Monthly Archives: May 2010

Abuse On Earth, Fires On Hell!

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who has been dealing with cases of sexual abuse on the part of priests, lashed out at those who abuse their religious trust by engaging in actions that damage the lives of children. He warned such priests they face a horrible time in Hell and they will wish they had been killed on Earth rather than face the fires of eternity. He made clear a pedophile priest who exploited his office would receive tougher treatment in hell than any ordinary layman. “It would be really better fro him that his evil deeds cause him death” here on planet Earth. Those who assist such priests were also warned they will wind up in Hell and have a hot time dealing with its fires.

It is all well and good to warn about Hell, but the issue is that men who engage in sexual abuse of children are dealing with mental issues that require psychological assistance –here on Earth. Rather than warning about Hell, it would be helpful if the Catholic Church re-examined its celibacy policy and allowed its priests to enjoy a normal love relationship with a woman–or man. The solution lies not in Hell, but here on Earth.

Danish Teenagers Engage In Hate Crimes

Most modern societies report that teenagers are supportive of rights for gays and lesbians, but recent reports indicate the reverse is on the rise in Denmark where teenagers are responsible for many hate crimes. According to Kenneth Engberg of the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians, for years there were active programs in schools to raise consciousness concerning rights, but the programs have ceased and “this is perhaps why we are increasingly seeing teenagers carrying out hate crimes.” He notes that Facebook has become a center of hate crimes as teenagers link to sites which are anti-gay and lesbian. Engberg argues there is need for greater resources to be allocated to education.

One can only wonder if a rise in hate crimes against Muslim immigrants to Denmark encourages extending these attitudes toward other oppressed groups such as gays and lesbians.

CivCas By Any Name Spells–Disaster!

The United States military refers to the killing of innocent civilians in Afghans by the term, “CivCas.”Civilian casualties is exactly what this term means, but, in actuality it means something more deadly. It signifies an inability of American and NATO forces to carry out their mission of establishing peace and a stable government in Afghanistan. General Stanley McChyrstal made clear an increasing number of civilians who were killed during the past few months creates a dangerous situation. “Because of CivCas, I think we have just about eroded our credibility here in Afghanistan. The constant repeat of CivCas is now so dangerous as to threaten the mission.” It is estimated that in 2005, there were about 2,000 militants in Afghanistan, but that figure has now risen to about 30,000. These figures indicate the more troops sent to Afghanistan the more insurgents emerge in Afghanistan. At this rate, if we send in 500,000 there will be a million insurgents.

The bottom line is no war can be “won” in Afghanistan without the emergence of a strong popular Afghan government. We can send 30,000 more troops or 50,000 more troops, but they will encounter the same problem that Afghans do not respect or trust their government. President Obama, for all his learning, still has not grasped that basic fact.

What Israel Must Do –NOW!

Anger concerning the Israel assault on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid is pouring in from all parts of the world. In South Africa, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu said the attack was “inexcusable,” while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his shock and in Sweden Foreign Minister Carl Bildt demanded answers from Israel’s ambassador to his nation. Each hour there are new reports as to the dead and wounded with latest estimates being at least 19 and dozens more wounded. The Israel government’s only response has been to blame the ships for demonstrating a “political provocation”–whatever that means. It is clear that Israel might soon experience a violent outburst from Palestinians and it could result in ending present hopes for peace with the Palestinian Authority. There is scant doubt religious fundamentalist fanatics in Israel welcome this outcome just as do their fellow fanatics in Iran.

The question confronting Israel is what must be done. We write as a co-founder of a Holocaust Museum and one who loves the Israeli people. But, this is what is needed –NOW!

1. Release of all people who are in custody and return them to their home nations.
2. Ask the United Nations to dispatch troops to man all entry points in Gaza and work with Israel forces to ensure that civilian aid enters without any further restrictions.
3. A formal apology must be expressed to Turkey and other nations from which people in the ships came as well as assurances the Israel government will cooperate in allowing a new flotilla to land humanitarian supplies.
4. Organize an internal investigation of those responsible for this violation of international law.
5. The Netanyahu government must resign and form a new coalition with Kadima and get rid of religious fanatics in the Cabinet.
6. Remove Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman immediately. This man is a thug and clown, not a diplomat.
7. Cease all further settlement construction until a peace agreement has been reached with the Palestinian Authority.

