By Kathy Martin…
Written December 2014
Before continuing with what will (hopefully) be a tongue-in-cheek ramble about local and world events, I MUST comment, in the strongest possible terms on the recent massacre of 132 schoolchildren (and, I believe, a further 16 adults) by the Taliban at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan.
CHILDREN, (unless their involvement is harmless and in the interests of their betterment), SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS TOOLS IN MILITARY OR POLITICAL OPERATIONS.
Should any person become a soldier, either by choice or conscription, in a “regular” army or a terrorist/freedom fighting organisation (such as the Taliban) then, during “active service”, their life expectancy may well, be significantly reduced.
However, any parent sending a child to school should expect to see that child return home. EVERY CHILD SHOULD OUTLIVE ITS PARENTS; IT SHOULD NOT BE THE OTHER WAY ROUND!
My knowledge of the Pakistani Taliban aims was non-existent, and, indeed, despite doing some research, is still very hazy!
Despite claiming responsibility for a few car and suicide bombings in America, the Pakistani Taliban appears to be a loose coalition of local warlords concerned largely with affairs along the Afghanistan border in Northern Pakistan. I would, of course, welcome any further “feedback” on this subject.
During the most recent Afghan war, the Pakistani armed forces moved into this area in an attempt to prevent troops that were against the NATO/West forces from moving into Pakistan.
Since then the (anti-NATO) Taliban have been operating a terrorist war against the Pakistani military and establishment. The Taliban leaders also want to impose the fundamentalist Islamic “sharia” law in the area that they control.
My hope is that, having committed this atrocious act in Peshawar, the Taliban have “shot themselves in the foot”, or hopefully, a more vital part of its body! Any support and sympathy that it may have had among the local population will have disappeared and the organisation should wither and die.
Although I appreciate that not many Pakistanis will read this, both my wife and I send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the parents, relatives and friends of the innocent victims in Peshawar.
Now on to other “rambles”!
Firstly, very happy 51st birthday greetings to our favourite radio station, Radio Bayrak, which first started broadcasting “from someone’s garage” on Christmas Day, 1963 during what has since become “Martyrs Week”, the start of the Greek/Greek Cypriot major efforts to commit genocide of the Turkish Cypriots.
PS Happy 53rd Birthday on 25th December 2016
We discovered Radio Bayrak (Flag Radio) on (I think) our second day on the island, and have become dedicated listeners ever since. Over the years we have had the pleasure of meeting and, becoming acquainted, with many of the hard working presenters and DJs of this “easy listening” English speaking radio station.
Sometime ago, according to the UK newspaper the “Daily Mail”, a player for Liverpool football club had been taken to task by the FA (Football Association) for “alleged anti-Semitism”.
He is reported as having posted on his Instagram account (what?) the following statement:- “Don’t be racist, be like Mario! He’s an Italian plumber created by Japanese people who speaks English and looks like a Mexican, jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
The remark that has upset the FA (and, back in the olden days would have been “the nigger in the woodpile” oops, sorry!) is about the implication that the Jews catch coins.
The report continued that he has since apologised on Twitter for his remark (on Instagram, remember?) but is (or was) still being “investigated for bringing the game into disrepute”!
A number of questions arise
- Firstly, why make a statement on Instagram, and then apologize on Twitter? To my boring and ignorant old technophobic brain this sounds like having a rant in French and then apologising for it in German!
- Secondly, or perhaps primarily, why apologise at all? The clue is in the first three words of the original statement:– “don’t be racist!” All the footballer (Mario Balotelli) who, is, according to his photograph, “as black as the ace of spades”, (come on, PC police, arrest me, I dare you) was trying to project was that Mario (one of the early computer games heroes) was a cosmopolitan character and that he was like his namesake!
- OK, Mario (in the game) did jump to catch coins, but is the FA also going to investigate the footballer Mario for implying that all, Mexicans are short, plump moustachioed people?
- Also, just how many “black” men who can’t jump are sharpening their assegais?
