Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weird Happenings

I bet that the Icelandic volcano eruption is one of the signs of the end of days. I mean, a volcano that is stopping air traffic over most of Europe, and causing other major delays is a sign that sit is going down. Nobody can pronounce the name of the volcano, except if you're from Iceland and the last time it erupted, it lasted for a year.

No good can come of this. Signals have been sent by the eruption that the Earth has had enough, and will try to rid people off its surface.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Late Night Thoughts

So, I have been out of school for about four months now, and I have no job prospects. I am not very interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of the difficulty of the exam. All of the non-profits that I am interested in working at are either unpaid positions, paid positions without any benefits, or I would have to move outside of the area. I have to do something that takes up time. If not, I may just sulk even more about having nothing to do, and then it's just a giant cycle. The gym is relaxing, but I can't find a buddy which makes things more fun. My room is kind of bland, I lack a TV, radio, but I do have a laptop.

This sucks. I am not the only one, so I guess that is some consolation to me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So, I saw this video on the news where there American pilots surveying Baghdad, and then saw a group of Iraqis who were supposedly carrying weapons. After they had been visible to the pilots, and it was confirmed by their superiors that they could fire, they did so and killed all eight people that were present. Little did they know, that two of the people that they killed was a Reuters reporter and his driver. Usually when you are doing reporting, you don't carry weapons, and I don't see how a camera could be mistaken for an RPG, since an RPG is over a meter long. Wikileaks is a site that challenges the kingmakers to be held accountable for actions that they may like to forget. It's a type of investigative journalism that would make Emma Goldman proud. Big ups for Julian Assanges who heads it.

OK, so I am a supporter of the US military. I don't want any sort of comment on how I don't support the troops because it's simply not the case, I do. But, this was upsetting. War has clouded their judgment, which puts Iraqis who are not involved in the insurgency in danger. Daily life does not slow down in an occupation, which is why civilian casualties are so high. There is no blame to be assigned when there is unacceptable collateral damage except on the GI. Let me make myself clear, once again, that I do support the person who fights the war, but the situation that they are put in because of war is what I object to. I am upset to see that this war has traumatized so many, and caused so much damage to bodies and to buildings.

The war does not end when a person comes back home. When the foreign troops leave, there is no clean slate where you can write a new history with. I implore people to help anyone that they know of who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan, if you think that there is a problem.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI: Stop Mentioning the Jews

Sweet Jesus!

Haven't they suffered enough? First, it was being thrown out of their homeland. Then, the Egyptians. Then, it was the Exodus. Then, the Romans. Then, it was pogroms and other draconian measures that segregated Jews from the societies that they were an integral part of. They were launched by (among others) the Spanish, Portuguese, Russians, French, Ottomans, Italians, and Germans. Then, the Holocaust, the formation of the State of Israel, and its battles with its neighbors to establish itself within the neighborhood of the Middle East. Now, it's you, the Pope.

Let's get one thing straight, Josef Ratzinger: Giving tacit approval to priests who are guilty of lewd acts with many children, to continue with their jobs and not defrocking them, and allowing these men to commit more crimes is not similar to the systematic execution of more than eighty percent of European Jewry. No matter how you try to spin it, or how long you think about it. It won't happen.

The Nazis were excoriated because of their violations of human rights towards Jews, Gypsies, ethnic Poles, political and religious opponents, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Soviet civilians and POW's, and disabled people. In fact, there was a document called the Geneva Convention formed in the aftermath of World War 2 to establish global standards for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war because it had been found that the Nazis did not treat their victims as human beings. For all time, their political organization will be associated with the slaughter of 11-17 million people, a psychotic totalitarian, and a cult of personality surrounding the political elite which made it possible for few citizens to object to their murderous rampage through Europe.

The Church is being excoriated because of the Vatican obfuscated its involvement and acceptance (Silence is consent) in the cover-up of certain priest's pedophilia. Betraying the dogma is not the same as following the perverted system that justifies the torture and mutilation of others based on social, religious or political differences that the Nazis subscribed to. The actions of the Catholic priests should have consequences, if only because when any ordinary person acts in a reprehensible manner, they are held to account.

I am biased though. I don't believe that the Vatican is the bella figura, nor do I believe that priests have a mark on their soul that excludes them from man's accountability. What I think is that because of their dual role as spiritual adviser and man, they have a special responsibility not to abuse their power, which comes in the form of trust, and if that is not possible, they do not belong in that capacity.

Don't cry foul on others, and then conveniently forget what you may have done wrong in the past. It has a way of coming back to bite you on the ass.


I am a full member of society now. Having completed the necessary milestones accorded to people my age by Western society, I am now expected to act like everyone else. Unfortunately, I have been sidelined by a recession. Not, just any recession, which is signaled by at least two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, but, the Great Recession. So, I will flail, tremble with fear, quake, and sigh with anxiety at the daunting economic outlook for a while. After wards, I will have to lift my head, and march forth on an uncertain journey.

But, if there is anything that I have learned, is that nothing in life is easy. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My parents are not wealthy or well-connected. Nobody has charted my life towards success and happiness. Challenges face us all the time, and it can either make or break a person. I will not be broken.

Let's look at what is recession-proof, and what I don't have qualms with, shall we?
-Alcohol, sales of spirits go up during times of economic distress, but I couldn't help someone get access to liquor knowing that it plays a role in domestic abuse, for the most part. Also, I am not down with substance abuse of any kind.
-Health care, the demand for mental and physical health care goes up during hard times. I know nothing about anatomy or medicine, so that puts me at a severe disadvantage. I am cool with helping others, so let's put that in the "maybe" pile.
-Military. The big one. I could go on and on, so I think I will. Nothing gets recruiting quotas full like a recession. The selling point of any branch of the military is that you'll be set for life, if you hand over yours for a few years. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the work that the military does in any way, but my mom has certain opinions that color my sentiments. Back in the day, it was an option shown to delinquents or an obligatory rite as an American. Skip a generation, and the draft is gone. I, like all Americans have seen the evaporation of the presence of the US military stateside, only to saturate the Middle East and Central Asia, and I am dismayed to hear comparisons by older members of my family to Vietnam. I am tired of this comparison because no experience, however similar it may appear to be in the eyes of the observer, is exactly the same. Vietnam is not Afghanistan.
As you can see, I have mixed feelings about the military because it has a dangerous allure. For a person who values her ability not to withhold any thought on my mind, and my ability to travel at my leisure, I could see this as being the most difficult thing to relinquish if I sign on the dotted line.
So, let me lay it out for you like my dad did, awhile ago: The only to be pure is to be dead. That means, in way or another, most Americans, despite their political leanings, work with the military apparatus. My dad, who was a CO during Vietnam, works on thermal imaging that is used in drones, and other machines that drop death from above. My older brother, who gives subscriptions to The Nation to our family members, works in a lab funded by Homeland Security. So, is it crazy to think about 2nd Lt. Helen Fenimore USMC, or Ensign Fenimore?