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Posted by on Oct 20, 2007 in At TMV | 3 comments

Why Don’t You Come With Me, Little Girl, on a Magic Carpet Ride: An Aerial View of World News


(This is my first ‘pointer post’, at least I think that’s what it is. Going into my 7th month of blogging, I haven’t yet got all the tools and details down pat and under control yet…but here goes…)

…It’s a beautiful starry night tonight, no gusty winds, the magic carpet newly cleaned and brushed. We’ll just criss-cross the world for a little bit, just go wherever we see a shower of sparks below. Here, take the good seat. That’s right. Just hold on. Visibility is pretty good tonight. We’ll just taxi up to the carpet que. Oh!, we just got clearance. Hold on, hold on… we’re rolling, hold on, we’re up… up… and awaaaaaay….

Dont mind the birds, just duck if they fly too close. Look! Look down, we’re over Southeast Asia. They still have pirates. Yes! for reallies. And they also have the usual criminals and terrorists, everyone else has worldwide. But in all gravitas now, like the 2000 mile border between Canada and the US, and between the US and Mexico, there are thousands of miles of ocean without walls and without oversight there in the Asian Pacific… this allows the nefarious to go about their bad deeds… This from SouthEast Asia news:

When it comes to post-September 11 Asia-Pacific maritime security, the Strait of Malacca gets the lion’s share of attention. Lesser known, but teeming with transnational criminals, including terrorists, is the woefully porous “triborder sea” area between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Maritime security cooperation between the three is limited, and only Malaysia has anything resembling an effective naval force. Unless outside funds can bring them all up to speed, the scenario for disaster can only get worse.

Read more here by Ian Storey at Asia Times:

On to Burma now. Observers there have an interesting take. You know, in the US, we sometimes think of Canada as the shoulders of the North American continent, and we tend to think of traveling cross country as a several weeks long journey. But in other parts of the world where relatively small nations have huge frontages on oceans and seas, they think not so much about traveling across terrain, but rather, negotiating across big water. While some ‘across the sea’ are calling George Bush’s interest in Burma by the code name, The Saffron Robe Revolution, …and regardless whether President Bush knows saffron yellow from sunflower yellow… apparently some in Asia think his only interest in Burma comes from wanting to have access to and control over the shipping lanes from the Persian Gulf to the China Sea. This article has an interesting plaint about the US ‘cooking up new democracies by color notation,” and puts President Bush and George Soros in the same bed together, which… no doubt would startle both men to find they are being scorned for much the same reasons.

The Myanmar military junta is on the hit list of the Bush administration for its repressive ways, we are told. Or does Washington have a more opaque agenda? Some not-so-publicized facts indicate that behind the latest US-orchestrated, color-coordinated effort at regime change (this one is called the “Saffron Revolution”, after the marching monks’ robes), a battle of major geopolitical consequence is under way.

See the article by F William Engdahl here:

Flying over the countryside now that once used to be called Arabia, down there is a Christian woman telling about how something surely is wrong when the unholiest of aggressions and vigilante redresses of grievances occurs during the holiest month. She is speaking about a stepping up of persecution and murder of Christians in Gaza, and she is filled with passion: See that little box there on the corner of our magic carpet? Just open it and empty it over the side; it’s filled with strongest prayer for those who suffer so.

[I was] Shocked to see what is coming off the printing press is the photo of the recent tragic death announcement of 30-year-old Rami Ayyad in Gaza, a son, a husband, a father of two preschool sons and minority Christian worker in Gaza for the Bible Society. Kidnapped at 4 pm on Saturday, October 6, 2007 at his Bible Society office called “The Teacher Book Shop” he was returned dead early Sunday morning with a bullet to his head and shoulder, four knife wounds, and a deep slash to his forehead with what might have been a heavy duty wooden object which apparently tortured Rami prior to his death.

You can read what Mary Khoury wrote about this, here, in the Arabic Media Network:

We’re going to bank and head toward South America now. It is generally good to know that all across the world, others are dealing with core values and not monkeying around with mere intellectual frou-frou, as in Chile. Look down and you’ll see that there is a serious investigation going on about substandard fertilizer. And all this time we’ve been thinking ‘S happens’… exactly the same everywhere. But, oh no. No no no. Apparently not. It must have something to do with chronically malnourished cows or something. I wonder if there’s a market for Wheaties For Bovines. There’s got to be a cartoon in here somewhere: cows sitting around in their rockers discussing the quality of that day’s, um, waste materials…

“This is not an excuse either. We must improve the quality of our fertilizers, period,” the executive said.

