Monthly Archives: October 2010

Reality Follows Fiction

I was raised with James Bond films in which our suave hero has a gun in one hand and his arm around a gorgeous woman with the other and uses his feet to fire a gun hidden in his underwear. A few months ago, the infamous and notorious gang of Russian spies in America who are responsible for their native country gaining possession of high secret recipes for apple pie were captured and returned home. Anna Chapman, the incredibly beautiful red haired spy is now featured in a men’s magazine sporting G-strings and wielding a revolver while she displays the body that allowed Russia to gain supremacy in apple pie production. The Russian magazine, Maxim shows pictures of her wearing elbow-length black gloves and skimpy red lingerie that makes men wish they had some secrets to bestow on this femme fatale. I assume when she received her medal from President Medvedev the attire was a bit more subdued, but, then again, one never knows when we are discussing Russian spies in America.

My fondest wish is to have been present when Anna and the gang of incompetents sat around with Prime Minister Putin, singing songs of bravery and daring. Ah, those were the days, when we had spies with giant breasts!

Muslim Youth Typical Adolescents

At the age of 80 among the most accurate observations I can make is that one adolescent is the same as another and young people these days are more alike to youth of the past. The Fundamental Rights Agency, (FRA) in a survey of about 3,000 Muslim and non-Muslim youths in England, France, and Spain, that young people across the board were most likely to turn to violence if they were subject to violence. “Young people who are discriminated against and feel socially marginalized, and those who have been a victim of violence are more likely to use violence against others.” The survey also discovered, “there are no indications that Muslim youth are more or less likely to resort to actual violence than non-Muslims.” Actually, about a fourth of youth in the survey have experienced discrimination such as bullying or physical attacks. It appears Muslim young people are more likely to be the subject of such attacks than other groups in the countries that were surveyed.

There is nothing surprising about this survey. If it had been taken ten or twenty or fifty years ago the same results would have emerged. The only difference is the name of he bullied group. Most likely, the group bullied in the past now bullies Muslim youth. Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose.

UK MI6 Excuses To Justify Torture

Somewhere along the path leading from wars inAfghanistan and Iraq a concept emerged which allows democratic societies to justify the use of torture on captured prisoners. Men like Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were insistent the lives of Americans always took precedence over roughing up some terrorist. Sir John Sawer, head of British secret intelligence, MI6, although insisting his group did not torture anyone, admitted such behavior might occur. “Suppose we received cedible inteligence that might save lives, here or abroad. We have a professional or moral duty to act on it. We will normally want to share it with those who can save those lives.” OK, so “those” folk some waterboarding or pull out nails or beat the heck out of someone, this behavior is only done in the name of “saving lives.”

This is the infamous “ticking bomb” theory which argues there is an atomic bomb ticking away in Los Angeles and the guy we are questioning knows its location. Exactly how many times has this scenario ACTUALLY occured? It is rare. During WWII when millions of lives were effected torture was NOT the norm among Allied intelligence officers. It is not a question of torture or not torturing, the issue is– how best to obtain information? The overwhelming evidence is that torture is an INEFFECTIVE strategy.

Fonseka-Modern Dreyfus In Sri Lanka

The long and bloody civil war in Sri Lanka is over, but the government which won the battle due to efforts by General Sarath Fonseka is still determined to exact revenge on those who oppose its growing dictatorial rule. After fighting ended, General Fonseka did something that was deemed criminal- he entered his name on the list of those running for president. He was arrested while giving a speech and charged with treason among other crimes because he was campaigning while still in uniform. Fonseka was given a court martial, stripped of his medals and placed in jail. The real reason for these actions were his charges of corruption in government and claims that during closing days of the civil war, President Rajapaksa order the execution of Tamil rebels who wanted to surrender.

The end of a long civil war requires efforts by the winning side to reach out to rebels in order to ensure them the past is the past and there is need for a new future in which all are citizens of the nation of Sri Lanka. It is unfortunate that voice uttering those words is now in jail. It is doubly sad the man who led a successful effort to win the war is in prison.

