Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips was found unconscious and unresponsive in his cell at at Kern Valley State Prison on January 13. Phillips was rushed to hospital from the prison but was pronounced dead on arrival. Phillips death was initially regarded as suicide but it seems that doubt is now being cast on that claim. Lawyers for Phillips estate are calling for an investigation after claims were made that Phillips suicide note was not in his handwriting.
Like most everyone with a shred of humanity and decency I am appalled and sickened by the terrorist attacks in paris last night.
At least 127 peaceful law-abiding citizens were murdered in cold blood in the name of religion. I would love to be sitting here saying that I am shocked or that I can’t believe what has happened. Sadly neither would be true.
I am sick to death of the killing in the cause of some sort of religious dick swinging contest. My god is better than your god and I will kill you if you don’t agree. This kind of religious zealotry has been going on since the crusades and shows no sign of abating anytime soon.
We hear time and again that god is great, god is merciful, ours is the religion of peace. Our god says we should go out and kill anyone who disagrees. Why can people not see the irony?
Of course the response from around the world is at first revulsion but less than 12-hours after the attacks we already have a ramping up of the rhetoric. Already Hollande, Obama and Cameron are promising revenge, declaring the attack as an act of war and promising retribution. Why can the idiots not see that violence just brings more violence? Why do they think that killing Arabs, mostly women and children, is the way to end these terrible attacks?
I wish I had the answers, I don’t. I do know however that bombing, shooting and killing innocents is not the answer. When will we wake up and end the politics of war? Perhaps when we put an end to organised religion.
Let’s be straight up right from the start, the actions of “Boston Bomber” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cannot be condoned in any way shape or form. The bomber set out to kill and maim innocent members of the public who were enjoying a fun day out. The bomber deliberately chose a spot where their actions would cause the maximum effect. The bomber killed three people and injured 260 others in a political action against the country that adopted him and offered him the opportunity of a better life.
Today saw the printing of the first issue of ‘satirical’ magazine Charlie Hebdo since last weeks killings in Paris. Twelve of the 17 people killed by Islamist terrorists were employees of the magazine.
Ironically the killings have probably made Charlie Hebdo the most famous newspaper in the world and a magazine that had a circulation of around 60k per week has done an initial print run of 1 million copies with the presses ready to run a further 2 million copies should their be sufficient demand.
Controversially this issue has a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad holding a placard saying “Je Suis Charlie” and bearing the legend “Tout Est Pardonne” (All is Forgiven). I will not reproduce the cover on this blog as I am aware that any image of the prophet can be offensive to many of those who practice the Muslim Faith.
The Guardian reports that Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine who worked on the new issue, said the cover was a call to forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week, saying she did not feel hate towards Chérif and Saïd Kouachi despite their deadly attack on the magazine, and urged Muslims to accept humour.
“We don’t feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Last weeks massacre has triggered a worldwide debate on free speech and brought more than 4 million people on to the streets of France in a unity march on Sunday. Leaders from around the globe were in Paris for the March but it was reported last night that photographs of world leaders may have been taken in an otherwise empty street amidst heavy security.
News agencies across the world including Reuters are reporting that Taliban gunmen have attacked a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. Latest reports indicate that the Taliban have killed around 100 people, including 80 children, and hundreds of students have been taken hostage. The Taliban threatens to destabilise Pakistan, where they control areas in the north-west of the country. In recent weeks the Taliban and have been blamed for a wave of suicide bombings and other attacks. Read more here
Todays Daily prompt is a free write for 10 minutes so here goes.
For the past 24 hours my news feed and television screen have been filled with comments on the awful tragedy that took place in Ottawa Canada yesterday. The murder of Nathan Cirillo, the second such killing in a couple of days is as senseless as it is futile. It is yet another tragedy, for Corporal Cirillo’s family, for his unit, for Ottawa, for Canada and of course for every right thinking person on the face of this planet.
Once again this atrocity seems to have been carried out by a so called Muslim extremist. It does seem that, at least in the media, every act of this sort seems to have been committed by someone who is a radicalised Muslim terrorist. Whether the media coverage given to these atrocities is an accurate reflection of the facts or not is in many ways immaterial. What we are constantly fed via our media is the concept that radical Islam is a threat to our way of life and a threat to world peace.
Now I don’t for one second try to play down the tragedy of Cirrilo’s murder, but I wonder how many murders were committed in New York, Washington or Los Angele’s yesterday? What I do know is that none were reported in the UK media. It seems that the murder of one soldier by a Muslim extremist is much more newsworthy. Of course the fact that the gunman entered the Canadian parliament building and was shot dead by the Sgt-at Arms and that elements of the story were captured on video does add considerable drama to the whole thing as does the fact that Ottawa is by-and-large a very peaceful city.
I do wonder if much of the reporting of this and similar incidents isn’t secretly welcomed by the politicians because it allows them to more easily justify their actions in the Middle east. Canada’s Prime Minister Mr harper was quick to get himself on television to state:
“We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated”. “In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts… to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe.”
Mr Harper stressed that the perpetrators “will have no safe haven” in Canada. , but admitted the attacks showed that the country was “not immune to terrorist attacks”.
It seems to me that I have heard those (almost) exact words from the last two american Presidents and the last 3 UK Prime Ministers on numerous occasions over the last decade or so. The fact remains that terrorists seem to be able to carry out their attacks all too easily and that western policy in the Middle East serves only to further radicalise the people of that region and worryingly this radicalisation seems to be spreading increasingly to our own populations.
Something has to change. I am neither clever enough nor influential enough to say what needs to change, but things cannot be allowed to continue as they are.
As a final comment spare a thought for the friends and family of Nathan Cirillo and for every family touched by senseless slaughter in the ‘War against terror”