The bottom line is HONEST NEGOTIATIONS WITH PALESTINIANS MUST BE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY!!

Turkey Says Raid On Flotilla Nail In Coffin Of Relationship

The Turkish government exploded in anger over Israel’s commando strike against a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Huseyin Celik of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said his nation’s relations with Israel “will never be the same” and as far as his party is concerned this is the final nail in the coffin of anger. Political scientist Sinan Ogan commented “the worst possible scenario has happened. Israel has made a suicide commando move and has committed suicide internationally. The Turkish-Israel relationship is now open to every different scenario.” The immediate reaction of the Turkish government was to cancel joint military exercises with Israel forces and the European Union will most probably hear their complaint. An estimated 400 Turkish citizens were on ships in the flotilla and the government is demanding that injured people be returned to Turkey and that anyone being held must immediately be freed and sent home.

Two years ago Turkey was a friend and ally of Israel. Today, they are enemies. A group of ideologues control Israel and they are determined to destroy their nation in the name of “God.” That is always the cry of a demagogue and tyrant.

An Israeli Discusses Gaza Attack

Bradley Burston, writing in the Israel newspaper, Haaretz, informs his fellow countrymen they have just initiated the Second Gaza War and it is already lost due to blundering, incompetent Israeli actions. “For Israel, this Second Gaza War could be far more costly and painful than the first.” He emphasizes the first Gaza War was intended to teach Hamas a lesson and their enemies learned “that the best way to fight Israel is to let Israel do what it has begun to do naturally: bluster, blunder, stonewall and fume.” Even worse, says Burston, a former friend and ally, Turkey, has now become our enemy and the attack was in essence, akin to “declaring a state of war with Turkey.”

The problem is not Hamas or Palestinians or Iran, the problem lies within the nature of contemporary Israel society. ‘Hamas, as well as Iran, have come to know and benefit from the toxicity of Israel domestic politics, which is all too ready to mortgage the future for the sake of momentary apparent calm. They know that in our desperation to protect our own image of ourselves, we will avoid modifying policies which have literally brought aid and comfort to our enemies.”

Of course, notes Burston, right wing religious fundamentalists in Israel will be overjoyed at world reaction to the attack and they will crow, “we told you so, the world hates us, no matter what we do, so we may as well go on building and defending our borders.” The state of Israel is now at a crisis point in its history. It must focus on working with President Abbas and Hamas leaders to create an independent Palestine and seek a future in which Israel is a partner, not an enemy, of people in the Middle East. The fault for Israel’s problems lie not in the stars, they lie in themselves.

Israel Shoots Self In Foot–Again!

A flotilla of ships headed for the Gaza Strip with supplies were sailing in international waters when Israel commandos decided to halt the vessels, storm them and wind up with a gun battle in which at least ten–probably more– died. The dead were not soldiers, they were civilians who had decided to bring non-military supplies to the people of Gaza. Once again, arrogant, self righteous Israelis demonstrated a complete lack of political sense by responding to civilian supplies with guns. There is scant doubt Israel will be condemned by the UN Security Council for attacking ships which flew the Turkish flag while in INTERNATIONAL WATERS! An assault upon vessels sailing in international waters falls into the category of piracy. Of course once again, Israel officials are claiming something termed, “political provocation” as justification for sending commandos with guns ready onto ships carrying passengers.

It frequently becomes difficult attempting to grasp the intelligence of Israel leaders. They possess a death wish whose ultimate goal is to completely isolate their nation from the rest of the world. A few years ago, Turkey was a trusted friend, today, Turkey will most probably cut diplomatic relations with Israel. When will the people of Israel wake up, get rid of the Netanyahu government, and place in charge of their nation, diplomats who understand that force is not the solution to problem solving!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition by a twenty year old mind trapped in a 79 year old body.

Death is the only mystery more mysterious than life.

