Monthly Archives: September 2008

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

Each week, we offer the ruminations of a 78 year old man who is trapped in the mind of a 12 year old boy.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

I saw sign that said: “Wellness Chiropractor.” Is this the opposite of an “Unwellness Chiropractor?”

They are tearing down Yankee Stadium in order to build Yankee Stadium. Only in America.

Men who walk briskly in the street with a backpack invariably have determined looks on their faces.

I daily receive comments on the MySpace blog I have from people declaring America is a dictatorship in which there is no freedom of speech. This statement being made on a site which contains a possible 230,000,000 readers. What do they think happens in dictatorships?

John McCain continually attacks the record of John McCain. This is called a “winning strategy”–it is not a tactic.

It always amazes me how leaving one’s house fifteen minutes later allows escaping traffic jams. I hope the rest of humankind doesn’t figure this out.

My sick mind evaluates a college by the number of attractive women it has.

I am a big stride person. Small stride people come across as tentative.

I hope to God Sarah Palin never gazes across the horizon to see an atomic plant. She will then consider herself qualified to conduct nuclear tests–on other nations, that is.

I drove by a high school as all students were leaving at 1:00 p.m. Is this the result of bored students or tired teachers?

Once each six months I eat an Arby roast beef sandwich. Just six more months to go for another one.

I never feel safe if security people are over weight.

I invariably get off the exit from a highway just in time to catch the red light. This skill requires practice.

I heard that gambling revenue is down at casinos. I guess after people gambled on buying a house, they decided to avoid gambling on anything else.

I am furious at companies that send you next year’s date book because you bought one from them last year and forgot to read the tiny print which says buy in one year and receive one forever.

I have never purchased a large soda. After a few sips, my thirst is gone. That is one talent I developed in the army while on long marches.

I have not heard anyone in a year mention a bowling score. Do people still bowl?

Boys who wear pulled down hats are making a statement. One day I will figure it out.

I still fear automatic doors. I was educated to open a door, not have the door open itself.

I have no doubt by 2050 people will assume a different color body each day.

At age 78, I still feel awkward going to a meeting where I don’t know anyone.

Shyness is God’s gift to happiness or punishment for being alive.

The manager of my apartment complex left a candy bar on the knob of my door. How sweet.

After listening to John McCain ramble on about his trips, I guess people who go on an around the world voyage should be nominated for president in 2012.

A woman stopped me while I was walking and told me a woeful story about poverty and loneliness. I find myself baffled as how to handle such situations.

I never leave a meeting until at least one person has left.

It is September and I am in St. Louis. Achoo, the allergy season has begun.

I saw a group of college students sitting on the grass and one played a guitar. The 1960s was again alive.

I went into a Student Center but there were no comfortable chairs. Not very community centered in my view.

I have never had the inclination for a beard. I wonder why men wear them.

Gazing And Walking On The Road To The Presidency

Governor Sarah Palin insists her ability on a clear day to see the shore of Russia has provided the potential vice president with extraordinary knowledge of the neighbor to the west. She also points out that Russian planes fly over Alaska every day which enables this far seeing political leader to gain a vast understanding of the Russian government. There is no question an occasional Russian diplomat is on these planes which means, unlike Barack Obama in Illinois, the Alaska politician has greater executive and diplomatic experience in an experiential way. Senator McCain in the presidential debate made clear he has traveled around the world and seen things that Obama has only read about in books, provided, of course that he actually has read a book on foreign affairs.

We live in interesting times when traveling to another country and seeing its terrain is somehow connected to understanding politics and diplomacy. Of course, by that definition any tourist can now claim the right to run for public office, particularly anyone who has been in Iran or Iraq. I suspect few of the McCain-Palin critics fully grasp that Sarah Palin not only sees Russia daily, but her intimate contact with God means she has the power to blast Russian planes out of the air merely be gazing upward.

It is unfortunate the Founding Fathers did not place in the list of requirements to qualify to run for president or vice president the need to be able to see other nations in the distance and have visited several foreign countries. There is no question if these valid requirements were in the Constitution, the Palin-McCain ticket would easily win the election. It is somewhat unfair that Joe Biden lives near the Atlantic Ocean and can not see any country in the distance. However, in fairness, he does see ships bound for other nations. I wonder if this also counts.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

Each week, we offer a review of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our own commentary.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Penis Removed Without Consent”
It is only fair to ask a penis if it wants to be detached from a man’s body.

Norway, Aftenposten: “Moose Hunt Big Business”
Not for the moose.

Yemen, Yemen Times: “To Choose Or Not To Choose An Educated Woman”
We all know how Senator John McCain answered that question.

Australia, West Australian: “Woman Arrested After Chicken Heist”
The police apprehended Mrs. Wolf and her companion, Mr. Mongoose.

