Tag Archives: conscience

FIFA–Russia 2018



What is FIFA thinking? Have any of their members watched or read the news? Here are some quotes of what FIFA are saying, as read in the BBC News Online. Let me back up: they need to have something to respond to, in this case the deputy prime minister of the UK:    

“Russia should lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup as part of tougher sanctions following the plane crash in eastern Ukraine, Nick Clegg has said. The UK deputy prime minister told the Sunday Times it was “unthinkable” that Russia should host the football event.” 

FIFA’s response?

“World football governing body Fifa has rejected calls to change the 2018 host. Responding after some German politicians also called for Russia to be boycotted, Fifa said the 2018 tournament could be a “force for good”.

and also:

“Fifa said the World Cup could be a “powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments, helping to bring positive social developments.”

“Fifa believes this will be the case for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia,” it added.”

Mr. Clegg may be voicing what others feel but are afraid to say, as is often the case with bullies:

He [Putin] can’t constantly… push the patience of the international community beyond breaking point, destabilise a neighbouring country, protect these armed separatists in the east of Ukraine and still have the privilege and honour of receiving all the accolades in 2018 for being the host nation of the World Cup.”

He added: “You can’t have this – the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian-Ukrainian border.”

Does this seem even slightly familiar to anyone? At all? [clue: 2014 Winter Olympics] Given what has happened since then, what a “force for good…[and] powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments, helping to bring positive social developments” they were, does that make FIFA think twice? Don’t force people to make a decision to boycott, make a responsible decision, unlike the International Olympic Committee, and move the 2018 World Cup now.

In fact, given all the kerfuffle, I think an interesting place to hold it would be the United States, somewhere along the West Coast. The biggest cities are Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Other cities might jump at the chance. There are plenty of people here who play and watch, contrary to some pseudo-journalists’ reports.




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The World Interpreted through Alice in Wonderland

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Consulting the Oracle

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First Meeting

Many Don’t Arrive

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A Meeting is Held

Alice is voted unanimously as Ambassador

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Waiting to meet the Red Queen

(With trepidation )

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A productive discussion did not seem in the cards

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And, in fact, became quite hostile.

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Things on the home front were not much better.

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With a heavy heart, Alice helped prepare her friends for battle with what little she could find.

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Alice listened to the Mock Turtle’s prophecies of the outcome of the war.

    4E9FC6FE-AC4F-4C99-AF28-2985270D3379.png Is the Mock Turtle going to be right?

Mr. Putin, speaker with two faces?

Mr. Netenyahu, regretful of civilian deaths?

 

Who will take responsibility for their actions?

Who will pretend to paint the roses red with the blood of the fallen?

 

Enough is Enough: Silence is Acquiescence. So is Attendance.

There comes a time when people need to stop and think about the larger picture. Not about how something effects simply them as an individual, but how it effects an entire group of people and the possibility of what could happen to those people. Not surround ourselves in little bubbles of calm with the attitude that an issue doesn’t concern them and it effects other people, not them–it’s more important to stay calm and happy than be angry and upset, to actually feel passionate about a cause because it does effect people other than them. People they may never meet and may never know, but whose lives are just as precious as their own.

The Olympics were originally held in times of peace. We are not at war, but we are not at peace, either. It is not peace when the country chosen to hold the Olympics passes a law, unanimously, banning same sex relationships. A country with an active Neo-Nazi population. Where the stakes keep getting ratcheted up higher and higher. To where they are now.

What Vladmir Putin has said, and what a couple of others have said, are now so well known they’ve become common enough no one even needs to cite the sources. Minor comments leading up to the head of Telecommunications announcing that hearts of people who are gay are “unsuitable” for life. The pop star who said he’d burn gays, all of them, until they were all dead.

I had my own thoughts about this one and wasn’t sure when it would be addressed: no one is to talk to children about homosexuals. My question, what if they see someone they think might be? And they have a question?

Non-violent protests always ended up with someone getting hurt–never the police or whichever group had decided to attack them–and get away with it.

Homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children, or keep their own, because as parents they are evil.

So far, all of this is okay because some GOP Senator’s wife thinks Putin looks hot with his shirt off. Excuse me? And this is newsworthy because…?

Joachim Gauk, President of Germany, was the first person in a public position to announce he was not going to Sochi. Finally, someone with a conscience. He was followed by an EU official and the French Government. Others have declined. President Obama, Michelle Obama, and the Vice President and his wife will not be attending, but the US is sending a delegations containing representatives who are LBGT.

Putin has upped the ante. Now he has equated anyone of a different orientation as pedophiles. To paraphrase, “You’re welcome here, but leave our children alone.” Or maybe that isn’t paraphrasing. Games of peace.

15 Articles on Situation in Russia:   http://pridemedia.net/142/

Op-Ed Piece:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/opinion/life-under-russias-gay-propaganda-ban.html

This is a headline from “Aljazeera America” from January 19th, 2014: Putin: Russia must ‘cleanse’ itself of gays, but they shouldn’t fear Sochi. In the article, Putin states that: “Population growth is vital for Russia’s development and “anything that gets in the way of that we should clean up,” he said, using a word usually reserved for military operations.”

I’m going to stop writing here in a minute. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Does anyone remember the concept that we study history to learn from our mistakes? The definition, one of them, of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Well, are we going to learn? I don’t think my guesses as to what could happen are out of the realm of the impossible or even the implausible. It’s been done before.

