Having nothing better to do with my time, I explore humor around the world. Following is a joke from the Bhutan Times.
An elderly lady complained that frequently her phone did not ring, but when it did her dog moaned and pissed on the ground. A repairman checked it out and found:
1. The dog was tied to the telephone system’s ground wire via a metal chain and collar.
2. The wire was connected to a ground rod that was loose.
3. The dog got 90 volts when the phone number was called.
4. When the phone was called, the dog moaned causing him to piss.
The moral of this story is that it sometimes pays when you have a problem to moan and piss.
Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger of this joke.
The famous liberal newspaper, the Washington Post, was criticized by the Colombia Journal for buying into the Bush view that under right wing President Uribe, everything is wonderful in Colombia. The Washington Post ridiculed a report by Human Rights which described Colombia as representing “the worst human rights and humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere.” The Post felt Cuba should rank first in this category.
We in America have a tendency to compare any Latin American nation with Cuba. If the nation is not as dictatorial as Cuba, then it is a democratic society. Uribe was closely associated with right wing terrorist groups before becoming president. He has made slight progress in disbanding a few of those terrorist groups, but last year as he disbanded some, 43 new right wing groups were formed in Colombia. Last year 72 union leaders who protested selling off assets to multinational corporations were murdered as well as 5 Awa leaders. Over 1700 Awa indigenous people were forced off their land. The latest count indicates about 3 million people in Colombia have been displaced as Uribe welcomes international corporations to exploit his nation’s resources.
I assure one and all if Uribe announced tomorrow a conversion to communism, the Washington Post would be blasting him for being dictatorial. Please do not misunderstand my anger, I realize Castro is a dictator who has an abysmal record on human and sexual rights, but his failures do not excuse the failures of other leaders who happen to buddy up to George Bush. Shame on the Washington Post.
Robert Persaud, Guyana Minister of Agriculture, speaking at a workshop for journalists, urged them to focus reporting on local community issues and stay out of politics. He accused them of being too interested in “sensational stories” rather than concerning themselves with local issues. You know, local issues like which politicians wife wore the prettiest dress or about a bake sale. But, stay away from reporting corruption and incompetence in government, those topics are for corrupters to report, not reporters.
A recent Pew Study revealed that Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez is even more disliked by many Latin Americans than George Bush. Over 70% of people in Argentine dislike Bush and almost as many don’t like Chavez. Heck, even in Venezuela a majority of people prefer Bush to Chavez, but Bush’s favorable rating has dramatically dropped in Chile.
These figures lead to one conclusion, Bush appears to get higher ratings when he is linked with someone who is also disliked. Bush should have a law passed requiring that polling of his popularity must include the name of at least one other disliked leader. Bush needs an affirmative action program in polling to give him an equal opportunity to become popular. How about a Bush-Hitler poll? But, then again, since he has appointed Supreme Court justices who disagree with affirmative action, the prospect of polling affirmative action may not be achieved. George, only appoint liberal judges who support affirmative action!
Christian Democrat Party leader, Goran Hagglund, was backed in his policies to support abortion rights. He has allowed foreign women to come to Sweden to obtain abortions and insists that woman up to 18 weeks pregnant do not need permission for an abortion.
Just as in the United States there has been a backlash against abortion rights in many parts of Europe. Although, there is little evidence of overturning women’s rights to abortion in countries like Poland the government wants to impose restrictions. Hagglund is holding the line on abortion rights in Sweden.
The Egyptian government on Thursday banned female circumcision after the death of a 12 year-old girl. A 2005 UNICEF study indicated 95% of married Egyptian women had been circumcised and a recent Egyptian study revealed that 50.5% of girls aged 10-18 had been circumcised.
This is a long overdue action which will protect women. Unfortunately, female circumcision continues as a practice in many parts of Africa.
Fumio Kyuma, Japan’s Minister of Defense, agreed there was need during World War II to drop the atomic bomb. “I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think it couldn’t be helped.” His statement has caused considerable controversy since many Japanese people regard themselves as victims who were unfairly bombed during the war.
Few American secondary teachers present the decision to drop the atomic bomb within its historical context. The Defense Minister is absolutely correct, actions of the Japanese government in 1945 left no other alternative. The Japanese army had 5000 Kamikaze pilots prepared to die, and it had at least two million soldiers ready to fight to the last man. After the first atomic bomb was dropped, the head of the Japanese army was unimpressed and urged the government to continue fighting. I have read minutes of Japanese Cabinet discussions and the majority of those in government wanted to continue fighting. The Emperor forced them to surrender.
I have heard teachers tell students ridiculous things like America should have tested a bomb on a deserted island. There is not the slightest bit of evidence any Japanese leader would have gone to observe such a demonstration. All evidence points to continued refusal on the part of the Japanese government to any offer of surrender. Americans were still shocked in August, 1945, by the bloody battle in Okinawa which resulted in over 20,000 casualties including Kamikaze attacks which alone resulted in 4,000 dead and wounded.
Japan was not a victim, it killed millions of Chinese people, raped and murdered thousands of women in Nanking, and killed thousands of captured American, Australian and British troops. Japan to this day refuses to take any responsibility for its horrible policies in World War II. Unfortunately, too many American school teachers play into the tragedy. Anyone who believes I am being harsh is invited to read Japanese Cabinet discussions regarding the atomic bomb. The Japanese army wanted an invasion so they could die in glory. The atomic bomb tragedy averted that tragedy.
General Joseph Fil, who heads American military operations in Baghdad says at least half the city is secure. That means, “where we have security forces there and we’re denying space to enemy forces.” Let’s assume General Fils is correct, and half of Baghdad is secure, will be remain secure once American troops leave? That’s the key question.
There is no “victory” in the current fighting in Iraq. We can deny “space” temporarily, but within weeks or months or a year, insurgents will resume operations. Fils admits “This is a skilled and determined enemy.” They will hide, but they will not just vanish because Americans kill dozens or hundreds. The only solution is “political” in which those providing military support withdraw such assistance and those engaged in fighting agree to participate in a political process. The Bush surge ignores Iran, Syria, and other Arab nations whose support is vital to end the madness of Iraq.
The recent refusal of Dick Cheney to deny the National Archives and Records agency access to his papers because he is not part of the executive highlights the arrogance of this man toward the Constitution of America. Actually, he even tried abolishing the National Archives and Records department because they dared challenge his authority.
As the Bush administration winds down its walk on the dark side of history, Dick Cheney looms ever more important as the sinister behind-the-scene manipulator of evil from urging torture of prisoners to revealing the name of a CIA operative whose husband dared challenge the veracity of Bush, to the lies and distortion about events leading up to the Iraq invasion.
The Vice President told Fox News last month: “We didn’t get elected to be popular. We didn’t get elected to worry about the fate of the Republican Party.” Missing in this comment is any indication he was elected to represent the interests of the American people, not his own. As one examines Dick Cheney, there is scant evidence as to whether he has any vision for a future in which peace and prosperity are paramount. His mind only envisions evil, war, and brutality. This man boasts he had better things to do than protect his nation by serving in Vietnam. Why is it that men who fear placing themselves in physical risk are so prone to place others in those situations?
The history of Dick Cheney’s evil is yet to be written. Perhaps, the only solace for George Bush is that future historians will focus on how Cheney manipulated him and may wind up being sympathetic to a bumbling president who only listened to voices of doom.
By the way, if you want a wonderful humorous description of Dick Cheney, check out our book: “Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in Hell.” Just click on our web site to get the book.
In an editorial in the Lebanon Daily Star, the editor expressed hope Tony Blair might be successful in his new mission for Middle Eastern peace. The editorial emphasized: (a) he must understand that Israel-Palestinian peace is central to peace in the region; (b) he must build on the Arab Peace Initiative in order to move forward; (c) he must get Bush to finally recognize why Israel-Palestinian peace is linked to peace in Iraq and elsewhere; (d) and he must prevent neo-conservatives from dis-railing peace efforts.
I fear Bush is too embedded with neo-conservatives who insist Israel can only achieve peace through the barrel of a gun because you cannot trust Arabs. This may well be the last chance for years to attain peace, and it requires Israel to extend trust to moderate Palestinians. Yes, most Palestinians want peace. Israel must release hundreds of prisoners because the longer they languish in prison the more they absorb radical fundamentalist attitudes.
Neo-conservatives examining my prior words would claim I am placing on Israel the task of compromising while not insisting on compromise from Arabs. The Arab Peace Initiative is an opening for negotiation. It can basically be accepted with the proviso the refugee problem requires further study. One possibility is, as Israel settlers evacuate the West Bank, their homes and facilities could be assigned to Palestinian refugees. It would be a start in resolving the problem, not a final solution.
The real questions are can Blair be even-handed, and can he persuade Bush to cease listening to American neo-conservatives who believe Israel can do no wrong. Let me emphasize that Israel has been subjected to terrorism and brutality, but it has also behaved in a brutal fashion.