On that note...the news:
Bathroom time limit: An F16 fighter jet escorted a Detroit bound Frontier Flight to ground on 9/11 (paranoid much?) when flight attendants became concerned at the length of time three passengers (separately) spent in the bathroom. One was an Arab/Israeli woman who subsequently complained of racial profiling and the other two were Indian men, one of which was apparently sick. So, word to the wise: if you gotta go, I mean really go - try to take care of it before you get on the plane. Because apparently longer than 5 minutes denotes you in there with the anarchist cook book and a pipe bomb kit.
Give me your poor...: According to the latest Census Bereau data, 46.2 million Americans now live in poverty - defined as an income of $22,314 for a family of four. The median income also dropped to the lowest levels since 1996: $49,445.
Commonwealth Ave vs. Wall Street: Outspoken Wall Street critic, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advocate and Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren announced that she will run for US Senate in Massachusets next year. She was originally slated to head the CFPB (whose duty is to protect consumer rights against banks and large financial corporations) but the Republican response disallowed Senate approval...big fucking surprise there. So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I hope for, but as always, can't dare to expect big things from her...
Sick man: Speaking of corporations, Rick Perry fell into some hot water when information surfaced detailing his very close ties to the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. ; for example, mandating the use of Merck's HPV vaccine on young girls. In return of course, Merck contributed upwards of $30,000 to his campaign, a bit more than the $5,000 he admitted to at a debate. Beyond that chunk of change, Merck has also contributed more than $380,000 to the Republican Governors Association, an Association that has in turn contributed over $4 Million to Perry's campaigns over the years...oh, isn't corporatocracy fun?!
Racism is racism: A popularized protest song in South Africa called "Shoot the Boer" has been banned by a Johannesburg court. The song, about killing white farmers was a favorite by activist Julius Malema, leader of the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress. The ANC complained that the court was "trying to re-write South African history." Ummmm, bullshit. Just because I don't go around singing songs about how great slaves are doesn't mean that I am pretending slavery never happened. While the banning of anything under the banner of free speech is a tricky subject, racism is racism. There's no such thing as reverse racism or the idea that racism is an appropriate form of retaliation for former trespasses. How can you move forward if you're still stuck in the back and forth? Hate breeds hate. Quit copulating past ills.
Civil War: The threat of civil war in Iraq's Anbar province is certainly not forgotten, and it looks as though it's not gone either. Last week, gunmen attacked a Shiite bus on a pilgrimage, forcing women and children off, only to slaughter the 22 men on board. It's marked as a response to several attacks on Sunnis in Anbar. Both sides complain that the government is doing little, Sunnis in particular, feeling that the Shiite-led government is too laissez-faire in regards to violence against them. Ah, glad we have our guys in there handling this one.
Speaking of Middle East quagmires...: The US embassy in Kabul was attacked this past week, along with the NATO headquarters. 16 people died and newfound fears at the capabilities of insurgents were fostered anew - people left wondering how 10 attackers were able to construct and carry out such a plan in one of the most heavily guarded and secured areas in the Middle East. Meanwhile US Ambassador Ryan Crocker quotes "It's not a very big deal." Well, I'm glad we can downplay it whilst simultaneously keeping the fear factory churning out the hits. Again, glad we have our boys and girls over there handling this one. May not be a big deal to you Crocker, but to the men and women and broken economy and infrastructure, it is a very, very big deal.
2,000 years ago: Looks like the feuds of old are just aching for a come back. Egypt and Israel are back at it - last week, a mob of Egyptians destroyed the Israeli embassy in Cairo, apparently a response fueled by the killing of Egyptian soldiers by Israeli soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula last month. Not to mention that most Arabs aren't big fans of the Israeli occupation and just outlook in general on their culture, in particular the Arab Spring. Stubborn boar Netanyahu doesn't make matters any better, from his banter with Turkey to his pig-headed response on the Gaza issue. As with most altercations, it's a two way street. But if you wanna find your way forward, you're gonna have to embrace change, something Israel is historically shitty about. Egypt is going to have to simmer down too - let the revolutionary guise fall to diplomacy. Let the fires go out boys, lay down your swords and try talking - it's not popular these days, but hey, you never know what kind of revolution you could set off by not being stereotypically revolutionary.