Monthly Archives: January 2011

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Get Rid Of Useless Academic Programs”
How about getting rid of useless academics?

Sweden, The Local: “Bedbugs Found On Swedish Trains”
So what, they paid their fare!

USA, Army Times: “Banks Apologize For Overcharging Troops”
Apologize, yes, refund, no.

Germany, Der Spiegel: “Family Minister Has First Baby”
Well, she IS the minister for family issues.

Netherlands, Dutch News: “Get Cows Outside”
Better moo outside than shit inside.

UK, Independent: “Honeymoon Man Suffers From Stress”
Lying down was OK, but getting it up was a stressful task.

South Africa, Argus: “Back To School To Find You Failed”
Failure is bad, but the tuition is a total failure to my bank account.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Mull Magic Regulations”
Just say, “puff” and they will disappear.

Norway, Norway Post: “City Rat Free By 2015″
Sorry, it will take longer to get rid of our rat problem in Congress.

Tony Blair Lied Say Colleagues

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair enjoys playing Mr. Tough Guy when appearing before the Chilcot Inquiry. According to Tony, he always was honest, open and clear regarding his intention to work with George Bush in taking out Saddam Hussein. In fact, as he insists, it had nothing to do with WMD, but everything to do to pursue the dreams of George and Tony to bring democracy and peace to the Middle East. Blair expresses amazement that anyone who served in the Labor government was not aware as to the direction of his policies in that region of the world. Lord Wilson and Lord Turnbull, both heads of the civil service under Blair, told the Chilcot Inquiry that many members of the Cabinet were kept in the dark about his desire for war with Iraq. Wilson, the Cabinet Secretary from 1998-2002, described a meeting with the prime minister in April, 2002 where he was assured by Blair that “nothing was imminent.” Wilson went on to say, “I don’t think anyone would have gone away thinking they had authorized a course of action that would lead to military action.” Turnbull who took over in 2002 disagrees with the Blair assertion “they knew the score” about his intention to go along with Bush on the invasion of Iraq. According to Turnbull, Blair did not share his views about the invasion until shortly before military action occurred.

Tony Blair, like George Bush, refuses to acknowledge a mistake was made in March, 2003 by invading Iraq. There was no urgency, there was no need to proceed without allowing UN inspectors to conclude their investigation. Turnbull and Wilson offer testimony as to the distortion of Blair in twisting the facts in order to justify the Bush/Blair blunder of March, 2003.

America Urged To Back Off Assange Prosecution

Australian Geoffrey Robertson was given an award by the New York Bar Association and he used the occasion to warn his American friends and colleagues to avoid further prosecution of Julian Assange. He described himself as a “flag waver for the first Amendment” and argued it must always be at the center of American beliefs even though some diplomats might encounter embarrassment at release of their private thoughts. “Rather than shooting the messenger, US politicians and pundits should support the principle that citizens everywhere have a democratic right to know what their government does in their name.” He warned pursuing prosecution of Assange was going down the road of the infamous 1917 Espionage Act which eventually resulted in sending to jail Eugene Debs, a man who received nearly one million votes in the presidential election of 1912. His crime was to oppose US entry into World War I.

Robertson offered sound advice to our government. Yes, Julian Assange has embarrassed many people. However, the ironic aspect of release of documents is to reveal most US diplomats are aware of what is going on in the world.

Michele Bachman, Historian Of Falsehood!

What can one say about a political party which allows an ignorant person such as Michele Bachman to become a spokesperson for their ideas? Ms. Bachman, decided to offer a Tea Party explanation as to why Barack Obama is a flaming Socialist who does not agree with the American people. According to Ms. Bachman, the “bureaucracy now tells us which light bulb to buy and may put 16.500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill.” She concluded her litany of errors by standing before a picture of the famous raising of the American flag at the battle of Iwo Jima toward the end of WWII while saying it was a battle “against all odds.” David Frum, a Republican speechwriter for George Bush, commented: “Did Bachman really say that Iwo Jima was a battle against all odds? For the Japanese, I guess.” Michele, at a cost of thousands of American lives on Iwo Jima, EVERY JAPANESE SOLDIER WAS KILLED AND A FEW SURRENDERED AT IWO JIMA. ABOUT 80,000 JAPANESE CIVILIANS DIED.

