Friday, September 28, 2012

Growing Up

Gilgamesh's latest class picture shows that he has mastered the art of looking apathetic. He's in the sixth grade and despite his haircut he is not a fan of Justin Bieber as far as I know.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Freedom Hating Terrorists or Reaction to Foreign Policy or an Imbecile's Movie?

Two days ago the U.S. Embassies in Cairo Egypt and Sanaa Yemen were attacked. Protestors scaled the walls and burned U.S. flags. It was far worse in Benghazi Libya, where four people including the U.S. diplomat were killed in a lengthy nocturnal gun battle. Today there are reports of protests occurring all over the Muslim world, including Bangladesh, Sudan, Iran, and Tunisia. Tomorrow is the Holy Day of Friday, and it would seem that after the noon prayer there will be violence directed towards the U.S. in many parts of the world. Why?

According to the U.S. media, these are small pockets of terrorists who hate our freedom. The vast majority of the people of Libya and Egypt love the U.S., and they are our friends. They condemn these extremists for dampening our cozy relationship, especially on the anniversary of 9-11. 

The Arab media, and the whole Muslim world, instead focusses on a disgusting digital movie trailer called "Innocence of Muslims"  that depicts Muhammad as a bisexual idiotic pedophile who converts a talking donkey to Islam. Now that the video is viral, the people involved with it are scrambling out of a legitimate fear for their lives. The main person responsible, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, seems to be the "Sam Bacile" who directed and produced. It would seem that he probably won't be alive a year from now without some serious government intervention. Several actors and actresses are claiming they were duped by the imbecile Sam Bacile. They filmed scenes, they claim, for a movie called "Desert Warriors" that wasn't about religion at all. This is all very reminiscent of the Danish Muhammad cartoons, as well as Theo van Gogh.

But could a tasteless video trailer spark a cultural war? I'm thinking that perhaps this is "the perfect storm." With tensions between Iran and Israel growing daily it wouldn't surprise me to see Netanyahu order a bombing of the nuclear facilities in Iran. Then there's the presidential election in the U.S., with the consensus being war would benefit Romney. It would seem that once again we are at a precipice where an individual can create global tragedy. I'm reminded of Amir's assassination of Rabin that ended the push for Israel/Palestinian peace, or the criminals who flew the planes on September 11th. 

What no media is pushing is a much more complicated story about U.S. foreign policy since World War I, but especially since the end of WWII. I have educated Muslim friends in the Middle East, and they would claim that while the "Innocence of Muslims" is a spark, this fire is fueled by the past 50 years of foreign policy in which we supported ruthless dictators and fought unjust wars to fulfill our oil interests. Now I am going to say a prayer for the world tomorrow, but before that, check out the Wikipedia page for "Innocence of Muslims." Perhaps the battle for the soul of the earth is being fought out there.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hurricane Isaac & The Price to Live in "Paradise"

Hurricane Isaac sure sucked. We lost power Tuesday (Aug 28th) night and didn't get it restored until Saturday (Sep 1) night. We lost internet/cable as well until Monday when I climbed the utility pole and fixed it myself with a crimp cable connector. So everything is back to normal except there is a giant tree that fell from our neighbor's yard and took out our back railings. Now it's hanging like the Sword of Damocles making our backyard a very dangerous place to be.
With the rogue restoration of the internet I'm now becoming aware of the devastation that hit places like Plaquemines, Braithwaite, and LaPlace. It's hard to rebuild and I wish these people good luck and fortitude as they try. One nice thing about the 100 hours without power was that we spent some extra time with our neighbors Bart, Xy and Persephone. One night we hooked our generator up to the TV and DVD player and watched The Wizard of Oz. It was fun to watch Persephone (age 4 1/2)'s facial expressions. Without power it was hard to sleep due to the heat. Our bulldog Enkidu had a very difficult time breathing. One early morning I was listening to fishing specialist Don Dubuc on WWL radio. Caller after caller from the swampy coast said they lost everything, and this was followed by the phrase "That's the price we pay to live in paradise." What? I'm guessing these callers haven't travelled much. Psychologically this has been a difficult week with the 7th anniversary of Katrina. Bart commented that it seems to smell like Katrina with all of the dead oak leaves. Also with garbage pick up delayed and electricity-less freezers, the trash cans smell like rotting flesh. But you know, that's the price we pay live in "paradise."
Today I met for the first time with my Prophets and Prophecy students. It's like we lost a week here at Xavier. I had my first class Monday, August 27th, and my second class Tuesday, September 4th. Thankfully none of my students thus far had their homes flood. Some still don't have electricity though.