Monthly Archives: April 2008

Chilean Supreme Court Rules Against Lesbian Teacher

The Supreme Court of Chile ruled against a lesbian’s right to teach Catholic religion based classes in the school system. A 1983 Education Ministry decreee requires all relligon teachers to possess an aptitutde certificate issued by a religious authority. Sandra Parvez, who has taught religious classes for over 20 years, lost her fight to continue teaching Catholic religious classes after it was discovered that she was a lesbian. Chile’s Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation(MOVILH) denounced the decision “as one of the most violent ever made against a person’s dignity.” it regards the issue as to whether the Catholic Church has the right to decide who teaches classes in Chilean public schools.

Several Chilean legislators complained the Supreme Court was interfering in the right of secular institutions to make decisions without regard to what is thought or believed by the Catholic Church. MOVILH also pointed out single mothers and cohabiting partners are also being prevented from obtaining the certificate issued by the church.

Perhaps, it is time for Chile to take a different road and simply halt the teaching of religion in public schools.

Turkey Seeks Solution To Infamous Article 301!

Turkey is despertately seeking to attain membership in the European Union, but its quest has been hampered by certain clauses in the Turkish constitution which run counter to the ideals of the EU. The Turkish parliament has been grappling with the controversial Article 301 provision which allows individuals to be prosecuted for insulting the Turkish nation. The EU regards the provision as a direct violation of the principle of freedom of speech and will, most probably, reject the Turkish application unless Article 301 is eliminated. The latest discussion in parliament came up with changing the terminology to “Denigration of Turkish Nation.”

Sorry, Turkish officials, the European Union is going to insist on completely eliminating any such wording and allow Turks to denigrate, insult, or say whatever is on their mind. Take it or don’t enter.

Israel Foreign Minister Unaware Silence Is Golden!

The conduct of foreign policy is best achieved by quiet diplomacy and avoidance of making public comments concerning those with whom one must negotiate. Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will be meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abdul Ghit this week to patch up their relationship which has been impacted by comments that were best never spoken. In Decmember, 2007, Livni refused to show the US Congress videofootage of Egyptian soldiers assisting Hamas smugglers bring weapons into Gaza. In response to the criticism, she said: “Some things are done on stage, some are done in Congress and some other things are done behind the scenes. every move needs to be calculated. To take an extreme scenario would you sever relations with Egypt over weapons?”

Up to this point her comments were those of a cool headed foreign policy leader, but, she went on in public, “Egypt played a positive role in Annapolis. But this does not negate the fact that their performance on the Gaza border is awful and problematic.”

Her comments infuriated Gheit: “It would be better if the Israeli minister did not run on about matters that she does not know enough about.” It would help of Livni followed her own advice and spoke with Egyptian officials in private about matters dealing with weapons in Gaza.

Reverend Wright’s Season In The Sun Of Fame

Reverend Jeremiah Wright for years regarded Barack Obama as a son whose future was of importance, but today, the good reverend is marching defiantly into the glare of the sun of fame and there is no turning back for the eloquent voice of self adulation. In a theatrical peformance at the National Press Club, in which he was at times, flippant, at other times confrontational, the pastor let leaders of the media world know he was not going off the stage until he has completely destroyed the candidacy of Barack Obama. On one hand, Reverend Wright pretends to be concerned about the black church, but, in reality, he wallows in the limelight and simply can not take his eyes off the glare of publicity and fame.

Oh, he made the required comments about racial reconciliation, but his flippant asides revealed the real purpose of his talk. When asked about his comment regarding the 9/11 attack about “the chickens coming home to roost,” he responded that Jesus said: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He insisted you “cannot do terrorism to other people and expect it never to come back on you.” He defended Louis Farrakhan and insisted he had told Obama if he got elected, the reverend would take him on because being president means one is now part of an oppressive government.

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright apparently has no place in his sermons for the Christ who urged turning the other cheek or who preached about peace and love. This latest travesty of religion by Wright merely indicates the man lacks any sense of concern for members of his own church, the only thing that is on his mind is getting his name in the newspapers, and, appearing before crowds of media leaders so he can twist his knife of hate into them and ensure the death of the Obama candidacy.

We await anxiously news of the book contract that will be signed by the Reverend Wright about his exploits on the road to hate and anger.

UN Food Crisis Task Force Formed

The world is rapidly moving toward a momumental food crisis spawned by converting food production into oil which has placed new demands on the amount of food available to inhabants of planet Earth. UN Secetary-General Ban ki-moon, ordered a top level task force to take on the global crisis caused by rising food prices and urged major exporters to end their bans on export of food. His task force includes the heads of 27 key international agencies whose goal is coming up with at least an immediate solution to the problem of lack of food. Ban is concerned that Argentina, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt have imposed limittions on the export of certain produce due to fear they will not have enough to meet the needs of their own populations. “We urge countries not to use export bans. These controls encourage hoarding, drive up prices and hurt the poorest people around the world.”

Ban noted, although the UN has pledges of nearly $500 million for food supplies, it actually only has $17 available right now. One can only wonder how much of what is daily spent to fight in Iraq could be used to feed the people of the world.

Ban is talking about immediate solutions, but the overall long term impact of rising oil prices and diverting food to making oil must eventually be addressed. President Bush talks about waiting until the 2020s to address these issues, they must be dealt with now.

Neo-Fascist Is Mayor Of Rome!

About eighty years ago, Fascist thugs led by Benito Mussolini, stormed through the streets of Rome on their way to power and the installation of a dictatorship that eventually led to the destruction of their nation. Yesterday, a former street-fightng neo-fascist won a crushing victory in Rome’s mayoral election which adds luster to the triumph of conservative Silvio Belusconi who gained a majority in parliament. Gianni Alemanno, wears a Celtic cross belonging to a friend who was killed in a street demonstration and he promised to implement his anti-immigrant program as soon as possible. Among the key points of his program, which apparently, met with approval of Romans, includes:
“Immediate activate procedure for the expulsion of 20,000 nomads and immigrants who have broken the law in Rome.”
“Closure of illegal nomad camps, rigorous and effective checks on legal ones, and their progresssive elimination.”

Mr. Alemanno was swept in by hysteria that began last fall when a housewife was mudered and the national press highlighteed stories about immigrant murderers. Several migrant camps was demolished and a new “decree law” imposed restrictions on immigrants far surapssing any in effect within other European Union nations.

Fascism by any other name is still fascism. Italy gave birth to modern fascism, hopefully, eventually saner minds will give birth to anti-fascism.

President Karzai Knew Of Assassination Plot

Last weekend’s attempt by Taliban militants to kill the president of Afghanistan apparently were known by the Karzai government, but, it was still unable to prevent the plot from unfolding. Afghanistan’s intelligence chief said he warned the president the plot was hatched over a month ago and the assassins had rented hotel rooms in the city. Amrullah Saleh said, “We had technical information… that this would happen… We passed this information to the national security(adviser) and to the president of Afghanistan.” Despite complete failure on the part of Karzai’s intelligence operation, none of those in charge will be replaced.

American officials denied there had been any victory on the part of Taliban militants even though they came within feet of killing the president of Afghanistan. White House press secetary Dana Perino, said, “When it comes to dealing with terrorists like the Taliban or al-Qaida, they just have to have even… a little bit of an impact for everyone to say that they had a big victory.”

The press secretary is correct on one point, it is a minor event in terms of anyone of importance getting killed. But, it is a major event because it again illustrates the incompetent leadership surrounding President Karzai. People secure positions due to tribal influence, not because of competence. Seven years have passed and the Bush administration insists everything in the long run will work out OK.

In the meantime, another Taliban attack, eighteen dead including 11 police and 36 wounded. The seven year war continues.

US Tough Talk On Iran Falls Flat

Leaders in the American armed forces and the Bush administration have been racheting up tough talk regarding Iran’s support for Iraq militants but, so far, the rhetoric has not resulted in the reality that Iran is worried about a possible American invasion. Iranian Foreign Minister spokesperson, Mohammed Ali Hosseini, responded to the latest comments by Admiral Mullen last week in which he warned of consequences if Iran did not cease sending in supplies to insurgents. “We see it unlikely, said Hosseini, “that they plan to enter a new disaster which they themselves believe wlll have unpleasant consequences for the region and the world.” He said Iran smply does not believe America possesses the military power to initiate a third area of operation in the Middle East.

On one hand, the Iraq government of Prime Minister Maliki, constantly praises Iran for aiding its survival, on the other hand, the United States insists Iran is attempting to destroy the Mailiki government. Perhaps, there should be a meeting of minds to work out the story to be presented to the world.

“Burn, Burn, Kill, Kill” Chant Peaceful Protestors

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation and among the centers of a moderate approach to religious issues, but, in recent years, there has been an increase in the level of violence among a sector of its population towards an heretical group known as the Ahmadiyah sect. The sect arose at the end of the 19th century in what is now known as Pakistan and some Muslim insist it was created by British imperialists in order to divide Muslims. Yesterday, hundreds of Indonesians converged on the sect’s mosque, burned it down and torched a religious school while sending dozens of people fleeing in terror before the attack. “We heard the attackers chanting, ‘burn, burn,’ and ‘kill, kill,’ said Zaki Firdaus, a member of the sect. “It was horrible.”

Indonesian law guarantees religious freedom but the actions of a team of prosecutors and government officials have created chaos where none is necessary. There are only about 200,000 members of the group in a nation of over 120,000,000. If 200,000 can create such terror, one should look to one’s religion. Then, again, less than two dozen people completely terrorized the entire American nation!

China Again Clicks Button On Tibet Clique Complaint

The Chinese government is so concerned in proving to the world the Dalai Lama is part of some grand conspiracy aimed to obtaining independence for Tibet, it is incapable of ever actually listening to the words of the peaceful leader of his desire for autonomy within the nation of China. Once again Chinese official sources claim the Dalai Lama is on a global tour aimed at pushing the idea of a “China threat” to the West. China insists, “some forces want to use Dalai clique to put greater pressure on China” by internationalizing the Tibet issue. It is upset the “Dalai clique” wants an investigation into events of the March riots in Tibet. The bottom line, according to Beijing, is that “after five decades of life in exile, the Dalai clique has learned how to cater to the West by flaunting human rights, peace, environment protection and culture, among others.”

Perhaps, there is another way to examine the issue of spending half a century in exile. Perhaps, the Dalai Lama seeks to achieve peace for his people and some form of protection of their cultural values within the greater context of life in a Chinese nation. Perhaps, there is no “clique,” but only frustrated people seeking to reconcile their desires for a peaceful resolution of issues.