Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mullen-US Not Doing Job With Muslim World

Barack Obama has been president eight months, he has given a wonderful speech addressed to the Muslim world, but according to Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US continues to bungle its relations with Muslims. Those who hoped Obama would usher in a new era must confront the reality that not much has changed. Obama continues Bush rendition policies, he refuses to allow establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which might prove to Muslims Americans are ready to confront their mistakes. According to Mullen, “We hurt ourselves more when our words don’t aligh with our actions.”

Why hasn’t Barack Obama grasped the importance of confronting mistakes in the Middle East and letting the world know we acknowledge errors? Mullen made a perceptive remark by noting: “Most strategic communication problems are not communication problems at all. They are policy and execution problems.”

An inspiring speech is wonderful, but if it is not followed up by ACTIONS, then the momentary uplift will be lost.

Are Gays And Lesbians A Religious Problem?

The Church of England has a problem even though they believe the problem stems from attempts to allow gay and lesbians to become members of the clergy. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Church, noted: “I think gay clergy in the Church of England are thought of as a problem to be solved or at least lived with rather than a gift from God.” There are reports of a two track model for dealing with gay clergy. Robinson said the Church of England “led the way in the ordination of women,” and now it was time for those who truly believe in a Christian church that opens its arms to all will accept the concept of gay clergy.

Perhaps, there is a two track system in heaven for gays and straights, but so far there is no mention from Christ as to whether this actually exists. If one believes God welcomes all humans, there can not be two or three or multiple tracks.

CORPORATE HORROR STORIES–BEST BUY!

We initiate a new series which focuses on how the corporate world rips off its customers and allows the bureaucracy to dictate policy. We welcome any story from anyone. We prefer if no names are used nor threats made against any person.

My Tale Of Woe With Best Buy

I obtained an update on my cell phone from a Best Buy store located on Manchester Road in Chesterfield, Missouri. I forgot to take my cell phone on vacation so it never was used. I returned and discovered it was not working. Up I went like a fool to Best Buy. I spoke with a young woman in the cell phone section of Best Buy who said I was four days overdue on my warranty. I asked to speak with a store manager and she told me that she did not work for Best Buy and suggested I hop over to an AT& T store.
Off to AT&T. They informed me she worked for Best Buy. And suggested I return and speak to a Best Buy store manager.
I went over to the Customer Service counter where a young lady listened to my tale of woe and said she would get me a new phone. She asked me to go home and get the charger and the box in which the cell phone had been packed. Off I went.
I returned and encountered another young lady. She informed me that my cell phone had to be sent out for repair and it would take a month. The top store manager arrived, asked me to lower my tone of voice and said the phone had to be sent out for repair. Just at that moment the young lady who sent me home arrived on the scene. I asked her to tell them she had assured me a phone would be waiting for me when why I returned from home, with the charger and the box. She looked me straight in the eye and denied sending me home to get the box and charger. The store manager chipped in with: “if you could do without a phonefor thirty days, what are you complaining about?” At that point I asked for the address of corporate headquarters and was informed it was not the policy of Best Buy stores to reveal the address of corporate headquarters. She suggested I contact Customer Service.

I contacted Customer Service and a person said they had a record of my complaint. I asked to speak with someone about my complaint and she responded: “We have you complaint on file.” I again asked if I could speak to someone about the complaint and she again responded: “It is in our file.” I asked what was done with complaints that were in the file and she responded: “They are in the file.”
I asked if I could speak to someone with authority and she told me to w wait. After eleven minutes I hung up.

Such is my woe with corporate America. If you have any such tales, please contact me and I will post it on this blog.

Oh, if Best Buy has any complaints about this story I will file their complaint in my file of complaints.

Can US Carry On With Karzai As President?

There are increasing reports of growing conflict between the Obama administration and the presidency of Hamid Karzai. Muhammed Fahim, who would become vice president in a new Karzai government was accused by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of being heavily involved in opium trafficking. His work with drug dealers would make him ineligible to enter the US which creates the rather unusual situation of a vice president in a nation which ostensibly is our ally not being able to enter the country! There is evidence Obama’s man in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, had angry words with Karzai over his choice of thugs to be allies in his presidential campaign.

Holbrooke has criticized the election results and had extensive talks with the opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah. Karzai is at odds with British representatives, he is not trusted by the people of Afghanistan and the question remains– is he the best the West can get in Afghanistan? As one surveys the crooks and thugs who are in the Afghan government one is left to wonder, why exactly are we fighting the Taliban?

I wonder how President Obama will explain to the relatives of our soldiers who die to protect drug lords why their children died to sustain a corrupt government!!

Aftonbladet Guilty Of Spreading Lies!

The right of Palestinian people to have their independent nation and to reclaim the West Bank from the illegal actions of the Israel government continually are discussed on this blog, but the recent story in Aftonbladet is shocking because it allows those who have violated international law to escape by citing the trash published by the Swedish newspaper. Donald Bostrom presented a story that contained no hard evidence, no attempt to contact Israel institutions like Forensic laboratories and constantly refers to vague references to those who can prove what he wrote is correct. As David Stavrou, writing in The Local, notes: “anything goes as long as it can summon up the words, Israel, war-crimes, and stolen organs. Bostrom mentions interviewing an Israel soldier but no name is cited or how he relates to the alleged stolen organ fairy tale.

