Tag Archives: violence

Maybe They Have A Point…

27 Apr

Lately I haven’t been to up on what’s going on in the world, but I have heard snippets of the demonstrations surrounding the running of the Olympic torch around the globe. While the torch went through Seoul today, a man tried to light himself on fire to stop the relay (story). In Paris, the last part of the torch relay was canceled due to protests (story). In fact, protesters were so violent, the torch had to be extinguished five times.

The torch, a symbol of unity and friendly competition between nations, has become a site of bitter protest in every international city it approaches (including San Francisco). Groups like Save Darfur and Amnesty International are partially responsible for organizing the protests because they disagree with China’s human rights policy, their enslavement of Tibet, and the recent violence against the Tibetan Buddhist monks.

Even lawmakers are calling for a boycott of the Olympics, urging President Bush to refrain from visiting the opening games in Beijing. However, it looks unlikely that Bush will call off his plans, even though folks from both sides of the aisle are asking him to reconsider.

Now if a man is willing to light himself on fire to communicate a message, does anyone else think we should listen? Sure, he may be a nutter, but even nutters can make good points. It seems that thousands, maybe millions, have a similar message–the Beijing Olympics should be snubbed. The Chinese government has a long history of oppressing its people, and now we’re just bringing commerce into the country like everything is great, like they aren’t cracking down on house churches or imprisoning people unfairly. Some have even compared this situation to the 1936 Summer Olympics which were hosted in Berlin by Hitler. It gave Hitler a platform to showcase Germany to the world so the world would be quick to agree in his wisdom.

Frankly, I probably won’t watch the Summer Olympics anyway. I find spectator sports fairly boring, except for curling (that’s just funny) extreme sports, soccer, and ice skating. Even then, I get bored after a bit. But if I had planned on watching them, I would seriously consider doing so as a form of protest.

I’m just wondering–what do you think about the quagmire that is the Summer Olympics?

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Does Marines Abuse of Puppy Indicate More?

4 Mar

I grew up around a lot of animals–turtles, hamsters, dogs, snakes, elephants, lions, and walruses to name a few (OK, I made up the elephants, lions, and walruses). Whether a squirrel in the park or the cat in our house (that won’t stay off the counter), animals are a part of our everyday lives. Many people like animals, some people love them, and there are a few individuals who abuse them…greatly.

Animal abuse is a strict violation of one of the first commands God gave to man in Genesis–take care of the earth. You can eat plants and animals, but don’t abuse the earth. Obviously, with our world in a state of environmental crisis, we haven’t been good stewards of the planet. Furthermore, humans flagrantly violate this rule when they mistreat animals.

All this came to mind today, when I read about a YouTube video showing a couple of Marines (or men dressed as Marines) abusing a puppy. The Fox News article said that the public outcry has been great and so far the video’s had 135,000 hits (full story). It’s been removed from YouTube due to its TOS violation, but it’s popped up other places online.

I refuse to watch the video because I know that it would upset me greatly. According to the aforementioned article, the two men find a stray black and white puppy and throw it off a cliff. There are more details, but you can read the article or watch the video if you’re interested.

I find this disturbing for a number of reasons…

1. Animal abuse is sick. Seriously, animals are so sweet and loyal (for the most part). The poor puppy,  especially if it was an abandoned stray, was probably starving and looking for food. It foolishly thought that these two men could help. Sick, sick, sick.

2. People who abuse animals go on to abuse people. Every time I’ve heard about a serial killers, it was also mentioned that the wacko tortured animals as a kid. I haven’t heard a case of child abuse where the pets weren’t also abused. Violent people abuse anything in their paths, whether they be puppies or babies.

3. Are members of the military prone to violence? I know we are supposed to swell with pride whenever our military is mentioned, and I support the troops. Yet I wonder as we turn regular men and women into killing machines if we’re not destroying part of what makes them human. Really, they go into battle destroying the “enemy”, which is composed of people on the other side trained to do the same.

After dropping bombs, shooting others, being attacked while on patrol, how can we expect these men and women to be normal? Sure, they may seem fine on the outside, but they are desensitized to things that horrify us because it’s part of the job. Perhaps these two men saw a couple of comrades gunned down by a sniper or came face-to-face with the enemy who was just like a man like them, not a demon. Who knows if they were really Marines? Who knows if they saw combat? Who knows their stories?

But when you think about it, when you’re “trained to kill” or do whatever is necessary to protect your unit, abusing a little puppy doesn’t seem that out of line, does it? Not when you’ve shot to death dozens of others.

Threat 229

28 Feb

February 29 only comes around once every four years. To celebrate the day, McDonald’s is offering small fries for only 29 cents and at Dunkin’ Donuts you can get a Leap Year Donut for 29 cents (of course, both establishments require a coupon offered in the Sunday paper weeks before).

Other plans for this Friday aren’t so sweet, including rumors of school violence in the Lehigh Valley area. School officials and police in both Allentown and Bethlehem are beefing up security on Friday, while concerned parents are keeping their kids home (full story). According to the Morning Call, the threats originated on two MySpace sites–the 229 Brigade and the Pink Army P.A. Yet both groups also claim in the article to be peace-loving in nature. Although, in my opinion, their MySpace sites are a bit obnoxious, especially the pepto-bismal pink backgrounds. Yet they seem mostly harmless. I think we have more to fear from presidential debates.

After doing a quick Google search, it seems that the threats of violence go no further than the Lehigh Valley, and only appear to be unsubstantiated rumors. Unfortunately, we live in a world where rumors must be taken very seriously. While I don’t condone skipping school (even though I did it a few times), if I had a kid in high school, I’d keep ’em home on Friday and take ’em out for 29 cent fries at Mccy D’s.

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