We start a commentary on a subject and we want to follow-up as if our readers only read our one little blog and were blissfully unaware of events in the real world unless we "educate" them through our brilliant blog entries.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Most Interent readers are extremely well informed.For example I only have about 30 to 45 minutes to follow the news and read my favorite bloggers each morning. And, like most of you, I have a routine that takes my to almost a dozen sites. I read the morning Internet with my coffee just like I used to read the morning paper. Yet I get a wealth of news and information.
Can I digress just a moment? I live is a very tiny town of only about 9,000 people. Yet we have not one, but two excellent Local Internet News Sites. I want to give them their props here and even suggest you check them out to see just how robust LOCAL NEWS can be with the advent of the Internet.
For literally "up-to-the-second" news we go to Breezy News, a website developed by the very visionary Boswell Media who own our local radio station. This web site is updated several times a day and is, frankly, a lot better than many big city newspaper and radio sites. They have up to the minute weather, too, a must have in tornado prone central Mississippi.
New to the Internet is our local weekly newspaper, but the website is more polished and covers stories in greater depth. Check out The Star-Herald. As part of the very large Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., their offering is considerably more polished and uses a pre-packaged professional journalism template. The advent of the Internet allows the newspaper to escape the bonds of weekly publishing and update it's site daily if necessary.
Back to my Ketchup Report. So even though it is completely unnecessary I do want to revisit and update a couple of stories and commentaries I've recently posted. Ketchup (catsup for you purists) is just my cute way of saying I want to "catch up" or just to add a little tangy condiment to the meat of previous blog entries.
France to Send 2,000 Troops to Lebanon
Reuters reports this morning (along with every cable news channel) that France has belatedly agreed to send 2,000 troops to Lebanon as they had originally proposed. I want to applaud this decision. I'm very hopeful this will help.
National Public Radio had a really superb report this morning that details the reasons that Lebanon has such a weak government and the reasons Hezbollah is able to make such strong inroads. The report is "must listening." CLICK HERE: Divided Lebanon Wary of Hezbollah 'Victory'
It seems that many in Lebanon actually lay the blame for the current situation on the French and their design of the weak central government put in place when France granted the country independence in 1948.
My comments are not more "dump on France" and neither is the NPR report. But it is great background necessary to understand the situation in the middle east.
Islamic Religious Persecution, Freedom of Religion and Women's Rights
We need to look deep into our souls and decide exactly when and where we are willing to take a stand. I wrote about this back on May 4, 2006 in Where is Our Holy War? and several times since as the news continues to bring these issues to the forefront.
The news yesterday about Lina Joy's very dangerous effort to convert to Christianity in Malaysia is the latest example. Here's a snippet of a report from The Wall Street Journal. Registration is required to view entire story (in fact you need a paid on-line subscription).
"In 1998, Azlina binti Jailani changed her name to Lina Joy and was baptized a Catholic in a church in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Joy now wants the government to stop classifying her as a Muslim."
"Although Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, civil courts now routinely refer any cases involving Islamic matters for adjudication in shariah courts. And the shariah courts almost never grant Muslims the right to leave the religion."
Lina Joy's life is very much in danger. Her lawyer's like has also been threatened.
These stories are repeated day after day in most Islamic countries. Shariah law absolutely forbids leaving Islam. The penalty is usually death (or conversion back to Islam).
As a religious liberal and a social liberal I am appalled by this denial of basic human rights.
It reminds me again how very badly we need both Lebanon and Iraq to succeed as a multi-ethnic democracies.
TECHNORATI TAGS: LEBANON HEZBOLLAH SHARIAH ISRAEL RELIGION FRANCE NPR INTERNET LOCAL NEWS
SAVE THIS PAGE TO del.icio.us