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A Plea from a Makeup Guru

As some of you may know, I watch makeup videos on YouTube to relax.  Yeah, yeah, it’s a secret vice.  I can never look like them but I have learned a few things.  Like, use a peach highlighter to counteract dark circles and stay away from eyeshadows with too much shimmer unless you are very young.  And I have also learned that some makeup gurus, like Samantha at pixiwoo, know that it’s not all about them:

{Stay with it til the end.  It’s short but worth it}

I find it really strange that the plight of the Pakistanis is on low burn this week.  The UN says that compared to Haiti earthquake and Indonesian tsunami relief, the flooding in Pakistan, which is affecting so many people, is getting very little attention.

Images of people slogging through water did not generate the same kind of sympathy as a leveled city, even though the dimensions are similar, aid groups noted, especially since, according to the United Nations, more than 15 million people have been affected and are often difficult to reach.

“That should be enough to get anybody’s attention,” said George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee. The organization has raised just $1.18 million of the $5 million it is seeking, with about $700,000 coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Online donations are far below the response to past disasters, he noted.

Many aid groups are increasing their efforts as the scope of the disaster unfolds. TheInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies began an appeal for more than $16 million on Aug. 2, of which about 60 percent has been donated, but now expects to double the appeal, said Elyse Mosquini of the federation’s United Nations office.

Given the threat of more rain and the potential spread of disease, time is not an ally. “People are starting to appreciate the scale, but I don’t know that people are appreciating the urgency,” said Rebecca Barber of Oxfam, speaking by telephone from Pakistan.

There were limited signs on Tuesday that change might be in the offing. At the London premiere of the movie “Salt,” Angelina Jolie lent glamour to the cause, saying on the red carpet that donating to Pakistan was an urgent matter. “It is millions and millions of people who will be uprooted for a very long time,” she said.

Unfortunately, this is not a good time for giving to the Pakistanis.  The citizens of this country turn to their churches during natural disasters, looking for answers and relief.  But Pakistan is a Muslim country and our country is busily engaged in a PR political war to determine whether American Muslims in New York City have the right to worship where it is most convenient for them.  When they might be finding comfort in their mosques, organizing relief for their Pakistani friends, they are instead asked to defend their constitutionally guaranteed right to worship.

I’m embarrassed for us on both counts. Not only does it demonstrate how crowds can be swayed to carry praise or blame too far, it makes fundamentalist extremism towards our country more likely.  We make a mockery of the principles upon which this country was built and in the process end up looking like craven, irrational hypocrites.

This week, I will be devoting the Friday Fast to Pakistani Flood Relief.  In the meantime, I have a little public service announcement to my friends on Facebook.  I haven’t really used Facebook much until recently when DandyTiger turned me on to Flipboard.  So, I just started accepting my friend invitations.  But I have been really disturbed by a small number of these so-called friends who have been sending me columns opposed to the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan.  Let me make my view on this perfectly clear: I believe in the freedom of worship.  I am an American and that’s what Americans believe in.  Some of you may have forgotten that principle but it’s in the bill of rights.  I don’t have the right to hold my beliefs as being better or more worthy of respect than anyone else’s.  I DO have a problem with fundamentalism and extremism in any religion.  But it you keep your beliefs to yourself and behave as a good citizen, then your Christian fundamentalism is of no interest to me.

So, verily I say unto you, do not send me messages of intolerance regarding this mosque.  I have no fear of Muslims.  I want to live in peace with them.  And I will unfriend you. I have already had to unfriend several people over this.  If that means I have fewer friends, well, at least I can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

If you are insulted or offended by this post, then please, don’t feel obligated to read anything else I write.  I don’t speak for the other frontpagers on this matter but I have no reason to believe they disagree with me.