Some step outside to talk on cell phone, others share with the world.

A mother was holding a child by the hand, pushing a carriage and talking on her cell phone. Modern mom in action.

To be alone is not to be lonely unless one does not enjoy one’s own company.

There is no greater sense of momentary power than a bat boy holding a foul ball and deciding who gets it.

I saw a man carrying a baby instead of a package for a woman. Modern gallantry?

Studying history for modern youth was the equivalent for my generation of being given castor oil.

The past sleeps in our minds awaiting a signal to awaken.

A woman running in shorts is the antithesis of sexual allure.

I decided to risk take this morning. I selected Splendor instead of Equal for my coffee.

Big butt people should not wear low cut shorts.

Orange shirts stand out more than any other color in the summer.

I simply MUST gaze at a big breasted woman.

God takes a vacation, why can’t I?

The ultimate power for each person is deciding to be who one wants to be.

Some woman push up their jaw to signal agreement.

I do not think purple finger nails go with beautiful blue eyes.

Johnny Cash was the last singer who understood the lives of Americans and could sing about them.

If one is waiting for a take-out order there is no requirement to hold open doors for those leaving with packages.

Madness Of Muslim Activists

People had gathered in their mosque for religious services and were deeply in prayer when a gang of Islamic militants, the Punjabi Taliban, entered two mosques and began spraying bullets through the crowd of men, women and children. They also hurled grenades at members of a Muslim sect known as the Ahmedi. In one section of a mosque, worshippers barricaded themselves into a corner, erected barriers and attempted to peacefully defend themselves since they were in a religious institution and had not realized they should bring weapons into it while engaged in praying. An estimated 70 members of this minority sect of the Muslim religion were killed and over a hundred wounded. The Ahmedi have faced continually discrimination and violence because they do not agree with traditional Muslim orthodox ideas. In the midst of the shooting, three insurgents blew themselves up along with innocent people. Naturally, authorities promised to do something, exactly what, is rather unclear.

I find most disturbing the lack of anger on the part of Muslims in the world to slaughter of innocent Muslims. Of course, if someone drew a cartoon, thousands of Muslims would flock into the streets to express their anger at this insult to their religion. The murder of 70 Muslims results in calm. Is there something wrong about the issues which arouse Muslims in the world?

TEA PARTY –VOICES OF THE PAST

During the course of American history, there have been sporadic outbursts of “reform” groups which express disdain for the present which is viewed as corrupt and tainted by vestiges of “un-American” components. The famous Populist Party which emerged in the last decade of the 19th century stemmed from farm groups which regarded industrial leaders and the influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe as harbingers of a dramatic change in the composition of the American population. It is not surprising that studies reveal the vast majority of Tea Party leaders are from the upper middle class and essentially white. Their demands to “return to laissez faire” and end government regulation of business is closer to Jeffersonian Democrats in the early 1800s than to Republican nineteenth century leaders like Abraham Lincoln who welcomed industry and wanted the federal government to subsidize railroad expansion. Ironically, Tea Party goals of ending government regulation fly in the face of Republican Progressives of the early 20th century who, under leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, wanted government regulation of business corporations and laws to regulate the working place, end child labor, protect women at work, etc….

Tea Party leaders in demanding “give me back my America” are seeking a return to an America which has long ceased to exist. Prior to the Civil War, most American farmers raised for themselves or the local market. An industrial world meant there were now 30,000,000 customers in cities anxious to purchase farm products. Technology now allowed US farmers to sell anywhere in the world. As late as 1940, about 90% of what Americans purchased was made in America. Tea Party leaders want a return to a WASP controlled America which could exist without large scale government intervention. The Populist Party– farmers– were the ones who introduced the graduated income tax– NOT SOCIALISTS. Republican leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft wanted government regulation. In 1890, a Republican Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust act, NOT SOCIALISTS.

If the Tea Party wants to help America it will focus on the Future, not the past. As of this point, there ideas border on the ludicrous for a modern post industrial society. For example, China is plunging into Africa and South America and offering billions in aid. How can American businessmen compete with such offers? Wake up Tea Party folk and offer programs for the 21st century.