Double standards

In the series Peaky Blinders season 6, episode two, Tommy Shelby tells Laura McKee “in the Shelby family business comes before issues of vengeance.”

About a week ago, Saudi Arabia executed 81 people in one day, most of them believed to be Shia people and/or opposers to the Saudi regime, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations” and holding “deviant beliefs”.

Since then, I’ve waited to see a single action done by western democracies and those regimes who claim to be concerned about human rights. Not a single useful action were done. I guess business comes before issues of human rights in freedom and human rights fighter regimes.

Few kilometers away from Saudi, Iran is under heavy sanctions for what is claimed to be human rights concerns over its reputation of human rights violation and nuclear program. Now I’m not against forcing a regime to respect humans but it’s the double standards the western countries have that annoys me.

Saudi is a key partner of United States and some European regimes in the region and keeping it happy benefits many countries who need Middle East oil to survive. With Iran under sanctions and other Arab countries under the influence of Saudi, it’s best to keep Salman of Arabia happy.

Same went when Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Saudi’s embassy in Turkey. Nothing happened. No sanction, no relation cut, no powerful action, absolute nothing but some useless statements and waste of paper.

Perhaps western countries’ leaders love to watch Peaky Blinders and have much to learn of it, specially when Tommy teaches them business can come before humans.

Stand against hatred

As we go through the war imposed on Ukraine from Russia’s authoritarian regime, we see more and more idiotic hatred against people of Russia.

Everyday I see more news about sanctions on Russian people and sports teams. Paralympics, football, tennis, motor sports, and lot other fields are now closed on Russian sport people.

I also heard news about an Italian university teaching of Fyodor Dostoevsky because he’s Russian.

Since the start of the war, I put up a banner on top of my site with a “Stand with Ukraine” statement to show my support for Ukrainian people but what is happening now is just dumb.

Russian people are not responsible for what their government does and I feel that in my bones as I too experience sanctions because of actions of my government.

People of Ukraine don’t need Russian people out of tennis courts or football pitch. Ukrainian people also like to read Dostoevsky.

I’m pretty sure nobody in Ukraine will be pleased to hear some innocent Russian person who tried hard to be able to participate in a competition was banned from it because of what that person had no influence on.

What Vladimir Putin does is what exactly a dictator does and people are not to blame for. Some are converting their support for Ukraine to hate towards Russia.

And by the way, weren’t sports and politics separate? For years, athletes around the world were punished because they refused to play against sports people from Israel. Iranians specifically have suffered much from this claim. Iranian Judo Federation is still banned because they refused to play against Israeli judokas.

I don’t advocate for ban on any sports person. In fact, I’m all in for separation of politics and sports as I see sports a wonderful way to achieve friendship between nations and people but this double standards are painful to see.

I hope the war ends very soon and we see peace everywhere in Europe, Middle East, and all around the world. And I hope we get rid of this stupid hatred we see today and do something else, like actually supporting victims of war with aids and goods.

Death: To solve all the problems!

You want all your problems to be solved? Die! Just think about it. You won’t have any concern or need or trouble. You won’t overthink about anything; in fact, you won’t think at all. There’s no injury you’ll suffer of after death and there’s no pain. Death is a wonderful answer that will guarantee your freedom of all pain and suffering and anything unpleasant.

But we don’t want to die, do we? We only live once and we want to live it good. We fight the troubles to be able to enjoy the life. The reason we fight the troubles is that the life itself is so much precious that it is worth the fight. We have a lot of amazing things in our life that we don’t want to miss and we continuously put our effort to make it better.

As much as death will solve those problems, it is not an answer. A good answer to our problems will erase the unpleasant stuff from life without touching the pleasant ones, or it acts with least impact on the good ones. A good answer won’t wipe everything, it’ll just clears the mess while it keeps everything else.

If someone suggests death to you to solve, say, your pain in your broken leg, you’d call that person crazy, right? This is not just about life. There are idiot crazy people in every matter that will suggest you the craziest option that may seem reasonable but are in fact very dumb.

Conservatives will suggest their philosophy of thought, capitalists will suggest their way of politics, authoritarians will suggest their dictatorship, democrats will manipulate you in their so-called democracy, republicans will suggest their modern slavery, fascists want to make you their soldiers, etc. etc.

Sometimes people fall for these traps, sometimes people believe in these systems and want to actually practice them without considering the harm it causes.

All it takes to know what it actually does is to think about them. Considering the benefit and harm without prejudice, bias, and bigotry. It only takes to be human and not be selfish, but to be selfless. Many say one is not free unless the whole society is free; while the society won’t be free unless every and each of us are not free. And this freedom starts in our thoughts and acts.