Michele Bachman is like so many Tea Party folk who have no knowledge of American history.

For example, they claim the Income Tax was a “Socialist idea.” Actually, Socialist Abraham Lincoln instituted the first income tax. It was also an idea of the Populist Party in the 1890s which was composed of American farmers.

For example, they claim Social Security was a “Socialist idea.” The initial Social Security law was proposed by the arch conservative Otto Von Bismarck in Germany–IN ORDER TO FIGHT SOCIALISTS!

Oh, as for the Tea Party, the British government REDUCED THE TEA TAX.

Republicans Argue For Limited Government

Congressman Paul Ryan offered a Republican response to the Obama speech. He was gracious in admitting the current deficit was the result of both political parties. Actually, he is incorrect. President Bill Clinton turned over to George Bush a budget that showed a SURPLUS of over $300 billion. Within a year Bush proposed a budget that had over a hundred billion dollar DEFICIT. In 1980, Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt of about $2 Trillion. When he left office it was closer to $5 Trillion. George Bush inherited a national debt of $5 Trillion. When he left office it was over $10 Trillion. Congressman Ryan claimed the Stimulus did not create jobs. Most economists estimate it saved over 2 million jobs. Congressman Ryan argues the new health care bill will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The independent Congressional Budget Office estimates it will SAVE $250 Billion. Fiscal responsibility is the promise of Republicans. Yet, Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly voted to support the invasion of Iraq which has cost at least a Trillion dollars and will eventually cost two Trillion dollars. Some fiscal responsibility!

Throughout his speech, Ryan argued for “limited government” and claimed that was how historically the American government functioned. Let’s look at the record”

1. Thomas Jefferson instituted the national road.

2. Thomas Jefferson is responsible for the Louisiana Purchase even though there is nothing in the Constitution that allows such purchases.

3. State governments helped to subsidize canal construction and early railroad construction.

4. Under Abraham Lincoln, the government subsidized construction of the Intercontinental Railroad.

5. Under Abraham Lincoln, the first Income Tax was passed.

6. The Republican party pushed for creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

7. Republican Theodore Roosevelt led the fight to break up trusts and regulate business.

8. Under Theodore Roosevelt the US government subsidized creation of an airplane industry.

9. Under Theodore Roosevelt came child labor laws and regulation of safety in factories.

10. Theodore Roosevelt and most Republicans supported the Income Tax Amendment –as did Democrats.

11. President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s created the modern national highway system.

12. The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional state segregation.

13. The Internet was developed by the federal government.

and, so on and so on.

Airport Bomber Still Unknown

There are two wars against terrorism–one in which those utilizing terrorist strategies openly boast about their actions, and another war in which those engaged in bombings, remain silent and unknown. At this point, no one knows who was the person–or persons–who exploded a bomb in the Moscow airport that resulted in the death of at least 35 people. Some eye witnesses insist a man set off the bomb, others claim they saw a man and a woman and the bomb was strapped to the body of the female. Current suspicion is the tragedy was the result of some obscure group called, Nogai Battalion. Prime Minister Putin has promised “inevitable retribution” against those behind the bombing. But, how does one carry out “retribution” when the Russian government doesn’t even know who did it? One is reminded of President George Bush promising to take out Saddam Hussein for 911 when it is clear Saddam, while a brutal dictator, had nothing to do with 9/11. There are rumors that for weeks, Russian investigators were tracking three women and a man who supposedly were preparing a bomb attack.

Of course, we want to know who killed innocent people. But, the lesson of the Iraq invasion is attacking the wrong people inevitably results in even more deaths. Haste not only leads to waste, it results in ten fold the number of innocent people who die.

Mubarak: Do You Hear Sounds From East?

