Where the hell is Scheizerland?
That was my mystery for today. Someone sent me an email about shipping costs to Scheizerland. You’d think that it would be easy to google “Scheizerland” and figure it out. No such luck. My best guess so far is that it’s misspelled Dutch for Switzerland. Why would someone writing to me in English from Switzerland use a misspelled Dutch version of Switzerland though? If some linguist has any insight into this, I’d appreciate it, I’m clueless. And reminded of the European joke: “If a person who speaks three languages is trilingual, and a person who speaks two languages is bilingual, what do you call a person who speaks only one language?” Answer: American.
Moving right along, I didn’t have a pre-written blog for today so the mystery of the Towton Rose is going to have to wait. I’ll just go to the BBC news and see what the exciting headlines are for today … and the BBC didn’t let me down. There’s great news this morning! The last US combat brigade is leaving Iraq! Yes, Mission Accomplished, again! How many countries can win the same war, twice! Of course Iraq is still a ghastly bloody failed state where the violence is not only ongoing, it’s been getting worse. Details. I predict that before every major election in the US from now on we will be “winning” some war or another. I mean, once one bases a foreign policy on lies and fantasies, and the public buys it, there’s no limit!
The second headline is about a bomb blast in western China. It was apparently set off by a Uighur separatist. There were deadly riots in western China last year as a result of conflict between Uighurs and Han Chinese. What can I say. While I admire the pragmatism of the Chinese government, their policy towards minorities is, well, evil incarnate. They are doing what so many countries are doing, cultural genocide. Which is to say they aren’t actually killing or deporting their minorities, they are simply settling so many Chinese in minority regions that the minority culture is basically extinguished. A great example is Tibet, two thirds of the population of Tibet is ethnic Chinese now. That makes it a pretty good bet that Tibet’s chances of ever achieving independence again are pretty slim. Lot’s of countries practice this sort of silent ethnic cleansing, and the Chinese are particularly adept at it. Still, it doesn’t always work. The Russians settled huge numbers of Russians in the Baltic republics, yet they managed to achieve independence again. Still, a sad state of affairs for minorities living in China.
The third headline is that France is starting mass deportation of Roma (gypsies.) Some claim it is a purely political move on the part of the French government to pander to racist voters. The French government claims it is a humanitarian gesture to close squalid refugee camps, and fully within EU law. The first is certainly true, pandering to racism and prejudice is the wave of the future in western politics … and if you’re gonna pick a popular target, the Roma are some of the most hideously demonised people on Earth. The second is at least partly true, in that at least it’s an acknowledgement that there is a problem. As long as some parts of the world are poor, and some parts are rich … there’s going to be “illegal” immigration. And since the disparity between the rich and poor parts of the world is growing, not shrinking, this “problem” is only going to get worse. And sadly, the ability of politicians to stigmatized people who are simply trying to seek a better life seems to be increasing. And what is covered up in this frenzy of calling people “illegal” is any discussion of the west’s policies that have put millions of people out of work in the third world. Oh well, I’ll post on NAFTA someday, but this whole anti-immigrant frenzy is so depressing because our leaders are basically blaming the victims of their own greedy actions. And worse, a huge section of the public is falling for it.
The next headline is about a Spanish bull that leaped into a crowd. That’s right, the number four story on the BBCs main news page is about a bull leaping into a crowd. And people wonder why some of us rail against the mainstream media? Forty people and one bull suffered minor injuries. Somehow I suspect that there are more important stories out there, but as the mainstream news today is more about entertainment and distraction than education, we get leaping bulls. Sigh.
(The above image is a free desktop wall paper I got from this site, so I’m pretty sure it’s in the public domain. And I’m not using it for profit in any event. No particular reason for choosing it, other than the usual, it goes nicely with the theme of Doug’s Darkworld. And I’m glad I still get to post fantasy war pics instead of Israel attacks Iran war pics. So far.)