When humans put their beliefs before their humanity

faith

A few specific incidents recently, the general occurrence of which has been going on for a long time, has left me in no doubt that we humans value our ideological beliefs more than we value human life.

I take it for granted that everyone is capable of kindness, love, compassion and goodwill towards other human beings. But it plagues me that humans can and will without hesitation abandon all of this when certain of our beliefs are challenged.

And it seems to me the most culpable belief that humans will defend, with total disregard to cost and consequence, is religious in nature. And the greatest cost is life off course.

Boko Haram (figuratively meaning “Western education is sin”) is an Islamic terrorist organization which has been laying siege to Northeastern Nigeria since 2002, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 10 000 people (quite possibly much more). At the most basic level, they kill innocent people to further their insane religious ideology. Recently they kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls whom they still hold captive, although reports indicate some have been sold into slavery or as child brides.

The fate of these schoolgirls is still uncertain, while the politicians vacillate. Which off course is quite normal for politicians. Political chicanery easily has the same disastrous effect as religious ideology, and indeed, when the State and Organized Religion conspire together, it usually ends in tragedy.

Take Sudan for instance. It is one of a growing number of countries (especially in Africa and the Middle East) that have no qualms about persecuting and even killing its citizens, to satisfy (invariably misunderstood) religious edicts. In Uganda, you will face imprisonment or even death for being of the “wrong” sexual orientation. Wrong is decided through belief, inspired by archaic religious text.  In both countries the politicians have no problem agitating its citizens who harbor demented religious beliefs, into tormenting, even killing those who even vaguely seem at odds with said beliefs.

Only recently Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a pregnant Sudanese women who has just given birth in prison, was sentenced to death (but not before receiving a 100 lashes as well) for apostasy. Her crime was to fall in love with a Christian man. It is an exercise in futility pointing out to these demented ideologues that a benevolent God would not take kindly to such an insane act of pettiness. They would probably stone you to death.

Which was exactly the fate of Farzana Iqbal of Pakistan. Farzana whilst also pregnant, was stoned to death by members of her own family, including her own father for marrying the man she loved rather than the one her family had chosen for her. Honour killings are the direct result of ideological beliefs, most likely rooted in culture and religion. And that opens up another can of worms…

Culture and tradition can be as bad as religious beliefs, and quite often is. It is quite sad that in the modern scientific world, archaic cultural beliefs can still hold sway over abundant evidence to the contrary. In some societies, any or all activity that is at odds with cultural norm, can get you hurt or killed.

What will these purveyors of insane belief systems do if they eventually manage to wipe the rest of us off the face of the earth (not likely, but worth considering)? Will they then turn on each other? Will the purveyors of the surviving (insane) belief system then sit back and twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the rapture (or similar curious belief)?

Will the God that you believe in, accept them into heaven ( or similar curious belief)? Do you still think such a God is good?

She’s got 99 problems but funny ain’t one of them

This TED talk by Maysoon Zayid who is afflicted with cerebral palsy, is not only very funny, but so awesome on so many levels. And yes, I was teary-eyed at the end too.

Sub-titles are available in 34 different languages. You can read about the challenges faced by the translators to retain the comedic effect in 34 languages over at the TED Blog.

Where Women Today Go Wrong!…(Cough!)

Originally posted on The Journal:

poss sella

I have had this for sometime in my files…today it must be unleashed!

For clearer reading the full transcript is below:

This is an actual extract from a sex education text book for girls, printed in the early ’60’s in the UK and explains why the world was much happier and peaceful then…!

When retiring to the bedroom, prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom as he would for his train. But remember to look you best when going to bed.

Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face-cream or hair rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night. When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband…

View original 189 more words

Show me the way

… no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn. – Jim Morrison

Seems most everyone needs someone to show him or her the way at some point.

While Jim Morrison of The Doors would have you believe that it was only to show him the way to the next whisky bar, you can be certain he had a pretty good idea that life was meant to be lived fully, for it’s of no use withering it away on false beliefs and insecure activities, in the hope of an after-life reward.

Morrison was famous for reciting poetry, sometimes improvising on the spur of the moment during live performances. And they don’t come better than the opening line to this blog.

Watch the entire video [the epicness comes between the Alabama Song and Love Me Two Times featured on the video above]. Below you will find the full extract of the poem Stoned Immaculate written by Morrison.

I’ll tell you this…
No eternal reward will forgive us now
For wasting the dawn.
Back in those days everything was simpler and more confused
One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
The blonde one was called Freedom
The dark one, Enterprise
We talked and they told me this story
Now listen to this…
I’ll tell you about Texas radio and the big beat
Soft driven, slow and mad
Like some new language
Reaching your head with the cold, sudden fury of a divine messenger
Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god
Wandering, wandering in hopeless night
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars
Out here we IS stoned
Immaculate.

Hine Ma Tov

I was at a delightful Israeli friend’s post-voting party yesterday, and remembered to ask her about a song that I’d always loved since watching the film Raid On Entebbe many many years ago.