Less politics, more conversation

Living in Middle East, you can’t stop thinking of politics. Everything happening here impacts the whole world and everything happening in world impacts the region. Simplest aspects of life in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) are highly influenced by politics. Well, it’s the same all around the world but I can’t think of any other region that has this kind of heavy impact on world. Well of course White House or Kremlin Palace can change the world but those are places built for such thing.

When United States adds to its sanctions against Iran, the who region and the whole world changes. When Russia sold weapons to Saudi, when Emirates started normalizing their relations with Israel, everything in world was impacted. When OPEC decides about its oil price or production rate, everything in world is influenced.

Naturally, people here and all around the world feel the impact as well. Prices change, regimes make new decisions, new wars get started, old wars come to an end, etc. But here in Middle East, the impact is much more influential. Almost all of us in MENA are living under a dictatorship and under the shadow of a new war.

The point is that you can’t stop being involved in politics, you can’t even stop thinking about it here. An American, a French, an Italian, or a German can claim that perse is not political because they’re much more stable than Middle Easterners but here we’re all political, we may die tomorrow because of a new war in the region.

I run a business here. During the Iran Talks, currency price fluctuations are at the highest level and my business which relies on products produced in China and Viet Nam suffers easily. A simple smile from any part of the talks can change everything for small businesses like mine.

However, human mind and body has a capacity for stress and processing the events happening here. I’m trying to think less about politics knowing how impossible it is and have more conversation. I try to avoid political news, get away from people talking about politics, and comment less about stuff happening.

Of course to completely remove politics from my life I have to get out of earth with next spacecraft but even that doesn’t remove politics completely (what if politicians on earth decide I no longer have right to exist?).

I try to have more conversation, seeking for reason, solution, and answer rather than just listening and reading news and repeat the pointless cycle. I try to reduce the heaviness of everything happening by keeping my mind solid and with focus. Instead of repeating news to each other, I try to have conversation with people and know what they think of their future and know what is their desired system of thought and ruling.

There’s no doubt for me that I continue my political fight and I’ll continue walking towards my political goals but maybe in a different way but this time I try to do it focusing on people and conversation.

Well, isn’t that even more political?

Happy birthday Bobby Seale

Charles R. Garry, left, Black Panther attorney, accused San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto of provoking incidents that led to disorders in the Black Fillmore district in San Francisco, Monday, April 29, 1969. Garry, in a wheel chair at Mt. Zion Hospital where he will undergo surgery, is shown at press conference with Black Panther Bobby Seale, minister of information, and Kathleen Cleaver. (AP Photo/Ernest Bennett)
Charles R. Garry, left, Black Panther attorney, accused San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto of provoking incidents that led to disorders in the Black Fillmore district in San Francisco, Monday, April 29, 1969. Garry, in a wheel chair at Mt. Zion Hospital where he will undergo surgery, is shown at press conference with Black Panther Bobby Seale, minister of information, and Kathleen Cleaver. (AP Photo/Ernest Bennett)

October 22 is Robert George Seale (aka Bobby Seale) birthday. He is a political activist and author famously known for co-founding the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which its main practice was monitoring police activities and challenging police brutality in Black communities, first in Oakland, California, and later in cities throughout the United States.

Seale was one of the Chicago Eight charged by the US federal government with conspiracy charges related to anti-Vietnam War protests in Chicago, Illinois, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. In that trial, Seale was infamously ordered by the judge, Julius Hoffman, to appear in court bound and gagged.

He is a hero to all black people, dedicating his life to free black people from systemic injustice and discrimination. The Black Panther Party, which he founded with fellow Huey P. Newton, instituted the Free Breakfast for Children Programs to address food injustice, and community health clinics for education and treatment of diseases including sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, and later HIV/AIDS. It advocated for class struggle, with the party representing the proletarian vanguard.

Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and “the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism”.

Since 2013, Seale has been seeking to produce a screenplay he wrote based on his autobiography, Seize the Time: The Eighth Defendant. Seale co-authored Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers, a 2016 book with photographer Stephen Shames.

In 2020, Seale was portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Aaron Sorkin’s film, The Trial of the Chicago 7. In 2021, Seale is mentioned in the movie Judas and the Black Messiah by a policeman commenting on a drawing of him tied up at the trial.

Happy birthday Bobby. May we reach the goals you’re fighting for.

Anti-vaxxers don’t want you to see all the pictures!

