Wikileaks>Iraq>Numbers

The war logs released by Wikileaks are slowly showing how insane the Iraq situation is. It is difficult to discuss the topic so let’s take a look at the numbers.

According to the logs there were 32,563 cases of civilian murder in Iraq between 2004 – 2009

10.871 were shot

435 were beheaded

164 were kids

Between 2004 and 2008, 180.000 iraqi were arrested. 1/50 of the adult male population.

In at least 1300 cases there are also references to torture, including that of 32 children.

Wikileaks previously released the ‘Afghan War Diaries’. But Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size.

The violence detailed in the documents is horrific. It includes skin peeled from bodies, acid burns, attacks with electric drills, electrocution, branding, fingers and limbs torn off, eyes pulled out, ears, noses and parts of the face sliced off.

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The world is sick of silence. When will troops withdraw from Iraq? Apparently they are only worsening an already difficult situation..

For the record:

The day after Wikileaks

This morning I woke up with this question: What is the most important lesson we can learn from the cablegate?

I think the answer should be that power can be man’s worse enemy and that it takes courage to stand out from the pack.

Let me try to explain.

It seems that the world is facing a value crisis. Where have we left respect? Where are loyalty and compassion?

After I caught a glimpse of the inner workings of US diplomacy, the lack of consideration for “the other” is what looked like the real scandal to me. Allies, Us friendly countries, basically everyone is treated with superiority by the United States Government.  No wonder that the markets in the recent/ongoing economic crisis have a trust issue!

Doesn’t anybody realize that there is no such thing as the most powerful country in the world because our governments are not corporations in competition with one another? Sure, there can be a country that is more influential than others, but should it be allowed to be more influential at the expense of others? And especially, should it be allowed to call itself a democracy?

I read an interesting question today on twitter: “If wikileaks was a country do you think there’d be marines rolling thru the streets in tanks by now?”

My answer to that is definitely yes. The modern world is ruled by diplomats, who establish their power through consensus and the documents that started to leak yesterday are a considerable threat to their image and as a consequence also to their power. In the past, they’ve started wars for far less reasons!

Fortunately, the government has no one else to blame but itself and the internet proves once again to be a great vehicle for freedom of information. All in all, the good thing is that citizens all around the world can finally have an insight into what goes on in politics daily. On the other side, the bad thing is that those unethical behavior are so common that a change is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Today I also read an article about Steven Cowan, a 67 old man from Wisconsin, who allegedly fired a shotgun into his television after he saw Sarah Palin’s daughter moving forward in an american dance competition. What he was so angry about was Bristol Palin making it to the next round without having improved at dancing like others on the show. His wife reported that before shooting he said something like “The f@…ing Politics” because he “was upset that a political figure’s daughter was dancing on this particular show when he did not think she was a good dancer”.

And BANG there goes the new TV. Poor Steven just couldn’t take it any longer.

Now you see I’m Italian, but what do I have in common with Mr. Cowan?

Sometimes, I see injustice and I feel powerless.

So the DayAfterWikileaks even if the good old world still smells and feels the same, I hold on to the fact that I’m not alone. There are other citizens in other countries that feel like shooting their televisions too, and some of them actually use the power they have to try changing this world.

And the DayAfterWikileaks my thoughts go out to everyone who’s struggling and to everyone who does the right thing also if it doesn’t pay off in the short term.

To those I say thank you because i know that: It’s so easy to hate, it take guts to be gentle and kind

To everyone else remember that you’ve got the power to let power go:

Let me know in the comments what your DayAfterWikileaks impressions are!

I appreciate your time 🙂

xox

The unexercised bunch

Did you ever notice that there is no unity in the Anti-exercise front? I mean if you google the word exercise you get 126.000.000 results, it is a very trendy topic and everybody thinks they have the right to tell you how to work out. Apparently they want you to do some exercise really badly. And often. Preferably until you feel sore. The question is, are you just as sick of all the “I’m cool, I exercise the whole day, you just lazy” drama?

This is the right time to get together and shout “Un-worked out folks of the world, unite!

Let’s start with understanding which common mistakes and frequent misunderstandings lead to our daily discrimination:

1)      It’s easy to put off exercise.

No it isn’t! You have to be strong-willed, and very good at procrastination. It’s not everybody’s cup ‘o tea.

2)      People quit/don’t start working out because of – confusion – boredom –laziness – you don’t know how to exercise.

What!? Am I wrong or are they trying to make us sound stupid? This my answer: Oh frenetic jumping and sweating people, I beg you not to offend the quality that makes us, the gentle desk warmers, want to reduce our overall energy expenditure. We are intelligent, efficient creatures who deserve to be treated appropriately. Period.

3)      Stop making excuses.

Wait, I don’t call your arguments excuses, now do I? That is just impolite.

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Since we deserve an evidence based theory, here are my humble remarks:

1) You can’t be good at everything. We are good at foreplay. And by that I refer to the “You can’t perform exercise on an empty stomach” kind of foreplay.

2) Exercise can be harmful if you burn yourself out. We go at our own pace. Don’t get me wrong, health is important, but walking, bicycling to work and gardening are some excellent replace activities for gym work out. Besides, you get to be outside and store some fresh air.

3) We are deep breathing and meditation champions. It doesn’t mean that we don’t get hysteric at times, but.. oh well… As Robert Benchley said “I do my best work sitting down. That’s where i shine.”

4)      Exercise equipment looks just terrible, but I admit it can be useful to dry clothes.

5) We have some serious sources on our side. For example TIME Magazine with “The Myth About Exercise”, a series of doctors like Lawrence Wilson, experienced bloggers like Haven Kimmel, Frank Forencich and last but not least my grandma (sorry no link available).

6) It has not yet been demonstrated, but it seems likely that exercise is not good for our mental capability. To support this theory, some quotes from professional athletes:

“I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.” Golfer Greg Norman

Shaquille O’Neal  on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: “I can’t really remember the names of the clubs we went to.”

“My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.” Chuck Nevitt basketball player explaining to his coach why he appeared nervous at practice.

“He’s a guy who gets up at 6 o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.” Boxing trainer Lou Duva.

7)      Compulsive exercise addiction is a serious illness. BAM!

8a) The human couch warmer never thinks he is doing the most brilliant thing. People who exercise tend to feel superior and like to pity you. I just want to point out that the “One best way” school of thought has been outmoded by the “One best fit” one… in the 1960’s!

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If someone wants to join my army or add some witty remarks, please feel free (and asked) to comment below 🙂

Stay tuned for : “Unexercise me please – A guide to a healthy sedentary life”.

For the record: