Wednesday, November 12, 2008

*British female voice* "Hello. Your call cannot be taken at the moment and you cannot leave a message"

Wow. Well that doesn't leave me with many options, now does it. Call back again sure...[presses in the 12 numbers required to dial international numbers, again, an hour later]....same thing. Well, I guess that rules out the call-back option, too.

Am I being sensitive, or would you say I was being given the V-sign, the English equivalent of the middle finger, generally accompanied by "Fuck-off"? What if I also told you that the reason for the call was regarding a visa I applied for (including paying a $430 fee) 1 YEAR ago but have not even been considered for, due to technical issues with their application process? That this phone call was one in a bucket of phone calls (some at $3.00/minute), emails, visits to the Consulate (with travel costs totaling more than $1000) and faxes made over the past YEAR in an attempt to resolve this issue?

Well, good job to the British government for minimizing the immigrating and visiting riff raff, including those small business owners with PhD qualifications in science. I am feeling more than disheartened; I am feeling exhausted from the battle.

Love 0 points; British government 10 points.

Friday, November 07, 2008


One of the salient and sad aspects of the McCain-Palin campaign focused on presenting Obama as Muslim. (Recall chants of "McCain not Hussein!" at rallies for instance.) Millions of people in the world are proud to be Muslim, but here in the US, certain factions consider calling a person "Muslim" a way of name-calling. The reason? There is a negative connotation associated with "Muslim", an association with terrorist activities, for example. I find this to be very strange, given the long history of war and even terrorist activity associated with almost all religions, notably Catholicism.

As was aptly put by a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University in Washington:

“Certainly we cannot claim that violence is the monopoly of only one religion.”

Truly any large group of people, regardless of where they live in the world, their ethnicity, or who they call god, will harbor a small extreme faction prone to violence. We cannot judge any group solely by their fringe faction(s) or we will find that we will be forced to bring judgment on ourselves as well.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cheers to Americans!!!

I feel proud to be an American. Americans have come together and demonstrated that collectively we are beyond prejudice, that we will elect the right man for president, whether he is black or white. And I have never seen anyone who is so obviously the right man for president. President-elect Barack Obama is a brilliant, steady-handed, inspirational leader who has consistently made decisions out of principle, not ease or self-benefit. I will spend the next four years in tears, because even as early as the Democratic Convention speech in 2004, his words resonate with me so completely that I often tear up with happiness that he so completely "gets it."