I have to apologize for the light posting over the past week- we have been prepping to move. One of the joys and banes of the Foreign Service life is moving from country to country- or in the case of this move from continent to continent. Mrs. D and I are leaving the Euro zone and heading for one of the poorest parts of the globe. It will be big change, but we are excited. We leave here soon, and will be on home leave (Congressionally mandated leave spent in the U.S. to renew our ties to America- usually taken every three years) and then we will be in the most foreign of places- D.C.- for about 6 weeks of training and off to the new Post we go. I'll be blogging over the leave time and training, but am not sure with what frequency. Anyone with an idea for a guest post feel free to send it along to me or Smiley!
Since I have not had time for any lengthy posts here is a round up of things that have caught my eye (thank you to our readers who provided tips to many of these):
People throughout the Middle East continue to protest and decry
the "abuse" of the Koran which has supposedly occurred in Cuba:Following claims that the Koran was disrespected at the US Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba, Malaysia, India, and Pakistan were the scene of protests against the US.
In the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, about 300 protestors burnt US and Israeli flags.
Following the Friday Prayer, ralliest leaving the mosques chanted slogans against US and gathered in front of the US Embassy building to listen to the speeches condemning the insult to the Quran.
Among the crowd were banners reading "Stop Islamophobia Mania" and "Go to Hell US".
In India's Kashmir region capital Srinagar, schools and official buildings were closed due to the demonstrations. Women burnt US flags and the copies of the US Constitution during the protests attended by about 50 people.
They burned Old Glory and the Constitution! There is no way we can take that! I want to see mayhem in the sreets of the U.S.- the only thing that will set those insults to rights is the wanton destruction of property and perhaps a score or so of deaths of innocent people! It is time to show the world what America has learned from Islam.
In a more, ahem, loving note- at least someone in Germany understands the basics of capitalism and supply and demand
:Saying times are hard enough without men having to give up sex, a brothel madam in economically hard-hit eastern Germany is offering a 20-percent discount to the unemployed.
To qualify for the discount - which applies to snacks and beverages as well as services rendered - the patrons of the Villa Bijou club in Dresden must produce unemployment registration papers showing they have been out of work for at least two years.
The Brits, on the other hand, have completely lost their minds
:Warning: Long, pointy knives may be hazardous to your health.
The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, "Reducing knife crime: We need to ban the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives," notes that the knives are being used to stab people as well as roasts and the odd tin of Spam.
The French continue to appear poised to block the monstrosity that is the EU constitution, but also insist that everyone else continue the exercise
of holding referendums on it:President Chirac was still insisting last night that renegotiation was out of the question if the French vote "no". British ministers believe that the only way that the French could get eventual approval would be to amend the constitution in a way that would make it unacceptable in Britain. We do not know if there is going to be a yes or a no but a no would create massive uncertainty about what we are supposed to be voting on, a ministerial source said. M Chirac went on French television last night to deliver a dramatic last-ditch appeal for a yes vote. He urged the French people not to punish his Government.
I love that last line. Jacques, amigo mio, it is not YOUR government, it is the people's. Occasionally they are going to recall that.
Closer to home, when the WaPo calls anything you have said or written "vitriolic" and you are not a Republican, it must be pretty egregious
:IT'S ALWAYS SAD when a solid, trustworthy institution loses its bearings and joins in the partisan fracas that nowadays passes for political discourse. It's particularly sad when the institution is Amnesty International, which for more than 40 years has been a tough, single-minded defender of political prisoners around the world and a scourge of left- and right-wing dictators alike. True, Amnesty continues to keep track of the world's political prisoners, as it has always done, and its reports remain a vital source of human rights information. But lately the organization has tended to save its most vitriolic condemnations not for the world's dictators but for the United States.
That's it for now- back to sorting what goes where when we leave. I hope to have longer piece up over the weekend, maybe Sunday. Remember, guest posts are welcome! Just send me your ideas.
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