I think, considering Putin’s most recent statement, every single person, political official, judge, every single athlete, coach, journalist, reporter, announcer, should seriously think about whether or not the Winter Olympics at Sochi are worth it this year. Hold them somewhere else next year. I wasn’t sure about a boycott before. Now I am. Attending the Olympics in a country with a leader making statements such as this is wrong, from every standpoint. Ethically, morally, and as a violation of civil and basic rights. A certain soft drink company couldn’t make the right decision because capitalism won out over humanitarianism. Others planning on going don’t have to make the same decision.

Russia must ‘cleanse’ itself of gays

Some people may not want to go further than this. Some of the material is very disturbing, but so is ignorance.

Some pictures not suitable for children.

Continue reading

Can Everyone Just Stop Talking, Please

There are times in my life when I feel so frustrated, so small, so unheard, so forgotten as a citizen that I want to stand on the tallest building I can find and just scream until someone pays attention to what I am saying. How are people, little people like me, heard in this country of Freedom of Speech, the right to arm bears (a much better choice, if you ask me–give those bears in Alaska a chance against Sarah Palin and her helicopters), the conservative right who literally make absolutely no sense. I don’t mean that they’re just illogical, the words that they string together to form sentences do not answer questions, they give no answers–they are a Möbius strip. I’m really not just saying this–look for this article on The New Civil Rights Movement’s web site: Sarah Palin: Atheists Are Suing Private Citizens Over Nativity Scenes ‘On Somebody’s Law.’

Why, I ask myself, do she and other people like her end up being heard? Because they’re stupid? I know I’m not the one with all the answers. I know I can’t solve all the problems. I know things can’t be fixed overnight. I used to want to work in International Relations when I was a kid, because I wanted to make the world a better place. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that path, because I would have ended up a disillusioned puddle of an adult. I don’t know what is wrong with the world. But today for the first time in a long time, because there’s a part of me that’s hardened to the daily horror that is the world, if one is paying attention–today I had to stop because I started to cry. I simply could not take any more. Any more illness. Any more famine. Any more war. Any more oppression. Any more GOPs smearing Nelson Mandela’s name and comparing the American national debt to apartheid. What? Any more of Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and whoever else I left out.

And the white elephant has turned into an animal of a different color, a giant brown bear.

I do not hate or hold grudges against any country for what happened in their past. If you do that, you end up like Israel and Palestine, or Ireland and Northern Ireland, fighting wars that have been going on for far too long. The point is that what happened has already happened. I am not religious, but nor do I believe the “sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” We have been told, over and over, that the point of history is to learn from the past. Well, we’re all doing a pretty damn poor job of it. We haven’t learned a blessed thing. People are more interested in political maneuvering, the next election–I speak for the US, the only country I have experience to speak on. The usual rounds of mudslinging and defamation. And hatred, true hatred, growing against the LGBT community within our love thy neighbor religious institutions, the lovely christian right.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s, I had nightmares about nuclear war, the utter and complete devastation of the world. It seems many of the writers of dystopian young adult fiction didn’t grow up under that shadow–many of them are half my age. Maybe that’s why dystopian, apocalyptic fiction doesn’t appeal to me; for me, growing up, that was a true possibility (not that it isn’t completely out of the question now, but it doesn’t hang over us everyday like fog). My nightmares are changing. And again, they emanate from the same source; the bear is up and busy these days, passing some terrifying laws, one in particular. In my nightmares, it’s as if there’s a curtain and we can’t be sure what really is going on in Russia. We know they run propaganda–oh, wait, news, every two hours with their head of telecommunications telling millions of Russian citizens that people who are gay have “unsuitable hearts for living.” It’s pretty clear what the implication is. Whatever the means, they should die. But he quickly added that he has gay friends. Not anymore, I would imagine. I think “Who needs enemies when you have friends like that,” applies here. I don’t believe the bulk of the Russian people feel this way. Again, it’s the loud, brash, I-can-talk-over-everyone-else people who run the show. Whoever runs the media holds the power. What are they doing? I ask myself. Is this just the beginning? What do they intend to do? I don’t want to look at their past. There’s a history of many, many people ending up dead. And this scares me. Very much.

And the timing, with the Olympics. There’s the rub. What to do about the Olympics. Have countries boycott them, and the athletes who have been training all this time not compete? But tell me–what is worth more; precious metal on a ribbon around your neck, or knowing that you have made a difference, you have made a mark far bigger than a name that goes into Wiki with what place you won. You have made a statement about not just humanity, but the fact what is happening is not moral, it is not ethical, and it should not be condoned. Right now no one is to talk to children about people who are gay–how long before they actually start disappearing so the children don’t see them either? That is my fear, that is my nightmare; the mere possibility that could happen to someone I love.

And out of the darkness there is a small bright light.  A political figurehead who supposedly has no power in the political system. President Joachim Gauck of Germany announced he will not be attending the Olympics in Sochi next year. A politician with a conscience. Are there any others? The goliath that is Coca-Cola folded under one of the seven deadly sins. What I would ask, if I could shout and yell until people listened, is will the politicians around the world make a stand and follow President Gauck’s example, or will they crumple?

And after that I would dearly appreciate it if someone would bring me a glass of water.

Sleep well.