Tag Archives: Israel

Media and…

The Murals of Belfast

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We woke up with snow on the ground. The pink dawn caught my eyes from the Wellington Park Plaza Hotel, just past Queen’s College in Belfast.

That morning we had much in store. We were to tour the murals of Belfast. Belfast is known for its separatist viewpoints; actual communities living apart from one another, next to one another – separated by what is essentially a wall and ideology. The difference is The UK’s influence vs. Irish influence in Ireland proper (the continent), but rather a UK providence (ownership). Our tour guide, a man removed from Belfast years ago, and the struggles (The Troubles), a professor of Queen’s took us around and spoke on sites. Our bus driver Paul came in with adage as well, as he was from the area himself. We pulled out of the lot and the tour began.

Along the way one takes note of the churches, the pubs, and the ubiquitous barbwire. The stuff was everywhere, hung on fences, adorning walls, sharp and varied. Most of the time it was razor-wire, or these brush type spindles – it would have fabric, torn, attached to it, blowing in the wind. Next to that I saw a fat bird on a stone ledge; it sat there flapping its wings just as our speaker’s mic went out and then some electrical engineering took place. Things were resolved.

In the narrow streets multitudes of repetitive red brick buildings, what seemed most prevalent crowded the road, these narrow passageways. Our tour came to a wall, a solid block of political writing, rich color with bold letters. The images shed light on things which were taking place around the world, not just in Ireland. Murals begged the question, asked about the truth and justice, and called out for help to those in power: “Obama holds the key” one mural said.

Freedom was a topic of most, others were messages of remembrance; remember this event, never forget, and do not repeat history. The messages in Belfast were eerily poignant to me, coming from the land of the free, America. I took in murals asking our country to free our imprisoned volunteers, they asked to let go our political prisoners. When I am stateside they are considered local, neighbors. I read about it here, abroad.

Now seeing this, and the strife and static nature which is the separation of those with money and those lacking, differences, and the comparison of this Northern Ireland to Palestine or Israel, one can take the gravity of their concern with our political prisoners, this Native American: Leonard Peltier. Why should they care? Why is this important? How have I never heard of this person? Why do we in America still have political prisoners? Why is this mural?

These installments of art, these messages struck me deep. They asked me and those with me to look at things a little harder, a little closer, to see what is really important: freedom, truth and justice. Now I sit back in Dublin, in flat 43, I know nothing of Leonard Peltier but what I saw in Belfast, on a mural, and I think, I must do some research because Belfast knows more about my country than I do.

Why I am not Voting

Henry_David_Thoreau

Recently, surprisingly (in lieu of what I’ve learned from American Literature 1, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson), I have decided to take the opportunity (Nov. 4th , 2014) to not vote. I won’t be out on that blistery Tuesday eve checking boxes and rallying support, and wasting my fucking time. I will be sitting at home and reading books, or out-and-about gathering experience; smoking cigarettes, mindful of where I ash, in light of the fallen leaves, while enjoying an ice cold locally micro-brewed bier.

Everyone is telling me to vote, I won’t listen to their peer pressure anymore. Now I have Thoreau and Emerson on my side, let’s not forget Noam Chomsky. I will avoid being a statistic, a generalized agree-er. Example of not doing what everyone tells me to do: If everyone was telling me to jump off a bridge, likewise, I wouldn’t. So, I will do the same when it comes to voting, and I just won’t.

Reason for this change of heart, I present you with: Resistance to Civil Government (1849), Henry David Thoreau

The reason I will not be voting is simple. Because I notice things, I will not vote. Daily, while on campus, I notice people walking around. There are many people, but some stick out. They seem of a different ilk. They carry clipboards, propaganda, and they look occupied, busy (and slightly worried). They ask introductory questions with brevity, -and then they get right to the point. Their mind’s look in control, but not. They look poised, but it appears as though for someone else, besides themselves. They seem to be toiling in other people’s business. A business not so simple, a business sedimented in ideology, hope, change, and money; a façade of which the American public buys into. Tangible things, apparently; things we see on TV. Yet, we must take their word for it… Those pundits, politicians, and bi-pedal volunteers. Why study the facts when we can count on someone’s good name to guide our hand in voting… I know Al, I know the other guy; they seem nice, their ads are great; they have my vote… But what do we, as voters, understand?

