Monthly Archives: April 2007

What is a Britney Spears?

My heart skips a beat every time I see Muhammad Ali. Does yours?

I spent 35 years in St. Louis. The city of St. Louis is a place you come from, not go to.

A TV commercial warned me not to miss the premiere of “Survivor.” I did.

Why is it that I am calm reading stories about the horror in Darfur, but go beserk if someone enters the express checkout line with 20 items?

Tony Blair of England is the poor man’s George Bush.

If you want to win a bet, ask New Yorkers the distance from New York to St. Louis or to California.

There is something sad looking about Nicholas Gage. I can’t figure out what.

I recently took a bus trip from New York to Washington D.C. Not a single male on the bus except for me had on a business suit. What does this teach us about America?

I can’t see myself speaking to Dr. Phil about a personal problem. Could you?

I never turn on the Super Bowl until five minutes before kickoff time, and I skip all the commercials. That means I have nothing the next day to talk about regarding the Super Bowl.

I admire Hispanic men gathered in groups seeking a job for the day. They remind me of my father who had a wonderful work ethic.

What ever happened to those predictions that computers would result in the end of paper?

No one ever went broke betting on the number of platitudes in a Bush speech.

I still choke up when taps are played at sundown. It reminds me of my Army days.

Wouldn’t you like to know how George Steinbrenner reacts to the current New York Yankee team when he watches them play?

The English magazine, “The Economist” is still the best read around if you only can read one thing each week.

Do you wonder why no body of Moslem clerics condemn violence in Iraq or bloodshed in the Gaza Strip between Hammas and Fatah? They sure got upset at cartoons.

Muslim Insurgents Fighting in Thailand

During the past year there has been ever increasing fighting between the Muslims living in southern Thailand and the majority Buddhist population. Trains have been blown up, teachers killed, and police attacked by Muslim insurgent groups. In a recent episode, security forces killed three Muslim boys, aged 13 and 14, and wounded three more. A security official said, “When security forces were working to extinguish a fire, the teenagers ran towards them and tried to attack the security forces.” According to security forces, none of the Muslim boys were armed. Police have been conducting search operations in villages of the mainly Muslim southern area of Thailand.

Southern Thailand is daily sinking into a civil war between Muslims, who constitute about 10% of Thailand’s population, and the Buddhist majority. Muslim complaints center around discrimination, lack of funding, and failure to respect their religion. So far the government’s response has been to resort to military force. As is the case in Iraq, reliance upon military force alone only exacerbates problems.

Korea President Urges Japan to Tell Truth

President Roh Moo-hyun has warned Japan to stop its movement toward a misguided nationalism and own up to Japanese atrocities in World War II. He said Japan’s refusal to deal with its past is a stumbling block to establishing friendly relations with many Asian nations. Roh warned distortion of history and failure to confront the past would foster parochial nationalism and even ultra-nationalism. He was particularly upset at Japan’s refusal to acknowledge its wartime policies of forcing women into prostitution.
Information from The Korea Times

Although people in the West are familiar with Nazi medical experiments on people in death camps, few know similar experiments were conducted by Japanese Army doctors upon Koreans, Chinese and even American prisoners. Koreans and Chinese people want an apology, and, certainly financial compensation to the women forced into sexual slavery.

Gay Man Embarrassed in Wales

A gay man applied for a job as a youth worker listed by the Church of England in north Wales. In the interview he was questioned about his views on sex and told the truth about his gay status and convictions. All eight men on the interview panel approved him for the position, and sent their recommendation to the Bishop of the Hereford Diocese. Mr. Reaney said the Bishop interviewed him and inquired why he left his last position. Mr. Reaney explained his employer asked him to choose between his partner and his job, he chose his partner. The Bishop inquired as to whether he still had a partner or was he seeking a new sexual relationship. Mr. Reaney responded he was presently single and refused to discuss his sexual relations. He was turned down for the position.
Information from IC Wales April 15, 2007

Every time I read such stories I wonder if any male applicant for positions is asked about his love life and whether or not he is interested in getting a partner. Part of me wonders if the Bishop had some ulterior motive in asking if Mr. Reaney was interested in getting a male partner.

Turkey Slams German Immigration Law

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul criticized a new German immigration law which requires spouses of a Turk living in Germany to have a certain level of proficiency in German before being allowed into the country. Gul said: “I wish that all Turks in Germany could speak German. But, making it compulsory is against human rights. And, it doesn’t solve the problem. The German cabinet approved the new immigration law in March but it still has to be approved by the Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament. The law stipulates that in the case of immigrating spouses, the person coming to Germany must be at least 18 years old and be able to speak at least basic German.
Information from Der Spiegel

I am on the side of Foreign Minister Gul. Many of my relatives came to America not knowing English and learned it while they lived here. If millions of east European immigrants to America from 1890-1924 could enter the country without speaking English and become successful citizens why can’t Germany give Turkish immigrants a similar chance?

Dart of the Week – 4/13/2007

To the Church of Sweden, which pays female pastors less than male pastors.

Tony Blair Blames Black Youth

Prime Minister Tony Blair of England has urged members of the black community to speak out against the gang culture in their areas. He said, “The black community — the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law-abiding people are horrified at what is happening — they need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids. But, we won’t stop this by pretending it isn’t black kids doing it.” At least seventeen teenagers, the majority of them black, have been shot or stabbed to death in the past six months. A spokesperson for the Commission for Racial Equality commented, “Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that some young black men are becoming involved in gang cultures and criminal activities. They do so because they feel they have no choice and no future.”

Blame is one thing, action is another. Modern society provides fewer entry level job positions which enable a young person to raise a family and buy a house. England, like America, has to confront gang culture in a twofold manner – protect the innocent, but also offer new career opportunities for young men and women that enable them to gain self respect.

Roma Families Displaced in Czech Republic

The Roma (gypsy) minority in Eastern Europe is continually confronting discrimination. In the town of Vsetin, several Roma families were uprooted and forced to relocate 100 miles away into a community they know nothing about. They have been placed in dilapidated houses. As Frantisek Zuga noted, “The mental strain is the worst because we are used to being together. At town hall they threw the mortgage contract at us. We didn’t know we were going here. We were under pressure.” The displaced families were put into trucks and dumped at midnight in the new town.

Few, if any, American newspapers report on the plight of over one million Roma people scattered throughout Eastern Europe who daily encounter hatred, discrimination, inability to have children or attend school, and constant harassment. Most accounts of the Holocaust taught in American schools ignore the hundreds of thousands of Romas who were killed in the death camps.

Lesbians Beaten by Maoist Guerrillas in Nepal

Two young lesbians captured by Maoist guerrillas in southern Nepal were finally released after a month of being beaten until they openly renounced their belief in being a lesbian. Last year the police arrested 26 transsexuals and held them in jail for weeks where they were beaten until finally released.

Majority of Finns Back Gay Parental Rights

A majority of Finns favor allowing the surviving partner of a registered civil union of same-sex couples to retain custody of the deceased partner’s biological child. 80% of Finns back this idea. In reality, it is common for Finnish judges to grant custody in such cases to the surviving partner. A majority also supports the right of gay partners to adopt children, although such legislation has yet to be passed in Finland.