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The following video came through my RSS reader. It’s an award winning short film on the illegal checkpoints imposed by the Israeli Occupation(sic). Routinely, Palestinians in need of immediate medical attention are denied access to it, harassed, assaulted, and forced to give birth with out access to basic medical attention. Sometimes they’re even shot at those checkpoints. I leave you with video.

[Hat tip to Jazarah]

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Karim Arbaji has just been sentenced to three years in prison for defending human rights in Syria. Meanwhile, the Syrian blogosphere is bustling with posts advocating admirable and worthy campaigns. There’s the astounding campaign against masturbation, the noble Blogging Week for Moral Decay, and the enlightening campaign for Blogging Against Fossilized Thinking.

The background of this story is this post by Abu Fares, a response ridiculing the infamous call for a campaign against masturbation. The commentators on that post eventually came up with their own ideas for  random blogging campaigns. In essence to further mock that blogger, and the perceived religious bloggers he’s associated with.

I have to say that upon reading about the anti-masturbation campaign I cracked up. Also, I posted about it on Global Voices, sans-sarcasm. Some people were amused by the idea and tweeted the link of the article and a friend of mine wrote to me saying that the campaigner is likely to have a crowd supporting his campaign that you could fit in a phone booth. So, many people find – me included – that idea outrageous, But does that warrant the ridicule of the blogger? Does that make it ok to put aside all the great words and thoughts I’ve seen many Syrian bloggers write on each of their blogs to combine forces to fight this supposed “common enemy” called religiousness?

(more…)

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The Alchemist, by Joseph Wright of Derby
Image via Wikipedia

Hey guys I do appreciate your attempts at arguing against homosexuality with scientific arguments and proof, but all you’ve written was either based on misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what you’ve read, selective quoting and of course citing people with biases against homosexuality as doing genuine research.

Allow me to rephrase something I read somewhere I can’t quite remember: I’m as likely to have a real scientific argument with you as with an alchemist or someone who’s convinced that the earth is flat… what you speak of is not science and I refuse to acknowledge it as such. please spare me and save my time and yours.

Wish you all the best,

Anas

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I was really disappointed, although not surprised, by the recent campaign against homosexuality launched by a number of Syrian bloggers.

Seriously?! I see this only as generating from  plain xenophobia. As humans we’re genetically coded to be afraid of those who are different from us, and the herd mentality is hard wired into our brains that we don’t even want to acknowledge it. We, as humans, are instinctively to feel safety in numbers, numbers of those who are similar to ourselves and we label those who are different as dangerous, outsiders, abnormal, or even immoral as our consciousness advanced.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when that freedom is stretched to the extent of demoralizing groups of people based on grounds of religious or racial, or in this case sexual preference, differences that’s freedom gone too far.

Bloggers who participated in this campaign recycled the same old rhetoric eternally used by homophobes. Although I genuinely don’t believe in the efficiency of ‘dialogue’ with people entrenched behind a certain belief I will respond to the arguments that are most irritating to me personally:

  • “Homosexuality is immoral”: homosexuality is in no way synonymous with promiscuity or lack of morals in any sense PERIOD.
  • “Homosexuality is a sickness requiring treatment”: a sickness is defined as a disorder hampering the being’s ability to function properly. and that’s in no way the case with homosexuality; it doesn’t affect a person’s well being or their ability to be an active contributor to any given society.
  • “Homosexuality is a sin: hmm, all I can say is this, if everyone stopped trying to impose their religious belief, which of course they are entitled to have, the world would be a better place. All religions are creeds of love not hate, yet people always find a way to utilize religion to their own purposes.
  • “Homosexuality is abnormal/against nature”: who defines what’s normal and what’s not? deviation from a majority doesn’t make those who are different as abnormal based on this difference. As for it being against nature? seriously? if the sole purpose of human sexual intercourse is reproduction would someone explain to me the abundance of birth control practices and products. Over more, I don’t think any one should fear that homosexuality could endanger our species survival, Earth already harbors 30% more humans than it can provide for.
  • “Studies showed that Homosexuality is not normal”: such studies were conducted with no intent of original research, but for the sole purpose of finding a scientific looking ‘proof’ to support a false claim, such studies are best described as “junk science.”

Is it that hard to live and let live? And were there no more worthy issues to be addressed under the third Syrian blogging week? I ask rhetorically.

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Tree decorated for Valentine's Day in San Dieg...
Image via Wikipedia
  • Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and people will say that you don’t need a special day to celebrate love and that everyday should be a Valentine’s Day. Just because there’s a special day to celebrate love that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it the rest of the year. Conclusion: stop whining, suck it up, wear red tomorrow and go buy roses and chocolates and other Valentine’s Day stuff to make the corporates happy you cheapskate!
  • People are more inclined to sympathize with the tragedies and suffering closer to them (geographically) regardless of proportion (i.e. people suffering a far get less sympathy for more suffering.)
  • Anytime you take action based on anger you’re likely to regret it and/or apologize for it later.
  • Being different is good, and people would still judge you for it.
  • I like this internet cafe because they published an ad in a magazine using Firefox icon instead of the broweser with deteriorating market share Internet Explorer.
  • This post was written on a slight hangover; who says alcohol is bad for you?

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اليوم هو يوم الإيدز العالمي، ولذلك قررت أن أكتب تدوينة “مسلوقة” (أي على عجل) أسأل فيها رأيكم ببعض المواضيع التي قد تكون خلافية بالنسبة للبعض.. لن أكتب أي معلومات “طبية” عن طرق الانتقال والوقاية لأنني أفترض أن الجميع بإمكانه الوصول إليها من العديد من المصادر الموثوقة بعملية بحث صغيرة على غوغل

بقي أن أذكر بعض الأشياء التي أجدها مهمة بنظري

لا يوجد مصح يحجر فيه على المرضى في سوريا كما عرضت بعض المسلسلات السورية

الفحص في سوريا يضمن جهالة هوية الشخص حيث لا يوجد إلا شخص واحد فقط لديه أسماء المصابين وهو مدير البرنامج الوطني لمكافحة  الإيدز ، ولكن فقط يتوجب على المصابين إخبار شخص واحد يثقون به من أقربائهم أو أصدقائهم ليتمكن من توفير العناية المناسبة لهم عند انهيار جهاز المناعة في المراحل الأخيرة من الإصابة

أتطلع لرؤية نتائج التصويت وآرائكم في التعليقات

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The following argument will be based on the theorem that the masses are genuinely stupid. Therefore, the notion of choosing a leader of a given group or organization by the process of popular vote is mistakenly called a democracy while in fact it is utter idiocracy.

Let’s take the current US elections for example; the general public are willing to believe that cows fly if they were told that by someone they “trust”/like. This is the main problem: How can we trust the masses that display room temperature IQ to choose the leader of the American Empire? How could this be a wise decision when it comes from a majority of Idiots? The crowds have not spared an effort to display how gullible they are, and how easy it is to wash their minds; assuming they have them in the first place. It is very often that they take their facts from media sources that are as shameless as the communist propaganda machines.

“But what is the answer?” You say. Well, the answer is to have representatives [will be referred to as “the reps” from now on] of both nominees for the president pick the people who are eligible to vote, the same way that those lawyers you see on T.V. choose a jury for a trial. Here’s a possible set of rules for the Neo Democracy:

  1. The reps have the right to ask the voters any questions, nothing is off limits.
  2. Each and every rep has the right to VITO VETO person’s eligibility to vote [The phrase “right to vote” was not used on purpose].
  3. To be eligible to vote reps of both parties should approve the person in question.
  4. All voters should under go the afore mentioned assessment process.
  5. At least 15% percent of the population that are old enough to vote should be deemed eligible, thus canceling the possibility of the reps denying eligibility of voters out of spite and ending up with no voters at all. Minimal agreement must be forced through.

A presumed selection process would go like this:
Q: Do you think Obama is a Muslim?
A: Ummm… Sure, he made oath on the Quran when he got office.
*BEEEP* a red light goes that has VITO VETO written in capitals all over it, a big security guard yells “neeeeeext”
Q: Wouldn’t it be great to have McCain the war hero as president and that sexy fox Palin as his sidekick VP?
A: HELL YEAH!!
*Beep* (You get the drill)
Q: Do you know what are the religions of presidential candidates?
A: Sorry, but I don’t see how’s your question relevant.
(Now this last guy just might pass under the rule of 15% minimum)

Now wouldn’t we all be living in a better world if Neo Democracy were implemented? Isn’t it the best model to pursue? Then again, why should we even care? Can we even guarantee an honest tamper-proof cast of vote would take place in a best case scenario?

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