October 2009


 

Some people mention the possibility of having a World War III. The tensions are high. The recession aggravates things but it’s just a small part in the equation. So is religion. Though the tension is apparently between the West and the Islamic world, religion is just an umbrella for more serious underlying issues, such as greed, injustice, corruption, poverty and deep resentments. Extremists both from the left and the right have got entangled in conspiracy theories about a New World Order and worldwide dictatorship. While in my opinion creators and believers of these theories verge on serious paranoia and delusions of grandeur reminding me of Charles Manson, most of what they say is actually based on facts (it’s the way they link one thing to another to arrive at their bombastic conclusions is why they shouldn’t be taken seriously).

 

However, amid all the uncertainties, there is one thing for sure. This is not World War III, but yes, we are in Cold War II. Many might not acknowledge this (possibly because it is too scary to do so) but in reality the world is not safer that the 60’s, the peak of the first Cold War.

 

Some say, in war everybody loses. I beg to differ. If there were no winners there would be no wars, cold or not. So who are the winners? The West or the Muslim world? None of them. The winners are on both sides, so are the losers. And for each winner, there are a million losers. And we, the non-guilty no matter what our religion or race are the majority – the losers.

 

The winners are easy to spot out. The weapons industry is one of the most victorious. The more the tension, the higher the profits. Dictators in Muslim countries, and fringe terrorist groups are also gaining a lot. For the latter it’s more a question of power than money, though the two are usually sides of the same coin. The fear of the bad West and its oppression of fellow Muslims especially in Palestine is carefully manipulated to consolidate their power.

 

The list includes the corrupt criminals at Congress, turban wearing sheiks in Saudi Arabia, fanatic Zionists, some of the gamblers at Wall street and last but not least every corrupt dictator in Third World Countries. The latter sporting some solid gold Rolls Royce with a personal professional driver who knows which streets to avoid the overly thin or overly bloated corpses of the locals.

 

And we the losers? Hard to name every category but, generally speaking we are either dying of hunger, scared shitless of a terrorist attack or both. And we will keep on losing as long as the winners convince us the enemy is in the East or the West and not them. And they are succeeding. They do not only care about us, they love us. Angry at the other side but nearly always they are smiling.

 

Seen the Bin Laden clips? Despite his rage for the murdered Palestinian children, despite killing thousands of innocent civilians whose fault was only that to be at the wrong time and the wrong place (something he says was the will of God), he smiles. Yes the son of a bitch smiles, like the sweet Imam in Pakistan who mesmerised journalists by saying in a well mannered soft voice that he wants nothing ‘except full Sharia law for country’ In other words power given to him by God itself, power to rule a country that has nukes, together with people who won’t find it hard to use them.

 

And on the other side? First we had that awful blond, sending troops to kill and die for his ‘noble cause’. To destroy a man accused of having weapons of mass destruction (never found) by invading his land with white phosphorous, an illegal weapon for mass destruction. And when the American citizens got fed up, they chose a black guy, changed a little bit here and there (better than nothing?) but is still fighting the same ‘noble cause’. The noble cause Cindy Sheenan mother of one the deceased who fought it, never got any reply about what was so noble about it. And both the ginger and the black President smile for the cameras to keep us happy.

 

In a land so far away, still featured in many travel magazines (not for long), there is a man, a dictator actually screaming and shouting to get our attention. The President of the Maldives’ mantra, coming out from his severely abused vocal chords, has changed slightly lately. He used to yell ‘Stop global warming, we are going to drown’. Now he yells ‘we are drowning, literally’. Unfortunately, this little rich boy is telling the truth.

 

While mother earth is lashing at us with vengeance for being so bad, the winners insist with their agenda. The Cold War needs to go on, or the profit will decrease substantially. Gorbachev saved the world once. He is not in a position to do it again. Now it’s up to us, the losers, the majority. Unless we unite against our real oppressors we’ll keep on living and dying in our fear.

 

And at the risk of sounding repetitive I still insist, this war can only be won by not being fought.

Once again a circus with wild animals in captivity has come to entertain us this Christmas. Entertainment at the expense of endless torture of these wonderful, innocent creatures. One of the ultimate perversities of human beings. Definitely not my kind of entertainment.

 

When I did visit a circus, some 20 years ago it was different. There had been no education. My parents can honestly say they took me, a nine year old on a clean conscience. Probably, like myself, they though the animals were actually having fun.

