Trust blindly; that’s what democracy is for.

It’s the 7th of November and we woke up to the news that Obama has won the U.S. Presidential elections, same sex marriage is passed in Maryland and Maine, marijuana is legalized in Colorado and Washington  and Tammy Baldwin wins Wisconsin, becoming the first openly gay U.S. Senator.

It feels like America has passed its teenage years and is all grown up. Oh, I can almost smell the sweet scent of liberalism blowing over the Atlantic. Yet on our shores The Times decides to carry a story about an elusive Brazilian firm.

At a time when the rest of the world is embracing change, we’re debating about the position of a comma in an essay. Yes that’s all the Brazilian firm is, an insignificant story which is being hyped up simply because it makes the Opposition look better by making Lawrence Gonzi look bad.

But it’s OK, let us all clutch to this story, of course, it is very important to know more about this firm, since, from the way things are going, half the electoral campaign of the PL will be revolving around this.

No one seems to care about asking questions anymore. What is the PL’s take on same sex marriage? What are the plans of the PN with regards renewable energy? What is the PL’s position on illegal immigration? And the list goes on.

We are expected not to ask questions, and when we do we are faced with more rhetoric. Do we really want to be this person here?

Trusting blindly in politicians is not the answer. Quationing them is.

taken from Orizzont 07/11/12

No one should ever trust blindly, if you do, then what is the whole point of democracy?

Heard about PTH? It’s political tagging harassment.

Today I get a notification on Facebook; “Name Surname (friends with Name Surname) commented on a post you were tagged in”.

What started out as curiosity quickly turned into rage when I noticed I was tagged in the below. I won’t go into the merits of the content because as I said in a past post, I am more interested in what is happening now.

Apart from the appalling Maltese which would make Mikiel Anton Vassalli turn in his grave, the whole premise of the post was offensive.

The genius who came up with this set of photos (oh yes there’s more than one) thought it would be incredibly clever to include ‘Aghfas Like’. What a dumb thing to do! So you are trying to expose the use of violence by whoever, and then you’re asking people to like it? Einstein was right when he said only two things are infinite; the universe and human’s stupidity.

Just in case this happens to you, Facebook has one easy solution. Click on the photo in question, then click Options (found on the bottom of the photo) and choose Report/Remove tag. Facebook is nice enough to give you some options. In this case the most appropriate option was the below.

Why am I ‘friends’ with the person who tagged me I hear you ask. As most of the people out there I use Facebook as an information tool, meaning I accept most of the locals friend requests and am interested in all views. However, with such things I have a 3 strikes and you’re out rule, this was the first strike.

I want to care about Mintoff but…

Image via searchmalta.com

At long last someone has come to my rescue and penned some of the feelings I have been having about Dom Mintoff. Feelings I have been unfortunately hiding because I thought they were somehow wrong. I was feeling ashamed when I woke up this morning, read about Mintoff passing away and felt nothing. How can that be, he was such a monumental character in the history of Malta, how can I NOT care?

And finally I found solace in a Markbiwwa.com blog which shared a written account of why it’s OK to have these feeling; an article written by Philip Leone-Ganado entitled “Why I don’t care about Dom Mintoff and neither should you (unless you’re over 25)

I’ll be cheating here, I am in fact 28 but I will be counting myself with that age group. Below is the excerpt in question, and if you would like to read the account first hand, then please click here.

I don’t care about Dom Mintoff and neither should you.

You shouldn’t care because you weren’t alive in the 70s and 80s, and by the time you were old enough to form a genuine opinion about politics, Dom Mintoff was 90 years old, and largely senile.

You shouldn’t care because apart from a vote of confidence when you were 8 or 9 years old, Dom Mintoff is history. Why have an opinion on Dom Mintoff when you don’t have one on Philip II of Spain? At least with Philip, you know what happened.

You shouldn’t care because you didn’t get to read a single reliable history book or article or watch a single reliable documentary to help you understand who Dom Mintoff was or what Dom Mintoff did. Instead, you had to learn everything you know about Dom Mintoff through hearsay, anecdote, and rumour.

You shouldn’t care because you can’t form a reliable opinion by some perverse averaging process – reading things about Dom Mintoff heavily skewed in both directions and finding the mean – you can’t. You can only regurgitate an opinion handed to you by one of Dom Mintoff’s friends, Dom Mintoff’s enemies, or people who benefited or suffered as a result of either.

You shouldn’t care because they want you to care. They want to make their problems your problems, to distract you from the fact that you have problems of your own.

You shouldn’t care because Dom Mintoff can’t change the state of your job prospects (limited), the security of your pension (afflicted), your civil liberties (threatened), your cultural legacy (assaulted), your environmental heritage (blasted). Dom Mintoff is your parents, these things are you.

You shouldn’t care because while the newspapers run pre-prepared praises and damnations of DomMintoff, your friends in Israel are planning an immediate attack on your friends in Iran. While they tweet #perit, your friends in Syria are dying in Aleppo, and your friends in the UK and Ecuador are planning measures that may rewrite laws of diplomacy, freedom of information, big things that matter. While they use their blogs to fight over a man who never touched the world beyond this happy half-a-million,you are connected to a world beyond parochialism and mediocrity.

You shouldn’t care because these are beautiful, terrible times, and they’re going to pass us by if we’re busy arguing about whose parents suffered more.

You shouldn’t care because Dom Mintoff is dead, because whether he was good or bad, all he is now is dust.

Good or bad? Listen to us, it’s starting again.

You shouldn’t care because you’ll never know.

While blogging about the Dear Dom movie I remember writing “the education system has failed me and many others my age”. Whilst I don’t agree with the notion that we shouldn’t care – because I believe we are where we are today thanks to (or despite of) Mintoff – no one my age was ever offered the opportunity to read, digest and form an independent opinion of this person. Decades have passed since Dom Mintoff came into power but no one has ever sat down and written an unbiased account. Worst of all is that we have a gap in our history books, and there needs to be someone mature enough to fill this gap.

I now know why I don’t care, as Philip perfectly put it, I am more interested in what’s happening now, around this planet of ours, but that doesn’t mean this is the way I should be feeling. It shouldn’t be the be all and end all but I want to know, I want to care, I want to understand.

Consciences, resignations and a whole lot of tosh

My last post about Divorce was back on March 16th, when the referendum was approved in Parliament. Since then I kept quiet… why? Well firstly because I don’t enjoy seeping down to idiotic forms of so called discussions and secondly because I always thought that such a matter should have been decided, maturely, in Parliament. So I took my vow of silence, which was incredibly hard, because let’s face it, those billboards (from both sides) should have been dedicated a blog post – what an utter disaster!

This weekend I broke my vow and now here I am writing about divorce one more time. What moved me? It was this article from The Times; “Nationalist MPs confirm they have free vote in Parliament”. I just couldn’t get over the fact of how many times the word conscience was used. Edwin Vassallo and Dolores Cristina were very quick to exclaim how they will be voting “according to [their] conscience”. Politicians with a conscience? I thought that was an extinct species.

And what about Austin Gatt, who seems to have forgotten the mighty power of Google? Yes he never did declare he would resign if the yes triumphed in the referendum but he did say and I quote;

“If [the party’s] decision goes against what I conscientiously believe in, I would resign from Parliament since I would not be able in all conscience to back a pro-divorce party and I cannot ever expect my view prevails over the majority view.”

Thing is, the Prime Minister has already been quite frank about how Parliament should respect the people’s view, so the question really is, is he going to resign now or when divorce eventually goes through? I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime we should just sit back, pat ourselves on the back (the yes vote did go through and there was no carcading) and just wait for this interesting story to unfold.