Quickies: The Remember Your History Edition

  • A young black man was shot in CA yesterday by a Police Officer who mistook him for a “burglar.” – Julian Alexander was fatally shot twice on the steps of his own property, while Police were in pursuit of 4 suspected burglars. According to a witness “They didn’t ask questions, they just shot him.” read more here
  • 19 people are dead in Somalia following another day of (unreported in the US) suicide bombing. Somalia has been without a stable government since 1991 when rebels ousted a notorious dictator. While the UN was able to broker an unstable peace in 2004, with a new government, fighting continued. Two territories, Somaliland and Puntland, have tried to break off from Somalia and its unchecked troubles, but this has only increased the fighting. Yesterday, suicide bombers attacked villages in Somaliland and the UNDP outpost. read more here
  • US invades Syria. This weekend, US military, flying Black Hawks, illegally crossed the border into Syria and opened fire on a small farming community. According to Syrians, the soldiers killed a farmer and several of his children, in front of his wife and other surviving children. They also shot a fisherman, who they believed to be the only credible witness to the attack, before loading back into the planes and re-crossing the border. When confronted, the military claimed the farmer was an Iraqi, Al-Queda sympathizer and smuggler. As those of us old enough to remember Vietnam may recall, in the waning days of the war there, the U.S. invaded Cambodia in the hopes of maintaining a presence in the region and claiming, once caught, that they were continuing the “important fight against communism” which is borderless. The result was that a stable government was toppled by a genocidal dictator who had had very little sway with his own people until they rallied against US invasion. That man was Pol Pot and he killed between 750,000 to 1.7 million people before his reign came to an end. If you replace “communism” with “terrorism” in the military justification for violating Syria’s sovereign borders, you can begin to see not only what could happen there but also why the spectre of “communism” levied by McCain, who is also a Vietnam Vet, is so dangerous. Just because he has stopped talking about perpetual war on terrorism doesn’t mean he has actually stopped talking about it. read more here.
  • The UN claims it is over extended in the DRC and does not have enough peace keeping troops to 1. keep the peace, and 2. distributed needed aid. As you may recall, peace keeping troops from Pakistan were under investigation for using food aid to coerce sexual favors from Congolese women and gain sexual access to children as young as 5 years old. After keeping the story quiet, the UN promised to investigate it, along with child pornography rumored to be circulated by members of this same unit. It is unclear if the shortage in troops is a result of finally removing these predators from their ranks or simply the ongoing dangerous conditions of serving in the DRC and the failure of the West to do anything but show up and take minerals for our computers, cell phones, rings, and fancy furniture.

These happy morning quickies have been brought to you by Prof BW, who is rapidly losing faith in humanity …

Tonight I teach my queer studies course and we are watching The Itty Bitty Titty Committee!  While I hope to be in better spirits as a result, I have just received warning from my co-prof (CP) that a student, not even in the course, has circulated an email to CP’s entire department listserv about the appropriateness of such a film, based on its title. CP says some of the girls in the class now want to photograph their “itty bitties” and circulate it in protest. I have a headache; are we really fighting about the title of a movie when all this is going on in our world?


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