President Mubarak is most probably sitting around with his son discussing how after his next “victory” in the presidential election, the boy can take over for another thirty years. Oh, there are some voices of discontent, but there have always been voices of discontent. However, thousands of people gathered in the streets of Alexandria and Cairo to express their disgust with a government that is unresponsive to economic change and is ridden with corruption that prevents new ideas from being implemented in society. Protesters carried signs saying: “Day of Rage” or “Long Live Free Tunisia” which meant they wanted a Tunisian revolution in their own country. “Revolution Until Victory” proclaimed one group of marchers as they shouted and placed fists into the air.

The United States has supported President Mubarak through every crisis he has faced. However, when 25% of the population lacks work, when there is corruption and friends of the president secure the right positions and dip into the till of government for funds, it is time to change or have changed forced onto the current regime of “do nothing.” There simply is no evidence the president gets the message. If his son has any brains he will walk away from running for the presidency in four years. Things can get bloody if one retains power too long.

Barack Obama Loves Everyone

A State of the Union address is designed to show the American people that their president is really a nice guy who loves both Republicans and Democrats, straights, gays, Muslim, Jews, and even Christian. Barack Obama told America he wanted to stimulate industry and jobs. Of course, this blog in January, 2009 urged the president to make that an important focus of his program. So, it took him two years to get around to jobs, fine, now the question is whether he can really carry out his goal. As we listened to the speech we learned:

1. Barack Obama supports the efforts of our armed forces.

2. Barack Obama wants to increase the speed of broadband use, trains, planes, and slow down the speed of cars entering cities.

3. Barack Obama is open to changes in the healthcare bill, provided they don’t deal with………. figure it out.

4. Barack Obama wants to cut the size of government.

5. Barack Obama wants to reduce deficits.

6. Barack Obama wants to simplify the tax code.

7. Barack Obama wants to end regulations which are not liked by business.

8. Barack Obama wants to end discord in Congress.

9. Some of his best friends are Republicans.

10. Barack Obama wants people of all persuasions to love openly.

11. Barack Obama wants to bring our soldiers home from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Hopefully, I did not leave out what he wants.

P.S. I can not recall any inspiring or lasting line in his speech.

Send Palestinians South Said Rice!

The impact of Wikileaks continues to reverberate throughout the world, and now it has created new issues concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly told Palestinian negotiators the refuge problem could be solved by sending Palestinian refugees to either Argentine or Chile which already host hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Most probably, Rice did not know that the vast majority of Palestinians in South America were Christian as are the vast majority of Palestinians in America who arrived before the 1960s. Palestinian leaders in Chile were shocked by the suggestion which they, politely termed, “wrong.” Argentine leaders were very blunt and termed the Rice proposal”an extension of a long campaign of ethnic cleansing.” Naturally, release of these comments has aroused anger among Palestinians who do not know if their negotiators gave serious consideration to the American proposal.

Ironically, Christian Palestinians, as has been the case among Iraq Christians, have been confronted by prejudice and violence –not by Israelis–but by their Muslim neighbors. Half the Iraq Christian population has fled the country since 2003 to escape violence at the hands of Muslim religious fanatics.

Killing Muslims -Precisely!

The news report spoke of US drone attacks on “militants” in Pakistan while other news reports described a series of car bombings in Iraq. In both cases, the object of death was a Muslim. American sources claimed their drone attacks on people in Afghanistan or in Pakistan are members of al-Qaida or militants serving in the Taliban. Over in Iraq, militants target other Muslims, people they regard as being OK to kill because if you are serving the Prophet then there is permission to kill any deemed deserving of death. For example, in yesterday’s car bombings in Iraq, a farmer and his son on the way to market were killed as were two school children who made the mistake of going to school without realizing al-Qaida regards that building as an important military target. OK, so other car bombings murdered some civilians who were out walking the streets of Baghdad, not understanding they were walking in an area that was a military target.

I understand that those who guide drones from the safety of a building in Virginia are 100% certain their bombs are killing militants. Gee, with that type of certainty, can’t we use these people to fix our economy? Or, perhaps, I am naive and do not realize that cars with militants inside have a banner on the car which says: “This Is A MIlitant Car.”