Thailand, Bangkok Post: “Jo Lee Bacon Wins Hog Calling Contest”
We certainly know this was not a contest won by a Jewish person.

United Kingdom, Guardian: “Public Toilet Arrest”
First, they go around arresting public toilets, next you know they will imprison showers.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Saudi Invited To Human Rights Meeting”
When he gets back he will have an invitation for a public lashing meeting.

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Cheese on Beach Could Be Perfume”
This story smells to high heaven.

Norway, Aftenposten: “Taxis Charge Extra For Being On Time”
Do they charge less for being late?

Finland, Sanomat: “One In Five Pedestrians Crosses On Red”
Just wait until one person makes it across the street, then the rest are open targets.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Aussie Caught In Bali With Drugs”
It would be more shocking if they were caught without drugs.

Russia, Moscow Times: “Timoshenko Mocks Yushchenko”
Are you sure it is not Yushchenko who mocks Timoshenko?”

England, The Independent: “20 reasons To Be Cheerful”
Actually, we have about 110 reasons knowing Bush will be out of our lives.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Thief Gives Priest Guilt Feelings”
Three Hail Marys a day for a week as penance.

Oman, Oman Tribune: “Old, Who Me?”
Yes, John you are displaying senility and we haven’t yet reached October.

Qatar, Arab Times: “No Alimony For High Paying Wives”
Does a low paid husband get something?

South Africa, Mercury: “Yes, I Shot My Colleague”
What John McCain wishes he had done after watching Palin on an interview.

Australia, West Australian: “Bush Hits Elephant”
The bus is recuperating very well in the hospital.

Kuwait, Khaleej Times: “Moroccan Blogger Jailed For Disparaging King”
What does he get for telling the truth?

Sweden, The Local: “Happy Meal Toys Hurt Hearing”
Yeh, but what do they do to the stomach?

Has Palin Paled In Eyes Of Appalled Conservatives?

A few weeks ago, conservatives hailed the arrival of Sarah Palin as a bright new aggressive voice in politics, but the sheen is wearing off and those who regard the interests of the United States of America as of more importance than supporting a woman in high office, are expressing serious doubts about the candidacy of the maverick from Alaska. Kathleen Parker, who welcomed a true conservative, is now writing in the National Review online that her “cringe reflex is exhausted” watching an ignorant and bumbling woman stumble through one interview after another. “No one hates saying more than I do…that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger pressed over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does.”

Parker now says although Palin represented a refreshing voice in politics it is clear she doesn’t know enough about economics of foreign policy to become president if a President McCain were to die. The Republican conservative urged Palin to save the party by bowing out “for personal reasons” and allow a more experienced person to represent Republicans in the election.

We live in strange times when a person such as Palin can even be considered for the office of vice president of this nation. She most probably represents the worst choice for high political office in the history of the United States of America. What does this say about the “experience” and “cool judgment” of John McCain?

Human Rights Under Fire In Cambodia

The nation of Cambodia has endured over the past thirty years horrors such as few places have witnessed in recent times. Despite the end of the cruel Pol Pot murderers, Cambodians still have not been able to create a society in which free speech is a given, not a gift. The Cambodian human rights group, Licadho said those who seek to defend the rights of their countrymen live in dread of their lives. “Cambodia is a dangerous place for human rights defenders. Throughout 2007, the patterns of threats and attacks observed in previous years have continued and intensified.” The group said the situation now made it perilous for any lawyer who undertook defense of individual rights.

Licadho pointed out union leader Hy Vuthy was murdered and the activist monk Tim
Sakhorn was kidnapped and deported for opposing the government. When asked about Hy Vuthy’s murder, Phnom Penh’s police chief responded by saying “we know the identify of the suspects and our police are always on the alert” but for some strange reason they don’t seem too much in a hurry to arrest any suspects. No arrest warrants have ever been issued in regard to the murder.

Hopefully, one day, Cambodians can live in a society in which free speech is not an endanger species.

Did Bush Veto Israel Air Strike Against Iran?

Senator John McCain and other Republican leaders have been arguing that Israel must be supported in its efforts to defend itself against possible Iranian attacks. There have been hints on the part of McCain about backing any Israel action, including possible air strikes. However, according to the British Guardian newspaper, President Bush bluntly told the Israel government he would not be supportive of any Israel military action against Iran. He told Israel that view would not be changed as long as he was president. Prime Minister Olmert supposedly discussed with Bush in May his nation’s thoughts about launching an air strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability.

The unconfirmed report about this Israel plan suggests even George Bush understands attacking Iran would result in disruption of shipping in the Gulf and the reality of an over extended American military mission in the region. Ironically, Bush when asked, has said the United States has never taken military action against Iran off the table.

