Monthly Archives: October 2009

Should US Leave Or Stay In Iraq?

Two years ago, President Bush assured the American people his surge strategy would end violence and lead to peace in Iraq. General Petraeus was proclaimed by the right wing media as among the great generals in American history although, as of this date, he has never won a war, let alone a battle. Violence continues in Iraq as the 2011 deadline for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq draws near. Inside Iraq, Sunni-Shiite conflict is once again resuming and is linked to an increase in suicide bombers. There is deadlock over how to conduct the upcoming election in January and if this issue is not resolved there will not be an election one can defend.

Sunni-Shiite, Kurd-Arab, political parties in conflict. Isn’t it wonderful the surge ended violence and death in Iraq. All hail the great general Petraeus.

Cannabis Is Bad Says UK Home Secretary!

Throughout the world cannabis is used by millions of people who do not wind up in jail although they may wind up a bit high. Governments insist that smoking marijuana is a terrible act which somehow will destroy the moral fabric of society. UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson dismissed a leading scientist who leads a committee charged with recommending policy regarding the use of cannabis. David Nutt, senior drug advisor of the committee has been critical of recommendations by Johnson to increase penalties on the use of cannabis. According to Professor Nutt: “if scientists are not allowed to engage in debate you devalue their contribution to policy making.

Of course, if Professor Nutt had given an interview supporting government policy he would have retained his position. The goal of Mr. Johnson is to have on board yes men, not those who speak with scientific knowledge

Sail Away From Sri Lanka To New Worlds

The government of Sri Lanka has finally crushed a long civil war, but the war to regain the support of those who lost in the war will go on for decades. Thousands of Tamils believe there is no future in Sri Lanka since they will always be regarded as traitors and must accept whatever work those in power will sanction. Thousands of Tamils are gathering on the sea coasts of Sri Lanka seeking boats that will take them to new homes, particularly in nations like Australia which already have many people of Tamil heritage. One human rights activist noted: “There’s a sense that a flight is on, especially among Tamil youth… A lot of young people have gone missing from here.”

Of course, many never make it to the promised land of Australia and succumb to the oceans and meet their death in some far off place in the Indian or Pacific oceans. Such is the aftermath of war.

Are Newspapers Responsible For Spreading Hate?

An August story in the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet described Israel soldiers plundering Arab bodies for body parts in order to make money. Aftonbladet has argued it simply presented a story written by a reporter and their editors refuse to acknowledge there were factual errors in the story even though one editor admitted in his blog that Aftonbladet had no evidence to support charges of organ stealing in the article. Instead, the editors rap themselves in the covering of “freedom of the press” to support their right to print what they desire. It is one thing to print what one desires, it is another to spread hate and refuse to admit mistakes.

Andrea Levin of the Committee for Accuracy In Middle East Reporting blasted the Swedish newspaper for unleashing a series of hate filled articles throughout the Arab world about Jews stealing body parts. Articles about the alleged organ thievery have appeared in newspapers in Syria, Qatar, Jordan, the UAE, and Oman as well as in other areas containing large numbers of Muslims. The stories usually are accompanied by pictures of Jews devouring children or innocent people.

No one denies the right of Aftonbladet to print whatever it desires. However, if a story that appeared in the newspaper contained misleading and inaccurate information it is the responsibility of its editors to correct the mistakes.

What Happens When An Economy Collapses?

What happens when an economy goes down the tubes? Officials in Denmark, which is only experiencing a 4% unemployment rate in contrast to the American 10%, report growing evidence that college graduates are now willing to accept jobs that ordinarily would be filled with high school graduates. Barack Obama has not been very aggressive in pursuit of jobs for Americans other than claiming his stimulus package, “eventually” will produce the jobs desired by those who have spent years and thousands of dollars to attain a college degree. Just wait and it will arrive claims Obama which offers slight hope to someone with a degree and now delivering pizza.

We are entering a new era in jobs and economic recovery. Evidence increasingly is evident we may have an “economic recovery” without a job recovery. The nightmare scenario is whether this phenomenon heralds the arrival of a new era in economic development. Are you listening Barack? People will not be yelling your name if they are on bread lines.

Muslim Brotherhood Struggles For Identity

The Muslim Brotherhood is among the oldest Islamic groups in the Middle East and during its existence the MB has spawned several Islamist militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Egypt’s government has cracked down on the Brotherhood in order to continue a divide and conquer approach to a group it deems a threat to the status quo. A policy of repression prevents the Muslim Brotherhood from attaining a powerful position in parliament and results in them being blocked out of any power to influence government policies. MB moderates believe if their organization could freely engage in politics, the end result would be development of a more pragmatic approach, Instead the Brotherhood is consumed with arguments of who is in control and how are leaders to be selected.

Abdelmonem Mahmooud, a journalist, argues, “those in charge aren’t connected with today’s world.” The result is those in power attempt to create a world that is disappearing. Out of this conflict comes economic stagnation, the denigration of women, and an inability to resolve any problems with Israel.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

USA, Army Times: “Administration Concerned About China Military Buildup”
The US spends over $600 billion on the military and it is concerned about China!

UK, The Independent: “Clinton Met Fake Kim Jong Il”
Big deal, Kim met a fake Clinton.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Metro Counting On Ghost Passengers”
But, what if they pay in ghost money?

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Sport Stars Banned From Dancing”
You mean no dancing in the end zone!

Oman, Khaleej Times: Abdullah Abdullah May Pull Out Of Runoff”
He will be replaced by his brother, Abdullah.

Qatar, Gulf Times: “Former President Chirac To Be Tried On Corruption Charges”
I won’t be happy until another former president is on trial for violating the Constitution.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “Reports Of My Resignation Not True”
Select any Republican senator for the above line and wish it was true.

Nepal, Nepali Times; ‘Head For The Hills”
The pigs are coming with you-know-what.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: ‘Men Suffer From Gender Segregation”
Not as much as the women.

Trinidad, Trinidad Guardian: “Three Cops Arrested”
That’s all!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

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

Nobody Asked Me But,

A woman walked by wearing long stockings. That means summer is over.

I daily receive phone calls from people offering me such nice things. For some reason, I hang up.

Fewer men wear a pony tail. Of course, forty years ago, those men beat the hell out of any man wearing a pony tail.

I like Laura Bush and bet she is happy her hubby is no longer the president.

I wrote an angry letter to President Obama. Why isn’t money set aside so people lacking medical insurance can see a doctor if they have symptoms of swine flu?

I always love women whose hair trails over their face.

I can never understand people who maintain a grudge for more than 24 hours. Life must always go on.

Native born St. Louisians evaluate people based on the high school they attended. They are among the most provincial people in America.

I often wonder if my mind would think differently if I was born very small.

After a half century of driving I still hate backing into a parking space.

When others talk I listen to words rather than day dreaming.

There is something about the glare, the angry eyes, and the cold demeanor of Dick Cheney that arouses pity in my heart.

“Clueless in Gaza” are the words that come to my mind when I think of Israel policy in that area of the world.

I am in awe of people who do cross word puzzles in ink.

I thrive on failure, it sparks my creative thinking juices.

Bright Yacht Owners Sail Off East Africa Coast-Guess What?

I am an inhabitant of planet Earth which means I know something concerning what is occurring on this war plagued piece of land. Paul and Rachel Chandler, two English people who I assume are also inhabitants of this planet and have a tiny bit of knowledge about world affairs have a yacht. Well, it was vacation time and like good yacht people they decided to head for a nice warm climate. Did they go to sunny Italy? Or the coast of Turkey? Of course not, they are yacht owners and have the right to go anywhere they darn please. So, the yacht owners headed for the east coast of Africa and wandered around the coast line of Tanzania. Surprise. They were captured by Somali pirates and their yacht was last seen heading back to Somalia while towing the skiff which most probably contained the pirates who captured their ship.

I sometimes wonder how people think. Who in their right mind would be anywhere near the east coast of Africa, particularly, within 700 hundred miles of Somali pirates!! Yes, they are prisoners. Yes, they will be ransomed. Yes, they are not the two brightest people on this planet.

Evil Is In Eye Of Beholder-Take Off The Bra!

Somalia is a land which is in utter chaos, bombings, homes destroyed, pirates wandering around the coast, and few families have anything to offer their children in terms of a decent safe life. The Shabaab Islamic movement controls large swaths of Somalia and believes its main job is not to provide food, clothing, shelter, jobs or education for the people in these areas. Their main task in life is focusing on saving the souls of those who they control. They have issued strict decrees banning films, plays, dancing at weddings, football matches and just about all forms of music including the melodic tunes heard on cell phones. After all, one can not be too careful when protecting people against the sins of the world. Let a cell phone utter a piece of music, and pornography, conversion to Christianity and other forms of evil trail in its wake.

A few days ago a Somalia woman was walking home when she was halted by religious police. According to the Shabaab group, wearing a bra is unIslamic because it is a form of fraud and deception. They proceeded to give the woman a few lashes. The real question is how did the men figure out she had a bra since Somalia women walk around in bodies completely covered??

Oh well, check out the bras and don’t get concerned about food. I wonder if women can wear bras in heaven?