Friday, June 04, 2010

Robert Fisk & Western Leaders

This is one of the shortest articles I have ever read written by Mr. Fisk. Not that he is speechless about Israel's massacre, he wrote other articles about it, but this one particular article aiming at European leaders.

Robert Fisk: Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives

Has Israel lost it? Can the Gaza War of 2008-09 (1,300 dead) and the Lebanon War of 2006 (1,006 dead) and all the other wars and now Monday's killings mean that the world will no longer accept Israel's rule?

Don't hold your breath.

You only have to read the gutless White House statement -- that the Obama administration was “working to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy”. Not a single word of condemnation. And that's it. Nine dead. Just another statistic to add to the Middle East's toll.

But it's not.

In 1948, our politicians -- the Americans and the British -- staged an airlift into Berlin. A starving population (our enemies only three years before) were surrounded by a brutal army, the Russians, who had erected a fence around the city. The Berlin airlift was one of the great moments in the Cold War. Our soldiers and our airmen risked and gave their lives for these starving Germans.

Incredible, isn't it? In those days, our politicians took decisions; our leaders took decisions to save lives. Messrs Attlee and Truman knew that Berlin was important in moral and human as well as political terms.

And on Monday? It was people -- ordinary people, Europeans, Americans, Holocaust survivors -- yes, for heaven's sake, survivors of the Nazis -- who took the decision to go to Gaza because their politicians and their statesmen had failed them.

Where were our politicians on Monday? Well, we had the ridiculous Ban Ki-moon, the White House's pathetic statement, and dear Mr. Blair's expression of “deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life”. Where was Mr. Cameron? Where was Mr. Clegg?

Back in 1948, they would have ignored the Palestinians, of course. It is, after all, a terrible irony that the Berlin airlift coincided with the destruction of Arab Palestine.

But it is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. Our politicians are too spineless, too cowardly, to take decisions to save lives. Why is this? Why didn't we hear courageous words from Messrs Cameron and Clegg?

For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.

And what does this say about Israel? Isn't Turkey a close ally of Israel? Is this what the Turks can expect? Now Israel's only ally in the Muslim world is saying this is a massacre -- and Israel doesn't seem to care.

But then Israel didn't care when London and Canberra expelled Israeli diplomats after British and Australian passports were forged and then provided to the assassins of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It didn't care when it announced new Jewish settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem while Joe Biden, the Vice-President of its erstwhile ally, the United States, was in town. Why should Israel care now?

How did we get to this point? Maybe because we all grew used to seeing the Israelis kill Arabs, maybe the Israelis grew used to killing Arabs. Now they kill Turks. Or Europeans. Something has changed in the Middle East -- and the Israelis (given their extraordinarily stupid political response to the slaughter) don't seem to have grasped what has happened. The world is tired of these outrages. Only the politicians are silent.

(Source: The Independent)


Fisk has pointed out to European and American leaders, indeed, but what about Arab leaders?

I followed the news and all what it came out from the intensive 5 hours meeting in Cairo the day before yesterday was the standard printed out condemnation... and ... a call to "break the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza, by all means".

All news agencies got puzzled by the "by all means" part in the final communique. In addition, news came out that Kuwait was the only country withdrew from the Arab initiative regarding the already dead peace process, but why did other "moderate" Arab countries followed suit?

I guess I blowing in an empty jar

In fact there is no need to add anything to this post.

Mother Prepares Her Son For School

It is amazing how Japanese approach things: with fun and efficiency.

It really makes eyes wide open and jaws drop down while watching them.

Check out the below video

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phoenix Rising

Phoenix is "A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." - The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen

This is how I describe the return of Branwen to blog sphere, because the old blog was removed. However, Branwen is now back, not with one but but two.

The first blog is about aliens, theory and the argument about their existence on earth for longer than we thought, and their impact on earth civilization.

The second is more human side to it, if I may say, it is about the art of love: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

I was taking by surprise for the layout, the effort, the beauty and tenderness of beautiful taste put on these blogs.

Check these blogs out, it worth it as it is joyful as well as informative.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Ages, But Not Forgotten Civilization

Past glories, we all should be proud of our past glories. I am not only referring to the glories of one's country, but it also can be related to a family honorable achievements, take the Kennedy family, for example, and the line of political figures around the years. It can be the opposite and one would be ashamed of his or her family's doing - does families of former dictators ring a bell?

However, there is a big difference between the word "past" and the word "present", adding to that the word "future". We will never honor the glory of the past if we don't do something similar to that.

