Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cast The First Stone

As children we studied about our ancestors who lived thousands of years ago during the Stone Age. I have images of men and women with stone clubs in their hands who swing them at animals or even at enemy humans. I now assume the Stone Age has passed, but to some clerical leaders of Iran Iran, the old days were the best days. Of course, they argue modern humans must adhere to precepts of life when the Prophet Muhammad was living. This argument creates problems for me. Muhammad certainly did not ride in cars or fly in planes. We have no idea of his reaction to the Internet or modern movies. But, to Iranian leaders, their government must do just as was done hundreds of years ago. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43 year old mother of two is sentenced to be stoned. Originally, the sentence stemmed from her alleged adultery and when the media picked up the story it created a storm of protest throughout the world. Suddenly, Iranian police announced Ms. Ashtiani was also connected to the murder of her husband.

Thousands are protesting in Paris and many cities in the European Union. Iran’s government now says a court is reviewing the sentence. Given the mentality of sick clerics who run the nation of Iran, it is simply a matter of time before she is dead. The real question is who will cast the first stone to kill her. How about President Ahmadinejad as the stone thrower?

Fox News–Liberals Push Global Channge!

Fox News fervently believes there is not change in the global environment for one reason–denying change obtains more viewers. After all, if thirty percent of Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim and a solid 10% are convinced he was conceived in a gorilla camp somewhere in Africa, is it surprising a good hunk of the American population just thinks this summer was a bit on the hot side. Of course, there are devastating floods in Asia, areas are reporting the highest temperatures in generations, but this type of talk is simply liberals trying to frighten God fearing decent Americans. NASA reports this is the hottest year since humans began reporting global warmth. Russia has the worst drought in memory and farmers have already lost 40% of their wheat crop. We are experiencing what global change scientists have been warning about for years. But, to Fox News and right wing pundits such talk is merely spawned by Hollywood liberals bent on making movies to frighten folk and get them purchasing expensive popcorn.

Why do people deny reality? Americans believed there were WMD in Iraq and many still are convinced of their presence, the only problem in their mind is will they be alive when WMD are finally found. A heavy snow in Chicago convinces Fox News and millions they now possess evidence that Global Warming is a hoax. A denier seeks the anecdote and extrapolates from one case into a general theory that believes liberals attempt to twist the minds of people in order to create government programs funded by our tax money.

The good news for deniers is they will not be around when bad things really occur. The bad news is their children will experience weird times.

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: “Bears Guard Pot Crop”
We can term them bears on high.

Sweden, The Local: “One Foot In Grave”
Barack Obama?

Finland, Sanomat: “Cathedral Broken Into”
I guess God took it on the lam.

South Africa, Argus: “Students Teach Others While Teachers Strike”
This is one way to raise teaching standards.

Singapore, Straits Times: “US Wants Merchant Of Death”
I’m glad they finally are after Rush Limbaugh.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “Blackberry Users Seek Alternative”
Have you tried strawberries.

USA, Army Times: “Change In Dog Policy”
I give it three bow,wows.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Germany Seeks Solution To Can Problem
Nicht can do.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Memory Damage Reversed In Mice”
Of mice and men, hopefully.

Singapore, Straits Times: “Robber Caught In 3 Hours”
Why so long?

Japs, Jews, Wetbacks, And Mosques

In December, 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that caused thousands of deaths, hysteria swept America, particularly on the West Coast and people reported that Japanese American farmers were planting their crops to show arrows pointed at important military locations. Angry mobs attacked Japanese American citizens and finally 120,000 were hauled off to internment camps. During the internment, about 5,000 Japanese American men volunteered to fight in what became the MOST decorated unit in US military history, the “Go For Broke Battalion.” The assumption of those who preached fear of Japanese was since Japan attacked the US this meant that any person of Japanese heritage was equally responsible for the attack. Of course, Germany declared war on the USA(we never declared war on Germany) but no one blamed German Americans for actions of Nazi, Germany. In 1950, two spies for the Soviet Union, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were placed on trial for giving atomic bomb secrets to their Soviet friends, and both wound up in the electric chair. Hysteria swept America and for those who thrive on hate, ALL JEWS were responsible for the actions of the Rosenbergs. During WWII, over a million Mexicans were brought to America to work in the fields. They were immigrants from poor areas of Mexico, few knew much about world affairs and most were indifferent to the war. In the summer of 1943, mobs of American soldiers and sailors attacked young Mexican men and women. During the hysteria over 100 Mexican girls were raped on the streets of LA while the police stood by and laughed. The only ones arrested were Mexican men. The hysteria was based on lack of patriotism by Mexican immigrants.

