Through The Static

June 29, 2008

Hussein in the MemBrains: SoLidarity in the PoLarity?

Filed under: Activism,Grassholes,Idiots,Politics,Wake Up Call — bobbleheadedbob @ 11:22 pm

BobbLebot is in the process of changing its planetary address so shall be out of commission.  Humanoids, reJoiCe!  (though this victory shall only be TEMPORARY…!)

Oy(L).  Sometimes the BobbLebot can compute how humanoids have arrived to conclusions of solidarity, what their ultimate designs are, especially in the interests of electing the first humanoid of color into a White Supremacy House…and yet, the rationale is troubling.

As reported by the New York Times,

Obama Supporters Take His Name as Their Own:

Bama Supporters

Interesting.  Oh, Bama supporters,what pale skin you have!  Love how the token tan man and the one woman are pushed out off center and to the side.  It really crystallizes and drives home what this campaign is all about.

Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.

“Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.

With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.

The result is a group of unlikely-sounding Husseins: Jewish and Catholic, Hispanic and Asian and Italian-American, from Jaime Hussein Alvarez of Washington, D.C., to Kelly Hussein Crowley of Norman, Okla., to Sarah Beth Hussein Frumkin of Chicago.

Auuuugh…  HolyTropicThunderRobertDowneyJr.  DammitGwynethPaltrowIamAfrica.  OhMyHeteroFratBoyWearingAThisIsWhatAFeministLooksLikeTshirt.

::gasp – !::

So this is what solidarity looks like?

::strikes a mechanized pose::

Oy(L).

Mr. Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim. Hussein is a family name inherited from a Kenyan father he barely knew, who was born a Muslim and died an atheist. But the name has become a political liability. Some critics on cable television talk shows dwell on it, while others, on blogs or in e-mail messages, use it to falsely assert that Mr. Obama is a Muslim or, more fantastically, a terrorist.

Let’s deconstruct this paragraph, shall we?  The first two sentences assertively distance Obama from Islam.  How?  By first asserting he is a Christian, NOT a Muslim. In the second sentence, Obama INHERITED his name – he couldn’t help it.  What’s more – ! – the person who gave him his Muslim name wasn’t even properly Muslim!  Oh, the injustice of FATE!

Obama couldn’t HELP being born with a Muslim name, just like ur best friend’s big sister couldn’t HELP being gay.  She was born with it.  She couldn’t help herself.

Third sentence: fact.

Fourth sentence: a projection of something beyond innocent indignance.  Translation: how can these bad bloggers and pundits POSSIBLY label Obama as a TERRORIST?!  This is RidiCuLous!  He isn’t even a real MusLim!  <— Oooooooooooh… hey, hold up, there, leftie-loosey — let’s not get all righty-tighty on issue just yet.

Why?  This frames Muslim affiliation as a pathogen of sorts that Obama needs to be absolved of.  To use an anaology, let’s use Nemo and his gimpy fin.

gimpy fin

Following that same logic, it’s like getting Dorrie and Nemo’s clownfish dad to voluntarily tuck one fin to the side, in a symbolic gesture of solidarity to Nemo’s HANDICAP.  Cuz that’s what Obama’s name is: a handicap.  A malfunction.  So to get (mostly) White people (though non-Muslims-of-color are involved as well) to take on the middle name of Hussein on their Facebook profiles and email signatures — isn’t that a little… no, patriotic’s not the word, what was it… oh yeah — PATRONIZING?!

“I am sick of Republicans pronouncing Barack Obama’s name like it was some sort of cuss word,” Mr. Strabone wrote in a manifesto titled “We Are All Hussein” that he posted on his own blog and on dailykos.com.

And We Are All Africa.

It’s one of those things that just takes off, because everybody got it right away,” said Stephanie Miller, a left-leaning comedian who blurted out the idea one day during a broadcast of her syndicated radio talk show and repeated it on CNN.

Ms. Miller and her fellow new Husseins are embracing the traditionally Muslim name even as the Obama campaign shies away from Muslim associations. Campaign workers ushered two women in head scarves out of a camera’s range at a rally this month in Detroit. (The campaign has apologized.) Aides canceled a December appearance on behalf of Mr. Obama by Representative Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and the first Muslim congressman.

