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.

UK,The Independent: “Footballer Blackballed Over Sex Orgy”
He just wanted to kick ass.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Rat Runs Over Rider’s Face”
It paid the fare so what’s the problem?

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Lawn Mower Rape Case Ends”
I guess someone got mowed down.

Sweden, The Local: “Tulip Named For Prince”
How charming.

USA, New York Post: “Favre Files Retirement Papers”
Again and again and again…..

Turkey, Hurriyet; “Password For Starbucks Toilet”
Shit?

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Maid Falls Nine Floors”
When she says, I clean, she means, I clean everything.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Wealthy Asked To Pay More”
Not, while the Republican party controls one house of Congress.

South Korea, Joong ank Daily: “Obama One Term President”
“Obama Approval Ratings Soar”

UK, Guardian: “Heinz Workers Agree To Deal”
It was signed in ketchup.

Wkileak Soldier Is Being Abused

The American people in 2008 elected a man who was a former professor of constitutional law as their president. We assumed an individual whose life had been devoted to constitutional procedures would not abuse prisoners as was done under the administration of former president Bush. Alas, Barack Obama has once again disappointed those who are concerned about human rights. Bradley Manning, who is allegedly the soldier who gave Wikileaks access to files that resulted in the world knowing about what was written by diplomats is now in a prison cell. Despite the recommendation of two forensic psychiatrists, Manning is confined to his cell for 24 hours a day on ground that he is a suicide risk. He is forced to sit in virtual blindness with the exception of times when he is allowed to read or given limited television privileges. During these times his glasses are returned. He is questioned every five minutes by guards and, if asleep, he must wake up.

Prison officials insist that he is a risk to himself, because they say so. Heck, a serial rapist is treated better than a young man who believed the world should know what was going on in our government.

P.S. Perhaps, Professor Obama can provide e

Rudy–We Can’t Live Without You!

There is good news for all Americans. The man who single handedly wiped out squeegee men who try to wipe window shields has announced that he might venture once again into the presidential ring. Rudy Giuliani, who won the war against terrorism in 2001 by walking the streets of New York City along with fifty policemen is not afraid of anyone or anything. This is one brave guy. Heck, he is so brave that he will accept $50,000 from any organization and reward them with two hours of hot air and not feel a moment of awkwardness. Rudy is a man for all seasons. Running for mayor of New York City meant he was for defending the rights of immigrants–legal or illegal. Running for the Republican nomination in 2008 made him the toughest opponent of rights for illegal immigrants. Running for mayor of New York City he was for gay rights, running for the Republican nomination compelled him to be reflective on gay rights and recognize that opponents had sound reasons, one of them being they would decide if he got the nomination.

Rudy told the media that he just might “take a look at 2012.” Frankly, I do not know how this country got along without him in charge. Rudy is one tough hombre, just ask those trying to sell trinkets on Broadway. I recognize some believe he is a bull shit artist, but, pay him $50,000 and he will be on any side of any controversy. His patriotism is spelled –M O N E Y.

No “One OF Those” In This Church

I am always fascinated by those of any form of official religious orientation since they are confident of their connectedness to the Old Man up in the sky. They frequently confuse me. On one hand, the organization religious person is convinced of the necessity that all people should be a member of his/her church or synagogue or mosque or whatever. A young pastor in Sweden heard about a vacancy in a parish and she submitted her name for the position. Initially, the vicar was impressed by her qualifications and she felt confident the parish would prefer a pastor in her thirties to a retired pastor who was holding down the job until a replacement could be found. After several attempts to communicate further with the vicar, all connections ended. The woman contacted someone she knew who worked in the vicar’s office and was told he found out that she was a lesbian and he did not want “one of those” creatures tending to his flock.

A minor incident in the world of religion. The world will not end because this lesbian minister can not find a job working with people. It only exemplifies the hypocrisy of those who run most organized religions. If God indeed created this world, where is it written God was against lesbians?

Whatever Happened To The Surge?

During the past fews years our media has agreed with former president Bush that his support for the General Petraeus famous “surge” was a brilliant move because it ended violence in Baghdad. True, there are fewer examples of violence, but just about every day another suicide bomber kills people. An important aspect of the plan was drawing upon Sunni Awakening Councils to crack down on al-Qaeda. Thousands of Sunnis did join in the fight against terrorists and they were promised equal treatment by the Shiite led government of Iraq. Broken promises have merely sparked Sunni militants to resume their violence. Iraq police arrested the leader of a Sunni Awakening Council militia on charges that he planned a deadly bombing of Shiite pilgrims early this week. The bombings on Thursday resulted in the death of 56 pilgrims and the wounding of dozens. The Sunni leader and his assistants were arrested in Hillah, which has become a haven of the new insurgency.

Perhaps, the “hero” of Baghdad, General Petraeus, can return to Iraq and once again, “end violence” in that city. Sorry, General Petraeus is a very competent officer, but he is no Grant or Sherman or Marshall.

Netanyahu–We Had To Protect Israel!

The government of Israel was accused of utilizing excessive force in responding to a flotilla of ships from Turkey that were bringing supplies to the people of Gaza. Obviously, if a there is an internal issues a nation ordinarily puts together an impartial group of men and women to investigate the issue–like the Kennedy assassination. The flotilla incident involved two nations which would ordinarily result in some form of combined group that has people from both societies or an international commission. But, this is modern Israel which believes the world is against it and thus one can not trust anyone but those from within our society to deal with an international event. The Turkel Commission found no evidence of violation of international law and concluded Israeli soldiers only fired when attacked. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded: “IDF soldiers defended themselves and their country.” He pointed out they boarded “the Mamara with courage and restraint.”

