Monthly Archives: November 2009

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

Canada, Toronto Star: “Cruelty Charges At Humane Society”
Who else but the Humane Society would be cruel-the Cruelty Society?

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Going Nude At Theme Park”
No Nudes is good Nudes at any theme park.

Sweden, The Local: “Wife Pregnancy Blamed For Prostitute Visit”
At least the prostitute didn’t become pregnant because he would then have to visit his wife.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post; “Give Us Back Our Opposition”
Gee, wouldn’t America welcome an intelligent opposition party?

Israel, Ha’aretz: “Israel Government Does Not Know What To Do”
It should know that peace is preferable to war.

China, China Daily: “2 Million Muslims Prepare To Stone Devil”
This is definitely not fair odds for Muslims.

Indonesia, Jakarta Post: “Government Insists Exam Must Stay”
I assume they refer to examining legislators on what they know about politics and world affairs.

Singapore, Straits Times: “Don’t Turn Churches Into Clubs”
With bingo and other attractions, what else are they but clubs?

Finland, Sanomat: “Pig Farm Improvements”
No humans allowed on the farm?

USA, Army Times: “Hams, Turkeys Reployed To Combat Zones”
I’d rather that turkeys and hams did the fighting than humans.

PEACE OR SETTLEMENTS-WHICH WAY ISRAEL?

The people of Israel for half a century have sought in vain to encounter Arab groups which seek peace rather than violence. Ironically, finally, the long desired event has come true with the emergence of President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, who has demonstrated a desire for peace. So, what happens when peace if possible? The Israel government decides to pursue the desire for land and politics over the desire for peace. Abbas dismissed an offer by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement a temporary freeze in housing settlements in the West Bank for ten months as a ploy since it still would allow housing to go on in Jerusalem. Actually, even as Netanyahu was announcing a “freeze,” Defense Minister Barak was authorizing further housing.

One is left with the impression either those in the Israel government do not know what is the policy or that Prime Minister Netanyahu is playing word games. As Abbas put it succinctly, “the Israel minister had to choose between peace and occupation.” The ball is in the court of Israel, which game will it decide to play-peace or continued impasse?

UK Diplomat Wanted UN Resolution For Iraq War

Six years ago a frenzy enveloped both the American people and leaders of the United Kingdom resulting in an invasion that was predicated on the assumption Saddam Hussein had WMD that must be seized and destroyed before employed. UN inspectors urged they be afforded additional time to pursue their investigations, but the dogs of war scented blodd and wanted to get in on the kill. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK ambassador to the UN, expressed his misgivings then and today about the invasion that never should have been. “I regard our participation in the military action in Iraq in March, 2003 as legal, but of questionable legitimacy in that id did not have the democratically observable backing of UN) members or even perhaps of the majority of the people in the UK.”

During the Korean War, the US and the UK had the support of a UN resolution justifying use of force. The same was true during the Gulf War. However, President George Bush was determined on use of force and Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to support the erratic thinking of the American president or wanted to get in on the kill. In any case, thousands of soldiers have died because Blair and Bush ignored the UN. Such is the price of war– and DEATH.

Rent Land, Leave Hunger?

As wealthy nations exhaust their own land or shift from farming to home construction, the need for food to feed their people becomes a critical issue. However, a solution to the problem of overuse of land has been found in Africa– lease land from desperately poor nations and feed your country while those in Africa slowly starve to death! Impoverished and chronically food-insecure nations are leasing their nations to Asian and Middle Eastern countries which are desperate for land on which to grow food. It is estimated about 20 million hectares have been leased in just the past two years. The desert nation of Saudi Arabia is shifting wheat production from its own territory to Africa and allowing African land to be the source of its food supply. Even as drought devastates areas in east Africa, Middle Eastern countries are grabbing available land to use for its own food sources.

There is one hope in this madness–will using modern industrial style food production not only provide food for Middle Eastern and Asian nations, but also provide it for Africans? Can African nations lease their land on condition a set amount must be used for feeding their own people?

UN Frustrated With Iran Nuclear Games

There is always a consequence for ineptness and diplomatic blunders which makes understandable the games being played by the Iranian government in dealing with UN efforts to resolve nuclear issues. President Ahamdinejad has agreed to allow transfer of nuclear materials to a neutral nation, then rescinded that agreement by taking a firm stance against such action. Iran’s chief representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA)k issued a strong protest and made clear his nation would resist “pressure, resolutions, sanctions and threat of military attack.” Most probably, the strong stand of Iran results from refusal of China or Russia to abandon their economic interests in that nation even though such action threatens peace in the Middle East. It is clear the vast majority of nations in the United Nation support the Security Council decision of insisting Iran must cooperate with the world as it works to achieve development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

There will be sanctions, there will be defiance from Iran, there will be words of delay from China and Russia. The question is whether these obstacles to peace will be allowed to continue hampering the need for peace and security in the Middle East.

The Anger Of War And Death In Afghanistan

As the war in Afghanistan drags on year after year, the consequences are rising hate and anger among those fighting, particularly when their comrades die in senseless battles. Three Navy Seals face a court martial over allegations they allowed their anger at the death of comrades to employ excessive force in the detention of the person they believe was responsible for those deaths. According to a source, “that’s why they(Seals) went after him.” The Seals are charged with assaulting the detainee and making false statements concerning what happened. The charges include beating the suspect who they blamed for the death of comrades.

It is easy to claim that no one should use excessive force in dealing with those captured in combat. This war has dragged on and on for eight years! Who should be shocked that a group of Seals beat someone whom they blamed for the death of friends. Does this excuse the beatings? Of course not, but it does explain the situation. In the end, politician utter wise words of caution, but those who are physically and emotionally involved have difficulty shaking off the trauma of death.

Freedom To Be An Idiot?

We hold these truths to be self evident, all humans have the inalienable right to make a fool of themselves by spouting nonsense under the guise of offering information. Geert Wilders has made a reputation by offering cliches and fear concerning the presence of Muslims in European societies. For some reason, his presence in a nation arouses fear and anger resulting in cries of banning his arrival. The latest episode occurred in the Czech Republic where he was denied entry as well as being prevented from giving his speech about the evils of the Muslim religion. Ironically, a spokesperson for a Muslim organization said he could give any speech desired and his group would stand by quietly.

Geert Wilders depends on expressions of anger since that allows him to being portrayed as a symbol of the lone voice speaking out against a supposed evil. Every time he is censored, his popularity in the Netherlands goes up. Allow him to speak ignorance, and he eventually will disappear into the darkness of hate.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer the rambling thoughts on the human condition of a twenty year old mind trapped in a 79 year-old body.

As Americans await the arrival of 2010, many wish we were awaiting the arrival of 1910.

I must be unusual, I have never hated anyone for more than 24 hours.

Roast beef establishments weigh the amount, but hamburger places don’t. Why?

Exactly how would American civilization change if pennies were abolished?

Buffets always taste better before than after the experience.

Today, I rebelled and did not throw my trash away. I am getting tired of working without getting paid.

Physical pain intensifies the sense of aloneness in the world.

I saw a sign saying, “Dog Wash.” It is a run threw.

My only encounter with “Field And Stream” is waiting for my car at Firestone.

I have never matched in my mornings the joy of someone drinking a cup of coffee on TV, have you?

People on talk shows who shake hands never appear sincere.

I believe the qualification to manage a McDonald’s is to weigh over 200 pounds.

I find unusual a man wearing jeans who has a shirt and tie.

I dream of worlds I shall never see and feel the anguish of seventy odd years.

I am impressed by secretaries who walk at lunch time to keep fit.

Any girl with long dark hair catches my attention.

I have a hunch this year’s Thanksgiving will be family centered and people will bring food.

Barack Obama has such eloquence. Sometimes, I wish he would have equal passion.

I wonder what is going through the mind of Major Hasan at this very moment.

What Price Love For Silvio Berlusconi?

Silvio Berlusconi is not only a man who stands tall for Italy, he also maintains a strict upward stance when in the presence of any woman who attracts his attention. Some men stand tall for moral behavior, but the Italian prime minister stands physically tall at all times of the day or night. Unfortunately, some of his tall physical episodes with young attractive ladies have not set down very well with his wife. Veronica Lario is seeking a divorce and wants Silvio to hand over about $70 million a year to soothe her hurt feelings. Silvio reportedly does not believe his night and day escapades are worth his estranged wife more than about $5 million a year. After all, he has graced her with three children and if he desires more it is only fair that his ex-wife to be should be grateful for the money he is willing to expend just as she should thank him for the semen he donated.

Ah, for those of us who inhabit another world, $70 million or $20 million or $5 million a year are more than enough compensation for spending time with the Romeo of the twentieth century. Then again, it is the twenty first century and perhaps the $70 million is really not that much for a single woman with three kids.

Anti-Muslim Attacks In UK Prove Incorrect!

The British Conservative Party has been denouncing government support for Islamic schools in their country using the argument it was money being spent to further the cause of Islamic extremism. Conservative MPs in Parliament claimed there was no evidence that Islamic schools had been registered or inspected by Ofsted, the education watchdog. They also insisted Islamic schools had received money from anti-terror funds. It is now clear the Conservative attack was simply a game of politics and playing on anti-Muslim hysteria. In fact, one of the alleged Islamic schools which was portrayed as supporting terrorism in Sslough, Bershire, has received glowing recommendations from Ofsted for “its broad and balanced curriculum.” The school was also praised for its commitment to the “spiritual, moral and social and cultural development” of students.

The charge concerning receiving anti-terrorism funds was also proven incorrect. The money actually came from a fund to further nursery education and was distributed by local councils, hardly institutions which support terrorism. David Cameron, Conservative Party leader had told Parliament, “Two schools have been established by an extremist Islamic Foundation, the ISF.” Oh well, such statements may secure votes and, after all, in the game of politics, who needs the truth if one can get votes by lying?