Monthly Archives: August 2009

Why Was The Lockerbie Bomber Released?

Despite claims by Scottish officials and the Gordon Brown government that “compassion” was the only factor in deciding to release the Lockerbie bomber, many questions remain unanswered. Why, of all the prisoners in Scottish prisons who had life sentences did one man get selected for compassionate release? The Brown administration has admitted that ministers visited Libya over the past year, held discussions with officials and business leaders, and apparently were interested in oil as well as other industries.

Libyan head man Gaddafi’s own son said trade interests were a factor in leading to the release of the bomber. Perhaps, it was simply a matter of concern for an elderly man who was sick. I wonder how many compassionate releases of prisoners occur each year in Scottish prisons?

South African Educators Accused Of Violence

Unfortunately, it is all too common for students in too many African societies to be confronted by sexual and physical abuse at the hands of teachers. The South African Council for Educators(SACE) is investigating 234 teachers who are charged with rape, sexual assault and physical violence toward their students. SACE has responsibility for promoting professional conduct among teachers and removing those who fail to adhere to high standards of professional conduct. In the 234 cases, there were complaints about corporal punishment, rape and sexual harassment.

There are examples in many African societies in which students are compelled to pay bribes for good grades or some females are under pressure to allow teachers to sexually abuse them or face the reality of failing courses. SACE officials believe in too many cases, parents are pressured or bribed not to report violence toward their children.

The reality of life for too many students is one in which they are pawns to those in positions of authority.

Are There Good And Bad Guys In Afghanistan?

Amnesty International issued a report that blasted Sweden for handing over prisoners to local Afghanistan authorities because it was apparent prisoners would be tortured if placed in hands of those defending democracy. “There is an absolute ban on torture and thus also a ban on handing over prisoners to countries in which there is a risk of torture,” according to Lisa Bergh of AI. Of course, this policy raises fundamental questions. Since the Bush administration asserted the right to torture prisoners, is handing over a prisoner to the United States in violation of international accords concerning torture?

George Bush never understood that by allowing torture of prisoners it meant there were no “good” or “bad” guys anymore, everyone was now “bad.” If the United States can torture, if Egypt can torture, if Afghanistan can torture, who are the “good guys?” The ironic aspect of torture, was that America sent prisoners to nations which openly boasted of torturing in order to avoid the US which secretly tortured from admitting it was torturing.

The long and short of this torturous argument is there are no good guys left in the world. Welcome to the war against ourselves in the name of democracy!

Israelis–Obama Is The Best Friend You Have!

I am frequently shocked by the inability of Israelis to grasp the meaning of having a friend in another society. Latest polls indicate only about 4% of Israelis believe Obama is pro-Israel and 51% think he is more pro-Palestine than Israel. I assume this means Israelis prefer the administration of George Bush. Well, let’s look at the FACTS.!

1. Prior to Bush, Israel had Iran as a major enemy. Thanks to Bush, Iran’s major enemy, Iraq was wiped out which provided Iran an opportunity to be more receptive to encouraging violence in the Middle East.
2. Prior to Bush, Osama bin Laden was a minor figure and there was no central place where those seeking violence could gather. Along came the Iraq war, and good old Bush created more terrorists than had ever existed in the Middle East.
3. It was the ineptness of Bush which allowed the Taliban to regroup and become a center for terrorists to practice their skills at killing.

Which Israelis believe their nation was safer under Bush than before he took office?

Barack Obama cares about Israel and knows it must have peace in the Middle East. This can only be achieved through negotiation and compromise. The West Bank settlements violate international law and no American president can support actions which go against the UN charter. Israelis created the mess that is known as the West Bank. Obama is attempting to persuade an Israel government to engage in compromise. Negotiations will result in major changes in who settles in the West Bank, but through compromise SOME SETTLEMENTS could be retained. That is the goal of Obama. That is NOT anti-Israel. That goal is aimed at securing peace in the Middle East, establishing Israel-Arab economic, social, and political relations. How can such goals be construed as “anti-Israel?”

It is time for Israelis to remember they are Jews. We Jews historically have been at the forefront of seeking social justice FOR ALL PEOPLE, INCLUDING MUSLIMS! Get out of the cellar of ignorance and join with Muslims who seek peace unless you believe individuals like Avigdor Lieberman represent the best in Jewish values of social justice.

