Monthly Archives: December 2008

On The Russian Trail Toward Authoritarian Government

In the glow of the overthrow of the Soviet Union, the Russian people looked forward to an era of democracy in which they finally after centuries of fighting to end authoritarian government would be able to taste the joy of living in a free society. The Putin era of kleptocracy made millions of Russians angry at what they considered to be the essence of capitalism and democracy. During the intervening years, Vladmir Putin brought stability to his nation, but the price was the end of a vibrant democracy and its replacement by a few men in charge who knew what should be said and what should be done. Santa Vladmir came on the scene with his merry little elf, Dimitry, and they both have decided the last thing Russians need is a democratic society.

The Federation Council of Russia, all 142 obedient little elves voted to extend the Russian presidency from four to six years as well as extending the Duma term from four to five years. This will enable Father Vladmir to return as president in a few years and once again do formally what he does informally-rule Russia. This important constitutional amendment was proposed a month ago by President Medvedev and passed within sixty days. Such is the working of democratic government in the era of Vladmir the First.

A Modern Christmas Tale

The family was gathered for a Christmas gathering, there was laughter and songs and stories being told, but suddenly there came a knock on the door. A little girl ran anxiously to the knock, flung it open and there was Santa all dressed in red. However, instead of a merry Christmas from his mouth, a gun appeared and the girl was shot in the face. Santa then went into the house blazing away, shooting indiscriminately at those he once had loved and with whom he had shared joy. As people fled the house shouting in fear, Santa sprayed a liquid which set fire to the house. Bruce Pardo had just gone through a rough divorce and decided to use the holiday season to stage his rampage of hate. In the end, he got out of his Santa suit, drove to the house of his brother and killed himself. Police found eight bodies in the house as they arrived with firemen to put out the blaze.

It was just another Christmas tale. The holiday season brings millions together in love, but it also appears to unleash the forces of hate and anger. A few days before Christmas, Pope Benedict took the occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ to launch a vicious attacks on gays and lesbians, surely not the time or place to utter words of hate. In the Christian nation of Zimbabwe, a mad man named Robert Mugabe holds millions hostage to his hate and children are starving. The force of love is always present at Christmas, but why does the force of hate show its face?

Animal Rights Activists Don’t Believe In Human Rights

Four animal rights activists in the United Kingdom apparently do not believe that humans have the same rights as animals. They are accused of conducting a blackmail and terror campaign which was designed to close down the Huntingdon Life Sciences testing center. The two men and two women group targeted firms dealing with the Huntingdon laboratories by threatening to falsely accused directors of the firms of being paedophiles or warning them they might be infected by HIV infected needles. The four idiots daubed roads outside the homes of firm managers with insults such as “puppy killer.” Mr. Christopher Bevan, a scientist, had letters sent to the homes of neighbors claiming he was a serial sex offender who went abroad to abuse children.

Insulting the wives of corporate leaders who purchasing goods in their names might be the type of prank a fifteen year-old would try thinking it was cute, but for individuals who have concern about “life” that sort of behavior denotes a lack of moral center. Animal activists have every right to present their ideas, write papers, or send their comments about animal rights to anyone they so desire, but the bizarre actions of this group of confused individuals smacks of mental instability.

Mugabe Continues Erratic Behavior Of Destruction

President Mugabe’s increasingly bizarre and destructive behavior continues to threaten his nation with complete disaster as hunger and cholera increase without any immediate hope to alter their devastating impact on people. Armed police took a leading Zimbabwean human rights campaigner and eight other activists to a maximum security prison where their fate is unknown. The High Court of Zimbabwe ordered their release and treatment in a hospital, but Mugabe is oblivious of other nations or any other authority but his own distorted and mentally unbalanced view of reality. All nine men are in police custody and no one knows if they will continue to be beaten or, at some point, even killed. Some were picked up at gun point by police who are carrying out the orders of the Supreme Leader to crush any and all opposition to his rule.

On one hand, Mugabe says he is willing to go through with a power-sharing agreement he accepted in September. On the other hand, he continually arrests, beats and tortures men and women who supposedly would be in the coalition government. African nations stand idly by while millions of Africans face the prospect of famine and illness. Is this what the fight against colonialism was all about?

Turkish Government Apologizes To Alevi

The Alevi are a Muslim group which adheres to liberal ideas in which all faiths are recognized as being good and women are on an equal basis with men. The Alevi has suffered constant discrimination and hate because of their independent views on the nature of the Muslim religion and their refusal to follow fundamentalist approaches to religion. Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay, spoke for the current government by making clear hi Justice and Development Party, although a religious centered one, is sorry for the manner in which Alevi have been treated and persecuted for their religious beliefs. ‘I want to apologize for all of the wrongdoings done in the past” and he thanked Alevi for their “unwavering belief and protection of the Turkish nation.”

The apology to the Alevi is an important first step in truly creating the basis of religious freedom in Turkey. It recognizes there are alternative paths to the truth in the Muslim religion. Another such step in working to undo hate of the past would be an apology to the Armenian people.

