Egypt Redux

July 10th, 2013 → 5:45 am

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our [Egyptian] dead,
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage.”  – Henry V

I can’t help feeling as though we’re living through a pretty pivotal moment of history.  150+ years from now, when the Middle East looks totally different, children in school are going to learn about women who couldn’t drive in Saudi Arabia, militants that destroyed their own history in Afghanistan, and governments that were toppled in Egypt, and think:  wow, things were so different back then.  I just wish I could live long enough to see how this all pans out in the long-long-run.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Wendy Davis

July 3rd, 2013 → 6:33 am

“Why, she is a pearl
Whose price hath launched above a thousand ships.”  – Troilus and Cressida

God bless her, for defending a woman’s right to choose (and hopefully launching more Democratic support for it in Texas).  On this 4th of July holiday, she’s my American hero.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

US Supreme Court

June 29th, 2013 → 6:08 am

“His own opinion was his law.” – Henry VIII

The US Supreme Court has come out with so many rulings lately I don’t know which one to focus on – gutting of the Voting Right’s Act?  elimination of DOMA?  the constitutionality of Affirmative Action?  What I can say is that the older I get, the less deference I afford decisions by the Court.  When I was younger I really believed the Court was composed of impartial judges who did their best to make informed decisions according to the law.  I guess I also used to believe in the Tooth Fairy.  Whether you agree or disagree with the recent rulings handed down (and I agree with some, disagree with others), in the end, they’re all opinions.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Iran’s New President

June 18th, 2013 → 6:02 am

“Let thy tongue tang arguments of state.” – Twelfth Night

Hassan Rouhani, described as a moderate cleric, has won Iran’s recent presidential election.  I have no idea how moderate he really is, but let’s hope he uses his new platform to tang (~pierce) old arguments of state.  We could use a bit of fresh air in the region.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Those Darn F’erigners

June 14th, 2013 → 8:23 am

“Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels.”  – Henry IV, Part II

Why is it that any time a Middle Eastern country experiences popular dissent, their leaders blame it on foreigners?  Syria, Egypt, Iran, now even Turkey.  Turkey?  How Erdogan can justify blaming his current troubles on foreign influence is beyond me.  Stop evading responsibility and accountability guys, and look inward.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

June 7th, 2013 → 7:47 am

“Landlord of [Turkey] art thou now, not king.” – Richard II

The prime minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, seems to have let ten years in power get to his head.  He can not just do whatever he wants without any input from the people; at least, he can’t do it and still claim that he is leading a democracy.  The protestors have many valid points and he needs to listen to them.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Losing His Way

May 18th, 2013 → 7:16 am

“Purpose is but the slave to memory,
of violent birth, but poor validity.
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.”  – Hamlet

Barack Obama seems to be losing his way, with what seemed like driven purposes falling to the ground like rotten apples.  Closing Guantanamo Bay?  Too hard.  Press freedom?  Not if it hurts my administration.  Military red lines?  Syria’s only orange.  To be honest, I’m not that upset with President Obama; it’s got to be a tough job and overall he’s doing alright.  But sometimes, he can really step in it.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Free Speech

April 25th, 2013 → 5:29 am

“I would be loath to cast away my speech:  
for besides that it is excellently well penned,
I have taken great pains to con it.”  – Twelfth Night

Two countries that I have great respect and affection for, Turkey and Egypt, have both had disturbing crack-downs on free speech lately.  Turkey has not only become the world’s top jailer of journalists, but the recent arrest of Fazil Say on blasphemy charges is both ridiculous and disheartening.  And then there’s Bassem Youssef, the “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” who was recently interrogated by the government for his comedy show.  Doesn’t Mohammed Morsi know that the way to deal with criticism is to address it, not try to illegitimately get rid of it?  And what really bugs me about both these governments is that they crack down on anti-Muslim speech they don’t like, but vitriol against anyone else (i.e. Jews or Christians), well, that’s just fine.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Margaret Thatcher – R.I.P.

April 10th, 2013 → 5:48 am

“Death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparalleled.”  – Antony and Cleopatra

Whatever you think of Lady Thatcher, you have to admit that she was unparalleled.  The first woman prime minister of the U.K., the longest serving British prime minister of the 20th century, driven, headstrong, path breaking…  The above quote, as originally intended by Shakespeare, was used to describe Cleopatra – another unparalleled, path breaking, female leader.

Baroness Thatcher, rest in peace.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Mideast Apology

March 23rd, 2013 → 6:06 am

“After-hours gives leisure to repent.” – Richard III

Apparently the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, apologized yesterday to the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, over the botched flotilla raid of 2010.  I was surprised (and impressed) to hear of it.  Now if only everyone in the Middle East would apologize to everyone else in the Middle East for all the myriad of offenses everyone has done to everyone else since 10,000 B.C., we might be on our way to real peace in the region!

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians