Monthly Archives: January 2014

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Drugs, But Not Booze Fuel Violence”

That is not my experience on St. Patrick’s Day!

UK, Guardian: “Speaking English A Must”

Speaking as an American, you English speak funny!

France, Connexion: “Unveil Hands Free Car”

Next step, people free cars?

USA, aol: “Return Of Abducted Man Rejected”

I assume the abducted was Ted Cruz.

Sweden, Local: ” Ski Resort Hit By Avalanche”

It definitely did not occur in Sochi!

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Whaling Fleet Found”

Not by the whales, I assume.

Germany, Der Spiegel: “French President Spotted With First Lady”

Which one?

Poverty Myths In America

During the Great Depression which began with the stock market crash in 1929, the unemployment rate was somewhat different than what modern Americans associate with poverty. Of course, there was no unemployment money coming in, Social Security only began in 1936, there was no government medical care programs like Medicare so people made do. Until, that magic moment, three months after President Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in March. Thus began the famous 100 days when government program after government program was unleashed and by the summer about FOUR MILLION WERE WORKING AT GOVERNMENT SPONSORED JOBS.

In other words, about 25% of those reading these words had relatives who only survived the Depression because there were government sponsored work programs. In other words, about 25% of those who read these words are descendants of POOR PEOPLE. So, let’s explore the meaning of being poor:

1. Poor people work their butts off because they are hungry and have to feed self or family.

2. Poor people do NOT receive government handouts like making their lunch tax deductible or the hundreds of tax write offs the wealthy possess.

3. Work helps an individual define the Self. It makes no different if wealthy or poor, we all need work in order to have a healthy self concept.

4. Yes, the boss created the company, but its success depends on those who work in the establishment.

5. OK, so five percent of those who are poor seek handouts. Exactly, what percent of businessmen seek government handouts?

6. Believe it or not, those who work at $7.45 an hour at McDonald’s take pride in their work.

7. To be poor means going to bed wondering if there is food in the morning for the children. That adds stress and anxiety to the individual. Hardly the way to keep physically or mentally healthy.

8. Poverty sucks as anyone who has been poor understands. It is NOT a goal, it is a consequence for living in America where those without money lack political power which leads to lack of economic power.

It is time to cease making those who are poor come across as lazy. After all, is that the way you want your grandparents depicted??

In Nigeria, Stone The Sharia Court!

It is a very common outcome in some Sharia courts for the defendant who is found guilty of being an immoral individual to wind up being stoned to death. Events in a Nigerian Sharia court sort of turned out the exact opposite from normal events. Seven men were accused of being homosexuals and put on trial in the Upper Sharia Court 4 in the state of Bauchi in the country of Nigeria. The men had been identified when a person named, “Fynboy” persuaded a homosexual who had contacted him to come to his apartment where Edward was then grabbed and forced to turn over private documents. This led to the arrest of six other men who were accused of being homosexual. The first witness said he knew one man was a homosexual because “he always dressed smartly.”

Judge El Yakubu Aliyu was astounded at the comment. “This is not an argument in a court of law.” He went on to quote the famous Jewish scholar, Moses Maimonides who said: “It is better to acquit a thousand guilty men than to put a single innocent man to death.”

Once those words were heard the court was subject to dozens of rocks being thrown and chaos. The judge was rushed to safety along with the men as a mob gathered outside shouting “God will punish homosexuals.” Nigeria has made homosexuality a crime and now the criminals are in the streets. Unfortunately, nor fortunately, they are not the homosexuals.

