Archive for April, 2008



April 28, 2008

I’ve been producing a DVD for a school that will be closing at the end of the year, and it is interesting how easy it is to manipulate footage. I’m trying not to do that, of course, but I can see how it would be easy to turn a short quote from someone into something controversial if taken out of context. With great power comes great responsibility.

On another note, I’ve been working with the Derwin Smiley Show, mainly doing the online content distribution side of things (although also some video editing when needed). It airs on a local station here in Indianapolis, but we also have a podcast. The latest episode is now available.


Meet Your Meat

April 27, 2008

What the meat industry doesn’t want you to see, the truth about how animals are treated in factory farms:

Warning: this is not for the faint of heart or a weak stomach.


The rights of Indigenous people and Haiti's food riots

April 27, 2008

Thursday’s episode of Democracy Now is something everyone should watch. There were two very important issues covered:

The first was about the United states’ role in Haiti’s food riots:

“As people around the world continue to protest the soaring prices of basic food items, the World Food Program has described the crisis as a silent tsunami. The head of the Food and Agriculture Organization blamed the current global food crisis on “inappropriate” policy decisions over the past two decades. Nowhere is this more clear than in Haiti, where hungry people are rioting in the streets because they cannot afford to buy rice. Haiti imports most of its rice from the United States, which in turn remains heavily subsidized. We speak with human rights lawyer, Bill Quigley.”

The other dealt with the UN Forum on Indigenous Issues and climate change:

“Representatives of the world’s 370 million indigenous people are
gathered at the United Nations this week to demand that their voices be
included in future talks on climate change. Over 3,000 delegates are
attending the seventh session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues. We speak with Casey Camp-Horinek, a member of the Ponca Nation
of Oklahoma”


The Gold-plated Vote

April 18, 2008

We are governed by a political system that is increasingly manipulated by multinational corporations and special interest organizations with significant financial influence over politicians. We live in a time when a president can face impeachment for sexually lewd acts and another can be rewarded with a second term after plunging his country into a dismal war that has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. Despite all of this, another pending election has once again given the people of the United States hope.

Hope for what? Is their hope misguided? Will the democratic process once again fail us as it did in 2000 when thousands of black voters were disenfranchised and the withering Al Gore laid his own head on the chopping block? Perhaps, but the glimmer of hope in democracy is that people have the power to make changes. The question, however, is whether or not simply casting a ballot is actually enough to effect reasonable change.

Must all of us become CEOs of major corporations in order to have our voices heard? History would argue that when people come together for a common cause, no dictatorial regime or corporate driven machine can stand in their way. The problem that exists now is that so many Americans are still satisfied with the current situation or at least not dissatisfied enough.

Americans get upset on cue. It is as if automatic triggers are set in our brains. The Chinese have been subjugating the people of Tibet for decades, but suddenly it has become an issue. The same people who have found a new cause in Tibet would turn a blind eye to the oppression faced by the Palestinians in the occupied territories. The suffering of the people in Darfur no longer seems so relevant. Add Somalia and nearly the rest of Africa to that list, and it just seems peculiar that some have chosen to protest China’s occupation of Tibet. Do they protest the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?

In reality many of the liberal democrats who are displeased with the president’s invasion of Iraq are not upset because it is immoral, unjust, or because of the ulterior motive of establishing a permanent military stronghold on the doorstep of Iran (after all, both Clinton and Obama seem poised to strap bombs to their chests and lead the suicide mission into Iran even after Bush stumbles down from the oval office). No, the democrats’ opposition to the war is not so complex. The reason is simple: we are losing.

When our military was defeating Saddam’s crippled and undernourished army, and the president stood under a banner reading “Mission Accomplished,” few democrats shivered as I and a few others did. Those of us who had opposed the war from the beginning knew what was on the horizon, but those who claimed they “ignorantly” voted for the war were only stating so to cover their own embarrassed rear ends.

Money talks, and as it stands, the black-colored greasy money flowing out of Iran in the form of Euros is so bitter to the American palette that even the most well-informed liberal proudly proclaims that Iran is a “serious threat” that must be stopped. Without a doubt, the corporations, more specifically the oil companies, spun this, and Israel piggybacked their scheme, albeit for different reasons. Controlling the oil flow to and from Iran would grant them full access to the Middle East and all its resources.

Unfortunately, the plan went sour before it ever had a chance to brew. By invading Afghanistan and ousting the Taliban, the US created a new ally for Iran, an Afghan government that is increasingly suspicious of the seven-year sleepover of coalition forces. By invading Iraq, the US solidified Iranian power in the region, installing a regime dominated by the SCIRI (not their original plan, I should note) and the powerful Mahdi Army, both strong allies of Iran. Then, they gave free reign to a corrupt and possibly delusional Musharraf in Pakistan, allowing him to plunder his nation like a pirate and fashion himself as the dictator for life, only to be snubbed by his less-than-willing people. The only marginally powerful ally the US has left in the region is Turkey, which seems to care little about US interests, now that the Kurds have been turned loose on them. They seem more interested in bombing Iraq than even the US themselves.

Instead of surrounding Iran with a wall of military muscle, the corporate regime led by Mr. Bush has handed central Asia to Iran on a silver dish. The best they can hope for now is to make diplomatic ties with Iran, as they once did with China. But even that will take a president and a group of citizens united behind him or her, who are more concerned with peace and safety than with filling the tanks in their SUVs. God help us all.



April 18, 2008

We felt an earthquake this morning. That was my first one. Alhamdulillah, everyone is ok.


Islam vs Secular -ISM

April 5, 2008

Here is a new article posted on by Maryam Sakeenah, a contributing author:

States in the West loyally commit themselves to it, living under a grandiose fantasy of superior humanity and a higher civilization. With this narcissistic perception comes the license to play the global Big Brother, dictating the order of things arbitrarily”

Click here to read the full article

It’s worth reading.