Archive for July, 2008

Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian detainee

An Israeli human rights group release video footage showing Israeli soldiers shooting a Palestinian detainee. The prisoner was already in handcuffs and the footage shows that he was not struggling. He was shot on the leg from close range and the BBC reported that it was a rubber-coated steel bullet.

The article alleged that the person holding the detainee was a soldier with the rank of lieutenant colonel. The video was shot by a young girl in the town of Nilin.

What’s next?

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Campaigning — the musical

Great video from the guys at jibjab. Freaking hilarious!

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What’s the obsession with sodomy?

Here is a bit of a background. About 9 years ago I moved to the US from Malaysia at a time of heightened political tensions in an otherwise boring political scene. I guess when it comes to politics boring is good cause it means stability.

Then in the fateful year of 1998 (I think, it was a long time ago) the rising star of politics and deputy to the legendary Mahathir, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim was accused of among several things sodomizing somebody. This was right around the time of the Clinton-Lewinsky saga and while America had its stained dress, Malaysian authorities could be seen bringing a semen-stained mattress to court. This was the main piece of evidence against Anwar and needless to say his career suffered a huge setback. In fact, he was sentenced to prison and served several years behind bars.

The sodomy charges were eventually overturned on appeal and Mahathir has since resigned. Today, with a severely weakened leadership in office and pressure from minority groups for reform, Anwar is once again a rising star in the political scene. Talk about persistence. He now has his own opposition party and he was making enormous headway in the latest elections.

So how does the Malaysian version of The Man keep him in check? Well let’s just say he’s not that creative and Anwar is facing renewed sodomy charges from a young intern. Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with this and speculations are all over the spectrum. Some are saying he is after all gay and that old habits die hard. Others (mainly supporters) argue that the intern was sent as a mole and the allegations are fabricated to ruin his career again. Of course the latter doesn’t answer the question of why a political intern with a promising future would jeopardize his chances with allegations like these?

An insider (who shall remain anonymous) connected to the inner circle of the ruling party has told me stories of widespread corruption and quite frankly it’s hard to know who to believe. But one thing I do know for sure, and let this be to all future leaders, if you want to destroy your enemies, sodomy allegations work like a charm.

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Reality TV

These past few months, thanks to the NBA playoffs, I upgraded my TV channel listing from your run-of-the-mill network TV (ie. NBC, ABC, PBS, etc.) to the state-of-the-art digital basic cable. Because basic cable doesn’t include HBO or Showtime or any other channel that has new commercial free movies, you are pretty much limited to either the news, espn, or reality shows.

In the past, and I know this cause it’s been 3 years since I had cable, reality shows were not so common place and they were limited to a few channels here and there. Today, they are on almost every channel and it is getting hard to keep up. So to make things easier, here is a little summary of the different shows you can expect to see.

1 – The house. This is not the technical term for it but essentially describes what’s going on. What you basically have is a big house with a bunch of people living in it, doing the most mundane things like taking a shower, eating and sleeping. But here is the catch. These people are chosen based on their psychological instability (the crazier you are the better your chances) and history of substance abuse (mostly due to some sort of childhood trauma). Suddenly every meal is a potential food fight, every shower is a hookup opportunity, and every “house meeting” is a chance for one crazy person to point out how crazy everyone else is. You gotta appreciate their attempt at making sense of things in the confession booth.

2 – The challenge. These Survivor type shows are the new actions movies. You get to see regular people survive nature’s fury or race across the world. Forget Rambo, these people hunt, sabotage, deceive, and will turn on one another in a heartbeat. There are the good guys and the villains and everyone has their favorite to win. And as a plus, you get to see them exercise their constitutional right to vote some one off the show/island on every episode. How American is that?. What’s even more American is that the winner usually gets a large sum of money and ends up bankrupt by the next season.

3 – Real love. Remember how Cinderella went to the ball because the prince was looking for a wife? All those women wearing their best clothes and on their best behavior trying to get his attention. Now take that same concept but place those women in a big house for a few weeks, add a TV crew, a few challenges for them to undertake, and the all too important elimination round where those who remain get a rose/key/clock. Oh and even after prince charming finds his true love, make sure you catch season two because you know it’s not gonna last (it is reality, not a fairytale).

4 – The job interview. At some point, most adults need some form of employment to sustain themselves and their families. It is and has been part of reality since the inception of Man and today it is part of most reality shows. Whether you’re the next top model or fashion designer, whether you’re making the band or making people laugh, there is a reality show for you. Long gone are the days of job interviews. Just because you got that MBA from Harvard doesn’t meant The Donald isn’t going to “fire” you. As Dave Chappelle so eloquently put it: if you want to make P. Diddy’s band you best be ready to get him some “Cambodian breast milk.”

Reality shows are the new drug. First we’re shocked and entertained and then we start to develop a tolerance. Shows like Springer and Maury, where people talk about the things they did with their best friend’s wife or sister, don’t cut it any more. They’re a gateway drug like marijuana and we suddenly crave something more. We want to see how the twins (appropriately named Thing One and Thing Two) are fighting for the same washed-up rapper rather than hear them talk about it after the fact. Even that will get old and I wonder what it will take before we hit rock bottom. Fotunately, we can always count on VH1 to keep lowering the bar.

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Bring the soldiers home…word.

Ian Brown– Illegal Attacks

So what the fuck is this UK
Gunnin’ with this US of A
In Iraq and Iran and in Afghanistan

Does not a day go by
Without the Israeli Air Force
Fail to drop it’s bombs from the sky?

How many mothers to cry?
How many sons have to die?
How many missions left to fly over Palestine?
‘Cause as a matter of facts
It’s a pact, it’s an act
These are illegal attacks
So bring the soldiers back
These are illegal attacks
It’s contracts for contacts
I’m singing concrete facts
So bring the soldiers back

What mean ya that you beat my people
What mean ya that you beat my people
And grind the faces of the poor

So tell me just how come were the Taliban
Sat burning incense in Texas
Roaming round in a Lexus
Sittin’ on six billion oil drums
Down with the Dow Jones, up on the Nasdaq
Pushed into the war zones

It’s a commercial crusade
‘Cause all the oil men get paid
And only so many soldiers come home
It’s a commando crusade
A military charade
And only so many soldiers come home

Soldiers, soldiers come home
Soldiers come home

Through all the blood and sweat
Nobody can forget
It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight
It’s the size of the fight in the dog on the day or the night
There’s no time to reflect
On the threat, the situation, the bark nor the bite
These are commercial crusades
‘Cos all the oil men get paid
These are commando crusades
Commando tactical rape
And from the streets of New York and Baghdad to Tehran and Tel Aviv
Bring forth the prophets of the Lord
From dirty bastards fillin’ pockets
With the profits of greed

These are commercial crusades
Commando tactical raids
Playin’ military charades to get paid

And who got the devils?
And who got the Lords?
Build yourself a mountain – Drink up in the fountain
Soldiers come home
Soldiers come home
Soldiers come home
Soldiers come home

What mean ya that you beat my people
What mean ya that you beat my people
And grind the faces of the poor

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