Do we know where the money goes? Overseas, possibly? Do they know why the local public is withheld the opportunity to vote with its dollar? We can’t buy certain things on Sunday… I’ll give two examples:
1. Wars vs. Local Education; Al Franken, as the Senate Votes
2. Letter to the Government: Jerry Hertaus-What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Has anyone discussed the importance of these minimally researched topics?
A few years back, I noticed an anomaly within my group of friends; a very close friend of mine, and confidant, chose not to vote. I’m not talking lazy-forget-to-vote, I’m talking just straight not voting. I didn’t understand. I badgered her for some time. I couldn’t believe it! I wanted her to get out and vote, as cliché as it sounds, I really did. That shit fucking counts: EVERY VOTE… I was lost and didn’t get it. Now I sort of do.

Read this: Wikipedia- Civil Disobedience (Thoreau)

Now watch this:

If one views the news, reads any local or national paper, delves into any media, one will notice a trend: people want you to vote for them. As if one person is better to lead, as if one person is actually leading, and not an organization, or worse a corporation; money. They want you to get out and tell them it is okay to do whatever they choose to do, even if those who voted for them don’t believe in what those politicians do after the vote.

Some local and national politicians just want to be talking faces, specifically noticed. They represent you, they are “good” people, probably born and breed in Minnesota, or wherever your hometown is, the similarities in locale. They want to be the next door neighbor who everyone knows, -but really doesn’t. Nothing gets changed, there is a need for necessary confusion, for necessary problems, to provide necessary solutions, with necessary money. Without these we wouldn’t need those, or them. They create a need. They need us to vote.

It is easy to vote for someone, even if you disagree with their beliefs, when everyone else does. But do you have the courage to not play their game?
Asch Conformity Test:

Al Franken, the Politician (asking for money)

PSjVDM4iTekrfovq7MK1F9sjBOus6a6vtp0hIhPqJgxT8q7ssb4WGBMISdyRYhSB5ypAyL3wH2dtXQ04QzYSygOWepwxdXCl=s0-d-e1-ft 10405432_573269972782558_1090336024728622366_nDear Terry,

Team Franken Field has a big day today. It’s part of our statewide Volunteer Weekend of Action. They’ll be knocking on doors and making phone calls all day long.

Now, a lot of you can’t get out and volunteer this weekend. But I don’t think that should stop you from getting in on all the Weekend of Action fun.

So today, we’re also hosting a Team Franken ONLINE Day of Action. $20,007 in a single day to help Al in the final 9 weeks of this election. Can you give $5.07 or more to help us out? (The .07 cents lets us know the contribution is part of our Day of Action!)

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

Express Donate: $5

Express Donate: $10

Express Donate: $25

Or donate another amount.

We’re entering the playoff portion of our race. Al’s opponent is on the air attacking us. The Chamber of Commerce promises to come at us with “aggressive” spending. One super PAC has been formed specifically to defeat Al.

There are a bunch of ways we’re fighting back in the last two months of this race. We’ve got ads running. We (obviously) have volunteers all across the state.

All of those operations take money. That’s how it is. And that money comes from you.

Help us reach our $20,007 Online Day of Action goal before midnight. Give $5.07, $10.07, or whatever you can toward our goal.

Thanks for making this a great day for our campaign.

Matt

Matt Burgers*
Campaign Manager
Al Franken for Senate 2014

P.S.: Don’t forget — adding the .07 cents on the end lets us know you’re part of this Online Day of Action. Give what you can with .07 cents on the end before midnight.

***

 
 
 
 
Hello Matt,

Please stop sending me emails about contributing donations to your organization.  As a matter of fact, take me off of your email list.  If Al (Al Franken) needs money so bad he should get it back from Israel, where he voted on spending some 280 million dollars for defense (as did 100 other elected officials), to perhaps indirectly slaughter Palestinians: Wars vs. Local Education; Al Franken, as the Senate Votes.  I could use that money for tuition, for rent, for food. 

I think he is a piece of shit (for sponsoring such atrocities in foreign lands and neglecting the citizens, locally, who elected him into office).

Thank you,

Terry Scott Niebeling

*name changed

There are No Winners: “How Hamas Beat Israel in Gaza”, and All You Need Is Love

The New York Times-How Hamas Beat Israel in Gaza

If you ask me, I’m curious as to why no one thought of this before.  Hey Israel and Hamas, all you need is love (by The Beatles).  Nothing is more important than the life you lead and the love you share, not religion, not opinion, not hate.

Killing others because of subjective opinion (religion) is a meaningless endeavor.  You wouldn’t want someone killing you for your opinion… Would you?  Love one another and be happy.

Wars vs. Local Education; Al Franken, as the Senate Votes

Franken-071009-18449 0003Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel

“The Senate yesterday unanimously passed a resolution backed by the Israel lobby group AIPAC expressing support for Israel’s attack on Gaza and saying not a word about Palestinian deaths.”

Why do we fund oversea wars when students incur debt locally?  Politicians pay for this sort of activity with our tax dollars.  What does Al Franken say about the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians?