Reality Check

The Dog Days of Summer

I never knew bloggers also have ‘slow cycles’. I clearly didn’t plan out to neglect my blog this long but it feels as if I’m in a slow-motion period, where everything takes forever to come to a conclusion. Not only have I neglected this blog but I haven’t really been paying much attention to what’s going on in the world either.

I guess researching a study abroad destination and all the things that come with it plus life’s usual daily grind isn’t exactly all that slow. However, I’m ready for school now. Just not the reading, writing, exams, and studying part.

Categories: Reality Check | Tags: | 3 Comments

Useless Day

Does this ever happen to  other people: your off from work and school so you decide to do something you want to do, but end up doing nothing that’s neither useful or you want to do? How may times does this ever happen? 

When I woke up this morning I had plenty of things I wanted to do: read the Qur’an, go shopping for summer-ish cloth, and hang out with someone I care about. Instead, I spend my whole day arguing with a human wall who doesn’t understand that writing a letter to the United Nation’s Refugee Resettlement Agency on behalf of your crazy nephew in East Africa doesn’t bring them here. I have already written two e-mails on behalf of this boofis-consumed individual (I don’t know the equivalent word of boofis in English – but it’s a word Somalis use to describe someone who spends day and night talking, thinking, and dreaming about emigrating to the West), which has resulted in nothing.

So today, because of this guy’s boofis-induced state of mind that concocted wild story, I had to spend my whole day explaining at length and eventually writing the useless letter. I’m all for helping out someone who has a “case” that needs help with translation and bureaucracy stuff, but I absolutely resent being asked to do the same thing over and over again, which I know leads to nowhere. 

I’ve gone through the process myself like millions of people and I know it by heart but when this guy thinks that a letter written on behalf of him by his elderly aunt (in which she will say she’s willing to take the financial burden of the trip, blah blah) will magically bring him from Jomo Kenyatta to JFK, I feel angry and disrespected. Just listening to his logical thinking infuriates me. 

People who have boofis are obsessive compulsive on top of having all the psychological disorders found on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. I wasn’t doing for him but for his elderly aunt that happens to be my distant aunt. What is criminal about this guy is how he manipulates his elderly aunt day after day. I wish I still had my Mungiki connection so I can have him bumped off.

Categories: East Africa, Reality Check | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

World Refugee Day

Sometimes we’re so busy that we forget who we are and where we come from -the essentials that make us who we are. By all indication today seemed just another day for me – until I learned just few minutes ago that today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day. How can I forget who I am? How can I forget the millions of people who have been forced to become refugees. Sometimes we humans forget who we are if we stay a place for too long.

I will always feel refugee until the day I can go back to where I’ve come from without fearing anyone. Yet I know I’m one of the very few lucky ones who have gotten a second chance on life. But it’d be irresponsible for those of us who have gotten a chance to forget those unfortunate ones. At least we can remember them in thoughts, if we cannot help.

Categories: Reality Check | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

The Palestine of Africa

I’m sitting in the library of my school, very comfortable with music blasting from my laptop through my bluetooth headset wondering when I want to go eat something. Yet someone in Somalia that I know is starving, sick, or displaced by fighting. At this moment a lot of thoughts are going through my head – from regret, shame, sadness, to flat-out anger. I know I can’t do anything for those that are suffering in Somalia – former friends, schoolmates, neighbors – while I’m enjoying my life and its privileges here, yet I’m haunted and saddened by these facts. How can I wonder about when and what to eat while knowing someone that I’ve known in my previous life is unable to find anything to eat, much less than decide when and what to eat?  

Like the people of Palestine, Somalis are being punished for being human beings. Like Palestinians, they’re being occupied, denigrated,  killed, raped for being a human being. For more than a year, Somalis have been suffering under the transgression and genocide-intended occupation of Ethiopia with tacit and military support of the Great Democratizer THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Report after report, every humanitarian organization in the world has declared Somalia as the worst man-made (of course by USA) humanitarian disaster in the past 15 months- worst than Iraq (USA again), Sudan and Congo, thanks to Mr. George W. Bush.  How can someone do these horrible things and claim to be the follower of Jesus (Peace be with Him)? How can a human being do this to millions of people and sleep at night? How can he? 

Moreover, only one country in THE WORLD has spoken against Ethiopia’s illegal transgression and occupation of a sovereign nation since the invasion and that was Italy, I believe (I could be wrong). As reported by aid agencies, two million Somalis live on hand-out from humanitarian aid – that is about 25% of the whole country. And if I’m doing the math correctly, some 80% of the population of the capital city Mogadisho have either been internally displaced or murdered by an “internationally recognized troops.” Yet only few media outlets are reporting this catastrophe caused by George W. Bush and Meles Zenawi. Why? Why has the press turned its back on its duties? Why aren’t we seeing images of children with bloated-stomachs hanging from their mother’s dry breasts? Why hasn’t anyone and I do mean anyone report this injustice being done to the people of Somalia? Perhaps the world has had enough of Africa’s sufferings. It is a shame.

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Reality Check, Somalia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Icebox of the Nation

Minnesota has officially been declared the icebox of the United State – really? Didn’t people already know that? Sitting in my comfortable therapeutic library chair, where the temperature of the day is expected to reach mid 50 degree fahrenhait, I can only send my sympathy to those folks who have to get up and go to work or school in a brutal weather like Minnesota….I’ve been there and it is not pleasant.

Waiting for the bus to school for five minutes this morning in a 45 degree temps, I complained to myself how uncomfortable and cold it was – until I’ve just come across this article in the AP declaring the good folks of Minnesota essentially ice people. Now I have re-evaluated my complaint about the weather this morning and officially come to the conclusion that I was being a sissy and unappreciative of my blessings.

But the thought I can’t get through my head is WHY the FUCK do people want to live in Minnesota? What crazy person walked from the temperate and somewhat tropical conditions of the North East/South East of the United States to all the way to Minnesota saying to themselves – nah, this is no good! Let’s keep moving! When they finally reached the ice lakes of Minnesota, shouted and danced around the lake and declared: This IS our home! What is even more baffling to me is why people from tropical places like East Africa (Somalis/Ethiopians) and South East Asia (Hmongs) settle in Minnesota in large numbers?

But then again, why would someone settle in crocadile infested, swamped drenched, mosquito shithole Florida? Oh well, to each to his own.

Categories: In the News, Reality Check, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act – Yahoo! News

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer Thu Sep 6, 11:34 AM ET

NEW YORK – A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court’s approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act “offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.”

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law, complaining that it allowed the FBI to demand records without the kind of court order required for other government searches.

The ACLU said it was improper to issue so-called national security letters, or NSLs — investigative tools used by the FBI to compel businesses to turn over customer information — without a judge’s order or grand jury subpoena. Examples of such businesses include Internet service providers, telephone companies and public libraries.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said prosecutors had no immediate comment.

Jameel Jaffer, who argued the case for the ACLU, said the revised law had wrongly given the FBI sweeping authority to control speech because the agency was allowed to decide on its own — without court review — whether a company receiving an NSL had to remain silent or whether it could reveal to its customers that it was turning over records.

In 2004, ruling on the initial version of the Patriot Act, the judge said the letters violate the Constitution because they amounted to unreasonable search and seizure. He found that the nondisclosure requirement — under which an Internet service provider, for instance, would not be allowed to tell customers that it was turning over their records to the government — violated free speech.

After he ruled, Congress revised the Patriot Act in 2005, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directed that Marrero review the law’s constitutionality a second time.

The ACLU complained that Congress’ revision of the law didn’t go far enough to protect people because the government could still order companies to turn over their records and remain silent about it, if the FBI determined that the case involved national security.

The law was written “reflects an attempt by Congress and the executive to infringe upon the judiciary’s designated role under the Constitution,” Marrero wrote.

Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act – Yahoo! News

Categories: Privacy, Reality Check, Terrorism | Leave a comment

Rebel is the new terrorist

Since 9/11, the English vernacular has changed in ways that no one could imagine, thanks to Bush. I remember when Rebels, Freedom Fighters, Militants, Revolutionist had a meaning, and now of all of those meanings have become extinct. Now it’s words like terrorist, insurgency, terrorism, and so on that are constantly used to define something that has nothing to do with terrorism, or the like. Now an illegal immigrant is a terrorist. A freedom fighter is a terrorist. So what is next? A protester is a terrorist? A revolutionist is an insurgent?

I bring this point because every time some pinhead leader of a state i.e. bush, blair, gedi, yusuf…talks about opposition parties, freedom fighters, or revolutionist, they use “terrorist” as a way to scare the shit out of ordinary people. I remember the 2006 Midterm election in the U.S. when the republicans put on that infamous “if you vote democrat, you’re voting for bin laden.” I mean, what has this world come to? Fear, fear, fear? I’m tired of these assholes telling me what I should be afraid of. I know what I’m afraid of: assholes who start war that they should’ve never started in the first place. I know I’m more likely to be struck by a lighting than a terrorist attack. So why the hell should I take these self-appointed pricks serious?

Maybe it’s time we all start our own revolution. A revolution that says no to fear and bullshit.

Categories: Reality Check | 7 Comments

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