Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tourists Invited To Rio Slums

AS Brazil gets ready for the World Cup in a few years, its leaders are discovering it’s never too early to clean up their act about poverty. A program like Santa Marta is designed to attract tourists into entering Rio’s slums where they soon discover drug addicts are no longer present nor are the ubiquitous beggars. In an interesting twist, slum dwellers are trained to work as tourist guides and signs in English have been installed in many quarters of the slum neighborhood. Visitors will be urged to investigate tourist attractions like learning the samba at a school or checking out local artists. This approach is certainly different from what people expect after seeing the film, “City of God” which portrays non-stop violence and brutality.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited Santa Marta to give it his blessing. After all, he came from the slums, but not slums which invited tourists to check out the poverty.

Jewish Religious Leader Preaches Hate And Violence

A constant defense uttered by Israeli leaders as to why they can not enter into negotiations with Palestinians is their desire to wipe out the Jewish people and state. The spiritual leader of the powerful ultra-Orthodox Shas political movement whose party is a member of the current Israel government, had a few choice words to express about Muslims and Palestinians. Rabbi Obvadia Yosef, at his Sabbath sermon told listeners that President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people are :our enemies and haters.” He went on to express his hope that “all these evil people should perish from this earth…. God should strike them down with a plague, them and these Palestinian, evil-doers and Israel-haters.” These words of peace and hope were uttered just as negotiators from Israel and the Palestinian Authority were to meet in Washington D.C. with President Obama. Palestinian leaders urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to condemn these inflammatory remarks, but the best they received was, that what was spoken was not in accord with his government and Israel was committed to peace negotiations.

I am confused. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly quoted remarks from Palestinian radicals who urge the end of Israel as justification for not negotiating with people who want to kill all Jews. But, he will not condemn remarks by the former Chief Rabbi of Israel which calls for the death of all Palestinians.

Tony Blair, Buddy Of Thugs!

Former prime minister Tony Blair as a member of the Labor Party is linked to an historic political organization which fought for human rights against Nazi Germany and other Fascist groups. To be a Socialist in the first half of the 20th century was to stand for social justice and oppose those who oppressed the weak and defenseless. But, Tony Blair is a man who is most concerned about power and the exercise of it. It is now discovered that upon assuming office in the 1990s, he reached out to the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and attempted to cooperate with a thug dictator in order to secure trade for his country. Despite the fact Mugabe’s notorious Fifth Brigade had killed thousands of innocent people of Matabeleland, Blair told Mugabe of his warm admiration he held and could he please work with England on trade relations. The bottom line for Blair was not social justice, but more money. At the time, Robert Mugabe referred to the UK prime minister in this way: “I have great hopes of Tony Blair. Mrs. Thatcher describes me as a terrorist, but Tony Blair is different.”

Tony, did you ever believe people would describe Margaret Thatcher as a fighter for human rights while describing you as a bed fellow of brutality and horror?

Murder Of Innocent Roma Family

The persecution of Roma families in eastern Europe continues only yesterday it resulted in the death of six people rather than the ordinary beatings and insults. A gunmen shot dead six members of a Roma family6 and another woman in the Slovak capital of Bratislava. After killing the Roma group, he continued firing on the police and wounded fourteen before he killed himself. Police estimate he had a submachine gun and two handguns which he used in his murderous spree. He just walked into an apartment, and began firing at people he undoubtedly hated. Most nations in eastern Europe where the vast majority of Roma are found have political groups who boast of their desire to rid their nation of the Roma and send them back to wherever they came from, of course, it is unclear if there is such a place.

Men like this lunatic will continually arise to murder Roma until governments and schools institute programs that assist youth and adults to learn about the lives of the Roma. But, education is only step one, step two means active job programs that enable Roma to rise from poverty.

Is Barack Obama A Liberal Leader?

In a recent Nation article, Eric Alterman, termed the current president leader of a Kabuki Democracy. The promise of November, 2008 apparently has led many liberal Democrats to conclude that Obama conducted an intricate show and tell campaign which winds up with a disappointing government which declaims to one and all its triumphs against conservatives. Certainly there are Democrats who defend the president’s accomplishments by pushing through a national medical care bill, wresting student loans from the hands of bankers, finally achieving a regulation reform to control the worse excesses of Wall Street. Alterman argues that Obama has been stifled by a Republican minority bent on chaos in the nation, the legacy of George Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan and a wrecked economy. Defenders of the president complain that liberal such as Alterman fail to grasp problems confronting any progressive leader and given the circumstances of a psychologically disturbed Fox News and winking and blinking leaders like Salrah Palin it is amazing that anything was accomplished.

We acknowledge the accomplishments of the president in banking reform, in student loan reform, but doubt if his “health reform” was actually a reform anymore than whether it was the right thing to do in 2009-2010. Pushing through a health reform which compels workers to pay premiums while unemployed offers the semblance, but not the reality, of health care reform. A progressive leader would have understood that JOBS, JOBS, JOBNS, was the most important ingredient in sustaining a liberal mood in the nation. How Barack Obama came to be viewed by large segments of the American population as a stooge of Wall Street and not interested in their needs can not be blamed on Fox News or Glenn Beck.

Theodore Roosevelt understood the president must use the bully pulpit in Washington D.C. to make clear to Americans the thrust of progressive reforms. Barack Obama gets an F in communication skills. He has NOT HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE IN A YEAR! Franklin Roosevelt was opposed by 70% of the media so he constantly held press conferences which allowed him to dominate the news. Obama silence has done more to add forces of reaction than any Fox News broadcast. For example, how many Americans know that under George Bush about 150,000 immigrants were returned to Mexico while under Obama over 400,000 were sent back. His constant silence, his refusal to fight back with the truth has only strengthened forces of reaction. The greatest disappointment is his ominous silence which only serves to help everything he dislikes.