 

Today we don’t have any excuse. Just in case one still has doubts, maybe this is a little eye opener on the horror circus animals have to endure.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb3AKVn32_I&feature=related

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y6WKI8eKI4

However, my conscience is not the only reason that makes me prefer watching animals on National Geographic, and hopefully one day in a Safari, than in a circus. It’s that in the latter, they don’t even attract me anymore. An elephant, a tiger or an iguana isn’t itself in such a place. It’s not only held in captivity against any law of nature but it’s being persistently humiliated. It’s naked of the dignity its brothers and sisters enjoy in the wilderness. The show, the games it does are nothing more than a manifestation of its submission to its pervert owner. We take our children to watch these animals obey rules that weren’t meant for them in the first place.

 

The first reaction to this forthcoming circus, Circo Fantasy, is a negative one on the media. And that’s something very positive. I’m proud that most of my fellow Maltese people do have a conscience and disapprove of this brutality, while I’m disgusted with authorities giving the green light to this perversity.

 

However, the ball is in our court. We have to hit them where it hurts, which is the profit they make from this misery. We have to boycott any circus with animals and show the reason why. If we really love circuses, we will attend only those that are animal free. We still appreciate the greatness of a trapeze jumper, the accurateness of a juggler and the talent of a clown.

 

We love animals. We also want to see them. But when we do, be it on a screen or in the wildlife, we’ll see them living their free dignified life. We want to see them live, like they do on the Discovery Channel.

 

Take another step and join this Facebook Group. This year might be the last one our country is an accomplice to this misery.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=152447782391

While I was still uttering my first words, my family and a large number of people living in Malta were living in fear. Political fear. And let’s not beat around the bush, it was the socialists, the then Malta Labour Party who were mainly to blame.

I remember being told to hide the newspaper I used to buy every Sunday morning for my father, even though it was just The Sunday Times. I remember tension in my parents faces in an incident while choosing the different coloured wrappers of otherwise identical sweets. They were in red, blue and gold. I chose the gold one (cause I liked the colour, nothing more) and that seemed to relax my parents. There were many such incidents. I also remember the joy after the 1987 election. I also remember visibly a graffiti sprayed on a wall in Mosta stating ‘Hlisna mit-tirannijja’ (we freed ourselves from tyranny). Looking back, I realise that the author of those words was right.

Today, more than two decades later we are free from this crap. Of course we still have rampant corruption and manipulation of the media. But at least now power does not lie in the barrel of a gun. (According to the EU barometer Malta is a ‘quasi democracy’)

 The Nationalists kept the same name and have been ruling this country for nearly 20 years. The socialists changed their name, and their attitude. The PL of today has absolutely nothing to do with the MLP of the 80’s although a small number of people from the Party from those days remained. I still do not support them, but I don’t fear them anymore. Joseph Muscat, their new leader is in my opinion, quite a frivolous and arrogant person. He also has no idea of what constructive criticism, for the benefit of our country, is. However despite all his shortcomings he is clearly not a violent person. The PL today is anything but a violent party. The fear is gone. At least for me and many others.

However, some die hard PN supporters are still playing the ‘socialists are violent’ card. A card that is securing them a large amount of votes, especially the votes of those who experienced the worst in the 80’s. This can’t go on. Today’s government has flaws, big flaws. Democratic, environmental, economical and other shortcomings are keeping our country far from what is desirable. The socialist opposition is not a much better alternative in my opinion (one of the reasons why I support and vote for the Greens). However they are not a dangerous (violent) alternative, and those who play this card are actually doing a disservice to the country. A disservice because a chunk of people will never consider any alternative for the wrong reason – fear. It has, for a long time kept the PN in power despite anything the party does. It was even used against the Greens with the ‘Vote Harry get Freddy’ campaign before the last general elections.

My appeal here is not for people to support the Greens. All that I’m asking is that for the common as well as individual good one should be open minded on to whom they should support. Personally I use the answer to these two questions when I come to decide whom to support and ultimately vote:

1) What is the Party proposing?

2) How much do I trust this Party in actually implementing what they are proposing?

For the 80’s, fear of violence was in the equation. Today it is not. Well, it should not be. All that is left is ghosts. And I believe ghosts only exist in a person’s imagination