07 January 2009


I am not going to go into the minimal history that I have learned about the conflict between Palestine and Israel in the past few months. You can inquire on your own. In short, this is day 12 of the current warfare on the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is the most densely populated area in the world, busting 1.5 million in a 45-mile zone. Israeli casualties are currently at 10, with around 42 injuries. Palestinian casualties rapidly surmount, currently at 670 (300 civilians according to AP, 45% women & children-Democracy Now!), with 3,000 wounded and a hospital busting at the seams that had little supplies to begin with. Never mind the lack of provisions of food, fuel, electricity, and basic medical supplies before 27 December. Really this is skimming the surface as far as the inhumane acts accrued. I do not exactly agree with the Hamas’ tactics. In this situation, I advocate for Palestinians as a whole and certainly any innocent bystanders on all sides. Currently, I am wondering at what point and who enforces the “international humanitarian law”. Is there possibly a resolution that will satisfy both parties, without the desire to simply kill the other off entirely?

Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt) made an obvious, valid point in a recent article. The same point a friend of mine made at the onslaught. They ended the article with, “beyond the internal politics of Israel -- why this attack has been allowed to occur: the complicity and silence of the international community.

Israel cannot and would not act against the will of its economic allies in Europe or its military allies in the US. Israel may be pulling the trigger and ending hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lives this week, but it is the apathy of the world and the inhumane tolerance of Palestinian suffering that allows this to occur.”

There have been a number of peace demonstrations across the world (some of which have been met with water hoses and tear gas, arrests, etc.). It’s broadcast that many world leaders are holding meetings and phoning in urgent messages. Particularly, France and Egypt have been bold advocates for mediating the current situation. This courage is wonderful! Their bravery is impressive and commendable. Ultimately, it is up to Israel’s president, Hamas leaders, and our world leaders to prosecute towards a cease-fire and serve as mediators to come to some sort of consensus.

Here are some news sites to get more of the Middle Eastern perspective:
Jerusalem Post, Haaretz (Israel)
Ma'an News Agency, The Electronic Intifatah (Palestine)
Tehran Times (Iran)
Hurriyet (Turkey)
Syria Times
Times of India (India)
The Daily Star (Lebanon)
The New York Times, Associated Press, Democracy Now! (US)

... Now I need to update myself on the current news.

02 January 2009

2008 book list

Thanks to Jenny, I now list the books that I read every year. My goal is to read more than the previous year. Here's the 2008 list... I'm not bothering w/ reviews. If you wonder about any of these, just ask.

"The Lovely Bones" (A. Sebold), "Slaughter-house Five" (K. Vonnegut)
"Structure and Function of the Human Body" (G. Thibodeau & L. Swisher) - sections + various articles {Feb.-July}
"Maus I" (A. Spiegelman)
"The Children That Time Forgot" (P. & M. Harrison)
"Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" (D. Adams)
"The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge" (C. Castaneda), "Sydney Encounter" (Lonely Planet)
"Maus II" (A. Spieglman), "American Born Chinese" (G. Yang), various comics (maybe 10)
"Warrior in the Light" (P. Coelho), "In the Shadow of No Towers" (A. Speiglman)
"Palestine" (J. Sacco), "Embroideries" (M. Satrapi), "Blankets" (C. Thompson), "Teach Like Your Hair Is On Fire" (R. Esquith)
November: "Number the Stars" (L. Lowry), "Persepolis (1 and 2)" (M. Satrapi), "Night" (E. Wiesel)
"The Bunny Suicides" and "The Return of the Bunny Suicides" (A. Riley), "Gashlycrumb Tinies" (E. Gorey), "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" (A. Bechdel), The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons", "Peanuts Guide to Life" (C. Schulz), "Numerology" (D. Brooks), "Incognegro" (M. Johnson)

Dabbled in:

* "Understand Your Dreams" (A. Parker) {always}
* "Animal Speak" (T. Andrews) {occasionally}
* Random... health science and natural remedies stuff, astrology, current affairs, and various things that have captured my interest

Currently Reading: "Stiff" (M. Roach), "Heavy Words Lightly Thrown" (C. Roberts), "Chicken with Plums" (M. Satrapi), "The People's History of American Empire" (H. Zinn)