Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was always told that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I best not say anything at all. Apparently a lot of Israelis want Obama to (perhaps) violate that rule and speak to them directly. Here, have some commentary on the piece:

This policy of ignoring Israel carries a price. Though Mr. Obama has succeeded in prodding Mr. Netanyahu to accept the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, he has failed to induce Israel to impose a freeze on settlements. In fact, he has failed even to stir debate about the merits of one: no Israeli political figure has stood up to Mr. Netanyahu and begged him to support Mr. Obama; not even the Israeli left, desperate for a new agenda, has adopted Mr. Obama as its icon.

Ah, yes, because everyone around the world is supposed to adopt Obama as its new icon for peace and change. I forgot about that one.

In Mr. Netanyahu’s narrative, the president has fallen under the influence of top aides — in this case Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod — whom the prime minister has called “self-hating Jews.” Meanwhile, Mr. Netanyahu is the defender of national glory in face of unfair pressure, someone who sticks to the first commandment of Israeli culture: thou shalt never be the freier (that is, the dupe).

Kudos for using the word 'dupe.' Just because someone wants to see peace in the Middle East and understands that BOTH sides have to give up some stuff (Palestine being the only side that's really given up anything to date) doesn't make them self-hating Jews. It makes them Jews who understand that what Israel and supporting countries have done the people of Palestine is terrible.

A Jerusalem Post poll of Israeli Jews last month indicated that only 6 percent of those surveyed considered the Obama administration to be pro-Israel, while 50 percent said that its policies are more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli. Less scientifically: Israeli rightists have — in columns, articles and public statements — taken to calling the president by his middle name, Hussein, as proof of his pro-Arab tendencies.

Shouldn't the focus be on what is pro-peace and not pro-Israel? If you want a pro-Israel political ally, you really aren't going to get one anytime soon, at least in the United States.

Fourth, as far as most Israelis are concerned, Mr. Obama has made a mistake in focusing on a settlement freeze. For starters, mainstream Israelis rarely have anything to do with the settlements; many have no idea where they are, even when they’re a half-hour’s drive from Tel Aviv.

Oh good, so then it isn't just the United States that fails to get any news whatsoever from the Palestinian side of things due to bias media and suppression? How do you not know about problems in your own holy land? Wow.

In other related news, I bought a book about the conflict the other day, thinking that it would be informative, only to find out that it is very pro-Israel. I don't really have anything wrong with that point of view (when it's not extremist) but the world cannot ignore the atrocities being perpetrated on the Palestinian people - Arabs and Christians, women and children, young and old.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Is Why Parents Don't Get Told

There are a lot of things that go through a person's mind when they've been raped or sexually assaulted. I wish I could say that these things get easier with time. To an extent, they do, but life never returns to 'normal,' whatever that is. The hesitation to tell someone about the assault can definitely grow over time.

As a child, I really didn't have a huge idea that other people weren't going through what I was experiencing. I thought that it could just be a part of life and growing up. I slowly learned that what was happening to me was not alright, not normal, and not something that should be happening. I couldn't bring myself to tell my mom until sometime in the last year or so.

I was so afraid that my mom would react like this family did, that she would be ashamed of or mad at me. I cannot even express how many times I tried to talk about what was happening, what had happened to me. I'd open my mouth to start to talk about it, but then would change the subject or conveniently 'forget' what I was saying. My mom did everything when I was younger to try and make sure that these things she went through as a young girl did not happen to my sister and me, but even all of her careful questions and explanations of good touch/bad touch couldn't overcome the feelings of being abused.

It's only really been within the last year that I've been able to talk more openly about the things that happened to me as a little girl. Even then, I still feel so vulnerable that when people ask me questions about what happened, I can't answer them. Many times, I do want to answer these questions, but the power that these abusers hold over us silence even the most talkative tongues. Other times, I can't describe things I've experienced or even remember what happened. These, of course, end up being the things that people I've spoken to about my abuse want to know about.

If anyone in your life has been sexually abused or assaulted, the most important thing to do is to be supportive and understanding. No one knows exactly what happened to me and, in all likelihood, no one will. It is not that I don't trust the people in my life enough to speak about these things, but there's a pain that exists that can't really be described, even to myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Can See New Years Celebrations Changed Forever

That is, if the Naked Cowboy really ends up being New York's new mayor. I didn't know he had such a good background though, so that might get interesting.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The National

So I went to The National concert last night at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. It was amazing to say the least. If you haven't heard any of their music, you should really go check out Mr. November and Secret Meeting just because they are my favorite songs. The energy that this band brought to the stage was fantastic. The only other band that I've seen get quite as much into their music as The National is Dave Matthews Band (which I haven't seen in person). Anyways, go check em out because they're friggawesome like that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Iran Update

It's been a while since I really wrote on here again.

Even though Iran isn't in the news as much right now, there is still a lot going on over there. People were marching today, despite the fact that the government has tried all it can to stop them. Tear gas, guns, and beatings still aren't enough to keep people in their homes and out of the streets. There are still plenty of people in jail and even some being rearrested. There are more videos and bloggings to be found here.

Tweets from the past hour:

In case u missed; Basij throwing stone at 0:50 mins (youtube) #iranelection

Courage & Bravery! RT: Sanchez calls chants of "death 2 the dictator" "remarkable" #iranelection - Today's people demonstration got to the rudeness by coup de atat forces #iranelection #gr88#iran

Chants "Death to dictator" 18 Tir, Tehran (youtube) #iranelection

Valiasr Sq 18 Tir Tehran protest (youtube) #iranelection #gr88

Compilation of videos from 18 Tir in Tehran (youtube) #iranelection

Unknown location, 18 Tir (youtube) #iranelection #gr88

More videos coming... 18 Tir, Tehran #iranelection

The attack on Amir Kabir Univ dormitories:

Video: We Are Fighting Back, Central 18,00 #iranelection

Amirabad/Hejab St cars blocking street, ppl chanting (youtube) #iranelection

From Iran: Despite being beaten, general feeling is that we WON today! #iranelection

Video: Tehran Uiversity Dorm 20.30 #iranelection

don't say we were hundreds/thousands,Even ppl scared came out #iranelection

Do not underestimate the number of protesters today just bcuz they were scattered. They were at every crossing #iranelection

Mojahedin is not much better than the religious clerics, they're fightin against gvmt 4 their own sake

Reports: Hezbollah Attacked Polytechnic Dorm!#iranelection

Thursday, July 2, 2009

India Decriminalizes Homosexuality

And, of course, like most, the problem began with British occupation:
Homosexuality has been illegal in India since 1861, when British rulers codified a law prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.” The law, known as Section 377 of India’s penal code, has long been viewed as an archaic holdover from colonialism by its detractors.

If you've been living under a rock and don't exactly know what's going on in Iran at all, you can trust the New York Times for a recap.

Who's My Favorite Person Right Now?

Jeff Goldblum :)

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Iran Update

Here are pictures of the ballots. As Andrew Sullivan points out, one can see problems right away.

Texting comes back in Iran.

The Iranian government says 20 protesters were killed in all. I don't believe them, and the Guardian will end up helping to identify the lost and tortured souls. Even if it were thousands, the story behind each martyr would break my heart again. Here's one such story. The interrogation and torture techniques that the Iranian officials are using could have killed hundreds like 04-309, and we would never know. The beatings themselves are absolutely terrible and reprehensible. I can see where the pain and mental anguish would drive someone to kill themselves.

Fort Worth police raided a gay bar and got rid of all their anger, it seems. The Star-Telegram doesn't have anything about the incident. If someone is drunk, they might not get that they are doing anything inappropriate. I think homophobia has played a far bigger role in here than anyone wants to say out loud.

It's not a lot

But it's a start. Wisconsin, a state with a same-sex marriage amendment, has decided to award certain domestic partnership benefits. However, only 43 of the about 200 rights will be available to same-sex couples.