No one can challenge the facts and history of what beautifully shown in the above video. No one dare to say that Muslim civilization had golden era where it was a portal for the whole world to learn science, literature, business, and many other related aspects of life.

However, anyone can challenge Arab and Muslim countries today and say: what are you achieving now to honor the glory of your past?

I am sure that there are people today, in our time who thought like me and did something. I can mention with honor people like Mustafa Al Aqad, Farouk El-Baz, Naseer Shamma, among many others?

But is this enough for someone to honor his heritage or the legacy of the country he is coming from?

Or is it that people must work harder, prove to themselves first they are unique then to others?

I think that for many a past golden age can be considered now as something else: living through dark ages, and in the hands of its people this civilization would flourish or let it be roaming in such dark times.

The video is uploaded by kbelk85. - Discover more scientific and hi-tech videos.

Advise Yourself

I was browsing through a blog talking about how the person like us look back to his past and forward a question of what to advice a younger-self when the idea about judging actions of one-self, learning from others, teaching others lessons we learn from the past clicked in my exhausted mind.

All this came to my mind in a fraction of a second.

I don't know why my mind drifted into politics when I had these thoughts, maybe because of all the news about elections: elections in Iraq, elections in the Netherlands, and last week first round of the regional elections in France where all my thoughts circulated around it. The news of these election all agree that right parties in France, including president Sarkozy's one received a big slap in the face from the French citizen.

Life is about questions and answers, and we learn by seeking answers to our questions, and this blog had and will continue to have a lot of questions about life. Sharing with other by writing these questions on my blog is one of the ways to find answers for my questions, and learn from others. There are people who never learn from other people lesson and experience and that's why two people know each other and they advice each other, but each fall in the same mistake over and over again. I guess this is some human nature: we advice each other, but we sometimes never take that advice seriously, and fall in the pit

Back to French elections last Sunday: I have been to France twice in the last two months. I talked to people there and the impression I had that no one is happy with the direction and strategy their government is taking, particularly President Sarkozy. In fact there is a growing resentment towards their leader, some called his strategy indirectly as "the Americanization of France" policy. However, Sarkozy's attempt to pull France nationalism away from its people is not the only reason. People there are not happy with the outcome and situation, and this is the reason that they look for another leadership.

This has been proved, of course, last Sunday and we will see the final result next Sunday.

On the other hand, last week Dutch labor party leader, Wouter Bos, has announced his resignation due to family commitments. Shortly after that there was an announcement that the 63 years old current mayor of Amsterdam, decided to take the helm and became the new leader of the prominent political party. Cohen's move has been widely praised, because he will be the party's representative in upcoming general elections in June.

Job Cohen, I want to emphasize, is known for his strong personality and acknowledged political career, so he is not just "another" politician who is trying his luck by going out and spray words against this ethnic group or gather people in a specific park to announce the birth of a new party while bashing another ethnic group.

Yesterday, a survey took place among Dutch citizens and the result was shocking: if general elections took place on the day of the survey, Job Cohen would be the next Prime Minister so easily, on the account of other political parties, such as that of SP and PVV (I rather call it Wilder's political sect than Free Netherlands party).

Isn't that enough indication that voting for Wilders in the last municipal elections was done out of emotional rather than rational look at things?

I wrote about these elections here)

I talked once or twice about emotional factor, and I talked once or twice about how fear is the main reason behind people rallying behind Wilders in last election until this day, but comparing the results of yesterday's survey with the results of the regional elections in the Netherlands a couple of weeks ago shows how the Dutch citizen is looking for a symbol to have them united. Like any citizen from any population living on this planet, no difference between third world or first world country, every citizen in every country is looking for a leader to look up to. Observing the lack of satisfaction with current leaders the people in the Netherlands began looking somewhere else. This has been taken advantage by people like Geert Wilders (among other things he took advantage of, such as bad attitude of some Moroccan teenagers on street and put that attitude on the shoulders of the whole Muslim community all around the country and in whole Europe.

The result is natural when you are afraid and looking for someone to unite you, in fact to protect you: you choose for him.

Yesterday's survey in the Netherlands, and the result of France's regional elections are good lessons for the voter to prepare for the next elections in June. People with extreme ideology, people with hatred against other people must not be given the chance, because these are not the standards for living together regardless of ethnic background, race, nationality.

How many lessons it takes for a human being to learn and to be able to choose what is right and what is wrong?

Or do we need some Yoga to exercise our brains on how to forecast a disaster that might take place in a peaceful country?

But why forecasting? We have enough lessons from the past: Hitler's extermination machine is still in people minds, when he ripped off society from the concept of living together, peacefully.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Damage!!!

Another damage Geert Wilders will definitely make to his own country, according to Bernard Wientjes, chairman of The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, based on the article below.

Well done, Geert, for being fanatic, keep your racist sick-mind the way it is, boy.

Geert Wilders became one of the sources to mess up society in a beautiful small country after gradually poisoned the minds of some of its people.

Check out the news article below:

The head of the Dutch employers' federation has accused far-right politician Geert Wilders of "seriously" damaging Dutch interests abroad.

Bernard Wientjes, who chairs The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), said it was outrageous that Mr Wilders recently presented himself in London as the next Dutch prime minister and then derided Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as "a complete fool". Mr Wilders' statement, which was broadcast around the world, caused shock in the British press.

Mr Wientjes, who heads the largest employers' organisation in the Netherlands, says Mr Wilders poses a serious threat to the Netherlands and the Dutch economy. He underlined that three quarters of Dutch GDP comes from revenues earned abroad.

Mr Wientjes stressed that his federation will do business with any Dutch cabinet, including one joined by Mr Wilders' PVV party. But he emphasised that he hoped Mr Wilders party would not be included in the next government following parliamentary elections on 9 June.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What's Wrong With Your Finger?????

Second day in the week today, I won't be able to count the number of time I have been asked this question from people at work:

"What's wrong with your index finger?" ...

"Is there something happened to you last weekend?"

I have to explain to them over and over again that there were elections in Iraq, to choose the next parliament, and I took part in it, and that every single person must have his index finger dipped a little in purple ink after giving vote.

The remark by most of those heard the story? "aaaah, yes, I saw that in the news"

Sorry, my mistake, I was not planning to let half of my index finger inked, I was in a hurry to vote and leave.

Mistaken Identity

I was standing outside in the cold weather in spite of the beautiful sunny day, smoking a cigarette with two of my colleagues, when a colleague from a former department joined us. Immediately after greetings us he looked at me with concern in his eyes. I thought he was sympathyising with me because of how I look with my heavy jacket and tsal tight around my neck and my deep voice because of the flue. In stead he asked with care "do you have family members affected by that horrible earthquick?" I was puzzeled, not because I knew what he was talking about, he meant the earthquick in Turkey yesterday, but because we knew each other for years, used to work together in the same department!

Some time ago I had to work late, three colleagues were with me. We finished our part of the work and had to wait for another team to resume work, so we had some time off to exchange jokes and talks. One of the colleagues asked me "how is the situation over there now? I mean in your country of origin?" that colleague and I became aqcuainted since we worked together on a one week project more than 4 years ago. That colleague told me on the first day of the project that "I admit it and not ashamed, but I do hate foreigners so much", because of the bad things foreingers do where she lives. After I finished telling news on Iraq I noticed another colleague looking at me with puzzlement, and her green eyes were wide open. I asked her if I said something wrong. With hesitation she said "nnn... no, but... no, nothing is wrong" I insisted and told her to say what's on her mind, she replied "well... I thought you are from another country, and not Iraq". By the way, I knew that colleague for more than a year. I asked her which? she said "I don't know, I thought one of these countries... I mean I thought you are from Afghanistan"

I won't be fooled by the Spanish begger when it happened a couple of years ago. SI was standing next to the entrance of a restraunt when she approached me and started asking questions. When I told her that I don't speak Italian, with a fake smile she told me "I would not notice, you look like any Italian handsome man". Anyway, I will never be fooled by this, however, my features cannot by any means resembles that of Turkish, neither it is any close to be identified as Afghani.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Iron Maiden & Dream Theater on One Show??!!

Metal heads in the U.S. and Canada are lucky this year because they have the chance to see Iron Maiden and Dream Theater as the two great bands will tour the continent this summer.

I did not have the chance back in 2007 to see both bands on the same event when I attended Fields or Rock festival, because I only went to day 1, which enabled me to see Maiden, Dio's Black Sabbath (sorry.. its called Heaven and Hell now), Slayer, among many other great bands. Day 2 had Dream Theater, Ozzy Osbourne and Motorhead and Megadeath, but as I said I mentioned earlier, I could not stay because I only bought tickets for day 1.

And yes, I do regret that

I have seen Iron Maiden show a number of times since their singer, Bruce Dickinson rejoined the band in 1999. In fact I have see them on their reunion tour back then. I also had the chance to see Dream Theater last October in Rotterdam, Ahoy, but to see both in one show, this is really a dream come true.

Hoepfully both bands would extend their north american tour to include European Festivals, no one knows!