Vote Party Not Person

I am eighty years of age and have never voted for any Republican, even someone running for the office of dog catcher. The Republican party, which once had great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wendell Wilkie, Dwight Eisenhower, has become the party of “no.” Some have questioned my refusal to vote for an individual Republican who might be superior to his Democratic opponent. My response is simply, if I vote for one Republican then I assist the entire party of incompetent, vicious and angry people to assume office. The good Republicans are isolated in a party which has allowed those with extreme views guided by ignorance to control what will happen. This nation can NOT allow a party based on saying NO to anything other then cutting taxes to be elected. Republicans, who used to stand opposed to the wealthy, have become bed mates of the corporate, financial forces. They have prostituted themselves and this nation for money.

Every vote for ANY Republican candidate is a vote for a party which allows Shirley Angle and the Witch from Delaware to run for the US Senate. Vote Republican and you vote for Shirley Angle to be sitting on committees that make decisions concerning your life and the future of this nation.

VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND VOTE FOR AMERICA.

Afghanistan, A War With A Known End

An old cliche most probably best describes the current situation in Afghanistan– those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes. In the 1940s America attempted to support the incompetent, corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek in China and the result was a Communist victory. During the 1960s the US supported corrupt governments in Vietnam and the result was a victory for the Communists. During the 1970s the US supported the Shah of Iran who was a dictator and oppressor of his people, the result was a victory for Muslim fundamentalists. In 2001, American forces swept the Taliban from power and installed the government of President Karzai. Professor Amin Saikal of Australian National University has best described this individual. “The corrupt, dysfunctional, and neopotistic nature of (President Karzai) is well documented. Karzai has instituted a system of governance dominated by patronage, unsavory strong men, ethnic entrepreneurs and incompetent policymakers.” A bit strong, but all too accurate description of the man who we believe will bring “democracy” to the people of Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama decided in January, 2009 to trust advice from members of the US military. There task in life is to fight wars, ostensibly in order to achieve peace. But, from their perspective a war is required in order to attain peace. Obama has followed their ideas for nearly two years and there is scant prospect of peace in Afghanistan unless we mean peace attained by the Taliban. Support Karzai and the end is known– an American retreat from the chaos of Afghanistan. Ah, President Obama, why didn’t you read a history book about what happened earlier in the twentieth century???

Sanity Rally Not Insane Enough

The United States of America has become insane when it requires a Sanity Rally led by two comedians to make more sense than our national leaders. As a Canadian put it: “I came down here because the crazier Americans get, the more Canadians get.” There were satirical comments about Republicans running for service in Congress who believe all economic problems will be solved by reducing taxes on the wealthy, there are Republicans who oppose Social Security and wish to replace it with soup kitchens opened by religious groups in order to kill two birds with one stone–end financial aid for the elderly and make churches once again more important in their lives. Singers like Cat Stevens performed, famous people came from Hollywood to mock what, frankly, is beyond mocking because how does one make fun of individuals like Christine Donnelly whose ignorance makes Sarah Palin come across as someone fit to be teaching in the Harvard philosophy department?

Next week will mark the birth of a new era in American history in which the business world has completely triumphed in fostering its ideas upon a gullible population. The end of unions, the end of workers identifying with the working class, the end of people who understood politics DID influence their lives has left this nation with apolitical youth and middle class people who are still dazed by what happened to their economic lives. They are more alike those who welcomed Adolf Hitler as a savior than those who welcomed Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt or Franklin Roosevelt. Believe it or not, once upon a time in American citizens wanted programs, not platitudes.

Thousands had a good laugh in Washington. Colbert and Stewart got to show themselves off as possessing greater intelligence than most members of Congress or the Obama cabinet, and people left with a smile on their faces. The Q

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer reflections on the human condition from a twenty year old mind trapped in an 80 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

Among my greatest fears these days is that my printer collapses. Ah, for the days of a typewriter.

