Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I love the Westboro Baptist church!

I really love them.  I used to hate them.  All of the vitriol and bile that they spew from their hateful mouths would make me question the core of humanity.  How could someone do that to another person? 

But then I saw the way in which people reacted to them.  Everywhere they went people gathered in opposition; but not with anger, with love.  They gathered to shield families and let them know they are loved.  They held hands to show individuals that they are not alone.  When the Westboro leader died they did this: 

So, I love them because despite their best efforts they have done nothing but bring out the best in us.  They are like a vaccine for hate. Wherever they go, everyone just responds with fierce love!  I don't often claim to speak for Jesus but I think this time, we are doing exactly what Jesus would do! Thank God for Westboro! Thank you for reminding us that there are more good people in this world than bad and that the answer to hate is not hate, it is simply to love more.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thoughts on Bergdhal video

Just a few thoughts on the Bergdhal rescue video.

 Ok, so the first funny bit is that the US apparently told the folks at the Taliban office in Doha:

"Listen, so we know you are the correct group , we are going to need you to shine a green light. Just so we don't land on the wrong group."

And the folks in Doha were like: "Ahhhh, that could be a bit of a problem because you see, we don't exactly have a green light"

So I'm guessing at that point the US guy was like "Really?  Like there's no one there who even has like a laser pointer in the junk drawer of his desk?"

Taliban:  "Yeah, no.  No lights.  No lasers"

US: "How about one of those little hand crank flashlights?  You know the ones that look like little pandas.  Do you have one of those you could use?"

Taliban: "Hold on.......(muffled receiver, muffled voice) does anyone have a flashlight?  No? It doesn't matter why.  Oh, you have one!?  What? No Achmed, that is a flare, totally different.  Jeeze. I know, I know you are just trying to help but honestly...sigh, go back to your office.  So guys, that's a no on the light?  Ok, I'll tell him. (clear receiver) You still there?"

US:  "Yes"

Taliban: "Yeah, so that's a negative on the light."

US: (audible sigh)  "Ok... do you have a white flag that you might be able to wave?"

Taliban: "Hold on (muffled receiver)  They want a white flag, does anyone have a white flag? I don't know, let me ask.  (clear receiver)  Hi, ummm so does it have to be an official "flag" or no?"

US:  (patiently) "Nope, anything flag like will do. "

Taliban: "Ok then, yes, yes we are good to go with flag"

Here's what they showed up with:

.....basically a scrap of white fabric attached to a stick that I'm fairly certain they literally picked up off the ground right there!  I'm sure that the white flag as a mark of surrender totally went over their head.

Which brings me to the vehicle:

WHAAA?  Its like an Eldorado had sex with a Suziki SUV!  Here's how this went down.

Taliban Leader:  "So we are going to release this guy to the Americans.  I hear there were some issues with the light or flags or something.  Anyway, want you guys to go get ol' Baldo Bergdhal and take him in the van."

Taliban #2: "The van?  Can we take the crazy scribble truck?"

Taliban Leader: "No, take the van.  Its bigger.  Take the nice one though.  The one with wall to wall carpeting and the sound system."

Taliban #2:  (excited and whiny) "I really want to take the crazy scribble truck. Its so cool!  It will show them how cosmopolitan we are. Plus what's the point of having a macked out truck like that if we don't show it to anybody?  C'mon, please?"

Taliban Leader: "I don't know the van just seems to make the most sense.'

Taliban #2: "Oh come on.  It will be great.  When they land we can fling the door open and be all like (official voice) 'Here is your hostage'  It will add a lot of flair.  Come on.  You never let us do anything fun?!!"

Taliban Leader: "Alright, take the truck.  Don't forget the flag."

Taliban #2:  "Woo hoo!  Hey guys he's letting us take the truck. I call shotgun."  

Taliban #2 walks away talking to himself under his breath:

"I have your hostage right HERE!"
"I HAVE your hostage right here!"  
"I have YOUR hostage right here."  
"HERE IS YOUR HOSTAGE! " (whispers) yeah that's it!' (small fist pump to self)

Which finally brings me to the wave.  

"Ok, bye now.  Call us next time you are in Kabul!  We'll do lunch."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No Everyone is NOT beautiful, Stop telling girls that!

So recently on the Today Show they did this bit called “Love thy Selfie”, the basic premise of which was to help people love themselves as they are.  They did this by having the anchors wear no make-up (pause for audible gasp) and opening up about things they hate about themselves all culminating in the message that everyone really is beautiful, at every size even without make up.  At the gym I go to they are embracing this “Operation Beautiful” nonsense which involves posting notes anonymously to mirrors reminding strangers that they are beautiful and strong etc…..so that every woman knows she is beautiful.

Ugh, where to start?  As the mother of a young girl I hate this supposition that part of being a woman is feeling crappy about yourself.  I’d much rather see a sign or a program that says: “Stop worrying about whether you are beautiful! It’s not helpful. Put your energies into something more useful.”   And I hate that it smacks of the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset that is so prevalent these days. 

Listen, not everyone is beautiful.  Plain and simple fact.  If everyone was beautiful then no one would be.  Every woman in this world knows exactly how pretty she is.  Trust me on this.  You telling your daughter over and over again she is beautiful when no one asked her to prom isn’t going to fool her any more than giving the kid who scored an own goal an MVP trophy at the end of soccer season.  Imagine if at graduation we said “you are all Valedictorians!” 

Now you might say, “What’s wrong with telling girls and women they are beautiful.  What’s the harm?”  Here’s why: 

Trying to make everyone feel beautiful simply fuels the belief that for a woman, being beautiful is the most important thing you can be.  Everything else is secondary.  No one is running a “Everyone is Handsome “ campaign for young boys.  Do you know why?  Because men know that it doesn’t matter. If you aren’t handsome then you can be funny, or charming or smart.  They understand that their intrinsic value lies not in their exterior but in what they bring to the table of life. 

Listen, we are all given different gifts in this life. I have the gift of humor and thin ankles, like Hillary Clinton would literally kill for my ankles.  Some people are smart, some people are clever, some people are athletes, some people are creative and a very lucky few get to be several of these things AND beautiful too.  Lucky them.  Some women are beautiful and dumb as a box of rocks.  All of us have to make do with the cards we have been dealt. 

What we should be telling young women is NOT that they are beautiful, but that there is so much more to life than being beautiful! How you look doesn't determine your value in this world! 


Monday, June 2, 2014

The Office, Taliban Style

I was so glad to hear about the release of Bowe Bergdhal.  Great news!  What surprised me though was the news that there is a Taliban OFFICE in Quatar.  An Office?! It got me thinking what is that office like?  Is there a Taliban Michael Scott doppelgänger with the requisite Dwight Schrute :

“I’m the Assistant Commander of the Faithful”
 “No you are the Assistant TO the Commander of the Faithful”

Do they have office hijinks – like washing someone’s shalwar (loose pants) in hot water so they shrink?  “Hey Abdul Rahman nice pants! Are you expecting a flood?”

Do they have nicknames for each other.  Like is the good looking guy called James Mujahideen?  And the guy who likes to cook. Do they call him Paula Mujahideen?   Do they say things like “Ugh, that guy!  He puts the DULL in Abdullah!”

Do they have an HR department?  What’s it like being that guy?  Does someone “out” a coworker for being a secret Demi Lovato fan?  And then he’s all like:

 “No, I just clicked on an ad and the video just popped up. The computer went crazy! I don’t know what happened?“

What are their email addresses?  @taliban.qa

Do they have a twitter?  “Follow us! Taliban@twitter.com.  No, literally follow us”

(Actually they do have a twitter and it is pretty f*&%ed up reading.  I will ad that it is not verified.  So its anyone’s guess.  http://gawker.com/5801252/the-taliban-joins-twitter)

What are the office holiday parties like?  Does everyone bring a casserole to celebrate Eid al-Fitr? And like everyone knows that Omar always bring the kebabs and woe to anyone else who tries and of course there’s the rumor that Ahmed’s third wife is lazy and brings store bought naan every year.    On the upside, I guess no one gets drunk and hits on the boss’ wife. 

Do they have posters like these on the walls of the break room? 

(That Allah, ALWAYS testing you! A real joker that guy.)

 (Thanks for not destroying me Allah!)

 (Everybody’s Workin’ For the Weekend)

Is there a bulletin board in the kitchen with ads and other stuff: 

Sheet with little pull tabs:  “You too can have 72 virgins.  Ask me how!”

If you are the last person to make tea – PLEASE UNPLUG THE TEA POT

Don’t miss the TORTURE AND TEAMBUILDING seminar this weekend.  “Fun, Food and Friendship” Contact Hafiz in HR to register. 

I could go on and on.