The latest episode of hysteria is happening in New York City and on Fox News which stirs anger and hate. I noticed the other day some people carrying anti-Muslim signs saying Muslims were not welcome near the World Trade Center were Jews. Isn’t it ironic that the ancestors of these Jews were persecuted in America and told they were not welcome? Frankly, hysteria is always present in any nation. Fox News makes Joseph Goebbels feel happy.

BP Policy Does Not Sit Well With Contractor

A contractor hired by BP to help ensure the safety of the “Deepwater Horizon” well urged the company to adopt a different policy in the cementing of the well, even hours before the eruption finally came. They wanted a cement job that utilized 21 centraliser devices, but BP opted for six. There were ample warning by the contractor regarding the possibility the well might erupt, but when one runs a billion dollar enterprise, the bottom line is always the most important item in any company ledger. A few hours before the entire rig blew up, the comment was “we have just completed the job, it went well.” The problem was the “well” part. The well was not going to go well because not enough stabilisers were present in the cement operation.

Fraud in construction is nothing new in the world. As long as there are governments awarding contracts there will be hustlers seeking to cut corners and make a few extra bucks. After all, two bucks in hand is better than one of them spent on safety.

Is There A President In The House?

I confess to having been raised in a different era when Democratic presidents were not afraid to take on the powers of wealth and business in order to protect the rights of working people and the middle class. In 1948, President Harry Truman was opposed by 75% of the newspapers and his rating was down, but he decided to take the fight to every American. He got on a train and proceeded to constantly blast the Republicans. After a few weeks, even Republican newspapers were declaiming about the “do nothing Congress” which was run by Republicans. Truman made his message clear and concise– jobs, raising minimum wages, protecting unions, health insurance and first steps toward integration. Today, we have a man in the White House who is remarkably quiet and by this silence allows Fox News and Republicans to control whatever messages are being heard by Americans. For example, why is President Obama pounding away at:

1. Republicans voted to prevent health care for 9/11 responders.
2. Tell the American people the exact figures of how we got into the current high debt situation. Obama, few know the figures!
3. Lay out a program of jobs– rebuilding bridges, new small hospitals in rural America, construct new high speed broadband, etc.. But,Obama has to deliver the message in clear English.
4. Spell out the truth concerning the mosque. Explain to the American people Fox News connection with Saudi businessmen who finance madrassas that teach hatred of America. Tell the truth of how a deliberate campaign was initiated by Fox News and the Republican party to stir up hatred.
5. FINALLY explain the health care program in a clear, concise manner.
6. Explain the facts that Social Security is OK for decades.

For God’s sake, Mr. President, stop being silent and speak to the American people!!

How about studying Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt who took on the wealthy and gained support!!

Myth Of Killing Insurgent Leaders!

A common myth of American, Russian and other leaders is the best approach to ending terrorism is capturing leaders and killing them. George Bush proudly stood at the Sacred Ground of the World Trade Center and promised to get Osama bin Laden, dead of alive. The Russian government operates on similar principles in dealing with rebels who confront the government’s authority in Asian areas. Russian police killed Magomedali Vagabov, who supposedly was behind bombings in the Moscow subway. As Russian security forces increased their pressure on militants, the enemy responded by expanding their attacks on local authorities and members of the security. In attacks at Dagestani, they killed two border guards and slit the throats of others to make clear they will not be deterred by the death of their leaders. Security forces have killed two key leaders of Muslim insurgents and in retaliation several people have died.