America in the past built great dams, highways, canals, railroads that spanned the continent, and today, we can’t even build a tunnel under the Hudson River.

A beautiful sight is grandmother teaching her granddaughter about life.

American myth: Raising taxes on the wealthy will kill their initiative. The only initiative they have in life is making more and more money.

American myth: We built this nation without action by the federal government– it was all done by private enterprise. YEAH, canals, highways, dams, railroads, the Internet, etc..

American myth: We accomplished great tasks without raising taxes. Check out WWII when the tax rate hit 70%.

Republican hatred toward opponents is sad. It demeans the entire party. This once was the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wendell Wilkie, Robert Taft, Tom Dewey, Dwight Eisenhower.

Mom, with three little boys. Not a common sight these days.

Dreams disappear, others reappear, some born, some die. The human mind in operation.

I often wonder what it would take to get Barack Obama angry.

Little boys kiss one another. They are naturally gay.

If I forget where I placed something, I blame age. What is your excuse?

It is sad encountering college students who have always received high grades and can not write a coherent sentence in the English language. I suspect, grades for showing up to class.

A woman entered the bagel shop, sat down, gazed into space. A rendevous?

I prefer mysteries of life to the known things of life.

I never examine “specials” in fast food establishments. It is impossible for any food in such a place to be “special.”

Fantasy stirs the soul to come alive.

Republicans are the NO Generation. No global change, no healthcare, no rebuilding America’s infrastructure, no gay rights, no concern for natural resources. Does anyone know what they want other than lower taxes for the wealthy?

I dislike people who allow their dog to wander into my path. Go to the damn forest!

Anger should not be allowed to dwell in your heart for longer than 24 hours.

People exiting a fast food establishment with a package feel like Santa Claus.

There are more tables around which old ladies sit than old men.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Tiger Getting Used To New Life”
Only one new girl a day.

UAE, Khalleej Times: “Mexican Police Seize 100 Tons Of Marijuana”
It is high time they got the marijuana.

Sweden,The Local: “Sweden Considers Health Care For Illegals”
Heck, in America we can’t even get it for the legals.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Apple Store Has Germs”
In the computer or outside of them?

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “New Drug Charge Against Chickens”
They were caught clucking while on cocaine.

Russia, Moscow Times: “Swedish Judge Arrests Assets”
Were they put in a bank or in a prison?

Australia, Canberra Times: “Australia Celebrates First Saint”
I assume they will keep him away from little boys.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “Tricks Women To Have Sex”
He,along with a few billion men.

Norway, Norway Post: “Christian Democrats Mull Name Change”
Hopefully, it is not the Jewish Democrats.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Ten Things You Need To Know”
Tea Party people are ignorant, repeat that ten times.

USA, New York Post: “Sex Offender Avoids Jail”
Gee, that must have been a disappointment.

UK, Guardian: “American Detergent Wars”
I’ll wash this one out of my mind.

Fighting Men And Women OK With Gay Soldiers

Right wing conservatives like Senator John McCain pose as defenders of members of the armed forces by rejecting changes in the status of gays and lesbians. An internal Pentagon study found that most US troops and their families do NOT care if gays and lesbians are open about who they are while serving in the armed forces. Most believe the infamous, “don’t ask, don’t tell” law should be changed. Officials who revealed results of the study to the Army Times did not wish their names published because results had not been published. The study is based on 400,000 surveys sent to troops in the service and 150,000 to members of their families. Officials already are working on plans to implement new policies once Congress ends the DADT rule. The issue of gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces is a non-issue. At a time in America in which less than a half percent of the population is willing to risk their lives to save those of the other 99% we should welcome with open arms those who volunteer to serve.

We never had a doubt a majority of those in the armed forces oppose DADT because gays and lesbians are with them in the front lines and those in the military honor comrades in arms.