were beginning to calm the situation, the security forces reignited the fire by emptying teargas canisters inside a mosque. The official reason for the police action: a badly parked car in front of it. The government refuses to offer any apology to the Muslim community."
Trevor Phillips looks at the situations political implications and the problems of race/class relations not only in France but across Europe and the US..
"Prime Minister Dominique Villepin called emergency cabinet meetings, met the bereaved parents and urged a moderate response. His rival for the presidency, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, having denounced the rioting youths as 'scum', ordered a police lockdown. Whoever wins this power struggle will instantly become the frontrunner for the top job.
"Our French neighbours are giving us the loudest alarm call they can. Wake up, everybody."
Maybe the Gulf should be listening too..How long will the majority in this country for instance accept to be denigrated and left to substandard existence by the minority? tick-tock...
"The Sydney Morn. Herald has an interesting article called Hooded children of the revolution which situates the riots within a youth movement that has taken it's cue from the race issues in American culture as opposed to from their Muslim background:"
"Although many of the rioters come from Muslim backgrounds, "these guys are building a new idea of themselves based on American street culture. It's a youth riot - they are protesting against the fact that they are supposed to be full French citizens and they are not."
As black Americans in the 1960s objected to police using the word "boy", so today's French rioters want police to stop insultingly addressing them with the familiar form of you, "tu"."
For those of you who speak French:
Le Monde: Les violences urbaines au jour le jour (this is worth a look even if only for the photos. It's a day-by-day of the events)

Words of the day:

Banlieue:It means suburb, but has come to be more often used to mean the equivalent of a ghetto or what would be 'the projects' in the US.. Clichy-sous bois is this type of banlieue. The word splashed onto the global mainstream with the film 'Hate', but even before that, the Banlieue was represented in films like 'The Sound and the Fury' and Tea in the Harem.

Les Flics: The Cops (french)

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

First there's this:
Bird Flu!! (Tamiflu, Tamiflu) Pandemic!! (Tamiflu, Tamiflu) Be scared!! (Tamiflu, Tamiflu)
AND THEN...There's This:
Tamiflu and Rumsfeld-Rumsfeld Benefits From Avian Flu Hype-Donald Rumsfeld to Profit Millions from Bush Spending on Avian Bird Flu Pandemic
Democrats finally pulled up their socks and closed the senate for a secret session, to push a probe into the reasons and possible lies that led to war ..the Republicans pretended to be shocked and awed..Frist even showed off his talent for amateur dramatics -remember last week's Scooter Libby indictment..well..
"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions,” Reid said before making the motion which sent the Senate into a closed-door session." MSNBC
Other Republicans in Trouble
Tom Delay: Rep. House Majority Leader: Indicted on charges of money laundering, conspiracy and corruption.
Bill Frist:Under investigation for insider trading..and possibly lying about it.
Day six, and Paris is burning..
Rabid Vampire bats are attacking poeple in Brazil
Quote for today:
Power goes to two poles: To those who've got money and those who've got people
Saul Alinsky
In a building of gold, with riches untold,
lived the families on which the country was founded.
And the merchants of style, with their red velvet smiles,
were there,for they also were hounded.
And the soft middle class crowded in to the last,
for the building was fully surrounded.
And the noise outside was the ringing of revolution.
Phil Ochs

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Remember the story about Boeing using defective parts to build planes? Well part two of the story is out.

A rememberance service at St Paul's cathedral, for those murdered on July 7th in London, might be boycotted by families of the victims who are angry "Some are bitter about what they say is a failure of support from the government in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Others blame Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq for making London more vulnerable to suicide bombings"Guardian

Gulf War Syndrome is finally recognised by a tribunal in the UK...it had been denied by the US and UK since the 1991 war because they would have to pay the veterans suffering from it..and there are a lot..This is a landmark case, which means further cases and questions may arise as a result of the ruling. Season Two of the Awful truth by M. Moore had an episode where Gulf War veterans suffering form the disease that the government won't recognise staged a run to benefit the disease..of course most of them can barely walk, let alone run.. you get to see how real the disease is.

New Orleans residents are not being allowed to return to their homes and many are being evicted.."Some renters have offered to pay their rent and are still being evicted. Others question why they should have to pay rent for September when they were not allowed to return to New Orleans...The longer the poor and working class of New Orleans stay away, the more likely it is that they'll never return. That, some say, is exactly what those in power in New Orleans and Louisiana and the US must want. Otherwise, why are they making New Orleans a ghost town?MoJo

Sound too cruel to be true?

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." –Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA)The Predators of New Orleans /Le monde Diplo

Ethnic Cleansing, GOP-style Alternet

Purging the poor from New Orleans Naomi Klein