Restoring Honor To America From Those Who Dishonor It!

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck along with thousands of others attended a rally in Washington D.C, whose theme was restoring the honor of the United States. Of course, the issues are: (a) has America’s honor been damaged?, (b) if so, who or what did the damaging, and (c) are those urging restoration the ones responsible for what ever has happened to this nation’s honor. Let’s look at the record:

1. In 2001, incoming president George Bush was given a budget by former President Clinton that contained a surplus.
a) Within a year, the God fearing George Bush had moved from a budget surplus to a budget deficit.
2. In 2001, incoming President George Bush inherited a national debt of about $5 trillion.
b) When George Bush departed the presidency he left a national debt of $11 trillion.
3. In 2001, George Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan.
c) Nine years later we are still fighting in Afghanistan due to Bush’s incompetence.
4. In 2003, Bush invaded Iraq seeking the ever elusive WMD.
d) We never did find the WMD, but Bush found a way to lead to the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers.
5. President Bush pushed through a stimulus package to deal with the economic fiasco he created.
6. President Obama is still attempting to clean up the Republican mess.

So, all one can assume from FACTS is the Republican Party tarnished the honor of America.

Deaths In Afghanistan, The Beat Goes On!

Seven additional American soldiers died over the weekend in Afghanistan. Vehicles hit IEDs, men on the ground encountered suicide bombers or fanatics opening up with their weapons on Americans seeking to pacify large areas of southern Afghanistan. At this point in time, the only certainty is that at least 40 American soldiers will die next month and the month after. Even as bodies of the dead were collected, stories came from Kabul that President Karzai had once again halted investigations of his associates by prosecutors seeking to end corruption in government and attempt to offer the people of this sadly neglected nation the semblance of law and order. Karzai insists there can not be any prosecution of his friends because without his friends he might be a man alone in a nation that has drifted further away from the anti-Taliban feeling which was so prevalent nine years ago.

Seven additional American soldiers died over the weekend. The sad reality is America lacks a strategy of “winning” a war in Afghanistan anymore than it possesses a strategy on how to get out of this mess. Dead bodies accumulate. Afghans have long lost any hope their government will ever offer an effective governance. The only certainty is that Karzai and his clique will make money. The only certainty is that seven soldiers will die next weekend.

Skinheads Run Wild In Russia

It was a sunny day in Miass, a town located about 800 miles from Moscow and thousands of people were enjoying the Tornado festival when suddenly a crowd of about 100 bare chested young hooligans burst through participants and swung their iron clubs, sticks and fists at innocent people. The neo-Nazi skinheads apparently had some objection to a rock concert in their town and decided to wipe out the festivities by beating the hell out of those in attendance. Images on TV showed battered revellers and scores of skinheads laughing and beating people. The hooligans burst through security guards, pushed police aside and began their attacks on the innocent. At least one girl died in the attacks and dozens of others suffered serious wounds. In April, a Moscow court banned the far right Slavic Union whose members look to the SS as groups to emulate. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union these right wing extremists have thrived, and one can blame Prime Minister Putin whose authoritarian approach to government only provides them with a role mode.

During World War II at least 25 million Russians died at the hands of Nazi Germany, but for some strange reason their grandchildren appear to admire those who killed Russians. Ironically, the skinheads claim to be “real Russians” and wander the country behaving as “real Nazis.” Such is the state of Russia in 2010.

No Romeo And Juliet On The West Bank!

At a time when forces of hate dominate the political dialogue in Israel a group of members of the theater issued a defiant cry for freedom and social justice. Five leading Israel theaters faced cries of betraying human rights when they agreed to offer plays in the West Bank. Their decision was challenged a pledge from 60 of the nation’s most prominent actors, producers, writers and directors, who moved to boycott the presentation of any theatrical works in the West Bank. Theater companies had agreed to present plays in a new cultural center in the West Bank. Many members of the theater community expressed their “dismay” at the decision. They expressed sadness at the lethargy of so much of the Israel population which has gone along with the hooligans now so prominent in the Israel government and their attempts to stifle human rights. Joshua Sobol, whose Holocaust play, won many awards, told the liberal newspaper, Haaretz, he hoped the petition would shake up Israel’s political community. “People somehow became indifferent to the many existential issues, and this may revive debate.”

Naturally, Prime Minister Netanyahu, blamed the petition on “elements” from abroad who endeavored to damage Israel. He also warned that while, “I don’t want to revoke every artist’s right o a political opinion, but we as a government should not fund boycott’s against Israel’s citizens.” Any time Netanyahu leaves the government he is certain to get a job at Fox News.

Ach, For The Old Germany, Says Banker!

There is a strata in German society which harkens back to the good old days when “real men” were in power who understood how to create a nation which contained 100% pure Aryan types. But, alas, no more, since the beloved nation is being taken over by Muslims whose strange ways only undermine the real Germany. According to Thilo Sarrazin who serves in the Bundesbank, among the ongoing problems facing his nation, is not finacial issues, but Muslim girls who have strange customs about dating. These “imported brides,” have a bad attitude which means “the Arab boy can’t get at the Arab girl,” so what do they do? Heck, they head straight for those pure blooded blond haired Aryan girls and try to get them. However, Sarrazin does se a silver lining in this problem since nice decent Aryan type German girls will have nothing to do with them Arabs and this results in German girls from the underclass offering to spread their legs for dark haired Muslim boys.

If this was not bad enough, the good German banker had to make a few remarks about them Jews. “All Jews share a particular gene that sets them apart.” Sir, I agree with Jews have this “money gene” which results in most Jews becoming billionaires. However, Sir, I just never got the gene. I was wondering if you would establish a foundation that helps Jews like me get the missing gene.