A Moving Clip- Must See!!

•August 17, 2006 • 8 Comments

Take a look, and see the extent of the damage of the war on Lebannon. This is not about who is right or wrong. It is about the ill-effects of war, and violence, and it is a call for peace.

     http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14258.htm 

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A Chat With A Jew

•July 18, 2006 • 19 Comments

So the other day (June 15th) a friend of mine from Forum messeged me, saying that she read my blog and found it interesting to read the palestinian perspective of the conflict, as she is of jewish decent and attends a jewish schools which is very much pro-israel. We had a good chat about the conflict. We barely agreed on anything, excpet our desire for peace but it made for great conversation. It really is great to see the other side!

Thought you would like to read it. Here it is, enjoy! (her name has been changed for privacy reasons). (It should also be noted that this post is not meant in any way to be discriminatory, nor am in any way upset with her…just in case you’re wondering).

Steph says:hey, i just read ur blog and i hope and pray that
ur family stays safe and are not harmed by the violence

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:     tnx

Steph says:     also, i have friends in northern israel so i’m hoping for their safety as well and i also am dreaming of peace in the region

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:    yeah it’s even scarier now that lebanon is involved…if ever there was hope …now it’s seems like there is none… it’s so fustrating!

Steph says:   i agree, i must say, its very interesting hearing ur perspective on the issue becuz i’m jewish adn have been attending a jewish skool my entire life which is very pro- israel and its interesting hearing ur point of view…either way, both sides want peace and the killing of innocent ppl must stop

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:     very true…i’m not anti-jewish or anything of th sort…just completely anti-israeli government…they retaliate by attacking palestine civilians all the time! which makes no sense because when they are attacked it is because of selected individuals (ex. suicide bombers) not the government or any official palestinian representatives

Steph says:       i’m sort of the same way, i’m very against hamas becuz of not recognizing israel’s existence…i understand ur frustration but the israeli gvt cannot let suicide bombers continue to commit further acts so they are forced to attack, but i agree they should never go aganist civilians, that accomplishes nothing

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:      for sure…man…that’s the thing too, eh? we have no military to defend us…or protect us…not to attack but simply to protect civilians and stand up for their rights and safety…and ppl there are so fustrated they feel like they have to resort to such extreme methods…i’m not for hamas …i like fatah…but in any case extremist will do whatever they want’…u can’t control them …but with the israeli gov’t…and the support they get from the US with weapons and money…it’s so unfar! we have nothing and they have the world’s greatest super power backing them…

Steph says:       something i recently found out was that canada does not give any aid to israel, only to palestine and i think that altho israel does get a lot of money, so does palestine but unfortunately the gvt is not giving the money to where it is needed most…so if the right gvt was in power, the palestinian ppl would be living in better conditions

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:       it’s not about the living conditions…living conditions would be better if palestinians weren’t forced into refugee camps or if israel didn’t kick them out of their homes and concentrate them into older communities…the palestinian ppl get very little money…what they do get doesn’t go to the government it goes to human rights and aid groups which is severely needed…and after humas was electe

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:        elected into power
canada cut off that aid too…so the money that was going into sectors of the palestinian community to be used for food and stuff is gone

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:        (it went to the gov’t but it was specified to be used for food and social services and stuff for ppl is the most need)

Steph says:       i dont mean to say ur facts r wrong but when did israel kick palestinians out of their homes i know last yr at this time, israeli citizens were kicked out of their homes on the gaza strip by the israeli gvt to give that land to the palestinians which i’m not sure if i agree or disagree with but either way i think it was very generous of the israeli gvt to give that land

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:      um…wow! so sorry to say this but man! the WHOLE issue started when palestinians were kicked out of their homes! …back in the day…there were barely any jews in the middle east…then post-WWII …the jewish community decided to migrate to palestine as it is the holy land…when they came the UN and England etc. gave them some of our land without consultation with palestinian ppl (it was annexed to englad)…so they literally told the palestinians to get out of their homes and the jews moved in! with our furniture and everything!! (including my grandparent’s homes)…then over time (up until 1990’s) they continued to this throughout the region!…what israel does is that it invites jews from throughout the world to come to the area and tell em they are getting free housing- ppl do it! they would come and move into what was palestinian homes andthe israeli gov’t revokes their former citizenship and gives em israeli citizenship so that they can’t go back to the country they immigrated from…the issue with gaza is that the israeli gov’t gave it BACK to palestinians…gaza is a palestinian city which they took and demolished and built israeli communities in …so they were just giving it back. it’s makes sense cuz it’s in the best interests of the israeli ppl as it was/is a hot spot for attacks from hamas….anywho…we can chat more later…this is interesting..

.***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:    ttyl  (hold
ur comments…we’ll pick up later if u like)

Steph says:bye! i think i’ll send u an e-mail cuz theres lots i want to say and it might be easier than on msn

***amy***   {17}  ….dreaming of peace…. says:       sounds good!  ciao

Steph says:bye!

On the Brink of The Middle East’s Greatest Crisis

•July 15, 2006 • 5 Comments

I can no longer put off blogging about the current escalating terror in the
Middle East; it has consumed my life. There are several areas for concern regarding this crisis. Never have I been so glad to have such freedom of speech and an outlet for my thoughts.

To start, simply put- this crisis and the international response it is receiving is an outrage!

Here is a brief synopsis of what has occurred over these past few days:

-an “Islamic extremist group”, Hezbollah, (which is also a political party and social organization) captures two Israeli soldiers –> in response Israel bombs Lebanon’s international airport and kills 50 + Lebanese civilians–> Hezbollah bombs Israel resulting in 5 deaths and then bombs a military ship, which was on Lebanese shores–> Israel bombs and destroys bridges and other infustructure in Lebanon and kills more Lebanese civilians, 50 min. [now 300+…500, 000 displaced, 1, 500 injured (july 23rd) ]–> Israel continues to destroy buildings and road ways throughout Lebanon–> 50, 000 Canadian nationals trapped within, as no exist routes are available–> and it’s getting worse!

International Response:

 US- asks Hezbollah to stop the violence and does not scold
Israel, stating that they have the right to protect themselves

Canada- echoes the US’s views

France- condemns Israel’s actions

Russia- condemns Israel’s actions
England- on the fence

The UN- tried to pass resolutions against Israel but the resolution was vetoed by the US 

This is an outrage! I am completely disgusted by Israel’s actions and the lack of support for the Lebanese people, a hundred of whom are DEAD!!

How can anyone believe that Israel has any right what-so-ever of retaliating in such an excessive degree!?!? An extremist group captures soldiers!! And they go and kill civilians!! This makes absolutely no sense! This is completely not proportional or rational retaliation and the international community should not stand for it!! Not only are many many Lebanese people DEAD, many of whom, believe it or not were CHILDREN, but in addition the general population is trapped within, and their recently improved and expanded infustructure is demolished.

A note to Mr. Harper: keep your priorities at home. Stephen Harper has sided with the
US on this issue because he needs their support for his softwood lumber deal. He needs their friendship and he needs to appease these giant, evil and relentless neighbors of ours. But what Mr. Harper is forgetting is the 50, 000 Canadian nationals who are in
Lebanon, and the numerous Lebanese Canadians here at home. (Not to mention Palestinians like 2/3 of my family, including my brother and mother!) In the best interest of the Canadians in Lebanon, Mr. Harper MUST condemn Israel’s actions, as it is Israel which is causing devastating loss of life to countless civilians!!   Look out for what is right for your people Mr. Harper. Keep your greed out of the equation!

Foresight: this is only going to get worse. With the world’s greatest superpower’s laying blame where blame is undue, with UN resolutions calling for an end are vetoed, and where Hezbollah calls for an all out war, and Israel brings out the big guns, Lebanese PM begging for international intervention to instate a ceasefire, it seems as though this is only the beginning. What may the future of this crisis lead to? Coupled with the crisis in Palestine, and the split within the international community, throw Iraq in the mix and my guess says all the Islamic nations will verse the US, Canada, and Israel in a third world war.    Stop picking on the middle eastern nations if you know what’s good for you, George!

It is a sad day when countless innocent lives are lost; it is a sadder day when the wrong side is believed to be at fault for now there is no end in sight.

Lights Out!

•July 7, 2006 • 1 Comment

Last night: I’m in the basement watching TV and doing some filing. I have my laptop, the lights are out and a side lamp is on. My show ends. I sit in silence for 10minutes and I finish off my work, shut down my computer and turn out the light. The basement is completely black! Close your eyes. It is 10x’s darker than that! OK, no worries, I’ve done this before…but wait! It’s never been this dark! Usually the door is open and light is shining through; but not tonight. Tonight the door is closed, the blinds are shut and it’s 3am. Well, I know my way around. So, there I am walking around with a pile of folders a foot high and my laptop on top. Two hands grabbing the stack. I hop around, with one leg stretched out in front of me feeling around looking for the stairs. I couldn’t find them. Five minutes later, I realise hey! there is no way I am getting out of here today. So, then I start feeling around the floor for a comfortable place to lie down. Looks like I’m sleeping here tonight! Then I get scared. So scared. I am going to die right here in this basement! It is so dark! I have never seen anything so dark! or not seen anything… but it is dark and scary and there seems to be no way out. 5 minutes of entertaining thoughts of fear and complete confusion. All the while I’m thinking, I can always turn on my laptop and use the light to see, but of course I’m too stubborn to get help and I am too lazy- it takes 10minutes to turn on and shut off the comp. So finally I turn on my laptop and use the light to guide me to and up the stairs, which incidentaly were all the way at the other end of room, 5 feet away from the TV where I orginally was seated….total, complete and utter darkness…what would you think about if you were stuck in the dark?

Starbucks: Love It or Hate It

•July 4, 2006 • 13 Comments

Over a week ago, while studying for exams, and actively seeking distractions, I stumbled across an “I hate Starbucks” website, appropriately titled www.ihatestarbucks.com .

Now as a “regular” Starbucks customer and total admirer, I was shocked and appalled at this global display of hatred toward what I consider to be one of my favorite places…anywhere! I mean, I knew not all people were exactly thrilled with the S-Bucks enterprise, but there are many who often object to such large corporations, which are seen as being exploiters of capitalist societies, thiev es of local industries and devastators of local customs.   

As a vocal left-winger, I have to say that I do fully and actively object to a lot of the symptoms of capitalism, such as unfair labour practices, child labour, and, to a degree, loss of local identities. But Starbucks has never appeared to be such an establishment. To my knowledge they sold fair-trade coffee, and they provided their direct employees with comfortable and safe work environments and benefits. In terms of loss of local cultural identities, I find corporations such a Starbucks, and similar transnational corporations to be an exciting foresight into a future where countries and parts of the world have increased things in common, things that bring us closer together while allowing us to enjoy the things that make us unique. To me Starbucks and Coke do that. I like that international/multi-culture charm that comes with global familiarity associated with simple products such as these.

So when I saw this site I was rather surprised! Naturally I left a post in the guest book; the most humiliating post, I must admit; I believe it read: i love starbucks! this is very upsetting! starbucks rox! love their coffee and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies! ur being silly!…Then I read more of the other posts and information from the webmaster. Needless to say I retracted my comments, in the least for the manner in which they were stated.

After reading what was posted on the site and then researching articles and other sources which supported that information (yes, not much studying took place that day), I came to learn that although Starbucks does in fact sell fair-trade coffee, the coffee they serve is not fair-trade! In fact it is made from one of the world’s worst places for the manufacturing (collection and processing) of coffee beans! In addition, it was found that it is common practice for Starbucks employees to be hired just 15 minutes less than the work time required for an employee to receive certain benefits. In terms of Starbucks and cultural devastation, that seems to be a running trend, and not merely in foreign countries but here as well in regards to destroying small business, a complaint frequently made against large corporations, such as Wal-Mart and Starbucks. 

Now, this got me to thinking: how can a place I love so much cause so much damage to the global community?  Not exactly a thought that would arise in the mind of Plato, but it certainly perplexed me. How is it that an establishment so widely respected and adored can wreak such havoc, and how can we stop it?

I love Starbucks. I even try to recreate it at home, my faux Starbucks, by dimming the lights, playing some jazz music and making some Maxwell House coffee, which tastes very much the same. (*hint*hint* this is a very conducive environment for reading a good book or studying). I also have a little pocketbook on how to properly order at Starbucks and what is in each drink! Yes, I am S obsessed!

I have also faced this issue with other companies which I love, such as Wal-Mart. How can you not shop at Wal-Mart?! But what about the child labour? Now this may not be deep or philosophical but it’s an honest question: how do you stop supporting places like this? If I stop drinking Starbucks, I will drink Tim Horton’s, and I am not exactly confident that their coffee is of the fair-trade sort! And so what if I object to the mistreatment of worker’s in other countries (which I DO!!), is it not better for them to have A job, than NO job?

Now, ideally if we objected to unfair labour practices in every industry and economic sector we can eventually drive manufacturers to using fair-labour practices, but let’s be realistic, is that possible? Will it ever  be possible? I would love to think so, and I will not stop doing my part, (I PROMISE!) but it seems as though the world is becoming more and more selfish and countries are getting poorer and more desperate. Is it possible?

I want to help! I really do! But Starbucks increased their profits by 30% last year and just started a film production company (Akeela and the Bee is their first film), so clearly they show no signs of losing popularity, nor does it seems as though they will adhere to any public outcries for economic justice. So what do we do? When does advocating for fair-labour start and economic injustice end?

Summer Readin’

•July 2, 2006 • Leave a Comment

 Books I am Currently Reading (Part 1 of 3- Summer Reading List)

  1. Noam Chomsky- Hegemony or Survivalflower5.JPG
  2. Craig Kielburger- Free the Children
  3. Ann Brashers- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (hehe I can’t help reading these over and over!)
  4. George Orwell- Animal Farm
  5. George Orwell- 1984
  6. Karen Armstrong- The Battle for God
  7. Nathaniel HAwthorne- Scarlette Letter
  8. William Johnson- Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada
  9. Margret Thatcher- The Downing Years
  10. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor- Crime and Punishment
  11. Jane Austin- Pride and Prejudice
  12. Sun Tze (?)- The Art of War
  13. Albert Hourani- The History of the Arab People

Goal is to read as many books from as many different genres as possible, as well as to read books that are “classics”/are widely cited. Some of these can be in a day, while other like the History of the Arab People will take all summer. This is Part 1 of 3, and some books will be skimmed/speed read through, such Free the Children. Possible book reviews to follow.

Any one read any of these and wants to chat?! or have any books they recommend??

Happy Canada Day!

•July 2, 2006 • Leave a Comment

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

oh-canada.jpg

 Best wishes to all of my fellow Canadian citizens!

May you enjoy this time of celebration and

may everday we share together be one of joy and happiness.

 

 Bonne Fete a Canada!