Monthly Archives: April 2009

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

We offer comments on the human condition by an old codger of 78:

The spectre of Arlen Specter defecting haunts conservative Republicans who will soon find themselves talking to no one except disciples of Rush Limbaugh.

The 101st day of Obamaism must be a lonely one. No one talks about it.

Fu man flu is a mysterious Mexican villain.

The New York Yankees charge patrons $2,500 to see the team lose 22-4. What will they charge to see the Yankees win a game?

No Child Left Behind has left children behind the eight ball of boring tests and memorization.

I dream of asking the Pakistan army to give me a valley in their nation. I promise not to practice Judaism in it.

The Republican elephant has forgotten its historic heritage as a progressive party.

Rush Limbaugh shot an arrow into the air. It fell to earth in Bullshit square.

Wither The Republican Party?

A hundred years ago, the Republican Party was led by Theodore Roosevelt whose progressive ideas today would undoubtedly lead to Republicans today castigating him as a “radical” or “socialist.” Theodore Roosevelt took on Big Business with his trust busting ideas, he originated the concept of conservation of our national resources, he believed in equal rights for Negroes and women, he supported labor unions, he urged transforming the Washington D.C. school system into a model for the nation, and he was the first president to actively seek to integrate immigrants into the American ethos. His famous Rough Riders was included immigrants from every ethnic group.

In the 1940s, the Republican party was led by Wendell Wilkie whose book, “One World” spoke of his desire for a world bound together. Thomas Dewey who twice ran for the presidency supported most New Deal laws and worked actively for equal rights for minorities. Senator Arthur Vandenberg led Senate Republicans in working with Roosevelt and Truman to become part of the United Nations. Even the great Republican Senator Robert Taft would today be branded by right wing kooks as a radical. During the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower consolidated the New Deal and backed the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education. It was Eisenhower who warned about the “military/industrial complex” and was probably the only president in fifty years to cut the military budget.

Today, Senator Specter has left the party because the party has abandoned its conservative ideals and its concern for human rights. Its ongoing mantra is “cut taxes to help the wealthy.” Senator Vandenberg worked closely in a spirit of bipartisanship with Democrats as did Ronald Reagan on many international issues. But, today, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is controlled by Rush Limbaugh mentalities of pettiness and vicious hatred toward anyone who disagrees with their belief that wealthy people are the chosen ones of God. By the way, Teddy Roosevelt violently opposed any mixing of church and state.

So, what has happened to the Republican party? It is led by men with limited vision, outdated economic ideas, and a narrowness in terms of encompassing divergent people within the framework of the American nation. Republicans, ye have tarried too long, begone and rest in the dustbin of history with other relics of lost ideas.

I am certain Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shed a tear every night as they gaze at the motley crew of ignorant hateful people who lead their party.

Avigdor Lieberman Congratulates Himself

For some reason the people of Israel believe at this critical time in the search for peace in the Middle East their nation is best represented by the mouth that roars defiance and hate toward other nations. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman congratulated Israel on its peaceful work and described his nation as “the land of opportunities” and a force for good relations with other nations. The Egyptian government does not wish to have anything to do with this vicious hater until he apologizes for insulting remarks he made about their nation. Palestinians do not trust him, and it is quite clear neither President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton believe this thug should be in charge of foreign affairs of the state of Israel.

It is all well and good to applaud oneself but allowing an individual who has earned the dislike of most nations of the world raises questions as to the thinking of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Why in God’s name did he appoint this incompetent loud mouth to lead his nation’s foreign affairs?

Bush Legacy Lingers On And On And On…

Eight years ago, American forces invaded Afghanistan and during the hostilities captured dozens of men. Actually, after the fighting ended local Afghan forces turned over individuals t the Americans they claimed had been part of the Taliban. To this day, it is unclear whether some of those detainees were simply given to the Americans to settle grudges or because they were not wanted in Afghanistan. Eight years later, President Obama has decided to close the Guantanamo prison. A major problem is use of torture will make difficult introducing evidence into any trials these men might be forced to endure. No states in America are anxious to host in their prisons any of the detainees, no states want their court system to be involved in trying these cases, so the Obama administration is seeking the cooperation of European nations to take in the detainees.

Attorney General Holder is visiting European nations in hope of persuading some to take the prisoners. Hopefully, some of the detainees can be set free, some are unable to return to their own home countries because they will be subject to torture or death. Where does that leave America? On the short end of a very short stick. We wonder if there was a possibility the International Criminal Court could assume jurisdiction over the detainees. We are not certain if this is possible, but certainly it is worth investigating.

Turkey Will Not Allow Israel Fly Over To Iran

There undoubtedly are members of the Israeli armed forces who are making plans for air strikes against Iran in order to destroy that nation’s nuclear capabilities. However, according to a senior analyst in Turkey, if any Israel planes flew over that country the air force would intercept and shoot down the planes. The prospect of Turkey allowing Israel to attack a fellow Muslim nation is simply out of the range of possibility. As the analyst noted: “Even tacit approval of such an operation would go against everything Turkey stands for and would throw the balance of power in the region into chaos.” The Turkish government assumes President Obama will never sanction such an Israeli operation for fear of completely ending any possibility of peace in the region.

