Sunday, October 24, 2010

From the NYTimes: In the Mideast, No Politics, but God's

Interesting article and analysis as always in the New York Times: So the fall of Nasser was the start of rising fundamentalism in the Muslim world.

Gone are the dreams of an "Arab nation" who would include all Muslim sects and the Christians (for after all, there are/were a lot of Christians in the Middle East, Christianity predates Islam...) gone the possibility for the Arab World to unite and, under an "Oumma Arabiya" banner,  ensur economical and social progress in the Maghreb, the Machrek and the Arabian Peninsula.

Instead, theocracy prevails under the banner of an "Oumma Islamiya". It argues that being less "nationalistic/ethnic" as it includes every Muslim from South East Asia, Middle East, Central Asia, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe now, it has more legitimacy.  Except that theocracy is the death of democracy...

Until secularism prevails, the MidEast, and by extension, all of the "Oumma Islamiya", poses a risk for minorities living among them, for women and for social, economic and political progress.

In hindsight, the only ones to blame are the Western "democracies" who brought down Nasser and allowed for fundamentalism to take over secular societies in the MidEast.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mean Girls: It Starts Younger... Very Scary!

 This New York Times article
rightly claims that some Moms are responsible for their daughters' meanness, based on the fact that if their daughters are showing such signs, it is because they are "popular" and therefore feel invincible and protected by some kind of "popular immunity". Mean girls' mothers are fixated on their progeniture's "popularity" part and forgo any chance and opportunity to teach them kindness, ethics, compassion and empathy.

To illustrate yesterday's article in the New York Times about girls getting meaner at a younger age, the great feminist blog "Jezebel" has found 5 examples in classic children's literature and their TV adaptations for some of them:

I still remember Nellie Olsen from the TV series adapted from Laura Ingalls' book, the world-wide famous "Little House on the Prairie." That is probably the best illustration for yesterday's NYTimes article: indeed, Nellie's Mom also fits the image of the Mean Girl's Mean Mother.

It is one thing... wanting our daughters to be Alpha Females ready to take up the world and be what they want to be (just like boys), and it is a totally different thing to assume -WRONGLY- that an Alpha Female is the one who, at 2 years old, can mimick Alicia Keys (as said in the NYTimes article) or is cute wearing sexualized grown-up attire... What are we doing to our daughters, for God's sake?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bikers to the Rescue: an Act of Love & Respect

On Monday, I was driving back from a work trip to ... Costco in Arlington. At the Lincoln Memorial, cars were stopped to let a funeral drive by going towards Arlington Memorial Cemetery. I was very impressed: ahead of the funeral procession, bikers on their Harley were leading the hearse and all the cars. I thought the dead soldier was a Vietnam Vet. Then I read the paper on Tuesday and again this morning, and discovered that the fallen soldier was young, one more victim of the current wars, and that the reason Vietnam Vets bikers were there was to PROTECT their comrade in arms, to create a "noisy" barrier against the hateful, loud, disrespectful and tacky demonstration of Westboro Baptist Church... the very Church who blames soldiers 's death on the fact that "homosexuality is taking over America," saying that God is killing soldiers because of "America's sin."

BIKERS, YOU ARE THE BEST, and I say THANK GOD for bikers! As for the Westboro Baptist Church, I hope to God they lose their case at the Supreme Court. First Amendment should be amended when it becomes an intrusion on private life, especially at its most painful moments: the funeral of a loved one.
Read the article signed by Doug Gansler, Maryland's Attorney General:

And here is a picture I took in 2009, on Rolling Thunder Day, when 500,000 bikers come to DC: