Monthly Archives: March 2011

Somebody’s Got to Say It:(3) “Birthers” Get A Life!

“All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.” – Samuel Butler

Only in America, the land of propaganda and fairy tales, does a rather silly story develop, engulfing the entire nation as it snowballs. I guess the chickens do need to come home to roost sometimes.

Anyway, a few days ago, while surfing on the Internet I happened upon a recent Donald Trump interview, where he was basically questioning Barack Obama’s birth credentials and his eligibility to be US president.  According to Trump, no one seems to remember Obama from Hawaii – where he was born –  which could imply that Obama was not born in the US.

At the time, I thought Trump was simply trying to whip up momentum and interest for his own political ambitions, so I dismissed these comments as no more than mere castles in the sky. But hey, I was wrong.

This ludicrous allegation appears to be a big issue in the US.  A telephone poll carried out by Wenzel Strategies in mid March shows that 77% of Americans are aware of the saga over Obama’s birth credentials. In fact, 61% of Independents, 58% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats want Obama to prove he is eligible to be president by virtue of being born in the US.

Those who hold with this conspiracy theory are known as the “birthers” and they believe that Obama’s birth certificate is fake, that he was born in Kenya and that he does not qualify to be US president.  There are a number of websites promoting this rather absurd theory, including a Facebook fan page.

I think Obama, for his part, has remained dignified amid this political farce, sometimes joking about the idea.  As the African adage goes, you laugh about things you cannot cry over. Despite Obama’s dignified handling of the situation, this saga is ludicrous, a waste of time, and tantamount to campaigning after the election.

Considering the historic significance of Obama’s election win in 2008, he would never have made it to the White House on suspect credentials. It’s most certain that US intelligence agencies would have gone over Obama’s  background with a fine-toothed comb before he became president.   Or are the birthers suggesting that US intelligence agencies botched what should have been a fairly routine check?

Okay, maybe this conspiracy theory started off as a campaign rhetoric in the run-up to the 2008 elections, but for God’s sake, Obama is now over two years into his presidency and there are far more important things to deal with than this political birth-obsessed nonsense.

There is a critical situation in Japan, which has not only claimed the lives of between 10,000 – 20,000 people, but also poses significant future environmental risks. There is also an alarming political situation in the Middle East, which could change the political dynamics of the region for years to come. Furthermore, the US foreign policy of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” is causing more world conflicts, than the US cares to admit.  In the same breath, we cannot forget the US-led war on terrorism, which seems to be a toxic investment yielding no plausible return at the moment, apart from creating more US animosity. So how can this baseless conspiracy theory take pride of place over more serious matters affecting humanity?

I am, however, somewhat relieved that not all Americans are awash with this nonsense. In the wake of Donald Trump’s recent comments, former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, made the following remarks about Obama:

“He’s born in the United States, I don’t see any real question about that, and even if some people have some doubts in the back of their minds it’s really too late and futile. … We have so many more important things to talk about.”

Thank you Rudy!  Birthers, get a life !  Stop propaganda wars ! Somebody’s surely got to say it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Exclusive: Saif Gaddafi “wants money back from Sarkozy”

I was hoping to take a break from commenting on events in the Middle East until I watched the recent interview Saif al-Islam Gaddafi gave to Euronews – posted below. During the interview, Saif al-Islam refers to President Sarkozy as a clown and calls for him to return the money spent by the Gaddafi’s on his election campaign.  He says:

“Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given assistance so that he could help them. But he’s disappointed us: give us back our money. We have all the bank details and documents for the transfer operations and we will make everything public soon.”

For completeness, I am no friend or foe of the Gaddafi clan.  Neither do I hold with the propagandist, imperialistic, big brother-ish, neo-slavish and hypocritical tendencies often exhibited by the US and its poodle, the UK. Mine is simply a non-aligned position fueled by the need for justice and equality for all.

