Putin the thug

Putin To Protesters: You’ll Be Beaten If You Continue To Rally

What is Putin worrying about? That his (and Medvedev’s) rock-solid government would be toppled by these minor protests?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Carla Bruni and the Human Rights Soap Opera

It’s always a bit ironic when political figures from ex-colonial powers voice concerns about and adovcate for human rights in other countries. They can only do this and not appear to be hypocrites because not nearly enough people has been educated with regards to the history of colonialism, primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries. The British, French, Spanish, etc, did not show the slightest bit of concern about human rights when they colonized (more like invaded) most of the world. They have ended the lives of millions and exploited the resources of foreign lands all around the globe.

Nevertheless, should the brutal, barbaric pasts of these countries prohibit their people from discussing human rights issues? I don’t think so. Things have changed for the better. Not as much as one might think, but they have.

The idea of human rights itself, as put into writing and international law, was a Western idea. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was founded by the UN after World War II, with its primary focus on human rights. These were ideas and political structures developed by the West to fix problems created by the West, and they have worked, to some extent.

In addition to the irony of the West criticizing countries such as Iran about human rights, the notion of cultural relativism also comes into play. Most in the West, Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy included, believe that death by stoning is wrong, even for adultery. But religious / ethnic groups in the Middle East have been doing this for over a thousand years, and they see nothing wrong with it. Who are we to say that they’re wrong?

The answer has to do with the primitive notion of humanity as a whole, and our awareness of such a humanity. It is the idea that we who live in the modern world value the human life above all else, and that this humanism should lead us to put in our utmost efforts to preserve every one of them, not finding reasons to end them.

The case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani comes from a long line of human rights cases that have sprung from the Middle East and has aroused international attention. Last year, despite international outcry, Afghanistan, under the corrupt leadership of Harmid Karzai, enacted the notorious law that formalizes discrimination against Shia Afghan women.

The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands. It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her


Such cases show how little progress has been made in the developing countries, and how the West has been incompetent in trying to change the values that these countries hold.

Who knows? Maybe Carla Bruni could make a difference in this case, even progress the human rights cause in the process. And the Ayatollah should listen to some Rolling Stones and shut up.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Glenn Beck’s ‘Honor’ Rally and his popularity

Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally: Thousands Expected To Attend, Civil Rights Leaders Protest Event

Like it or not, Beck is just riding his tidal wave of popularity, to the max. Maybe the guy is the master of using fear-mongering to attract and mobilize and audience, and maybe he is on the rise to become the most popular news commentator on television. Who’s fault is that? Not his, he’s just seizing his opportunity. It’s those who are actually buying into Beck’s rhetoric who are keeping him going.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Daily Show’ Takes On The Tennessee Mosque Controversy (VIDEO)

The analogy of the ex-girlfriend / wife / drape thing is absolutely brilliant.  In the midst of all the yelling and bickering between commentators in the media, Jon Stewart once again provides adequate analysis together with witty humor.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

‘CBS Evening News’ Ratings Hit Record LOW During Katie Couric’s Afghanistan Trip

This speaks a lot to how weary Americans are of the war in Afghanistan. They are tired of it. They don’t want to hear about it. I’d guess that more Americans would be interested in international affairs / politics, if they didn’t need to worry about losing their jobs / pensions / etc.

Let us put this into perspective, though. In a country where more than 1 in 5 Americans can’t point out the United States in a map, and where 1 in 5 Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth, we can’t really expect them to know where Afghanistan is, let alone what goes on there.

Afghanistan is a political issue. In a country where political apathy is rampant and economy struggling, Afghanistan becomes the last thing the average American wants to talk about.

The fact that CBS is a big mainstream network does not help, either. Last month, Rachel Maddow went to Afghanistan and covered it her show, “The Rachel Maddow Show”, and saw little change in ratings. The difference between Couric’s and Maddow’s coverage of Afghanistan is that when people tune in to MSNBC to watch Rachel, they know she will be discussing political issues.

I give credit to Couric though, for taking the chance to cover an important political issue, albeit one that is not in the minds of the average American.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Samsung Galaxy Tab Sneak Peek VIDEO: Watch The Official Teaser

This is the reason why the second generation ipad, presumably due to debut in Spring of next year, needs to improve substantially from the current model.

If Apple is in anyway aware of what the public wants, a camera will almost certainly appear in the ipad 2, along with the gyroscope, which is currently in the iphone 4. Apple will also need to widen the collection for ibooks in order to compete with apps by Amazon, etc.

Despite the release of tablets by Samsung and other brands in the future, I’d still probably go for an ipad because Apple has established itself as the go-to brand when it comes to intuitive and simple to use products.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Black Bears Found Guarding POT Farm In Canada

That’s soooo awwwwsoome, maaan.

If you are trying to find mildly amusing news amidst of all the depressing crap, this is it. I like how not just bears, but raccoons and pigs also were chilling out at the cannabis farmhouse. I guess marijuana brings us all together, literally.

Really shows how much thought the farm owners have put into securing the farm, when raccoons are able to sneak into a bedroom and take a nap.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost