Compassion — or the lack of it — has been a recurring theme on this blog recently, perhaps understandably as we do not shy away from topics that raise questions about the behaviour of society and in particular those who govern us. The absence of compassion is evident worldwide — it is not confined to one country or one group of people — it is universal.
In France, the fight for the right to stay a completely secular state has just taken an interesting turn. I remember in 2004 when head coverings were banned in public schools thinking that I was glad that I was not a student in France as being a Jew as I am involves wearing a head covering. Covering your face is now prohibited in public places in France, and I’m not sure it’s necessarily a step in the right direction for France. In addition to banning the niqab, the full face veil that Muslim women wear, the ban also includes masks, hooded jackets as well as anything else that covers the face.
One semester, I was teaching a Dramatic Literature course at a major public university on the East Coast, when I was approached by four women after the first session.
The four walked up to me and one of them told me they were Muslim and that I had to guarantee them no man would touch them during class.
I was stopped for a moment by their request. When I looked up from my desk, I saw they were all dressed in traditional Eastern clothing and their heads were covered and they were deadly serious.
“We thought this was a literature class,” one of them said.
“It is,” I replied.
The recently announced cancellation of uber terror show, 24 — after eight, long, years — indicates the positive, rising, tide we are feeling once again in the USA. The Boogeyman is dead, the faux superhero is no longer necessary, and bad drama has finally been put to rest.
What will happen to the United States — One Nation Under God — if we ever elected an atheist president — or would we be rendered asunder before that could ever happen? Is it possible for an atheist to win the highest office in the land where prayer and freedom of religion reign?
Photographer Richard Mosse has a terrific trail of images from Iraq of the United States’ occupation of Saddam Hussein’s imperial palaces. It has always bothered me seeing US troops living large on Saddam’s legacy of largesse, and now, after seeing Mosse’s photographs, I understand the why of the disconcerting disconnect.
We have never been a fan of Donald Rumsfeld’s bloodthirst and his self-congratulatory parades — but the revelation this week of his purposeful injection of the Bible into United States War Policy in order to salve a contemptible Commander in Chief — is the beginning of the melting away of the Bad Bush Policy that brought us to war in the Middle East, and Obama better get out of the way of the truth, or he’ll get washed under with Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush as a co-conspirator in the torture cover up and in the unholy war against the Muslim faithful. GQ magazine — known more for celebrating men’s style than revealing war atrocities – published the cover pages for Rumsfeld’s Top Secret “Worldwide Intelligence Update” where Bible quotes were pasted over United States soldiers in action to help Bush find comfort in the blood he was letting.