Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Satire: NEWS FLASH!! US Republicans Christians join with Saudi Arabian Muslims to promote shared religious, cultural and political ideals

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Editorial Note

I have many friends and associates living and working in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. I tutor young students (from both those countries) attending Canadian universities. They will complete their graduate degrees in Canada and return home after graduation.

I lived in the United Arab Emirates from 2006 to 2011. During that time I met many Muslim people both national Emirati citizens and ex-pat Muslims from Jordan and Palestine. I am a strong Christian and gained the respect of my Muslim friends because each of us were comfortable with our spiritual decisions and I read the Qu’ran (in English) to give me an appreciation of Islam.

In preparation for a planned, but unfortunately uncompleted, PhD, I researched Arab traditions, current cultural norms, and the potential futures for the Emirati female cohort born after 1980. My objective in research of this nature is always to understand not judge. While I might not wish to live my life as accepted and defended by many of the young people I met, taught, and worked with, I do respect the choice made by these young women.

Although I do not support those practices and behaviors that can physically or emotionally damage these young women,I am experienced enough in the process of corporate change to know that external attacks on a group rarely bring about change, but rather just make opposition stronger. I am a teacher and a catalyst, and I love to challenge people to see behind culture walls that too often come between mutual understanding.

So, in homage to Jon Stewart, I offer the following:

NEWS FLASH!!

US Republicans Christians join with Saudi Arabian Muslims to promote shared religious, cultural and political ideals

Dateline: Washington, DC, USA and Mecca, Saudi Arabia

May 30, 2014.

Senior US Republican and senior Saudi Arabian leaders issued a joint communique confirming their support for each other’s religious, cultural, and  political ideas:

We share fundamental views and beliefs:

the sanctity of the connection between church and state

the need for appropriate values in dress, education

the role of women in controlling their bodies

the meaning of marriage and behaviors of married people

the illegal, unscientific, morally wrong, and anti-religious life choice

the value of having one party line; allowing for no dissension, questions, alternative ideas.

We both believe there must be no taxes, that inheritance laws must always favor the children receiving the money, and that the concept of the rentier state is a logical, valid, and beneficial approach to a society’s success.

Other fascinating similarities include: controlling the clothes citizens can wear, the need for more prisons for those who do not accept the superiority of “ruling” party, media that can say anything without proof, logic, compassion, intelligence or understanding, and ensuring citizen compliance by arming as many of their followers with arms and ammunition to maintain peace and order.

Both groups unilaterally declare that these mutual, compatible, and superior beliefs will lead to a world where there will be lasting world peace, satisfied and successful citizens and world free of dissension, anger, and blood shed.

 




Satire: Russian Advantage in the Middle East

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Monday, June 30, 2014

Putin has the advantage. Stalin is reputed to have said, “One death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic.”

Russian morality, as embodied in Valdimer Putin, seems based on the same maxim. Putin has no problem with killing many, many people as long as the number of “statistics” is above one. Which means, whether 10 or 1,000, whether bombed, tortured, or massacred, death is just a statistic.

What is it about American/Western morality? What is it about one life? What is it about a family dead, a street destroyed or a town wiped off the map, which so upsets us? (Well, some of us, I do wonder sometimes about the Republicans in the U.S. and the Conservatives in Canada.) Why do “we” care?

Russian influence is prevailing in the Middle East. Prevailing because Russian tactics and morality fits perfecting in the morality and the ethics of all sides, all factions, all parties, and all leaders in the Middle East. Death is just a trivial fact (statistic) of war. Death is a means to an end. What that end is, is a concern of the future. And that future is whatever the “winner” wants it to be.

Therefore, what does the United States of America do now? Re-institute the Bush, Cheney, et al American insanity?

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

No one doubts the zeal of Senator McCain, or any of the other government officers on both sides of the house who respond with righteous indignation at the actions of those for whom death is but a statistic. Righteous but blissful. Ignorance with power.

Seeing a situation or an action as being wrong does not mean that our “alternative” is any more right, righteous, or realistic than “theirs”. Or that simplistic solutions will work, anywhere. (Tis the prerogative of the less informed (notice I did not say stupid) to stake out positions that are based on dreams and ought-to-be’s. Of course being their prerogative in no ways ensures that they are right.)

Back to the United States of America, the world’s peacekeeper, the world’s best example of a civilized, free, democratic state, American the beautiful. Never has such an effective scam been perpetrated by so few and believed by so many.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Goebbels

Question: How much of the Bush/Cheney, et al, assumptions, objectives, and actions were based not on “saving” a civilization, “instituting” democracy, looking out for the world, merely an extension of Goebbels admonition, “keep up the lie by making it invisible, seamless to the outer world as envisioned by, and accepted by the people controlled by the vision. Ah, The Truman Show!

What now? America, democracy, the West . . . what is your view of the world you want to live in? What are your priorities? What are the lies you must give, what are the “lies” you want to maintain?

 




Ramadan for Body and Soul, PowerPoint Presentation

Posted on: July 28th, 2013 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

RamadanForBodyandSoul copy