By the way, the title of this tour, Final Frontier, is taken from upcoming Iron Maiden album with the same name, which will hit the market late summer. I think the "Eddie" picture we see here is related to the album artwork... something to do with space or Star Trek type of songs this time????

It makes me wonder if this is the last Iron Maiden album ever to be made, especially that I read couple of years ago Steve Harris hinting about the band making only 15 albums in their music career!!!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pethatic Elissa

In October 2008 I wrote about Elissa.

Not on a regular basis, but I noticed something intersting on my blog. A lot of people, and I mean it, a lot and a lot of people visit my blog for the purpose to read the above post on Elissa. They are either rerouted from Google or some other links on other websites.

If you are a fan of Elissa or like, someone who despise her music and her voice in particular, I would love to read a comment and exchange ideas. I am still wondering why would someone who look for specific article or topic and have the chance to comment, just read and never leave a single word or a sentence.

Unless I was harsh on the girl

But I can't see otherwise... Elissa is one of the screwed up female singers in the Arab world, period, because she can't sing.

I listened to the latest album and while I was in France I also heard the single Orient radio station kept on broadcasting almost on daily basiss, which in my opinion is an attempt by her to relive the glory she had when she put out her first ever single a couple of years ago.

Anyway, neither the album, nor this singer worth to take the time to write a preview on a single song from that album.

The verdict? isn't that obvious? she must not sing, she should simply quit, because it is worse than feeling pethatic for Elissa

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Municipal Elections in the Netherlands

gemeenteraadsverkiezingen As expected by many, the three major parties the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Labor Party (PvdA) and VVD remained in their position as the favorites among Dutch, yet, the loss of votes is a source of concern for them. Voters decided today to give their voters to other competing political parties, such as the PVV (Geert Wilders), which became the second largest party in the capital, the Hague, and the Groen Links (Green Party) where it became the largest party in Utrecht, in addition to small local parties in different cities in the Netherlands.

I don't know what is the secret but D66 did great and scored big time in many cities like Amsterdam, Leiden and Delft - the bond between this party with students is strong, I guess that is the reason.

The boost that the PVV (party of Geert Wilders), in particular, got from this elections is the center of focus, naturally because of its controversial personality of its leader and his hostile (and on many occasions reckless remarks). It is no surprise to me (this has been predicted in various news forecasts in the past weeks) that Den Haag (the Hague) and the city of Almere would be the golden chicken.

The Labor party, a party favorable by thousands of immigrants, is back based on tonight's result and according to the speech of its leader, Wouter Bos, but the challenge for the Labor party is immense, because from now on till the date of the general elections in June the Netherlands will witness a fierce that would change the face of the country's political system. The same goes with other major parties, of course, the neck to neck competition between left and right has been going for more than 4 years, many new faces and new political parties and entities want to prove themselves as the best for the country, in fact, a lot from those politicians learned big lessons from the past years and they don't want to disappoint the voter in 3 months time. For that reason there will be a lot to talk about, a lot to be heard and a lot to do by each party.

The emphasize, I think, will always be on Den Haag, this is where politician reside and where they should do the most work. Evidence is today’s results which is the most surprising.  

I see that in their debates, all major parties, exception is PVV, sit with each other, congratulate each other, and discuss everything; from the future of the country (who is ready to put differences aside and discuss coalitions), share responsibility (as one collective force to lift the country through the current economic crisis), and admit failure on some aspects (the fall of the government last week). Remember, this country made the impossible by having a government that consists of both right and left in one coalition.

Speaking of the fall of the government, it is natural, because it is almost impossible to have unity of two entirely separate ideologies and have them sail one ship towards the high seas, especially when the country is sinking in all problems plagued by global economic crisis.

The conclusion from all this is loud and clear: 4 years went by and still one thing dominates common Dutch citizen mind: emotions. It sounds awkward, taking into the consideration how Dutch mentality is known as being rational and not emotional, but it doesn't seem the case when it comes to vote for political entities.

There are emotions expressed by the immigrants from being harassed by extreme right parties, this is one of the reason they vote for the labor party. On the other hand, we see the popularity of Wilder's party take a boost up due to the fear of many Dutch from losing their own identity in addition to the fear from what they consider Islamic threat. In the middle of that, we see people who focus on detailed issues related to daily life and the requirement from the government to provide better support and services for the common citizen.

Will the picture becomes clearer in June when the general elections would take place? In other words, will the voter will go and make up his mind to select either right or left? this remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking Over Traffic System

Fake or not, that's cool