Sunday, June 04, 2006


As I was driving into work yesterday, I listened to This American Life on public radio (KUOW). It's one of the best programs currently on the radio, but I rarely take the time to hear it. Trapped in a car on the way to the store provided a good opportunity and it is one that I am very grateful for. Why? Because I got to hear this story. It is a tale that begins with a joke, then traces the history of the joke to a WWII shipwreck off the coast of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland. The story follows the truth beyond the shipwreck and the joke and tells of how that experience affected the life of a black soldier who was rescued that night. I did not have a dry eye after hearing this wonderful, heart warming tale.

Want some fun? Try looking over one person's compilation of the sexual peccadilloes of the family values crowd. It's exhaustive and exhausting.

A reporter's first hand account of living in Baghdad. He's an Iraqi. He's Sunni. He's not in the green zone and he's not with U.S. troops. Clip:
The reasons people are killed for are absurd to the point of being funny. On the top of my list is wearing shorts. Teenagers in my neighbourhood have been killed for that unforgettable crime and probably it is the reason why two sportsmen who play for the Iraqi Tennis team and their trainer have been murdered...

So people I give you the future of Baghdad. Districts will become tightly controlled fortresses that are ethnically/religiously homogeneous. Outsiders are only let in after being inspected and checked. I really want to go back to Kadhimiya but only after I get my fake Shia ID.
An excellent article - How To Lose The War On Terror. Clip:
Talking and listening, then, are more than a metaphorical construct, a repetition of the Sermon on the Mount, or a faith-based reconciliation program by another name; it is, rather, an attempt to palliate fears, put the individual back at the center of history, and negate the intellectual apartheid that robs words of their content. It is also an attempt to deny the efficacy of those in the West who would refuse Islam the richness of its diversity at the same time that it rejects Islam's rhetoric of the West's collective guilt.

"We know that in war innocent people will die, because this is the nature of war," Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah told us. "But this does not excuse responsibility or negate the requirement that we do everything that we can to save the innocent. This is an ideal that the United States and the West has and this is the ideal that we also have. It is a basis for the beginning of an understanding, because it is this belief that separates us from our enemies in the world and inside of our own societies."
Amnesty International has begun a human rights campaign for the Internet. Noting that human rights now extend to the Internet via the right to free expression, open information, and anonymity in the face of torture and persecution and more, the group is hoping to launch and international campaign to urge companies and governments to ensure these rights. It's going to be a long, uphill battle, but it's a worthwhile one. Sign the online petition. Join the fight.

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