An insurgency which has popular support will not end because of the death of a few leaders. All too often, killing a leader simply means a younger man with more radical ideas surges to a leadership role and violence increases. Addressing the needs of people is a much better way to achieve peace.

Has The Taliban Been Turned Back?

Under the administration of George Bush, the former president was constantly issuing statements about, “Mission Accomplished,” or assuring one and all the enemy was on its last legs. These days, President Obama is more likely to be off swimming in the Gulf of Mexico rather than proclaiming victory over anyone or anything. He leaves such messages up to General David Petraeus. The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan is happy to report, “the momentum that the Taliban have established over the course of recent years has been reversed in many of the areas of the country and will be reversed in the other areas as well.” He did admit “reversing” is not enough, since one must also destroy their “sanctuaries and safe havens. According to Petraeus when an army enters territory of the enemy, they respond with fierce attacks which is good news since the more they fight, the more of the enemy will die. Of course, the more they fight and die the more so do Afghans and Americans and NATO forces die.

Once again, he hedged on the issue of when US troops will commence the departure process from Afghanistan. As far as Petraeus is concerned, July, 2011, is a “date when a process begins, nothing more, nothing less.” In other words, it is a date when “some”American troops will leave, nothing more, nothing less. The others will remain to enter sanctuaries and kill Taliban who will fight back and we will respond with more attacks and they will respond with IDs and attacks, and so on, and so on. In reality, the date of July, 2020 is a greater certainty that all US troops will be gone, the ones still living, that is.

AMBIVALENT GENERATION

There is scant doubt a new generation is emerging within an America confronting the ravages of economic dislocation and war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Less than two percent of those in the age bracket, 18-28 will be part of any military campaign since the concept of service of society is not common in their vocabulary. Oh, in high school, they will participate in food drives for poor people, and might even do a service stint serving food to the homeless. This generation has been allowed, if not encouraged, to delay responsibility since mom and dad are always around to help out with a few dollars and a place to sleep and eat. We term this as the Ambivalent Generation(AG). They do not believe in any political ideology, they lack firm convictions on any controversial policy. Most might even say they oppose abortion, but within a few moments will list exceptions to what they just said. Few of them support any dramatic changes in the American political system, they support “equality,” whatever that means, they mouth support for poor people, but rarely will they support legislation that would assist oppressed groups within society. The AGs accept growing inequality within American society as the gap between rich and middle class grows ever wider. In reality, they don’t have a clue as to what is happening within their nation, they are too bush fiddling with technology devices and twittering a comment.

The AGs are clueless in America as to structural issues pertaining to economics or to the politics of reform. President Barack Obama must accept part of the blame for this situation. This generation was receptive to a challenge, but Barack Obama was so focused on banks and the wealthy, that he completely ignored possibilities of organizing youth energy in a drive to create a 21st century society. AGs lack heroes, they lack ideas, they lack dreams of what could be, although they will never lack for a technology device in their hands. Robert Kennedy once said some men ask, “why,: while others as, “why not?” Obviously, the latter are dreamers.

Drones And Patrols. A Defense Do Not Make

President Barack Obama never met a n issue that he could not offer two views on how to resolve it, but never inform the world which of the two was consistent with his own ideas. Americans, as usual during an economic crisis, are expressing concerns about immigration from Mexico. Although, the return of illegal immigrants has risen during his two years in office, Obama prefers waffling to explaining reality to the American public. He has decided to demonstrate his desire to close the border by deploying more patrols to the area, including National Guard units, and will shortly authorize the use of drone planes along the border. The Texas governor who is against any use of Federal money, is furious at the thought drone planes would be stationed in Arizona, and is demanding they be where all planes must be housed, in the beloved land of Texas. It is a matter of money, not principle, which is the main principle proclaimed by Tea Party supporters.

Illegal immigrants are not taking jobs from native born Americans, they do the dirty work of society that nice white and black boys and girls do not wish to do. Now, if Texas Republicans could find a way to make money out of illegal immigrants, they will line up for a handout.