The film is based on the real-life hijacking of an Air France plane with more than 100 Israeli citizens on board, by members of the Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine, and the subsequent successful mission by the Israeli Defense Force to rescue them at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

The song Hine Ma Tov was sung by the soldiers on the airplane en route to Entebbe to free the hostages who were being held at the airport with the support of then dictator Idi Amin. The only video I could manage to find is not of good sound quality, but wait until about 20 seconds when the commandos get into full rhythm. It’s just beautiful.

The Hebrew lyrics are taken from the final verse of Psalm 133, and is popular at Jewish feasts.

Hine(y) ma tov u’ma-nayim

Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad

It translates more or less into something that is quite wonderful and sorely needed in the world today.

Behold how good

and how pleasing

if brothers (people) could sit together in unity.

Peace, out!

Why I will NOT vote for the ANC tomorrow

Vote_12345

I am going to vote in South Africa’s National General Elections tomorrow for the first time in 20 years, but it will not be for the ANC.

The reason can be stated simply in two words. Jacob Zuma.

Perhaps I should elaborate because contrary to Zuma’s most recent disingenuous attempt to paint himself as a victim, I have other reasons, and it’s not because I’m “bright.”

I am not worried about Nkandla. Not a single person said to us during the campaign they were worried about Nkandla. People are not worried about that. They don’t think it’s an issue that will affect how they vote. This is an issue raised by bright people [those who think they know better]. It has not worked. [Nkandla] is just a homestead of a man called Zuma who happened to become president. From when I became deputy president, I was told I couldn’t be in a car without bullet proof. It’s a benefit. Must I pay for those benefits? Why? When I go the United States, I use [state] aircraft. Must I pay for that? Why is it that the law has to change when we deal with Zuma.

I can’t be responsible for construction [at my house, and] that so-and-so inflated prices. How was I expected to see that? Where would I be when that happened? I am running the country.

Jacob Zuma has hijacked the ANC for his own personal benefit. To be fair, he did not do this single-handedly. He had lots of help from both inside this organization and outside. Were it not for other senior ANC members who likewise used public office for self-enrichment, most importantly, an apathetic and uncritical public, Zuma would not be at the helm of a once great organization that had admirers the world over.

The ANC is a shadow of its former self; it’s now evolved into a decrepit, self-serving, arrogant, tyrannical, dishonest, cronyistic and incompetent party. Yes, they have achieved much in 15 or so years, but the last five has seen the dramatic slide, which should in no way excuse the rot that has set in.

I could just tear my greying locks out in disgust as I watch daily how they prey on an adoring but uncritical public who they’ve locked into emotional blackmail. And this is the deal-breaker for me. The idea that the ANC has sole proprietorship on liberation from apartheid rule, is one that needs to be challenged most vociferously. The truth is that as many people from inside the ANC as outside, suffered through apartheid, fought for liberation and died too.

I read on another blog that we need to let the ANC continue governing because they have experience that other parties do not have. That is utter bullshit. Nelson Mandela did not have any experience at governing when he started out 20 years ago, and he did a great job. He had something I see so little off in the modern ANC; honesty and integrity.

Nelson Mandela’s vision was to share and build together with his former enemies; which is antithetical of Zuma’s apparent ploy to turn this country into a one-party state.

Vote wisely my friends; you will have to live with the consequences for another five years, possibly longer…

Essential Voter Information

The South African General Elections are mere days away now, and your political parties are canvassing up a storm, regurgitating many old promises, and inventing enticing new ones.

Mostly outrageous lies off course. But you know that, right? Right?

These are the ones making the most noise, yes, noise…

The incumbent African National Congress (ANC), are handing out t-shirts and food parcels, just in case the promises aren’t inventive enough, or the people can’t hear through the ullulating women and men’s chants of Viva. All knowledgeable know that they’re merely digging in for another five years of brazen theft, incompetence and cronyism. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are promising Nationalization of the land and sea, and just about anything stupid that comes on the spur of the moment to bloated heads. If they promise the air as well, then that will complete the Nationalization trifecta. Their leader Julius Malema is… the embodiment of a buffoon and wants nothing more than to lord it over like the ANC does.

And the purported voice of reason…

The Democratic Alliance (DA) are preaching to a small choir, because almost nobody else understands reason and logic, or trusts them. The new kids on the block, Agang, are mostly mimicking the DA, and essentially clueless about policy, but do have a woman leader who would make the perfect President.

No other party (and there are lots) matters. It seems that for every half-baked ideology, there’s a political party crusading it.They’re all worthless shit. That’s not to say that those above are not shite as well. But you just have to remember one thing.

This.

essenceofpolitic

Vote wisely folks. After the 7th of May, these politicians will all crawl back under their steaming piles of horse shit, and you’ll be left wandering a trail of broken promises for another 5 years.

See you at the polls…