9/11 on Both Sides

I usually do not like to talk about this day because it is very weighed and personal in its nature. However, this thoughtful perspective on the commemoration of September 11 forced me to make an exception. This is an excerpt of the piece written by Ben Cohen, editor-founder of The Daily Banter.

But today should serve not only as a reminder of the crime, but the enormous spirit of collaboration, kindness and humanity that came after it. The world watched in amazement as Americans came together to help each other, citizens risking their lives to pull strangers out of the rubble, money flooding in from rich and poor alike to help victims, monuments, vigils, charities, support groups and a limitless well of empathy. It was an amazing spectacle and a testament to the strength of human decency in the face of brutality.

9/11 was a tragedy and we should remember not only the Americans who died, but the Afghanis and Iraqis who suffered too. Because if we don’t, we risk repeating the same mistakes again – the belief that the outside world doesn’t matter with people whose lives are unimportant. We found out on 9/11 that our interference in the outside world has consequences, that they will fight back and use violence to achieve their ends, just as we will. Because violence begets violence, and once you start it is almost impossible to stop.

Perhaps we could remember the victims of 9/11 and pay homage to their unwitting sacrifice by stopping the cycle. And that starts with the understanding that our lives are not more important than theirs and remembering their suffering in equal part to our own.

 

If you don’t view juxtaposition as mind game, read on.

 

Below are a few images from IsraelLovesIran.com. It was started by a father/teacher/graphic designer who was tired of feeling helpless by the growing distorted communication between the people of the two nations. He put up a poster online with his daughter in hand and a remarkably penetrative, succinct caption. On the website it says:

Within hours tens of Israelis posted their own pictures with the same message.

After 24 hours messages from Iran started to arrive. People, moved to tears, wrote back “we love you too”. Today, just few month later, we are a community of 63 countries.
More than 67000 people are on our web-page.

New Pages from around the world  with the same message and same logo are born every week… we call this movement for peace : The ”WE LOVE YOU” community.

They have received millions of hits and news organizations from around the world have mentioned this movement.

Needless to say, I am deeply moved.

Consider spreading the word.

 

Ronny Edry, the man who started it all.

Know any good Arab jokes?

Yes, I know, dangerous territory. No one likes beating the underdog… but comedian Russel Peters does not mind. He also has a point.

A little R rated but funny.

Will the environment suffer if the world’s poor get a better standard of living?

The answer is, no. According to Oxfam:

  • Providing enough food for the 13% of the world’s people who suffer from hunger means raising world food supplies by just 1%.
  • Providing electricity to the 19% of people who currently have none would raise global carbon emissions by just 1%.
  • Bringing everyone above the global absolute poverty line ($1.25 a day) would need just 0.2% of global income.
  • In other words, it is not the needs of the poor that threaten the biosphere, but the demands of the rich. Half the world’s carbon emissions are produced by just 11% of its people, while, with grim symmetry, 50% of the world’s people produce just 11% of its emissions. Animal feed used in the EU alone, which accounts for just 7% of the world’s people, uses up 33% of the planet’s sustainable nitrogen budget.

So it is the rich that are using up the global resource budget.

Toss these statistics at someone’s face the next time they tell you that feeding the poor means your next bill at Walmart or Carrefour is going to cost more; I like to stand armed.

 

You can read the full article by George Monbiot at the Guardian from where this information was obtained.

Euro 2012 music and Love

National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland

Is anyone else watching the Euro 2012 games as intently as me? May the best team win (that does not have Christiano Ronaldo).

The music released for the games is seriously dismal. The official song is Endless Summer and, well… UEFA, next time don’t go cheap and just hire Shakira. Endless Summer is as cliched, insipid and forcibly patched up as they come; it is the musical equivalent of a TV dinner.

However, the Irish provided a silver lining. Their own official song Rocky Road to Ireland for the game is pretty darn catchy, even if a little too love-thy-country. This too is cliched but here it works. I don’t mean to be cruel but it is ironic to hear them chant “You can’t defeat the Irish” so many times and know their standing now. Hmmmm. But I wish them luck for the next games… how can I not when an entire country has an accent like that!?

 

I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li is not an official song but one of the songs from the Euro 2012 game’s soundtrack. I am impressed!

If you have not heard it until now, you Will have to press ‘repeat’. Its video is cool too, literally, though I laughed the first time I saw the woman run — don’t flap your arms!

The Woman In Black in Siberia.

 

Lastly, and agreeably out of place, here is a delightful animated story on love I found on All About Lemon.

Are Americans stupid? News, election, freedom, and hysterical laughter

Today is about news, so I’ve brightly painted the Exit signs in advance.

I'm the guy in red

It is difficult to pick one particular piece that’s good by George Monbiot, writer and journalist for The Guardian. He is the last person you would want to debate with because he knows his stuff and the good thing he is on our side. In this column he talks about how “libertarianism, once a noble impulse, become synonymous with injustice?”

Time magazine often has special covers for its US issue. Are Americans stupid? What do you think.

 

Since no matter where you live you will be bombarded with US presidential race, why not refresh on how it breaks down. Here is a quick rundown of US Primary elections (delegates and super delegates), the Electoral College (winner takes all, no popular vote) and how both are ridiculously flawed. You can become president with just 24% of the popular vote! Three times in American history the candidate with more votes actually lost because of the Electoral College.

To leave with a lighter, more hopeful thought: it’s OK to make a fool of yourself.

Who is the Roman Goddess of love? =)  : ) )

 

Don’t go bananas over apple — the real Steve Jobs

Most of the buzz around Steve Jobs and his wondrous contribution to the world has gone now but I still think it useful to keep things in perspective on the man. He was not a messiah, crusader, or even a genius. He was just very good at what he did.

Apple does not come out with the smartest products. They tweak things that are already out and capitalize on their cool underdog factor.

He was an innovator, not inventor. He was temperamental and could get loud and rude with friends, colleagues, or even nurses.

He borrowed the characteristic features of the Macintosh—the mouse and the icons on the screen—from the engineers at Xerox PARC, after his famous visit there, in 1979. The first portable digital music players came out in 1996. Apple introduced the iPod in 2001.

This is from a piece in The New Yorker by none other than Malcom Gladwell on the other side of Jobs.

I have nothing against the man. It was sad the way he passed but it is still important to see all the sides of something.