Picture of two kids. The left one didn't receive the smallpox vaccine and has smallpox all over him, the right one has received the vaccine and is not infected.
The right kid received the smallpox vaccine, the left one hasn’t.

This is a genuine photograph that was taken in the early 1900s by Dr. Allan Warner of the Isolation Hospital at Leicester in the UK. Warner photographed a number of smallpox patients in order to study the disease.

The two photographed boys were the same age and both had smallpox. The only difference is that one of them was vaccinated and the other was not. The smallpox vaccine was one of the oldest man-made vaccines that many people refused to inject due to fear and superstition, and as a result the disease was not completely eradicated.

Dr. Warner believed that the best way to challenge fear and misinformation about vaccination was to show the horror of the disease and the clear evidence of vaccination in the workplace through photography. Smallpox was eradicated worldwide after widespread vaccination in the 1960s and 1970s in the early 1980s.

The Internet Archive has digitized the atlas of clinical medicine, surgery, and pathology. From page 426, you can see various pictures that anti-vaxxers probably don’t want you to see.

Vaccination has helped us to survive, and it’ll do the same in future.

Telegram censorship

Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram messenger, say that they shut down three Telegram channels that incited violence against doctors and health officials.

There’s a sentence at the end of his note, he said “It’s OK to fight for your rights. It’s not OK to harm other people.”

Censorship restricts us from actually knowing what was the target, what it meant to do, and how would it impact people’s lives. Censorship restricts us from knowing what was the intention and was it good or bad. Another problem with censorship is that it doesn’t actually change the world outside.

Those who say we should harm a doctor who says we should lock up unvaccinated people, will do it eventually in a way. Censoring their belief won’t change them, it even can’t stop spreading such ideas. Nobody, absolutely nobody, will think that “maybe I’m wrong” after being censored.

None of their audience won’t think “maybe I shouldn’t listen to that person” after censoring that person. We don’t (and won’t) see such thing in real world.

Censorship is usually a form of surrender to power, which is understandable, but some people like Durov want to justify their surrender with a moral view. They want to hide behind one moral issue in order to hide another immorality. Like, if I didn’t do it, something would’ve happened to people; wrong Pavel, you just censored a channel, you didn’t change any view.

One would argue that censoring such channels would stop spreading such ideas. I would argue that one who wants to spread this kind of ideas would find its ways. They won’t be restricted or limited to one Telegram channel and Telegram is not the only place for them, it’s not even the safest.

Do you really think censoring people will stop their belief and ideas from spreading? Have you learned nothing from history?

This is not real [ideology]!

Often when we tell someone that what one is referring to an specific ideology is not correct, they argue that whenever they criticize our ideology, we tell them the same thing: This is not real [ideology]!

That is because we can’t control people. People are free and because of that freedom, they do stuff. One is to talk freely and a consequence of that is that they ca claim they’re followers of an ideology. When the number of those people grow, people naturally see those people as a mirror of what that ideology is.

For example, many people see Stalin and some other dictators as how communism works. Or see crazy anti-men people as feminists, or see nerdy insecure people as computer programmers.

An ideology has specific set of principles and rules. Everyone can claim they’re followers of an ideology but unless you follow those specific principles, you’re not truly that ideologist.

When people tell you they’re follower of an ideology, or when you want to judge an ideology based on those who claim to be its followers, you have to first understand the principles of that ideology and judge whether those people are following those principles.

Yes. Most of the times what you see is not the real and correct implementation of that ideology, simply because the principles of that ideology are ignored. Be smart about this.

Those who decide for us

Who you see in the video is Antony John Blinken‎, United States’ secretary of state, who apparently doesn’t know who is the former president of Afghanistan.

In the video, he says he’s been talking to President Karzai, instead of Ghani. Hamed Karzai was one of the former presidents of Afghanistan, long ago.

These are the people who are deciding for us. Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, etc. are all highly influential of USA’s politics and these people. These are the people sitting in front of negotiation boards, war councils, so-called democracy committees, human rights watches, and everything else.

They have no clue of what is happening to people, they don’t feel the pain, they don’t face any consequences, and they have no understanding of the destruction they cause, yet they are deciding for us.

Check this video:

This is an Afghan/Australian citizen, captured and beaten by Taliban in Kabul airport, recorded this video few moments before his death. He talks to the Talibs saying “if I was fully Australian, you would’ve respected me but now, because I talk Persian, you beat me…”

In his last sentences, he says he’s Australian and then… death.

These were only two of the thousands of videos of crimes against humanity, happening daily in our region here. Just two videos, less than 1 minute.