But, the prime minister did not discuss who was on board the Mamara. Were they Hamas militants waiting with assault weapons? Did passengers have grenades, rocket launchers or anything resembling powerful weapons? No, is the answer. Most passengers were middle aged men and women, hardly a threat to any tough IDF soldiers. Of course, some of the men could have wielded their canes as weapons and caused undue harm to the Israel military.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, Israel was confronted by Arab nations that wanted to end its existence. That world no longer exists. Egypt and Jordan have recognized Israel. Turkey, for decades had a warm, close relationship with Israel, until the Gaza invasion. The bottom line is an international incident requires an international commission or no one will believe the Israel commission.

Winds Of Change Sweep Middle East

The winds of change for all too long have not appeared in the Middle East, but since the courageous efforts of Tunisian youth drove a corrupt dictator from power breezes of democracy are not being felt on the faces of those who lead nations in the region. Inspired by Tunisia, thousands of Yemen youth flocked to the streets demanding an end to a 32 year long dictatorship and demanded democratic elections. In Algeria, police met thousands of protestors who were in the streets with their cries for democracy and an end to corrupt inefficient government. The United States has for too long operated on the assumption that as long as the leader of a Middle Eastern nation is “on our side in the fight against al-Qaeda” then he is one of our friends. We made that mistake years ago in China by supporting the corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek and got rewarded with a Communist triumph. We made the same mistake in Vietnam and the same result as US troops left that nation to Communist rulers.

Young Muslims want a society which provides jobs and opportunities for individuals to have meaningful lives. In some cases this means religious leaders will come to the fore, in other cases it means secular leaders will emerge. The alternative is the Egypt model which has stifled economic progress and left thousands of young people without jobs that fit their abilities. As Muslim youth wake up, perhaps it is time for the US and Israel to join them as partners, not as enemies.

Another Teen Kills-Who Needs Gun Controls?

Another use of weapons by a teenager resulted in multiple deaths, but not a single member of our cowardly Congress has the guts to stand up and demand basic controls on the use of guns in American society. A 14 year old boy who was with his grandparents on their home/business in a rural area of South Carolina for some reason used his .22 rifle to kill his father, his grandfather and seriously wounded his 89 year-old grandmother. The boy called 911 to report the killings an waited for police to capture him. He had been playing with his 9 year old nephew shortly before deciding to kill close members of his family. A neighbor, Dee Krind, said: “he had too much freedom with that gun. Fourteen years old, you are not supposed to have no freedom with a gun like that.” There are unconfirmed reports Mr. Krind will be summoned to the nearest NRA headquarters to explain his liberal, communist statements that indicate a belief everyone should not be allowed to use a gun. Sarah Palin intends to address the nation about why commie agents are wandering around South Carolina complaining about use of guns.

Neighbor Jesse Brown said: “he just liked riding his bike and having fun–little boy things. He was a good little kid, he just wanted some attention.” Yes,a good little kid who was allowed to play with a deadly weapon! It is time for Americans to demand GUN CONTROL! What does this mean? It means basic things like children not being allowed access to weapons unless in the company of an adult. It means background checks on those purchasing weapons. It means making illegal assault weapons.

I confess, I am one of those bleeding heart liberals.

P.S. I volunteered to serve in the Army during the Korean War and was a crack shot in basic training.

Can Gay Students Associate With Straight Ones?

A Catholic School Board decided to end a ban that had been in place which prevented straight and gay students from having a club in which all could share their ideas concerning sexual attitudes. As one gay student noted: “the only requirement of members of these groups is to show up with an open mind and an open heart.” Defenders of the ban argued their Catholic religion rejected the concept of a gay orientation toward sexuality so why should a Catholic school support open belief in being gay? Canadian civil rights groups argued such groups worked to end hostility toward fellow students who were gay or lesbian. It is estimated there are such groups operating, with or without permission of the school board, in virtually all schools within the district.

Common sense is to allow young people a forum in which to discuss their feelings. All too often adults in schools believe they must supervise what goes on in schools. Believe it or not, schools are for youth, not for adults!

McChrystal–Spy Or Soldier?

Prize winning journalist, Seymour Hersh charged General Stanley McChrystal, and members of special operations, of being a secret members of a Catholic group known as the Knights of Malta as well as the famous Catholic Opus Dei. Hersh claims members of these group “see themselves as protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims as in the 13th century. And this is their function.” Sounds terrifying-an American general and members of Special Operations conducting secret missions to kill Muslims, but there is scant evidence these charges have anything to do with reality. The general’s spokesperson, David Bolger, retorted that Hersh charges “are completely false and without basis of fact.” Opus Dei was the secret organization that supposedly was working to take over the world–or something like that– in the motion picture, “The Da Vinci Code.” Anyone who has studied history knows about these organizations, and, heck, Opus Dei even has a web site.

Yes, Catholic groups in the Middle Ages waged war against Muslims. General McChrystal head an army in Afghanistan that was protecting Muslims against other Muslims. There is no mystery. Perhaps, McChrystal harbors secret dreams, but there is no evidence he ever got past his dreams.