Stavrou raises an important point about the story. If the aim of the IDF was to kill and then harvest organs why did they shoot victims in the chest and stomach which would most probably destroy the organs they wanted? Bostrom simply is trying to sell the old “blood libel” story of Jews that is used by anti-semites.

It is important for those who seek peace in the Middle East to avoid providing ammunition to haters on either side. The Aftonbladet article has provided right wing Israelis evidence the world is against their nation. Focus on peace, not hysteria.

Off With Their Heads Says Ahmadinejad!

If anyone has doubts as to the abilities of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a leader, it is only necessary to survey his actions leading up to the recent election and his subsequent inability to reach out to opponents to create a climate of cooperation. His solution to wide-spread dislike of his leadership is to call for punishment of opposition leaders who, most probably, are supported by at least 40% of the population. “those from lower ranks and the ones who were deceived should be treated with Islamic compassion, ” but “riot leaders should be executed.” His loyal followers shouted approval along with chants of Death to America and Death to Israel.

No outside nation influenced the election. But, it is clear a significant part of the Iranian population disagrees with Ahmadinejad. He even went to far to claim that British Foreign Minister, David Miliband, told a diplomat his nation wanted to “finish the Islamic republic.”

The real question facing Afghanistan is not Ahmadinejad, but clerical leaders like Khamenei and will they allow this incompetent to continue leading the nation.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

Each day we offer a sample of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

UK, The Independent: “Head Shaved For Dialing Wrong Number”
What happens if you answer the wrong number?

Malaysia, New Straits Times: “Tomb Raider Should Be Punished”
Entombed?

Thailand, Bangkok Post; “Plans And Denials”
Sounds like the Bush administration explaining their actions.

Singapore, Straits Times: “New Mantra For Teachers”
Students who want to learn, students who want to learn.

Nepal, Himalayan Times: “Dead Daughter Found Alive”
How did they know she was alive?

UK, Guardian: “Model Posed Nude At Museum”
Her name was Venus de Milo.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “Operation Smile”
Could we get Tea Party ranters to join this campaign?

Turkey, Zaman: “”Big Mac Costs Turks 48 Minutes Of Labor”
I suspect getting rid of the weight costs a lot more.

India, Hindustan Times: “Big Fish Must Not Escape Unpunished”
Toss him to the sharks, I say.

Netherlands, Dutch News: “Smoking At School Out Of Fashion”
So, what’s in fashion– a bit of sex?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We present comments on the human condition from a 20 year old man trapped in a 79 year old body.

Obama has yet to master the art of explaining complex ideas with clarity.

A stranger to the area should never volunteer to offer directions.

Humans made a mistake when they abandoned bare feet for shoes.

No human has ever brought a car into a garage without being told something else is wrong with the car.

I wonder what is the record for being in the most gridlocks within a twenty four hour time period.

With the death of Ted Kennedy the old Irish politicians are disappearing from the scene.

Tea Party adherents lack American compassion and sense of community. They preach hate.

When a man nods at you, permission is given to speak with him.

Does Heaven have rapid transit systems or do we still have to drive a car?

People no longer use the expressions of “Johnny Reb” or “Yankee.” The Civil War is finally over.

Brad Pitt’s “Inglorious Bastards” must have a point other than violence. I guess the other point is making money.

Public toilets should have exotic aromas.

Educators believe starting school in August leads to more learning. The old adage of “less is more” applies. Let kids play.

So far Obama has been more a preacher than a teacher.

I never complain about having to wait a week to see a doctor. I am 79 and alive.

Another Day In Afghanistan, Another Casualty

Eight years ago, Afghanistan was over run by American forces, and the world breathed a sigh of relief that the hated, brutal Taliban had been driven from power. Two days ago, a Taliban leader sought medical assistance at a local facility. Ordinarily, reports of an insurgent in a village would have resulted in bombers being called in to level the village, but US forces are finally learning some lessons on how to fight the Taliban. Villagers were consulted, people evacuated from the area, and the bombing begun.

At least 44 Americans have died in Afghanistan this month as we head for the highest figures of casualties since the war began. Perhaps, new tactics of engaging the population and working closely with people to ensure civilian casualties will be reduced can initiate a new era. Unless the people of Afghanistan identify reasons to fight the Taliban, the cause is hopeless.

UN Charges Australia With Racism

The United Nations has charged that Australia breached international obligations on human and indigenous rights by imposing racial restrictions on Aborigines during a crackdown on child abuse in Outback communities. James Anaya also depicted Australia’s relations with its Aborigine population as still influenced by racism policies. Aborigines represent about 2% of the population, and extensive amounts of money have been spent to assist their lives in the past two decades, but the reality is they are the poorest, unhealthiest and most oppressed group in the country.

A few years ago, in an effort to deal with child abuse, the government suspended its own laws against discrimination so they could ban alcohol and hardcore pornography. New policies compel Aborigines to adhere to government restrictions on how they can spend their own money. The government argument undoubtedly is the belief Aborigines are unable to make decisions on how to live their own lives. No matter how one examines this argument it is racist.