Monthly Archives: March 2010

HIGHER TAXES–THE AMERICAN WAY!

Tea Party ranters wander the nation yelling about higher taxes and demanding we return to the days of yore when some Boston men went on British ships and dumped tea overboard to protest tea rates. Of course, the English government and the East India Tea Company had REDUCED THE PRICE OF TEA, but, what the heck, as far as the ignorant masses who comprise the Tea Party knowing anything about American history is not part of their knowledge base. On one hand, they argue we are in a war against “terrorism,” but on the other hand, they refuse to follow policies such as during World War II when the prevailing sentiment was that taxes SHOULD BE RAISED IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE COST OF THE WAR! A true patriot would feel proud to pay taxes in order to provide for the common defense and to assist fellow citizens. Tax rates during WWII went as high as 70% over a certain level because Americans in those days had the quaint notion that no one should make money in times of national emergency.

We need to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 in order to have sufficient funds to pay for the police and firemen we need, to provide jobs for our young people who could spend times working productively at rebuilding our infrastructure and making this a nation which is at the forefront of business innovation. We either pay now or this nation will fall behind.

True Tea Party patriots will support this plea for higher taxes on the wealthy and more jobs for the unemployed.

Is Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s Worst Enemy?

Ari Shavit writing in Haaretz raises the question as to whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau’s worse enemy is himself. There is no question of his intelligence, his ability to stimulate an economy, and his grasp of many intricate issues. But, says Shavit, “after a year in power, it is abundantly clear that today, the person causing the greatest injustice to Benjamin Netanyahu is Benjamin Netanyahu. It was Netanyahu who formed a government that had no future. It was Netanyahu who put together an unworthy governing team. It was Netanyahu who appointed a foreign minister(the goon, Avigdor Lieberman) who shames Netanyahu the statesman….It was Netanyahu whose bunker mentality has led the Netanyahu government to a dead end.” By any reasonable standard, the Netanyahu foreign policy is a failure which has resulted in angering former allies such as Turkey, the UK, the United States and even the EU.

Shavit emphasizes that time after time his friends urged that he act and outline sensible plans for peace, but he preferred to walk the straight line to disaster. What must Netanyahu do, asks Shavit: “He must understand that Israel the occupier endangers itself. He must understand that without a sharp change in diplomatic direction, Israel will not withstand the battle.”

A first step would be to fire the two bit goon, Avigdor Lieberman, who is the foreign minister and appoint someone who possesses diplomatic skills. He must place a freeze on new housing construction for at least one year, and that includes Arab areas of Jerusalem. To save face, proceed with building in predominantly Jewish areas. Netanyahu might call Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and urge a meeting whose goal is producing a specific peace plan–that will work!

Hillary Stirs Canadian Pot

It was not the most productive political trip for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who wandered up north to Canada where she proceeded to inform its government and people about her ideas on a variety of topics ranging from abortion to Afghanistan. The Canadian government recently made clear it was withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan by 2011 and Clinton proceeded to urge the government to retain its soldiers in the mountains of that far off land. But, Hillary was not finished. At a meeting to deal with topics of maternal healthcare, she told the assembled leaders, “you cannot have reproductive health and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortions.” A wise diplomat knows better than to publicly ask a question that will only produce an answer not desired. This is not effective diplomacy.

The reality is more and more world leaders are tired of Afghanistan. How do they support an Afghan government which recently invited Iran President Ahmadinejad to their capital for extended discussions when this goon is assaulting innocent Iranian students in his own streets? Until President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton can control President Karzai, why should anyone remain in Afghanistan?

A Danish Story About The Meaning Of Christ

It was just another March morning in Copenhagen, people on their way to work, mothers hurrying to get children to school, and in business offices, stock brokers and hedge fund managers were devising ways to screw people out of their money in their quest for making a fortune. Not many people noticed the 53 year old woman with worn clothes who held aloft a simple sign: “Have Mercy, You are blessed in Jesus’ name for 2 Kroner.” No one noticed her except the police who promptly grabbed the woman and took her to the police station on charges she was begging. Just another homeless person trapped in a world gone mad due to stock market collapses and the end of housing booms.

Of course, in many Asian societies it is normal for religious people to beg for food which is readily given in the name of God. The real issue is why are police worried about a woman who is begging for a few cents while businessmen steal with impunity and there is scant likelihood they will ever see the inside of a jail.

Dishonor Of Honor Murder

Reading Muslim newspapers invariably results in encountering stories concerning the murder of a young woman who was identified by family members as guilty of immodest behavior. It could have been seen chatting with a man not of the family or going on a date with a man who was not approved by the family or some such blatant disregard for proper behavior. In Jordan, an 18 year-old man was sentenced to a ten year term for the brutal murder of his sister. They lived together and one night at dinner got into an argument. The brother picked up a knife and several times plunged it into the body of his sister. All he told police was that she was guilty of “immoral behavior.”

it is always fascinating how Muslim men discover immorality among women, but for some strange reason similar behavior has never been noticed among men. In theory, Jordan has a death penalty for murder, but as far as anyone recalls it has never been applied to an “honor killing.” The day Jordan sentences to death an honor killer will be the day Jordan gains honor in the world.