You can read about what is actually a serious Ag issue, here at Business News from Santiago Chile:

And now, on to the Bay of Plenty, which as elsewhere, you can’t get any peace it seems, for there’s a terrorist under every set of bedsprings apparently, even in the most remote corners of Earth. The Maori, the aboriginal tribal group of New Zealand whose elders often still have acres of body tattoos in the ancient styles… are protesting being thought terrorists themselves. Their homes and camps have been raided by the military elite, and poignantly, one of the plaints which perhaps only tribal and deeply ethnic people would understand as a point of huge intrusion and shame to the soul of the community… is this: “He said heavily armed officers had searched school buses and arrested men in front of their children.” You can see a stark contrast too as we fly over, that the Maori are often poor and raggedly clothed people in contrast to the helmeted, sharply suited, armored and Kevlar vested military men who arrest them.

Police said yesterday that they had neutralised a militant group running secret military-style, weapons-training camps in rugged North Island bush. Media reports said that two hunters had alerted police to the presence of armed men in camouflage in the Ureweras after stumbling into their camp.More than 300 police stormed several camps and homes, making at least 15 arrests, including prominent campaigners from Maori sovereignty and environmental groups. The operation was continuing last night.

You can read more about their story here:

Ah, now, we fly over a land that takes a long time to fly over, for so huge is its terrain. And in one tiny corner of that land, well, look down, see? The Tawainese are saying that their president has boldly rejected China’s “conditional peace proposal,” rather baldly calling it ‘China’s idea not of peace, but of Taiwan’s surrender.’ Pretty stand up idea for such a tiny used-to-be sovereignty. China has pushed ‘the one China’ idea, whether it be Taiwan or Tibet. One of the best quotes by a Taiwanese about the Chinese negotiator: “”Hu is like a smiling tiger, hiding a dagger in a smile, with honey in his mouth but a sword at his stomach….”

You can read more here:

Well, it took some time to get to hovering over Ghana, but look… God bless Mrs. Anna. In Ghana, Mrs. Anna (Nyamekye) who is Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture has said everyone must go back to the era of “Operation Feed Yourself”… meaning a time when most every householder kept a backyard garden to grow nourishment for the famly. I love this quote: “Mrs Nyamekye was addressing community members of Kpone Bawaleshie in the Greater Accra Region.” And we thought it was hard to say AF of L & CIO, without stumbling. Looking at the world from an aerial view, we see that Western junk food is not the only concern in Ghana: “…we are moving away from our local diets that provided adequate nutrition to foreign ones that are posing as health threats …such as the sugary foods, fried rice and the like.” And then there’s Mr. Theophilus Osei Owusu, Municipal Director of Agriculture. What mellifluous names. You can read more about the warrioress, Mrs. Anna, here:

And onward to Europe now. Maybe a “Dutch Only” amendment to the constitution, or perhaps bilingual education has come to call in Holland nowadays. Interestingly, The Netherlands and Ireland too, have experienced many Polish and other eastern European immigrants in the past many years. Sometimes you wonder if the entire world isn’t playing a horrible game of musical chairs; when the music stops, one country disappears… and an entire hoard of new refugees is turned loose… Immigrants might be refugees, but many migrating across Europe are presently fleeing social conditions rather than wars.

“Employers should teach Polish Staff Dutch: Integration minister Ella Vogelaar is to talk to employers about how they can help Polish and other eastern European staff learn Dutch. The increasing number of eastern European children at Dutch schools are performing badly because they have not learned Dutch, Vogelaar said. But she told MPs it was impossible to force eastern Europeans to take compulsory language lessons or parental guidance classes because they are EU citizens.”

As we travel the world, from our aerial port we can see that most everyone struggles with their own variations of the same challenges. Down there, in Papua New Guinea, they are establishing a school especially for drop outs. The report says; many have proposed this before but they have rarely been brought to fruition. There is an op ed that takes issue with the idea that government ought subsidize this process, saying bluntly: “…many governments have proved to be signally incompetent at running businesses. It’s equally true that business should not attempt to take over the role of government. …We don’t think it is simplistic to suggest that governments should govern while businesses do business.” The writer obviously could be an able commenter at TMV and fit right in.

You can read the entire opinion piece here:

And now, as we fly on, Dateline: Turkey. And infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, what did I tell you? As here in the US, also in Turkey, one disposes of the old ways at one’s own peril, for the new is often not as well built. “While modern suspension bridges built with state-of-the-art technology are not holding up as well as expected, many stone bridges built centuries ago have endured, challenging both nature and time… The earliest bridges consisted mainly of logs, cable ropes and stones. Bridges made of timber usually were built in forests and rope bridges in tropical regions. ” Except there’s a difference between Turkey’s bridges old and new, and those in the US. We cant quite attribute such august comments to our potholes and cracking pediments: “The collapse of Roman Empire caused stagnation in bridge construction.”

Ah, I see that our air time is up and we are nearing home once again. Hold on tight now, you’re safe with me, no foreseen turbulence ahead…it will be a gentle landing I believe. It was good to have you aboard; you flew like an angel, and I hope we will fly over the world together another time… because

Well, you don’t know what we can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
You don’t know what we can see
Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away