The Watering Hole, Monday, March 24th, 2014: Mixed Emotions

This past weekend’s reading brought an odd range of emotions:

HUMILITY: Geography is not my strong suit. When I was growing up, the continent of Africa was nearly always referred to as “the dark continent”, or “darkest Africa.” However, the amazing maps in “8 Maps That Will Change The Way You Look at Africa” help to shed light on “the dark continent” and its place in the modern world. Some of the maps are truly mind-boggling.

INCREDULITY: Why is David Vitter still a Senator? How was he not so shamed in his constituents’ eyes that not only did they not demand his immediate resignation when his diapered-DC Madam sexual habits were made public, they reelected him? And why is Vitter showing his face in public claiming that “…the Koch brothers are two of the most patriotic Americans in the history of the Earth…God bless the Koch brothers. They’re fighting for our freedoms.”? Steve Benen on The Maddow Blog can at least answer the the last question.

BETRAYAL: This one’s personal. My love-hate relationship with my beloved/cursed New York Jets is finally tipping over toward the ‘hate’ side. This weekend, the Jets announced their acquisition of former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, and their release of hapless quarterback Matt Sanchez. My sense of betrayal has nothing to do with Sanchez–he sucked most of the time, but I wish him well. On the other hand, I wish that Michael Vick, of dog-fighting-ring/dog killer fame, would have his throwing arm mangled by a pit bull. Just enough to keep that scum out of football forever. In the meantime (well, when football season starts), I will boycott the Jets until that inhumane piece of shit is gone.

Damn, it's just a toy

Damn, it’s just a toy

Finally, to take that nasty taste out of your mouth:

CONTENTMENT: Although the story is five years old, it’s still heartwarming, and reinforces my opinion that animals are far better than humans. Mankind should really try to emulate Mother Nature.

In 2009, a fire in the Santa Barbara area had firefighters rescuing wildlife, including young animals separated from their mothers. The unlikely pair shown ended up together after their rescuers ran out of crates.
Rescued Fawn and Bobcat kittenfawn and bobcat kitten

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind?

The Catholic Church.. Condoms.. Rape… Excommunication!

The Catholic Church’s decline in parishioners, I feel, is linked to all the bad decisions they have made over the years.  There are two more decisions this month that I consider unconscionable.  Their evil declarations are shrouded with rituals and cloak the harmful intent, which is to subjugate women.  Vanquishing any control a woman may have over her own mind and body.

The extreme position the Catholic Church took earlier this month with a 9 year-old girl in Brazil is a prime example.  This poor child was raped by her step-father and became pregnant with twins.  In Brazil, abortion is illegal except in the cases of rape or if the mother’s life is in danger by giving birth.  The 80 pound girl fell under both of these classifications, since her doctors said she would die before giving birth.

Simply because her uterus at 9 years of age simply could not foster twins, thus, the girl underwent an abortion.

As if that wasn’t enough trauma for this little girl, the Catholic Church, in it’s infinite wisdom, decided to excommunicate the doctors who performed the abortion, as well as mother of the girl.  But, they did nothing to the child-raping step-father.

Instead, this is the statement they delivered:

“God’s laws,” said the archbishop, dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church. “They took the life of an innocent,” Sobrinho told TIME in a telephone interview. ” Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored.”

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Fox News: Sarah Palin Unaware Africa Is A Continent

Now that the 2008 election is over, reporters are spilling all the juiciest, and previously off the record, gossip from the campaign trail. Much of it is about the infighting between Palin and McCain’s staff, as Newsweek’s treasure trove of post-election gossip reveals. However, perhaps one of the most astounding and previously unknown tidbits about Sarah Palin has to do with her already dubious grasp of geography.

According to Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Carl Cameron, there was great concern within the McCain campaign that Palin lacked “a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, a heartbeat away from the presidency,” in part because she didn’t know which countries were in NAFTA, and she “didn’t understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself.”

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CNN: Global Celebrations Over Obama Victory

The world reacts to the news that Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States.

Good Morning from Europe – 383 days to go and the end of the Bush presidency begins tomorrow

The Iowa caucuses, beyond any doubt, is the main topic of interest, when it comes to US politics. In a way people are relieved that the 12 months pre-primary campaign is over and polls will be backed by facts, or not. Some commenters on the articles this post links to, suggest that the Iowa caucuses were not really important at all. Well the candidates don’t think so, they are on a last ditch 36 hrs non stop campaign, so we’ll do them the favour and take this seriously as well.

A must read is “The Telegraph” today. Simon Heffer sighs: “If only we could vote for the next US president”. “Der Spiegel” covers Mitt Romney, the CEO candidate and the importance of New Hampshire for McCain. “The Times” tells you what happens “When Iowa’s music stops”. The Swiss newspaper NZZ, reports on last efforts before the caucuses.

Outside the US the year took a very sad start. Kenya is about to sink into a civil war and tribal clashes. Scenes mindful of the Hutu-Tutsi massacres in Ruanda in 1994 are being reported. The story is covered here, here and here.

Pakistan is still an issue, too. The anticipated postponement of the January 8th elections shows first results. The Bhutto clan has started to dismantle Bilawal’s position. This feuding among family memebers plays nicely into Musharraf’s and the military’s hands. The reaction of the Pakistanis on the announcement of the election committee remains to be seen.

“Europeanview” will be traveling for a couple of days and will most likely not have access to the internet. So stay safe and take care, see y’all again on Monday!