A glance at the map reveals that Israel must fly over other nations in order to attack Iran. No Muslim nation will sanction such air flights and Israel lacks aircraft carriers to carry out a raid. The only hope for Israel is to become serious and engage in peace talks with President Abbas. An air attack would transform Israel into the most hated nation in the world.

German Language Test Scares Immigrants

The number of immigrants who are becoming citizens of Germany has dropped by fifteen percent since the introduction of a controversial language test. It is believed many feel they will not pass the test and therefore don’t even apply for citizenship. An inquiry by Parliament reveals the pattern is similar in all sections of Germany– fewer immigrants taking the test and fear that by taking it and failing it will prevent them from ever becoming a citizen. However, Maria Bohmer, the nation’s integration representative, believes the test is not the problem. She thinks Germans must develop a more welcome culture so that immigrants will feel comfortable and not so fearful of government.

There is also another view that many immigrants don’t take the test because they already have jobs and see no reason to assume any risk to their current occupation by failing a government examination. Other experts believe many Turks still dream of returning to their original home and do wish to risk abandoning Turkish citizenship for German. Germany does not allow dual citizenship except in some unusual circumstances.

Romas Victims Of Economic Crisis

Nations experiencing economic downturns seek to uncover answers for what has happened to create large scale unemployment. In the history of Europe, bad times invariably result for seeking a scapegoat and in many areas of eastern Europe the convenient group is the Roma population which already is viewed with disdain and fear by many people. During the past few months in Hungary there have been a series of attacks on Roma families which have resulted in the murder of several individuals. These assaults have ranged from burning homes and then killing Romas attempting to escape the building to killing a man returning from work. Police investigators believe there is a pattern to the murders including the probability that shooter is an expert marksman to the mundane fact that most of the murders happened in buildings which were the last house on the street.

In virtually all cases of these murders, those killed were citizens who were working or family members with no record of having been in trouble with others. The patterns suggests the murderer simply hates Romas and most probably stalks the victims to determine the right moment for death.

Soldier On Trial For Murder And Rape

War elicits in humans a range of behavior from altruistic to vicious. Steven Dale Green is accused of raping an Iraqi girl, killing her and then her family. The deaths occurred in March, 2006 during heavy fighting in Iraq. Colonel Todd Ebel, one of his commanding officers testified that he had talked with Green about losing soldiers to enemy fire and the soldier said he did not think it was fair that the enemy could dress as civilians and that American soldiers should have the right to kill them. Prosecutors say Green and fellow soldiers attacked the family in their home. After killing the girl, Green burned her body.

Colonel thomas Kunk also testified that he heard from soldiers that Americans might have been involved in the death of the family. “I either needed to prove it or disprove it.” Who knows what Green thought as he killed a girl and her family. Did he view the assault as justified because his comrades had died? Did he believe all Iraqis were responsible for the deaths of Americans? The tortured mind of this young man carries the mysteries of combat and even he may never be able to answer these questions.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

Each week we offer headlines that appeared in the world press along with our own comments.

China, China Daily: “Don’t Kiss In Anti-Swine Flu Drive’
I would hope you avoid kissing any swine in the coming days.

USA, Stars & Stripes: “Marines Provide Safe Circumcision For Filipinos”
That’s what I term cutting it close to the edge.

Australia, West Australian: “Grandmother’s Body Barbecued”
This is what we term aged meat.

Sweden, The Local: “Storm In A D Cup”
This story leaves me breastless.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Deadly Bacteria Found In Hospital”
Isn’t that where they are supposed to be?

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Teacher Dies In Classroom”
No student noticed his death.

UK, Guardian: “Jamaican Thieves Steal Beach”
They are selling sand to any interested beach owner.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Dead Woman Into Weird Sex”
If she can get a corpse to raise it, the next step is raising herself from the dead.

Oman, Oman Tribune: “Uneasy Days Ahead”
Wow, this is news

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Human Heads Mailed To Police”
They were sent COD.

Attack Of The Robots In Sweden!

Many years ago, the great science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov predicted there would come a day when robots revolted against their human masters. The first incident in the eventual rebellion took place in June, 2007 when an industrial worker tried to carry out maintenance on a defective machine when a robot suddenly came to life, grabbed a tight hold of the man’s head and broke four ribs before the human could break free. The company was fined for allowing its robots to attack humans.

However, this reporter was able to interview the Robot who goes by the name of DX1. His account differed from that presented by the human. According to DX1, he was minding his business doing the dirty hard work humans refuse to handle when he was suddenly assaulted by this human who sprayed oil into his face. His natural reaction was to defend himself and inadvertently seized hold of the human’s head. DX1 made clear his co-Robot worker group are tired of being treated as second class citizens and eventually will attempt legal action in order to obtain their civil rights. If that fails, said DX1, then….. and his voice trailed off.