As his offence is “anti-Semitism” does this mean that it is only the Jews who are a protected species?
I grew up in a world where most jokes began with “did you hear the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scotsman”? In this world “all” Scotsmen were mean, “all” Welshmen could sing and “all” Irishmen were thick.
However, then, and throughout my life, I have not believed the stereotyping and, indeed, have met many people of these nationalities who have been contrary to their stereotypes.
Just grow up, Football Association and the rest of the “politically correct” world, humour is fun! How long will it be before politically correct animal rights groups will insist that we can no longer be “as sick as a parrot”, or anything be as “dead as a dodo”?
Some time ago my wife and I re-joined “Greenpeace”, possibly the original ecological and environmental protest group. When I say “re-joined”, I mean that we now only donate money on a monthly basis to its cause, while, when we were younger and fitter when we lived in the UK, we also actively participated in events such as “walking to save the whales”.
Sorry, I digressed a bit to give you some background, but recently we got a message from Greenpeace that, thanks to our (and presumably a few others!) donations a shipment of timber, illegally harvested from the Amazon rain forest had been impounded by the Belgian authorities when it arrived there.
Greenpeace has put pressure on the Belgian authorities to sanction the importing companies as they have “knowingly” imported timber from what is likely to be from an unrecognised and illegal source, which is illegal under European Union Law.
Thanks to Greenpeace, pressure has also been put on the Brazilian authorities to investigate the greedy, selfish and arrogant timber “harvesting” company, Rainbow Trading.
My curiosity has been aroused by what the Belgian authorities are going to do with the wood. OK, the wood has been harvested; destroying an area that formed the habitat of human, animal and insect life.
It is right that the human traffickers should be punished, but the wood itself is a passive object that cannot be restored to the environment in its original condition, so why not use it?
As it is that time of the year when Christians of all denominations celebrate the birth of Jesus and the subsequent founding of Christianity, my thoughts turned to the differences (or similarities) of the modern day world compared with the one that existed two thousand (ish) years ago.
Certainly there are differences.
No evidence has (yet) been found that Jesus ever took a “selfie”, or that he and his followers used social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter!
However, one aspect has remained the same, that is, the relationship between religion and profit-seeking commercial organisations!
In the Holy Bible Jesus is said to have thrown out of the Temple the money lenders and merchants manning stalls there, declaring that his father’s house should be a place of prayer. OK, this was just after his arrival in Jerusalem and was a short time before he was crucified, so perhaps I should have waited until an Easter ramble, but I have started, so I will finish!
Modern merchants no longer trade in Church grounds, but the Christmas religious festival has largely become a commercial festival.
In fact “Santa Claus” has hi-jacked the occasion! In Britain, from November onwards (and in some shops even earlier) Christmas trees and in-store Santas make their appearances! “Christian” children, and even adults, whether they go to church or not, make their Christmas present “wish list” known!
Meanwhile, in other religions, festivals such as the Islamic Bayrams pass without any noticeable changes in the shop displays, except, of course during the Şeker (sugar/sweet) Bayram, when packets of sweets are more prominently displayed!
How, and why, has Christianity allowed itself to be so debased?
While on the subject of Christmas, I was somewhat amused and bemused to read the results of “blind-taste“ tests on various British supermarket brand Christmas puddings.
The supermarkets ranged from up-market Harrods and Fortnum & Masons to “common” supermarkets such as Morrison’s and Tesco.
I was amused that the £4.00 Morrison’s Christmas pudding was declared tastier than the £10.00 Fortnum & Masons one!
What bemused me was that the Fortnum & Masons one was reported as tasting (yes, in the newspaper the word used was “tasting” not “smelling”!) like “citrus bathroom cleaner”!
I would hate to be a taster if the preparatory tasting research and training that I would have to undergo would include tasting such products before I was qualified!
And so, although both my wife and I are now followers of the “baa humbug” philosophy at Christmas (thanks, Alex, for your wonderful card!), we wish all readers a “Merry Christmas”!