Church Sanctuary, A Modern Twist

In Medieval times a thief could seek sanctuary from arrest by fleeing to the safety of a church. In modern times, the thief would never risk his safety by seeking refuge in a Catholic church, but those who violate the law as members of the Catholic Church retain the sanctuary of being safe from prosecution by being members of the clergy. Four more cases in Denmark have come to the surface and X number of victims are somewhere in Denmark hiding from the glare of publicity, and, most probably, so are the priests who abused them.Father Niels Engelbrecht took the responsibility of seeking out victims only to learn most remain silent and live with the long term impact on their sex lives of having been abused.

It is fascinating the Catholic Church of Denmark does not regard it has a legal responsibility to report all cases of sexual abuse to authorities. The process of healing begins when those who abuse confront their own lives as well as the lives they have damaged.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

Russia, St. Petersburg Times: “Cops Bust Gang Of Fake Priests”
I guess they threw a Hail Mary and it landed for a touchdown.

China, China Daily: “Families Want The Truth”
Heck, in America the entire nation would like a shot of the truth.

Tanzania, Arusha Times: “Don’t Play Doctor”
Now, that is sound advice for Glenn Beck and his Rush buddy.

UK, The Independent: “Cannabis Gang Faces Jail”
Well, that is one way they can get all the marijuana they want.

Sweden, The Local: “Workplace Pregnancy Contagious”
It would be wonderful if workplace making money was contagious.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Hell’s Angels Kid’s Club
They zoom around wearing diapers on their tricycles.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Inquiry Over Missing 500 Million”
Most Wall Street hedge fund managers would not even notice such a loss. Chicken feed.

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Bullock Hubby Jesse James Apologizes”
He screws his girl friends and ignores his wife.

USA, Army Times: “Woman Hits Truck”
It is OK, the truck is doing fine.

South Africa, Argus: “Man Robbed On Way To Suicide”
This is one day in which nothing goes right.

Will Israel Leaders Rejoin Planet Earth?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent the past year listening to the voices of his neo-conservative friends at Commentary who believed Barack Obama was wounded and that people such as Sarah Palin and the Tea Party spoke for the American people. Bibi ignored pleas from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pursue the road of peace with Palestinian leaders. Bibi appointed incompetent people to his Cabinet such as Avigdor Lieberman and pursued the path to building settlements in order to please right wing religious zealots in Israel. He spent scant time examining American military issues in the Middle East that cried out for peace with Palestinians in order to strip militants of a rallying cry among Muslim masses. Netanyahu never realized when it comes down to protecting American military members, ALL Americans, including American Jews, will take a stand for peace.

Haaretz in an editorial urged the people of Israel to carefully examine an American plan for peace with Palestine. “The possibility that the United States will propose a plan of its own and seek to convince the sides to accept it, or even impose it, is not the worst of all possibilities.” Step one if for Netanyahu to reach out to Tzipi Livni and the Labor Party in order to form a “coalition for peace.”

President Obama reportedly is suggesting a four month freeze on housing in East Jerusalem which offers an excellent starting point for negotiations that might work. It might also be interesting for Israel to ask Turkey to mediate in negotiations with Syria. These are steps for peace, steps that Sarah Palin and Tea Party nuts never will because these shrill voices are only concerned with spreading hate and have no interest in peace for Israel.

Indict South Hadley H.S. Along With Bullies!

The death of 15 year old Phoebe Prince who arrived in America about a year ago from Ireland should be compulsory study in every high school in America. The fifteen year old arrived in the United States and assume attending high school would not only be a learning experience but fun as she met new friends. From day one of her arrival, a group of girls at the high school decided Phoebe was not their type and began a daily constant program of verbal abuse not only in her presence but on Facebook. Girls followed her in school shouting, “Irish slut,” and other insults, but apparently, no teachers ever heard their shouts. She undoubtedly committed a terrible crime by briefly dating a popular football player. As anyone who has taught in American high school knows, football players are reserved for the cheerleaders.

The Massachusetts legislature has passed an anti-bullying law, but there are unanswered questions. As one who taught high school for ten years and has worked with 12,000 teachers it is impossible for me to believe that teachers and school administrators did not know what was happening to Phoebe. There should be a police investigation of the faculty and criminal charges brought against any educator who allowed such behavior. We hope the family will sue the school district in order to send a message to teachers and administrators that children at a school have a right to personal security.

US Demanded Torture, Not Normal Interrogation!

There is scant doubt Republicans sat at night watch the TV program, 24, assuming they were learning about effective ways of torturing people. After all, the generation of Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld believed humiliating and degrading prisoners was an old fashioned, God fearing way of interrogation. During the Iraq war, high ranking British military intelligence officers worried at continual American complaints that UK methods of interrogation were not of the same quality or intensity of pain as those used by the Americans. The British decision to cut back on certain interrogation procedures aroused anger among Americans. According to Lt. Colonel Ewan Duncan, “the end of hooding has far reaching implications– a growing diversion of opinion with the US” over the nature of interrogations.

Ironically, just as UK interrogators were being scolded by Americans for not being tough, basra hotel worker Baha Mousa died while being interrogated by British officers. And, we wonder why Iraqis did not always appreciate the benefits of democracy.