A Mother’s Anguish In Syria

The civil war has been going on for years and for years thousands of people have been killed, latest figures estimate it has now risen over 120,000 dead people. Death has become a statistic–”today three people were shot to death” and our minds read the figures, shrug our shoulders and pass on to the next story about Dennis Rodman’s behavior in North Korea. We have become numb to death, our ears no longer hear sounds of torture and our eyes see but do not see. Negotiations are currently taking place in Geneva between the Assad government and opposition leaders. Fatima Khan, mother of a doctor who was murdered in a Syrian prison, pushed her way through a crowd and shouted at Assad aide, Buthaina Shaaban that her doctor son was murdered and she wanted his body. She asked a guard about the woman and was told, “the mother of the doctor.” She then sharply said, “let’s get away from here.”

When confronted by ONE person, those who murder become frightened. They can handle a thousand, but a single crying grieving mother is not the person they want to see or hear. Who is this woman: “I’m representing half a million mothers.”

Lock Them Up In Egypt

There was a moment during the Arab Spring, just a fleeting moment when the concept of democracy was being practiced in nations long accustomed to rule by this or that petty dictator. Ordinarily, the dictator formerly wore a uniform in an army that never actually fought anyone unless they were their own people. Al-Jazeera is a competent and professional organization which approaches news in the Middle East with seriousness and a sense of professional conduct. It is rare among Middle Eastern news media since it regards its duty to report various viewpoints pertaining to an event rather than simply following the government party line. This attitude is not that which is desired by the Egyptian government, which, in reality, is simply an arm of the Egyptian military. Twenty correspondents who work for al-JaZeera in Egypt have been arrested and charged with crimes against the state.

The group was charged with disseminating stories that were examples of “fabricating news that tarnished the reputation of Egypt.” They were accused of being “biased.” Huh! Egypt currently is a nation in search of its soul and that includes its desire for democracy.

Tea Party Triumphs In Utah School!

Children in a Salt Lake City elementary school went to the cafeteria for lunch, lined up, got a tray and then selected their food. About forty CHILDREN had just begun to eat when cafeteria employees rushed to grab their trays and throw them in the garbage because the children were not eligible to eat lunch in a school in the district. Their parents had failed to pay up to date on the lunch cost, and thus the school wanted to set an example that in modern 2014 America if you are poor, then it is your damn fault. The Tea Party has been arguing for years that it is time to cease feeding moochers who simply want to live off government handouts. I assume Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin will hail this act of taking away food as a shining example of what would happen in America if we would only elect members of the Tea Party to office.

Oh, school officials did apologize and suggest the issue of non-payment could have been handled in a different manner. Welcome to America, welcome to the land in which children are humiliated and embarrassed and denied food because their parents were not able to handle the cost of food.

Death Never Ceases Wandering In America

I,along with millions, have mixed feelings regarding death penalty. Yes, what would I do if someone murdered my child? It is a complex emotional issue that must be confronted by each individual. However, reality is that if anyone is going to be executed for the crime of murder it will be a black or Hispanic male, not a white one. I do not believe a single person during the entire 20th century was executed in America for murder whose wealth totaled a million dollars. We Americans insist upon being termed “exceptional.” Yes, we are. We lead the world in the number of people in jail, we rank among the top five in executing people for murder. Herbert Smulls robbed a store in 1991 and in the process killed the store owner.

He was just executed despite urgings by his lawyer that due to drugs being used, his death would take time–as it recently did for a man who took 25 minutes to die. We apparently have run out of the right dose of pentabartied that ensures a quick and painless death. Enough with the killing. How about ceasing to be “exceptional” and become like those Europeans and end execution of those who murder?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23 year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

I wonder if God has a psychologist to consult.

Floods come across as beautiful unless one is in them.

Always take a shot, the NRA will ensure you get another one.

Believe in self to believe in others.

Ah, if I could only return to the future.

Some only achieve being themselves.

To know that I am ignorant is a sign of intelligence.

Some have no idea they have no idea.

Most modern students believe in LAW–least amount of work.

American generals no longer die in battle, they die as guest commentators on TV.

In the end there is only “I” not We.

Be an explorer of life.

Long time since I heard, “straight and narrow path.”

A human must live in the solitude of own mind.

God is a whisperer.

