Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Obsession: Radical Islam and the US Election

Most of you know that I have a niece I admire as well as adore. She speaks Arabic fluently, and even better, she is interculturally fluent, from Morocco to the Gulf to Beirut, she flows with the Arabic culture, and works with an organization promoting intercultural understanding. I couldn’t be more proud of the work she does.

Please, before you read any further, take a deep breath. This is going to get bad.

Today, Little Diamond wrote about a DVD sent out by a facade-organization through newspapers in US swing states. The DVD is called Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

Although it never claims to be a Republican support organization, or a McCain support ad, what the DVD does is to try to scare people into voting for McCain. The message is this – all Muslims are radical, and we need a strong leader like McCain to counter their insidious influence.

As my niece says, she doesn’t believe McCain would ever approve such a tawdry piece of nasty propaganda; the Clarion Group who sent this DVD out probably did it on their own.

I urge to to go to Little Diamond’s blog and read her experience, and the comments. She quotes one individual, saying:

“Whoever they are, they sure must have a lot of money. H pointed out last night that each DVD probably cost $1 to produce and $1 to distribute. That’s $56 million, not to mention the cost of placing the DVDs with each newspaper. Even if H’s estimate was too high, assuming $.50 to produce and $.50 to distribute means $28 million + advertising contract costs. That’s quite a lot of money for a no-name non-profit to have gathered since its creation in 2006.”

Elections can bring out the best in people and/or the worst. Both McCain and Obama have so far treated each other respectfully, as is appropriate for educated, senatorial leaders of a country. This kind of hate-tactic is NOT the American way. It makes me see red.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Community, Cross Cultural, Leadership, Lies, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues | 7 Comments

Joanna Brady and Tumbleweeds

I have a lot going on right now, and that is when I turn to books, I don’t know why. The more scheduled I am, the more important it is that I have fairly lightweight reading. My favorite genre is mystery, and there are a number of authors I follow, some more important than others.

I was reading the lastest Joanna Brady mystery, Dead Wrong, by Seattle author J.A. Jance. Joanna Brady became Police Chief in the small (fictional) Arizona town of Bisbee when her husband, then the police chief, was killed and she was asked to fill his position. Since then (several books) she has been elected and re-elected, and solved a lot of crimes, and re-married.

Now, in Dead Wrong, she is heavily pregnant, trying to solve a tricky murder that involves a puppy breeding mill and dog fighting ring.

“We have to go to Tumbleweeds tonight!” I call out to AdventureMan. “Joanna Brady is pregnant and she can’t eat creme brulee, but she dives right into tacos and enchiladas! Now I am starving for Mexican food!”

AdventureMan just laughs, he is always ready for Mexican food.

So just after sunset, we are king of the road, and we drive to Tumbleweeds.

I would love to say something nice about Tumbleweeds.

The service was slow. The servers were poorly trained. The food was SO mediocre. The chips were thick, and cold, and you could see fat congealed on them. The salsa was dull. The burritos and tacos were bland. No wonder we go there so rarely.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Books, Cooking, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Fiction, Food, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 3 Comments

Kuwait Lifts YouTube Block?

Reports that the ban has been lifted are unconfirmed, according to this morning’s Al Watan. So if the ban is lifted, who countermanded it?

Kuwait reportedly retracts YouTube block
Nancy Oteifa
Al Watan staff

KUWAIT: Unconfirmed reports indicated on Monday that a decision to block the online videoـsharing Web site YouTube has been revoked by the Ministry of Communications. According to a blogger writing under the name of ”Falantan” who claims to work for a local Internet Service Provider (ISP), officials at the Ministry of Communications held a meeting Monday morning to discuss the issue and consequently decided to revoke the decision.

Sources stated on Sunday that a memo had been issued by the Ministry of Communications to all local ISPs ordering them to block the Web site
However, speaking to Al Watan Daily, local ISP Arab Telecom denied having received any memos from the Ministry of Communication asking them to block this site. “We didn”t get any orders from the Ministry of Communication about blocking YouTube but the minute we receive the memo we will immediately block YouTube,” a company representative stated.

Reports that the Web site was to be blocked generated heated reactions from many people in Kuwait, some of who stated that this is a blatant disregard of freedom of speech, while others claimed that any site that displays material that is disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) should rightfully be blocked.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Community, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News | 6 Comments