Hugo Chavez needs a stick removed from his … nevermind

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the embargo lifting between the United States and Cuba. There was a summit meeting, and we got a picture of something that we never thought possible. Hugo Chavez and the President of the United States shaking hands with smiles. Granted this was not President Bush, but rather President Obama, it was still a great moment. Everybody knew the Venezuelan presidents feelings towards Mr. Bush. He had publicly called him the devil, and when he stepped up to the podium after him, he said that he had smelled sulfur, which is a reference to the Devil. In the article that I found on Fox news, Hugo Chavez is going back to his old self. It is clear that he does not understand that the relations with the United States and Cuba cannot be mended overnight, but he already has public outcries.

“If Obama doesn’t knock down the savage blockade against the Cuban people, it’s all a lie. Everything would be a big farce,” Chavez said.

Whether it be Bush or Obama in charge it does not matter. It could be Santa Claus in charge and Hugo Chavez would still have beef with the United States. Whether it be Bush who damaged relations with Venezuela or it could be Chavez himself having issues with us, it will never change. Relations with Venezuela will always be strained until Chavez is no longer president, because he will always have issues with the United States.

Church and State my foot!

As I was reading the article about one of Conneticutt’s middle school’s banning touch, I found this video clip of a principal who allegedly held a Buddhist hate chant inside his school.

A principal with a hate list? The department of education is investigating a Riverdale principal amid accusations he held a religious ritual aimed at teachers he considered his enemies.

Here’s what gets my goat: Christianity has dominated our schools since the beginning of Christianity. Is it only that these parents felt threatened by an alternative Eastern religion? Most people who know anything about Buddhism know its non-violent. Look at Christianity! I just don’t get people. The parent’s of the children from the school say the principal was trying to recruit them. How many times has a churchlady or friend asked you to go to some event, whether it be worship, or a basketball game, or a easter egg hunt or a picnic/bbq? The parents also said as the principal had hired some Buddhists! Holy Mother of God! I thought religious freedom was in our constitution and if you had the qualifications for the job, religion should not matter. But, I guess that’s only ok as long as you don’t tell anyone, and you go with the flow of the flock.

We won’t know for sure what happened in this instance until the investigation is over. It does bring up some alarming thoughts and questions however.

Rape and Burn

I was looking online to find articles about the negative effects of blogging and using Facebook and other such internet communities.  I wasn’t surprised to find quite a few blogs on the subject, but I was surprised to find this article

Lynch, a steroid addict, imprisoned the woman for hours before beating and raping her two weeks after meeting her on social networking site Facebook.

Following the attack he bombarded her with text messages and phone calls for several days.

Three days after Lynch raped the woman, he arranged that she be burned with sulfuric acid. Both Lynch and the acid-thrower were convicted and are going to be going to jail for a number (if smaller than I woud like) years.  It worries me that anyone who has an internet connection has access to these networks; they can learn about you and read your private thoughts and feelings. Anyone who has this sort of account should be very careful of what they share and with whom they talk, because there is no knowing what kind of crazys are out there.

The crisis really is everywhere

I stumbled across an article just a couple of hours into may thinking that this crisis indeed has extended everywhere. I dont know if it as bad as the world economic crisis after World War I, but its definetely big. When you have protests in France, Great Britain, Germany, Turkey, and several Asian countries all demonstrating against the same thing, then you have a hell of a problem. Nobody can figure out how to stimulate the economy (besides Lewis Black.) The protests are about the loss of jobs and people getting laid off. We have that problem here in the United States as well as those other countries. We have it in this town even. I am also threatened by this crisis. I could lose my job tomorrow because the company I work for could not have enough money to pay me. The one thing that somebody needs to figure out is how do we rebuild the world economy without starting another World War. Nobody has if figured out yet, but keep the faith. Theyll get it one of these days. Things have to go up at some point.