OY.  So how do we solve this conundrum?  Islam’s been pathologized, so the Obama campaign responds to it like it IS a pathogen.  A virus.  So Obama supporters attempt to create a vaccine of some sort — take a portion of the germy cultures, multiply it in internet petri dishes, and then fight to innoculate the Islamophobia.  At the same time, are they the right people to do this?

The thing is, We Are Not All Africa.  Dorrie and Nemo’s clown fish dad don’t really have gimpy fins — and can untuck them at a moment’s notice.  Or when Dorrie forgets.  Gwyneth Paltrow and Lucy Liu can erase their face paint — I mean, after the photo shoot’s over with, how African are they, really?  What exactly does it mean, “We Are Africa”?  Does it mean that “We” (the privileged celebrities) all bleed the same blood?  If so, what does this all really mean, when we don’t even drink the same water, eat the same food, work under comparative conditions of labor?  Who is “we”?  What is “we”?  Can we truly be a “We” if we can readily access a towel to wipe off the face paint, if we can jet out of Zambia the second this sh*t gets too hot?

Doesn’t this come off as disingenous and patronizing to any of y’all???

Why is there a need for the solidarity of the privileged for something that’s perceived as undesireable to be legitimized in the eyes of the many?

The thing is, the middle names on the Facebook profiles can be deleted as quickly as you can log in another status update.  No.  No.  We are not all Hussein, and can’t know what it is to be a Hussein.  Unless we were born as a Hussein.  Lived as a Hussein.  Interacted with the world as a Hussein.

This is as bad as Tyra Banks living on the streets for a day.  The thing is, Tyra, you can go back home to your comfortable-arse bed and 3-million-dollar home at the end of the day.  The thing is, all you faux-Husseins can erase your names as soon as the campaign’s over, Clovers.

Solidarity?  For reals?  THIS is what solidarity looks like?  Okay, fine, then.

So what’s the point in having this breed of solidarity when the campaign can’t even swallow solid food?

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June 13, 2008

Squashing the Beef in S. Korea

Filed under: Activism,Food,Government,Health,Politics,World News — disciplepete @ 3:56 pm

More on the beef thang, from Al Jazeera:

The US government says it will encourage US beef exporters to label meat showing the age of cows slaughtered in a bid to ease tensions in South Korea.

Protesters have been demonstrating in Seoul for weeks over a new trade deal that would resume beef imports from the US five years after a ban was imposed…

…Such an approach could be a way to address anger in South Korea without altering an April agreement that fully resumes beef imports that were banned after a case of mad cow disease was detected in the US in 2003…

Protesters have given the government a June 20 deadline to come up with a better deal on the US beef imports…

Ben Nelson, a Democrat from the cattle-producing state of Nebraska, opposed banning older cattle, saying the move might prompt other countries to demand such concessions.

“They created the problem; they’re going to have to find solutions,” he said, blaming the South Korean government for successfully stoking fears that US beef was unsafe.

 

 

June 10, 2008

Large Beef Protests in South Korea

Filed under: Activism,Food,Government,Health,Politics,World News — disciplepete @ 5:05 pm

Ok, so apparently this beef protest is pretty serious, serious enough that cabinet members of the government have offered to resign. I’ll let Al fill you in:

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of the South Korean capital as objections to a plan to resume imports of US beef continued to escalate.

An estimated 70,000 demonstrators gathered in Seoul on Tuesday evening, despite South Korea’s cabinet offering to take responsibility for the turmoil and resign.

The mass gathering in Seoul was the latest in days of sometimes violent demonstrations demanding that the beef deal be scrapped or renegotiated…

…In April, Lee [South Korea’s President] agreed to lift almost all restrictions on imports of US beef, which had been banned since 2003 after a single case of mad cow disease was detected in the US.

Critics said that the decision to lift the ban was undemocratic and designed purely to clear the way for a free trade deal with the US.

Economic issues in South Korea surely aren’t helping matters, and President Lee Myung-bak has sunk to Bush-esque levels of domestic popularity pretty quickly:

On Tuesday a labour union representing 13,000 lorry drivers and transport workers announced it was calling a strike in protest at soaring oil prices…

…Lee was elected to office last year after campaigning on a pledge to revive South Korea’s economic growth. His victory marked the biggest landslide in South Korean electoral history.

But with protests continuing to grow, barely six months later Lee’s approval rating has plummeted to just 20 per cent.

Adding to the pressure, the embattled president warned on Tuesday that South Korea’s economy was facing serious problems over rising inflation and slowing growth…

…South Korea relies almost wholly on imports of most energy, food and raw materials, making it especially vulnerable to currently skyrocketing global commodity prices.

