05 September 2013

Syria Isn't A War, It's a Moral & Human Obligation

What happened in Syria - the use of chemical weapons - is a moral atrocity.  It is an explicit desire to inflict pain and suffering on people and in this case, it was performed by a government to its OWN people, which is even more shocking.  What I'm saying is, there is no need to use them.  They don't do anything more than regular weapons to kill people, they just make the death more horrific and painful.  There is no point to them.

This is the argument that has been used to suggest it was "the rebels" and not the government in Syria who used the weapons, despite the fact that there is extensive evidence to show that the government has such weapons, along with a fairly decked out military.  That versus "the rebels," who are made up of several different disparate groups who aren't organised, aren't being supplied by foreign governments or groups (as opposed to the Syrian government, who is being armed by Iran and Russia).  Three international governments have ruled near conclusively (it's never possible to be 100% sure but knowing that in one incident the weapons were dropped by fighter jets pretty much rules out the rebels, no?) that the Syrian government was responsible.  Most recently, Germany.

I've been confused by the lack of public support for any action at all when you consider what has gone on and how much less we've gone to war for in the past.  Iraq - No WMDs in existence, much less used!.  In Libya, much of the same.  And yet guns were blazing in the USA for the former and around the world for the latter.  Now, this time, we have concrete evidence that a leader is brutally murdering his own people and the world is like, "no, not this time." Huh?  Here are my four points:

  1. If there was ever a conflict this century to act on, it's this one.  The Syrian government has violated an obscene number of international laws, used chemical weapons to kill their own people, and caused the displacement of SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE, 2 million of them across borders.  When people are fleeing TO Iraq you know something's seriously wrong.  That's one third of the entire population displaced.  Not even the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq can match that.
  2. We're not "helping Al-Qaeda" by taking action.  One of MANY groups fighting Assad is Al-Qaeda and in fact, the most powerful ones are secular groups in the south.  Also, is Assad's government not a terror group itself at this point, dropping chemical weapons on civilians?  Also, doesn't it offer some semblance of good will and shift the perception of people when the international community intervenes for the right reasons?
  3. Um, folks, whose side do we want to be on here?  I believe it's Iran, Russia and China who are backing Assad at the minute for whatever reason.  None of them are really superstars as of late when it comes to basic human rights.  My guess is their team isn't the best choice.
  4. Nothing I've written really matters because of the moral obligation we have as human beings to help other human beings who are being senselessly slaughtered by their own government using cruel and unusual methods.  I mean, dear god, how is everyone not wildly and unbelievably outraged?  This is a violation at the most human level and if something like this doesn't drive us to act my bigger fear is for humanity in general.

02 September 2013

Hot Dog Crust Pizza & Other Ways We Know We Have Enough

Living in central London, we get about 4,761 leaflets under our door a week.  Recently, TWO pizza places have been offering their "Hot Dug Stuffed Crust Pizza," using an arrow to show exactly where the hot dog goes inside the crust for those of us who have never even heard of pizza.

We all know that in "developed" countries we have, generally, enough food (of course there are also those going hungry in the developing world, which further reinforces my point).  We know this because we have overweight and obese people, suggesting there is a significant excess of food available to us.

With that in mind, WHY ARE WE PUTTING HOT DOGS INTO THE CRUST OF PIZZA?  Some would say "why not?" and go into a long speech about how this is the American Dream and freedom and blah blah blah.  All of those arguments are absurd.  We as a society have proven that decisions like how much to eat can't be left up to us because we make bad choices and that affects everyone (healthcare costs, for example).  As such, it's time to be an overreaching government-loving liberal and call for the immediate ban on all foods that combine two foods that are terrible for you into one food.

On that note, I'd also like to ban useless crap like this strap-on knee pillow.  For those of you considering purchasing this fine piece of useless sleep accessory, please spread your legs, take on of your head pillows, and place it between them.  Close.  Done.  I just saved you $16.  You're welcome.

-Kyle Taylor