Monthly Archives: June 2007

Ominous Signs In Turkey

The United States State Department issued a warning to Turkey to avoid engaging in any hostile action against Kurdish separatists who are hiding in Iraq. The same day, Turkish military forces killed 8 members of the Kurdish Workers Party(PKK) and the Prime Minister was scolded and threatened with legal action for referring to an imprisoned Kurd leader by the word, “sayin” which is the English equivalent of “sir.”

The complaint of The Impudent Observer is failure on the part of the Bush administration to comprehend the volatile nature of the Kurdish situation when our forces entered Iraq. Even before the American invasion of Iraq, the Turkish government indicated misgivings because it feared fracturing of Iraq would result in new energy and arms for Kurdish separatists in their own country. At some point, American leadership has to create an overall policy design for the Middle East. At present, we move from topic to topic without any comprehensive idea as to where we are heading.

Thailand Says No To A State Religion

Despite the fact that 90% of Thailand is Buddhist, the government rejected proposals to enshrine Buddhism as the state religion. Some monks have been on a hunger strike insisting the government move in this direction. Thailand’s southern three provinces contain a population in which a majority is Muslim. The area is the scene of violent conflict in which Muslim insurgents are fighting the Thailand army and attempting to disrupt schools that teach a secular approach to life.

Had Thailand made Buddhism its official religion there is no doubt more violence would have erupted in the southern provinces. Thailand has to move toward ending discrimination against Muslims, offering local autonomy, and gaining public support to crush terrorist groups. Military action alone can never crush a local insurgency, it requires support from the population.

UN Team Inspects North Korea Nuclear Facility

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency concluded an agreement with the North Korean government to monitor nuclear facilities and visited the Youngbyon nuclear facility. As I recall, not so long ago, George Bush was screaming for action against a North Korea he claimed would not allow inspection of nuclear facilities. The conservative American press attempted to frighten the American people with visions of atomic bombs falling on our nation from North Korea. It’s the same mentality that scared everyone about WMD.

The story of American conservatism these past seven years is governing by fear. Unfortunately, for conservatives, the American people have awoken from their sleep in which visions of unseen monsters lurked in dark places. The North Korean atomic program can be monitored by the UN just as Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMD program was being monitored by the UN.

Putin Plays the Chavez Card

President Putin entertained the always entertaining President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela just days before his scheduled visit with George Bush. Chavez did his usual comic impersonation of a man fighting against evil America and proclaiming the need for freedom while stifling opposition within his own country. I have no problem with his speeches attacking American oil companies which, undoubtedly, have exploited Latin America. But, he is in a Russia where the government is denying freedom of speech to its opponents as well as stifling ethnic groups of their right to self government.

Putin is no fool and there must be a reason he participated in this event just days before going off to see George Bush. I find Putin’s mind intriguing, the man has secret plans and agendas. So, what is his goal in meeting with Bush? Surely, he is not interested in enjoying Texas steaks. I suspect he is positioning Russia as leader of nations which fear America’s military prowess.

An Interesting Game– Try It for a Year

Author Sara Bongiorni tried living for a year without purchasing any product made in China. Last year, Chinese imports constituted 17% of the 1.7 trillion dollars of goods imported into America. Guess having lack of which products most impacted Ms. Bongiorni.

OK, select a country and try living without using any product from that country for a few months. Describe how this unofficial boycott impacted your life and send your description to The Impudent Observer.

Marriage Rate Drops in England

The number of marriages in England has fallen to a record low. In 1851 there were 27 married couples for each single person, today the figure is 12 married couples for each single person. It is also interesting for the first time more weddings took place outside rather than inside religious institutions.

We forget that prior to the 20th century, there was economic and social need for being married. Society lacked technological machinery to handle household chores so being married was important. Also, there was no social security system which meant having a spouse ensured someone would care for you in old age. Then, again, we are culturally bombarded today with images and messages that one can live alone and be happy.

Smell of Popcorn Tastes Better Than When Eaten

Nothing is more romantic than an elderly pot bellied man holding hands with a gray haired woman.

People always appear happy when they enter a movie theater.

There is something scary about a deserted mall.

I’ll give a prize to anyone who can explain Mitt Romney’s political ideas. I’d triple the prize if he could do it.

I become furious seeing grossly over weight children.

Do you get a moment of fear seeing a wide open door of the rest room and no one inside?

Men fell proud if they can gaze down and see the penis without flesh getting in the way.

I have never seen a motorcycle group that did not contain at least one man wearing a white moustache.

I know I’m in the Midwest and not on Long Island when I drive by places selling fireworks for the 4th of July.

There is something incredibly peaceful about a rural church on Sunday morning when people are chatting and shaking hands.

If you go through chemo for cancer, eat Charleston Chews and drink lime flavored Coke after the session.

Republicans have reached a new moral low by opposing lowering of flags when a soldier dies because they claim it sends a political message. Of course, since only cowards serve in the Bush Cabinet, why should it be surprising they will not honor those who have fallen in combat for their country.

I more often see two women walking into a movie theater than two men.

Why can’t women keep change in their pockets? I was behind a woman who went through five separate actions in order to collect her change.

Is Don Rumsfeld still alive? I often wonder what he does to pass away the hours. Maybe, he watches reruns of American troops entering Baghdad.

So, Paris Hilton is upset she had to undress in front of other people. Does this mean Paris Hilton never undressed before a man? So, my suspicion was correct that she was a secret virgin.

Good Enought to Fight, But Not Receive College Aid

Two Texas veterans are challenging a state policy which bans them from receiving a college tuition waiver because although they were legal residents of Texas when they entered the service, they had not yet obtained citizenship. Ordinarily, the Hazelwood Act provides assistance to veterans who have exhausted college benefits, but it also requires citizenship upon entering the service to receive its benefits.

There is something wrong about this scenario. We send young men and women off to fight, but if they lack citizenship they are denied certain benefits. This policy stinks to high heaven.

Democratic Senators Push Veteran Friendly Legislation

The Senate Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee voted to rescind the 4 year old Bush regulation barring new enrollments in Group 8 which deals with providing assistance to veterans needing medical care for combat stress. Chairman Senator Daniel Akaka indicated new legislation would require individualized programs for veterans suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, and extend eligibility to obtain assistance for Post Traumatic Stress from two to five years. It would also allow the VA to contract services in areas where specialists are not on VA staff.

This is another example of concern by Democrats for those who have served the nation. Congressional Democrats have already informed President Bush the military will receive a 3.5% pay increase rather than his 3%. The president claims 3.5% would cause economic problems since money is lacking for this raise. Of course, he refuses to rescind tax cuts to obtain more money.

Human Tragedy in Swaziland

Swaziland leads the world in people having AIDS and HIV. At present about 26% of the population is infected with rates of 87% for women aged 15-49 and 77% of males in that age bracket.

I wrote earlier today about Laura Bush is traveling in Africa on a campaign against AIDs and HIV, and her refusal to back down on opposing use of condoms. My God, there are people dying and the Bush family can’t shake their religious feelings in order to help. This story should be on the front page of every American newspaper. We, as a society, can help, but we refuse because of a politically motivated agenda in which votes always take precedence over doing what is right.

I apologize for twice today dealing with this story, but it emotionally and intellectually impacted me more than anything that happened in the world. We Americans owe the people of Swaziland an apology.