Monthly Archives: February 2010

Hamas-Israel–Plague On Both Houses!

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution asking the Palestinian Authority and Israel to investigate the Gaza Strip war in the winter of 2009 even though Israel has submitted its report and the Palestinians are still investigating. The resolution urges both parties to conduct separate investigations that are “independent, credible and in conformity with international standards.” The United States voted against the resolution. Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gabriela Shalev said the PA “cannot genuinely address the conflict between the state of Israel and the Hamas terrorist entity.” Actually, the PA has as much anger toward Hamas as does Israel.

There is scant doubt Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip entailed human rights violations on both sides. Why not a joint commission containing representatives from both sides which conduct the investigation?

Is The Toyota A Blessing To People Convicted Of Car Issues?

The emergence of numerous problems with Toyota cars has opened opportunities for anyone who was convicted of a car crash that caused damage or death to seek reopening of the case on grounds it was Toyota, not me that caused the problem. We can assume that all over the United States lawyers are contacting those who drove a Toyota car and were in an accident that led to monetary damages or prison sentence to offer their services in re-opening the case. Koua Fong Lee was driving a 1996 Toyota Camry when it shot up a ramp on an interstate highway and crashed into another car resulting in the death of three people. He pleaded that despite trying everything possible to control the car, the car was responsible for the deaths, not him. The jury did not buy his story and off he went to a seven year prison term.

Mr. Lee is now seeking the reopening of his case and most probably judges will take another look and come up with a new conclusion. My question is: do we convict the Toyota company and it executives for the deaths and do they go to prison?

British Judge Blasts Torture

One of the United Kingdom’s top judges issued a strong rebuke to the British Security Service for colluding in the torture of an English citizen, Binyam Mohamed. Lord Neuberger, dismissed government objections that British security was ignorant of American torture of prisoners. he noted, “some Security Services officials appear to have a dubious record relating to actual involvement, and frankness about any such involvement, with the mistreatment of Mr. Mohamedwhen was held at the behest of US officials.” The only lame excuse the government could issue was Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s comment that “I am fully disappointed that the court has decided to criticise the Security Service in this way.” Mr. Mohamed has claimed he was tortured in Pakistan in 2002 with the full knowledge of the US and the awareness of M15 that a British citizen was being mistreated.

Of course, Foreign Secretary David Miliband did his best to prevent release of a seven paragraph summary oif what M15 knew about the mistreatment. I am certain Mr. Mililband will argue the ever used excuse of “national security. The bottom line is whether any statement by the British government concerning collusion with American agents on torture issues can ever be relied on to be accurate.

David Just Won’t Knock Out Goliath!

Governor David Patterson of New York is a nice man, a decent person, and among the most ineffectual individuals ever to become governor of the state. He works a 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. day and just try getting him when he is at home in the evening. Several weeks ago a plane crashed in Buffalo, and no one could arouse the sleeping governor who was off into dreamland. The final blow to any chance he had of running for re-election came with the emergence of a domestic violence episode involving his former driver who somehow has become translated into a leading government authority and the gatekeeper to seeing the governor of New York. David Johnson is accused of domestic violence and David Patterson is accused of contacting the woman involved and offering “assistance,” whatever that means.

The path is now open for Andrew Cuomo to become the Democratic candidate for governor and he has built a reputation for honesty and effectiveness as attorney general. Now, how does New York get a good senatorial candidate? Gee, how about former governor Eliot Spitzer running for that position? Heck, if Tiger Woods can apologize, why can’t Eliot and get another crack at what he loves to do–be in politics?

Danish Apologize For Cartoons

We can assume it was a comic relief for the Danish newspaper, Politiken to finally get Muslim nations off its back by issuing an apology for printing cartoons which depict the Prophet Mohammed. It issued the apology to eight Muslim organizations in exchange for having legal action against it ended. The apology states it was never the intention of the newspaper to offend Muslims in Denmark or elsewhere and assured the world, “we apologize to anyone who was offended by our decision to reprint the cartoon drawing.” Politiken editor, Tager Seidenfaden hoped the apology would restore his nation’s good relations with Muslim nations.

If printing cartoons is a reprehensible offense, one can only wonder if Politiken will offer Tiger Woods and other luminaries who are continually subject to editorial abuse an apology. Then, again, I am glad Adolf Hitler is dead or someone would most probably be issuing an apology for insulting the beloved German leader.

Guess Who Was An Israeli Agent?