Will Israel Invade Gaza?

The politics of not accepting reality is pushing both Israel and Hamas into a possible armed conflict that would ruin any hope of peace in the Palestinian-Israel conflict for years to come. During the past two days, over eighty rockets from Gaza have hit targets in Israel and it is only a matter of time before these rockets begin to result in large scale damage and death to Israelis. Israeli General Gabi Ashkenazi warned Hamas of possible consequences to their refusal to halt rocket attacks. “The reality can not be allowed to continue and we will need to use our full force to hit the terrorist infrastructure and create a new reality around the Gaza Strip.” Prime Minister Olmert appealed to the people of Gaza to halt the march to war, but it is doubtful if his words touched the chords of reality inside the minds of Hamas leaders.

Hamas boasted it was prepared to witness the death of its entire leadership but would not back down from firing rockets into Israel. Foreign Minister Livni has appealed to the Egyptian government to intervene for peace but the Egyptians are tired of being trapped in the middle with both sides blaming it for problems. The nightmare scenario is an Israel invasion, the death of hundreds, the martyrdom of Hamas leaders and the en, for now, of any hope for peace.

Ahmadinjad Speaks Of Christ And Hate

Christmas is a time for people of all faiths to come together in peace and friendship to celebrate the birth of an important figure in the history of love and kindness on planet Earth. For some reason, the British Channel 4 decided to broadcast an alternative Christmas message to that of the Queen, and they selected that notable exponent of love and justice, President Ahmadinejad of Iran. A government spokesperson noted that during his presidency, Ahmadinejad has “made a series of appalling anti-Semitic statements” and has spread the message of sectarian hate. Labor MP Louis Ellman denounced the choice of giving “an unchallenged platofrom to a dangerous fanatic who denies the Holocaust while preparing for another and claims homosexuality does not exist while his regime hangs gay young men from cranes in the street.”

The excuse of “fairness” is not sufficient when a hating demagogue is provided a platform to spew hate without any counter balancing perspective being offered. Perhaps, Channel 4 might follow up by allowing President Mugabe an opportunity to preach his brand of democracy.

Child Labor Common In Jordan

The country of Jordan has done little to deal with the growth of child labor even tough the law says those under 16 can not be working full time. However an estimated 30,000 children are working in areas such as agriculture, construction, car repair and the thousands of stalls that line the streets of cities. According to Issa Masarweh, “Families push their children to work and employers are the only winners at the end because they exploit children and make them work for next to nothing.” Most Jordanian experts in the field of children’s rights believe the problem will not be solved by passing another law or making speeches about the need for children to be in school. The children need both legal and economic assistance since children are essentially helping their own poor families to survive by working and ending their ability to work only increases poverty.

It is estimated over 250,000,000 children in the world are engaged in work when they should be in school. Some countries are experimenting by paying children for every day they are in school in order to connect going to school with dealing with poverty by linking the ability of the child to earn money with her/his need to be in school.

Guinea Coup Another African Tragedy

Someday when the history of the continent of Africa is written there will be at least a chapter on the tragedy of failed leadership among Africans. It is difficult to identify an African nation which emerged out of colonialism that currently has the semblance of a democratic society. The concept of ending colonialism was important, but the failure of those leading African revolutions to become the champions of democracy has resulted in a wealthy continent mired in poverty, violence and hatred. The latest example was seizure of power in Guinea after its long-term president died. Within moments, a group of young officers took over the government and announced it might some day allow free elections. After warning present Cabinet members of consequences, about 30 turned themselves over to the military junta and awaited their fates. Coup leader Moussa Camara promised a “grandiose funeral” for the dead dictator Lansana Combe, no doubt, an act that sets the stage for the arrival of another two bit dictator by the name of Camara.

The famous last words of Camara are, “it is not m y intention to be a candidate in the election of December, 2010.” Mark those words down somewhere and check out which excuse is cited by Camara in December, 2010 to explain why he must remain in power for the good of the people.

Night Raids Stroke Afghan Anger

Canada’s top officer in Afghanistan admitted his troops conduct night raids for suspected members of Taliban despite complaints by leaders of the Afghanistan government to avoid such actions which only stir anger among the average citizens of the land. General Denis Thompson admits such assaults go against his own philosophy, he believes there is no alternative. “There’s nothing worse than busting into somebody’s house in the middle of the night.” He argues it is a necessary self-defense approach which saves lives of Canadian soldiers. Thompson’s remarks came after a withering report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission which argues bombing raids and continued harassment of ordinary civilians has often resulted in the opposite effect — people become more supportive of the Taliban.

According to the report: “Afghan families experienced their family members killed or injured, their houses or other property destroyed, or homes invaded at night without any perceived justification or legal authorization.” It has become all too common for the average innocent Afghan family which opposes the Taliban to have a horror story concerning US and Coalition forces who damaged their homes or lives than the enemy of their government. It is not surprising under these circumstances for the enemy to become the friend.

In the words of the immortal comic strip persona, Pogo, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”