Monthly Archives: September 2010

Complaints About FBI Raids

Once upon a time, a long time ago like about two years, the American people heard a candidate for president offer assurances if he was elected the Bush era of abuse of human rights would come to an end. Candidate Obama promised to close Guantanamo, he promised to halt having private phone calls monitored, he promised there would be an end to the rendition program, and he even promised to end murder of those overseas who oppose the United States. Anti-war protesters claim FBI agents raided their homes and offices in a blatant attempt to strike fear into the hearts of those who disagree with current government positions on war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FBI admits their agents searched these locations as part of an investigation into “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” FBi spokesperson insisted no one was arrested, they just went into the homes of dissenters.

The Obama government is colluding with the FBI in seeking to silence those who disagree with the president. This is an amazing development, given that Barack Obama taught courses in Constitutional law!!

Iraqi Children Victims Of Corruption

It was an opportunity for the United States to focus on meeting the needs of Iraqi children rather than dealing with issues of life and death. A shipment of over 8,000 computers for use by Iraqi children arrived in their nation, but the school kids have yet to be able to utilize them in their classsrooms. The computers are stalled at customs for months. American military became interested in what happened and began an investigation in order to get the computers into schools. General Brooks issues a stinging demand for the Iraqi government to deal with the problem and even Iraqi newspapers got into the act by asking about what had happened to the computers which were still under control of customs.

The original shipment of computers arrived in February and then became stalled in customs. For some reason, 4,200 of the computers were sold at auction(total cost to American tax payers was $1.8 million) for $45,700!! The computers were then sold to an Iraqi businessmen. Finally, Prime Minister Maliki got into the act and had the computers returned. No one in Customs can explain why the computers were sold. No one can even explain how they were recovered. Welcome to Iraqi, a bastion of American democracy.

Barack Obama, The Aloof President

The other day, President Obama let slip a comment about, “maybe I should have…” which indicates there is a glimmer of possibility his brain is able to see the world through the lens of most Americans. I have lived through every president from Herbert Hoover to the present, and, frankly, I have never experienced a leader who is so remote from the people of this country. Obama is intelligent, he has decent goals, but lacks any competence in being able to convey his ideas to a mass audience. For example, he should have been constantly telling Americans about the health care program:
1. It does not allow insurance companies to refuse service for pre-existing conditions.
2. It allows parents to continue having their children on policies to age 26.
3. It provides a mechanism that allows anyone without insurance to get one.
4. It protects retired people by covering all drug expenses.
5. For the first time in our history everyone can have health insurance.

See, Barack, how easy it is to explain things rather than telling people it is “too complex?” Barack, keep it simple, keep it stated in clear English so even a ten year-old understands and force your opponents to get complicated in their response.

He tells people to vacation on the Gulf Coast and then heads to Martha’s Vinyard for his own. Yes, Mr. President, this is a petty item, but in a Depression when over ten million lack jobs, the petty become important. Obama allows Fox News to air ridiculous lies and remains silent. Barack, challenge Glenn Beck to a debate about his claims you are a Muslim! Theodore Roosevelt never shied away from a fight. Franklin Roosevelt took on the wealthy with glee because he wanted to come across as the friend of those without, rather than the friend of those with. At one point, three Republican congressmen were opposing FDR. During the next few months every time he gave a speech, it included the line about, “Martin, Barton and Fish” as opponents of change. Few knew who these congressmen were, but the repetition persuaded millions these congressmen opposed their ideas. You come across as the friend of the powerful because of silence. Get your damn hands dirty. This does not mean lie, it means be clear, concise and focused on your ideas.

Being cool, calm, collected allows you to win debates, but this is American politics and this poise simply allows your opponents go wild with leis and distortion.

Illegal Immigrants, Circa, 1938

In the summer of 1951, my friend and I decided to bum around America and hitch hike to the golden state of California. When we hit the California border, state police checked all who sought entry and made anyone with fruit throw it away. I was asked if I had $25 in my possession, and when I produced a total of $32.50 they allowed me to enter their fair state. California in the 1930s was the destination of those who suffered from a huge drought which impacted the Middle West. Thousands upon thousands of people from Oklahoma got into beat up trucks, piled the family in and headed west to jobs in California. The Oakies were treated much as are current day illegal immigrants. They were subject to abuse when they reached the California border, searched, insulted and humiliated in order to make certain all Oakies knew they were the scum of the earth. Today, in 2010, their descendants now subject the latest group of migrants to similar hatred and abuse. Tea Party supporters, who statistically are in the upper middle class insist the “illegals” are taking away their jobs picking strawberries or cutting up meat in Omaha packing plants.

Of course, in the 1840s, the “illegals” were poor Irish immigrants who somehow had made it across the Atlantic and once in cities, undercut those with jobs on the docks or servants or barbers in order to get their jobs. Actually, they “took away jobs” from the poor, not the middle class. Mythology is that illegal immigrants take anything away from the middle and upper classes.

I was born in America, served in the US Army, worked all my life as an educator, but have never lost sight of the Lady in New York harbor whose hand is high in the air as she welcomes all to our shores. As far as I know, she has never inquired if an immigrant is legal or illegal. She leaves those questions to bigots of the Tea Party.

GO SOUTH ISRAELI

Israeli defenders of new settlements on the West Bank have been challenged by an Israeli settler who picked up his family and headed south to the Sinai desert in search of a place to stake out his home. As Moshe Kersner points out, “there are 5,000 people who live in this area, yet it makes up 22 percent of the whole country. If you look at the center of Israel, then it is very crowded. So, why not settle here? It is a lot less controversial, but this land is as much a part of Israel as anywhere else.” He finds it delightful to live in peace without worrying about hostility or anger on the part of Arabs. If God wanted the people of Israel to return to their ancient homeland, there is no doubt the old man up in the sky meant go anywhere in the country and feel no need to only inhabit the West Bank. He is supported by Rabbi Rafi who argues it is not important where people live as long as they are living in Israel.

This is about the most sensible idea to emerge from Israel in years. OK, let Israelis flock to settle the entire Negev and make certain that God’s will is being followed to return and settle in the country He gave to Hebrews centuries ago.

Stephen Colbert On Stephen Colbert!

Ordinarily, in the American Congress the comedians pose as politicians, but yesterday, a comedian posed as a Congressman. Stephen Colbert told a congressional committee, “this is America. I don’t want my tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.” He arrived at the session accompanied by the United Farm Workers president, Arturo Rodriguez. Some congressmen were not amused to have a comedian show them up by displaying more common sense and intelligence than the entire pack of these pseudo -intellectuals. They asked Colbert to leave because they preferred conducting their daily farce in a the secret of fellow ignorant political leaders. As Colbert stated clearly in response to the issue of how do Americans avoid having their fruits and vegetables picked by aliens, “the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables.”

Colbert had earlier spent a day picking fruit in order to qualify himself as an “expert.” HIs comment about the hard work of picking anything was most probably ignored by the learned men who have never picked up anything since lobbyists pick up their lunch checks. “I like talking about people who don’t have any power, and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and o our work, but don’t have any rights themselves.” Amen.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

We offer comments on the human condition by a thirty year old mind trapped in an 80 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

In human society one must accept all new born babies as beautiful.

It is debatable as to whether the pregnant of new mother obtains more attention.

I always feel pleased in a diner when a woman nods at me. Ah, but to be able to pursue the nod!

In the Depression, people wanted jobs. In 2010 they want tax cuts. Curious.

I have never been a “boot” person once out of the US Army.

I wonder if any kids these days bring their lunch to school. I did.

I doubt if cave people sat around having extensive discussions around the stone table.

These days when I enter a college I feel as though I am in a land of giants. Overweight they are, but they sure are tall.

Obama’s lack of passion stems from not having spent his life on urban streets.

I always welcome the unknown. It is exciting.

Oh, for a moment to be able to see the world through the lens of a child.

I wonder how God determines who sits on his left side.

A girl walked by with a tee shirt that said: “Holy Infinity.” I assume they play games which have no end.

I got a tooth ache. Mystery of life is how Cro-Magnons handled tooth aches.

People who sweep floors move the dirt from one place to another.

I assume, years after my death no daily newspapers will be delivered to homes.

I never sit with my hand on my chin.

Little Caesar sells $5 pizza. Cheap, but not tasty.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

UK,The Independent: “Criminal Mastermind Pays $20 million”
Some “criminal” mastermind.

China, China Daily: “Teachers Told To Say No To Gifts”
Then, what’s the use of being a teacher?

Thailand, Bangkok Post: “Free Therapy For Migrant Workers”
Back support would be better.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “A Mirage Or An Oasis”
We Americans would opt for an oasis.

UK, Guardian: “Goodluck Jonathan Runs For President”
Good luck.

Kenya, Standard: “Place Where Dead Are Valued”
Mortuary?

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Gaga Goes Gaga Over Gay Ban”
This makes me gag.

Sweden, The Local: “Dirty Money”
Sounds as though one is talking about American business support for Republicans.

Norway, Norway Post: “Missing Statue Found”
I guess it’s not missing any more.

South Africa, Argus: “Community Chest Empty”
Not much of a community effort if you ask me.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Fake Cop Demands Fine”
Give him fake money!

Sudan–Ticking Time Bomb

The issue is clear– a majority of people living in southern areas of the Sudan are Christian and they do not wish to be part of a Muslim led nation. Past agreements have resulted in south Sudan possessing considerable powers to deal with their regional issues, but an upcoming vote in January, 2011 might result in the south voting to secede and become an independent nation. Leaders of African nations such as Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia fear the Sudan government will not allow the south to leave because about 90% of the nation’s oil reserves lie in that region. Fear is arising of a possible resumption of the civil war that lasted over twenty years before being ended a few years ago. Few doubt a fair vote will result in secession, but will President Omar al-Bashir allow honesty to prevail when billions of dollars are at stake is the question?

President Obama urged the Sudan to adhere to agreements and promised the United States would “stand by those who seek to build and sustain the peace.” Nice words, but they don’t make up for losing access to billions of dollars.

A Simple Woman, A Simple Death

She is a 41 year-old grandmother with an IQ of about 72 who became involved in a plan that resulted in the murder of her husband and stepson. She pleaded guilty of hiring two gun men to kill them in 2002. On the night of the murder, she went to bed with her husband, arose in the night, opened the door to allow the killers to enter and perform their acts of murder. Matthew Shallenberger, one of the killers, confessed that he was responsible for the entire plot and then killed himself. Teresa Lewis has become a symbol of all that is wrong with the concept of a death penalty. She intellectually ranks close to not being able to perform high level attacks, but the courts would have one believe she concocted this elaborate plan for execution of two people. Thousands of people throughout the civilized world urged the governor of Virginia to commute the sentence. She had become a Christian while in jail and might have spent her remaining life learning about the meaning of religion.

In the minutes before death, Ms. Lewis, knelt with a chaplain in prayer, then rose and walked to her death. Those who champion killing and killing can sleep peacefully tonight knowing Teresa Lewis is no longer on the loose plotting murders.