Mosab Yousef has just written a memoir entitled, “Son Of Hamas” in which the son of a founder of Hamas admits to having been an agent of Israel for many years. He claims to have provided information to Israel of potential suicide raids that enable security forces to prevent the occurrences from ever taking place. His own Facebook page plugs the book as a gripping account of terror, betrayal, political intrigue and difficult choices. His father, Sheikh Hassan, was a founder of Hamas in the 1980s and apparently is shocked at revelations of his son. The Sheikh claims Mosab is being blackmailed by Mossad for some type of indiscretion and thus is trying to sell this false tale of duplicity.

However, Mosab Yousef, told the Israel newspaper, Haaretz that he was a key Israel intelligence agent in the Gaza Strip and is reports to Mossad led to the arrest of key leaders of Hamas. His father is currently serving a prison term in Israel. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Hamas leaders. Perhaps, the entire operation is simply a front for Israel intelligence?

How About A Peace Olympics?

Nations are displaying the best and brightest of their athletes in the Olympics this winter. Each goes wild with joy as an athlete from their country wins a gold or silver or bronze medal. If the cost of the Olympics was added up, it would reach the billions given years of training and expenditures to just hold the games. We propose creation of a yearly Olympics in which nations vie to display their diplomatic skills in resolving problems. Here are some categories that could be judged in terms of working for peace.

1. Research skills. Who performed the best at presenting cogent arguments that were supported by historical evidence.
2. Which nation posed the most difficult problem to resolve?
3. Which peace team was composed of the most diverse people?
4. Which was the most complex problem to be resolved involving the most nations or groups?
5. Which group utilized the most sophisticated and peace producing language?
6. Which resolved problem did the most to further world peace?
7. Special category to resolve religious issues.

Each category would award winners in this manner: Gold-Ten Billion, Silver–Seven Billion, Bronze-Five Billion.

:Let the Peace Olympics proceed.

When Thugs Run A Country Named Burma!

A group of thugs are in control of the nation of Burma although they have decided since they can do what they desire the country will be called, Myanmar. UN Envoy Topmas Ojea Quintana arrived in Burma expecting to be able to have talks with leaders of the democratic opposition, but Burmese generals wanted to make certain the world understood who ran this place and they imprisoned Gaw Thita, a monk, to seven years imprisonment at hard labor because he took a trip to Taiwan and in the process used Taiwanese money. Naturally, this translated into possession of foreign currency and, off to jail! Gaw was with a group of monks who were on a religious expedition, but the thugs in charge decided to send a message to the UN and the entire world about their brutality and authoritarian attitudes.

Qunitana said the Burmese government, sorry, the government of Myanmar, was holding at least 2,200 political prisoners. He added there was no indication “the government is willing to release all prisoners of conscience.” Even worse, “the government of Myanmar does not accept there are any prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.”

Let’s fact it. There are thousands of people in Myanmar who enjoy working at hard labor and not being paid because they love the generals who govern their nation.

Innocent Always Casualty Of War

Heavy fighting progresses in Afghanistan as US and NATO troops along with some Afghan fight their way through the streets of Marja in Helmand province. Ajmal Smadi, of Afghan Rights Monitor, is concerned that while soldiers and insurgents fight hard for each piece of the town, thousands of innocent civilians are trapped in their homes and lack food or water in many cases. “People who are ill cannot get to hospitals, and others can not bring them medicines. They cannot get food, or even go outside to look after their farms.” The aim of operation Mushtrarak(Together) is driving the Taliban from the area. Some human rights activists are concerned at the lack of planing to ensure civilians would have a place of safety as the battle progressed.

Several years ago, an American president stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and smilingly announced, “Mission Accomplished.” Are we witnessing a re-enactment of that wonderful sight of ignorance?

Malaysia Demands Sports In Schools!

No sooner than this correspondent wrote a blog about the importance of physical activity did the government of Malaysia pick up on our comments and order all primary schools in their country beginning this September to require all students to major in a sport along with their academic major. Of course, they were going to make this change without input from this blog. As of September, the Education Ministry now requires students to run some of that fat off their bodies and spend a few hours a week not worrying about tests and grades and enjoy the beauty and health one gets from engaging in physical activities. The Ministry complains that sports has for too long been neglected and there is need to engender in students the ideals of “sportsmanship and leadership.”

Actually, sports should be for children and it should be fun. If they learn leadership, OK, but that is not the reason for moving the body.

I expect US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to demand a test system that would require all students attain certain levels of athletic performance or be judged a failure.