It’s interesting that the U.S. beef issue has been the spark to mobilize so many people. I just wonder if there have been any similar reactions to U.S. beef imports anywhere else, and if not, why not? Why is this happening in South Korea? Is it really even primarlily about beef among the people there, or is the beef thing just the straw that broke the camel’s back? Or is the beef issue just symbolic for resentment towards U.S. influence on South Korea? These are questions I pose to those in the know.

June 8, 2008

OMGZ! No More Hangovers. It’s SCIENCE. Buy NOW!

Filed under: Activism,Drinking,Education,Science,Technology — bobbleheadedbob @ 8:39 am

Consider this the sequel to my Hungover postage. Without the vomitous pumpkins and red cups, yups.

INFOMERCIAL VOICE: A new product’s on the market, and consider it the EmerGen-C to alcohol. FOR REALS. It’s called Sobrietal and it supposedly cuts down your blood alcohol level by 56% percent. Worried about that Breathalyzer (sp, too lazy) test? Or getting to class post-kegger? Sobrietal can help. And SO CAN YOU!

Here’s some of the breakdown from the product website:

Sobrietol® is the only product that actually reduces blood alcohol levels. It was developed at the University of Georgia under a grant, in part, from the National Institutes of Health.

Sobrietol® was found to decrease the level of blood alcohol by 56% in independent tests as measured by Oregon State Troopers. The next day will be like you didn’t drink at all!

Many products claim to eliminate hangovers. Only Sobrietol® is proven to remove alcohol from the body (and it’s patent precludes other companies from copying the technology). Replenishing vitamins and nutrients is great but ridding your body of excess alcohol is the key when one has over consumed.

The thing is, though, that you have to take it before drinking or during. So if it’s reducing your blood alcohol level WHILE drinking, the perpetual undergrad in me is wondering if it’ll kill my buzz. Cuz I likes to be free, u bizzy bees. Bzzzzzzzzzzz….

::falls off barstool::

Promises:

  • Scientifically Proven to Reduce Blood Alcohol
  • Removes Alcohol up to 3 Times Faster Than Normal
  • Prevents Hangovers

FAQ excerpts:

Q. What is Sobrietol®?

A: Sobrietol® is a dietary supplement developed through advanced biotechnology. It contains special ingredients (enzymes, cofactors, and substrates) which have been proven to remove alcohol from the body. Independent tests measuring blood alcohol levels by breathalyzers operated with Oregon State Police, resulted in an average of 56% lower blood alcohol.

Q: How does Sobrietol® differ from all the products claiming to cure hangovers?

A: Sobrietol® is unique. It is the only patented product (U.S. patent 5,759,539) proven to remove alcohol from the body. All other products attempt to compensate for the damage drinking alcohol has already done to the body by trying to replacing nutrients and vitamins, and fighting dehydration. Sobrietol® is the first, and only product, to actually remove the alcohol, the real source of the problem. Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Q. Do you mean Sobrietol® will remove alcohol from my system if I drink and then decide I want to be sober?

A. Yes.

But why would someone want to do that? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??? Still doesn’t answer my question about the buzzkill factor. THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF THEM ALL.

Okay, well, for $39.95 you can order a pack of 8 and get back to me.

April 25, 2008

Dalai Lama welcomes Chinese offer for talks

Filed under: Activism,Politics,World News — Tranimal @ 12:44 pm

AFP:

The Dalai Lama on Friday welcomed China’s offer to meet his envoy for talks after weeks of protests over Tibet and repeated calls from the exiled spiritual leader for dialogue with Beijing.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that talks would take place in the coming days, which the Dalai Lama’s spokesman described as “a step in the right direction.”

“These talks may not lead up to much but they can put China in a more favourable light ahead of the (Beijing) Olympics,” he said.

Anand Ojha, a Sino-Indian political analyst at Delhi University, said the invitation may prove hollow.

“Who says China has blinked? It’s Chinese chequers as this invitation takes out the wind from the Tibetans’ campaign of protests ahead of the Olympics which was a becoming a matter of huge concern for China,” he said.

China, China, China. All manipulation and saving face tactics before their big world unveiling. Disgusting. I just do not understand how they can accuse His Holiness as a “instigator” if 1) Tibetan Buddhist does not encourage that type of violence, 2) He WON the Nobel PEACE prize for all of his work and dedication. I just really hope one day Tibet and all of China’s colonies are able to claim some ounce of liberation in our lifetime.

March 18, 2008

Dalai Lama tries to end Tibetan rioting

Filed under: Activism,Sports,World News — Tranimal @ 10:40 am

AP News:

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama gestures while speaking to the media at his residence in Dharamsala March 18, 2008. (Arko Datta/Reuters) The Dalai Lama said on Tuesday he was willing to step down as head of the Tibetan government in exile if that was needed to stop the riots in his homeland, but China repeated its charge that he had masterminded the violence.

The government-in-exile, based in the Indian Himalayan foothills, said it believed 99 people had died in clashes between Chinese authorities and Tibetans over the past week, including 19 on Tuesday alone.

This is such a complete travesty. I hope enough countries has enough courage and resolve to  boycott the Olympics. I have no words. To do something, go to Students for a Free Tibet.

March 16, 2008

Global protests against Iraq war

Filed under: Activism,Politics,World News — disciplepete @ 1:29 pm

Was this mentioned much at all in the U.S. media? From Al Jazeera:

Tens of thousands of protesters across the world have taken part in a day of protests demanding the withdrawal of US and British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The World Against War action was organised to mark the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 20.

In London, police said that 10,000 activists had rallied at Trafalgar Square before marching the short distance to parliament. Organisers said that between 30,000 and 40,000 people had gathered

...In Los Angeles, organisers said that up to 10,000 people took to the streets of Hollywood, many carrying banners denouncing George Bush, the US president, and calling for an end to the conflict. Police said that around 2,000 protesters had turned out for the rally.

March 14, 2008

Protests turn violent in Tibetan capital

Filed under: Activism,Politics,Religion,World News — Tranimal @ 8:11 am

Via AP:

Protests led by Buddhist monks against Chinese rule in Tibet turned violent Friday, with shops and vehicles torched and gunshots echoing through the streets of the ancient capital, Lhasa. A radio report said two people had been killed.Pro-Tibet protests were also staged in India and Nepal. In Katmandu, Nepal police scuffled with about 1,000 protesters, including dozens of Buddhist monks, during a rally. About 12 monks were injured. Police arrested dozens of pro-Tibet protesters near the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India. In Lhasa, the largest demonstrations in nearly two decades against Beijing’s 57-year-rule of Tibet began Monday, coming at a critically sensitive time for China as it attempts to portray a unified and prosperous nation ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games in August. 

The AP story says 2 people dead, but a friend from Students for a Free Tibet just told me over 32 people are dead. I am in a state of shock and awe. Almost the same as when the people in Burma rose up in the face of such oppression. I am in shock of their courage for freedom and liberation especially to fight against such a fascist state such as China. I am with you in solidarity.

March 9, 2008

Revolt in Mississippi: Indian Workers Claim ‘Slave Treatment’

Filed under: Activism,Labor — disciplepete @ 12:15 am

ABC News:

 Rebelling against alleged “slave treatment,” some 100 workers recruited from India staged a dramatic protest at a Mississippi shipyard Thursday, claiming they had been tricked into coming to the United States…

…The workers claim they were defrauded by a Signal International recruiter in India who promised them green cards and permanent residency in the U.S. in exchange for a $20,000 fee. The workers allege that they instead received 10-month work visas, which was only enough time for them to pay off their recruitment fees.
The workers also claim that Signal forced them to live in substandard housing, with 24 men crammed into a small room. The men say Signal charged them more than $1,000 a month to live in company housing. (article)
That’s pretty shady. I saw an Al Jazeera documentary on South Asian workers in Dubai who are trapped in virtually the same situation by shady recruiters and companies.

The workers are fighting back:

The workers have reported their situation to the U.S. Department of Justice and are calling for Signal International to be prosecuted on human trafficking charges.

 I am inclined to believe the workers on this one. Let’s hope justice prevails.

March 6, 2008

Alameda high school students walk out to protest budget cuts

Filed under: Activism,Education,K-12 Education — Tranimal @ 2:53 pm

SF Chronicle:

(03-05) 16:07 PST ALAMEDA — Hundreds of students from Alameda’s two high schools walked out of class today and marched to the district superintendent’s office to protest $2.56 million in budget cuts approved by the school board Tuesday night.

One of CFJ students were part of this walkout!

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