We are all prisoners of the past.

Some must contemplate the decision to bite.

Some feel proud they cleaned off the table before departing.

I never forget to pick up the penny, one never knows.

The child lives in today, the adult in yesterday.

I prefer the sound of coins to paper.

Child loves to dump trash, sign of growing up.

Agony Of Barack Obama

I have been able to hear or see State of Union presentations for over 75 years. On Tuesday night, President Obama came before Congress. He talked and talked as an audience sat quietly listening to words that few actually ever believed would result in action, if the word, “action” relates in any manner to new legislation. It is quite clear the Republican party has committed itself to a program of sabotage of any legislation that does not result in greater wealth and power to the wealthy. It is quite clear that Barack Obama has lost connection with members of the Democratic party and they simply do not regard him as a leader who will move the party and nation forward. So, what went wrong?

The problem began on election night of 2008. Barack Obama had a model as to how to confront a nation which had a collapsed economy and millions headed for unemployment–March, 1933 with the swearing in of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president. Instead of studying and adapting the famous 100 Days of FDR, Obama, for some strange and mysterious reason, selected Ronald Reagan as his model!! The FDR model was centered on two basic ideas: Banks, Wall Street and the wealthy were responsible for the Depression. Period. Secondly, the IMMEDIATE ISSUE WAS-PROVIDING JOBS FOR PEOPLE. Obama did NOT have his 100 days of action even though Democrats controlled both House and Senate. Instead, he ignored the job issue( Between March, 1933 and August, 1933, FDR provided work for FOUR MILLION JOBLESS PEOPLE).

FDR’s assistant was Harry Hopkins, a former social worker. As Hopkins once told an administrator who said the task could be handled next week, “people eat today, not next week.” Obama surrounded himself with Wall Street types like Geithner and Summers, there was no Hopkins to focus on needs of those without work who needed aid NOW.

Franklin Roosevelt was adored by those without work, Obama is regarded by those without work as not caring and only concerned with his relations with Wall Street. True or not, that is his image among those without work. FDR held news conferences three times a week, he got the message out about his concern, Barack Obama does not like press conferences and never has gotten the message out about his concern for those without work.

During the 100 days, there were laws to provide 1,000,000 young men work with the CCC so they could gain some money as well as pride rebuilding our forests. There were laws to provide jobs to men and women who build schools and hospitals and rebuilt ports as well as new airports. People had their faith restored in self. There was no Obama legislation to provide financial assistance to young people faced with huge student loan debts although hundreds of billions were available to save banks and General Motors.

In other words, Obama failed from day one to get across the image of a leader determined to help people NOW. Instead he pushed for health insurance, an important idea, but one that could have been initiated two years later. He failed to lead. He failed to communicate. He failed to pay attention to what mattered the most–JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!

Now, few regard him as a leader who is concerned with the needs of those without. What is more ironic than a president who wanted to help those without now regarded as a leader who is only concerned with himself and his image??

Clapper Craps On Snowden

James Clapper is head of the National Security Agency which apparently gives him free license to attack anyone, take possession of every aspect of their private life and provide evidence for these actions on the basis of NATIONAL SECURITY! He urged that Edward Snowden and his “accomplices” should return all documents they stole from the United States of America since anyone who gained knowledge of what is stated in these documents has the power to cause “profound damage” to the safety and security of the American nation. Anyone who does not agree with this estimate is obviously someone who supports TERRORISM!! HIs spokesperson, (these great figures in our lives always have a “spokesperson” whose task is clarifying what the great man meant) Shawn Turner, told the media: “Director Clapper was referring to anyone who is assisting Edward Snowden to further threaten OUR NATIONAL SECURITY!”

This is the same James Clapper who lied last year to a Committee in the Senate when Senator Ronald Wyden asked if his agency had deliberately gathered information about the private lives of Americans. In a word, when it comes to speaking honestly about “National Security,” we only get crap from Clapper!!