Monthly Archives: April 2009

Israel Secret Plan To Expand Settlements

The Israeli Peace Now movement has come into possession of secret documents which reveal a plan to expand West Bank settlements in a manner that will only create additional problems for a future resolution of the current conflict. The proposed expansion is on a highly sensitive piece of real estate whose possession by Israel would make difficult the creation of a coherent Palestinian state. The plan calls for building of 6,000 housing units a move that Palestinian leaders regard as highly dangerous. There is also talk of Israel building new barriers inside the West Bank which probably violates international law.

The Israel government is attempting to create a fait accompli that Palestinians would have to accept. The assumption is that the Obama government will go along with this approach to peace. Most probably George Bush would have allowed this behavior, but the Obama-Clinton administration will not go along with this approach to peace.

Sri Lanka Rejects Cease Fire

The Sri Lanka government rejected an offer from rebel Tamil Tigers for a cease fire. As government forces are drawing the noose tighter around the rebels the victorious army did not appear interested in giving rebels who have been fighting for decades any opportunity to obtain their desire to appear as though both sides were exhausted and ready to end the war. Rebel forces had announced, “All of LTTE’s offensive operations will cease with immediate effect” on grounds of humanitarian reasons. The Sri Lanka government responded with a smirk, “What is the need for a cease fire when they are running away? They should first lay down their arms, surrender, and let the people go.”

It is too late for the LTTE to obtain any concessions from the Sri Lanka government after killing thousands of innocent people and even refusing to allow civilians to escape the trap. The end is the end.

Let’s Get Fat Saudi Women Program!

A group of Saudi women have organized a “Let Her Get Fat movement in protest against the refusal of their government to allow females to have access to gyms or health clubs where they can exercise. Presently there are illegal clubs which allow Saudi women to exercise and get into physical shape, but the law only allows males to have such clubs. Saudi Arabia’s austere brand of Wahhabi Islam forbids the mixing of unrelated members of the opposite sex which means women can not attend male health clubs. The sport group which handles gyms has been unable to get anyone in the government to sanction female only clubs.

Leading Saudi clerics have condemned the gyms and clubs as “shamelessness” and warned that women attending them would be tempted to leave their homes and neglect their husbands and children. If this is the result of going to a gym, does it mean Saudi men who exercise neglect their wives and children?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

COMMENTS ON THE HUMAN CONDITION

For every genocide there is a denial. Humans can kill, but encounter difficulty acknowledging their actions.

South Africa selected Jacob Zuma not for what he can do, but for what he did.

Mubarak’s idea of democracy is allowing people to agree with him.

I can never figure out if the dog is running the man or the man running the dog.

If all the terrorist plots the UK has smashed were plots that were real, the entire terrorist horde would be worrying about Great Britain.

The so-called “liberal media” displayed the backbone of a chocolate eclair after 9/11 and now congratulates itself for being cowards. I exclude The Nation from that comment.

Nicolas Sarkozy never met a Sarkozy who wasn’t the brightest person in Europe– or the world, for that matter.

On the day of my Death, I hope Death takes a holiday to Las Vegas.

Donald Rumsfeld should be sentenced to spend ten years during which each day he must stand for ten hours.

I wonder what Sharia Law would be if designed by women.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

Each week we offer headlines from the world press along with our own comments.

Czech Republic, Prague Monitor: “Patience With God”
I have a hunch God may be running out of patience with we humans.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Scientists Discover Earth Like Planets”
At least we can go someplace after we blow up this planet.

Hungary, Budapest Sun: “Elephants Help Homeless”
They provide daily showers.

Finland, Sanomat: “A Quick Trip To Somalia”
Put a foot inside Somalia and then run for your life.

Nepal, Himalayan Times: “Lecturers Boycott Classes”
This is one way to ensure students will learn.

Australia, The Age: “Council To Sell City Cats”
Councilman Scotty Dog introduced the legislation.

UAR, Khaleej Times: “Michael Jackson Sale To Go On”
This is one discount sale I will not attend.

Iranian Human Rights Activist Fights For Saberi

Iran’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi has agreed to help defend an American journalist who was jailed for spying, but prison officials refused to allow the human rights lawyer see Roxana Saberi. She could not see her client even though a court of law said she had the right to discuss the case with her client. Ms. Saberi’s father said he heard she was on a hunger strike and would not cease until being released. Saberi’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, said, “Mrs. Ebadi received the court’s permission and went to Evin prison but branch 209 refused to allow her to meet Roxana.”

It is difficult to ascertain the reality of what is happening in Iran. Are hard core fundamentalists attempting to sabotage any hope of establishing peaceful relations with the United States? Is Ahmadinejad trying to use Saberi as a pawn in negotiations with the United States? Who knows which thoughts linger in the minds of leaders who have been cut off from the world for years?