Stigma of Domestic Violence

On Earth Day, as I was coming home for the evening, I tripped on a box in my entry way. It was a very large, tall box and very much in my way. I fell forward onto the box and as my arms went out and up to protect my head and face, my elbow landed on the box resulting in a very pretty black eye with a gash in my cheek from my grandmother’s ring. This happened very quickly, and I didn’t think much of it…so I had a black eye with a hilarious story. Well- that soon changed as I went to work 2 days later and my eye had progressed. I have never received so many stares and jeers, so many laced questions, where my answers were perceived as lies. It made me pissed off that people were thinking, and some saying, that I was a victim of domestic violence. The thing is that they were trying to figure out the truth of the matter in a totally negative approach. I was offended. I think part of the reason I am so outright disgusted with being asked if I feel safe at home is because of my childhood. I grew up in a household with its very own intimate terror.  I am thankfully no where near that situation and hope never to be again. So there are two sides to this stigma. 1- People don’t recognize the signs of domestic violence and if they do, they don’t know how to act or help, or 2-People mistake unintentional injuries for domestic violence and are insulting.  Even though I was insulted, I’d rather have people questioning and treading the waters of speaking out against domestic violence.

I found some press releases about the stigma of domestic violence. They showed some interesting facts:

In interviews with nearly 25,000 women at 15 sites in 10 countries, researchers from the World Health Organization found that rates of partner violence ranged from a low of 15 percent in Yokohama, Japan, to a high of 71 percent in rural Ethiopia.

At six of the sites, at least 50 percent of women said that they had been subjected to moderate or severe violence in the home at some point. At 13 sites, more than a quarter of all women said they had suffered such violence in the past year.

 NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ — A surprising survey on domestic violence released today reveals an information gap that may very well prevent Americans from taking action when they witness domestic violence.  Approximately two-thirds of Americans say it is hard to determine whether someone has been a victim of domestic abuse (64%) and want more information about what to do when confronted with domestic violence (65%). Poll results clearly indicate that education about this topic is not only needed but can help save lives since 7 in 10 Americans (69%) will take some action when they are able to recognize domestic violence.
      When asked to define what actions comprise domestic violence and abuse, 2 in 5 Americans (40%) did not even mention hitting, slapping and punching. Over 90% of Americans failed to define repeated emotional, verbal, sexual abuse and controlling behaviors as patterns of domestic violence and abuse.

It is clear that every person needs to be educated about domestic violence and also know the ways to get help and intervene. It is important to remember however that women are not the only victims. Elderly abuse is on the rise, and there is also child abuse and men abuse. Everyone is a possible victim but everyone is also a potential advocate to Stop Domestic Violence and its stigma.

Twitter as a tool of revenge?

I personally do not use twitter, and here is why. I think that it is a stupid technology that we really dont need. We dont need to know what you are doing every five minutes, and if you are desperate for people to know what you are doing on a regular basis, then you need some friends. Now we have all become the slaves to the use of facebook, but at least facebook has alot of other features to it as well, whereas twitter is just twitter. But in the article that I discovered, apparantly someone hacked the fox news twitter page and made some innapropriate comments. I only have two words to say to that. HA HA! Normally you hear people that got fired from somewhere they come back and burn the place down, or go into a hostage situation, but this is ridiculous. There was no element of revenge here and the mess can be cleaned up in a matter of seconds. The people that did it dont even deserve a punishment for this. I mean sure, Bill O’reilly and Britney Spears wont be too thrilled, but they are used to being made fun of as it is. Is Twitter still pointless, YES!

Swine flu or bad economy?

Over and over again, I keep hearing about how airlines are taking such a hit right now. I just read the article: Half Empty Plane: Is it Swine Flu or Slump? and it really got me thinking. Would something like the swine flu affect your travel plans if you had a vacation or business trip ahead? Or do you think the economy is more or less what is causing this lull in air travel? The author said:

My flight to London was half-full – perhaps from last-minute cancellations over swine flu fears, but more likely the result of the global economic recession, which has drastically reduced tourism and business travel, or maybe it was just due to the ungodly departure hour of 7:45 a.m.

I honestly don’t think I’m letting the swine flu or the economy affect how I’m living my day to day life. If I want to go on a trip, and I have the money to do it, I’m not going to let the fear of catching this flu stop me from going.
My wonder is how much the airlines are going to have to continue to increase their rates because of the people who are choosing not to travel right now. I’m already really disappointed with Alaska Air’s choice to start charging for even your first checked bag. How many people can really fly without checking one piece of luggage unless it is for a quick trip? One thing I noticed after they started charging for bag number two is that the over head compartments are just getting more and more crowded. I really don’t think the extra charges are going to help much in the long run.
Anyway….rant over. Swine flu, bad economy, high airline prices…it is all life. I’m not going to let it stop me from enjoying life and doing the things I love to do.