George Bush lives in the world of rhetoric and sometimes his love of “tough language” leads to disastrous results such as in the flawed invasion of Iraq.

Prague Charges Russia Plots To Halt Missile Bases

During the past year, President Bush has been pushing for construction of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Many people in the Czech Republic have opposed the bases and some polls indicate the number in opposition may represent about half the population of the country. A supporter of the bases, Jan Vidim claims Czech intelligence has evidence Russian spies are operating to stir up opposition to the planned bases. He cites evidence from the Czech Security Information Service(BIS) that Russian agents are openly “trying to influence the public. they have to be pretty sure about it.”

For some reason, members of parliament such as Vidim consider it perfectly appropriate for American agents and political leaders to propagandize for bases but if other nation try to implement similar plans they become “agents” and “spies” bent on destroying the Czech democracy. The United States spends millions trying to influence public opinion in dozens of nations so why should it be surprising that Russia is engaged in similar activities?

Obama And McCain, Who Won And Who Lost?

Two men walked the walk and it is yet to be clear which one proceeded further toward the finish line. The assumption of most experts was all Obama had to do was hold his own in the foreign policy debate. There is scant evidence an Obama supporter exclaimed: “Wow, I like McCain!” On the other hand, McCain supporters did not leap into the arms of Obama because of anything he said in the debate. However, the initial results of CNN polls revealed that Americans thought Obama had won the foreign policy portion of the debate by 51% to 49%. The vote on who could handle Iraq more competently was 52% for Obama and 48% for McCain. The vote on who better handles the economy was an overwhelming 58% for Obama and 32% for McCain.

John McCain throughout the debate spoke of his experience, his visits, his meeting of foreign leaders and emphasized his past deeds such as surviving the Vietnam war. One sensed at points he was coming across as condescending to Obama and this is probably the reason a focus group in Columbus, Ohio voted for Obama 62% to 38% for McCain. I thought McCain appeared tired and at points, he lacked energy other than being able to recite his life accomplishments. I do not believe McCain still grasps that few people under the age of 40 know anything about the Vietnam War and Ronald Reagan is a name they come across in history books. As far as being able to claim friendship with Henry Kissinger, most probably think he is some figure in a crime movie.

It will be interesting to obtain poll results as the week unfolds. I suspect McCain lost because he was not able to overwhelm Obama. His constant referral to Iraq may register with some elderly people but it is not a selling point to younger Americans. Obama certainly came across as one thinking about the future and the future is what concerns Americans, not the past.

British Conservatives Denounce Multiculturalism

Dominic Grieve, who would become Home Secretary in a future Conservative government, blasted the idea of multiculturalism as having been beneficial to the nation. He told the Guardian newspaper in an interview: “We’ve actually done something terrible to ourselves in Britain. In the name of trying to prepare people for some new multicultural society we’ve encouraged people, particularly the sort of long term inhabitants to say, ‘well, your cultural background isn’t really very important.” He pointed out although the idea was to “create a melting pot, the melting pot needs the ingredients of people’s confidence in themselves as they come together. And, if it isn’t there, I think we’ve done ourselves huge damage.”

He argued Muslims have to understand the importance of being tolerant and integrating themselves into British society. He also expressed dismay at failure to recognize the importance of Christianity in the history of the UK. “The role of Christianity is really rather important. It can’t just be magicked out of the script.”

The ideas of the Conservative leader reveal a complete misunderstanding of the concept of multiculturalism. At present over 200 million people are immigrants in one nation or another. They obviously have to accept the ideas of a nation in which they live, but this does not preclude maintaining values, customs, and beliefs of their own background.

Hizbullah Stands Firm Against Israel Compromise

Hassan Nasrallah once again repeated Hizbullah rhetoric about the need to defeat Israel and restore Palestine to the Arab people. There was not a sign of any compromise or willingness to seek a realistic solution to the current conflict. Nasrallah shouted, “Palestine, from the sea to the river is the property of Arabs and Palestinians and no one has a right to give up even a single gran of earth or one stone, because every grain of the land is holy. The entire land must be returned to its rightful owners.” He made clear his group was not interested in seeking any involvement of the United States or any nation is helping the people of Palestine to attain peace and prosperity.

The tragedy of Palestinians and other Arabs is the presence of charismatic leaders who pontificate and boast for the audience at hand since they always prefer words to actual a resolution of problems. President Ahmadinejad, his fellow master of rhetoric rather than reality said similar things in his UN comments. Neither of these leaders has the slightest interest in reaching a compromise that will empower Palestinians to gain authority of their own destinies and have their own nation. As far as Nasrallah is concerned a photo op always takes precedence over discussing issues of substance.