Given that the Gaddafi’s are sometimes prone to mixing fact with fiction, one wonders whether there is any credence to this allegation.  Furthermore, as Saif recently commented that the Gaddafi’s are a “modest” family, maybe he would care to enlighten us on how a “modest” family is able to finance an election campaign in France.

If there really is  documentary evidence of the transfer of funds to President Sarkozy, this could open a can worms, which could prove damaging for the French.

For my part, I don’t believe that the London School of Economics, and a few  American performing artists,  are the only ones to have received money from the Gaddafi’s.  However, as the Gaddafi’s clutch at straws for political survival, maybe they will spill the beans on the other big fish on their payroll. After all, what have they got to lose?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

10 Questions for Mike Tyson

Let’s face it, the boxing heavyweight division isn’t as exciting and explosive as it  was in the ’80s and ’90s.  And I hasten to add that this is by no means a swipe at the Klitschko brothers, who currently hold five world heavyweight titles between them, or  David Haye,  the reigning WBA heavyweight world champion.  There just seems to be a paucity of  decent heavyweight contenders around.

I can remember a time when the heavyweight division was vibrant and alive with a roster of decent fighters including, Riddick Bowe, Golotha, Donovan Ruddock, Oliver McCall, Evander Hollyfield, Lennox Lewis and Brooklyn’s very own, Mike Tyson.  Yes, those were the good old days.  And there is no denying the fact that former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, was one revered fighter in his hey day.

Whilst I sat watching the video clip posted below, I couldn’t stop thinking about how a young Mike Tyson would fare against the Klitschko’s and David Haye.  Okay, maybe  I shouldn’t compare eras, but rather applaud sheer excellence. On that note, I leave you to enjoy the video in which Tyson talks about fear, love and his new Animal Planet series “Taking On Tyson.” Please enjoy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Disaster In Japan

Every so often mother nature finds a way of reminding us of the things that really count in life, brotherly love.

Yomiuri / Reuters.
Officers rescue woman by boat in Ishinomaki City.
Reuters.
Homes washed away by the tsunami on fire.
Kyodo / Reuters.
Fire-gutted vessels.
Gregory Bull / AP.
Man scanned for radiation at an emergency centre in Koriyama.

Double Standards Again ?

Wonders will never end.  With each passing day there is a new and absurd spin on world current affairs. Sometimes it feels like common sense isn’t really that common and some of us simply enjoy stirring things up and causing unnecessary tension.

So what if Beyoncé, 50 Cents, Nelly Furtado, Usher, Timbaland, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Enrique Iglesias and God knows who else, performed for the Gaddafi family for $1-$2m  each?  In the grand scheme of things, what has art got to do with the Libyan uprising?

Witch-hunting these performing artists and forcing them to give their proceeds from these gigs to charity is senseless.  It does not change the situation on the ground in Libya or the Middle East, neither does it address the global financial crisis.

Now, I accept that the average American is not concerned with events outside of the US, and as such, some of these performers may not have thought about the potential ramifications of performing for the Gaddafi family. But considering that after 26 years the US finally restored full diplomatic ties with Libya in 2006, and most of these gigs were post-2006, I don’t see what the uproar is all about.

Furthermore, I believe that if US intelligence agencies were not comfortable with American performing artists going to Libya to perform for the Gaddafi family in the first place, they would have sponsored negative campaigns against it then. It’s no secret that the US is the mother of all propagandist.

Ironically, no one appears to be putting pressure on the British, French and Italian governments to donate the proceeds of their lucrative deals with Colonel Gaddafi to charity.  There is also no such pressure on the US companies that scrambled to Libya following the restoration of full diplomatic ties in 2006.  Double standards all the way it seems. What a shame the American performing artists are the “fall guys” this time.

In the video below,  American show “The View” takes a swipe at the performing artist who performed for the Gaddafi family. Misplaced priorities in my view. What do you think?

Vodpod videos no longer available.