Truth Is A Stranger in Iran

Mohammad Khatami, a former president who was linked to the reform movement denounced show trials in Tehran as merely reflecting an attempt by President Ahmadinejad to smear those who oppose him by concocting a series of false confessions. “These kinds of comments are invalid,” said Khatami, “these claims are utter lies and hold no truth. It is better for officials to prevent such illegal and counter-religious acts, as they will hurt the Islamic republic’s regime.” The prosecution is attempting to prove that demonstrators who went into the street to protest the fraudulent election of Ahmadinejad were merely agents of outside nations who endeavored to destabilize the nation’s leadership.

The only way Ahmadinejad can present himself as legitimate is to prove the opposition is illegitimate. Therefore, the show trials in which decent people who have been brutalized and drugged stand up and confess to things they never did. The world is learning that Ahmadinejad has lost the support of his people. What next for Iran?

Baker’s Dozen Reasons Rush Is A Blowheart

Rush Limbaugh once again proved he was a creature of the night in the man’s comments about Senator Ted Kennedy. Following are reasons why this so-called human is a jackass.

He never encountered a fact he did not interpret incorrectly.

He is the proverbial schoolyard bully.

His attack on Ted Kennedy dug reached a new level of gutter invective.

He is the greatest ally of terrorists in the world by proving America contains not merely ugly Americans but real live ones.

He knows he lies.

He has medical insurance and wants to ensure those who have it, have it.

He has singlehandedly transformed the GOP into the Grant Order Of Putzes.

He is to truth as Barry Bonds is to claiming no steroid has ever entered his body.

He prances the stage of hate singing songs of violence toward those who cannot respond.

He is everything he hates.

Doubt is a stranger who has never knocked on the Rush’s door.

He has compassion for those who lack compassion for others.

Right Jobs For People

Following are jobs that would fit the personality of some people.

RUDY GIULIANI: Pope

BLACKWATER GUARD: Terrorist.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Garbage collector.

COLLEGE PROFESSOR: Used car salesman.

KEY MAKER: Safecracker.

JOHN MCCAIN: Head of Annapolis.

HANNAH MONTANA: Two headed woman in a circus.

CIGARETTE SHOP OWNER: Owner of a Mortuary.

IRS AGENT: Priest.

GLENN BECK: Delivers manure to farms.

“Shovels, Tractors, Teaching Degrees In Afghanistan”

General Petraeus summed up the real issues confronting American and NATO forces in Afghanistan by saying what is most important for success is “shovels, tractors and teaching degrees.” He emphasized in fighting the Taliban it entailed “more than just killing or capturing terrorists and extremists.” A major problem in Afghanistan is focusing on the Taliban and not focusing enough on economic development, and providing jobs for Afghans. Of course, jobs in themselves are also not the “solution” because what is lacking in Afghanistan is any semblance of either a short or long term plan.

Unfortunately, General Petraeus can not discuss the major problem confronting the war in Afghanistan. From President Karzai down, the government is led by corrupt, incompetent individuals who line their pockets with money rather than ensure money flows into economic development. Unfortunately, General Petraeus as a military leader is unable to confront the major issue of –drugs. We focus energy on destroying drugs. How about purchasing the entire drug crop of farmers and depriving the Taliban of that source of revenue?

Is There A Caner In The House?

The Malaysian government went through the process of trying a 32 year-old model, Kartika Sari Dewi, for the horrific crime of having a drink of alcohol and then discovered they had a problem– there was not a caner in the house who had the skills to flog a woman! The Home Minister said, “I have to admit we do not have experience in this case… I cannot allow it if we do not have the expertise.” Sharia law outlines procedures for the caning of a woman, and for some reason there is no one in Malaysia with those skills.

I am quite willing to give a few whacks for the right price. I promise not to break any skin or even make the woman cry out in pain. I think Malaysia needs to create a corps of “painless caners” who are ready to jump into action and pretend they are caning. In this way, caning occurs, no one is hurt, and it sends a vivid message to those who want to have a beer the consequence of that evil act is performing in a Kabuki performance of pretend caning.

Edward Kennedy, A Warrior Gone To Rest

To those of us who spent our lives with the Kennedy brothers, Ted the youngest not only lasted the longest, but most probably achieved as much as his more famous brother, John, when it came to securing legislation that improved the lives of those who experience oppression. John Kennedy died too early to carve out an important program of social change, Robert, most probably was the one who was most impacted by family events and by the end of his short life displayed the capacity to be a significant agent of change in America. His compassion for those who are oppressed and endure prejudice was shared by Ted and we can never forget that he became more than he was as a young man.

Ted Kennedy was born to wealth and power. Ironically, he devoted his life to those who were poor and without power. Some will note his flaws, but who is without flaws. In the end, the only legacy he really wanted these past few years was passage of a health reform care package.