Saturday, December 07, 2013

Catch Up Blogging...

Star Harbor in Kowloon
Well I survived a week in Hong Kong,  I was there for  a business trip,  this time  Eric  wasn't able to go with because of  Jury Duty back in London.    The weather  was very nice,  averaging  about  24 degrees Celsius  the entire week.   I even managed to get over the Kowloon side  and snap a "selfie".  The trip went well, but  it  was a long week,  and  I am  quite happy to be home again, thank you very much.

Dinner with Wade & Julian
Upon my return from Hong Kong, Eric and I both took this past week off from work, and had a "staycation". We stayed at home and were wonderfully unproductive. We did manage to get out and about to meet up with our incredible dear friends Julian Chang and Wade Estey. Wade was in town for business meetings, and Julian came along.

Flat Stanley visits Tower Bridge!
Julian also brought along a "friend". He is helping out the students
from the Riley Avenue School, Room 23, in Calverton, NY. The Students in this particular class have a "classmate" named Flat Stanley. Even though Flat Stanley is made of cardboard, he really likes to travel and visit people all over the world. He sends back postcards from all these  places, which the students then learn all about. So this past week, Flat Stanley was able to send back pictures from his adventures in London.    If you are interested in helping out, and would like Flat Stanley to come visit your part of the world, just drop me an email or a comment here, and I will help arrange Flat Stanley to come visit you!

On a sad note,   of course the big news this week has been the passing of former South African President, and Human Rights Icon,   Nelson Mandela.

 I can only echo what others have said far more eloquently, We shall never see his like again. He was true giant on the stage of Human History and his passing is not just a loss to South Africa; (My South African friends, Peter and Hester you are in my thoughts) it is truly a loss to the entire world.

I had  hoped that  the  wingnuts on the  American Right Wing  would  have had  the  common decency  and  basic humanity  to  behave, and  contain  their  innate  racism and irrational  hatred of  well...  everything,  and  refrain from  making complete and utter  fools of themselves.   Alas, as it turns out,   that would be far too much to hope for.   Over on Fox News,  blowhard and serial  sexual  harasser Bill O'Reilly was chatting it up with  perennial GOP Presidential Hopeful  Rick Santorum when he  just  couldn't  help himself.

 (from alternet)

As the world grieves the loss of Nelson Mandela and an outpouring of praise and gratitude roll in, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly seemingly felt the urge to brand Mandela a communist. The republican made the remarks while speaking to former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum on The O’Reilly Factor about the future of the Republican party,Meditate reported.

“He was a communist, this man. He was a communist, all right? But he was a great man! What he did for his people was stunning!...He was a great man! But he was a communist!”

O’Reilly's decision to invoke Mandela into the discussion about GOP politics can only be described as stupid, yet Santorum didn’t do much better in comparing the struggle against apartheid to fighting against big government here in the United States.

“He was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives – and Obamacare is front and center in that,” Santorum said.

Did you get that?   So  according to Santorum,  the struggle  against  Apartheid is just like Obamacare... Wow.   If your faith in the craziness of  the American Right wing is faltering,  don't worry,  it's Rush Limbaugh to the rescue!  The  right-wing Talk Radio host, and  drug addict  also jumped right into the right wing media hate-fest  using the news  of  Mandela's  passing to  (what else?)  claim  President Obama is  an egomaniac who apparently hates the U.S Constitution.

If you really want to  wade into the cesspool  of racism, irrationality  and  rampant stupidity  that is frothing up on the American political right,  you can find a comprehensive  recap over on the  Media Matters website.

I'd like to say  I am shocked or even  surprised by stuff like this,  but the sad truth is I am not.   It is clear  that  the American Conservative Movement  is no longer  even remotely sane. It has been co-opted by a neo-confederate movement of race-based hatred of President Obama, and race-based fear of the trends in American Population demographics.

  Lawrence O'Donnell examined  this in recent segment on MSNBC.

The fear  that the  American Far Right  feels  and  is being stoked  by  Conservative media and Republican politicians  the United States  is an  affront to  everything  Nelson Mandela  stood for.   On February 3, 2005, Nelson Mandela addressed over 20,000 people in London's Trafalgar Square to tell word leaders to end extreme global poverty.

Mandela said, "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom."

Amen indeed...

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