Can A Sikh Wear His Turban In Army?

Two Army officers have been told they must shave their beards and take off their turbans because it is against Army policy for Sikhs to carry out their faith while on active duty. According to Captain Kamaljeet Kalsi, “I don’t think it’s fair for anybody to ask me to choose between my religion and my country. Shaving my beard and taking off my turban–these are part of my body. It’s part of my being.” Captain Kalsi is a doctor and was told upon joining that he could retain those features of the Sikh religion. Now, facing active duty he was told that not shaving or wearing a turban will somehow interfere with carrying out his medical duties.

Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said: “There are times when the Army cannot accommodate for religious reasons, such as when those religious observations would interfere with the wear of proper military headgear or protective clothing equipment.”

Hogwash. Sikhs have served in the British armed forces for over a hundred years without having to shave or take off their turbans. It is ridiculous regulations such as these that lose valuable members of the armed forces.

Obama’s Torturous Logic On Torture

Barack Obama would never sanction torture of prisoners and had he been president of the United States after 9/11 the current furor concerning torture would not have arisen. He is a sensitive and caring human whose mind is centered in law and in human decency. Unfortunately, he is trapped in a dilemma that was created by George Bush and to ignore the reality of what happened to human rights during the Bush administration would be as disastrous as ignoring the financial mess the man from Texas left behind. An America which signed the Geneva Conventions, an America which has always prided itself on being a moral society can not walk away from its responsibilities. In the 1980s, the United States Congress apologized for the internment of Japanese Americans. It was a moment of national pride and did not damage our world reputation.

The essential concept emerging from the Nuremburg Trials after World War II was that members of the military were responsible for their actions even when ordered to violate the Geneva Conventions. President Obama’s pledge not to place on trial members of the military who engaged in torture because they were ordered by superiors violates everything the world thought was established at Nuremburg. Each of those men who tortured a prisoner had an option. They could have refused on grounds they were given an illegal order and then taken their decision to superior officers. The Obama statement now takes away that option which is critical if the American military is to be a moral force.

Since the issue arose, Obama has twisted and turned in every direction arguing we have serious economic problems and can not be “distracted” by the torture issue. Those who are involved in the torture issue have nothing to do with the economic crisis, it is as though Obama was mixing oranges and apples. This blog does not call for the imprisonment of any low level member of the armed forces. We urge creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which allows these individuals to tell the truth and let the American people know how the Bush administration violated everything we hold dear in our society. A confession also allows these individuals to cleanse their soul, many of which are probably experiencing the mental torture those who inflict pain feel in their hearts.

Yes, we have a major economic crisis. But, we have responsibilities to be a force for morality in the world. The truth must be told or what happens to our souls? The issue is what price salvation for our society?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

Each week, we offer comments on the human condition from the mind of a 78 year old man.

Among the high crimes in America is a student parking in the faculty parking lot. But, for some strange reason, faculty can park in the student parking lot.

Among the greatest waste in America is the talent and expertise of the elderly.

A high percent of cell phone conversations conclude with, “I’ll see you later.” Do they?

A tattered pair of jeans does not reveal poverty, more often it is the middle or upper class trying to pretend they are poor.

Departing Americans should adopt the European practice of hugging and kissing on the cheek when departing.

I have never worn boots after army service and never will.

I am the driver who just reaches the left turn green signal as it turns red.

Humans have an innate curiosity until they go to school.

America has a desire for change, but does it have a willingness?

I never wipe off seats. One tush is as good as another tush.

I have a hunch this spring more people will mow their own lawn.

I doubt if apes wipe the mouths of their babies as do humans.

I wish they would make more Western films so early in the picture I would know who is the bad guy to get killed.

I never wear my shirt hanging out, always in.

I saw a pottery shop holding a sale. I have a hunch most people will cut back on pottery purchases.

I love warmth and hate cold, my ancestors were desert people.

Who Is In Charge Of Pakistan??

First, the Pakistan government turned over the Swat Valley to the Taliban and allowed it to impose sharia law and kill opponents. If there is a government in Pakistan how can they sanction a terror group imposing law, burning down schools for girls and beheading opponents? Who exactly is in charge? In the face of government weakness, the Taliban entered another region, Buner and began imposing its version of the law. It appears the Pakistan government is finally grasping the salami tactics of the Taliban mean they eventually will head for the capital. Many Pakistan leaders are now demanding action against the Taliban even as some Taliban leaders are heading for Buner to persuade their colleagues to leave before the entire Pakistan army gets the message that action is the only way to deal with the Taliban.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Pakistan that abdicating to the Taliban was the most certain way to destroy democracy in their nation. Some Pakistan officials claim giving the Taliban some power is helping their nation because their intolerant behavior frightens the masses of Pakistan and will lead to strong support for military action to destroy the Taliban.